The Makeup Bag: December 31st, 2020

The makeup bag used December 26th – 31st, 2020

Ah, the makeup bag for the week after Christmas.  Always a low key affair until you get to the actual New Year’s eve.  This year it was an interesting bag.  I used last week’s products for my holiday calls and then swapped out the makeup bag.  In addition I will be using a completely separate New Year’s eve Makeup bag to get ready for my sparkly stay at home night.

But that is another story.

Which means that this week’s makeup bag was both easy and low key. I started off with the Yensa BC Foundation.  It is from their Super 8 collection and I have to say I have had really good luck with that entire collection. 

The BC Foundation is a cross between a BB Cream and A CC cream and I have to say, It goes on easily and just melts into the skin for a low key look that is my skin but better.  I’m using a sample and I think I might be able to get one more week out of the sample tube.  It might be pushing it so I think what I am going to do is keep it in next week’s makeup bag to use it up and have another product on standby for when this does run out.  I suspect it will run out sometime mid-week next week.  However it is on the products to pick up again list, so it will be returning once I’ve whittled down some of my foundation products.

The number of products in the drawer tends to make me nervous about products expiring before I can use them.  So I am working through open products.  Actually the last time I opened the drawer (to get this week’s product out) the drawer was thinning out a bit.  I think because I used up and got rid of all of many of the sample sizes it doesn’t seem as frighteningly packed.

The primer I used with my foundation this week was an old favorite.  It is the Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer. I remember trying this primer when it first came out and falling in love with it.  My love affair has lasted and even though it isn’t my one and only it still ranks high on my list of primers. I hadn’t tried it in a while so last time I was in Ulta I picked up a travel sized tube to see if I still liked it.  And yeah, I do. I’ll keep the travel size in my dressing table rotation until it is through and then pick up a full size.

My bronzer this week was the NARS Laguna Bronzer.  It is a sample size that is finally starting to get a dent in the center of the pan.  I refuse to let myself buy a full size until I use up the sample.  I have had this sample a while though as it is small enough that it tends to slip to the bottom of the drawer.  I have decided though that it will be getting up, so it will be rotated in with increasing frequency until it does get used up.

Another product that I tend to forget about is the sample sized Tarte Blush in the shade Quirky.  I just somehow never remember to pick it up. I really like the blush formula and the shade lends a really nice soft flush to the cheeks which isn’t over the top. It really works well with the natural skin look of the Yensa Foundation.

Elf and MAC

And then we have powders.  Oh my darlings do we have powders.  First there is the loose e.l.f HD translucent powder.  It is a really good setting powder.  It can leave a little bit of white in the crevices of the nose, but a quick dab with my lovely Huda Beauty sponge takes care of that.  I really like the flat pointed section for getting into tight spots on the face. I am always amazed at how useful that one flat side actually is. I think regardless of brand that is the shape I will look for.  And soon I will have to look for another makeup sponge as mine is sadly looking like it needs to be replaced.  

However I really do like the e.l.f. HD setting powder.

As for pressed powder, my dearest No 7 made it through most of the week.  Sadly it will not make it to the new year.  It gave its all and I salute it.  I will also repurchase it. Repeatedly. I am going to try to not pick it up right away so that I can use some other powders in my dressing table. 

But this is one of my favorite formulas for pressed powders and at some point it will return.  For now we have to bid it a fond farewell and let it at least have the distinction of being the first product placed in the January 2021 Empties bin.

Because I wasn’t entirely sure my No.7 would make it through the week I pulled out the sample size of the MAC Studio Fix powder. It is the tiniest little pan so it is kind of a pain to work with but the product itself is really nice.  I really forgot how much I liked MAC products.  I always remember their lipsticks but somehow tend to forget about their powders and eyeshadows.  I really enjoy both actually I just haven’t picked them up in a while. I may need to remedy that in 2021.

I did actually use a MAC Satin Lip in the shade Mocha this week.  I like the Satin Formula and found it comfortable to wear.  The color was a little light for me so I deepened it with Huda Beauty’s Lip Contour in Trophy Wife.  It was a nice blend of colors and I enjoyed the combo this week.  When I wasn’t wearing that combo I reached for my e.l.f. Sheer Slick in Black Cherry

T to B: MAC, MAC blended with Huda, Elf, Huda lip liner on it’s own

Because I seemed to have both a samples theme and a MAC theme going I added the MAC Strobe Cream sample I received in my Birchbox Advent Calendar.  I know several people put it all over the face as an all over glow, but I think everyone has realized that isn’t really my thing.  The strobe cream did make a really excellent and subtle liquid highlighter this week.  Since I was going for a more subtly look it really suited me well.  This is another product that I need to remember I have and to use it more often.

