The Skin Care Line Up: April 23rd, 2021

This week saw the passing of the thirty day mark for many skin care items in my line up and I will begin breaking those items down in full reviews next week to let you know my thoughts on them. There were a few items that rotated out and a couple that rotated in. It wasn’t a major shake up but there were some changes.

Daytime Skin Care

Deodorant: Native Powder and Cotton Deodorant

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser (end of week 5)

Toning Essence: Byroe Bitter Greens Toning Essence (end of week 4)

Serum: Loreal Midnight Serum (end of week 5)

Eye Cream: Perricone MD Smoothing and Hydrating Eye Cream (end of week 5)

Moisturizer: 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream (end of week 5)

Sunscreen: Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50

Over all there isn’t much change to report in about the skincare line up. While I loved the Loreal Midnight serum in the first two weeks of use, I’m not entirely certain I felt much improvement after the initial burst of delight. I’m looking into the ingredients but I am not entirely certain it is worth a repurchase.

The Byroe Bitter Greens essence is now one of my all time favorite morning products. I love the scent of the product and the way it seems to wake up my skin and helps it absorb more of my other products. I am really becoming a big fan of this.

The deodorant is still Native Brand as I want to go a full year with the brand before my final thoughts on it. I did finish the Water Lily and orchid deodorant yesterday so this morning I opened the Powder and cotton scented one I picked up to replace it. The scent is clean and fresh and actually smells like a newly washed shirt straight from the dryer. Minus the heat of course. It is a less perfume like scent than the Water lily and orchid and I think I am going to like it a lot more. The other one was just a little too floral for me. This seems like something I could live with for a long time.

But of course only time will tell.

My eye cream is running low so I am not certain how long before a replacement needs to be rolled in. I am actually liking the Perricone MD soothing and Hydrating cream. It hasn’t caused any clogged pores around my orbital bone and I think it is really helping to reduce the appearance of the fine lines around my eyes. I’ll have to do a photo comparison to see, but on a day to day basis I am liking it and kind of down about how empty the tube now feels. Still it is eye cream so a partially empty tube can still last a while. We’ll see how long this one lasts.

Night time Skincare

Makeup Remover:  CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing Oil from Yensa

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser

( I didn’t wear waterproof eye makeup this week so I didn’t need the separate eye makeup remover from Klorane)

Toner Akar Skin Balance Toning Mist (end of week 3)

Serum: Loreal Midnight Serum

Eye Cream: Perricone MD Smoothing and Hydrating Eye Cream

Moisturizer: All in one Egg Mellow Cream from Too Cool For School

Vitamin C Powder: The Nue Co Topical C (end of week 1)

Neck serum: Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum

Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (in Maple) – this week I didn’t use a lip scrub.

Wednesday night the SYS Superfood for Your Skin Moisturizing Cream in Prickly Pear cream ran out. It was just shy of the thirty day mark so I won’t be breaking it out in a full review. However I also don’t think I will be picking it up in a full size either. It was a nice cream and I think it would have been a lot more suitable in the warmer months given it’s consistency, however I just can’t get past the scent of it. The prickly pear scent just reminds me of cocktails and made me feel like I was sticky (even though I wasn’t) It was purely a scent thing. Which is a shame because it was a nice cream. The scent just wasn’t for me.

In it’s place I added the All in one Egg Mellow Cream from Too Cool For school. I’ve seen this brand and moisturizer around but never tried anything from the, before. I’m thrilled to get to try it out. I used it for the first time last night. It has a light scent I can’t quite identify yet and I was surprised at how thick it felt in comparison to the SYS formula. It absorbed well but aside from that it is too early to tell whether I will really like it or not. I’ll have more to report on that next week.

Other than that the night time routine is plodding along with no major issues to report. Everything is working fine.

And now for the not so everyday products in the line up

In other Skincare…

Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum

Earth Harbor Marina Biome Brightening Ampule

Good Genes from Sunday Riley

While I put the Good Genes from Sunday Riley in the line up, this week I used the last of it. I have yet to find a replacement. The Good Genes really is a very nice product and I very much enjoyed using it. I was actually a little bit sad when I had to place the bottle in the empties bin. Despite smelling vaguely of lemon scented cleaner, it made my skin feel and look amazing. It may be gone now but it is definitely on the to be repurchased list.

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The Marina from Earth harbor provides an extra burst of hydration to the skin after the retinol of the Versed Press Restart. I am still using those two times a week. I might shift to three times a week next week but i don’t think I’ll go any higher than that as my skin doesn’t need that much chemical exfoliation. Whole I like retinoids and exfoliators in general it is very easy to overdo them. Sometimes less is more. It is a very gentle product though and even though i am spending more time in the sun I have not had any sun sensitivity. I also put on extra sunscreen the morning after I’ve used the Bersed Press restart so I think that helps. The Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield is still my go-to as far as daily sunscreen goes. As always it gets two thumbs way up.

and that y darlings is a quick review of this week’s skin care line up. As many products have passed the 30 day mark I will start rolling them into full individual reviews starting next week. That’s where we get to peer at the labels and poke around at the listed ingredients. I also get to look at claims and pass judgement on if the product actually met the claims listed and if I think I would repurchase it in the future. Fun stuff. well I think its fun. That’s of course one of the reasons I do it. I’ll see you back here later this afternoon for the Friday Face mask. As for me, it is is time to change clothes and head off to the gym and the start of my new fitness program. Wish me luck!

And that is the weekly Skin care update.  Some of the products are edging towards the recycling bin while others are about to face the spotlight of a deep dive into their ingredients list. At the moment I am pretty happy with my skin.  I have a few blemishes that I am clearing away, but other wise, I don’t think it is looking too shabby.

LovelySkin

The Skin Care Line up: March 26th, 2021

The Line up: March 26th, 2021

Let’s talk skin care. We all know by now it is a topic I can talk about for hours as I find the ingredients endlessly fascinating. While the products each have their own dedicated post discussing the ingredients and details (once they’ve gone through the full trial), this is more of a general feel for the products I am using as they are being used.

