Let’s Talk Blinc

I do not really do false lashes. I like the way they look on other people. We’ll sometimes I like the way they look on other people. Some people they look great on. Me, not so much. On occasion I have had someone else apply them and they looked okay (mostly when the individual lashes were applied rather than the full set). I have also had someone who knew what they were doing apply them and I still hated the way they looked on me.

For me they look too heavy. They also feel too heavy (even if they are light weight) and I have the tendency to either let my eyes droop to half closed or to open them wide to compensate so that I look liked I’ve just been tapped by a cattle prod. There are also several lash glues that I am allergic to which was not a fun experience.

But I do love long thick full lashes so I am always down to try out new mascaras. This particular mascara is the Blinc Ultra Volume Tubing mascara. Tubing mascaras are interesting. I find something about them absolutely fascinating. They basically wrap product around your lashes and build off the ends, creating a tube of product at the end of your lashes to lengthen them.

Admittedly they explain it better in the description so…

Blinc’s UltraVolume Tubing Mascara gives you an ultra-longwearing, buildable, false lash effect with a semi-matte finish. This tubing mascara formula is both clean & vegan. 

UltraVolume’s brush has dynamic spacing and supersoft fibers. The bristles are made of thermoplastic elastomer—meaning they’re gentler than plastic, yet still hold their combing power. It’s the ultimate control brush that lengthens lashes and achieves dramatic volume.

Our original pioneering tubing technology forms tiny water-resistant “tubes” around each individual lash. Unlike conventional mascaras, you won’t need to apply and wear the formula like a greasy paint. The tubing formula sets once it’s applied, creating tubes that bind to your lashes. Once it dries, it’s smudge proof. It can’t run, clump, or flake—even if you sweat, cry, rub your eyes, or have oily skin. 

Clinically tested to be non-irritating, UltraVolume is ideal for sensitive eyes, contact lens wearers, and active people. It’s the answer to anyone searching for a mascara whose look, hold, and ease of removal is without compromise.

The UltraVolume tubing formula has a better hold than waterproof mascaras, yet is easier to remove. You can set down the makeup remover—it won’t do the job. Simply combining lots of warm water and gentle pressure will slide the tiny tubes effortlessly off your lashes.

It’s healthier for your eyes and lashes: there’s no tint or residue left behind. No need to scrub the delicate skin around the eyes. No irritating makeup remover products needed.

Blinc

Now I have the pictures here, both with my eyes closed and open. It is pretty easy to see that it does lengthen and it does create volume. And I can say that both last all day. It is really easy to wear this mascara. And once it is in place it is smudge proof. I have actually tried it on my walks and when walking in 90 degree heat seating my skin off, I still didn’t end up with raccoon eyes. The mascara stayed in place.

no mascara left, mascara right

Removal is interesting. Regular makeup remover will still leave the Blink Ultra Volume Tubing Mascara in place. So they are right, it is pointless to reach for it. Waterproof mascara will take it off easily. I use the ultra gentle Klorane Cornflower waterproof mascara remover and it works well. You can remove it with warm water. But splashing water on your face won’t get the mascara to come off. It has to be arm water and I found it is best to soak a wash cloth in warm water and then press it gently onto your closed eyelids. Much of the product will end up on your cheeks, some will end up on your washcloth. But once warmed with water it will sort of slide off of your lashes. What I have found best is the warm water approach and then use a clean damp spoolie or eyelash comb to comb through to get the last of the mascara off of your lids.

no mascara left, mascara on the right

Remembering not to just use makeup remover is the hardest part, it is really easy to remove.

The only issue that I had with this mascara, you can actually see on the wand. Lots of product accumulates on the wand. Now this mascara is reaching the end of it’s life so it looks a little clumpier on the wand than it did when it was fresh. It still applies well but I have had it open about five months now. So it has served it’s time. It is a very good mascara and I will miss it when it is gone. I will also be picking up another tube of the Blinc Ultravolume tubing mascara soon.

Blinc Eyebrow pencils and mousse

The Big Bang with Athr Beauty

I do not use false lashes so mascara is a very important part of my makeup kit. Mostly becuase I love long full lashes but can not be trusted not to rip out my onw lashes with glue when i attempt false lashes.

So mascara. The Big Bang by Athr beauty is listed as…

This mascara truly does it all – it lengthens, strengthens, and fortifies for a fan of full, glossy, super strong lashes that won’t flake or smudge. Infused with black diamond for a lustrous shine and diamond-level strength + nourishing plant-based ingredients to prevent breakage. Just one swipe for sky-high lashes that last from dawn till dusk.

nice wand with recyclable bristles

And forever and always, all ATHR Beauty products are clean, vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without over 2700 ingredients that don’t meet our #goodvibesonly ingredient code.

I will say that it doesn’t flake and it doesn’t smudge. I will also say it lengthens, but I will say that conditionally. It lenghtens after several coats of mascara. I generally found three applications produced a nice lengthening effect. That is what I have here in these photos. Now I know what you are thinking, what’s the big deal about having to apply a couple of extra coats of mascara to achieve the results you want?

no mascara

Nothing really.

three coats of mascara

The only thing to keep in mind is that it will use up the product faster. After just a few weeks of use, I can already tell that this mascara tube is lighter. It feels far more used up than i would expect after just a few weeks of use. While it does mean that i will be able to use it before the six month time limit (I throw out mascaras after six months to ensure no eye infection. Generally I have used up at least 90% of the product by then too.) It also means it won’t make it to the six month time limit. If I relied on this mascara as my primary one, I would be replacing it far more often. And while I like their take on packaging…

THE PACKAGING: The Big Bang Mascara tube is made with 100% recycled ocean plastic + a biodegradable wand and brush. The outer box is sustainably packaging with FSC-certified paper and soy inks for full recyclability.

