Trying out the IPKN Moist and Firm BB Cream

While I occasionally make fun of some of the small sample sizes that arrive in some subscription boxes, with makeup products, especially face products like BB creams and foundations, sample sizes really help keep me from making a lot of wrong purchases. Because that’s the thing with foundation type products. You really can’t tell how they are going to perform for you until you wear them.

And trying out a bunch of products can be pretty costly. I’ve used a lot of, not really for me but since I’ve already spent the money to buy it I’m going to just figure out how to make it work until I can justify purchasing something else’ products.

I know sometimes my list titles are a bit much. I’m working on it.

Samples of BB products are my friends.

IPKN is a brand I have tried before however it was quite some time ago. I remember a friend recommending them and liking the items I tried, but that is about it. Other than a basic mental familiarity, I have one lip product in my collection that came from them. It is a nice protective lip gloss that actually works well as a balm and I like to wear when I know I’m going to be outside in the wind during the winter. Which of course is of no help when evaluating a BB cream. For those curious about the name IPKN, I looked on their about page…

IPKN was originally defined as “Independent Professional Korean New Yorker”.
It launched in 1999 as the first NYC-inspired South Korean beauty brand, bringing a universal beauty sense to Korea and helping to shape what we now call K-Beauty.

IPKN Website

And while we are on the site, according to the brand…

This all-in-one BB cream combines protection and control for 1-step perfection. Moist & Firm BB Cream promotes brighter and more even skin tone, increases the skin’s radiance, and supports firmness and elasticity. 

IPKN product page

I have no problems with skincare mixed into my makeup. It doesn’t always pan out, but I do like the thought. So how did this product work? Well actually. It is a BB cream so there is not a foundation facemask’s worth of coverage. I’ve posted the two photos side by side below to show my skin with nothing on it and then my skin with just the BB cream. While I am a huge fan of primers, for this photo, I skipped the primer. But only because of you. With this BB cream I would use a primer.

Without a primer the IPKN Moist and Firm BB cream did cover red spots and blemish marks fairly well. And it did last about six hours without an issue. I noticed after hour six, there was a bit less coverage. With primer it was better and the BB cream. With a primer underneath it, almost any primer actually, the BB cream lasted the full work day.

Bare Face

While it does blend into the skin well and for me this shade worked out fine, if you need any sort of pore filling, you are going to want a primer underneath. Because this BB cream is so light and melds into the skin so well, it tends to emphasis larger pores as the day goes on.

As I usually wear a primer, my main issue with this was the moist part of the moist and firm. I’m happy to have a BB cream firm all it wants, lord knows my skin could use it. The moist part was a bit of an issue. Sometimes with BB creams you can get away with applying it, then adding a brief kiss of blush and calling it good. I can’t wear this BB cream without powder. I have several good powders to choose from, but the moist aspect left my face looking a bit on the greasy side if I didn’t pat some powder over it. And periodically throughout the day (mid morning, lunch, mid afternoon) I had to pat away a bit of shine.

just the BB cream
full face in natural daylight

If you have dry skin, this may not be an issue for you. It may in fact be a large benefit and keep you hydrated throughout the day. It was too much for my skin and I looked greasy without powder. I also live in an area of high humidity, so that was also a factor. It is just something to watch out for. Think about your skin, before purchasing. As far as purchase prices go, it is not that expensive. A full sized bottle is $24. I think that is quite reasonable.

With this IPKN Moist and Firm BB Cream I think that I could probably use it more in the winter when my skin is dryer and there is less humidity. It is a good product that works well and looks lovely, but for my skin there is just a small window where I could use it without feeling overly hydrated and worried about looking greasy. I would love wearing the product during that window, but as I have other BB creams that I like using year round, I think I would pass on a full sized purchase. However, trying this product does make me want to look into the brand more and possibly see if they have a BB cream that is less moist. I’m fine with the firm though. I didn’t notice a difference, but I’m willing to be hopeful on that score.

This cotton-blend skirt has a paper bag waist which adds usefulness to the ventilated long silhouette. Keep the details prominent by combining yours with a simple white top.  – High Waist – 63% Cotton 34% Nylon 3% Spandex

Face Palette Declutter, September 2021

To be honest, face palettes were an interesting category for me to declutter.  When I started to get them out, I thought that I had only one or two.  Mostly because there are about two that I use on a regular basis.  The others were more or less tucked in with my eyeshadows and tended to blend.  If you include the blush and highlighter palettes, the sum total of my face palettes came to twelve. 

When all was said and done, two are instant declutters and one is a ‘try and see if it is still usable, but I think it might be expired, so possibly declutter or just put away for nostalgias sake’. I know it’s a strange category.  Let’s start with the two simple declutters.

The first is the Highlighter duo from Complex Culture.  Complex Culture is a brand owned by IPSY and some of their products filter into Glam bags now and then.  I actually really like their brushes, but thus far I am not a huge fan of their products.  I found their eyeshadows patchy and hard to work with and this highlighter duo is just, meh.

It has one gold and one silver shade of highlighters.  The pan size is large, the packaging sleek modern and luxe looking.  In fact I really like their packaging.  It makes me that much more sad when I don’t actually like their products.  They aren’t bad, just ordinary. 

I have these shades in the same shades in formulas I like a lot more.  In fact I think I have repeats of these shades so I’m probably going to declutter some of these as well. I love golden highlight, but there are only so many you actually need. And this one I don’t need.  I tried each shade once and decided to set it aside.  I will clean it with disinfectant wipes and set it aside looking as fresh as possible for someone else to use.  But it will be passed on.

The second item that is being decluttered is something I wasn’t entirely sure what category to put it in.  It is the shimmer palette from Kypris.  I love Kypris skincare.  Their serums are absolutely fantastic.  These shimmer/highlights, not so much. 

If you use them as an eyeshadow then no matter what sort of lid primer or setting spray you use, they will dribble down your face in about two hours. With lid primer, you might get two and half hours. If you use them as highlighters, then they tend to blend in until you lose all color from them and just end up looking like a glittery vampire from one of the Twilight movies.

