Trying out a new lip scrub

Lip scrub is one of those items I don’t use everyday, or even every week. It is one of those things I always have around, so that when I need it I can reach for it. Consistently I tend to need lip scrub through the transition time in the autumn as we go into winter. I then use it periodically over the winter and then my use of it fades out though the spring. There is always a stretch of time where spring becomes summer where my lips need a good scrub and that is the time we have now entered.

This lip scrub came to me in a Subscription box. I believe it was Glossy Box. The full name is the Avant Hyaluronic Argan Oil Peony Sweet Almond Age Protect And UV Velvet Perfecting Rose Sugar Lip Scrub. For the purpose of not making anyone reading this out of breath before they reach the end of the name, I’m just going to shorten that to the Avant Lip Scrub.

This was an interesting lip scrub to review.

First, the packaging. It is quite nice. Sturdy plastic that can stand up to squeezing but isn’t too firm. An angled tip so that it could easily be spread on the lips. I think the full size does come in a jar though. Which I think I’d prefer the trail sized tube, but that is just a personal preference. In addition, the hole for dispensing product is large enough that the granules can get through. During the times I used it, there was no clogging and the product was easy to use.

The argan oil always works well on my skin, lips included so that was nice and quite frankly I like seeing hyaluronic acid.

And in truth, my lips did feel gloriously soft and smooth. It performs really well. The exfoliant particles were gentle enough not to cause any harsh scrubbing, yet quite effective. It really is a very well performing product.

I know you are thinking, well that doesn’t sound like it is an interesting scrub to review. It just sounds like you liked the scrub.

The interesting part is that I found it really a hard scrub to use. In fact i found that I often talked myself out of using it.

‘Oh no, I think my lips are fine tonight, I’ll just add an extra layer of lip balm instead.’

And here’s why: The Avant Lip Scrub tastes awful.

It quite frankly tastes like its name. It tastes like Rose, Peony, and argan oil. It is not a delightful combination. When sniffed in the tube, the Sweet Almond comes through and so i expected that to be the taste, which would have been fine. It might be mixed in, but the taste is oily dead flowers.

I know, it isn’t a product designed to be eaten. However, it is on my lips. To use a lip scrub, you apply it to the lips and then roll your lips a bit so the sugar can work around and exfoliate. Then you pat off any particulates that remain so that the softness of the oil can remain on the lips and be absorbed. That’s just how lip scrubs work.

Because of this, at some point (possibly many points) you are going to taste the scrub. And this Avant Lip scrub tastes vile. Argan oil is great for hair and skin but it isn’t a tasty oil and mixing it with florals doesn’t help. In fact all it does is insure that if you do get any in your mouth the oil will case the flavor to linger.

Normally, I brush my teeth, use my mouthwash and then use my lips scrub so that I can leave the oils on my lips to settle in overnight. With using this scrub this week I had to bring the lip scrub forward a bit and apply it well before my nighttime routine. Then make a conscious effort not to eat or drink anything. Then I washed off the oils before brushing my teeth. After I just added My Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask for moisture and called it good.

I will say that the product does work well, but the taste insures I won’t really use it. The best thing that can be said about the taste is that it works well as an anti snacking device. If you are looking for ways to keep yourself from snacking in the evenings, this might be a good choice for you because after you taste it once, you will do your best not to taste it again.

Sometimes, taste does matter. Even in skincare.

The Avant Lip Scrub (the 10 ml not the trial size I have) retails for $71. Which is a lot for a lip scrub. Personally I don’t think a lip scrub should cost that much. As far as lip scrubs go, my two favorites are much less costly. I really like the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($18). Fresh is one of those brands I can always trust for good products actually. Personally I also like the Elf Lip exfoliator sugar scrub ($4). It comes in a lipstick form and is very easy to use. The exfoliation on that one is nice although I do find I need to add something like the Bite Beauty Agave lip mask to the lips after using it to provide post scrub hydration. I think the dryer formula used to crate the stick form just leaves it lacking in the post scrub moisture department.

Even though both are less expensive (even if you also add the cost of the Bite Beauty Agave Mask ($26) into the tally) were they all the same price, I still wouldn’t go for the Avant Lip Scrub as a repurchase. The formula may be great but the taste insures I would never use it.

I think that Fresh has a standard 15% off for new shoppers on their site. They also seem to have a 20% off deal going with their refer a friend section. I’m not an affiliate (and the link will just take you to the general page) but it seems like if you and a friend each purchase from the site you both get 20% off. Bite Beauty and Elf also have some sales going at the moment which I’ve posted below. The ELF 60% off clearance sale lasts until June 18th.

Bite Beauty: Take 30% off the Changemaker Collection!

Elf Cosmetics: 60% off Clearance Sale!

Trying out the refillable Beauty Balm from Re-fil

For those who have been following along for some time, you may have picked up on the fact that I have been trying to eliminate a lot of waste from my life and to be more eco-conscious in my decisions.  Despite loving them and finding them convenient I have mostly eliminated makeup wipes from my routine and I am switching into using reusable rounds instead of disposable cotton.  I use Makeup Erasers whenever possible as well as the Magnitone Cotton rounds when I need something smaller. 

Incidentally, Makeup Eraser now has a seven pack of smaller Makeup Erasers in Black for $25 (or one large for $20). While the rainbow colors are nice I have to say I do find the black ones appealing.  I also like the ability to use one each day and send it to the wash so I have a fresh Makeup Eraser daily, but that is a discussion for another time.

Recently, for April, Birchbox sent out their box as an eco-friendly version.  Instead of the regular box they sent the products in a reusable Stasher.  I am completely loving by the way.  I have tried everything but boiling it (which is in the list of ways to use it) and it has performed really well.  Once I get through that final test I will post a review.  But at the moment it is amazing. One of the products that everyone received in the box was the Re-fil Beauty balm.

I’ll admit, I was a little bit annoyed that it was that month’s choice item and that the only choice you made was on the color of the case.  However, I do use lip balm regularly.  I love the Bite Beauty Agave Mask for night time use but it is too much during the day.  But all lip balms are not created equal and a reusable case is only of use if you do end up reusing it.