I find I reduce waste by not purchasing as often. So it is a trade off there. Do I like the mascara? Yes I do. Would I purchase it again? Yes I would. It is a good mascara with a good ethos. I just know it is going to run out well before I expect it because it does take several coats to achieve the lengthening.

Its that old Black Magic…With Eyeko

Eyeko London is one of those brands that I tend to think of in terms of one product. I know that sounds silly, but for the longest time they were my go to for eyeliner. I love their Skinny eyeliner and their fat eyeliner and of course their regular eyeliner.

They make fantastic eyeliner. And so as soon as i hear the name Eyeko, my brain thinks eyeliner. However, they also make other things. One of those things is mascara. I’ve been using the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara recently and I have to say it has been very impressive. And not just because of the length.

According to the site…

Designed for after-hours volume, this mascara combines drama and curl with our darkest black finish to intensify your lashes. The curvaceous brush mimics the lash line shape for 90-degree curl, and the keratin and shea butter-enhanced formula keeps lashes feeling conditioned, supple and defined. 

Eyeko London
no mascara

On the lashes it gives the length and curl that i want. I also had no trouble with any sort of flaking away and the lashes feel soft instead of stiff and heavy. It is rare that i can look at a products list of claims and go down the list and just check them off as Yes, it does exactly that. But with the Black Magic Mascara I could. And to that list I can add that if you apply it and give it a second to dry, there is also no problem with smudging.

mascara on

I really like the curve of the wand as it follows the natural bend of the lashes and coats every single lash for a fuller look.

The only place this mascara falls down is on the lower lashes. The curve that makes it so fantastic on the upper lashes makes it kind of awkward on the lower lashes. Finding the right way to turn the wand was difficult and in the end I just didn’t put mascara on the lower lashes while i used it.

And I am okay with that.

curved wand

In the end, fabulous mascara for the top lashes but skip it for the lower lashes. I enjoyed using this mascara and I am sure I will be picking it up again. I will also remember that Eyeko isn’t just for eyeliner any more.



It’s Huge, it’s extreme it’s the Huge Extreme Lash Mascara from Stila

While I will admit that I find the name a bit of overkill I have very much enjoyed using this Huge Extreme Lash Mascara from Stila. The name may be over the top, but it does create long and full lashes.

Stila is one of those brands that I tend to forget about for a long time, but every time I try one of their products I end up really liking it. Their Souffle Primer is fantastic. I also love their lip tint and now I really like this mascara. For dramatic lashes It may actually be one of my favorites. while I am not a big fan of false lashes, I do occasionally like my lashes to look a bit dramatic.

With false lashes I always end up pulling out lashes and since I now have my lashes in a place where they look good, I don’t want to go pulling them out. Besides, while I can see lashes for special events, I really don’t like the way they look on me in my everyday life.

This mascara has an hourglass shaped want that is quite fluffy. It is not so good for the lower lashes but it is fantastic for the upper. But seeing is believing. In order to show the effect of the mascara I took photos both before and after application. I tried to take them with both my eyes open and closed in order to get the best view.

Full width eyes. No mascara on the left, Stila mascara on the right

To me the difference is pretty clear, but I have marked them to show which side the mascara is on, so that there aren’t any questions.

No mascara left, mascara on the right

The mascara applied easily and well. This was one application. I didn’t have any problems with the mascara flaking off during the day and it was easy to remove with my Makeup Eraser at the end of the day.

While the name Huge Extreme Lash Mascara is a bit of overkill, it is also a fairly accurate description. And I for one am going to be reaching for this mascara from Stila quite often.

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Reviewing the Lights Camera Lashes Mascara

I am one of those people that whenever a product gets a lot of public hype, I tend to get suspicious. Especially when it is a new product. I’ll see a product come on the market and I will read rave reviews and see all sorts of posts and videos pop up saying how fabulously fantastic a product is and I’ll think, Let’s wait a bit.

I know that sounds a bit odd, but that is truly what my inner voice says. And I think it is because I’ve been burned by hype before. Now I am cautious. I wait until the initial release furor calms down and then I see how people feel. I know, this doesn’t make me first in line for products, but it does let me form my own opinion about things.

This Tarte Lights Camera Lashes mascara is not a new to the market product. It has been out a while. I believe it has gotten a bunch of accolades. I’ll admit, I liked the look of it. Instead of a slick plastic tube, it comes encased in a leatherette look casing (it is plastic). While I like the look of the case, I also like that it isn’t smooth. My mascara is the second to last thing I put on my face. Lips are the very last, if you are wondering.

Often by the time I get to my mascara, there are traces of primer on my finger tips, or my hands might be damp. I like that this mascara has a textured covering with kind of squared off edges. It means that no matter what is on my hands, it is easy to open. I expect if you had mobility issues, this might be an easier mascara for you to open as well, since it is easy to grip without slipping.

I know, packaging isn’t the point, but it does play a roll. And actually it has been on my mind a bit more lately. My mother had surgery on her dominant hand and while she is healing well and will regain full mobility she has mentioned a host of things that she is having issues doing that she never thought twice about before. So because of that I have been thinking about some mobility types of things lately. If it affects you, this packaging might help. If it doesn’t effect you, the packaging is pretty.

just one coat

The want is thinner than I am used to. I generally go for thicker wands with my mascara, but I have been surprised by wands that didn’t impress me by sight. One Notable one is the Beauty for Real mascara. It has a tiny almost laughable wand, but performs amazingly well.

So I tried it out. Interestingly enough, when I used it during the week, I thought this mascara was a nice every day mascara. It felt lightweight on the lashes and I didn’t really get any flaking or clumping. It actually felt weightless on the lashes which I think is a great mascara for the office. I personally don’t need anything that assists my eyes in drooping while I work.

no mascara
Eye with two coats of mascara

However it wasn’t spectacular looking. It was good, but didn’t look like the pictures. It was in no way dramatic. I’ve got to admit, I was a little disappointed. But it was still a fine mascara to wear. Then I went to take the pictures for this post of before and after lashes. I decided to use the mascara when my face was otherwise bare so that the focus would be the mascara. I applied one eye’s worth of product and then the doorbell rang. I put the mascara down and answered it. I was at the door maybe two minutes. Then I returned. I added a second coat to the one eye that had mascara on it and BAM dramatically lengthened lashes.

