Good afternoon my darlings. Have you ever had a weekend that was exactly what you needed it it be? That was my weekend. I’ll admit the suddenly freezing Saturday wasn’t exactly to my taste, but everything worked out well. I had the quiet time to read and relax. I started the set up of my green house for early seed planting and then I got to spend time with my baby.
On Sunday when it was warmer we even went hiking on the trail in the Great Smoky National Park. It was great, and we didn’t really see anyone. It was like we had the entire woods to ourselves. Which was nice. Then we came home, and thawed out while I made some homemade pizza. The dough takes about two hours so we were well thawed.
I have to admit, I like pizza in all forms. There are very few pizzas I have tried that I didn’t like. And we have a really great pizza place near us. But occasionally I really like to make my own. There is just something about it that I really just enjoy. Plus may babydoll reacts like a delighted three year old when ye gets to put whatever toppings on his pizza that he wants. He went meat -tastic with shavings of left over homemade meatballs, peperoni and Italian sausage. I went with red onions and mushrooms. I like to use a mandolin to get the onions super thin and then chop them up a little so when I bite the pizza I am not dragging the entire onion ring off o the slice. I just find it nicer to eat that way. And since I was making it for myself I did exactly that.
After a day tromping around in the cold mountain air, the homemade pizza was perfect.
All in all it was an almost perfect weekend. I felt rested and ready to face the week. I’m not sure how long that feeling will last, but I am holding on to it as long as possible.
Today was a light kind of makeup day and I’ll be honest it was sort of a bare minerals day. I picked up the Natural Oasis palette when I stopped into TJ Maxx and this was my first time trying it. Everything else just went along with the palette.
Today I used the light brown shade and the white shade and I think the look turned out nice and casual. which is sort of what I was going for. I just really wanted a light makeup day. I think that this palette may end up being a more natural look. There is one bright green shade that I am looking forward to trying but that is for another day. The brown was not very pigmented. But it did go on very easily with no real streaking or patchiness. I didn’t really try to build it up so that will be another test. But for a natural look it did well. As did all of the other products. I picked out the Jecca blac to go with today as my highlighter because it really is less of a highlight and more of a skin enhancer.
A little bit blurred into the skin in key areas really just makes the skin look a little glowy. It is subtle and really good for low makeup days. I know you can put it all over your face, but for me that is a bit of over kill. I think my face ends up looking a little greasy if I do that. However if you stick to a few areas, it blends in beautifully and subtly. It neve looks like a streak of highlighter with the way it blends. I know they make several shades but for me and my skin tone the champagne shade is the way to go.
The only product i wasn’t terribly thrilled about was the YSL mascara. while it is great for a low key day since it really only darkens the lashes on most other days it would be a disappointment. The small sample sized tube I have is almost empty though so I will use it and then let it go without repurchasing.
And that was my makeup look today. I chose products that will just give me a light makeup look and I was very happy with the outcome. It is a day of me working at home by myself with only a few phone calls and no in person meetings. Which means how I look is irrelevant to anyone else. I also think my low key look was inspired by too much glitter last week. Some days, you just don’t want to fight the glitter. this was one of those days.
And now my darlings it is back to work for me. I am looking forward to giving this small eyeshadow palette a good test this week. While I love Bare Minerals products, this is the first of their eyeshadow that I’ve tried and I look forwards to spending some time with it. For now though, I need to spend sometime with the paperwork. Have a great rest of Monday.
Good afternoon my darlings. Last night I utilized the new eSalon hair kit that came in. I tried it a while back when I really needed a quality home hair kit and have been ordering it ever since. This link will take you to my full review/step by step break out if you are interested. (I went slightly darker about six months after this post went live).
The eSalon dye lasts a really long time without fading, and truthfully that why I always get a root touch up from them when I order my color. well, not each time, if I am using the same color. I only use the rot touch up at the end of each hair color when my roots are getting longer but i don’t actually want to re-dye my hair just yet.
I know it probably sounds strange, but i like to go as long between hair dyes as possible. even though it is a good quality dye, I feel the less I do to my hair, as far as any form of processing, the healthier it will be. At this point I’m only using hot tools a few times a month as well. Mostly because I am working from home and thankfully people have returned to just phone calls instead of zoom meetings. It helps give my hair a rest.
But because I only use the root touch up when I am trying to extend the time, one bottle lasts about a full year. It comes matched to the color of the dye so everything blends. I’m almost at the end of my root touch up so I’ll have to reorder with the next round of dye.
But I broke down and used my kit last night so my hair is a bit darker today than usual. And I’m not seeing the few scraggily grays peeking up from the top of my head. I wouldn’t mind if they grew in a cool stripe or something, but no I seem to have a small cluster that wants to corkscrew up to the sky, despite the fact that the rest of my hair has very little curl. The hardest part is not plucking them out and letting them grow long enough to be dyed.
I’ll be honest, today, I just grabbed a few of my favorite things. Or at least some of my current favorites. Is saw the So pretty Eye shadow palette, remembered how much trouble it was and then I remembered how much of an issue I had with the LYS and the powder foundation and said, nope. Today we are just going easy.
As a warning, because I did choose some of my favorites, it may get a bit gushy.
