The Empties: November and December 2020

Last month I completely spaced on doing a review of the empties in my bin so there is a lot to go through this month.  Most of these items had full posts listed on my site so if you want more fulsome details I hope you check them out.  This is just a rundown of the products I used up, along with a few notes about what I think of them now that they are gone.

The products all laid out

Item number one is the Marc Jacobs Youthquake.  I had high hopes for this one.  It smelled nice and in general I like Marc Jacobs’ products.  This however felt very heavy on the skin and was far too moisturizing for me to take. 

I could use it as a night cream but not during the day.  To use it up I ended up using it at night (and to be honest, also on my elbows which tend to get really dry in the winter).  It was fine at night (and my elbows loved it) but it was too heavy during the day.  I will not be repurchasing it. I will be reusing the very pretty jar somewhere though.

The PureHeals Pore Clear Black Charcoal peel off mask is also not going to make it to my repurchase list.  While I like the mud masks that PureHeals makes (and will order those repeatedly) this mask was not for me.  It never did anything for my skin that I could tell and it hurt to peel it off.  If a peel off mask is going to hurt then I want to see some results.  After all the Hey Honey Take off The Drama mask hurt like the dickens but my skin was fabulous afterwards.  This just hurt and offered no return.  I kept trying and it never got better.  So it is good by to the empty and I will not be picking it up again.

the A+ high dose retinoid (L) and ICE Moisturizer (R)

Next up there is a trial size of the Sunday Riley A+  High Dose Retnoid Serum.  I enjoyed using this very much and will be picking up a full sized bottle sometime in the near future to try out in my retinol trials. It was very nice and gone far too soon.

I will not miss the Marcelle CC Cream.  I finished this small tube up last week and happily added it to the empties bin.  While it is a wonderful color corrector, over the course of the day it seeped into the fine lines around my eyes and made me look super tired. 

Marcelle Golden Glow CC Cream and Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Plus, it lives up to the name Golden Glow and made my face very glowy, which is not my thing.  And so this too will sadly not be repurchased.  I was disappointed as every other Marcelle product I’ve tried has been top notch.

Also disappointing was the Dove Nutritive Solutions for Volume and fullness.  While I love Dove products in general and usually have no problems with them, this shampoo and conditioner set just didn’t work for me. 

While I don’t normally have a problem with tangles, while using this shampoo and conditioner, I ended up having more tangle problems than usual.  I also felt like my hair was slightly dull and getting some build up.

The first few washes were fantastic.  But then it just went downhill fast. While I love the brand Dove and will continue to buy other products, this shampoo and conditioner set won’t be one I will repurchase.

I have to say, I am slightly on the fence about the feel renewed Pumpkin Walnut facial cleanser. I never actually thought I’d say that. Because this is not my first tube. It is the scent that always gets me, and if I’m honest, it is the reason I purchase it.  I adore the scent and it was a good clean, but it was a rather rough exfoliate when it comes down to it.  I believe I used it early in November, maybe even late October.  The scent was suitable for the time frame and utterly delicious. 

I have tried a couple of other exfoliating scrubs that perform better, even if they don’t smell as yummy.  The Olay Regenerist scrub in particular smelled nice and clean and was a much gentler product on the skin. I think this may fall into the category of I’d use it if it ended up coming into my possession but I wouldn’t seek it out. It is a good exfoliator for once or twice a week, I just don’t think I would want to keep it stocked. I just need to find something better with the same scent.

I will be stocking the pixi skintreats Clarity Tonic though.  It was a fantastic toner and I had wonderfully clear skin while using it.  While I like other pixi toners, I have to say this one thus far is at the top of the list.  This doesn’t mean I won’t try other Pixi products, but this one is a definite repurchase.

I cannot say the same thing for the Whish Botanical Primer, the Derma E radiance toner or the Balance me Bakuchiol soothing Serum.  Although I do think I will be looking into bakuchiol more closely as an ingredient.

The Balance me and the Derma E products both worked well, enough but the scent of them both was not one I appreciated nor wanted to face every day. I find it kind of a shame as they were good products. However I know myself and the scents just meant that if I repurchased them in a full size I would slowly stop using them because I couldn’t take the scent.

The Derma E was floral and somewhat cloying while the Balance me smelled a bit like floor cleaner.  I just know the product would go to waste if I purchased them. The Whish primer, however, was something altogether different. 

Derma E toner and Georgette Klinger Collagen and Elastin Mask

The Whish botanical Primer was a failure as a primer. An Absolute Failure. It did nothing a primer really should be expected to do. It was however pretty good skin care.  While this primer won’t be returning any time soon, it worked well enough as skin care that I am going to be looking into the other products from this Whish line that are specifically designed for skin care use.  I will not use this as a primer. So it will not be returning, but some of its brand compatriots will.  I can’t be upset about trying it though as it did bring Whish to my attention.

Sulwhasoo serum, Whsh Botanical Primer and Goldfaden Needleless Serum

The Tatcha Deep Cleanse will hopefully soon make a return in a full size.  I really enjoyed this cleanser.  It was one of the few exfoliating cleansers that I have tried that I found I could use on a daily basis with no skin damage. 

My skin looked and felt wonderful while using it and I really enjoyed the scent of the cleanser as well.  It is lightly floral but with enough of a fruit back note to keep it from being cloying.  I was somewhat surprised as I didn’t particularly care for Tatcha’s moisturizers when I tried them.  However I can see why this cleanser is one of the brand’s best sellers. It is definitely something I want to repurchase.

Elemis Pro-collagen marine Cream and Tatcha Deep Cleanse

There were four sample sized moisturizers in my bin this time around and I have to say all five of them made my list of products that I would want to reorder in a full sized version.

The Sunday Riley Ice moisturizer is not the most appealingly scented cream. It smells vaguely medicinal.  However, it is a thick cream that disappears into the skin and hydrates well.  I think as a night cream it would work well for me.  It is also one of those products where the product worked well enough that I found I could live with the scent.  As I am very scent oriented (in case you hadn’t guessed), that is saying something.

The second sample was the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine cream.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I enjoyed it as there are very few products from Elemis that I don’t enjoy.  This sample came to me through a Look Fantastic Box and I was happy to get the chance to try it before adding a full size to my try out list.

The third sample was from Skin Ceuticals and it it is the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 moisturizer.  The sample worked well as both a day and a night cream and It is one I would certainly want to try out for longer.

Surprisingly the fourth is the 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream.   With 111 Skin I am sometimes on the fence with them  I like a lot of their products but there are few I fall in love with.  Especially after seeing the price.  They usually strike me as good, but not quite good enough to justify the price.  I don’t mind paying more for a product I think is worth the price. Especially where skincare is concerned.

This is one moisturizer I could easily see myself falling in love with. It claims to be a day cream and that is exactly what it is.  I really like a product that stakes a claim on one thing and does it well.  I liked it enough that when I looked at the price of the full size I actually found myself thinking it sounded like it was priced correctly. 

That was how much I enjoyed the sample.  I was very sad when the sample ran out and you can bet that anytime I see a sample of this up for grabs I will be snapping it up. This is one of the few things from 111 Skin that I believe actually earns its price tag.

Another product that earns it’s price, although it is substantially lower in price is the Timeless SkinCare Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  I believe a full sized bottle is around $9.95, but trust me, this serum is something I would actually pay twice that for, maybe even three times.  During my use of it, I actually saw a reduction in the Great Stress Crack of Mimsy, which is what I call the ever deepening line across my forehead.

While using this, it not only didn’t deepen, but it appeared to be getting shallower.  I was sad when it ran out. I have two hyaluronic acid serums to test out from other brands and now that I’ve had a few weeks without this serum, I am going to start a trial of the next sot see how it performs.  But right now, Timeless SkinCare has set the standard and it is a pretty high mark to reach.  Regardless of future trials, this was an excellent serum offered at an excellent price and it is one that I foresee making several repeated trips to my skin care shelf.

A few products that won’t return?  The Sulwhasoo first care Activating serum.  Its herbal scent I could get used to if it was an amazing product, but it left my skin sticky and not feeling improved.  The Goldfaden, MD Needle-less line corrector will not be returning either.  It felt like it was stinging, but beyond the stinging it didn’t do much.  In general Goldfaden, MD and I have not had the best history.  I have a serum to try from the brand, but thus far everything I have used from the brand has left me saying ‘Thanks, but no thanks. ‘

Sadly the Pa’akai cleansing cream also falls into that category.  It cleanses well enough, but the scent is just far too perfume-y for me to take on a twice daily basis.  Incidentally, I did use the product up, but there was just enough remaining to coat the back of the bottle where it lay in the empties bin so it looks full. It fooled me too but I opened it and looked inside thinking I might not have finished it out. But oh yeah, it is empty and the perfume scented remains remind me why I am not using it.

I found myself trying to avoid washing my face while using it, and that is not a good thing.  There are many steps I could probably skip in a skin care routine should I want to pair it down.  Washing my face isn’t one of them.  So, it is a good cleanser, but sadly the scent just made it not for me.

Also not for me is the Tarte Shape tape Concealer.  It works well as a spot concealer, blending beautifully into my skin and hiding red spots and blemishes.  But it settled into the fine lines under my eyes and just made me look haggard.  Which is not what I want in a concealer.  So I used the last of this little sample size up as a spot corrector. And now it is empty and will not be repurchased. Sadly I used to love the Shape Tape Concealer.  I think that as I get a little older, my skin’s needs just change.  I have changed not the product. If fine lines aren’t a problem for you then you will still love it. (if you like it now). This was an excellent concealer for me once upon a time, but no more. 

Benefit They’re Real Mascara, Wander Beauty Mile High Mascara, Maybelline Color Strike Shadow, wet ‘n wild liquid liner and Revolution’s Fast Base Concealer.

I do have a second concealer in my empties bin this go around and it is the Fast Base Concealer from Revolution.  I love this concealer, never had any problems with it settling in my fine lines and will be repurchasing it very soon. 

The fact that is it a $3 concealer, if I remember correctly, doesn’t hurt the wallet either. I don’t mind paying a lot for products that work, but good products come in all sorts of price ranges, and this one certainly proves it.  The Fast Base will be repurchased.

There are two empty mascaras in my empties bin.  One is the Mile High Lashes from Wander Beauty and the other is a sample sized tube of They’re Real from Benefit Cosmetics.  While each performed well, to be honest, neither are the products I prefer from the brands.  With Wander Beauty I would purchase the Unlashed Volume and Curl Mascara before I would purchase the Mile High Club mascara.  With Benefit, I would purchase Bad Gal Bang before I would pick up They’re Real.  That isn’t to say that they are not both quality products, but I doubt I would purchase either of them specifically.  If going onto their brand pages, other products would draw my attention.  So I did like them, and wouldn’t mind using them again, I just know that if shopping, they aren’t the ones I would repurchase.

Also not making my repurchase list was the First Aid Beauty Primer.  It is a mattifying yet hydrating primer but my skin isn’t dry enough for the product.  If I had skin that was a great deal drier, this would be a different conversation.  But alas I don’t.  So the First Aid Beauty primer I would not repurchase.  If you have really dry skin and are looking for a mattifying primer, you might have better luck than I did with this product.