This didn’t happen on normal makeup days.

So I went to the other eye. I applied the mascara as I usually did. Good, but not dramatic. I waited exactly one minute (yes I timed it) then added a second coat and BOOM, dramatic lashes. I think what needs to happen is that the first coat needs a moment to settle in and dry down slightly before the second coat is applied. That way the second coat has something to grab on to, bond with and build upon. If given that moment, the mascara looks more or less like the photographs on the website.

I actually really like this Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara. There are some days where I want dramatic lashes and other days where I am not looking dramatic. The fact that I can get both with this mascara is nice. I was actually quite impressed. I think if you are looking for a lengthening mascara, this might be one you want to give a try. It may not be the newest product on the market at this point, but it is a really good product. Just remember to pause a bit between coats, and you’ll be fine.


They’re Real: Comparing the new Magnet version to the original

Recently Benefit Cosmetics released a new version of the They’re Real mascara. This version is called the They’re Real Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara. According to the website…

They’re Real! Magnet is a 36-hour lengthening* mascara with a magnetic force that draws out lashes to EXTREME LENGTHS, making them look 40% longer**. The innovative Extender Brush with magnetically charged core pulls the Magnetic Mineral Enriched Formula up & OUT BEYOND the tips of lashes for extreme length & powerful lift. Custom-designed ZigZag bristles are strategically positioned to fan out, separate & define lashes.

But does it work? I’ve been trying it out since I received this sample in my Birchbox subscription.

Above are the images of me with no mascara and then with the new They’re Real Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara. I have to say, it does a really good job lengthening the lashes. And it lasts pretty long. In this test I have no other makeup on so you can better see the lashes. I was very happy with the way it performed. The wand felt a little prickly on my lashes when I applied it. It is almost like the wand hs little nubs hidden inbetween the other brushy bits.

As a comparison you can see her the wands of both the They’re Real Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara and the original They’re Real Lengthening Mascara. The darker cap is the original and the lighter cap is the Magnetic version. As you can see there are some slight differences.

When wearing the They’re Real Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara I didn’t feel like it was that much different from the regular lengthening mascara by Benefit cosmetics. The regular They’re Real Lengthening Mascara lasts a long time, doesn’t flake or smudge on me and gives me pretty good length on my lashes. I’ve used it repeatedly for quite a while with no issuses.

So is the new version and it’s slightly different looking wand any better?

To answer that we first have to look at the orginal before and afters. And so to the comparison photos we go. This is the no mascara and the regular They’re Real Lengthening Mascara. I am sure you will be able to tell which eye is which.

As you can see, the mascara lengthens. I apologize that this one seems to have come out a little blurry for some reason. Apparently the camera rebels after too many close ups of my eye. So if both work how do they compare to each other?

In these images you can see the product side by side. The They’re Real Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara is on the left and the They’re Real Lengthening Mascara is on the left. Even though the regular one is a little blurry, you can see that the new They’re Real Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara does actually perform better than the original in the lengthening department.

In the long lasting department I have to say that this is the product applied with one coat. On the website it states that you can add further coats to keep lengthening your lashes. And this is true. Adding more coats after waiting for the product to dry a second will give you really long lashes. However when I tried this, the length of time that the mascara lasted was shortened a bit. when I tried extra coats I did notice a little bit of flaking after about four hours. With regular mascara application, which I applied in these photos, I got amazing length and no flaking.

In the end I have to say while the original was good, the second version of They’re Real Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara was even better. Sometimes, you just need a side by side to tell.

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The Make Up Bag: February 26th, 2021

The Makeup Bag used February 20th – 26th, 2021

This week’s makeup bag was a strange one. I wanted to test a flat top foundation brush (from F.A.R.A.H this is the link to the review if you are interested) so I chose five separate foundations for the week. I chose five that I really like and know how they perform for me so that it would be easier to test the brush.  It also meant that I didn’t consistently use any single foundation this week.  It was kind of a fun change. It also gave me an excuse to use several of my favorite foundations.

The Foundations this week

All of the foundations I used this week I really liked.  I used the powder Foundation of KVD Vegan Beauty.  This one is really good if you are in a rush as you just brush it on like powder, add a dash of blush and go.  I also used my Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation.  I will pretty much use any excuse to go ahead and add that to my makeup bag as it is a really nice, really easy formula.  My excuse was that the stick formula makes it a cream foundation. 

I actually had a cream foundation in my dressing table and quite frankly I forgot all about it.  It is the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup.  I used it, really liked it, put it in the drawer and forgot it.  I think I may keep this one out this week to use it a bit more.   For my liquid foundations I used the e.l.f Acne Fighting foundation and the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation.  I love both of them and will reuse them until they are gone and then repurchase. 

I wanted two products in each category but I only had the one powder foundation.  The KVD Vegan Beauty powder foundation is one I also need to reach for more often.  As you can see I have the old packaging on it and should probably use it up.  In certain lights you can see the outline of pan beginning to show through so I’m pretty confident I can use it up this year, even with switching out my foundations.  I just need to remember to keep it on the list.

While the focus was on the foundation this week, it clearly wasn’t the only product I used.  For primer I used the last of my Benefit Porefessional Pearl Primer.  It was the last of the sample and now it will journey to the empties bin. I like the primer and will be purchasing it in the full size as soon as I’ve cleared out a few of my primers. A could of them are actually pretty close to being used up so it shouldn’t be too terribly long.