The products:

Make Up Remover: Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm from Banila Co with Klorane Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser

The cleansers

Exfoliator: Didn’t use a physical exfoliator this week

Toner: Akar Skin Balancing Toning Mist

Essence: Finished the Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence and will start the Byroe Bitter Greens Toning Essence

Akar Toner, 111Skin Moisturizer and Perricone MD eye cream

Serum: (can’t talk about until March 31st)

Retinol: Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum (Tuesday and Thursday nights)

Oil: Earth Harbor Marina Biome Brightening Ampule (after retinol)

AHA: Good Genes Sunday Riley (on the mornings after using retinol)

Retinol and friends: Versed Retinol followed with the earth Harbor oil and then the next day the AHAs of Good Genes are deployed

Eye Cream: Perricone MD Soothing Hydrating Eye Cream

Moisturizer: 111 Skin Y Theorem Day Cream

Night Cream/Mask: Pearl Brightening mask from Lapcos

The lips: Hanalei scrub and Bite Beauty

Lip Scrub and Mask: Hanalei Sugar lip scrub and Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Neck: Dermelect Self-Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum

Deodorant: Native Water Lily and Orchid Natural Deodorant.

While the Klorane eye makeup remover is usually something I hold on to for removing difficult makeup, I found myself using it a lot more this week as the Clean it Zero cleansing balm sort of stings my eyes a bit.  What I found myself doing was using the cleansing balm on the lower half of my face and then finishing it off and using the Klorane to get all eye makeup off so that my eyes wouldn’t sting.  Then I would go in with the wet Makeup Eraser to get anything that was missed before washing my face. (By the way currently Makeup Eraser sends 10% of it’s proceeds to clean water initiatives. You can click on the link to go and look at more details if you are interested.)

my favorite neck serum

I really like the La Roche Posay Purifying Foam Cleanser, which really shouldn’t be a surprise as any time I run out of the cleanser I’m using and I haven’t thought to order another one or have none in my skin care drawer I tend to pick the La Roche Posay up at Target. 

It is a really good cleanser.  I damp my skin and rub it on in its cream like form.  I like to make sure everything is covered and this is how I do it.  Then it foams up when you add more water during rinsing.  It is a very gentle cleanser and I can also use it post gym work out to remove sweat and have no worries of over drying my skin.  I am a big fan.

bare skin facing front

I also wanted a cleanser I could trust as I start to go back to the gym.  I’m working out with a mask on and I can see several breakouts thinking about rising from the increased masking time.  Thus far I’ve been able to deal with them without a major outbreak, but it made the cleanser a really important element (not that it isn’t always) in my routine.  I have several cleansers I need to try out, so I may have to pause my use of this bottle at some point to try something new, but I wanted something I knew my skin liked.  Sometimes tried and true does beat new.

and to the side so you see all the lines

The toner I am using from Akar is working well.  I tried the sample size of this a while ago and liked it.  I’ll have to do a full review on this when I’m done but I’m kind of on the fence about the product. There are some things I’ve noticed using it for a longer period that didn’t really show up in the trial size. I do however like the fact that it is a spray toner.  I am finding that with the reusable rounds replacing my disposable cotton rounds, the reusable ones soak up a lot more product, so you have to use more to get the same results.  With a spray it is less of an issue as I spray my face and then go in with the cotton round. It is a bit of an adjustment, but I like using the reusable rounds so I am okay with adjusting.

And to the other side so you see them too: and in case you are wondering about the look on my face in this one as I was taking the picture there was a strange sound outside the bathroom door just as I pressed the button. I just didn’t manage to get back and retake the photo.

I finally finished up the last of my Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence.  The link will take you to the full review of it.  I am now rotating in the Byroe Bitter Greens toning essence.  You will notice that it is not full once I show the initial picture next week. (I didn’t put it in the line up pics because I haven’t officially rolled it into the line up yet.) 

I tried this as a toner a while back and wasn’t sure I liked it as a toner (technically it is a toner and essence in one).  As I needed to think about it a bit, I set it to the side.  I am going to try it as an essence and see how it works with using the Akar as the toner.  I might have to play around with the two to see what I prefer, but I will start roll the Byroe into my line up this evening.

Everything else is chugging along and working fairly well.  I suspect the Pearl Night mask won’t last the weekend so I will have to decide what to replace it with.  I’m not entirely certain I like the Pearl Night Mask.  It is one of those products that has it’s pros and cons.  The final review of it will go out next week as I rotate in a new, as yet to be determined product.  I am thinking of raiding my samples and seeing what night masks lurk.  Because I am using a day cream as my moisturizer I will certainly have to have a different product to use at night.  The Y Theorem day Cream by 111 Skin is definitely a day cream.

My deodorant is still holding up well. when I switched to the Native in the summer I was concerned about the wet armpits, however after a few weeks of use the sweat became less as my body adjusted. It hasn’t been an issue at all lately. Part of that is of course the cooler temps of autumn and winter. I think some of the sweat was the summer sun and some of it was my body adjusting. As the temps heat back up (admittedly in fits and spurts right now) I’ll be keeping a close eye on it. The scent of this Water Lily and Orchid is fine. I like the scent, but I think I might try a different scent when this one runs out. As they generally have several to choose from, I’m sure I’ll find another one to try. I suspect I will end up eventually going back to the Cucumber and Mint, but I want to try out some of the others first.

Over all everything seems to be working well.  I have a few more potential break outs from wearing my mask more but thus far they are under control.  I will be using the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Chamomile and Cacao Clearing mask this afternoon in an attempt to take care of them further, but none of the products is causing me any major issues. At the moment, I think my skin isn’t looking too bad.

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The Make Up Bag: December 4th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Becca highlight, NARS Bronzer, Benefit Mascara

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

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

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

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

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

No. 7 Pressed powder and Josephine eyeliner

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

e.l.f. setting powder and Julep blush

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bliss (and Bite) with the Friday Face Mask

Bliss and Bite Beauty for the Friday Face Mask Win

Welcome once again to Face Mask Friday.  I have to say, I am very happy to be here.  Today has been a nice calm even day for me.  I worked, I walked, I showered I masked.  And then I’ll go back to work for the rest of the day.

first applied

It’s kind of nice.  The mask I went for today is not a new one in my collection.  I have had it a while and I always enjoy using it.  It is the Bliss Pore Patrol Deep Detox Four Clay Souffle Mask. The soufflé mask means that it is a little bit lighter than regular clay masks.  The deep detox part means it really helps with the clogged pores forming bumpy lines in roughly the same locations as my face mask rests against my skin. 

Imagine that.

can’t really smile when it dries down so despite loving the mask I sort of look angry, I’m not I’m just locked in place.

