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.

The Makeup Bag: December 31st, 2020

The makeup bag used December 26th – 31st, 2020

Ah, the makeup bag for the week after Christmas.  Always a low key affair until you get to the actual New Year’s eve.  This year it was an interesting bag.  I used last week’s products for my holiday calls and then swapped out the makeup bag.  In addition I will be using a completely separate New Year’s eve Makeup bag to get ready for my sparkly stay at home night.

But that is another story.

Which means that this week’s makeup bag was both easy and low key. I started off with the Yensa BC Foundation.  It is from their Super 8 collection and I have to say I have had really good luck with that entire collection. 

The BC Foundation is a cross between a BB Cream and A CC cream and I have to say, It goes on easily and just melts into the skin for a low key look that is my skin but better.  I’m using a sample and I think I might be able to get one more week out of the sample tube.  It might be pushing it so I think what I am going to do is keep it in next week’s makeup bag to use it up and have another product on standby for when this does run out.  I suspect it will run out sometime mid-week next week.  However it is on the products to pick up again list, so it will be returning once I’ve whittled down some of my foundation products.

The number of products in the drawer tends to make me nervous about products expiring before I can use them.  So I am working through open products.  Actually the last time I opened the drawer (to get this week’s product out) the drawer was thinning out a bit.  I think because I used up and got rid of all of many of the sample sizes it doesn’t seem as frighteningly packed.

The primer I used with my foundation this week was an old favorite.  It is the Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer. I remember trying this primer when it first came out and falling in love with it.  My love affair has lasted and even though it isn’t my one and only it still ranks high on my list of primers. I hadn’t tried it in a while so last time I was in Ulta I picked up a travel sized tube to see if I still liked it.  And yeah, I do. I’ll keep the travel size in my dressing table rotation until it is through and then pick up a full size.

My bronzer this week was the NARS Laguna Bronzer.  It is a sample size that is finally starting to get a dent in the center of the pan.  I refuse to let myself buy a full size until I use up the sample.  I have had this sample a while though as it is small enough that it tends to slip to the bottom of the drawer.  I have decided though that it will be getting up, so it will be rotated in with increasing frequency until it does get used up.

Another product that I tend to forget about is the sample sized Tarte Blush in the shade Quirky.  I just somehow never remember to pick it up. I really like the blush formula and the shade lends a really nice soft flush to the cheeks which isn’t over the top. It really works well with the natural skin look of the Yensa Foundation.

Elf and MAC

And then we have powders.  Oh my darlings do we have powders.  First there is the loose e.l.f HD translucent powder.  It is a really good setting powder.  It can leave a little bit of white in the crevices of the nose, but a quick dab with my lovely Huda Beauty sponge takes care of that.  I really like the flat pointed section for getting into tight spots on the face. I am always amazed at how useful that one flat side actually is. I think regardless of brand that is the shape I will look for.  And soon I will have to look for another makeup sponge as mine is sadly looking like it needs to be replaced.  

However I really do like the e.l.f. HD setting powder.

As for pressed powder, my dearest No 7 made it through most of the week.  Sadly it will not make it to the new year.  It gave its all and I salute it.  I will also repurchase it. Repeatedly. I am going to try to not pick it up right away so that I can use some other powders in my dressing table. 

But this is one of my favorite formulas for pressed powders and at some point it will return.  For now we have to bid it a fond farewell and let it at least have the distinction of being the first product placed in the January 2021 Empties bin.

Because I wasn’t entirely sure my No.7 would make it through the week I pulled out the sample size of the MAC Studio Fix powder. It is the tiniest little pan so it is kind of a pain to work with but the product itself is really nice.  I really forgot how much I liked MAC products.  I always remember their lipsticks but somehow tend to forget about their powders and eyeshadows.  I really enjoy both actually I just haven’t picked them up in a while. I may need to remedy that in 2021.

I did actually use a MAC Satin Lip in the shade Mocha this week.  I like the Satin Formula and found it comfortable to wear.  The color was a little light for me so I deepened it with Huda Beauty’s Lip Contour in Trophy Wife.  It was a nice blend of colors and I enjoyed the combo this week.  When I wasn’t wearing that combo I reached for my e.l.f. Sheer Slick in Black Cherry

T to B: MAC, MAC blended with Huda, Elf, Huda lip liner on it’s own

Because I seemed to have both a samples theme and a MAC theme going I added the MAC Strobe Cream sample I received in my Birchbox Advent Calendar.  I know several people put it all over the face as an all over glow, but I think everyone has realized that isn’t really my thing.  The strobe cream did make a really excellent and subtle liquid highlighter this week.  Since I was going for a more subtly look it really suited me well.  This is another product that I need to remember I have and to use it more often.

My brows were taken care of my wet ‘n wild Ultimate brow kit this week.  As usual I used my own brush instead of the provided one and stuck with the one lighter shade in the kit.  The darker one I still need to remember to use, but it is too dark from my brows so I will have to work out something  in maybe the shadow eyeliner department.  If you remember my initial use of the kit you may recall that while I really love the light brown brow powder, I despise the cream highlight in the kit.  So this week I ignored it and pretended it was not there.

For my mascara I went with the Beauty for Real Mascara again this week.  While I really like the mascara it wasn’t actually my intention to use it, I simply forgot to switch it out.  Using it a second week wasn’t a hardship though.  It is a really good formula.  However I will remember to exchange it for another in the following week.

Which finally brings us to the eyeshadow for the week.  This week I grabbed the doughnut shaped Maple Glazed palette from I heart Revolution.  I know it looks like a toy, but I really like this palette.  It is quick and easy to use and the shadows are easy to use and work well.  To be honest I mostly used the darker brown accented with the bronzy shade this week. It was quick and easy and I didn’t have to worry about it much.  I liked the way it looked and will happily reach for this palette again. 