Benefit also supplied my setting spray this week.  I used the Porefessional Super Setter.  I love the fine mist a d setting power of this setting spray.  But why am I mentioning it this early in the post, you might ask? Good question.  Normally I end with the setting spray, but things got a little discombobulated this week. Plus, I also had to use it with my eyeshadow. 

This week I used the Teddy Boy eyeshadow palette from Butter London.  The shimmers didn’t really show up terribly well unless I wet my brush or finger for application so it was the Porefessional Supper setter to the rescue.  While I ended up using it to set my face, it also helped out my eyeshadow palette.  This link will take you to the full Teddy Boy Palette review.  It isn’t my favorite palette but it is different from anything else I have in my collection, so I am okay with keeping it a while. It survived my Spring Declutter.  We’ll see what happens next time I sort through my palettes.

I used my Pretty Vulgar concealer this week.  It is a really good concealer and it worked well as a eyeshadow primer as well.  I think the tube is now about half empty.  It isn’t low enough that I need to keep it around to use up, so I’ll trade it out next week, but it is about at the halfway point which makes me sad as it is one of my favorites.  I may have to do a full face of Pretty Vulgar makeup before it goes out.  This is one of those brands that I have almost a full face of products to use.  At least as long as the concealer lasts.

My bronzer and blush were both trial sizes this week.  I used my NARS in the shade Laguna as my bronzer and my bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush in the shade Mauve Sunset as my blush.  I adore both of these products and I have to say this year you will be seeing a lot more of these tow samples because I won’t allow myself to purchase the full size until I use the samples up. 

Mostly because I know that once I have the full size, I won’t actually use the samples any more and they will be wasted.  Plus I know that if I can use the samples up then I will definitely use the full size.  With these two it isn’t a hardship as I really enjoy both products.  In fact I fall more in love with the bareMinerals Bounce and Blur each time I use it. It is the absolute best of both powder and cream blushes combined into one. They are both very bendable and ae easy to work with. I highly recommend both of them.

I had a pressed powder from e.l.f and a loose powder from Ciate London this week.  With the Ciate London Extraordinary Setting Powder, I used the translucent version.  I like the fact that it doesn’t have the coconut scent that the Vacaay powder does, but quite frankly I prefer the Everyday Vacaay version, even with the coconut.  I actually have an unopened container in my drawer, but I wanted to use this travel size up first. 

The regular extraordinary powder can leave a little white on the skin if you aren’t careful.  The Vacaay version doesn’t have this issue.  As long as you go back in with a brush it is fine, I just thought it a little odd that one had the smidge and the other didn’t.  The e.l.f. pressed powder also had this issue. I really like the formula of the elf HD pressed powder though as one it is in place it really keeps the shine from coming through and doesn’t look powdery. I think in the future with the elf I would get the tinted powder rather than the translucent.  I like the formula but the translucent does tend to be a little too white on my skin. 

My eyeliner this week was the Tarte Double Take eyeliner.  One end is a liquid pen and the other is a soft pencil.  I enjoyed both sides this week and will certainly be using this again.  Which is a bonus for me as I have a second unopened liner that came in this month’s Boxycharm waiting for me to finish this one. While I did an eyeshadow palette declutter I think my next declutter may end up being eyeliners.  I at least need to separate the open ones from the others so that I can use some of them up.  The issue is that I really don’t wear eyeliner all that much and when I do I tend to reach for my reliable Eyeko more than anything else.  I think I might have actually use the last Eyeko I had up completely. I’m pretty sure that is what prompted me to gram a different eyeliner this week. But I am glad I did as I enjoyed the Tarte Double Take. 

This week I used the Hourglass brow pencil and it was a good formula.  The pencil is starting to dry out a little, or at least it no longer seems as comfortable to apply as it did when I first got it.  When I looked at the amount of product left in the pencil though, it is getting pretty low.  The Hourglass eyeliner may be sticking around in my makeup bag for a while as I try to use it up.  While I still enjoy using it, I can tell a difference from when I first used it to now.  I think that if you are going to use this brow pencil then you need to buy it and just use it until it is gone and don’t let it hang around.  It is nice, but it doesn’t have the greatest longevity.

No mascara on the left, mascara on the right.

This week my mascara was actually two mascaras.  I picked out the Kristofer Buckle Mascara to use as it has been open a while and while it gave me the length I wanted it wasn’t performing as well as it usually does.  I think it is just reaching the end of its life.  This one has been open for five months.  And I think this will be its last turn through the makeup bag. Sadly when I went on the site to capture a link so that you could go find it for yourselves should you be interested, this mascara was not listed on the site at all. I don’t know if they are doing things to the formula or releasing a new mascara so I will have to dive deep and find out. As I’ll soon need to repurchase my Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation, I will be popping in and out of the site anyway.)

To bulk up the fading Kristofer Buckle I called in the Ciate London WonderWand.  This is not the first time I used this mascara and it won’t be the last.  It is fabulously thickening, which made it the perfect pairing for Kristofer Buckle’s Lengthening.  Together they were a great tag team. I may not be able to purchase the Kristofer Buckle again, depending on availability, but I will very much be repurchasing the Ciate London Wonder Wand Mascara. I have a second unopened ciate london mascara in my dressing table so I may compare the two to see if I like one better than the other before I buy it. As the Wonder Wand is getting low on product, I may have to do that test sooner rather than later.

My look for the day (the bangs were not behaving)

And finally the lips.  This week I used the Gel Color lip and cheek Balm crayon in Posh from Nudestix.  While I would not use this shade on my cheeks it made a fantastic neutral lip crayon that was surprisingly long lasting.  It wore off a bit at lunch time but surprisingly is hung on most of the day with a single morning application. 

I know I sound a bit surprised but I tried a liquid lip from Nude sticks a while back and I really didn’t care for it so I am surprised by how much I really enjoyed this lip crayon. I suppose it goes to show you can’t judge an entire brand on one product. I was quite impressed with this nudestix crayon.  I know this came in either a Look Fantastic or a Glossy Box a while back but I can’t remember if I used it or not.  Even if I didn’t I am glad I used it this week as I really enjoyed it and will be reaching for it again.

