The Make Up Bag: September 18th, 2020

The Make up Bag Used September 12th – 18th

This was a strange week.  I had plans, chose the full array of products, and then with the first use of the QMS Medicosmetics Active Glow Tinted Day Cream, those plans went out the window.  I really liked using the QMS Active Glow, and the link will take you to my full review if you would like to check it out.  However, it was very much a no make up makeup. Attempting to use a full eyeshadow palette or regular lipstick just sort of looked foolish with it.  So I decided it was going to be a very minimalist week.

First off, there was the sunscreen.  While there were two in my bag this week, the Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield (my absolute favorite) and the Polaar Fluide Solaire, I used them in different ways. 

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The Volition went on my face and the Polaar, which I found a little heavy on my face, went on to my neck and upper chest where my t-shirts often expose the skin to the full punishing rays of the sun.  As sunscreen I like them both, but as I don’t really care for the Polaar on my face, I use it on my neck.

While I could just use the Volition on both my neck and face, I haven’t found any other sunscreen I like on my face so this lets me use other sunscreens and reserve the Volition strictly for my face. It makes it last a bit longer and this week I certainly had space for both tubes in my makeup bag.

Because the QMS is so luminous on the skin, I definitely needed my setting powder this month. Since I was using limited products on my face, I went with the Becca Pink Haze Setting powder.  The QMS evened my skin tone and the Becca Pink Haze brought some color to the skin while still maintaining the no makeup look. 

It was just a healthy glow to the skin more than anything else.  Of the Becca Powders I’ve tried I think this may be one of my favorites.  To keep it from looking powdery once I applied it I used my damp Huda Beauty Makeup sponge to kind of tap it down and take away the excess. 

I really like the flat section of this makeup sponge.  I really didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it really has.  I know other makeup sponges have that feature as well, but that combined with the texture of the Huda Beauty sponge make it one I reach for the most.

Over all the QMS Active Glow mixed with the Becca Pink Haze gave me a really healthy natural look all week. And it didn’t get rubbed off by my face mask which was nice.

While I steered away from both bronzer and highlighter this week, my blush was called into action. Actually I’ve called this blush into action quite a few times and it is starting to get a very distinct divot in the center. This week I used my Gold Rush Blush from Benefit as my eyeshadow. 

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It gave me a slight color to the lids to add definition without looking like it was really there. The slight gold shimmer to the blush made it look like I did something but wasn’t trying too hard. Which was kind of the look I was going for this week.  It worked beautifully in this capacity.

These powders were set into place with my HA Spray from Timeless Skincare.  It was sent to me for a trial and this was the second week I put it into use.  I am still absolutely loving it.  The cucumber scent is amazingly refreshing and I like it almost as much as I like the spray. It makes my day feel spa like (and yes it is mostly because I am very scent oriented.)

It kept the powders into place (which is what a setting spray is asked to do) and it has good for my skin ingredients.  I was very happy to use it a second week.

With the powders in place and locked down for the day I reached for my Scandal Eyes Wow Wings Mascara from Rimmel.  Rimmel is a long time favorite drug store brand of mine.  Their powders and mascaras have always found a place in my world. 

The wand on this particular mascara is shaped to give you maximum lash lift towards the outer corners of your eyes.  I really enjoy this mascara.  Alas it is reaching the end of its life.  It has reached the six month mark and not only is it time to let it go, but after six months of use the little left remaining in the tube is beginning to get a little clumpy. 

the mascara wand from Rimmel

As it was perfect for six months I’m okay with it going clumpy when it reaches it’s expiration date.  If it didn’t I’d be tempted to keep it past it’s expiration date.  The clumps force me to get rid of it. It is a mascara that I will be repurchasing again in the near future.  It gave me very dramatic lashes and didn’t flake on me.

And finally we come to the lips.Even in a minimal make up week, I still ended up with three lip products.  The first is the Bite beauty Agave Lip mask in Maple. Most days I wore this at least part of the day.  Mostly around two ish when I was starting to think that snacking sounded like a good idea. 