This mask is a very reliable product for me.  I think I originally received this in a subscription box, however I have repurchased it a couple of times since then.  This and the Bliss Mighty Marshmallow Bright and Radiant Whipped Mask are two I regularly keep around.  The Mighty Marshmallow is really good when I’ve got inflamed break outs as it seems to calm the irritation down and the deep detox is the one I reach for when I have clogged pores.  At the moment all my current breakouts have pretty much cleared up so it is just the clogged pores, hence the choice of mask. Bliss is having a sale on Masks and treatments this weekend as well, 30% off. Since their masks are always affordably priced it is an even better bargain than usual.

Bliss Cosmetics – 30% Off Masks & Treatments!

There is no tingling with this mask and to be honest, very little scent.  It feels cool against the skin, but that I think is mostly just the nature of clay.

clean and no longer looking like I am angry

You may notice that my lips are a bit shiny in the photos (or the camera may not have picked it up).  That’s because I like to indulge my lips a bit when I do my masks.  I usually do, I just don’t always remember to mention it.  MY go to lip product is the Bite Beauty Agave Night time lip therapy mask.  It has almost no scent to it. 

I tend to use the Maple lip mask during the day and the night time one at night, partially because if I try wearing the maple one at night my baby doll wakes up craving pancakes.

starting to reach the bottom of this jar of the Bite Beauty Agave nighttime li

When I mask I use the Night time one as well.  Some of it will wash off when I rinse off my mask but a surprising amount will have sunk in during my fifteen minute masking.  The amount that sinks in always makes me feel as though I’ve been ignoring my lips.  But they do feel wonderfully soft when I am done.  In case you are interested Bite Beauty has a sale going on this weekend for their lip treatments. From today until September 16th it’s buy one, get one 50% off on the entire Agave+ Collection.

Buy one, get one 50% off on our entire Agave+ Collection. 9/11 – 9/16

I highly recommend both the regular lip mask (that’s the maple scented one, although they do sell other, it just happens to be my favorite), and the Nighttime lip mask.  I am actually stocking up on both for the winter. As you can see I am getting quite low on my night time mask and need to restock. Since I have an almost new tube of the regular lip mask I may look around and actually branch out from my favorites and (gasp, shock, awe) try something new. Summer and winter are when I need them most, spring and fall I generally use just regular lip balm and call it good, but summer and winter, my lips need just a little extra love.

And now I am refreshed and my skin feels smooth and clean. For the rest of the afternoon I am going to be working at my desk so I am going to stay fresh faced and just let my skin breath for a little while. I’ll probably give it a spritz of the Timeless Skin HA Spray later on if I need a little refresher, but otherwise I’m just going to let my skin be. For now, it is back to work for me.

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My Current Skin Care Line Up

I know I talk a lot about different products, but I thought you might find it interesting to see the full regime as it stands now.  First off, I ought to say that I have a staggered rotation system for skin care. I like to have an older product I’ve been using for a while roll into my trial for a new product so that I’m not changing out every item at the same time. 

For example I am currently testing three Timeless Skin products (gifted to me by Timeless Skin for testing and review purposes for which I am extremely grateful).  The Hyaluronic Acid Serum I have been using for two weeks now (Labor day started week three so I will be reviewing it on the 21st after 30 days of use), while the while the Squalane Oil from Timeless skin is just starting its second week of use and the HA Spray is on its first full week of use.

The same can also be said for my Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk.  I used it for a month but will use it a little bit longer since I just started with the HA spray. I’ll use the same cleanser while I figure out how everything reacts and then I’ll start a new cleanser trial.  I generally find that staggering new products keeps my skin from freaking out with the new so I get a more accurate opinion about how things work.

Now I do have one disclaimer, my skin care routine is slightly jumbled a bit because I am trying to get in several workouts  and don’t want to just sweat off my products, so I’ll try to put those in here as well.

current cleanser

In the mornings, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I am trying to get in about twenty minutes of strength and flexibility training.  This is mostly with youtube videos, wii fit and yoga.  It is done in doors and because I have the tendency to talk myself out of it, I find it is easier to start with the workout before I’m fully awake.  So on those mornings I splash water on my face to rinse off the remnants of my night cream, towel off and after dressing, do my planned work out.

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After I turn on the coffee pot and cool down a bit, I start in on my morning skin care. I start by washing my face, currently with the Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing milk. 

Toner

I then use a toner.  I just finished the Akar Balancing Toning Mist and am now trying the Pixi Skin Treats Clarity Tonic.  Typically with Pixi I tend to go for their exfoliating toners so this was a new one for me.  While early in my use thus far I have been liking it.

serum

After toning I use a serum on my face, neck and decollete.  Currently, the serum I am trying out is the Timeless Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  And I did remember to take before pictures this time so I will have before and after photos from 30 days of use. 

I’ve actually noticed a positive change actually, but I will get into details with the full review.  At the moment I can say that I really like this serum and am turning into a pretty big fan of Hyaluronic Acid in skincare.

After I apply the serum, I brush my teeth while it takes it’s time settling in.  While this serum sinks in fast, I really like to give it a little extra time to settle in before I move on. You can probably see it in the background of the above photo but I am a big fan of the Aquafresh Extreme Clean toothpaste.  It has been my go-to for years.  I like the taste better than I like the regular aqua fresh.  Although sometimes the foaming can be a bit much.  But it is a good toothpaste.

eyecream

Then once I have wiped up all of the toothpaste fall out, I apply my eye cream.  Currently I am using the Glossy box Skin Care Eye Boost Cream (I’ve almost finished my month of use so a review will be coming soon).  With eye cream I not only use it around my eyes, but on the fine lines around my lips. 

The same formulation that helps eye cream work on the delicate tissue around the eyes also helps it on the fine lines around the lips. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite tricks and one I use increasingly as I get older.  In its own way that skin is just as delicate as the eyes and a little extra help in fighting those lines doesn’t hurt.

Squalane Oil

After the eye cream I use the oil.  At the moment I am using the Timeless 100% Squalane oil.  Oddly enough, I am finding that I can use it both morning and night unlike many other oils which I have only been able to use at night.  I think it’s because squalane’s main purpose is to simply lock in moisture and it really is just one type of oil (it’s also a really affordable oil as these things go). I’ve just started using it so I’ll have to see how it works moving forward.  Right now I am really enjoying it.  I use three drops and apply it to my skin and then follow with my moisturizer. I like applying the oil first rather than blending it in with the moisturizer. No real reason, it is just what I prefer.

moisturizer

The moisturizer I am currently using is the Dior Dream Skin Capture Totale. It was sent to me by Influenster and comes in a refillable container.  I can already tell you I am going to want to get a refill.

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At the moment it is running about even in my moisturizer preferences with the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer and the Volition Celery Green Cream. 

