May 2022 FITNESS AND LIFESTYLE FAVORITES

I’m so excited to share my fitness and lifestyle favorites now that it’s almost June somehow, and that I loved especially during May. I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very into fitness and health. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

HoldOn Compostable Bags (*gifted) – HoldOn bags are heavy duty, plant-based, compostable bags. We are in the process of moving to a new house where we are required to compost as much as possible (which we should’ve been doing anyway), so I was so excited to get these. I love that we can still use trash bags, sandwich bags, and gallon bags like we normally do and not worry about contributing to additional plastic waste. And they work just as well as the plastic version, which is something I would have been worried about. Honestly this wasn’t even something I was thinking about investing in, but I’m so happy we have them!

A7 Bar Grip Tank (*gifted) – This tank is so incredibly comfortable and functional, and I’m beyond excited that I have it now that it’s getting so warm. I love that the bar grip material on the back that I use for bench and low bar squats (it helps you stick to the bench or a bar stick to you) is now on a tank. I get super overheated in the gym, especially in the Spring and Summer, so this has been perfect. It is so worth it, and I can’t wait for more women’s bar grip tanks!

Buff Chick Cinnamon Swirl Buff Whey – I have been loving mixing this protein powder into oatmeal. I have never been able to mix protein powder into oatmeal and have it taste good or have a good texture, but this works! I have used the Buff Chick Birthday Cake and Strawberry Banana as well with no issues! The powder blends in so easily, and there’s no weird texture or aftertaste. It’s such an easy way to have a ton of protein for breakfast or dessert or a snack, and it’s so easy using quick oats in the microwave. And there’s a vegan version too!

Sour Strips – These really are as good as everyone says they are. And if you haven’t heard of them before, they are really high quality sour candy strips that are each about 30 calories. They’re actually sour, the flavors taste like what they say they are, they have really fun seasonal flavors, and are super portable. These are a great intraworkout snack, especially when I’m lifting super heavy, which is most of the time. They now have a permanent home in our gym bag, and I’m so happy we ended up with so many of them when I first fell in love with them last year.

What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for being here! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

I Shopped My Stash and Found 5 Products I Love But had Totally Forgotten About

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection, and part of that is diving back into my collection to re-fall in love with products I already have (or realize they don’t work for me). These are 5 products that I recently dug back out and realized how much I love them, and I’m so excited to be getting more use out of them! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation in Shade 4 – This is what inspired this post. I started wearing this again (honestly because I’ve had it for years and want to finish it before it expires), and I was reminded about how amazing it makes my skin look. It has exactly the the right amount of coverage (light to medium and buildable), looks glowy but not oily, and lasts all day. I was actually shocked that it lasted over 14 hours and looked exactly the same as when I applied it. I had to really build up this swatch because a light layer blended seamlessly into my skin, but as you can see, it’s definitely buildable. I’m so glad I pulled this back out!

Natasha Denona Puff Paint Liquid Blush – This is a liquid blush serum that dries down but keep its beautiful sheen – you can see how dewy it looks on my swatch above. I love using it as a finishing touch after I apply other cream blushes to add some brightness and shimmer-free shine. It never disturbs anything underneath it and is just the right amount of pigmentation to use in this way. I have it in the shade Darya, which is a bright melon color that is really unique to my collection, and I never think to reach for. But using it again – wow, I love how much it brightens up my face and how easy it is to use.

W3ll People Superpowder Brightening Powder – This was my go-to before I got the Kosas Cloud Set powder, and I started using it again just to switch it up. I love it just as much as I did before! I like to use this powder as a last step before my setting spray to clean up and brighten any areas that might need it. It’s super useful as a way to correct going too far with blush or bronzer without adding coverage or mattifying your skin. It’s been really nice to use even in conjunction with other powders because I can use this to brighten vs just set.

Vesca Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil in Ginger Lily – I honestly completely forgot I owned this because I just have so many lip balms and oils right now. I started using it again recently, and I was reminded about how amazing it is. The formula is like the perfect combo of a lip balm, lip oil, and lip gloss. It’s super moisturizing, stays glossy for so much longer than I would have expected, and the color is just the right level of sheerness for me. I’ve found this so easy to apply throughout the day, and the color works so well with so many blush and eyeshadow combinations!

Holo Taco Glitter Polishes – This is more of a category, but I had totally forgotten about how much I love this polish formula. I used them for this tropical flower nail art and was so happy with how it turned out. Especially in the sun, the glitter formula is so sparkly and holo. I do have to do 3 coats for full coverage, but that’s very expected for glitter/jelly shades. I tend to use these glitters in the winter because they remind me of holiday time, but I will definitely need to keep using the lighter shades like Play Rose, Menchie the Cat, and Gliterally Purple more often in the spring and summer!

What other products would you like to see an in-depth review of? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette Review

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection, and part of that is doing more in-depth reviews of products I already have. This helps me spend more time playing with them and learning about why I like (or don’t like) certain products. For this series, I’m planning on doing a full review on each one of my palettes, starting with the ones I have from Pat McGrath. For transparency, I was able to get Bronze Seduction for $85 on sale last year, so while I know it costs $125 regularly, some of my opinions are influenced by having purchased it half off. And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Bronze Seduction shades are swatched and listed below from left to right top row and then left to right bottom row. For transparency, I took this after I swatched these and swirling with my fingers smoothed the shades and took away any signs of usage.

This was my third Pat McGrath palette, but the one that I’ve wanted for the longest. It’s the color story that seems perfectly made for me with the bronzes, browns, pinks and purples that go really well with brown eyes. There also aren’t any super colorful shades which makes this a great everyday palette where I can actually use almost every single shade. It has 10 shades of varying finishes including mattes, shimmers, and glitters. I didn’t have any issues with any of the shades – they were all richly pigmented, blendable, had great lasting power, and had little fall-out.

