Tarteist Pro Eyeshadow Palette: A Review

This week my makeup bag contained the Tarteist Pro Eyeshadow Palette from Tarte. I have to say I was giddy with excitement at the thought of using this.  There are twenty shadows (four shimmers, the rest mattes) and the entire lid of the palette is filled with a really large mirror.

As you can tell from the above picture, the black outer packaging picks up dust rather quickly. I’ll wipe it before I put t back in the drawer but I suspect it is going to be one of those palettes that always looks dirty on the outside.

In general I enjoy Tarte Shadows but this is one of those palettes that I always thought about buying but never got around to purchasing.  In June it was in the Boxycharm box so it was finally mine.

So was it worth getting giggly over?

I think so.

Top row Swatch

For swatches I swatched the rows of four mattes across and then did a fifth row of just the shimmers. 

Second row Swatch

While it worked out well for swatches, it really isn’t the way I used the shadows.

Each row works really well for a single look.  You can easily just pick a row and work across for the look you want for the day. 

It is very well laid out and easy to use.  You can also mix and match around the palette as the shades complement each other really well, but I like the fact that if you are in a rush you can just pick a row and go.  

Third Row Swatches

I also found this week that if I wanted a super light summerly look, I could go vertically down the left side of the pan and just use the lightest shades only for a barely there look.  With BB cream lip gloss and mascara that row worked really well for me this week. 

Fourth row shimmers

I like that it was well thought out. 

The colors are all soft to the touch and swatched really well.  They are slightly powdery so be sure to tap off the excess from your brush before applying or you can very easily make a mess on the side of your nose. 

The shimmers swatched (the round pans to the right hand side)

These colors, for all that many of them are muted tones, are highly pigmented.  So you really don’t need a lot of product on the brush. 

Dab lightly into the pan and knock off the excess and you’ll be fine. It is easy for that darkest row to get out of hand as it is so highly pigmented, especially that black.  Go lightly and build slowly.

They layer well and blend like a dream, just try to avoid too much product at once. I ended up over doing the black one morning and blending just made me look like I got punched in both eyes at the same time.  I’m not sure who double punches someone in the eyes. Maybe a boxing Kangaroo from a cartoon, but that is sort of what it looked like.

I just had to completely wash my face and start over.  But as long as I was delicate, things worked out well.  I had no problems with creasing and even the lighter shades stayed all day long on my eyes.  I was very much looking forward to using this palette and I have to say, I was not disappointed.  I look forward to using this palette for a long time to come.


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Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette Review

This week I used the Cocoa Contour palette from two faced and I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  First off, the packaging is beautiful .  I found myself wanting to use this palette.  The metal is raised and the brown has a soft feel to it that made me want to run my fingers over it.  The clasp is a cute little heart.  It is just a good looking palette.

And then you open it.  And true to its name, it smells like cocoa powder.

Yummy.

The top row contains three highlighters while the second row has three contours.  With the highlighters I found they all blended really well into my skin and weren’t blinding highlights. 

They are named Light Medium and Deep. I know the Highlights are more suitable for contouring the face, but I really don’t do a lot of contouring. They worked well as highlighters though, to kind of lighten the cheekbones without adding shimmer.

I had several video conference calls this week and I found it nice to use as I dislike the glittery highlights on professional calls. This gave me the ‘highlight’ on my highpoints without the sparkle.

Light worked extremely well on me, while medium was slightly too yellow, but still workable.  Deep was a little too dark to work as a highlighter on my skin tone. 

swatches from the highlight row (L to R)

Interestingly enough, I found the opposite was true of the bronzers.  Light wasn’t my shade and felt a little too cool toned on my skin and Medium wasn’t really my shade either, but I could make it work.  Deep however suited me perfectly. I think in the winter I might fall back to Medium in the contour.  I am not sure about the highlight though.  It does have a bit of a yellowish tone to it that doesn’t look right on my skin.

swatches from the bronzers (L to R)

Now if you look at the swatches, you may get the idea that these products are not highly pigmented.

You’d be wrong. While the finger swatches were disappointing, when applied to the face with a brush, these products, especially the bronzer are highly pigmented.  Despite that, they really blend out well. It is super easy to go too dark with the product, but I think that is true with every really good bronzer.  Dip lightly into the pan rather than using a heavy hand and the pigments will work beautifully. 

I really enjoyed this palette.  I suspect I will get more out of the bronzers than I do out of the highlights, but that’s only because I only really favored one of the highlighters.  That one, I will use a lot, especially as the number of video calls I end up participating in escalates.  These shades showed up really well on camera without looking too fussy.  Pairing it with my Tarteist Pro palette this week really gave me the professional look I needed this week. But the eyeshadows have their own review.  So before I steal their thunder I will just say that this was a good contour palette for me.  Four out of the six pans are products I will use, and that is not bad.


The Make Up Bag: June 12th, 2020

The Make Up Bag used June 6th – 12th, 2020

This past week’s makeup bag featured an interesting array of products.  The foundation I chose was the Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick foundation.  The link will take you to the full review, but I have to say I liked it for a natural makeup look. I don’t know why that surprised me as the description claimed it was buildable, but it did.  Maybe it’s because I tend to think of ABH products as geared towards more high glam.  Either way I was pleased it turned out to be a good every day product.

Next of course was the Elf Bite sized eyeshadow palette.  It was a $3 impulse buy and I have no regrets.  I picked up the Cream and Sugar one and think I will probably be picking up some of the other varieties soon.  To provide a little color for my neutral palette I added the KVD Vegan Beauty single shadow in Lolita as well as the Metal Crush Highlighter in Roseshock.  The highlighter is far to glittery and pink for me to comfortably use as a highlighter in my everyday life, but it works as a great shimmer shade to pair with Lolita. I enjoyed using them both. 

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I am trying to remember to use more of my single shades more often.  I have some really nice shades in single shadows, I just tend to forget about them.  I especially need to remember them when I grab one of my super neutral palettes to help keep the week from feeling blah and bland. It’s probably silly, but I find one bright spot of color or glitter shade can really perk up my day.  The more I stay in, the more I find it helps.  There have been several hard mornings recently where I’ve used a mid-afternoon glitter addition to perk me up for the end of the day paperwork. It’s a simple trick, but it works for me.

I also used the KVD Cake liner this week  it is in the shade Trooper Black.  It is a creamy pencil that is super easy to smudge out.  It is one of my favorite eye liner pencil formulas and will be returning until it is gone and then I will repurchase it.

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Hourglass blush, ELF cream and sugar palette, KVD Cake pencil, Billion Dollar Brows Highlight and contour stick, wet ‘n wild eyebrow kit

My I Heart Revolution Fixing Spray in Peaches and cream made it through a second week in my make-up bag.  The bottle is now about halfway finished.  This week I am giving it a rest as this month’s IPSY just came in and had a Laura Geller Fixing spray I want to try. I know I’ll come back to the Peaches and Cream as I love the scent and the way the fixing spray really locks in my make up for the day. But It gets a break for next week and goes back to the dressing table.