The maple scent makes me feel as though I have already enjoyed a treat and therefore don’t need a second one. Which helps curb a lot of my snacking cravings.  It also keeps my lips nice and soft, which I’m sure is more the marketing plan for the product. At least I don’t think – Bite Beauty – Helps keep you from stuffing your face with potato chips mid afternoon – is their new campaign slogan.

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While I used this tube a lot, it barely shows a dent because so very little is actually needed to cover the lips.  It is one of those fantastic products that seems like you can use forever and never run out and then magically one day it is empty.  Then you stare at the empty tube in shock wondering how it could be empty. At least that is my take, you need so little it always seems like there is enough for just one more use in it.

my two main lip products this week

The second lip product I didn’t like as much.  It is the Alamar Cosmetics lip gloss in birthday suit.  It looked good on and it smelled nice, but it was very sticky feeling on the lips.  I know that most lip glosses have a somewhat sticky feel to them, but this seemed a little extra sticky.  It does look nice though.  I think this is one of those lip glosses that will end up in my purse so that if I have to apply it before giving a speech or taking a photo it can be applied, but it isn’t one I will be turning to often. Looks nice but doesn’t feel nice.

My third and final product looked nice, felt nice and smelled nice.  I think it also did some nice things for my lips too.  It is the Yensa Super 8 Lip oil in the shade pink shine.  While it gives a nice gloss to the lips, it isn’t sticky (cause it’s a lip oil). It also isn’t greasy, which I was worried about. 

Despite looking toxic-ly red in the tube it really only gave a delicate tint of color to the lips.  And throughout the day it sort of absorbed into the lips making my lips feel smother and better than before I applied it, which is not something I usually get with lip products.  The oils were quite nourishing.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that I like it as I have had good luck with this Yensa Line.  The Primer has long been a favorite of mine and last week I tried out their foundation and really liked it.  So for me anyway the Super 8 line from Yensa is super indeed. And to be honest, I kind of want to pick up the entire line of lip oils. Which as much as I love lip products is really rare for me to say about an entire line. But I really liked this lip oil.

lip swatches, Yensa on top and Alamar on bottom

So that my darlings was my minimal makeup bag this week. No primer, no bronzer or highlight. It was a simple quick and easy routine.  With the exception of the sticky lip gloss and the realization that I had to say goodbye to a well loved mascara, it was a pretty good week.

Because the summer is ending, I am going to be going through my foundation and foundation like products and pulling the darker ones.  These I want to use before my skin starts losing it’s tan.  I can’t remember if I have any I haven’t tried yet that are in the darker range.  If there are I will go with those first, but I think I might have gotten all of them.  I now I have some new winter shades to test But that is still a little while off.  O next week might be a primer review rather than a foundation one. Or maybe there will be something else that jumps out of my make up bag and decides it wants to be singled out. I’ll have to see what makes it into my make up bag before I can tell.   Either way, that is the end of this week’s make up bag.


Paula's Choice UK

My Current Skin Care Line Up

I know I talk a lot about different products, but I thought you might find it interesting to see the full regime as it stands now.  First off, I ought to say that I have a staggered rotation system for skin care. I like to have an older product I’ve been using for a while roll into my trial for a new product so that I’m not changing out every item at the same time. 

For example I am currently testing three Timeless Skin products (gifted to me by Timeless Skin for testing and review purposes for which I am extremely grateful).  The Hyaluronic Acid Serum I have been using for two weeks now (Labor day started week three so I will be reviewing it on the 21st after 30 days of use), while the while the Squalane Oil from Timeless skin is just starting its second week of use and the HA Spray is on its first full week of use.

The same can also be said for my Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk.  I used it for a month but will use it a little bit longer since I just started with the HA spray. I’ll use the same cleanser while I figure out how everything reacts and then I’ll start a new cleanser trial.  I generally find that staggering new products keeps my skin from freaking out with the new so I get a more accurate opinion about how things work.

Now I do have one disclaimer, my skin care routine is slightly jumbled a bit because I am trying to get in several workouts  and don’t want to just sweat off my products, so I’ll try to put those in here as well.

current cleanser

In the mornings, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I am trying to get in about twenty minutes of strength and flexibility training.  This is mostly with youtube videos, wii fit and yoga.  It is done in doors and because I have the tendency to talk myself out of it, I find it is easier to start with the workout before I’m fully awake.  So on those mornings I splash water on my face to rinse off the remnants of my night cream, towel off and after dressing, do my planned work out.

