Huda Beauty Topaz Obsessions Palette Review

This week the eyeshadow palette I chose to work with was the Huda Beauty Topaz Obsessions Palette.  It is a square nine pan palette.  Five of the shadows are matte and four are shimmers. 

It was a very interesting palette to work with for a week.  All of the mattes are highly pigmented.  I found if I dipped in and knocked the excess off the brush then I could apply the shadow with one brush and then use a separate clean brush to blend it out for a simple one shadow look. 

Row 1 swatches (some of the swatches just don’t show well on my skin)

With the exception of the central neutral shade all of the mattes worked well this way.  The only reason the neutral shade didn’t work is that it is too close to my skin tone to show up well. (The central neutral shade is the middle swatch in the image below (row 2 swatches, I swear I actually swatched it)

Row 2 swatches

That’s not really the fault of the shadow. I’m sure it would work well with someone else. It is very easy to apply too much of the mattes however so start out with a very light touch.  The dark brown in the left hand corner (first swatch of row 3 image) had a little more fall out than the others, but almost all dark browns seem to do the same. Again, a light touch worked well to keep it in check.

Row 3 swatches

While each of the colors can be worn alone, they do blend fairly well without muddying.   My only issue is that with the shade range most of the looks I created looked very similar.  If I used more of the orangey shade in the top left hand corner the eye look came out a bit brighter but it was still only a slight variation.  It is a good quick palette to use, but not a terribly exciting one. Again I think much of this is down to my skin tone.

With the shimmers, they also applied well but again were just varying shades of coppery gold. They all applied evenly and stayed in place.  The biggest difference was in the depth of the copper.  One was bright copper and another would be described more as old gold looking.

It is a very easy palette to use and one I enjoyed. I adore the coppers, but after a week with this palette, I think my palette next week will not feature brown and copper quite so heavily. I am ready for a different tonal scheme. I will definitely reach for this palette again whenever I feel the need for copper or a quick office look, but I might pair it with another palette for a different look.


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Testing out Becca Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation

I have to admit, I started this trial with pretty high hopes for the Becca Ultimate Coverage 24 hour Foundation. The reason was that my old foundation, the one that I stockpiled when I found out it was discontinued, was a Becca Foundation. Plus, I tend to like a lot of Becca products.  The pink tinted loose powder is absolutely amazing on a day when I don’t wear a lot of makeup.  I can just put on a primer and a light dusting and be good to go all day. The tint gives a nice healthy glow to the skin.

So with several excellent products behind me from Becca, hopes were high at the start. But first off, what does this foundation have to say for itself.

the pump was a little messy but not that bad

A lightweight, full coverage foundation with 24-hour wear. A balance of water and concentrated pigments give skin a flexible, natural finish that is water and transfer resistant.  Camouflage acne, redness, hyperpigmentation and discoloration with breathable coverage that won’t clog pores.

That is quite a list of claims for just one bottle.

Now first off, I need to admit, I picked the wrong shade.  Or maybe I picked the right shade but not for this time of year.  Either way, it is a little too light on me at the moment.  So please try to ignore that in the photos. 

Luckily, I didn’t really leave the house during the week I was testing the foundation so even though my baby doll shook his head at me and asked if I was doing kabuki theater, the color wasn’t that big a deal.  My outside time was mostly working in the back garden and if anyone minded the non-match and called me out on it I could have just yelled at them for looking into my garden. No one did though.

Now normally when I apply foundation, I put it on my hand and then dab it on my face, use a brush to blend it out and then a sponge to make sure there are no brush streaks and to complete the blending and get into little edges.

This foundation did not like the brush at all.  If you have ever dragged a broom across a muddy floor, then you know the lines the brush put in the foundation.  I finally just had to abandon the brush and go with the sponge from the get go.  Application went much better after that. Also remember that with this foundation, a little goes a long way.

dotted foundation

There is no wiggle room in the coverage of this foundation.  It is full coverage.  Period.  You can’t really sheer it out for medium coverage if you are having a good skin day.  It is a full coverage foundation. Which is fine.  While I don’t like full coverage on a daily basis, I do like it for when I go out and at the moment I don’t have a really good full coverage foundation that I like.

just the foundation

This was full coverage without being cakey.  I did not experience any oxidation, so keep that in mind when determining your shade. It did feel lightweight on the skin which isn’t typical of many full coverage foundations I’ve tried in the past. While I didn’t wear it for a full 24 hours, because quite frankly I simply don’t tend to wear makeup for a full day and night, I did push it to ten hours and had no problems with it creasing. 

However you really need to wear a primer with this foundation.  I found applying a pore filling primer and then waiting a few minutes to let the primer sort of settle into the skin really helped with this foundation.  It made my skin look amazing. There was no creasing and I didn’t have to apply any powder during the day to decrease shine coming through. The final picture below is after 10 hrs of wear (I did reapply the lip gloss, but not the face powder, admittedly I did use a lot of powder and bronzer to try to adjust the color). There is a little shine in the t-zone but it really isn’t that much, it just no longer looks fully matte, in my opinion. And it is something I could definitely live with.

