The Make Up Bag: December 4th, 2020

The Make up Bag used November 30th – December 4th, 2020

Welcome my darlings to the weekly makeup bag post where I go through all of the products I chose to use throughout the week and let you know how I felt about them.

While the foundation and eyeshadow palette  each had their own posts yesterday I will recap them here again for you (with links to the full reviews). The foundation this week was the Ulta Beauty Youthful Glow Foundation serum Drops.  It was an early test in my foundation trials and I forgot that I actually had it.  I took it out this week and remembered exactly how much I really enjoyed using it.  To be honest, now that I have it out, I am thinking about keeping it around for another week before returning it to the dressing table to choose another foundation.

The eyeshadow Palette was the Tuscany Palette from Nomad Cosmetics Italian line.  I liked the colors and loved the way they stayed around all day, but was less thrilled by the powdery fall out from all of the shades. Once the fall out was dealt with, I really did enjoy using the palette.

My primer this week was the Stila Sheer Illumination lingerie soufflé primer. I like this primer.  The whipped texture made it very light weight against the skin and it turned my skin into a nice smooth canvas for my foundation. The pink melted away blending my skin into a more uniform color rather than just giving it a pink hue which I really liked. And of course the decorative jar is delightful.

It worked fairly well with the Ulta foundation.  It is more moisturizing than pore filling, but it does a decent job with the pore filling as well with creamier foundations.  The Ulta Foundation needed a little more pore filling than the Stila offered, but it was almost there.  If I keep the Ulta foundation out for another week I may try a more pore filling primer. But I was pleased to use this primer and look forward to the next time it leaves the dressing table for my makeup bag rotation.

Becca highlight, NARS Bronzer, Benefit Mascara

My bronzer this week is the NARS Laguna Bronzer (it is the small pan in the photo to the left).  It is a sample size that I have been working towards using up.  I try to stick to the rule of not purchasing a full size until I have used the sample size up completely. I really love this bronzer, and even rotating it in and out of my makeup bag it is starting to get a very noticeable dip in the center of the pan.  I’m not certain if you can see it in the photo, but you can certainly feel it. Not picking up a full sized one during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales has been so difficult.  But I feel I can finish this sample up this year as I suspect with a few more uses I will start seeing pan and then it (or something comparable from Nars) will be at the top of my list for next year’s sales.

I had to do the same talking out of purchasing with my lipstick this week. The one I used the most this week is sample sized as well. It is the Bite lipstick in the shade Rhubarb. I love this lipstick, but the sample size means that it often rolls to the shadows and hides. It is a fantastic color on me and it doesn’t dry out my lips.  It is a regular bullet style lipstick so it won’t last the entire day without touch ups, but I don’t mind that.  I have to add that the lipstick smells good and even tastes good.  I know that sounds strange to say, but as it is a product that goes on your lips, it does matter.  It is a comfortable formula and I really enjoy it.  I also suspect that once I break and buy one, I am going to buy several. I have two liquid lipsticks from Bite that I enjoy, but this color and formula of the bullet lipsticks are just fantastic. I am almost out of the Agave lip mask from Bite as well and will need to re order soon.  At the moment I am testing out a different lip mask and thus far it has only sharpened my appreciation for Bite Beauty’s night time lip mask. But that is a different story (the lip mask review will be posted next week if you are interested.) I will easily be able to use up this lipstick. And I will be keeping it out on the dressing table so that I don’t forget it. Then when used up, I will reorder it and possibly some of it’s friends so that it doesn’t get lonely. I wouldn’t want my lipstick to get lonely. I just hope it is still available. When looking into the Bite Beauty Lipsticks, I found a lot of lip crayons listed on their site and I found an entire section dealing with a create your own custom shade of lipstick, both at the factory and at home, but I couldn’t find the lipsticks. This will require some research. The Bite Beauty sale is still going on (the link will take you there) so I may have to pick up a lip crayon and test it out. Regardless I will be looking into the lipstick further and get back to you. Fingers crossed it is still available.

While we are on lips, the other two lip products I used this week were the Dose of Colors Liquid lip in stone that I have been trying to use up.  It is getting there.  I think I have a few more weeks of steady use and then it is done.  It is a pretty old liquid lip and I do actually have a replacement already waiting because it is one of my go-to nude shades. At the moment I am wishing I had ordered a Bite Beauty replace ment and just held it in the wings until I finished the sample but I am more worried about the clean and natural ingredients in a bullet lipstick going bad if kept to long than in a sealed liquid lip. so I didn’t.

My third and final lip product this week was the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip balm in the scent Pomegranate. It is a really good lip balm. The Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip balms tend to be the only lip balms i really keep stocked. Others show up from subscription boxes, but this is my staple.

I tend to periodically sign up for the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip balm monthly subscription through Crate Joy (the link will take you to the crate joy subscription info).  I have a hard time finding the subscription on the JSC website, but it is super easy to find on Crate Joy.  It’s a subscription I keep for a few months to stock up on lip balms and then cancel while I work my way through them. I’m pretty sure I am covered through January on lip balms so I will probably re subscribe in either January or February.  It is a really good subscription and a great product, it’s just not a subscription I need to keep all the time. I have been using the subscription off and on for the past four or five years and have never had a problem with them. And each subscription comes with a little surprise. There was a stick of sunscreen one month this past summer and once the pandemic got started, a free mask was tucked in. Speaking of masks, this lip balm has been a really good thing to wear under them too actually. Surprisingly as my face is getting the masknee from the mask, my lips are feeling oddly dry. This lip balm has really helped and it doesn’t get all over the inside of my mask which is also nice. And if you are looking to support a black owned brand, this is a good one to go for. Of course even if that isn’t a factor for you, it is an excellent lip balm and I usually have one within reach.

No. 7 Pressed powder and Josephine eyeliner

This week the pan is showing a lot more in my favorite No. 7 pressed powder.  I’m keeping it in my makeup bag until it has been completely used up.  Mostly because I know it is starting to show pan and there is always the temptation to have it last a little longer by using other products in between.  It isn’t a terribly expensive product so I replacing it isn’t a hardship, but I have several other powders open at the moment, several of which I tend to forget I have in favor of the No. 7.  So I am going to try, and try very hard, not to replace this immediately after it goes so that I can make some headway in using up other products. It is really the danger of favorites.  The fact that it I know on sale is making it even harder to resist.  At least with the sample sizes I still have the product to use, which makes resistance easier. But I am going to do my best to try.

e.l.f. setting powder and Julep blush

My loose setting powder this week was the elf HD powder.  It is a good translucent setting powder that sets the makeup and doesn’t cause a white cast in photos.  At least it hasn’t ever done so on me.  I also like the twist top so that you can seal up the holes the powder shakes through when you aren’t using it so that the powder stays in the base of the container until you are ready to use it without spilling everywhere.  I have to say, this year, elf has been killing it with the products. Those Bite Sized palettes alone are worth giving the brand a look over if you haven’t done so in a while. Personally I ordered several items as I was putting together small makeup bags for some of the just getting into makeup girls in my family this year and I also got pulled into their gift sets. Those gift sets are rally a good deal. I picked up several for others and was so tempted by the Rose Gold Matte Lip Vault for myself. I resisted during my gift buying spree, but I suspect i will circle back once the last holiday package has been sent to its destination via post. Its the lips, my darlings, the lip products get me every time.

