The Daily: August 23rd, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. It is another humid day, but the temperatures have actually dropped. My morning walk was extremely pleasant actually. 68 degrees. Admittedly with the 70% humidity, there was still a whole lot of sweating going on.

I have to say it feels fantastic to be getting back to normal now. The morning walk, the regular work day, the meal plan. I don’t like to think of myself as a routine driven person but I have to say there is comfort in getting back to it.

I suspect that part of the comfort is feeling better with routine exercise. I hated remembering to add exercise in every day when i started my weight loss journey, but now I just feel better when I move a little bit each day and miss it when I don’t. I’ll never become a hard core fitness fanatic or gym rat, but a little daily movement really helps me feel my best. I do wish there was a reliable swimming pool near me though. I used to love swimming as much as I love walking and wouldn;t mind getting back into that.

Even if that does mean I have to put on a swim suit. That’s been an event I have put off for several years now. But I think I might be able to embrace it now, as long as I can find a pool to use. Perhaps I will begin the search over the coming weekend. And if I start in the off time maybe I will be comfortable in my swim suit by the time the pool is packed next summer. Its a theory anyway. And something to explore.

not sure why there is a strange shadow on my chest

Today’s Look

Primer: Tatcha The Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation: Real Her Power Wear Probiotic Foundation

Bronzer: Kim Chi Thailor Bronzer

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Golden Georgia Peach Blush

Powder: Kim Chi Puff Puff Pass Setting Powder

Brows: iMethod Beauty Eyebrow Stencil kit

Eyeshadow: Nomad Cosmetics Berlin Underground Palette

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash mascara

Lips: ColourPop Lipstick in Evil Queen

I am still testing out the Real Her foundation, but at this point I’ve realized it looks a bit better with pore filling primer than with a brightening one, so I went for the Tatcha instead of trying to make a more brightening primer work. Personally I think it turned out pretty well, and lets face it I love this Tatcha primer. I’ve been debating between the solid balm and the liquid version and to be honest I like them both and wouldn’t mind having both around (and just might pick up both) but if I had to choose one I think I’d go with the balm version. I like it just a little bit better. Both are in my top products list though.

The Kim Chi Bronzer I am still getting the feel of. I think it might be a shade too dark for me but if I go in with a light hand I think I can make it work. It is a nice formula and highly pigmented so a light hand would be advised even if it were my perfect shade. I still adore the Kim Chi powder though. It is a really nicely milled product and I still adore the powder puff. That I will certainly pick up again.

The Benefit blush is nice and light. Just a bit of a pink on the cheeks. I think it works a little better on my in the winter, but i still like it.

I also tried out the shadow moon eyeshadow guard today

As for eyeshadow. Yes I know I am still technically testing out the OFRA but I went to reach for it this morning and just didn’t want to. so I looked in on my favorite palettes and realized it had been a while since I used it. With the new palettes coming in from subscription boxes sometimes I forget to reach for my favorites. And to be honest the gunmetal blue shade of East Side Gallery was just calling to me. I couldn’t resist. It does tend to shed powder so be sure to tap off the brush before using. I think I enjoyed it more because most of the palettes I have been trying out lately have been reddish tones and I just wanted something a little different.

i used the Stila mascara with it. I really like this mascara and will need to pick up a new tube again soon. It just performs beautifully, even if the name Huge Extreme Lash is a bit much. It works so I’ll over look it.

And then for lips I was feeling the red of the Evil Queen. I know Colourpop no longer has it for sale, but it is still for sale on the Disney store in the Evil Queen Collection. That’s the link I put above. I like this shade of red but it is slightly pinkish for me. I think i need a dark lip liner underneath or something. I really like the deep blue reds and this is just slightly missing the mark. But I love it and still use it. I just might be looking for a dark lip liner. Actually I think I have a wine-y shade of lip liner that might do well under this. maybe I will try that tomorrow. We shall see.

But for today, this is me. I’m rather pleased with the look and it actually feels really nice to use a favorite palette rather than a new one to test out. I like testing things, but sometimes, I just like reaching for my favorites. Or really just reaching for the shades that appeal to me for the day. especially when i am slightly bored with the palette I am testing.

But now it is back to work for me. Have a lovely rest of the day my darlings.

