Pur 4-in-1 Skin perfecting powders face palette

The Pur 4-in-1 skin perfecting face palette came in the November Boxy Charm. Even though the review only went up yesterday, the box actually arrived last Friday so I was able to add a few items to my makeup bag this week, most notably this palette. Now I know what some of you are thinking. Mimsy, didn’t you do a Pur 4-in-1 review before? Yes, I reviewed the foundation from this line. And as a reminder I absolutely hated it. I had a sample tube and for some reason it just did not work out for me. It highlighted my pores and lines without a primer but then it didn’t want to work with any of the primers I tried.

This palette however is a different story. It is from the same line but I had much better results.

The palette as you can see has four pans.Starting on the left is the pressed powder, then the bronzer, blush and highlight at the end. Now when I apply the products, I start with the bronzer, then go to the blush, followed by the highlight and then top off with the powder. So that is the order I’m going to take you through the products.

So first up, the bronzer. First off with this bronzer, choose your brush carefully. Or at least choose it based on how you want to apply the product.

With the bronzer, brush choice matters

I picked up a densely packed bristle brush the first go round with this bronzer and had deep dark brown on my face as a consequence. It came out highly pigmented and while it did blend in, it took a while to blend. With a looser fluffier brush, I was able to dip into the pan, apply lightly and build up to the shade I wanted. This is one of those products where the tool does make a world of difference. Now if you are going for a more dramatic contour like bronze look with your bronzer, you could achieve it with the dense brush and if you contour your nose, I would suggest getting a smaller densely packed brush to use for contouring the nose. If you want to start soft and build up. Go with the fluffier bronzer brush. The bronzer is highly pigmented. Once I got used to that, i really ended up liking it.

Because the bronzer came out so strong I was expecting the blush to do the same thing. It did not. The blush applies lightly and has to be built up a bit. It required a second adjustment on my part but after that I found I really liked it. It is a lighter pink shade that works for my edging into winter skin and blends out really well. It is just not extremely pigmented. As I would rather build up my blush rather than have to work to tone it down, I really ended up liking it.

The highlight is a nice gold shade that blended into my skin tones well and gave a light glow to the skin. Is it my favorite? No. I have highlighters I prefer over this one. However it is a decent highlighter and if I put this palette in a travel bag and forgot to add a single highlighter seperately to my travel bag, I wouldn’t have a problem just using the one in the palette. It isn’t one I would reach for on it’s own, but it is not one I would avoid using.

To finish off the look was the powder. To apply it I used a flat top powder brush rather than my super fluffy one. Mostly because if I tried to use my super fluffy one I would have gotten bronzer mixed in with the powder. The flat one fit better given the size of the pan and it worked well with applying it. I liked the powder. Is it a powder I would reach for on its own? Probably not. My favorite No. 7 perfecting powder is a petter formula. However it is not one I would avoid either. If I pulled out this palette I would not feel the need to pull out a seperate powder for the makeup bag.

Just foundation on the left and all the products applied on the right. I didn’t go heavy on the makeup for most of the week so the difference isn’t that dramatic.

I would probably use the bronzer and blush on their own, while I wouldn’t pull the powder and highlight. That doesn’t mean those two pans of product are bad, they aren’t. They just aren’t my favorites. However as a palette I could pull this out of the dressing table, put it into my makeup bag and not have to add other products. And that my darlings is the reason you get a palette. It is so that you can get multiple products in one thing without having to gather up a bunch of products.

As a palette, this works. I really enjoyed using it and would enjoy using it again. While I broke it down by pan, when I reach for this I will plan on using all four of the pans in it. It is rare that I can actually say that about a face palette and I have to say I am very pleased to have this in my collection.


BeautyCareChoices.com

Wishing for a better primer with the Whish Botanical Primer

Anyone who has read my posts for any length of time knows that I am a big fan of primers.  Maybe it is a hold over for when I used to paint, but I love having something to prime the canvas of my face.  I love that a good primer can fill the pores, even out redness and occasionally add dimension to the skin under a matte foundation.