I don’t know if the doughnut series is still available (I picked mine up at Ulta a while back) but every time I use it I find myself wanting to pick up the other doughnut palettes in the line.  It is just very well set up and easy to use.  Plus, this is one of my favorite travel palettes as the puffy doughnut on top pretty much insures the shadows won’t break. Surprisingly we have reached the end of the Makeup bag.  There were no real surprises this week.  I know some of you are thinking, ‘weren’t you trying a new setting spray?  And yes I was.  However, I wanted a bit more time with it before I formed an opinion. So I will use the Pore Professional Priming spray from Benefit for another week and then next week post a full review as well as put it in my Makeup Bag post.  I just didn’t think I had long enough to sort out how I felt about it to put it down. So there we have it my darlings, this week’s makeup bag.  But stand by, the New Year’s edition is about to arrive in 10…9…8…7…


The Make Up Bag: December 24th, 2020

The Make up Bag used December 19th- 25th

Welcome my darlings once again to the weekly makeup bag. Here, I list out all the products I used this week and let you know what I think of them.  I know, some of you may be asking, why do I fill a makeup bag every week instead of just choosing each product for the day? 

Well, some days I do add in items, for instance if I have an outfit I decided to wear that simply needs a different lipstick, I will dip back into my dressing table for an extra product. Occasionally something will run out or go horribly wrong and need to be replaced.  But for the most part what I choose initially for the bag is what I use throughout the week.

So why?

The main reason is one of choice.  I am not at my best first thing.  While I will never be a morning person, coffee does help me out.  However, faced with a dressing table filled with a variety of products, I sometimes stare dumbly at them, not knowing which to choose.  Even if I am just looking at five black eyeliners. And sometimes I get ready in a rush.  In both instances, I tend to grab the first items I see and go with them.  Then I put them back in the front of drawers.  So the next time I’m in a rush, I grab the same products.

As I like variety in my products, as well as using all of the items I have, I decided that once a week I would pack a bag full of products to use, that way I didn’t have to start of my day with pre coffee decision making.  Thus far it has worked out really well for me. I can rotate through products so that I am never bored, try new things, or if something is close to being used up completely, keep it out so that it can be finished without lingering in the bottom of a drawer with barely any product left.

I’ve found it a really useful method and I will be keeping it up for quite a while I think.

So, now that you know the reasoning behind the makeup bag, let’s talk about what I used this week.

I have to say, it was a bit of a mix. I tried many new products this week so there were a lot of surprises.  We will start off on a positive note and go with the Viseart Palette.  I received the Neutral Mattes Palette in my Boxycharm Premium box this month and I have to say, this palette justified keeping the subscription. 

I was planning on keeping it anyway, but I was thrilled to get this palette and try it out and I absolutely love the way it performed. It is highly pigmented so start lightly and try to build.  This Viseart Link will take you to my full review. But the end result is that I adored this palette and will be keeping it around for a long time.

It is however a matte palette and when I tried out the black shadow I found I wanted just a little bit of shimmer.  I also wanted a reason to try out my Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream shadow stick in the shade Golden Pink.  It came in my Birchbox Advent Calendar and thus far the time had not been right to give it a try.  This week, the time was right, so I used it as s shimmer to work with the Black from the Viseart palette.  Wow.  Just wow.  It went on smoothly either over the plain eyelid or over a powder shadow, stayed in place all day long and didn’t crease or transfer on me.  I was super thrilled to use this and will need to remember it, and possibly look at other colors.  I want to at least get one more to see how it blends with other cream shadows, but it worked really well over powder.  I will be reaching for it a lot.

The Marcelle CC Cream Golden Glow I used this week was a sample and it is unfortunately not something I will be reaching for in the future.  Luckily the sample will be used up by the end of the week so no product will be wasted, but I will not be picking up a full sized version.   It is an excellent color corrector and it did give the skin a golden glow. 

However, it also settled into my fine lines and made me look much more tired than I actually was.  I would really prefer my makeup products not to emphasize my fine lines. So while a decent product in many respects, the CC golden glow is not for me.  I will stick with Marcelle’s mascara and moisturizer in the future.

elf primer and my almost gone No. 7 powder

For my primer this week I ended up reaching for my e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer.  It is an excellent primer in general and really does a good job filling in the pores and turning my face into a smooth canvas.  I worked with it this week in an effort to try and correct the one flaw of the Marcelle CC Cream. 

While it really helped in most places, towards the end of the day the CC cream still emphasized the lines under my eyes.  For all else, the Putty Primer actually helped stop the CC Cream from showing a lot of the fine lines that it was showing without the primer.  So This was definitely a good week for the e.l.f  Poreless Putty Primer. It is a makeup bag repeat visitor and will remain so until the product is through.  Then it will be replaced.

Speaking of using products up, It is almost time to say goodbye to my No7 Pressed powder.  It has served me well, but alas, it is now only a slender ring of product around the outside of the completely exposed metal pan. Technically, I will be keeping it in the makeup bag for the rest of the week and possibly into the beginning of next, but I doubt it has enough product to last the full week, let alone next.

Even if this does last the week to be included in next week’s makeup bag I will be choosing a backup powder for when this finally runs out.  I love the formula on the No 7 pressed powder and will be picking another compact of it up again.  However at the moment I have several powders that I have ignored in favor of my No. 7 and I want to give them a chance to shine.  Or to prevent shine, really. So I am going to do my best to try not to immediately repurchase this once it is empty.  I suspect that on my next Target run a new one might somehow find its way into my cart, but I am going to try to resist.

I did have a loose powder in my makeup bag this week as well.  This week I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Fresh Setting powder. It is called fresh because essentially it is a solid lump of powder with a grater.  You turn the grater and the fresh loose powder appears. The product is good and there is a lot less spillage since you only grind up the powder you need when you need it, however the dial is really hard to turn if you have any product or water on your hands.  Then it becomes too slick to turn and you are just out of luck. I think if you had any sort of mobility issues related to your hands (like arthritis) you would want to steer clear of this product.  Which is a shame, the powder is really good.  It just requires dry hands and a certain level of physical dexterity to use. The concept is fun though.

This week most of my face products came from the True + Luscious Lucky Glow Face Palette. It too was a Boxycharm item this month, but unlike the Viseart, there are mixed results.

In fact it makes me feel a little like Goldilocks and the three bears.

 Let’s start with the bronzers.  There are two.  One warm toned (Good Fortune) and one cool toned (Serenity).  Both tend to disappear on the skin.  I had to work seriously hard to get them to show up on my skin.  Maybe if I had really fair skin, this would work for me, but even though I do not have the darkest skin tone in the world, I was too dark for it to apply well. At best, the bronzers are good for taming down the blush.