The Daily: March 22nd, 2022

Hell my darlings. have you ever had that moment where you are using a product as you always do and suddenly you read the packaging and have a eureka moment? Maybe it is just me, sometimes I can be a bit slow, especially before my coffee. So this morning I was doing my morning skincare and I reached for my moisturizer, which at the moment is the Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre (retail $28 – which I list here because it is just an amazing price for such a great moisturizer)) and I see the words Multi Functional on the tube.

And then I remember seeing something about how makeup artists had been recommending this dermatologist created product since the 1950s. At first I thought, ‘we’ll yeah, it is always easier to put makeup over good skin.’ Then I went a little further and realized it could be used as a makeup base so today before i put on my makeup I applied a thin layer and let it settle in for about ten minutes.

It was amazing.

Giving it that little time to settle in was perfect. All of my products applied better this morning than usual. I think as soon as my month long trial is done, the rest of this tube is being relocated to my dressing table for pre makeup use as I switch to the second moisturizer in this line. I was just floored. I think part of it is that this Foundation has tended to look a little dry in the afternoons and applying the Embryolisse before completely eliminated that. It does alter my opinion of the foundation slightly, but by now I already more or less know how I feel about it. I just had to share about the Embryolisse because I was so excited. And now I am just going to jump into the makeup today because I did end up adjusting the products. I’ll get into it below. Let’s list them first.

Today’s Look:

Pre-makeup base: Embryolisse Lait Concentre

Primer: Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation: Charlotte Tillbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation

Bronzer: Too Faced Cocoa Contour

Concealer: Age Rewind Eraser from Maybelline

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush

Highlighter: Wander Beauty Wanderess Glow Afterglow Highlighter (now back in stock, woo hoo! Its been out a while.)

Setting Powder: Becca Pink Haze (discontinued, I know but I am trying to use it up while I search for a new Pink toned setting powder)

Brows: ABH Brow Wiz

Eyeshadow: Nomad Cosmetics Tosca Palette

Mascara: Wet n’ Wild Big Poppa Mascara

Lips: Persona Cosmetics Lip Liner in 90210 with Thrive Cosmetics Lip gloss in Ashley over it

Okay so I started with the Embryolisse and Quite honestly i may be starting with that as my pre makeup base from now on. It made everything apply better because my skin was recently hydrated and it kept products that have been drying out in the late afternoon from drying out because the layer of moisture was added just under them. Big fan of that. That may be my makeup hat trick from now on.

I had planned to see how the Charlotte Tillbury worked over the Tatcha primer when applying with the makeup sponge and not using the brush and so I went with that. I adore the Tatcha primer so using it was easy to talk myself into. The Tatcha was as always beautiful to work with. I absolutely adore the scent as much as the product. Today I used the Natasha Moor Sponge to apply the foundation. I have some thoughts about the shape, but I’ll save the sponge review for later. The foundation does work better with a makeup sponge application. It just is always going to streak a little if you use a brush. Some foundations are like that. Its just good to know which ones and use the right tools.

Today I used the concealer around my eyes. I actually put it on before the foundation and after the primer. Mostly because I noticed that this foundation has been settling into the fine lines around my eyes in the late afternoon and concealer tends to hep me out. The primer fills in the lines smoothing the canvas of my face and then the concealer on lids and around the eyes adds just that little extra layer to block the foundation from sinking in. I also discovered that I am almost completely out of concealer. I rally like this Maybelline one and will be replacing it. while I like others, this one has worked the best for me.

I know i was supposed to continue testing the Nudestix bronzer, but everything was applying so well and it was not the best at blending. And the Too Faced contour palette had been left out so I just went ahead and reached for it. As always it worked fantastically well.

Since I went ahead with what would keep the nice application going I went with the Gold Rush Blush and the Wander Beauty highlighter. I know you probably get sick of me rolling them into the mix a lot, but they are both beautiful products. I will shake things up and rotate more of the products, but for today, they were fabulous.

I am still trying to use up the Becca Pink Haze while looking for a pink tones setting powder to replace it with. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I’ve tried a couple but none of them work quite as well. Still as Becca has gone out of business, I must find a replacement.

I used the brow wiz because I was reminded I had it by the arrival of a trial size. I like this product and don’t mind using it. It isn’t my favorite formula, but it works well.