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After I turn on the coffee pot and cool down a bit, I start in on my morning skin care. I start by washing my face, currently with the Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing milk. 

Toner

I then use a toner.  I just finished the Akar Balancing Toning Mist and am now trying the Pixi Skin Treats Clarity Tonic.  Typically with Pixi I tend to go for their exfoliating toners so this was a new one for me.  While early in my use thus far I have been liking it.

serum

After toning I use a serum on my face, neck and decollete.  Currently, the serum I am trying out is the Timeless Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  And I did remember to take before pictures this time so I will have before and after photos from 30 days of use. 

I’ve actually noticed a positive change actually, but I will get into details with the full review.  At the moment I can say that I really like this serum and am turning into a pretty big fan of Hyaluronic Acid in skincare.

After I apply the serum, I brush my teeth while it takes it’s time settling in.  While this serum sinks in fast, I really like to give it a little extra time to settle in before I move on. You can probably see it in the background of the above photo but I am a big fan of the Aquafresh Extreme Clean toothpaste.  It has been my go-to for years.  I like the taste better than I like the regular aqua fresh.  Although sometimes the foaming can be a bit much.  But it is a good toothpaste.

eyecream

Then once I have wiped up all of the toothpaste fall out, I apply my eye cream.  Currently I am using the Glossy box Skin Care Eye Boost Cream (I’ve almost finished my month of use so a review will be coming soon).  With eye cream I not only use it around my eyes, but on the fine lines around my lips. 

The same formulation that helps eye cream work on the delicate tissue around the eyes also helps it on the fine lines around the lips. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite tricks and one I use increasingly as I get older.  In its own way that skin is just as delicate as the eyes and a little extra help in fighting those lines doesn’t hurt.

Squalane Oil

After the eye cream I use the oil.  At the moment I am using the Timeless 100% Squalane oil.  Oddly enough, I am finding that I can use it both morning and night unlike many other oils which I have only been able to use at night.  I think it’s because squalane’s main purpose is to simply lock in moisture and it really is just one type of oil (it’s also a really affordable oil as these things go). I’ve just started using it so I’ll have to see how it works moving forward.  Right now I am really enjoying it.  I use three drops and apply it to my skin and then follow with my moisturizer. I like applying the oil first rather than blending it in with the moisturizer. No real reason, it is just what I prefer.

moisturizer

The moisturizer I am currently using is the Dior Dream Skin Capture Totale. It was sent to me by Influenster and comes in a refillable container.  I can already tell you I am going to want to get a refill.

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At the moment it is running about even in my moisturizer preferences with the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer and the Volition Celery Green Cream. 

Those three may be my top three moisturizers of 2020 at this point.  Still the year is not over.

sunscreen

Speaking of Volition, after I apply the moisturizer I top it off with my Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield with SPF 50. I keep trying other sunscreens and I keep going back to this one.

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You will notice there is a second sunscreen in the picture however.  This is the Polaar Fluide Solaire also with SPF 50. While it is a good sunscreen, I don’t like it on my face.  It feels just a little too heavy.  It is perfect for my neck and upper chest where v-neck t-shirts expose the skin and I have really been enjoying using it there to give my skin some extra protection. 

lip masks, the maple day cream is in the tube and the night mask is in the jar.

I then add my Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask in the scent Maple to my lips.  It really does smell like maple syrup.  And it tasks kind of like it too.  I generally find that not only does it keep my lips wonderfully soft but the scent makes me feel like I’ve already indulged in some delectable treat and thus makes it less likely that I will feel like snacking.  I sort of feel Like I’ve already snacked.

NEW! Agave+ Pre-Makeup Lip Serum

And skin care done I sit at my desk and get a few hours of work done.  I don’t put makeup on at this point as my meetings tend to be in the afternoon and I still have my daily walk to get through.  All my skin care has a couple of hours to soak in though. 

