Foundation Review: No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation with SPF 15

As you know, I love testing new foundations. Or at least new to me foundations. There are so many foundations out there. And while occasionally I will catch one at first release, often I see the release and then mentally bookmark it as something to try later on. Sometimes it takes me a while to work my way around to it.

I started my foundation quest because the foundation I was using at the time finished and I found it had been discontinued. I have long since found many other foundations I really enjoy using so that I can rotate through products and not worry too badly if one of them gets discontinued as I am not focused entirely on one favorite. What I have also found is that I really enjoy a wide variety of products. Foundations come in all sorts of formulas and textures as well as coverage levels and I find that somedays I just prefer one formula over another.

I kind of like having the variety.

I still intend to keep the number of products to a level where I can actually see some progress in the container so that I don’t have millions of products hanging around. Not that there aren’t a million products I want to try, I just want to be able to use the products instead of waste them. So I am trying to be selective about when I add new foundations to my dressing table to try. I added the No7 Lift & Luminate TRIPLE ACTION  Serum because I noticed that while I have quite a large number of tinted moisturizers, I really don’t have a lot of actual foundations. Plus when I passed this on the shelf I looked, said “Oh that looks nice” and even though I wasn’t intending to buy foundation it magically ended up in my cart.

Magically.

pump top

Given how much I adore the No7 Perfect Light pressed powder, I knew it was only a matter of time before I branched out into other products and I am happy to try this foundation. According to the No 7 Website the No7 Lift & Luminate TRIPLE ACTION  Serum

is…

Formulated with the clinically proven anti-aging ingredients from our No7 Lift & Luminate TRIPLE ACTION  Serum, this foundation instantly reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles,  skin looks firmer and appears more even.  Skin is left with a radiant, more healthy-looking glow.

  • Optical blurrers and light-reflecting particles instantly minimize the appearance of the signs of skin aging by reflecting light away from fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Broad Spectrum SPF 15 protects skin from the aging effects of the sun.
  • Flexible formula moves with skin and doesn’t migrate into fine lines and wrinkles

If you look at the ingredients list you will see that Caprylyl methicone is the second ingredient. Generally speaking if the second or third ingredient in your foundation ends in either cone or siloxane. Its a quick way to see if you are dealing with a water or silicone based foundation. I know some people try to avoid the silicone based foundations. Personally, I like both. The only thing to remember is that like goes with like. If you are going to use a silicone based foundation, then go with a silicone based primer. And if using a water based foundation, go with a water based primer.

While some can be mixed, the two products often separate from each other and that’s not really good for anyone. There are of course oil based products as well, in both foundations and primers. In general I find it best to avoid attempting to mix oil and water. If you’ve ever made salad dressing, you know, you can shake it all you want, the moment you stop, there will be some separation. While this has significantly less shaking, there is a separation.

I do have an oil based foundation that I like. I generally find that if I use a primer where the silicone element is really far down the list, meaning it is in small concentration, then it will usually be fine with an oil based foundation. I don’t think I actually know of an oil based primer. I might have to look into that.

But that is not now. Now is the time for the No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation. With the name serum in the title, I thought it would be a thinner consistency. It is a thicker almost mousse like consistency when dispensed on the hand. While unexpected, I have to admit I really did like the way it blended into the skin. The thickness, spread out so I really needed only two pumps to achieve maximum coverage. The foundation felt weightless on my skin and played well with the primers I chose (i chose silicone based primers, but i used a different one each time I applied the foundation and I used primers I was familiar with). There was no issue with any of the primers.

I was very pleased with the way it applied. Now I do want to say something about the sunscreen element in the foundation. while I like having SPF in my foundation as a sort of extra bonus, I still wear sunscreen underneath it. The SPF 15 in this foundation is not a replacement for the Spf I apply at the end of my skincare routine. Not only is my sunscreen (favorite Prismatic Luminous Shield by Volition Beauty) SPF 50 but to get the full sunscreen protection in a foundation, you have to apply a lot of product to your face. If you want a really good visual representation of this I highly recommend checking out Wayne Goss’s Video: This is How much Foundation You Need Daily (if relying on the SPF in your foundation as sunscreen). It is not something you will soon forget.

The SPF in this foundation is a nice little bonus and I like it, but it is not something to rely on.

I would say this coverage falls right into my sweet spot of medium coverage. I like being able to see a few of my dominant freckles though the foundation. In fact I kind of freaks me out when i can’t. I think that is why I don’t really care for full coverage foundations. I lose some of the visual markers that make me feel like me.

This was a very good medium coverage foundation though. While blemishes, red and dark spots, were covered, I could still see some of my dominant freckles. But this foundation isn’t just about coverage. It is about covering those pesky fine lines. It is supposed to have a flexible formula that moves with the skin and doesn’t sink in and emphasize fine lines. I have to say i was very pleased with how it performed over the course of a day.

I took these pictures one of the days I wore the foundation. They were taken about twelve hours apart. Yes, my hair has been pulled back and the light is different as I took the first photo in natural light and the other after dark in my bathroom. But I think you can see that the foundation held up really well. Clearly it has worn down a bit as my freckles are more pronounced and I am a bit shinier.

While I didn’t powder my nose on this day, I did spend a lot of time with a mask on, so I’m not entirely certain the shine is just from normal wear or if the mask rubbed some of it off. Usually I do touch up my face with powder mid day, on this day I didn’t so there is extra shine and I was wearing a mask, and to top it off this was the day I wore the foundation for the longest. I know lots of foundations tout 36 hour coverage, but to be quite honest, I don’t usually wear my make up that long at a stretch. Generally if I am up for 36 hours strait it probably isn’t my makeup I’m worrying about.

Twelve hours was somewhat of a stretch for me as eight to occasionally ten is kind of my limit of foundation wear time. It was also why I chose this day to photograph as it was kind of an extreme wear test for me. Unless something extraordinarily unexpected happens, this is about the limit of time I would expect a foundation to work on me.

And to be honest, I am perfectly happy with the way this foundation wore during that twelve hours. There was some wear obviously, but lines were not emphasized and I still felt like I looked okay. I very much enjoyed the No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation. I purchased it at Target for $15.99. I know that if you order from the No 7 Website, new customers can get 20% off their first purchase which kind of makes a good , affordable drug store option even more affordable. Plus right now they have an extra Fresh and Fabulous set (value $22) for those who spend $59 or more on the site. AND they are having a Friends and Family Sale which you might want to check out (I’ll put useful links below). In makeup, I highly recommend both my favorite Perfect Light pressed powder and this Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation. I think this is a drug store option I am going to keep around for a while.


30% off Sitewide and Mask GWP with code MASK



The Make Up Bag: February 26th, 2021

The Makeup Bag used February 20th – 26th, 2021

This week’s makeup bag was a strange one. I wanted to test a flat top foundation brush (from F.A.R.A.H this is the link to the review if you are interested) so I chose five separate foundations for the week. I chose five that I really like and know how they perform for me so that it would be easier to test the brush.  It also meant that I didn’t consistently use any single foundation this week.  It was kind of a fun change. It also gave me an excuse to use several of my favorite foundations.

The Foundations this week

All of the foundations I used this week I really liked.  I used the powder Foundation of KVD Vegan Beauty.  This one is really good if you are in a rush as you just brush it on like powder, add a dash of blush and go.  I also used my Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation.  I will pretty much use any excuse to go ahead and add that to my makeup bag as it is a really nice, really easy formula.  My excuse was that the stick formula makes it a cream foundation. 

I actually had a cream foundation in my dressing table and quite frankly I forgot all about it.  It is the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup.  I used it, really liked it, put it in the drawer and forgot it.  I think I may keep this one out this week to use it a bit more.   For my liquid foundations I used the e.l.f Acne Fighting foundation and the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation.  I love both of them and will reuse them until they are gone and then repurchase. 

I wanted two products in each category but I only had the one powder foundation.  The KVD Vegan Beauty powder foundation is one I also need to reach for more often.  As you can see I have the old packaging on it and should probably use it up.  In certain lights you can see the outline of pan beginning to show through so I’m pretty confident I can use it up this year, even with switching out my foundations.  I just need to remember to keep it on the list.

While the focus was on the foundation this week, it clearly wasn’t the only product I used.  For primer I used the last of my Benefit Porefessional Pearl Primer.  It was the last of the sample and now it will journey to the empties bin. I like the primer and will be purchasing it in the full size as soon as I’ve cleared out a few of my primers. A could of them are actually pretty close to being used up so it shouldn’t be too terribly long.

Benefit also supplied my setting spray this week.  I used the Porefessional Super Setter.  I love the fine mist a d setting power of this setting spray.  But why am I mentioning it this early in the post, you might ask? Good question.  Normally I end with the setting spray, but things got a little discombobulated this week. Plus, I also had to use it with my eyeshadow. 