This week I meant to use the Pretty Vulgar eyelid primer, but alas I did not.  I wanted to try out the powder under foundation trick, but I found that it didn’t work terribly well with the stick foundation.  To see if I liked it at all, I brought in my Maybelline Fit Me foundation again since I know how it worked with my skin and tried the powder trick again.  I think it really requires a liquid foundation.  Since this coming week I am using a liquid foundation I will be trying it again.  Since I don’t have terribly dark circles under my eyes, the powder under the foundation is supposed to sort of eliminate a lot of concealer use.  Which Is why I left off concealer and brought in a lid primer.  Usually I just use the concealer I have in my hand to prime my lids.  But like I said, those particular dominos didn’t fall as I expected so I brought back the tried and true ELF Camo Concealer instead. 

But this week, it is definitely time for the Pretty Vulgar lid primer to be tested.

Also returning this week was the wet ‘n wild ultimate brow kit.  As you may recall, I really liked the powder and absolutely hated the cream highlight.  This week I paired it with the Billion Dollar Brows Brow Duo pencil highlighter and concealer stick. I find this an amusing combination actually.  Prior to this I’d used both eyebrow pencils and pomades, but never a powder.  I like the wet ‘n wild powder and think I will keep it around to use up, but I can honestly say it isn’t my favorite brow product in the world.  It is good and does the job, and if I can find a single powder from them in my shade I wouldn’t mind keeping it around.  What it has done is make me want to try other brow powders.

With the Billion Dollar Brows highlight and contour pencil, it too came in a kit.  That kit had this stick, which I really like, an excellent quality brush and a brow liner I really didn’t like at all.  The Billion Dollar Brows brush, paired well with the wet ‘n wild powder as did the highlighter stick.  So essentially I ended up combining two kits, taking what I liked from each and creating a frankenbrow kit.  Both products will remain in my rotation, but I will be using them together again each time.  Next week I think I will be using my Benefit multi-product brow pencil.  I’m waiting to re-order my favorite Precisely My Brow pencil from Benefit until I see more progress on the two brow products I am using.  It’s my own personal thrift over desire game.  I’m going to see if I can use up one product before I order the replacement.  I suspect I’ll crack and just order it at some point anyway, but for now I’m holding strong.

Speaking of holding strong, I have to give a big thumbs up to TreStique.  I have been using the color+contour Cheek stick in Brazilian Bronze for a while now.  It is an excellent product.  I use it as a cream contour (obviously) and just draw the line where I want it and use my fingers to bend it in. 

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Sometimes I get fancy and use a brush, but mostly, I have to admit, I use my fingertips. For the past several months every time I reach for it, I’ve thought, ‘Oh it’s going to be empty soon’ and yet it still keeps going.  I think because you only need to use a little of it, just one quick stripe in place, that it seems to last forever.  I’m not complaining it is an excellent cream contour. I am glad that it is not used up and will definitely repurchase it when it finally does wear out.  That time however is not now.  So back to the dressing table it goes, to be used again at a later date.

While very little needs to be used of the TreStique bronzer, the same cannot really be said by the Fenty highlighter stick.  It is also a cream product.  It too needs only one quick swipe on the highlighted points to be of use and it is beautiful on the skin.  The problem is that it needs to be warmed up first so I ended up wasting a lot of product warming up the highlighter on my hand.

Once warmed up, it is excellent though.  I really liked the way it performed.  It blended well and remained in place throughout the day. It came in a Boxy Charm box and I am happy to use it.  It’s a good product.  I will keep it in my dressing table and keep it in my product rotation, but I suspect it will not last terribly long.  I think it will get used up relatively quickly.  When it is gone, I don’t know it I would replace it.  I think as far as cream highlighters go, I prefer the formula of the Flesh version better.  I think when both of the products start edging towards the end of their lives I may have to have a cream highlighter face off to see which makes the repurchased list.  Right now I am content to keep this Fenty one around.

This week’s blush was from Hourglass.  It was from their Ambient line (the one that looks marbled in the pan) and in the shade Diffused Heat. I really like the formula and the packaging is really beautiful, but I think the color might be a shade too light for me.  It was easily blended out, and I really liked the look of it, but I think I would like it one shade deeper, especially for the summer.  It just pops a little too pink for me with my current skin tone.   It is a beautiful blush however and will be staying with me.  I will definitely use it, and I will look at picking up a slightly deeper tone to use as well.

I sort of skipped over primers so I’ll add the Illamasqua Primer now.  This week I used their hydra veil primer.  I really enjoyed it, after I got used to using it that is.  First of all the jar is pretty.  I like looking at it on my shelf. Second when I opened it, I thought the lid had a decorative handle.  It turns out that the ‘handle’ pulls out of the clip to become a spoon to dig into the product. 

The primer looks like jelly and it scoops out of the jar like congealed gelatin. Seriously, it looks like unflavored, uncolored gelatin. I liked the little spoon as it meant I didn’t have to dig into the jar with my fingers, always a plus in the fight against contamination. Second, if you let the jar sit for a bit, like cover it back up and come back an hour later, all signs of your having used the product are erased.  The product is smooth and even again as though untouched, albeit with a slightly lower level.  It’s kind of cool actually.

To use the product, I scooped it out and put it into my palm.  The heat from my hands melted it a little and then I rubbed my hands together and rubbed it onto my face like a moisturizer.  You can’t really add little spots to the face, it just won’t work.  But the primer worked really well once I applied it correctly.  It filled in pores and left me with a smooth base canvas to work with.  It does require a moment to settle in and set in place.  If you go in too early with your foundation it will get all mixed in and not work properly, so give it a moment to get settled before moving to your next step. Once I did that, I found I really liked it.  While this primer is returning to the dressing table, it will be making many appearances in my future makeup bags. And really, if I hadn’t just gotten a new primer to try this week in my Ipsy bag, I would want to keep it around for a second week.

There were two powders in my makeup bag this week, one loose and one pressed.  I used them both throughout the week.  The loose powder was the Ciate London Everyday Vacay translucent setting powder.  It has a coconut scent and I found myself craving macaroons every time I used it.  The scent is not overpowering and unlike the regular Ciate setting powder there is no flash back with cameras.  It leaves no real white cast and works well to set the foundation. 

Mine is about halfway empty and I have to say I saw the powder for sale on BoxyCharm Add ons this month and added it to my cart so I have already repurchased this powder, which sort of tells you my opinion of it.

