The Make up Bag: July 31st, 2020

The Make Up Bag Used July 25th – 31st, 2020

Welcome my darlings once again to The Make up bag. I hope you had a fantastic week.  While I have been testing out new foundations fairly regularly for a while, some full sized and some only sample sized, I thought it was time to take a little break from the new and roll through some of the foundations that I enjoyed. 

So I lined up all of the currently open foundations I have in a shade that works for me at the moment and a chose whichever one appealed most to me in the moment.  I’ll be honest, it was a pretty close tie between the Kristofer Buckle Triplicity foundation Stick and the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation.  Since I just used the Kristofer Buckle last week, I went with Pretty Vulgar and I am glad I did.  I really enjoyed using it this week.  The formula works well for me and went well with the ELF Puff Puff Primer I tried this week.

This particular ELF primer is a bit more moisturizer like than I anticipated, but it worked well.  The link is to my full review if you’d like to get all the details, but I did enjoy the ELF Puff Puff Primer and will be keeping it in my rotation. 

Making a continued appearance in my make up bag was the I heart Revolution Fixing spray in Peaches and Cream.  I know I’ve talked about it a lot, but I do like it.  I have about three week’s worth of product left in the bottle (as a best guess) so I will keep it around for a few more weeks in the hopes of finishing it out. It is nice, but it is an older product I’d like to finish out.



Speaking of peaches, This week’s eyeshadow palette was Peach Bellini from Makeup Geek.  The link is for my full palette review.  I really liked using the formula this week for a super simple low key week.  The shadows were highly pigmented and easy to blend.  Also the color scheme seems very summery to me.

Starting to see a little of the pan’s rings below the powder

Both of my powders this week were repeats The Ciate Everyday Vaccay was the loose powder and I have about three more weeks of use before it is empty so I will continue to use it until it is gone, then shift to other powders. 



My pressed powder was the No.7 Perfect light in medium.  It is very rapidly becoming one of my favorite pressed powders.  I’m actually starting to see the outline of the pan below in the center.  While I will continue to use up the ciate next week, I will be sending the No. 7 back to the dressing table and picking out another pressed powder to try.

There were three more repeats this week.  The first is the Instant Age rewind Eraser from Maybelline which served as my concealer and eyelid primer.  I really liked it in both capacities.

Also returning was the Eyeko Fat Black eyeliner.  It is one of my favorites. Once in place, it doesn’t go anywhere and never seeps into my fine lines. 

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The final repeat was the Julep pore minimizing blush in the shade Rosewood.  I don’t know if it actually reduces my pores as there are several other products between my pores and the blush, but it is an excellent blush.  It is of the buildable variety rather than the highly pigmented, although you can deepen it a lot if you try. 

Eyeko eyeliner and Hourglass brow pencil

I personally prefer my blush to be buildable and blendable, which this is. I believe Jlep is having a sale at the moment.  I’ve liked every product I’ve tried from them.  The products are easy to work with and the packaging is sleek and pretty.

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I know packaging shouldn’t count as much, but it kinda does. At least with me.  I know, it’s a personal flaw.  But I do like the sleek design while my more practical side likes the fact that it is also quite sturdy.

Julep blush and Tarte mascara

And now for the new arrivals in my makeup bag.  The first is the Ace Beaute Bronzed in Paradise palette.  This palette had four shades of bronzer.  Only one works on me as a bronzer.  It is the third in the pan in case you are wondering. 

The darker and lighter shades I could use as eyeshadows but not as bronzer.  In the winter I might be able to use the second shade in the palette but that is about it.  Truthfully, I don’t particularly care for these bronzers.

They oddly work really well as eyeshadows, but on the cheeks I found them a bit patchy and hard to blend. I might try working with it again, but I have much better formulas in my collection that I would rather use.

The Hourglass eyebrow pencil (shade soft brunette) also came in a Boxy Charm and I have to say, I really liked using it.  I really liked the formula and I really liked the precision point.  It is small enough that I could do really fine lines with it. 

Do I like it as much as the Benefit Precisely My Brow?

Almost. 

If I had to choose between the two I would still choose the Benefit, but only by a small margin.  I do like that it comes with a spoolie on the end. I will happily use this for a while.  Between it and the Il Makiage pencil I received from IPSY, I won’t have to buy an eyebrow pencil for a while.  And then I have my wet ‘n wild brow kit powder. So I am set for brows.  I really did enjoy the hourglass this week so I think I might just have to keep it around for a second week.

Really quickly I wanted to mention the So eco shading brush that came in my Look Fantastic box this month.  I added it to my makeup bag and I think it is going to remain in my bathroom brush jar for a while.  With the Makeup Geek Shadows the easiest way to work with them because they were so highly pigmented was to take a flat brush and set the shadow on the eye at the spot I wanted it to be darkest and then blend with a fluffy brush.  This week I used the So Eco brush as the flat brush and it worked really well.  The indentations in the handle were perfect for gripping and the bristles are really high quality.  So two thumbs up for Look Fantastic.

Unfortunately I did not have as good a luck with the Palm Balm from Beauty crop that came in this month’s Glossy Box. I added both it and the Milk makeup Lip and Cheek stick to my bag this well.  I figured since I had already used the Julep before and loved it, I would keep it as a back up and see if either of these two products worked.  Both the Palm Balm and the Milk Lip and cheek are designed to be products you can use on, you guessed it lip and cheek. 

The Palm balm comes in a nice little glass pot and in the pan it is really stiff.  I had to rub my finger over it a lot just to warm it up enough to stick to my finger.  On the cheek it goes on okay, but it really hard to bend out.  It really wants to stay in whatever position you place it in first. When blending, I felt less like I was blending and more like I was scrubbing it off. 

Anytime I tried it as a cheek product it ruined any other product I already had on my cheeks.  It worked better on bare skin, but I don’t know if that was just me rubbing it off or not.  On the lips it was interesting.  It gave my lips a nice tint and like the cheeks, once applied it wasn’t going anywhere.  It lasted the whole day as a light blush of color. 

However it was also very drying.  Once I applied it I had to wait a moment and then top it with a Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm to keep my lips from drying and falling off my face.  With the lip balm protector it was fine.  Without it, I crumbled to dust.

The Milk Makeup Lip and Cheek also did not work on my cheeks.  It went on well but blended away to nothing with the first touch.  However it made an excellent lip balm.  It provided a light my lips but better tint and it kept my lips hydrated and moisturized.  I really enjoyed it and will keep it in my collection for my lips.  I won’t use it on my cheeks, but my lips love it. The Palm Balm will not be staying in my collection long.

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I did have two more lip products in my bag this week. Although I did wear the Kristofer Buckle Bardot for National Lipstick day, it wasn’t officially in my bag this week.  This week I mostly used the Lorac Alter Ego Hydrating lip stain in Breadwinner and the OFRA liquid lip in the shade Pasadena.

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Breadwinner is a light wash of color that feels comfortable on the lips and is really easy to wear.  I enjoyed it very much.  It doesn’t dry out the lips and is as hydrating as it claims.  It is not an all day color though. 

On the days I wore it, I had to apply it when I finished my coffee and again after lunch.  It does wear off if you are eating or drinking, but it is a formula that is really nice if you want just a light wash of color that you don’t have to worry about.  It didn’t get on my teeth and it didn’t leave lip prints everywhere.  It will definitely make a reappearance in my makeup bag. 

OFRA is on the top and Lorac is on the bottom. The Lorac was swatched multiple times to build up the color for the picture. it is much less pigmented on the lips

OFRA’s Pasadena will also make a return.  It is a nice neutral lip that works well for me.  So often neutral lipsticks either blend my lips into my face or just look brown.  This has just enough pin in it to work for me.  While the all day formula does stay all day and wasn’t drying on the lips, it does feel just a little bit sticky. It wasn’t terribly bad and because of the color I will keep it around. 

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The one I have is a trial sized liquid lip rather than a full sized.  I like everything about it except the slight stickiness.  If I can find another long wearing liquid lip in this shade that doesn’t have the stickiness, I would buy that.  I think the stickiness is the result of it never drying down completely. If I can’t find this shade in another formula that I like better, I will purchase a full sized version of this.  I know that is a strange answer.  It is a good formula that I don’t mind wearing, but I am hoping to find better.  However I am not certain I can find better. Perhaps that is a better way to put that.

