Unboxing the April 2021 Ipsy Glam Bag Plus

IPSY, oh IPSY.  This was not your month. With the IPSY Glam Bag Plus the cost is $25 and you get five full sized items.  Two are picked for you and three you get to choose.  The subscription tier comes with a drawstring bag instead of a makeup bag.  In my opinion it is not really worth mentioning. So that is all I will say about it.

So we are going to jump into the products.  We’ll start with the items IPSY chose for me.  The first item was a set of Beau Gachis eyeshadow Brushes.  Now this is nothing against the brand.  I actually have several of their brushes already in my collection.  They are nice brushes.  Quite sturdy and durable. Work well with pigments. 

However, last month IPSY chose a set of eyeshadow brushes for my box. And in one of the tiers where I could choose an item the only item I hadn’t received in that column was a set of eyeshadow brushes.  So last month I received two sets of eyeshadow brushes and this month I get another set.  One set has already made it to my mom who wanted new eyeshadow brushes so I’m good, but still. I like brushes and in fact could use a few new face brushes.  I’m pretty set on shadow brushes at the moment.

When I first saw the line up on April 2nd I sent them a message and the reply essentially told me that I needed to check my beauty profile. The message made it sound more or less like them choosing eyeshadow brushes for me two months in a row was somehow my fault.

Which I didn’t appreciate.

It made me feel quite a bit salty in fact.

The brushes are fine though.  I will either eventually use them or the set will end up in a Christmas stocking. It isn’t like brushes expire, so I’m essentially fine with that.  I was just annoyed by the e-mail exchange.

On a happier note, the second item they chose for me was the Pixi by Petra Flawless Beauty Primer.  You know I love Primers and I have tried several items from Pixi that I like.  However I tend to stick to their skincare. 

I really like their Clarity Toner. I’ve gone through two bottles and it is on my list to repurchase once I work through the few toners I have in my collection. I had to deliberately not repurchase it while I work through some other products. I also have an eyeshadow duo from them that I like (but tend to forget about and need to use more). I am pleased to try some more makeup products from the brand.

Now we get into the three items I chose. The selection wasn’t as poor as it was last month.  I didn’t have any problems choosing.  There was no agonizing over options.  Each tier had one product that I was like, ‘Yeah, that’ll do.’ I chose nice products that I will use and am looking forward to trying out, but usually there is a bit of a choice debate and often I will go into the add ons and purchase one of the items I didn’t choose when I had to make my decision.  That wasn’t an issue this month.  I didn’t buy any add ons and my selection was easy.

I chose the Nue Co’s The Pill All in 1 Serum.  It is a serum that runs heavily to hyaluronic acid which my skin loves.  At the moment I am using the Vitamin C Powder from The Nue Co and I Am really liking it, so I have high hopes for this this serum and look forward to testing it out.

I did also get a second serum.  It is the Vitabrid C12 Vitamin C Dual Drop Serum.  I have a cleanser from Vitabrid in my to try drawer and I thought a serum to go with it would at least give me two things from the brand to try.  I’m going to pair them up and eventually roll them into the line up.  I’ve never tried the brand before and really only seen it here so I am curious to see how it performs.

And now we reach the final item.  I chose the Honest Co’s Cream Foundation. I figured I had plenty of skin care so it would be nice to try out.  I love testing out foundations and I do like cream foundations.

Oh what’s that you say, you didn’t see it in the unboxing of products shown above?  That’s because when I opened my box they did not send the Honest Co Foundation, they sent the Item Beauty Bronzer in Cheek Money.

If some of you think this sounds familiar, you apparently have a better memory than IPSY. I received this exact bronzer several months back.  To do a quick recap, the packaging is lovely.  The product is horrible and the lovely compact now resides in my purse so I can use the pretty mirror without worrying about what happens to the poorly performing product.

And I sent a message to customer service.  I am waiting for a reply.  You know it is bad when you contact customer service twice in one month.

Normally I like IPSY.  They are one of my tried and true subscription boxes.  I almost never have any trouble with them. I have had the subscription in one form or another for over four years and not counting this month I’ve had to contact their customer service team three times. 

Once for a broken eyeshadow, once for a broken lipstick and once because my box held four repeat items out of the five in the box. 

All three were positive experiences.  The broken items were replaced asap and upon realizing that most of my box was repeat they apologized and I think gave me points.  I appreciated the apology more than the points to be honest, although points are always nice. I’m hoping my beginning of April e-mail from them was just a one off with someone having a bad day.  As I really do enjoy IPSY I’m willing to shake off one bad month.  The products (baring the Item Beauty Repeat) are all ones I am looking forward to trying out, so it isn’t a bad month, it was just customer service that got under my skin. Despite all of my grousing, it was a decent, if not spectacular month.


Feel powerful and empowered from the outside in with this exclusive collection of active skin and bodycare essentials in collaboration with Sweaty Betty. Includes: Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser 150ml – Full Size Superfood CICA Calm Cleansing Foam 50ml Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads – 14 pads Superfood Kefir-Tea Mist 100ml – Full Size Superfood CICA Calm Hydration Juice 20ml Skin Nourishing Shower Cream 100ml Warm-Up Massage Balm 150ml – Full Size Exclusive Sweaty Betty Utility Essentials Wash Bag

Elemis x Sweaty Betty Post Workout Perfection Collection

Shop Now!

First Impressions: Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating Conditioner

Last week I was sent a lovely package from the brand Zents.  It included a collection of samples from their Eau de Toilette collection (ten scents in all) and a set of their Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating Conditioner. While I will get to the perfumes, each in their turn, it is time to begin the shampoo and conditioner trial.

I know some of you may be familiar with my shampoo and conditioner process and others are just tuning in.  If you are new welcome, if you have been here before, welcome back. While a first test of a shampoo and conditioner can tell you if it is something you want to try or if it is definitely not for you, I typically find that often as I use the product sin my hair my opinion sometimes changes.  I’ve tried several shampoos that I adored on first use, but by the time I made it midway through the bottle I was ready to chuck it. I’ve tried a couple that didn’t thrill me at first, but by the end of the bottle I was sad to see the bottle emptied.