My pressed powder was one I had not tried before it is the No. 7 Perfect Light Pressed powder in Medium.  I’ve always liked No. 7’s skin care, but I have never tried any of their makeup products.  I am very glad I tried this and it is a definite repurchase.  While it worked well with makeup, I also liked using it on my bare face for days I just didn’t really feel like bothering with much.  It has just enough tint that it evened out my skin tone and it felt great on my face.  If I was inside all day it lasted a long time with nothing but a setting spray over it.  Outside it sweated off because it’s June in Tennessee. But I very much liked it and I am very pleased that I branched out.

While I am always happy to try branching out because I generally find new favorites that way,  I have to say the SuperStay Ink Crayon from Maybelline is not going to be one of my forever favorites.  I had high hopes because I tried and loved Maybelline’s liquid lip products which I believe are also from this line. Those hopes were not realized. 

While the product applied easily and stayed in place all day, it made my lips feel waxy.  It was oddly heavy on the lips as well.  Overall not my favorite lip product.  I may use it now and again, because I hate to feel wasteful, but this was not a good formula for me, I won’t be reaching for it often, and I won’t be repurchasing it.  Maybelline has many other products I really like, this just isn’t one of them.

Because in the summer time I often like having just a gloss on my lips, I threw in the Thrive Causemetics Lip Gloss in Ashley.  I really liked this.  It looks as though it would be glittery, but it really isn’t.  It has a little shimmer but it isn’t over the top.  The formula isn’t sticky and I really liked using it.  I mostly used it alone this week, but I think I might keep it in the makeup bag a second week and maybe try it over a matte lip to see how it performs.

Finally this brings us to the Kevyn Aucoin mascara.  It is The Expert Mascara to be precise and it is one of my favorite formulas.  It lengthens and gives a bit of volume without being too much for daily wear.  I love the curve of the brush not only for applying to my upper lashes, but because the curve lets me get to the lower lashes more easily without making a mess.  While the Marc Jacobs Mascara is my favorite date night going out kind of mascara.  This is my favorite work day mascara.  I really like using it and I will be keeping it in my Makeup Bag again this week.

So that was this week’s Make up bag and my thoughts on the various products I used. Overall not too shabby. Nothing horrific and I got to use a few favorites.

Next Week’s Make up Bag

Next week I will be keeping both the Ciate Everyday Vaccay and the No. & powders in my bag.  I will also be keeping the Kevyn Aucoin mascara and the thrive cosmetics lip gloss.  This week I will also actually be using the Pretty Vulgar lid primer. Joining them will be the Laura Geller Spackle Mist, NYX Bare With Me Tinted skin veil, Dr. Brandt Luminizing primer, Nomad cosmetics highlighter, Benefit brow pencil, Tarte Park Avenue Princess contour palette, Doucce Eyeshadow palette, Betty Boop Blush, Jersey Shore cosmetics lip balm, Il Makiage liquid lip and a Disney Villains lipstick.  It should be a fun week.  Stay tuned.


The Make Up Bag: June 5th, 2020

The Makeup Bag, used May 30th – June 5th

Welcome once again to The Make Up bag. I had a really good line up this week.  If you read my foundation post yesterday then you know the first item this week was a replacement.  My plan was to use a Nars Foundation however it was just a little too pale for my current skin tone so I replaced it with the Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation instead.  I really enjoyed using it and am quite sad that it is leaving the makeup bag this week so another product can take it’s turn in the rotation.  I really liked it and look forward to seeing it again.

Also covered in a separate post was the Hello, Charmer eyeshadow palette from BoxyCharm.  It was the palette I used throughout the week.  There were some highs and some lows but overall it was a really fun palette to use.

My primer this week was the NYX Professional Makeup Pore Filler Primer.  I really like this primer.  It has a light tint to it and glides on to the skin like silk. It does a fantastic job filling pores and with the Maybelline foundation it made my skin look fantastic. 

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Even without my foundation on the primer made my skin look great. It is actually one of my most used primers.  A little goes a long way, which is why I wasn’t overly concerned by how light it felt when I added it to my make up bag last week.  I ended up having just enough product left in the tube to last the week, although luckily I had one day where I tested the foundation without primer otherwise I probably wouldn’t have had enough.  Regardless, the tube is now empty and will be relegated to the empties bin.  Next week another primer will take it’s place but eventually I will be replacing this primer.  It is a good one to have on hand for everyday use.

This week I also used the Elf Camo concealer.  It is an excellent concealer that doesn’t crease under my eyes.  It also worked as an wonderful  eyelid primer.  It is one that I always like to keep on hand.  It is actually the concealer by which I judge other concealers.  If you are a concealer, you are either as good as or not as good as the Elf Camo concealer.

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It will be rotating out this week and I will not be rotating another concealer in to take it’s place.  Instead, next week I am going to attempt to practice a makeup trick I’ve been hearing about for a while.  It is the using powder after moisturizer and before foundation trick. I’ve watched a lot of back and forth about it so I am going to try it this week. The claim is not only that it helps foundation look better and stay on longer but that you don’t need concealer if you don’t have huge under eye circles. I’ll post my thoughts on that after I try it (along with links to the You Tubers who inspired my attempt to try it).

So instead of a new concealer I will be using the Pretty Vulgar eyelid primer that came in May’s BoxyCharm for my eyelids and I will be rotating in one loose powder and one pressed powder.

That’s right, a new pressed powder. I have been working on finishing up the Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder and I have to say that on Wednesday I thought I was going to have at least one more week with the Rimmel.  It is no hardship as I really like the powder.

But Thursday morning I accidentally knocked it into the sink and it shattered. It was really a thin little wafer of product. It also became spattered with toothpaste residue.

Yeah, so alas we must part and a new product will take it’s place.  I have to say I feel oddly nervous.  My two standard pressed powders are the Rimmel Stay matte and the Elf Translucent.  I finished up the ELF a few weeks ago and decided not to replace it so I could try new products.  I didn’t worry because I still had the Rimmel.  Now it is gone so I’m working without a net this week.  I have no familiar standby should something go wrong. I know it sounds silly, but I really can’t remember when I didn’t have a Rimmel compact in my make up drawer. Even when I didn’t wear any products other than powder, mascara and lip gloss, I always had the Rimmel around. It feels really strange to let it go. I am sure at some point it will return.

But as we move on we come to bronzer.  This week I used the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Bronzer.  It too joined my collection via Boxy Charm and while I have used other bronzers by Too Faced and liked them I was a little hesitant about the shimmer.  To be honest, it wasn’t really noticeable. 

That may just be my skin tone, as gold tones really work well with me.  It added a little depth to the color, but it wasn’t highlight adjacent, which is what I was worried about. It could be a little dark when first applied but it blended out well and was an excellent product to use.  I really liked this and look forward to using it again.  I also have to say, I really love the sleek packaging of the compact as well as the yummy chocolate scent. It definitely stays in rotation.