Unlike the bronzers, the blush (Royal Flush)comes on strong and highly pigmented.  After using the bronzers, this was quite the surprise. The first time I used this I ended up with a serious case of clown face.  It is a very pink tone, which isn’t my favorite to begin with, but it is also highly pigmented. So I was VERY Pink. And had to wash my face and start over again for the day.  I had a video call that day so leaving it wasn’t an option. 

Then there are the three Highlighters.

If you remember your three bears, you know we’ve had our too soft, and our too hard, so you know what comes next.

That’s right, the highlighters were the , um, highlight of the palette. All three were soft and buttery, applied well and stayed in place all day.  I could go light or bright with them and had no issues.  Pots of Gold is a bright gold shade, Heaven Sent is a silvery shade (even though it looks kind of bronze in the pan) and the speckled Triple Sevens is a warm rose gold shade that worked perfectly for me. In fact Triple Sevens is the jackpot of the palette.  I would by the shade in a single pan to use repeatedly. The other two highlighters, while good, weren’t unique enough for me to want to by them separately.  If there was a highlighter palette with the three of these in it, I would happily use all three, but the only one I would buy on its own is the Triple Sevens.

My mascara this week was from Beauty for Real.  I’ve used it before and as always I am surprised by how well I like it.  I am used to fluffy brushed mascaras but this one has a really small brush on the end of the wand.  I was certain I was going to hate it.  Then I used it. 

I do not hate it. 

Quite the opposite in fact.  The little brush lets me get to the base of my lashes and the formula really works at lengthening the lashes.  Because I can get to the very base of the lashes I was able to make my lashes look a lot more full than I expected.  Plus the small want is really good for lower lashes as well. I will happily continue to use this mascara.

I did not use an eyeliner this week.  I chose one but I was having so much fun with the eyeshadow that I forgot to reach for it.  So I will keep the eyeliner in the makeup bag and use it next week.  I did however use an eyebrow pencil this week. My bangs are still long enough that I doubt anyone noticed but  I used the RealHer brow pencil and I really enjoyed it.  It is a great formula and has an easy to use fine tip.  

the RealHer brow pencil and assorted lip products

RealHer also made an appearance with my lip products this week.  I used the RealHer lip liner in the shade I am confident.  It is a nice creamy lip liner that stays in place well.  The reason I reached for it was because of my BareMinerals lipstick. It is the new Mineralist formula that came in my Macy’s Beauty Box this month and I was so excited to get to try the formula.

The formula is rich and creamy and feels amazing on the lips.  It is a traditional style lipstick so it does need reapplying, but it is worth it.  The formula in no way dried out my lips and felt really comfortable to wear. My only issue was the color.  It is a little more pink than I like my lipsticks and wearing the RealHer lip liner underneath darkened it just enough to work for me.  I will be seeking out a different shade of this lipstick soon. I really like the formula of it.

Liner on the left and then swatched top to bottom we have Bareminerals, Nudestix and Giorgio Armani

The lip liner actually worked well with the NudeStix lip crayon I had in my makeup bag this week as well. The Nude Stix is in the shade posh and it was almost a perfect match for the lip liner.  I really appreciated that as lip liners really help me out with lip crayons.  I don’t know if it is the shape of the crayon or what, but with lip crayons I need a liner to keep the edges neat. It’s not a reflection of the product, it is definitely user error. The liner kept the user in check so there was no error.  I liked the color as it was a sort of pinky nude that worked well with my skin tones.  It isn’t the longest lasting formula and so it has to be reapplied in the same way you would reapply a traditional lipstick, but it felt very comfortable to wear and I think I will get a lot of use out of it. I also thing I like it better than their liquid lipsticks.

As you may recall I had a Grande Liquid Lip product in my Macy’s bag and I was very excited to try it out.  Unfortunately the wand either lost it’s head in manufacturing or snapped off somewhere in the tube.  Either way, I just had a stick of a wand that was useless.  The opening is too small for a cotton swab and none of my brushes would fit inside so I was unable to try it. I was really looking forward to trying out the formula.  I have heard both good and bad things about the liquid lip and wanted to try it for myself.  I’ve only used Grande Cosmetics’ Lash products (their Grande Lash mascara is really good) and I was looking forward to testing a lip product. I will set it aside and look for a brush that fits, but alas I did not find one this week.

And the final lip product I used this week was the tiniest most adorable liquid lip sample I have ever seen.   It is the Giorgio Armani Liquid Lip Maestro in the shade Cedar (206).  It came as a bonus in my final Allure Beauty Box (I cancelled my subscription).  I’ve never tried any lip products from Giorgio Armani so I was happy to have a chance, no matter how small the tube.  The formula applied well.  It dries down but not all the way.  When you press your lips together it still feels wet even hours later.  However after about ten minutes I took a sip of my coffee and there was no lip print left behind. It dries enough not to transfer but not enough to dry out your lips. 

It does fade throughout the day so a mid-day reapplication wouldn’t go amiss, but it still retain some color by the end of the day. The color was a sort of terra cotta, maybe a little darker, but with a definite slight orange tint.  While not my favorite color, it did work well enough, and because of the formula I was willing to use it anyway. It is a tiny sample though.  So I think I might put it to the side so I can use it in my upcoming lip series.  In the new year I will be doing more posts detailing the wear and feel of various lip products in more depth (and with more photos) than I can do here without this being even more of a massive post than it is.

Speaking of massive, this one has grown in length.  Luckily there is only one final product to talk about and that is the Lise Watier Magnifix setting spray.  As a setting spray it works well.  It does make your face very wet though so once applied, you need to take a minute or two to dry off before applying eyeliner mascara and lipstick. (I apply all three after I use a setting spray to avoid running). Other than the wait time, it sets well, smells nice and has the added benefit of antioxidants included in the spray.  I like a little skin care with my setting sprays. Over all I liked it and will happily keep it in rotation.  However I will not use this one when I am in a rush.  It is not a quick drying product.