This week I used the Teddy Boy eyeshadow palette from Butter London.  The shimmers didn’t really show up terribly well unless I wet my brush or finger for application so it was the Porefessional Supper setter to the rescue.  While I ended up using it to set my face, it also helped out my eyeshadow palette.  This link will take you to the full Teddy Boy Palette review.  It isn’t my favorite palette but it is different from anything else I have in my collection, so I am okay with keeping it a while. It survived my Spring Declutter.  We’ll see what happens next time I sort through my palettes.

I used my Pretty Vulgar concealer this week.  It is a really good concealer and it worked well as a eyeshadow primer as well.  I think the tube is now about half empty.  It isn’t low enough that I need to keep it around to use up, so I’ll trade it out next week, but it is about at the halfway point which makes me sad as it is one of my favorites.  I may have to do a full face of Pretty Vulgar makeup before it goes out.  This is one of those brands that I have almost a full face of products to use.  At least as long as the concealer lasts.

My bronzer and blush were both trial sizes this week.  I used my NARS in the shade Laguna as my bronzer and my bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush in the shade Mauve Sunset as my blush.  I adore both of these products and I have to say this year you will be seeing a lot more of these tow samples because I won’t allow myself to purchase the full size until I use the samples up. 

Mostly because I know that once I have the full size, I won’t actually use the samples any more and they will be wasted.  Plus I know that if I can use the samples up then I will definitely use the full size.  With these two it isn’t a hardship as I really enjoy both products.  In fact I fall more in love with the bareMinerals Bounce and Blur each time I use it. It is the absolute best of both powder and cream blushes combined into one. They are both very bendable and ae easy to work with. I highly recommend both of them.

I had a pressed powder from e.l.f and a loose powder from Ciate London this week.  With the Ciate London Extraordinary Setting Powder, I used the translucent version.  I like the fact that it doesn’t have the coconut scent that the Vacaay powder does, but quite frankly I prefer the Everyday Vacaay version, even with the coconut.  I actually have an unopened container in my drawer, but I wanted to use this travel size up first. 

The regular extraordinary powder can leave a little white on the skin if you aren’t careful.  The Vacaay version doesn’t have this issue.  As long as you go back in with a brush it is fine, I just thought it a little odd that one had the smidge and the other didn’t.  The e.l.f. pressed powder also had this issue. I really like the formula of the elf HD pressed powder though as one it is in place it really keeps the shine from coming through and doesn’t look powdery. I think in the future with the elf I would get the tinted powder rather than the translucent.  I like the formula but the translucent does tend to be a little too white on my skin. 

My eyeliner this week was the Tarte Double Take eyeliner.  One end is a liquid pen and the other is a soft pencil.  I enjoyed both sides this week and will certainly be using this again.  Which is a bonus for me as I have a second unopened liner that came in this month’s Boxycharm waiting for me to finish this one. While I did an eyeshadow palette declutter I think my next declutter may end up being eyeliners.  I at least need to separate the open ones from the others so that I can use some of them up.  The issue is that I really don’t wear eyeliner all that much and when I do I tend to reach for my reliable Eyeko more than anything else.  I think I might have actually use the last Eyeko I had up completely. I’m pretty sure that is what prompted me to gram a different eyeliner this week. But I am glad I did as I enjoyed the Tarte Double Take. 

This week I used the Hourglass brow pencil and it was a good formula.  The pencil is starting to dry out a little, or at least it no longer seems as comfortable to apply as it did when I first got it.  When I looked at the amount of product left in the pencil though, it is getting pretty low.  The Hourglass eyeliner may be sticking around in my makeup bag for a while as I try to use it up.  While I still enjoy using it, I can tell a difference from when I first used it to now.  I think that if you are going to use this brow pencil then you need to buy it and just use it until it is gone and don’t let it hang around.  It is nice, but it doesn’t have the greatest longevity.

No mascara on the left, mascara on the right.

This week my mascara was actually two mascaras.  I picked out the Kristofer Buckle Mascara to use as it has been open a while and while it gave me the length I wanted it wasn’t performing as well as it usually does.  I think it is just reaching the end of its life.  This one has been open for five months.  And I think this will be its last turn through the makeup bag. Sadly when I went on the site to capture a link so that you could go find it for yourselves should you be interested, this mascara was not listed on the site at all. I don’t know if they are doing things to the formula or releasing a new mascara so I will have to dive deep and find out. As I’ll soon need to repurchase my Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation, I will be popping in and out of the site anyway.)

To bulk up the fading Kristofer Buckle I called in the Ciate London WonderWand.  This is not the first time I used this mascara and it won’t be the last.  It is fabulously thickening, which made it the perfect pairing for Kristofer Buckle’s Lengthening.  Together they were a great tag team. I may not be able to purchase the Kristofer Buckle again, depending on availability, but I will very much be repurchasing the Ciate London Wonder Wand Mascara. I have a second unopened ciate london mascara in my dressing table so I may compare the two to see if I like one better than the other before I buy it. As the Wonder Wand is getting low on product, I may have to do that test sooner rather than later.

My look for the day (the bangs were not behaving)

And finally the lips.  This week I used the Gel Color lip and cheek Balm crayon in Posh from Nudestix.  While I would not use this shade on my cheeks it made a fantastic neutral lip crayon that was surprisingly long lasting.  It wore off a bit at lunch time but surprisingly is hung on most of the day with a single morning application. 

I know I sound a bit surprised but I tried a liquid lip from Nude sticks a while back and I really didn’t care for it so I am surprised by how much I really enjoyed this lip crayon. I suppose it goes to show you can’t judge an entire brand on one product. I was quite impressed with this nudestix crayon.  I know this came in either a Look Fantastic or a Glossy Box a while back but I can’t remember if I used it or not.  Even if I didn’t I am glad I used it this week as I really enjoyed it and will be reaching for it again.

This week was mostly about the foundations as I worked with the brush to see how it performed.  As a consequence I chose products that for the most part I knew wouldn’t give me much trouble.  Next week I have almost an entire bag full of new products to try. In fact I am going to see how many new products I have and put most of them in the bag.  So while this week was a bag full of good solid products, next week is going to be much more of an experiment. I can’t wait to see how it ends.


If you ae looking for brushes, Bdellium is having a sale. The link will take you to sale pages. I’ve really enjoyed all of the brushes that I’ve used from them and find them to be of consistently good quality. They also have a wide variety of styles so you can usually find the brush you ae looking for in their stock.

Trying out Laura Geller Quench ‘n Tint Hydrating Foundation

This week I used the Laura Geller Quench ‘n Tint hydrating foundation as my foundation product.

According to the website…

Quench your skin with Laura Geller’s intensely hydrating foundation. With a wash of color, this coverage is as weightless and refreshing as a splash of water, leaving skin with a natural glow. If you have combination skin and want medium coverage and a luminous finish – this foundation is for you!

TO USE: Apply a small amount to the face with fingertips, starting from the center of the face and blending outward. Repeat application until desired coverage is achieved.

Light to medium coverage is sort of my favorite section for foundation to play in so I was very happy that this was the quench ‘n tint’s target in terms of coverage.  I just find light to medium coverage easier to wear every day and reserve full coverage for special occasions and places where there will be a lot of photographs.

Plus, at the moment my skin is looking pretty good, so hiding it behind a foundation mask isn’t really my intention.  I was surprised by how thick the foundation came out of the tube. It had me a little worried at first However even though it is thick looking, It didn’t have the consistency of a thick foundation. It felt more like a night cream on the hand.

While I did dot the foundation onto my face as per instructions (sort of) I did use my 999 Master Blender foundation brush from Bdellium tools. I was very happy to get back to it after my Laruce brush test of the past few weeks.

dotted foundation

Even though I used a brush, I can see why it is recommended that you use your hands to blend it in.  It is a very wet feeling formula.  It isn’t liquid-y, but it is wet.  The foundation brush I used has very densely packed bristled and worked well with blending the foundation.  I think if I used a softer, less densely packed foundation brush it would not have done as well and it would have left streaks. My foundation brush did well because it was so densely packed.

It is a wet feeling foundation, however once blended out it feels just like a moisturizer on the skin.  It doesn’t feel like foundation.  You can completely forget that you are wearing it.

But even though you completely forget that you are wearing it, the foundation does stay in place all day.  On average I tend to wear my makeup about ten hours. 

Just foundation all blended in

This week I had one longer day that went for twelve hours, but otherwise it was ten hours with foundation.  I had no problems with the Laura Geller foundation fading away or wearing off throughout the day.  It didn’t leave me with strange bare spots (except around my nose where my reading glasses touch, but even then it was very slight).  I think the reason it lasted so long was that it does sit on the skin more like a moisturizer than a foundation.

Now at the moment my skin is behaving really well.  I have no odd dry spots and no real breakouts.  I have my one scar on my cheek, but overall I am pretty good blemish wise.  Because this is light to medium coverage, I had to go over my scar with my concealer to cover it. This is not the most concealing of foundations.  This is not a foundation I would reach for if I had a lot of red spots and blemishes to cover.  It is however one I would reach for if I was having a good skin day and wanted to wear a foundation I didn’t have to think or worry about. It evens the skin tone well and is weightless to wear.