So I tend to do multiple posts about a shampoo and conditioner set as I work my way through the bottle.  That way I am actually fair to the product. The first of the posts is the First Impression post where I am just getting to know the products, the second is posted when I am about halfway through the bottle and the third will be at the end of the bottle when there is no more product.  Sometimes I reach the end sad at the empty, other times relieved.

So this is the first of three posts on the Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating Conditioner.

First off, I like the pump bottles.  I really like the way they dispense the product and I like that I can tell the levels of product.  If I like and routinely use a product, then I like to reorder it before it actually runs out and bottles like this let me do exactly that. It isn’t a major thing, but it is something that I like.

I have been a big fan of Zents Bath Truffles for a while now.  Mandarin is actually my favorite scent for those actually. The products in the line from shampoo to body wash and bath truffles are designed specifically for those who are sensitive to scent. 

Use code ZENTS15 for 15% off site-wide! Shop now!

While the owner and founder’s inspirational story can be found on the website, I’m not going to repeat it here, mostly because it is just very well written there.  I highly encourage you to read about the foundation of the brand.  There is one line that I have to quote because I really just loved it.

“We call our scents our “liquid memories” because they draw upon the brain’s powerful ability to connect scent to memory. With our scents we can relive our favorite moments.”

Zents

While I absolutely love scents, a lot of the time my sense of smell will help me determine whether or not I like a product.  Just recently I tested a perfume from Kierin NYC that I had a hard time actually describing because it smelled exactly like sitting in the sunroom with my mother when I was a child.  It was actually difficult for me to sit down and break that perfume into actual scent components.

While I do like scent, when it comes to a lot of hair products I often have some issues.  My hair is long, it is thick and it traps scents.  Sometimes it is an acivity scent,  If I am working in the kitchen and slow cooking items I will often carry that scent around with me.  Sometimes I like the scents of hair products, other items I don’t but whatever they are, they will usually stick with me for a while so I do judge shampoos and conditioners first on scent and then on how they work.  I know that sounds kind of strange but If I don’t like th scent I won’t use it no matter how good the product works.  I recently tested a shampoo and conditioner set like that.  The product worked well but the scent was not only strong and not to my liking, but it overpowered everything else.  I couldn’t wear perfume or even scented lotion because it clashed with the scent of my hair.

Now because I have used the Mandarin Bath Truffle I was prepared for the scent of the mandarin Shampoo.  I was wondering how different it would be.  The result is not different.  The scent is, as one would expect, orange. However it reminds me of the frozen pops my mom would make when we were kids.  Not the store bought kind but the kind where she just poured juice into reusable plastic pops and put it into the freezer.  We had a juicer when I was growing up and for frozen treats my mom would juice whatever fruit was in season. 

When it came to oranges, even frozen, you could smell the scent of orange.  It was blunted by the cold of the frozen pop, but you could still get a whiff of it.  That was the strength of the orange. When I dispensed it into my hand.  It was there, but not over powering.  When I applied it to my hair and began lathering, the scent was a little stronger, partially because it was closer to my nose and partially because of the steam in the air. I always find heat tends to intensify scents, at least to me.

When I rinsed my hair, the suds slipped off down the drain taking most of the orange scent with them. 

Then of course, came the conditioner.

The conditioner is not Mandarin scented, so it isn’t reinforcing the orange scent, which I liked. The scent of the conditioner is called Water.  I’ll admit, when the scent of water comes to mind it is a fifty/fifty shot if my brain goes to the beach or the mountains.  Part of me thinks of the ocean and the other part thinks of the cool green scent that always lingers around swift moving streams in the mountains where  I used to hike.  I read the description to see which I should expect.  The description of Water is…

WATER: Refreshing & Renewing: blue chamomile, coriander, lemon, mint, anise

Luxurious, color-safe WATER Conditioner nourishes all types of hair, delivering intensive moisture with 100% organic shea butter. Rich jojoba extract guards against sun damage and imparts manageability. Icelandic moss and Sunflower Oil fortify the hair and protect against breakage. WATER Conditioner leaves hair full, vibrant, and lustrous.

I’ll admit, I thought those scents would make it a bit strong as those are some pretty potent scent notes.  If you do a lot of baking, you know that those scents can easily dominate. They don’t. And it isn’t the massive scent bomb I feared. It is a light delicate fragrance.  The lemon and mint I can detect a little in the freshness that is leant to the floral that I am guessing is the blue chamomile.  It is lightly floral, with fresh notes and just a hint of spice. 

I’ll admit, I didn’t get the hind of spice until I washed it out.  And once the conditioner was in, I no longer had any hint of orange.   It is like the conditioner said, ‘thank you for coming’ and sent the scent on its way.  Not that the conditioner lingered for much longer.  Most of the scent dissipated when the conditioner rinsed out. By the time I stepped out of the shower, my hair just smelled clean.  I couldn’t detect anything but clean hair.  I got my babydoll to sniff and he asked if I was trying to trick him because there was nothing in my hair. 

As this was the first impressions of the shampoo and conditioner, I towel dried my hair and let it air dry naturally.  I put no additional products in it.  Since whenever I dry my hair I use a heat protectant spray, I didn’t use my hair dryer.  I also added no leave in conditioners and even skipped this week’s hair mask.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be using those items moving forward, but for the first impression, it was the Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating conditioner only. I also held off dying my hair (even though my new eSalon kit had just arrived) so that the products would stand alone. 

And wow, did it stand. 

When my hair was dry I ran my fingers through it to see how tangled things were likely to become. I had no tangles and my hair felt luxuriously soft. It felt light and not weighed down and I had fewer fly aways than usual.  In the photograph in this post, my hair is air dried and brushed through.  There is no styling as both the styling and styling products might skew the first thoughts.  I have to say I was very pleased with how my hair looked and felt with just a simple brush through after air drying.  As I make my way through the bottles I will do a dive into ingredients and discuss some of the ingredients that I think my hair is responding to as well as talking about how they continue to respond to the shampoo and conditioner.  There will of course be other products used so I’ll get to see how they interact with each other. But thus far in this first impression, I am absolutely thrilled with my hair. I can’t wait to see how this plays out as I work my way through the bottle.