I still used the LYS because this is the end of the trial and I feel I’ve given it a good run. I used it with the Elf Acne Fighting Foundation. Mostly because I really like this elf foundation. Out of the elf products, this and the putty primer may be my absolute faves from the brand. They have other good products (many actually) but these two items are my perennial favorites and will always be repurchased. this foundation is just weightless and blends really well. I don’t know if it actually prevents breakouts, but it certainly doesn’t cause them. I have never had an issue with it.
This Viseart bronzer is relatively new to me but each time I use it, I just like it more. First of all the fold up packaging just makes me smile. I would probably adore using it for that alone. The product inside though certainly lives up to that packaging. It is a great product. It is not super pigmented, but it builds well and blends beautifully. I really love it. Prior to this I only used the eyeshadows from the brand. Those are some of my favorite shadows. I may pull out one of those palettes tomorrow actually. Oh and if you read my full review of the bronzer, you may recall it wasn’t linked to the site. I sent an e-mail to the brand and they got back to me really quickly actually. It is only temporarily out of stock and will return to the site as soon as it is back in stock. Once I see it, I’ll post an update.
Today, I already had a palette out so I grabbed it for a simple swatch of color. It was the Storybook palette. I only use the pink tones in the palette and it is a bulky one so I have been trying to keep it out. I really like the shadows I use. The other shadows work well also they just aren’t in colors I gravitate towards. I will use the rosy tones down to pan though. As long as it doesn’t get buried in the back of the drawer. I’s bulk means it often gets pushed to the back. So I am trying to keep it forward.
bareMinerals came in today with both the blush and the mineral veil finishing powder. Both are fantastic. The blush I adore and will do my best to make sure I keep on hand. It is a powder to cream kind of formula. I apply it with a finger as though it was a cream product but is applies to the skin like a powder and is amazingly easy to blend. the mineral veil is just a great setting powder. I do have one interesting comment. I know many of you may remember that I was complaining that the Smashbox Photo Finish setting powder was difficult becuase the dial was hard to turn and that if you had any sort of mobility issues with your hands you might want to give it a pass. This bareminerals has a dial that you turn so that the holes to let out the powder are covered with plastic and the powder is secure if you are moving the jar about. I like that it isn’t an explosion of powder ever time you open it. while this dial isn’t the same as the smash box, it is similar in design. however it has easy to grip ridges on the side, turns easily and clicks to let you know when you have turned it fully, whether to open or close. It is much easier to operate. I think part of that is the design that lets your fingers grip the dial. If you have major issues with your hands, I think they do make this without the dial, just be aware that it is there in some of the products.
The Stila Mascara rolled back in today and honestly I think I may actually like it better than the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir. As you may recall it was my go to for a long time and has recently been discontinued. I was quite sad. I have an open one though and I used it this week and yeah, I think I might like the Stila better. which is good because it is not discontinued. I’ll use the last of the Marc Jacobs and I think that Stila will get repurchased.
And then we have the Wet ‘n Wild Lipstick. Wet ‘n Wild was the first makeup brand I picked up at the drug store. In highschool I think every purse and backpack I had contained at least one black eyeliner from Wet ‘n Wild. there are many products I like from the brand but I love the formula of their Megalast lipsticks. They dry down a bit so that there is not a trail of lip prints stamped on everything you touch but they don’t dry out the lips and the color lasts for quite a while. I may not carry the black eyeliner as religiously as i once did, but the brand will always have a place in my heard and the lipsticks a place in my dressing table. I think this might actually be the third cinnamon spice I purchased in the past few years. Its one of the few that i will wear down to a nub and then immediately replace.
And so that my darlings is today’s makeup. After yesterday I just wanted something quick and easy to apply. These were the products I chose. Everything worked as it was supposed to, no products caused problems and my getting ready was smooth sailing. Now if the rest of the day will comply, I will consider Wednesday fabulous.
Good Afternoon my darlings. Summer hours have arrived. Any walk on the trail that does not occur prior to 10 am is just ill-advised. Apparently what little spring we had is completely gone. Actually this year it seems that winter just sort of passed the baton to summer without giving more than a nod to spring.
Regardless, I managed to get my walk in just as the sun was becoming scorching. There was still sweat but there wasn’t that too long in the sun dizziness. We’ve reached the stage where i start wondering if I could repurpose an umbrella to serve as a parasol during my walks. Quite frankly I think that is a fashion that needs to make a come back.
Fashion or not, the end result is that I managed to get my walk in. I’ve also realized that with the easing of restrictions I can feel more comfortable wearing more of my jewelry again. I actually had to put a lot of my earrings away for fear of mask entanglement. I almost ripped one out of my ear last year and decided away was a better course of action. I might have to spend tonight sorting and untangling.
Due to sweat and stress and still occasional masking I have a few bumps coming up on my chin so the acne fighting foundation seemed like a good call today. Plus it is a fantastic foundation so no complaints. I also like the YSL Blur Primer. I am however trying to use it up at the moment. I have a sample size and it comes with a small paddle to apply the product rather than a pump and even though I have been careful It seems like something that could easily be contaminated, so I am trying to remember to use it more. I actually rather like it though. It is blurring to the pores and slightly brightening but not to gowy under the foundation. I am not a dewy look kind of person. The dewy look makes me think I need to blot with powder. Especially in the summer time.
