The Empties: November and December 2020

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

The products all laid out

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marcelle Golden Glow CC Cream and Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Derma E toner and Georgette Klinger Collagen and Elastin Mask

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

Sulwhasoo serum, Whsh Botanical Primer and Goldfaden Needleless Serum

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

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

Elemis Pro-collagen marine Cream and Tatcha Deep Cleanse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Makeup Bag: November 6th

The Makeup Bag Used October 31st – November 6th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does in Stone on top and Perricone, MD below

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Make Up Bag: October 23rd, 2020

The Make Up Bag used the week of October 17th – 23rd

We had some highs and lows this week let me tell you.  The Kosas Tinted Face oil was a high.  It was a beautiful foundation that I am happy to have around.  I really enjoyed using it and will definately be repurchasing it.

The low of course was the very frustrating Illuminati X ISA shadow palette.  Oh, it gave me such angst.  The best over all description I can give is patchy.  No, actually that has to be capitalized because it was so bad it needs to be yelled. It was PATCHY.

Sorry for raising my voice, but I wanted to make sure those of you in the back row heard me. For details you can click on the link to read the full break out review.  As this palette caused me to waste a lot of time this week, I am not going to talk about it any more.

The primer I used this week was the Yensa Tone Up Primer Essential Glow.  I love this primer.  I think this is either the second or third tube of this I have purchased and at the moment I think I have about a week or two’s worth of product left in the current tube.  I might keep it around a second week and see if I can use it up. 

It is sort of bittersweet to use this one up.  Because I have quite a few open primers at the moment (I adore primers, as most of you well know.) I am trying not to just automatically repurchase products when I empty them. So even though this has been a staple for a while, and I will put it on my list of products to buy again, I am going to have to wait a bit before it makes an appearance in my dressing table again.

This week I added the Maybelline Instant Age rewind to my make up bag, but didn’t actually use it as concealler.  I slept tolerably well this week and my allergies are gone because the ragweed has finally withered away so I didn’t feel that I needed it.  Plus, the Kosas foundation was excellent. But it is a good concealer.  This week it was also used as an eyeshadow primer.  Admittedly so was every other primer and concealer I had in my collection as I tried to get the eyeshadow palette to work. But I do like the Age rewind concealer and will no doubt be using it again.

My bronzer this week was the Too Faced Chocolate Soliel.  I like the bronzer and the packaging is fantastic.  What can I say, I am a sucker for a good compact.

Speaking of which I also used the Zeesea pressed powder this week. It is a decent powder, works well and does what it is supposed to.  It isn’t a spectacular product, but the packaging is really nice.  I love their British Museum Collection and will probably end up picking up more from them at some point. 

They also just released an Alice in Wonderland Themed set. It looks absolutely stunning.  Zeesea is one of those brands where the product is good, but not excellent but the packaging is collectable. It is also interesting as to what they have up on their website ant any given time. sometimes you can find what you want and other times entire collections disappear only to reappear a few months later. right now they are all about Halloween so very few of their collections are available. Which is kind of a bummer as they have a sale going on. To be honest, once this powder runs out, I’m going to pry out the empty pan, find another product that fits and just keep reusing the compact. 

This week I had two Natasha Denona products in my makeup bag. I intended to have only one.  The one I planned to use was the Bloom Blush and Glow Palette. I love the darker cream blush. I thought I could use the cream blushes and the Glow section as a highlighter. While I loved using the blushes and in fact forgot how much I actually liked using cream blush in general (Note to self: I really need to pick up more cream blush) I was not terribly enthused by the glow section of the palette.  I think part of that may be my skin tone.  When I applied it, the product just sort of blended into nothing on my skin. I think if I was lighter or darker it might work better.  As it is, the glow did not get me. 