This week was mostly about the foundations as I worked with the brush to see how it performed.  As a consequence I chose products that for the most part I knew wouldn’t give me much trouble.  Next week I have almost an entire bag full of new products to try. In fact I am going to see how many new products I have and put most of them in the bag.  So while this week was a bag full of good solid products, next week is going to be much more of an experiment. I can’t wait to see how it ends.


If you ae looking for brushes, Bdellium is having a sale. The link will take you to sale pages. I’ve really enjoyed all of the brushes that I’ve used from them and find them to be of consistently good quality. They also have a wide variety of styles so you can usually find the brush you ae looking for in their stock.

The Makeup Bag: February 12th, 2021

The Makeup bag used February 6th – 12th, 2021

Good morning my darlings it is time once again to review all of the products I used on my face this week.  As usual we will start with primer. 

This week I again used the Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch primer and I have to say the photos do not do it justice.  It was like magical pore eraser in a pretty red glass jar.  I love this primer and A part of me really wants to keep it in the makeup bag until it is empty and then just replace it, however, I have other primers in my collection that I need to use. 

So this coming week I will return it to my dressing table and take out another primer.  Actually because it reminds me so much of the Pore Professional Pearl Primer, I might take my last remaining sample of that out of the dressing table and use it so that I can get a comparison.

Bare face on the left, just primer on the right.

Plus I think the sample has been in my dressing table long enough.  It is unopened but I know it won’t keep forever and as I am not planning on traveling anytime soon, keeping it for travel is sort of pointless.

For Foundation this week I went with the Laura Geller Quench ‘n Tint hydrating foundation.  It is hydrating and it is a really good light to medium coverage foundation that feels like a moisturizer when you apply it.  You can read my full review here, but the result is that I liked wearing it now but have reservations about summer wear. 

If my skin were dryer I think I could get away with year round use, but I think in the summer it would be too hydrating for my skin.

Just primer on the left, primer and foundation on the right

It was also a light enough formula that I needed to use my concealer on my cheek scar and this week’s concealer was the Trestique Conceal, cover and correct crayon.  Because of it’s shape and formula it worked well on my cheeks.  It is too stiff to use under my eyes though as I feel it pulls at the skin a little too much.  I love it for spot correcting though as it covers blemishes well and blends in with any foundation I have tried it with.

My bronzer this week was from elf.  It has been a while since I used this bronzer and I forgot how pigmented it was. The first day this week I used this my skin went from winter pale to summer bronzed as I tried to blend it out instead of having an intense bronze on.  I really like the elf formula because it is very blendable, but it is necessary to remember that it is also highly pigmented and needs a light hand when applying.

My bareMinerals blush I absolutely loved this week.  You can read the full review here but in short, the color was fantastic, the bendability was wonderful, the soft focus look was excellent and I really liked the feel of the product on my fingertips.  This is a blush that you apply with your fingers and I have to say I really  enjoyed using it and once this sample is used up I will be purchasing the full sized version.  So you will see this blush a lot as I work through it. 

My highlighter was a sample sized pan from Wander Beauty.  It is the Wanderess Glow in After Hours and I have to say it was a beautiful highlighter. It is a sort of silvery pink and blends really well into the skin.  I like that I can make it bright or subtle depending on my blending  The color as good and the formula worked well for me.  It is a big pan and even though it is a sample size, I suspect it will last quite a while.  For me highlighters tend to last a really long time since I use so little of them. I have always preferred my highlight in small doses and to provide a subtle glow rather than a blinding light.  While I could do something blinding with this, I like that I can go for a soft glow instead.

I had two powders this week one pressed and one loose.  The pressed powder was the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores pressed powder.  It is a sample sized.  It is also beginning to show pan.  While I will be keeping this powder in my makeup bag until it runs out I suspect that will be another week at best as it is very thin indeed at the moment.  Once it is gone however, I will be replacing it with something else.  I enjoy using it, but I will not be purchasing a full size once the pan is empty. It is a fine product, but I have others I currently prefer.

My loose powder this week was the Kristofer Buckle Translucent setting powder. It is a very finely milled powder that sits well on the skin and doesn’t cause flash back from cameras.  I really like using it.  The only thing you have to watch out with this powder is the fact that since it is so finely milled, when you open the inner lid, you can sometimes get a small cloud of powder.  It isn’t much, just a small puff that spots your hand, but it is something to be aware of.  I just run my powder brush over my hand before dipping into the powder itself and there is no waste.  Just be aware so that you don’t breathe it in and you will be fine.  It is a lovely setting powder and I am really glad I picked it up. 

Actually it wasn’t a deliberate purchase.  Kristofer Buckle has these Kits and as I adore the formula for their Cashmere slip Lipstick I wanted to try some of the other products on offer and ended up purchasing the kit so I could.  It was a fantastic investment as I have used every item in the kit repeatedly, and some, like the mascara, I have already had to reorder. This powder is one of the things I will be reordering once it runs out. Currently they are having a sale on this powder (among other things on the site). Normally it is $24 but currently it is on sale for $18 and there is free shipping.

I skipped the eyeliner this week, but my brow pencil was from Il Makiage.  It worked really well and has a fine enough point to it that it went exactly where I wanted it to go.  I really enjoyed using it. The shade I used was in Truffles and it suited my eyebrow color perfectly.  The product was soft enough so that I didn’t feel like I was scratching my brows with a pencil, but it was soft enough to leave product behind easily.  It was one of the better brow pencils I’ve tried.

The simple two color eye look I wore most of the week

For my eyeshadow I reached for my trusty Ciate London.  It was the nine pan The Trend Edit that I used this week.  The link will take you to the full review if you are interested.  This week I kept things pretty tame and went mostly with the brown shade Burnt on the lid and the shimmer baby towards the inner lid to lighten it up a bit. 