Speaking of powder I pulled the Smashbox powder from the drawer today. It is a very frustrating product. I like the powder a lot. It is a great color on me and doesn’t look powdery. However it is a shave the powder as you go product. To use you twist the dial it shaves powder from a solid block and boom you have loose powder. In theory it is fabulous. However the longer I keep the compact the more the dial keeps sticking.I think I am going to use it until the dial won’t turn and the break open the compact and just use the powder as a pressed powder. For now the dial still turns though so it is used as intended.
The MAC Fix plus is working well as a setting spray After two uses I am about half way through the sample size of the setting spray so I will be finishing it out this week. It works well though so in the future i think i will look into picking up a full size.
Everything else is more or less a standard favorite. With Huda beauty i just did a quick swipe across the eyes and as always I am reminded of how much I like the Feathers mascara from Pretty Vulgar. I think it surprises me because I first picked it up solely because the packaging looked nice. I do love the curved wand and the lengthening the product gives my lashes though. It’s like being rewards for a superficial thought. Still a very good mascara.
Over all it is a pretty quiet day. Working away and trying to check things off my to do list. At least with the heat the way it is, I got my daily work out checked off early. The summer heat is sort of the anti-procrastination tool. which I suppose is a good thing. Anyway back to work for me. i hope all of you are having a fabulous Tuesday as well.
This week’s makeup bag was a strange one. I wanted to test a flat top foundation brush (from F.A.R.A.H this is the link to the review if you are interested) so I chose five separate foundations for the week. I chose five that I really like and know how they perform for me so that it would be easier to test the brush. It also meant that I didn’t consistently use any single foundation this week. It was kind of a fun change. It also gave me an excuse to use several of my favorite foundations.
All of the foundations I used this week I really liked. I used the powder Foundation of KVD Vegan Beauty. This one is really good if you are in a rush as you just brush it on like powder, add a dash of blush and go. I also used my Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation. I will pretty much use any excuse to go ahead and add that to my makeup bag as it is a really nice, really easy formula. My excuse was that the stick formula makes it a cream foundation.
I wanted two products in each category but I only had the one powder foundation. The KVD Vegan Beauty powder foundation is one I also need to reach for more often. As you can see I have the old packaging on it and should probably use it up. In certain lights you can see the outline of pan beginning to show through so I’m pretty confident I can use it up this year, even with switching out my foundations. I just need to remember to keep it on the list.
While the focus was on the foundation this week, it clearly wasn’t the only product I used. For primer I used the last of my Benefit Porefessional Pearl Primer. It was the last of the sample and now it will journey to the empties bin. I like the primer and will be purchasing it in the full size as soon as I’ve cleared out a few of my primers. A could of them are actually pretty close to being used up so it shouldn’t be too terribly long.
Benefit also supplied my setting spray this week. I used the Porefessional Super Setter. I love the fine mist a d setting power of this setting spray. But why am I mentioning it this early in the post, you might ask? Good question. Normally I end with the setting spray, but things got a little discombobulated this week. Plus, I also had to use it with my eyeshadow.
This week I used the Teddy Boy eyeshadow palette from Butter London. The shimmers didn’t really show up terribly well unless I wet my brush or finger for application so it was the Porefessional Supper setter to the rescue. While I ended up using it to set my face, it also helped out my eyeshadow palette. This link will take you to the full Teddy Boy Palette review. It isn’t my favorite palette but it is different from anything else I have in my collection, so I am okay with keeping it a while. It survived my Spring Declutter. We’ll see what happens next time I sort through my palettes.
I used my Pretty Vulgar concealer this week. It is a really good concealer and it worked well as a eyeshadow primer as well. I think the tube is now about half empty. It isn’t low enough that I need to keep it around to use up, so I’ll trade it out next week, but it is about at the halfway point which makes me sad as it is one of my favorites. I may have to do a full face of Pretty Vulgar makeup before it goes out. This is one of those brands that I have almost a full face of products to use. At least as long as the concealer lasts.
My bronzer and blush were both trial sizes this week. I used my NARS in the shade Laguna as my bronzer and my bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush in the shade Mauve Sunset as my blush. I adore both of these products and I have to say this year you will be seeing a lot more of these tow samples because I won’t allow myself to purchase the full size until I use the samples up.
Mostly because I know that once I have the full size, I won’t actually use the samples any more and they will be wasted. Plus I know that if I can use the samples up then I will definitely use the full size. With these two it isn’t a hardship as I really enjoy both products. In fact I fall more in love with the bareMinerals Bounce and Blur each time I use it. It is the absolute best of both powder and cream blushes combined into one. They are both very bendable and ae easy to work with. I highly recommend both of them.
I had a pressed powder from e.l.f and a loose powder from Ciate London this week. With the Ciate London Extraordinary Setting Powder, I used the translucent version. I like the fact that it doesn’t have the coconut scent that the Vacaay powder does, but quite frankly I prefer the Everyday Vacaay version, even with the coconut. I actually have an unopened container in my drawer, but I wanted to use this travel size up first.