Then I take my walk.  Before I leave the house I spray myself all over with a spray sunblock.  I’m partial to one from Neutrogena. Even with the sunblock underneath, I like to be extra careful, especially after my bad burn earlier in the spring.

In general I sweat profusely during my walks.  Which is fine.  I like to think of the seat as encouraging my weight loss.  However I am a mess when I return.  While I often employ the Busy Beauty Showerless wipes to get me through until I can take my evening shower, and have various ways of dealing with my hair, my face is a different matter. 

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If I don’t wash my face after my walk I am just going to feel gross the rest of the day.  But I don’t want to strip my skin.  So I tend to use a gentle cleanser that will just wash away the sweat (and sometimes pollen) residue from my walk in the park/walking trail. 

Post work out cleanser

The cleanser I have consistently used for a while has been the Olay Cleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser.  It is an excellent oil free, no frills cleanser that just makes my skin feel less gunky after a good sweat. 

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To be honest I have been using this as my post workout cleanser since I started my weight loss journey.  I have lost track of how many times I have used up and replaced this bottle. It is also the cleanser I grab when another cleanser is giving me problems because I know it is effective and reliable. So I use it after my walks.

post workout serum

Something new I am trying, because it came to me in an IPSY box, is the 111Skin Cryo ATP Sports Booster.  It is a serum you are supposed to use after a workout.  So because I wanted to see how it worked, I have started adding it to my skin after my quick wash with the Olay.  Previously I just did the quick wash and then moved into my makeup.

After the 111Skin has had a few minutes to settle in, I apply my makeup for the day.  While I usually end with a setting spray, the HA Spray with Matrixyl 3000 sent to me by Timeless claims to be able to be used as a setting spray as well as being skin care, so this week I started using it to set my makeup.  There will be more on that later this week.  But I will tell you now that is it wonderfully refreshing and smells like cucumbers.

skin care based setting spray

And then I go about my day.

At the end of the day I use a cleansing balm or oil to remove my makeup and then I use a cleanser like the Purlisse.  I just finished the Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleansing oil and tonight I will start using the Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser.  It too came in a Petit Vour Box and I am looking forward to testing it out. 

upcoming cleansing oil/makeup remover

Often times I will remove my makeup after dinner and then use a mask of some sort while reading or watching television or you tube.  With my mask I will apply the Bite Beauty Agave Nighttime lip therapy mask to my lips.  It is more intense than the maple one I use in the mornings, although with less of a scent. 

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It also keeps me from snacking while watching television.  I know it is technically supposed to be left on over night, and sometimes I will re apply it just before I lay down but I find when I am watching movies or television with my babydoll in the evenings I am tempted to snack.  This really keeps me from snacking, even after the face mask is removed.

Eventually, I will migrate to the bedroom.  I do my night time skin care before I start to read in bed.  Once or twice a week I will use an exfoliator.  At the moment I am using the Avant Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant.  It is an extremely gentle physical exfoliate but I don’t like to use them too often lest it damage the skin. 

exfoliation

After the exfoliate is rinsed off (on the nights I use it) I go back in with my toner, followed by serum, teeth brushing, eye cream, oil and moisturizer. Depending on the moisturizer I am using I will either use the same one I use during the day or a night cream.  The Dior is good for both day and night, but on a few days where I have been outside a bit longer, I replace my moisturizer with a night cream.  Currently I am trying out the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping mask.  I only use it a couple of times a week.

Then I read in bed for an hour or two and go to sleep.

night cream

I know, that’s a lot of different steps to my skin care.  Personally, I enjoy the ritual of it and I really like taking the time to work on my skin.  At the moment, my skin is doing really well.  Most of my acne has faded. I still have a few clogged pores where my mask presses into my face, but really that is a combination of mask and sweat.  Some combination of elements in the last week has really been doing my skin well. 

This is another reason I like rotating products.  I can check in with my skin and see what I was using when things start to get better and I can monitor it as I stop using certain products and see where things change.  I helps me to figure out what is actually working and what is not.  It is also why I am not opposed to taking extra time in my routine.  To be honest, written out it looks like it takes a lot longer than it actually does.  It only really takes me about twenty minutes in the morning and then another twenty at night (not counting the mask) so it isn’t really as onerous as it looks on paper.