I think if I got the color right I would consider keeping the Becca Ultimate Coverage around for nights when I went out to an event or something. I like the pump of the bottle and the glass bottle itself.  It may actually be the full coverage foundation I keep around for such things. However I know that it is not a foundation that I am going to wear on a regular basis, just because I don’t wear full coverage every day.  For that reason, even though it passed the wear-ability test, I am not going to keep it in the running for my daily foundation search. 

start of day

I know I am not going to reach for it right now, partially because of the coverage level and partially because of the color.  What I am going to do is put it back in the drawer to use this coming winter (This week was the first time the foundation was opened so I have some time on it.).  I don’t know how many holiday parties there will be this year, or how many of them will be via video call instead of in person, but this is the foundation I would use then.

I think the color would match my winter skin and the full coverage would be useful for events and gatherings.  To try and keep it out for use now would just be wasteful.  So even though I like it, the Becca Ultimate coverage will not be going up against the previous three foundations.  If I like the way it performs over the winter with the shade actually working better with my skin, then I will get a darker shade to wear for warmer months events.

after 10 hrs

I know that is sort of a mixed review, but I think what this means is that I may have to go and search out a more medium coverage foundation from Becca to test it out for daily wear. I do think that this will end up being my go to full coverage foundation for when I need a full coverage foundation.  

This was the fourth foundation of this five foundation set.  The next up is a product from Nars.  However I do also have several trial sized tubes of foundation to try as well as a couple of BB and CC creams and I think even a tinted moisturizer or two as well as at least one stick foundation.  So this quest is far from over. Given the fact that I love to try new products, I’m perfectly okay with that.


Weight Loss Regime Survival Tip #51: Changing things up

For the past year I have been posting various tips and tricks as well as just random things I’ve learned as I work on a healthier me.  I enjoy sharing these weight loss journey sign posts with you.  I hope you find some of them helpful or at least momentarily amusing.

At this point, most of the lessons I am learning seemed to be the same lessons merely repackaged. It’s as though the universe realizes that I am slightly dense some times and need to have things pounded into my head. While I’m still learning and may come across new tips to share with you, I will not be posting this segment each week anymore.  It’s not gone for good. When something occurs that is worth mentioning, I’ll bring it back, it just won’t be a regular weekly post. 

I haven’t decided on a weekly thing to take its place yet (and I’m open to suggestions and if there is anything you want to see here on a regular basis let me know.) So for now I will just be posting my regular style of reviews on Wednesdays.

For my last regularly scheduled tip post, I’m going to post the top five things I’ve learned in the past year.

  1. Buy a pack of plain undershirts and socks with the reinforced toes to work out in.  Working out is a sweaty business and these clothes are going to take a beating. Rather than ruin your everyday socks and t-shirts, pick up an inexpensive pack that you can blitz clean with repeated washings and not worry over.  When they get too worn out from too much sweat and too many washings, relegate them to gardening gear or the rag bin and pick up another package. I actually recommend Hanes as they are not terribly expensive and can take quite a lengthy beating before they need to be replaced.  I tend to get the men’s v-neck ones as they are a little roomier and I don’t like the collar pressing on my neck as I work out.
  2. Patience. You didn’t put on all the weight overnight and you aren’t going to take it off overnight.  You also aren’t going to go from couch potato to winner of an Iron Man style competition in one gym session either. It is better to do consistent small workouts rather than destroying yourself on one big one and giving up for another couple of months. Losing a lot of weight is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t give up just because you can’t do everything now. Ease yourself in and build up to the level you want.
  3. This is about you.  Even if you work out with a friend and have the encouragement of thousands, it all comes down to you. This matters in several ways.  First it sometimes feels a little selfish to carve out time just for you to work out.  That’s okay.  This is one instance where you can be selfish.  In fact, you need to be a little selfish. This is your time, not a time to help someone else. You are helping you with something no one else can do for you. Secondly, just because other people start a work out in one place, doesn’t mean that’s where you start out.  This is about you and your body, not someone else’s regime. When I started, my knees weren’t happy about lowering me to the floor to do crunches and other floor exercises.  Because of this I used the bed as my flat surface. (I put a towel down first) Some of the movements didn’t work on the cushier surface, but many of them did.  I concentrated on doing those until I lost enough weight that my knees didn’t ache so badly and I was able to move to the floor and add in the movements I couldn’t do on the bed. I know I probably looked ridiculous. While not something I’d seen on a workout video, it worked for me.  Find what works for you, even if it looks silly to others.  This is about you.
  4. Understand that setbacks will appear and that your journey will more than likely not always be smooth sailing.  You may have an extra piece of birthday cake one week because eating it was the best way to stop yourself from saying something you might regret. Friends may visit and insist on a taking you out for a big Italian meal at their favorite restaurant in town.  You may get a bad sunburn on your legs and not be able to walk for two weeks.  A pandemic may shut down your gym and force you to establish a new routine. Life has a funny way of throwing things at you. You need to accept that things happen and then some weeks, a loss might not be possible.  Some weeks you may even gain.  The important bit is to move past the set back and keep going.  Sure, you didn’t need that extra piece of cake, but you didn’t call out your great uncle when he insisted that Elvis pompadour style wig he wears is his real hair. You let that 96 year old think he’s fooled everyone into believing he has a thick head of jet black hair. You get Karma points for that, even if you did gain half a pound in butter cream frosting alone that week and get a stomach cramp from all the extra sugar. Although seriously, I think that wig is part of an Elvis Impersonator costume. It is quite something to behold. But I digress.
  5. Treat yourself with kindness and respect.  Weight loss journey or not, I think this is something we all tend to forget every now and then. I know that I am my own worst critic.  And truth be told, I have said somethings to myself about myself that I wouldn’t even dream of uttering about any other human on the planet. Even if I absolutely despised them.  Yet I am occasionally guilty of saying these things to myself. I’m trying to get better and treat myself with more respect and kindness, because I know I am worth it.  I know you are worth it too.