According to the Birchbox website re-fil is…

Good for your skin, good for the planet. We created Re.fil to make incorporating sustainable practices into your routine as simple as possible. Re.fil reimagines your daily staples, with clean, vegan, and refillable solutions. Available exclusively on

Not just a lip balm, this is your salve for anything (plus, it’s refillable!). With so many uses, from lips, to cuticles, to dry patches, and even taming your brows, this is your ultimate all-over balm. Made with a blend of natural oils, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and squalane, it hydrates and conditions dry skin, helps promote skin barrier function, and leaves a protective layer that’s light and soft (never sticky!). It has just a hint of chamomile for a light and calming scent. 


The original product retails for $12 and the refills are $8 for two.  Which I will say isn’t a bad price.  In fact it is more than fair given the amount of product. 

Here is the initial problem that I had.  I am pleased that this is a balm that can be used in multiple ways.  I think that is a great idea.  However it is in a stick format and not a squeeze tube.  And I don’t want to run the balm over my elbows or knees and then put it on my lips.  I just don’t.  If it were a product that I could squeeze out of a tube I could see using it multiple ways, but I am just not going to run the product across my lips and then on my arm and then back to my lips. 

Given the size of the tube I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use it for body or lips though.  It is wider than a normal lip balm. So I tried the product in a few different places.

I did test it out on my elbow by using my finger.  I washed my hands and then rubbed my finger across the top and then applied it to my elbow.  That way I could use the product without contaminating it.  I know this may sound a bit precious but in the past year especially I have become very cross contamination conscious.

The balm was not sticky, but on my elbow it was a bit greasy and took a really long time to absorb into the skin.  I am pretty sure that I ended up rubbing it off on the arm of my desk chair more than it absorbed.   But what did absorb softened and hydrated the skin.

I moved on to trying the product on my lips.  It is a little too wide to be comfortable applying as a lip balm.  At least for me.  It covered my lips and then some.  And it is a bit on the greasy side.  It is not sticky though.  On my lips, without drinking or eating anything it took about ten to twelve minutes to actually absorb into my lips.  Once it did my lips were soft and hydrated.  It just needs a little bit of time to settle in.  During the past month as I used this Re fil balm, I found it best to apply it just before I went on a walk or to the gym.  Mostly because that gave it time to sit and absorb before I ate or drank anything.  (it is a fifteen minute drive to get to my gym so I applied it before I left the house and by the time I arrived it was settled in and not likely to get all over my water bottle).

The formula is good, but it does need that time.  Once applied, give it ten to fifteen minutes to sit and everything will be fine.  I liked it better on my lips than on other parts of my body because I can decide not to eat or drink for fifteen minutes but have issues remembering not to rest my arms or elbows on anything.  I also tried it on a spot on my leg but once I put on clothing the balm rubbed off on the clothing.

Because of the absorption time, this is a lip balm for me.  Because it is a lip balm the width of the tube kind of bothers me. When I apply it, there is always excess product I have to wipe off from around my lips. Because of this I don’t know how much I will actually reach for it.  I will certainly use up the product I have, but it will have to keep it on my desk in clear sight to remind myself to use it.  It won’t be something I naturally reach for and so I don’t know if I would actually order a refill for it once it is empty or not. By the time the product is empty I might have gotten into the habit of using it and not mind the size or the waiting so much.  At the moment though, ordering refills for the reusable Re fil balm case isn’t looking likely.

Reviewing the Bali Balm Sweet Orange and Coconut lip balm

Many of you know I like to keep lip balm on my desk and use it throughout the day.  I use it to hydrate my lips and quite often I use it to convince myself that I don’t need a snack.  It is actually quite a useful dieting tool.  No matter what lip product I actually put on my lips I always wait a while between applying a lip product and letting myself eat something (otherwise what is the point of putting on the product). And while I will have a snack in the afternoon, convincing myself not to nibble throughout the day or in the evening is kind of key. So I am a big fan of lip balm.  

The one I have been using lately has been the Bali Balm Sweet Orange and coconut lip balm that came in a Boxy Charm a while back.  Before I get into my thoughts on the product, let me recap the product description.

Filled with exotic coconut and sweet orange extracts, this silky-smooth balm is packed with a tantalizingly tropical blend, including coconut fruit, a known natural moisturizer, orange peel, rich in vitamin C that can protect against free-radicals, as well as antioxidant rosemary and peppermint leaf that’s said to soothe and plump – perfect for paradise-found lips with a soft, tropical twist.

> Coconut fruit, orange peel, and sugarcane extracts.
> Rosemary leaf and peppermint leaf essential oils.
> Vegan.
> Beeswax free.

INGREDIENTS: Coconut Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Seed Butter, Candelilla Wax, Wheat Germ Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Coconut Fruit Extract, Peppermint Leaf Oil, Orange Peel Extract, Sugarcane Extract.

Bali Balm
plastic applicator and balm

Okay you will notice that I put the entire description up. Now I know, it’s a lip balm.  We all know what lip balms are supposed to do.  They are meant to hydrate your lips and lock in moisture.  Sometimes they are worn over lipstick, sometimes lipstick is worn over them. Sometimes they are worn alone. It isn’t rocket science.  This lip balm is vegan so there is no beeswax.  I have used vegan lip balms before and I have used regular beeswax lip balms.

I am going to cover the two positives first.

One, it smells really nice.  It is a sweet orange coconut scent.  The scent is quite pungent and it stays a while.

And two, I really like the plastic applicator as it is easy to wipe off and keep clean. If you want to dab it on over a dry lipstick you can do so without fear of contaminating the lip balm.  It is a nice feature in a lip balm.

Here are some of the issues I have with this lip balm.  While it comes out somewhat thick, it melts into an oil very quickly on the lips.  This in itself is fine, however the oils never really absorbed into the lips. I applied it and my lips remained greasy.  I left greasy lip prints everywhere until it wore off.  I applied it thinking I could let it absorb a little and then put one of my dryer formula lipsticks over it.  The problem was that it never absorbed enough to be able to put lipstick over it.  I could dab it on over a matte lipstick and have it act like a lip gloss, but trying to put it under a lip product just made everything slide around and made me look like I was making out with a clown.