And so with that we finish this week’s makeup bag.  It was quite the variety as far as reactions go. Next week should be interesting as I am packing two separate Makeup bags, one for the week and one specifically for new year’s eve. Both will post on December 31st, so stay tuned.


Lilfox - available at Alyaka.com

Trying out the Marcelle CC Cream Golden Glow with SPF 35

This week for my Foundation product I used the Marcelle CC Cream that came in my Birchbox.  I have used a few Marcelle products before and they have always worked really nicely for me. The two products I am most familiar with are their mascara and a moisturizer.  I remember using them both and really enjoying them.  The moisturizer was a sample and I remember thinking that I needed to try a full size.  Then of course, I didn’t write the name down so I completely forgot about it. And now I can’t remember what I liked about it.

Sometimes, my memory is a sieve.

Anyway, to the CC Cream!

According to the product page…

A true complexion illuminator with light-reflecting gold pigments, the CC Cream Golden Glow boosts radiance instantly and gives your skin a multitude of skin care benefits, all in one product!

Offers the same benefits as the BB Cream, with more long-term skin care benefits and nourishing ingredients.Provides a healthy-glow effect with a hint of illumination, Corrects and prevents the appearance of dark spots and imperfections, Offers complete coverage, Reduces fine lines and wrinkles, Favours and improves skin elasticity, + SPF 35 Broad Spectrum, Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. Paraben-free, oil-free and tested under dermatological control.

Well now, doesn’t that just sound lovely?

So, well informed I added it to my makeup bag, prepared to use it as my foundation product this week. Which I did.

At first I will admit, I was a little leery of the color.  It looked as though it was going to be a little too dark for me. It says tinted cream on the tube but there is no shade color listed.  Not even a light, medium or dark, so I don’t know if they just have one color and that’s it.

So with nervous fingers I dabbed it on my skin and then used my foundation brush (999 Master Blender) to blend it in.  You know what?  The color was fantastic. It blended into my skin well without looking as dark as I feared.  It was a major relief. Especially since I had several video calls this week. On days when it is just me and the computer I am willing to bend on colors since no one will see me. This was not the week for that.

The CC Cream is thicker than I expected it to be and I really felt it when I applied it.  A lot of the weight sort of disappeared once it was applied, but I always felt like I was wearing something.  It is not super heavy, it is still something I would classify as lightweight, but it is not a product that feels like it disappears once it is on.  I never forgot that I was actually wearing makeup.  And yes, I have several foundations that do feel as though I am wearing nothing at all despite how they look on the skin.

The description claims full coverage and I am not entirely certain that is true.  It certainly felt as though it was more coverage than I am accustomed to wearing, but I don’t think it actually achieves a level of full coverage. I don’t object to full coverage, but on a daily basis, it isn’t really my thing. This was more coverage than I usually wear, but not quite at the full coverage level. If you are used to full coverage products, this might not qualify.

The product is called Golden Glow and yes there is a bit of a glow to the product.  It is golden in tone, which suits my skin tone, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the glow-y part.  You can judge for yourself in the photos, but it made me feel like I looked a little greasy. It doesn’t actually look greasy in the photo, I’ll grant you that, but in person it was very shiny. And very golden. I know some people are all about the glow.  I am just not one of them.  I did apply a little matte powder to the top of it and the glow faded and I looked less shiny. And felt less inclined to sing a theme song from a James Bond movie. I will admit to humming it off and on throughout the week though.

End result, it is a glow, it is golden and it is also a glow that can be tamped down with relative ease if you so desire. 

The CC Cream did correct any red spots and dark spots on my face really well.  It was lovely in that aspect and I was quite pleased in the morning when I applied it.  However, as the day wore on, I noticed it starting to sink into the lines around my eyes a bit more than I prefer.  At the moment I am not sleeping terribly well (chronic insomnia strikes again) so I have more bags under my eyes than usual, but after noon, the CC Cream tended to emphasize them.  My baby doll came into my office after the workday was done yesterday and his first comment was “wow you look tired.” Which is generally not how I like to be greeted. It didn’t help that when I passed a mirror and glanced into it, I thought I looked tired.

Other than the sinking into lines, the product performed well.  The glow that I was worried about peeked through about mid-day and I dusted it off with a pat of powder, but otherwise it was fine.  It is just the emphasizing of the under eye bags I couldn’t get past. 

The tube I have is a trial size from a Birchbox. The tube wasn’t al the way full when it arrived.  I’d say over all it was only about half full. Even though I am doing this post a little early in the week, I am getting pretty low on product.  I expect that by the end of the week the tube will be empty, or nearly so.  I will continue using it for the rest of the week and possibly playing around with application to see if I can eliminate the under eye emphasis, but I think that once this CC Cream runs out, I will not be adding it to my future purchases list.  I will still repurchase their mascara and I will see if I can hunt down the moisturizer, but no matter what the possible skin care benefits of this CC Golden Glow Cream, I will not be purchasing a full size.


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The Makeup Bag: December 18th, 2020

The Makeup Bag used December 12th – 18th, 2020

This week’s makeup bag was really low key. This was one of those weeks where I worked at my desk by myself with the occasional phone call.  No one needed to see me so looking good for zoom wasn’t a necessity.  I think the only time other than my walks that I left the house was to run to the charity shop yesterday. So there were several days I just let my skin breathe.

But I did wear some makeup this week.

I started with the Banana Bright Primer from Ole Henriksen.  The link will take you to the full review. It is a brightening primer, but under powder or foundation it blurs out blemishes and fine lines really well and while it hydrates, it didn’t ever feel greasy. This is a primer I think I will be reaching for more throughout the winter.

On the days I reached for foundation, I went with the E.L.F. Acne Fighting foundation.  It was easy to reach for, light weight and felt good against the skin. This is one foundation that I know i am going to replace as soon as it runs out. E.l.f. really hit it out of the park with this one.

My RealHer Cheek Ultimate Glow Getter Trio provided my Bronzer, Blush and highlight this week.  While I did use the bronze and highlight I think there was only one day this week I bothered with the highlighter.  