This Whish Botanical Primer with bakuchiol arrived in an Allure Beauty box.  As I had several primers open, I decided to wait a little while before opening it.  This was it’s week to shine as it finally got a chance to leave the dressing table and enter the makeup bag. 

Oddly enough I am also at the moment trying out a bakuchiol infused serum from Balance Me.  So while the bakuchiol was a new ingredient when this arrived, I have done a bit of looking into the ingredient since. Put simply, bakuchiol is a substitute for retinol. It is supposed to have none of the side effects, most notable a sensitivity to the sun, but all of the benefits.  As many retinol products can make you sun sensitive this is a big step. Especially since primer is actually worn during the day where there is – gasp –sun. So all the benefits of retinol in a primer And no sun sensitivity? Okay not a bad list to hope for. So let’s look at the official product description…

Suffering from dry skin and huge pores left from drying makeup? This natural botanical primer not only minimizes pores and evens skin tone, but it also leaves skin feeling moisturized and dewy looking. You will be left looking radiant, moisturized, and ready for the day ahead.

 INGREDIENTS: Water (aqua, eau), cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, coco-cap-rylate/caprate, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyl dimethyl taurate copolymer, C14-22 alcohols, C12-20 alkyl glucoside, diheptyl succinate, bakuchiol, capryloyl glycerin/sebacic acid copolymer, isohexadecane, glycerin, propanediol, polysorbate-60, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, sodium phytate, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, argania spinosa kernel (argan) oil, ethylhexylglycerin, punica granatum (pomegranate) extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower/leaf extract, hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn) fruit extract, cocos nucifera (coconut) water, glycine soja (soybean) oil, glycerin, cocos nucifera (coconut) fruit juice, lactic acid, fragrance (parfum), citronellol, hexyl cinnamal, linalool.

Whish

And so we apply the primer.  Well sort of.  I went to open the primer, peeled off the metal seal and squirt a bit into my hand. I got some oily liquid and a bit of cream.  Since I have many items in my dressing table that need shaking up before use, I figured this was one of them.  So I put the cap back on and shook it.  As it is a tube, that had little effect.  So I massaged the tube a little while and then tried dispensing it.  The primer came out well with no split.  After that it was fine.  I think it just sat in one position for too long. I should point out that there was no off scent so I knew it hadn’t gone bad.

So properly mixed, I applied the primer.  And because you know I sniffed it, I might as well start with the fact that it has a barely there florally scent.  It doesn’t smell floral, but more like you left the open jar of cream in a room where there were a few vases of flowers for about an hour. It is super light and barely there.

Now as you might expect from the description and the ingredients list, it goes on like a moisturizer that has been blended with a serum.  It feels lovely on the skin.  However it is a little too moisturizing for me. If applied on top of a newly moisturized face then it just stayed on top.  If I moisturized and then came back a few hours later to do my makeup then I had less of a problem.  But that isn’t very realistic for getting ready in the morning. 

If I skipped the moisturizer and just applied the primer than it was fine. 

However, the primer felt just like a moisturizer.  It sunk into the skin well, left my face feeling soft and hydrated and if it was a moisturizer sample I would put it on my list to try in a full sized version. 

Was it pore filling? No

Did it help makeup stay in place longer (one of the primary functions of a primer)? No.

Did it reduce redness? Maybe a little?

Honestly, I found myself looking at the label several times throughout the week double checking to make sure it actually was a primer and not a moisturizer.  It isn’t. It is officially listed as a primer. 

Did it help plump up my fine lines? Yes.

Did it make my skin feel fantastic?  Again yes. 

But it did not work like a primer.