It is a very worry free formula.

It is also a hydrating one.  If you have oily skin, you might want to try a sample to test it out before committing to a full size.  I found that I had to let my moisturizer sit and absorb for about an hour before I applied my makeup.  If I was in a hurry I could leave off the moisturizer, then go into my primer and then add the foundation and my skin didn’t feel overly dry during the day.  I did need a heavier night time moisturizer when I did that though.  Because it is so hydrating you need to think about your moisturizer game when applying this as well. 

The first day I tried it, I didn’t like it at all because it didn’t play well with my moisturizer. By the third day, I sorted out my application and things were working fine.  Even though it does say illuminating, there was no real glow to the foundation, it simply wasn’t matte.

Right now with my winter skin, I think I can easily wear this foundation.  It I comfortable and not too moisturizing.  I think I might have issues in the summertime.  I may have to do a second summer time test in order to figure it out. Because it is so moisturizing I might have some issues.  But then again my skin rides that balancing line called normal.  It is normal leaning towards dry in the winter and normal leaning towards oily in the summer.  Right now the moisture level of this foundation is perfect for my skin. I’ll test it once the seasons change, but I think this might end up being a seasonal foundation for me. As it is, the Laura Geller Quench ‘n Tint gets two thumbs up for winter use.  It was long lasting, moisturizing and light to medium coverage, in short it was all of the things it claimed to be.


If you are looking for brushes, Bdellium tools is having a big sale going on right now. They have three sections: 30% off, 50% off and 70% off. In the 70% off section they have the vegan line of green Bamboo brushes. You can actually get some of their shadow brushes for $2.70. In the 50% off category you can actually get a 10 piece set with carrying pouch for $32.50. And the 30% off features a selection from their golden triangle line as well as their Studio and Maestro Lines as well as a 12 piece studio eyes set with carrying pouch for $40.60. They have also released a new line of Double Dome blenders which I will admit I have no idea how to use but find utterly fascinating and may have to order just to try out. Every brush I’ve ever ordered from them has been top quality and I really like the thought they put into the shape of their handles.

The Makeup Bag: February 5th, 2021

The Makeup Bag Used January 30th – February 5th, 2021

Welcome once again to the weekly makeup bag post, where I talk about the products I used this week and what I thought about them.  Are you ready? Excellent!

First up, we have the primer.  This week’s primer is the Clarins Instant Smooth perfecting touch and oh my darlings I am in love. (the link is just a link to their website. I have no affiliate code or anything it is just a fantastic primer).

It is pink in color and reminds me of the Pore Professional Pearl (which I personally prefer to the other varieties).  I needed just a tiny bit and I smoothed it over my face and POOF no more pores.

I don’t know how well it translates into the photos, but I’ve posted them below.  In person it felt like some sort of magic trick. It was fantastic. 

Bare skin on the left and just primer on the right (apologies for the head tilt)

The Primer retails for $39 and I have already book marked the product page.  I know, I love primers and I do have quite a few. I try very hard to rotate through them so that no product goes bad, and I really don’t like stockpiling products, but this is one that I am having a really hard time not ordering a second one just so that when this one runs out there is already another one waiting.  There are only a few products that I want to make certain that I have a backup of and this primer has now made the list. It doesn’t hurt that the primer is in a beautiful red glass jar. I am a sucker for jewel toned glass.  Putting an excellent product inside, just makes it more desirable.

This week I took the Too Faced Dew You Full Coverage foundation out of my foundation drawer to use.  I know it has been a while since I reached for it, but it is among my lightest foundations.  Although if you compare the color by the name Porcelain to the actual product you find the product is just a little darker than the color strip (in case you were thinking of ordering it.)

The difference isn’t major, but there is one so you might want to think about that when choosing a shade. Even though it is a full coverage foundation, I tend to apply low enough amounts that I can talk it into being more of a medium coverage product.  I like the way this foundation sits against the skin and I really like the design of the pump dispenser. 

Just primer on the left and foundation over primer on the right.

The scent of the foundation is fruity.  I think it is supposed to be tutti frutti, and it does smell fruity. I kind of like the scent and I like the way the foundation wears.  It is an easy one to wear and as the shade is my winter range, I can now wear it. So it all worked out. I will probably use up this foundation though and not repurchase it right away, mainly because I don’t wear a lot of full coverage foundations and I have a couple that I tried that I do like a little bit better. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means it isn’t a category where I need to keep anything but my absolute favorite stocked.

Too Faced also supplied my bronzer and pressed powder this week actually.  I used the Cocoa Contour Palette this week.  I chose it because I could adjust my bronze to suit my skin tone.  I really like contour palettes when I am uncertain which shade would work best for me.  I also tend to forget I have this one, especially in the summer when I just use the small bronzer compact from Too Faced. I really do like their bronzers and this is a category of their products I would consistently repurchase as I do like their formula. It will however take me quite a while to work through the products in this palette.

This week I blended the light and medium contours to use. The product worked well and I love the chocolate scent to it.  I also love the packaging and to be honest the compact and the mirror is something I will use long after the product is gone.  The sturdy package is perfect for travel and that mirror is really nice. Too Faced has a lot of really nice packaging and the products I have are good.

To round out the Too Faced trio I used the Peach Blur.  As expected it smells of peaches and to be honest I forgot I had it.  I used it quite a bit before I picked up the Becca Pink Haze setting powder actually as you can see from the wear pattern in the middle. That used to be a peach in case you couldn’t tell.  It gives a slight pink to the skin and helps banish the winter whites with a healthier glow. While it works well enough to use, I really do prefer the Pink Haze from Becca.  I will be using this powder up, but not repurchasing it in the future. Which is kind of a serendipitous call as it is no longer listed on the Too Faced site, at least I couldn’t find it.

I have to jump back now to my concealer (which I did add before bronzer and powder, I just grouped the Too Faced products together.  This week I used the Julep Cushion concealer and as always it was fantastic.  I know a lot of people tend to draw the under eye triangles with concealer, but this has never been how I apply it.  I tend to apply dots and then go in with a makeup sponge to blend. I don’t have massive dark circles but I do have lines under my skin. I also have frequent bouts of insomnia and trust me, no makeup can really truly cover that up. I do like that the Julep formula does not emphasize them though.

The Huda Beauty Basic B sponge is great for blending out the concealer as it had that flat side that makes getting into the edges easier.  I love the julep formula.  My only issue is that the cushion top tends to make the inside of the cap a bit messy.  It is a minor issue though and I will happily use every last drop of this concealer.

face products on

My blush this week was my favorite Marbled light in Halo by Ciate London.  As always it performed beautifully.  I love the way it can be built up and the way it wears.  What can I say, it is one of my favorite products and if I don’t have a blush to test out I tend to reach for wither this Ciate Blush or the Benefit Gold Rush.  Both have a similar glow they add to the skin without being shimmery and both ate at the top of my blush list.

For my highlighter this week I pulled the Illamasqua highlighter in OMG.  At least I think that’s the shade name.  I love that I can be as subtle or as glowy as I want with this highlighter.  If I want a blinding strip of light, I can do that.  If I want a soft glow then I can do that too.  While I normally prefer more gold and pink toned highlighters, this is one of the few silvery toned highlighters that I really enjoy. It is a small compact though and I tend to forget it is there.  I need to make an effort to remember more often. I have to say I have been picking up more and more Illamasqua products lately and thus far they have all worked really well for me. This is one of those brands I need to pay more attention to.

My eyeshadow palette this week was one of the new 5 pan Color Icon Palettes from Wet ‘n wild.  The link will take you to the full review, but the basics of it is that it is a good palette with little fall out and colors that blend.  My only issue was that I wanted the brown matte to be warmer in tone to mix better with the rest of the shadows.  A minor complaint and the only one I had with the palette.

single ruset shade blended out with one dip into the pan

My eyebrow pencil was again the RealHer Eye am Strong. I know this is the third week in a row.  I was planning to change it out but then I noticed that I had almost no product left in it.  So I decided to just finish it out this week, which I did.  Alas it is now ready to depart for the empties bin.  No product remains. I enjoyed using it and once I use up a few more brow pencils (which doesn’t really take that long) I will be replacing it. This is another brand I want to remember to keep in my sites as I have several really good products from them in my collection.

Joining the Real Her in the empties bin this week is the Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Mascara.  I know it should have gone sooner but I really liked the mascara, especially the small curve in the wand, so I kept it a little longer than I should have just to use up the last of the formula.  The tube is now close to empty but it has been open far too long. It is also not performing as well as it did when I first got it, even though it is still nice, which is extra incentive to move it along to the empties bin.