Those three may be my top three moisturizers of 2020 at this point.  Still the year is not over.

sunscreen

Speaking of Volition, after I apply the moisturizer I top it off with my Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield with SPF 50. I keep trying other sunscreens and I keep going back to this one.

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You will notice there is a second sunscreen in the picture however.  This is the Polaar Fluide Solaire also with SPF 50. While it is a good sunscreen, I don’t like it on my face.  It feels just a little too heavy.  It is perfect for my neck and upper chest where v-neck t-shirts expose the skin and I have really been enjoying using it there to give my skin some extra protection. 

lip masks, the maple day cream is in the tube and the night mask is in the jar.

I then add my Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask in the scent Maple to my lips.  It really does smell like maple syrup.  And it tasks kind of like it too.  I generally find that not only does it keep my lips wonderfully soft but the scent makes me feel like I’ve already indulged in some delectable treat and thus makes it less likely that I will feel like snacking.  I sort of feel Like I’ve already snacked.

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And skin care done I sit at my desk and get a few hours of work done.  I don’t put makeup on at this point as my meetings tend to be in the afternoon and I still have my daily walk to get through.  All my skin care has a couple of hours to soak in though. 

Then I take my walk.  Before I leave the house I spray myself all over with a spray sunblock.  I’m partial to one from Neutrogena. Even with the sunblock underneath, I like to be extra careful, especially after my bad burn earlier in the spring.

In general I sweat profusely during my walks.  Which is fine.  I like to think of the seat as encouraging my weight loss.  However I am a mess when I return.  While I often employ the Busy Beauty Showerless wipes to get me through until I can take my evening shower, and have various ways of dealing with my hair, my face is a different matter. 

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If I don’t wash my face after my walk I am just going to feel gross the rest of the day.  But I don’t want to strip my skin.  So I tend to use a gentle cleanser that will just wash away the sweat (and sometimes pollen) residue from my walk in the park/walking trail. 

Post work out cleanser

The cleanser I have consistently used for a while has been the Olay Cleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser.  It is an excellent oil free, no frills cleanser that just makes my skin feel less gunky after a good sweat. 

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To be honest I have been using this as my post workout cleanser since I started my weight loss journey.  I have lost track of how many times I have used up and replaced this bottle. It is also the cleanser I grab when another cleanser is giving me problems because I know it is effective and reliable. So I use it after my walks.

post workout serum

Something new I am trying, because it came to me in an IPSY box, is the 111Skin Cryo ATP Sports Booster.  It is a serum you are supposed to use after a workout.  So because I wanted to see how it worked, I have started adding it to my skin after my quick wash with the Olay.  Previously I just did the quick wash and then moved into my makeup.

After the 111Skin has had a few minutes to settle in, I apply my makeup for the day.  While I usually end with a setting spray, the HA Spray with Matrixyl 3000 sent to me by Timeless claims to be able to be used as a setting spray as well as being skin care, so this week I started using it to set my makeup.  There will be more on that later this week.  But I will tell you now that is it wonderfully refreshing and smells like cucumbers.

skin care based setting spray

And then I go about my day.

At the end of the day I use a cleansing balm or oil to remove my makeup and then I use a cleanser like the Purlisse.  I just finished the Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleansing oil and tonight I will start using the Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser.  It too came in a Petit Vour Box and I am looking forward to testing it out. 

upcoming cleansing oil/makeup remover

Often times I will remove my makeup after dinner and then use a mask of some sort while reading or watching television or you tube.  With my mask I will apply the Bite Beauty Agave Nighttime lip therapy mask to my lips.  It is more intense than the maple one I use in the mornings, although with less of a scent. 

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It also keeps me from snacking while watching television.  I know it is technically supposed to be left on over night, and sometimes I will re apply it just before I lay down but I find when I am watching movies or television with my babydoll in the evenings I am tempted to snack.  This really keeps me from snacking, even after the face mask is removed.

Eventually, I will migrate to the bedroom.  I do my night time skin care before I start to read in bed.  Once or twice a week I will use an exfoliator.  At the moment I am using the Avant Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant.  It is an extremely gentle physical exfoliate but I don’t like to use them too often lest it damage the skin. 

exfoliation

After the exfoliate is rinsed off (on the nights I use it) I go back in with my toner, followed by serum, teeth brushing, eye cream, oil and moisturizer. Depending on the moisturizer I am using I will either use the same one I use during the day or a night cream.  The Dior is good for both day and night, but on a few days where I have been outside a bit longer, I replace my moisturizer with a night cream.  Currently I am trying out the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping mask.  I only use it a couple of times a week.

Then I read in bed for an hour or two and go to sleep.

night cream

I know, that’s a lot of different steps to my skin care.  Personally, I enjoy the ritual of it and I really like taking the time to work on my skin.  At the moment, my skin is doing really well.  Most of my acne has faded. I still have a few clogged pores where my mask presses into my face, but really that is a combination of mask and sweat.  Some combination of elements in the last week has really been doing my skin well. 

This is another reason I like rotating products.  I can check in with my skin and see what I was using when things start to get better and I can monitor it as I stop using certain products and see where things change.  I helps me to figure out what is actually working and what is not.  It is also why I am not opposed to taking extra time in my routine.  To be honest, written out it looks like it takes a lot longer than it actually does.  It only really takes me about twenty minutes in the morning and then another twenty at night (not counting the mask) so it isn’t really as onerous as it looks on paper.

But there you have it.  Even though some of the products rotate out, the sequence and system remains more or less the same.  There are always changes based on products though.  Sometimes the oil I’m testing is one I only want to wear at night and so I skip it in the morning.  Sometimes I will try two different serums, one at night and one in the day because one reacts poorly to the sun. Sometimes my skin needs more or less exfoliation.  But in general, this is my daily skin care regime.



The Make Up Bag: August 28th, 2020

The Make Up Bag Used the Week of August 22nd – 28th, 2020

I know usually the first things I list are the Foundation and the eyeshadow with links to the full reviews, but this week I have to start with my setting spray. 

completely empty

I know it seems like an odd place to start but I am pleased to announce that I have finally finished up my I heart Revolution Fixing Spray in the scent Peaches and Cream.  It was an older spray that has spent a great deal of time in my dressing table and I made a concentrated effort to use it up.  