I kept trying to apply less and less product to my lips to see if I was just over doing it.  A little does go a long way but even with the barest amount, I found that it either wore away on the rims of glasses or I licked it off when I licked my lips.  It never fully absorbed into the skin.

on the lips after twenty minutes (no drinking or eating, no absorbing in)

If I applied it, waited a minute or two and then wiped it off, then I could see some moisturizing effect from the product.  But I had to actually remove it to see.  I think that part of the problem is that it may have too many oils in it.  Or I simply don’t have dry enough lips to work with the product.

Over all I was not a fan of the product.  It is an okay but not great lip balm to begin with. 

Then I checked the price.

The Bali Balm retails for $33. That’s right.  It is a $33 lip balm.

Now I know.  Some of you are thinking, but it’s a vegan product.  Aren’t they always more expensive.  Here are three other lip balms that I have tried and that I liked infinitely better.  These three lip balms are at different price points but all are vegan and all worked really well on my lips when I used them. The three listed below are all ones I’ve tried. I am not an affiliate for any of them and the links will take you to their brand pages so I make nothing off of you clicking the links and/or purchasing. They are only for comparison.

Pacifica Color Quench Lip tint retails for $5.  It is vegan and it does have some tint to it.  I believe they have a clear one but I’m not 100% on that one.  The color I had was a barely there wash of color though.  It absorbed well and I was able to wear a second lip product over it if I wanted.

If you are looking for something a little more expensive then I’d suggest the Kopari Lip Glossy which retails for $13.  In general I like how Kopari products work but I am not their biggest fan because of the overly strong scent.  Oddly, I like their lip balm the best of all the Kopari products I’ve tried.  It is scented, but the scent dissipates rather quickly and the product is moisturizing and glossy.  If pairing it with a second lip balm, I’d use the Kopari as a topper rather than underneath.  It is glossy and gives all matte lips a shine, but it also locks in moisture so that you can go with a dryer lip product and not feel like your lips are going to end up desert dry.

If you are looking for something more high end then I suggest going with the luxury brand Tatcha.  The Tatcha Gold Spun Lip Balm retails $30.  It has a fantastic scent which is light and doesn’t overpower you.  It absorbs quickly and works beautifully on even sun damaged lips. Of the lip balms I’ve tried this one left the least amount of lip prints on glasses and mugs.  It simply absorbs fast enough that the greasy lip prints aren’t a factor.  And the gold mixed in gives your lips a nice shimmer without looking like you kissed a box of glitter. 

I don’t know why that is my fear with anything that has gold flakes in it.  I’ve used several gold flecked products and it has never happened, yet somehow I always look at them and think I’m going to come out looking like an arts and crafts project gone wrong.

But now we move on.

The Tatcha Gold Spun Lip Balm is Vegan, like the others on this list and does feel (and work) like a very high end product.  I would like to point out that it is $30.  The Bali Balm is $33.  Looking at the two products you would not think they were in direct competition.  The Bali Balm looks like something you would pick up at the drugstore in the rack by the register.  I have actually picked up several lip balms there so I am not knocking them.  In fact, all of the ones there worked better than the Bali Balm.  They didn’t smell as good.  Most of them smelled medicated and I doubt they were vegan, however even though I listed only three vegan lip balms I’ve tried, there are many others.  The average price starts at $4.

Now here is the thing.  While I like finding discounts and sales, and I love finding cost effective products that work, I also like a lot of luxury items.  I am not adverse to the occasional splurge item.  But it has to work and it has to feel luxurious.  The Tatcha product, which is the Bali Balm’s closest competitor on this list, looks luxe, feels luxe and works luxe.  I have no problems putting it on my splurge list. It is pricey, but worth the splurge if you are going to splurge. 

The Bali Balm simply isn’t.  It doesn’t look luxe.  It doesn’t feel luxe and it doesn’t work luxe.  If this was marked $4 I could see picking it up.  It wouldn’t be my favorite even at $4 and it would probably end up living in the bottom of my purse.  It is not a $33 product.  It isn’t packaged like a $33 product and it doesn’t work like a $33 product.  And to be completely honest , it sort of makes me mad that it is marketed as a $33 lip balm. In my opinion this product simply isn’t worth it.

AmorePacific Mother's Day GWP

A Winning Duo for Winter Dry Lips

It will come as no surprise to you that I am a big fan of lip products In fact I can almost hear everyone who has ever read any of my posts rolling their eyes and saying Duh. In the winter that can be an issue. Lipsticks, both liquid and traditional, can dry out your lips something fierce. Some formulas are better than others of course and I usually try to go for those, but then I will see a color in my collection and just be unable to resist, even though I know the formula is drying.

Then there are the winter winds and of course the central heat. Both serve to do extra damage to my lips than I prefer. Also I have to confess to a bad habit. When I work at my desk and my lips are dry, I tend to pick at them. I have been trying to break myself of this habit for years, but every winter there will come a point where I will be working on something and not think about it and just pick at the dry lips while I am trying to figure out the wording of a sentence.

And so I take steps to ensure that my lips remain chapped as little as possible. I need protecting from myself. I am a huge fan of both lip scrubs and lip masks. Lips on their own don’t really shed skin cells the way the rest of your body does and they need something to kind of buff them out every now and again. And while most lip scrubs have an oil component meant to hydrate and moisturize, I almost invariably end up wiping much of it off when I wipe away the extra particles. Hence the follow up with a lip mask.

Now I’ve talked about the Milk Makeup Kush Lip Scrub before so I won’t go in as great a detail with it, but I really do like it. It has a nice peppermint scent and a magnetic cap. The magnet in the cap is quite strong so I could drop it into a bag with no fear of it coming undone. Mostly though it lives on the sink next to my toothbrush and toothpaste.