One primer I will consistently repurchase is the Yensa tone up primer.  This is either the second or third tube of this that I have gone through and I absolutely adore it.  It mattifies and fills pores really well and my skin reacts really well to it.  It makes my top ten favorites list. In fact everything I’ve tried form the Super 8 line from Yensa has been really good in general. I’m actually finishing out a BB cream sample size from the brand this week that I know I am going to have to order in a full size once I’ve whittled down my foundation products.

L to R: Hey Honey Gold Mask, Yensa Primer, Hey Honey CC Cream

The Hey Honey Trick and Treat CC cream is also on my reorder list.  It fairly melted into the skin and left me with a beautiful no makeup look that worked really well for daily wear.  I adored the formula and will be purchasing a full size in the future.

As far as Hey Honey goes I will also be reordering the Show Your Glow Colloidal Gold and Honey Beauty Mask.  I really like how soft and lovely it made my skin feel.  The fact that I wandered around the house for fifteen minutes looking like I’d been gilded by a wandering art restorer was kind of fun as well.  But the mask was fabulous.

I also want to order a full sized version of the Georgette Klinger Collagen and Elastin Mask (pictured above with Derma E).  The sample I tried worked really well on my skin and it is one I would not mind keeping a full size of around. It plumped up my skin and diminished my fine lines after one use.  The tube had enough for three uses and I was happy to use it for an entire week of masking.  I was however very sad when it was empty. So to the repurchase in a full size list the product goes.

As much as I like Native Deodorant, I have to say the sample size of the holiday scent Sugar Cookie was enough for me.  The sample size lasted a little over a month and quite frankly as much as I liked it, I was happy to end the trial. I am still using my Native Deodorant, but it is the Cucumber and Mint. 

Like the holidays, it was nice while it lasted, but I was happy to resume the standard once it was done. I could not have taken a full size of this.  I am still upset I didn’t pick up the fill size of the Candy Cane Scent, but they didn’t have it at Target (apparently it sold out extremely fast) and I didn’t get around to ordering it in time.  That one I probably could have used longer than the Sugar Cookie. Mostly because I adore peppermint.

I still don’t know why spearmint (an inferior to peppermint in my opinion) gets to live on throughout the year, but peppermint, fabulous peppermint is banished to the holidays. Because of this I stock pile products and end up using products decorated for Christmas in June. It isn’t right. Do you know how many bars of Dr. Squatch’s Peppermint soap I have squirrelled away in my linen closet? I don’t either and I’m not counting because it would make me feel bad, but I do now have an absolutely deliciously scented linen closet. But that isn’t the point so I will end my pro-peppermint rant and get back to the empties.

I know this is a behemoth of a post, but there are only two more items and then, my darlings, we are through.  The Color Strike Shadow from Maybelline was  really hard to work with and had the added effect of not staying long on the lid once I got it to work.  While I generally like Maybelline Products, this was not my favorite.  I am getting rid of it because trying to make it work nearly drove me bonkers. I’m sure there is product remaining in the tube, but it was so hard to ge out onto the little brush that I couldn’t prove it. It will not be repurchased.  I’ll still use Maybelline products, just not this particular product.

And to end on a good note.  The wet ‘n wild liquid megaliner eyeliner. It reminded me of how much I really liked liquid eyeliners. It performed magnificently and I was so sad when the product reached the end of its productive life.  It went on smoothly and after letting it dry a moment, it stayed put all day without fading.  (If you don’t give it a moment to dry it will transfer when you blink because it is a wet liquid. So just give it a second and you are good).

I will repurchase this product and I will continue repurchasing this product.  I will also be picking up more liquid eyeliners from different brands in the future. As a side note, the wet ‘n wild liquid eyeliner was the very first eyeliner I learned to apply way back in Junior High. I loved it then and I find it amusing all these years later to find that it is still a great product. So many of the products i used to absolutely adore when I I was first introduced to makeup have either sadly gone away or are kind of amusing to look back on. I find it fun to find one product that still works as good as I thought it did when I first started with makeup.

And with that my darlings we are finally through with two months’ worth of empties.  If nothing else this reminds me that I need to remember to do these once a month or suffer the wrath of an overflowing bin and an extraordinarily long post.  I nearly forgot about some of the items towards the bottom.

If you stuck with me, thanks for making it to the very end. If you didn’t’, don’t worry, it was a really long haul and I almost gave up midway through myself. I will see you at the end of January with next month’s empties in a much more manageable sized post. I have put it on my nice new calendar so that I will not forget it. I will also be back this afternoon with a perfume review as well, but I am definitely remembering the empties bin each month instead of letting it carry over.


All I want for Christmas is spectacular skin

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Welcome my darlings to the week before the big sales start.  Or what is usually the week before the big sales start. Many of the sales started early this year.  Even so, each year around this time, I look at products I’ve tried and liked enough to want to continue using or products that I tried in a sample size and want to give a full sized version a go in the upcoming year. When stocking up on skin care, it really pays to hit the sales.

As I start looking over things, there are always a few memorable stand outs that I don’t have to think too hard about.  There are always more I see pop out at me when I start to look over my previous posts and start seeing forgotten gems.  As I could literally go on for hours about various products, I have decided to attempt to limit each section to three or four items. There are some categories that will flaunt that decision with flagrant disregard for my attempt at control, but I will try to keep this post from becoming too massive.

Also throughout the week I’ll try to hit all of the categories I am currently reviewing for my own Cyber Monday/Black Friday Sales extravaganza.

Also in an attempt to keep the length of this skincare post semi reasonable, I have put masks in their own special category. We’d be here for days if I didn’t split them out.

So welcome to the skin care roundup. As we all know whether you are dressing up or dressing down for the holidays great skin is your best accessory for every occasion. Any of you reading this site on a regular basis probably realized, I am the sort of person who favors a multitude of steps to my skin care routine.  Some of the steps I do every day, others I only do on occasion and some fall somewhere in between.  I generally decide what steps I am using based on what my skin needs at the time. 

Breakouts call for one set of steps while dry patches and dullness call for a different regime. So I adjust.

I know some people are minimalists, but I really enjoy the routine of skin care.  It helps me wake up in the morning and it lets me unwind in the evening.  Whatever your routine, here are some products that I have enjoyed, that I will be repurchasing (or have already stocked up on) and that I would recommend to those looking for products to try.

We’ll start with makeup removers.  I am partial to cleansing balms as I find them neater to use and less likely to spill as they get knocked over.  While I have more or less cornered a powder room for my skincare/beauty needs and am usually the only one using that bathroom, when someone else does use it they tend to rocket through like a whirling dervish.  I’ve gotten many an apologetic look as something was knocked over and spilled by accident. Then there is the invariable look of shock when they realize how much that tiny little bottle they knocked over costs. Being the only female in the house lets me cause shock and awe quite frequently.

As the only skin care term my babydoll has managed to pick up has been ‘Cold Cream’ and it is the term he uses for every skin care product that exists (he is quite proud of knowing it actually) and believes that nothing in the bathroom should cost over $10 he has suffered some major shocks.

the travel size

Plus, when you are working in a space with hard surfaces and frequently wet and or greasy hands, things happen.  The two cleansing balms that are on my top tier right now are The Elemis Cleansing Balm and the Versed Skincare cleansing balm.

Both are excellent products that don’t require a lot of product to work and so last quite a while. The Elemis Cleansing Balm is a thick, custard like consistency and has a slightly floral, slightly botanical scent. I have tried for a while to fully identify it but the scent just smells like Elemis.  Several of their products have the scent. I personally like it. I also like the fact that it leaves my skin feeling soft as well as clean.  This is not a product that will strip your skin.  It just removes the makeup.

The Elemis Cleansing Balm actually features in several of the brand’s  holiday kits this year. I believe it might actually be in their advent calendar as well.  It is one of their top sellers, which is easy to see why.  They have a set of three cleansing balms as a pack, one in the original (which I tried and loved) one that is rose and one Neroli (orange) in case you wanted to try out different scents. Purchasing them together gives you a discounted price. 

And if you are looking for a deal (as well as a fantastic gift for either you or a skin care lover on your list), one of the sets, the Glowing SkinCare Stars, actually includes both the Cleansing Balm and the Dynamic Resurfacing  Pads that I’ll mention a little further down.  I actually picked up this set for my mom for Christmas. Not only does it contain two of my favorites (which I know she’ll love, but there are plenty of other extras in the bag. There are other kits of course and all worth checking out, but that is the one I ordered as a gift this year. I love kits because they let you try out a whole bunch of products at the same time.

The Versed cleansing balm is a little different.  It too removes the makeup and doesn’t strip your skin, but it has a more solid consistency.  It has the feel to it of a giant lip balm. To get it out of the jar I generally ran a tiny skin care spatula across the top of the product and then gathered up the product into my hands.  The heat from my hands melted it a little and then I rubbed it onto my face. 

It has a scent that is more menthol than floral and reminded me of Vick’s Vapor rub. While the scent is not my favorite, I was willing to use it because the product worked so well. And to be honest the scent dissipates quickly. It is also relatively inexpensive.  The product is on the large side and costs only $17.99 for a full size.  

Next time I order one I am planning on adding a couple of their tinted lip oils (they are $9.99 each).  While the Versed Cleansing Balm can be purchased at my local Target, they don’t stock the lip oils for some reason. It’s one of those small annoyances. 

The last time I replaced my Versed cleansing balm I just went to Target and picked it up.  I forgot I was going to order it because of the lip oils. So now I have to order them separately.  Of course I’ve also been eyeing their Winter Unwind Gift set. I’m thinking of trying it out for my post-holiday de stressing. So I may just order that and a lip oil since I have the backup balm in my skin care drawer.

While there will be a post later in the week regarding tools and other items, I have to mention that this is where I use my Makeup eraser.  I know the Makeup Eraser can just be wet and used with just water, but I really prefer applying the cleansing balm and then using a wet makeup eraser to take everything off.  I find it removes more and it requires less rubbing on my skin. And I must confess that while my Makeup Eraser is good and can still take several years more worth of use (my last one I used for three years before my babydoll saw mascara and eyeliner stains and decided it was an oil rag and used it in his workroom), I have been eyeballing the SpongeBob Squarepants exclusive Seven day set.

Not only are they seven smaller Sponge Bob Character decorated cloths, but with seven of them I could use one each day and send it through the wash instead of just using different parts of the same cloth all week.  I know that sounds a little extra but it really is more hygienic.  Plus, how can you look at them and not want them. They are so cute and the entire set is only $25. I’m actually contemplating picking up the set in the name of hygiene.  And fun. Can’t forget fun.  (although if you want a non cartoon themed cloth, the seven day sets also come in a classic black as well.)

Because I favor a double cleanse, my routine generally moves from makeup removers to actual cleansers.  I love the cleanser category and have had some really good luck with products lately. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few stinkers in there, but they shall not be discussed here. Only good products need apply for this post. 