I want to use this as a serum or a moisturizer after I have spent too long in the sun, but I don’t want to use it as a primer.  In fact halfway through the week I went and retrieved my Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Primer from the dressing table instead of using this. I think that once I finish the Balance Me Bakuchiol Serum, I will just use this up in its place as part of my night time routine until it is finished. 

This turned out to be a very frustrating product to work with because it feels and acts like really good skin care but it does not complete its primary function, which is to act as a primer. 

This is actually the second Whish product I’ve tried.  The first was a hand cream.  It was an excellent hand cream and I loved using it. This primer is an excellent serum infused moisturizer, but it doesn’t work as a primer.  While I would not purchase this primer again, I know that it is part of a bakuchiol infused skin care line. 

I would be very interested in picking up a product from that line that is designed to be a moisturizer, or a serum.  Especially if it has this kind of effect.   So even though this product has essentially failed, it is a winner in that it has convinced me to look more deeply into Whish skincare.  Which I suppose makes it a retail triumph?  Regardless, this primer will not be returning to the dressing table with the other primers and it will not be repurchased. It will be used in it’s entirety, just not as a primer.


Ole Henriksen

The Queen has arrived, at least in shadow form

The Queen Eyeshadow Palette from Eloise

I’ll admit, I had never heard of the brand when The Queen Palette from Eloise arrived in one of my Boxycharm boxes and to be fair, I wasn’t too enthused with the colors. As you may have guessed, I am not much for a lot of the brighter colors. But this week I decided, why not and took the plunge.

I have to say I am really glad I did. It was very much a departure for me and the brightness meant everything else was rather toned down for the entire week. It drastically affected my lipstick game. I so wanted to use the Red sigma lipstick this week, but this was not the palette to try it out with.

Row 1 swatches Lto R: Empire, Sheba, Kingdom, MyLady, Curtsy

First, the mattes. They were highly pigmented and there was very little fall out from even the most intense of the colors. It was quite refreshing actually. The colors applied well when used singly or as one matte with a shimmer, but blending just sort of muddied them. Everything sort of came out as a red tinged purple-y color if I tried to mix them. Perhaps I simply do not have the skill to get them to blend well, but I find them hard to blend. I found the mattes very nice for a one and done look and they were nice paired singly with a shimmer (matte on the outer corner and shimmer on the inner).

Row 2 Swatches L to Right: Throne, Powerful,Jewels, Rani, Empress

The colors of the mattes, I’ll be honest are not entirely to my taste. They are a good mix of colors though however I found myself wanting either a black or a really dark brown to go with them. The darker tones of Kingdom (top row swatch 3) and Amina (4th row swatch 3) just weren’t dark enough for me. It may just be that I think of these mattes as the colors that are used for accents with a smokey eye of sorts instead of colorful looks on their own, but that was how i felt using this. That it was missing a black or a dark brown.

Row 3 swatches L to R: Majesty, Queen, YourHighness, Elizabeth, Crown

The shimmer shades are an entirely different story. They applied well with a dry brush, which I found to be a surprise in itself. They required a little more work than the mattes, but they still applied well with a dry brush and there was not a lot of fall out. I did not end up with glitter tracing the sides of my nose by the end of the day.

Row 4 swatches L to R: Monarch, Honorable, Amina, Regal, Sovereign

Te shimmers did pop more when they were applied with a brush sprayed with setting spray or with a fingertip. To be completely honest, I loved the shimmers in this palette. And that is the reason I will keep it in my collection. while the mattes applied well on their own and muddied when mixed, they are also not in colors I would really use unless for a small accent. I think these colors work better on someone who either has much darker skin than mine, or much lighter skin than mine. I have remnants of my summer tan still and a slight olive tone to my skin. These are not colors that sit well on my skin tone. At my darkest I am not dark enough to make them look good and at my lightest I feel I would have the same issue, because I just don’t get pale enough to make these colors pop.