My brows were taken care of my wet ‘n wild Ultimate brow kit this week.  As usual I used my own brush instead of the provided one and stuck with the one lighter shade in the kit.  The darker one I still need to remember to use, but it is too dark from my brows so I will have to work out something  in maybe the shadow eyeliner department.  If you remember my initial use of the kit you may recall that while I really love the light brown brow powder, I despise the cream highlight in the kit.  So this week I ignored it and pretended it was not there.

For my mascara I went with the Beauty for Real Mascara again this week.  While I really like the mascara it wasn’t actually my intention to use it, I simply forgot to switch it out.  Using it a second week wasn’t a hardship though.  It is a really good formula.  However I will remember to exchange it for another in the following week.

Which finally brings us to the eyeshadow for the week.  This week I grabbed the doughnut shaped Maple Glazed palette from I heart Revolution.  I know it looks like a toy, but I really like this palette.  It is quick and easy to use and the shadows are easy to use and work well.  To be honest I mostly used the darker brown accented with the bronzy shade this week. It was quick and easy and I didn’t have to worry about it much.  I liked the way it looked and will happily reach for this palette again. 

I don’t know if the doughnut series is still available (I picked mine up at Ulta a while back) but every time I use it I find myself wanting to pick up the other doughnut palettes in the line.  It is just very well set up and easy to use.  Plus, this is one of my favorite travel palettes as the puffy doughnut on top pretty much insures the shadows won’t break. Surprisingly we have reached the end of the Makeup bag.  There were no real surprises this week.  I know some of you are thinking, ‘weren’t you trying a new setting spray?  And yes I was.  However, I wanted a bit more time with it before I formed an opinion. So I will use the Pore Professional Priming spray from Benefit for another week and then next week post a full review as well as put it in my Makeup Bag post.  I just didn’t think I had long enough to sort out how I felt about it to put it down. So there we have it my darlings, this week’s makeup bag.  But stand by, the New Year’s edition is about to arrive in 10…9…8…7…


The Make Up Bag: December 24th, 2020

The Make up Bag used December 19th- 25th

Welcome my darlings once again to the weekly makeup bag. Here, I list out all the products I used this week and let you know what I think of them.  I know, some of you may be asking, why do I fill a makeup bag every week instead of just choosing each product for the day? 

Well, some days I do add in items, for instance if I have an outfit I decided to wear that simply needs a different lipstick, I will dip back into my dressing table for an extra product. Occasionally something will run out or go horribly wrong and need to be replaced.  But for the most part what I choose initially for the bag is what I use throughout the week.

So why?

The main reason is one of choice.  I am not at my best first thing.  While I will never be a morning person, coffee does help me out.  However, faced with a dressing table filled with a variety of products, I sometimes stare dumbly at them, not knowing which to choose.  Even if I am just looking at five black eyeliners. And sometimes I get ready in a rush.  In both instances, I tend to grab the first items I see and go with them.  Then I put them back in the front of drawers.  So the next time I’m in a rush, I grab the same products.

As I like variety in my products, as well as using all of the items I have, I decided that once a week I would pack a bag full of products to use, that way I didn’t have to start of my day with pre coffee decision making.  Thus far it has worked out really well for me. I can rotate through products so that I am never bored, try new things, or if something is close to being used up completely, keep it out so that it can be finished without lingering in the bottom of a drawer with barely any product left.

I’ve found it a really useful method and I will be keeping it up for quite a while I think.

So, now that you know the reasoning behind the makeup bag, let’s talk about what I used this week.

I have to say, it was a bit of a mix. I tried many new products this week so there were a lot of surprises.  We will start off on a positive note and go with the Viseart Palette.  I received the Neutral Mattes Palette in my Boxycharm Premium box this month and I have to say, this palette justified keeping the subscription. 

I was planning on keeping it anyway, but I was thrilled to get this palette and try it out and I absolutely love the way it performed. It is highly pigmented so start lightly and try to build.  This Viseart Link will take you to my full review. But the end result is that I adored this palette and will be keeping it around for a long time.

It is however a matte palette and when I tried out the black shadow I found I wanted just a little bit of shimmer.  I also wanted a reason to try out my Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream shadow stick in the shade Golden Pink.  It came in my Birchbox Advent Calendar and thus far the time had not been right to give it a try.  This week, the time was right, so I used it as s shimmer to work with the Black from the Viseart palette.  Wow.  Just wow.  It went on smoothly either over the plain eyelid or over a powder shadow, stayed in place all day long and didn’t crease or transfer on me.  I was super thrilled to use this and will need to remember it, and possibly look at other colors.  I want to at least get one more to see how it blends with other cream shadows, but it worked really well over powder.  I will be reaching for it a lot.