For my blush this week I went with Julep’s Your Happy Look Pore Minimizing Blush in the shade Rosewood. I really like the buildability of this blush.  It goes on fairly softly and lets you layer until you reach the desired pigment level. I really do like the darker color and I thought that as my tan faded I would be less able to wear it.  But that proved not to be the case, the shade still looked flattering on me so I think this is one that I might be able to wear year round. As I really like the blush I am very pleased to learn this.  I was almost certain the darker shade would look more clown like than I wanted and I am very happy to be proven wrong. As a quick note, while the link above will take you to the Julep site (and they are still having a large sale you might want to check out) when I poked around looking for this blush I couldn’t find it anywhere. I send an e-mail to Julep but have yet to hear back. I will keep you posted on it (also I’m checking because I really like the blush) There were more skin care related items advertised which actually distracted me for a while as I haven’t tried any of Julep’s skincare and the only thing that pulls me in more than lipstick is skincare. But I will keep looking for the blush so an update will hopefully be arriving soon.

For my highlight this week I went with a highlighter I completely forgot I had.  It is the Becca Bronzed Amber Shimmering Skin Perfector (pictured with the Bronzer near the top of this post).  The name makes me think that it was probably designated for some other use than highlighter but on me the bronze tones work really well as a subtle highlight. I really love the subtle golden highlight. I do it’s like candle light against your skin rather than a spot light. Perhaps I’m just more of a candle light sort of person.  Regardless, I really enjoyed using this and I am sorry I forgot I had it. In fact I enjoyed it so much that i really want to check out some of their other tones. they have quite a few. I know they have been around a while and as I generally like Becca products I have seen them, but highlighters, while beautiful, never drew me in like other makeup categories so I don’t have as many of them.

The eyeliner I used in this week’s bag was the Josephine Cosmetics black liquid liner that came in my November Petit Vour Box. The point tapered down and let me do either thin or thick lines with ease.  The pen was smooth and didn’t skip. The product didn’t sink into my fine lines and it stayed in place all day.  Over all I was very impressed with it. Until November I had not heard of the brand before so I had no expectations.  This performed really well.  I have a liquid shadow from the brand that I think I might try out in next week’s bag so I can get a better feel for the brand.  If it performs as well as the eyeliner, it may be a brand I keep my eye on.

This week I skipped the eyebrow products as I had an ingrown hair and irritation. I really miss Jasmine, the lady who threaded my eyebrows.  I should not be left alone with them. I am fairly certain I am the cause of the damage. So I just used a clean spoolie to keep them in line.  Luckily my bangs need a severe trip at this point so my eyebrows weren’t really visible.  I am going to have to trim them soon.  Hair cutting is not my strong suit, but needs must.

Finally we wrap up the eyes with a sample size of the They’re Real Mascara from Benefit Cosmetics.  It came in my Birchbox for November (and a second one in the Birchbox Advent Calendar. I hadn’t actually tried this one.  Which shouldn’t come as a surprise as I generally just pick up the Bad Gal Bang and don’t look at the others.  While this won’t replace Bad Gal in my affections, I did actually really like it.  It did a great job of lengthening the lashes and it didn’t flake or smudge once dry.  I am happy to have it and a back up.  As it is a sample of mascara, it will only last two to three weeks so I might just keep it around for a bit to use it up.  With sample mascaras, I tend to use them and then lose them in the depths of the drawer. Then several months have passed and I find I have several half empty trial sized tubes and have to play the game “Which of these products is too dried and clumpy to use?” I know, not the best game show name.  I’ll work on the title before pitching it to the network.

To finish, I used the Farsali Setting spray. The Rose Gold Skin mist is beautiful to look at with shimmering gold flakes and it does a decent job setting the makeup.  The scent is not my favorite, which is why I often leave it in the drawer instead of using it.  But as my setting spray rotation now includes a setting spray that smells like fresh paint, I now find the scent less problematic than I once did.  It is a good product, and I don’t mind using it.  I will be keeping it in rotation for the moment so it will get used. Because of the scent I probably won’t be repurchasing it, but the product works well.

It seems that with the setting spray we have reached the end of the Makeup bag for the week.  It was a surprisingly good week.  Not one of the products I used were problematic and several exceeded expectations. I love when that happens.  Next week while I am keeping my powder and foundation I will be trading out everything else.  It may be a strange mix as I think I want to give my odd collection of liquid eyeshadows a try.  Since most of them are on the dazzling metallic side, I suspect one of them will end up being part of my New Year’s glam look so I want to see how they perform.  I’ll have to choose the rest of the bag around them.

And speaking of makeup bags…Kusshi has a new one out for the holidays. It is red on the outside and leopard print on the inside (they also have a black one with leopard print on the inside (which is the one I ordered for my mother as she isn’t a huge fan of red – personally i adore red, but there you have it). While animal prints aren’t what i tend to be drawn to (I have been eyeing their signature makeup bag for months trying to decide between it and the Vacationer though). My mother adores leopard print (ADORES IT!) and as she has been using the same make up bag for longer than she can remember, I picked it up for her this year. (Seriously, I asked her how long she’d had it and she couldn’t remember. the zipper toggle had been replaced by a safety pin and the inside so stained it looked spotted – there was a liquid liner incident. She wasn’t holding on to it for sentimentality, she just hadn’t gotten around to replacing it. I checked to make sure I wasn’t causing issues by ordering a new one.) I checked out one a friend owned and they are good quality, long lasting bags that are designed to keep things organized. So I know she’ll be happy for a long time to come. Now I just need to make my decision between the Signature and the Vacationer.

The Make Up Bag: September 25th, 2020

Welcome my darlings once again to the weekly makeup bag post where I discuss everything that I put on my face that wasn’t officially skin care this week. My setting spray as the exception of course. I am still using the HA Spray from Timeless Skincare to set my makeup and quite frankly, I am loving it. It sets my skin and as it is a diluted form of the Hyaluronic Acid Serum (also from Timeless) it is also good for my skin. So bonus points. In all fairness even though I have only one more week on my official trial of the HA Spray, I will probably be using it until it runs out. And there is the possibility I will just replace it. I’m using the cucumber scented one now, but I think I might try the orange scented one next. It has the same properties just a different scent to it. While cucumber is nice and spa like, the orange might be a good ‘hello morning’ scent.