The Tarte mascara on the eyes and the OFRA on the lips

Finally we come to one of my favorite items, the mascara.  I went with the tart Gifted mascara this week.  Tarte’s mascaras are always hit or miss with me.  There are a couple I really like and a couple I find to be just okay.  This one has a thinner, straight wand and I have to say I really liked it.  It made my lashes look longer and it lasted all day without any sort of flaking or smearing.  To be honest, I like it almost as much as my Kevyn Aucoin.  I know gasp. But don’t worry, my two favorites are still Marc Jacobs and Butter London. It just bumps The Expert Kevyn Aucoin down a notch on the fav scale. Not by much, just a little. In a horse race it would still be a photo finish.

Alright, well that was my makeup bag for this week.  I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  As usual next week will feature a brand new bag of makeup for me to try.  Some will be old favorites and some new finds.  With luck some of my new finds will be good enough to become old favorites.  But now it is back to work for me.  I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and I will see you back here this afternoon for the Face Mask Friday post.


Trying out E.l.f’s Puff Puff Primer

Normally this is where I would post a foundation review.  This week I didn’t use a new foundation, but decided to dip back into some already open ones. Actually, I’m probably going to be rotating thorough open ones for a few weeks just so I can use more of the open products that I like. During these foundation trials I have found some good ones I don’t want them to go to waste.

This week when  I went to make my selection for foundation I ended up reaching for the Pretty Vulgar Lava Water Foundation.  That’s the link to my initial review and at the moment, I can’t really think of anything new to add except that I was happy to use it again this week. Thus far I’ve been pretty happy with most Pretty Vulgar products I’ve tried. Even if I did pick up their Feathers mascara just for looks, it turned out to be a really great product.

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So, since the foundation was a repeat. I’m going to talk about a new primer instead.

Well new to me, some of you may have tried this one out before, but when running to Target to restock a few necessities I saw it on the shelf whereas I hadn’t seen it before, so I don’t think it’s been out a terribly long time.

Now I have to say, I love a good primer. 

I love the way it can smooth out your skin so that foundation applies smoothly, requires less product and lasts longer. Typically I go for pore filling primers, but I don’t mind branching out.  And I’ll admit, this one did amuse me.  Plus it was only $8 so I figured it was worth a try. Even if it does mean I’ve had old Cypress Hill songs running through my head all week. Luckily no one takes notice of the songs I hum to myself as I get ready or I’d probably be called out on repeating some of the lyrics.

So what are this primer’s claims?

This hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil primer nourishes and preps your skin. A creamy primer that absorbs quickly into the skin to soothe and hydrate, conditioning your skin before makeup application. Perfect for all skin types.

Key Ingredients: Hemp Seed Oil – An amino-rich formula that helps nourish, hydrate and condition the skin. Vitamins A and C – Antioxidants known to help brighten skin’s appearance.

We all know, I love my vitamin C. There were also a list of positives for cannabis sativa seed oil praising its calming effects as well as a reminder that this contains neither THC nor CBD. While I am new to using a lot of CBD products, hemp seed oil based products aren’t all that new.  They have been around for ages.  I remember seeing them on the shelves of health food stores when I was little. I believe it was used to soothe skin irritations.

I’m pretty sure hemp seed doesn’t have the same CBD type calming effects, but it does tend to calm down skin irritations, which usually puts me in a better frame of mind anyway. I could be wrong about that as I am neither a dermatologist nor a chemist (or a botanist for that matter). It could be that the old folks I remember talking about hemp seed oil simply didn’t discuss mood elevating properties. (They were more deal with the nettle stings and complain about the state of the world rather than seeking mood elevators. Not that they minded a bit of the recreational, but they did love to complain. If griping was an olympic sport, they would have taken the gold.)

NET WT. 1.01 FL. OZ. (30mL) Water (Aqua), Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vc), Beta- carotene (Va), Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbitan Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Ceteareth-20, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, BHT, Disodium EDTA

elf cosmetics website

I will say I really like the fact that when I looked up the ingredients, the hemp seed oil was the second ingredient, which means it is in a rather high concentration.  I always like to see the main ingredient a product is advertising be high up in the ingredients list.  For those new to reading ingredients lists on skin care and cosmetics products companies are required to list the products in descending order of concentration until they get to about the 1% level. So the higher on the list, the more of the ingredient there is.  Once they get down to the 1% mark they can list the remaining ingredients in any order they want.

The product comes in a nice tube with a flat cap so it stands upright.  It is dispensed through a pump.  The picture shows one full pump.  I found I needed two to cover my entire face completely. The formula is very interesting and not something I am used to seeing in a primer.  It is more of a cream formula.

When applied to the face it feels almost like a moisturizer.  The white disappears as the product is absorbed into the skin and the primer does create a nice even layer.  I think I needed more of it because a portion does absorb into the skin.  What remains is slightly sticky, which in a primer is not a bad thing.  I wore the primer with my foundation and, since I already knew and liked the foundation, there were a few days I just wore the primer with a dusting of powder over it. 

As you can see in the photos above, there wasn’t much difference to the skin with or without the primer. There is a slight matifying look but that is all. It has no tint or blemish hiding capabilities, but it does smooth the skin. It just doesn’t hide much.

The primer performed well under the foundation and when used with the powder alone, I found it really gripped onto the powder, keeping it in place longer.  The formula didn’t dry out my skin or make it overly greasy.  I will say that I am currently testing out a light day cream as my daily moisturizer.  Once I applied my moisturizer, I tend to let it sit while I have a cup of coffee.  Then once at least a little caffeinated, I return to put my makeup on.  Trust me no one wants me trying to apply eyeliner before my first cup. Done this way, my moisturizer had a few moments to sink in before I applied the primer.

I did try applying the primer right over the moisturizer and it worked okay, but not great.  I think if I was using a heavier moisturizer it would have been a mess.  Given the hydrating nature of the primer, I think either waiting for your moisturizer to settle or leaving off your moisturizer (depending on your skin type) might be the best plan.  If you have super dry skin, that might not be an issue for you.  For everyone else, give the moisturizer some time to settle first.  While this primer isn’t the pore filler I am accustomed to using, it is over all a really good primer.  It did its job, smoothing out skin and holding my makeup in place.  I am quite happy to have it in my collection, especially for good skin days where I don’t use foundation and just go with powder, and I think that I would definitely purchase this again.

In fact they have a hemp based skin care trial sized kit for $15 that I might be trying out soon.

It includes many of their available skin care products from their line. I think once this primer gets a little lower in the tube, I will pick it up and do a bit of a full on skin care trial with the primer as the topper for the skincare line. But that will be another post further down the road. For now, I am just going to keep this primer around.


e.l.f. cosmetics

The Make up Bag: July 10th, 2020

The Make Up Bag Used July 4th – 10th

This week I was required to get a little more adventurous with my makeup as my foundation was a rotating shades.  I was using the ‘medium’ sample set from Jouer Cosmetics as my foundation this week.  While all of the shades were in the medium range some of them had yellow undertones, others olive, some pink and a few neutral.  It is a really good shade range actually.  Although not meant to be used for one face. I did, mostly because I was testing the formula (and not leaving the house). So I got to use bronzer and powder to their fullest extend as I played ‘adjust the foundation shade’. I liked the formula even though it is more full coverage then I like in the summertime.  You can check out the full review of the Jouer Essential High Coverage Crème Foundation if you want the more detailed version of how that trial went.

Likewise I posted about my use of the Elf Bite Sized Rosewater Palette and the Beauty by Popsugar Trio Tyme Morocco palettes as this week’s eyeshadow selection.  Those had both highs and lows.  Over all, I really liked the Elf Rose Water Palette (with the exception of the darker black shade) and didn’t like the Morocco Trio (with the limited exception of the shimmer shade).

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The Rosewater is going to be staying in my collection and I am sure I will end up picking up more ELF Shadows as I like the formula of the ones I’ve tried.  The Beauty by Popsugar, I will be passing along after sanitizing it.

This week I used the Pore Professional primer from Benefit cosmetics.  I specifically chose this primer because last week I used the Pearl version.  I wanted to do a personal comparison by using them one right after the other. 