I really love the stick formulas of scrubs as I find them tidier than their jarred counterparts. I’ll use both, but I really like the stick form. You can tell I really like it as if you look at the picture you can see that it is almost completely used up. Sadly, that is all of the product I have left. And yes, this will be repurchased. It has a good oil formula with it (providing you don’t wipe it all off) and a fine, but not harsh particulate. It is a very gentle scrub.

Paired with it is the Kush Lip glaze which I have been using as a post scrub lip mask. I find even if i don’t wipe off my lips after using a lip scrub, it is best if I add a hydrating lip product to my lips as soon as I am finished so that the newly exfoliated skin has the best chance of staying hydrated and not simply drying out While this Kush Lip Glaze is an easy formula to wear throughout the day, I really like it as an overnight mask. I really enjoy putting it on just before bed and leaving it. The scent has a slight hint of peppermint to it, but it has a back note of sage which makes it slightly herbally. Personally I really enjoy the scent.

According to the Milk Makeup Website, this product:

HYDRATES: Conditioning, plant-derived helps hydrate for smoother lips.

SOFTENS + SMOOTHS: Shea, cocoa, and mango butters soften lips and improve texture. Jojoba and olive oils help provide antioxidant benefits.

SHINES: Liquid formula locks in hydration. Sage extract and peppermint oil combine for a subtle, natural flavor.

DIRECTIONS: Glaze glides on easily with cooling metal applicator. Use day and night for deep hydration. Can also be used on top of Lip Color for a high shine finish.

Ingredients:Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Squalane, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Cire de Candelilla, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Diisostearyl Malate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Lauryl Laurate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Cire de Carnauba, Octyldodecanol, Dextrin Palmitate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil/Huile Végétale Hydrogénée, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Extract, Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Daemonorops Draco Extract, Stevia Rebaudiana Extract, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactic Acid, Ethylenediamine/Hydrogenated Dimer Dilinoleate Copolymer Bis-Di-C14-18 Alkyl Amide, Dibutyl Lauroyl Glutamide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Silica, Butylene Glycol Cocoate, Dibutyl Ethylhexanoyl Glutamide, Lecithin, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Stearoyl Glutamic Acid, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Propylene Carbonate, Moringa Oil/Hydrogenated Moringa Oil Esters, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tribehenin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Limonene, Linalool, [+/- MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)]

Milk Makeup

You’ll notice that in addition to the mentioned Shea butter, Squalane is pretty high up the list and my skin always reacts well to squalane. It is an ingredient I love to see in my skincare and in my lip care. Looking at all of the claims, I have to say that the Milk Makeup Kush Lip Glaze meets and even exceeds my expectations. I love the metal applicator tip as it is an easy glide over the lips as well as easy to keep clean and with the Kush Lip Scrub is a winning duo if you are trying to fight winter dry lips or just the effects of overly drying lip products. .

The Makeup Bag: February 19th, 2021

The Makeup Bag: used February 13th – 19th, 2021

Welcome my darlings to the weekly makeup bag.  Here I go through all of the products I used throughout the week and let you know what I thought of them.

This week I will start with a Primer.  You know I love a good primer.  I love smoothing the canvas of my face down as much as possible before I start to apply everything else.  This week I chose my small sample of the Pore Professional Pearl for my primer.  I chose it for several reasons.  The first was that it is the last of a whole bunch of Pore Professional sample sizes that I had.  I slowly worked my way through them and whittled it down to just the one.  And once I got down to the last one, I let it languish in the drawer while I use other products. 

This was once my absolute favorite primer.  It is still good, but I can’t remember when exactly when I picked up the primer so it is time for it to be used up.  The second reason I chose to use this primer is because the Clarins primer I’ve used for the last two weeks, and fell in love with, sort of reminded me of this one and I wanted to compare  them to each other.  The fact is that I still really like the Pore Professional Pearl Primer.  I actually prefer it to the regular Porefessional Primer to be honest.  It not only fills the pores like the original but the pink tint really suits my skin tone.  In the pallor of winter it brings a very slight pink tint to the skin.  It is light enough that I don’t think it can actually be called a tint.  Maybe a hue would be a better term.

Bare face on the left and just the primer on the right

Either way it brightens the skin and makes me look healthier, even on days when I just wear the primer and no foundation. I very much like it and as I think I have only a week’s worth of product left in the sample tube, it will be sticking around in the makeup bag another week, just so it can be used up.  It is also going on my list of products to purchase in the full size very soon.

This week I used the Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Perfecting Foundation stick.  I adore this stick foundation.  A couple of swipes across the face and a quick blend with the Bdellium 999 Master blender and that’s it.  No muss no fuss.  And this shade works so well for my skin.  It is light Warm in case you are wondering.  The color is actually flexible enough with my skin that I can wear it year round.  It also requires so little product to create a fantastic look so the Foundation stick lasts a long time. 

Unlike other foundation sticks I’ve tried, this doesn’t need to be warmed up or anything before applying it.  The center circle of product is actually a priming agent,  I find I still like a pore filling primer underneath, but the primer in the foundation really helps with the smoothness of the application. 

This is one of those foundations I always travel with because it is so quick and easy to use, and because it is as stick it doesn’t spill. It feels weightless on the skin.  It is one I will continue to use and always repurchase.

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

This week I also reached for another favorite.  I pulled the RealHer Ultimate Glow Getter Cheek trio out of my makeup drawer.  It is a blush, bronzer and highlighter combo and as you can see the bronzer is already showing the outline of the pan underneath.  This is one of my favorite face palettes.  All three products are buildable formulas that let you control exactly how much product you want to apply on your face. 

Even though the palette is small enough to be travel sized the pans are large enough to be used with the face brushes I usually use.  I don’t have to get a different smaller brush to use them. The white casing was a little unfortunate of a choice as you can see the area around the bronzer has become especially dirty.  It does clean up easily, but it does accumulate fast on the white plastic. 