So there you have it the tip five (ish) biggest lessons I’ve learned this past year. I’m sure I’ll learn more before my journey is done and when I do, you’ll be the first to know.  For now, I’m going to work with what I’ve got and keep trying to move forward.


For those interested in picking up your own soon to be beaten down t-shirts and socks, there is a sale on Hanes.

Up to 70% off Hanes Clearance including Men’s, Women’s & Kids Styles!

The May Vella Box

The May 2020 Vella Box

As you might remember from my Friday Face mask last week, my monthly candle subscription Vella Box came in. It arrived last wednesday. It was a week later than usual as they are having to mail in batches due to current restrictions. I actually don’t mind as all but one of my current subscriptions arrive closer to the beginning of the month and it is nice to have a later arrival. (I think the only subscription left to arrive this month is my Facetory sheet mask subscription).

While there are several levels of subscription, the one I receive is called The Lucerna Tier and in it comes one 14 ounce candle which has approximately a 25 hour burn time.  I will have to say the time estimate for my last candle was pretty spot on.  The subscription is $10 per month and for me it has a $3 shipping fee so for $13 I get a candle and one surprise gift each month.

The candle comes in a reusable glass jar with a lid and is encased in a canvas bag that can also be reused.  I find the bag handy for corralling all sorts of little things.  I actually have my extra lip balms in last month’s bag so they don’t get lost in the drawer while they are waiting for their turn to be used.  And so that I don’t just reach in and grab one to open without looking to see which ones are already opened.

I’m sure I’ll find a use for the bag that came this month as well.  They are quite a handy size.

The jars containing the candles are also reusable, but before they are reused, they must be used.

Quite frankly I am looking forward to using this one.  Each candle comes from a different supplier and this one came from Roam Botanicals.  Apparently they were once sold by Anthropologie and Martha Stewart but the company is moving out of candles and into skin care.

While I suppose that means there will be no more candles, it might be interesting to check out their skin care.  The scent of my candle is Cactus and Jade.  The descriptive card is almost worthy of a perfume ad.  It reads…

…a fresh earthy scent with the perfect blend of floral and woodsy notes. May it remind you of travels out west or inspire you to take an adventure in nature.

Almost to perfume levels of intrigue, but not quite.

I will say that it is softly floral, but not overpowering. The floral is the sort of floral I would associate more with arid environs than wet ones.  It makes me think of the flowers I smelled when I lived in Texas rather than those from New Hampshire.  I’m guessing that is the cactus part. 

I’m not entirely certain what jade is supposed to smell like as I think of it as an unscented stone, but I can smell the cypress and the bayberry.  They do help ground the floral so it isn’t cloying and overpowering.  I would guess those are the woodsy notes. Overall it is a quite mild scent. You can smell it in th room but it doesn’t dominate.

I really like the scent and I enjoyed using it for my Friday afternoon break. I had the candle lit when I was reading over the weekend as well and enjoyed it then.  I suspect, I will enjoy it all month.

I think I will also get quite a bit of enjoyment out of my surprise gift as well.  This month it was a pack of basil seeds.  I tend to start my basil in waves so that I have the plants growing all summer without risking them getting woody so I appreciate extra seeds. I use it fresh in tomato salads all summer, make oils, pestos and vinegars with it and then freeze it in ice cube trays for use all winter.  I love basil.  Oddly enough I’m not a big fan of it when it is dried, but every other way I can use it I do. So I am happy with my extra surprise.

I am very glad I decided to give this subscription a trial.  (I found it when looking for something else entirely on Cratejoy – a tea subscription for my mom for mother’s day and subscribed on a whim.) I am rather glad I did. In the store this is a scent I probably would have passed up, but I actually find quite delightful.  I don’t like that the company won’t be making them anymore as it means I can’t order a replacement, but it was nice to have my comfort zone stretched a bit.