But there you have it.  Even though some of the products rotate out, the sequence and system remains more or less the same.  There are always changes based on products though.  Sometimes the oil I’m testing is one I only want to wear at night and so I skip it in the morning.  Sometimes I will try two different serums, one at night and one in the day because one reacts poorly to the sun. Sometimes my skin needs more or less exfoliation.  But in general, this is my daily skin care regime.



The Make Up Bag: July 24th, 2020

The Make Up Bag used the week of July 18th – 24th

This week’s makeup bag was a little different than usual for me.  I recently ordered the Kristofer Buckle Vanity Collection #2 as a means to try several more products from the brand and it arrived in time to be incorporated in the bag. So while not every item in the bag comes from Kristofer Buckle, it does lean heavily in that direction.  I’ll cover those products first. 

The first item was the Triplicity Perfecting Foundation Stick.  Clicking on the link will take you to the full review I posted yesterday.  The short version is that I really liked this formula.  It is a great foundation and may be one of my favorite stick foundation formulas.  It is soft and creamy and feels more like I am applying moisturizer to the skin than applying foundation.  I was very pleased with it and will be ordering it again in the future.

The loose setting powder included in the Vanity collection was a good setting powder.  There are very few powders I absolutely don’t like, so I’m sort of an easy sell on powders.  It is finely milled and really locked my makeup into place. 

I did notice that it tended to leave a bit of a white cast.  I counteracted that by using extra fixing spray, the I heart Revolution Fixing Spray in Peaches and Cream is the one I am still working through at the moment. It is an excellent setting spray. 



What I did was spray the Revolution spray over the powder and then pat the powder down with a makeup sponge.  This eliminated the white cast.  While it is a good powder, I can’t say it is my absolute favorite. If asked if I would purchase it again, I would have to give it a maybe.

The next element in the Vanity Collection was the mascara.  I really liked this mascara.  It is more lengthening than volumizing which is surprising as it is listed as a volumizing mascara, but it is really lengthening and it doesn’t flake or smudge once dry.  I had no problems with this mascara lasting all day.  It is a good product I would definitely pick up again.

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Gel liner from Kristofer Buckle on the left and the Brow pencil from Il Makiage on the right,

I am not entirely certain I would pick up the gel eyeliner.  The end that so interested me turned out to be a smudger.  Which is nice to have.  The gel eyeliner is a gel eyeliner.  It is black, it glides on smoothly and stays in place.  It is very much like most good gel liners. I will continue to use it and if another came my way I would have no problem using it again, but it isn’t any better or worse than any other gel liner.  The built in smudger is a nice feature though.

Last but certainly not least was the lipstick.  The lipstick in the Vanity kit was the Cashmere slip longwear lipstick. This is the reason I purchased the entire kit.  Seiously, The lipstick is $18 on its own and while the Vanity Kits are normally $28, with the sale the kit cost me $18.94 so I essentially paid full price for a lipstick and got everything else with it.  (The sale incidentally runs through July 31st.  You can use the code EXCLUSIVE35 to get 35% off.  There is also a BOGO sale going on with the Vanity kits so if you are looking to stock up, now is the time). 

Lip swatches. My favorite Bardot on the top with the lipstick that came in the kit, Renaissance on the bottom (the top had one swipe of product, the bottom two)

While I can’t say I liked the color Renaissance, as much as I like the shade Bardot (hands down my favorite lipstick at the moment) as it is slightly more pink then I favor. It has the same formula which makes me confident in buying other lipsticks in the line. 

It is creamy and non drying and while the pink did become more muted as the day wore on, it remained on my lips for the entire day.  Just check the foundation wear photos if you want to see just how well it lasted, I didn’t reapply the lipstick once throughout the day. It only lost a little pigmentation but mostly retained its color. Incidentally in the swatches to the left I wanted to show just how fully the lipstick covered, the top thinner looking swatch had only one swipe across the hand while I used two on the lower swatch. The second swipe filled in all the lines the first one missed.