Ciate Blush, Benefit Primer, wet ‘n wild liner, Nomad Highlighter (L to R)

I have always preferred the Pearl version of the pore professional primer as I thought it gave a nice depth under matte foundation that the regular primer did not provide.  While it does, this summer I have been using the Volition Luminizing Shield as my sunscreen. And I have gotten into the habit of putting it on every morning before my makeup so that I don’t forget it. 

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Because it is illuminating, I found my luminizing primers to be almost too much for me. Individually speaking , I think I still do like the Pearl version better than the original, however paired with my sunscreen I have to go with the original.  I really enjoyed letting  the illumination from the sunscreen glow with the mattifying pore professional tone it down. I think I will save my last sample size of the Pearl Poreprofessional for the winter months when I spend more time inside. Needless to say the regular Benefit Pore Professional will be staying in my makeup rotation.

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Speaking of Benefit Cosmetics, it is time to mention the Brow Contour Pro.  It is a pen format eyebrow pencil that contains multiple products including lighter and darker shades of brow pencil, contour, and highlight.  Last week I used up the lighter shade and was almost completely finished with the highlighter. The contour/defining pencil was getting low as well. 

I was going to finish up the highlight and contour this week and use the darker shade.  Which I did.  This morning however I was checking to see how much was left of each product and when looking at the darker shade (which was the only remaining product, I dripped the pen and shattered the remaining dark eyebrow pencil.  So the Brow Contour Pro is officially used up and will now leave my makeup bag for good and go to the empties bin.

I am going to have to have to think about what I want to replace it.  I love Benefit’s Precisely my brow, but it has been my go-to for a while.  I know I am getting an eyebrow pencil in my IPSY Bag this month so I might try either a powder or a pomade from Benefit instead.  It is something to think about.  But I do love Benefit’s brow products so I’m certain at some point one of them will return.

Speaking of returning products, I had several products make repeat visits to my makeup bag this week.  A holdover from last week was the Ciate Marbled Blush in the shade Halo.  It is a nice buildable formula and for me, the shade is just about perfect.

The Ciate loose setting powder in Everyday Vaccay once again returned.  I really like the setting powder and find it doesn’t have the white cast that Ciate’s normal setting powder can occasionally have.  The level on this product is low enough that I think I am just going to keep it in my makeup bag until it is gone.  It may take a couple of weeks, but it is not a product I mind using repeatedly.  And I would rather use it up before opening another product. And as I have a weakness for powders (both loose and pressed) I do have my eye on several I want to try, even if this is a staple.

NARS bronzer, Ciate loose setting powder and No. 7 Pressed powder compact

Speaking of powders, the No 7 Perfect light pressed powder made a return visit to my makeup bag this week.  I really do enjoy this formula.  It feels really good on the skin and blends like a dream.  I usually think of skincare when I think of No. 7 products (I really like several of their moisturizers) rather than their makeup, but I have to say I may be looking into their other cosmetics given the way this powder performs. 

I like it as a finishing element, or as just a dusting to knock off the shine when I am just wearing sunscreen. It will be returning to my dressing table this week, but staying in rotation.

Because I was using a full coverage foundation this week, I added the Nars Bronzer in the shade Laguna to my bag.  I know I can go both subtle and dramatic with it and given that my foundation shades were all over the place due to my Jouer trial, it helped adjust some of the less than perfect tones to my skin.  I actually relied more heavily on this tiny bronzer than I usually do on my bronzers and it performed wonderfully. But alas, back to the dressing table it must go.

Returing to the dressing table again is my Pretty Vulgar The Feather’s mascara.  I really do enjoy this mascara.  It is not only pretty to look at, but the curved wand works well to lift and curl my eyelashes and the formula makes them look longer and more dramatic.  Anytime I use a full coverage foundation I feel I need more dramatic lashes.  And I knew this mascara would perform.  So after a week of service, it returns to the dressing table to return when it is needed.  Bye bye little birdy.

Staying in my makeup bag this week is the I heart Revolution Fixing Spray I love the Peaches and Cream scent and I love the way the product performs.  At the moment I am mostly switching between this spray and the Laura Geller Spackle Mist. Since this one is over half empty (and I can’t remember how long I’ve had it open in my dressing table) I am probably going to make a push to use this up in the next few weeks.



This week I used the megaliner from wet ‘n wild.  I really like it and I have enjoyed getting accustomed to using a liquid liner again.  It was the type of liner I started with when I first started doing my makeup.  It has been fun remembering how to keep my eyes half open while I fan them to dry the liner so it doesn’t transfer and I really like the way it performs.  Next week I think I am going to replace it with a different style of liner, either pencil or pen just to change things up a bit.  But rest assured, this wet ‘n wild liner will be returning. 

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I think the final returning product was the TreStique Mini Lip Glaze in Shell Beach Sheer.It is a nice light lip tint that I really enjoyed using.  It provides just a hint of color without actually being a lipstick or crayon.  I think I will be returning it to the dressing table this week though as I have so many other lip products I want to use. 

I actually had several I used this week, but before we go full on into the world of lips, I want to mention my highlighter.  This week I used the Nomad highlighter in the shade Midnight Sun.  I found this an interesting highlighter to use.  For the most part I applied it with my fingertip rather than a brush as it seemed to work better that way.  I found that it could produce a really bright highlight if left alone, but worked best if blended a little.  If it was blended in then it really served as a soft glow for the highpoints of the face, making my skin look sunlit instead of like I just applied glittery highlight.  With the full coverage foundation it was often lost, but in a low key look featuring more natural makeup looks, this would be a fantastic highlighter.  I am tempted to keep it around for another week, but I need to see how many products are repeats before I make up my mind.  Either way, it is staying in my dressing table and in my rotation until my sample size is used up and then I am purchasing a full sized version.

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And now, to the lips.

Starting at the top: the two lip liners Rosewood, followed by Pouty. Then Laura Geller in Nude Kisses, followed by Pioneer from maybelline, then Sprinkle from Sugar Crush and finally the Trestique lip glaze at the bottom. (I also just came in from working outside and yes, my skin desperately needs moisturizer)

This week I had two Bodyography lip pencils to try out, one in the shade Rosewood and the other in Pouty. They were a set that came in one of the Boxycharm boxes during June.  I had mixed feelings because I tried a Bodyography eye pencil a while back and I did not like it.  I did however like the lip pencils.  Pouty in particular is a shade that I can easily wear just under lipgloss.  They were creamy when applied and weren’t too drying on the lips, especially if a gloss was put over them .  when just used as liners, they performed well and stayed in place all day. I will be reaching for them repeatedly.

This leaves the three liquid lips I put into my makeup bag this week.  Two were matte and one is a gloss.  The gloss was Laura Geller’s Nude Kisses lip hugging lip gloss.  I like the shade and I like how comfortable it felt on my lips.  There was a little smudging on my coffee mug rim, but that’s because glosses just don’t dry down like mattes.  And it wasn’t really that much smudging.  I have just been wearing mattes and clear lip glosses for a while so it was more noticeable.  I liked wearing it, but I did notice that I had to reapply it after lunch. It was not a stay all day formula.

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The Super Stay Matte Ink from Maybelline in Pioneer (#20) was definitely a stay all day formula.  I put it on, gave it a few minutes to dry and then left it for the day.  At the end of the day it still looked just as beautiful as it did at the beginning.  The color was slightly muted after eight hours, but it was still in place. The trick with it is to make sure it is applied correctly at the start.  Fix those smudges and crooked lines fast or you will either have to use a makeup wipe and start over or just live with the smudge, because once it dries there is no maneuvering it. It wasn’t very drying on the lips though and was quite comfortable to wear.

There was a little more wiggle room with the Sugar Rush Sugar Coat in the shade Sprinkle. It can be adjusted for a few minutes after applying and doesn’t seem to lock into place as tightly.  It too was comfortable to wear.  It lasted past lunch on the lips, but by about two in the afternoon it was a distant memory.  I have no problem’s reapplying lipstick, but it is something to remember if you have an afternoon meeting.  Stop off in the ladies room to refresh (or gent’s, depending), prior to the meeting if you want to be wearing it during the meeting.  It has a good color saturation and isn’t drying on the lips.  It doesn’t really dry down all the way, which is, I think, why it wears off. But it is very comfortable to wear. I will be looking into more shades of this formula when I next purchase lipsticks.