Bronze Seduction  shades are listed below in order from left to right on my arm

Skinshow Divine Glow – This is one of my favorite inner corner and browbone highlight shades I own. It’s a soft golden beige with a pearl finish that just finishes off any look with a bit of brightness. The shimmer is very fine so it’s easy to use with any other eyeshadow finish without it feeling like it’s “too much.” It’s very similar to Skinshow Moon Glow in Midnight Sun and Skinshow Nude in Divine Rose, but Divine Glow is the most neutral vs the more gold or pink versions of this shade in the other palettes.

Entrapment – This is a medium-dark warm toned matte brown. Because of the warmth, it goes really well with the golds and pinks in this palette, and I appreciate that it doesn’t overlap with most of the browns I have in my collection that are natural or cool. I love using this as a softer shadow liner or to darken the inner corner just a bit. It’s incredibly smooth, pigmented, and blendable so it works really well for this because it doesn’t blend away to nothing.

Bronze Blaze – This is a light-medium golden bronzey shimmer shade. Technically, it’s a metallic shadow but I find that the shimmer isn’t very strong. I love using this as a one and done shade all over the lid or paired with the darker mattes in the outer corner. Even though I love this shade, it’s definitely not at all unique, and I wouldn’t recommend getting this palette just for this bronzey/gold shade.

Rose Gold 005– This is my favorite shade in the palette and definitely my most used. It’s a beautiful pinky bronze metallic shade that creates a really impactful look by itself. I love how shiny it is and how it’s a “sophisticated pink”. It has flecks of gold and pink in it that I find make it pair really well with my brown eyes. If you want to up the impact, you can use this shadow wet and it has a super pretty shiny, sparkly finish that I am honestly obsessed with. I would never recommend getting a palette this expensive for one shade, but now that I have it, I’m very happy with this palette just for this one.

VR Fire Opal – This is a shimmery duo-chrome shade that shifts green and teal. It’s a super cool shade but I rarely use it on its own. I love using it on top of super warm shades to add some coolness, brightness, and shimmer. This shade is incredibly shiny and also works really well wet. If a look I make accidentally leans too dark, I will add a light layer of this all over the lid or just in the center to bring some lightness to the look.

Xtreme Aubergine – This is a very deep matte purple that leans slightly warm. It’s a beautiful shade for the outer corner or as eyeliner. I love how easy to blends out without losing its depth. This is much darker than the darkest matte in most of my other palettes, so I find that I pull this out if I ever want something super smoky (which is rare, but does happen). I also find that this shade stays richer than any other purple shadow I own, which really impressed me.

Guilty Pleasure – This is a warm light-medium metallic taupe, and it’s one of my favorite shades in the palette. It works so well as a one and done shade all over the lid for something super easy and not too dark (or too light) for me. It’s super smooth for a metallic shade, and I love how easy it is to get on my eyes and blend with a brush or fingers. It also pairs really well with the rest of the shades in the palette.

Disobedient – This is a deep matte brown that leans slightly warm. It’s a beautiful shade for the outer corner or as eyeliner. I love how easy to blends out without losing its depth. That said, it’s definitely not a super unique shade of brown, and while I’m glad it’s in this palette to add to looks, it’s not incredibly exciting vs some of the other shades.

Blitz Flame – This is a dark warm toned red metallic shade that is super sparkly and rich. Even though it’s very red in the pan, I find that it shows up more deep pink on me (it looks almost the same as Ruse Dusk from the Divine Rose palette despite how red it looks like it’ll be). I love using this as a base for sparkly toppers or as a way to dark the outer corner with a non-matte shade. It pairs really well for a gradient look with Rose Gold 005 or Bronze Blaze.

Astral Luna Gold – I’m glad I didn’t end up with a third Astral Solstice, which is the Astral shade in Divine Rose and Midnight Sun – the other two PMG palettes I own. That said, this shade is not for me. It shifts gold, blue, and purple, and I never use it. Like Astral Solstice, it’s beautifully sparkly and glittery and much smoother than I would have expected. It makes any base shade so incredibly bright, wet-looking, and shiny. So if you’re into a blue/purple/gold sparkle situation, you might love this!

What other palettes would you like to see an in-depth review of? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

MY 5 FAVORITE PRODUCTS UNDER $50

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection and starting a “favorite products under $X series” to help me in that process. I’ll be doing posts every month for different dollar amounts, and I’m so excited to dive into my collection in this way. This time, I’m writing about my favorite products under $50. I would love to see your favorites and recommendations for under $50 beauty products in the comments! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick in Biscuit ($48)– I’ve included this in multiple favorites posts because I really do love and use it so much.  This is one of my go-tos when I’m short on time and just need to add some color to my face without having to do a lot of work or blending. I own so many cream bronzer products, and always come back to this one as my “I just don’t want to think about it and need something that works” product. I stand by what I said in my 2020 favorites post: if I had to start my collection over, this would definitely be one of the first things I replace.

Auric Glow Lust in Morganite and Selenite ($45) – This product is my favorite for making my skin look amazing no matter what’s going on with it. Even if my skin is dull and dehydrated and not looking its best, Glow Lust will make it look glowy, smooth, and moisturized. Every time I wear it, I instantly feel more confident, especially for video meetings because Glow Lust reflects so beautifully and distracts from anything else going on. Of all of my glowy, liquid products, this is definitely my favorite of the bunch. I use it as a primer, mixed in with foundation, and as a highlighter, and it works amazingly well for all of those purposes.