Clearing out the Empties Bin

Happy Memorial Day! As with a lot of folks I’ve been sorting, cleaning, experimenting, and using the extra time at home to go through things.  Once I started clearing things out, I realized I had a lot of open and partially used travel sized items that I needed to use and clear out so I have been making a concentrated effort to use them up.  It is amazing how much space those little items can take up. 

Plus I am fairly certain I am not going to be traveling any time soon so I might as well use the products now and then just get new travel items when I do travel.  In case you are wondering, that’s also why there are so many travel sized items in this post. I also tend to get sample and travel sized items specifically to try out a formula before committing to a full size.  I find it helps with my budget. But enough of an intro, to the products.

We’ll start with two empties from Sol de Janeiro.  One is the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and the other is the Coco Cabana cream.  Both are excellent body lotions and in fact the Brazilian Bum Bum cream I have been using to help with the stretch marks that have been appearing as I’ve started losing weight. 

Free 25ml Brazilian Bum Bum Cream with every order over $55!

I actually have a large container of the Bum Bum cream that I am still using, I just wanted to clear out the two smaller ones.  I will definitely be reordering the Bum Bum cream, but I don’t think I will order the Coco Cabana cream.  It is a nice cream and I have no problem with the scent, but for some reason I find the formula just a little sticky.  After applying it I have to wash my hands.  I don’t have to do that with the regular Bum Bum cream. So I will continue to purchase the Bum Bum, but not the Coco Cabana.

Next up we have two empty containers of dry shampoo.  Both actually full size.  The first is the TRESemme between washes volumizing dry shampoo.  While it does have a little bit of a white cast when first sprayed, a quick brush and it is is gone.  I also find that the dry shampoos that have just a little white cast to them tend to work better on greasy hair.  As long as the white brushes out easily, I am fine with it. 

The scent reminds me of a good salon. I’m not entirely certain what that scent is, but that is my best description.  Personally, I like the scent.   As the name suggests it is a good between washes shampoo.  For heavy sweat days I’d still go back to the IGK, but for the day between, this is a really good dry shampoo I would purchase again.

I cannot say the same about the Pearlessence Cherry Blossom Dry Shampoo.  It has a slightly sweet scent that could be termed cherry if you were being generous.  Smell aside, I was not thrilled by the way this dry shampoo performed.  There was a white cast that was a pain to brush out, and it didn’t absorb a lot of the grease. 

My hair didn’t look cleaner, like it did with the TRESemme.  It also made my head itch a couple of hours after I applied. It.  I generally found that shortly after using this , I either needed to use the dry shampoo again to absorb more oil or I just needed to take a shower.  This was not a day between dry shampoo, it was a ‘I can’t shower for an hour’ dry shampoo.  I will not be buying it again.

Keeping with the theme of hair for the moment I have two trial sized hair products.  One is the Eva-nyc Satin Dream leave in conditioner and the other is the Bumble and Bumble Don’t blow it Fine (H)air styler. I would actually purchase full sizes of both of these products. 

I love the argon oil in the eva-nyc.  My hair always reacts well to argan oil.  And the conditioner smells vaguely like candy. It was not too heavy in my hair and gave it great manageability.

The Bumble and Bumble was an excellent product on days where I was just going to let my air air dry.  I could put a little in, let the hair dry naturally and then just run a brush through it, easy peasy.  There were no tangles and it didn’t weigh down the hair.  I think I am actually going to be repurchasing a full size soon as I really don’t like blow drying my hair in the summer time.  I think this could really help me out this year. And yes I know it says for fine hair and I have thick hair, but I tried the one they offer for not fine hair a while back and found it too heavy feeling.  This despite the fine hair claim was perfect for me.

Another item I will definitely be ordering again is the Hydro Biotic Recovery sleeping mask from Dr. Brandt.  During the winter this year this was my go to night cream whenever I felt like I had any dryness.  It wasn’t too heavy, didn’t clog my pores and made my skin feel hydrated and refreshed come morning.  I think when the weather turns in the autumn I will purchase another tube to use throughout next winter.

In my empties bin I have three powders, one pressed and two loose.  The pressed powder is the ELF Perfect finish HD powder.  I will definitely be reordering it in the near future. 

Shop e.l.f. Cosmetics now

It is one of those powders I always keep on hand.  What I tend to do is use the ELF translucent powder all winter and then the Rimmel Stay Matte in the summer, just because  my skin tone changes with the season and the ELF is a little lighter.  I almost always order this as soon as I start to see pan on it, but this year I want to give other products a chance.  It is actually killing me to have this empty and know I haven’t reordered it yet.  So suffice it to say it is my favorite.

The first of the empty loose powders I have are the translucent Cherry Blossom Matte powder from Pacifica. This I will definitely re order in the future.  It worked well on my skin and I personally love the scent of it.  It kept my makeup in place and didn’t look powdery on the skin. 