Let’s talk reusable…

For a while now I have been trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce. Some of it has taken only a bare minimum of thought. Packing boxes shredded and added to the garden compost or to lay under garden beds to prevent weeds from poking through. Refillable water bottles. I have to say as I do like carbonated water, my Soda Stream has been fantastic for this. I use the Soda Stream to make the bubbles and dispense it into an actual glass to drink instead of actually drinking from the Soda Stream bottle which causes that bottle to last a bit longer as well. To be honest I just use the carbonated water, I haven’t tried any of their actual flavors although I keep meaning to. I might put that on my list next time we reorder tanks.

However, while I lower the level of disposable water bottles and for the most part contain the trash from most of my subscription boxes, my bathroom does produce a lot of waste. I have been working to combat that. While I adore the ease of makeup wipes (well the good ones anyway) I have stopped using them.. Occasionally I will get a pack in a subscription box, and i can’t lie, they are usually a treat. They really are quite convenient. However, I have stopped purchasing them individually.

Instead I use my Makeup Eraser, they come in all shapes and sizes. I generally have one that has no makeup on it that I use for general touch ups (both wet and dry) and I use another Makeup Eraser to take off the makeup. At the end of the week I will use the one I kept clean to remove that day’s makeup and then chuck everything into the wash. I really want to get a set of the smaller seven packs of makeup erasers so that I can start each day with a fresh one, but the system I am currently using works really well.

The next item that I have been working on eliminating are the disposable cotton rounds. I use quite a few of them in a day. I’ve tried several different types of rounds but none of them worked quite right to replace the rounds for me until I received the Magnitone Wipe Out Swipes in a Look Fantastic box. I recently (as in arrived yesterday) received another set in a Birchbox so I now have six to rotate around. I’ll probably still order a full set of six ($20 on Birchbox – I can’t find the small Swipes anywhere else. The makeup removing cloths are everywhere, but not the Swipes)

So why do I like the Magnitone Wipe out Swipes?

The first is the size. You can see in the photo the size of the Magnitone Swipes compared to other replaceable rounds that I have tried. The Magnitone rounds are the same size as a normal cotton round, while the other reusable wipes are much larger. Now I know that sounds strange, but bigger isn’t always better. The larger rounds are a bit too large to use for things like toner (my primary use for the cotton rounds) They roll up when used and just aren’t as easy because they are too large. At the same time, they are too small to remove makeup. The larger rounds are just an awkward to use size and if I am going to replace the rounds I needed something that worked as well.

The Magnitone Swipes are the same size as the cotton rounds. So that starts off as a plus. They are very soft on the skin. My one issue with them is that they can be a little too absorbent. I have found with things like toner, putting the product on the cloth just means you have to use a little more product. At the moment I am using a spray toner So it isn’t an issue, I spray my face and use the round to pat it in and make sure there is no excess. With Essences, the other item I generally use rounds to apply, I’ve actually stopped using any rounds and dispensed the essence into my hand then applied it to my face. I’ve just found that any essence absorbed is too much. it doesn’t matter if it is a reusable round or not, I just use my hands so that if anything else absorbs the essence products it is my hands and not some sort of cloth.

In general the most difficult thing I have found about switching to reusable products like the Magnitone Swipes and Makeup Erasers is finding a place to put the used ones. I just keep a small plastic container under the sink and drop the used ones in along with my washcloths which I change out during the week as well. I find that it gives the washcloths and used rounds and Makeup Erasers a place to live and to dry out.

The drying is the big issue. I didn’t want to add the wet cloth to my laundry basket. In the plastic bin they can dry out together and not cause musty moldy sorts of issues. I just need to remember to add it to the laundry when I am ready to wash. I will say that while the set that just arrived is new, I have been using and washing the Magnitone Rounds I have for over a month now (they came in February) and they have come out of the general wash looking as clean as new and with no wear showing at this point. I’m sure there will come one wash too many and they will need to be replaced, but for the moment, they are holding up quite well.

There are a multitude of reusable products out there that can help you cut down on waste. These are some of the ones that really work the best for me. I clearly haven’t tried all of the products out there and will no doubt try more, but this is what works for me right now. I’m sure you will find what works for you. If there is one piece of advice that I would give to anyone who is trying to use more reusable products in their bathroom routine it is to find a designated landing spot for the used reusable items to stay between use and washing. when the reusable pads came in just added them to the jar where I was keeping cotton rounds and didn’t think about it until I had a pile of used rounds and nowhere to put them. For a while I wasn’t using them simply because I didn’t like piling them up behind the fawcett and didn’t want to ut damp cloth in the laundry basket. Having that designated spot to put them really helps incorporate the reusable rounds into a process. Once you have a process it can become routine. Routines become habits and before you know it, reusable is the way you live.

Celebrate Earth Month at MakeUpEraser.com and Receive a Free Reusable Tote with Every Purchase (While Supplies Last). Offer expires 04/30. No code required

Makeup Eraser

SodaStream USA, inc

Birchbox April 2021 Unboxing

This was an interesting box this month for me. But before we get into it, let’s go over what Birchbox is, what it costs and what i should expect. So Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription. They send samples with the occasional full sized item thrown in. They are often kind of mocked for the small size of some of their samples. To be honest some of them are ridiculously tiny. Recently I’ve gotten small samples but none of the really tiny ones. The cost varies depending on if you get a month to month subscription, a six month subscription or an annual subscription. They usually have deals running about the subscription and I ended up signing up for a year subscription in November of 2020 because of their signing bonus which at the time was an advent calendar.

Because I signed up for a year I pay $13 per month ($14,27 with tax). If you sign up for six months then it is $14 (with tax) and if you go month to month it is $15 per month. If you are looking at subscription comparisons in terms of which one that you want to spend your money on, the Macy’s box, which I also get is $15. It also charges tax so the month to month cost for Birchbox and Macy’s are the same. I just reviewed Macy’s April Box if you’d like to look at it for comparison.