Auric Glow Lust in Morganite and Selenite

Fitglow Beauty Lip Colour Serums ($42) – I know I write about these all the time, but it’s because I truly love them, and I’m so happy I have so many of them. I use them almost every day. The formula is incredibly nourishing, thick, hydrating, and long-lasting, and I just reach for them so often especially because they work so well as toppers for more matte lipsticks or lip liners. All the shades are beautiful, and I can always find one to match my look. I’ve been really loving Halo and Regal this month in particular, but all of the shades I have get a ton of use. I have 5 full sizes and the rest are minis, and I highly recommend looking out for sales or mini sizes if you’re interested in these!

Fitglow Beauty Lip Colour Serums in Bliss, Beach Glow, Kind, Halo, Ful, Root, Nudie, Gospel, Regal, Cheer, and Juice

Roen 11:11 Quad – This is my favorite Roen quad of the three that I own, and it’s definitely my most used. Each shade is a perfect one-and-done on it’s own, and they are so easy and quick to use. The shade swatched farthest to the right below is my go to for adding a high impact sparkle to any eye look, whether it’s on top of the other shades in the 11:11 palette or any other eyeshadow I’ve used. It just seems to finish off any look, particularly in a world where I want people to see my eyes through a screen. I also really love the Roen formula because it’s so versatile – with a finger, the shades go on incredibly pigmented and intense, but with a brush, you can create a very sophisticated wash of color. They last all day on me with an eyeshadow primer, and I don’t have any issues with flaking or fall out.

Farmacy Honey Halo Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer ($45) – This is hands down the best moisturizer I’ve tried for my super dry skin. It’s incredibly thick but still absorbs super quickly and plays well with my other nighttime skincare products. It’s been really dry even though it’s solidly Spring now, and I’m so glad I have this to keep my skin hydrated and moisturized. In particular, it’s been saving my dry skin from totally losing all its hydration overnight. I

What are your favorite products under $50? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 9

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! I have a bunch of empties this month, but, as usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short. As always, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again. And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil – As someone with very dry skin, I really liked having such a thick and moisturizing oil as a retinol option. If I was super tired and didn’t feel like doing my full routine, I could just use this and go to bed and would wake up with skin that still looked hydrated and glowy. Even though I’ve loved and used this for year, I have found other retinol products I like more, and I don’t love that this has blue dye in it so I have to be careful about laying on a pillow right away. So, I won’t be repurchasing this.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 – This has been my sunscreen of choice for a couple years now since I first tried it. It’s both moisturizing and lightweight and doesn’t leave a white cast despite being an all mineral sunscreen. I love that the formula doesn’t dry out my skin or have a tint that leaves my face looking a strange color like a lot of mineral sunscreens tend to do. It doesn’t pill, it great under makeup, and also smells amazing – every time I put it on, it just cheers me up and helps me get ready to face the day. I am already using my backup.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic – This product is supposed to “improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness, and brightens skin’s complexion,” and it definitely does all those things. I was actually surprised by how well it worked, and how nice my skin looked after using it entirely. That said, I’ve switched back to some of my other vitamin C serums since finishing this, and they also work great (even if just a little less well). So, I’m not going to repurchase this because it’s $169, and there’s just so many other Vitamin C serums on the market that are very effective.

Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Balm in Clear – Before I talk about why I love this, I want to say that I don’t think this is worth it at full price (or even 50% off). I was able to grab this for $12, and for me, it’s totally worth it at that price. This balm is incredibly moisturizing and imparts a glossy look to the lips without being too much. I love adding it on top of matte lipsticks to turn any lipstick into a slightly sheer/shiny product without adding anything too glossy or sticky or something that would make it wear off too quickly. All that said, I have so much lip balm right now that I definitely can’t justify replacing this yet, and I bet I’ll find things I like even more.

NBM Cuticle Buddy in Lavender– My nails have never been healthier or stronger since I starting using these, and I don’t freak out about nail breaks anymore because they grow back so fast now. I used the Lavender scent every night as I’m getting ready for bed, so I’m not surprised it’s the first one I fully finished. It’s calming and relaxing and the perfect “wind down” scent. As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10. I’m not repurchasing this one yet because I have like 10 other ones going right now, but I definitely will one day!

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and I’ll be sharing empties posts every other Friday all year. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Juggernaut AI Program and App Review after 120 Days

The Juggernaut AI Powerlifting app is described as having the best powerlifting coach in the world with you during every training session, helping you reach your true potential. It’s a subscription based powerlifting app that is 100% personalized to you based on your goals, how often you want to work out, when your meet (or mock meet) is scheduled, and your personal weak points. I wanted to give my review now that I’ve been running this program for over 4 months, and now that I’ve gotten a chance to test it with an actual meet. This review is not sponsored, and I am not sponsored by Juggernaut. I do have an affiliate code with them that I got after I’d already reviewed it here a couple times, and like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about this program without being an affiliate. If you do want to support me and save 10% every month on the program (or anything else from Juggernaut’s site), you can use code LIFTBAKELOVE.

I’m so incredibly happy with the progress I made on this program! Last year, I basically started over once gyms opened up again and so got some incredible newbie gains (almost 300 lbs on my total), and I was confident that was the end of that period for me. Since my lifts were already pretty great (a 270lb deadlift is almost 2x my bodyweight as it is), I thought I’d maybe add 15lbs to each lift after 4 months if I really put my all into it. I ended up adding 17lbs to my bench, my squat went up 29lbs and my deadlift went up 66 pounds! This program focuses on specificity for the squat, bench, and deadlift based on your personal weak points, and I know that made a huge difference for me in getting my numbers up.