Don’t get me wrong, the look has its place, but that place isn’t really in my day to day look.  As much as I really wanted to love this, I just didn’t.  I think I really wanted to love it because I love their skincare.  I think I kept it in the drawer so long because when I looked at it I saw Kypris on the top and thought ‘oh I like Kypris.’  But the truth is I like Kypris skincare and this is a whole different thing.

And finally we come to the thing I ought to declutter and am trying to convince myself I don’t need to declutter.  And that is the KVD Shade and Light Cream Contour palette. Here is the thing.  I have had this palette forever and a day.  I know it has almost definitely reached the point of expiration.  And to be honest, there was one contour shade that I used in this palette.  Even when contouring was at it’s height, I never went in hard on it.  In fact the way I use my bronzer now is more or less how I always used my contours. I really enjoyed the product actually and I have been liking more cream products in general lately.  I never used the lighter whites and pinks and I used my one bronzer shade. That shade is showing pan and has only a little product left.  The other pans look virtually untouched.  The other dark shades are just not suitable for my skin tone and the pink and whites I just didn’t use. 

I think what I am going to do, in an effort to get myself to let go, because I really need to, is attempt to use the contour one last time.  I’ll remind myself how it works and then if I still like it, then I can look on the new updated KVD site. I know they sell the single contour shades in smaller palettes so I might just go for those. Or I will just get a refillable pan and take out all of the expired pans from this palette and just put the single pan in. I’ll have to took at options. I know they have a huge Labor Day sale going on this weekend so I may just pop in and see what variations they now sell.

With the changes I am not certain if it is still sold.  I will have to check.  Aside from that one use, it will not be used again.  If I keep it, it will be for sentimental reasons.  In general I am not sentimental about makeup, but I picked it up when shopping with a friend and that friend is no longer with us, so it is more a sentimental remembrance of her than of the makeup. So if it is kept it will be for that reason alone.  But there will be one last attempt to use it, if only to convince myself that I shouldn’t and that it is time for it to go away.

And that is it for my face palettes.  I don’t have a lot of face palettes to be honest, but the ones I do have, I really like.  I suspect the bronzer and contour palettes are going to end up having only one or two pans used out of them before I end up letting them go.  With the Ace Beaute there is really only one pan I use for my bronzer.  I do occasionally dip into the darkest bronze shade in that palette when I want a quick eyeshadow without bothering to find eyeshadow, but as it is a full pan of bronzer it would take forever and a day to use it as eyeshadow (and to be honest it isn’t very good eyeshadow it is just laziness or a time crunch that has me using it.) 

With the Park Avenue Princess Palette I can use the lighter shades as face powder actually so it will actually see more use. And quite frankly I do love that palette and I’m glad that it is now no longer buried and I can reach it more easily. I don’t think Tarte still sells the large palette, but all of the shades are sold separately so I would probably just pick up Princess Cut when I go to repurchase.

And that is really the point of the declutter my darlings.  It is to look at what has, in one way or another come into my house and decide what it is that I enjoy using, what I would like to pass on while it can still be used by someone else and what must, regrettable be disposed of. Of the three things leaving, two can easily be passed on.  It is only the sentimental piece that will either linger in the drawer or regrettably be disposed of in as environmentally friendly a way as I can devise.  This wasn’t a massive clear out by any means, but as it wasn’t a large category, I am satisfied with what I am getting rid of overall.  I suspect other categories may end up being a lot more dramatic.

KVD Vegan Beauty

It’s Prime Time: Primer Declutter

That’s right it is time to take a good hard look at primers.  I know, I love a good primer. And really only a few are leaving, but I will talk about the rest as well. So with them all laid out in front of me, let’s take a good hard look at what we have. 

First let’s look at the top six currently in my collection.  These lovelies are staying until the last dregs of product have been cleaned out of the container.  First we have the classic Porefessional from Benefit Cosmetics.  This is just a good all round primer.  It sits well under just about any foundation and it eliminates redness. To be honest this and the Elf poreless putty primer are the two staples I will always have in my makeup drawer.  Between the two of them they do everything a primer should do.  I have repeat purchased both of these and will continue to do so. 

The top six

Marc Jacobs Undercover (currently on sale BTW) is one of my favorite hydrating primers.  While it is good in the summertime, it is better in the winter.  It primes as well as helping to prevent skin from looking dry.  Touch in Sol ranks pretty high on my list of products and I think this might be the third container of this primer that I have purchased  Oddly enough while I adore the No Poreblem primer, I don’t really care for the other primers in the Touch in Sol line up.  For me this it their hero product and the one I will repurchase. 

This is the first Clarins Instant smooth primer I have tried and it will not be my last.  Technically I think it belongs in my top three products.  It takes down redness, fills pores, adds a healthy pink tint to the skin and feels super luxe to use.  I am about half way through the jar and know I will be repurchasing it.  The final product in the top six has to be the Tatcha Silk Canvas.  While this one is new to my collection, I have used it before and adore it.  It smells fantastic feels and looks good on the skin and just feels luxe to use.  It is the priciest of my primers so while I will use it and I love it, I actually have to think about it before I repurchase it. 

Needless to say all six of my top products are staying.

Almost empty

In my collection there are two mostly used up samples.  One is the Milk Hydro Grip Primer and the other is the YSL Touch Eclat primer.  I think I have two more uses in the Milk primer and maybe a week’s worth of the YSL.  I need to actually keep them out and use them up.  I have already reordered the Milk Hydro Grip primer.  I have it secreted away in my unopened products and am trying to forget it is there until I use up a few more of the open products.  I really enjoy it and love the way it holds my makeup in place all day.  I like the YSL primer as well, but it is pricy and I am not entirely certain it is worth the price. I think if I found it on sale, I would repurchase it, but I am not entirely certain I would pay full price for it.  The Tatcha, I would pay full price for.

There are also two unopened samples of primer that I have not tried out yet.  One is the Glam Glow glowStarter Nude Glow and the other is the Hard Candy Hydrating primer.  I will keep both primers until I try them out and get back to you on whether or not I would want to order them in a full size.