It is a really good setting spray so using it wasn’t a hardship.  It had just been around a while.  But now it is finished and I can rotate other, newer products into my makeup bag. I’m sure at some point I’ll pick up another Revolution spray but I am rather happy to change scents for a while.  The Peaches and Cream was nice, but I’m ready for a change.

just a wee bit left

Speaking of using up products, I am close to finishing out my Ciate London everyday Vacaay loose setting powder.  Only a week or twos worth of product remains so the jar was in my Makeup bag this week and will remain until I finish it out.  Then I’ll use a different product. Or rotate through my other powders.  I was just so close to finishing this that I just wanted to concentrate on it. And it is a good powder. Incidentally at the moment the look Fantastic Website has Ciate London Products on sale up to 70% off. and they are just kicking off their Labor Day sales. Right now you can get 22% off Sitewide with the code LABORDAY22. That sale runs through September first. They also have a Flash Sale! 40% off Select Peter Thomas Roth (valid through 8/29). I actually just finished testing out two moisturizer samples from Peter Thomas Roth and will be posting a review on Monday. (I’m also going to be trying to order the Hungarian Mineral Water moisturizer this afternoon. I love when my skin care trials and sales meet. It makes me feel the universe is working with me instead of against. But moving on back to the makeup bag…).

My foundation this week was the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation.  I ordered the sample packets to try out the shade ranges.  I’m pretty certain that 213 is my shade but I will be trying the other packets periodically to make certain before I order a bottle.  As it is a $77 foundation, I want to be certain of my shade before I purchase. The samples came with a coupon for $10 off a purchase of the full sized foundation as well, which I thought was nice. While the link will take you to the full review I have to say that this foundation was absolutely amazing. I was really hoping it wasn’t.  I was hoping I could say, yeah it’s nice but not really worth the price.  Except that it is actually worth the price.

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My eyeshadow palette this week was also worth every penny I spent on it.  However in this case that was only $4.99.  I used the My Glamour Squad Eye shadow Palette from Wet ‘n Wild this week.  It performed fantastically well for me and I am actually thinking of picking up more Wet’n Wild eyeshadow Palettes.  In the post about the shadow palette, I stuck with finger swatches because that is what I always do and I wanted to stick with the standard. The finger swatches came out poorly. This formula works better with a brush.

I loved it on my eyes. I felt bad about the swatches so I did a quick swatch with a brush to show a little better how they apply. So that’s why there is a better swatch picture of the mattes in this post.

Actually the Coffee Cat palette they just came out with is right up my alley and will probably be one of my next purchases. As long as the formula of the shadows remains the same, I will be a big fan of Wet ‘n Wild’s shadows.

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While I used my Pretty Vulgar concealer under the shadows to give me a nice base to work with, I didn’t need to use the Pretty Vulgar lid primer.  So even though the official lid primer was in my bag, I didn’t need to use it with these shadows.   

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I like both the primer and the concealer, but I think next week I am going to switch out the concealer but keep the lid primer around.  I might not need the lid primer, but it is a new eyeshadow palette I will be working with so I like to have it around just in case.

Making a return trip into my Makeup bag this week was the Touch in Sol No Poreblem primer.  As always it performed beautifully.  I love the way it feels light, yet fills in my pores.  It is one of my favorite primers.  This week I have two new primers that have been added to my dressing table by subscription boxes.  I’m not sure yet which I’ll try out, but next week will feature a brand new primer.  The Touch in Sol is not going anywhere but back to my dressing table. 

For blush and bronzer this week I turned to Julep.  I really like the shade of the pore minimizing blush.  I have the shade rosewood which is my perfect summer shade.  I think I’m going to need to get a lighter tone for the winter months though.  I keep poking around on the Julep site to see which shade looks like it will work.   It is a great formula and one I don’t mind having multiples of.  At the moment Julep is having a sale as well so I’m hoping to make a decision before the sale ends. There’s nothing like a deadline right?

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I also used the Julep bronzer.  While not as spectacular as the blush, it is a good bronzer.  It is buildable and really easy to blend.  I use the shade medium tan and I think it will work for me both with my tan and when my skin grows winter pale.  The only difference is really how much product I use.  I use more in the summer but I really think just a lighter application will keep it working for me in the winter.  It is one of the reasons I really like the buildable formula.  It means I only need to buy one shade.

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For my mascara I paired the eyeko lash alert mascara with the doucce Punk Volumizer.  The eyeko mascara is great at lengthening and the doucce is great for bulking up the lashes so it was a good pair.  While I like the eyeko lash alert, I prefer the formula of their black magic mascara. This was the second week for the Lash Alert sample size and I managed to use up the remaining product in the tube.  So it will be sent to the empties bin. 

I’ll probably pick up the Black magic mascara or an eyeliner next time I shop with Eyeko mostly because I prefer the formula but it is still a pretty good mascara.  The Doucce was better paired with the eyeko, but still just an okay mascara.  I’ll be using it up and saying goodbye rather than repurchasing.

My eyeliner this week was from Beauty for Real.  It gave me a nice thin line of mascara and was easy to work with.  While it didn’t seep into my fine lines, it took a little while to dry down and was prone to smudging before it dried down.  Once dry it was fine, but you just have to be careful those few minutes.  I did notice that by the end of the day, the eyeliner had faded a bit, going a little more gray than black.  While it was a decent eyeliner and I will continue to use it, this isn’t my favorite and once it is done, I won’t be repurchasing it.

My highlighter this week was the floss sunlit from the August Allure Beauty Box.  It was an interesting product.  When you look at it it looks kind of silvery, but when you apply it, the highlighter turns more gold.  As I prefer the golden highlighters with my skin tone, I was okay with the change. 

highlight swatch, not blended in

What I found interesting was that it applied better with a finger than with a brush.  It was rather disappointing when I used a brush to apply it.  It faded away to almost nothing.  When I used my fingertip to apply it worked fabulously well. It blended nicely and provided just the right amount of glow.  I don’t know if I was just using the wrong sort of brush, but I’m not adverse to applying it with my fingers.  I think the fingertip might work better because of the product’s consistency.  While it is technically a powder, it is not very powdery and has almost a jelly consistency.  It’s kind of strange, like it is hallway between the two.  It is still powder and not a jelly but it has almost that wet touch to it. I kind of liked it actually.

And finally we come to the lips.I had four products in my bag this week.  I had a Huda Beauty lip countour in the shade Trophy wife, two liquid lipsticks from Bite Beauty (Caramelized and Infuse), and a lip gloss fromC’est Moi in the shade opulence.

The lip gloss was nice.  It had no real color to it so swatches just show up as a glossy spot. It sat well on the lips and wasn’t too terribly sticky.  It was a lip gloss so there was some stick factor, but it wasn’t too much.  It is a nice lip gloss that I used both on its own and over other products this week. 