The first is from Malin + Goetz.  I have used their Grapefruit cleanser for years and even though there are lapses, it is one that I return to often. It has a fresh scent and a slight (ever so slight) exfoliation to it. It is one of my favorite scents to wake up to and a really great clean.  I will admit I like it more in the morning than I do at night, just because the scent is more of a wake me up scent.   

At the moment not only is the cleanser for sale regularly but the cleanser also comes as part of the Saving Face Limited Edition Set.  It comes with the cleanser, the Vitamin E moisturizer (which I have heard great things about especially from friends trying to soften or reduce scars) and the detoxing  face mask (which I must confess I know nothing about). But as with most kits, buying the set is more cost effective than buying them separately. 

I love holiday sets, I know I’ve said that before and I will probably say it again. The value is usually pretty good on sets and I almost always find something new that I never would have picked up on its own or that I had never heard of.  Like the Malin+Goetz Detox Face Mask. Of course sometimes I fall in love with something that is limited edition in itself and I have to wait a whole year and hope they bring it out again the following winter, but that is another story and usually involves peppermint scented items.

Other people go for the Pumpkin spice, for me it is the peppermint that gets me every time. I’ve already picked up the peppermint chapstick that only comes out this time of year. And I’m sure there will be more peppermint themed items coming my way before the season is done.

This actually makes it pair well with the Erno Laszlo Original Black Soap.  While I love the way this soap makes my skin feel and adore the clean I get from it, the bar soap does make a bit of a mess.  It is black soap (from charcoal) as the name implies and when you lather it the drips splash black around.  That is it’s only real drawback actually.  While it is a good soap to use both morning and evening, I tend to use it at night more often because I somehow mind less cleaning up at the end of the day than I do at the start.  I put a soap dish in the bathroom just to keep some of the smudges contained so ‘clean up’ really means wiping away a few drips. I just prefer it in the evening to the morning.

It all begins with the cleanse – the essential first step to skincare success. Shop Erno Laszlo cleansers today!

The Purlisse Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Cleansing Milk is one cleanser I have no problem using morning or evening and would highly recommend picking up. It foams nicely and washes off clean. In fact I tested out a whole bunch of products from the Blue Line for Purlisse a while back.  I found all of the products in that line to be excellent, the moisturizer in particular was excellent for shifting seasons. It is the Purlisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer and balancing is what it does best.  It really worked well with the shifting seasons for me.

One of the most fun cleansers I tried this year was also from Elemis.  It is the Cica Superfood Calming Foaming cleanser.  Seriously, a face full of fun foam that also cleanses your skin and leaves it soft?  It was one of those cleansers that after I used it, I wanted to just leave my face bare for a while to simply enjoy the clean skin. I have a backup already purchased and awaiting it’s moment to emerge from the skin care drawer. Not only is it one I would repurchase, but it is one I already have repurchased.  It went on sale in the summer and I snapped it up. I am not ashamed to say it is one I will watch for and pounce on anytime a sale emerges.

While I need to wrap up the cleanser section there is one more cleanser I really need to mention.  That is the Olay Gentle Cleanser. This is a different one.  I don’t use it in my morning or evening routines.  I tend to use this one solely after my workouts.  After a good sweat I need a really gentle cleanser that will keep my skin from feeling that post workout sweat grossness, but won’t damage the skin by overly cleansing it. 

This is where the Olay Gentle cleanser shines.  It is one of those products I repeat buy just for this purpose and then forget to mention because it is not in either my morning or evening routines. One quick pump of product, a bit of water and I am feeling fabulous.  Usually this Cleanser costs $9.49 but it is currently on sale for $7.14. 

The same can be said for the Regenerist Cleanser as well.  It is usually $9.49 and now on sale for $7.14. While I love the gentle cleanser (and will repurchase it) I wanted to try something else so I picked up the Regenerist Cleanser to try. I just started using it so I haven’t posted the review yet but I am already really liking the product. The review will actually be up either next week or the week after, I just wanted to mention it for those stocking up. I think it is a very good cleanser to try out.

For those of you looking for ease of purchase, as well as discounts, Olay now has a subscription service.  You pick your products and decide when you want them delivered and the products are 30% off their usual price.  There is no commitment and you can change up your order any time, so if you haven’t run out of eye cream yet, but are almost out of moisturizer you can adjust what products get sent to you so you aren’t stuck with too much of any one thing.  It’s actually a really cool system, especially if you are trying to reduce the number of times you go out to restock products.

At the moment I have three toner products worth mentioning. The first is from Elemis. What can I say? I love the brand. I know, you are probably getting tired of hearing that, but this is the last Elemis product on today’s list.  Promise. But the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Toner pads just had to be mentioned. They are fantastic.  Not to dry, not to wet, they tone the skin and provide a light exfoliation.  They are fantastic.  Hands down, full stop. Fantastic.

The other two toners I need to mention are both from Pixi. One is the Glow Tonic exfoliating Toner and one is the Clarity Tonic.  Both are really nice and I will be picking them both up repeatedly for a while.  (don’t worry I still have several other toners to test out before my next Pixi purchase). The exfoliating toner is a nice gentle chemical exfoliant that is gentle enough to be used daily and the Clarity Tonic helped me have more good skin days.  Between this and the Peace Out Acne Dots I had a surprisingly long run of good skin days despite the wearing of the face masks.  (I did have a masking trick that helped a well, but that is another post oh and as a quick note you can get 15% off your first purchase at Peace Out Skin Care.).

While I still love my Skin and Co Truffle Therapy Face Gommage and will still be picking it up again, repeatedly, there were two new physical exfoliates that came my way this year  that are not only worth mentioning but worth repurchasing.  The first was the BKind Sensitive Skin Face Scrub.  It was not only an excellent product but it is ethically sourced and has a host of other fabulous claims.  I did find it left a little bit of a waxy feel to the skin when I rinsed it off, but as I tend to use exfoliators after removing my makeup and before I do my second cleanse, I didn’t mind this so much. 

The second new exfoliator that I tried and loved this year came from Nuxe.  It was the Nuxe Insta-Masque Exfoliating mask and it had the consistency of a jelly. While technically it falls under masks, I used it as an exfoliator.  It only sits on the skin three minutes so I would apply it, let it sit while I brushed my teeth and then massaged and rinsed.  

The exfoliate mixed in was both gentle and effective and I very much enjoyed using the product.  I think I actually pouted and sighed when the product ran out.  Because of the consistency it was surprisingly moisturizing as well and is one of the few exfoliates that I have tried that I could actually use every day.  I stuck to three days a week when using it, but I could have used it more often without damage to the skin which is not something I can say for a lot of other products I tried this year.  Many were tested, only a few made my repurchase list.

Nuxe also has this style of Inta masque in a purifying and smoothing formula and a detoxification one if exfoliating is not your thing.  Both of those are actually on my list of products to try.  I know I will probably mention that again with masks, but it seemed appropriate to mention it here as well. I suspect all three will end up in my skin care drawer by the end of the year.  But the Nuxe Intsta-masque exfoliating mask was better than a lot of other exfoliators I tried this year.

The same thing can be said for the serum category.  I tested out a lot of serums this year and I have to say only two really stand out without me having to look them up.  The first is the Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  I had such fantastic results with that serum that I think it is going to be a staple for a while.

The second is the Volition Snow Mushroom Water Serum.  I know, it sounds strange, but it was a fantastically hydrating serum.  This serum and the Volition Sunscreen were my saving graces this summer.  I spent a lot of time outside on the walking trail instead of going to the gym.  One product kept my skin safe while I was sweating it out and the other made certain my skin was healthy and hydrated.  Seriously if I could give a bottle of the Volition Sunscreen to everyone I know, I would. As it is my mother and aunts each got one as a gift this year. I absolutely loved that sunscreen and have already purchased it for myself. It sits beautifully under makeup and does not feel at all like sunscreen. In fact they market it as the sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen, which quite frankly was me.

The Snow Mushroom Water Serum doesn’t smell earthy it just smells light and fresh.  It absorbed well into the skin without feeling heavy or greasy (or clogging pores) and was fantastic throughout the summer time.  I have already picked up a second bottle and when it arrives I will be stashing it away for use in the spring and summer. While I’m sure it would be lovely to use in the winter, it was so good in the spring and summer that I am holding it in reserve while I test out other products. As I am writing this Volition has a 30% off sale going on that you might want to check out. It started before the holiday sales.

And this brings us to the moisturizer category.  Here we once again start with Volition.  The Celery Green Clean Moisturizer is super lightweight and again I really enjoyed using it this summer.  It has a light green, celadon like color and smells fresh and clean.  It absorbed well into the skin and was never greasy.  It was a fantastic day cream.  I found myself wanting something a little heavier at night especially if I had too much sun during the day, but as a summer time day cream it was fantastic. It also helped reduce the size of my pores a little bit, which really helped with my skin’s texture. And that is year round good.

The Dior Capture Care and Protect DreamSkin Moisturizer was also one I might want to use a separate night cream with, but I have no problem finding a good night cream to balance it out.  The Dior Moisturizer was fantastic to use.  It made my skin feel like silk.  It does have that French rose skincare scent to it which isn’t for everyone, but it is a very light scent that doesn’t linger.  Personally, I like the scent. I also like that the container is reusable so that there is less waste.  When you finish with it, you can order a new insert and just fit it into the existing container. I like the less waste almost as much as I liked this moisturizer. 

There are three moisturizers that I only tried in sample form but are high on my list to give a full size trial this coming year.  These are the Skinceuticals Lipid Moisturizer, The First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Gel Cream and the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer.  I enjoyed all three samples a lot and will be picking up full sized versions soon so that I can give them a full test.

There is the final Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizer I tried that I will also be picking up, but it felt more like a night cream to me. As I don’t really have a go to night cream at the moment, I will be delving deeper into this category in the near future as well.  I liked the Avocado Sleeping Mask from Glow Recipe and will be repurchasing that one at some point, but I wasn’t so over the top in love with it that it is going to be my standard.  There is plenty of room for experimentation.

Okay my darlings, deep breaths. We have made it through the skin care category. It was a long review., I know and thank you for sticking with me. I know I took a few extra byways as we went down that path. And, okay so I didn’t do fantastically well narrowing it down to three products per category and as a consequence this is a bit of a longer post than I planned. 

There are just so many good skin care products out there.  Even knowing I didn’t stick to my three I know there are some that I completely forgot and will remember as soon as I post this.  It doesn’t mean they aren’t good, or that I won’t be posting about them (or purchasing them as soon as they go on sale) it just means I had to constrain myself.

And yes, this was me constrained.

Just remember that whether you are celebrating your upcoming holidays in a glittering gown or in a fluffy bathrobe, good skin is always in style.Hopefully this post will help you find something for you and maybe something for someone on you shopping list this holiday season.

While I did mention a few ongoing sales, here are a few my skin care lovers out there might want to remember.