While I will be buying Bardot repeatedly for the near future, I now feel confident in the Cashmere Slip formula to stock up on all of the shades they offer.  And to wish they offered more shades.  It really is a super comfortable formula to wear. And yes I went ahead and added Bardot to the bag as well and just swapped between the two lipsticks for the week. I just couldn’t resist.

So that was the Vanity collection #2 from Kristofer Buckle that made up the bulk of the Makeup bag this week, but clearly they weren’t the only items. I mentioned the I Heart Revolution Fixing spray I am trying to use up.  It is a really good fixing spray but it is old enough now that I can’t remember when I bought it, so I will be using it consistently until it’s gone.  I may take a break now and then when I need a change of scent fort the week, but for now, it goes back in the bag for next week.

The Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow and Blush Palette from Seraphine botanicals was in my bag this week as well.  The link will take you to the full review.  The simple truth is I didn’t really like the blushes and only liked one of the eyeshadows.  If you find the pink shimmer shade in Sparkle from Seraphine botanicals, I recommend snapping it up.  It was the only thing I liked in the palette and recommend giving the rest of it a hard pass.

The Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil returned to my bag this week as my bronzer and I liked using it just as much this time around as I have before.  I also brought back the No PoreBlem Primer from Touch in Sol. Both are fantastic products that will return to my dressing table and then rotate back into a future Makeup bag.

Ofra in glazed doughnut and the Chocolate Gold Bronzer from Too Faced.

Also making a return was the Biillion dollar brows highlighter and concealer duo stick.  It works well and this week I paired it with the Il Makiage eyebrow pencil.  The pencil in the shade Truffles worked well with me although slightly on the darker side of what I like.  I received it in my July IPSY bag and I like it enough to keep it in rotation. There is plenty of product in the pencil so time will tell if I like it enough to purchase when it is used up, but for now, I enjoy using it.

My highlighter this week was from OFRA in the shade Glazed Doughnut.  It is a fantastic highlighter.  It can go from blinding to subtle depending on your mood and how you blend.  I loved using it this week and will look forward to its reappearance in future weeks.  OFRA is an interesting brand for me in general. I love their highlighters and liquid lipsticks but find their blushes a bit on the powdery side.  They work well and are highly pigmented, but they are just messy enough that I find myself not wanting to reach for them all that often.   Maybe I’ll put an OFRA lipstick in next week’s bag. 

Finally we reach the standard item that will be in my bag consistently until I run out and then it will be reordered.  Strictly speaking I should have mentioned it first as it goes under everything else.  It is the Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield in SPF 50. That’s right my darlings, sunscreen.

My favorite sunscreen. 

Already I am sensing the bottle is starting to feel a bit light so I have gone ahead and reordered it so that a replacement will be on hand. This is one product, I will not risk running out of.

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

So we reach the end of another week’s Makeup bag, the good, the bad, the mediocre.  I hope my thoughts help you when deciding what you want to add to your personal collection. Or at least provide a momentary amusement as you go along with your day. As for me, I’m off to make up for time I lost when it was simply too hot to work this week. 

Our newly repaired air conditioner is functioning perfectly and humming along keeping the house cool and my office from turning into a hot box in the mid afternoon sun. If my lips wouldn’t burn on the hot metal, I’d really consider kissing out air conditioning unit.  As it is, I’ll just used the extended work hours to get things done.  Have a good day and hopefully I’ll see you back here later this afternoon for the Friday Face mask. 


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The Anti-sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen; Reviewing the Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield with SPF 50

Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50: This product was sent to me for reviewing purposes, the opinions however are all mine.

I have always had a love hate relationship with sunscreen.  As a kid I remember being lathered up before being sent out for summer play.  While I never minded my arms and legs being coated and I loved that my parents let me play outside longer if I was wearing it, I hated when the sunscreen was applied to my face. Invariably it would either get washed onto my lips where it would taste nasty or it would get washed into my eyes making them sting and burn for the rest of the day.

As I grew up, sunscreen got better and while most of it doesn’t taste any better than it did when I was a child, most of it stays in place.  Still I hate putting sunscreen on my face.  I know that is the one place I really need to put it, but I have to admit, I usually don’t.  I spray my whole body down with sunscreen, more vigilantly now that I had that painful early spring burn, but I still avoid my face. 