Finally I must add a little bit about my new foundation brush.  I needed a new one and picked this one up from Bdellium Tools.  It is the 999 master blender.  This was its first week of use and I have to say I am a big fan.  It has soft, yet densely backed bristles.  It sort of reminds me of those elite style brushes with the brush on it’s side and a shape like a giant toothbrush.  It has that sort of density to it. The brush blended in the product really well without leaving brush streaks.  I really only needed the makeup sponge for a little detail work around my eyes.  The shorter kabuki style handle gave me much greater control as well.  It also stands up on it’s own so it is easy to find and grab quickly.

My only draw back this week was the  fact that the rose gold metal picked up fingerprints and no longer looked pristine.  (the above picture is the brush just out of the package.) I will also say that because I was using foil packets with foundation this was a messier week than usual in my morning getting ready process.  And the streaks and fingerprints all wiped off easily.  It is just one of those things where it was so pretty when I got it and after using it, the brush was no longer pristine looking.  It’s still pretty but t no longer has that just out of the package feel.  Sigh, I knew it wouldn’t last.  But at least I am pretty sure the brush will.  It looks as though it was meant to last.

Bdellium Tools’ Newest Brush Collection!

It will of course remain in my makeup bag this week. So what will be joining it?

Well the I heart Revolution Fixing spray is staying and the Wet ‘n wild brow kit, along with the Billion Dollar Brows highlight and contour duo will be returning. The Ciate Loose setting powder will be staying until the jar is empty.  The foundation I will be using this upcoming week is a trial sized tube of Pur 4-4in-1 Love Your Selfie long wear foundation and concealer.  I have been looking forward to trying out this foundation for quite some time.The primer is also something I have never tried.  It is the Kaja Blur Drop primer.  I have never used anything from the brand Kaja so this well be  my first impression of the brand as a whole which is always fun. I will be trying a liquid highlighter from Iconic London this week as well.  I’ve used Iconic’s setting spray but that’s all so this should be a fun trial as well.

Next Week’s Make up bag

Returning after a stint in my dressing table is my Eyeko eyeliner and my Kevyn Aucoin mascara.  I know I just can’t keep away.  It is one of my top mascaras and I tend to naturally gravitate towards it. For my lips I chose two long standing favorites and one I forgot I had and will be using Thrive Causemetics, Nars and Stila on my lips this week. The pressed powder is a Jouer product and both the blush and bronzer are from Julep. I ordered them during one of Julep’s sales and they came in on Monday. 

I restrained myself from using them this week so I am eagerly looking into trying them out for the first time.  Finally my eyeshadow palette this week is one I have reviewed before.  It is the Fairy Tales Storybook Cosmetics Briar Rose Palette. When looking at products this week It sort of said “Use Me’ very loudly so I decided I would.  So next week while I will review the Pur Foundation in a separate post, I won’t be reviewing the eyeshadow palette separately.  I’ll have to see what other products merit a single focused review instead. As always if there is anything in the upcoming bag (or past bags for that matter) that you want more detailed information about, let me know.

Until then, it is on with the day.  Have a good Friday everyone. I’ll see you this afternoon for the Friday Face Mask.




Elf Bite Sized Eyeshadow Palette in Cream and Sugar Review with a KVD single shadow assist

Elf Bite Sized Eyeshadow Palette in Cream and Sugar, KVD single Shadow in Lolita and Metal Crush Highlighter used as shadow

I have to say I was a bit nervous about using just this palette all week.  It is why to my make up bag I added two additional shades in single shadow form.  Well one single shadow and one highlighter that I really only use as a shadow rather than a highlighter.  I’ll talk about them at the end of this post, but first the ELF palette.

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In general I like Elf Shadows.  Sometimes they aren’t the most pigmented, but they are always buildable. The bite sized palette comes with only four shades (two mattes and two shimmers) and costs $3 at Target.

While I was nervous committing to a four shadow palette for the week, I have to say, these four shadows were very well chosen.  Sometimes I get palettes and stare at them wondering what on earth I am going to actually do with the colors presented.  That was not a problem with this palette.  All of the shades worked well together.  Looking for just a light wash of color, go with the matte pink on the far left.  Want a little pop?  Top it with the lighter shimmer.  Brown smoky eye? Easily done.  Office wear? Yup.  Classic night out look?  Done and dusted.

simple every day look

Don’t get me wrong, there are only four shadows so it is a limited color spectrum you are working with, but as soon as you decide what sort of look you want, the colors click into place.  The fact that they are so well thought out means that it is super quick to use this palette.  If you are looking to speed up your morning routine, this might work for you.  I know Elf makes several different Bite sized palettes.  If they are all as well thought out as this one then I might have to look into picking more up. 

Now this week in my makeup bag I added two KVD products.  One was the shadow in the shade Lolita and the other was a metal Crush highlighter.  The shadow is the mauve sort of reddish that blended well with this palette while allowing me the choice of adding more color. 

KVD Swatches, Lolita on left metal crush on right

It is a very pigmented color, but doesn’t have a lot of fall out.  If you tap the brush lightly in the pan, then tap off the excess there isn’t a lot of trouble with it.  The Metal Crush highlighter was a highlighter I bought a while ago, tried and went ‘no, I can’t wear this as a highlighter.  It works surprisingly well as a shimmer shade for this palette as well, bringing something a lot less neutral and a bit lighter to the mix.

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I enjoyed having both of them around with this palette and will use the KVD shades again. I think Metal crush is destined to remain and eyeshadow in a really big pan for me. I also think that next time I pick a very neutral palette to use for the week I will automatically add at least one single shadow to the bag as well. Not only does that plan give me a little more play with the colors, but it uses my often forgotten single shadows.

I think that because the ELF cream and sugar palette is so neutral, if I were to travel with it (and the palette seems designed for travel) I would toss one or two single eyeshadows in brighter, complementary colors to take along just in case I decided I wanted a pop of color that day. (Because let’s face it, my weekly makeup bag is sort of travel bag practice when you get right down to it.)  Or I could add a second bite sized palette with more color in it.  Either way, I enjoyed using it this week and look forward to reaching for it in the future.


e.l.f. cosmetics

Clearing out the Empties Bin

Happy Memorial Day! As with a lot of folks I’ve been sorting, cleaning, experimenting, and using the extra time at home to go through things.  Once I started clearing things out, I realized I had a lot of open and partially used travel sized items that I needed to use and clear out so I have been making a concentrated effort to use them up.  It is amazing how much space those little items can take up. 

Plus I am fairly certain I am not going to be traveling any time soon so I might as well use the products now and then just get new travel items when I do travel.  In case you are wondering, that’s also why there are so many travel sized items in this post. I also tend to get sample and travel sized items specifically to try out a formula before committing to a full size.  I find it helps with my budget. But enough of an intro, to the products.

We’ll start with two empties from Sol de Janeiro.  One is the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream and the other is the Coco Cabana cream.  Both are excellent body lotions and in fact the Brazilian Bum Bum cream I have been using to help with the stretch marks that have been appearing as I’ve started losing weight. 

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I actually have a large container of the Bum Bum cream that I am still using, I just wanted to clear out the two smaller ones.  I will definitely be reordering the Bum Bum cream, but I don’t think I will order the Coco Cabana cream.  It is a nice cream and I have no problem with the scent, but for some reason I find the formula just a little sticky.  After applying it I have to wash my hands.  I don’t have to do that with the regular Bum Bum cream. So I will continue to purchase the Bum Bum, but not the Coco Cabana.

Next up we have two empty containers of dry shampoo.  Both actually full size.  The first is the TRESemme between washes volumizing dry shampoo.  While it does have a little bit of a white cast when first sprayed, a quick brush and it is is gone.  I also find that the dry shampoos that have just a little white cast to them tend to work better on greasy hair.  As long as the white brushes out easily, I am fine with it. 

The scent reminds me of a good salon. I’m not entirely certain what that scent is, but that is my best description.  Personally, I like the scent.   As the name suggests it is a good between washes shampoo.  For heavy sweat days I’d still go back to the IGK, but for the day between, this is a really good dry shampoo I would purchase again.