I will however definitely use these shimmers. As there are far more shimmers in this palette, I am actually happy with the mix. This is a palette I will reach for, just for those shimmers. They applied really well and stayed in place all day with little transfer and virtually no fall out. At least i didn’t have any this week. As it has been a while since I’ve been able to say that with a shimmer shadow, it feels really nice to say it now. I would never have picked up this palette on my own, but for the shimmer shades, I am glad that i have it in my collection.

Elemis is having a sale. Buy 2 get one free. For a limited time, add three favorites to your routine and the lowest value item will be free. Use code 3FOR2. (The code is an Elemis code and I get nothing if you use it, and quite frankly I am thinking of using it on my own as both the Dynamic Resurfacing pads and the Cleansing balm are two of my favorite products. I just have to figure out what the third would be. Oh, decisions decisions. )And if you are looking for advent calenders, Elemis has a really nice looking one and until November 19th you can get a gift with that purchase as well. I’ve posted it below.


Enjoy a FREE Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment when you purchase an ELEMIS Advent Calendar.* Use Code: ICONIC

Shop Now!

The Empties: August And September

Oh yes, my bin overfloweth

Hello my darlings.  As I went with the NYX Bare with Me Tinted Skin Veil as my foundation product this week, and still felt more or less the same as I did the first time I tried it, instead of a foundation review this week I am posting the empties bin.  And it isn’t just a one month empties bin, oh no.  I have two months worth of empties to give you. Mostly because I forgot to post August’s empties.  As I used up a lot of my samples in the past few months and concentrated on finishing out some masks, there is a lot.  In the interest of not making this post rival war and peace, I have left out the sheet masks. Although for you early shoppers out there FaceTory just launched their holiday masking bundles. 

Now on to the Empties. The first is the AYAM Dead Sea Minerals make up remover wipes.  I know I don’t often use make up wipes, but they are good to have on hand once in a while.  And these lasted me a while.  Which was surprising as they were really good.  In fact they may be among the best makeup wipes I tried.  They took off product and weren’t overly saturated in liquid and didn’t leave my skin feeling wretched.  I really liked them.  Actually I would like to see the liquid they use in a different form because it was not only a really good make up remover but it left my skin feeling really soft after cleansing.  It was hard not to reach for these all the time, but I resisted and they lasted a long time.  Would I buy them again? Yes.  I don’t buy make up wipes often, but the next time I do buy them I would by the AYAM Dead Sea Minerals Make up Remover Wipes.

Speaking of make up removers, there were three empty makupe removers in my bin this week. One was a balm and the other two Oils.  I finally emptied my Elemis Cleansing Balm.  Which is fun because I received a brand new one in September’s Allure Box just as I emptied this one out.  At the moment I am refusing to open it until I clear out a few more make up removers.  It is hands down my favorite cleansing balm and I would repurchase it over and over again. The other two Makeup removers are oil cleansers One is the Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser and the other is the Province Apothecary Moisturizing oil cleanser.  Both worked well. Of the two I would probably purchase the Kahina for my own use but only because the Provence Apothecary is so heavily scented of bergamot which I just don’t like.  Oddly enough though it is one of my mother’s favorite scents and I did already order it for inclusion in a skin care gift basket for her.  It is a really good product, I just don’t care for the scent.

To round out the cleansers there are three regular cleansers in my bin this month.  The Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleanser and the Dr. Brandt Pore Purifying Cleanser I would both buy again.  The Celefit Oil to Foam Cleanser, I would not.  It worked well and I really enjoyed the oil to foam nature but it was so heavily scented that it was like splashing perfume on my face. It is a good cleanser though so I used it up but it was a relief when it was finally empty.

In my toner category I have two empties.  One was the Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating toner.  I enjoyed using it.  At the moment I am using a different Pixi toner that I don’t like as much. I bought it because Target was out of the Glow Tonic.  If I were to repurchase PIXI toner (which I will), I would go with the Glow Tonic Exfoliating one and if they were out I would probably wait. The Akar Balance toner is an interesting one.  I really liked using it. 