So now that we know what we are looking at, let’s get into it.

Usually Birchbox comes in a sturdy cardboard box. This month, due to Earth Day Celebrations it came in a reusable Stasher bag. I have to say I like this much better, although i doubt it will be repeated. I have been wanting to try a Stasher bag for a while. They are reusable bags that can go in the microwave, freezer and even in the oven. So it isn’t just a good storage item it is multi functional. And yes, I will be putting it to the test to see how it works so stay tuned for that review once I’ve put it through its paces.

However as fantastic as the Stasher bag is, it isn’t one of the five items in the box this month. The first item in the box is the only item that I knew would be in the box. Usually Birchbox gives you a multitude of choices and options, this month you could either trade in your box for points or a natural deodorant kit or you could choose the color of your Re.fil refillable Beauty Balm. I wanted the Stasher bag so I didn’t trade in the box and I am happy with my Native deodorant so I chose a green case for my refillable beauty balm.

I’ll admit, I was kind of annoyed that that was my choice. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of reducing waste and have been taking steps to reduce it in my own life. I use Makeup Erasers rather than disposable makeup wipes. I’ve started using washable faial rounds instead of disposable cotton rounds. And I can see that having a reusable balm would cut down on a lot of plastic waste. But the thing is, I have a lot of balms and part of reducing waste is using what you have instead of buying new, so I would have chosen something other than a balm if given the option.

I am also leary of reusable balms like this. I like the concept, but often times the product isn’t one I want to repurchase. Clearly I haven’t tried this one, so I don’t know how it performs, but if I am going to keep this around and reuse it repeatedly, it needs to be a good product, not just a good package. I actually have my fingers crossed that it will be a good product as it is a sturdy and reusable looking container.

But the jury is still out.

There is no deliberation on the second item. The second item in my box was a box of 2 Magnitone London Wipe Out Swipes. I couldn’t be more pleased. I received a set of these in a Look Fantastic Box and then accidentally ended up with two of the same boxes so I have four of these that I currently use. I really like them and am happy to add two more to the collection. They will immediately be put into rotation. They aren’t perfect, they do have some issues to get used to, but I really like them.

I also like that Birchbox has them listed for sale. You can buy a six pack for $20. One of the reasons I haven’t posted a review of these is because I couldn’t find them listed for sale in the US. I found other products from Magnitone london that I could buy, but not these swipes. Now I know at least one place I can buy them. So i am very thrilled about those.

The next item is a Comfort Zone Remedy Cream to Oil Ultra Gentle Cleanser. I like cleansers and we don’t always see a lot of them in subscription boxes so I don’t mind seeing it. The cleanser has at best two uses in the tube which is enough to let me know if I like the fragrance and if I have any initial reactions. It isn’t really enough to let me know how I’m going to like it on my skin.

A few months ago I used a Murad Cleanser that I loved for about a week and then found my skin dried out and flaky in week two. (It isn’t actually Murad’s fault, I didn’t realizing it was an acne wash for oily skin. It is great for one time use here and there for me but not a daily cleanser. It is fantastic for drying out oily, acne prone skin though). So I can get an initial impression. I think I may have heard of comfort zone but I can’t recall trying anything from them. So it will be interesting to see what I think of the one day use.

I have tried Grace and Stella before many times. Their under eye masks are one of my absolute favorites. This month I received a small Rose Water Facial Mist. I sprayed it and while I like rose, this was a little much for me. I am sure it is a fabulous product, but I know I wouldn’t use it because of the scent so I will be passing it along.

Finally there was a sheet mask from Vitamasques in my box. It is the Hydrate Blue Agave Sustainable Sheet mask. I’ve used Vitamasques before and liked them. I think I have one currently in my masking collection that I was planning to use this week actually. I don’t know the difference between their regular sheet masks and their sustainable ones. What I might do is use the regular sheet mask for my Wednesday evening face mask and then use the Sustainable sheet Mask on Friday and do a comparison between the two. I figure using them that close together will at least let me know the difference as there won’t be too much time between uses.

So that was the April 2021 Birchbox. To be honest I love the Magnitone Wiper Out Swipes and know that I will use them. I love the Stasher bag and know I will use it. I am pleased with the sheet mask and feel kind of okay about the cleanser and Beauty Balm. Maybe I’ll be more excited once I try them out. While I love the swipes I really have to say I am most excited about the Stasher. Overall this wasn’t the most exciting box. It was okay but not spectacular and mostly saved by the Stasher. But that’s okay. Not every box is going to be fantastic. This one was just mediocre. I am signed up for Birchbox until November when i will have to decide if I am going to keep it for another year or let it go. seeing the good, bad and mediocre boxes throughout the year will certainly help me decide if this is a box I plan to keep long term or one I will need to let go so that I can try a different one.

And either way, I will end up using the Magnitone Wipe Out Swipes daily and get to see if the Stasher actually does all that it claims. So that’s something.


My Little Mascara Club

The Underclub April 2021

I love the double bag for the Underclub

This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite subscriptions. The Underclub is a monthly luxury underwear subscription service. While they have multiple tiers, some with more than one set of underwear, I went for the $15 per month option. It is exactly $15 no tax or shipping added. For this price I receive one pair of undies each month. It ships on the first and charges on the 11th. I actually received April’s pair on Thursday April 8th (there was a shipping delay adding two days to delivery) and I was charged for May’s set on April 11th.

I initially chose this subscription service to try for three reasons. The first is that I really like subscriptions. I really do like the surprise package in the mail and the ability to try new things.

The second reason was that I wanted to try some subscriptions that weren’t makeup and skincare based. I am trying to branch out more into lifestyle and clothing subscriptions.

Plus, one thing people don’t tell you when you start working out is that no matter what underwear you are wearing, it is going to take a beating. I generally pick up packs of Hanes Cotton Undies for workout wear but I like to have nice underwear when I am not working out and in my initial workout phase, I didn’t realize I needed to switch out my undies like I switch out my regular bra for a sports bra so a lot of my nicer underwear didn’t survive. So it is nice to build up my collection again.