Speaking of haven’t tried out, when taking the primers out of the drawer I found the Dr. Brant Luminizing primer.  I honestly can not remember if I tried this out or not so I am putting this in my to be tried pile before I decide.  In general like Dr. Brandt so I have high hopes. 

The Urban Decay Optical illusion Primer just makes me sad.  For a long time it was my go to primer.  It honestly was the only primer I bought for years.  I believe it is now discontinued so I will be using up my travel sized container and then I will let it go into the land of makeup that was.  It was great, I loved it, but it is time to finish it out and let it go.   I actually may put this with the Milk and YSL so that I can work on using it up and sending it on it’s way.

There are two products I am on the fence about.  One is the Ciate London Watermelon Burst Primer and the other is the Too Faced Hangover Primer.  The Ciate London primer I think is a seasonal use primer for me.  I think it is too hydrating in the summertime, but I think my skin likes it better in the winter.  I am holding on to it to try out again this winter because I remember vaguely that I liked it in the winter.  The Too Faced primer I think might also be better in the winter as well.  I think I was more on the fence about it than I was with the Ciate.  So those are both in holding patterns until the weather changes.  Once it grows cooler, I will try them again and make the decision on whether or not to use. 

And finally we come to the getting rid of category.  There are three in this line up.  The first is the Master Prime by Maybelline.  This is a good primer.  The only reason that I am getting rid of it is because it is really, really old and I very expired. It fell to the bottom of the drawer and was not seen until I dragged everything to the light for this declutter.  (This is another reason why I will be using up a few more products before opening new ones). I can see me possibly repurchasing it but for right now it is good bye. 

The second departing product is the Studio Makeup Silk Hydration primer.  I just didn’t like it and found nearly every other product that I used to be better.  I see no reason to keep it around. It is in good enough condition though (as well as being recent enough) that I can pass it on to someone else who may enjoy it more. 

Nice but I am fairly certain I am allergic.

The third product I am passing along is the Vesca Beauty Primer.  I know, I started using it and never got around to reviewing it.  The thing is, I am fairly certain I am somewhat allergic to something in it.  After using it I realized my skin itched.  I didn’t think anything of it, but I am fairly certain that it was the itchy culprit.  It looked lovely under a flat matte foundation but far too shiny under an illuminating one.  It has an almost iridescent look to it and on a light makeup day it worked really well on its own with just a light layer of powder over it.  However lovely it looked, it wasn’t worth the itchy skin so it is being passed on to someone who will love it and hopefully not have the same issues as I did.

So that is my primer line up, the good, the bad, the not yet tried out and pretty much everything in between. While not many products are leaving, I feel really good about going through them and seeing what is in the drawer. because i really enjoy primers, I tend to keep a lot of them around, While I rotate through, a lot can be lost. I am going to concentrate on using up the samples and clearing out the open ones while trying the untested. I do roll through these pretty fast as they are my most used makeup category. Primers, powders and mascaras will always get used. I did have one primer expire on me which is really rare for me and kind of makes me feel disappointed. It also makes me want to do better. And is a reminder that will stop me from opening new products before I have used up some of my older ones. I’m sure I will forget as I sometimes just can’t resist, but hopefully the reminder will help.


The Purlisse Radiant Glow Illuminating BB Cream

When my skin is looking good, and the weather is warm, I often reach for BB creams and tinted moisturizers instead of foundations. While I have several tinted moisturizers that I love, there are fewer BB creams that I actually like. One of my absolute favorites is the Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream. I tried it in a sample and liked it enough that I now have the full sized tube. It is the original one however.

I am not a glowy sort of foundation person. They dewy look is not for me. If I apply a dewy looking formula to my skin I tend to feel like I look greasy and then end up applying too much powder to counteract the dewy/glowy look. However, I have been known to pair illuminating primers under matte foundations to add more depth to the foundation.

illuminating and the original side by side.

And because I really enjoy the regular Purlisse BB cream, I thought the Illuminating version might be interesting. Plus it was only a sample size. and even I can put up with a week of glow if need be.

The illuminating BB cream applied really well. It blends into the skin to give you a your skin but better look. It evens out the tone of your skin but isn’t as heavy as a foundation would be. There is only the skin tone evening not foundation like coverage.

The Illuminating BB Cream feels weightless and it is easy to forget that you are wearing it. On it’s own, it gives a slight brightening effect to the skin, with a matte primer beneath it, the BB cream just gives a slight illuminating effect. In other words, it brightens but it doesn’t have me reaching for the powder to counteract the glow.

With an illuminating primer beneath it, the product was far too glowy for me. If you like the glowy look, you will be fine. For me, it was too much. I enjoyed the BB cream with both matte primers and on it’s own, but not with illuminating primers.

The Purlisse Perfect Glow Illuminating BB Cream has the same fantastic formula as the original Perfect Glow BB Cream. It has the same SPF 30 in the mix. Although you should still wear sunscreen. It is an oil free product and it is a rather natural look. Personally I prefer the original Perfect Glow BB cream and will continue to buy that. But really it is only a matter of preference.

Both perform spectacularly well. If you like an illuminating BB cream, the Purlisse Perfect Glow Illuminating BB cream is a good one to have in your arsenal. If illumination isn’t your thing, then the Purlisse Perfect Glow is the one you want to lean towards. while I won’t be picking up the full size of the Illuminating version, the regular bb cream is a summertime staple for me. I am however glad I tried it and quite frankly I am super excited that they have a primer now released into this collection. It is definitely on my list of products to try soon.

BB Primer to Perfection

Reviewing the Glamglow Mattifying 6 Acid Clarifying Primer

For a little over a week I have been using the Glamglow Supermattify 6 Acid Clarifying Primer.  I picked it up because it looked interesting.  It is a putty primer in what is basically an oversized compact.  It has a gray tint to the primer in the pan, primarily due to the charcoal in the primer and I wondered how the gray tint would work with the skin during application.  Plus, in the summer oil control is kind of a sought after element. So I thought I would give it a try.

According to the Glam Glow Website, this $42 primer is…

A lightweight oil-control primer for acne-prone skin that instantly mattifies and helps keep shine in check all day, so makeup looks on point.