The blush and bronze are both buildable products that let you go as light or as glam as you want.  This week I tended to lean into the light and this Cheek Trio Palette was amazing for that. If you take a close look at the bronzer, you can see that the outlines of the pan are starting to show through the product. Of the three, the Bronzer is my favorite product. The blush and highlighter are good, but I tend to use them because they are there with the bronzer, whereas the bronzer is why I reach for the palette. It was a palette that I reached for a lot this summer and I am really glad to see that it is something I can easily use in winter as well.

For Powder I used my trusty No 7. Pressed powder and didn’t bother with a loose setting powder at all this week. I know, shocking.  Much more of the pan is showing now and I am fairly certain that this compact will be empty by new Years. It really is one of my favorite products. The formula of the powder is just really nice against the skin.

This week I skipped both eyeliner and brow products completely. My eyebrow is still healing from an ingrown hair and quite frankly at the moment my bangs have grown out enough that you can’t really see much of my brows. I really need to cut them. I’ll admit, it scares me so I put off the trimming of the bangs as long as possible. I am less hesitant with the rest of my hair, but those bangs…Still it must be done and done soon. This week, I just used a spoolie to keep them neat and left them alone.

I had a trio of shadows this week.  KVD’s Lolita was the shade I reached for most often for a quick swipe of color.  It is an excellent shadow and the color works well for me.  It can be used as a light blush or deepened towards a wine red.  It is one of those shadows that always gets added to my travel bags. 

The Colored Raine Champagne Life was my light shimmer shade this week.  It is okay but not my favorite.  It tends to disappear when I tried to blend it in and fades pretty badly throughout the day.

The third shadow I used was the IBY Fire and Ice shadow.  I really enjoyed it.  It doesn’t look like much in the pan but when applied it glimmers green like a beetle’s back and I really enjoyed it.  I am definitely going to have to remember to use it more often.  For a fuller review of the three and to see swatches and read a more detailed performance review, the link will take you to my eyeshadow review post from yesterday.

This week I finished off the They’re Real sample size of mascara from Benefit Cosmetics.  I really like the way it lengthened my lashes and it looked really good, especially on the days where I did nothing but powder and lip oil. This was its third week and this morning I can officially say that the tube is completely empty.  The sample is no more.  I was rather surprised that it lasted the full third week, but somehow it just managed to hang on to finish the week out.

My final product this week was the Yensa lip oil in the shade Pink Shine.  I love everything about this lip oil.  It has a slight hint of color that compliments my natural lips.  It helps refresh dry lips and it smells amazing.  That being said, it does leave oily lip prints on the rims of coffee mugs and needs to be reapplied after eating.  But the shine it gives to lips is fantastic.

This week I didn’t bother with a setting spray.   Which means that we have now arrived at the end of the makeup bag.  I told you, I didn’t wear a lot of products this week.  I figured it was just me looking at a computer screen all day so on the mornings when I wanted to wear makeup I did, and the mornings I didn’t want to put it on, I didn’t.  It was really nice to have a low key week like this.  Next week of course I have the first of the week loaded down with pre-holiday work zooms, so I’ll have to be a little bit more mindful. But it was nice to have a very relaxed week and only put on what I wanted to put on without worrying how it would look on camera.


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The Makeup Bag: December 11th, 2020

The Makeup Bag Used December 5th – 11th

Welcome my darlings to the weekly makeup bag where I discuss all of the products I used throughout the week.  This week I wanted to test out one of my liquid eyeshadows and the one I tested was the Eye Dazzle in the shade Leona from Josephine Cosmetics

No matter how this shade looks on line, it is a lovely coppery shade in real life.  And you know how I love my coppery shades.  The link will take you to the full review post, but over all my experience with this liquid shadow was a positive one.  Last week I tried out the black eyeliner from Josephine Cosmetics and that too was rather positive which tells me I might want to take a bit of time and look more into the brand. 

As The coppery shimmer of the eye dazzle was so bright, I paired it with the all matte palette of The Balm’s Meet Matt (e) Trimony. I really like the formula of The Balm’s eyeshadows and I have to say even though the palettes in metal tins seem to get all the press, I really like this flat style palette better.  I found the tins hard to open and a bit frustrating even if they are cute.  This opens easily, has large usable pans of shadow and blends well. I was very happy to use it this week

While I will be doing more separate tool reviews in the future I wanted to just add just a few I used with my shadows this week.  I adore my color switch tin and it is probably one of the best purchases I’ve made in a while. Mine is from Sephora, but you can get them from a bunch of different brands. It helps me use fewer brushes each time I apply shadow and thus put off the giant shadow brush wash for a little bit, which I think helps keep the brushes lasting a bit longer.

The three shadow brushes I leaned on the most this week were The Shadow and Eye Crease brushes from Shaina B (Black handles) that came in an IPSY a while ago and a tapered blending brush from a Lavash brush set (Pink handle).  While all worked really well, the Lavash brush is starting to look a little worse for wear.  This week it lost a number of bristles. It isn’t beyond use, but it is getting there.  As I think I’ve had the set about a year, it doesn’t speak well to the longevity of the brush. Thus far the other brushes in the set are holding up better so perhaps I just use this one more. I have been impressed with the Shaina B brushes.   They are both frequently used, but neither has lost a single bristle yet.

Along with my shadows I pressed my Eyeko skinny liner into service this week (it is pictured below with the lip products and swatches).  As always Eyeko’s formula worked brilliantly.  Whether it is in the skinny or fat form, their eyeliners are simply amazing.  They don’t fade, stay in place all day and never seep into the fine lines of my skin. In addition, they are decently priced, always a win in my book.

To wrap up the eyes, I again used the They’re Real mascara from Benefit.  It is a sample size and after two weeks of use it is almost used up.  While I will keep it in the Makeup bag a third week, I believe the sample sized tube will run out of product before next week runs out of days and so I will probably add a second mascara to pick up where it leaves off. I have a second unopened tube of They’re Real in my dressing table, but I’ll leave it rest for a while until I manage to work my way through a few of my already opened products. While I prefer the volumizing of Bad Gal Bang, this is a really nice lengthening mascara and I am glad that when this runs out, I still have a back up to reach for.

Speaking of Benefit, I also used a Benefit Primer this week.  I went for the pore filling fabulousness of The Pore Professional (the link will take you to the full review). While it has been around for a while now, it is still a hard product to beat and one that I really like having in my dressing table and rotating into my makeup bag. 