The regular extraordinary powder can leave a little white on the skin if you aren’t careful. The Vacaay version doesn’t have this issue. As long as you go back in with a brush it is fine, I just thought it a little odd that one had the smidge and the other didn’t. The e.l.f. pressed powder also had this issue. I really like the formula of the elf HD pressed powder though as one it is in place it really keeps the shine from coming through and doesn’t look powdery. I think in the future with the elf I would get the tinted powder rather than the translucent. I like the formula but the translucent does tend to be a little too white on my skin.
My eyeliner this week was the Tarte Double Take eyeliner. One end is a liquid pen and the other is a soft pencil. I enjoyed both sides this week and will certainly be using this again. Which is a bonus for me as I have a second unopened liner that came in this month’s Boxycharm waiting for me to finish this one. While I did an eyeshadow palette declutter I think my next declutter may end up being eyeliners. I at least need to separate the open ones from the others so that I can use some of them up. The issue is that I really don’t wear eyeliner all that much and when I do I tend to reach for my reliable Eyeko more than anything else. I think I might have actually use the last Eyeko I had up completely. I’m pretty sure that is what prompted me to gram a different eyeliner this week. But I am glad I did as I enjoyed the Tarte Double Take.
This week I used the Hourglass brow pencil and it was a good formula. The pencil is starting to dry out a little, or at least it no longer seems as comfortable to apply as it did when I first got it. When I looked at the amount of product left in the pencil though, it is getting pretty low. The Hourglass eyeliner may be sticking around in my makeup bag for a while as I try to use it up. While I still enjoy using it, I can tell a difference from when I first used it to now. I think that if you are going to use this brow pencil then you need to buy it and just use it until it is gone and don’t let it hang around. It is nice, but it doesn’t have the greatest longevity.
This week my mascara was actually two mascaras. I picked out the Kristofer Buckle Mascara to use as it has been open a while and while it gave me the length I wanted it wasn’t performing as well as it usually does. I think it is just reaching the end of its life. This one has been open for five months. And I think this will be its last turn through the makeup bag. Sadly when I went on the site to capture a link so that you could go find it for yourselves should you be interested, this mascara was not listed on the site at all. I don’t know if they are doing things to the formula or releasing a new mascara so I will have to dive deep and find out. As I’ll soon need to repurchase my Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation, I will be popping in and out of the site anyway.)
To bulk up the fading Kristofer Buckle I called in the Ciate London WonderWand. This is not the first time I used this mascara and it won’t be the last. It is fabulously thickening, which made it the perfect pairing for Kristofer Buckle’s Lengthening. Together they were a great tag team. I may not be able to purchase the Kristofer Buckle again, depending on availability, but I will very much be repurchasing the Ciate London Wonder Wand Mascara. I have a second unopened ciate london mascara in my dressing table so I may compare the two to see if I like one better than the other before I buy it. As the Wonder Wand is getting low on product, I may have to do that test sooner rather than later.
And finally the lips. This week I used the Gel Color lip and cheek Balm crayon in Posh from Nudestix. While I would not use this shade on my cheeks it made a fantastic neutral lip crayon that was surprisingly long lasting. It wore off a bit at lunch time but surprisingly is hung on most of the day with a single morning application.
I know I sound a bit surprised but I tried a liquid lip from Nude sticks a while back and I really didn’t care for it so I am surprised by how much I really enjoyed this lip crayon. I suppose it goes to show you can’t judge an entire brand on one product. I was quite impressed with this nudestix crayon. I know this came in either a Look Fantastic or a Glossy Box a while back but I can’t remember if I used it or not. Even if I didn’t I am glad I used it this week as I really enjoyed it and will be reaching for it again.
This week was mostly about the foundations as I worked with the brush to see how it performed. As a consequence I chose products that for the most part I knew wouldn’t give me much trouble. Next week I have almost an entire bag full of new products to try. In fact I am going to see how many new products I have and put most of them in the bag. So while this week was a bag full of good solid products, next week is going to be much more of an experiment. I can’t wait to see how it ends.
If you ae looking for brushes, Bdellium is having a sale. The link will take you to sale pages. I’ve really enjoyed all of the brushes that I’ve used from them and find them to be of consistently good quality. They also have a wide variety of styles so you can usually find the brush you ae looking for in their stock.
This week’s makeup bag was really low key. This was one of those weeks where I worked at my desk by myself with the occasional phone call. No one needed to see me so looking good for zoom wasn’t a necessity. I think the only time other than my walks that I left the house was to run to the charity shop yesterday. So there were several days I just let my skin breathe.
But I did wear some makeup this week.
I started with the Banana Bright Primer from Ole Henriksen. The link will take you to the full review. It is a brightening primer, but under powder or foundation it blurs out blemishes and fine lines really well and while it hydrates, it didn’t ever feel greasy. This is a primer I think I will be reaching for more throughout the winter.
On the days I reached for foundation, I went with the E.L.F. Acne Fighting foundation. It was easy to reach for, light weight and felt good against the skin. This is one foundation that I know i am going to replace as soon as it runs out. E.l.f. really hit it out of the park with this one.