While I will always love my Big Poppa Mascara, I am still on the fence about this Nomad Palette. I love the formula, but this palette is really not a stand out. I reach for it because it is easy, works well and doesn’t require a lot of thought. I always come out with almost exactly the same look. The red toned hues work well but the browns not so much. So everything in this palette ends up looking similar for me. I am on the fence about it staying. Because it is so quick and easy to use I reach for it, but I also know that if I got rid of it there are palettes I enjoy more that i would reach for just as easily. It is something I need to think about before my next declutter. While Nomad’s Berlin Underground will stay until the pans are down to empty metal, the Tuscany themed one might not be around much longer.

And finally we have the lips. I like the color of the Persona Lip liner and it is creamy enough to apply all over the lips. However ten minutes after applying my lips are gasping for moisture so I put the Thrive cosmetics clear topper over them. I really like the look of the pairing. and my lips don’t feel dried out and desiccated. In general I Like Thrive products. Their mascara was fantastic and this lip topper is a good one, I just need to remember to reach for it more.

And that was todays look for me. Honestly i was just so blown away by using the Embryolisse as a base that I forgot everything. The sun is shining, the walk on the trail was nice and work is as always crazy. But today, my makeup also looks pretty good.

Lait-Crème Concentré

The Daily: October 25th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. The weather here has once again turned lovely, although a bit cooler now that the rain has subsided. The waters have receded from the walking trail and I went on a very long walk this morning. It was fantastic.

Last week I started using the Fitbit to track my walks, food and well basic things. This weekend I looked at last week in review, trying to see what I could do better. While I don’t think step trackers are essential for weigh management, they can be helpful tools.

I actually learned something in looking at my measurements from last week. Apparently, my walks burn more calories than I thought they did. Its actually a good thing, but it means some of my basic calculations for calories in/ calories out are a bit askew. This week I am going to try and see if I can get the balance back to my goal intake/output is. As strange as it sounds, if you don’t eat enough then your body kind of locks on to every calorie it can and weight loss slows down. Keeping everything in balance will hopefully help me out in the long run and hopefully make the weight loss more permanent.

At least that is the goal.

It was a quiet weekend here actually. A lot of weekends are here actually. Most of our going out has been curtailed and so we tend to concentrate on working on things around the house. Of course that is also due to the time of year. In the winter we always spend more time in the house so once the weather turns we start looking at making improvements before the winter really sets in. At the moment we are looking at some new sheets and bedding. Usually we end up ordering such things before Thanksgiving and then put them on the bed when we return from Thanks giving travels as our special, let the holidays begin treat to ourselves.

Admittedly we haven’t done that in a while. we started because we had older sheets so we would pick up a new set as we rotated an old one out of use on the bed. Then for a while we had enough newer sheets. So we stopped buying them (obviously). Now we are down to several sets that need to actually be retired from use, so a fresh set is going to be ordered. Once we can decide on the set. Right now we are in the what do you think of these stage where we each look at options and share what we’ve found until there is one we both like.

It’s a process.

Eventually we will end up with a new set of sheets and hopefully a new duvet cover. Ah the things cold weather stirs up. This week we are also airing out blankets and taking inventory.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Urban Decay’s Optical Illusion Primer

  • Palette madness is still going on with many palettes still 50% off

Foundation: Purlisse BB Cream

Bronzer: Trestique Stick Bronzer

  • now refillable

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Powder: No 7 Perfect Light

Eyeshadow: The Tuscany Palette from Nomad

Lips: Zoeva Lip crayon in Rhea and Tarte Maneater Plumping gloss

Today was the quick and easy look as I planned to spend the bulk of the day working at my computer. And to be fair, beyond my walk, that is where I have been today. And I’ve gotten a lot done actually. I’m actually quite pleased with myself.

The Primer is a discontinued one I am trying to use up and send on it’s way. I am hoping that this will be it’s last week of use, but there is the possibility it might spill into next week.

I love the Purlisse BB Cream formula. It blends beautifully and feels absolutely weightless. It is one of my favorite BB Creams. I know, I have said this a lot. The fact is, it remains true. The Trestique Bronzer and bareminerals blush are quick and easy to use and always work out well for me, so I went with them today. The No 7 Prefect Light powder is actually my favorite pressed powder. I do have several others in my dressing table though so I need to start reaching for them a bit more. Several of them are translucent and in the summertime they give a little too much white to my skin. The No 7 I use is tinted so it sees a lot of use in the summer.