Day 1 (in lbs)Day 120 (in lbs)
Squat225254
Bench115132
Deadlift270336
Total611722

The 120 days numbers are from my competition on April 30th, which was the USA Powerlifting 2022 Ladies of Iron Washington Competition. I placed 4th, which I was incredibly excited about given it was only my second meet and there were some amazing competitors there. As usual, my weight class was one of the most competitive with the most people, so I’m so proud of coming in 4th. I also cut weight for this competition to the 67.5kg class, which I know reduced my numbers a bit, so I’m beyond excited I still managed a 111lb meet PR under the circumstances. I also needed to take a few days off here and there, so I ended up doing 57 sessions in those 4 months. I can’t believe I added over a hundred pounds to both my squat and deadlift in that time, and almost doubled my total. I was able to add almost 6 pounds to my total every single workout session. I know I can credit the Stronger by the Day program for that success, and I couldn’t have hoped for anything better given the amount of time I spent training.

My 336lb deadlift!

Things I absolutely love about this program:

  • Everything is customized to me – all the programming was based on when my meet was so I could perform my best that day, the warm-ups and all the lifts are chosen specifically based on my weak points and what I need to work on, and everything is adjusted based on how I’m feeling before and during the work out. It also adjusts over time based on how well you recover between workouts.
  • I can choose the number of days I want to work out, and it adjusts the workouts for that amount of days. 4 days a week works really well for me, but I have a friend who can only do 3 days a week, and we can both do the program.
  • I get to pick my own accessories! On other programs, I’ve honestly skipped accessories sometimes because the machine wasn’t available or I just really couldn’t motivate myself to do that movement. On this program, I get to choose the accessory lifts from a recommend list so I never have to do Bulgarian Split Squats if I don’t want to.
  • It automatically calculates new 1RM maxes about once a month, and then adjusts all the weights it has you lifting after that point, so you always keep progressing exactly as much as you should be. I love that I don’t have to do any math and that it keeps me pushing with the max tests so often.
  • As mentioned earlier, the app adjusts based on how you’re feeling before a workout and after every single set. When I wasn’t having a great day, it lowered the weight and volume so I didn’t hurt myself but could keep making progress. And when I was having a great day, the app gave me a workout that I could really push myself with. Most of the accessories are RPE or RIR (reps in reserve) based so all I need to focus on is how the weight feels and how many I can do. Sometimes that meant I went down in weight from the week before or down in reps, but as long as I was hitting the right RPE or RIR, I still got to feel awesome about the workout.
  • It has video explanations of every lift and lots of information about it in case it’s a new accessory or new variation of the main 3 lifts. There’s also tons of info about your program, the timing, and anything else you can think of. Plus, you can chat with the team right from the app if you have any questions.
  • The warmups don’t suck! I almost always skipped the warm ups on other programs, but I did this one pretty often. I appreciated that it was kind of fun and pretty short. It also changes the warm ups based on what you’re working on and what your weak points are, so it felt more worth it to me.
My USAPL Ladies of Iron Medal paired with a KB Shimmer Reflective Polish (LE – no longer available)

Things to keep in mind before investing in JTS AI:

  • Even with an affiliate code like mine that saves you 10%, the program is still over $30/a month, which is much more than something like Stronger by The Day. As someone prepping for competition and wanting to really get the most out of my training for squat, bench, and deadlift, the extra $20/month is so worth it to me. But if you’re not training for competition and just want to have a program that helps you get stronger in a powerlifting-style, something more generalized might work great for you!
  • The workouts can be long and hard – you really have to be in it and want to do the work. Sometimes we’d be in the gym for at least an hour and a half or more and super exhausted. Like the price, this is worth it to me. I love powerlifting, and the grind is just part of the process of being an athlete for me. If you’re not up for that or don’t need to be doing something as intense, I would go with another program.
  • Because it’s so focused on powerlifting (on purpose), my physique isn’t exactly where I’d want it to be. Depending on when my next meet ends up being, I might do their Powerbuilding program for a bit so I can get a little more balance into my routine before diving back into another meet prep.

Is there any fitness gear or program you want me to test? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for reading!

April 2022 Favorites

I can’t believe April is already over, and it’s time for another round of favorites! As always, I’m only featuring products in my favorites that are true favorites that I’ve been using consistently for longer than a couple months. If there’s anything you were looking for a review on or a topic that you want me to cover, please let me know if the comments below! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation in Melrose – I honestly think this might be my favorite foundation of all time. I’m surprised I haven’t written about it yet! The formula is so incredibly smoothing and glowy. It makes my skin look both perfected and hydrated while feeling super comfortable on the skin. I can put it on with a brush, sponge, or fingers, and it looks great. The wear time is amazing considering how lightweight it is, and it absolutely wears in instead of off. Now that we’re heading into summer, I’ve been wearing it more often even though I actually have had it since last year. I also have been relying on it whenever I travel and want something I can apply quickly with my hands.

Pat Mcgrath Divine Blush in Fleurtatious – The formula is incredibly smoothing and blurring, and it looks so beautiful on my skin. It is one of my most flattering powder blushes, and it’s the one I use when I don’t want to think about how I’m applying my blush. It lasts incredibly well, and it works great to set a cream blush if I want my look to last all day. Fleurtatious is a warm-toned light pink that works so well with the tones that I love to use, and as you can see in the swatch below, it’s just pigmented enough to show up but not too pigmented to take over a look. I’ve been reaching for this so often to finish off my looks now that we’re in Spring.

Glossier Haloscope highlighter in Quartz – I love the effect this gives when I take the time to apply it just right. It provides a natural looking subtle glow that is glitter free and looks like I just have healthy skin. Because it has a champagne colored section and a clear section, if I apply it directly to my skin, I end up with a darker streak on my cheekbones and a patch where my blush has picked up under that. So, I’ve been swirling a brush over it and applying it from the brush, and it honestly looks so great. I had written a review about how I didn’t love this because it’s a bit sticky, but now that my skin is a little less dry with the changing seasons, it seems to be working better. I’m glad I’m getting more use out of this!