I love the other colors in the palette, but quite frankly this was a simple easy look that took no thought on mornings when I was rushed.  The colors don’t have a really wide range to them, but if you are looking for a good everyday palette you can wear to work and then use to brighten up the shine before heading to happy hour, this is a palette you might want to look into. 

And at the moment Ciate is having a sale, The Love Sale, actually.  Some of their items are up to 50% off.  As I have quite the collection of Ciate London Products there are many I can recommend.  They are good quality.  And for those of you who love the Muppets, their Miss Piggy Collection is also on sale. There is a good possibility the Miss Piggy Mirror will soon be mine.

My mascara this week was brand new, not just to me, but in general.  I had to run out to Target and as I hadn’t been out of the house in a while, I took my time.  Thee on the end cap was the new Big Poppa mascara from Wet ‘n Wild.  I know I have other mascaras that are waiting unopened and ready for their turn to be used, but I couldn’t resist.  I think it is the fact that the mascara is wearing a crown. I couldn’t leave the crown waiting in the wings.  While the crown is a nice decorative touch, I did find that the ridges of the crown actually let me grip the wand more comfortably and securely.  So it is a functional design as well. The wand is straight, relatively short and bushy with an hourglass shape to it. 

No mascara on the left and mascara on in the righthand photo

It made for a surprisingly effective application actually.  I really liked the way my lashes looked.  They were lifted and lengthened.  It was quite dramatic actually. I liked that the mascara stayed on all day without flaking on me.  It is actually a really good mascara.  I was very impressed.  I don’t know why I am so surprised because Wet ‘n Wild’s new releases lately have all been fantastic.  At this point I have tried new releases of their tinted moisturizer, eyeshadow, lipstick and now the Big Poppa Mascara.  All have been absolutely fantastic.

Very simple look for most of this week

I can’t really say the same for the Jules Smith  Beauty Lip gloss.  It is glossy and I do like the color, but it is sticky and even after the color and shine have worn off, my lips felt strangely waxy.  It was actually a strange feeling.  It felt like a heavy, waxy lip balm, but when wiped off my lips felt a little dry instead of nourished.  It was odd.  Luckily, this is a sample size and there is very little in the sample after a week of use.  I may keep it out to use up, because I really do like the tint of color, however formula trumps color and this is not a formula I will be purchasing in a full size.

I have to say the same thing about the Lise Watier Magnifix Setting Spray.  I like the thought of the healthy setting spray and I like the scent, which made me initially like the spray. I also used it right after using a very paint smelling setting spray so i think it got bonus points for that. It is a very wet setting spray that often leaves spots in my powder. The more I use it, the less I actually like it. I just dislike having to touch up wet spots it leaves behind. It gets a little old.  The bottle is halfway empty and I think I will use it up, but once it journeys to the empty bin it will not be repurchased.

And that my darlings was the good, the bad and the fabulous of this week’s makeup bag.  Tune in next week to see what new products are lurking in the soon to be refilled bag.


Botanical Republic's Collection

The Makeup Bag: February 5th, 2021

The Makeup Bag Used January 30th – February 5th, 2021

Welcome once again to the weekly makeup bag post, where I talk about the products I used this week and what I thought about them.  Are you ready? Excellent!

First up, we have the primer.  This week’s primer is the Clarins Instant Smooth perfecting touch and oh my darlings I am in love. (the link is just a link to their website. I have no affiliate code or anything it is just a fantastic primer).

It is pink in color and reminds me of the Pore Professional Pearl (which I personally prefer to the other varieties).  I needed just a tiny bit and I smoothed it over my face and POOF no more pores.

I don’t know how well it translates into the photos, but I’ve posted them below.  In person it felt like some sort of magic trick. It was fantastic. 

Bare skin on the left and just primer on the right (apologies for the head tilt)

The Primer retails for $39 and I have already book marked the product page.  I know, I love primers and I do have quite a few. I try very hard to rotate through them so that no product goes bad, and I really don’t like stockpiling products, but this is one that I am having a really hard time not ordering a second one just so that when this one runs out there is already another one waiting.  There are only a few products that I want to make certain that I have a backup of and this primer has now made the list. It doesn’t hurt that the primer is in a beautiful red glass jar. I am a sucker for jewel toned glass.  Putting an excellent product inside, just makes it more desirable.

This week I took the Too Faced Dew You Full Coverage foundation out of my foundation drawer to use.  I know it has been a while since I reached for it, but it is among my lightest foundations.  Although if you compare the color by the name Porcelain to the actual product you find the product is just a little darker than the color strip (in case you were thinking of ordering it.)

The difference isn’t major, but there is one so you might want to think about that when choosing a shade. Even though it is a full coverage foundation, I tend to apply low enough amounts that I can talk it into being more of a medium coverage product.  I like the way this foundation sits against the skin and I really like the design of the pump dispenser. 

Just primer on the left and foundation over primer on the right.

The scent of the foundation is fruity.  I think it is supposed to be tutti frutti, and it does smell fruity. I kind of like the scent and I like the way the foundation wears.  It is an easy one to wear and as the shade is my winter range, I can now wear it. So it all worked out. I will probably use up this foundation though and not repurchase it right away, mainly because I don’t wear a lot of full coverage foundations and I have a couple that I tried that I do like a little bit better. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it just means it isn’t a category where I need to keep anything but my absolute favorite stocked.

Too Faced also supplied my bronzer and pressed powder this week actually.  I used the Cocoa Contour Palette this week.  I chose it because I could adjust my bronze to suit my skin tone.  I really like contour palettes when I am uncertain which shade would work best for me.  I also tend to forget I have this one, especially in the summer when I just use the small bronzer compact from Too Faced. I really do like their bronzers and this is a category of their products I would consistently repurchase as I do like their formula. It will however take me quite a while to work through the products in this palette.