The Huda Beauty lip contour I used both as a lip liner for Infuse and on my entire lips.  I like the color and under the C’est Moi lip gloss it wasn’t too drying.  It is still a lip liner so there is some drying when used this way, hence the lip gloss over it to make it more comfortable.  I also used Caramelized to alter the color a bit. 

Caramelized by Bite Beauty is just a little too neutral of a shade for me to wear on it’s own.  On me it makes my lips disappear into my face.  However it is an excellent lip topper.  I used it over Trophy wife to make that a little less pink and I used it with Infuse to make it a little less vibrant. Typically with bite beauty I end up going for their bullet style lipsticks (which I absolutely adore). But I really like these liquid lips. 

Lip swatches, Huda in Trophy Wife on top Caramelized in the middle and Infuse at the bottom (Bite Beauty)

The formula never really dries down so there are a few lip prints left behind, but it is a very comfortable formula to wear.   While I like the color of Infused, I often none it down with Caramelized.  I’ve done so often enough that Caramelized is starting to get a pinkish tint to it. Who knows, a few more weeks of use and the color might have altered enough so I can wear it on it’s own. 

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One thing I like with this is that the color remains for most of the day.  It dims a little in the afternoon, but I think that is because some of it wears off during lunch.  But at the end of the day, I was still wearing lipstick.   And I do like a lipstick that can last the day with me.

So that was my makeup bag this week.  I had a great deal of fun with it and it helped me start to add to my list of products I want to pick up in the near future. I hope this has helped anyone else reading to plan their purchases as well.


The Make Up Bag: June 5th, 2020

The Makeup Bag, used May 30th – June 5th

Welcome once again to The Make Up bag. I had a really good line up this week.  If you read my foundation post yesterday then you know the first item this week was a replacement.  My plan was to use a Nars Foundation however it was just a little too pale for my current skin tone so I replaced it with the Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation instead.  I really enjoyed using it and am quite sad that it is leaving the makeup bag this week so another product can take it’s turn in the rotation.  I really liked it and look forward to seeing it again.

Also covered in a separate post was the Hello, Charmer eyeshadow palette from BoxyCharm.  It was the palette I used throughout the week.  There were some highs and some lows but overall it was a really fun palette to use.

My primer this week was the NYX Professional Makeup Pore Filler Primer.  I really like this primer.  It has a light tint to it and glides on to the skin like silk. It does a fantastic job filling pores and with the Maybelline foundation it made my skin look fantastic. 

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Even without my foundation on the primer made my skin look great. It is actually one of my most used primers.  A little goes a long way, which is why I wasn’t overly concerned by how light it felt when I added it to my make up bag last week.  I ended up having just enough product left in the tube to last the week, although luckily I had one day where I tested the foundation without primer otherwise I probably wouldn’t have had enough.  Regardless, the tube is now empty and will be relegated to the empties bin.  Next week another primer will take it’s place but eventually I will be replacing this primer.  It is a good one to have on hand for everyday use.

This week I also used the Elf Camo concealer.  It is an excellent concealer that doesn’t crease under my eyes.  It also worked as an wonderful  eyelid primer.  It is one that I always like to keep on hand.  It is actually the concealer by which I judge other concealers.  If you are a concealer, you are either as good as or not as good as the Elf Camo concealer.

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It will be rotating out this week and I will not be rotating another concealer in to take it’s place.  Instead, next week I am going to attempt to practice a makeup trick I’ve been hearing about for a while.  It is the using powder after moisturizer and before foundation trick. I’ve watched a lot of back and forth about it so I am going to try it this week. The claim is not only that it helps foundation look better and stay on longer but that you don’t need concealer if you don’t have huge under eye circles. I’ll post my thoughts on that after I try it (along with links to the You Tubers who inspired my attempt to try it).

So instead of a new concealer I will be using the Pretty Vulgar eyelid primer that came in May’s BoxyCharm for my eyelids and I will be rotating in one loose powder and one pressed powder.

That’s right, a new pressed powder. I have been working on finishing up the Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder and I have to say that on Wednesday I thought I was going to have at least one more week with the Rimmel.  It is no hardship as I really like the powder.

But Thursday morning I accidentally knocked it into the sink and it shattered. It was really a thin little wafer of product. It also became spattered with toothpaste residue.

Yeah, so alas we must part and a new product will take it’s place.  I have to say I feel oddly nervous.  My two standard pressed powders are the Rimmel Stay matte and the Elf Translucent.  I finished up the ELF a few weeks ago and decided not to replace it so I could try new products.  I didn’t worry because I still had the Rimmel.  Now it is gone so I’m working without a net this week.  I have no familiar standby should something go wrong. I know it sounds silly, but I really can’t remember when I didn’t have a Rimmel compact in my make up drawer. Even when I didn’t wear any products other than powder, mascara and lip gloss, I always had the Rimmel around. It feels really strange to let it go. I am sure at some point it will return.

But as we move on we come to bronzer.  This week I used the Too Faced Chocolate Gold Bronzer.  It too joined my collection via Boxy Charm and while I have used other bronzers by Too Faced and liked them I was a little hesitant about the shimmer.  To be honest, it wasn’t really noticeable. 

That may just be my skin tone, as gold tones really work well with me.  It added a little depth to the color, but it wasn’t highlight adjacent, which is what I was worried about. It could be a little dark when first applied but it blended out well and was an excellent product to use.  I really liked this and look forward to using it again.  I also have to say, I really love the sleek packaging of the compact as well as the yummy chocolate scent. It definitely stays in rotation.

This week I got to use one of my favorite blushes and that is the Benefit Gold Rush Blush.  It too has a bit of a gold twinkle too it and I was hesitant about it, but it is an excellent color on me and it blends really well.  I am sad to see it rotate out at the end of the week, but needless to say, it will be returning and it will be returning often. I really need to take advantage of their current sale and maybe try a different blush from them, but I really like this one so chances are I’ll just buy a backup. That’s not a bad thing of course. Although if the Gold Rush is part of a blush palette I might try that instead. I could get my favorite AND try something new. I know, you probably didn’t need my inner dialogue as I talk myself into buying blush, so we will move on to Highlighter (and post the sale link in case I’m not the only one eyeballing it.)