I cannot say the same about the Pearlessence Cherry Blossom Dry Shampoo.  It has a slightly sweet scent that could be termed cherry if you were being generous.  Smell aside, I was not thrilled by the way this dry shampoo performed.  There was a white cast that was a pain to brush out, and it didn’t absorb a lot of the grease. 

My hair didn’t look cleaner, like it did with the TRESemme.  It also made my head itch a couple of hours after I applied. It.  I generally found that shortly after using this , I either needed to use the dry shampoo again to absorb more oil or I just needed to take a shower.  This was not a day between dry shampoo, it was a ‘I can’t shower for an hour’ dry shampoo.  I will not be buying it again.

Keeping with the theme of hair for the moment I have two trial sized hair products.  One is the Eva-nyc Satin Dream leave in conditioner and the other is the Bumble and Bumble Don’t blow it Fine (H)air styler. I would actually purchase full sizes of both of these products. 

I love the argon oil in the eva-nyc.  My hair always reacts well to argan oil.  And the conditioner smells vaguely like candy. It was not too heavy in my hair and gave it great manageability.

The Bumble and Bumble was an excellent product on days where I was just going to let my air air dry.  I could put a little in, let the hair dry naturally and then just run a brush through it, easy peasy.  There were no tangles and it didn’t weigh down the hair.  I think I am actually going to be repurchasing a full size soon as I really don’t like blow drying my hair in the summer time.  I think this could really help me out this year. And yes I know it says for fine hair and I have thick hair, but I tried the one they offer for not fine hair a while back and found it too heavy feeling.  This despite the fine hair claim was perfect for me.

Another item I will definitely be ordering again is the Hydro Biotic Recovery sleeping mask from Dr. Brandt.  During the winter this year this was my go to night cream whenever I felt like I had any dryness.  It wasn’t too heavy, didn’t clog my pores and made my skin feel hydrated and refreshed come morning.  I think when the weather turns in the autumn I will purchase another tube to use throughout next winter.

In my empties bin I have three powders, one pressed and two loose.  The pressed powder is the ELF Perfect finish HD powder.  I will definitely be reordering it in the near future. 

Shop e.l.f. Cosmetics now

It is one of those powders I always keep on hand.  What I tend to do is use the ELF translucent powder all winter and then the Rimmel Stay Matte in the summer, just because  my skin tone changes with the season and the ELF is a little lighter.  I almost always order this as soon as I start to see pan on it, but this year I want to give other products a chance.  It is actually killing me to have this empty and know I haven’t reordered it yet.  So suffice it to say it is my favorite.

The first of the empty loose powders I have are the translucent Cherry Blossom Matte powder from Pacifica. This I will definitely re order in the future.  It worked well on my skin and I personally love the scent of it.  It kept my makeup in place and didn’t look powdery on the skin. 

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The second loose powder is the Becca Hydra Mist Set and Refresh powder.  When I first got it I adored it.  It worked well on my skin and it had that nifty, feels wet sensation that got everyone so excited. I’ve also had really good luck with Becca powders in the past.  I generally keep the pink toned setting powder around because I really like it to add a touch of color to the face when winter has made me pale.

However, the wet feeling didn’t last.  Soon it just felt like regular powder.  Which is fine.  I love using powder and the powder still performed well.  I am just a little leery of whatever chemical change happened.  The cooling sensation dissipated rapidly  so  I was always suspicious that the powder went bad.  Because of this I think I will stick to other Becca Powders in the future.

Next up is the Wet ‘n Wild photofocus 3-in-1 Primer water in Rose.  It is a good affordable setting spray.  The Rose scent was a bit much for me, but the spray was nice and it held my makeup in place when I used it.  I will probably repurchase this, but I think I would pick a different scent.  I would probably go with something like cucumber.  The rose was just a bit much. The spray is worth purchasing though.

I have two eyeliners in this bin of empties.  They are both black and they both have a felt tip applicator.  One is the Eyeko London Skinny eyeliner in black and the other is the Illamasqua liquid eyeliner.  I enjoyed both of them and would purchase them both again.  Once in place they didn’t budge or smudge and they were smooth in application and easy to use.

Marc Jacobs

Finally we get to the mascaras.  I have four travel/sample sized ones that are leaving me.  The first is one I am sad to see go.  It is the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara.  I love the formula, I love the wand and I love the way it makes my eyelashes look.  What more is there to say?  It is a fabulous mascara.  I had three of the travel sizes and this is this is the last one.  I will be getting a full sized version of this one.

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Stila

Oddly enough, despite the similarities in the applicator wand, I will not be purchasing the Stila Huge Extreme lash mascara.  It didn’t work as well as Marc Jacobs and tended to clump.  The wand may have been similar, but the formula wasn’t. 

Marcelle

I was pleasantly surprised by the Marcelle Curling and Lengthening mascara.  It both curled and lengthened. The formula stayed in place without flaking off.  It was a very good mascara.  I liked the curve of the wand as it enabled me to more effectively reach my lower lashes as well.  It is one I would definitely pick up again in a full sized formula. 

The Clinique High Impact mascara was also a decent formula.  It stayed in place and didn’t flake, but it was nothing extra special.  It is a good solid mascara, I just didn’t find it to be a WOW sort of mascara.

Clinique

And finally we have the MAC Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash mascara.  I have to say this is the last of these little tubes I have in my collection.  For a while it seemed like they were everywhere.  I’d open a drawer and then BAM, MAC mascara.  It felt like as soon as I finished one, another would magically appear in my drawer. If there are such things as mascara fairies then I think this is what they leave.

MAC

At least for me anyway.  Not that I mind.  It is a really good mascara.  I enjoyed using it.  Once I finished this little tube I went into the drawer and was rather surprised there were no more left.  Apparently I am no longer on the mascara fairy’s delivery route.  I think now that I have one through all of my samples, I would consider buying a regular sized tube of this mascara. It has a nice wand, although it seems a little longer than many others, but I like the way it applies.  The thinness of the wand also allows for application on the lower lashes without making too much of a mess.

So there you have it.  We have made it through my empties bin and I have managed to clear out a bunch of partially used products.  It makes me feel all virtuous inside.  I also now have a list of several products I would like to repurchase and several that I know I don’t need to bring home again.  Given the plethora of summer sales, it is a very good time to stock up on products I like. I just have to remember, I’m not allowed to use a new ELF powder until I have at least tried something else.

I know this was a much longer post than usual, so for those of you who made it to the end, congrats and thanks for sticking with me.  Now that I am doing my weekly makeup bag post, it should help keep the length of the empty posts down in the future (should you want me to continue them).  Happy Memorial Day everyone.  I hope you are having a great one .


Should anyone be interested in doing a little shopping over the Memorial day weekend, there are heaps of sales going on. One that I will be taking advantage of is the sale on the Look Fantastic site. I know normally you think of their subscription box, but they do sell products and they are having some pretty good sales. It might be worth a look to scoop up some of your favorite brands while saving a little. (personally I am all over the Molton Brown Shower Gel – The Rhubarb line is really hard to find where I live.) Anyway, it is linked below for those interested.

https://us.lookfantastic.com/



Foundation Quest 2020: The end of the first segment

The line up for the first five foundations: L to R Pacifica, Elf, Ulta, Too Faced, and Wander Beauty

A while ago I started my first segment of my foundation quest.  As a quick recap, the foundation that was my go-to product was discontinued so I had to start looking for a new everyday foundation.  Since there are a lot of foundations out there, I decided instead of bemoaning my fav’s loss, I would use it as an excuse to try a bunch of new ones.  And possibly to branch out a little out of my comfort zone in the process.   In order not to get overwhelmed, I decided to test in blocks of five foundations at a time. 

The first set of five included ELF oil free foundation with SPF 15, Ulta’s Youthful Glow, Too Faced Dew You Fresh and Glow, Wander Beauty’s Nude Illusion and Alight, a clean foundation from Pacifica. All of them passed the initial wear-ability test I put them through.  Initially, I used each one in its turn as my sole foundation for the week.  I wore it with no primer underneath, and then I wore it with different primers. I wore it as long as I could each day of the test.