The Marcelle CC Cream Golden Glow I used this week was a sample and it is unfortunately not something I will be reaching for in the future.  Luckily the sample will be used up by the end of the week so no product will be wasted, but I will not be picking up a full sized version.   It is an excellent color corrector and it did give the skin a golden glow. 

However, it also settled into my fine lines and made me look much more tired than I actually was.  I would really prefer my makeup products not to emphasize my fine lines. So while a decent product in many respects, the CC golden glow is not for me.  I will stick with Marcelle’s mascara and moisturizer in the future.

elf primer and my almost gone No. 7 powder

For my primer this week I ended up reaching for my e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer.  It is an excellent primer in general and really does a good job filling in the pores and turning my face into a smooth canvas.  I worked with it this week in an effort to try and correct the one flaw of the Marcelle CC Cream. 

While it really helped in most places, towards the end of the day the CC cream still emphasized the lines under my eyes.  For all else, the Putty Primer actually helped stop the CC Cream from showing a lot of the fine lines that it was showing without the primer.  So This was definitely a good week for the e.l.f  Poreless Putty Primer. It is a makeup bag repeat visitor and will remain so until the product is through.  Then it will be replaced.

Speaking of using products up, It is almost time to say goodbye to my No7 Pressed powder.  It has served me well, but alas, it is now only a slender ring of product around the outside of the completely exposed metal pan. Technically, I will be keeping it in the makeup bag for the rest of the week and possibly into the beginning of next, but I doubt it has enough product to last the full week, let alone next.

Even if this does last the week to be included in next week’s makeup bag I will be choosing a backup powder for when this finally runs out.  I love the formula on the No 7 pressed powder and will be picking another compact of it up again.  However at the moment I have several powders that I have ignored in favor of my No. 7 and I want to give them a chance to shine.  Or to prevent shine, really. So I am going to do my best to try not to immediately repurchase this once it is empty.  I suspect that on my next Target run a new one might somehow find its way into my cart, but I am going to try to resist.

I did have a loose powder in my makeup bag this week as well.  This week I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Fresh Setting powder. It is called fresh because essentially it is a solid lump of powder with a grater.  You turn the grater and the fresh loose powder appears. The product is good and there is a lot less spillage since you only grind up the powder you need when you need it, however the dial is really hard to turn if you have any product or water on your hands.  Then it becomes too slick to turn and you are just out of luck. I think if you had any sort of mobility issues related to your hands (like arthritis) you would want to steer clear of this product.  Which is a shame, the powder is really good.  It just requires dry hands and a certain level of physical dexterity to use. The concept is fun though.

This week most of my face products came from the True + Luscious Lucky Glow Face Palette. It too was a Boxycharm item this month, but unlike the Viseart, there are mixed results.

In fact it makes me feel a little like Goldilocks and the three bears.

 Let’s start with the bronzers.  There are two.  One warm toned (Good Fortune) and one cool toned (Serenity).  Both tend to disappear on the skin.  I had to work seriously hard to get them to show up on my skin.  Maybe if I had really fair skin, this would work for me, but even though I do not have the darkest skin tone in the world, I was too dark for it to apply well. At best, the bronzers are good for taming down the blush.

Unlike the bronzers, the blush (Royal Flush)comes on strong and highly pigmented.  After using the bronzers, this was quite the surprise. The first time I used this I ended up with a serious case of clown face.  It is a very pink tone, which isn’t my favorite to begin with, but it is also highly pigmented. So I was VERY Pink. And had to wash my face and start over again for the day.  I had a video call that day so leaving it wasn’t an option. 

Then there are the three Highlighters.

If you remember your three bears, you know we’ve had our too soft, and our too hard, so you know what comes next.

That’s right, the highlighters were the , um, highlight of the palette. All three were soft and buttery, applied well and stayed in place all day.  I could go light or bright with them and had no issues.  Pots of Gold is a bright gold shade, Heaven Sent is a silvery shade (even though it looks kind of bronze in the pan) and the speckled Triple Sevens is a warm rose gold shade that worked perfectly for me. In fact Triple Sevens is the jackpot of the palette.  I would by the shade in a single pan to use repeatedly. The other two highlighters, while good, weren’t unique enough for me to want to by them separately.  If there was a highlighter palette with the three of these in it, I would happily use all three, but the only one I would buy on its own is the Triple Sevens.

My mascara this week was from Beauty for Real.  I’ve used it before and as always I am surprised by how well I like it.  I am used to fluffy brushed mascaras but this one has a really small brush on the end of the wand.  I was certain I was going to hate it.  Then I used it. 

I do not hate it. 