It worked very well this week with my repeat use of the Ulta Beauty Youthful glow foundation (link is to the full review).  It remains a really good light weight foundation and I am really glad that I used it a second week.  While I will still be testing out new foundation products, I want to make sure to use the foundations I already have rather than just automatically purchasing new for the sake of trying new products (although I love trying new products, especially foundations, I really hate wasting product).  However this will be rotating back into the dressing table this week and giving another product a chance at being used.  One thing I find really fun about circling back through foundation products is that if I didn’t like a foundation, I didn’t keep it after my first round.  I have a cousin I trade products with periodically as some products I don’t like, she does and visa versa.  That means that when I open the drawer all of my choices in foundations are products I actually liked enough to keep.

It makes choosing my foundation each week a delightfully difficult task with no really bad outcome.

But Youthful Glow from Ulta Beauty will be returning to the dressing table this week so another can be chosen.

Decisions, decisions, my darlings.

No. 7 Pressed powder and Kristofer Buckle loose setting powder

One product that hasn’t gotten any rest has been my No. 7 Pressed powder.  This week saw more and more of the silver pan exposed.  I’m guessing that by New Years at the latest the compact will be completely empty.  I kind of suspect it won’t last that long actually. It is a really great powder and, if you couldn’t tell by the amount of product used, I really like using it. While it will be repurchased, I want to concentrate on using up at least one of the other pressed powders in my dressing table first.  So I am going to try to resist the urge to go out an immediately repurchase this powder once it is gone.  I’m not sure how well I will do at resisting. It will however be staying in the makeup bag until it is completely used up.

Hourglass Blush and Space Case Bronzer

My bronzer this week was the Fakeation on Mars from Space Case Cosmetics.  Because of it’s size I tend to overlook it when choosing products from the drawer and that really is a shame.  The formula is very buildable.  Putting on too much of it actually takes a bit of effort. Also as my skin loses its tan and goes winter white, it lets me adjust to the amount of product I use quite easily.  I like that as too much bronzer can make your face look a bit dirty. That has never been a problem with this.  I really like that on a light makeup day I can still use it to bring a little definition to my cheeks without going over the top.

My blush this week was also one that I found easy to blend out into a low makeup look, or build up for something more glam.  That is the Hourglass ambient light Blush in diffused heat.  I really like both the formula and the bendability of the product.

And then we get to the highlighter.

This week, we had a bit of an issue.

First of all, I would love to say that I love my babydoll. I really do.  Occasionally, he just doesn’t realize his own strength and tends to be a bull in a china shop.  He also grew up with two brothers, a father with only brothers and all male cousins.  His mother had her own bathroom which all of the boys were forbidden to enter.  Having met everyone as adults, I think it was a wise decree on her part.

This week my babydoll needed tweezers and I told him there was a set in my makeup bag. So he went to retrieve it.  There he saw several compacts (pressed powder, blush and highlighter).  Since he thinks all compacts hold powder, he was surprised there were three compacts as he felt there should be only one. So he opened one of the compacts to look inside.

My poor Ciate London highlighter

The compact he opened held the Ciate London Confetti highlighter.  As you can probably tell from the picture, the product is composed of lots of little balls in varying tones (like confetti) pressed together to form one solid.  Mine was fairly thin in the middle because I really like the golden tones this highlighter produces.  That is also where he pressed to see if they were individual balls or one polka dotted lump.  You can see the results in the image.  There is now a chunk of pan showing and the compact must be held flat so that little beads of highlighter don’t spill out.  He was very apologetic. 

So while I will need to take more care when I use this highlighter moving forward, I do like this highlighter and the golden glow it gives my skin.  Actually I am fond of a lot of Ciate Products.  At this point I think I am only lacking a bronzer to be able to do a full face of Ciate products.  I think that when I do get around to ordering a bronzer, so that I can do a full face, I may pick up a new highlighter as well.  Of course at the moment every time i go to the Ciate site I look at the Miss Piggy Collection they now have out. I adore the muppets and that Miss Piggy hand mirror is calling my name hard. Don’t get me wrong, the make up sponge with the pig nose imprint is adorable and the makeup looks good too, but that mirror is just calling to me. And it is calling to me in Miss Piggy’s voice.

Now that the center has been breached in my highlighter, I’m not certain how long the rest of the product will hold on to the pan before crumbling. with the top layer gone, it seems to have lost structural integrity. So I suspect a Ciate London order is in my near future. I’ll have to keep you posted.

My final face product was the loose setting powder from Kristofer Buckle. (Currently it is on sale if you want to check it out. Normally it is $24 but the sale puts it at $18. There is a lot of powder in it and it is a really good value for the money). I really like using this powder.  It is very finely milled and settles well on the skin.  My only issue is that when you open the inner lid, there is usually a puff of product that hits the air.  It isn’t a lot, but you just have to remember not to breath in or you will be tasting powder for about an hour.  It is a consequence of it being so finely milled. It is also what makes the powder so nice to use, but the small product puff is just something to remember.

The lips (and Eyeko Eyeliner)

My lips this week were coated in three lipsticks (although not at the same time) an one lip liner. The vegan lip liner was from RealHer and it was the shade 20218 Be Yourself Be Real Her. It is red enough that it went well with my Dose of Colors Date Night liquid lipstick. It is also red enough that when my lines weren’t perfectly straight it showed and my lips looked lopsided.  It was easy to fix, as long as I caught it. 

Which I didn’t always do, so a few times this week my lips looked a little crooked.

It is however a fabulously creamy and easy to work with lip liner, It stayed in place, even when I placed it wrong, and corralled my lipstick well. It is just a shade where any crookedness shows. I tend to have that with any dark shade of lip liner. I’m just not good with straight lines. Its why with lip liner I generally stick to more forgiving shades. I was just so pleased to hav one that matched the Dose Date Night that I forgot my wobble. I am working on the lines though so with practice there is less wobble. It also means that on the days when I am working alone at my desk with no possibility of a video call I tend to have very red lips.

Practice makes perfect, my darlings. Or at least a little less wobbly in my case. With luck anyway.