All day oil control, Minimizes and blurs pores, and Hydrates

The Super 6 Acid Blend helps keep the complexion clear. The Charcoal and Oil-balancing clay provide instant and all-day shine control, absorbs excess oils and blurs skin imperfections. And the hyaluronic acid delivers a dose of weightless all-day hydration while helping makeup look fresh.

the compact

All of the claims sound like ones I would enjoy.  My skin loves Hyaluronic acid and alsways does well when it is involved, and given the heat and humidity here anything oil control that won’t break me out is a plus.  And so I tried the primer out.  I used it with several different foundations and foundation products ranging from medium coverage to tinted moisturizer.  While I do have a full coverage foundation ibn my collection, this time of year I never reach for it and quite frankly I forgot it was there until I finished testing out the primer.

First off, this primer is a putty primer and has the same consistency as a putty primer.  The gray disappears into the skin once you apply it so it doesn’t make your skin look gray.  However I did notice that I had to put the primer everywhere.  Typically I apply primer in my t-zone making certain that my nose and under the eyes are covered as well as the chin.  Then I blend it out towards the edges of my face.  I figure if the product mostly covers the areas where my pores show the most then I can live with it not covering every millimeter of skin. 

This is a great way to use a product like the ELF Putty Primer. It gets the job done and doesn’t use a ton of product.  In addition to using the product longer, it means I only use the product I needed.  With the Glam Glow the primer didn’t seem to go as far and I ended up using more.  It had good pore blurring capacity if it wasn’t blended out a lot, but as it blended out it lost a lot of that blurring effect.  The best way to apply it was to tap it into place more than blending it out.  As a result it used a lot more product. 

product at the end of the trial

You can see in the image how much product ended up being used in roughly nine days of use. That being said, once it was in place, it worked well.  My pores were blurred in the places I wanted it blurred and oil was definitely controlled. 

However I did notice that the foundation I used mattered.  Wearing a matte foundation with this product tended to make me look too dry.  However the primer worked really well with any product that has a slight glow effect to it.  For example the QMS Active Glow Tinted Moisturizer.  It is actually a really good formula that works well with my skin, but because it has a slight shine to it, I tend to reach for it in the cooler months when I need to brighten up my skin.  In the summer time it can just make me look a little greasy.

By putting the mattifying primer underneath, it actually toned down some of the shine so that I did look slightly glowy rather than greasy.  It simply is too mattifying under a matte foundation.

If you look in the ingredients list you will see it is a silicone based primer (as opposed to a water or oil one) so pair up your products accordingly for best results.  Remember silicone goes with silicone and can break down more easily if you try to pair it with water. In addition, look for non-mattifying foundations.

primer under a glowy foundation product at the end of the day

I did notice that my skin was a little drier after several days of using this primer so that is something to watch out for.  My skin tends to balance in the murky world sometimes ineptly referred to as Normal.  Which means that in the summer I lean towards oily but am not super oily and in the winter I lean towards dry but am not usually super dry.  I am at my oiliest now in my skin zone rotation and I think that I am just on the edge of being able to use this product.  If my skin were any drier then I think I would have problems with it.  I think if I had more oily skin, I would love it more. 

I suspect that once summer ends, I will have to put this primer in the drawer and leave it there for the winter. Once my skin starts transitioning in the autumn, this primer will simply dry me out too much.  For the summer though, it does what it claims.  It mattifies, it blurs pores and it didn’t cause any blemishes. Just remember, you might need more product than you originally thought and you will need to pat it into place more than blend it out. 

For the final question, would I buy this Glamglow Primer again?  I doubt it.  It works well but it is a product that I can only use in one season.  Given how much product needs to be used it would probably be used up in a season so that it wouldn’t hang around, but it is a bit pricy for such limited use.  If I had year round oily skin, I could see myself repurchasing it.  I have several really good primers that work well at blurring out pores that I can use year round and just give an extra pat of powder to when I get a little shiny mid-day. 

Would I use this again?  Definitely.  It is a good product, for me however it isn’t going to become a staple makeup item.

Huda Beauty

Herbivore’s Prism for Face Mask Friday

Welcome once again to another episode of Face mask Friday.  I’m afraid today I am going to have to keep a very good eye on the clock as I am trying the PRISM Botanical AHA + BHA Exfoliating Glow Facial.  It is a resurfacing mask and it is recommended as for a maximum of 1 to 2 times per week usage.  With new chemical exfoliation masks (or at least new to me exfoliating masks) I am always a little on the nervous side the first few times I use them. After I see how my skin deals with the ingredients I relax a little bit more.  As I sometimes have a tendency to fall asleep if I lay down with a mask and some music, I am going to sit up with this one. 

It is a clear mask so looking into the jar really just makes the jar look empty until I put the spoon in it.  I am not a big fan of sticking my fingers directly into jars of skin care.  I like to keep the jars as free of contaminants as possible.  Plus with this jelly like consistency, just dipping fingers in to get a swipe of product didn’t really work.  It has the consistency of a loose water cream rather than a firm jelly.  I was expecting something more along the lines of the Vichy Mineral Mask.  It has a similar clear gel look to it, but is a bit firmer in texture.  That mask sort of melts to liquid in the hand, but this one is more liquidy right out of the jar. 

Hence the need for a spoon rather than a spatula. 

Applying it was super easy though.  I massaged it into my face like I wood a moisturizer, avoiding the eye area.  And then I rinsed my hands and the spoon off.  It didn’t take much to cover my entire face and then of course my face just looked wet. 

According to the Herbivore website this mask is…

A jelly-textured, concentrated blend of plant-based AHA‚ and Willow Bark-based BHA in an exfoliating rinse-off weekly facial that naturally helps transform skin from dull to radiant and glowing in as little as one use.

Use 1-2 times per week as a resurfacing mask. Apply a thin, even layer to clean, dry skin, avoiding the eye area, Leave on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. For sensitive skin, leave on for 5 minutes and Follow with a nourishing Herbivore Facial Oil.