I like that the pans can easily be popped out of the palette as I think I will probably run out of bronzer before I use up the other two pans and I love the thought of being able to replace the pans in the palette with new ones a they are used up.  I think it is really smart and I really hope I can get this bronzer in a single pan to fit it inside once it is used up.

Speaking of used up, I completely used up the sample size of the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed powder this week.  It was a good powder and one I wouldn’t mind using again.  It wasn’t my favorite pressed powder, but it was nice to use even if I won’t be running out to immediately buy the full size.

I like the extra cap that provides space for a powder puff if you use one

My loose powder this week was the Pacifica Cherry Velvet translucent setting powder.  I think this is either the second or third container of this I have had in my dressing table and when this powder is used up, I will be picking up a replacement of it.  It is a great loose setting powder and pacifica is a really good vegan brand that I can easily pick up on a run to Target.

I think I have about half a container of this powder left in the container so it will take a while for me to use it up, but when I do, it will be replaced.  It is finely milled enough to set my makeup without being powdery and it has no white flash back in photographs. The cherry scent can be a bit overpowering  if used every day, but in a rotation of other powders it is always a nice delight to have the cherry scent around for a week.

Eyeko Lid Gloss in Zodiac

Because I wanted to try out the Galactic Lid Gloss from Eyeko this week I added both it and the Meet Matt (e) Trimony to my makeup bag.  The Balm’s shadows always work well for me and they were again fantastic this week.  I live using this all matte palette in general, but it also is a great palette to use when working with layering sparkle and shimmer products over. 

The Balm Meet Matt (e) Trimony Palette

It was excellent with my shimmer stick shadows and it was again fabulous with the Eyeko Galactic Lid Gloss.  The lid gloss itself was fun to play with and I think I will be picking up several.  While you can read my full review here, the lid gloss performed well.  It could be sheered out to a little shimmer and it could be packed on for a coppery, metallic foil look. It was very versatile and once dried, stayed in place all day.  I am a huge fan and look forward to trying out more colors.

As the Eyeko was so dazzling, I couldn’t resist keeping the New Big Poppa mascara from Wet ‘n Wild out another week.  This is one of their new products and so worth picking up.  In the photos it took just one application to make my lashes stand out. It does a great job lengthening and making my lashes look a little fuller.  It also didn’t flake throughout the day.  I’d say it might be one of my new favorite drugstore products, but quite frankly it out performed many of my more expensive mascaras.  I am very much a fan of Big Poppa. I’ll try to remember to trade him out for next week’s selection, but it will be hard to let him go.

No mascara on the left, mascara on the right

I had two lipsticks this week.  I have the Dose of Colors liquid lipstick in Stone that I am trying to finish out and I had the Nars Bullet style lipstick in Karat. If applied directly the Nars is a deep purple red lipstick that I absolutely adore.  It can be tamed by using a brush to apply it and thin it out a little bit, for when you don’t want to be quite as vampy.  It can also be lightened with a little dose of Dose of Colors Stone on top of it.  Stone is a pinky neutral shade.  The tones played well with the Nars and the two colors blended well.  I could go very neutral with Stone alone or super dark with Kirat.  I could also hit most of the spectrum between by blending them in different ways.  It was the best of all lipstick worlds.  The only downside was that these formulas both tend to be a bit drying. 

But that wasn’t a problem as I had Teadora Wild Superfood Lip Drops on hand.  The link will take you to my full review of them.  The drops may be a lip treatment, but when used with a drying lipstick formula they really keep your lips from drying out.  Just let your lipstick actually dry down before you apply it so that the lipstick doesn’t smear.  That is the only trick.  It will make everything more glossy instead of matte but your lips won’t feel parched, dry and cracked.

My final touch was my setting spray and I have to say I opened the new bottle of the Timeless HA Spray that just came in.  I finished the old bottle and couldn’t resisted ordering the exact same one again.  I thought about the other scents but I really like the fresh Cucumber scent of this cucumber scented HA spray.  I also like the extra dose of HA and the way it keeps my makeup in place. I will say that the Pore Professional Super Setter does better at locking things down, but the HA spray gives me those extra skin care benefits.  I think at this moment those two are my top setting sprays and while I will continue to try others, those are the two I will most often reach for.

And that my darlings is the makeup bag for this week.  I’ll admit, I did go for a lot of tried and true products this week.  I had some of my favorites I just couldn’t help reaching for. I think the reason was mostly due to my skin.  Right now I am going through a really good skin moment.  I have had a really good spate of products and I really like the way my skin looks and feels.  Several of those products however are running out or have run out and are being replaced. 

I’ll do a skin care line up post in the near future to discuss. But the end result is that since I am getting ready to try new products I wanted to take advantage of my good skin moment by using products I knew weren’t going to cause me trouble.  Hence the lineup of favorites. I’ll get over it, I just wanted to take the small window before I start tinkering with my skin care again. While I enjoy trying all new skin care products, sometimes there is a slight risk. Of course some times that risk pays off by adding new favorites to my line up.  We’ll have to see as things move forward. But for now, this was my makeup bag this week.

Challans de Paris

Trying out the Teadora Wild Superfood Lip drops with Plumping Tri-Peptides

By now I am sure that anyone who reads my blog for any length of times knows that I love lip products.  I love trying all sorts of new things for my lips.  I always have.  It is kind of my weakness category.  I think partially because lip products span both makeup and skincare categories.

Recently Teadora Heirloom Brazilian Botanicals gifted me with a jar of their Superfood Lip Drops with Plumping Tri-Peptides. I am so grateful that they sent it over. For those of you unfamiliar with Teadora Heirloom Brazilian Botanicals their products are derived from  ingredients found in the rainforest and are always 100% vegan, toxin-free, cruelty-free, sustainably harvested, gluten-free, and synthetic fragrance-free.

While all that is really good, the part that I really like is the sustainably harvested aspect.  If you go to their about page you can find not only information about their practices, but also about the activism.  I really like that they focus not only on protecting the resources (namely the Amazon Rainforest) where their ingredients are sourced, but also in working with the indigenous peoples of the area.  There is a list of projects they are involved in and I highly recommend going on the website and following the links to those organizations. While I could dive deep and spend quite a lot of time talking about the organizations, the need for them and the need for a focus on sustainable harvesting and processing practices because it something I feel is very important, I will just let you follow the links and say the company ethos make me feel good about using their products.