So there was user error, not product issues. I have to say the more Real Her products I try, the more I like the brand.  Thus far I think their eyeliner turned out to be good, but not one of my favorites, but everything else has been fabulous. I have really been impressed with this brand as a whole, at least in the products I’ve tried.

swatches: Top Eyeko Liner, Bottom RealHer lip liner, Left to Right between them, Fluide, Dose of colors, and Elf.

The Dose of Colors in Date Night dried down well and stayed in place all day with no problem. (At the moment Ulta is having a sale on this particular liquid lip. you can get it and a neutral lip as a duo for $12.50. It is an online only offer I believe. The above link will take you to that page on Ulta.) It left my lips a little dry, but with my Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm handy, that wasn’t a problem. The Fluide Liquid Lip in the shade Candy Bar wasn’t as drying, but it didn’t dry down all the way, left a few lip prints on my coffee mug and needed to be reapplied after lunch.  It is the cost of a non-drying formula.  Both formulas are very comfortable to wear and they are lipsticks I do reach for often. My final lip product was the elf Black Cherry sheer slick.  What can I say?  It is a great formula, a wonderfully sheer wash of color and over all fantastic product.

At the end, finally there was my Laura Geller Spackle Mist.  It sets the make up well and is more coconut water scented rather than coconut scented so the aroma is light and fresh which I enjoy.  I am about half way through the bottle so it will be going back to the dressing table while another product is rotated into next week’s makeup bag. 

And with the setting spray, this week’s makeup bag is complete.  This week I had a good set of products to work with and aside from the highlighter debacle no major issues. And really, there was no way to predict that sort of highlighter issue.  I did learn though that next time my baby doll needs something I have in my makeup bag, I need to get it for him instead of letting him retrieve it himself. Apparently his mother was onto something with her banishment. 


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Revisiting the Ulta Beauty Youthful Glow Foundation

Ulta Beauty Youthful glow Foundation Serum Drops

Have you ever forgotten how good a product was until you dug it out of the drawer and gave it another shot?  I know I did a full review of the Ulta brand Youthful Glow Foundation Serum Drops a while back but I think this one deserves a revisit.  I think it was one of the first foundations I tested out in the initial phases of my foundation trials.  I liked it then, but then there was an ocean of foundation products used between.  I remembered I liked it and added it into my foundation round up when I was planning my holiday/ black Friday shopping.

To be honest, I forgot about it until I pulled out the foundations for the review.  I remembered I liked it and I remembered I didn’t like the fact that the screw top lid became rather messy rather quickly but that was about all.

no matter how careful, that screwtop gets messy

This week I pulled it back from the depths of the drawer and decided to see if my feelings had changed any.  Also I wanted to see if it was still good.  I thought I might have accidentally left the cap unscrewed and wasn’t sure if it dried out.  It turns out it was just a shadow and the product is fine.

The inside screw cap is just as messy as I remembered and needs to be wiped down every so often so that the product closes tightly. No matter how carefully I pulled the dropper out, some product got onto the lid. The enclosure is tight so the product is safe from air, but it does mean a bit of a mess. The mess is only on the bottle though as I haven’t had any product splash out onto the sink (or me) when i open it.

This Foundation needs to be shaken vigorously before being used, however since it is shaped like a mini-martini shaker shaking it when picking it up is almost instinctual.

Not that I shake my martinis.  It tends to change the flavor of the gin slightly in ways I don’t care for so I always stir.  I also always make a face at James Bond movies when he requests a shake.  My baby doll says I occasionally make a sound at the screen in disapproval as well.  I don’t think I do, but I’ll admit I might.  I take a good martini seriously.

Bare face on the left (sorry I forgot to pull my bangs back before taking it) and just the foundation on the right

But you should shake this foundation shaker as though it contained a vodka based cocktail. Vigorously and without mercy.

It is an oil free product and I had no issues with it clogging my pores or causing breakouts.  (It is also paraben free). The consistency is on the thinner side.  I find this really nice as it is easy to get a nice thin layer of product over the skin on low makeup days.  It is also able to be built up.  I tend not to go above medium coverage and I never had a problem with the coverage level.  Those who like more full coverage products may be a bit disappointed. Because of it’s thin consistency, if you have large pores or issues with texture, you are going to need a pore filling primer underneath. It just flows over the skin like a second skin and while it is a light product to wear, it also means it shows everything underneath (texture wise, dark/red spots it covers beautifully). So choose your primer wisely.

Full face for the day, prior to fixing the hair

When I apply, I put the foundation on my hand, dab it on to my face with my finger, making sure to hit any strategic blemishes or dark spots first so they are certain to get covered as I blend the product out.  Because it is somewhat thin, you need to work pretty quickly to blend it out. It’s not a race, but you don’t want to dawdle either. I used my usual foundation brush (999 Master Blender from Bdellium tools) and found it didn’t leave streaks in the product. 

end of the day

I then went in with my Huda Beauty Makeup sponge (I really like that one flat edge) and made sure all of the fiddly bits of my face were covered.  It feels absolutely weightless on the skin and has a beautiful finish that is matte without being flat and dull.

There was a slight shininess in the t-zone after a full day of work, but that was my only issue.  And that issue was taken care of with a quick pat from the No 7 compact. (more pan is showing on that and I can feel it’s days are numbered however when I was looking for it’s replacement I found out that it is now on sale usually $12.99 it is now $9.74. Plus if you sign up for their newsletter you can get 20% off so if you are looking for pressed powder you might want to look into the No. 7 perfect light pressed powder. I use the shade medium in case you were curious.).

While not exactly a drug store product, the Ulta Youthful Glow Foundation is reasonably priced.  Usually it is $18 but as I am writing it this foundation is on sale at Ulta for $12. (I have no association with Ulta, I am just a customer and that sale was one I found poking around their site)  Personally I think it is worth keeping around and it is a product I will replace once I finish.  I will also take care not to let it get buried in the depths of the drawer again.

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The Make Up Bag: November 13th, 2020

The Makeup Bag Used November 7th – 13th

Welcome to the weekly makeup bag post, where I let you know all about the products I chose t use this week.  There were some repeats this week and there were some new products.  Over all it was a pretty interesting mix.