This week I got to use one of my favorite blushes and that is the Benefit Gold Rush Blush.  It too has a bit of a gold twinkle too it and I was hesitant about it, but it is an excellent color on me and it blends really well.  I am sad to see it rotate out at the end of the week, but needless to say, it will be returning and it will be returning often. I really need to take advantage of their current sale and maybe try a different blush from them, but I really like this one so chances are I’ll just buy a backup. That’s not a bad thing of course. Although if the Gold Rush is part of a blush palette I might try that instead. I could get my favorite AND try something new. I know, you probably didn’t need my inner dialogue as I talk myself into buying blush, so we will move on to Highlighter (and post the sale link in case I’m not the only one eyeballing it.)

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This week I used the Steve Laurant Jelly highlighter as my highlighter of the week.  It was an interesting product to use. It took me a little while to play with it and I have to say the trick is to use your finger to apply it and not a brush.  If you use a brush you will either blend it in too much so it disappears or you will end up with a blinding stipe that looks like you are attempting to be some sort of photonegative of an old school football player. (Do they still use the black stripes under their eyes?)

Using your finger is the way to go with this.  Apply it and the gently blend with the fingertips and it is a stunning highlighter that is not too much. It is just enough for everyday wear.  If you are a blinding highlight sort of person, just don’t blend it in as much.  Either way, use your finger, not a brush. It took me a few days to come to terms with this highlighter, but now, I think we are friends.  I will be keeping this in rotation.  I won’t know for sure if I would buy it again until I use more of the product.  I think it’s going to be one of those decisions I make once I think I’m running out of it, which could take a while because its a large pan. I really like the gold tint of it, but I am not certain I would care for a silvery or pink shade. But as it is a relatively full product, I have plenty of time to decide.

With regards to lips, I had three products to choose from this week.  I kept the Ciate Watermelon lip oil around because I liked it and wanted to have a lip oil around.  It has a slight watermelon taste to it and a more pronounced scent.  It is very summery and it really helps hydrate my lips after time in the sun. I have to say in general, I have really been impressed with Ciate products lately.

I also had a sample size of the Smashbox Liquid lipstick in the shade Stepping Out.  It is an excellent nude shade that on me at least doesn’t make my lips disappear into the skin. (it is the top swatch on my hand photo) I like the formula as well.  It dries down so that after about five minutes it stops leaving lip prints all over my coffee cup, but it never dries down all the way so my lips never felt parched.  Oddly enough with all my hand washing on the day I took a photo of this swatch at the end of the day I still had to use a make up remover to remove the remnants from my hand. It has great longevity and is very comfortable to wear.  It is however, the end of this samples life cycle.  There are only the dim traces of product left on the insides of the tube.  It will be journeying to the empties bin.  However, I do like the color and the formula enough that I will be looking at Smashbox and picking up several shades in the future.

Because I highly doubted that the Smashbox sample would last the week I added a second sample size lipstick to my make up bag and that was the Bite bullet lipstick in the shade Rhubarb. (lower swatch on the above hand swatch photo) It is a comfortable lipstick to wear.  It doesn’t dry down and will leave lip prints on drinks, but it doesn’t really smudge or get on your teeth.  It doesn’t make your lips feel dry or feel waxy and it has a pleasant scent.

To be honest, it actually smells a little bit like the rhubarb and strawberry jam my grandmother used to make.  There is no pronounced strawberry, but there is something sweet tempering the scent of tart rhubarb.  On the days I wore this I needed to reapply the lipstick after lunch, but I am okay with that given that it is a more traditional lipstick.

Since this sample size is not yet spent, it will be going back in rotation.  As the color is a nice reddish shade that I can wear with almost anything, I suspect that once this sample is used up, I will be purchasing a full size.  I just want to use the sample first to see if there are any hitches before I buy.  If there aren’t I suspect I will be purchasing several shades as I really do like the lipstick formula.  It actually shouldn’t come as a big surprise to me that I like it as I have been using their products for a while.  I used to get family in Canada to send down a care package of things I couldn’t get here and I have been using their Agave lip mask nearly nightly for the past few months as well.

Next in my line of products I have the Doucce Punk Volumizer mascara. It is a decent mascara.  It doesn’t flake off and lasts throughout the day.  It doesn’t clump or stick either. It has a big fluffy brush and if you work with it, the lashes to look lengthened.  You just really have to work with it. 

If you want volume, you are going to need to make at least two passess.  It is one of those products that qualifies as fine but a little disappointing.  I think the disappointment comes from the fact that volumizing is in its name.  It is something I will be using up, because there is nothing wrong with it, but this is not a mascara I will repurchase. There are other products I like much better. But it is decent enough to keep in rotation and use up.

The Skone tattooed waterproof eyeliner also falls into this category.  It is good, it works well, but it isn’t as smooth an application as my Eyeko so I probably wouldn’t repurchase it.  I will keep it in rotation though until it is used up. 

Actually I don’t like to open a lot of calligraphy pen eyeliners at one time so I only have two open at the moment (this and the Eyeko Fat Eyeliner) so I will be alternating between them for a while.  At least as far as the pen style goes, I have a couple of pencil style ones I use as well, but they don’t dry out like the pens so it is less of an issue.

Next we have the wet ‘n wild ultimate brow kit in ash brown.  I picked this up when I picked up the foundation and I have to say I really had no expectations.  I just thought it would be interesting to try.  It comes with a set of tweezers and a small brush.  The tweezers are tiny but okay, the brush is fine.  I could see both being handy if you were traveling with this. 

I like that behind the tools is a small mirror for an up close view, although from the brush my mirror is already too smudged to be of use. There are three products.  Two powders, one darker one lighter and one cream highlighting pan. The dark powder is far too dark for my eyebrows but the lighter shade works perfectly for me and I did enjoy using it. 

The cream is utterly pointless.  It is hard to use and not very effective.  Plus, it soaks up every stray molecule of powder that comes its way so you have to scrape the top clean before each use.  I like the idea, but the function was a fail.  I think that what I am going to do this week is keep this product around, use the powder and add a stick contour highlighter to go with it. I know it defeats the purpose of the kit, but I want to see how I feel about the brow powder when I don’t have to think about using the contour.  I suspect I will like it a lot better, which will help me to know should I find that wet n’ wild sells just the powder outside of the kit. It is a very reasonably priced product so I think it would be worth knowing.  So a second week for the kit and a determination of possible repurchasing to follow.

This leads us to the final Item in this week’s bag and that is the I heart Revolution Fixing Spray in the scent Peaches and Cream. What can I say?  The product is a winner.  It smells nice, it works fantastic and not only am I keeping it out for another week but I am contemplating picking it up in several more scents.  It is a great product and will remain in the bag for a second week.



So those were the products I used this past week, the good, the bad, the frustrating and the pleasurable.