No mascara on left, mascara on right

Even though there is still product left inside and it isn’t dry or clumpy I will be saying goodbye as it has been open about ten months at this point.  I try to only keep a few mascaras open so that I can use them up by the six month mark.  I loved this mascara and I used most of it up, but for health and safety it will now be moved to the empty bin.  At some point though, it will be replaced.  I enjoyed the heck out of this mascara.

This takes us to the lips.  And this week I had a new lipstick to try.  It was the Wet ‘n wild Megalast matte bullet style lipstick in the shade Cinnamon spice.  I really liked the formula. 

It sat well on my lips and while it is a traditional lipstick and does wear off when eating or drinking it didn’t leave massive lip prints everywhere.  The formula was comfortable and I absolutely adore the color.  It is a nude with a rosy hue to it rather than a brown one and I really enjoy the shade. 

The formula was nice and even though I know the lip design has been used elsewhere, I still like it.  I suspect many more of these lipsticks will be coming into my possession. The formula is very wearable and as it is Wet ‘n Wild the cost isn’t prohibitive.

And so at last we come to the Setting spray.  Once again my darlings I found myself reaching for the Pore Professional Super setter.  I just adore the ultra-fine mist. It is so fine that one morning I put it on after applying my mascara and my mascara didn’t run. (I’m not my best before coffee.)

It also keeps my makeup in place well.  I am very pleased with this setting spray.  However, I will make a concerted effort to choose a different one for next week.  I make no promises about the primer though.  I am fairly certain I am going to have to talk myself out of using it every week.  But I’ll argue with myself about that next week.  For now I know I’m keeping the Clarins Smoothing primer in the bag another week.  Everything else I will change out.

Over all it was a pretty good slate of products this week. I have quite a few products that I liked using, teo that I used up and sent to the empties bin, a couple that I’ve marked to use up but not repurchase and one product I have fallen head over heels in love with. It was an interesting mix and one I am actually quite pleased with.


With Valentines day coming up, there are bunches and bunches of sales. I’ve listed a few I know of below in case you are interested in taking advantage of them.

Chantecaille has two offers that run from now until February 28th:

 $100 off Bio Lifting Discovery Collection with code TRYBIO. Discover the benefits of Bio Lifting skincare with this introductory set for $195 (a $344 value)

This unprecedented rich mask is powered by botanicals that virtually iron out the looks of lines and wrinkles. The anti-wrinkle hexapeptide softens the appearance of expression lines.

Free Gift: Smooth & Soothe Collection with any purchase of $225. Featuring best-selling Rice & Geranium Cleanser (8ml), Hibiscus Smoothing Mask (8ml) and Flower Harmonizing Cream (8ml). 

Featuring best-selling Rice & Geranium Cleanser (8ml), Hibiscus Smoothing Mask (8ml) and Flower Harmonizing Cream (8ml)

Embryolisse has an off of: $10.00 OFF on Makeup Compact Powder. Embryolisse – the Dermo-cosmetic expertise.

And finally Amore Pacific has complimentary shipping and samples on every order as well as this offer:

Lunar New Year: Enjoy a Limited Edition Scented Candle Duo + 5-piece Time Response Set ($319 value) with any $275+ purchase!

Happy Shoppong!

The Makeup Bag: January 29th, 2021

The Makeup bag used January 23rd – 29th, 2021

This week’s makeup bag was a very interesting one.  Upon first glance it looks like I went minimalist, which I sort of did.  Mostly it was a minimalism dictated by the Ofra Face Palette since most of my products came from it this week. But we’ll get to that in a bit.  We are going to start from the primer and work our way out today. 

The primer I used this week was one of my long time favorites.  It was the Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer.  I tend to use it in the spots where I really want my pores filled and my coverage flawless. 

On me it works like a dream, and because I tend to use it only on my nose and cheeks where I have the most noticeable pores, One pump is all it takes for me. I really like the argan oil in the product as it makes my skin feel soft and nourished.   I especially like using this primer under lighter foundation products as it means that the light coverage products don’t have to work as hard to look fabulous. 

Bare freshly washed face on the left, primer only on the skin on the right

This week’s foundation product was the wet ‘n wild barefocus Tinted hydrator. It is a tinted moisturizer that gives sheer to medium coverage.  I was very impressed by t’s performance and look forward to using this product repeatedly.  Most of my tinted hydrators are tinted for my skin when it is in the summer and autumn.  I deliberately picked this one up because I wanted to have a shade that was more for my skin color in the winter.  I wasn’t certain if this would be the correct shade but I really liked how it worked out on my skin this week.  The link will take you to the full review of the barefocus, but the end result is that I really liked it.

Just the primer on the left and the foundation over primer on the right

This of course moves us into the Ofra Good to Go Mini’s palette. This palette provided my bronzer, blush highlight and eyeshadow this week. While I have used Ofra’s Blush and highlight before, the bronzer and eyeshadows were new to me. It was kind of a mixed bag for me actually.  The link will take you to the full review but here are the basics. The blush and highlighter performed well.  As I’ve used those before I quite frankly expected them to be good products.  The bronzer too performed really well.  It was when we got to the shadows that things became a little iffy.  With the mattes the formulas were nice but the colors weren’t my favorites.  The shimmers I fell in love with.  I absolutely adore the old gold shade called Ambition. 

I really like the fact that the pans can all be taken out and replaced.  Quite frankly I would replace all of the mattes.  The formula was good, the colors weren’t.  I did like having so many of my products in one place though.  I think that if I were traveling, this would be a good face kit to travel with because of the face products. I would just need to replace the mattes prior to traveling or add a second shadow palette into the travel kit.

eyedetail

The Ofra Palette came in this month’s Boxy Charm premium as did the two Fenty Products that I used this week.  The Setting powder I used was Fenty Beauty Pro Filter.  I used the shade Cashew.  The tone of the powder is really good on my, however it is a little darker than I need right now.  I looked very tan this week.  I think that I will put this powder back in my makeup drawer and take it out in the spring.  I think it’s darker shade would help deepen some of my winter foundations as my skin starts to tan for spring and I think that in the summer time it will be the absolutely perfect setting powder shade for me.  Right now it is a hair too dark.  The undertones however suit my skin perfectly so I am pleased to have this around.

wand

The mascara I used this week was also a Fenty Product (the Full Frontal lifting and curling mascara to be precise) and also from January’s Boxycharm Premium.  I have to admit I pulled the wand out of the tube and I was not all that impressed.  Then I used the mascara and I was very impressed with the product’s performance.  Fenty is one of those brands that is very hit or miss for me.  Both the powder and the mascara were definite hits for me. I know the pictures below make me feel a little crosseyed to look at but the with mascara and without mascara pics are quite dramatic. I really look forward to getting a lot out of this mascara.  It lengthened beautifully and didn’t flake out at all through the day.  It was definitely a winner.

This week I kept my RealHer eyebrow pencil in the bag and again enjoyed using it.  I figured I had so many new products to try that I ought to keep a couple of my excellently performing ones in the bag to balance it out.  Hence why the RealHer Eyebrow pencil remained and I added the Urban decay Optical Illusion.  Some days, you need to keep a few trusted friends close.

This week I also went with a tried and true for my lip product.  I chose it not only because I love the formula and the color, but because it was an Ofra Liquid lip.  I figured if I was going Ofra-tastic with the face palette, I might as well add in the lips as well. So I did.  As always this liquid lip performed beautifully.  I always enjoy using it.  This shade is Pasadena and is one that I will be repurchasing (along with several of it’s friends) once I am finished with it.

And that is it.  I know short and sweet this week.  Also it was a pretty good week.  Most of my products were new to me items. And I believe the wet ‘n Wild product is actually just new to the market as well as new to me.  With the exception of the eyeshadow shades there was very little disappointment this week and a whole lot of cheering. Let’s hope next week is just as fabulous.

Trying the new Wet ‘n Wild Barefocus Tinted Hydrator

barefocus from wet ‘n wild

Late last week I needed to be out of the house.  I needed to escape and just be somewhere that wasn’t home.  I know, I’m sure all of you have felt similar urges.  Mine hit and so I decided that as I hadn’t run my car in a few weeks it might be a good idea to give it a bit of exercise. So I grabbed my keys and my mask and went to Target. 

It has become the place with wide aisles where I can go that isn’t home.

At the time of day I went there were few people and I took great delight in moseying through aisles.  I talked myself out of a few on sale seasonal items that I didn’t need and found myself strolling through the makeup.  I was unable to talk myself out of picking up a new No. 7 powder.  I put it in the drawer of my dressing table and am still going to try using up some other products before opening it, but I know it is there so there is the temptation to just use it. But I am goung to try to resist.

I also couldn’t resist picking up a few wet ‘n wild items. 

While the eyeshadow and lipstick will wait until next week, this week I tried the Wet ‘n wild barefocus Tinted hydrator.  From the outside, this product looks like it was tailor made for me. An interesting thing though, when I wnt on the wet ‘n wild website, I couldn’t find it. The wet ‘n wild link above will take you to the wet ‘n wild site. Perhaps it will be posted soon. This link will take you to Target and the actual product I am reviewing. I’m not certain why it isn’t listed on the site. Perhaps it is because they are focused on their Valentine’s collection release. (which quite frankly looks really good: The All for Love Bundle for $11.99 looks really nice actually and I may be swinging back by to look into more details. It includes one of their nail polishes and I have to say, I really like the current formula for Wet ‘n Wild nail polishes. But that is for another post.)