Peter Thomas Roth is having their 50% off select Kits Sale. It runs through November 19th so it is a pre holiday sale. I really like this one and get pulled into it every year. I think their kits are a great way to try different products. In fact the Peter Thomas Roth moisturizers I tested this year all came from Kits. I was able to determined which I liked but wasn’t gaga over as well as which ones I really wanted to buy in the full size. I ended up being oddly surprised by which one I fell in love with. I seriously didn’t think it was going to be the Hungarian Thermal Water mineral Rich Moisturizer. In fact I think that was the free sample I got when I purchased another kit to actually try out. Surprise! The free sample won the day.

The SkinStore is also having a boat load of sales. Here ae a few you might be interested in. First there is the 15% off select SkinCeuticals Bundles which runs through November 26th. From now until November 19th you can get a Beauty Bag (ten piece set) worth $95 with $150 purchase. Just use the code EXTRABAG. There is also a Buy 2 get 25% off with the code BUY2GET25 which is also good through November 19th.

For those looking for Stocking Stuffers you can use the code STOCKING to get 28% off Stocking stuffers from brands like ARCONA, beautyblender, Bioderma, Dermablend, DERMAdoctor, DHC, Eyeko, First Aid  Beauty from now until November 19th. And there is also a 25% off Clean Beauty gifts going on with brands like Alterna, Codex Beauty, First Aid Beauty, Jurlique, Koh Gen Do, KORRES, Pai, Patchology. There is no code for that one as the discount is applied in the cart, but that discount runs until November 19th as well.

Happy Holiday Shopping.

The Makeup Bag: November 6th

The Makeup Bag Used October 31st – November 6th

This week I hauled out all of the foundations that I’ve been testing and sorted through them.  In doing so I found several that I forgot I had and really enjoyed using.  I also realized how many products are in that drawer.  So for the next little while I am going to be using foundations that I have previously tried out and keep using them to see if my opinions change as well as to see which ones that I find I keep reaching for.  I find it is one thing to rank foundations in order after giving them each a trial, but seeing which ones I end up reaching for the most is wheat really ends up letting me know which products I really need to keep purchasing.   Because quite frankly no one needs to keep twenty foundations stocked (And even saying at least three of them are sample sized and several are almost empty doesn’t make me feel a lot better about the stockpile.)

This week the foundation I pulled out of the drawer to use was the Pacifica Alight Clean Foundation.  It feels good on the skin and even though it had a satin finish instead of a true matte, it isn’t upper shiny. It is slightly too light a shade on me right now so I I brought out another favorite that I hadn’t used in a while and it is the Park Ave Princess Contour palette by tarte. 

I can’t lie I love this palette and this is really it’s time of year to shine.  I don’t really do a lot of contour, but the darker shades in this palette work really well as bronzers for my skin tone and I can change them up depending on both the foundation I am using and my fading summer tan.  And yes, I find it strange that we are in November and my tan is only now starting to fade.  I spent a lot of time outside this summer and the summer seemed to last a lot longer than usual. In addition to using the bronzers I was able to use the lighter shades as pressed powders this week.  It lets me use the entire palette more or less so there isn’t just one product used.  Given the change of seasons thing still happening with my skin (and the fact that I find this palette beautiful to work with and look at) I am going to keep it out another week.

Even though I used the Tarte light contour as my pressed powder I had the Becca Pink Haze loose setting powder as my setting powder this week.  As always I really enjoyed using it, even if it does leave a fine pink dust over my sink by the end of the week.  I like the tint of pink it brings to the skin.

Making its final lap in the makeup bag this week was the Yensa Tone Up primer. It is one primer that I really like and have ordered a number of times in the past.  This tube, like the ones that came before is now empty. Next week in the slot where I usually review foundations I will be doing a primer round up instead. The empty tube will stick around long enough to be photographed and then it will make its way to the empty bin.  As I have nearly as many primers at the moment as I have foundations, I will not be repurchasing it for a while.  It will however remain on my favorites list and eventually make a come back.

My concealer this week is an oldie but a goodie. It is the Revolution Fast Base Concealer.  It is one of those twist up concealers with a foam top.  I really like it and as it somehow became hidden under the foundations, I forgot I had it.  It is getting a bit old though and it is almost empty.  I believe I might hold onto it one more week in my makeup bag and use the last of it up.  While I like the formula, I really don’t like the foam top.  (I make an exception for the Maybelline Age Erase because it is one of my favorite formulas, but I still don’t like the foam top) Because of this I might not be repurchasing this exact concealer again.  I will be looking to see if Revolution has this formula in a package with a wand applicator though.  I just think the foam gets a bit grungy.  I know it probably isn’t any worse than the padded applicator tip, but you pick your devils and I am going to have to go with wand preference over sponge tip. But I like the Revolution formula. And if I am being honest, if they don’t have this formula in a package with a wand, I probably will pick it up again. It is a good concealer and costs about $3. So it is kind of a win, even with the sponge top.

Keeping with the theme of things I forgot I owned, this week I also added the Revolution Highlight Palette to my makeup bag. It has a yellow silver, goldy peach and a purple tinted highlighter.  As you might be able to tell from the photo, the yellowish highlighter is barely touched while the gold and purple are showing signs of wear.  I really enjoy the formula of these and I like having the choice between shades, even if I only use two of the three shades.  I like that I can blend it a little for a bold highlight or blend it in for a soft glow.  It is an excellent highlighter palette and I am sorry I forgot about for so long. Incidentally if you are looking for a highlighter palette Revolution currently has this exact one on sale. If you click on the link it will take you there, Normally the palette is $15, currently it is on sale for $5.60)  I am going to have to make an effort to remember this moving forward. This week I went hard on the purple highlighter more than the others because it blended better with the eyeshadow palette.

This week’s eyeshadow palette was The Queen Palette from Eloise.  It has a very purple-y pink tone to it all in all.  I suppose the purple is part of the regal theme after all.  It was an interesting palette to work with.  The shades were not my favorite.  They were nicely pigmented and there was very little fall out.  The mattes worked well as stand alone colors and matched the shimmers well, but got muddy when more than one matte was used.  I, however, adore the shimmers in this palette and will keep it just for them.  Luckily, there are more shimmers than anything else so I don’t feel like it is a waste. 

However because of the bold colors, I only used two lip products this week.  I used the Dose of colors liquid lip in stone.  It is one of my favorite neutrals (I even have an unopened back up in my drawer)  It is also quite old and reaching the end of its life so I have been keeping it in my makeup bag in an effort to use it up.  Even though I have several other neutral shades I really like, I want to finish this out. The formula dries down really well, but it can feel a little dry on the lips.  At my desk I keep a lip balm that I apply throughout the day, mostly as a snack deterrent, but I tended to put it over my Dose of Colors and then had no issues with dry lips (or snacking).

Does in Stone on top and Perricone, MD below

The second lip product I have in my bag this week is the Perricone MD No makeup Lipstick.  It is a light reddish sheer on my lips that was just enough color to go with the eyeshadow palette but not compete with it. Also it is one of my lip products that expires in December so I am trying to use as much of it up as possible before then.  It currently lives in the bathroom and gets applied whenever I am feeling the need for a touch up. That is the issue with Perricone Md.  There is no stockpiling this makeup when you come across a sale.  When it expires, it expires.  The dates on the packaging are no joke. So I am going to see how much I can use before this reaches the end of its life.

This week I used one of my favorite blushes the Benefit Gold Rush Blush.  I know it isn’t one I forget about but once I started pulling forgotten favorites, it seemed like a natural to add. I’ve actually used this blush enough that there is starting to be a little dip in the center, which for blush is a big deal for me.  I do not tend to go all that heavy on the blush so any blush that shows wear, is well used and loved.  This is both. I will trade it out for a different one next week though so don’t worry.

I couldn’t resist keeping both my Hourglass eyebrow pencil and my Beauty for Real Mascara in the makeup bag this week. I really enjoy both and I felt that the mascara was dramatic enough to suit the eyeshadow palette.  It was, but I will pick up two different products next week.

Making a return trip into my makeup bag this week was the eyeko Fat Liquid eyeliner.  It is still one of my favorite liquid eyeliner formulas.  I tend to forget about it though because while it is fat, it is not terribly tall. So it slides down out of sight in the jar of much taller eyeliners.  Thus it sort of fit my unofficial theme this week of forgotten and fabulous.

Speaking of fabulous, I used my HA Spray from Timeless Skincare again this week.  However, even though it is not empty, I am going to be setting it aside and begin rotating some of my other setting sprays into the makeup bag again. (I know, Gasps of surprise all around) I still love this formula and I really love the idea that I am getting a skin care benefit from the setting spray, but I have other products that I need to use.  So I will begin the rotation with the setting sprays once again.

And that my darlings was this week’s makeup bag. There were several items that I loved and forgot about but was happy to see return to be used again.  I have a few products I am going to keep around while I try to use them up and next week will see a return of the tarte contour palette as well as a few new products to try out.  Over all I had fun with this week’s selection.  I just have to remember to widen my rotation through the depths of my dressing table so things are less likely to be forgotten.


The Make Up Bag: October 30th, 2020

The Makeup bag chosen for the week of October 24th- 30th

This week I am feeling very pleased with myself.  I chose some really good products to put in my bag this week.  First off was the Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting foundation.  I really enjoyed using it this week and will very much be picking up a replacement bottle once I work my way through this one.

The Sweater Weather Eyeshadow Palette I used this week was also good for me.  It created soft everyday looks that were super easy.  As I didn’t go out a lot this week, I didn’t need anything dramatic so this was perfect for me to try this week. 

Although sometimes when I am working by myself all week I don’t mind the overly dramatic glitter fest as no one is there to see it. Still this all matte palette worked well and after the struggle that was last week’s shadow palette, I kind of needed something quick and easy. 

My one concern was that it is so soft that a lot of my lipsticks looked off with it.  It made me feel off balance.  As though the rest of my face decided on a low makeup look, but forgot to send the memo to my lips.  So I ended up reaching for the Trestique sheer lip mini crayons.  This was their week to shine. I rotated through the colors and they gave just the right amount of pigment without being overpowering.

trèStiQue: A makeup solution for your lifestyle

I actually had two primers this week.  One was the Yensa essential glow.  After using it for the second week in a row I think I have just enough product left to get me through one more week before the tube is empty, so I will be finishing it up next week.  The second primer was the Becca Anti-fatigue Under eye primer.  I picked it up a while ago but keep forgetting it. 

Pink Haze powder on the left and under eye primer on the right, both from Becca Cosmetics

So this week I put it in my bag and remembered to try it.  My thoughts?  Don’t bother.  It is a little cooling which might help a little under the eyes but then it gets a little greasy looking. You will do better putting a stone roller in the fridge, rolling the cool stone under your eyes for a minute to take down the puffiness and then applying concealer to cover dark spots.

Speaking of concealer I went with the Instant age rewind from Maybelline.  It is one of my favorite concealers, drug store or otherwise.  It has actually out performed several much more expensive concealers to be honest and I enjoyed using it again this week.

Returning for it’s final week in my makeup bag was the wet ‘n wild liquid eyeliner.  While I will repurchase this eyeliner, for now it is completely empty and will be added to the empties bin. It made it three days out of the past week and so I rolled in the Beauty for Real Finish Line eyeliner.  It is a good mascara.  It does the job and doesn’t seep into fine lines.  It is one I will use again but it isn’t all that exciting.

the mascara wand

By contrast the Beauty for Real Mascara I rolled into my makeup bag was an absolute stunner.  Oh. My. God. I laughed at it at first because of the stubby little wand, but this was a fantastic mascara.  Seriously impressive.  It lengthened beautifully, didn’t flake or smudge and stayed on all day with no issue.  This was the hands down winner for me this week.  I was blown away by how well it performed and I look forward to using it a lot in the next six months.

I know that is probably a lot closer to my eye than anyone wants, but it gives you the gist. it was a really good week for mascara.

Becca was also represented in my powder this week as I brought out my favorite Pink Haze. As my foundation was just a hair too light for my current skin tone, the pink haze helped to warm it up a bit.  I really love this powder and love keeping it around.  Also helping the foundation tones out this week was my bronzer. 

I went with the Julep So Radiant bronzer in medium tan.  Not only did it help blend and define but the tones of this bronzer really work well with my skin.  It has just the right amount of warmth to it and there is something just neat and tidy about the square compact.  And we all know I am a sucker for a good compact.

Julep, Korean Skincare Made Simple.

While it did help with the lighter foundation, I think it may have to spend some time waiting for my tan to return as it might have been a little too much for my currently lightening skin without the too light foundation. Like my clothing, I need to do a seasonal change over with my makeup soon.

My blush this week was OFRA’s blush in Bellini.  I really enjoyed using it this week. (I know you are getting sick of hearing that phrase but this was a really good product week.). While I love OFRA highlighters, I wasn’t certain about their blushes.  I had one from the Madison Miller line and that one was just a mess. Pink powder scattered everywhere whenever I used it. 

It was a nice formula on the skin and a nice color, but my sink was a mess by the end of the week.  I don’t know if it was just that line or if there was a formula change, but this blush didn’t have that issue and I really liked how it performed over the course of the week. It is also lighter in tone and I expect I’ll be pulling it out regularly throughout the winter.

To this blush I added the Blush Highlighter Will Powder that came in my IPSY bag this month. While claiming to be a blush highlighter, it is a highlighter.  At least the shade I got was.  I liked that it is a subtle highlighter adding just a little bit of glow.  Considering my shadow palette lent itself to subtle, this week was the perfect week for this highlighter.  Its not really a surprise as I have yet to try a product from The Balm that I don’t like.  They are just all round good products.  I’m sure there are some clinkers as every company has them, but this far they haven’t appeared in my dressing table.

Finally of course was the setting pray, still the HA Spray by Timeless Skincare and still absolutely loving it. What else is there to say? And yes I am getting low on it. I have a couple of other setting sprays in my dressing table that I will start to rotate through as soon as this one is empty (and before I order a replacement. But oh yeah, I’m ordering a replacement. Incidentally Timeless skincare has a 30% off halloween sale going on right now from now until November 1st just use the code BOO2020. (I don’t get anything at all if you use the code it is just on their site and free for anyone to use while it lasts. I just happen to really like this spray – and the HA serum which isn’t surprising as the spray is a light version of the serum.)

Over all this was a fantastic week for me makeup wise.  Everything worked together and well.  There were no horror stories or product malfunctions and I was very pleased by how I looked. The stand out was the beauty for real mascara though.  It looks plain and has a stumpy wand, but man can it perform.


The Make Up Bag: October 23rd, 2020

The Make Up Bag used the week of October 17th – 23rd

We had some highs and lows this week let me tell you.  The Kosas Tinted Face oil was a high.  It was a beautiful foundation that I am happy to have around.  I really enjoyed using it and will definately be repurchasing it.

The low of course was the very frustrating Illuminati X ISA shadow palette.  Oh, it gave me such angst.  The best over all description I can give is patchy.  No, actually that has to be capitalized because it was so bad it needs to be yelled. It was PATCHY.

Sorry for raising my voice, but I wanted to make sure those of you in the back row heard me. For details you can click on the link to read the full break out review.  As this palette caused me to waste a lot of time this week, I am not going to talk about it any more.

The primer I used this week was the Yensa Tone Up Primer Essential Glow.  I love this primer.  I think this is either the second or third tube of this I have purchased and at the moment I think I have about a week or two’s worth of product left in the current tube.  I might keep it around a second week and see if I can use it up. 

It is sort of bittersweet to use this one up.  Because I have quite a few open primers at the moment (I adore primers, as most of you well know.) I am trying not to just automatically repurchase products when I empty them. So even though this has been a staple for a while, and I will put it on my list of products to buy again, I am going to have to wait a bit before it makes an appearance in my dressing table again.

This week I added the Maybelline Instant Age rewind to my make up bag, but didn’t actually use it as concealler.  I slept tolerably well this week and my allergies are gone because the ragweed has finally withered away so I didn’t feel that I needed it.  Plus, the Kosas foundation was excellent. But it is a good concealer.  This week it was also used as an eyeshadow primer.  Admittedly so was every other primer and concealer I had in my collection as I tried to get the eyeshadow palette to work. But I do like the Age rewind concealer and will no doubt be using it again.

My bronzer this week was the Too Faced Chocolate Soliel.  I like the bronzer and the packaging is fantastic.  What can I say, I am a sucker for a good compact.

Speaking of which I also used the Zeesea pressed powder this week. It is a decent powder, works well and does what it is supposed to.  It isn’t a spectacular product, but the packaging is really nice.  I love their British Museum Collection and will probably end up picking up more from them at some point. 

They also just released an Alice in Wonderland Themed set. It looks absolutely stunning.  Zeesea is one of those brands where the product is good, but not excellent but the packaging is collectable. It is also interesting as to what they have up on their website ant any given time. sometimes you can find what you want and other times entire collections disappear only to reappear a few months later. right now they are all about Halloween so very few of their collections are available. Which is kind of a bummer as they have a sale going on. To be honest, once this powder runs out, I’m going to pry out the empty pan, find another product that fits and just keep reusing the compact. 

This week I had two Natasha Denona products in my makeup bag. I intended to have only one.  The one I planned to use was the Bloom Blush and Glow Palette. I love the darker cream blush. I thought I could use the cream blushes and the Glow section as a highlighter. While I loved using the blushes and in fact forgot how much I actually liked using cream blush in general (Note to self: I really need to pick up more cream blush) I was not terribly enthused by the glow section of the palette.  I think part of that may be my skin tone.  When I applied it, the product just sort of blended into nothing on my skin. I think if I was lighter or darker it might work better.  As it is, the glow did not get me. 

However, I have a Glow powder from Natasha Denona.  I never reach for it because I don’t really do much in the way of body shimmer.  Admittedly, that could make my work out gear more spectacular. So I tend to forget that it is in my make up drawer.  This week I pulled it out and used it as my highlighter.  It is a nice subtle glow that really worked well for me this week.  I absolutely loved it. And I need to remember to reach for it more often.

Wet ‘n Wild remained in my makeup bag this week with the Brow Kit and the eyeliner.  The liquid liner is almost completely out now and I am keeping it in this coming week to finish it out. 

Get great skincare at a low, low price! Take 10% off Wet n Wild skincare from now until 10/24! Use code WWSKIN10 to save!

I will be grabbing a second eyeliner in addition to the wet ‘n wild though as I think there are only a couple of days worth of product left in the tube. 

I added a brown eyeliner to the bag this week.  It was from Pretty Vulgar and has a gel like consistency.  It is one of those liners that lasts all day without smudging or fading and won’t budge unless you use a makeup remover.  It was excellent.  (FYI Pretty Vulgar is still having a sale featuring one of my favorite mascaras, the Feathers, if you are looking to stock up. It runs through the end of the month).

Pretty Vulgar Cosmetics

My loose setting powder was the Pacifica Cherry Velvet loose translucent powder.  I went through an entire one of these and picked up a replacement.  I decided this week was the week I wanted to break out the replacement. I enjoyed using it just as much as I did the first container. I have the feeling it will be used and then repurchased again and again.

Also something that will be used and repurchased, the setting spray, Timeless Skincare HA Spray to be exact.  Still using and still love. What more needs to be said?

The mascara was new this week.  I cleared out a lot of my older opened mascara so I was able to open one of the never been tried before ones.  This is the Lengthening Organic Mascara from Harvest that came in a Petit Vour box. 

Petit Vour

I’ll be honest, it isn’t my favorite mascara.  It has an odd smell to it that I can’t identify. I know it is some sort of oil and that it is supposed to smell like that, the product hasn’t gone bad. I just don’t like it. And to be fair it does a good job of lengthening the lashes.  But it tends to flake and by mid afternoon it looked as though I hadn’t applied any mascara at all.  I was not a fan.  I’m glad it is only a travel size because I don’t think I will be keeping it around.

Finally we reach the lips.  I kept the TreStique jar out this week but to be honest, after fighting with the shadow I ended up just reaching for the Elf Sheer Slick in Black Cherry. It was quick, easy and I didn’t have to think too much about it.  The Trestique lips and the lip liners I pulled languished this week.  Next week perhaps, there will be more concentration on the lips. This week, the eyes were just the problem child needing attention.

So that was my makeup bag this week.  The good the bad, the always keep around and the never again. It was quite the mix this week.

And as this is a Makeup bag post, I think it only fair to post about a make up bag sale. Kusshi has a sale going on right now. Friday through Sunday, they are giving away a FREE brush organizer ($39) with every purchase of a Signature or Vacationer bag. With the holidays around the corner, this is the perfect gift for all your friends and family! The Sale starts Friday at 7am EST and ends Sunday at 11:59 PST. Add brush organizer to cart for discount to applied. Their brush organizers are really nice as are their bags, I purchased on of the brush organizers for my Mom last christmas and she is absolutely in love with it. Clicking on the banner below will take you to their site if you are interested in more details. Happy shopping.

Sunny side up with 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum from Timeless Skincare

A while back Timeless Skincare graciously gifted me with several of their products to try and I have been putting them to the test.  I slowly rotated each one into my skin care routine, so as not to bombard my skin with all new ingredients.  The fourth and final product from my Timeless Skin Care trial was the 20% Vitamin C + E and F Acid (retail . $25.95). I have been using it for one month straight. 

But before we get into how I felt about the serum, let’s look at what it claims on the product page…

Give your skin a mega dose of Vitamin C. Our 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid serum brightens skin, builds collagen and evens out tone. Enhanced with Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid, this serum is a great pick me up for dull, discolored and stressed skin, while providing 24/7 protection against environmental pollutants. Recommended For: All skin types. As always Timeless Skincare is Paraben Free, Fragrance and Dye Free, Cruelty Free, has More actives, less chemicals and is Made in the USA.