And thirdly, when I went looking for sizes, the Underclub was very size inclusive. They not only had a size that fit me, they had models that weren’t Victoria Secret Standard. They were all beautiful women but they were also real women. I know that I do not look like a Victoria Secret model in my underwear. I know that even if I get my body down to a healthy weight I will not look like that. Which is perfectly fine. How boring would the world be if we all looked alike? I like that The Underclub recognizes that and markets for real world bodies.

Waist detail

I also like the quality and styling of the undergarments as well. This month’s set of pants was quite lovely. On the surface they look like plain black undies. They are made of a kind of net material. The front has an inner liner, the back does not. The Brand is MOD by Parfait which we have seen before.

This set, like every set I’ve received fit perfectly. So if you are looking for your size, follow the size chart. I measured myself, took my inch measurement to their chart and have not had an issue with fit. It is a spot on size chart, which is really nice when trying to find your size. And while I am on the heavy end of the spectrum, they do have extra small for those of you on the other side. They have a pretty wide array of sizes which is again one of the reasons I chose to try out the subscription in the first place.

With this month’s set, I was very impressed by the quality of the elastic around the waist band. I know that sounds very strange to say, but most of the underwear I’ve received thus far has less of a stout waistband, The thinner waistband suited the style and the elastic was thinner because of design. This pair has a thicker waistband and a correspondingly thicker elastic. The elastic doesn’t constrict too tightly and you can tell it is the sort of elastic that will last a while. It is an oddly difficult balance to find. The elastic fit properly and didn’t leave marks on my skin.

As with all the underwear, it went straight from the packaging to the washer and then I tried it on. There were no loose strings or missed stitches wither before or after washing. The garment was well constructed. Like I said before it fit perfectly.

My one issue was that there was not a liner on the rear as there was for the front. I understand the styling and looking at it, I really like the way it looks. However, I did wear them sitting at the desk while working on the computer and ended up with a net print across my rear end. It wasn’t in any way uncomfortable, just oddly textured skin when i stripped down for my shower. I was momentarily puzzled, then realized it wa from the pants.

Over all I am very pleased with this pair and happy to keep the subscription another month. I am still wearing the Valentine’s bralette and pants set. They have been in rotation since February and they are holding up quite well even though it is more delicate looking than untehr sets. It looks just as good now as it did when it arrived. I really like the bralette, I just have to remember it is in no way designed for exercise and change accordingly. It does fit well though and looks great when working at my desk or generally moving around. It just doesn’t have the support i need for workouts (which isn’t surprising as it isn’t a sports bra). I still have my eye on the minty green pajama set (pictured above) and now they have a Birthday three pack available. In fact each month they seem to come out with a new set in a different style and the list of ones I want just keeps getting longer.

While I am drawn to the mint green Pajama set mostly because I am starting to transition from my winter pajamas into more summer themed sleepwear, I also like the bra and pants in the same material and style. I’m actually torn as to which one I want to order as they both look really nice. Soon I will start inventorying my spring and summer clothing so it may end up being a decision made on what survives the purge. I have some spring and summer clothing that is now a little large on me and some that is just worn out from seeing too many summers. So I may make the decision after, but seriously how cool is that set? I think I may have said the same thing last month but it still remains true. I just really like the color and design of it. And if you are just looking for undies, they have great bundles as well as individual sets. I’ll link the birthday link below.

Personally, the more I receive from this subscription the more I like it. They are size inclusive and don’t make me feel badly about myself because I don’t fit a certain mold. They recognize that everyone deserves to feel pretty, which I love. If I am wearing pretty underwear, even if no one knows it, I feel pretty all the way through, which I’m sure reflects in my attitude and self confidence. while pretty underwear doesn’t fix everything it is often a great personal boost.

I like that they are always coming out with new designs and that every piece i’ve had from them is a quality piece. Plus it is a really good monthly surprise. Overall I just really like this subscription service. If you are looking to expand your underwear collection, this is definitely one I would recommend looking into. I for one will be keeping this one for a while.

Birthday Gift 3-Pack

April 2021 Macy’s Beauty Box

Good morning my darlings.  The April subscription boxes have begun to arrive.  First in the mailbox this month is Macy’s Beauty Box.  It is a $15 ($16.46 with tax).  I signed up for this box and December of 2020 was my first one so this makes the fifth that I have received.  Thus far I have been really impressed by the items they have included.  Each month has been very much worth the price of the box and I have to say, it is one of the subscriptions that I am really excited to find in my mailbox each month.

Inside the pink roll

While I believe prior to December Macy’s Beauty Boxes always came with a small makeup bag, for the past few months the makeup bag element has been substituted for other items.  In December there was a reusable plastic container with travel sized containers and I believe January’s bag was hair product themed so instead of a makeup bag they included a mini hair straightener. There has always been something that replaces the bag. Personally, I am okay with the substitutions. I like makeup bags, but there are realistically only so many you can use. This month, we actually received a makeup bag.

I kind of like it.  I wish the zipper went down the sides a bit so the mouth could open wider making the insides more accessible, but it is a really cute little bag that can hold quite a lot of items. I like the iridescent blue and the almost cracked mirror look.  While the bag does come with an information card, the card says nothing about the bag itself.

The card does give some pretty good information on the products and it also lists the theme as Red Carpet Inspo. Usually Macy’s does a pretty good job linking the theme to the products so it will be interesting to see how it relates.  Let’s dive into the pink tissue sausage roll shall, we?

I’ll admit, the first Item out of the bag made me happy.  It is a sample size of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer.  You know I love primers. They smooth the canvas of your face so that you may paint your daily masterpiece upon it.  A good primer can make even a not so great foundation better. This is one that I have wanted to try.  However it is on the pricey side, so I held off hoping I would get a chance to try it out before actually purchasing the primer. 

I know, I love trying products before I buy them. I’ve mentioned that about a zillion times before. Because here is the deal, it doesn’t matter if it is a very expensive luxury brand or a discount drugstore item, a product is only good if it works for you.  And you don’t know if it works for you until you try it.

There have been several products everyone raves about (both drugstore and high end) that just performed horribly for my skin and there are some that just really work well with my skin type that other people can’t stand to use.  Playing around with samples rather than listening to marketing is a better way to determine if something works for you.