Next Week’s selections for the Make Up Bag

For the upcoming week, the Revolution Fixing Spray will stay as will the wet ‘n wild brow kit. Joining it will be the Billion Dollar Brows Highlight and contour stick. I chose the ELF Bite sized palette in Cream and sugar and added a couple of KVD Beauty single shadows to extend it a little, as well as a KVD Beauty eyeliner. I’ll be using a Fenty Beauty cream Highlighter and a trestique cream bronzer For my lips I’ve got the Luna by Luna lip oil, Thrive cosmetics lip gloss and Maybelline Ink crayon to try. 

I’ll also be using an Hourglass blush, Illamasqua primer, Kevyn Aucoin mascara and an Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation. Finally, for powders I will be using a Ciate loose setting powder and trying out a No. 7 pressed powder as well. A few of the products I have tried before, the Tristique is actually on my permanent favorites list and is actually close to being used up.  Most of the products I chose this week are either entirely new to me or things I’ve only tried once or twice before. It should make it an interesting week.


Blinc Tubing Mascara

The Make Up Bag: May 22, 2020

The Makeup bag for the week of May 15th – 22nd, 2020

Welcome to my new segment called the Make Up Bag. I’m really excited to be doing this actually. so lets begin!

I love trying out new products.  As a consequence though sometimes when I sit at my dressing table and prepare to put on my make up for the day I sometimes feel a bit like a distracted bumble bee.  Do I want this blush or that?  Am I in the mood for a Space Case Bronzer or do I want the Too Faced? As a consequence my choice of products change daily and some products I don’t try as soon as I want because others are pushing them out if sight. 

Plus, let’s face it I am not at my best in the morning.  Functional thought requires at least two cups of coffee.  Anything prior is me running an automatic response program.

Since, at the moment, I am trying different foundations and giving each a week of trial to each, I thought, why not do the same with other products.  To keep myself from becoming distracted, last Friday I filled a small makeup bag with the products I wanted to use for the week and relocated the bag to my bathroom next to my skin care.

Here is my plan.  Some of the items are ones I have never used and want to try out, others are ones close to being using up and want to finish. Some will only remain for the week others I will continue to use until the product is gone. At least this is the plan. 

Knowing me, I am sure it will change at some point.  But here is where we begin.

Last Friday I chose the Wet and Wild photofocus Foundation for my foundation trial of the week. The foundation review was posted on Thursday as was the review of the eyeshadow palette I chose for this week the BH Cosmetics Glam reflection Smoke. The links in this paragraph will take you to those reviews, I won’t bore you by reposting them here. Each had pros and cons.  I suspect Thursdays will end up being my foundation and palette reviews moving forward, but we shall see.

The primer I chose for this week was the Skin to Die For No filter mattifying primer and complexion Perfector from Peter Thomas Roth.  It is a trial sized sample I picked up as a free with purchase add on a while back when I was ordering  a container of the Cloud Cream.  I picked it up on a whim partially because I have a great love of primers and I had only tried skincare from Peter Thomas Roth and never a primer so I thought it looked interesting.  But then it went into the drawer.  So this was it’s week.

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the primer

My plan was to try the trial size and see if it was worth picking up a full sized one.  After one week of use, I have to say I will be picking up a full sized version of this product.  The primer has a slight tint that completely melted into my skin and made my skin look both matte and smooth.  There were a couple of days where I just wore the primer with a light dust of powder instead of bothering with foundation. I really liked the way my skin looked with this primer and as there is still product left, I am going to keep it in my make up bag for next week and use it until it is gone rather than putting the opened and half empty tube back in the drawer.

My powder will also be staying with my makeup bag this week. It is the Rimmell Stay Matte pressed powder and as you can see from the photo, I am actually close to using it up so I will be using it until it is gone.  The Rimmel stay matte and the Elf Translucent pressed powders are the two drugstore pressed powders I always keep on hand.

Shop e.l.f. Cosmetics now

What I have tended to do is use them until they are gone and then immediately repurchase next time I am in a drug store. I actually finished the Elf pressed powder a few weeks ago (I tend to use it more in the winter and the slightly tinted Rimmel in the summer).  But because I haven’t been stopping into any drug stores lately I have not repurchased.  I’ll be placing an order with ELF soon, but I wanted it to be for more than just one product and I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I actually picked up a No. 7 pressed powder I wanted to try out but I haven’t let myself open it until I finish the Rimmel. It’s not a hardship to use the Rimmel powder as I adore it, but the temptation to try the new product is hard to resist. But resist I will.

This is what they call character building, no?

With the Rimmel I will also be using it up and this time not immediately replacing it so it will go back in the bag for next week as well.  It is hard not to replace this immediately though. Seriously, I look at the sight of the pan shining through and my first thought is ‘I should reorder that before I run out.’ It is harder than I thought to ignore that impulse.  Bu I will try. 

In case you hadn’t picked up on it, I really like the Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder.

But we move on.

To Blush. More specifically the Kaleido Cosmetics Skin Blush in Primadonna.  This came in an IPSY bag a while ago and I think I swatched it and then set it aside to use the Real Her Palette. When stocking my weekly makeup bag I was surprised and pleased to find it.  The package is cute and quite sturdy.  The blush is highly pigmented. 

I dipped in lightly and ended up with a lot of blush on my brush.  It does blend out well though so there is that. Despite the somewhat mauve-y look of the product in the pan it is quite pink on the cheeks.  When sheered out for a light makeup day it gives the cheeks a natural flushed look.   It stayed in place well and lasted all day.  I think it might be a little too pink for my skin tone though.  I will be on the lookout for a slightly deeper tone though as I really like the formula.

Next up, the bronzer I chose for the week was the Fakecation on Mars from Space Case Cosmetics. I have several of their single eyeshadows and I remember liking a blush from them a while ago although I can’t remember the details.  I hadn’t tried the bronzer so I was keen to try it.

It too is a highly pigmented product that needs a light hand with the brush.  It does blend out well so if you go a little heavy, there is still hope for redemption. It tends to lend itself well to a more natural makeup day.  I probably wouldn’t use it on a high glam look, but for everyday use it performs quite well. I enjoyed using it and even though I will be replacing it this coming week, it will stay in rotation and make an appearance in the future as I cycle through products.

For highlighter this week I chose the Dew Me Pearl from Estate Cosmetics.  I think this might have been a product I picked up for points because I wanted a more pink shade of highlight as I didn’t have one at the time.  Most of the ones I gravitate towards tend to either be gold or purple in tone. 

If I tried it before, I didn’t remember it so it was a new product to me, or close enough to count. To be honest, it is not my favorite and I don’t believe I will be keeping it in rotation.  While white-ish pink on the finger, when applied with a brush on the face it disappears. I tried applying it with a finger  to the high points of my face and I could see a stripe, but the second I tried to blend it in a little so it didn’t look like a stripe I made with my finger, it disappeared. 