However, I have a Glow powder from Natasha Denona.  I never reach for it because I don’t really do much in the way of body shimmer.  Admittedly, that could make my work out gear more spectacular. So I tend to forget that it is in my make up drawer.  This week I pulled it out and used it as my highlighter.  It is a nice subtle glow that really worked well for me this week.  I absolutely loved it. And I need to remember to reach for it more often.

Wet ‘n Wild remained in my makeup bag this week with the Brow Kit and the eyeliner.  The liquid liner is almost completely out now and I am keeping it in this coming week to finish it out. 

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I will be grabbing a second eyeliner in addition to the wet ‘n wild though as I think there are only a couple of days worth of product left in the tube. 

I added a brown eyeliner to the bag this week.  It was from Pretty Vulgar and has a gel like consistency.  It is one of those liners that lasts all day without smudging or fading and won’t budge unless you use a makeup remover.  It was excellent.  (FYI Pretty Vulgar is still having a sale featuring one of my favorite mascaras, the Feathers, if you are looking to stock up. It runs through the end of the month).

Pretty Vulgar Cosmetics

My loose setting powder was the Pacifica Cherry Velvet loose translucent powder.  I went through an entire one of these and picked up a replacement.  I decided this week was the week I wanted to break out the replacement. I enjoyed using it just as much as I did the first container. I have the feeling it will be used and then repurchased again and again.

Also something that will be used and repurchased, the setting spray, Timeless Skincare HA Spray to be exact.  Still using and still love. What more needs to be said?

The mascara was new this week.  I cleared out a lot of my older opened mascara so I was able to open one of the never been tried before ones.  This is the Lengthening Organic Mascara from Harvest that came in a Petit Vour box. 

Petit Vour

I’ll be honest, it isn’t my favorite mascara.  It has an odd smell to it that I can’t identify. I know it is some sort of oil and that it is supposed to smell like that, the product hasn’t gone bad. I just don’t like it. And to be fair it does a good job of lengthening the lashes.  But it tends to flake and by mid afternoon it looked as though I hadn’t applied any mascara at all.  I was not a fan.  I’m glad it is only a travel size because I don’t think I will be keeping it around.

Finally we reach the lips.  I kept the TreStique jar out this week but to be honest, after fighting with the shadow I ended up just reaching for the Elf Sheer Slick in Black Cherry. It was quick, easy and I didn’t have to think too much about it.  The Trestique lips and the lip liners I pulled languished this week.  Next week perhaps, there will be more concentration on the lips. This week, the eyes were just the problem child needing attention.

So that was my makeup bag this week.  The good the bad, the always keep around and the never again. It was quite the mix this week.

And as this is a Makeup bag post, I think it only fair to post about a make up bag sale. Kusshi has a sale going on right now. Friday through Sunday, they are giving away a FREE brush organizer ($39) with every purchase of a Signature or Vacationer bag. With the holidays around the corner, this is the perfect gift for all your friends and family! The Sale starts Friday at 7am EST and ends Sunday at 11:59 PST. Add brush organizer to cart for discount to applied. Their brush organizers are really nice as are their bags, I purchased on of the brush organizers for my Mom last christmas and she is absolutely in love with it. Clicking on the banner below will take you to their site if you are interested in more details. Happy shopping.

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: September 11, 2020

The Make up bag used September 5th – 11th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ESSENTIAL 8 Routine – All In One Makeup Kit

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

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

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

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


A few of my favorite things in 2019

A few of my favorite things from 2019

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

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

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

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

My favorite perfume this year, found via scentbox

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

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

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

current favorite mask and primer

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

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

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

ELF lip exfoliator in sweet cherry

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

Clearly, it wasn’t just my favorite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Affiliate Codes: I may receive some compensation for the use of the below codes towards a purchase. (note: the above links are just general links from the product sites and I don’t receive anything from them should you wish to click on those instead.)

BLUE LOTUS BALANCING MOISTURIZER [More]

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KYPRIS Antioxidant Dew is a lightweight, multi-action moisturiser with intense hydratio… [More]

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