Which is one of the reasons I love subscription boxes.  Now don’t get me wrong, I saw the YSL logo and the pretty, pretty gold flakes and I really wanted to take it home with me. Hence the delight that it is a sample in the bag.  I will gladly use the sample and see how I feel about the product after a week or so of use. And you know I am going to have to give it a go this afternoon when I put on my makeup. So you’ll get a first impression soon.

But on with the bag.

The second Item was a small Makeup Eraser. It is so small and cute. I really like Makeup Erasers.  They let me stop using makeup wipes and thus reduce the amount of trash that I produce and have become an essential part of my skincare and makeup routine.  While I do use makeup removing balms and oils, I apply the balm and oil to my face use the Makeup Eraser to help me out. It keeps the wash cloths from becoming mascara stained and keeps me from having to do any harsh scrubbing on my face. 

And the Makeup Eraser always washes up clean.  I’ve had mine for over a year (maybe 2 for the current one I’m using, I lost track) and after the wash it looks practically brand new.  The colors have faded a tiny bit, but there are no stains.  I can’t actually say the same thing for the PMD Cloth I received in a Boxycharm a few months ago, but that is another tale to tell.

Thus far I was as happy with this box as I have been with every other Macy’s box I’ve gotten. 

Then out rolled two black gel pencil style eyeliners. One is Natasha Moor’s Kohl it Magic Eyeliner and the other is Clinique’s Quickliner for eyes in Intense Ebony. I swatched them both and they look slightly different but feel the same on the skin.  I’m sure there are differences between them that I will find out once I start wearing them.  I’m sure that they are both fabulous.  But here’s the thing.  Its two black eyeliners in the same box. The same color. The same type of formula. It seems like a bad decision.

I have to say I was not all that happy with the Bodyography tapered blending brush either.  The ferrule is a little loose already and it feels a little cheap.

Next up we have the two perfume samples.  The Macy’s box tends to come with at least five items and usually includes two perfume samples.  This month the samples were both from Jimmy Choo.  One is the New I want Choo which looks interesting and the other is Jimmy Choo Man.  I will give that a sniff and see if it is unisex enough for me to wear or if it needs to pass to someone else but I am always happy to have new perfume samples to try out.

I have to say as much as I love the YSL Primer and the Makeup Eraser, this isn’t one of their better boxes.  Sadly I might have thought differently if the brush wasn’t wobbly and one of the eyeliners was in a shade other than black. 

Then I would probably have been a little happier.  But the brush was cheap feeling and there were two black eyeliners.  And as the boxes have been really good in the past few months, I just really expected more. I still think it is a good box for $15 and I am still glad to have it, but I feel it just isn’t as good as the other Macy’s boxes I’ve received in the past few months.

It’s still a good solid three out of five for me, but that is really because I love Makeup Erasers and am always happy to have another one in any size and because I really wanted to try out the YSL primer. Still a three isn’t all that bad all things considering.  It is solidly middle of the pack. It only feels like a letdown because the past few months have hit high fours and fives.


Makeup Eraser

Its a pore clearing Face Mask Friday

Welcome my darlings once again to Face mask Friday.  As my fever earlier this week seems to have brought out a spate of bumpy clogged pores, I am going with a tried and true clearing mask for me.  It is the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Chamomile and Cacao Clearing Clay Mask. And yes, it smells like chocolate.  I know I’ve talked about this mask before so I will link here to the full ingredient break down. 

This mask is one I keep coming back to because it really does draw out the under the surface blemishes.  At the same time, it isn’t a mask I can use every week.  It is a somewhat intense mask.  Often what I do with it, it put a little strip of mask over my problem areas instead of my whole face because often times it is a little too much for my entire face.  Of course when my whole face needs a clear out it is perfect.

I can not smile even though I want to, my face mask won’t let me.

The mask is clay based so I do have sort of the stony faced bank robber look to me when I wear it, which is odd because the entire time I’m wearing it I am very much enjoying the scent of cocoa. The mask does tingle a bit.  Part of that is the drying aspect and part ingredients. I know that once I remove the mask everything will look more or less the same.  Then about five minutes later I’ll look in the mirror and parts of my skin will look a little red.  If I wait another five minutes then the redness is all gone.  What I noticed is that the parts that do get red are the parts that don’t really have any clogged pores for the mask to work on.  It’s why I usually use this mask as a spot treatment on red spots and bumpy texture.

By the time I go to do my skin care this evening, the redness will be a memory and the parts that were red will feel smooth and silky soft.  The parts that had bumpy clogged pores or blemishes that were thinking of coming out but were being really slow about it, will have risen.  It is not a good look, but once all of those blemishes break the surface and emerge from their hiding places deep under the skin, they can be dealt with.  Peace out Acne Dots Can be deployed as can salicylic acid based cleansers. And after a few days of work, I know my skin will be smooth and clear. 

little bit of red post masking

It is why when I do use this mask it is a bit strategic.  This weekend, gardening is the main goal.  It is time to put in the carrot seed in the back bed and start bringing the seedlings out of the greenhouse to harden in the sun during the day. They aren’t yet ready to spend the night outside. And this year I picked up these really cool carrot seeds.  The seed type is called Parisian. And it grows these little round carrot balls instead of long carrots.  We don’t have a deep bed so I’m hoping this will work. I would love to have fresh carrots this year.

But that is sort of irrelevant at the moment.  The point is that the back garden isn’t going to care if my face is dealing with mass break outs.  So it is the perfect time to deal with them.  Today the Clearing mask, tomorrow the breakouts.

If you are going to use this mask, or any clay mask really, I highly recommend getting one of those silicone masking spatulas.  I picked one up very cheaply on Amazon for less than a dollar.  I also have a more expensive one ($12), they both work more or less the same.  The $12 one is better materials and will probably last longer but that is really the only difference. They don’t have to be expensive tools to work.  The thing is, using them, while it feels a bit extra, actually helps you use less product so in the long run, it can keep you from running short of your favorite products.