Dieux Instant Angel Skin Restoring Moisturizer – The product page says that “this nourishing face cream supports and repairs skin while giving an ethereal glow,” and that is incredibly accurate. This has helped me get rid of any dry, flaky patches on my skin, and it really has makes a huge difference in hydrating my skin closer to normal. It’s also gentle enough that I can use it on my currently dry, flaky eyelids with no issues, and it soothes and moisturizing them so well and so fast. It also sits perfectly under makeup because of how fast it melts into the skin and because it imparts a bit of a glow.

Josie Maran Intensive Daily Repair Body Butter –  I finally found a body butter I like more than the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter, and it’s also from Josie Maran. I haven’t been using this as long as the other products, but I had to share. I have incredibly dry skin on my body to the point that I sometimes get itchy hives, and I haven’t had any since I started using this. It’s so incredibly nourishing, moisturizing, and honestly healing. Like the other body butters from this brand, it’s still fast absorbing and super lightweight even with how moisturizing it is. I’m so glad I have this, and it’s well worth the price (especially since Josie Maran products go on sale often).

What were your favorites this month? Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

April 2022 No-Buy Update

I’m on a no-buy for most of 2022 and using these monthly updates to keep me accountable. For these updates, I’ve decided to answer the same set of questions every month. Feel free to follow along in the comments with your own no-buy or low-buy updates. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

What’s one thing that helped this month go easier?
I spent a week in NYC and brought a super minimal bag of makeup (let me know if you’d like to know what I brought with me!). This made me realize how little I really need to get to a full face that still looks great. It was a fantastic reminder that I really do already have everything I need and more, and that anything else I get will make me use my favorite products less. Every time I think of purchasing something now, I think about whether I could get by without it for a few weeks, and the answer is always yes.

What was one thing I wanted to buy but didn’t and why?
I really wanted to get the new Patrick Ta Major Dimension II Rose Eyeshadow Palette during the Sephora sale. Every review of it makes it sound perfect, and it’s exactly the kind of color story I love. Because it’s the kind of color story I love, I realized I already have lots of eyeshadow that can create a similar look. Between the Pat McGrath Divine Rose, Natasha Denona Mini Retro, Roen 11:11, and all my singles and glitters, I can make my perfect peachy-pink or rose eye look. I definitely don’t need more eyeshadow, and I’ve had a lot of fun digging back into all these palettes.

Did I buy anything this month?
I bought one thing in the Sephora sale –  Item Beauty Air Hug Clean Lightweight Full-Coverage Concealer. The Item Beauty concealer wasn’t on my radar until Kackie Reviews Beauty started talking about it, and now it’s one of my most wanted products. It sounds amazing – hydrating, long-wearing, non-creasing, smoothing, and blendable. I wasn’t going to buy it (I actually posted about why I wasn’t going to get it) but I had a gift card that would cover the cost, and I panned one of my current concealers. I’m honestly really happy I got it since it’s everything Kackie said it would be, I paid $0, and I used the gift card for something more utilitarian than another blush or eyeshadow.

What’s a product I rediscovered by having to shop my stash?
One of my favorite rediscoveries is the Mac Soft & Gentle Highlighter. The makeup artist for my wedding back in 2019 used the Mac powder on me, and it looked so amazing in the pictures that I went out and bought it as soon as I found out what it was. It gives the perfect amount of sheen without being glittery, and I find that it’s very hard for me to use too much. I had totally forgotten about it and decided to start using it again, and I love how it looks on top of all my cream cheek products.

If you’re doing a no-buy, how did your April go? If not, what amazing thing did you buy this month? I’d love to know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! 

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 8

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! I have a bunch of empties this month, but, as usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short. As always, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again. And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser –  This is a very hydrating facial cleanser was great for my dry skin. It cleaned my skin and didn’t just not strip it of moisturize, but actually added hydration. This bottle also lasted me a really long time because I didn’t need to use very much. That said, I still like the Allies of Skin Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser  even more and have another bottle of it to get through. I won’t be repurchasing the Kiehl’s Cleanser, but I did really enjoy using it while I had it.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator (previous empty) – This continues to be my favorite facial mist of all time. I’ve tried a few others for testing, but I always end up missing this one. It’s so hydrating, it helps my other products sink in better and faster, and it smells amazing too. I’ve used it alone with nothing else if I’m in a pinch and somehow it actually moisturizes my skin enough even with my incredibly dry skin. I have been through so many bottles of this and will definitely grab more when the next Credo/Ulta sale comes around. I’m planning on repurchasing this forever unless something really amazing launches that knocks it out of its HG spot in my routine.

Athena Club Cloud Shave Foam – I have extremely dry skin, and I appreciated the extra moisture from this shave foam when shaving. That said, it’s pretty expensive and not super unique so I switched back to the Flamingo shave gel which I actually found at our local supermarket for $5 (the same price as getting it direct online). I would love recommendations if you have any though because I love testing new shaving gels and foams!

Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate (previous empty)– I’ve been using this for years as my hydrating serum in my nighttime routine, and it definitely works really well for what it does. That said, this seems to keep going up in price (it used to be in the high 30s) and doesn’t feel worth it when there are so many great hydrating serums out there. I have a few more of these to get through because I had gotten a bunch of back-ups during a sale on Clinique’s website, but I’m planning to switch over to The Most from PSA Skin (you can read my review here) and will not be repurchasing this.

Phytosurgence Verdant Forcefield – This is described as a skin barrier reinforcing moisturizer that hydrates, softens, moisturizes, and protects with well studied vitamins, actives, and extracts. And it does all of that! I love how quickly is sinks in so I can move on to my next step without any pilling and how much softer my skin feels now that I’ve been all the way through it. Because it’s slightly green tinted, I loved using it under makeup to counter any redness. It’s also only about $11 per ounce, which is a bargain compared to some of my other faves like like the Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream at $28.4/ounce and Farmacy Honey Drop at $26.4/ounce. I have a bunch of moisturizer to get through, but I will repurchase this at some point.