Let’s go over the info on the front of the package shall we?

Barefocus tinted hydrator tinted skin veil.

That’s a big check for me.  I have been really enjoying tinted moisturizers from QMS to NYX Cosmetics, the tinted moisturizer has become one of the largest sections of my foundation drawer in the past year.  I love the lightweight of the product and the lighter coverage, especially when I’m going out less.

Sheer to Medium coverage.

Again hitting me right in my sweet spot. I have a few full coverage products but medium is my happy place.

And then they really got me…

Hyaluronic Acid and Squalane

Those are currently two of my favorite skin care ingredients and here they are together in a sheer to medium tinted moisturizer.

And then I saw the price. Because it is wet ‘n wild, you know it is going to be relatively economical and sure enough it was being offered for $4.99. It is also clean, cruelty free and vegan. So of course, it came home with me.

I wore it as my foundation product all week and quite frankly I loved it. I wouldn’t go swapping out my regular moisturizer for it, but it didn’t dry out my skin and I am now entering the dry skin phase of my year, so I appreciated that. 

dotted on before being blended in

When dispensed on the hand it looks exactly as you would expect a creamy foundation to look.  I have to say I was cautious as I took a sniff.  A while back I picked up the PhotoFocus Foundation from wet ‘n wild and although it performs beautifully the fresh paint smell of it tends to give me a headache so I don’t reach for it as much as I probably should. 

I am very pleased to say that this tinted moisturizer does not have that scent.  It has the light smell of foundation when you sniff the top of the tube but once dispensed it has almost no scent at all, for which I am very grateful.

Because it is a tinted moisturizer I did make a careful choice with my primer this week.  Tinted moisturizers are great if you want a barely there look, however if you have large pores or blemishes, I suggest a sturdy pore filling primer to go under them. 

Bare skin on the left, just the barefocus tinted moisturizer on the left.

This week I went with Urban Decay’s Optical Illusion primer and it worked like a dream. It blurred out my blemishes and pores and the tinted moisturizer did the rest.  It was a winning combo.  Quite frankly other than remembering to use a primer (which I would have done anyway because I love primers) there were no issues with this tinted moisturizer. 

I don’t know how much benefit the hyaluronic acid and squalane were but I like thinking of them in the mix.  And as the barefocus tinted hydrator from wet ‘n wild performed beautifully (and I used my regular skincare underneath) I am willing to just accept whatever extra kick they provided and keep using the product.  The barefocus tinted hydrator was definitely a win for me. Since I couldn’t find it on the wet ‘n wild site, I will be sending an e-mail to them today to see if i can find out more information. I am hoping that they became distracted with Valentines day prep that they just haven’t managed to get this barefocus up on the site yet. I know that doesn’t sound all that plausible, but one can hope. I really like the formula of this and am really hoping that it isn’t discontinued or otherwise taken off the shelves. I’ll let you know if I find out anything. For now, I’m just going to poke around their Valentine’s day collection and see what I want to add to my collection.

Fall In Love with the NEW Valentines Day Collection from Wet n Wild

The Makeup Bag: January 22nd, 2021

The Make Up Bag Used January 16th -22nd, 2021

Welcome my darlings to the weekly makeup bag post, where I discuss all of the products that I used on my face through the week and what I thought of them. This week I didn’t have to go anywhere.  I was working at my desk all week and while there were a few phone calls, none of them involved video.

And what did I wear on my week of only for me makeup?

Well I started with the Illamasqua Primer.  (The link will take you to the full primer review post). The reason I pulled the primer from the dressing table is actually due to a cleanser issue.  I finished up my Elemis Cica Foaming cleanser (which I adore and already have a second bottle waiting in the wings) so I decided to try out a Murad Acne Clearing Cleanser. I was having such good luck with the Murad Hydrating Toner I’m using that I thought it would be nice. And it started off nice.  It cleared up my blemishes fast, and then it dried my skin out something awful. The fault is really my own actually. The Toner is hydrating and the cleanser is acne fighting. It fought my acne, and once my face cleared I should have set it to the side. If I had done that, everything would be fine. But I didn’t, so my skin became overly dry. The product is fabulous and works exactly as it is supposed to, this was entirely user error.

So I have been packing on the extra moisture from trusted brands ever since. 

One thing this Illamasqua primer does is it hydrates as well as gives you a nice smooth base to work your makeup magic on. And this week was all about hydration.  When my Look Fantastic Box arrived and I found it was the spoiler for the February box I was kind of amused by the timing. While I like this primer, I can only use it in the winter. It is far too hydrating for me in the warmer months. But it is excellent if my skin is feeling winter dry. (ir if I’ve gone overboard on and Acne fighting cleanser).

When I pull the Illamasqua primer out of my dressing table I almost always pair it with the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lave Water Foundation.  It is Vegan, it is matte, it is fabulous on my skin. And it works well with this particular primer. This is one of my favorite foundations it is not a hardship to use it. I know I have been using a lot of tinted moisturizers and skin veils lately because I really do like them, but this primer needs an actual foundation so I was happy to turn to Pretty Vulgar. It works as beautifully as always. Although to be honest I probably need one shade lighter for the winter.

One of my new products to try this week was the Item Beauty Cheek Money Bronze Contour Duo in the shades Mood and Vibez.  I’ve never tried anything from Item Beauty. The packaging on this duo is lovely.  It has an orange ombre effect and it feels good to hold. 

Post bronzing

The product however is pointless.  In the picture you can see my face after I applied the bronzer.  I had a hard time seeing it.  I tried building it up, but to no avail.  The product swatches well, and with effort it can be applied in a solid line on the cheeks.  The small line you might see on my cheek is part shadow because the lighting at the time of day I did my makeup on the day I scheduled to take photographs was awful (hence the reason there are more product photos than my face this week) and part where I had yet to attempt blending in. As soon as you do any blending it disappears.  It never builds up it just fades away.  I tried both sides of the dup and had the same result with both.  This is not going to be a product I turn to again. It also makes me hesitant to try any more Item Beauty products.

For blush I turned back to my tried and true Ciate London Marbled Light Blush in Halo.  It is one of my favorite blushes and after the disappointment of the bronzer I was happy to have it.  It is a soft buildable formula that lets me decide how blushed I really want my cheeks and I really enjoy using it.

The Sleek makeup highlighting palette was a new to me product this week.  It features four shades of highlight.  Three of them disappear completely into my skin tone and one of them gives me a pinkish tint that I would like better as an eyeshadow. 

To be honest I might try repurposing this highlighter palette as an eyeshadow palette.  The shades simply give almost no highlight to my skin, providing more pigment than highlight.  I like my highlights subtle but for me, this just disappeared or left unwanted color on the skin. I’ll have to try it as eyeshadow and report back on how it does.  I really like the compact, but like the Item Beauty, the packaging is its best feature.

I had two powders this week, The Smashbox Photo Finish and the sample of the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores pressed powder.  Both were in my makeup bag last week, although I didn’t reach for the smashbox because of the tint of the foundation I was using. This week I used them both. 

I would definitely pick up the Smashbox photo finish fresh powder again and keep it stocked.  The It Cosmetics pressed powder however I will be using the sample up and then bidding it a farewell.  It is nice enough to use, but not something I feel is so nice that I need to stock it.  I would much rather repurchase my No. 7 Perfect light

I know I mention the No. 7 a lot but for me that is the test. I don’t have a problem spending $30 on a powder as I know it is a product I will use. Seriously, if there is one product in my makeup bag I will use even if I don’t use any other that day, it is my pressed powder. And if it is a good one then I will spend the money to purchase it. But the No. 7 Perfect light Pressed Powder is $12.99 and is absolutely fantastic. A pressed powder has to work as well or better than my No.7 in order to make the repurchasing mark, whether it costs more or less. I may not mind spending $30 on a really good product, but I won’t buy a cheaper one that doesn’t work just because it is cheaper either.  Several powders do make that standard mark, this It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder is just not one of them for me.

For the eyes this week I used my favorite KVD single eyeshadow in the shade Lolita. (currently KVD Beauty is having a sale. The link will take you to the site.)  I love the formula of this shadow and will happily use it repeatedly in a one and done look.  However, this week I chose it because I knew how it performed.  I paired it with the Thrive Causemetics brilliant eye brightener shadow stick in the shade Aurora.  I really liked the way the shadow stick performed.  (The link will take you to the full review of it.) 

I will be using this shadow stick quite often in the future and possibly looking into others from this line as well.  I wish they had some mattes in the line, but alas they do not.  I’m finding I really like using shadow sticks.  The problem is that all the ones I have are shimmers.  I don’t know if they even make matte shadow sticks, but that is something I will definitely be looking into.

