The Makeup Bag: January 22nd, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post bronzing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No mascara on the left, mascara on the right

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

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

Final

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

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

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

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


Pretty Vulgar Make up

Going Beyond the Veil with an Illamasqua Primer

As we all know, I love primers.  While a lot of my primers are silicone based, this Illamasqua Hydra Veil is water based, which means that I tend to use it with a different sort of foundation.  This week’s foundation was the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water foundation.  I adore the foundation and this primer works really well with it. 

According to the product page…

Part hydrator, part primer, Hydra Veil instantly hydrates and smooths skin through a self-levelling, futuristic clear gel. Microalgae, Vitamin C and B3 work together to help maintain skins hydration levels, creating a healthy looking, balanced finish. Plant extracts also provide a calming and refreshing feeling, leaving skin fully prepped to apply your chosen foundation.

Prior to foundation application, use the spoon provided to apply one scoop of Hydra Veil to the palm of your hand. Using the Foundation or Highlighter Brush, gently brush the product from your hand and apply all over the face, right up to the lash line until the product is fully absorbed

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Peg-240/Hdi Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Niacinamide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alcohol, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Disodium Edta, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Acmella Oleracea Extract, Potassium Laurate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bht, Haematococcus Pluvialis Extract, Tocopherol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene

Illamasqua

I’ll admit, it took me a while to figure out that was a spoon attached to the inner lid.  I thought it was a decorative handle.  It does work as a decorative handle though, but really, you need to use it to scoop the primer out. 

When you scoop it out it looks like clear jelly. But almost instantly it starts to liquefy in your palm.  When it does, a flat foundation brush is your best bet for applying it where you want.  It goes on smoothly and while it is clear it does smooth out pores. 

Just remember to use a clean foundation brush and to use a different foundation brush from the one you intend to use to apply your foundation.  The primer does liquefy so the brush (and your face) take a moment to dry down. If you use a previously used foundation brush, you will end up with old foundation on streaking your face as the primer moistens it and the brush releases it. Even if clean the brush will be all wet and needs to dry before using it to apply foundation.  If you don’t have a spare flat foundation brush, then just use your hands to apply.

I tend not to use this under tinted moisturizers, but more under actual foundations.  The illamasqua smooths things out, but it is clear and doesn’t cover anything as it is clear. 

A little goes a long way and despite its pore filling tendencies and excellent performance, I tend to only reach for this primer in the cooler months when my skin is dry.  When my skin is dry, this foundation is fantastic.  It keeps other products from looking dry on my face and extends the length of my foundation.  Just remember the golden rule with primer, like goes with like. 

If you use a water based primer, go with a water based foundation.  Likewise if going with a silicone based primer go with a silicone based foundation. There are exceptions of course, but this matchy matchy combo prevents a lot of compatibility issues and products work better if they aren’t in a cage fight with each other at the same time you want them to look good on your skin

There are two things to remember when using this primer. The first is that it is more or less a liquid once your body heat touches it, so you need to take a moment and let the primer dry down on your face.  I know you should always give your primer a moment to settle in and lock into place before adding foundation, but it is even more imperative that you give this primer it’s moment to settle. If you don’t it will mix a bit wth your foundation and while it will still work it won’t be as pore filling and smoothing as it could be. 

The second thing to remember is not to use too much.  This is definitely a product where less is more. The picture of it in my hand is about double, if not more, than what you should apply.  I always forget how little I need the first time I go back to this primer and then end up wasting half of the product I took out.

Needs to take a moment to dry down (the sun was at a strange angle so I was trying to avoid glare)

I know it is strange to say but, I love the fact that I can use this primer for a long time and each time I dip in, the product looks untouched because the gel melts back together to form a smooth surface.  Generally it melts back together by the time I’ve finished applying it on my face and have rinsed the spoon off.

It’s also why I only use the spoon to get it out because any inclusions don’t remain just on the surface but can sink within and contaminate the whole thing. In addition it is a beautiful jar that I kind of like having on display.  If you are a member of Look Fantastic and receive their Beauty Box each month I believe this is the primer that is going to be in the box. 

It is a sample size whereas this is the full sized version, but you end up using so little of this primer that even the travel size will last a surprisingly long time. I’ve had the sample size before, which is why I picked up the full sized version and it seemed like it was never going to run out.  I think part of that is the fact that it always looks smooth and brand new when you open it, so it is the bottomless pit of primer. Personally I am glad that it lasts so long and this winter I will be reaching for this Illamasqua primer more often.