I have a small bottle of Go To Face Hero Face oil handy since I know how it reacts with my skin and I really like the oil.  I figure since I am using an unknown exfoliate, I might as well go with a known oil.

with the mask on, my face just looks wet

Full list of ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Gluconolactone, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Sodium Phytate


I really like many of the items on the ingredients list, many of them like Aloe Barbadensis, Rosa Damascena Willow Bark and radish root are old friends and tend to work really well with my skin.  There are citrus fruit extracts like Orange and Lemon in this mask.  I know some people have a sensitivity to them.  I personally don’t and I tend to use products that include those elements infrequently enough that I don’t really fear using them here.  Even though this mask says it can be used once or twice a week, I tend to use a retinol during the week and then just turn to exfoliating masks just once a week.

While skin care tends to take time to work, this mask claims that in one use you will see results.  Below are images of my face before using the mask and after I removed it (but before adding oil).

Before on the left, after the mask on the right

I am pleased that there is no real redness as chemical exfoliating masks tend to give me a slight redness which tends to fade a few minutes after washing.  My skin might look a little brighter, but then again it could be just the really cold tap water I used to rinse the mask off.  I will say that my skin feels really soft and very smooth. For that alone I would continue to use this mask once a week.  While I would probably skip this week, I could see adding this to my Sunday evening routine. Using it once a week to see how my skin gets on with it over time. With the retinol in use during the week I don’t think I’d use it for one of my midweek face masks.  There may be others who see an immediate reaction with their skin, but I suspect for me it will take a few uses to show anything. Because I had no adverse reactions I am defiantly willing to give it a go.  Maybe I’ll check back with you after a month of once a week uses and see how I feel about it then. Perhaps the results will be more visible. 

I actually don’t mind that results weren’t immediate.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of instant gratification.  However in Skin care that sort of freaks me out a bit.  In most skin care (especially chemical exfoliants) if results are that immediate, there is something really, really strong involved and without knowing exactly what it is, I am hesitant to put it on my face.  Slow and steady increased results over time are more in my comfort zone. Skin care isn’t magic and really shouldn’t be expected to work with a Ta DA after a first use.  Since my skin had no issues, I am perfectly happy to give this mask space to work. So for now, my skin feels soft and smooth as well as refreshed.  For everything else, we’ll talk in a few weeks.  See you then.


Marc Jacobs Under (cover) Blurring Coconut Face Primer

For the last two weeks I have been using the Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Blurring Coconut Face primer. You know I love a good primer. And most of you know that I am very scent oriented. Many of you may recall that I find the scent of coconut to be okay, but not super fabulous. well that isn’t entirely true. I like the scent of actual coconuts and I don’t have any issues with the coconut water based products because any coconut scent in them is light and natural. The coconut I have issues with is the faux overly sweet coconut scent that many coconut scented products seem to have.

It makes me feel like i am smearing coconut cream pie on my face.

Like I’m in a bad 1950s comedy sketch.

While there might be some amusement in that, it isn’t a feeling I want daily.

nozzle detail

And with this Marc Jacobs Primer I didn’t get it. I’ll admit, I was afraid I would. It’s why despite seeing many Marc Jacobs items in Boxypop up I haven’t picked them up. Recently all of the ones appearing have had the word coconut in the name. Even though I tend to adore Marc Jacobs products, it was the coconut that prevented me from swooping in. The coconut in this was light and fresh and faded almost immediately.

I could smell it when I opened the tube and when I first dispensed it onto my hand but once it was on my hand the scent went away almost immediately. Most of the time, I could forget the coconut if I wanted. I know that those coconut lovers out there might be disappointed, but this is good news for those of us who either don’t care for coconut saturation or who are scent sensitive.

Don’t let the coconut in the name deter you.

But as important as it is, scent is not everything. This is after all a primer, not a perfume.

So what is the target goal of this primer? well according to Marc Jacobs…

Product (far too much to use in one sitting)

Under(cover) Blurring Coconut Face Primer acts like a perfecting filter for your skin while extending makeup wear with the nourishing feel of coconut. It glides on effortlessly to blur the look of imperfections and smooth away the look of pores and fine lines.

It controls shine without making skin feel dry or overly matte. This multi-use primer creates a perfectly prepped canvas for foundation, helping it to apply smoothly and blend easily. It can also be worn alone for a soft-focus, healthy look on no-makeup makeup days. With its smoothing, lightweight formula with 5 forms of coconut, it is ideal for priming normal to oily skin types. The universal shade is invisible and looks undetectably flawless with no chalky, white cast on all skin tones.


Marc Jacobs Website

The product looks whitish when first dispensed but as soon as applied it goes invisible. I had no visible residue on my skin from it. It is a very slippy primer and if you look in the ingredients list you do see our good buddies the Cones first in line on the list. This is most definitely a silicone primer. And it feels like one.

To me this isn’t a bad thing, you just have to remember the basics.

no white cast or chalky look

First, like goes with like. I only used silicone and oil based foundations while testing it. I don’t have too many water based foundations in my collection at the moment but I did give them a pass while testing this primer out. There is no reason to set a product up for failure.

Second, a little goes a long way. I know there is a lot of product on my hand in the photo, but that is for illustrative purposes only. Less than half of that is what you need, or at least what I needed. If you use too much your foundation just sort of slides right off regardless of what foundation you use. A little is your friend, a lot does nothing but waste product.

Finally third, don’t rush the product. Apply your primer and then give it a minute to settle down and get comfortable. Don’t rush it. If you do then it mixes with your foundation and it doesn’t work a well as it could.

And quite frankly this primer is a pretty good one. It worked well for me during my test and it is one I will reach for frequently. I am about to test out a new foundation so i will be rotating my primers through that, but I will be coming back to it. This is not the most pore filling primer I have, however it does do a good job at blurring out some of the appearance of pores and does help mattify the skin without drying it out. Also because it is colorless it is pretty much invisible and doesn’t affect the color of my foundation. In the summer time I often use darker primers to help out slightly light foundations.

Now because it is a clear primer, it is not going to cover dark spots or hide redness in any way. That is not what it is does. It is also not on it’s list of claims. What it claims to do, it does. And it does it well. I was very pleased with its performance and will be reaching for this Marc Jacobs Under(cover) blurring perfecting primer in the future. It has earned a place in my dressing table, even with the coconut.