Ingredients: Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alpha Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Timeless Skincare
the pump top

One thing I love about the Timeless skincare products I have tried is that their ingredients lists are not a mile long.  Admittedly this one has some tongue twister words so lets take a moment to break them down.  (As a reminder I am not a medical professional of any kind and I am certainly not a dermatologist, I am just a skin care enthusiast who really likes to try and understand what it is I am putting on my face.  At the end of this post I’ll like a few articles for those who want to look into more professional assessments of the ingredients I am breaking down. )

So first up there is water.  I am always happy to see that.  While many ingredients can lock down moisture, they need moisture to lock down, otherwise they are just sort of sealing in what you have and not adding anything.

the product in hand

Next up is the Ethoxydiglycol.  While a mouthful of syllables its purpose is to dissolve ingredients, increase the efficacy of the other active ingredients in the serum.  One of the ingredients it is increasing the efficacy of is the L-Ascorbic Acid which is a form of vitamin C very often used in skin care because it is a potent antioxidant and skin-soothing agent that can improve the appearance of signs of aging.

The Propylene Glycol acts as a humectant which means it secures the water and takes it to the outer layer of your skin.

Alpha Tocopherol is the Vitamin E listed in the name of the product and it also acts as an antioxidant  while Polysorbate 80 attracts and suspends oils, dirt, and other impurities that have accumulated on the skin and wash them away.  So essentially, if my understanding is correct the Vitamin E helps pull the bad things in your skin to the surface and the Polysorbate 80 acts as the bouncer who kicks them out of Club Dermatitis.

Full face before the trial (L) at the end of one month (R).

Panthenol softens and sooths the skin and helps it build up a barrier against water loss.

Ferulic Acid, the F mentioned on the product label, is an antioxidant that works to boost the effects of other antioxidants and  Sodium Hyaluronate helps to restore the skin’s moisture, promoting a more revitalized and youthful complexion. 

And finally we get to Benzylalcohol, whose chief function in cosmetics is as a preservative, and it’s among the least sensitizing preservatives in use and  Dehydroacetic Acid a non-toxic ingredient used to keep the product from spoiling and acts as a fungicide and bactericide .  Not very sexy ingredients to end the list with but very necessary.  After all there is nothing good about expired skin care.

While those are some very scientific words, the end result is that the ingredients are used to lock in moisture, while sending in a team of antioxidants and promoting healthy youthful looking skin.

While youthful looking skin may be a judgment call, I can say that my skin feels hydrated and soft.  I had no issues with clogged pores or redness with the sun as can sometimes happen with Vitamin C based products (at least it has happened to me a couple of times).

The scarring and sun damage on my cheek before the trial (L) after one month (R)

The product is in a yellow colored plastic dispenser.  The color of the container keeps the sunlight away from the product, which I appreciate, but it also prevents me from knowing how much product remains.  Foolishly I forgot to weigh it before I started my trial.  Unlike the other serums and oils, I’ve tried from Timeless Skincare, it does not come with a dropper, but has a pump that you press to dispense the serum.  I’m guessing it is to keep as much air out of the product as possible. 

One pump is all that I needed to cover my face.  The product absorbed into my skin quickly and easily.  As you can see in the photo it is clear and despite the fact that Panthenol often has a floral scent to it, this serum has almost no scent to it at all.  If you stick your nose right down into it, you might smell something, but then you have to be close enough that you risk inhaling the serum.  I do not recommend inhaling the serum.

I don’t think anyone recommends inhaling any serum actually.

But it means that for those of you sensitive to scent, there will be no problem.  I will say the photos aren’t as dramatic as with the Hyaluronic Acid serum.  In the front facing before and after photos you can see that some of the sun discoloration on my forehead has been reduced and in the side photo showing the scarring on my cheek, you can see a little fading as well.  There is more fading in the sun damage than in the scaring, but there is some noticeable fading. You have to remember that with skin care thirty days of use is generally when you start to see results.  I think that if I continue using this product, over time I would see more fading of the damage as the active ingredients went to work on my skin.  It is less dramatic than its HA counterpart, but still a very nice serum.  And to the touch my skin feels softer and more hydrated, which doesn’t show up as clearly in the photos. 

So will I continue to use this serum?  Yes.  I will be using it up completely.  Will I place this on my to be ordered list? Yes I think I will.  I have other serums in my skin care drawer I want to try, some of them Vitamin C based, but thus far this 20% Vitamin C + E and Ferulic serum has worked really well with my skin and is in the top five of the vitamin C products I have tried before. I am very happy that I got a chance to try this product out and share my thoughts on it. For those of you interested in more scientific break downs of some of the ingredients I listed out, you might want to look into healthline.com and the Derm Review.


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The Make Up Bag: October 16th, 2020

The Make Up Bag Used the week of October 10th – 16th

Welcome back to the Weekly Makeup bag post.  I’ve missed you. This week was a fun one.  I not only used my newly purchased e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation out, but I kept the last of the e.l.f. Tinted moisturizer out and even brought out the e.l.f. Flawless Foundation from the depths of my dressing table to do a full on comparison.  That’s right it was battle of the e.l.f. foundations. Well, sort of.

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All three were rock star products (at garage band prices) although my summer tan has not faded nearly enough for me to be able to use the shade of the Flawless foundation I have in my dressing table. I had to go in extra hard on the bronzer on the days I used it. 

TreStique bronzer and mini lip collection

My bronzer this week was my tried and true Trestique Color and contour stick. It is a longtime favorite and one I have replaced a couple of times.  It is an easily blendable formula and the stick format lets you put the product exactly where you want it. It is one of my favorite cream formula bronzers to work with.

trèStiQue: A makeup solution for your lifestyle

I can’t actually say the same for the Girlactik Cream skin glow.  It is a dual shade with one side a pinky tone and the other side a gold tone.  Both disappeared into nothingness on my cheeks.  I was not terribly happy with it.

Hourglass on the left, Girlactik on the right

I did enjoy bringing out my Hourglass Ambient Blush in Diffused Heat.  It was a little light for my summer tanned skin so I haven’t reached for it in a while, but now that my skin is starting to fade with the fall, I think I am going to be reaching for this product more often.  I love the way it blends out against the skin and not only adds color but seems to add a little light.

My primer this week was the Banana Bright Primer from Ole Henriksen.  I love the way it smells like banana candy.  The vitamin C isn’t a bad addition either.  Even though it is called a bright primer it doesn’t add a dewy shimmer to the skin. 

What it does do is add a little depth to your matte foundation so that your skin looks more natural. And the vitamin C included does help to fade dark spots too which is nice. The slight tint to the cream fades completely into the skin and is unnoticeable. It actually looks a little darker in the pic than it does in real life. This is currently one of my top primers.

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Also at the top of my list of products?  My Benefit bad Girl Bang Mascara.  Alas this was this particular tubes last time in the makeup bag.  My sample sized tube is officially empty.  This little tube gave its all and no more product remains. 

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At the moment I have several unopened mascaras I need to work my way through before I look at buying another one.  As I know that the Bad Girl Bang is in one of the Holiday bundles that Benefit did for this Holiday season I am trying to justify buying the bundle as a holiday purchase rather than just buying the mascara.  I know it’s kind of a sneaky way around my ‘no buying mascaras until a few more are used up’ concept. And I know I shouldn’t but it is one of my favorite mascaras and I am not sure if I can resist the temptation.

There were two wet ‘n wild products in my makeup bag this week.  The first is the eyebrow kit, which will be staying for a while.  I really like the medium powder for my brows. And making a return is the wet ‘n wild mega liner.  I really do like the paint brush style of eyeliner.  As you can pretty much tell from the level of product in this container. 

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It doesn’t have a lot of product left in it and I am trying to decide if I want to keep it around until I finish it out or not.  I suspect I might because it is really light. I think I might rotate in a few brown eyeliners and just keep this in my makeup bag as the black liner until it is gone. 

I know I’ll end up replacing it but I also want to try out a couple others in this style, like the Pretty Vulgar and the KVD Vegan Beauty ones. But this week, the wet ‘n wild is the one I used and I really liked it.  You have to let it dry for a moment so it doesn’t transfer to your upper lids but once you get the hang of it, the liner stays in place all day without smearing or fading.  It is also the very first eyeliner I tried when I was just starting to get into makeup.  Which is probably why I am more comfortable with it than some other styles.

My HA Spray from Timeless skin is still in my makeup bag and will pretty much remain a constant until there is another product I want to test out. Even then I suspect I will test it out and then return to this.  I love the skin care benefits along with the actually set of the makeup.  For me it is a double win.

My setting powder was from Kristofer Buckle.  It is a great reliable loose translucent setting powder.  It clouds the air a little bit when you dip into it, but it doesn’t look powdery on the face.  I think it is just so finely milled that particles quickly become aerosolized around the brush.  It doesn’t look powdery though.

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My pressed powder this week was the No 7 Perfect light.  As you can see the pan underneath is becoming more distinctly visible.  (I didn’t realize how much was showing through until I linked to the product page and saw the untouched pan in the photo.) I really like using it and have a hard time sending it back to the dressing table.  However, I have other powders to use and so I must return it and give another product a chance to be used and discussed.

Finally, we end up at the lips.  To be honest I took the easy way out this week.  I have two sets of mini-lip crayons from Trestique.  Some are matte lip colors and others are sheer.  I just put them all in an jar and set them in my bathroom.  Then each morning I just picked whichever I felt like going with for the day.  They were really handy and I enjoyed using them all.

The limited lipstick selection is one of the things I don’t like about the weekly makeup bag.  While it comforts me to choose all the other products and know I have everything squared away and won’t get distracted by other products in my dressing table. With the lips, I really like variety. I am actually contemplating leaving the jar of Trestique in the bathroom and then just adding one or two lip products to the bag each week.  We shall see how that idea goes.  Who knows next week I may change my mind. 

But for this week, this was my makeup bag.  With the exception of the disappointing Girlactick I rather enjoyed all of the products I chose. It was one of my better make up bags.  Hopefully nest week will be just as good.

BeautyCareChoices.com

The Make Up Bag: October 9th, 2020

The Make up Bag used October 3rd – 9th, 2020

So tell me my darlings, can anyone spot the theme to this week’s make up bag? That’s right, this week I when I pulled out my mostly used up tube of elf tinted foundation I realized I had a lot of e.l.f. products in my dressing table. I decided to see how many I had and to see if I could actually get a full makeup bag out of them. I came close, but as you can tell it isn’t entirely elf based.

One of the other reasons I did this is because I already know that I am going to be getting a few elf products for people as christmas gifts this year. So very soon I am going to be putting in an order. I figured since I knew I would be putting in an order, I might as well go through what I had, see what I liked, what I didn’t have but wanted to try and what I wasn’t all that fond of. So this is an elf themed bag this week.

So let’s start with the primer. I actually own two primers from elf, the puff puff primer and the putty poreless primer. The puff is more of a hydrating primer and I was really feeling the pore filling this week. I like both and would repurchase them both. The truth is though that I tend to forget I have the putty primer for long stretches and then suddenly remember it is there, try it and fall in love all over again.