I am still getting a feel for the Man eater gloss but today I layered it over the Zoeva lip crayon. The Zoeva is a little too tan and makes my lips disappear, but it works layered with products. I’m not over the moon with the formula as it is incredibly soft. I plan to use it up and let it go. I won’t be purchasing it or more shades from the line. The jury is still out on the Tarte Plumping gloss.

This Nomad Palette was barely saved from declutter, but I am glad I did save it. The one dark brown shade (Passeggiata) tends to apply patchy but all of the other pans perform quite well. They blend easily and I don’t know if it is the fall tones of the earth shades in the palette, but I find myself wanting to reach for it more right now. So I did.

It was a quick and easy look today and I rather enjoy it. With the exception of the tingling of the plumping gloss (along with it’s slight stickiness), all of the products feel weightless and it is easy to forget that I am wearing makeup at all. Which is not a bad thing as I have other things I’d like to think about when I work. Over all, today was a good selection of products.

The Daily: October 13th, 2021

Oh my darlings the sun is shining, my nose is not sniffilly and while it is still above normal temps for this time of year, the heat and humidity aren’t bad. All this means that i took a really long walk this morning. I did come back all sweaty but after a brief cool down I jumped in the shower and actually used up the last of my Annmarie Skincare shampoo and conditioner set. I was actually quite impressed with it. I’ll be posting my full review next week, but while I did test the shampoo with the hair dryer, for the most part I can let my hair air dry and just run a brush through it. And the less I have to do with my hair on a daily basis, the healthier my hair stays.

Which also meant that i got to keep my hair up in a towel while I put on my makeup today. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I have bangs and when I pull them back to put on my makeup they tend to take a lot of fixing after. this way the hair was already back and then once the products were applied, I could just let the hair down. Much less wonky. Today was interesting for me, product wise. Hold on, let me list the products first, then we’ll dive in.

Today’s Look:

Hair still damp from the shower

Primer: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer

  • currently they are having a graduated sale. buying one item gives you 20% off, 2 gives you 25% and three is 30% and the Naked Cyber Palette is out now.

Foundation: Ciate London Extraordinary foundation

  • currently they have a sale on where you can get 3 Glitter Flip Lippies for $25 (usually they are $19 each)

Bronzer: Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette (also used for powder)

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Highlighter: Illamasqua Beyond Powder in OMG

  • currently you get a free Beyond Powder when you spend $60

Eyeshadow: Tuscany Palette by Nomad

Mascara: Roen Cake Lash in Black

Lips: Buxom Full Force Lip Plumping Lipstick in Fly Girl with YSL lipstick layered over it

Setting Spray: Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional Supper Setter Setting Spray

Okay for the usual suspects, I am using up the primer as it has been discontinued. Still love it so this is like the long goodbye. The bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush may be my absolute favorite blush. I can dip in with a finger, apply it and blend to the color I want. I do absolutely love the formula. And this color works for my skin tone. Its Mauve Sunrise if you are wondering. I also really love the Benefit setting spray. the mist is fine and light, the smell, is well the same scent as their primer, and it works well. I do have to keep it standing upright as when it is put on it’s side it tends to leak. Otherwise it is super fab.

I like the shadow, but I have to say i am super pleased by the fewer fine lines showing around my eyes. currently using Verso Super Eye serum FYI

Now, to play time. we are in the time of year where my skin tone is shifting. (my skins needs are shifting as well, but that is something to discuss elsewhere.) Even if the heat hadn’t faded, the rain has been keeping me inside more. My tan is fading. Some foundations are reaching the, so sorry, see you next year phase, others I think I might be able to use longer. A lot of the summer I lean into BB creams and tinted moisturizers as they work well in the summer when i just want something light. The Ciate London Foundation is really a good one for me in the summer, partially because it feels as light as a BB cream, but still works as a medium coverage foundation.

Medium is kind of my sweet spot with foundations. I really like the formula and not only is the color good but the tones suit my undertones really well. As it blends really well, I want to see how long I can wear it before my skin lightens enough that I think it is too dark a product. This is one of the few foundations where I will actually buy it in a summer and winter shade as I really like it so I want to find out when I need to do the switch so I can figure out what shade I need to get me through the paler shades of me. So this foundation will be bouncing in and out of rotation as i try to figure that out. For now it seems to still be fine. and I like wearing it.