If you are interested, Marc Jacobs is currently having a sitewide sale. 30% off in fact. I am a big fan of their makeup items. This primer and the bronzer products I highly recommend. I also enjoy their liquid lip glosses and eyeshadows. Their shadow formula is well pigmented and never applies patchy, at least not in the ones I’ve used. I wasn’t a fan of their Youthquake Moisturizer, but the makeup I highly recommend. And while I haven’t tried it yet, they have a new caffeine infused foundation that I so want to try out. I have heard fabulous things about their foundations in the past so I have high hopes for the new one.

Marc Jacobs Beauty


Trying out Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer

In the April Macy’s Beauty box there was a sample of the Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat Blur primer. Personally i was thrilled to see it. I think everyone and their neighbor knows by this point that I love primers. A while back this particular primer seemed to be the darling of everyone. It was featured on makeup reviews and collections, people reviewed and raved about it.

But then silence.

I don’t know if the reviews came out around the product’s release or if it there was a domino effect of reviews and once one person reviewed it everyone decided they had to as well. But after the furor, silence.

It is easy to see why they would want to review it. Have you seen the full bottle? I know I have the small sample size pictured here and it really doesn’t do it justice. The links will take you to the site and well lit photos of the full sized bottle so you can see it in all it’s glory if you like. (I am not an affiliate and I get nothing from those links, in case you were wondering, they are just links to the product page for those who want more official info).

There is just something about gold flakes suspended in a clear medium that just looks amazing.

It also made me want it, even just to look at.

The wand applicator

Oddly the gold flakes were also what made me cautions about buying it. Well that and the price. This YSL Primer retails for $52.

And I had no desire to go around with gold flakes coating my face. Admittedly, it made me think of the old stories of Incan Kings or priests decorating themselves with gold dust and then diving into sacred lakes. At least I think that’s the story. I quickly realized that should I be gold and glittery I would just look like a bad extra for a Twilight film.

Luckily, neither occurred and the gold flakes weren’t a concern.

Now, I have been lucky enough to try a few YSL makeup products before and I really did love them. The lipstick in particular I remember using down until there was only a nub left and I had to use a brush to get the last dregs of the pruct out. I think the last use was merely a bare wash of color and a memory. It was a particularly flattering shade of red and I still dream about it. I also tried a small sample of the Touche Eclat Foundation and really enjoyed it. It was only enough product for two uses but it was a fantastic foundation both times I tried it. Despite these ventures, I am not all that familiar with the YSL product line. So let’s take a bit of a closer look.

Touche Elcat Blur Primer preps skin for foundation application, creating an improved, refined appearance: pores seem to be minimized, skin texture feels smoother, and skin tone is more even. It’s enriched with four nourishing oils—corn oil, apricot kernel oil, passiflora oil, and rice bran oil—to leave skin feeling incredibly soft without a greasy residue. Packed with blur technology, this universal primer provides a subtle, golden shimmer for ultimate luminosity.


Yves Saint Laurent Website

As you can see, very high up on the ingredients list you can see our good buddy dimethicone crosspolymer which means that this is definitely a silicone based primer. As a consequence, I chose silicone based foundations this week. As we all remember, like goes with like. I didn’t see a reason to set the primer up for failure but trying to pair it with a water based foundation.

While the primer does go on feeling a little slippy, a lot of the slippiness fades as the primer settles. I know the temptation when getting ready is to apply your primer and go straight into your foundation. Don’t. Your primer, whichever primer you are using, needs a minute to settle. If you rush the process it will just sort of mix with the foundation and you won’t get the coverage you were expecting. So give it it’s minute to settle in. The add foundation.

I will say I did like this primer on my skin. It felt really nice. I had no adverse reactions. Even though there are four oils, my skin did not feel oily. My skin tends to ride that strange balance line irritatingly called normal which means that whether I lean oily or dry depends on the season. Right now I am coming out of the driest season for my skin. I am edging out of dry as the humidity levels climb. Knowing my skin, I think that the only time I might have an issue with this primer is in high summer when I am at my oiliest and the humidity level in my area is 80% minimum each day. Other than that section of time where my skin isn’t happy with many products, I think I would be fine to use this primer.

While that is a bit specifice, how a product works for you does depend on your skin. To broaden it generally I would say that unless you had really oily skin, you probably wouldn’t have issues with this primer.

No primer on the left, just primer on the right.

It doesn’t make the face glitter. However I did see some evening out and a bit of a glow going on which was nice. There was a small reduction in the visibility of my pores, but i think I am just more accustomed to seeing more pore filling primers on my face. I really did like the blurring effect of this primer.

The primer sat well on the skin and it worked well with all of the foundations I used with it. I did find that in most of them it actually extended the life of my foundation by a few hours. Which is definitely not a bad thing. In short this primer did everything it claimed and then just a little bit more.

It was all things considered, a very good primer. My one issue with it was the applicator wand. It is pictured in this post, as I was trying to show the product. However it is important to remember that the full size comes with a pump and not the wand.

I don’t like the wand for applying because to apply you either have to have the wand in contact with your hands or with the skin of your face. while I wash both before applying makeup, the wand still makes it easier to contaminate than a pump would. As I said the full size doesn’t have this. However since the sample does, I am probably going to work on using it up sooner rather than rotating it evenly with my other primers. I really wish i could keep it longer, but that wand makes me nervous about what could mix in with the product and I’d rather just use it up.

Like I said before it is a good product. It is also a pricy one. Can you get other primers that do something similar? Yes. I have several blurring primers in my collection at this very moment, some of them even clear. None with the gold flakes though. This is a luxury product. If you are looking to splurge on a luxury item, then i would say that this Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer is a good one to splurge on.

It does everything it claims to do and does it well. It feels great on the skin, has almost no fragrance to it and looks gorgeous in the packaging. having a full sized bottle of this primer sitting on my dressing table would be lovely. And when I next splurge on a luxury item, this may be the one I go for. It might be a toss up between the Touche Eclat Primer and the foundation from the same line as they are both lovely and on my list for spurge purchases. The end result is that this YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer is certainly a product i would enjoy using as much as I enjoy looking at.