Like I said, all of them passed the first test as products I would continue to wear.  So I lined them up in a row on my dressing table and spent the last month seeing which ones I reached for the most and why.  I also wanted to see the ones I didn’t reach for and why as well.  Now, I will continue to use all of these products until they are gone, none of them will go to waste.  I actually got really lucky with these products as I really like all of them.  They are all really good, but I wanted to see if I could narrow it down to the top two from this section before I branched out into a new section of five. 

pump for Dew You

The first one I found myself reaching for the least of the five was the Dew You by Too Faced. The reason was that while it is a great formula, it needs a primer under it to prevent it from showing the fine lines around my mouth and eyes by the end of the day. Again, it doesn’t show many but it shows more than the others.  A primer under that corrects the problem, but it doesn’t play well with all primers.  It plays best with the Elf Poreless putty Primer.  On the days I wanted to use that primer, I reached for this foundation every time.  On the days I wasn’t using the Elf primer, I didn’t. As I really like using different primers for different reasons, this was not my go-to foundation for the month.

messy cap for ulta

The second to fall by the wayside was the Ulta Youthful Glow. It is one that has to be shaken before use and I noticed that as I used it, the foundation seemed to be getting a little more liquid each time, and didn’t cover as well.  I don’t know if the heavier particles started sticking to the bottom despite the shaking, but I was not terribly fond of the change.  In addition, the way the dropper screws into the top means it gets messy fast (the thinner the liquid became, the worse the problem with the mess). 

I think if I were to use this product every day then I would probably work though it before any separation occurred.  With it not being my only foundation, I wasn’t reaching for it every day, and of course the worse it got, the less I reached for it.  While it won’t be making my top two for this round I think that as it is a very reasonably priced foundation, when my test is over, I may pick up a fresh bottle and use it straight through just to see if it prevents the separation problem.  It will be a while though as I will need to use up foundations from my tests before I buy others. Perhaps by then they will have put the foundation in a pump and it will be improved.

Wander doe foot

Packaging was also the reason that I am not putting the Wander Beauty Nude Illusion in the top two of this test. It is a great foundation.  I love the way it looks on my skin and I love wearing it.  I do not like the doe foot applicator or the fact that it is so tightly inserted into the bottle that every time I took the applicator out of the bottle it sprayed a fine mist of foundation droplets all over everything.  I understand why it is so tight, it needs to block out the air.  The spray just got to me.  If this were a pump foundation bottle, I would have reached for it a lot more than I did.  Which makes me sad. I will still use it, but I will put down a wash cloth over the top of the dressing table when I do.  I hate that the packaging is the reason for this to not go into the top two, because it is so good. But alas, that is what happened.

Shop Wander Beauty’s Makeup Essentials!

So we arrive at my top two products for this round and they are The Elf Perfecting Foundation and the Pacifica Alight.  They are both really good foundations and both are affordable options that can be found in Target. It actually tickles me deep down in my thrifty soul that these two made it to the top. They both have excellent coverage, they play well with any primer I threw at them and each only required one pump of product to cover my entire face.  Neither settled into my fine lines and they both wore well.

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I will say that of the two, I found myself reaching for the Pacifica Alight more than I did the ElF, especially in the last week or so.  That isn’t a reflection on the product though, just the shade.  While we have been blasted by spring showers, enough so that I am starting to download plans for a do it yourself Ark kit, anytime the sun puts in an appearance, I am outside walking around the neighborhood trying to get my calorie burn in without the gym. Because of these strolls and the more outside time rather than gym time, my skin has already started to tan a bit.  The ELF shade is definitely my winter shade and it is already a bit too light. 

The Pacifica seems to be a lot more forgiving with shades, at least with this early tan, so I am still able to wear it. As a consequence even though both made it to the top two, I may have to put this bottle of ELF away until winter comes again and my summer tan fades.  When next I am able to shop, I may pick up a darker summer shade so I can add it back into the mix, but I have to say for now, the Pacifica is the one moving on to the next round. 

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the next five foundations

Luckily I picked up five new foundations to try before all of the stores closed down and the world went on lock down so I have my next line up ready to go.  There are a few I wanted to try but didn’t get around to picking up, but the next section is ready to go. A round three will have to wait until I order products on line or stores reopen.  However as I have five foundations, each with a week’s testing followed by at least a month of wear, I have time to figure that out.  

For now I have five new foundations just waiting for their chance to leave the drawer and be tested. They are from Pretty Vulgar , Becca, Nars, Catrice and Wet and Wild. I suppose we’ll soon see how they fare against the Pacifica. Stay tuned. Next week I start with the first of the new selections individual reviews and I’m starting with Pretty Vulgar. The pretty little birdie on top was just too hard to resist.


Grande Cosmetics:

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Foundation Review: ELF

ELF Flawless Finish Foundation

Sound the horns, beat the drums and ready the horses, the great foundation quest has begun! Recently I realized my favorite foundation was discontinued. It has probalbly been discontinued for a while, I just didn’t notice. I went on a hunt for my favorite foundation, found one and cakled in triumph. I purchased a bottle and when I was about halfway empty a sale came along and I stocked up. When I started running low I came across a stash at TJ Maxx and after marveling that it was my shade and revelling at the low price and number of bottles, I stocked up.

I know, there were several clues in there that I should have seen as glaring signs of upcoming discontinuation.

I saw them, I just chose not to heed them.

They are one of the reasons I went looking for stick and cream foundations at the end of summer though. I was down to my last bottle and I figured in addition to finding something for travel I could extend the life of my last bottle.

But alas, it is no more.

My travel foundation has been pressed into service. So I started picking up foundations to try. There is no order to this quest. There is just what foundation I pick up to try at the time. Also as I use everything from tinted moisturizers and BB creams to full coverage, depending on the day, the products I try will vary wildly. Also I don’t want to have a stock pile of foundations so if it really doesn’t work for me, then I’ll pass it along to someone it might work out for, if it does, I’ll use it up so there might be a run of several foundation reviews posted and then nothing as I use them up and then more reviews.

For those of you keeping track. (Also if you think there are foundations I might want to look into trying, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to get around to them)

Okay, now that we have the explanation and odd disclaimer for my non-scientific quest, to the foundation. As you no doubt saw in the title this is an ELF foundation, the ELF Oil Free SPF 15 Sunscreen foundation to be exact. It is a medium coverage.

Just the foundation on my skin

To be honest I picked this one up because I love the ElF finishing powder and wore mine down to pan. I went to pick up a replacement and saw the foundation next to it. As I also through out my last bottle of foundation that morning, I knew I needed to start my quest. So ElF it is.

It helps that it is a relatively inexpensive product. It was $6 for the product. Mine is in Light Ivory if you are wondering. They do seem to have a large shade range to choose from so if this works out then I can easily find a summer shade. Gardening in the summer time means I generally need two shades in my dressing table, one winter and one summer. For fall and speing I blend the two a little to get the interim shades.

makeup done, hair, not so much

With this foundation, one pump was all I needed to cover my entire face. It has no real scent to it, which I like and blends out smoothly and easily. I found I didn’t need to spot conceal anything as the medium coverage was enough to even out my skin tone and cover any of my current blemishes. At the moment I don’t have any break outs to cover. I can also say that as I used this product for a week to test it, I didn’t end up with any breakouts from the product.

It goes on with a rather matte finish. I personally like a matte finish to my foundation, that way if I want to get glowy I can add the glow separately and determine how much of a glow I want. When I mixed a drop of illuminating drops into the foundation, the ELF foundation took it well. I think this foundation is part of their Flawless Finish collection, if not it really deserves to be. Not only did it go one smoothly, but it didn’t settle into my fine lines.

close up of my nose where foundation tends to pill or settle, taken just after application

As we all know, it is not just about how it applies, but how it finishes. Throughout the day, the foundation wore well. It didn’t settle into my fine lines as the day wore on. It did get a little shiny towards the end of the day. A pat of powder around midday was all it needed to correct itself and then I was fine. And truthfully, it was only a little shiny on the days where I forgot the powder. As long as it doesn’t settle into lines and make me look older than I am, I can live with a little shine.

different lighting but at the end of the day, you can see some shine but the product is still in place.