50% Off Last Call items at Pacifica Beauty. Valid with Code SALE50. Shop Now!

The second loose powder is the Becca Hydra Mist Set and Refresh powder.  When I first got it I adored it.  It worked well on my skin and it had that nifty, feels wet sensation that got everyone so excited. I’ve also had really good luck with Becca powders in the past.  I generally keep the pink toned setting powder around because I really like it to add a touch of color to the face when winter has made me pale.

However, the wet feeling didn’t last.  Soon it just felt like regular powder.  Which is fine.  I love using powder and the powder still performed well.  I am just a little leery of whatever chemical change happened.  The cooling sensation dissipated rapidly  so  I was always suspicious that the powder went bad.  Because of this I think I will stick to other Becca Powders in the future.

Next up is the Wet ‘n Wild photofocus 3-in-1 Primer water in Rose.  It is a good affordable setting spray.  The Rose scent was a bit much for me, but the spray was nice and it held my makeup in place when I used it.  I will probably repurchase this, but I think I would pick a different scent.  I would probably go with something like cucumber.  The rose was just a bit much. The spray is worth purchasing though.

I have two eyeliners in this bin of empties.  They are both black and they both have a felt tip applicator.  One is the Eyeko London Skinny eyeliner in black and the other is the Illamasqua liquid eyeliner.  I enjoyed both of them and would purchase them both again.  Once in place they didn’t budge or smudge and they were smooth in application and easy to use.

Marc Jacobs

Finally we get to the mascaras.  I have four travel/sample sized ones that are leaving me.  The first is one I am sad to see go.  It is the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara.  I love the formula, I love the wand and I love the way it makes my eyelashes look.  What more is there to say?  It is a fabulous mascara.  I had three of the travel sizes and this is this is the last one.  I will be getting a full sized version of this one.

Summer Refresh Sale featuring Marc Jacobs Beauty items up to 60% off, plus free Mini Enamored Lip Gloss in Sugar Sugar on $75+

Stila

Oddly enough, despite the similarities in the applicator wand, I will not be purchasing the Stila Huge Extreme lash mascara.  It didn’t work as well as Marc Jacobs and tended to clump.  The wand may have been similar, but the formula wasn’t. 

Marcelle

I was pleasantly surprised by the Marcelle Curling and Lengthening mascara.  It both curled and lengthened. The formula stayed in place without flaking off.  It was a very good mascara.  I liked the curve of the wand as it enabled me to more effectively reach my lower lashes as well.  It is one I would definitely pick up again in a full sized formula. 

The Clinique High Impact mascara was also a decent formula.  It stayed in place and didn’t flake, but it was nothing extra special.  It is a good solid mascara, I just didn’t find it to be a WOW sort of mascara.

Clinique

And finally we have the MAC Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash mascara.  I have to say this is the last of these little tubes I have in my collection.  For a while it seemed like they were everywhere.  I’d open a drawer and then BAM, MAC mascara.  It felt like as soon as I finished one, another would magically appear in my drawer. If there are such things as mascara fairies then I think this is what they leave.

MAC

At least for me anyway.  Not that I mind.  It is a really good mascara.  I enjoyed using it.  Once I finished this little tube I went into the drawer and was rather surprised there were no more left.  Apparently I am no longer on the mascara fairy’s delivery route.  I think now that I have one through all of my samples, I would consider buying a regular sized tube of this mascara. It has a nice wand, although it seems a little longer than many others, but I like the way it applies.  The thinness of the wand also allows for application on the lower lashes without making too much of a mess.

So there you have it.  We have made it through my empties bin and I have managed to clear out a bunch of partially used products.  It makes me feel all virtuous inside.  I also now have a list of several products I would like to repurchase and several that I know I don’t need to bring home again.  Given the plethora of summer sales, it is a very good time to stock up on products I like. I just have to remember, I’m not allowed to use a new ELF powder until I have at least tried something else.

I know this was a much longer post than usual, so for those of you who made it to the end, congrats and thanks for sticking with me.  Now that I am doing my weekly makeup bag post, it should help keep the length of the empty posts down in the future (should you want me to continue them).  Happy Memorial Day everyone.  I hope you are having a great one .


Should anyone be interested in doing a little shopping over the Memorial day weekend, there are heaps of sales going on. One that I will be taking advantage of is the sale on the Look Fantastic site. I know normally you think of their subscription box, but they do sell products and they are having some pretty good sales. It might be worth a look to scoop up some of your favorite brands while saving a little. (personally I am all over the Molton Brown Shower Gel – The Rhubarb line is really hard to find where I live.) Anyway, it is linked below for those interested.

https://us.lookfantastic.com/



It’s Pureheals for Face Mask Friday

Welcome to Face Mask Friday.  It is time once again to take fifteen to twenty minutes to relax, destress and just let everything go. 