My RealHer Cheek Ultimate Glow Getter Trio provided my Bronzer, Blush and highlight this week. While I did use the bronze and highlight I think there was only one day this week I bothered with the highlighter.
The blush and bronze are both buildable products that let you go as light or as glam as you want. This week I tended to lean into the light and this Cheek Trio Palette was amazing for that. If you take a close look at the bronzer, you can see that the outlines of the pan are starting to show through the product. Of the three, the Bronzer is my favorite product. The blush and highlighter are good, but I tend to use them because they are there with the bronzer, whereas the bronzer is why I reach for the palette. It was a palette that I reached for a lot this summer and I am really glad to see that it is something I can easily use in winter as well.
For Powder I used my trusty No 7. Pressed powder and didn’t bother with a loose setting powder at all this week. I know, shocking. Much more of the pan is showing now and I am fairly certain that this compact will be empty by new Years. It really is one of my favorite products. The formula of the powder is just really nice against the skin.
This week I skipped both eyeliner and brow products completely. My eyebrow is still healing from an ingrown hair and quite frankly at the moment my bangs have grown out enough that you can’t really see much of my brows. I really need to cut them. I’ll admit, it scares me so I put off the trimming of the bangs as long as possible. I am less hesitant with the rest of my hair, but those bangs…Still it must be done and done soon. This week, I just used a spoolie to keep them neat and left them alone.
I had a trio of shadows this week. KVD’s Lolita was the shade I reached for most often for a quick swipe of color. It is an excellent shadow and the color works well for me. It can be used as a light blush or deepened towards a wine red. It is one of those shadows that always gets added to my travel bags.
The Colored Raine Champagne Life was my light shimmer shade this week. It is okay but not my favorite. It tends to disappear when I tried to blend it in and fades pretty badly throughout the day.
The third shadow I used was the IBY Fire and Ice shadow. I really enjoyed it. It doesn’t look like much in the pan but when applied it glimmers green like a beetle’s back and I really enjoyed it. I am definitely going to have to remember to use it more often. For a fuller review of the three and to see swatches and read a more detailed performance review, the link will take you to my eyeshadow review post from yesterday.
This week I finished off the They’re Real sample size of mascara from Benefit Cosmetics. I really like the way it lengthened my lashes and it looked really good, especially on the days where I did nothing but powder and lip oil. This was its third week and this morning I can officially say that the tube is completely empty. The sample is no more. I was rather surprised that it lasted the full third week, but somehow it just managed to hang on to finish the week out.
My final product this week was the Yensa lip oil in the shade Pink Shine. I love everything about this lip oil. It has a slight hint of color that compliments my natural lips. It helps refresh dry lips and it smells amazing. That being said, it does leave oily lip prints on the rims of coffee mugs and needs to be reapplied after eating. But the shine it gives to lips is fantastic.
This week I didn’t bother with a setting spray. Which means that we have now arrived at the end of the makeup bag. I told you, I didn’t wear a lot of products this week. I figured it was just me looking at a computer screen all day so on the mornings when I wanted to wear makeup I did, and the mornings I didn’t want to put it on, I didn’t. It was really nice to have a low key week like this. Next week of course I have the first of the week loaded down with pre-holiday work zooms, so I’ll have to be a little bit more mindful. But it was nice to have a very relaxed week and only put on what I wanted to put on without worrying how it would look on camera.
Buckle up my darlings, because this is a pretty long one as you might have guessed from the above photo.
I know product round ups like this are usually done at the end of the year, but I have been testing foundations for about a year and a half now and I decided that with both the Singles Sales (November 11th) and the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales all kicking up a review might not be a bad thing. Not only for you, but for me as well.
While I still have foundations that I want to try out, working through some of my existing products doesn’t seem like a bad idea. I have to say, there were some I forgot about until I pulled them out of the drawer. So let’s do a quick rundown of foundations past. The links will take you to the more in depth reviews of each product. As there are around twenty products I’m covering I just wanted to keep it to the basics (sort of a foundation review cheat sheet). And yes there are some I left out. The ones on this list are the ones I liked enough to keep around. Because I was trying so many, if I didn’t like the product and knew I wasn’t going to use it, I passed it along immediately rather than keep it around so someone else could get a use out of it. These are the products I kept around.
The first one I have to mention is the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation. Mostly because the shape of the bottle insures it will remain out on my dressing table. Which is not a hardship. It is a pretty bottle. I tried putting it in the drawer and the little birdie bent. I really liked this foundation. It was lightweight and wore well throughout the day. When using it, I would go for a water based primer rather than a silicon based one as it plays better with the water based ones.
So having covered the one foundation that is constantly out on the dressing table, let’s move into some of the drug store foundations that made the top of my list.
The Pacifica Alight Oil Free Anti Shine Clean Foundation was one of my earlier foundation trials and to be honest I forgot it was in my drawer even though I reached for it a lot in the spring. It is too tall to stand upright and rolled right to the back and hid. I may have to figure out a way to keep it out. I added it to my makeup bag this week and I have to say I also forgot how much I liked it. It was one of the better drugstore foundations. In fact it was in the top three of the drug store category. It had about a ten hour life span on it so it isn’t the best for transitioning from office to night out but for a consistent work day drugstore foundation it is in my top three.