This week there was some excitement in the realm of foundation. I tried a sample of a foundation I forgot I had. My skin did not react so well with it. i got red and itchy. I’m not going to mention the name because I think the red and itchy was more my fault than the brand’s. I did a deep dive into their ingredients list and found nothing in the list that has troubled me before. So I suspect that I just kept it past it’s expiration date and paid the price. Considering I have no idea when or even where I picked up the sample, I’m going with user error on this one. It has produced in me the need for decluttering.

This weekend I will be going through and removing expired products and products that need to be passed on to someone else to use while they are still good. With my foundations, I will be arranging the ones I’m keeping. Those in open trial sizes will be used up first and then I will start rotating through the ones I have open, starting with the summer shades. I have a couple of unopened and untested products in my dressing table, but I think there are only two at the moment and both are winter shades and I know how old each of them is so I am not worried about waiting a few months. So for a while I will be using foundations I have previously tried, which means Thursday will feature a non-foundation post for a while. I’m sure I’ll find more things worth breaking out into a more fulsome review.

Speaking of products I’ve used before, with the foundation debacle, I ended up reaching for the Pretty Vulgar Lava Water Foundation. It is a beautiful bottle and the product inside works just as beautifully on the skin. I really enjoyed getting to use it again this week. even if I hadn’t expected to use it this week.

Pretty Vulgar Cruelty Free Makeup!

The eyeshadow palette this week was the Zoeva Caramel Melange palette and I really enjoyed it. The like will take you to the full review, but the color scheme was right up my alley and the pigments worked well for the way I like to wear them. It is a neutral palette but with enough variation that it wasn’t a boring neutrals palette. Which was very nice.

It did however affect my lipstick choice. While I was determined to use my Clarins Velvet Lip Perfector this week, the other neutral shades I chose to balance it out did not work with this shadow palette. I looked too blahly brown with this neutral palette if I went with a neutral lip. So I snuck my Yensa lip oil in Pink Shine and my Colourpop Disney Villains Evil Queen back for companions for the Clarins. The Yensa is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine as you can tell from the drop in the level of lip oil in the tube.

While the Evil Queen looks like it hasn’t been use much, that is because this is a replacement I purchased when I used up the first tube I bought. What can I say, I love a bold lip. The clarins has been patiently sitting in my makeup bag for two weeks waiting for it’s chance to shine. It simply didn’t go well with the other products. This week it did. The formula is smooth on the lips. Slightly too pink for my personal preferences but that is easily remedied when I wanted to mix. I think I expected more red from the tube color. It goes on smoothly.

The feel of it is a little strange. It is not quite a liquid lipstick and not quite a bullet lipstick in feel. It is like they took a bullet lipstick formula and added a little something to keep it from solidifying into a solid. If you like the precision of a liquid lipstick but prefer the formula of a bullet lipstick, this might be something you want to look into. It is very comfortable to wear but it does wear like a bullet lipstick. You will need to reapply it after eating. It is not like the Clarins Water Lip Stain that lasts for three days. This is not even going to get you through the whole work day. I will say it leaves less lip prints on things than traditional bullet lipsticks so it isn’t quite as messy on the coffee cup rim. Over all I really enjoyed it once I understood what the formula was giving me. It is strange, but it is a good kind of strange. I am often described the same way.

Under my Pretty Vulgar foundation this week I wore the Huda Beauty Complexion Perfection Pre-makeup base as my primer. It has a pump so it is easy to control how much is used. The product smells a bit like an unscented moisturizer and comes out creamy. I had my doubts about it being just a hydrating primer but when I applied it on my face, it melted into the skin so it was invisible and it was incredibly pore filling.

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It gave me a very smooth base on which to work. It is not sticky at all and it doesn’t have that silicon slide that some primers have. The finish on it isn’t matte, but it isn’t glowy or dewy either. It is like the product just says look you want matte look to your foundation and powder, you want glow look to your highlighter, I’m a primer. And that is what it is. It is a primer. It just creates a smooth base. I really liked it. I have respect for products that just do the job for which they were created without trying to add other tasks into the mix. And it does the job well. It created the nice smooth canvas and worked well with my foundation. It did it’s job and I will happily keep it in my dressing table to be used repeatedly in the future.

My powder this week was a repeat of the Becca Pink Haze. I really like the powder (although to be honest I mostly just forgot to change it out. I had no problem using it a second week in a row and will happily bring it out again in the future.

This week I used the Julep concealer. It is far too light a shade to be used as concealer with my current skin tone but it was a fantastic eyelid primer. Since I don’t have any major breakouts that weren’t covered by foundation, I was happy just to use this as my lid primer this week.

Julep, Korean Skincare Made Simple.

My eyeliners this week were two from Pixi and one from Milk. The milk is a light color I love using in my water line and will probably be a staple in my makeup bag for a while as it is one of my few light waterline eyeliners. I really enjoyed the Pixi eyeliners as well. They were creamy and applied smoothly. They faded a little throughout the day but they didn’t smear or run which I appreciated.

Brows saw a return of the Hourglass Pencil. Or maybe the keeping of the Hourglass brow pencil. Like the becca Powder Iforgot it was in there and when I reached in I grabbed it automatically. I like it and it does it’s job well. It has a nice fine point and a great color.

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Ciate London was the source of both my blush and mascara this week. The blush is one of my favorite formulas and I have used it before. I still love it, enjoyed using it and will use it again. It is the Marbled Light in Halo. The Mascara was one I hadn’t opened before. It is the Wonder wand Mascara and it was excellent.

It may even join my Bad Gal Bang and Marc Jacobs in the top of the Mimsy Mascara charts. The wand is thick and the lashes were quite nicely thickened and lengthened. I was very impressed. I have a second Ciate London Mascara that is currently unopened sitting in my dressing table. When I do my mascara purge I may have to open it as well and see if it is just as good. Unless it is the same one, in which case I will wait. It is a full sized one so fingers crossed.

My bronzer is still the Nars Laguna Bronxer. It is the sample size that I am committed to using up before I allow myself to purchase the full size. And I will be purchasing the full size which whould tell you how I feel about it.

The highlight was from Illamasqua and came in a Look Fantastic Box I believe. It is gold in tone and I love that I could make it as dramatic as I wanted. If applied with the finger t was an intense gold. If a brush was used it was a sort of golden glow, a kiss from the sun if you will. I was very pleased with it and will look forward to using it again.

The brush I used to apply it was the Fenty Beauty travel brush. The brush worked well but it was annoying having to pull the little metal lid up every time I snapped the lid on. I don’t know what the alternative is, but maybe a locking button. I pinched my finger once when i was in a bit of a rush.