On Wednesday my Vella Box subscription arrived and so I had a brand new candle to try out.  This one is in the fragrance Cactus and Jade from Roam Botanicals.  I’ll cover the details of the company and such when I review the box, but when lit the candle was a nice lightly floral scent that is perfect for today. 

But what mask did I pair this lovely new candle with?

Today I went with the Pure Heals by Nature Village Pore Clear Black Charcoal peel off mask.  It was in this month’s IPSY box and so I thought I’d give it a try. According to the product information page…

This mask is formulated with activated charcoal, which dives deep into your pores to clear out blackheads, impurities, and dead skin. We love the immediate effects of this mask. Once you peel it off, your skin is visibly smoother and tighter. If you’re on the oily side, this mask also minimizes shine and shuts down the appearance of pores. K-beauty obsessed? You’re gonna want to add PUREHEALS to your list of Korean skincare brands to love.

Sounds promising.

So on to the face it goes. I have to say I did just pick up a tool that is the reason I chose this mask to begin with.  It is one of those little silicone spatula brushes.  It was less than a dollar so I added it on to my Amazon purchase a while ago.  It just came on Monday so this was my first use of it.  I think it may be the best dollar I have ever spent on a product.  It made applying the mask so much easier.  There was less waste and a lot less mess.

I felt a little extra for adding it because it is technically unnecessary, but I have to say I will get this one or one just like it again when this wears out (as the brush part is already kind of loose in the ferrule I know it won’t be lasting all that long).  There is no name brand and it really was the cheapest one I could find since I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but I love it and may order a sturdier one to make sure I have one around for masks at all times.

But on to the mask.  As it is a charcoal mask, it looks like black tar as it comes out of the tube.  And as a consequence I look like a very inept bank robber with the mask on.  The mask smelled very chemically which I wasn’t a fan of.  The scent dissipated pretty quickly though and what remained was overpowered and subdued by my candle.  The mask dried and like all peel off masks the hour of reckoning was at hand.

The mask needed to be removed.

Here’s the thing with me and peel off masks.  I always expect them to work in a similar fashion to the pore strips you can get to put on your nose.  Personally I am partial to the Biore charcoal pore strips. Some of them do, and some of them don’t.  But most of the pore cleansing ones do something. 

For example the Formula 10 charcoal peel off mask doesn’t peel off blackheads like a pore strip but it brings everything to the surface so the clogs can leave the skin instead of being stuck beneath it in little bumps that never seem to want to rise and be dealt with.  At least on me. Others do act as giant pore strips. An example of that is the Hell Pore mask (which is sold on beautynetKorea if you are looking for it, I’ve not had much luck finding it anywhere else).  I tried a tube of it a while ago.  It acts exactly like a giant pore strip.  It is also called the most painful peel off mask for a reason.  Still AMAZINGLY clear pores (so figure out where you lie on the beauty-pain debate before you try it but I’ll link the site below).

oh the red patches

I wasn’t entirely certain where on the scale this pore mask would lie but when it was dry, it had to come off.

On the pain scale it was about midrange for peel off masks.  The more sensitive areas hurt more.  The thing is, it didn’t really seem to do much other than cause pain. It wasn’t like a pore strip and it didn’t bring the bumps of clogged pores to the surface.  It was pain with no gain.  (and not in the pro-dieting sort of way). 

So now I have red patches that will soon calm down once my skin is over the affront of being peeled for no reason, but I personally didn’t see the benefit in this particular mask.  It is not a favorite. 

If I’m going for a charcoal peel off mask, I will take the gentle draw to the surface of the Formula 10 or the more scorched earth policy of the Hell Pore over the Pure heals. Maybe some of you out there will have better luck with this than I have, but this is not the mask for me.


If you do want to look into the Hell Pore, the only place I’ve managed to find it consistently is on BeautyNet Korea (link below) Just search Hell Pore and it’ll come up. I cried when I peeled it off (literally cried, that is not a figure of speech, there were real tears) but it it did draw everything out. It’s kind of the nuclear option for clogged pores. And after that first time I ended up using it in patches instead of doing a full face each time I used it. And even then I used it sparingly. You are warned.

The Make Up Bag: May 22, 2020

The Makeup bag for the week of May 15th – 22nd, 2020

Welcome to my new segment called the Make Up Bag. I’m really excited to be doing this actually. so lets begin!

I love trying out new products.  As a consequence though sometimes when I sit at my dressing table and prepare to put on my make up for the day I sometimes feel a bit like a distracted bumble bee.  Do I want this blush or that?  Am I in the mood for a Space Case Bronzer or do I want the Too Faced? As a consequence my choice of products change daily and some products I don’t try as soon as I want because others are pushing them out if sight. 

Plus, let’s face it I am not at my best in the morning.  Functional thought requires at least two cups of coffee.  Anything prior is me running an automatic response program.

Since, at the moment, I am trying different foundations and giving each a week of trial to each, I thought, why not do the same with other products.  To keep myself from becoming distracted, last Friday I filled a small makeup bag with the products I wanted to use for the week and relocated the bag to my bathroom next to my skin care.