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The Daily: March 18th, 2021

Today has been a much better day for me.  For one thing I remained conscious for most of it.  Big Bonus. I know Woo Hoo! Some days, it the little things you have to cheer for.

I actually checked in and the sleepiness is not an uncommon side effect of the vaccine so I feel a bit relieved.  It is still raining cats and dogs so today’s exercise comes from the Wii Fit.  I did a little work on the balance board and after lunch I plan to do a little bit of bowling.  I know that some people just flick the wrist when using the controller to bowl but I grew up bowling and somehow I can’t actually get it to work unless I do the full step and throw motion.  If I try just flicking the wrist I get gutter balls every time.  If I throw like I am actually bowling then I do fairly well.  I look crazy while doing it, but I do get a really good work out.  And I get to practice bowling left handed as I need to work out both sides.  So I play a two person game, Left versus Right.  Right usually wins, but Left is getting better.

And either way I get the work out.  Plus if I start to feel the sleepiness creeping in, I can easily stop. I’m taking it easy and monitoring my body at the moment.

Truthfully though given the pollen count it is probably a good thing that the rain is keeping me from the walking trail.  My last trip through I came home sneezing.  I might have to let the trees settle a bit before going back. I’ll just use it as time to work on getting my left handed bowling up to speed.

I took a little bit more time with my makeup today and I have to say I am really liking how it came out.  To be honest I think it is the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered that did it.  The palette just makes me want to play a bit.  So I did.

Today’s look

Primer: Elf Poreless Putty Primer

Foundation: Elf Acne Fighting Foundation

Bronzer: TreStique Bronzing and Contour Stick

Blush: Patrick Ta Monochromatic moment in She’s Passionate

Loose Setting Powder: Pacifica Cherry Blossom Matte Translucent setting powder

Pressed Powder: No 7 Perfect Light in Medium

Highlighter: Kypris Shimmer Palette

Eyeshadow: Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered palette

eye close up

Eyeliner: Milk Makeup Long wear Gel liner (water line)

Concealer: Pretty Vulgar Undercover lightweight concealer

Brows: Marcelle Nano Brow Liner

Under Brow Highlighter: Billion Dollar Brows  Brow Duo Pencil

Mascara Ciate London Triple Shot XXL Mascara

Lips: bareMinerals Gen Nude in Pout

Setting Spray: Porefessional Supper Setter from Benefit Cosmetics

Quite frankly I am very happy with the way things came together today.  Everything worked really well with no complaints.  In case you are wondering, you will be seeing the TrestiQue Bronzing stick remain in the bag for a little while longer.  It is getting very close to being used up so I am just going to keep using it until it is gone. In all honesty I will probably then switch to the NARS Bronzer sample so that I can use that up as well. My goal this year is to use up some of my older products so they can be cleared out before going bad.  The Trestique I will be repurchasing as it is one of my favorite formulas.  The stick makes it so easy to apply, the formula is creamy and it is one of the few products that includes a brush in the base that I actually like using.  To be honest even when the product is used up I am tempted to keep the brush around just to blend in cream products.

With the Kypris Shimmer palette I think I have decided that I really like it more for a highlighter than I do as a shadow.  It makes a really good highlighter palette.  Today I used the pink toned shimmer as the eye look was more pink in tone.   Again, this Huda Beauty palette made me want to take a little more time and play.  I really like that about the eyeshadow palette.  It’s a nice reminder than makeup is fun.

The Make Up Bag: March 5th, 2021

Welcome once again to the Weekly makeup bag post.  I have a surprise for you this week.  I have decided that this may be my last makeup bag post for a while.  I had several revelations this week and it has led to a few changes and proposed changed.  For a while things may be a bit unsettled as I shake them out and play around with them.

Now don’t worry, I will still be discussing makeup, however I am going to try to add my list of products and a picture of what I did with them to my Daily posts. While I started the Makeup bag as a way to not get overwhelmed by the number of products and so that I could rotate them well, lately I have been finding it is a little too regimented for me. 

Take my foundation this week.  This week I used the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Cream foundation.  I am glad I did, however it is more of a full coverage foundation than I usually use.  It prompted me to do a more elaborate eye look  with the Huda Beauty Palette than I have done with eyeshadow in a while. Which I really liked. 

However mid way through the week I found myself wanting a lighter look, both with the shadow and with the foundation.  I found I could still get the lighter look with the Huda Beauty Palette, but I needed to switch out my foundation.  I ended up pulling the NYX Bare With Me foundation in to help out. I really enjoy both foundations, but I want to be able to decide what look I feel like wearing that day rather than just limiting myself to what was in the bag.  I’m sure there will be weeks where I use the same product repeatedly, but I want that to be a choice, not a requirement.

Bare faced left, One of my full face looks for this week.This used the Neutrogena foundation

The second reason is that I have several sample sizes that I want to use up before I purchase the full size of the product.  To do so I will need to use them more often.  In addition sometimes when new things come in I want to try them right away rather than waiting a week.  So I am going to try adding the makeup to the Daily post and we will see how that works out.  I’ll still break out new products as they arrive into full posts, since I love doing my reviews but This post will be altered starting next week.

A softer look, only swapping out the foundation and lip. This used the NYX foundation and the Fenty Lip Gloss

This week however I had a bag full of products that were either new to me or ones I don’t reach for very often.  The first new product was the primer.  I used the Illamasqua Beyond the Veil PrimerThis link will take you to my full review, but I have to say, I liked it, but I think I prefer the regular Hydra Veil Primer from Illamasqua.  Both are nice, I just have more fun with the clear jelly.

The foundation I mentioned was the Neutrogena Cream foundation.  It is nice and more full coverage than I expected.  It felt a little greasy going on but once blended in the greasiness faded.  It is a little light for my skin tone, but it did lead me to a less natural look than usual. Which was a nice change of pace.  I did swap it out several days for the NYX Bare with Me mostly because I really do like a lighter look during the day when I am working. As always I adored the NYX foundation formula. It feels like you are wearing nothing at all and does a great job covering what I wanted covered.