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and I’ll be sharing empties posts every other Friday all year. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

KACKIE (REVIEWS BEAUTY) MADE ME BUY IT in 2021 (PART 3)

Kackie has one of my favorite beauty channels to watch – so much so that it’s part of my morning routine Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays when she posts new videos, and I can’t imagine it any other way. What makes her stand out for me is that she actually reviews products rather than fawning over new releases. She covers textures, colors, formulation, packaging, etc. in depth, usually with comparisons to similar products you might already have. She has what she refers to as an encyclopedic knowledge of products, and I think that’s why I find her reviews so helpful. Kackie goes out of her way to give the most pertinent information to help viewers decide why something might or might not work for them and what they should know about the product when making a purchasing decision. For that reason, almost everything I’ve gotten because of her recommending it has become a fast favorite and something I wish I had bought sooner. Because I’m on a no-buy in 2022, I rounded up all the products Kackie made me buy in 2021 since my last “Kackie made me buy it” post. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Eyeshadow in Angelica and Bianca – I absolutely love this eyeshadow. This formula is so quick and easy to use. It’s almost like a mousse and feels halfway between a cream and a liquid. I’ve tried using a brush and fingers, with and without a primer, and applying directly from the doe-foot and from my hand – nothing I tried didn’t work out amazingly. The formula doesn’t crease and looks exactly the same all day. I tested it on a 17-hour makeup day, and it honestly could have just been applied. I’ve used it as one sheer layer, a thicker application, and layered on top of itself, and it looked great all three ways. I love how I have enough time to play with it and blend it out however I want before it sets down. They’re also some of the more spangly eyeshadows I’ve ever used, which may be the thing I love about them the most. Angelica is a rosy bronze that is the absolute perfect shade for me – I feel like I’ve been hunting for this color for years, and here it is. Bianca is a warm, purply-pink that really makes my brown eyes pop.

Angelica (left) and Bianca (right)

Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush in Happy Hour – This is one of the dewiest blushes I own – it’s super pretty on dry skin. The formula of these is incredibly easy to use and blends out super quickly. It does leave a slight stickiness that isn’t always my favorite, especially if I know I’m going to be wearing a mask. This is described as a warm toned pink, but I find it pulls very peachy-orange on me. Because of that, I haven’t used it that much since we’ve been in the winter months, and I’m excited to use it more in the summer. Of all the blushes Kackie has “made me buy,” I think this is my least favorite, but that’s just because she sets the bar so high with all the other blush recommendations.

Pat Mcgrath Divine Blush in Fleurtatious – The formula is incredibly smoothing and blurring, and it looks so beautiful on my skin. It is one of my most flattering powder blushes, and it’s the one I use when I don’t want to think about how I’m applying my blush. It lasts incredibly well, and it works great to set a cream blush if I want my look to last all day. Fleurtatious is a warm-toned light pink that works so well with the tones that I love to use, and as you can see in the swatch below, it’s just pigmented enough to show up but not too pigmented to take over a look.

 Em Cosmetics So Soft Blush – I knew I would love these the first time Kackie described the texture of these – they’re everything I look for in a cream blush. The So Soft formula is incredibly soft and creamy (like the name implies), and that makes it so easy and quick to apply. It blends so seamlessly into the skin without disappearing. It’s actually one of the longest wearing cream blushes I own despite being so blendable. I have the shades Lychee (warm melon), Venetian Rose (vinatge rose), and Pearl Tea (brownish nude), and I get lots of use out of all the shades.

ABH Dewy Set Setting Spray – The Cover FX Dewy Finish Setting Spray had been my favorite for years, but I like this even better. It does just the right amount of dewiness and sets my makeup while still leaving everything skin-like and flexible. I love how this makes my makeup look after everything is said and done and how it provides great lasting power without drying out my skin (in fact, I think it adds another layer of hydration). It’s also less expensive than similar options, like the Hourglass Setting Spray Kackie says it’s a dupe of, so I’m very excited this has come into my makeup routine.

Tower 28 SunnyDays SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation in Melrose – I honestly think this might be my favorite foundation of all time. I’m surprised I haven’t written about it yet! The formula is so incredibly smoothing and glowy. It makes my skin look both perfected and hydrated while feeling super comfortable on the skin. I can put it on with a brush, sponge, or fingers, and it looks great. The wear time is amazing considering how lightweight it is, and it absolutely wears in instead of off. I’m so happy I decided to grab this!

Kosas AirBrow – Kackie convinced me to try this over, and I’m so glad I did! It finally unseated Glossier Boy Browhich I had been using for years. It tints and fills in the brows so quickly and easily without overdoing it or over applying the gel. It doesn’t get crunchy or hard and stays in place all day. I prefer it to the Boy Brow because it’s a bit thicker so it lasts longer and keeps my brows exactly where I want them all day. 

Glow-All Super Powder Face Palette – I really struggle with powder products because they tend to stamp on vs deposit color and blend out so it’s super easy for me to overdo. I knew based on Kackie’s description I would have no issues with this formula, and she was right! It’s so easy to work with and you don’t have to think about what you’re doing because it’s so hard to overdo it. The formula is also incredibly creamy and blurring as you can hopefully see in the swatches below. I’m so happy to have this for travel and for quick and easy looks at home. I brought it with me when we visited family for Thanksgiving, and it was great to have everything in one palette, including such different blush colors. You can still get a pretty big brush in the pans, which I really appreciate. The palette is $17.13, and I’m loving it so much more than my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit – Sculpture Unlocked palette which was $58.

highlighter, bronzer, and blushes from the face palette

Beauty Pie Triple Beauty Luminizing Wand – This blends so easily and quickly and creates a sophisticated glow without glitter. It’s a perfect wash of light-catching pigment and is also blurring. It looks great as a finishing touch to any look I’ve used it in, and I love that it looks great on the cheeks, brow bone, inner corner, or anywhere else I want it to go. I can apply it straight from the wand or use my fingers or a brush and it works great. It only comes in one shade but I think this shade would work for a lot of people because it’s so sheer. Compared to $38 for the Charlotte Tilbury version of this, it’s incredible that this only costs $9.18. I honestly would’ve thought this was a luxury product down to the packaging, and I can’t believe it’s less than $10.