Quite the opposite in fact.  The little brush lets me get to the base of my lashes and the formula really works at lengthening the lashes.  Because I can get to the very base of the lashes I was able to make my lashes look a lot more full than I expected.  Plus the small want is really good for lower lashes as well. I will happily continue to use this mascara.

I did not use an eyeliner this week.  I chose one but I was having so much fun with the eyeshadow that I forgot to reach for it.  So I will keep the eyeliner in the makeup bag and use it next week.  I did however use an eyebrow pencil this week. My bangs are still long enough that I doubt anyone noticed but  I used the RealHer brow pencil and I really enjoyed it.  It is a great formula and has an easy to use fine tip.  

the RealHer brow pencil and assorted lip products

RealHer also made an appearance with my lip products this week.  I used the RealHer lip liner in the shade I am confident.  It is a nice creamy lip liner that stays in place well.  The reason I reached for it was because of my BareMinerals lipstick. It is the new Mineralist formula that came in my Macy’s Beauty Box this month and I was so excited to get to try the formula.

The formula is rich and creamy and feels amazing on the lips.  It is a traditional style lipstick so it does need reapplying, but it is worth it.  The formula in no way dried out my lips and felt really comfortable to wear. My only issue was the color.  It is a little more pink than I like my lipsticks and wearing the RealHer lip liner underneath darkened it just enough to work for me.  I will be seeking out a different shade of this lipstick soon. I really like the formula of it.

Liner on the left and then swatched top to bottom we have Bareminerals, Nudestix and Giorgio Armani

The lip liner actually worked well with the NudeStix lip crayon I had in my makeup bag this week as well. The Nude Stix is in the shade posh and it was almost a perfect match for the lip liner.  I really appreciated that as lip liners really help me out with lip crayons.  I don’t know if it is the shape of the crayon or what, but with lip crayons I need a liner to keep the edges neat. It’s not a reflection of the product, it is definitely user error. The liner kept the user in check so there was no error.  I liked the color as it was a sort of pinky nude that worked well with my skin tones.  It isn’t the longest lasting formula and so it has to be reapplied in the same way you would reapply a traditional lipstick, but it felt very comfortable to wear and I think I will get a lot of use out of it. I also thing I like it better than their liquid lipsticks.

As you may recall I had a Grande Liquid Lip product in my Macy’s bag and I was very excited to try it out.  Unfortunately the wand either lost it’s head in manufacturing or snapped off somewhere in the tube.  Either way, I just had a stick of a wand that was useless.  The opening is too small for a cotton swab and none of my brushes would fit inside so I was unable to try it. I was really looking forward to trying out the formula.  I have heard both good and bad things about the liquid lip and wanted to try it for myself.  I’ve only used Grande Cosmetics’ Lash products (their Grande Lash mascara is really good) and I was looking forward to testing a lip product. I will set it aside and look for a brush that fits, but alas I did not find one this week.

And the final lip product I used this week was the tiniest most adorable liquid lip sample I have ever seen.   It is the Giorgio Armani Liquid Lip Maestro in the shade Cedar (206).  It came as a bonus in my final Allure Beauty Box (I cancelled my subscription).  I’ve never tried any lip products from Giorgio Armani so I was happy to have a chance, no matter how small the tube.  The formula applied well.  It dries down but not all the way.  When you press your lips together it still feels wet even hours later.  However after about ten minutes I took a sip of my coffee and there was no lip print left behind. It dries enough not to transfer but not enough to dry out your lips. 

It does fade throughout the day so a mid-day reapplication wouldn’t go amiss, but it still retain some color by the end of the day. The color was a sort of terra cotta, maybe a little darker, but with a definite slight orange tint.  While not my favorite color, it did work well enough, and because of the formula I was willing to use it anyway. It is a tiny sample though.  So I think I might put it to the side so I can use it in my upcoming lip series.  In the new year I will be doing more posts detailing the wear and feel of various lip products in more depth (and with more photos) than I can do here without this being even more of a massive post than it is.

Speaking of massive, this one has grown in length.  Luckily there is only one final product to talk about and that is the Lise Watier Magnifix setting spray.  As a setting spray it works well.  It does make your face very wet though so once applied, you need to take a minute or two to dry off before applying eyeliner mascara and lipstick. (I apply all three after I use a setting spray to avoid running). Other than the wait time, it sets well, smells nice and has the added benefit of antioxidants included in the spray.  I like a little skin care with my setting sprays. Over all I liked it and will happily keep it in rotation.  However I will not use this one when I am in a rush.  It is not a quick drying product.

And so with that we finish this week’s makeup bag.  It was quite the variety as far as reactions go. Next week should be interesting as I am packing two separate Makeup bags, one for the week and one specifically for new year’s eve. Both will post on December 31st, so stay tuned.


Lilfox - available at Alyaka.com