New to me this week was The Estate eyeliner in black. It is a liner that starts off very black but went a little grayish by the end of the day.  It did stay in place without smudging and it dried quickly, it just went a little gray.  However the point of the liner is quite fine so if just lining your lash line if you move quickly then it is nice and thin.  It is not my favorite eyeliner, but it works. Just don’t plan to wear it more than six hours if you are going to do anything more than simply lining the lower lashes. This is not a liner I would turn to for a wing.

My brow pencil this week came from RealHer.  I’ve used it before and loved it, this time was no exception. I have to say the more products I try from RealHer the more I like the brand. The shade Eye Am Strong works really well for me.  And I am happy to keep this brow pencil in rotation.

30% off “You Are Brilliant” Pro Blush Palette! Available for $26.60, original price at $38.00. No code needed!

Currently RealHer is having a sale. The link is above if you are interested. I absolutely adore their Cheek Trio Palette and am actually close to hitting pan on the bronzer in that palette.

My mascara this week was the Pretty Vulgar The Feather’s mascara.  I initially purchased this because it looks just so beautiful. However, I love the way it performs and I really like the curve of the wand.  The mascara is not an overly dramatic one, but it is one that I can use to sort of punch up an everyday look without going too far with it.  It still looks office appropriate and not too after hours.  It doesn’t flake and it dries pretty quickly.

When they had the two for one sale back in November I stocked up.  While this is my second tube of this mascara, I have two more unopened just waiting for their chance to be used.  It is gorgeous packaging that houses a really fantastic product. Right now they have a Mystery box sale going on that you might want to check out. I have tried two products from them at this point, the mascara and the foundation -both in this post actually – and I love them both.

No mascara on the left, mascara on the right

Finally, this week I went with the Sugar Crush Liquid Lipstick in the shade Sprinkle.  In a surprising note, it was my only lip product this week. I know my darlings, take a moment and recover from your shock. But yse, there was only one lip product this week.

It is a really nice shade and once on the lips it dries down almost completely.  The dried down part means I am not leaving lip prints everywhere, but the ‘almost’ dried down means that it doesn’t make my lips dry and sandpaper like. 

Final

It is a fantastic liquid lip as far as performance goes.  It smells like cake batter and this particular color is a nice neutral that goes with a lot of everything. This is one of those formulas that I could actually see myself collecting the entire lip line. It shouldn’t surprise me, it is a Tarte Cosmetics product and I always have really good luck working with their products. I was just very impressed by how this dries down so it doesn’t leave lip prints everywhere but doesn’t turn your lips into sandpaper. It is a very fine line and they walk it well.

I did forget entirely to add a setting spray this week, in case you are wondering about it’s absence.

So that was my makeup for the week my darlings.  I learned my lesson on timing though. The sun hits that window at a certain time of morning and while the light is actually really good for applying makeup, it is just horrid for taking photos of the process. I’m still learning on these posts so I hope you’ll bear with me on the photos. I promise to work harder at getting better. And as always if there is anything that you would specifically like to see, let me know.

There were some tried and true favorites this week. There were also some stand out newcomers and some absolute bombs.  Quite the exciting mix actually. Next week, I have one scheduled conference call so I won’t be making up just for me.  Because of that I may lean on more tested face products next week.  But I won’t really know until I sit down with my makeup bag and start choosing products. I can’t wait to see what makes it into next week’s bag.


Pretty Vulgar Make up

The Makeup Bag: January 15th, 2021

The Makeup Bag used January 9th – 15th, 2021

Welcome my darlings once again to the weekly makeup bag. It was an interesting mix of products this week.  Some are tried and true favorites while others were first time uses. The tarte Maracuja tinted Hydrator was a new use product.  The link will take you to the full review. It was only a sample  because I wanted to see how I felt about the product before committing to the full size.  I absolutely loved the way it performed this week and have added the tinted tarte to my future purchases list.

Look ma, nothing on my face

As it was a moisturizer the tarte tinted moisturizer was, well, moisturizing.  Unfortunately so was my primer. This week I had a new Studio Makeup Silk Hydration Face Primer in my bag to try.  It is very hydrating.  So much so that I really couldn’t wear it with my chosen foundation product this week without being far too overly hydrated.  I had to call in my e.l.f. poreless putty primer instead. It is a tried and true and it was easy to press it into service again this week when I was overly hydrated.

Just the primer

I think that the Studio Makeup  primer may be good under a foundation that is especially drying, but it was a bit too much hydration with an already hydrating skin tint.  I may set it aside to try at a time when I do have a more drying foundation rather than pass judgment on it now.

foundation application

The Julep Cushion complexion was added to my makeup bag as my concealer of the week and it did a great job as always.  It covered and didn’t crease throughout the day. It is kind of fun that it is a cushion applicator though.  I really don’t like the cushion applicators. 

Concealer and yes I realize I am getting the superman curl on the center of my forehead, although not being a superhero, it doesn’t quite curl automatically.

There is no real reason I can point to but I just don’t care for them.  However the formula of my two favorite concealers both have the sponge top applicators rather than wands.  My two favorites are the Julep that I used this week and the Revolution Fast base concealer in case you were wondering.  Both have those soft cushion tops. So clearly I don’t mind the applicator enough not to use the product. The Julep concealer is a really good formula so I use it. Pretty simple really.

My bronzer this week was an Anastasia Beverly Hills Bronzer that I picked up and then forgot I owned.  I don’t actually recall using it before now even though I must have purchased it sometime before. I Think because it is a small dark compact and it was placed towards the back of the drawer it got lost in the shadows.  So I am going to call it a new to me product. It is a highly pigmented bronzer and quite frankly may be a little dark for me at this time of year.

Bronzed and blushed

You may notice I appear a bit overly bronzed in these pictures.  The day I took them I went a little too heavy handed with the bronzer.  I actually liked the way the bronzer performed, however I think it may be more of a summertime use product for me.  Even though it looks to be the same shade as many of my other bronzers, because it is so highly pigmented, it comes across darker on the skin.

As this is my only ABH Bronzer, I’m not sure if that is standard or not but I think I might pick up a shade lighter than what I want and see how that works out.   As this one looks like the shade I want in the pan but is too dark, perhaps a shade too light will be just right.  At least that is my current theory. I’ll have to see how it plays out in practice.

The Blush Divot increases

My blush this week was one of my recurring favorites. I used the Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush.  On top of the highly pigmented bronzer it almost disappeared.  However in general I really like this blush.  It isn’t as sparkly now that the overspray is gone and it is just a nice blush with gold undertones that really suits my skin tones.  I really like that it is buildable rather than highly pigmented.  Buildable blushes keep me from inadvertently creating clown face.  I can not be trusted with highly pigmented blushes.  This buildable formula is one I reach for a lot, which is why it has a deepening divot in the center of the pan.

For highlighter this week I went with Ofra’s Blissful. I am a big fan of this one.  It has the rose gold undertones that make the highlighter look pink on the fingertip, but blends in to a soft warmth on my skin.  I prefer the warm glow to the bright spotlight.  It is an Ofra Highlighter so it is quite pigmented but because of the tones it is easily blended into something more subtle.  And in case you are wondering, yes I do apply my highlighter with my fingertips.  I haven’t found a brush that applies the highlighter quite the way I like it.  I should probably experiment more with brushes and highlighter but to be honest I generally don’t think of it until after I’ve used my finger to apply it.

Swatches: Blissful Highlight top, Caramel Lip Middle and Infuse Lip bottom, both lips by BITE BEAUTY

I did pull two powders this week, one loose and one pressed.  The loose powder was the Smashbox photo finish fresh setting powder and to be honest, I didn’t actually use it this week.  It has a tint to the powder that is normally very nice, however with the extra dark bronzer this week, I ended up feeling like it was too much, so I just used the pressed powder on my face this week. 

The pressed powder I used this week was a samples size of the Bye Bye Pores Pressed by It Cosmetics.  It came in an Ipsy bag and this was my first time using it.  I like that the pan size of the sample made it easy to get my brush into it.  It is a nice powder.  It worked well and it did help lighten up my aggressive bronzing a little bit.  I can’t say that it gave me an airbrushed finish. 

It Bye Bye Pores Powder

It worked like any other powder.  To be honest it was okay but not likely to make my favorites list.  The No 7 pressed powder is what I compare powders to and if I had to choose between them it would be an easy choice to go with the No. 7 Perfect light instead of the It Cosmetics. This is going to be one of those samples that I will use and then not replace once it is gone.

My eyeshadow palette this week was from Complex Culture.  The link will take you to the full review.  While it looks like a color scheme I would wholeheartedly embrace, I did not care for how it performed. It is beautiful, but it just didn’t work for me. In the photo below you can see some of the fall out. The glittery descent got worse as the day went on. I was not a fan.