Beauty Pie Seamless Foundation Buffing Brush – This brush is really densely packed which ensures it maintains the level of coverage of any product I’m using it with. It also never creates any streaks and cleans really well even with consistently using it with liquid products. While this brush is amazing for foundation, I actually love it even more for cream blush. It blends every formula so seamlessly and quickly and is my go-to for when I’ve overdone my blush and need to blend everything together quickly because of its size. This brush is under $10 and feels similar to my much more expensive synthetic brushes. I now totally understand why Kackie said in her review that she wanted tons of these in her collection.

Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

PAT MCGRATH Divine Rose MOTHERSHIP EYESHADOW PALETTE REVIEW

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection, and part of that is doing more in-depth reviews of products I already have. This helps me spend more time playing with them and learning about why I like (or don’t like) certain products. For this series, I’m planning on doing a full review on each one of my palettes, starting with the ones I have from Pat McGrath. For transparency, I was able to get Divine Rose for $85 on sale last year, so while I know it costs $125 regularly, some of my opinions are influenced by having purchased it half off. And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Divine Rose shades are swatched and listed below from left to right top row and then left to right bottom row. For transparency, I took this after I swatched these and swirling with my fingers smoothed the shades and took away any signs of usage.

This was my first Pat McGrath palette and the one that made me fall in love with her eyeshadow formulas. That said, it’s definitely my least used compared to Midnight Sun and Bronze Seduction (review coming soon). I find that it doesn’t have as many rosy shades as I was expecting but they do still work really well with brown eyes. There also aren’t any super colorful shades which makes this a great everyday palette where I can actually use every single shade. It has 10 shades of varying finishes including mattes, shimmers, and glitters. I didn’t have any issues with any of the shades – they were all richly pigmented, blendable, had great lasting power, and had little fall-out.

Divine Rose shades are listed below in order from left to right on my arm

Skinshow Nude – This is one of my favorite inner corner and browbone highlight shades I own. It’s a soft golden beige with a pearl finish that just finishes off any look with a bit of brightness. The shimmer is very fine so it’s easy to use with any other eyeshadow finish without it feeling like it’s “too much.” It’s very similar to Skinshow Moon Glow in Midnight Sun except Skinshow Nude is more golden whereas Skinshow Moon Glow is more pink.

Velouria – This is a beautiful medium-dark mauve shade. I love using this in my crease no matter what kind of look I’m doing because it just works so well with my olive skin and brown eyes. It’s incredibly smooth, pigmented, and blendable so it works really well as a crease shade.

Sable Bronze – This is a light brown bronzey shimmer shade. Technically, it’s a metallic shadow but I find that the shimmer isn’t very strong. I love using this as a one and done shade all over the lid or paired with the darker mattes in the outer corner. Even though I love this shade, it’s definitely not at all unique, and I wouldn’t recommend getting this palette just for the bronzey shades like this one.

Refined Gold 002 – This is a warm gold metallic shade that is quite bright. I love using this in the middle of my eyelid to brighten up a look or add something really shiny, which this is. By itself, I find that it’s a bit too true gold for me, but it does pair really well with the rest of the shades in the palette.

Iridescent Pink 003 – This is a shimmery duo-chrome shade that shifts beige and pink. It’s a super cool shade but I rarely use it on its own. I love using it on top of bronzey shades to add some pink brightness and shimmer. If a look I make accidentally leans too dark, I will add this all over the lid to bright some lightness to the look.

Xtreme Mahogany – This is a deep matte brown that leans warm. It’s a beautiful shade for the outer corner or as eyeliner. I love how easy to blends out without losing its depth. This is much warmer than the darkest matte in the Midnight Sun Palette, so I find that I pull this out if I end up with a warmer look from either palette. I also find that this shade stays richer than other dark browns I own, which makes it more unique than I expected it would be.

Love Lace – This is a warm medium-dark metallic taupe, and it’s one of my favorite shades in the palette. It works so well as a one and done shade all over the lid for something more dramatic than Sable Bronze. It’s super smooth for a metallic shade, and I love how easy it is to get on my eyes and blend with a brush or fingers.

Rose Dusk – This is a rosy plum shimmer shade that has a beautiful sheen. It’s also of my favorite shades in the palette, and my go-to if I want an actual rosy look. I think this might be my most used shade in the palette because I love deep pinky eye looks that don’t pull red. It also pairs really well with the mattes in the palette for a more complex look.

VR Rose Venus – This is the other shimmery duo-chrome shade in the palette, and it’s much darker. It has a strong pink base and an even stronger gold shift. I think this shade is beautiful, but I haven’t yet had an occasion to really get a ton of use of it. I can’t wait to play with it more!

Astral Solstice – This might be one of my favorite shadows of all time and is hands down my favorite eyeshadow topper in my collection. This shade is a warm beige that is incredibly sparkly and shiny and is sheer enough to go over lots of base shades. Whenever an eye look is feeling lackluster, I can throw this shade on top, and it immediately feels incredibly special. I’m glad I love this shade as much as I do because I actually own it in two palettes now (this one and Midnight Sun) so keep in mind that this is one that been repeated across Mothership palettes.