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This week I used the Steve Laurant Jelly highlighter as my highlighter of the week.  It was an interesting product to use. It took me a little while to play with it and I have to say the trick is to use your finger to apply it and not a brush.  If you use a brush you will either blend it in too much so it disappears or you will end up with a blinding stipe that looks like you are attempting to be some sort of photonegative of an old school football player. (Do they still use the black stripes under their eyes?)

Using your finger is the way to go with this.  Apply it and the gently blend with the fingertips and it is a stunning highlighter that is not too much. It is just enough for everyday wear.  If you are a blinding highlight sort of person, just don’t blend it in as much.  Either way, use your finger, not a brush. It took me a few days to come to terms with this highlighter, but now, I think we are friends.  I will be keeping this in rotation.  I won’t know for sure if I would buy it again until I use more of the product.  I think it’s going to be one of those decisions I make once I think I’m running out of it, which could take a while because its a large pan. I really like the gold tint of it, but I am not certain I would care for a silvery or pink shade. But as it is a relatively full product, I have plenty of time to decide.

With regards to lips, I had three products to choose from this week.  I kept the Ciate Watermelon lip oil around because I liked it and wanted to have a lip oil around.  It has a slight watermelon taste to it and a more pronounced scent.  It is very summery and it really helps hydrate my lips after time in the sun. I have to say in general, I have really been impressed with Ciate products lately.

I also had a sample size of the Smashbox Liquid lipstick in the shade Stepping Out.  It is an excellent nude shade that on me at least doesn’t make my lips disappear into the skin. (it is the top swatch on my hand photo) I like the formula as well.  It dries down so that after about five minutes it stops leaving lip prints all over my coffee cup, but it never dries down all the way so my lips never felt parched.  Oddly enough with all my hand washing on the day I took a photo of this swatch at the end of the day I still had to use a make up remover to remove the remnants from my hand. It has great longevity and is very comfortable to wear.  It is however, the end of this samples life cycle.  There are only the dim traces of product left on the insides of the tube.  It will be journeying to the empties bin.  However, I do like the color and the formula enough that I will be looking at Smashbox and picking up several shades in the future.

Because I highly doubted that the Smashbox sample would last the week I added a second sample size lipstick to my make up bag and that was the Bite bullet lipstick in the shade Rhubarb. (lower swatch on the above hand swatch photo) It is a comfortable lipstick to wear.  It doesn’t dry down and will leave lip prints on drinks, but it doesn’t really smudge or get on your teeth.  It doesn’t make your lips feel dry or feel waxy and it has a pleasant scent.

To be honest, it actually smells a little bit like the rhubarb and strawberry jam my grandmother used to make.  There is no pronounced strawberry, but there is something sweet tempering the scent of tart rhubarb.  On the days I wore this I needed to reapply the lipstick after lunch, but I am okay with that given that it is a more traditional lipstick.

Since this sample size is not yet spent, it will be going back in rotation.  As the color is a nice reddish shade that I can wear with almost anything, I suspect that once this sample is used up, I will be purchasing a full size.  I just want to use the sample first to see if there are any hitches before I buy.  If there aren’t I suspect I will be purchasing several shades as I really do like the lipstick formula.  It actually shouldn’t come as a big surprise to me that I like it as I have been using their products for a while.  I used to get family in Canada to send down a care package of things I couldn’t get here and I have been using their Agave lip mask nearly nightly for the past few months as well.

Next in my line of products I have the Doucce Punk Volumizer mascara. It is a decent mascara.  It doesn’t flake off and lasts throughout the day.  It doesn’t clump or stick either. It has a big fluffy brush and if you work with it, the lashes to look lengthened.  You just really have to work with it. 

If you want volume, you are going to need to make at least two passess.  It is one of those products that qualifies as fine but a little disappointing.  I think the disappointment comes from the fact that volumizing is in its name.  It is something I will be using up, because there is nothing wrong with it, but this is not a mascara I will repurchase. There are other products I like much better. But it is decent enough to keep in rotation and use up.

The Skone tattooed waterproof eyeliner also falls into this category.  It is good, it works well, but it isn’t as smooth an application as my Eyeko so I probably wouldn’t repurchase it.  I will keep it in rotation though until it is used up. 

Actually I don’t like to open a lot of calligraphy pen eyeliners at one time so I only have two open at the moment (this and the Eyeko Fat Eyeliner) so I will be alternating between them for a while.  At least as far as the pen style goes, I have a couple of pencil style ones I use as well, but they don’t dry out like the pens so it is less of an issue.

Next we have the wet ‘n wild ultimate brow kit in ash brown.  I picked this up when I picked up the foundation and I have to say I really had no expectations.  I just thought it would be interesting to try.  It comes with a set of tweezers and a small brush.  The tweezers are tiny but okay, the brush is fine.  I could see both being handy if you were traveling with this. 

I like that behind the tools is a small mirror for an up close view, although from the brush my mirror is already too smudged to be of use. There are three products.  Two powders, one darker one lighter and one cream highlighting pan. The dark powder is far too dark for my eyebrows but the lighter shade works perfectly for me and I did enjoy using it. 

The cream is utterly pointless.  It is hard to use and not very effective.  Plus, it soaks up every stray molecule of powder that comes its way so you have to scrape the top clean before each use.  I like the idea, but the function was a fail.  I think that what I am going to do this week is keep this product around, use the powder and add a stick contour highlighter to go with it. I know it defeats the purpose of the kit, but I want to see how I feel about the brow powder when I don’t have to think about using the contour.  I suspect I will like it a lot better, which will help me to know should I find that wet n’ wild sells just the powder outside of the kit. It is a very reasonably priced product so I think it would be worth knowing.  So a second week for the kit and a determination of possible repurchasing to follow.

This leads us to the final Item in this week’s bag and that is the I heart Revolution Fixing Spray in the scent Peaches and Cream. What can I say?  The product is a winner.  It smells nice, it works fantastic and not only am I keeping it out for another week but I am contemplating picking it up in several more scents.  It is a great product and will remain in the bag for a second week.



So those were the products I used this past week, the good, the bad, the frustrating and the pleasurable.

Next Week’s selections for the Make Up Bag

For the upcoming week, the Revolution Fixing Spray will stay as will the wet ‘n wild brow kit. Joining it will be the Billion Dollar Brows Highlight and contour stick. I chose the ELF Bite sized palette in Cream and sugar and added a couple of KVD Beauty single shadows to extend it a little, as well as a KVD Beauty eyeliner. I’ll be using a Fenty Beauty cream Highlighter and a trestique cream bronzer For my lips I’ve got the Luna by Luna lip oil, Thrive cosmetics lip gloss and Maybelline Ink crayon to try. 