To continue with the drugstore products, we’ll go to the Wet ‘n Wild Photofocus. This is one of those that got a lot of publicity and it is easy to see why. It does perform really well and it is one of the least expensive products I tried. The applicator is a cheap plastic wand so I would recommend either replacing it with a pump top (you can generally pick them up in the dollar store, or at least there were some there on my last visit to the dollar store. If not they can be relatively easily ordered on line) or dabbing it on your hand. Trying to use the plastic wand on the face was just a mess, at least for me. The biggest issue for me was the paint smell of the product. It is strong, really strong. I did notice however that If I used the Wet ‘n Wild foundation consistently then throughout the week the paint smell sort of aired out. If I let it sit capped for a week, the scent returned as strong as ever. Scent and wand aside, it is a good affordable product.
The Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless and the Catrice HD Liquid coverage both rank slightly higher than the Wet ‘n Wild on my personal foundation meter. I enjoyed using both and really liked the price of these products. They are good products and don’t break the bank. I also had no issues getting them to work with any of the primers I used this past year. The Maybelline Fit me was slightly better than the Catrice because occasionally I could wear it without a primer if I wanted. The instance was rare but the Maybelline looked pretty good without a primer. Better with of course, at least with my skin. My only issue with it was the fact that is was an open bottle without a dropper or pump. I am actually looking to find a pump that fits the bottle. If it does I will be a happy camper. The issue with the open top is user error to be honest. I just dispense more product than I need if I have to pour.
The NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil was fantastic to use when I wanted a very light make up day. It covered up redness and dark spots but felt light against the skin and blended really well. It was one of the best light day drug store foundation products I tried and it is one that I will consistently repurchase. It looked really good with a primer but okay without.
And then we get to E.L.F. I’m going to be honest, E.l.f. took the drugstore/affordable foundation category for me. While the tinted moisturizer I adored was discontinued and shall be mentioned no more, this left me with two e.l.f. foundations. The ELF acne Fighting Foundation and the Elf Flawless Finish Foundation. The acne fighting foundation is one that I could happily reach for every day. I could very easily see myself picking up two shades and using it year round. In fact since I am already putting in an order with elf for the holidays (I have several 12-13 year old girls on my list who are just getting into makeup so I’m putting together a little bag for each and let me tell you each of those bags is getting one of those Bite Sized Eyeshadow Palettes) I will probably be picking up a backup of the elf Acne fighting foundation.
This is not to say the flawless finish foundation is not fantastic. It is more of a conference call, speaking in public, out to dinner sort of foundation, for me anyway. I would happily reach for it then. The acne fighting foundation is just an everyday sort of product that I know I’ll go through fast.
While all of these products are ones I will be using down to the last drop and all are ones I have no problem repurchasing, for those interested in an absolute ranking, here we go. The two Elf foundations share the number one spot. I love them both and will keep both around. I just wear them for different reasons and can’t really decide between them. NYX Bare With me takes the number two spot with Pacifica coming in a very close third. Maybelline fit me comes in fourth with the Catrice HD Liquid coverage a close fifth and Wet ‘n Wild hitting at number six.
While I didn’t include it in the drug store foundations I also tried a foundation from the Ulta Brand. I used the Ulta Beauty Youthful Glow Foundation Serum Drops. It is one of those foundations you really have to remember to shake. The lid got a little messy on me. It is the curse of the screw top lid. I will say the messy didn’t stop me from using it. I would definitely repurchase this foundation. And in all fairness, since I put this in a separate category (at least mentally) from the drug store foundations, I did try out a Sephora foundation. As you can see it is no longer in my foundation drawer. I didn’t use it up. After a week, I passed it on to someone else because I knew I wasn’t going to be reaching for it. Which sort of says enough about that one.
From the drug store foundations we are going to move into the stick foundation category. There are three that I tried out and quite frankly I would purchase all three repeatedly. The Anastasia Beverly Hills stick foundation requires a little bit of warming up before it blends into the skin so what I tended to do was open it and turn it upside down, placing the product against the back of my hand for a moment while wrapping my other hand around the tube. After a few seconds it was warm enough to apply well by brushing my foundation brush across the top of the product. I ended up with a circle of foundation dotted onto my hand, but it wasn’t a lot of wasted product. And it really only took a few seconds. After that it blended beautifully into my skin. The shade I picked up is more for summer wear for me so it will be set aside and used up once my tan returns.
The Nars Velvet Matte stick is a winter shade for me so I am pleased to see it emerge from the drawer. I have enough product left in the tube that it can easily be used up this winter. It is still a little too light for me right now but soon…soooooon it will be called into use. It is a fantastic formula. It is creamy enough that I don’t have to warm it up and it stayed in place all day. I know that shouldn’t surprise me as Nars is just a fantastic brand, but this is one of my favorite products from them. To be honest, I actually like the formula of this better than the liquid foundations I’ve used in the past.
The Kristofer Buckle Triplicity stick foundation was the top of the top for me in this category. It melted beautifully into the skin with a fantastic matte finish that wasn’t too cakey or heavy. It was light and looked beautiful on the skin. This year when I found myself between foundation trials I often found myself reaching for this to fill the gap. As a consequence I am actually running quite low on this product and will need to reorder. I picked this up in one of the Kristofer Buckle Vanity kits. I had already fallen in love with their Cashmere slip lipstick and one of the vanity kits came with a lipstick, mascara, powder and this foundation stick. I think the entire kit was $28 and I thought it a great way to test out the brand. I also thought the products would be travel sized but it turned out they were all full sized products so it was a fantastic deal. I enjoyed all the products, but this foundation stick is tops.
The Kosas Tinted Face oil was the only oil foundation that I tried…well…ever actually. So I have no other oil based foundation products to compare it to. However it is a really good foundation. As it is oil thee is a bit of a shine to it, but the shine is easily powdered away. The oil is absolutely weightless and the foundation stays in place all day. The only issue I had with it was one of texture. Because it is an oil product it sort of flows onto the skin and takes up the shape of the skin below. It is perfect for a no make up look, but not so great if you have large pores or texture. With a pore filling primer underneath this worked fantastically well and was quite frankly one of my top products. And yes that means it beat out both the Kristofer Buckle and E.L.F. While it does need a primer underneath, choose your primer wisely. Oil and water don’t mix so chose a silicon based primer and make sure it is a pore filling one to give yourself the smoothest canvas possible.
I liked both of them when I used them, and I still like them enough that I have no issues continuing to use them until they are gone. They were among two of my earliest foundations to test out and quite frankly several of the ones that came after them were better. That is just the nature of the trials. It doesn’t make them bad, because nothing that actually made this list is bad. It just means they are on the bottom of the best I’ve tried.
With Wander beauty the issue is the doe foot applicator. While I appreciate that it is in the package tightly every time I pull the applicator out, the product sprays out and makes a mess. That, more than the product is why I rank it so low on this list. It falls down on packaging and not product. The product itself is still fantastic, I just don’t like the mess and get annoyed by it. If the packaging were different, this would be a different story, because it is a good product.
The Too Faced is just more dewy than I like. It is not over the top dewy but it is dewy enough that when I use it I feel the need to apply more powder to balance out the dewy. So in this case it is more of personal choice in finish. It is a good product, I am just not a dewy person.
The Ciate Extraordinary Foundation was a new one for me this year as well, and I have to say I liked the foundation. Actually this seemed to be the year of Ciate. Every time I turned around Subscription boxes were sending new Ciate products my way. I think I am one bronzer away from having an entire face of Ciate London products. Their blush is one of my favorite blush formulas actually while their primer was only so so. The foundation I would purchase again. It was a good solid foundation that didn’t look cakey or peel up around the nose and mouth. It wasn’t heavy on the skin either which I always consider a plus.
There were two Becca Foundations in my trials recently; the Becca Ultimate Coverage 24 Hr. Foundation and the Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation. I would buy the Becca Luminous Perfecting Foundation again in a heartbeat. I like the way it looked and I liked that it was buildable. I would probably not buy the Ultimate coverage foundation because it is ultimate coverage no matter how you apply it. I am just not an ultimate coverage kind of person. My wheelhouse is medium coverage. There are occasions where full coverage is necessary and I have no problems using this for full coverage necessities, but to be honest, those sort of events are few and far between right now. So for me the Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation is a Becca hit for me, but the Ultimate Coverage is a pass because I m just not going to enough events to justify repurchasing it.
Despite claiming to be full coverage I found the Yensa color + face Skin on Skin BC Foundation Full coverage to be a light medium coverage product. Which for me is well in my wheelhouse. It is part of their Super 8 line and I have to say I have been having really good luck with that line. I’ve repurchased the primer from that line at least twice and I have to force myself not to use the Yensa lip oil every day and to try reaching for other products. It is an absolutely fantastic lip oil. But we are not discussing lips (they just sort of sneak in when I’m not looking), so back to the foundation.
For extremely light weight products the Hey Honey Trick and Treat cc2 Active Moisturizing cream with Honey and Propolis and Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream Spf 30 are my go to products. Both I tried out in sample sized form. The Purlisse Perfect Glow I finished and now have a full sized in my dressing table. Resisting opening it until I use up a few more products has been quite difficult. I still have a week or two left in the Hey Honey trial sized tube but once it is gone a full sized replacement will definitely be ordered.
And finally, we come to the most expensive foundation on the list. I tried this in a sample packet. Koh Gen Do lets you order the samples in ranges so that you can determine your shade. I read so many raves about this and saw so many fantastic reviews that I had to try it. As it is a $77 foundation it is a little pricy so the samples were also a cost effective way to test it. After all, I didn’t want to pay $77 and be stuck with a product I hated or that was the wrong shade. And I will also confess that I was secretly hoping I hated it. Yes, I know there are much more expensive foundations out there, but the foundations I usually purchase tend to be in the $35-40 range. I did not want to fall in love with a more expensive foundation.
But I did.
The Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation was fantastic. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The only reason that I did not purchase it immediately is because I wanted to clear out some space in my foundation drawer before I did. It is one of those products where I know once I purchase the bottle I am going to use the bottle until it is gone and simply not reach for other products. Part of that is the cost. I would not want to purchase it and then let it go to waste. I also wouldn’t want other products to go to waste while I was using it. So what I am doing is watching the sales to see when the foundation does go on sale so I can plan when I want to purchase it. If you are interested I would highly recommend picking up one of their sample packets. They come in bundles with two packets for each shade in that range (Light, Medium, etc) and there is some overlap. The shade that worked best for me was the darkest shade of light which is also the lightest shade of medium. I ordered both packs to make certain (I think the sample packs are $6-8). I got two uses out of each packet. I kept a little jar with the product so that I could just squeeze the packet into the jar. Because it is a thin enough formula that was the best way not to make a mess (and to not waste product). It also let me be confident in ordering my shade.
So after a year and a half of testing foundations, these are the products that made the top of the list. They were worth remembering to me at least. While I did make some attempt at ranking them, to be fair all of them are ones I would use again, minor annoyances aside. Anything I wouldn’t use again has long since been escorted out of my dressing table. So even ‘bad’ on this list is still pretty darn good. I know I covered a lot of products her in very little detail, but the links with the products will take you to my full review of each of the products if you want more information. I figured this was already going to be a long post without adding the nitty gritty details to it, but I also figured a foundations list might be helpful for anyone looking to stock up during all of the lovely sales that are just around the corner.
As you may remember last week I used the e.l.f. Tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 as my foundation product. While I adored using it, I had not yet gotten around to reviewing it. As the level of the product was dropping low I decided to try and use it up and give a review.
As you might expect from the fact that I managed to use up almost an entire container, I really liked it. Sadly when I went looking for the links so that when reading the post, you could click on the link and find more official information on the product, I found it had been discontinued.
There was great sadness.
And an excuse to run out to the drug store in search of more information and a comparable e.l.f. replacement.
The quick run turned into a bit of a quest as recent sales and restocking concerns left various makeup aisles looking like they were pillaged.
Seriously, it looked like makeup loving pirates boarded my local CVS and left no one behind to tell the tale.
My quest was finally successful at Target. Apparently, the Makeup Pirates were either distracted by the nearby Ulta or Target has cannons hidden in the giant red ball decorations out front. Here I managed to secure the e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation. In the shade Buff in case you were wondering.
I will say I have tried the Flawless Finish Foundation earlier in the year and loved it (it is really an underrated fantastic foundation), but I wanted something a little lighter, almost on the scale of the tinted moisturizer, especially since they are not making it any more.
So product secured, let’s dive in.
Acne Fighting Foundation is full coverage and infused with salicylic acid, witch-hazel, camphor, tea tree, and soothing aloe that help fight blemishes. This lightweight formula provides coverage to help even skin tone and reduces acne redness while working to help clear your skin.
My skin has a little redness, but at the moment I don’t have much in the way of acne. Surprisingly I’ve managed to clear most everything away at the moment. Also, as I have the Flawless Finish Foundation as well as a little bit of the Tinted Moisturizer I decided to do a bit of comparison between the three products. As a warning, the Flawless foundation is way too light on me at the moment so it looks kind of strange. Especially as it is just the foundation with nothing over it to make even an attempt at blending it in.
First, on its own, the e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation is a really good foundation. If provided good coverage, stayed in place all day without settling into fine lines and peeling up around the corners of my nose and mouth. I would call it medium coverage rather than full coverage. It was the kind of foundation that just made my skin look really good instead of making it look like I was wearing nice foundation. It is not a no makeup look, but it leans towards a more natural look than I generally associate with full coverage products.
What is kind of fun is that when compared to the other two products it falls exactly in the middle of them, coverage wise. All three feel super lightweight against the skin and are very wearable. The tinted moisturizer is the kind of product that you apply when you just want to help your skin out a little bit but don’t have any major blemishes to cover.
The acne fighting foundation provides more coverage and is a quite excellent daily foundation. You can wear it for a more natural look or use it as a base for a slightly more glam look. It is the kind of foundation you can take from the office to happy hour with only a quick stop to sparkle up your eyeshadow and maybe vamp the lips.
The Flawless Foundation is still light weight, but more full coverage and the one I’d wear when lecturing at a conference or on camera. Although, as my last two conference lectures were actually zoom calls those are more or less the same thing. In the photo the colors don’t look that different, but the lighter shade was very evident in real life.
I will be sad to see the last of the e.l.f tinted moisturizer go away, but I know that they do have a Tinted BB Cream which might take its place. I will have to check and see. The pirates left none behind so it must be ordered. For now I am going to be wearing the last of the tinted moisturizer on the weekends instead of putting it back into my dressing table so that I can use the final remnants and get rid of the empty tube. I am very happy with the acne foundation. Even though I am not currently breaking out (it comes and goes) I like the salicylic acid in the foundation as well as the Aloe. The inclusion of aloe in the moisturizer was one of the reasons I picked it up in the first place. I mean if you are going to apply a foundation, why not make it one that might actually do your skin a little good. Oh and because it is an e.l.f. product, it also does my wallet a bit of good. This acne fighting foundation at its full price is $6.
Yeah, an excellent product that only costs $6? I can see myself keeping this in stock for a long time to come.