I need to start reaching for it more because I’ve had it a while and I don’t want it to go bad. I will say that a little goes a long way (which is why it lasts so long even if you don’t forget it) and it really fills the pores in well and gives you a nice smooth canvas on which to apply the makeup.

this week and next week’s foundations

Speaking of, this week’s foundation product was the elf tinted moisturizer. After not finding a link for it on line in yesterday’s post, I found it was discontinued. I am sad because it was a really good product. I did go out and pick up a replacement to try out. It isn’t quite the same but next week I will be trying out the elf acne fighting foundation. A friend of mine who tried both said it felt a lot like the tinted moisturizer on the skin. Since I still have a little of the tinted moisturizer left I can actually do a side by side comparison this week which will be fun. So stay tuned.

Next we move into a compact that is a bronzer and highlighter duo. At least I think that is what it is, there were no markings on the package. It if had a sticker it is gone. Of the pair I really liked the bronzer. It is really pigmented though so remember to tread lightly.

It does blend out really well so if you accidentally go a little dark with your first stripe you aren’t stuck with just a dark strip or having to start over. Once I realized how pigmented it was, I really enjoyed using it. I will be reaching for this compact more just to use the bronzer.

I will not be using the highlighter next to it. That I didn’t like. It disappeared instantly on the skin leaving no visible trace. occasionally throughout the day I would get the flash of one sparkle and that was it. It was not a good product, even for me who likes a subtle glow rather than a blinding flash.

I think this might be an older formula though. I know this year elf has been reformulating a lot of their products. While I will happily use this bronzer down to pan, I might try picking up a new highlighter when i place my order to see if I like the updated formula better.

the Benefit blush, wet ‘n wild brow kit and Doucce Mascara

As I found I did not have an elf blush (I don’t know how I missed that) I just grabbed one of my favorite blushes, the Benefit Gold Rush blush. It is a nice pink that I know I will still be able to wear as I lose my tan. the gold shimmer look to it, was mostly over spray and tends to go away once you start using the product. My skin does also react well with gold tones though, which it has even without the sparkle.

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If you aren’t a gold toned fan, you might want to go with a different blush like the Dandelion one. That is a nice pink without the gold undertones. I had that blush before I picked up this one and I used it down to pan before letting it go. So even though i would have liked to try out an elf blush this week, I used not having one as an excuse to use one of my favorites and just put elf blush on my shopping list.

My powders this week were both elf. One is loose and the other is pressed. I like both but I do find that after I have set my face I need spray my fixing spray and then tap with my makeup sponge in order to make certain there are no white spots from the translucent powder. It isn’t much, and a quick tap down is fine. I didn’t have this problem when I powdered my nose mid day in my t-zone, just with initial application. There was no flash back on camera though and the powder doesn’t look cakey and stays all day so I am okay with tamping it down. I do like the twist and lock mechanism on the inside of the loose powder as it keeps the powder from getting everywhere when you aren’t using it.

The slight white powder gave me more of a legit excuse to use my HA Spray from Timeless Skincare this week. I’ve used this spray for a month now and I am still blown away by how much I like it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many other sprays I’ve tried that locked in my makeup and did it well, I just really like that this locks in my makeup and has skin care benefits to boot. In all honesty I will be using this until it runs out and then ordering it in a different scent to try out. I currently have my eye on the orange. I don’t know if it will be as good as the cucumber, but I am willing to give it a try.

For my eyes I went with the two elf bite sized shadow palettes this week. I ended up reaching for ‘rose water’ more, because the pink tones spoke to me, but I went for the ‘cream and sugar’ more when I wanted to wear the red lip rather than the sheer gloss. I liked both but which I wore was just lip dependent this week. I only have two elf lip products so I just bounced between them and chose the shadow accordingly. I like both so it wasn’t a hardship.

The liner was a potted black liner that came with a brush. I like the liner. I find that I really like using either the liquid liners you dip a brush into or the cream that you dip a brush into more than the pen style liners. The pen liners are quick, but I find I do better with my liner when I dip a brush into product.

Maybe it is because I am the one choosing the brush. This potted eyeliner cream came with a brush but I opted not to use it. there was nothing wrong with it, the handle of the brush was just short. I find I have more control with a longer brush. If the handle was longer I would have use it as the bristles were nice and it gave me a nice line.

At the moment I am keeping my wet ‘n wild brow kit in my makeup bag. I would like to try and elf brow product as I have never tried any of their brow products. I’m not even sure they have any, it is something I will look into.

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I like the one shade I use in the brow kit and am finding I like powdered brow products more than I thought I did. So I will keep using this kit and try to find my single shade in the wet ‘n wild formula when it runs out so that I don’t waste the other two products which I don’t use. I will also be looking into other brow products. This year was the year of foundation, maybe next year will be the great brow test. who knows?

The mascara I used this week was the Doucce Punk Volumizer mascara. It is one of those mascaras that has a really fluffy brush so you have high expectations. Its an okay mascara. If I got it again, I would use it, but I wouldn’t go out and purchase it. I’ve been using it off and on for the past few months and it is now at the end of it’s life span. Not only is it of an age where it needs to be disposed of, but it is starting to clump in the tube. So this will be the last use for this particular mascara in my makeup bag. I will not be repurchasing it. Should it arrive in a makeup bag, I might use it if I don’t have a lot of mascaras open or waiting to be opened, but chances are, I would just pass it along.

And so we come to the lips. The first is one I’ve used and reviewed for you before. It is the liquid lip in the shade Red Vixen. I really like this shade. It is pigmented, dries well without making your lips feel dry and desiccated and stays in place a long time. And when it does go away it fades quietly around the edges instead of just going crumbly which I personally prefer.

lip swatches, liquid lip on top and the sheer on the bottom

The second lippie was the elf sheer slick. It is a newer product and one I picked up recently but hadn’t gotten around to trying. The one I picked up is Black Cherry and was the darkest my store offered. It has no real scent to it and it is a sheer wash of color. It is shiny and glossy but not sticky. It is a roll up product and the clear packaging lets you see just how much you have left.

As a gloss it doesn’t have much staying power, I’ve never met a gloss that did. It however feels really comfortable on the lips and I will be using it a lot, especially on low makeup days in the winter. In the winter I tend to either go for barely there makeup looks or full vampy lips. I seem to have no in between during the cold months.

To be honest, I am actually considering picking up the full range of the sheer slicks so I have them all. It is rare that I say that with a line, but I think I might see how many lip products I have and then make out my order. It will be the last thing on the list so I may have to pick them up one at a time, but I could definitely see me getting the entire line.

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So that was this week’s make up bag. Next week I know I have a direct foundation comparison but I haven’t yet picked out the other products to go with it. Maybe I’ll pick out new products i have yet to try, maybe I will use upcoming sales to revisit old favorites. I won’t know until I start to fill the bag. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

e.l.f. cosmetics

Let’s talk Squalane

While I am not a chemist or a dermatologist or a biologist (or any kind of ologist to be honest) I love finding out about new ingredients and how they work with my skin. (In case you are wondering I’m a writer and architectural historian, which means one thing I definitely know is how to research).

Squalane seems like a new thing because it has so recently popped up on the skin care radar.  However, squalane was first introduced into the world of beauty in the 1950s.  It was used as an emollient (meaning it softens or smooths the skin.) Squalane oil is created when squalene oil undergoes hydrogenation processing. 

Squalene is naturally found in your sebum (the oils of your face) as well as other places.  Most notably in shark’s livers which is how it came by its name.  Squalus is a genus of sharks. However most commercially used squalene is derived from plants like olive oil rice and sugar cane.

The hydrogenation process not only changes the a to an e, but it turns the squalene from an unsaturated oil to a saturated one. This makes it more stable and less likely to turn rancid. It is safe for all skin types and it is lightweight and won’t clog your pores. It helps balance your natural oil production and helps keep skin clear and healthy.

For the past month I have been using the Timeless Skincare 100% Squalane oil gifted to me for review purposes. My skin is not particularly acne prone however I have always had the tendency to get clogged pores.  They are bumps beneath the surface that have the tendency to rise up and create a bumpy texture on my skin that seems to last forever as the clogged pore don’t seem to have any motivation to actually rise to the surface. 

Occasionally one will surface and I will be able to deal with it.  Products like Peace out with their acne dots can help bring them to the surface in many cases.  Some are just too deep for the dots to touch. While some acne washes do well with my skin, a lot of times it dries out my skin causing almost as many problems as the clogged pores.  With masking when leaving the house, the situation was not improved.

According to the Timeless Skin Care

As a dry oil, Squalane keeps your glow on without leaving an oily sheen. We call it the ‘finishing touch’. This light-weight oil seals in moisture and is also anti-bacterial, making it ideal for acne-prone skin and protecting skin against pollutants. It is also perfect for helping to set your make-up, so it stays in place all day.

In case there was any doubt, the Timeless Skin Care Squalane is derived from olives, not sharks. It is purely plant derived.

I have in the past had good luck using squalene oil based products on my skin so I though trying a daily application of pure squalene oil might be good for my skin. The oil was lightweight enough that I could wear it during the day without a problem. A lot of the time I just apply oils to my skin at night (such as the Malin+ Goetz Recovery Oil which is too heavy for me to wear in the day, but is fantastic at night).  This Timeless Skincare 100% Squalane oil I could easily wear during the day. 

I applied it once a day for the last month.  I used three drops, applied to my skin after my serum had time to sink in and then, after giving it a moment or two to settle, I added my moisturizer. I have to say I have seen a big reduction in my clogged pores.  There are still some along the mask lines, but they are not as deep or as hard to get rid of.  While my skin is nowhere near flawless, some of my biggest concerns have been mitigated and my skin feels better than it has in a while.  The bumps may not be as noticeable to others but they were quite noticeable to me and I am very glad there are fewer of them.

As for holding makeup in place all day, I have noticed that most of the foundations I have tried since I started using the Squalane oil have had wonderful staying power and lasted all day.  I saw non-clogging and locks in moisture when I looked at the description at the start but somehow missed the increasing makeup longevity section of the description.  I may actually have to go back and try some of the foundations without the oil being used to see if they last on their own or if they received a little extra help.  So I may have to do some repeat foundation trials to not only make sure my foundation reviews were accurate but to see if the oil lived up to this claim.   So on that claim, I’ll have to put a pin in it and do a little more testing.  However, even without knowing about the makeup longevity, this oil has enough plusses to keep it around.

While I’m sure the anti-aging properties help the serums and moisturizer work more effectively as well as help to treat acne and blemishes.  The anti-inflammatory properties are supposed to help treat eczema.  While I have only a mild spot of eczema on my arm, my baby doll has quite a few larger spots (mostly on his legs). 

He also has a tendency to pronounce everything, but basic shampoo and soap to be a scam. (He found out that one of my masks had clay in it and he offered to go and dig a bucket of red clay out of the back yard for me. I’m pretty sure he believes that is actually what skin care companies do, dig out buckets of clay from the back yard and slap them into fancy jars.) Did I mention that he is from Montana, one of three boys (no sisters) and that his father had only brothers, who also had only sons? His mother apparently had a bathroom to herself that was declared off limits upon penalty of death. So my baby doll is both confused and oddly mesmerized by some of my ‘girly potions’.