Instead I layer products like I’m creating the great wall of SPF.  “Oh this has SPF 10, I’ll put it on and then add this product that has SPF 30.” It’s a construction project.  I know I need to get over it, but I’ve had a hard time finding a product I like.

However, Volition Skincare sent over three products for me to try and the first item I pulled out of the box was the Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF50. I had to laugh because right on the top of the box it says “Sunscreen for the Sunscreen Haters.”

It’s like they knew.

Or I’m not the only one to hate sunscreen.

I prefer the term skin care psychics, but that is just me. I should point out they don’t claim to be psychic an any way shape or form. But Volition is a really interesting company even without the tarot card possibility.

If you go to their main page there is a section where you can submit an idea for a product. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can submit an idea for a product you would like to see available for purchase.  The idea then gets submitted to a vote by their beauty community.  If it gets enough votes then their team goes to work creating the product. All of their products are certified clean and cruelty free with no animal testing and no parabens or sulfates. Incidentally, the links posted are for volitionbeauty.com which only ships to the US and Canada. If you are outside the US or Canada then @cultbeauty ships Volition Beauty worldwide, and @meccamaxima / @meccacosmetica ship to Australia and New Zealand. 

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

There is a whole section where you can shop the winners and I have to say, I really like going onto the site to see who came up with what. You can also take a skincare quiz to determine which of their products might be right for your particular concerns so you don’t spend a boat load of time staring at a product and trying to guess.

But back to the sunscreen for the sunscreen haters.

The box clearly looked like it was aimed at me.  I opened it and the first thing I saw was a little card telling me that this innovative product was created by a woman named Aja.  It had a picture of her and a little bit about her on the back. I thought that was really neat. It’s rare that you actually get a name to go with a product.

But Aja made this, or at least came up with the idea while a team of highly skilled professionals brought her idea to life.  But what do they have to say about what they created?

Bare face

The Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF50 (retail $35) is…

The anti-sunscreen for the sunscreen haters. It’s never greasy, smelly or thick. It’s daily protection you’ll actually want to wear. It is a weightless, breatheable formula with broad-spectrum sun protection, luminous, pearl-like finish and a light, neutral scent.  It addresses skin protection, dry skin, and dull skin and is good for all skin types.

Shake well. Apply over entire face 30 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply at least every 2 hours or as needed. Can be worn alone or under makeup. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if sweating or swimming.

Not too shabby.  And I like that it is SPF 50.  In my attempt to layer to build a wall of SPF on my face without actually using sunblock, I try to get as close to 50 as I can get. 

Before rubbing the sunscreen in, there is a white cast that disappears quickly

So knowing who made it and what it is supposed to do, I took the product out of the box.  I know appearances aren’t everything and that I shouldn’t focus on the shallow packaging, but this is a good looking bottle of sunscreen.

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting that.

I think because sunscreen is such a utilitarian item that just gets tossed in a bag and kicked around at the beach or pool side that it always looks like a basic plastic squeeze bottle with maybe a pretty or fun decal on the front. This may be a tube you can squeeze, but everything about it says skin care. It looks like it belongs in the bathroom next to your serums and moisturizer and not something you’d chuck in a kid’s pool bag with the goggles.

Don’t get me wrong, those items have their place.  I have quite a few of them stationed around the house. They are an essential part of my summer. But I needed something to put in the bathroom with my skin care. Because like skin care, I needed to make it part of my routine. I knew that was the only way I was going to get into the habit of putting it on. So I took the bottle from the box, moved it into the bathroom and began using it.

For the past two weeks, this anti-sunscreen has been part of my morning routine.  I put it on after I finish my skin care, but before I put on makeup.  There is no real scent to the product so anyone out there who is sensitive to scents should have no problem. 

The consistency of the product is like a thin primer or a water cream moisturizer.  It has some body to it, but it leans towards the liquidy side. To apply, I dispensed a pea sized amount into my palm and rubbed my hands together then applied it to my face. It sort of spread out as it hit my hand anyway so I just let it follow it’s natural inclinations. Easy peasy. 