This week I blended the light and medium contours to use. The product worked well and I love the chocolate scent to it.  I also love the packaging and to be honest the compact and the mirror is something I will use long after the product is gone.  The sturdy package is perfect for travel and that mirror is really nice. Too Faced has a lot of really nice packaging and the products I have are good.

To round out the Too Faced trio I used the Peach Blur.  As expected it smells of peaches and to be honest I forgot I had it.  I used it quite a bit before I picked up the Becca Pink Haze setting powder actually as you can see from the wear pattern in the middle. That used to be a peach in case you couldn’t tell.  It gives a slight pink to the skin and helps banish the winter whites with a healthier glow. While it works well enough to use, I really do prefer the Pink Haze from Becca.  I will be using this powder up, but not repurchasing it in the future. Which is kind of a serendipitous call as it is no longer listed on the Too Faced site, at least I couldn’t find it.

I have to jump back now to my concealer (which I did add before bronzer and powder, I just grouped the Too Faced products together.  This week I used the Julep Cushion concealer and as always it was fantastic.  I know a lot of people tend to draw the under eye triangles with concealer, but this has never been how I apply it.  I tend to apply dots and then go in with a makeup sponge to blend. I don’t have massive dark circles but I do have lines under my skin. I also have frequent bouts of insomnia and trust me, no makeup can really truly cover that up. I do like that the Julep formula does not emphasize them though.

The Huda Beauty Basic B sponge is great for blending out the concealer as it had that flat side that makes getting into the edges easier.  I love the julep formula.  My only issue is that the cushion top tends to make the inside of the cap a bit messy.  It is a minor issue though and I will happily use every last drop of this concealer.

face products on

My blush this week was my favorite Marbled light in Halo by Ciate London.  As always it performed beautifully.  I love the way it can be built up and the way it wears.  What can I say, it is one of my favorite products and if I don’t have a blush to test out I tend to reach for wither this Ciate Blush or the Benefit Gold Rush.  Both have a similar glow they add to the skin without being shimmery and both ate at the top of my blush list.

For my highlighter this week I pulled the Illamasqua highlighter in OMG.  At least I think that’s the shade name.  I love that I can be as subtle or as glowy as I want with this highlighter.  If I want a blinding strip of light, I can do that.  If I want a soft glow then I can do that too.  While I normally prefer more gold and pink toned highlighters, this is one of the few silvery toned highlighters that I really enjoy. It is a small compact though and I tend to forget it is there.  I need to make an effort to remember more often. I have to say I have been picking up more and more Illamasqua products lately and thus far they have all worked really well for me. This is one of those brands I need to pay more attention to.

My eyeshadow palette this week was one of the new 5 pan Color Icon Palettes from Wet ‘n wild.  The link will take you to the full review, but the basics of it is that it is a good palette with little fall out and colors that blend.  My only issue was that I wanted the brown matte to be warmer in tone to mix better with the rest of the shadows.  A minor complaint and the only one I had with the palette.

single ruset shade blended out with one dip into the pan

My eyebrow pencil was again the RealHer Eye am Strong. I know this is the third week in a row.  I was planning to change it out but then I noticed that I had almost no product left in it.  So I decided to just finish it out this week, which I did.  Alas it is now ready to depart for the empties bin.  No product remains. I enjoyed using it and once I use up a few more brow pencils (which doesn’t really take that long) I will be replacing it. This is another brand I want to remember to keep in my sites as I have several really good products from them in my collection.

Joining the Real Her in the empties bin this week is the Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Mascara.  I know it should have gone sooner but I really liked the mascara, especially the small curve in the wand, so I kept it a little longer than I should have just to use up the last of the formula.  The tube is now close to empty but it has been open far too long. It is also not performing as well as it did when I first got it, even though it is still nice, which is extra incentive to move it along to the empties bin.

No mascara on left, mascara on right

Even though there is still product left inside and it isn’t dry or clumpy I will be saying goodbye as it has been open about ten months at this point.  I try to only keep a few mascaras open so that I can use them up by the six month mark.  I loved this mascara and I used most of it up, but for health and safety it will now be moved to the empty bin.  At some point though, it will be replaced.  I enjoyed the heck out of this mascara.

This takes us to the lips.  And this week I had a new lipstick to try.  It was the Wet ‘n wild Megalast matte bullet style lipstick in the shade Cinnamon spice.  I really liked the formula. 

It sat well on my lips and while it is a traditional lipstick and does wear off when eating or drinking it didn’t leave massive lip prints everywhere.  The formula was comfortable and I absolutely adore the color.  It is a nude with a rosy hue to it rather than a brown one and I really enjoy the shade. 

The formula was nice and even though I know the lip design has been used elsewhere, I still like it.  I suspect many more of these lipsticks will be coming into my possession. The formula is very wearable and as it is Wet ‘n Wild the cost isn’t prohibitive.

And so at last we come to the Setting spray.  Once again my darlings I found myself reaching for the Pore Professional Super setter.  I just adore the ultra-fine mist. It is so fine that one morning I put it on after applying my mascara and my mascara didn’t run. (I’m not my best before coffee.)

It also keeps my makeup in place well.  I am very pleased with this setting spray.  However, I will make a concerted effort to choose a different one for next week.  I make no promises about the primer though.  I am fairly certain I am going to have to talk myself out of using it every week.  But I’ll argue with myself about that next week.  For now I know I’m keeping the Clarins Smoothing primer in the bag another week.  Everything else I will change out.

Over all it was a pretty good slate of products this week. I have quite a few products that I liked using, teo that I used up and sent to the empties bin, a couple that I’ve marked to use up but not repurchase and one product I have fallen head over heels in love with. It was an interesting mix and one I am actually quite pleased with.


With Valentines day coming up, there are bunches and bunches of sales. I’ve listed a few I know of below in case you are interested in taking advantage of them.