And then we will look at the product, as that is after all the point of this post.

Sometimes I get sidetracked.

But now I am focused.

So what are Wild Super Food Lip Drops?  I’ll admit, it was a new one on me.  So let’s see what the product page has to say…

Our powerful superfood blend with Pequi, Tomato and Geranium is rich in tri-peptides, antioxidants, vitamins and fatty-acids to provide a luxurious lip treatment that moisturizes, plumps, soothes and seals with a luscious glossy finish that will last for hours at a time.  Our one of a kind, bio-degradable,  vegi-cap is easy to apply and carry with you. 

Imagine the gentle kiss of a warm Amazon rain while you apply generously to your lips in the morning after lipstick and in the evening before going out or before bed. Use entire quantity in capsule for maximum benefit. Easy to share. Apply daily to see plumping benefits over time.

Ingredients: Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polybutene, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate (RSPO Certified), Tocopheryl Acetate, Tribehenin, Caryocar Brasiliense Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Gerenium Oil.


Okay that does sound like a lovely result, but before we get into my trial phase I want to take a little bit of a look at the ingredients. I love that there really aren’t that many.

First up we have Hydrogenated Polydecene.  I know that is a mouthful to say, however this is just a non-sticky emollient that makes the product easily spreadable and very moisturizing. It is what makes creams feel smooth and silky.

Polybutene is essentially a binder that is often used in lipsticks, eyeshadows and skincare and it basically keeps all of the ingredients together. Silica Dimethyl Silylate is an anti-caking, viscosity increasing emollient that has been deemed safe to use in all cosmetic products.

Okay, now brace yourself.  Ready?  Okay our next ingredient is Ethylhexyl Palmitate (RSPO Certified).

Now I know you see an ingredient that is palm oil based and if you are anything like me you start to feel a little squidgy inside.  However, while as an ingredient the Ethylhexyl Palmitate is another emollient and a solvent and therefore important in the formulation, the really important bit – at least for me – is the RSPO Certified.  The RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) was founded in 2004 and is designed to promote the sustainable harvesting of palm oil. The certification provides a traceable supply chain which lets the consumer know exactly where their palm oil is coming from and how it was produced. The palm oil with this certification has been kept separated from other palm oil products. Because of the transparency of this chain I am less squidgy about seeing the Ethylhexyl Palmitate (RSPO Certified) on my ingredients list. I highly recommend checking out the RSPO site for more information.

Moving on down the list we come to Tocopheryl Acetate which is essentially Vitamin E and has skin soothing and softening properties. Tribehenin is a plant derived fatty acid that acts as a humectant (it locks in moisture).  Caryocar Brasiliense Fruit Oil (pequi fruit oil) has a host of benefits including adding Potassium, Fatty acids, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. Tocopherol (vitamin E) is a natural antioxidant. And last, but certainly not least is Gerenium Oil which tightens, brightens and removes dead skin cells.

This last bit is especially important when dealing with the lips a they don’t shed skin cells the awy the rest of your skin does.

So now that we have wrapped our brains around the short, but potent ingredient’s list, let’s look at the actual product.  The Teadora Wild Superfood Lip Drops come in little golden capsules, each capsule being a single application. Unlike a lot of single use capsules, these are not made from plastic but rather a biodegradable veggie base. They are soft but the outer case is more substantial than it looks.  If traveling with a few I would put them in some sort of pill case rather then just chucking them into your makeup bag, but I think in a small pill case they would easily travel around in your purse without breaking. 

To open I found it best to pinch the neck of the little teardrop shaped capsule between my fingernail and finger.  I found that if I tried twisting off the top little bit I often squeezed the product out all over my hands.  Using my thumbnail just worked better for me.  Once opened I squeezed the contents onto the tip of my finger and applied with my finger like a jarred lip balm. 

Because it is me and you know I am a very scent oriented person, you know I sniffed the oil.  There is no fragrance added to any of Teadora’s products.  So the oil, just smells like oil. It definitely smells more like oil you would use in skin care rather than something like cooking, but it is an oil scent.  It is more noticeable in the jar than it is when you apply it.  Once on the lips the scent fades.

In the product description the product is recommended for use either over lipstick or on its own.  I tried it both ways.  When I used it on its own, I tended to use it at night.  I tried wearing it alone during the day, but quite frankly I didn’t like it. The only reason I didn’t like it alone during the day is that it tended to get oily lip prints everywhere and I just felt like it was rubbing off more than soaking in.  I think my coffee cup saw the most benefit then.

However,  I loved it on my lips alone at night, so I started making that my last step in pre bed skincare.  After finishing with my skincare for the night, I applied a capsule to my lips and went to bed, letting it set in overnight without the interference of coffee cups and lunch. In the morning there were only slight traces of product on my lips (none on the pillow) and mu lips felt softer and more hydrated.  At this time of the year where I am constantly fighting the battle of the dried lips, this product was amazing.  While I am using it at night (and will be until the drops are all gone) in the winter, I could very easily see this as something to reach for after a day in the sun. It was very moisturizing and I really liked treating it as a sleeping mask for my lips.

on the left, lips at the start of the trial (the slightly red spot on the lower lip is where I picked at the dry lips) on the right a month after using the Lip Drops as a night mask (nothing to pick at) Also that is what the gloss of the oil is like

However it was also recommended to wear the Wild Superfood Lip Drops over lipstick.  I’ll admit, I did have some fun with this.  First of all I liked it a lot better during the day over lipstick than I did on its own.  It does turn every lipstick into a gloss. This negates and matte your lipstick may have. But here is the fun part.  I have several lipsticks I wear because I really like the color.  Unfortunately some of those formulas are a bit drying.  With the lipsticks that are drying, when I put the Wild Superfood Lip Drops over them, my lips didn’t get dry. 