Just the sunscreen on my face

On first contact there is a little bit of a white cast. (see the above picture) The first time I applied it I started to get concerned that I was going to spend the day looking like a mime, however I rubbed it in a little bit and the white disappeared almost instantly.

While I don’t want to walk around with the white sunscreen face all day, I do like that at first touch it is a little white.  This lets me see where I’ve put it to ensure full coverage before I rub it in. 

True to their claims, it feels weightless on the skin and is not greasy.  It is however quite luminizing.  Just like the really pretty bottle, I wasn’t really expecting that. And yes I know it says it in the title, it is just brighter than I expected.

I tend to go for matte primers and foundations.  For me the matte balanced it out well.  With the matte foundation on top of it, I had no problems, it was actually quite nice paired with it and gave the matte product a little depth.  I could not use a luminizing primer or foundation with it as it was too luminizing for me.

Makeup over the sunscreen, I used the Purlisse BB Cream over it with no primer for this photo

I should also say that the day I tried a luminizing foundation, no one had issues with the extra luminosity but me. I even got a compliment on my glow, so I think that is really just my personal preference.  If you like luminosity then you are good, if you aren’t a fan, use a matte product over it.

No matter what product I used, the sunscreen sat well underneath the makeup.  I had no problems with reactions between the sunscreen and my foundation. They played well together and I didn’t break out in a welter of clogged pores. There were, in fact, no extra break outs. (The stress related ones I had spent the night with some Peace Out dots, but no new ones appeared.) 

In the description it is recommended that if you are going to sweat or go in the water you should look into a waterproof product.  While I didn’t go swimming while trying this (because that isn’t what it is meant for and at this time the pools near me are still closed) it is June in Tennessee and you can’t step outside without sweating.  If the heat lets you go then the humidity will insure the sweat rises to your brow, among other places.  As my neighbor likes to say, this is the season where you get the air you can wear, the unavoidable fashion accessory.

So there was sweat.

You know what there wasn’t?

Stinging eyes.

Well, the sweat stung a little because it’s salty, but it didn’t burn like acid.  There were a couple of days where it was hot enough to melt your skin off of your bones and I was standing outside with a mask on. I know some of it dripped into my eyes.  There is no doubt about that. The product not dripping would be an impossibility.  I think I sweated out water I drank three years ago on those days, so there was no defense for anything topical. 

But there were no burning, pain filled eyes, so I am taking that as a win.

And no I am not going to squirt it directly into my eyes to double check. 

Although I have to confess, I did put a little on my lips to taste since the mask kept my lips safe and secure, along with my lungs and the rest of me. It didn’t really taste of anything. I’m not going to go putting it on an ice cream sundae or anything, but the accidentally tasting wasn’t horrific.

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

To be honest, this sunscreen passed all of my tests with flying colors.  No gag worthy taste, no burning eyeballs and it was easy to remember to apply because it sat with my skin care and became part of my daily routine. Applying it became a habit, one I hope to maintain.

The Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield didn’t make me break out. It didn’t make me feel greasy.  It felt weightless on my skin and it provided me with SPF 50 level protection for my face without having to do a construction game with other products. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still favor a lot of products with built in SPF, especially in the summer time, but I really like not having to rely on them. I really like having the good sunscreen underneath so that anything layered on top is just extra, not vital.

And oh yeah, no sun burn even though I spent loads of time outside in the hot, hot sun.

Seriously, this made sunscreen part of my skin care regimen instead of something I hated and tended to forget. I honestly didn’t think that was going to happen. I suppose the only question that remains is whether or not I’m allowed to send Aja a thank you note.

Because this was a very good idea.


Remember the links in this post are for volitionbeauty.com which only ships to the US and Canada. Mostly because I am located in the US. Even if you aren’t in the US it is well worth poking around on their site. If you are outside the US or Canada then @cultbeauty ships Volition Beauty worldwide, and @meccamaxima / @meccacosmetica ship to Australia and New Zealand. I love that this sunscreen is available worldwide.

Volition Beauty|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling