The Empties: November and December 2020

Last month I completely spaced on doing a review of the empties in my bin so there is a lot to go through this month.  Most of these items had full posts listed on my site so if you want more fulsome details I hope you check them out.  This is just a rundown of the products I used up, along with a few notes about what I think of them now that they are gone.

The products all laid out

Item number one is the Marc Jacobs Youthquake.  I had high hopes for this one.  It smelled nice and in general I like Marc Jacobs’ products.  This however felt very heavy on the skin and was far too moisturizing for me to take. 

I could use it as a night cream but not during the day.  To use it up I ended up using it at night (and to be honest, also on my elbows which tend to get really dry in the winter).  It was fine at night (and my elbows loved it) but it was too heavy during the day.  I will not be repurchasing it. I will be reusing the very pretty jar somewhere though.

The PureHeals Pore Clear Black Charcoal peel off mask is also not going to make it to my repurchase list.  While I like the mud masks that PureHeals makes (and will order those repeatedly) this mask was not for me.  It never did anything for my skin that I could tell and it hurt to peel it off.  If a peel off mask is going to hurt then I want to see some results.  After all the Hey Honey Take off The Drama mask hurt like the dickens but my skin was fabulous afterwards.  This just hurt and offered no return.  I kept trying and it never got better.  So it is good by to the empty and I will not be picking it up again.

the A+ high dose retinoid (L) and ICE Moisturizer (R)

Next up there is a trial size of the Sunday Riley A+  High Dose Retnoid Serum.  I enjoyed using this very much and will be picking up a full sized bottle sometime in the near future to try out in my retinol trials. It was very nice and gone far too soon.

I will not miss the Marcelle CC Cream.  I finished this small tube up last week and happily added it to the empties bin.  While it is a wonderful color corrector, over the course of the day it seeped into the fine lines around my eyes and made me look super tired. 

Marcelle Golden Glow CC Cream and Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Plus, it lives up to the name Golden Glow and made my face very glowy, which is not my thing.  And so this too will sadly not be repurchased.  I was disappointed as every other Marcelle product I’ve tried has been top notch.

Also disappointing was the Dove Nutritive Solutions for Volume and fullness.  While I love Dove products in general and usually have no problems with them, this shampoo and conditioner set just didn’t work for me. 

While I don’t normally have a problem with tangles, while using this shampoo and conditioner, I ended up having more tangle problems than usual.  I also felt like my hair was slightly dull and getting some build up.

The first few washes were fantastic.  But then it just went downhill fast. While I love the brand Dove and will continue to buy other products, this shampoo and conditioner set won’t be one I will repurchase.

I have to say, I am slightly on the fence about the feel renewed Pumpkin Walnut facial cleanser. I never actually thought I’d say that. Because this is not my first tube. It is the scent that always gets me, and if I’m honest, it is the reason I purchase it.  I adore the scent and it was a good clean, but it was a rather rough exfoliate when it comes down to it.  I believe I used it early in November, maybe even late October.  The scent was suitable for the time frame and utterly delicious. 

I have tried a couple of other exfoliating scrubs that perform better, even if they don’t smell as yummy.  The Olay Regenerist scrub in particular smelled nice and clean and was a much gentler product on the skin. I think this may fall into the category of I’d use it if it ended up coming into my possession but I wouldn’t seek it out. It is a good exfoliator for once or twice a week, I just don’t think I would want to keep it stocked. I just need to find something better with the same scent.

I will be stocking the pixi skintreats Clarity Tonic though.  It was a fantastic toner and I had wonderfully clear skin while using it.  While I like other pixi toners, I have to say this one thus far is at the top of the list.  This doesn’t mean I won’t try other Pixi products, but this one is a definite repurchase.

I cannot say the same thing for the Whish Botanical Primer, the Derma E radiance toner or the Balance me Bakuchiol soothing Serum.  Although I do think I will be looking into bakuchiol more closely as an ingredient.

The Balance me and the Derma E products both worked well, enough but the scent of them both was not one I appreciated nor wanted to face every day. I find it kind of a shame as they were good products. However I know myself and the scents just meant that if I repurchased them in a full size I would slowly stop using them because I couldn’t take the scent.

The Derma E was floral and somewhat cloying while the Balance me smelled a bit like floor cleaner.  I just know the product would go to waste if I purchased them. The Whish primer, however, was something altogether different. 

Derma E toner and Georgette Klinger Collagen and Elastin Mask

The Whish botanical Primer was a failure as a primer. An Absolute Failure. It did nothing a primer really should be expected to do. It was however pretty good skin care.  While this primer won’t be returning any time soon, it worked well enough as skin care that I am going to be looking into the other products from this Whish line that are specifically designed for skin care use.  I will not use this as a primer. So it will not be returning, but some of its brand compatriots will.  I can’t be upset about trying it though as it did bring Whish to my attention.

Sulwhasoo serum, Whsh Botanical Primer and Goldfaden Needleless Serum

The Tatcha Deep Cleanse will hopefully soon make a return in a full size.  I really enjoyed this cleanser.  It was one of the few exfoliating cleansers that I have tried that I found I could use on a daily basis with no skin damage. 

My skin looked and felt wonderful while using it and I really enjoyed the scent of the cleanser as well.  It is lightly floral but with enough of a fruit back note to keep it from being cloying.  I was somewhat surprised as I didn’t particularly care for Tatcha’s moisturizers when I tried them.  However I can see why this cleanser is one of the brand’s best sellers. It is definitely something I want to repurchase.

Elemis Pro-collagen marine Cream and Tatcha Deep Cleanse

There were four sample sized moisturizers in my bin this time around and I have to say all five of them made my list of products that I would want to reorder in a full sized version.

The Sunday Riley Ice moisturizer is not the most appealingly scented cream. It smells vaguely medicinal.  However, it is a thick cream that disappears into the skin and hydrates well.  I think as a night cream it would work well for me.  It is also one of those products where the product worked well enough that I found I could live with the scent.  As I am very scent oriented (in case you hadn’t guessed), that is saying something.

The second sample was the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine cream.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I enjoyed it as there are very few products from Elemis that I don’t enjoy.  This sample came to me through a Look Fantastic Box and I was happy to get the chance to try it before adding a full size to my try out list.

The third sample was from Skin Ceuticals and it it is the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 moisturizer.  The sample worked well as both a day and a night cream and It is one I would certainly want to try out for longer.

Surprisingly the fourth is the 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream.   With 111 Skin I am sometimes on the fence with them  I like a lot of their products but there are few I fall in love with.  Especially after seeing the price.  They usually strike me as good, but not quite good enough to justify the price.  I don’t mind paying more for a product I think is worth the price. Especially where skincare is concerned.

This is one moisturizer I could easily see myself falling in love with. It claims to be a day cream and that is exactly what it is.  I really like a product that stakes a claim on one thing and does it well.  I liked it enough that when I looked at the price of the full size I actually found myself thinking it sounded like it was priced correctly. 

That was how much I enjoyed the sample.  I was very sad when the sample ran out and you can bet that anytime I see a sample of this up for grabs I will be snapping it up. This is one of the few things from 111 Skin that I believe actually earns its price tag.

Another product that earns it’s price, although it is substantially lower in price is the Timeless SkinCare Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  I believe a full sized bottle is around $9.95, but trust me, this serum is something I would actually pay twice that for, maybe even three times.  During my use of it, I actually saw a reduction in the Great Stress Crack of Mimsy, which is what I call the ever deepening line across my forehead.

While using this, it not only didn’t deepen, but it appeared to be getting shallower.  I was sad when it ran out. I have two hyaluronic acid serums to test out from other brands and now that I’ve had a few weeks without this serum, I am going to start a trial of the next sot see how it performs.  But right now, Timeless SkinCare has set the standard and it is a pretty high mark to reach.  Regardless of future trials, this was an excellent serum offered at an excellent price and it is one that I foresee making several repeated trips to my skin care shelf.

A few products that won’t return?  The Sulwhasoo first care Activating serum.  Its herbal scent I could get used to if it was an amazing product, but it left my skin sticky and not feeling improved.  The Goldfaden, MD Needle-less line corrector will not be returning either.  It felt like it was stinging, but beyond the stinging it didn’t do much.  In general Goldfaden, MD and I have not had the best history.  I have a serum to try from the brand, but thus far everything I have used from the brand has left me saying ‘Thanks, but no thanks. ‘

Sadly the Pa’akai cleansing cream also falls into that category.  It cleanses well enough, but the scent is just far too perfume-y for me to take on a twice daily basis.  Incidentally, I did use the product up, but there was just enough remaining to coat the back of the bottle where it lay in the empties bin so it looks full. It fooled me too but I opened it and looked inside thinking I might not have finished it out. But oh yeah, it is empty and the perfume scented remains remind me why I am not using it.

I found myself trying to avoid washing my face while using it, and that is not a good thing.  There are many steps I could probably skip in a skin care routine should I want to pair it down.  Washing my face isn’t one of them.  So, it is a good cleanser, but sadly the scent just made it not for me.

Also not for me is the Tarte Shape tape Concealer.  It works well as a spot concealer, blending beautifully into my skin and hiding red spots and blemishes.  But it settled into the fine lines under my eyes and just made me look haggard.  Which is not what I want in a concealer.  So I used the last of this little sample size up as a spot corrector. And now it is empty and will not be repurchased. Sadly I used to love the Shape Tape Concealer.  I think that as I get a little older, my skin’s needs just change.  I have changed not the product. If fine lines aren’t a problem for you then you will still love it. (if you like it now). This was an excellent concealer for me once upon a time, but no more. 

Benefit They’re Real Mascara, Wander Beauty Mile High Mascara, Maybelline Color Strike Shadow, wet ‘n wild liquid liner and Revolution’s Fast Base Concealer.

I do have a second concealer in my empties bin this go around and it is the Fast Base Concealer from Revolution.  I love this concealer, never had any problems with it settling in my fine lines and will be repurchasing it very soon. 

The fact that is it a $3 concealer, if I remember correctly, doesn’t hurt the wallet either. I don’t mind paying a lot for products that work, but good products come in all sorts of price ranges, and this one certainly proves it.  The Fast Base will be repurchased.

There are two empty mascaras in my empties bin.  One is the Mile High Lashes from Wander Beauty and the other is a sample sized tube of They’re Real from Benefit Cosmetics.  While each performed well, to be honest, neither are the products I prefer from the brands.  With Wander Beauty I would purchase the Unlashed Volume and Curl Mascara before I would purchase the Mile High Club mascara.  With Benefit, I would purchase Bad Gal Bang before I would pick up They’re Real.  That isn’t to say that they are not both quality products, but I doubt I would purchase either of them specifically.  If going onto their brand pages, other products would draw my attention.  So I did like them, and wouldn’t mind using them again, I just know that if shopping, they aren’t the ones I would repurchase.

Also not making my repurchase list was the First Aid Beauty Primer.  It is a mattifying yet hydrating primer but my skin isn’t dry enough for the product.  If I had skin that was a great deal drier, this would be a different conversation.  But alas I don’t.  So the First Aid Beauty primer I would not repurchase.  If you have really dry skin and are looking for a mattifying primer, you might have better luck than I did with this product.

One primer I will consistently repurchase is the Yensa tone up primer.  This is either the second or third tube of this that I have gone through and I absolutely adore it.  It mattifies and fills pores really well and my skin reacts really well to it.  It makes my top ten favorites list. In fact everything I’ve tried form the Super 8 line from Yensa has been really good in general. I’m actually finishing out a BB cream sample size from the brand this week that I know I am going to have to order in a full size once I’ve whittled down my foundation products.

L to R: Hey Honey Gold Mask, Yensa Primer, Hey Honey CC Cream

The Hey Honey Trick and Treat CC cream is also on my reorder list.  It fairly melted into the skin and left me with a beautiful no makeup look that worked really well for daily wear.  I adored the formula and will be purchasing a full size in the future.

As far as Hey Honey goes I will also be reordering the Show Your Glow Colloidal Gold and Honey Beauty Mask.  I really like how soft and lovely it made my skin feel.  The fact that I wandered around the house for fifteen minutes looking like I’d been gilded by a wandering art restorer was kind of fun as well.  But the mask was fabulous.

I also want to order a full sized version of the Georgette Klinger Collagen and Elastin Mask (pictured above with Derma E).  The sample I tried worked really well on my skin and it is one I would not mind keeping a full size of around. It plumped up my skin and diminished my fine lines after one use.  The tube had enough for three uses and I was happy to use it for an entire week of masking.  I was however very sad when it was empty. So to the repurchase in a full size list the product goes.

As much as I like Native Deodorant, I have to say the sample size of the holiday scent Sugar Cookie was enough for me.  The sample size lasted a little over a month and quite frankly as much as I liked it, I was happy to end the trial. I am still using my Native Deodorant, but it is the Cucumber and Mint. 

Like the holidays, it was nice while it lasted, but I was happy to resume the standard once it was done. I could not have taken a full size of this.  I am still upset I didn’t pick up the fill size of the Candy Cane Scent, but they didn’t have it at Target (apparently it sold out extremely fast) and I didn’t get around to ordering it in time.  That one I probably could have used longer than the Sugar Cookie. Mostly because I adore peppermint.

I still don’t know why spearmint (an inferior to peppermint in my opinion) gets to live on throughout the year, but peppermint, fabulous peppermint is banished to the holidays. Because of this I stock pile products and end up using products decorated for Christmas in June. It isn’t right. Do you know how many bars of Dr. Squatch’s Peppermint soap I have squirrelled away in my linen closet? I don’t either and I’m not counting because it would make me feel bad, but I do now have an absolutely deliciously scented linen closet. But that isn’t the point so I will end my pro-peppermint rant and get back to the empties.

I know this is a behemoth of a post, but there are only two more items and then, my darlings, we are through.  The Color Strike Shadow from Maybelline was  really hard to work with and had the added effect of not staying long on the lid once I got it to work.  While I generally like Maybelline Products, this was not my favorite.  I am getting rid of it because trying to make it work nearly drove me bonkers. I’m sure there is product remaining in the tube, but it was so hard to ge out onto the little brush that I couldn’t prove it. It will not be repurchased.  I’ll still use Maybelline products, just not this particular product.

And to end on a good note.  The wet ‘n wild liquid megaliner eyeliner. It reminded me of how much I really liked liquid eyeliners. It performed magnificently and I was so sad when the product reached the end of its productive life.  It went on smoothly and after letting it dry a moment, it stayed put all day without fading.  (If you don’t give it a moment to dry it will transfer when you blink because it is a wet liquid. So just give it a second and you are good).

I will repurchase this product and I will continue repurchasing this product.  I will also be picking up more liquid eyeliners from different brands in the future. As a side note, the wet ‘n wild liquid eyeliner was the very first eyeliner I learned to apply way back in Junior High. I loved it then and I find it amusing all these years later to find that it is still a great product. So many of the products i used to absolutely adore when I I was first introduced to makeup have either sadly gone away or are kind of amusing to look back on. I find it fun to find one product that still works as good as I thought it did when I first started with makeup.

And with that my darlings we are finally through with two months’ worth of empties.  If nothing else this reminds me that I need to remember to do these once a month or suffer the wrath of an overflowing bin and an extraordinarily long post.  I nearly forgot about some of the items towards the bottom.

If you stuck with me, thanks for making it to the very end. If you didn’t’, don’t worry, it was a really long haul and I almost gave up midway through myself. I will see you at the end of January with next month’s empties in a much more manageable sized post. I have put it on my nice new calendar so that I will not forget it. I will also be back this afternoon with a perfume review as well, but I am definitely remembering the empties bin each month instead of letting it carry over.


The Makeup Bag: December 11th, 2020

The Makeup Bag Used December 5th – 11th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decisions, decisions, my darlings.

No. 7 Pressed powder and Kristofer Buckle loose setting powder

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

Hourglass Blush and Space Case Bronzer

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

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

And then we get to the highlighter.

This week, we had a bit of an issue.

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

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

My poor Ciate London highlighter

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

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

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

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

The lips (and Eyeko Eyeliner)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lilysilk's Semi-Annual Sale

Benefit’s Porefessional Primer: a makeup bag favorite

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

I sort of take the same approach to makeup.

more primer than I usually use for the face

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

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

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

Benefit Cosmetics

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

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

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

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

You might be asking yourself, why does this matter?

It matters because like works with like. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The Makeup Bag: November 25th, 2020

The Make up Bag used: November 21st -27th

Good morning my darlings.  I know some of you are looking at this and thinking, it is not Friday.  No you did not miss two days. This Thursday is Thanksgiving for me and I will not be posting on either Thursday or Friday.  Don’t worry, normality will resume on Monday. Or whatever passes for normality these days.  So no one is missing days and today we will have the Wednesday Face Mask as well. It will also be earlier in the day as this afternoon will be filled with the pre-feast arrangements and the first of the Thanksgiving Video chats with family.

It turns out not everyone wants to be on the same video call. I think I have some family who are deciding that the benefit of not gathering en masse for the holiday is that they can choose who they want to talk to. Kinda fun.

But this is less family drama highlights and more of the week’s make up.

 This week for foundation I went with the Maybelline Fit me Matte + Poreless.  I really like the foundation.  My thoughts haven’t really changed on it since my full review.  It is one of the better drug store foundations that I have tried out.  However there is an improvement.

My one issue with this foundation was the open top to the glass bottle.  I dispense product onto my hand and then apply and with this I am always pouring just a little too much so I feel like I am wasting product. Then when I was poking around I found the Fit Me foundation is now on sale on Look Fantastics website ($8 in case you are interested) in a tube instead of a bottle.  I know, normally I adore glass bottles but without a pump or dropper or anything, I make a mess with this bottle.  Now it is offered in a tube. (Yes it is things like this that get me excited. Last time I checked my local drugstore only had it in the bottles but on my next store run I will check it out. If not, at least I know where I can replace it and eliminate the one complaint I had about this product. Happy holidays to me.

And yes, that is an egg cup holding my makeup sponge. It is slightly large when the blender is dry and still hold it when it is wet.

Applying my foundation was the tag team duo of my Master Blender from bdellium tools and my Huda Beauty sponge.  I am still loving both of them.

Bdellium Tools is having a sale where a lot of their Vegan Brushes are 50% off. If you are looking for quality brushes this might be a good time to stock up. Of course, Huda Beauty is also having a sale.

Huda Beauty Black Friday Sale. Up to 50% off SITEWIDE- exclusions apply

This week’s primer was the Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer (Usually the full size is $36 but right now it is on sale for $18). I used to use this all the time.  I think the only reason I stopped picking it up was because I had too many primers at one point and decided to try and use them up before I repurchased.  Somehow this fell off my radar. 

A week or so ago I was getting a few Ulta gift cards for …well…gifts, and I saw this travel sized one in the section by the checkout so I picked it up to see if I still liked it.  I do.  I like it a lot. It is pore filling and my skin looked fabulous when I put it on.  I can’t believe I let this fall off my radar for so long and will happily be putting it back into my primer rotation.

My concealer was also a sample size this week.  It was picked up from IPSY and it was another product that I used to like but somehow fell off my radar.  This is the Tarte shape tape concealer.  (Tarte is having a 30% off sale sitewide, use code CYBER)

It is an adorable little sample.  Which is probably a good thing. As cute as it is, it did not perform as I remembered.  It worked really well on covering spots and blemishes, but under the eyes it was a mess.  It crinkled, it wrinkled and every person I saw thought I looked exhausted. I don’t know if the formula changed or if I am just old enough now that my skin no longer likes the formula, but it didn’t work for me. I will use the rest of this little tube as either eyelid primer or a spot concealer, but it is not going under my eyes.  I love many products from Tarte and their sister brand Sugar Crush (Especially their liquid lipsticks), this just doesn’t happen to be one of them anymore.

For blush and bronzer this week I went with two of my long standing favorites. What doesn’t show is that there are significant curves in the product of both the bronzer and the blush. The bronzer was from Marc Jacobs.

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Technically it is the HI FI Filter contour duo, but the darker contour I can use as bronzer and the lighter shade I tend to use as a powder when I accidentally pick up a foundation that is slightly too dark.  I am not always the best at picking out shades so I have products to help modify some of them. I figure it is better to modify than to waste an entire bottle of product (assuming the product works well).  It also really helps when my skin is seasonally transitioning.    This is a duo I will be keeping around until the pan is completely empty.  And then I’ll reorder something similar. I don’t think this actual duo is sold any more but the products are sold individually. I just don’t think people are doing as much contouring as they used to.But the formula is great and I will be going for a Marc Jacobs Bronzer when this runs out rather than the contour kit.

The blush was the Gold Rush from Benefit.  What can I say, I love the blush, I love the slight glow it gives my skin and I also really like the way it makes me look on video calls, which I will be doing a lot of this week.  It may be family and not work, but I still want to look nice.

Benefit Cosmetics Black Friday Sale! Score 25% off sitewide and free shipping on your order! Use code: FRIYAY. Valid through 11/28.

For highlighter I grabbed the Fenty beauty (30% off sale going on now) and used the Moscow Mule more than ginger binge as it suits my skin tone more.  I wanted something that would blend out well without being to in your face bright. While I occasionally tease about the overly highlighted nose, my family is merciless with the mocking so I wanted to avoid bright spot but still highlight certain areas.  This highlighter worked well so I shouldn’t have any problems on the video calls.

No. 7 showing pan.

I had two powders this week.  My pressed powder is the No 7 Perfect light in medium.  As you can see from the photo, the pan has started to show through.  I may actually keep it in my makeup bag until I have used it up rather than trading it out with another one in the dressing table. 

The kicker is that since I reach for this one automatically (it is one of my favorites) I have several other pressed powders I’ve barely touched so I might do a quick count and see if I can justify reordering this immediately or if I will have to show some restraint and wait for a bit.  I would prefer not to show restraint but we will see what the powder count reveals.

My loose powder this week was the Smashbox Photo Finish Fresh setting powder. It came in my November Boxy Charm and was actually one of my choice items. I was intrigued by the dial that shaves off fresh powder for each use.  I thought it would help keep it from getting messy.  Which it does.  The powder is really nice and I do like using it.  The only issue is that when you turn the dial for the powder you have to have clean dry hands. 

If you have anything on your hands (moisturizer, serum, primer) turning that dial becomes a feat requiring herculean effort.  Otherwise it is fine.  Just remember clean, dry hands and you will be fine.  I am kind of interested to see what will happen as the level of powder drops.  While it may take me a really long time to get through eyeshadow or blush, I go through powders (both pressed and loose) at a fairly steady rate. They are the one item I am always replacing.  Even on no makeup days, I use powder over my moisturizer. Seeing how this solid performs as it gets shaved down further and further may be an interesting thing to watch.

This week I couldn’t resist reaching for my wet ‘n wild Color Icon Palette.  I have the My Glamour Squad one, but in all fairness it is a good enough formula that I would not mind picking up more of these little palettes (currently the 32 pan Color Icon palette which looks like it has all of the small pans combined is on sale for $9.99 – normally it is $15- I am very tempted by this.).  There is enough shadow for a variety of looks and the formula is easy to work with. If you are just getting into makeup or like to keep things easy, this is not a bad little palette to have around.  The shades tend to fade after about the tenth hour of wearing them, but it is rare for me to wear shadow more than 8-10 hours so I’ve never found that to be a problem.

And since I was taking out the wet ‘n wild eyeshadow I figured I’d go ahead and grab the ultimate brow kit.  I really like the wet ‘n wild formula.  Well for the brow powder.  That cream highlight is just awful, but the powder is really good.  I only use the one lighter shade.  While the kit is really very inexpensive, I feel like I am wasting the other two products.  I would love to just get that lighter powder in a single for my brows.  I think for now I might try using the darker shade as a powder eyeliner so it doesn’t get wasted.

For eyeliner this week I used the Laura Geller Line and Define Dual Dimension eyeliner.  One is a crayon style and the other is liquid.  I really like both formulas but I think that the crayon side will just get thicker and thicker as I use it down.  It will be interesting to see how that wears. 

This week as I was attempting to put things where they belong in my dressing table I found an unopened Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir mascara (they have both the regular packaging available now and a special Holiday packaging of this mascara as well as several kits where it comes in a travel size like this. You all know my weakness for kits and multi-product packs). 

I’m not ashamed to say I squealed just a little bit with delight.  For a while I had a fist full of these sample sized mascaras and I thought I used them up.  But no, this one was still sealed.  So I promptly unsealed it and used it, and yes, it is just as good as I remember it being.  So I was a very happy camper when I found I had that.

For lip products this week I had three.  One liner, one liquid and one gloss. The liner was Huda Beauty in Trophy wife, the liquid lipstick was OFRA’s Pasadena and the gloss was Thrive Causemetics in Ashley. 

I have used all three before, loved all three and will use all three again.  The Ofra formula is a really nice one that dries down to stay in place but doesn’t dry down so much that your lips feel parched.  It is a very comfortable formula to wear and a great nude. The thrive lipgloss is lip gloss shiny and not as glittery a it looks.  It is also not sticky.  The stick factor is one reason I tend to go matte and then just top it off with the few clear glosses I like.  This is one of the few I really like.

And finally we come to the setting spray, Milani’s Make it last Matte (Milani has 30% off site wide at the moment). I liked this spray actually.  After the paint fumes of Kokie I was braced for the worst but I ended up really liking this.  It has a slightly floral scent to it that fades quickly and more importantly didn’t give me a headache.

I think this is one I would definitely use until it is gone and then think about repurchasing in the full size. So that my darlings was the makeup bag for the week.  It sounds very strange to be saying that on a Wednesday, but such are the holidays.  I will be wearing these products for the rest of the week, with the exception of the tarte concealer.  I am now using the Pretty Vulgar concealer under my eyes as I don’t want to explain to every family member that I am not sick and exhausted.  That was my only real fail this week. 

Which shouldn’t be surprising as I specifically chose products I knew I could count on for the week since I was going to be so taken over with other things that I didn’t want to have to stop and evaluate my foundation, eyeshadow or powder mid gathering.  While there were a couple of new items, for the most part I went with products I knew I could count on.  It was just one of those weeks where stable was better than experimenting. I tried to add in as much information about brand’s sales as I could with the posts and hopefully it will help some of you out. More than likely I will be doing a second sales post later today as there were a bunch that I forgot on my massive sales cheat cheat that I posted yesterday. And of course there will be a face mask post later today as well. And no, it is not Friday. You really haven’t missed any days.



The Makeup Bag: November 6th

The Makeup Bag Used October 31st – November 6th

This week I hauled out all of the foundations that I’ve been testing and sorted through them.  In doing so I found several that I forgot I had and really enjoyed using.  I also realized how many products are in that drawer.  So for the next little while I am going to be using foundations that I have previously tried out and keep using them to see if my opinions change as well as to see which ones that I find I keep reaching for.  I find it is one thing to rank foundations in order after giving them each a trial, but seeing which ones I end up reaching for the most is wheat really ends up letting me know which products I really need to keep purchasing.   Because quite frankly no one needs to keep twenty foundations stocked (And even saying at least three of them are sample sized and several are almost empty doesn’t make me feel a lot better about the stockpile.)

This week the foundation I pulled out of the drawer to use was the Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation.  It feels good on the skin and even though it had a satin finish instead of a true matte, it isn’t upper shiny. It is slightly too light a shade on me right now so I I brought out another favorite that I hadn’t used in a while and it is the Park Ave Princess Contour palette by tarte. 

I can’t lie I love this palette and this is really it’s time of year to shine.  I don’t really do a lot of contour, but the darker shades in this palette work really well as bronzers for my skin tone and I can change them up depending on both the foundation I am using and my fading summer tan.  And yes, I find it strange that we are in November and my tan is only now starting to fade.  I spent a lot of time outside this summer and the summer seemed to last a lot longer than usual. In addition to using the bronzers I was able to use the lighter shades as pressed powders this week.  It lets me use the entire palette more or less so there isn’t just one product used.  Given the change of seasons thing still happening with my skin (and the fact that I find this palette beautiful to work with and look at) I am going to keep it out another week.

Even though I used the Tarte light contour as my pressed powder I had the Becca Pink Haze loose setting powder as my setting powder this week.  As always I really enjoyed using it, even if it does leave a fine pink dust over my sink by the end of the week.  I like the tint of pink it brings to the skin.

Making its final lap in the makeup bag this week was the Yensa Tone Up primer. It is one primer that I really like and have ordered a number of times in the past.  This tube, like the ones that came before is now empty. Next week in the slot where I usually review foundations I will be doing a primer round up instead. The empty tube will stick around long enough to be photographed and then it will make its way to the empty bin.  As I have nearly as many primers at the moment as I have foundations, I will not be repurchasing it for a while.  It will however remain on my favorites list and eventually make a come back.

My concealer this week is an oldie but a goodie. It is the Revolution Fast Base Concealer.  It is one of those twist up concealers with a foam top.  I really like it and as it somehow became hidden under the foundations, I forgot I had it.  It is getting a bit old though and it is almost empty.  I believe I might hold onto it one more week in my makeup bag and use the last of it up.  While I like the formula, I really don’t like the foam top.  (I make an exception for the Maybelline Age Erase because it is one of my favorite formulas, but I still don’t like the foam top) Because of this I might not be repurchasing this exact concealer again.  I will be looking to see if Revolution has this formula in a package with a wand applicator though.  I just think the foam gets a bit grungy.  I know it probably isn’t any worse than the padded applicator tip, but you pick your devils and I am going to have to go with wand preference over sponge tip. But I like the Revolution formula. And if I am being honest, if they don’t have this formula in a package with a wand, I probably will pick it up again. It is a good concealer and costs about $3. So it is kind of a win, even with the sponge top.

Keeping with the theme of things I forgot I owned, this week I also added the Revolution Highlight Palette to my makeup bag. It has a yellow silver, goldy peach and a purple tinted highlighter.  As you might be able to tell from the photo, the yellowish highlighter is barely touched while the gold and purple are showing signs of wear.  I really enjoy the formula of these and I like having the choice between shades, even if I only use two of the three shades.  I like that I can blend it a little for a bold highlight or blend it in for a soft glow.  It is an excellent highlighter palette and I am sorry I forgot about for so long. Incidentally if you are looking for a highlighter palette Revolution currently has this exact one on sale. If you click on the link it will take you there, Normally the palette is $15, currently it is on sale for $5.60)  I am going to have to make an effort to remember this moving forward. This week I went hard on the purple highlighter more than the others because it blended better with the eyeshadow palette.

This week’s eyeshadow palette was The Queen Palette from Eloise.  It has a very purple-y pink tone to it all in all.  I suppose the purple is part of the regal theme after all.  It was an interesting palette to work with.  The shades were not my favorite.  They were nicely pigmented and there was very little fall out.  The mattes worked well as stand alone colors and matched the shimmers well, but got muddy when more than one matte was used.  I, however, adore the shimmers in this palette and will keep it just for them.  Luckily, there are more shimmers than anything else so I don’t feel like it is a waste. 

However because of the bold colors, I only used two lip products this week.  I used the Dose of colors liquid lip in stone.  It is one of my favorite neutrals (I even have an unopened back up in my drawer)  It is also quite old and reaching the end of its life so I have been keeping it in my makeup bag in an effort to use it up.  Even though I have several other neutral shades I really like, I want to finish this out. The formula dries down really well, but it can feel a little dry on the lips.  At my desk I keep a lip balm that I apply throughout the day, mostly as a snack deterrent, but I tended to put it over my Dose of Colors and then had no issues with dry lips (or snacking).

Does in Stone on top and Perricone, MD below

The second lip product I have in my bag this week is the Perricone MD No makeup Lipstick.  It is a light reddish sheer on my lips that was just enough color to go with the eyeshadow palette but not compete with it. Also it is one of my lip products that expires in December so I am trying to use as much of it up as possible before then.  It currently lives in the bathroom and gets applied whenever I am feeling the need for a touch up. That is the issue with Perricone Md.  There is no stockpiling this makeup when you come across a sale.  When it expires, it expires.  The dates on the packaging are no joke. So I am going to see how much I can use before this reaches the end of its life.

This week I used one of my favorite blushes the Benefit Gold Rush Blush.  I know it isn’t one I forget about but once I started pulling forgotten favorites, it seemed like a natural to add. I’ve actually used this blush enough that there is starting to be a little dip in the center, which for blush is a big deal for me.  I do not tend to go all that heavy on the blush so any blush that shows wear, is well used and loved.  This is both. I will trade it out for a different one next week though so don’t worry.

I couldn’t resist keeping both my Hourglass eyebrow pencil and my Beauty for Real Mascara in the makeup bag this week. I really enjoy both and I felt that the mascara was dramatic enough to suit the eyeshadow palette.  It was, but I will pick up two different products next week.

Making a return trip into my makeup bag this week was the eyeko Fat Liquid eyeliner.  It is still one of my favorite liquid eyeliner formulas.  I tend to forget about it though because while it is fat, it is not terribly tall. So it slides down out of sight in the jar of much taller eyeliners.  Thus it sort of fit my unofficial theme this week of forgotten and fabulous.

Speaking of fabulous, I used my HA Spray from Timeless Skincare again this week.  However, even though it is not empty, I am going to be setting it aside and begin rotating some of my other setting sprays into the makeup bag again. (I know, Gasps of surprise all around) I still love this formula and I really love the idea that I am getting a skin care benefit from the setting spray, but I have other products that I need to use.  So I will begin the rotation with the setting sprays once again.

And that my darlings was this week’s makeup bag. There were several items that I loved and forgot about but was happy to see return to be used again.  I have a few products I am going to keep around while I try to use them up and next week will see a return of the tarte contour palette as well as a few new products to try out.  Over all I had fun with this week’s selection.  I just have to remember to widen my rotation through the depths of my dressing table so things are less likely to be forgotten.


The Make Up Bag: October 16th, 2020

The Make Up Bag Used the week of October 10th – 16th

Welcome back to the Weekly Makeup bag post.  I’ve missed you. This week was a fun one.  I not only used my newly purchased e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation out, but I kept the last of the e.l.f. Tinted moisturizer out and even brought out the e.l.f. Flawless Foundation from the depths of my dressing table to do a full on comparison.  That’s right it was battle of the e.l.f. foundations. Well, sort of.

Buy 1, Get 1 25% Off Holiday Kits

All three were rock star products (at garage band prices) although my summer tan has not faded nearly enough for me to be able to use the shade of the Flawless foundation I have in my dressing table. I had to go in extra hard on the bronzer on the days I used it. 

TreStique bronzer and mini lip collection

My bronzer this week was my tried and true Trestique Color and contour stick. It is a longtime favorite and one I have replaced a couple of times.  It is an easily blendable formula and the stick format lets you put the product exactly where you want it. It is one of my favorite cream formula bronzers to work with.

trèStiQue: A makeup solution for your lifestyle

I can’t actually say the same for the Girlactik Cream skin glow.  It is a dual shade with one side a pinky tone and the other side a gold tone.  Both disappeared into nothingness on my cheeks.  I was not terribly happy with it.

Hourglass on the left, Girlactik on the right

I did enjoy bringing out my Hourglass Ambient Blush in Diffused Heat.  It was a little light for my summer tanned skin so I haven’t reached for it in a while, but now that my skin is starting to fade with the fall, I think I am going to be reaching for this product more often.  I love the way it blends out against the skin and not only adds color but seems to add a little light.

My primer this week was the Banana Bright Primer from Ole Henriksen.  I love the way it smells like banana candy.  The vitamin C isn’t a bad addition either.  Even though it is called a bright primer it doesn’t add a dewy shimmer to the skin. 

What it does do is add a little depth to your matte foundation so that your skin looks more natural. And the vitamin C included does help to fade dark spots too which is nice. The slight tint to the cream fades completely into the skin and is unnoticeable. It actually looks a little darker in the pic than it does in real life. This is currently one of my top primers.

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Also at the top of my list of products?  My Benefit bad Girl Bang Mascara.  Alas this was this particular tubes last time in the makeup bag.  My sample sized tube is officially empty.  This little tube gave its all and no more product remains. 

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At the moment I have several unopened mascaras I need to work my way through before I look at buying another one.  As I know that the Bad Girl Bang is in one of the Holiday bundles that Benefit did for this Holiday season I am trying to justify buying the bundle as a holiday purchase rather than just buying the mascara.  I know it’s kind of a sneaky way around my ‘no buying mascaras until a few more are used up’ concept. And I know I shouldn’t but it is one of my favorite mascaras and I am not sure if I can resist the temptation.

There were two wet ‘n wild products in my makeup bag this week.  The first is the eyebrow kit, which will be staying for a while.  I really like the medium powder for my brows. And making a return is the wet ‘n wild mega liner.  I really do like the paint brush style of eyeliner.  As you can pretty much tell from the level of product in this container. 

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It doesn’t have a lot of product left in it and I am trying to decide if I want to keep it around until I finish it out or not.  I suspect I might because it is really light. I think I might rotate in a few brown eyeliners and just keep this in my makeup bag as the black liner until it is gone. 

I know I’ll end up replacing it but I also want to try out a couple others in this style, like the Pretty Vulgar and the KVD Vegan Beauty ones. But this week, the wet ‘n wild is the one I used and I really liked it.  You have to let it dry for a moment so it doesn’t transfer to your upper lids but once you get the hang of it, the liner stays in place all day without smearing or fading.  It is also the very first eyeliner I tried when I was just starting to get into makeup.  Which is probably why I am more comfortable with it than some other styles.

My HA Spray from Timeless skin is still in my makeup bag and will pretty much remain a constant until there is another product I want to test out. Even then I suspect I will test it out and then return to this.  I love the skin care benefits along with the actually set of the makeup.  For me it is a double win.

My setting powder was from Kristofer Buckle.  It is a great reliable loose translucent setting powder.  It clouds the air a little bit when you dip into it, but it doesn’t look powdery on the face.  I think it is just so finely milled that particles quickly become aerosolized around the brush.  It doesn’t look powdery though.

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My pressed powder this week was the No 7 Perfect light.  As you can see the pan underneath is becoming more distinctly visible.  (I didn’t realize how much was showing through until I linked to the product page and saw the untouched pan in the photo.) I really like using it and have a hard time sending it back to the dressing table.  However, I have other powders to use and so I must return it and give another product a chance to be used and discussed.

Finally, we end up at the lips.  To be honest I took the easy way out this week.  I have two sets of mini-lip crayons from Trestique.  Some are matte lip colors and others are sheer.  I just put them all in an jar and set them in my bathroom.  Then each morning I just picked whichever I felt like going with for the day.  They were really handy and I enjoyed using them all.

The limited lipstick selection is one of the things I don’t like about the weekly makeup bag.  While it comforts me to choose all the other products and know I have everything squared away and won’t get distracted by other products in my dressing table. With the lips, I really like variety. I am actually contemplating leaving the jar of Trestique in the bathroom and then just adding one or two lip products to the bag each week.  We shall see how that idea goes.  Who knows next week I may change my mind. 

But for this week, this was my makeup bag.  With the exception of the disappointing Girlactick I rather enjoyed all of the products I chose. It was one of my better make up bags.  Hopefully nest week will be just as good.

BeautyCareChoices.com

The Make Up Bag: September 11, 2020

The Make up bag used September 5th – 11th

This week I wanted to test one of the sample sized foundations I picked up in my summer shade.  It was the Yensa BC Foundation.  It is full coverage and is formulated as a mix of BB cream and CC Cream.  I really enjoyed using it this week.  While I will be keeping the remainder of the tube in my collection until I use it up, I will eventually end up purchasing a full size. It gave me excellent coverage without being cakey and it didn’t settle into my fine lines throughout the day.

To be honest, I am not as enthused by the primer I used with it.  I thought about using the Yensa primer, which I absolutely love as I thought it would pair well with the foundation (which it did actually, there was one day where I tested the two together and they are a winning combo), however I am trying to work through my sample sizes so that they don’t pile up and expire before I can try them and so that I can decide what full sized products I want to add to my dressing table in the future.

So the sample sized primer I pulled was the Too Faced Hangover Rx Replenishing face primer.  I can’t decide if I don’t like it or if I just didn’t like it with this foundation. The primer smells like coconut, which is not my favorite, but it isn’t strong enough to be a major issue.  It is white and massages into the skin like a moisturizer. It is very hydrating, but to be honest I didn’t notice much of a difference when I wore it under my foundation and when I wore the foundation with no primer.  By contrast when I wore the Yensa primer underneath, it enhanced the foundation.

I think I might like it better with a foundation that feels more drying on the skin as I suspect that this is either designed for those with dry skin or who are using a foundation that tends to dry them out.  While I have foundations that occasionally crease towards the end of the day I don’t really have any that leave my skin feeling dry.  What I might do is try this again in the winter time and see if I like it better when my skin is dryer.  I think the issue is that it is just not really designed for my skin type.  So at the moment, it will return to the dressing table for a later week long test but as of now I don’t think I will be picking up a full sized version of this primer as much as I tend to love Too Faced Products.

By contrast I brought out the Kristofer Buckle translucent loose setting powder to use again.  This is its second time in my makeup bag.  I picked this powder up as part of the Vanity Collection Kits that are offered on the Kristofer Buckle site. 

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I chose it because I wanted to test out the Triplicity Foundation Stick and because I absolutely adore the formula of the Cashmere Slip Lipstick.  The shade Bardot is the lipstick I grab before any other one in my collection.  Don’t get me wrong there are others I really love, but it is just such an excellently wearable formula. But that isn’t the point.  The point is I picked up the kit and the powder was in it.  Incidentally, I highly recommend the kits.  All of the products are full sized and it is a really affordable way to try out multiple products from the brand. And they are having a BOGO sale on the kits so it is a good time to stock up.

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When I tested the products I more or less had a Kristofer Buckle themed Makeup bag that week.  I knew I loved the lipsticks and I absolutely fell in love with the Triplicity foundation stick and because of this I think the powder got shorted.  I remember thinking ‘it’s a good powder, but wow that foundation.’

Sometimes I get focused on one thing and let others slide.  This week I used the powder in my bag.  I was not distracted by the other Kristofer Buckle products. I have to say I found it better this time than I did the first.  It is very finely milled, sits well on the skin and does not cause a white cast in photos.  It also has zero scent.  After a couple of months of coconut scented powder (which I liked, it was a good powder) it was really nice to have a powder that has no scent. The little powder puff that comes with the powder is completely useless.  I used a powder brush and my Huda Beauty makeup sponge instead, but it is a much better powder than I remembered from my first use and I was happy to use it this week and I will be happy to keep it in rotation.

With powders I like to keep one pressed powder and one loose powder.  This week my pressed powder was the No. 7 Perfect Light pressed powder.  It is one of my go to powders.  I will often wear it simply over primer to control shine and it is the compact I reach for when I need to powder my nose mid day.  As I didn’t need to powder my nose this week beyond what I put on in the morning, I did not get to use this all that much.  I’m going to be keeping it in the makeup bag this week.  Also I think it will work well with the foundation product I plan to use this week. No. 7 is also having a sale at the moment 20% Off When You Spend $79 with code 20OFF. The sale runs through September 13th.



This week I pulled the Revolution Fast Base Concealer to use.  Because the foundation did not require any extra assistance, I ended up using it solely as an eyelid primer.  It worked well even though the shadows had a tendency to fade throughout the day.  It gave me a smooth, even toned base from which to start building my shadow looks.

Speaking of shadows, I used the Ciate London New England Palette this week.  The link will take you to the full review.  It is a bit mixed.  The pigments are more buildable than intense and if you want the shimmers to brighten you have to use a damp brush.  With a damp brush the shimmers and metallics are spectacular.  The look just has a tendency to fade to nothing after about six hours.

For my bronzer this week I took out my Space Case Fakeation on Mars Bronzer.  It Is one of those products that I tend to forget that I have.  The case is dark blue and tends to fade into the shadows of the drawer. 

The product itself is quite nice.  It is a buildable formula rather than an intensely pigmented one so if you are worried about applying too much bronzer and making your face look dirty then this might be an option for you to look into.   I really like it because I can decide just how dramatic I want to be.  I am also glad I found it now as it is one of those bronzers that really helps when your skin is going through seasonal tonal changes. 

It is great for darkening a slightly too light foundation without making your face look like it is overly powdered. (I’m sure there is another term for that, but you know what I mean).  I really like this when I am too light to still use my summer shades but not yet pale enough for some of my winter ones. If used when the foundation isn’t quite dry it really blends in nicely to help adjust the shade.

This week’s blush is one that came in a subscription box at some point, but I can’t remember which one.  I also forgot I had it.  I think what happened was that it came in and was a smaller size so when I put it with the other blushes it was over shadowed.  I don’t think I used it before this week.. It was the Mannakadar Buildable Blush in Bali Babe.  I would say that it is more bendable than buildable.  It is an intense pigment that does blend out well.  It does not go on light. That being said, I did like it.  Is it my favorite blush? No, and truthfully I probably won’t buy a full sized version. I will however use this until it is gone.  It falls into that good but not spectacular range.

Ofra and Bad Gal Bang, two of my favorites from this week’s bag

One product that always falls into the spectacular range is the Ofra Glazed doughnut highlighter.  It is simply stunning.  It applies bright but blends beautifully to a soft glow. This is a product I will use down to pan and then instantly replace. Normally I go for more gold toned highlighters, but this just blends so beautifully I am willing to lean towards silver.

I had two eyeliners in my Makeup bag this week.  One was the Hank and Henry Blickity Black and the other was the Milk Makeup Gel liner.  The Milk gel Liner is in a champagne nude type color (I couldn’t find the color on the liner) and it goes on creamy and smooth.  I used it in my water line.  It is more subtle than a white liner and gives a softer look.  I am a big fan of the formula and will be seeking out other colors to add to my collection.

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The Hank and Henry, not so much. The liner which is a calligraphy pen style, has the tendency to skip instead of giving a smooth line. It also bled a little into my fine lines, not a lot, just enough that I noticed when I was applying it.  While it stayed in place once it was on the lids, it tended to fade a little towards the end of the day, getting a kind of off black color by the time I went to take off my makeup. The final issue was that I had to kind of wait between eyes. I would get one done and notice it was skipping more the monger I used it so I would have to cap it and let it rest before doing the other eye.  I was not a fan.

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I am still a fan of the Bad Gal Bang mascara from Benefit, which was my mascara this week.  I think there is enough product for one , maybe two more weeks in the tube so back into the dressing table it goes, but it is with a pang of loss that I sent it away.  I really like this mascara.  The other Benefit mascaras are good and I enjoy using them, however this is my favorite.

And yes I realize I am sort of hoarding it a little bit but not just going ahead and using it up, but I have several opened mascaras to finish up as well as several unopened mascaras I want to try so once I finish this trial size I am not allowing myself to buy the fill sized version until I clear out a little more space in my mascara section.  So I am holding on to this as long as I can so that when I do finish it I can justify purchasing the full one. Don’t worry, it will still get used up within the six month deadline, I just want to hold on to it a little longer.

For my brows this week I kept the Hourglass brow pencil around for defining the bottom of the arch, but mostly used a tinted eyebrow gel.  I have several but I somehow never think to reach for them. This one is the Soap and Glory Archery Volu-boost brow fiber gel.  It’s the shade Talk of the Brown, in case you are curious. I really enjoyed using it.  It didn’t make my brows crispy or look plastered on (I really hate when bows are so insanely defined and plastered against the skin by gel that they look painted on.  I think it makes people look like cartoon characters. I am really happy that it looks like fluffy, natural looking eyebrows are trending.  While this did help me tame and define my eyebrows it didn’t give me cartoon brows so I was happy.  I really think having the eyebrow pencil to define the bottom helped and I like the Hourglass brow pencil formula.

Finally we come to the lips.  This week I had three options in my Makeup bag.  The first was a MAC Bullet style lipstick. It is in the shade mocha.  I always think of mocha as a brown shade but this read more pinky neutral on the lips this week. It was just as creamy and lovely to wear as I remember Mac lipsticks being and the shade went well with the pinkier tones of the eyeshadow palette without overwhelming them.

The trestique also went well with the brighter shades, blending but not competing with the eyes. I chose one of the lips from the Mini Matte Lip Collection, the Florence Fig to try out this week.  Again it is a neutrally pink, although slightly darker than the Mac. 

The darker Trestique is the top swatch with the lighter Mac below

I really love the formula of the Trestique lip products.  They are creamy and non drying and they last a really long time.  They need touching up after lunch, as do most traditional lipstick formulas but over all it lasts quite well.  I now have the set of mattes and the sheer glosses in the Trestique Minis and to be honest I am thinking of just putting them all in a jar and leaving them in the bathroom with my skin care so that they are on hand to reach for. 

I’ve actually had really good luck with the trestique formulas in general.  Their Bronzing stick is one of my favorites.  They are another brand where I almost have enough products to do a full face of just the brand.  I’ll have to take an inventory and see what I am missing and possibly do a full face make up bag one week.

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The third lipstick product that was in my bag this week was the Clarins Velvet Lip Perfector.  I have to say I was very much looking forward to testing this out.  I’ve used several skin care products from Carins and I really liked the Lip water stain I tried.  However I did not use it this week.  I tested it out but the eye shadow palette tended to skew more pink tones and this was just a bit too red so it looked off.  I will be bringing it back this week and this week it will be used.  I am actually selecting my eyeshadow palette around this lip product. Next week will be it’s time to shine.

This week there is one final product in my Makeup bag and it is the setting spray. This setting spray however is a little something special. It is the Timeless Skincare HA Spray with Matrixl 3000 + Cucumber extract.  It was gifted to me by Timeless Skincare, along with several other skincare products I am trying. 

This is both a setting spray and skin care.  I posted a seperate post about this spray yesterday (the link above will take you directly to it). Because it is skin care and I do like to give skincare at least 30 to see if it works (as it generally takes that long to show any changes) this setting spray will be in my bag for at least the next month. Trust me that is no hardship. In addition to the skin care benefits which will bc covered at the end of the month long trial, it is a really good setting spray. In addition it’s cucumber scent makes me feel like i just left a spa. I know it is just the scent but it is really nice and extra refreshing. So I will be using it in my makeup bag as I do my full trial. Then I’ll start rotating other setting sprays in. 

And that concludes this week’s make up bag.  Next week I will be using the QMS tinted moisturizer.  From what I have heard, it is very light coverage so I will probably be going more natural with my look in the coming week. Which is fine with me.  It is still very hot here and I have no real plans to leave the house so easy and breezy suits me just fine.


The Make Up Bag: August 21st, 2020

The Makeup Bag used August 15-21, 2020

This week I tried to focus on items I never tried before so it was a week of first impressions.  To start off with I used the Ciate London Extraordinary Foundation in the shade 127 Y Bamboo. 

It turned out to be a great shade for my deepest summer tan, although the clock is ticking as to how long I will be able to wear the shade.  I liked the foundation enough that once I clear out some of my current foundations, I will be picking up a lighter shade. 

While the link above will take you to the full review the basic summary is that it is a good foundation that feels weightless.  It has a bit more shine than I like but is easily toned down by a matte setting powder.  I am still working my way through the Ciate Everyday Vaccay Setting powder (I have only a few more weeks and it will be used up) and it worked really well with this foundation.

Less well received this week was the Ciate watermelon burst hydrating primer.  Don’t get me wrong it is a good hydrating primer.  The Extraordinary foundation just needed a pore filling primer underneath it to look it’s best.  This was not that primer. 

I called in the Benefit Porefessional primer though and it paired amazingly well with the foundation. There were a couple of days where I didn’t bother with foundation because I knew I was going to just be running in and out of the heat all day.  On those days I tend to use a primer and a dusting of powder. 

In that application, I really liked the watermelon burst primer.  It locked the powder in place and didn’t let my skin dry out.  The primer also has a nice watermelon scent to it that made me crave Jolly Ranchers all week.  It just didn’t pair well with the foundation I chose this week as it required something pore filling and not hydrating. I will be keeping the ciate primer around and using it again when a hydrating primer is called for. As winter dries my skin, that shouldn’t be a problem.  That I’m keeping the Benefit Cosmetics Primer around goes without saying.

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My NARS sample sized bronzer in Laguna finally starting to show a dip in the center.

I didn’t have a new bronzer this week so I went with my small sample size of NARS Laguna.  I absolutely love this bronzer.  It is a great color and a wonderful formula.  However I am not allowing myself to purchase a full sized version until I use up the sample. I am actually starting to feel a dent in the center of the pan so I will be reaching for this periodically in an effort to use it up. Plus I can’t remember when I got the sample so I’m worried it might be getting a bit old.  And if at all possible I like to use things up rather than throw them out because they are expired.

The blush was new to me and came from the August Look Fantastic Box.  It is the bellapierre cosmetics mineral blush in the shade amaretto. It is a loose blush which I haven’t used in a while.  For a long time though the loose mineral blush from bareMinerals was my go to blush so I am familiar with loose blushes and actually don’t mind them.  It is easy to apply too much so there is some technique involves with the tapping out of product, so it did take me a little while to get back in the swing of things.

Once I did I really liked it.  The powder applied well, blended easily and stayed all day.  Like the foundation though, it is a product that works best for me when my skin is at its darkest tan.  I suspect this is more of a summer blush for me as once my tan fades, it might be a bit too dark. For now though, the color was perfect.  And luckily the product is good for 36 months so I don’t have to worry about using it up in the next month or so.  As Look Fantastic sent a full sized blush in the August box, it will last a while.

My concealer this week was the Pretty Vulgar concealer.  I really like the formula.  Usually I use the concealer as eyelid primer as well and usually the Pretty Vulgar formula is really good in that capacity.  The eyeshadow  palette I was working with wasn’t the best this week so I pulled in the Pretty Vulgar lid primer as back up.  It is like Velcro for eyeshadow. 

It did its best, but the shadow didn’t help it. As I am planning to practice working with cut creases, I will probably be keeping both of them around in the following week as I find them both useful for that.

So be prepared for repeats with those. At some point I am going to have to pick up a pretty vulgar eyeshadow palette.  I love their foundation and mascara as well as their concealer and lid primer, it seems only logical. 

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Also they just came out with a new blush palette that looks really interesting. I’m actually debating whether to pick that one or a benefit cosmetics blush palette.  I can’t justify picking up both at the same time, but I will probably talk myself into one of them.

There is a full review of the eyeshadow palette I used this week that this link will take you to.  It is the Morphe + Manny MUA Glam Palette.  I was not a fan.  While not the greatest formula, it wasn’t horrific.  It was just boring and meh.

There are two highlighters in this palette as well and they too fell into the category of nothing special. I suspect in my next declutter, this palette will be one of the first to go bye-bye.

For my eyebrows I kept the Hourglass brow pencil around for another week.  I really like it and to be completely honest I just forgot to change it out when I swapped out my makeup for the week.so it was an accidental repeat.  I’ll be sure to choose something new for the brows next week to make up for it.

Both my mascara and eyeliner were new this week.  The eyeko lash alert mascara came in my Look Fantastic Box in August along with the blush. I have to say while it was a pretty good mascara with great lengthening abilities.  I prefer eyeko’s black magic mascara. However it was a good mascara. 

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Since sample sized tubes like this generally have only about a two week supply of product in them, what I am going to do is keep this around and pair it with a volumizing mascara. I have several that are nearing the end of the time I am willing to keep them around and need to be used up before they expire. Doubling the mascara will give me the lashes I want and help me not waste product.

My eyeliner this week was the Wander Beauty skyliner in black.  It is a gel formula which isn’t my favorite formula however I have to say I was interested by the description.  It is infused with olive oil (and other oils) to make it extra creamy and smooth to apply.  I have to say it was.  It didn’t tug at the skin as I applied it at all and glided into place as it was supposed to.  The pencil even comes with its own sharpener. 

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The only thing I didn’t like about the sharpener was that you had to roll the product out quite far to get it to sharpen and I suspect at some point I’m going to end up snapping a chunk of it off.  That is the down side of the creamy texture; the point blunts really quickly so you have to sharpen it a lot.  I will say though once in place, you need a makeup remover to get it off of the skin. When applying it you have a very limited window for adjustment before you have to accept that it is set in place for the day. Over all a pretty good product though and one I am happy to have in my collection.

This week I continued to use down my I heart Revolution Setting spray.  I love this setting spray, it is just getting along in age and I am fairly certain it is either at or past its expiration date.  I can’t remember when I bought it to be honest.  However I have only about one more weeks’ worth of product in the spray bottle so I will be using it up this week and then trying out something else.

This of course brings us to the lips.  Here I must confess I had a change of plans after packing my makeup bag for the week.  This week I put a neutral C’est Moi lip gloss, a Bite Beauty Liquid lip and a Huda Beauty lip contour in my bag.  They were all neutral shades.  I balanced them out with an elf liquid lip in the shade red vixen and a Clarins water lip stain in the shade red water.

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Once I tried out the eyeshadow palette and realized no matter what color combo I was going to try it was all going to come out as a basic neutral, I ended up balancing it with the elf and the Clarins and didn’t reach for the other lip products at all. So the lippies I did not use last week will go back to the makeup bag for next week.

The elf and the Clarins were both fantastic reds.  The elf dried down nearly instantly so any adjustments had to be made immediately or you were suck with them (or forced to get a cotton swab with makeup removing oil and work delicately).It never smeared or left lip prints behind and once on I forgot I was wearing it. I have to say elf has been killing it lately.  From this lip to the well thought out bite sized palettes, I am very impressed.  This red faded a little throughout the day but at the end of the day it was still a vibrant red. It was a deeper, more blue toned red than the Clarins.

The Clarins Water lip stain was a bright red, that oddly smelled of cherries. I found it a little odd but strangely appealing. The scent didn’t last all that long though. Once the water stain dried it was pretty much gone.  The lip water is applied with a little brush and as the name suggests, feels like you are brushing water on your lips.  I found that if you applied it lightly to the center and used a finger to smooth it over the lips, you could create a light wash of red color.  If you applied it all over the lips and just let it dry then you had a much brighter cherry tone. 

It took a little longer to dry than the elf, but once in place it stayed in place.  And when I say stayed in place I mean makeup removers could only dim it, not defeat it.  The next morning I woke with my lips still pink. For me it wasn’t an issue as I was putting the elf red vixen over it, but in general I had very pink lips this week. If I were going somewhere and I was going to be out and about with no chance to touch up my makeup, the Clarins Water lip stain is a formula I would reach for.  If you are interested you can purchase the Clarins Water lip Stain at All Beauty. They are currently having an end of summer sale with 50% off most (if not all) of their items. It is well worth checking out.

If you give the Clarins a moment to dry it will stay with you and not smudge a lick throughout the day. And something about it just feels summery.  Maybe it is the pink tone and the cherry scent.  Either way, one application and you can forget it is even there. I am definitely going to see what their color range for this line is because if they all perform this well, it would definitely be worth keeping them around.

As a bonus I should say that neither of these lip products smudged the inside of my mask. That’s how well they dried down and stayed dried down. And neither caused my lips to go desert dry either.

Before I close this post I want to mention some tools.  I am still using and loving the bdellium tools 999 master blender brush.  It fits perfectly in my hand and does wonders with my foundation application.  I know they have a bit of a sale going on right now so if you are looking for some new brushes, now might be the time to look into them.

Studio 950 Oval Multipurpose Brush

The makeup sponge I’ve been using is from Huda Beauty and I really like the balance it strikes between soft and firm.  The flat side has proven more useful than I would have imagined for when I do detail work with the pointed end.  It is over all a nice, well thought out make up sponge.  I plan to use it until I have to buy a new one and then, unless I try another one I like better, I will be repurchasing it.

This week I added the complex culture powder brush that I received in August’s IPSY box and I am really liking it as well.  The bristles are dense, yet soft and it is perfect for powder application.  I very much enjoyed using it with my loose powder this week.  I think I will continue to use the Alamar powder brush for my pressed powders though because it seems to work better with them than the fluffier rounded end brushes, but for loose powders I am happy to have this brush on hand.

Next Week’s Foundation

And that concludes my notes from the Makeup Bag this week.  Next week I’ll have a whole new slate of products to test out, including a sample of the Ken Gen Do Aqua Foundation.

It is apparently a makeup artist favorite (according to reviews)so we’ll see how well it works for a writer. As always I’ll be back for the afternoon face mask later today.  This afternoon I’m giving the Super Silver Haze purifying Mask from Makeupdrop a try.  Until then, have a great Friday.


The Make Up Bag: August 14th, 2020

The Make Up Bag Used the week of August 8th – 14th

Welcome my darlings once again to The Make Up bag, where I talk about all the products I used this week and share my thoughts on them.  As it is still really hot where I live I kept things pretty simple this week. 

Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation

Part of simple involved an fabulous foundation formula that didn’t feel like makeup and that was my Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation stick.  It is a really comfortable formula to wear, despite the heat and it didn’t cause me any break outs or melt downs.  The shade is slightly on the lighter side for me so I know I will be able to use it well into the fall.  Because of this I will reluctantly set it aside for now. I could easily reach for this every day until it is gone. 

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However, I have a few new foundations I want to try.  I think at least one of them requires my summer tan fade a little so it will have to wait, but there are a couple others I want to experiment with so next week will be a new (to me) foundation I try out.

Stila and Jecca black, although the Glow Drops can be used as a primer, after trying them I used it as a highlight wile using the Stila as my primer.

This week I did try out the Stila Sheer illumination skin perfecting primer for the first time and I really liked it.  The link will take you to my full review.  It is not a primer I would use all the time as I prefer matte primers, but it is one of the few illuminating ones I am willing to keep going back to. 

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Marc Jacobs made a return to my make up bag this week.  I happily pulled the HI-FI Contour powder compact out of my dressing table for use this week. I am always happy to take this out. Not only do I like the product, but the sleek design of the compat just feels classy to use. It is a contour duo that I really like using because you can go as intense or subtle as you want with it. 

If you are looking for just a wee bit of definition to a low makeup look, get a super fluffy loose bristled brush and dip lightly into the pan, building until you are happy. 

If you want something more visibly defined, then get a denser, stiffer bristled brush to work with and you have no problems.  It is a really good formula that is quite versatile. 

Also from Marc Jacobs this week was one of my liquid lipsticks.  It is a really great formula that smells like peppermint, at least mine does. The Boom-Enamored shade is slightly too purple for me to feel comfortable with on its own so I often blend it with Lime Crime’s liquid lip in LAMA. 

High-Drate Lips And Leave Them Soft As A Cushion With Lip Blaze By Lime Crime.

I do find that on it’s own this shade of Lime Crime tends to show all the texture of my lips if used on it’s own. I don’t have this issue with the other colors just the coppery one. (You can see on the swatch below that it is going into the lines on my hand). Mixing it with Marc Jacobs eliminates this issue, but if I wear it alone then I generally find using a Buxom Plumping gloss before hand eliminates the problem (not just with this but most liquid lips that sink in). I don’t have a desire to make my lips super pumped but this is where plumping lip glosses shine. I apply them about an hour before I go out, let them sit and then wipe them off and apply the lip shade I really want to apply (or leave it if the plumping shade is the one I want to wear). smoothing the way for other lip products is really the genius of plumping glosses.

I generally pair these two liquid lips together when I take them out.

It is a matte coppery shade.  Both liquid lips are comfortable to wear on their own and they work well together actually.  The coppery brown blends with the purple making it a berry-ish shade and the copper is likewise toned down so it doesn’t look like I made out with a low rent version of the tin man when no one was looking.

( Copper man couldn’t make it to OZ in the fist book, he had to wait for the Return to Oz for his big shot in the Emerald City, if I recall). I really enjoy both Marc Jacobs and Lime Crime’s formulas on their own, I just happened to pick shades that weren’t quite what I thought they would be.  By pairing them together I get to use them both.

This week I also used two Laura Geller Products in my makeup bag.  One was the Laura Geller Nude Kisses Lip Gloss.  It is a nice pinky shade of lip gloss that is on the neutral side of pink for me.  I really liked wearing it. 

Lip swatches. (T to B): Laura Geller Nude Kisses, Marc Jacobs Boom, Lime Crime LAMA, and the bottom shade is a mix of Marc Jacobs and Lime Crime)

In general I tend to go more for mattes rather than glossess but there is something about the summer months that often makes me reach for the glosses more.  This is a nice one to reach for. It is a little bit on the sticky side, as all glosses are.  It is just the nature of gloss, but it isn’t super sticky.  I only really notice it for the first few minutes because I am so used to using matte lip products.  Usually I monitor my lips to see if they are getting too dry and need a coat of lip balm to protect them.  It always feels strange when I first switch to a lip gloss.

Also from Laura Geller this week was my eyeliner.  I used the Line – N- Define Dual Dimension Eyeliner in black. 

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It has an eye crayon on one end and a liquid liner on the other.  The liquid liner I liked and had no problems with.  It works well and gave me a smooth line.  Once it was in place it dried down and stayed all day.  I feel I will get a lot of use out of it. 

The liquid end is quite precise but lets you easily thicken the line if you want.

The crayon style liner was interesting.  When I first used it, the product had a sharp point on the end and gave me a really good line.  As I used it, the end became blunted and rounded, my lines becoming thicker and less precise.  As it is the type of formula that can be blended and smudged, I think I would use it when I wanted more of a smoky look. 

the point quickly dulled. Great for a smokey look, not for precise lines.

I liked the product as once it was applied it stayed in place all day, but the more it gets used the less precise it is going to be.  So the liquid side is for your precise lines and the crayon side is for the smoked, blended out kind of looks. 

Both work really well and I am glad to have the product in my dressing table.  I had fun using it this week as it has been a while since I did any sort of winged eyeliner (I tend to use more eyeliner in the fall and winter).  I look forward to using it again.

Speaking of eyes, I used the Huda Beauty Mauve obsessions palette this week and can’t say enough good things about it.  The link will take you to the full review.  The colors are right up my alley and it had just the right mix of mattes and shimmers for me to do several quick and easy day looks.It is definitely a palette I will be reaching for again.



Returning this week was my setting spray from Revolution.  I still love it and I am still trying to use it up so two more weeks and then I will finish it out and put another one into rotation.  I’ve just had it a while and want to use it up.  I’m not sure if setting sprays go bad, but as I also can’t remember when I bought it, I think it is time to finish the bottle and move on.

Also returning was my concealer from TreStique.  I really like this concealer on dark spots and blemishes.  It is very  good when you want to precisely pin point areas for a little extra coverage.  I’m not too big a fan of it under my eyes as I think it pulls the skin a little too much, but for blemishes it can’t be beat. 

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When I use the Kristofer Buckle Foundation stick though, I find it works better if I put the concealer under the foundation rather than the other way around.  This way I get a better coverage.  Normally I put the concealer on after, but with these two products it just seems to work better in reverse. 

I think the creamy texture of the Triplicity foundation just helps it blend in a little bit better. I have another couple of foundation stick products in my collection.  I haven’t tried them with the TreStique concealer yet but I think I will mark them for use together next time I take them out and see if they work well like that as well.  For now I know it works that way with Kristofer Buckle’s Triplicity.  Incidentally Kristofer Buckle is having a 40% off sale at the moment.  If you are interested now might be the time to stock up.

I also couldn’t help but bring back the Bad Gal Bang Mascara from Benefit cosmetics.  I liked it so much last week, I just had to give it a second week of use.  It’s a trial sized version and when I run out, I will be replacing it with a full sized version. 

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The last two products in my bag this week were Blush and highlighter.  The blush is a Tarte blush in the shade Quirky.  It is a sample size I’ve been using for a while.  I go back and forth as to whether I like the color or not.  I love the formula and I plan to at some point buy a full sized version, I just am on the fence about the color. 

Sometimes I think it is for me, other times I think it might skew a little too orange. At the end of the week, I am still on the fence.  I still like the formula, I just can’t decide on the color.  Since I currently have several blushes in my collection that I really like, there is no rush.  I just dislike feeling so indecisive.  For now, I will put it back in the dressing table and take it out again at a later date and once again try to determine if the color is right for me.

This is far more product than needed. It is easy to squeeze the tube too hard and take out way too much.

Finally we reach the highlighter.  My highlighter this week was the Jecca blac Glow Drops I received in my Glossy Box this month.  It is a highlighting primer and I did try it that way but it was waaaaay too glowy for me to use as a primer. 