Even if I left it as a stripe on the face and didn’t attempt to blend it, an hour later it was gone completely. I’m not sure if it is the product or my skin tone that just loses the color, but I will not be keeping this in my makeup rotation but passing it on to a friend with a different skin tone. Perhaps she will have better luck. And yes there will be disinfectant wipes involved with anything I pass over to her. I also know she’ll wipe it down a second time, just as even though I know she has wiped down the things she passess to me, I will wipe them down again.Given that we both love subscription boxes and have different skin tones, we have been doing the shade swap for a while now.

As I finally made it through the last of my open travel sized mascaras (I’ll be going over them in mass in my empties post next week) I got to open a new full sized mascara.  I chose at random and came up with the Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara. 

Shop Wander Beauty’s Makeup Essentials!

It is supposed to give the lashes both volume and length.  I am all for both.  I have to say though, I was a little disappointed. There might have been a little lengthening and maybe a little volume, but it wasn’t much. It is a good everyday mascara.  It didn’t flake or smear.  It didn’t make my lashes clumpy. But there wasn’t a lot of extra length or volume.  I will be keeping it in the rotation because it is a good solid everyday mascara, it’s just not a WOW mascara.

This brings us to the lips. 

Oh, the lips.

I know as this is my first make up bag post you are probably expecting my favorite Kristopher Buckle lipstick to be included, but no, no my darlings. For this week I have been testing a  lipstick I received in a subscription box.  It is in a color I would not normally wear, but as it is the only lipstick I have from the brand, I wanted to try out the formula despite not being all that bowled over by the color.  And what is this product?  It is the Fenty Beauty lipstick in the shade Clapback.

I love the packaging.  I really like the slim style of lipsticks. The color not so much.  Blue is not really a shade of lipstick I gravitate towards. Unless the blue is so dark that it is almost black.  Those I have been known to wear. But not this.  However, this week it was my daily color. (I occasionally took a break with lip balm and no lipstick because that blue is hard to take daily)

When applied it was a bit streaky and required several passes to fully cover the lips.  It never fully dried down so I was still leaving lip prints on any mug or cup I used throughout the day.  Despite that, my lips felt dry. Not to the touch, but as though the moisture was being pulled from them. It was actually the worst of both worlds for me, dry lips and smearing lipstick on everything.

I applied lip balm several times throughout the day.  I used the Sugar crush  potted lip balm in Peony actually rather than my Jersey Shore Cosmetics one because I didn’t want the blue staining the lip balm and I could apply the potted one with a finger more easily.  Admittedly, I then had to wipe blue off of my finger.

In the past I have noticed that sometimes a deeper more pigmented color can alter the lip formula.  There are several lighter colored lipsticks I have used where the formula was great in them, but when I went for deeper shades in the same brand I was not happy with them.  I don’t know if that is the case with this formula or not.  I do know I am not a fan of this formula and will probably not be buying Fenty lipsticks anytime soon. This one just dried my lips too badly.

Finally, as we’ve already covered eyeshadows, We come to the setting spray.  This week I used the Farsali Rose Gold skin mist. It too came in a subscription box and I never got around to using it.  So this was it’s week. 

The scent was nice, the gold flakes are pretty to look at and I had no problems with any of my makeup not staying in place.  I wasn’t terribly enthused by the spray nozzle however.  A mist it is not.  The product release is quite intense.  I would suggest spraying it in the air to test before you aim it at your face so you can judge the distance.  It is a stout spray and I had to dab off a few drips from my face before my makeup ran.

Once I adjusted my aim things went better, but definitely test the spray if you are using this product. I think because it is open, I will use this another week or so. I do have to admit though, it is more the glass bottle and the gold flakes that I enjoy more than the spray product itself. As a display it is gorgeous, but I probably wouldn’t be purchasing it to use anytime in the near future.

So that my darlings was this week’s makeup bag.  As I shuffle some of them back to my dressing table and bit a few others farewell as they head off to some other destination I begin gathering items for the coming week.

The items I am putting in my makeup bag to try this coming week are: Becca Ultimate Coverage Foundation (which I forgot to put in the picture and am just now realizing), Huda Beauty Topaz obsessions Palette, Marc Jacobs HiFi Filter, Flesh cream highlighter in Twitch, Pretty Vulgar’s Feathers mascara, NARS Liquid lip, and an OFRA blush.  I will also be adding the Eyeko Fat eyeliner (even though I also didn’t put it in the photo).

Remaining from last week are the Peter Thomas Roth Primer, Farsali setting spray and my Rimmel stay matte powder. As the NARS liquid lip is a purple shade called Wild Night I suspect it will clash horribly with the Topaz Obsessions palette, but I have my clear Ciate lip oil on standby if the color combo becomes too much to handle. Wish me luck and tune in next week to see how I felt about these products.


Malin+Goetz

Foundation Quest continues with Wet ‘n Wild Photo Focus

Wet ‘n Wild PhotoFocus Foundation

When I first became interested in beauty products there were three items I started with.  The first was a set of Lip Smackers lip balms that smelled of various soda pops. The second was a bottle of Love’s Baby Soft perfume and the third was a selection of Wet n’ Wild nail polishes. 

While the Lip Smackers continued to appear in Christmas stockings for the next few years and Love’s Baby Soft held on for quite some time, my Wet ‘n Wild collection expanded exponentially from nail polishes to eyeliners and pretty much everything in between as I started to try out products.  

Eventually my repertoire expanded beyond the Wet ‘n Wild realm and the brand was relegated to the past.  I always smiled fondly when passing it, but to be honest I didn’t give it much thought beyond occasionally noticing that the section looked bigger than I remembered it being.

Then all of a sudden it seemed everyone was talking about the Wet ‘n Wild photo focus Foundation. I found it surprising, but when I started gathering foundations to test out, I decided to give it a try as well, for nostalgia’s sake if nothing else. I went with the matte version rather than any of the dewy ones. On the Wet ‘n Wild site the foundation retails for $6.49.  I think it was on sale when I picked it up at Target because I bought it for less than $5.  In the spirit of full disclosure I also purchased a pink glitter nail polish, because if you are going to do nostalgic then you need to go in with both feet and glittery toenails.

Also it looked pretty and I was getting ready to have an at home spa day with a group of ten year olds.(Mostly nail polish and face masks and water with enough fruit in it that I am pretty sure it qualified as fruit cocktail and needed to be eaten with a fork, because why would you stick to cucumber and lemon when there are raspberries and strawberries around?)

In case you missed the foundation hype…

Your skin, only better. Our new high-performing, skin-perfecting foundation underwent major road testing under several different photo lighting conditions to deliver flawless camera-ready makeup every time. Specially made with a matte, light-diffusing complex to give your skin #nofilter perfection. High-performing, breakthrough formula, Featuring light-adjusting complex to help prevent white cast in photos, Tested under several light conditions with and without the use of flash.