The shadow fall out was a big issue, especially with the shimmers

My brow pencil this week was from Il Makiage.  And yes I did use a brow pencil this week.  This pencil is a little stiff and the color comes off a little cool toned for me.  I’ll still use it, but it is not my favorite formula of brow pencil. It is actually one of the few Il Makiage products I don’t like. And when it runs out, I will not be replacing it.

So let’s talk eyeliner. I know recently I haven’t been wearing a lot of eyeliner.  This week I had a fun one to play with though.  It was the Stamp and Drag from Ciate London. (at the moment it is on sale actually. Ciate London is having a pretty big sale with loads of products 40% off it is well worth checking out.)

I have never been a really big winged eyeliner sort of person.  I tend to do a little flick rather than an actual wing, when I bother at all. Part of that is my eye shape.  I have slightly hooded lids and sometimes when I get crazy with the liner it is all you can see and it can make my eyes look too heavy.

Stamp end of the Stamp and Drag

This Ciate liner was fun to play with.  I won’t lie, at first I made a mess with it.  Let me explain.  The stamp and drag eyeliner is a dual ended liner.  One end is a pen style liner and the other is a stamp used to create a wing. Pretty straight forward.  When you stamp the liner you need to make sure you put it in the right place, because it is staying where you put it. I’d suggest practicing. There were a couple of days where at least one of my eyes had a strange double winged look to it because I stamped wrongly and tried to correct.  I suggest using the stamp first and then going in with the liner so you can use the liner to fudge the lines a little but if you have to. The liner itself is with picking up even if you don’t play with the stamp. Although the stamp is fun.

The key to this liner my darlings is practice  The liner itself is easy to use, the stamp placement though. It takes practice. By the end of the week, I had it more or less down and I didn’t look as lopsided as I did earlier in the week. The formula of the liner is really good on both sides of the liner.  It is very pigmented black and it stayed in place all day with no smudging or fading. Give it a second to dry and it isn’t going anywhere the rest of the day.  I was very impressed with the liner and thought the stamp was fun once I got the hang of it.

Because I used a black eyeliner this week I used my Milk Makeup gel liner.  I have no idea what shade it is officially but it is a cream color, softer than a straight white liner and I used it in my water line.  I find it helps keep my eyes from looking heavy when I have darker makeup on the lids when I line the water line in a lighter color like this.  I put it to good use this week and as always I remembered how much I really like the gel formula of the Milk Makeup liners.  They are long lasting , glide on easily and stay in place.  It is a really good formula that doesn’t tug at the skin of the eye like a lot of pencil liners can do. I need to look into getting more shades of this actually. I just have so many black eyeliners that it doesn’t always occur to me to go eyeliner shopping (even if I am not buying black eyeliner)

For mascara this week I used the last of my Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir mascara.  It is a sample size and alas it has given me it’s all. The Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir is one of my top five mascaras, possibly even number one actually.  I love the formula which doesn’t flake or peel and I love the fat fluffy wand.  This is not the first tube of this mascara I have taken down and it won’t be the last.  However it is now empty and must make the journey to the empties bin.  This is not goodbye, merely a parting until we meet again.  Because oh yes my darlings, this Marc Jacobs mascara will definitely be repurchased.

No mascara on the left, Mascara applied in the picture on the right

For my lips this week I used a Bodyography lip liner.  It isn’t my favorite formula as it is somewhat stiff and tends to dry the lips.  However the shade Rosewood was perfect with my two Bite Beauty liquefied lips. To help with the Bodyography I hold it in my hand for a minute of so to let my body heat warm the product up. Once warm it glides on a lot more smoothly. It is a pencil though so it is always going to be a little stiff. If you take a breather to warm it up though it works so much better.

I used two Bite Beauty Liquid lipsticks this week. One was the lighter shade Caramel and the other was the darker shade Infuse.  Both are from the Amuse Bouche line. The rosewood pencil shade works well outlining the lips for Infuse and under the Caramel shade I used it all over the lips to darken the lippie a bit more.  It is just a bit too light a shade for me.  It is an excellent formula though. 

I originally planned to break the lipsticks out in their own post as I did with huda Beauty, but when I went to look up details on the Bite Beauty website, I couldn’t find them.  I really hope the Amuse Bouche line has not been discontinued, but I fear it might. At the moment the only place I could find the liquified lips was at Sephora (I’m not in any way affiliated with Sephora but the link will take you to their sales page) and they are listed at 75% off. Which does mean that you can pick up the remaining colores relatively inexpensively if you are interested. I love both the liquefied version and the more traditional lipstick formula from the line.  I sent an e-mail to Bite Beauty’s customer service to find out more information, but have yet to hear back.  I’ll let you know when I hear back,  At the moment I am hoping they have not been discontinued as I really enjoy the formula.

What I ended up with (prior to fixing my hair)

And finally we land on the setting spray.  I had plans to switch out my setting spray this week but found myself reaching for the Pore Professional Super Setter once again despite my intentions.  It is currently my strongest setting spray and with the eyeshadow palette’s tendency to migrate I wanted as much staying power as I could get.  Plus I just absolutely love the mister on this.  It is a pump but it comes out like a light aerosol. It is just a fantastic product I really enjoy using. 

And so that my darlings was this week’s makeup bag.  We had some highs and some lows. I tested new to me products and trotted out old favorites. And I have to admit, I had a boatload of fun playing with the Ciate Stamp and Drag. It is a great product, but it was also just fun to play around with. But now the makeup bag must be emptied and items either returned to the dressing table or to the empties bin.  And a new bag must be assembled for the upcoming week. Next week I have absolutely no meetings scheduled so it will just be me at my computer for the day.  I’m not sure if I should go low makeup casual or pull out my brightest glittery eyeshadows to play with. Maybe I’ll pull a mix so I can decide each day whether I want to be low key or super glam.  Either way it should be interesting.


As many of you may be aware, Monday is Martin Luther King Day and while it should be celebrated all on it’s own, MLK Day also brings sales. I already mentioned the Ciate London sale (which is technically a winter sale rather than an MLK one) where you can get 40% off a ton of products. But

Look Fantastic is also having a 25% off Sitewide + Up to Extra 10% with the Code EXTRA from now until January 19th, Plus there is up to 70% off clearance items.

Grande Cosmetics is also having a MLK Day 20% Off Sitewide With Code: TAKE20 that you might want to check out as well. I’ll post more throughout the day, but those are three sales that you might want to take a look into if you are stocking up or just looking for something new.

Testing a tiny Tarte Foundation

Okay, so it is officially a tinted hydrator from tarte and not an actual foundation. This week the Tarte Maracuja Tinted Hydrator served as my foundation product. Please ignore the nails. If I wear nail polish too long they get this pinkish look to them. So when they get the look, I take off the polish and let them breath until the pink is gone I also paper them with cuticle oils and other nice things but right now my nails are in the ‘just breathe’ stage of post polish removal.

In case you are wondering about the tiny size, let me explain. This is one of IPSY’s $3 samples that you can add on to your Glam Bag each month. I actually chose this one and the tart Shape Tape Concealer that I tried a few Make Up Bags ago from the IPSY ad ons. I know it is a small sample, but it has lasted the entire week.

tarte on hand

The reason I picked up these samples is quite simple. For a long time tarte was one of my go-to makeup brands. I occasionally branched out for Urban Decay and Mac but most of my makeup was tarte. I still use my small tarte travel palette any time I travel as I absolutely love the formula, but at this point I have only one small blush and the base tape primer in my collection left from my tarte products. Everything else I used up.

And then I started trying new products from other brands.

When I saw the Shape Tape Concealer sample and realized how long it had been since I tried tarte face products I snapped it up along with the Maracuja Tinted Hydrator. I found the concealer creased on me more than I remembered, which is probably because I have more creases. It was excellent everywhere but on my eyes and I used it up. While I had used tarte foundation before I had never used this specific product. so I came to it fresh and hoped it performed as well as their face products usually do for me.

According to tarte the Maracuja Tinted Hydrator…

  • delivers 12-hr hydration & wear
  • naturally radiant finish that looks & feels like skin
  • skin-loving formula delivers light-buildable coverage
  • helps minimize appearance of imperfections 

All of those things are things I look for in a tinted moisturizer. And I have to say, it delivered on all fronts. The product went on smoothly and blended in easily. my skin drank it in and as this is the driest time of the year for my skin, I appreciated the extra moisture. It did look and feel like a better version of my skin and it lasted all day with no problems.

dotted on face (i had the moisturizing primer on this day)

I found one layer of coverage was fine for me. I had no real desire to build it up as one application covered all of my skin issues beautifully. Plus as it was such a small sample I wanted as many days as possible to test it out.