My one concern is that it has a six month expiration date.  I think the full size also has the same expiration date on it and I don’t think that I could work my way through the toner in that time frame.  The Travel size lasted quite a while.  I think I would definitely repurchase the travel sized container but I would have to investigate the full sized one a bit more before I committed and only because of the expiration date.  The product itself is a definite yes.

And so we move on to serums.  The Balance me Vitamin C Serum smelled exactly like Lemon Pledge.  It worked well enough, but I have tried other vitamin C serums that work just as well so I would probably give this one a pass. The other three serums I would repurchase.  They are the Decorte Liposome, the Claudalie Vino Perfect and the Volition Snow Mushroom Water Serum.  While I really liked all three of them, I have to say the Snow Mushroom Water Serum was my favorite of the bunch. The other two aren’t far behind as they are both nice, but if it were a contest, Volition would take it.

I had one exfoliator in my empties bin this month and it is the NUXE Insta Masque.  I put it alone rather than with the masks as it seemed more exfoliator than mask.  You apply it and let it sit for three minutes and then massage and rinse.  I tended to brush my teeth while it sat on the skin.  It is rather rosy scented which may bother some people.  It didn’t bother me and I really enjoyed the product. 

There was a second NUXE product in the bi n this go around and it is the NUXE Crème Prodigieuse Boost.  It has the rosy French Skin Care scent (although more powerfully present than in the Dior). I liked the day cream and would not mind using it again, and possibly will pick it up again.  It isn’t something I would seek out especially though.  It would be an impulse purchase. It’s a good cream, just not something I would hunt down. Also in the good but probably not something I would seek is the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream.  It seems like something I would really like but after using it I thought, ‘This is nice but not fabulous’.  I wouldn’t mind using it again, but I wouldn’t seek it. 

The Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer is a different story.  This I would hunt done.  This is one of those products that makes me want to do my Christmas and upcoming birthday shopping early so I can stalk the PTR website and pounce as soon as the sales become active. A full size of this will be mine.  I can even see me tackling someone in a department store to get the last jar of this.  Well in theory anyway.  In reality I’m not a tackle sort of person.  I’m more of an ‘Oh look over there’ distraction sort of person rather than a physical one but the reality evokes less of a holiday may lay sort of vibe.

And with that we move on to the one eye cream in this bin.  It is the Dermadeli nourishing eye serum.  I liked the tiny dropper but didn’t find it all that nourishing and it tended to clog my pores.  I will not be repurchasing this.

I will be repurchasing the empty La Roche-Possay Antherlios 50 Mineral sunscreen. It was a good light weight sunscreen with no white cast to it and it didn’t break me out. It was a winner and very well priced.  I have no problems adding it to my repurchase list.

The soap from Le Couvent that came in a subscription box is not on my repurchase list.  Which is a shame as I like to include a bar of fancy soap in several of the beauty packages I put together form my mom and aunts.  The packaging would have been perfect.  The soap, I just wasn’t a fan of.  I think they mixed a little too much skin softening agent into it so my hands didn’t really feel clean after using the,  They felt moisturized but not really clean.  And the scent wasn’t my favorite. So this is a no for me.

Taking a quick jaunt into makeup, I finally finished my I heart Revolution Fixing Spray.  While it worked well and I liked it as a setting spray, I don’t know if I would repurchase it.  I’ve been using a setting spray that has skin care benefits and really liking it.  At this point I’m not sure I would actually buy a setting spray that didn’t have skin care benefits.  This doesn’t.  I will say it is a good, affordable setting spray that works well.

The Ciate London Everyday Vacaay Translucent setting powder I already have a back up of waiting in my dressing table.  It is a good setting powder and doesn’t have the flash back that the regular setting powder has.  I went on coconut overload this summer so I am using other powders at the moment but rest assured, this powder will be returning.