Over all out of the gate I am going to have to say I was very impressed with the foundation. It was light on the skin, wore well, with only a little shine and didn’t settle into lines. This is definitely a contender. I also like that it has the SPF mixed in because I am guilty of forgetting sunscreen in the winter time. I remember in the warmer months, but tend to forget come winter. If its in, then I don’t have to think about it.

at the end of the day, the lines under my eyes are more from exhaustion than anything else. the makeup worked well, the day was just brutal

So this definitely goes in the like category. When I get several I like, I will put the liked ones up against each other for a final rating, but for now, I’m happy to have a nice foundation to use and I am pleased my testing started off so positively. This may be a harder competition than I thought. But since I really like finding good makeup products to use, it’s really hard to get mad about that either. Now I just have to figure out what product to try next.

Any thoughts?


Lilfox - available at Alyaka.com

BB Cream SPF 30

Algenist

Palette of the Week: Need it Nude

Last week when I reached into my drawer of palettes I pulled out the ELF Need it nude palette. It has a slim case design and a nice long mirror. It takes up very little of the space on my dressing table.

The interior of the Need It Nude Palette

The Need it Nude Palette (incidentally while this palette normally retails for $10, on the site when I linked it the palette was offered for sale for $4, just in case you were looking.) was an interesting palette to work with this week. Given the shade range, there is very little variation in the looks. My crease was a varying shade of brown that could be lightened or darkened and my inner eye accents ranged from golden to a barely there shimmer. Every shadow worked with every other shadow and this is an ideal palette for a quick morning look as you run out the door. It is super easy to work with.

I will say the shades are not very pigmented. This tends to help a little with the darker shades as there is almost no fall out and they blend easily. You just may have to apply more than once to darken the look up to the color you want. With the lighter shades, always use a wet brush or a wet finger. Otherwise they will not show up.

If you are looking for something simple that is suitable for office wear, this is a great palette to have around. I keep it for more conservative looks, but it is not one I reach for every day. It is a lottle on the boring side to be honest. Different looks are more a variation of tone rather than of color. Like I said it is very good for office wear, especially in a more conservative office environment. I have worked in places where this would have been an everyday palette for me. However I have to say I was glad when my Boxy Charm box arrived and I had a single shadow in a reddish tone to add to the mix.

I know it is a Nude Palette and I don’t want to change that, but as two of the browns are almost identical when applied and only slightly different in the pan, perhaps having a deeper bronze wouldn’t go amiss. It would still be in the nude territory, but it would give the palette a little more pop.

Even if this palette lacks a little bit of flare, it is a good palette and sold at a very reasonable price. I am very glad to keep it in my collection for now as I think it is good to have this sort of palette around as a base if nothing else. I think next time I use it though, unless I’m going for a conservative look, I may pair it with my single shadows. Not only will it add that little zing, but it will remind me to use the single shadows.

While I normally just reach in and grab the palette for the next week, going with the element of surprise, this coming week I will be using the Too Faced Palm Springs Palette that came in my Boxy Charm this month. The colors are irresistible and I think after two very neutral palettes, it is time for something a little more vibrant.


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Kristofer Buckle

All New! Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum

Kiss, Kiss Darling

a bevy of lip products to try

Anyone who has been reading this for any length of time knows I have a deep affection for lip products.  Last winter when I began to seriously make an effort to lose weight, lipstick and lip balm were my go to anti-snacking defense as well as a fun makeup product. 

In our household January is a big birthday month and as one of the family bakers, I end up making all sorts of cakes and sweet treats for various celebrations.  As I began my weight loss attempts I had to convince myself not to nibble on the extra birthday goodies.  Since I don’t eat for a little while after applying lip products, I became compulsive about applying lip balm as a snack reducing technique.

Over the course of the year, my urge to snack has diminished a lot.  Part of that is the fact that we don’t keep a lot of snack foods in the house. It is much easier to ignore a craving if satisfying it requires a lot of time and effort. As a result, I became less compulsive with my lip balm application. The end result? As the weather cooled, my lips began their annual chapping.

So in order to maintain kissable lips (or at least not painfully cracked ones) we bring forth the lip products.

ELF lip scrub in Sweet Cherry

First we have three lip scrubs and then we have two lip treatments.  The first lip exfoliator is from ELF and is in the scent Sweet Cherry (retail $4 at Target).  I mentioned this in my end of the year review and I have to say I really like this one.  When you first start it, the product feels like a lip gloss, but then you wear off the covering of gloss and find the exfoliator underneath.  The exfoliator is a good one, just make sure your lips are damp before you start using it as it needs a little moisture to get going. The highlight of this exfoliator is its shape.  It is in the shape of a lipstick so you don’t have to dip into a jar with your fingers and clean up is super easy. If you get the scrub in your mouth, it is sweet but has no real taste. The downfall is that after you wipe it off you definitely need to use a lip balm right after or your lips feel a little naked.

The Kismet Buff Sugar scrub in Bright and Bubbly (retail $12) does require the fingers in order to apply, unless you have a spoon from another product standing by and even then you need to massage it with fingers as well as rubbing lips together.  I believe it is supposed to be a champagne flavor/scent.  It smells like it is attempting to either be strawberry or raspberry, but not quite reaching either.  It is not a bad scent, but I would never sniff and think champagne.  I sniff and think sweet and fruity. The scrub works well, but it feels a little rougher than the other two products I tried.  It is my least favorite of the bunch and one of those that I will use until it is gone, but will not be repurchasing.

The third scrub I tried is hanalei sugar lip scrub (retails $25 on official site but seems to be offered for less on many other sites so I’d shop around if you are looking for it.).It smells of lemon lime and is a very good exfoliator.  It too comes in a jar so it is a little messy.  While the scrub itself is comparable with the ELF formula, where this product shines is the oil in which the sugar is mixed. After the scrub is removed, the residue left behind is far more hydrating than any of the other products making this my top lip scrub of the batch.  With the ELF product it is recommended that you use lip balm following the exfoliator.  With the Hanalei scrub, this is not needed. The ELF is a standard lip scrub I will always have on hand, its form more of a convenience than any other, but truthfully the Hanalei is a better over all product and despite its expense, the large jar lasts a really long time as you never use all that much of it.

Despite not needing any additional products after using the lip scrub, I did purchase a hanalei lip treatment (retail travel set of three for $20 which is what I got. They have a single full size for $20 as well but I really like the travel ones) to try.  It is a tube that is essentially a lip mask.  I often use it in conjunction with the hanalei lip scrub when I apply it before bed as an extra measure.  It works well as a lip mask set.  This lip treatment also works well as a lip balm, especially if you are planning on spending a lot of time outside in the cold and wind.  It is more intense protection than regular lip balm and really helps in preventing chapping in the first place (which is kind of my goal to be honest).  The one I’ve got is in mauve pink and it gives a slight pink tint to the lips that makes them look super healthy rather than like you are wearing a heavily tinted lip gloss.

The bite night time lip mask

The final lip product I tried in my effort to keep winter chapping at bay is the Bite Agave Lip Mask. (retail $22 and I think it will last a really long time because you use so little with each application)  While it does come in a jar, it also comes with a small spoon/spatula.  This product is technically called Nighttime lip therapy and that is where this product shines.  I love putting this on my lips just before bed and letting it soak in over night.  It feels a little bit like vaseline at first, but it sinks into the skin of my lips well over night and I found that when I have chapped lips, applying a layer at night really helps me wake up with soft lips.  Thus far as soon as I feel slight chapping, I apply the mask at night and wake up with no chapping the next morning.  Doing this has helped me avoid the painful chapping that I tend to get in the wintertime. I will definitely be ordering this when it runs out however I have been using this off and on for several weeks now and have barely dented the top of the product so I doubt a reorder will be needed anytime soon. It will certainly last through the winter and probably into the summer.

Interior of the Bite Lip mask

Now of course we are starting the January birthday run.  Tonight I am baking the first of the cakes as tomorrow starts the first round of celebrations.Soon my counter top will be littered with cupcakes, cakes, and the freezer will be filled with a cornucopia of ice creams as no one can agree on their favorite flavors. With this will come the return of the lip balm anti-snacking defense.  I will be applying my lip balm compulsively for the next month running through more product than I usually use in about four other months.