While this mask can be worn for 10-15 minutes, I recommend doing a test spot to see how you are going to react to it and then starting off with less time, especially if you have sensitive skin. When it is dry I find it best to use a little water to loosen up the clay before you try washing it off. Just kind of pat some water onto it, or use a soft bristled brush to brush water over it to get the clay to loosen so you don’t have to scrub that hard to rinse.  If you do use a brush, go lightly as the point is to loosen the bask not scrub your skin.

There wasn’t a lot of Zen in my mask today. My baby doll is working from home today and when he is in the house masking becomes a sort of amusement for him.  He grew up with brothers and his mother had her own off limit’s bathroom so all this “fluffy” stuff is alien territory for him.  Some things he likes, some things he actively mocks.  And lets face it some things he actively mocks he really likes. Seriously, if you heard him mocking bath salts, bath fizzes and bubble bath, you would never suspect him of having his own private stash. He hasn’t tried any face masks but he finds them oddly fascinating. Also he thinks anything mud or clay based he can make up by taking a hose to a clay patch in the backyard. He keeps threatening to start his own skin care line called Mystic Mud. Don’t worry, I won’t let him.

But that was my face mask for this Friday.  No candles or musical interludes with eyes shut and thoughts adrift. Just a good pore cleanse and empty threats about the skin care line my baby doll will never create. Fun and in its own way, a little relaxing.


Herbal Dynamics Beauty has a deal going right now with 25% off their Hyaluronic Acid based products just use code APRIL25 the sale ends on April 15th. Happy shopping

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

The Skin Care Line Up: April 9th, 2021

It is time once again for the weekly skincare line up.  Above are all the products used this week (don’t worry they weren’t all used at once.)  You may notice that there a few missing from last week.  Lately I have been testing a Versed Press Restart Retinol, an Earth Harbor Marina Biome Balancing Ampule and using up the last of my Sunday Riley Good Genes. Usually I use the retinol followed by the ampule (oil) for extra moisture on Tuesday and Thursday nights and then add the Good Genes for some AHA balance the morning after. This Tuesday I was out of commission and I think I might have washed my face because I was overly sweaty and felt gunky.  I didn’t do much else.  By Thursday the excess sweating caused breakouts so I decided that I was just going to skip the retinol and friends this week and for my face mask Friday go in with my clearing mask and then once my skin settles down return to the retinol trial. So that is why those products are absent.  I did however add a vitamin C powder to my night time ritual and I will get to that when we reach the evening.

So…

Daytime skin care

Deodorant: Native Water Lily and Orchid

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser (end of week 3)

Toning Essence: Byroe Bitter Greens Toning Essence (end of week 2)

Serum: Loreal Midnight Serum (end of week 3)

Eye Cream: Perricone MD Smoothing and Hydrating Eye Cream (end of week 3)

Moisturizer: 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream (end of week 3)

Sunscreen: Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50

And in case you are wondering, yes that is the order in which I apply them.  The moisturizer needs a little time to settle before I apply my sunscreen but the sunscreen is the last element to my morning skin care.  I am currently using the Volition prismatic luminizing shield in SPF 50 (and have been for a while and will continue to do so for an even longer while).  This is billed as the sunscreen for people who don’t like sunscreen and I have to say I fall into that category. This sunscreen looks like skin care and lives with my skin care and so I put it on with my skin care so that I don’t forget.  It is very light weight and goes on like a moisturizer and doesn’t break me out. 

And because I very much just go down the line with my skin care in the morning, because it lives on the skin care shelf, I don’t forget it.  I am the first to admit that before my coffee I function on Autopilot.  I wash my face, pat it dry, go to the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot and return to the bathroom to finish with my skin care while the coffee brews. Anything that isn’t in the lineup gets forgotten.  Making sure the sunscreen lives there means I don’t forget it. The big trick right now is remembering to take it down my neck to my upper chest.  Enough of my shirts have v necks that I was getting some sun damage to the upper chest last summer because I couldn’t remember.  This year I am remembering.

I know that is a lot of time spent on sunscreen but we are getting into warmer weather now so more time is spent outside.  Plus I was utterly horrified but the Vogue interview with Gwyneth Paltrow on her skincare regime. But enough has been said about that dose of misinformation.  Just remember to wear your sunscreen. My morning skin care has remained the same since last week.  Several of the products I am using are approaching the end of three weeks of use. Most skin care needs at least thirty days of use before you see any results.  While I try to remember to post pictures of my bare skin in these posts each week (I took them last week but forgot to post them like a dingbat) Once I’ve used a product for over a month I’ll start to post the before and afters with the full product review. Thus far I have no major issues with my morning routine.

A quick update on the native Deodorant. The temps are starting to climb and as you know when I switched to the natural deodorant I had huge issues with wet underarms.  No stink but very large sweat stains.  They were large enough that pit stains didn’t do them justice.  After a while they started getting smaller.  I think part of that was my body adjusting to a deodorant instead of an anti-perspirant. At the same time thought the weather was cooling off.  It is now warming up and there has not been a return of the overly dramatic wetness. High summer will be the true test but I feel my body has adjusted.  I’ll keep you posted as the weather warms and I spend more time working in the garden.

Night time Skincare

Makeup Remover:  CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing Oil from Yensa

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser  (end of week 3)

( I didn’t wear waterproof eye makeup this week so I didn’t need the separate eye makeup remover from Klorane)

Toner Akar Skin Balance Toning Mist (end of week 2)

Serum: Loreal Midnight Serum (end of week 3)

Eye Cream: Perricone MD Smoothing and Hydrating Eye Cream (end of week 3)

Moisturizer: SYS Superfood for Your Skin Moisturizing Cream in Prickly Pear (end of week 2)

Vitamin C Powder: The Nue Co Topical C Powder

Neck serum: Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum

Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (in Maple) – this week I didn’t use a lip scrub.

Last week I finished off the Clean It Zero cleansing balm and so this week I rolled the Yensa CBD Super Food Dual Ceansing Oil into the line up to take it’s place.  You may notice that it is half full.  It is a good cleansing oil and it really does work well with my skin.  However the scent is very strongly CBD oil.  Some products are a surprise “Oh there’s CBD in this, I never would have known” . 