The Cocoa Contour palette I reached for also partially because I find palettes to be much better options during the fading tan and beginning tan phases of the year. I can adjust the bronze to suit my skin much more easily. Today I went light on the darkest shade, but think I might soon have to switch. Part of the reason I pulled this palette up though is that it has a row of non-shimmer highlights and I noticed the light medium is somewhat similar to my Becca Pink Haze setting powder. I was hoping that it might be a good option. So I tried it. It worked well-ish but not as good as the Pink Haze. So the search continues for a replacement. I think at least one of my other highlighter palettes has a pink powder so I might try that as well.

I also like using this palette as the Too Faced Packaging feels lux and smells like candy. It is just a fun palette to use.

My eyeshadow palette I chose because I am still on the fence about it. It barely squeaked through my last declutter as I generally only reach for the light pink shade of La Bella Vita. It performs well. The darker brown of Passaggiata isn’t quite so fabulous. It tends to be a bit patch. Once you work with it, the combo of the two can give you a rather soft look, which i really liked. Honestly I need to play around with this palette more to see if i do in fact like it enough to keep it long term. Usually I really like Nomad shadows. I adore the Berlin Underground palette. this one I need to think about.

This was my first run with the Roen Mascara. Its fine. It is black mascara and thus far it hasn’t flaked or faded. It lengthens a little but not a lot and doesn’t really thicken. I like it a lot better than the Florence by Mills, because it doesn’t require as much work to apply (Florence needed a couple of applications) since it only needs one application, but it isn’t a spectacular lash moment. It is a good office mascara. At least that is how it seems with this first use. It is in rotation and we will see how it performs over time. At the moment it isn’t bad.

I layered the lips. I really like the Buxom plumping lipstick. it plumps and lasts a long time. The shade does make my lips disappear into my face though as it is similar to my skin tone. So I dotted the YSL over it. The shade is slightly on the transparent side and a little too pink for me to enjoy on it’s own. The neutral tames the tan and locks the color into place longer than the YSL would last on it’s own. Plus the YSL feels a little bit waxy to me.

I am a big fan of the Buxom lipstick and I tend to use this one as a base for a lot of other colors that need a slight tweak to them. I could blame subscription boxes for my sometimes not so great color selection but the truth is I am the queen of picking the wrong lipstick when I shop. Somehow between the store and home the colors never turn out quite how I thought they would. I have a lot of almost right lip products. Its why the Buxom is such a trouper even though the shade on its own makes my lips disappear. It blends well with every product I’ve tried it with and it keeps my wrong lipstick purchases from being a waste.

So today had a lot of play in it as I worked with the products. Over all i don’t think the look came out too badly. But now it is back to work for me. Wednesday always makes me feel like I am running behind. So it is best to get back to it. I hope your Wednesday is fabulous and that you reach the end of the day in triumph and can coast all the way to the weekend.

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.

Travels with Eyeshadow: Visiting Tuscany via Nomad Cosmetics

The Tuscany eyeshadow palette from Nomad Cosmetics

One of my favorite eyeshadow palettes is actually from Nomad Cosmetics.  It is the Berlin Underground palette. The color scheme speaks to me reminding me of my less professional self in days gone by.  I have a tendency to only play with that one on the weekends as it tends to lead my brain out of work mode though.  Because of the color story, I tend to be really bad at an unbiased evaluation of the palette.  I love it and am willing to work with it regardless.

This specific blindness is one of the reasons I was very thrilled to get this palette from Nomad cosmetics in an IPSY bag.  While I really like the colors of the Tuscany Palette and they are ones I would typically gravitate towards during the work week, the palette doesn’t have the same nostalgic type of hues.

So let’s have a look at it.  The Tuscany Palette from Nomad Cosmetics is a part of their Italian Collection and on its own retails for $27.  It has nine pans which means you are essentially paying $3 per pan. The pans are quite a good size. While I couldn’t find the exact weight of each pan, they are comparable in size to the single pan Colourpop shadows, for reference.

The shadows are described by Nomad as…

Velvety, soft & blendable eyeshadows formulated with extra-fine pigments. 9 warm, neutral shades inspired by living La Bella Vita in Tuscany, Italy. 5 mattes, 3 satins & 1 shimmer finish. Infused with organic Grape Seed Oil for vibrant & long-wearing color. Cruelty-free & vegan.