Here is my plan.  Some of the items are ones I have never used and want to try out, others are ones close to being using up and want to finish. Some will only remain for the week others I will continue to use until the product is gone. At least this is the plan. 

Knowing me, I am sure it will change at some point.  But here is where we begin.

Last Friday I chose the Wet and Wild photofocus Foundation for my foundation trial of the week. The foundation review was posted on Thursday as was the review of the eyeshadow palette I chose for this week the BH Cosmetics Glam reflection Smoke. The links in this paragraph will take you to those reviews, I won’t bore you by reposting them here. Each had pros and cons.  I suspect Thursdays will end up being my foundation and palette reviews moving forward, but we shall see.

The primer I chose for this week was the Skin to Die For No filter mattifying primer and complexion Perfector from Peter Thomas Roth.  It is a trial sized sample I picked up as a free with purchase add on a while back when I was ordering  a container of the Cloud Cream.  I picked it up on a whim partially because I have a great love of primers and I had only tried skincare from Peter Thomas Roth and never a primer so I thought it looked interesting.  But then it went into the drawer.  So this was it’s week.

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the primer

My plan was to try the trial size and see if it was worth picking up a full sized one.  After one week of use, I have to say I will be picking up a full sized version of this product.  The primer has a slight tint that completely melted into my skin and made my skin look both matte and smooth.  There were a couple of days where I just wore the primer with a light dust of powder instead of bothering with foundation. I really liked the way my skin looked with this primer and as there is still product left, I am going to keep it in my make up bag for next week and use it until it is gone rather than putting the opened and half empty tube back in the drawer.

My powder will also be staying with my makeup bag this week. It is the Rimmell Stay Matte pressed powder and as you can see from the photo, I am actually close to using it up so I will be using it until it is gone.  The Rimmel stay matte and the Elf Translucent pressed powders are the two drugstore pressed powders I always keep on hand.

Shop e.l.f. Cosmetics now

What I have tended to do is use them until they are gone and then immediately repurchase next time I am in a drug store. I actually finished the Elf pressed powder a few weeks ago (I tend to use it more in the winter and the slightly tinted Rimmel in the summer).  But because I haven’t been stopping into any drug stores lately I have not repurchased.  I’ll be placing an order with ELF soon, but I wanted it to be for more than just one product and I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I actually picked up a No. 7 pressed powder I wanted to try out but I haven’t let myself open it until I finish the Rimmel. It’s not a hardship to use the Rimmel powder as I adore it, but the temptation to try the new product is hard to resist. But resist I will.

This is what they call character building, no?

With the Rimmel I will also be using it up and this time not immediately replacing it so it will go back in the bag for next week as well.  It is hard not to replace this immediately though. Seriously, I look at the sight of the pan shining through and my first thought is ‘I should reorder that before I run out.’ It is harder than I thought to ignore that impulse.  Bu I will try. 

In case you hadn’t picked up on it, I really like the Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder.

But we move on.

To Blush. More specifically the Kaleido Cosmetics Skin Blush in Primadonna.  This came in an IPSY bag a while ago and I think I swatched it and then set it aside to use the Real Her Palette. When stocking my weekly makeup bag I was surprised and pleased to find it.  The package is cute and quite sturdy.  The blush is highly pigmented. 

I dipped in lightly and ended up with a lot of blush on my brush.  It does blend out well though so there is that. Despite the somewhat mauve-y look of the product in the pan it is quite pink on the cheeks.  When sheered out for a light makeup day it gives the cheeks a natural flushed look.   It stayed in place well and lasted all day.  I think it might be a little too pink for my skin tone though.  I will be on the lookout for a slightly deeper tone though as I really like the formula.

Next up, the bronzer I chose for the week was the Fakecation on Mars from Space Case Cosmetics. I have several of their single eyeshadows and I remember liking a blush from them a while ago although I can’t remember the details.  I hadn’t tried the bronzer so I was keen to try it.

It too is a highly pigmented product that needs a light hand with the brush.  It does blend out well so if you go a little heavy, there is still hope for redemption. It tends to lend itself well to a more natural makeup day.  I probably wouldn’t use it on a high glam look, but for everyday use it performs quite well. I enjoyed using it and even though I will be replacing it this coming week, it will stay in rotation and make an appearance in the future as I cycle through products.

For highlighter this week I chose the Dew Me Pearl from Estate Cosmetics.  I think this might have been a product I picked up for points because I wanted a more pink shade of highlight as I didn’t have one at the time.  Most of the ones I gravitate towards tend to either be gold or purple in tone. 

If I tried it before, I didn’t remember it so it was a new product to me, or close enough to count. To be honest, it is not my favorite and I don’t believe I will be keeping it in rotation.  While white-ish pink on the finger, when applied with a brush on the face it disappears. I tried applying it with a finger  to the high points of my face and I could see a stripe, but the second I tried to blend it in a little so it didn’t look like a stripe I made with my finger, it disappeared. 