There are three mascaras in my empties bin this time around, as I purge the older ones from my collection there will be more next month. The Scandaleyes wow wings from Rimmel will be repurchased.  And I think I would pick up a full size of the Maneater Mascara from Tarte.  I really liked it as an everyday formula. The Lash Alert from Eyeko I would not purchase.  I wasn’t a fan of the formula.  I prefer their Black magic Mascara to be honest.

This time around there are several hair products.  The first is a dry shampoo from Freeman it is the PSSSSR Deep Clean.  It worked well in an emergency when I was ill prepared for a change in time for a video conference.  It took down some very greasy post work out hair and made it look fine for the video call when I didn’t have time for a shower.  I did have to take a shower right after as my scalp itched. 

That was partially because I used so much of it, but to be honest, this is more of an emergency dry shampoo.  It is for when you only have to look good for an hour.  For that purpose I would keep it around.  Much in the same way I would keep a fire extinguisher. Used like regular dry shampoo it worked well for about two to three hours and then the hair overpowered the product.  So emergency yes, routine use, not so much.

The Everything Mask from Josh Wood Colour I would purchase again in a heartbeat.  My hair really liked it.  It smelled nice and the product left my hair soft and shiny and rinsed off well.  The R+Co Dry Shampoo past is a pass for me.  I didn’t like using it and I didn’t like how it made my hair feel.  I think part of it was the formula of the powder/paste.  I just really didn’t like rubbing it into my hair.  When I brushed it out there were tangles and if I wasn’t careful it looked as though I had dandruff.  I really did not enjoy this product.

The Ouai Wave Spray Ondulation was interesting.  The product was nice.  I’ve never tried a Ouai product that wasn’t to be honest.  However I discovered I don’t really care for the wave spray look.  On me it ends up looking just like my hair looks naturally when I let it air dry. So the product was nice and I really enjoyed the scent of it in my hair but I will pass because I don’t really have a need for this particular product.  This is different from the Prep and Protect Spray from High Performance Hair Care.  It is a category of product I use routinely, but I just didn’t like the product.  It made may hair stiff in spots and I didn’t care for the scent. So it is a no on repurchasing.

And finally we come to the masks.  Surprisingly the only one I wouldn’t repurchase is the  Blackhead O2 Bubble pore mask.  While it was fun, it didn’t do much. I will always have at least one version of the Generation Clay’s masks in my masking collection.  The Ultraviolet purple is my favorite of theirs.  I already have a replacement waiting that I am not opening until I clear out a few more masks. 

The Biorace Pore Tightening masks I went through twice and really liked. They will probably be returning again. The Hey honey Sweet Treat mask is one of my favorite Hey Honey Masks.  It always leaves me feeling refreshed.  And the Bliss Mighty Marshmallow I have already repurchased so many times I have lost count.  It is actually strange now to not see it on the shelf.

The Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme mask is, like the Hungarian Thermal Water Moisturizer, something that I will hunt down. It was an excellent exfoliating mask that I really want to get in the habit of stocking.  I also really liked the Erno Laszlo Multi Task Eye serum masks.  They were quite nice on myeyes and I will be picking them up again.

The absolute last item is the Kylie cleanser. I put it for last because technically it isn’t an empty. It is however going far away. It is rare that a product is so bad that I just don’t want to continue with it until it is gone, but this was that product. I hated using this. I didn’t like the smell, the feel on my skin or the results. At best the foam was fun. I tend to look for more than fun in my skin care though and this was not it. So even though it is not empty, it is leaving, never to return.

Wow okay now I see why I should skip a month of the empties and what happens when I try to clear out sample and travel sized products.  But now that I have gone through them I can actually empty the empty bin.  It will be nice to see it empty again and not over flowing as we head into October.


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.


Save $25 off your Summer Box all season long at BoxofStyle.com! Promo code: SUMMER25 (Valid 5/4-8/1 exclusions apply)

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. 

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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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