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Finally the last of the tools. My 999 Master Blender Foundation brush was well used and still loved this week as is my Huda Beauty Makeup sponge. Alas I did not keep track of my shadow brushes. I will do better next week in figuring out which I used. This way not only will you know but I won’t have to stuff the jar so full and I’ll know which I use. The Context Powder brush was used again this week as you can tell from the pink bristles. It like all of my tools need to be cleaned tomorrow afternoon. Cleaning and purging are the min tasks for the weekend. But before the weekend, there is the rest of the workday, which I must now get to. Later I will rejoin you for the Friday Face mask, but for now, it is paperwork for me.


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The Make Up Bag: August 21st, 2020

The Makeup Bag used August 15-21, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty Vulgar Cruelty Free Makeup!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Studio 950 Oval Multipurpose Brush

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

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

Next Week’s Foundation

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

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


The Make Up Bag: July 17, 2020

The Make up Bag Used the week of July 11th – 17th

This week started out rough in my makeup bag.  The first component in it was a trial sized Foundation sample of Pur’s 4-in-1 Love your Selfie Foundation and Concealer.  I did not like it in the slightest.  The link will take you to the full review should you wish to check it out, but in short wearing it made my skin look worse than not wearing it.

Which is kind of the opposite effect you want your makeup to have. Or at least for me it is.

While I hate wasting product, the remaining product in this little tube is going to the trash. I tried every which way I could think of to make it work, but it is not for me.

The primer I tried with it, didn’t help.  This week’s primer was the Blur Drop Primer by Kaja.  I have never tried anything from the brand before and this was not an encouraging sign. 

Primer

The primer is clear, which isn’t actually a problem with me. Several of my favorite primers are clear. This one however was thinner than any of the others I’ve tried and didn’t really blur or fill anything. 

It was slick with no hint of stickiness so it had no real makeup gripping capabilities.  When I put makeup over it, the products all ended up looking patchy. In addition, it has a surprising perfume sort of fragrance to it which I didn’t really care for. It was a bit cloying and I’m not really sure fragrance needs to be added to a primer in general.

Since I had several newer products in my makeup bag this week, I went back to my dressing table and played with some tried and true products to see what was causing the issues. After all I would hate to unfairly blame the primer.

But it was the primer. 

I ended up rotating it back out and just going with the Pore Professional by Benefit this week since I just got so frustrated with the Kaja primer. Also because I was equally frustrated with the Pur Foundation, I brought back the NYX Bare with me tinted skin veil to replace it. Benefit and NYX worked where Pur and Kaja did not. At least for me.

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My eyeshadow palette this week was from Storybook Cosmetics Fairy Tales line.  It is the Briar Rose Palette.  As I previously wrote a review of it and after checking it, found my thoughts hadn’t really changed, I let the review stand. 

I will say that when last I reached for this palette, the weather was cooler and the season was different.  I was wondering what a change in season would do to my appreciation of the palette and I have to say, it really just made me choose different colors. 

I found myself using the lighter shades more than the deeper ones (where as before Grimm and Beauty were my natural draws.) Thorn was actually a good all over the lid shade for a quick look. I really liked it. It is a very wearable palette.  While the book format is cute, it does take up a lot of space.  It is a good palette though and space hog or not, I will be reaching for it again.

This week I kept the Ciate Loose setting powder in Everyday Vacay around for another week. The jar is getting low so I am trying to use it up.  I know I have a powder to give a try next week so I will be swapping it out, but I really would like to use this up so it will be returning.  It’s a great product so it isn’t a hardship.

The pressed powder was a new one to me.  It was the Jouer Pressed Mineral powder.  It is a nice powder.  It blends well into the skin and didn’t look powdery or cakey. It was really good when midday shine appeared in the t-zone. 

This powder was very good at dealing with the shine through without making my skin feel as though I was just loading it down with powder.  It is a small, sleek design and I could easily see myself adding this to the small makeup bag in my purse for the sole purpose of mid-day mattifying.

The I heart Revolution Fixing Spray remained in my bag this week and slowly but surely I am using it up. I can’t remember when I bought it but it continues to work well and smell nice.  I’m not certain how long fixing sprays last or if they have an expiration date but since it is one of the oldest items in my dressing table I’m going to work on using it up and clearing it out.

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This week also saw the return of the Wet’n wild ultimate brow kit, which I Pared with the billion dollar brows Duo Highlight and contour stick.  I still like the wet ‘n wild powders and despise the cream highlighter that comes with the brow kit. 

I still like the bdb highlighter while hating the brow pencil that came with that kit. Si the great powders with the good highlight are a good combination. Looking over my collection, I realized I might actually have almost enough wet ‘n wild products to do a full face with the brand.  (the same can also be said about a few other brands) so I may have a few brand only weeks coming up.  I just need to fill in a few of the gaps before I do.

Until then, I still enjoy the wet ‘n wild brow powder.

I had two more returning products this week.  One was the Eyeko London FAT Liquid Eyeliner in black.  I love Eyeko liners.  I have had the regular ones, the skinny ones and the fat ones.  They all glide on smoothly and stay in place all day.  I have not had any problems with them smearing or fading throughout the day.  They don’t seep into fine lines either, which is a trait that should always be encouraged in a liquid eyeliner.

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Another long term favorite returned this week and that was the Kevyn Aucoin The Expert mascara.  It always makes my lashes longer and more defined.  It doesn’t flake or smear and it stays in place all day. And in this heat, having something that won’t run when it hits the summer sun is a fantastic product.  That being said, this morning I picked it up and thought it felt a little light. 

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I scanned back through my weekly makeup bags and realized that I have been rotating this mascara in a lot in the past couple of months.  I may have to add in a new mascara just to give it a bit of a rest. I will be very sad when it is time to pass this mascara on.

This week I had two band new to me products from Julep.  The first was the So Radiant Diamond Bronzer in medium First off I have to say I really like the packaging.  It is a nice heavy plastic with a mirror inside.  

The way it opens means the mirror stays open and is easy to use as well so it is a useful mirror. I had an interesting time with this product.  The first thing I did was to do a finger swatch on my arm to see how pigmented it was. 

The swatch barely showed up on my skin. You could tell there was powder but no pigment.  I was a little disappointed but I figured I’d push on.  So I took brush to pan and hoped for the best. 

I will say, I did not use a light hand because I saw the swatch.  Yeah, it doesn’t swatch very pigmented with a finger, but the brush picked up a whole lot.  It was really dark on my skin.  So I washed my face and started again. This time, I picked up my usual amount of pigment with the brush instead of trying to compensate for the swatch with a heavy hand. 

It applied well and blended easily into the skin.  It was comfortable to wear and lasted all day.  The bronzer worked well with my skin tone although I think I might have to go a shade lighter in the winter time.  I really liked the bronzer.  It also reaffirmed the lessons I was given when I was first learning to apply makeup.  Start light and build.  To that I would add, don’t trust the swatch.