Incidentally Pretty Vulgar is having a Mystery Box Deal going on right now 5 products for $55 (retail value of $138). Just click on the banner ad and it will take you right to it. Their Cool AF Lava Water Foundation and Feathers Mascara are two of my favorites.

Pretty Vulgar Make up

The Makeup Bag: January 15th, 2021

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

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

Look ma, nothing on my face

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

Just the primer

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

foundation application

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

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

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

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

Bronzed and blushed

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

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

The Blush Divot increases

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

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

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

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

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

It Bye Bye Pores Powder

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stamp end of the Stamp and Drag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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.


AmorePacific

A Glowing Primer Review: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Face Primer

Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Face Primer

Typically, I am not one for brightening primers or foundations. The dewy look is not for me. I think it is years of having my grandmother tell me to powder off the shine stuck in my head. In general, I tend to go matte. However, sometimes a matte primer paired with a matte foundation can make the skin look flat and dull. So occasionally I will use a brightening primer. For me this is especially useful in the winter where I always feel like my skin looks a little dull.

And so this week it is cold and rainy, I am mostly in the house and feeling a little blah. As a consequence I have felt a little dull in the skin area and decided to reach for my Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Face Primer.

According to the product page…

Skincare + makeup come face to face. It’s lit.

Meet Banana Bright Face Primer, the vitamin C-powered illuminating makeup primer that delivers instant radiance while improving and extending makeup wear.

Inspired by the makeup artist must-have—“banana powder”—this subtly sunny makeup primer contains brightening pigments to bring radiance to the entire complexion. Whether it’s worn under makeup, mixed in with foundation, or even worn alone, Banana Bright Face Primer creates a dewy, healthy-looking glow.

But that’s not all. The look of fine lines and wrinkles—instantly softened. Skin’s appearance—smoothed. With its soft-focus effect, this vegan brightening primer formula creates a luminous canvas for an Ole Glow® that lasts and lasts. Instantly brightens, Improves and extends makeup wear, Blurs imperfections, Hydrates, Vegan

This week I had several low makeup days where I just used the primer and topped it with my trusty No. 7 powder, added a quick swipe of a single shadow, mascara and some lip oil and called it a day. In fact, the only lip product (other than the lip mask I am trying out overnight) that I used this week was my Yensa lip oil. This was not a glam makeup week.

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

I also used it under my elf foundation this week as well when I did a full face of makeup. Personally I liked using it both ways.

Just primer on the left and foundation over the primer on the right (no other makeup yet)

First of all, it smells like banana candy. Not real bananas, banana candy. Which I quite enjoyed. It has a slight tint to it which let it help dim redness and hide blemishes. It does have a slight glow to it (it is after all a brightening primer.

If you like the dewy look then you could wear this on a low makeup day without powder over it and be happy. The photos don’t show a lot of difference, but in person it is brighter but not greasy looking.

For me it needed the powder to tamp down it down just a little bit. I like the depth the product adds under matte products, but for me the dewy look just looks greasy. I know some people can pull it off, I can’t.

I’ve made my peace with that.

I love that this has vitamin C mixed in with it as my skin always reacts well to vitamin c. It was hydrating, without being greasy. It blurred my blemishes out and even helped obscure some of my fine lines. It also kept my foundation in place longer.

While I didn’t wear a lot of makeup this week, I did have one day where I got dressed to run errands and forgot I was wearing foundation (it is the sort of foundation you can forget you are wearing) so I ended up with the foundation on for about twelve hours instead of my normal eight.

The foundation was still in place. (all but the KVD shadow and Benefit mascara was gone as well, those two held in with the foundation, although I can’t claim any primer effectiveness there). It was longer than usual use for this e.l.f. acne fighting foundation and I was quite pleased.

I think in the summertime when my skin leans more towards the oily side, I wouldn’t care for the level of glow that it gives me, however in the winter time it works well with my dryer skin. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it has a soft focus, but whether worn with just powder or under foundation, I really liked using this primer this week.

It is on the line between skincare and makeup and given that I was wearing limited products this week, it really worked well for me. I am very happy to have it in my collection and to keep it in rotation. I think as the winter progresses I will be reaching for my Banana Bright Face Primer more often, while my mattifying primers may have to wait until spring.


SpaBreaks

Benefit’s Porefessional Primer: a makeup bag favorite

Anyone who reads my posts with any regularity has probably figured out that I have an ongoing love affair with primers.  I think it goes back to the days when I used to paint.  A perfectly prepared canvas was a thing of beauty and if set up properly, it made a world of difference.