So let’s look at them shall we?

top row l to r: Fior Di Latte, aperitivo, and vino nobile

First the Mattes.  For reference the Mattes are: Fior Di Latte and Vino Nobile in the top row, Rinascimento in the second row, Cantucci and Tartufo in the third row.

shadow fall after tapping the brush off over the sink

All of the mattes are powdery.  There is no getting around that. I took a picture of the fallout from Vino Nobile as it is the most noticeable on camera, but all of the mattes have the same fall out during application.

However, once they are applied, they stay in place all day.  They fade slightly throughout the day, but not overly much.  They don’t disappear by dinner time. If you don’t do your eyes first and follow with your face products, then I would recommend using  powder or a guard.  You will have fall out no matter how much you tap the brush before you apply. 

For me, the pay off was worth it.  Cantucci is the perfect base color for me. It comes close to matching my skin color perfectly and provides an excellent base layer. Vino Nobile is highly pigmented and needs to be used with a bit of caution. 

Start light and build my darlings otherwise it will over power everything. Tartufo is a bit more of a cool toned brown than I really like as I tend to gravitate towards warmer colors, but it does work well within this palette.  Fior Di Latte is an excellent accent color for me while Rinascimento was a little too yellow for me.  It is a beautiful color and reminds me of so much of that golden Italian stonework, the sort that has been softened by age.  It is a beautiful tone, but on me it made me look jaundiced.

middle row swatches L to R: Rinascimento, a Bella Vita and Passeggiata

The satins were La Bella Vita and Passeggiata in the second row and Vin Santo in row three.  They had the same fall out problems as the mattes but they also had the same nice formula. As satins they had a little bit more shimmer and one thing that was different is that if used without a primer underneath, they tended to crease as the day wore on. 

La Bella Vita was my favorite of these three and on me it was an excellent low make-up stand alone color.  I could dust it over my lids and be done, easy peasy.  I just had to remember the primer underneath or it would crease.  It would still stay all day, but there would be creases. With the primer, it worked really well as a one and done. 

Vino Santo worked well like this as well and it was the warm brown shade I wanted Tartufo to be. Passeggiata was a darker warm tone that worked really well with the matte shade Vino Nobile to create a red/brown toned smoky eye. 

Bottom row swatches L to R: Cantucci, Vin Santo and Tartufo

There was one shimmer shade in the entire palette and that was Aperitivo in the center of the first row.  It is a lovely pink tone that complemented the colors really well This is over all a red/pink tinged palette.  They are the kind of shades that look good on people who can wear rosy tones for the most part as each shadow seems to have that base note.

Like the other shadows, the shimmer has fall out during application.  It is a consistent theme throughout the palette.  But also like the others, once in place, the shadow stays in place.

All of the shadows blend well together without becoming muddy.  While this works well for subtle, work related looks, there is some boldness to be found in the deeper colors.  It is an earthy toned boldness instead of a bright color bold, which to be honest, I prefer.  I really prefer deeper colors to the brighter rainbow hues. At least in my daily life.  Don’t get me wrong, in colors outside of eyeshadows I crave jewel tones, and occasionally I will get pulled in by a jewel toned palette, but the bright, rainbow palettes aren’t ones I naturally gravitate towards. This Tuscany Palette is something I do gravitate towards and really enjoyed using this week. 

The only real down fall is the fall out, but if you are aware that it will need to be dealt with then this palette has quite a few pros to balance it out. In the end, I would definitely repurchase this palette and look into other Nomad palettes as well.  $27 is a decent price for a nine pane palette with shadows this large. And I have to say testing it out makes me more inclined to pick up another Nomad palette. 

I’ve had my eye on the Orient Express Palette since it came out. (oaky i have really had my eye on the bronze and gold shades in this palette)  How could I not want a palette reminiscent of my second favorite Agatha Christie Book? (My top fave Agatha Christie Book will always be And Then There Were None or Ten Little Indians depending on which version you picked up. Highly recommend the read and actually Amazon has a really good film adaptation of it that was done in 2013 if you are looking for something to watch.  It’s a three part series but essentially the whole book.

So that my darlings is my take on the Nomad Tuscany Palette.  As well as a book and film adaptation recommendation that has absolutely nothing to do with the palette, but I do occasionally just get off track. I enjoyed using it and will continue to do so for quite some time to come.