I have to say I was surprised it was in a glass bottle.  I know that sounds kind of snobbish, but I always think of glass bottles as being for more expensive products. (Even though I know quite well that isn’t true).  I am perfectly happy with a glass bottle though as it can be more easily recycled where I live.

applicator from the front

And the impression of luxurious doesn’t last past the opening, the applicator wand is a piece of flat plastic. Before you even get to the applicator though you have to deal with the scent.  It is the scent of fresh paint and it is strong. As the time of trial went past and I repeatedly opened it every day the scent became less noticeable.  I’m not sure if I just became used to it or if it was just the initial opening of the bottle that blasted the scent out.

applicator from the side

Regardless of the reason, the first day I wasn’t sure I was going to make it past the scent.  The second day I didn’t think it was that bad and the third day it was just a minor scent.  So it became more manageable.   If the scent stops you, maybe open the product, leave it open for a few minutes and then close it back up and try it the next day.

I will say though there were a couple of days where I didn’t wear foundation (which is why this test took two weeks rather than the usual one).  When I opened it after not using it for a few days, the paint smell was back with a vengeance.  I think with this foundation as soon as you stop using it regularly the paint smell returns and builds up. So if you get it and continually use it then it is fine, it just has to be routinely aired out or you can get a paint headache.

Once the bottle aired out a bit, the scent wasn’t too bad.  The applicator I sort of found annoying. The applicator is designed as a stick with a flat panel at the end.  You really can’t put the foundation on your hand and apply it the way I usually apply foundation.  You have to basically dot your face with the stick.  While I have used a doe foot this way before, I found I had less control over the amount of product I put on my face.  Sometimes I’d dab a tiny spot, sometimes I would glob a bunch in one area.  It was less controlled than I prefer, but I got there in the end.

Just the foundation

I know it is not a terribly expensive product, but I think just changing the shape of the applicator end to something more round and less paddle shaped would give a little more control. I think if I were to use this for an extended time I would probably use a dropped taken from another product in place of the applicator but for this weekly trial I used the applicator as it came in the bottle.

I have to say once I finished with the applicator and began to work with brush and sponge, I really liked the formula of the product.  It went on well and covered blemishes. The soft beige was the perfect shade for me and it didn’t settle into my fine lines. 

It lasted throughout the day and stayed in place without creasing.  The longest day I wore it was eight hours.  It was starting to wear out a little around my mouth and at the edges of my nose, but otherwise it was fine.  I wouldn’t use this formula for an extended day or when I was going out straight after a day in the office, but for a day in the office alone it would last well.  

end of the day

It’s just happy hour that would get you in trouble.

Of course that’s not just limited to foundation issues.

Over all I was pleased with the way this foundation performed and I can see where it gets the hype.  In this instance it is actually well deserved hype. It is a good, affordable product that performs well. I have to say seeing the name Wet n’ Wild on a product in my bathroom this week caused some older memories to float to the surface of my mental pond.  That’s not an entirely bad thing either.

I suppose the only thing left to say is that the Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Foundation passed the initial wearability test and will take it’s place in the line up once each of the five foundations I’ve tried has had it’s week of exclusive use.  For those counting, this was foundation number three in the second section of the Grand Foundation quest.  Next up is the Becca Ultimate Coverage. Stay tuned.


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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. 

100 percent vegan and cruelty free. Shop now at PacificaBeauty.com!

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.


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Is Cashmere slip as soft as it’s name?

Kristofer Buckle Cashmere Slip lipstick in Bardot (and yes I repainted my nails right after this picture was taken)

Oh my darlings, I am in love. I know I talk about lipstick a lot. I use it to control my urge to snack and I delight in trying new shades.  I will confess I am more of a liquid lipstick kind of girl, usually. With a few notable exceptions.

Bardot by Kristopher Buckle is a notable exception.

I picked it up because I thought the shade looked nice and because it is supposed to be long lasting.   It is both.

The full name is Cashmere slip long lasting lipstick in the shade Bardot (retail $14).

The Description…

Full impact color. Cashmere Slip® is a creamy, richly pigmented lipstick that delivers bold color for up to 8 hours. Easy to apply, this luxurious formula glides on smooth and wears comfortably.

one swipe, seriously

I will say the color is very pigmented and it glides on as smoothly as the cashmere it is named for.  In the swatch picture to the right, I only did one swipe across my hand to get that color. I wore it for a seven hour stretch without any noticeable diminishment of color so I suspect it would go the full eight hours without an issue.

Be Bold. Be Confident. Be Fearless. Be Anything. Shop now at KristoferBuckle.com!

I find the thinner stick shape of it easier to apply where I want it than many of the bullet style lipsticks. I really like the way it felt on my lips.  It practically melted in so that I felt like I wasn’t actually wearing any lipstick instead of leaving a waxy feel to the lips. The waxy feel is why I tend to lean more towards liquid lips in general. This did not have that problem at all.

The shade Bardot is a perfect neutral color and I think it is one I will definitely be reaching for as my go to neutral. I was a little disappointed that there are only six shades in the line, but I have my fingers crossed that at some point they will expand the line.  For now, I am just going to enjoy the one, all-purpose neutral.

Kristofer Buckle

A tale of Three Mascaras

Tarte Big Ego, Butter London Power-up And Thrive Cosmetics

Spending a lot more time at home is a good chance to actually sort through a few things.  I have cleaned out my coat closet and piled up several items to go to donation bins once I head out into the wider world gain and I have one of my large closets slated for a complete overhaul.  At the moment though, my empties bin is my focus.  Currently, I have three mascaras that must now be discarded. 

The first leaving my dressing table is the Tarte Big Ego Mascara.  According to Tarte’s product page…

Let your lashes be full of themselves! Boost your lash volume & confidence with this ultra-black, flake-free vegan mascara that instantly lifts your lashes & delivers a fully-loaded flutter for 16 hours.

The wand from the Tarte Big Ego looks good but doesn’t deliver

This mascara retails for $23 and I have to say I had high hoped for it.  I absolutely adore Tarte shadows and one of my favorite mascaras is the Tarte Maneater Mascara.  Unfortunately this fell flat for me.  Despite it’s bushy brush, I just didn’t get the volume from it. It clumped on my lashes and made them look spidery.  I tried it multiple times, but I just didn’t like this product.  I tried it off an on for three months and now I am gratefully bidding it adieu. I will not be repurchasing it.  And when I do use Tarte mascara, I will go with the Maneater.  That formula is simply much better.

Next up is the Butter London Power Up mascara. It retails for $20 and according to it’s product page…

This mascara delivers length and dramatic curl with long-lasting, flexible 8-hour wear.