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Also from Julep in a smaller but no less sleek and functional package was the blush I used this week. It is a pore minimizing blush in the shade Rosewood. Like the bronzer, it did not swatch well, but having learned my lesson with the bronzer, I started off light and built my look. 

This may be one of my favorite blushes.  I dipped in lightly and got color that I could either sheer out or build up to a depth I wanted.  I can’t say I noticed much in the way of pore blurring but it didn’t give me added texture so I was fine with it, especially as the color was fantastic on me. It blended like a dream and stayed all day. 

Paired with the bronzer it was a winning combination for me this week.  Again for the fall I might have to get a shade lighter in the blush, but that’s okay.  I don’t mind having multiples of this formula around at all. Both Julep products will be staying in rotation in my dressing table and will more than likely make frequent appearances in my makeup bag in the weeks to come.  I suspect I will end up ordering more products from Julep soon. In case you are interested, they are having a mega Summer clearance sale. I’ve linked it above. Not only are the prices discounted but you get an extra code on top of the discount. I’ll be looking into that this afternoon. I suspect their items will sell out quickly.

This week I also tried the Iconic London illuminator.  The only thing I’ve actually used from Iconic was a setting spray.  I really liked the setting spray. 

Liquid highlighters aren’t generally what I gravitate towards as I tend to over do it with product placement.  With this dropper though, I found it very easy to add just a little bit of product to my face.  I could use the rounded end of the dropper to just place a dot or two and then blend it in. 

In all fairness, I have to admit, I didn’t think I would like this product.  I ended up really liking it.  The gold tones of the highlighter blended well with my skin and I could easily decide how much or how little I wanted to apply.  It could be blinding or it could be subtle.  I liked that I got to choose.

I don’t think I would like the other shades of this product.  I think the reason I liked the gold so much is that the gold tones really did blend in well with my skin. I also think that this bottle will last me a really long time.  For a good daily look I only needed one drop per cheek which I blended for a good casual look.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and pleased to keep this in my collection.

For my three lip products I chose two of my long term favorites and one liquid lip I forgot I had.  The Thrive Causemetics lip gloss in Ashley is one of my go to lip glosses.  I really like the formula and will use it until every last drop is gone.

Also in my favorites is a Nars liquid lip in the shade Paradise Garage.  It is one of my go to nude liquid lips.  I love the Nars formula.  It gets dry but it never dries down all the way so your lips never feel desiccated. 

It dries down just enough that you don’t leave glaringly obvious lip prints everywhere (although it takes a few minutes).  You do leave a few little smudges but not many, especially with the lighter shades.  With this formula the darker the shade the less it seems to dry down. At least in my experience.  I haven’t actually tried every shade.

(Top to Bottom): Paradise Garage from NARS, Thrive Causemetics Lip gloss in Ashley, and Stila in Rubino: and yes I swatched the gloss to show it isn’t as glittery as it looks in the tube. It does have some shimmer though.

Finally, I used the Stila Stay all day liquid lip in the shade Rubino.  It is a deep red shade.  When you apply it the first thing you have to do is make sure it doesn’t get on your teeth.  Somehow my first application always does. 

Then check your outlines on your lips and make sure it is exactly where you want it. Then blot to remove excess product (because this one always seems to leave a little excess product.  Check your lines (and teeth) again and then let it dry. 

Once it dries, it is going nowhere. In fact the next day you will still have a little reddish tinge to your lips no matter what form of makeup remover you use.  Lip scrubs help, but  unless you completely scrub off a layer of lip, the ghost of the shade will remain the following day.

It isn’t bad though.  I hid it under the Nars nude the next day with no problems.  Just be aware they aren’t joking when they say stay all day. It dries down really well, but after it dries down, I tend to forget I’m wearing it.  It is quite comfortable to wear and I didn’t have any problems with over drying of my lips.  This is one of those products I need to remember I have more often so I wear it instead of shoving it into a drawer and forgetting. Stila is one of those brands for me in general though. For a long time I had a lot of Stila products and then I just sort of stopped buying them. I can’t remember why though. And I did really like this lip.

So that was this week’s makeup bag for me.  There were some old favorites, and some new trials.  There were some clear and often surprising winners from the new, several of which will remain in my dressing table.  There were also a few new products that I now know to steer clear of in the future.

In my book it is often just as important to know what to scratch off the possible purchase list as it is to add more items to it. All in all, a fun and educational week for me.  I hope next week is just as much fun, although I could really do with a less problematic foundation in the next week. Because my Vanity Collection Came in from Kristopher Buckle yesterday, it features heavily in next week’s makeup bag. So if you’ve ever wondered about the brand, or have never heard of them, stay tuned.

I’ll see everyone back here this afternoon for the Friday Face Mask. Until then have an excellent Friday.




The Make Up Bag: June 26th, 2020

The Make up Bag used June 20-26th, 2020

This week’s bag was a pretty good selection of products I’ve used before and ones I hadn’t.  There were even a couple of things I liked, but hadn’t used in a while because I forgot I had them products.  I’m very glad some of them made it out of the drawer this week.

First up was the Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream with SPF 30.  I used this as my foundation this week.  I layered it on top of my SPF 50 Volition Sunscreen all week so I felt extra protected. I really enjoyed this and even though I do have an unopened full size in the dressing table, I went for the sample size.  This week I ended up using about half of the sample tube and I liked it enough to just keep the Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream out for another week so I can use the trial size up completely.

So next week there will be no foundation reviews since it is a repeat.  However at the bottom of this post I will be listing next week’s products. If there is something in there you’d like to see a more in depth review of with an individual post instead, let me know. (of course if there are products from other weeks you want more information on you can let me know that too. There will be more repeat weeks with foundation as I try to use up my summer shades.)

The AutoBalm Pic Perf Shadow palette provided my eyeshadow this week and the review was a bit rocky.  It surprised me because I really like The Balms shadows.  I anticipated loving this which is why I chose it after my not so great palette last week. But it was not my favorite.  The palette was really hard to open and while the mattes were great the color selection was not. The above link is to my full review of the palette.

There were two repeats in my make up bag this week.  The first was the Laura Geller Spackle Mist Restore Coconut water.  I really love the spray on this product.  It really is a fine mist that doesn’t splotch out on to your face.  It also smells like coconut water instead of coconut candy which I appreciate. Oh yeah, it also works really well at setting my makeup. It is staying around for a third week.

The second repeat is also staying around and that is the Brow Contour Pro from Benefit. It will actually be in my bag until I use it up.  While all of the products in it are good, I really prefer the individual products.  However all of the products are growing on me.  Benefit is my go-to for brow products but I tend to limit myself to the pencil.  I recently found out I like powder brow products so I might try that as well from Benefit.  I also am really liking the Highlighter in this multi-product brow pen. 

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I think I would actually purchase it separately as well. I’m, holding off repurchasing my favorite  Precisely my Brow pencil from Benefit until this is gone, but I suspect I will be ordering several products when I do place an order.  I know they are running a sale right now so it is hard to resist reordering, but I know once I do, I won’t use this pen and I don’t want to waste product. I wouldn’t purchase this item again, but I would purchase all of the products encased in it separately.

This week’s primer was an old favorite that I recently repurchased.  It is the No Pore blem Primer from touch in Sol.  It is weightless on the skin, blends in like a dream and leaves my skin feeling like silk. I like the slight pink tone as it doesn’t add darkness to my skin. It actually disappears and covers all my pores. It is excellent if you are doing a light makeup look.

I had two powders this week.  One loose and one pressed.  The loose powder was the Becca Pink Haze.  It is hands down one of my favorite Becca Products and once of my favorite loose powders.  It looks really pink in the jar.  Like scary pink.  It isn’t that pink on the skin. 

It just gives a light healthy looking glow to the skin.  It is one of my favorite summertime products because I can just use primer and the Becca Pink Haze as a super quick makeup look.  Because it gives a light flush I don’t need any other face products.  If you just want to look a little livelier when running to the grocery store, the primer and Pink Haze are a good combo.  Put the powder on when the primer is still moist and not set and it locks the powder in place so it doesn’t get all over your mask. Then just hit it with some mascara and boom, you are out of the door.

The second powder I used was the Zeesea pressed powder from the British Museum Collection. (Incidentally, I do have a coupon code for Zeesea products its MSMIMSY for 10% off if anyone is interested in checking them out.) I’ll admit, I bought it for the packaging. The packaging is gorgeous. I figured that even if I ended up not liking the product then I could just use it as a compact in my purse since it has such a nice mirror.  It turns out the powder is pretty good.  Having liked it so much I went back, thinking that since the eyeshadow palette was equally pretty I might try their formula, but I think The British Museum Collection has been discontinued.

I’m going to keep looking and I really hope they bring it back (seriously they had lipsticks carved with hieroglyphics too and I am kicking myself for not picking one up immediately).  They do have A Picasso themed collection that looks equally beautiful though and a nature themed one as well.  So I may branch out.  I’ve only tried their powder, which is a really good pressed powder, but all their packaging is stunning. 

But we must move on.

Specifically to the Shaina B Miami blush and highlighter palette. There are four products.  I liked the blush in the shade Brickell.  It was a nice blush.  Very pigmented so even a light tap with a brush put a lot of pigment on the skin. I used my fabulous looking pressed powder to tone down the blush most of the week.  I didn’t care for any other product in the palette. 

Rosa was still highly pigmented, just not my shade and I really didn’t get on with the highlighters.  You can apply them and they look highly pigmented but f you touch them in an attempt to blend, they disappear. I was not a fan.  I will be passing this palette on to a friend of mine after sanitizing it, but it will not be staying in my makeup rotation.

One thing that will be staying in my makeup rotation is the sample sized Nars bronzer in the shade Laguna.  It was fantasticly pigmented and super easy to blend.  As it is a small sample it generally falls to the bottom of the drawer.  It’s dark packaging conceals it from view.  I need to find some place to put it where I will use it.  Partially because I really like it and partially because I refuse to buy the full size until I’ve used up the sample. And I really want to buy the full size.  I loved the way I could go either super low key by blending it out or go super dramatic if I felt like it.  It is a very versatile bronzer I really like having around.

Returning from the dressing table this week was the Elf Camo Concealer. It is an excellent concealer. However, I was interrupted one morning as I was getting ready (My neighbor has a large tree that is apparently rotting and it chose this week to split down the middle and slam a large section of tree across the road in a very dramatic way.  It was pretty early so I got to see a lot of my neighbor’s pajamas and dressing gowns.  It was an event.) In all the fuss my concealer was left open and I didn’t notice it until the following morning.  It is now unusable.  My one consolation is that there wasn’t a lot of product left in it and it was getting kind of old.  So it is being transferred to the empties bin and at some point will be repurchased.

The mascara in this week’s makeup bag was the Rimmel Scandaleyes Wow Wings.  I really like the winged shape of the brush as it lets me flair out the lashes on the outside coroners better.  It needs two coats to look its best.  However you should really let one coat settle before applying the second.  If you don’t it tends to get a little clumpy.  So if you apply, then move on to lips, then return for a second coat all is fine. The mascara stayed on me all day with no flaking and I really liked it.  It was a mess when I tried to use it for my lower lashes.  The winged brush is fantastic for upper lashes, not so great for lower lashes.  Still it is a nice product and I am happy to keep it around. 

While we are talking about eyes, This week I used the Maybelline Master precise ink liner.  I thought it was black when I picked it up.  It is a gunmetal metallic.  That came as a bit of a surprise the first morning I used it. Color aside though, this is a fantastic liner.  It is as precise as its name implies, it doesn’t seep into the fine lines of my eyelids and once in place it stays there until I take it off.  I may have to look into other colors of this because it was a surprisingly good product. 

Finally my darlings we reach the lips.  My gloss this week was the So Juicy Plumping gloss from Colourpop. Usually I apply it to my lips before going out then once it has done it’s plumping wonders I remove it and put on whatever product I am wearing out of the house.  This week, I just used it as my gloss and my lips looked nice and juicy.  It is a little on the sticky side, but still nice to wear.  Especially as I wore it over the Il Makiage lip pencil in the shade Vintage.  The lip liner gives fabulous color for a your lips but better look but when worn on its own s really drying on the lips, it is after all a liner not a lipstick. With the Colourpop over it I really enjoyed it and didn’t feel like my lips were too dry.  So that was definitely a good combo for me.  Although I really need to relocate my pencil sharpener to the makeup bag so I don’t have to start an impromptu morning search.

Also in this week’s bag was a set of mini lip glazes from TreStique. There are four of them and they are a sheer wash of color ranging from light pink to the darker English rose.  This set seems tailor made for summer. They feel like a really good lip balm when you apply them to your lips.  They aren’t greasy or heavy at all and I tended to forget I was wearing them.  Don’t expect high pigment, because that is not their lane.  They are a light wash of pigment and they stick to that lane of traffic all the way. I think I might keep one of them in the makeup bag next week but not all four.  That way I still have one to use as a light tint but I am still giving other products a chance.

And that was this week’s makeup bag, the good, the not so great and the utterly fabulous.

Next week will see the return of the Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream, the Laura Geller Spackle Mist, the Benefit brow contour pro and one of the TreStique lip glazes. I think I am going to be bringing back the Pink Haze from Becca as well.

Joining these items will be the Tarteist Pro Palette, the Too Faced Cocoa Contour palette,two Bodyography lip liners,  a sugar coat liquid lipstick, a TreStique concealer, Porefessional pearl primer, and a Ciate Marbled light blush. Returning from the dressing table will be the wet ‘n wild liquid megaliner and the Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara. Personally, I think that sounds like a fun mix. Have a good Friday and I’ll see you back here for the Friday face Mask this afternoon.


The Make Up Bag: May 29th, 2020

The Makeup Bag used for the week of May 22-28th, 2020

This week I learned a very valuable lesson with my makeup bag plan.  The lesson was, I chose too small a makeup bag and then tended to forget things.  Luckily, I wasn’t packing for travel and the items I forgot weren’t too far away, but I still had to go back and forth for a few things.  I’m going to try to get better this week. But first lets cover the products I used throughout this week and the thoughts I had on them.

The Foundation was Becca Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation and the Eyeshadow palette was the Huda Beauty Topaz Obsessions palette.  Thursday I posted reviews on each of those separately so I’ve linked them here to keep this post from being a mile long.

now, alas empty

I had a couple of repeats on products.  The first was the Peter Thomas Roth Skin to Die for Primer.

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It was a trial sized tube and I wanted to finish it out instead of putting the half-finished tube back in the drawer.  The travel size is now empty and will be put in my empties bin.  However I enjoyed the product just as much the second week as I did the first and will be picking up a full sized version when next I place an order with Peter Thomas Roth.  It was a very good primer that made my skin feel like silk and helped all of the make up that went on top of it apply evenly. I picked it up on a whim and am now a big fan.

The second repeat this week was the Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder.  This is an excellent pressed powder from the drugstore and more of the pan is now showing.  It will be returning to my makeup bag this week  and will remain until it is all gone.  Then I will test out a different powder (maybe pressed, maybe loose, I love both so we’ll see when the time comes).  I’m hoping one to two more weeks of use will use it up completely. Then I will start rotating powders again.  I am just so close to finishing this out that I don’t want to put it back in the drawer again.

The third repeat this week was the Farsali Rose Gold Setting Mist.  To be honest, I enjoy it because it is pretty, not because it is an excellent product.  It is okay but the mister is a bit aggressive and occasionally splotchy.  I think I am going to rotate it out this week for another setting spray and then come back to this one when I can say ‘Oh I forgot how pretty that was,’ instead of thinking about the mister. So back to the dressing table it goes. Occasionally it will be shaken, like a makeup themed snow globe, but I will use another setting spray this week.

This week as my bronzer I actually used the Hi Fi Filter contouring compact from Marc Jacobs.  Because of Its shape and size it often gets placed in the bottom of the drawer and forgotten. At the moment I am not really doing a lot of contouring, but the darker shade in the pair works well for me as a light bronzer so I decided to use it.  Just because a product claims to be for one thing, doesn’t mean you can’t use it for something else. And I love the product. 

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I enjoyed using it as a bronzer this week.  I like the product and I love the way the compact feels in my hand.  The darker shade is slowly wearing down and when it does I will replace it with an actual bronzer from Marc Jacobs. But I enjoyed using what I had this week. And the lighter shade came in handy as well, as you shall soon see.

Next up we have the Ofra blush that was a collaboration with Madison Miller in the shade  Ollie Need is Love.  It is an aggressively pigmented blush.   I was always amazed at how much pigment I got from such a small dip into the pan.  I also used the lighter shade in the March Jacobs compact to help blend it out so it wasn’t as aggressive a pink. 

I was always amazed by the powder fall out as well that was produced by such a small tap.  I felt like I scattered a lot of product over my sink.  While I have used and loved Ofra Highlighters before, this was my first blush from them.  While I will continue to keep it in rotation, I am not entirely certain I am a fan of the fall out.  I do like the shade, the pigmentation and the bendability though.  Just not a fan of the pink dusted sink. I might try a blush from them in their regular line to see if this is common or just with the Madison Miller ones.

My highlighter this week was a cream one from Flesh in the shade Twitch.  I was a bit hesitant about the cream highlight as I felt I might be adding stripes of gold warpaint to my face, but I really ended up liking it. 

I generally found I needed to warm the product up on the back of my hand before using it on my face, but once I did it worked well.  The gold is a subtle glimmer and shine.  You won’t be blinding anyone with it, but then I really am not a fan of the blinding white stripes of highlighter. 

I’m also not a fan of highlighter on the end of the nose because no matter what the color of highlight my brain automatically starts singing the Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer song. But that is a personal issue.

I liked this cream Highlighter very much and will keep it in rotation, even if I had to wash my hand after applying it.  I already had to wash off the foundation and everyone knows its not the only time I wash my hands throughout the day. Once more doesn’t hurt.

The concealer I used this week was the Instant Age Rewind Eraser from Maybelline. I love the formula, but I have to say I’m not a huge fan of the spongy end. The texture of it is starting to feel a little squidgy to me.

I’ve used it enough that I can’t tell when I’ve twisted too little or too much product up until I go to use it.  So I twist and then dot my hand with it to check.  This method works and I am willing to continue, because I really like the formula of the concealer.  It is one of my favorite formulas actually, I just don’t like that sponge.

For mascara I went with the Feathers from Pretty Vulgar.  It is a great lengthening mascara and A very pretty packaging.  I have to say I had this on when working in the garden this week and even when I was sweating like crazy, this mascara didn’t run.  So I was very pleased with it. 

I’ll admit I did buy it for the packaging and figured even if I didn’t like it, I could use it as a decorative element.  I am both surprised and pleased that I really like the formula.  I’m not sure that rewarding my shallow side is a good idea, but this time it worked out for me.

For eyeliner I used the Eyeko Fat liquid eyeliner in black this week.  I think I might have used it last week as well.  I will be trading it out this week though.  It is a great eyeliner and one that I will consistently repurchase.

For my brows I used the Brow contour Pro from Benefit.  It is an interesting product.  I like having all of the options on the pen like product but I am finding the light brown, which is the one I use the most, is very quickly running out.  I love the formula, but I think when I finish out this pen I will be going back to my Precisely My Brow. 

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It is also from Benefit and is my go to brow liner. I am currently out of it, sadly and will need to reorder. I swear when I look at my dressing table there are products galore, but there are just a few categories where I always feel like I am constantly running out.  Brow pencils seem to be one of those categories. 

I’m beginning to think gremlins sneak into the house in the middle of the night and make off with my prow pencils.  I know I buy them, but I can never seem to find them.  Admittedly my bangs have gotten a bit long at the moment so it is sometimes hard to see my brows. But that isn’t the point.  The point is the rampant gremlin eyebrow pencil theft.

Nars: Wild Night

Finally we move on to the lips.  This week there were two products.  One was the Nars Powermatte lip paint in the shade Wild Night.  It is a purple/ mauve shade that I really like. 