I sort of take the same approach to makeup.

more primer than I usually use for the face

I have large pores on my nose and cheeks and so finding a primer that can fill those, and smooth out the canvas of my face before I start to apply the paint, er, makeup, is a good thing. 

The Pore Professional from Benefit Cosmetics is not a new product.  It has been around for a long time. It has been talked about in great detail by a lot of people. Some love it, some scorn it. Some have moved on to other primers. While i use many different primers, the Pore Professional is still one of the products I routinely return to use and like having in my dressing table. 

Ingredients: CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, DIMETHICONE, DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, ISONONYL ISONONANOATE, SILICA, DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, ISODODECANE, PHENOXYETHANOL, POLYMETHYL METHACRYLATE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891), CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), MICA, IRON OXIDES (CI 77492), LIMONENE, IRON OXIDES (CI 77491), IRON OXIDES (CI 77499), TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE, BHT. N° 04932/N

Benefit Cosmetics

If you take a quick look at the ingredients list you will see the words Dimethicone-vinyl-dimethicone-crosspolymer.  I know my darlings, it is a mouthful. But it is an important mouthful.

Dimethicone-vinyl-dimethicone-crosspolymers are flexible silicon polymers consisting of dimethicone copolymers that are crosslinked. It acts as viscosity increasing agent, dispersing agent, and an emulsion stabilizer.

Again, a mouthful. I know, take a breath and reassure yourself that there will be no pop quiz later on. No one is going to ask you to break it down chemically, you just need to remember what that ingredient looks like so you can spot it on a label. And why would you want to? Because of what it means when it appears.

What it means essentially is that this primer is a silicone based primer. I know, a lot of big words to say something so simple.

You might be asking yourself, why does this matter?

It matters because like works with like. 

Have you ever seen your balsamic salad dressing separate into oil and water particles?  That’s because oil and water don’t mix, at least not without shaking and even then, they will separate out once the shaking stops.

Primers and foundations are the two ingredients you want to combine on your face.  Generally speaking there are silicon based primers and foundations and water based primers and foundations. There are exceptions, but this is true for the bulk of products.

No primer on left, primer on the right, you may need to zoom into a cheek to see the pore difference but the redness of my current chin blemish is reduced.

If you use a silicone based primer with a water based foundation it is a little like the oil and water in your balsamic dressing.  While you don’t have to constantly shake your face, you essentially have two products that don’t actually want to combine that you are trying to combine. They might klayer, but they aren’t going to be happy about it, and the unhappy layering can make even a good foundation act up.

If you use a silicone based primer with a silicone based foundation, things will go much more smoothly. The same is true for a water based primer and a water based foundation. So while discussing crosslinked copolymers may not be your idea of a good time, spotting Dimethicone-vinyl-dimethicone-crosspolymers  on your product labels will help you pair products for a much easier application.

This week I again used the Ulta Beauty Youthful Glow Foundation (The link will take you to the foundation review) and yes, those lovely cross polymers are present on it’s label, which means it plays well with the Pore Professional.

This primer does have a bit of a tint to the product, which I use to my advantage.  Most of my primer application is done across my nose and on my cheeks.  I don’t find it necessary to cover the entire face with it as I don’t have enlarged pores anywhere else. This does let me use less of the product and so each tube lasts longer. 

Because it is slightly tinted, I tend to add a small amount to areas of redness as well so that there is a more uniform look to my skin under the foundation.  I find this also lets me use less concealer a the blemishes are partially covered as well.

If I am going for a low makeup day, often times I will just use primer and powder and just skip the foundation all together.  It depends on how my skin is doing that day and what the day holds. It isn’t a terribly long lasting look as it needs the foundation to lock it in, but when your regular conference call turns into a zoom call, a little squeeze of primer quickly applied and topped with a dusting of powder is a super quick primp.

I’d say it is a no tool look, But I have never been good using the puffs that come in the powder compact. I love my No. 7 powder but I lose its little powder puff within a day or two of opening it. So even though I use my hands to smooth on the primer, I go with a powder brush for application, which makes it a one tool look. To finish it you can make it a three product day and add mascara. (Just make sure you don’t jab yourself in the eye with the wand as you are trying to find a shirt with no coffee stain on laundry day. Trust me, that will take infinitely longer.)

The Poreprofessional is a good product to do this with as it does have that slight tint to take down any redness and diminish signs of dark spots as well as filling in pores. It is also a matte product so there are no shiny spots left to glare into the camera. Overall it is a good primer and one I like keeping in my dressing table for rotation into my weekly makeup bag.  I was happy that I got to use it again this week and I look forward to using it the next time it circles back into my makeup bag.


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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