For my bronzer I dipped back into the Ace Beaute Bronzer palette.  I’ll admit I pulled this one out because I was doing a declutter of my bronzer/ face palettes this week and I honestly couldn’t remember if I liked it enough to keep or not.  So I tried it.  And I did like it better than I thought I did. It actually worked really well for me and it is one that I will be keeping and using more often.

My blush came in the Glam Bag X from IPSY and it was the Patrick Ta Monochromatic moment blush.  This is my first Patrick Ta blush and I think I will have to write out a full post on it.  I thought it was going to be too light for me and it was more pinky in tone than I usually prefer, but it worked well and I very much enjoyed using  it this week.  It is a huge blush so I think it is going to last me a really long time.

For highlighter I pulled the Huda Beauty Highlighting palette in Pink Sands out of the drawer.  I’ll be honest, I forgot about it.  It was buried in my eyeshadow drawer and I found it when I was decluttering and organizing.

I really enjoyed using it this week as it is a really good set of highlighters.  I can tell that if used on a regular basis, I will drift to the deep gold toned product more than anything else.  The silvery one and the brighter gold were just too bright for me and the pink faded into my skin tone with very little to show for it.  The gold, was amazing. I could very much see purchasing that as an individual highlighter.

My concealer was the Maybelline Age rewind concealer I love this formula. It is hands down the best drugstore formula I have tried.  It doesn’t crease and accentuate my fine lines and it is a fantastic lid primer.  I have had it long enough though that I think I may need to keep using it up so that I can use it before it expires.  Once it does I will be buying a new one. I just want to use as much of this product up as a I can before I have to repurchase it.

My eyeliner was the Ciate London Stamp and Drag eyeliner.  The formula of the liner is good and it is the same formula in their other eyeliners, which I like. The main reason I put it in the bag this week was that I wanted to play around with the stamp.  Some days were better than others but like anything else, with practice I got better at using it.  Once I did, I found I really liked it.

My setting powder was a sample size from Lottie London.  This was my first Lottie London product and I have to say, I am not a fan. The powder was well powdery on the skin and left a white cast.  I actually felt bad about saying other powders left a white cast after using this. 

small holes that became clogged very quickly

In addition, there are only three really small holes to get the powder out of so it took FOREVER to get enough product through them.  I am sure there are more holes in them for the full size, at least I really hope so, but the powder drove me bonkers and about midweek I swapped it for the Ciate London Extraordinary Setting powder.  I enjoyed it much more.

For my pressed powder, I have to admit, I opened a new compact of No7 Perfect Light Pressed powder.  I know I said I was going to wait, but I couldn’t.  It was just right there calling to me and I succumbed.  So I opened it and remembered how much I actually love that pressed powder.  It never looks powdery and absorbs oil with a quick mid-day pat. I was very happy to see it again.

As I mentioned before my Eyeshadow Palette this week was the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered palette.  It also came in the Glam Bag X and quite frankly makes me very excited to see what comes in May’s box. This link will take you to the full post but the quick summation is that I absolutely loved it.


I will be reaching for it quite often. The formulas were pigmented, soft, blendable and they stayed in place all day.  Plus look at those colors. They just say Mimsy all over them

For this new and mostly new bag, I opened the Pat McGrath Fetisheyes Mascara.  I know it was an excuse, but I took it.  It is a really good mascara. It didn’t flake and it thickened and lengthened beautifully.  It is a mascara that I will enjoy using to the very last drop.  Provided I can get to the very last drop within six months.  I am going to try though. While it is good and I will enjoy using it, it isn’t such a fantastic formula that I will feel compelled to repurchase it though. It is good enough to use and if it happened to be on an IPSY ad on I would add it on. I’m just not sure I’d pay $30 for it. There are so many really good mascaras out there that do exactly what this does, some with even better performances that I’m just not sure that price is justified. I am very happy I actually got to try a Pat McGrath product but when this is used up, I won’t be buying it again.

My brows were also a new product this week and that was the Marcelle Nano Eyebrow Pencil.  It came in a Birchbox a while back and I decided now was the time to try it.  Marcelle is a brand that is hit or miss for me.  Sometimes it is fabulous, and sometimes it fizzles. This, I have to say was a hit.  The formula was good.  It wasn’t too dry or chalky and the color worked well with my brows.  I am going to have to sit down and do some serious maintenance on my brows, but the product was nice.

For the lips I had two products this week.  The first was the About Face liquid lipstick in Take Aim. (it is what I am wearing in the top photo above)  It is a lovely dark and highly pigmented shade and one I will get a lot of use from. When ordering remember that the outer glass packaging is frosted so the product looks lighter in the packaging than it is coming out. As a liquid lip it went on smoothly and dried down really fast.  It wasn’t terribly drying on the lips but once it dried down it wasn’t moving anywhere. It stayed in place all day.  I t moved around a little when I ate something a little greasy, but that is something that happens with most liquid lips.  It was very comfortable formula to wear and I was quite impressed.

The second lip product I had around this week was the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Diamond Milk Lip Gloss. (It is in the photo of the softer makeup day pictured above.)I really enjoy using this lip gloss it feels really juicy on the lips but not super sticky.  As a gloss you have to re-apply it periodically if you want the shine to remain, however even when it wears off my lips feel as though they had an extra burst of hydration.  I like the formula.  I often forget I have this lip gloss though because it is slightly too wide to stand up in my lip stick holder so it goes into the drawer.  I might have to figure out a way to keep it out so that I don’t forget it.

To lock everything in place, I used the Pore Professional Super setter Spray.  While it is something I have used before and enjoy, it is a relatively new product and so I decided it counted.  Besides I didn’t have a new to me setting spray to try out and as I have several open that I am trying to use up and clear out, I didn’t think it a good plan to go and buy a new one.

So that was this week’s make up bag.  Next week I will start with the smaller daily posts instead of the weekly one.  If it goes well, I’ll continue and if it doesn’t I will return to this format or try something else.  It may be in a state of flux for a while. As always feel free to let me know what you think and if you see me mention a product that you want broken out in a more full individual post let me know.   For now I am off to editing land and will see everyone back here later today for Face Mask Friday.  See you then.

Currently Bite Beauty has a couple of things going on you might be interested in. I’ll post them below.

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