I really like the Nars lip formulas in general as they don’t dry down completely so your lips don’t feel like they are going to crack off of your face.  Once you apply them, wait for about five minutes before drinking anything though. 

If you wait five minutes there will be a little lip print but not massive smears.  It doesn’t dry completely but it dries enough not to be a total disaster. 

The color of Wild Night, is intense.  I like it but there were a couple of days where I needed a bit of a break.  So I tried the Ciate Watermellon lip oil.  It is a really nice lip oil that made my lips look nice and juicy.  It also tastes vaguely watermelon-y.  It was also a great product to apply after a lip scrub.

So that was this week’s products.  I’m happy to say that other than the one now empty tube of primer, all of the products will be staying in my makeup rotation. It was a really good make up week for me. I love when I make good choices.  I will be repurchasing the primer, but not the brow Contour.  I will go back to my favorite Benefit product with my next brow purchase. I just need to foil the thieving gremlins first.

So that leads us to the products for next week.  I’ll keep it short since this was already a long post.

Next week I will be using a Nars foundation, a Too Faced Bronzer, Benefit Blush, Steve Laurent Highlighter, NYX Primer, wet and Wild Brow Kit (gremlins not included), ELF Concealer, Smashbox and Bite lipsticks, Skone eyeliner, Doucce mascara, Revolution Setting spray, and the BoxyCharm Hello Charmer eyeshadow palette.  There will also be a return of the Ciate Lip oil and the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder.

I think that will provide a nice mix for the upcoming week.  It features several tried and true products as well as a couple I have never tried. I’m looking forward to using them and reporting back next week.  Have a good Friday everyone and I’ll be back this afternoon for the Friday Face Mask.


RoseWe

NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick Review

NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick

In the quest for a traveling foundation, I tested two crème compacts and two stick foundations.  For each, I chose one drug store/affordable option and one that was more high end, or at least more expensive.  In the battle of the compacts, Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin compact (retail $10.99) beat IT cosmetics Confidence in a Compact (retail $38) by a rather large margin. This gave me high hopes for the second round where I tested Revolution’s Stick Foundation (retail $9) against the NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick (retail $45).  After all, Revolution performed well with only a slight heaviness to the skin. It could be a contender.

So let’s get to the round shall we?

This is what it looks like with both end caps off, product on one side and blurring sponge on the other.

First, the basics.  The NARS Velvet Matte Foundation stick does retail for $45 which is not a price to sneeze at. It is billed as medium, buildable coverage, oil and fragrance free, for all skin types and long wearing. It is also slightly larger than the Revolution product.  While the Revolution foundation stick weighs in at .21 ounces, NARS comes in at 0.31 ounces.  Not a huge difference, but with a $45 price tag a little extra product isn’t a bad thing.

The hype according to the website:

Introducing the first foundation stick with a built-in, removable Touch-Up Blender designed exclusively to be used with the Velvet Matte Foundation Stick. This all-in-one pro tool and foundation stick can be used for all-over coverage or touch-ups on-the-go. Its soft-matte finish and creamy, blendable texture layer easily for medium-buildable coverage. It can be applied multiple ways: with fingertips, directly from the stick or with the removable Touch-Up Blender, to create various effects.

Freshly scrubbed face

First, I found the touch up blender to be pointless. It was hard and not easy for me to work with.  I found it much easier to apply the foundation with the stick, then use my foundation brush.  Typically I use my brush and then if I notice any streaks I use my beauty blender to do a final smooth out. Personally, I would prefer they remove the sponge and add more product, but I am not in charge of marketing. And I’m sure the sponge came from the brain of someone in marketing.

So to the application. First off, it glided on smoothly and I was pleased to see I did not need that much product to cover my face. It fairly melted into the skin but did not emphasize any of the fine lines around my eyes and mouth. It was also so light weight that once on it felt like I was wearing nothing at all. Everything I applied after sat well on top of the foundation.

just the foundation on my skin. Even without any form of concealer the red spot on my chin is mostly covered.

I’ll admit I wasn’t feeling like my usual neutral self so instead of reaching for my more subtle lipsticks I decided to pick up one of my NARS lipsticks to go with the foundation.  It’s called Kirat in case anyone is wondering. And quite frankly anytime I put it on I am transported back in time to my non-responsible adult self.  I’m not certain if lipstick can be classified as a time machine, but this one might as well get that designation. It makes me ditch the traffic and weather reports and sing along loudly to older play lists while tapping the steering wheel instead.

Full face, prior to fixing hair and getting dressed. I wasn’t exactly feeling neutral lips today.

But this is not about the lipstick, or my slightly warped past.

Nope, it is about foundation.

Oh there is one thing I need to add.  I have been careful to use the same face products each time I test one of these foundations as a way to help control some of the variables. There is one thing I forgot to do with this foundation though.  While I used the same primer and face powders, this time I forgot the setting spray.  I used it on all of the others, but was several miles down the road before I realized I had not added it that morning. It is just a little extra insurance for the makeup to stick around, but shouldn’t affect the application.

Turns out, I didn’t need the insurance.

End of the day Foundation still in place, but alas lipstick faded to a much tamer tone. And I forgot to remove my reading glasses.

In the eight and a half hours I was running around throughout my day, it stayed put. I moved through air conditioned offices to a picnic table in the park and even had to walk a few blocks downtown to get from one meeting to another. When I returned home, my foundation was in place. It had not worn down into my fine lines and there were no oily spots showing in my T-zone.  Which is good because I didn’t actually have time to stop and check to see if I needed a powder blot mid-day. In fact, I forgot completely that I was wearing it.

Of the four travel friendly foundations that I tried, the NARS velvet Matte Foundation stick is my absolute favorite. To be honest, I think I actually like it better than the liquid foundation I’ve been using. The price tag is a little steep, but I actually think the product is worth its price tag.  Will I be looking out for sales? Oh yes. This is one of those products I will use and when it is used up I will use my second favorite until a sale comes along.  Then I will stock up.

So to the rankings.

NARS beat Revolution in the stick foundation trial and Neutrogena beat IT cosmetics in the crème compact trial. If I put all four of them in the travel friendly foundation competition I would have to say, NARS is first place, Neutrogena second, Revolution running a close third to Neutrogena and IT cosmetics Confidence in a Compact not only fourth place, but not even earning an honorable mention.

I have to say that while I am okay with a higher priced product taking first place, I am really glad that second place went to an affordably priced option. Actually, I’m glad third place did too. I like having something I can use even if I can’t afford to replace the luxury brand every time it starts to run low. But trust me, I will be marking when those sales come up. Whether it is a site sale for the NARS brand or the Sephora annual spring sale, it is on my list. NARS, I’ve got my eye on you.