Butter London, so in love with this one

And boy does it deliver.  This mascara was the first one I reached for as soon as I started wearing it.  It gives more volume than it gives length, but it really fills out the lashes and once it is on, it doesn’t go anywhere until you take it off.  There were several times where I tried other mascaras and then because they weren’t performing up to standards, I reached for this Power up to help them out.  I know you are supposed to replace your mascaras after three months of use as a best practice and six months if you are pushing it.  I have to confess, I used this one until there was no product left in the tube.  Seriously, on the day I pulled the wand from the tube and no matter how much I wiggled it there wasn’t enough left to use, I almost cried. If there is one mascara I am 100% repurchasing, it is this. The curve in the want meant that I didn’t actually need to use the eyelash curler either so it was a step I could skip.

My third mascara in this lot is from Thrive cosmetics.  It retails for $24 and is described as … Instantly create the look of lash extensions with this award-winning, best-selling mascara powered by technology that won’t clump, flake or smudge!

Thrive, excellent for lengthening lashes

I will say the packaging feels super high end.  It is a metal tube that feels really nice in the hand.  It is also really good at extending the lashes.  One pass with the mascara gives them a little bit of extra length.  If you give it a moment and let the product settle and then apply a second coat, you can extend them even further.  It does tend to flake a little bit after about six hours of wear.  It also does nothing for volume. Which as it doesn’t make any volume claims, that is perfectly fine.  I did find that If I applied it to lengthen and then after letting it dry a moment, went back over it with the Butter London Power up, I could have the best of both worlds. The Butter London added volume to the length and sort of coated the Thrive cosmetics so that it didn’t flake.  Thus far the Thrive Cosmetics Mascara is the best for lengthening that I have found.  I am about 75% sure think I would repurchase this one.  It is good on its own for lengthening but better when paired with the Butter London Power up when I wore it. 

So there you have it, three mascaras leaving my dressing table, but only two that will end up being repurchased and returning to my makeup bag.

I hope whatever you are doing in this time of stress and uncertainty, you are keeping yourself safe. I’ll be back this afternoon as I try out a new work out with hand weights in an effort to keep my promise to myself to get healthy. See you then.


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Next up on Foundation Quest, Youthful Glow From Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty Youthful Glow Foundation

To be honest, it was not my initial intention to pick up the Ulta Beauty Youthful Glow Foundation when I went to Ulta. I arrived thinking to purchase a bottle of Revolution’s foundation.  I had such success with their stick foundation over the summer I thought it would be worth trying out their liquid version.  When I arrived I found the shelf cleared of all but shade one and shade nine.  After looking around I found one bottle of shade ten, but as I am a five and a half on their foundation scale, it wasn’t very much help to me. 

I was however assured they would be restocking soon, so it will be included in my next round of foundation trials. 

As my plan went awry I took the next best option and I asked the people who happened to be near me at the time for recommendations.  There were two equally recommended options and as both were relativel inexpensive (as far as foundations go) I picked them both up for trial.  One was by Catrice, which I had never tried before and the other was by Ulta.

As many times as I’ve been in Ulta, I have to admit I have not really tried many of their brand of products before.  To be fair I often go there to determine my shade range of a product and to do a finger swatch before I end up ordering on line. I also tend to buy travel size and sample sized versions there.

So the Foundation I used all last week was Ulta Beauty’s Youthful Glow Foundation serum drops (retail $18). It is both paraben and oil free which I appreciate. According to the website this foundation is designed to…

Create a naturally perfected complexion with Ulta’s Youthful Glow Foundation Serum Drops. This weightless and light as air formula both blends and blurs for a youthful look. This silky formula contains skin perfecting ingredients that result in a luminous finish with light to buildable coverage. Marine Botanicals – Skin Loving algae promotes a youthful appearance; Coconut based emollients help hydrate and replenish skin moisture; Optical Diffusers blur skin imperfections for a flawless appearance.

Not a bad set of claims, but does it deliver?

As always I tried the foundation first with no primer and then over successive days with different primers to see how it reacted.  Most days I wore the foundation four about seven hours.  There were two ten hour days in there but as my schedule was pretty normal last week I didn’t really have any super long days to push the foundation to the limit.

First things first though, before we see how it wears, we must look at how it applies.

The foundation comes in a bottle shaped like a cocktail shaker. Which is appropriate as you have to shake the heck out of it before you try to use it otherwise the dropper only picks up a thin liquid that is of no use to anyone.  So give it a really good shake before using. 

It is a dropper type applicator and as you can see from the picture, despite taking precautions, the lid does get a little gunky after even just a week of use.

I know a lot of people lift the droppers directly to their face and drip it on directly but I always make a mess if I try that so I apply it to the top of my balled up hand in the flat space between the thumb and pointing finger.  Then I dip a finger in, dray lines on my face and use a brush to spread it over the skin.  Then if I see lines, I go in with a beauty blender. Unless it is a doe foot applicator where I draw lines directly on the skin from the bottle, this is how I have always applied foundation. It’s also why I keep a washcloth on my dressing table.

Just the foundation on my skin, one dropper’s worth

Anyway, the foundation blended beautifully and felt absolutely weightless.  There was no settling in the fine lines by my eyes or mouth.  Despite the term glow in the title, it is not a dewy look foundation, I found it to be rather on the matte side, which I liked. It is not a completely flat matte that looks mask like, but it is in the matte range. 

In the description it does claim that it is buildable.  I do on occasion use full coverage foundation, but it generally tends to be more for things where I know my photo is going to be taken or for an event, otherwise I tend to prefer a medium coverage foundation.  With one squeeze of the dropper I ended up with enough product to create a medium coverage look.  It covered all of my dark spots and unevenness to my skin.  At the moment I don’t have any major breakouts or deep dark spots so I didn’t need more than medium coverage and I didn’t need to spot correct with a concealer. 

up close at the start of the day

A second dropper full of foundation will give a more full coverage look and on one of the days I did try this.  It did go on well but throughout the day it ended up giving me more problems.

With the medium coverage the foundation wore beautifully throughout the day.  I had absolutely no problems with it at all. I never felt oily and I didn’t need to add extra powder in my t-zone.  Admittedly it is the middle of winter so I am less sweaty in general, but it was nice to not have to do touch ups.

When trying for full coverage, the product went on well but didn’t feel as weightless.  It looked good, but by lunchtime it was starting to look a little caky and the lines under my eyes were emphasized in a way I didn’t care for.

end of the day closeup

So my suggestion would be that if using this foundation, go for medium coverage and don’t try to build it up to full. With the medium coverage it feels like you are wearing nothing and you can completely forget about it for the day. Quite frankly, I think that is an excellent trait in a foundation.  I have way more things to worry about through the course of my day. 

I think it is easy to say that this foundation has made the cut for the ‘will I reach for it ‘ line up of my first five foundations.  I have one more foundation to test and that is one from Becca.  Then I will have five foundations and this section will be complete. After the initial testing all those passing the first test will be lined up and I will see which ones I am inclined to reach for on a daily basis and which ones I end up not finding all that appealing. As I have had some really good products in this section, I can’t want to see how it turns out.


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