I felt as though my face could signal passing astronauts in space when I used it as a primer.  As a highlighter this Rose Pearl shade worked brilliantly for me.  On the high points of my face it gave me a wonderful golden glow.  It was actually quite stunning. 

However moderation is called for.  The tube has a tiny dot of a hole to release product.  The best way I found to use this product is to squeeze just enough so it comes out and forms a slightly larger dot on the top of the tube, don’t cover the entire top.  Then either dab a finger or brush onto the top and apply, repeat if more is needed.  It blends in like a dream for just a golden sun kissed glow.  Too much and I looked greasy.  But just a little dab was fantastic.

starting to be rubbed into the skin. the more you blend the more subtle it becomes without ever disappearing as some subtle shades do.

Just remember, you can always add more, but once applied it is hard to take off. This is one of those products it is better to build up than tone down. I am however very glad to have it in my collection and feel I will be reaching for it often.  I also think it will last a really long time.

Glossy Box included the full sized tube and the tube is completely filled with product.  If you have dryer skin or like a more dewy look, you could probably use it as a primer, but for me, I’d rather use a little as a highlighter over a longer period of time.

That, my darlings, was this week’s make up bag.  Over all it was a really good bag.  I know most of them were repeats and as I generally get rid of any product that really doesn’t work for me, it shouldn’t be a surprise that everything worked fairly well for me.  Next week however I have several new to me products that I will be trying for the first time. I know for certain the foundation, primer, blush and mascara are all ones I haven’t tried before.  I’ll have to see if I have new products in any other category to try as well next week and maybe get a full face of first impressions and a first week of use. I’ll see what I can find.  Until then, enjoy your Friday and I will see you back here this afternoon for the Friday.




The Make Up Bag: August 7th, 2020

The Make Up Bag for the week of August 1st – 7th, 2020

This week I pulled a full make up bag, I really did.  And there were several items I was really excited to try.  One of which was the Laura Geller dual eyeliner.  It has a calligraphy style pen on one end and a gel like side on the other end.  

Alas, this week got a little crazy. 

My eyes mostly ended up with mascara alone this week.  Luckily it was a really good mascara.  When I went looking to set up my bag for the week I found several trial sized mascaras that escaped my earlier purge.  I think they came in after I collected the ones I wanted to use up. 

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Anyway I chose one of their number and it was fantastic.  I went with the Bad Gal Bang Mascara from Benefit.  I have to say I am a little surprised by how much I liked it.  The mascara did occasionally clump but a quick pass with my eyelash comb took all the clumps out.  And my lashes were left long and fluttery.  It was almost false lashes length.  At least the more natural looking false lashes. 

I know not the most flattering angles, just focus on the lashes

I really enjoyed it and I will be looking at getting a full sized tube of the Bad Gal Bang mascara once I’ve whittled down my open containers. I have to say, I might have found a new favorite.

Also from Benefit this week was my blush.   I used the Gold Rush Blush.  It is one of my top blushes.  The color and formula work well with me and the shimmer that made me doubt it was just an overlay and has long since disappeared. 

It is a surprisingly soft color that just sort of makes my cheeks look slightly flushed instead of bright pink.  I really like it.

I especially liked the formula this week as it gave me no problems.  I can not say the same for the Kenia Onteveros Set and Define palette.  The link will take you to the full review but a brief synopsis was that the mattifying powder was okay, and I adore the highlighter. 

So two of the six products worked for me.  The bronzer and contours were patchy and didn’t want to blend for me. While I give the rest of the palette a pass, that highlighter was fantastic.  It looked pin in the pan and went on with a subtle gold glow.  I will keep the palette around just for that and then buy it again in a single pan product.   The rest of the palette, not so much.

Returning again this week, the level dropping ever lower, is the I Heart Revolution Fixing Spray.  It is in Peaches and Cream. 

It works amazingly well and is super affordable. Mine is just somewhat old and I am trying to use it up.  I have about two weeks let of product so it will be used up by the end of August and then other Setting Sprays will get their chance to leave my dressing table again. I promise.

My Foundation this week was the Maybelline Fit me Matte and Poreless (normal to oily).  The link will take you to my full review.  Not much has changed since I posted it.  I like the product and enjoy using it on my skin.

My 999 Master Blender Foundation Brush from Bdellium Tools worked incredible well with it.  I think when I used it last time I had to just use a make up sponge.  I think that might have been because my old foundation brush needed replacing.  It went on easily with the 999 Master blender. (Incidentally they are having a sale on their vegan Bambu Brush line at the moment in case anyone is looking to replace brushes) I’ll link the code below.

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My only issue with the Maybelline Fit me is the open lid.  Once you screw the cap off it is just open.  I carefully poured some on my hand to begin applying to my face and it worked well, I just had to be careful pouring.  It is a good enough product and very cost effective on my budget, that I am willing to over look that and will probably be buying it again, or fitting the bottle with a dropper.

For now I just had to remember to wipe the excess off my hand with my MakeUp Eraser before I left the bathroom. There wa a lot of wasted product, but at least this way the Makeup Eraser soaked it up and I didn’t go smearing it over everything when I left. I really need to look at fitting the bottle with a dropper.

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My primer this week was one I used before as well.  It is the elf Poreless Putty Primer. (Its pictured above with the blush) Many, including me have raved about it.  I wanted to use it again because I so recently used the Puff Puff Pass Primer from elf and I wanted to do a comparison.  As far as smoothing out the skin, this one wins hands down. 

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It is really smoothing and really fills those pores for a flawless finish.  Not as airbrushed on me as it is on the commercial models, but it looked good.  The Puff Puff Primer was far more moisturizing and felt more like skin care than makeup.  I would wear that one alone with just powder whereas this poreless putty primer is really something I only reach for to put under foundation. 

They both have their places in my dressing table and I will keep repurchasing both.  However with the putty it will be a while before it needs to be repurchased as it takes so little to actually cover my face.  But I like them both. Go elf!

Perricone, MD, Fenty Beauty, Marc Jacobs, Laura Lee Los Angeles, and Colourpop

And now my darlings we reach the lips.  There are five products to go through.  The first is the Perricone MD No makeup lipstick.  It is in reality a lip balm with a slight tint.  I really like this lip balm though.  It is very moisturizing and feels more like skin care for your lips than a lip product. If that makes sense. 

I found myself using it first thing in the morning, well before applying my make up and last thing at night.  In the morning I found it softened my lips and did really well prepping them for other lip products.  At night it sort of acted like a lip mask and hydrated my lips while I slept.  I will also say I am using it so much (and plan to keep it in my bathroom) because even though it is a new to me product from July’s Boxycharm premium, it will expire in December. 

I’ve used Perricone, MD products before and that is something you have to watch out for.  When it gives you an expiration date, they mean it.  The closer it comes to the date, the higher the chance that it will get moldy and need to be thrown away.  So I am using it while I can.  It makes me a little mad that I have to race through using such a good product, but that is an argument with Boxycharm not Perricone, MD.  It is a great product, and if you do pick one up, mind the expiration date.  You can’t stock pile these lipsticks. It’s a buy and use kind of product.  Although well worth using.

Perricone, MD, Fenty Diamond Milk, Marc Jacobs Trax, Laura Lee Jaybird, Colourpop Tulle (Top to Bottom)

The next gloss I put in my bag this week was the Fenty Diamond Milk.  It is a nice gloss on its own but super excellent as a lip topper.  It smells like Vanilla and I really enjoyed using it this week. I tend to forget I have it as it is just a little too thick to fit comfortably in my lipstick holder so it ends up in a drawer a lot. I need to figure out where to put it so that I can reach for it more.  It is a really good product.

Next we have the one actual lipstick I used this week.  This is one of my favorite bold lips.  It is the Marc Jacobs Le Marc lipstick in Trax (290).  It is a wine colored vampy sort of color.  I love the formula as it is super comfortable to wear.  However with most dark lipsticks, I sometimes make a mess with the application if I just roll the product up and apply it to the lips.  This is a lipstick that benefits from the use of a lip brush. 

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What I like to do is use the lip brush to outline my lips with the product and then fill them in.  I generally don’t have a problem doing touch ups throughout the day without the brush, but for that initial application, I like the outline and fill method.  I should point out that I don’t use this with lighter shades of Le Marc, but I do use it with all darker vampy shades. I find it more controllable and I can also decide how dark I want to go.  With the brush I can just use a light wash of color or go full out bold with it.  

Like the Feny, I enjoy using the product, but it doesn’t fit comfortably in the lipstick holder.  It is just a little too wide.  As a consequence it ends up in the drawer.  I think I may need to just get a bigger lipstick display. Then I can add to my Marc Jacobs lipstick collection.  They are great products but I haven’t collected them as I want because they don’t fit anywhere.  I really should remedy that. 

There were two liquid lipsticks in my make up bag this week.  One was an ultra matte lip in the shade Tulle from Colourpop and the other was a liquid lipstick in the shade Jaybird from Laura Lee Los Angeles.

I like both colors.  The Colorpop wasn’t as comfortable to wear as the Laura Lee and it didn’t have quite the lasting power.  With the Laura Lee, I applied Jaybird once and it stayed all day long.  It felt a little sticky at first but after a while I forgot I was wearing it.  The Colourpop was also a nice formula.  It is a little drying  but relatively comfortable.  I did have to reapply it in the afternoon however.

So that was this week’s makeup bag.  While I did choose other products to fill out the bag, this week I didn’t end up using them.  I think I spent so much time trying to make the set and define palette work that I just rushed through everything else.  Plus it was a busy week. 

Next week slows down and I will have a hope of actually applying eyeliner and shadow without looking like I let a group of sugar amped kindergarteners take markers and chalk to it so next week should be more balanced instead of lip heavy. Although personally I kind of liked having so many lip products to choose from during the week. So I might add more than two next week as well when I go to stock the Make Up bag for next week. 

But that is for later, at the moment I need to get back to work.  I’ll see you back here this afternoon for a relaxing break with the Friday Face mask. Have a good afternoon.