Bare skin at the end of the week

This is not one of those.

Blindfolded you could sniff it and know there was CBD in it.   I did a full review of it and you can read the full review here if you’d like.  It is a good product.  After I used and reviews it, I set the oil to the side.  While I don’t mind the scent of CBD after a while it does get to me.  It is a good product sold at a decent price it just has a potent scent. I will be using this and hopefully using it up.  I will not be repurchasing it.  I like cleansing oils as the first step in my double cleanse but there are other oils that work just as well, are comparably priced and don’t have a scent I have to power through.

mug shot to the side to show off those crows feet

With the exception of the Vitamin C powder all of the other products are holdovers from last week.  I am surprised that the SYS Superfood Moisturizing cream is still going strong.  Since I am using a Day cream as my primary moisturizer 9and the 111Skin Y Theorem is definitely a day cream with my skin) I decided to work through some of my sample sizes in the evening. I thought I would only have enough product for two weeks in this sample sized tube, but I am now at the end of week two and there looks to be enough product for another two weeks so I may get a long enough trial to do a full review of it.  I am still on the fence about the product so I am happy to have a little longer to decide.

and mug shot to the other side

Last night was the first time I added in the Nue Cos Topical C powder.  I noticed that my IPSY this month had something from the Nue Co (and no it hasn’t arrived yet, I just checked the site) and I thought it sounded familiar.  So I looked in my skin care drawer and found the overlooked powder.  Since I finished the Vitamin C from Herbal Beauty Dynamics that I was using I decided to add it in.  The product mixes in with my nightly moisturizer.  It was interesting last night, but it was the first night I used it and so it is far too early to say other than interesting.

The only other thing to report is that since I have been using the Agave lip mask from Bite Beauty in Maple I have not needed the lip scrub each week.  I was using the lip scrub once a week.  Now I think it is knocked back to once a month, which I am good with.  Also the maple scent has caused my babydoll to suggest we have pancakes and waffles more often despite the fact that he says he can’t smell it. Not that it means much in terms of skin care, but it has been an interesting morning trend. And that is the current state of my skincare this week. Everything is chugging alone and pancakes have been requested. I hope you have a great Friday and I will see you back her later for the Friday Face Mask.


Challans de Paris

Testing out the Ciate London Eye Luster Cream Eyeshadows

I will admit, I am not a makeup artist. I am probably the farthest thing from a makeup artist. I am just someone who likes playing around with makeup. And quite frankly, there are a lot more of us non professionals than there are professionals. There are certain products though that I approach with a certain amount of caution because they seem like you probably need professional level skill to deal with properly.

For me liquid eyeshadows have always sort of fallen into that realm. I can play around with shadows and feel confident that I will eventually come up with something i like. Most of my looks tend to be toned down and in the professional range because the reality is that I spend a lot more of my times in meetings than I do attending parties. but I do like to play around, especially when I am not expected to look professional. Thats when the wild colors, glitter and shine come out.

While I am fine with powder and cream, it is the liquid shadows that I am hesitant with. I have a couple of the Stila liquid shadows and I tend to use them at new years, or forget I own them. I really want to get more comfortable with them so I am making an effort to at the very least play with them over the weekends, so you may see them appearing more and more often (especially as I think my Stila ones are drying out).

To start with I tried the Ciate London Eye Luster Cream shadows. The one with the Gold cap came in a recent IPSy I believe. The one in the black cap I have had for a while and can’t remember where I got it. the packaging is slightly different so it may be old packaging. The newer one is called Cupid (gold lid) and I can not find a shade name or number on the one with the black lid.

The black lidded one is the top swatch and Cupid is the lower. For lack of an official name, I am just going to call the top one silver. In the new shades I think it matches the one called Ice. Both of these shadows performed the exact same way so even if the packaging changed, the product did not.

For my first use I attempted an all over the lid look to see how maximum coverage came out. I also used a dark powder shadow underneath to see how well it played with powder shadows since realistically, I will be wearing it in conjunction with a powder shadow. I tend to use shimmers as accents not all over the lid shades, but I extended the accent so to speak for this trial.

When I first applied it, I blinked while it was still wet. I have hooded eyes so there was an immediate line across the lid. I tried again and fanned the eye until dry. Confident that the lid was dry I blinked a bit and moved on to the second eye. If I let it dry, there were no lines and the shadow did give me decent coverage.

Throughout the day as the shadow continued to dry I ended up with little flakes of glitter decorating my cheeks. It was clear that the shadow wore away where my lids rubbed but for the most part it still looked okay. My cheeks were a bit on the shiny side. While I liked the color, as the shadow dried my lid started to itch so it was really hard not to rub my eyes. When I did, my knuckle came away with glitter and the shadow was no longer on my eye.

It was kind of the itching that got me. On other attempts at using the shadow I used it as accent marks. I dotted it on the inner corner in a true small dot and it looked great with no itchiness and no flaking. I used a small angled brush to play around with using it as a liner, both over and under the eyes. It worked well and there was no itching or fall out.

I think that is the trick with this eye luster. It isn’t really meant to guild the entire eye in color. Don’t get me wrong I love the shade cupid and if it had some of the glitter removed and it was just a cream eyeshadow I would definitely try using it across the lids. I just think that the glitter filled cream doesn’t do terribly well across large expanses of lid. This is an accent color. It looks good on the lid, but it doesn’t feel all that spectacular. Which is kind of interesting as I have a potted shadow topper from Ciate that I absolutely love all over the lids. This is a formula I will reach for to do the inner corner and to use as a shining liner, not is an all over lid shade. I like having it around, but it is also nice to know when I can reach for it and when i need to pass it by. Ovr all I am happy to have these Eye Lusters from Ciate in my collection. While they might not be for everyday wear, I am now confident enough that I can use just a dot or a dash here and there to brighten up a look while still looking appropriately professional. There will of course still be more playing around.



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

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

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

I kind of like having the variety.

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

Magically.

pump top

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

is…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


30% off Sitewide and Mask GWP with code MASK