I’ll also be using an Hourglass blush, Illamasqua primer, Kevyn Aucoin mascara and an Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation. Finally, for powders I will be using a Ciate loose setting powder and trying out a No. 7 pressed powder as well. A few of the products I have tried before, the Tristique is actually on my permanent favorites list and is actually close to being used up.  Most of the products I chose this week are either entirely new to me or things I’ve only tried once or twice before. It should make it an interesting week.


Blinc Tubing Mascara

Kiss, Kiss Darling

a bevy of lip products to try

Anyone who has been reading this for any length of time knows I have a deep affection for lip products.  Last winter when I began to seriously make an effort to lose weight, lipstick and lip balm were my go to anti-snacking defense as well as a fun makeup product. 

In our household January is a big birthday month and as one of the family bakers, I end up making all sorts of cakes and sweet treats for various celebrations.  As I began my weight loss attempts I had to convince myself not to nibble on the extra birthday goodies.  Since I don’t eat for a little while after applying lip products, I became compulsive about applying lip balm as a snack reducing technique.

Over the course of the year, my urge to snack has diminished a lot.  Part of that is the fact that we don’t keep a lot of snack foods in the house. It is much easier to ignore a craving if satisfying it requires a lot of time and effort. As a result, I became less compulsive with my lip balm application. The end result? As the weather cooled, my lips began their annual chapping.

So in order to maintain kissable lips (or at least not painfully cracked ones) we bring forth the lip products.

ELF lip scrub in Sweet Cherry

First we have three lip scrubs and then we have two lip treatments.  The first lip exfoliator is from ELF and is in the scent Sweet Cherry (retail $4 at Target).  I mentioned this in my end of the year review and I have to say I really like this one.  When you first start it, the product feels like a lip gloss, but then you wear off the covering of gloss and find the exfoliator underneath.  The exfoliator is a good one, just make sure your lips are damp before you start using it as it needs a little moisture to get going. The highlight of this exfoliator is its shape.  It is in the shape of a lipstick so you don’t have to dip into a jar with your fingers and clean up is super easy. If you get the scrub in your mouth, it is sweet but has no real taste. The downfall is that after you wipe it off you definitely need to use a lip balm right after or your lips feel a little naked.

The Kismet Buff Sugar scrub in Bright and Bubbly (retail $12) does require the fingers in order to apply, unless you have a spoon from another product standing by and even then you need to massage it with fingers as well as rubbing lips together.  I believe it is supposed to be a champagne flavor/scent.  It smells like it is attempting to either be strawberry or raspberry, but not quite reaching either.  It is not a bad scent, but I would never sniff and think champagne.  I sniff and think sweet and fruity. The scrub works well, but it feels a little rougher than the other two products I tried.  It is my least favorite of the bunch and one of those that I will use until it is gone, but will not be repurchasing.

The third scrub I tried is hanalei sugar lip scrub (retails $25 on official site but seems to be offered for less on many other sites so I’d shop around if you are looking for it.).It smells of lemon lime and is a very good exfoliator.  It too comes in a jar so it is a little messy.  While the scrub itself is comparable with the ELF formula, where this product shines is the oil in which the sugar is mixed. After the scrub is removed, the residue left behind is far more hydrating than any of the other products making this my top lip scrub of the batch.  With the ELF product it is recommended that you use lip balm following the exfoliator.  With the Hanalei scrub, this is not needed. The ELF is a standard lip scrub I will always have on hand, its form more of a convenience than any other, but truthfully the Hanalei is a better over all product and despite its expense, the large jar lasts a really long time as you never use all that much of it.

Despite not needing any additional products after using the lip scrub, I did purchase a hanalei lip treatment (retail travel set of three for $20 which is what I got. They have a single full size for $20 as well but I really like the travel ones) to try.  It is a tube that is essentially a lip mask.  I often use it in conjunction with the hanalei lip scrub when I apply it before bed as an extra measure.  It works well as a lip mask set.  This lip treatment also works well as a lip balm, especially if you are planning on spending a lot of time outside in the cold and wind.  It is more intense protection than regular lip balm and really helps in preventing chapping in the first place (which is kind of my goal to be honest).  The one I’ve got is in mauve pink and it gives a slight pink tint to the lips that makes them look super healthy rather than like you are wearing a heavily tinted lip gloss.

The bite night time lip mask

The final lip product I tried in my effort to keep winter chapping at bay is the Bite Agave Lip Mask. (retail $22 and I think it will last a really long time because you use so little with each application)  While it does come in a jar, it also comes with a small spoon/spatula.  This product is technically called Nighttime lip therapy and that is where this product shines.  I love putting this on my lips just before bed and letting it soak in over night.  It feels a little bit like vaseline at first, but it sinks into the skin of my lips well over night and I found that when I have chapped lips, applying a layer at night really helps me wake up with soft lips.  Thus far as soon as I feel slight chapping, I apply the mask at night and wake up with no chapping the next morning.  Doing this has helped me avoid the painful chapping that I tend to get in the wintertime. I will definitely be ordering this when it runs out however I have been using this off and on for several weeks now and have barely dented the top of the product so I doubt a reorder will be needed anytime soon. It will certainly last through the winter and probably into the summer.

Interior of the Bite Lip mask

Now of course we are starting the January birthday run.  Tonight I am baking the first of the cakes as tomorrow starts the first round of celebrations.Soon my counter top will be littered with cupcakes, cakes, and the freezer will be filled with a cornucopia of ice creams as no one can agree on their favorite flavors. With this will come the return of the lip balm anti-snacking defense.  I will be applying my lip balm compulsively for the next month running through more product than I usually use in about four other months.

My current favorite lip balm

My favorite for this task?  Jersey Shore Cosmetics. (retail $10 although they are having a package deal of some sort if you follow the link – I am in not an affiliate, just a fan and I saw the deal when I linked this post) My super favorite is the peppermint.  The scent is nice, but not overwhelming, and the hydrating formula means that I will not need any form of lip mask until February when the birthday season ends. For now, I am putting the masks back in the cabinet and rotating through the scrubs with a once a week application and while I have my currently open Jersey Shore Cosmetics peppermint lip balm at the ready, I also have an order in for several more to get me through the season. Not only will my lips remain kissable soft all year, but I will avoid the multitude of cakes and snack foods whose arrival in my house is imminent. So kiss, kiss Darling. I’m ready, are you?


Affiliate codes: I may receive some compensation if you use the links listed below in the purchase of a product.

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