And as an added bonus, I didn’t get as much of the oily lip prints on my coffee mug as I did when I tried wearing it on its own.  It was like the dry lipstick absorbed the lip drops a bit, becoming one.  I have to say it really made me like those lipsticks a lot more.  As I have to avoid some of them in the winter because they tend to add to the issue of dry cracked lips and using the Lip Drops let me wear them in the winter with no issue, it was a substantial benefit to me.

I do have a caution though.  The lip drops worked excellently well with drying formulas of lip products, both bullet and liquid lips, but they didn’t always play well with some of the moisturizing formulas.  While it looked really nice ad added an amazing sheen to the lips, the lip drops combined with moisturizing lip formulas, just meant that the lipstick never dried down in any form and a trail of lip prints were left behind. 

I am personally okay with not using them with every lipstick.  The moisturizing lipsticks don’t dry out my lips.  Using the Lip Drops with my drying lipsticks lets me wear those lipsticks more which makes me happy.  My favorite use however is as a night mask. Don’t get me wrong, if I want to wear a drying lipstick I have no issues popping a capsule of the Wild Superfood lip Drops over it to prevent drying, but I really like giving my lips the full benefit of the drops by letting it sit overnight.  In the winter especially it makes for a wonderful addition to my routine and I am very glad Teadora sent these Wild Superfood Lip Drops for me to try.

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.


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.


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.

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.

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm is one of those products that I always think of as a sort of super intense lip balm. I think part of that is because the brand is Dr. Lipp and the other part is because I have always only used sample sized tubes of this nipple balm.

According to the website…

Original Nipple Balm: For Dry Skin, Luscious Lips and Glossy Bits

Famous for its gloriously thick, ultra-long lasting & instant hydrating effect! Historically used as a nipple balm, Dr.Lipp’s luxurious formula will rebalance, hydrate, nourish, soothe, plump and even help heal all types of dry, sore, cracked, itchy or sensitive skin anywhere. One product, one ingredient, 100’s of uses. Where you apply it is your business…

The full size is 15 ml and retails for $14.50. The size I always seem to pick up is 3 ml. It also has a lip style applicator whereas the full size looks more like a tube of hand cream and has a flat top. Personally I like the shape of the small applicator.

It is perfectly shaped to apply product to the lips and it limits the amount of product that comes out. Plus as it is plastic, you can wipe it off when you are done and it is all neat and tidy.

This is not a light weight product. When you put it on it has a vaseline like quality to it. The product is thick and it is present. It is not vaseline however. And I personally live the ingredient list. Want to hear it?

Ingredients: Lanolin.

Yup, that’s it. One ingredient. Now lanolin is derived from sheep so it is not vegan, however the sheep are not killed to get the lanolin. Some people who use lanolin do develop a wool sensitivity and if you are allergic to wool you should avoid it. I like that it is a natural product with no petroleum based products included.

I don’t use it a lot, but it is one of those products that is excellent for dry chapped lips. What I like to do is apply it, and let it sit for about an hour and then wipe off anything that remains on my lips after that hour. If I am going to be in a cold and possibly windy environment I will put it on before leaving the house and just leave it on my lips, because it also protects against chapping.

bare lips on the left, product applied on the right.

I just can’t leave it on my lips for long periods of time without wanting to wipe it off. The longer I wear it the more I find myself rubbing my lips. Which sort of helps rub it in, but if my lip are really rough it can lead me to start picking at them. Worn alone though it is a very shiny lip gloss. More nourishing than most lip glosses, but still looking like a lip gloss.

With the Dr. Lipps, I can apply it, wait an hour, rub it in a little bit and then wipe off the excess and I feel a distinct softening of the dry lips. It is a really good product. Especially before applying a lip product. It is nice to have that nourishment under the lips. I get a lot of use out of the sample size in the winter. Although if I am going out, I will use it as part of my pre makeup ritual. I apply this, wait then wipe it off, then apply a lip plumper, wait and wipe the lip plumper off and then o my makeup. I find it really helps give me smooth lips for lipstick application.

While the full size is $14.50 I don’t ever see myself buying the full size as I really only use it on my lips. They do sell a six pack of full lippie sized tubes (8 ml) for $38 which I would probably pick up instead of the one large one. To be honest, the six pack would last me the entire year if I kept it all. The last time I purchased it, I kept two and gave the others to family members.

And when I went on their website I found they now make a tinted version as well. the link is for the three pack which appears to be all of the tints they make. They are sold separately. I find the tinted versions interesting and out of curiosity I may end up picking one of those up to try. Because of the weighty feel of the lip product I wipe it off before apply lipstick. But I have been known to wear heavy lip products if I like the color and it wears well, so I suspect I would either really like or really hate the tinted versions of this. I have no idea which way that would go. I’ll be placing the tinted version on my to try list and will find out.

For now I am happy with the untinted version and while this is a sample, I have purchased the lippie sized before and would again even if i wouldn’t pick up the large squeeze tube. I simply don’t find myself using it anywhere but on the lips. That’s really the only reason.!

Lip Service: Reviewing Huda Beauty Demi Matte Liquid Lipstick

Huda Beauty Demi Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bawse

As most of you know by now, I love lip products. Even pairing down the products to my makeup bag every week I usually can’t help but add several to the bag so that I have a selection to choose from.  Occasionally, like with the Trestique mini lip crayons, I just take the entire collection with me into the bathroom and just pick a different one each day. Occasionally two, as I blend them together.

While fun for me, it often means that with my makeup bag posts the lips often are just jumbled into a small section and don’t get the space they deserve.  Why should foundation always take a single post space while they have to huddle into one review? Why should the eyes always have it?

And since this week I am using up the last of a previously reviewed foundation it is time for the lips to have their moment in the spotlight.

close up of the applicator wand

This week while I did again choose several products to use on my lips, I chose one to spotlight on its own.  I’m going to try to remember to do this more often so that each lippie has its moment.

Today, it is the Huda Beauty Demi Matte Liquid lip. This particular one is in the shade Bawse.