He tried the squalene oil on his eczema and he pronounced it ‘maybe not a scam.’ Which in the lexicon of my baby means it worked really well.  His one complaint was that it didn’t smell medicinal and he deep down believed that a product can’t be good for you unless it smells like medicine. The 100% Squalane Oil from Timeless Skincare is part of their Pure line and has nothing added to it.  It is a clear oil that smells of absolutely nothing.  While it is easy to mix in with your moisturizer, I prefer applying it to my skin first and then following with the moisturizer. For the eczema on my arm I’ve been applying it and then following with a body lotion.  (Actually the Lord Jones CBD lotion to be exact.)  It has worked really well in softening that patch as well. 

The one thing you really have to remember is that it is a thin oil.  The bottle has a dropper but the oil does start dripping out almost as soon as you lift it from the bottle.  I recommend squeezing it into the glass dropper, lifting it up, but not out of the bottle and then squirting half of the dropper back into the bottle before lifting it out to apply. There is less chance of wasting product that way. 

Over all I really enjoyed having this 100% Squalane oil from Timeless Skincare around this month and I have to say I will be picking up another bottle as soon as thins runs out.  As it is good for eczema as well, I’m going to try to get my baby doll into the habit of using it as well. As a one ounce bottle is only $9.95, it is very affordably priced. And if I can get him to use it routinely, I may have to stock up on it when black Friday comes.  Maybe I can set it between the Kneipp Juniper scented bath salts and the Menthol scented muscle soak oil he keeps around.  Between the two they make the air wafting off of the shelf smell medicinal.  Maybe it can be medicinal by association.   Even if he doesn’t turn to it habitually, I will be keeping this around at least as long as I have to wear facemasks.

If you are interested in more information about squalene you can find more information at Healthline.com, The Truth Beauty Company, or The Skincare Edit.  All three are great resources in learning more about this fantastic ingredient.


Peace Out Skincare

Testing out the Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum

Timeless Skincare recently gifted me a set of products to try out and review.  While these were gifted to me the reviews are my own opinions. This is not a sponsored post. I’m sure you recall me mentioning the HA (Hyaluronic Acid) Spray that was also in the package they sent over.  I’ve been using it in my Weekly Makeup Bag for the last two weeks and absolutely loving it.  But as I like to give skin care a full thirty days where possible before I make a determination, it still has another two weeks of use before I give you my final thoughts. You can see my initial impressions post by clicking here if you would like.

The only reason I mention it is that the HA Spray is listed in the product description as a lighter version of the Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum, which I’m reviewing today after a full thirty days of use.

So if you are looking at the ingredients list and thinking to yourself, wow that sounds familiar, then first of all congrats on paying attention to ingredients lists. Give yourself a gold star. Second, it is pretty much the same list.  The spray has cucumber extract added to it to give it the just from the spa scent (and cucumber extract benefits).  There are other scents with the spray as well, but as this is the serum review I’ll leave that for that post.

First let’s look at what the product claims and then we’ll get to the ingredients and my use. So first off…

Kick start your daily skin care routine with this essential serum. Vitamin C with its powerful antioxidants is the first line of defense for your skin as it brightens, clarifies and protects. Matrixyl 3000™ rebuilds collagen and firm skin, and Hyaluronic Acid pumps up the moisture levels. Your face appears luminous and bright, giving you that well rested, ‘just had a full night’s sleep’ effect. 

Recommended For All skin types, every day

Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum is composed of a 5% concentration of Vitamin C, a 1.5% concentration of Matrixyl 3000™ with an added 1% concentration of Hyaluronic Acid. The combination of hyaluronic acid with the best vitamin c serum for oily skin provides a super hydra-boosting serum brightens skin with natural vitamins and essential anti-aging ingredients, while replenishing skin volume and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles

Apply 2-3 drops to fingertips and smooth evenly onto cleansed skin, preferably at night-time. For external use only. Sunscreen use recommended after application.

Timeless Promise: Paraben Free, Fragrance and Dye Free, Cruelty Free, More actives, less chemicals, Made in the USA

Ingredients

Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Aloe Barbadensis, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Matrixyl 3000™, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Timeless Skincare

As the product is meant to hydrate I am not surprised water is the first ingredient on the list.  In fact, I would be pretty shocked if it wasn’t.  Most skincare products do have it as their first ingredient, which makes sense.  If a product is supposed to put moisture in the skin, it has to have moisture to give.

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is the vitamin C element that is mentioned in the description in case you are wondering why vitamin c isn’t plainly labeled on the ingredients list.  According to the Derm Store this is a form of Vitamin C that not only protects skin from free radicals and helps hydrate but it helps with hyper pigmentation and stimulates collagen. The link is actually to the Derm Stores full article which goes into much greater detail about this form of Vitamin C for those interested.  Personally, I think it is pretty interesting.

Aloe Barbadensis is essentially Aloe Vera.  I am a big fan of this.  It is an anti-inflammatory agent essentially.  I can personally attest to this.  Every house I lived in as a child had an aloe plant in it.  Sunburns, and non-sun burns, poison ivy, and any kind of itchy bite or skin inflammation saw a bit of the aloe plant snapped off and rubbed on the skin.  I was very glad this spring that I kept of the practice of keeping an aloe plant around when I got my massive sun burn this spring. It was icy cold and super soothing. My poor aloe plant is almost fully recovered from the ordeal. Needless to say I am very glad to see it in my skin care, especially since I have been spending so much time in the sun this summer.

Glycerin is a humectant, which essentially means it is what pulls the moisture into the skin and kind of locks it down.  It is pretty common in a lot of moisturizing products and kind of expected. The Hyaluronic Acid is also expected since this is a hyaluronic acid based product.  HA reduces fine lines and causes the skin to retain moisture, essentially plumping the skin to do away with fine lines.  It is not an acid as in evil villain slowly lowering you into a bubbling vat while spilling all of the details of his nefarious plot sort of acid.

As the TM by the term in the ingredients list implies the Matryxl 3000 is a proprietary substance but here is the simple break down of what the  Timeless Skin care Site had to say about it…

Matrixyl 3000 is an ultimate collagen booster derived synthetically and comprised of two skin active peptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl-tetrapeptide-7. These two active ingredients stimulate the skin and work with the skin to enhance its natural anti-aging properties.

Timeless Blog Article

If you click on the site link it will take you to a more fulsome discussion of this ingredient, but the above is essentially the summation.

This leads us to the last two listed ingredients: Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid. Benzylalcohol is a preservative designed to kill microbes and Dehydroacetic Acid is a non-toxic ingredient used as a fungicide and bactericide.  It’s job is to prevent the growth of microorganisms. So essentially these last two ingredients keep the product from spoiling and from mold and microbes from growing inside the product.  I am okay with that. I prefer all my skin care to not go rancid on me. 

Five drops of the product in hand

And that is it for ingredients.  There are eight of them.  Two designed to prevent spoilage and the rest to do the job for which the serum was designed. Overall not a bad list.  I have used quite a few products where breaking down every ingredient (even in the short non-scientific way I did here) would not be possible. I really like that no extras were added just to be added.

The serum comes in a blue glass bottle with a glass dropper. Despite the fact that the Hyaluronic Acid +Vitamin C Serum only costs $20.95, it feels super lux in the hand.  The glass is nice in the hand and the dropper is well made.  With glass bottles like this I have a love hate relationship with the color of the bottle.  I love that it is a solid color that prevents light from getting in and ruining the product, but I hate not knowing how much I used. The product is clear and odorless.  If you have a problem with scent in your skin care then you will be thrilled with this.  There is absolutely no scent to it.

Now while the website says it is ideally used in the evenings, the box it came in suggested morning and evening use.  So I used it in the morning and in the evening. I know that sun sensitivity with some serums can be an issue, but I didn’t have any sort of problems with it.  That being said, when I go outside I have SPF 50 sunscreen (courtesy of my Volition sunscreen) on my face and as extra security I have been topping all of my skin (arms, legs, and face) with a spray sunscreen (Neutrogena Beach Defense) in SPF 30.  So the sunscreen may have something to do with the non-reaction in the sun.

But I’m not giving up my sunscreen to check.   

I try not to deliberately try for skin damage.

The recommended usage is three to four drops.  I generally found that three covered my face perfectly well, my skin sucking the serum in almost immediately upon contact.

Seriously, it disappeared like magic. 

Since I like to bring my serums down my neck and onto my upper chest, I used five drops and it covered everything beautifully.  This is a serum you are going to want to dispense in your hand and then apply to the face.  If you try to use a cotton round, or any other cloth applicator, it will absorb into the cloth and you will just sort of lose the product.  Definitely apply it with your hands.  Any product that doesn’t go into your face will sink into your hands.  Which is not a bad thing.  Even in a glancing application, the serum has actually smoothed out a lot of my gardening based rough spots on my hands. I know that isn’t its intent, but it isn’t a bad side effect.  

I did take before and after photos of my face in an effort to see the difference thirty days made.  I know the difference is slight in only a month, but I did notice a smoothing out of my skin in the mouth and eye area.  I even noticed a slight reduction in what I like to call my stress crack – the line across the center of my forehead. It isn’t shrunk to nothing (I doubt very much that anything would completely erase it) but it hasn’t gotten bigger and it is a little less noticeable. The hyperpigmentation on my forehead is slightly lighter.

The differences I’ve noticed are really kind of hard to see in a photo. For one, my skin feels less dry.  As I am walking more instead of going to the gym, I am spending more time outside.  Between the walking and the gardening, the sun takes its toll.  While using this serum I’ve had to use less moisturizer to keep the sun dryness at bay. and I have been noticing a lot less clogged pores lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I think somehow I also assembled a crack team of products for this round of testing as in the past month a lot of my skin issues have cleared up. While this serum isn’t solely responsible for my skin’s improvement, it was a really big help.  The dark spots left by acne scarring haven’t really diminished so dealing with skin discoloration due to scarring may not be this serum’s strong suit despite the vitamin c, but it is excellent with retaining moisture and plumping up fine lines.  So two out of three isn’t bad.

I do have a second serum that was sent to me by Timeless Skincare.  It is the 20% Vitamin C + E and Ferulic Acid.  It is designed more for the pigmentation so I will be giving it a go.  In my month long trial using it morning and evening, I used up about half of the 1oz bottle of HA serum that was sent to me. I am going to switch to using it just in the evenings (which should give me another two months of testing with the serum, plus I don’t want the left over to go to waste and I really enjoyed using it so have no problem whatsoever in using every drop). 

I am going to then test the more heavily vitamin C serum during the day and see if that works better on my hyperpigmentation.  I have high hopes that the combination of the two serums will do well with my skin. Of course I won’t know until I try.  Which I will do starting tomorrow morning. 

Until then, I have to say I have really enjoyed this serum and am very glad Timeless Skincare sent it over to me to test out and review.  It is a serum I will be purchasing on my own in the future. I may even have to look into ther DIY Beauty Box in the near future as well. Thus far I am enjoying the products I’ve used well enough that rying out more from this brand seems like a really good idea.