Chantecaille has two offers that run from now until February 28th:

 $100 off Bio Lifting Discovery Collection with code TRYBIO. Discover the benefits of Bio Lifting skincare with this introductory set for $195 (a $344 value)

This unprecedented rich mask is powered by botanicals that virtually iron out the looks of lines and wrinkles. The anti-wrinkle hexapeptide softens the appearance of expression lines.

Free Gift: Smooth & Soothe Collection with any purchase of $225. Featuring best-selling Rice & Geranium Cleanser (8ml), Hibiscus Smoothing Mask (8ml) and Flower Harmonizing Cream (8ml). 

Featuring best-selling Rice & Geranium Cleanser (8ml), Hibiscus Smoothing Mask (8ml) and Flower Harmonizing Cream (8ml)

Embryolisse has an off of: $10.00 OFF on Makeup Compact Powder. Embryolisse – the Dermo-cosmetic expertise.

And finally Amore Pacific has complimentary shipping and samples on every order as well as this offer:

Lunar New Year: Enjoy a Limited Edition Scented Candle Duo + 5-piece Time Response Set ($319 value) with any $275+ purchase!

Happy Shoppong!

The Makeup Bag: January 29th, 2021

The Makeup bag used January 23rd – 29th, 2021

This week’s makeup bag was a very interesting one.  Upon first glance it looks like I went minimalist, which I sort of did.  Mostly it was a minimalism dictated by the Ofra Face Palette since most of my products came from it this week. But we’ll get to that in a bit.  We are going to start from the primer and work our way out today. 

The primer I used this week was one of my long time favorites.  It was the Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer.  I tend to use it in the spots where I really want my pores filled and my coverage flawless. 

On me it works like a dream, and because I tend to use it only on my nose and cheeks where I have the most noticeable pores, One pump is all it takes for me. I really like the argan oil in the product as it makes my skin feel soft and nourished.   I especially like using this primer under lighter foundation products as it means that the light coverage products don’t have to work as hard to look fabulous. 

Bare freshly washed face on the left, primer only on the skin on the right

This week’s foundation product was the wet ‘n wild barefocus Tinted hydrator. It is a tinted moisturizer that gives sheer to medium coverage.  I was very impressed by t’s performance and look forward to using this product repeatedly.  Most of my tinted hydrators are tinted for my skin when it is in the summer and autumn.  I deliberately picked this one up because I wanted to have a shade that was more for my skin color in the winter.  I wasn’t certain if this would be the correct shade but I really liked how it worked out on my skin this week.  The link will take you to the full review of the barefocus, but the end result is that I really liked it.

Just the primer on the left and the foundation over primer on the right

This of course moves us into the Ofra Good to Go Mini’s palette. This palette provided my bronzer, blush highlight and eyeshadow this week. While I have used Ofra’s Blush and highlight before, the bronzer and eyeshadows were new to me. It was kind of a mixed bag for me actually.  The link will take you to the full review but here are the basics. The blush and highlighter performed well.  As I’ve used those before I quite frankly expected them to be good products.  The bronzer too performed really well.  It was when we got to the shadows that things became a little iffy.  With the mattes the formulas were nice but the colors weren’t my favorites.  The shimmers I fell in love with.  I absolutely adore the old gold shade called Ambition. 

I really like the fact that the pans can all be taken out and replaced.  Quite frankly I would replace all of the mattes.  The formula was good, the colors weren’t.  I did like having so many of my products in one place though.  I think that if I were traveling, this would be a good face kit to travel with because of the face products. I would just need to replace the mattes prior to traveling or add a second shadow palette into the travel kit.

eyedetail

The Ofra Palette came in this month’s Boxy Charm premium as did the two Fenty Products that I used this week.  The Setting powder I used was Fenty Beauty Pro Filter.  I used the shade Cashew.  The tone of the powder is really good on my, however it is a little darker than I need right now.  I looked very tan this week.  I think that I will put this powder back in my makeup drawer and take it out in the spring.  I think it’s darker shade would help deepen some of my winter foundations as my skin starts to tan for spring and I think that in the summer time it will be the absolutely perfect setting powder shade for me.  Right now it is a hair too dark.  The undertones however suit my skin perfectly so I am pleased to have this around.

wand

The mascara I used this week was also a Fenty Product (the Full Frontal lifting and curling mascara to be precise) and also from January’s Boxycharm Premium.  I have to admit I pulled the wand out of the tube and I was not all that impressed.  Then I used the mascara and I was very impressed with the product’s performance.  Fenty is one of those brands that is very hit or miss for me.  Both the powder and the mascara were definite hits for me. I know the pictures below make me feel a little crosseyed to look at but the with mascara and without mascara pics are quite dramatic. I really look forward to getting a lot out of this mascara.  It lengthened beautifully and didn’t flake out at all through the day.  It was definitely a winner.

This week I kept my RealHer eyebrow pencil in the bag and again enjoyed using it.  I figured I had so many new products to try that I ought to keep a couple of my excellently performing ones in the bag to balance it out.  Hence why the RealHer Eyebrow pencil remained and I added the Urban decay Optical Illusion.  Some days, you need to keep a few trusted friends close.

This week I also went with a tried and true for my lip product.  I chose it not only because I love the formula and the color, but because it was an Ofra Liquid lip.  I figured if I was going Ofra-tastic with the face palette, I might as well add in the lips as well. So I did.  As always this liquid lip performed beautifully.  I always enjoy using it.  This shade is Pasadena and is one that I will be repurchasing (along with several of it’s friends) once I am finished with it.

And that is it.  I know short and sweet this week.  Also it was a pretty good week.  Most of my products were new to me items. And I believe the wet ‘n Wild product is actually just new to the market as well as new to me.  With the exception of the eyeshadow shades there was very little disappointment this week and a whole lot of cheering. Let’s hope next week is just as fabulous.