My foundation product this week was the Hey Honey Trick and Treat CC cream.  I’ve used it before and I thought I had only one more week left in the tube.  I’m pretty sure I have a third week left in it so while it was used, it was not yet used up.  I really like this formula.  It is a my skin but better look that feels like nothing and lasts all day.  It is one that I will be repurchasing once it is empty and I’ve cleared out a few more products from my dressing table. I will probably keep it around this week again just so that I can finish it out.  I don’t want a mostly empty tube to get lost in the bottom of the drawer.  Plus I really liked it, so it isn’t a hardship to have another week with the foundation.

As you may recall from the eyeshadow post yesterday, my eyeshadow this week was a collection of Maybelline singles.  The cream color tattoo shadows were fantastic, the Expert wear shadow was basic, didn’t blend terribly well and only lasted about six hours and the Color strike stick was a complete waste. So the eyeshadow actually ran the gamut.  The Color Strike I dropped into my empties bin as soon as I finished writing up the eyeshadow post yesterday.  It was a relief to pitch it and know it is not lurking with my other singles eyeshadows and giving them bad ideas.

This week I had another Maybelline product in my bag.  I picked it up on a whim during my last venture out of the house and I have to say I really enjoyed using it this week.  It is the Cheek Heat cream blush.  It was really easy to work with.  I was able to sheer it out to just a light pink or build it up to a hardier blush.  As my Foundation was a barely there foundation this week the sheered out version was absolutely fantastic for me.  I like that I can play around and decide what to do with it.  That was fun. It is a product I will keep around and reach for often.

This week the Tarte Park Ave Princess Contour palette remained.  I used the two lightest shads as pressed powder and then used the darker shades as bronzer.  It worked really well for me.  I am glad I kept it out a second week running but as much as I like seeing the pretty palette out on my shelf, I will be putting it back in the drawer this week so that I can use something else. Oddly enough, I think this palette is now only available as it is in one of Tarte’s Vault collections. All of the products are still available, they have just been repackaged into several different forms.

My highlighter this week was the K Voss Shine on stick.  It was a creamy stick highlighter and came to me via my Petit Vour box. I will admit, at first it scared me a bit.  When I applied it, the product looked like an orange stripe.  Then I blended and the highlighter turned into a warm golden glow.  It was subtle and quite beautiful. It did not remain a bright orange stripe, for which I was grateful.  While I started out nervous about it, I ended up loving it and will be returning it to the makeup drawer to be pulled back for another round.

There are a few things that were in this week’s make up bag that will not be returning to the dressing table.  The first is the Wander Beauty Mile High Mascara.  While it was a nice mascara, it isn’t my favorite from Wander Beauty. Personally, I really like the Wander Beauty Unlashed Mascara.  This one was just good but not as good as the Unlashed, at least in my opinion.  The Unlashed mascara is really good, but no one seems to mention it while they rave about the Mile High.  Perhaps it is just my take on the two. 

However, this mascara has been opened for six months and I have used it repeatedly over that time. Clearly I don’t mind using it, I just prefer the other.  And now that I have finished this, I can open the currently unopened Unlashed Mascara from Wander Beauty that is in my dressing table.  So yeah, go me!  There is really very little product left in the tube so clearly I felt good using it and now, I feel good about letting it go.

I am a little sad to be letting the Fast Base concealer from Revolution go.  It was a good product and I really enjoyed using it.  The fact that it is a $3 concealer and puts several more expensive ones to shame didn’t hurt.  But there is no more concealer to be found in the tube.  There may be residue on the inside that makes it look like there is more product, but no there is not. I can turn and click all I want but no product issues forth.  Alas poor Fast Base, we knew ye well. I’m pretty sure another one will be picked up in the future.

My loose setting powder and my most used lip gloss both came from Elf this week.  That is the elf translucent setting powder and the Black Cherry lip slick.  Also on my lips this week was the Dose of Colors Stone liquid lip and Sugar Crush in the shade Sprinkle.

This week I set aside my Timeless HA spray and chose a small trial sized setting spray from my dressing table collection.  I went with the Fix it up Matte Setting spray from Kokie. 

It sprays well. It smells like paint and gave me a headache if I sprayed it without opening the bathroom door, but it did lock my makeup into place all day.  So it works well, but it really is like shellac to the face. It keeps the paint in place but there is nothing skin care beneficial about it. Now to be fair, they actually make no skin care claims. They just call it a setting spray and claim that is keeps makeup in place. which it does, really well. I think because I just came off using a setting spray that had skin care benefits and smelled like cucumber water from the spa, it was just a rough transition.

I will keep it in rotation until it is used up, although I can’t say I will happily reach for it, because of my darlings, the fumes, such headaches. But I will use it until it is gone and then never repurchase it again.

I also used the Huda Beauty Lip pencil in Trophy Wife and the Real Her eyebrow pencil.  I loved both and would happily keep them in my dressing table and into my make up bag rotation. I am actually starting to be really impressed by Real Her products. I have a face palette (blush Bronzer and highlight) that I have used of theirs that is actually starting to show the metal indents of the pan underneath. which is really rare with me. And the Huda Beauty is just a super creamy formula that makes me want to pick up several lip liners. The Trophy Wife is a good pinkish color. And actually I need to reevaluate all of my lip liners as I am using them more. I recently watched a Lisa Eldridge You tube Video called Makeup tips for Happy lips. So amazing.

I love my bright lipsticks but as the corners of my mouth turn down a little the darker shades make me look a little sad or mad. The video shows a super quick and easy tip for correcting this and I have been playing around with it a bit. I found lip liners really helped me pull off the trick and it also made me realize that most of my lip liners are in similar shades, so I really need to start filling in the gaps and matching some of my favorite shades of lipstick a little better. This weekend, a list will be made. For now we move on. Although i highly recommend checking out her video (linked above).

As my Black cream eyeshadow from Maybelline doubled as my eyeliner this week, I think we have actually reached the end of the makeup bag. There was some good, some bad, some forgotten treasures and some dear friends we must bid farewell until repurchase time. Overall, a pretty good mix. I can’t wait to see what happens next week. Have a good Friday everyone and I’ll see you back here this afternoon for the Friday Facemask.

Dr. Squatch