My current favorite lip balm

My favorite for this task?  Jersey Shore Cosmetics. (retail $10 although they are having a package deal of some sort if you follow the link – I am in not an affiliate, just a fan and I saw the deal when I linked this post) My super favorite is the peppermint.  The scent is nice, but not overwhelming, and the hydrating formula means that I will not need any form of lip mask until February when the birthday season ends. For now, I am putting the masks back in the cabinet and rotating through the scrubs with a once a week application and while I have my currently open Jersey Shore Cosmetics peppermint lip balm at the ready, I also have an order in for several more to get me through the season. Not only will my lips remain kissable soft all year, but I will avoid the multitude of cakes and snack foods whose arrival in my house is imminent. So kiss, kiss Darling. I’m ready, are you?


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A few of my favorite things in 2019

A few of my favorite things from 2019

The end of the year approaches and thoughts naturally turn towards review.  In my mind I find events and decisions, both good and bad, thrown into sharp focus as I evaluate what I learned and what I want to revise about my life as I move into the new year. Should I try out more new walking trails in the area, should I attempt that weird machine in the gym that no one ever seems to use, should I try and make blancmange from scratch?

As is also natural, I also find myself thinking over not only the various products I’ve tried out, but the subscription services I’ve tried as well.  Some I will continue to use, others, I might allow to lapse.

The one subscription service that has never let me down deserves mention in this list of a few favorite things.  And that is Scentbox.

During this year I have had a subscription for a single monthly supply of perfume and I have increased it to two perfumes to try per month.  I have liked some and disliked others. There was one perfume sent to me where an allergic reaction caused me to test the return and exchange policy for the company. I put the subscription on hold for a month and then resumed. I have sent them questions and received prompt and complete answers. At every turn they either met or exceeded all of my expectations and so that is why, despite having several subscriptions that I really enjoy, Scentbox gets the list as one of my favorites for 2019.

My favorite perfume this year, found via scentbox

One of my favorite perfumes also came to me from ScentBox so I will move on to that as my next favorite. That perfume is Eau de Cartier by Cartier. It is soft, subtly and sophisticated.  The scent has become my current favorite for a night out.  I have yet to find a day scent I am willing to stick with as consistently, but perhaps that will come in 2020. I will certainly continue trying out new scents. Perhaps I will find a day time fragrance and perhaps I will find a night time one I like just a much if not more than Eau de Cartier, but at the moment, it is the unrivaled champion of the year.

For facial exfoliators, I have to give this year to Skin and Co’s Face Gommage. This was a surprise to me as I tried out quite a few this year and each time the new product was beaten by last year’s favorite Scrubatomic by Soap and Glory. I was certain nothing would come close to beating it, but in my December IPSY, this product arrived and I have to say it beat out Scrubatomic to take the 2019 exfoliator crown.

(Here she is its Miss Exfoliator – insert cheesy crooning lounge singer voice here please, thank you)

current favorite mask and primer

Balancing between exfoliator and mask, is the Pomegranate Resurfacing Mask from Korres.  While it is somewhat exfoliating, I’m putting it in the mask category of favorites.  It is a quick five minute mask that not only leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth but fresh feeling and looking.  Also from this pomegranate line by Korres comes my favorite moisturizer of the year.  The Pomegranate balancing moisturizer is one of the better moisturizers I tried this year.

The only time I had issues with it were in the transition weeks when the weather was switching.  Then I was torn between whether or not I was applying too much or too little.  For the transition times for moisturizer, I have to hand it to Purlisse Blue Lotus Moisturizer. This product rode those weather changes well and is one I will try again when winter begins to fade.

Before I completely leave exfoliators behind, I want to say one of the lip exfoliators I really enjoyed using this year was the ELF Sweet Cherry lip scrub.  It comes in a tube that looks like lipstick and is super easy to apply.  It is less messy than many other lip scrubs and works really well on dry winter lips.

ELF lip exfoliator in sweet cherry

As far as toners go, Thayers Facial Toner in Rose Petal is my current favorite. It feels nice on the skin, doesn’t smell like witch hazel and helps the pores on my nose look smaller.  It also got me an ‘I told you witch hazel was fabulous’ from some of my older family members when I went home over the holidays, but I won’t hold against the Thayers. I do still want to know who stole my bottle while I was home this year though. I took a bottle home with me at thanksgiving and it was mysteriously gone when I repacked to leave.

Clearly, it wasn’t just my favorite.

One final skin care item I have to mention is the Kypris Antioxidant dew serum. I love everything about this serum.  I love the scent, I love the way it absorbs into my skin and I love the way it makes my skin feel.  I will not only be using this product going into 2020, but I will be looking at others they produce to try out.  Hopefully other items work just as well. I can’t wait to find out.

To be honest, despite trying out numerous makeup products this year, as I review the year only three really stand out to me.  The first is the Yensa Essential Glow primer.  Not only is it a great primer under makeup but this summer when it was so hot that foundation was a laughable concept as it would either sweat right off or stay in place and cause massive breakouts from clogged pores, this was my favorite daily option. It has a slight tint to it and helps even up skin tone, but is light enough not to cause break outs.  As such there were many days where I wore it with no foundation at all.  As soon as it ran out, I immediately repurchased it and will be keeping it around.

The second item that stands out is the Trestique color+contour stick.  It is a cream bronzer, which I never thought I would like, but it blends out beautifully and stays put all day.  It is handy for travel as it is in a rather small container, and it comes with its own brush so a separate one doesn’t need to be packed. It is a great formula, just be advised that the magnet in the magnetic cap is pretty strong and will cause it to link up with any other metal object in the makeup bag.  It is a great help in retrieving earrings from the bottom of the bag, so there is that.

The third makeup item that I felt worth mentioning in my favorites of 2019 is the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. I like the wand, I like the formula and of the multitude of mascaras that have come my way this year, it stands atop the pile as my favorite.

In the category of hair care, I have several leave in conditioner that I like and many different shampoos.  The product that stands out the most to me is the Beauty Protector protect and oil.  It is an Argan oil hair product that smells absolutely divine both in the bottle and in the hair. I think it stands out to me as I never thought I’d actually like a hair oil.  Surprisingly, this is very light weight and not at all greasy. I have long and somewhat thick hair and need only a tiny dab for my whole head.  It is great for taming flyaways, but I have found that if I rub a little on my hands and then rub it into the ends of my hair, I tend to get fewer split ends. Maybe it is just providing the ends with a little extra protection, but I really like it and plan to keep using it and to possibly give other hair oils more of a try in the future.

Finally, we come to https://www.amazon.com/Smith-Cult-Nail-Lacquer-Dear/dp/B00YSGSZ3GSmith and Cult Nail Lacquer. Not only is it a great nail polish that lasts quite a while without chipping, but I want to specifically mention the Doe My Dear shade.  It is a nice cool toned shade that is neutral without being beige.  It has almost a blueish cast to it and is great for daily wear.  It is also useful as a base for more jazzy gem stones or glitter polish as it serves as a nice backdrop to the shine.

I know there isn’t an item for every category of face, hair and body care, nor is there a favorite for every type of makeup product, but to be honest, not every category had a favorite this year. I tried many products in many categories and these are the things that stand out to me as I look back over the year. Perhaps 2020 will be the year of the eyeshadow or the face powder or even the foundation. 

Actually, as my favorite foundation was discontinued, 2020 may end up being the year of the great foundation quest. (begin the heroic dragon slaying music! I’ll go find my noble steed and makeup wipes.)

I’m not entirely certain what next year will hold, what trends will take hold or pass me by completely. Finding out is half the fun anyway.  I can tell you though, if glitter encrusted lips make a return, I will be passing this time.  I don’t mind flecks of glitter in my lipstick or gloss, but that fully packed on glitter lip from a few years ago, never again. My last attempt at trying it ended with glitter in my teeth that took two days, a tube of toothpaste and most of a bottle of mouthwash to finally remove. And it never looked quite right so I don’t even have one awesome picture from the ordeal. I had to replace my tooth brush, but on certain nights, I still think one of my back molars gleams. Beyond that, I look forward to trying all the new things this year brings to me.


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