Even if I left it as a stripe on the face and didn’t attempt to blend it, an hour later it was gone completely. I’m not sure if it is the product or my skin tone that just loses the color, but I will not be keeping this in my makeup rotation but passing it on to a friend with a different skin tone. Perhaps she will have better luck. And yes there will be disinfectant wipes involved with anything I pass over to her. I also know she’ll wipe it down a second time, just as even though I know she has wiped down the things she passess to me, I will wipe them down again.Given that we both love subscription boxes and have different skin tones, we have been doing the shade swap for a while now.

As I finally made it through the last of my open travel sized mascaras (I’ll be going over them in mass in my empties post next week) I got to open a new full sized mascara.  I chose at random and came up with the Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara. 

Shop Wander Beauty’s Makeup Essentials!

It is supposed to give the lashes both volume and length.  I am all for both.  I have to say though, I was a little disappointed. There might have been a little lengthening and maybe a little volume, but it wasn’t much. It is a good everyday mascara.  It didn’t flake or smear.  It didn’t make my lashes clumpy. But there wasn’t a lot of extra length or volume.  I will be keeping it in the rotation because it is a good solid everyday mascara, it’s just not a WOW mascara.

This brings us to the lips. 

Oh, the lips.

I know as this is my first make up bag post you are probably expecting my favorite Kristopher Buckle lipstick to be included, but no, no my darlings. For this week I have been testing a  lipstick I received in a subscription box.  It is in a color I would not normally wear, but as it is the only lipstick I have from the brand, I wanted to try out the formula despite not being all that bowled over by the color.  And what is this product?  It is the Fenty Beauty lipstick in the shade Clapback.

I love the packaging.  I really like the slim style of lipsticks. The color not so much.  Blue is not really a shade of lipstick I gravitate towards. Unless the blue is so dark that it is almost black.  Those I have been known to wear. But not this.  However, this week it was my daily color. (I occasionally took a break with lip balm and no lipstick because that blue is hard to take daily)

When applied it was a bit streaky and required several passes to fully cover the lips.  It never fully dried down so I was still leaving lip prints on any mug or cup I used throughout the day.  Despite that, my lips felt dry. Not to the touch, but as though the moisture was being pulled from them. It was actually the worst of both worlds for me, dry lips and smearing lipstick on everything.

I applied lip balm several times throughout the day.  I used the Sugar crush  potted lip balm in Peony actually rather than my Jersey Shore Cosmetics one because I didn’t want the blue staining the lip balm and I could apply the potted one with a finger more easily.  Admittedly, I then had to wipe blue off of my finger.

In the past I have noticed that sometimes a deeper more pigmented color can alter the lip formula.  There are several lighter colored lipsticks I have used where the formula was great in them, but when I went for deeper shades in the same brand I was not happy with them.  I don’t know if that is the case with this formula or not.  I do know I am not a fan of this formula and will probably not be buying Fenty lipsticks anytime soon. This one just dried my lips too badly.

Finally, as we’ve already covered eyeshadows, We come to the setting spray.  This week I used the Farsali Rose Gold skin mist. It too came in a subscription box and I never got around to using it.  So this was it’s week. 

The scent was nice, the gold flakes are pretty to look at and I had no problems with any of my makeup not staying in place.  I wasn’t terribly enthused by the spray nozzle however.  A mist it is not.  The product release is quite intense.  I would suggest spraying it in the air to test before you aim it at your face so you can judge the distance.  It is a stout spray and I had to dab off a few drips from my face before my makeup ran.

Once I adjusted my aim things went better, but definitely test the spray if you are using this product. I think because it is open, I will use this another week or so. I do have to admit though, it is more the glass bottle and the gold flakes that I enjoy more than the spray product itself. As a display it is gorgeous, but I probably wouldn’t be purchasing it to use anytime in the near future.

So that my darlings was this week’s makeup bag.  As I shuffle some of them back to my dressing table and bit a few others farewell as they head off to some other destination I begin gathering items for the coming week.

The items I am putting in my makeup bag to try this coming week are: Becca Ultimate Coverage Foundation (which I forgot to put in the picture and am just now realizing), Huda Beauty Topaz obsessions Palette, Marc Jacobs HiFi Filter, Flesh cream highlighter in Twitch, Pretty Vulgar’s Feathers mascara, NARS Liquid lip, and an OFRA blush.  I will also be adding the Eyeko Fat eyeliner (even though I also didn’t put it in the photo).

Remaining from last week are the Peter Thomas Roth Primer, Farsali setting spray and my Rimmel stay matte powder. As the NARS liquid lip is a purple shade called Wild Night I suspect it will clash horribly with the Topaz Obsessions palette, but I have my clear Ciate lip oil on standby if the color combo becomes too much to handle. Wish me luck and tune in next week to see how I felt about these products.


Malin+Goetz