As we all know, I love a bold lip. Color wise, this did not disappoint.  It is a deep rich wine color when applied. There are of course other shades in the line.  I clearly have not tested them all, but I would guess they have similarly intense pigmentation.  The Demi Matte is nice as it provides a shine to the lips so they aren’t matte, but it is not super glossy. I actually like both glossy and matte lips actually but I tend to like my darker shades matte and my lighter shades glossy. 

I have no idea why that is, but if you look through my lipsticks, that is the overarching trend. Even though this is a darker lip, it is not too glossy for me.  I like the shine but don’t think it is too much.

the pre blot color (I know it is crooked, I fixed it after I blotted)

The applicator is a doe foot and I have to say, I really like the shape of it.  There is a slight curve to the applicator and it really helps with applying the liquid lip.  When you get a dark liquid lip, there is always the issue with crazy messy application. (As you can see if you look left, I needed to straighten out my lines let I do an Elvis like curled lip all day.) At least with me.  Or maybe I have messy application with all my lip products and it just shows more with the darker color. Either way, the shape of the applicator’s doe foot really let me control the application and not get super messy with it. 

Post blot first picture of the morning

The product went on really dark and somewhat thick.  I always blot my lips with a tissue before leaving the bathroom, a habit given to me along with my very first lipstick. It is also one I am not likely to break any time soon. If I were going out and not eating or drinking and not wearing a mask I would touch up the edges so that it was neater and not blot as much so I could retain the color more. Maybe not blot if applied just before a photo.

Then blot after the photo. I do love this color.

But I knew without blotting my coffee cup would look like a murder scene. And it would have gotten all over my teeth, no question. The tissue took off the excess product and I have to say I really like the color post blot. I prefer the wine dark of the pre blot, but I did like the post blot color as well.

Also, for this test, since I was only testing the lipstick on it’s own, I did not use a lip liner. Any other time I wore the lipstick, I added a liner, because this one really needs it. I highly recommend using a lip liner for this one to clean up the edges.

So color, both blotted and not, is liked.

But will it last?

the blot

I wore the Huda Beauty Demi Matte Liquid lip throughout the day (several days in fact) to find out.

While the liquid lip is comfortable to wear, it does not disappear from your mental screen.  There are some lipsticks I can put on and then completely forget I am wearing until I pass by a mirror. This is not one of those.  I always knew I was wearing a lip product. I don’t mind that, but it is something to be aware of it you prefer that it feels like you aren’t wearing anything.

coffee cup rim after waiting five minutes between lip application and drinking

The reason it does not mentally disappear is that the product never fully dries down. It always stays slightly damp throughout the day.  While this does mean that you feel it on your lips and you will leave lip prints behind, it does have a benefit.

It does not cause your lips to dry out. Because it never fully dries down it does not dry your lips out.  In the winter, my lips get dried out a lot on their own, I do not need assistance from my lipstick. Plus, I tend to like darker colors in colder months, which makes this a pretty perfect match for me over the winter.

the rim fifteen minutes after the first sip of coffee

While it doesn’t dry down, it isn’t a sticky formula. You can roll your lips together and they still feel moist, but they don’t stick together as they do with many glosses.  I have never tried a full on glossy lip product from Huda, so I don’t know if their liquid lips do that, but many do and this demi matte did not.

Scattered throughout this post are photos taken of my lips (and coffee cup) throughout the day. The first one was taken of the rim of my coffee mug as I took a sip five minutes after applying the lipstick.  The second coffee mug picture was taken fifteen minutes after the first.  Because it doesn’t dry down, there will be lip prints. They are contained by mostly just drinking from one spot on the cup so you have just one lip print. (and yes for this I wiped the rim of the mug off just to see what was still being left behind fifteen minutes later.)

After lunch

While the color did fade over the course of the day, by the end of the day I still had a reasonable amount of product still on my lips.  In case you are wondering there was a full ten hours between first application and the photo taken at the end of the day. The after lunch photo was taken in my office where I have a lot of natural light, the start and end of the day photos were both taken in my powder room where the light is the same throughout the day.

I did not reapply the product on the day the pictures were taken and at the end of the day I was still happy with the intensity of the color.  Quite frankly I was absolutely thrilled with this liquid lipstick and how it performed. On the upper lip it did bleed a little into the edges of the fine lines when applies with no lip liner. With a lip liner, there was no bleeding into the fine lines. I should also point out that while it is noticeable with these close up photos, I didn’t see it until I zoomed in on the photos. The seep into fine lines is not really noticeable in real life.

End of the day

As one aside, on the day I wore this, the one time I went out with a mask, I wore a black mask (because I didn’t think about it).  While I am certain some lipstick got on the inside of the mask, the product itself wasn’t smeared around on my lips.  And the mask was black so I couldn’t tell what product got on it.  I also only had the mask on for half an hour, maybe forty-five minutes. Most of the time when I am wearing masks I tend to go with products that dry down completely.  I hadn’t anticipated going out with a mask on the day I was testing this , but it didn’t cause trouble. If wearing a mask all day, I would probably not suggest this lipstick, just because it doesn’t dry down all the way.

In the photo below I put the first of the day (post blot) next to the end of the day photo so you can get a better gauge of the color change. The color is clearly faded and the edges are a bit less distinct. This is easily corrected with a lip liner and I highly recommend using a lip liner with this lipstick. The lip liner keeps the edges crisp. I am actually going to pick up a lip liner in a matching shade. I’m hoping that by getting a Bawse lip liner (if there is one) I can keep the initial wine dark color by putting it under the lipstick even if I do blot the lip. (I’ll let you know if my plan works with an update). But even without the color, you need the lip liner to neaten the edges of the top lip.

Start of the day left and end of the day right

Otherwise, I was thrilled with this liquid lip and will be looking into picking up more from the demi-matte line. And probably looking into their matte lips as well.  When looking up the product info for this post and copying down the links I saw the matte Heartbreaker and had an instant craving.  And I’ve never tested the matte lipsticks from Huda Beauty.  Perhaps a future post…

Huda Beauty