I found out that it works okay on the skin without a primer beneath it. It doesn’t give me as much pore blurring as I would like. Since I love primers this wasn’t an issue. The issue came with which primers I chose. In my makeup bag this week I had a hydrating primer. While the hydrating primer might work well with a more drying foundation, it wasn’t the best with the tarte tinted moisturizer. It went on well in the morning but I was always super shiny by mid day when I used it.

just blended in with no concealer (moisturizing primer underneath)

When I switched to the e.l.f. poreless putty primer to see if it was the foundation or the primer that was causing the shine, it was definitely the primer and not the foundation. Because this is a tinted moisturizer and provides moisture to the skin, I needed to stay away from hydrating primers when i used it. A pore minimizing primer worked beautifully and really made the tarte tinted hydrator work so much better.

While nice on it’s own, the right primer just took this product up a notch. I very much enjoyed using this product this week and because I played around with the sample I now feel confident in ordering a full sized version of this. This shade actually worked well for me, so I will have to check to see what the shade actually is. I couldn’t find it on the tube but it should be recorded in my IPSY orders. Spending the $3 on the sample means I know my $29 won’t be wasted when I pick up the full size. It’s one of the reason I love samples. However, sadly this sample has given it’s very last drop of product in it time serving in this week’s makeup bag. And so I will have to send it on it’s way to the empties bin. But I definitely see a full size of the Tarte Maracuja Tinted Hydrator in my future.


The Makeup Bag: January 8th, 2021

The Make Up bag Used January 2nd -January 8th, 2021

Happy Friday my darlings and welcome to the first makeup bag of 2021. I’m trying a little something different with today’s post so let me know how you like the changes.  Instead of just showing a picture of the product, I will add links for each of the products so you can see the product and then in a get ready with me style, show the application of them. If that makes sense. Let me know what you think.

Primer, just a little is needed

So starting off, I applied my primer.  Today’s primer was the Master Prime from Maybelline.  It is a blurring and pore minimizing primer and it does the job well.  It is clear, so there is little to see, but it does blur out the pores. It is however very silicone-y so it does make your face super slick as well.  And remember my darlings, a little goes a long way with this primer.  Add too much and the rest of your makeup will pretty much slide off of your face.  A little dot, spread over the areas you mostly want blurred out of minimized is all you need. I generally cover my nose and cheeks in a broad strip and call it done with this primer.

Just foundation

Once the priming was done I moved on to my foundation.  This week I used the last of my Yensa BC Foundation.  It is a combination of BB and CC cream in a foundation.  It does well eliminating redness and covering up minor blemishes so I didn’t feel the need to have a tinted primer this week. 

This foundation is a little dark for my skin at this time of year, but there wasn’t much left in the sample tube and I wanted to use it up so that it didn’t go bad waiting for the return of the sun.  Now the tube is actually empty and I know that Tan Neutral is more suited to my summer skin and will purchase accordingly.  And I will be picking up a full size of this once my foundation drawer has been cleared out a little more. For now the empty tube journeys to the empties bin.

Because my foundation was a little dark this week, I reached for my Marc Jacobs Hi-Fi Filter.  While I don’t do a lot of contouring these days, I really like the darker shade in this for my bronzer and I find that the lighter contour shade, if applied with a fluffy brush right over the foundation lightens the foundation, but doesn’t make it look as powdery as actual powder. And it sits well under the darker shade I used as my bronzer this week.  As always I loved using the Marc Jacobs compact.  It will be with me until it is nothing but pan, and then I will repurchase in whatever version is then available.  It is one of those products that is definitely worth the price.

Just a dot of blush will do

For blush this week I used the Multi Use Crème Color in Exhibit A from the brand Habit.  This came in a Petit Vour Box last month and this week was the first time I used it.  It is supposed to be usable for lips, eyes and cheeks but quite frankly, I didn’t like it on my lips or eyes. 

two dots proved too much and I had very pink cheeks, one dot would have been more than enough, restraint my darlings, we must all learn it.

The color was off on the lips and it felt sticky on the lips.  It also felt heavy on the eyelids. It wa however very nice on the cheeks.  I dipped a finger into the pot of color, added a dot or two to my cheek and then blended it in with either fingers or a brush, both work.  I actually need to look at  getting more brushes that work for cream based products as at the moment, my fingers are the best blending tools for most of them.

But that is another story.

One thing to remember about this product is that it is highly pigmented.  Even if you think you might want more, start with one dot, blend and then if you want more, dip back into the pot.  It is highly pigmented and while it blends well, it stays fairly pigmented even after blending. You can always layer more on and make it as deep as you want, but tread lightly in the beginning my darlings or you may find yourself starting your day’s makeup look over again.  I was very pleased with how well this stayed on the cheeks throughout the day.  It did not blend into nothing and it did not fade away.  I think I will see a lot of use out of this product.

I can’t really say the same for my highlighter.  This week I used the Jecca Blac Glow drops in Champagne for my highlighter.  I had high hopes as I used the rose gold glow drops and really loved the subtle glow it gave the skin.  Like the champagne this product was listed as highlighting primer for face. The Rose gold worked well as a highlight but not as a primer.  This one I may have to try as a primer.  While I don’t really like the glow-y skin look, this might actually work under a full coverage matte foundation to provide a little more depth.  I will play around with it a bit more, but I can honestly tell you it was not a highlighter.  It blended out and was gone. I’ll save it ti try as a primer and see if I like it any better that way.

I used two powders this week, One was the Pacifica Cherry Blossom Translucent setting powder.  It has a little bit of white to it when used, and can lighten up a look.  It doesn’t make the skin look powdery and I personally like the scent.  I generally like it for a week, then have to set it to the side and use something else before coming back to it though, because of the scent.  It can get to be a bit too much if used too often.  Spaced out, the scent is delightful. And the powder works wonderfully.

a simple eyelook I used for most of the week

Even though it is jumping ahead a bit in product usage as I used the pressed powder to touch up any shine throughout the day, I’ll go ahead and cover it here.  This week I used the Zeesea X British Museum pressed powder.  The compact is gorgeous and I will end up using it as a compact in my purse when the product is used up. The product however is nothing to really write home about.  It is a competent and basic pressed powder. It is not a good pressed powder. It is not awful, but it isn’t great. I bought it for it’s look and I adore the packaging.  It is sturdy enough that it could be reused for a long time after the product is gone and it is a standard enough size that I could probably find something to easily fit into the empty space once I have reached pan.  But I can’t say it is a wonderful product.  It is a wonderful packaging and not terrible expensive. But I will be honest, I bought it for the packaging.

The Trend Edit palette by Ciate London

My Ciate London Palette The Trend Edit was in use this week and I have to say I loved it. You can check out the full review here, but in short there was a lot of pigment, little fall out and it lasted all day.  I would actually repurchase this simply for the shade Burnt.  It is a fantastic everyday shade for me and was great in a one and done look.  I foresee mentioning this palette many times in the future.

My mascara came from Kristofer Buckle this week. It is the Grand Opening Mascara to be specific.  It is a lengthening mascara and while when I first tried it, I wasn’t too enthused, this mascara has grown on me as I’ve used it.  I think I was so used to volumizing mascaras that I wasn’t ready for just a lengthening one.  I have come to appreciate the lengthening ones though and this one did a really good job lengthening my lashes.  It is one that I will repeatedly reach for.  This one is nearing the end of its life, but I already have a second one waiting in the wings to be opened.  Like the Ciate, you will be hearing about this again.

No mascara on the left, mascara on the right

To be honest I didn’t really use eyeliner or a brow product this week.  I just used a spoolie on my brows and called it good. 

For my lips I used two products. One was the Dose of Colors in Stone that I am trying to use up.  It is the perfect pink toned neutral to go with the Ciate Palette.  Its shadows have a slightly reddish undertone that made them work well together.  The other lip product was the Huda Beauty Demi Matte in Bawse.  A bold shade.  While you can read the full review here, the sort of it is that I absolutely oved this liquid lip. It went on well, didn’t dry out my lips and stayed in place (with some fading) throughout the day with no touchups.  All in all a fabulous lip product. I foresee many from this line making their way into my dressing table in the future.  Admittedly I may try out the mattes before committing to the demi-mattes.

To top it all off, although applied before the mascara and lipstick, I used the new Pore Professional Super Setter from Benefit Cosmetics.  This product came to be via Influenster and I am really enjoying it.For the spray alone I would love this product.  The scent is light and fresh and it keeps the makeup in place all day.  When sprayed, even though it is a manual pump, the spray comes out like a mist from an aerosol can. It is super light and there were absolutely no drips to pat off with my trusty Huda Beauty makeup sponge.  I know I do prefer a setting spray with skin care benefits, but when looking for a product to keep everything in place for the entire day, this is a fantastic option.  I think in my normal everyday makeup I will still lean towards the skincare type of setting sprays, but when I want insurance for my makeup for a long day, this is what I am going to be reaching for.  It is one of the best setting sprays I’ve tried in a while.

And with that my darlings, this week’s makeup bag is complete.  Let me know what you think about the slight change I did with the post. Hopefully you liked it. I certainly had fun with it. I have a bunch of new products to try next week so it should be an interesting week as far as products go.  Hopefully there will be some good surprises. I’ll see you then.