What other palettes would you like to see an in-depth review of? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Glossier Body Hero Dry-Touch Oil Mist, Body Hero Daily Oil Wash, Moisturizing Moon Mask, and Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Review

During the 2021 holidays, I was gifted some Glossier products, including the Body Hero Daily Oil Wash, Moisturizing Moon Mask, and Mega Greens Galaxy Pack. I also have been using the Body Hero Dry-Touch Oil Mist for what feels like years, so I decided to pull together a review of the bodycare and skincare items I’ve used from Glossier. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Glossier Body Hero Dry-Touch Oil Mist – I’m not a huge fan of the packaging (who wants to spray oil everywhere and try to handle a glass bottle with oily hands?), but the oil in here is the most moisturizing body oil I’ve tried. It also smells great –  the scent of this is described as a “Orange Blossom Neroli scent (with fresh notes of pear, mandarin, and cypress) that faintly lingers on skin for a whisper of “vacation” throughout the day” and that is so accurate. It always makes me take a moment to just enjoy how good this smells (and feels), and it definitely does continue to smell great for awhile in good way. It absorbs incredibly fast so moisturizing my whole body with this is super quick. I find I actually use this more often because it sinks in so well and just finished my second bottle (which is why it’s not pictured). I poured it into an airless pump bottle from one of my skincare empties though, and I like using it so much more with pump packaging.

Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash – This has the same scent as the oil, which is honestly the thing I like most about it. I feel like I need to use a ton of this to feel like I’m using enough to be clean, and it feels wasteful to be using so many pumps every time I shower. It says it “turns frothy when it mixes with water, then washes away without drying out skin.” I would say that it does both of these things, but it takes a lot of work and product for it to froth up. It also doesn’t dry out the skin, but it doesn’t moisturize it either. As someone with super dry skin, it just doesn’t do enough for me.

Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask – This mask is one of my favorites for my dry skin. It’s as intensely hydrating as advertised, and my skin always feels so great after I use this. Despite it being incredibly hydrating, it still isn’t quite as moisturizing as the Farmacy Honey Potion Mask, which is my ultimate HG mask. But I’m glad I have both because the Glossier mask doesn’t heat up like the Farmacy one, so it’s way better when I’m not cold, and I’m super excited to have it as an option in Spring and Summer. , but it’s better for when I’m not cold since it doesn’t heat up on the skin like that one does.

Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack – I have incredibly dry skin and haven’t had much luck with clay masks in the past because of that. I only leave this on for about 5 minutes instead of the recommended twenty to avoid having too much moisture pulled from my skin. That said, it’s not too drying and leaves my skin feeling incredibly clear and smooth. It works great following it up with the Moon Mask or any of my other hydrating masks. I thought I wouldn’t like this one but I’m actually really glad I have it!

What products do you want me to review next? Let me know in the comments below!  Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 7

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! As usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short even though I’ve finished more than these. As always, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again. And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Dermadoctor Lotion for Dry Rough Bumpy Skin + Keratosis Pilaris with 10% AHAs + PHAs – This honestly didn’t do anything for my KP so I’m glad that I got the travel size. It was hydrating and sunk in quickly but didn’t do much of anything else. It also didn’t have a fragrance. I won’t be repurchasing this and will be trying some of the similar products from First Aid Beauty instead.

KBshimmer Clearly on Top Quick Dry – This top coat is incredible and only $6. It dries so fast, doesn’t cause shrinkage, and is super shiny. I can do a full manicure in less than 30 minutes and go about my day, including going the gym, with no issues. I also have way fewer chips than normal, and my nails last way longer than with other top coats. With how affordable this is, I’m so impressed and can’t imagine going back to more expensive top coats when this works even better than they do. After I finished this, I bought the big refill bottle so I’d never be without this topcoat.

Farmacy Honey Halo Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer (repeat empty) – This is the best moisturizer I’ve tried for my super dry skin. It’s incredibly thick but still absorbs super quickly and plays well with my other night time skincare products. Usually by this time of year, my skin starts to get flaky and itchy because it’s so dry, but I’ve had no issues since I’ve been using this. It’s honestly been saving my dry skin from totally losing all its hydration overnight. I have a few backups of the jumbo version, so I won’t be buying this gain for a long time, but I will absolutely repurchase again when I’m out.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara in Brynn (repeat empty) – This continues to be the best mascara I’ve ever used. I’ve moved on to one of the four minis I have, and I still love it. It makes my lashes look amazing, doesn’t smudge, and actually holds a curl. The best part is that it washes off so easily and quickly. I still have more minis to get through after this and will definitely repurchase until an amazing tubing formula comes out that’s better than this one.

Trader Joe’s Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream – My husband wanted to include this empty this week and in his words: This hand cream is incredibly thick and feels luxurious. The formula was moisturizing and made my hands feel hydrated. My only issue with this was it was slightly on the oily side and took a few minutes to sink it. He would absolutely repurchase it and already has.

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and I’ll be sharing empties posts every other Friday all year. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

MY 7 FAVORITE PRODUCTS UNDER $40

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection and starting a “favorite products under $X series” to help me in that process. I’ll be doing posts every month for different dollar amounts, and I’m so excited to dive into my collection in this way. This time, I’m writing about my favorite products under $40. I would love see your favorites and recommendations for under $40 beauty products in the comments! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

MAC Glow Play Blush ($31) – This formula has been my go-to for finishing off my cheek looks because it has a really incredible blurring quality that really pulls together any look I’ve done. Because the texture feels like a cross between a powder and a cream, it adds a slight sheen like a cream and has great lasting power like a powder. I own So Natural (golden beige), Blush Please (neutral light mauve), Heat Index (bright pink), and Grand (petal pink) and get a ton of use out of all of them. My favorites are Blush Please and So Natural because they are both fairly neutral and pair so well with so many different eyeshadow, lip product, and blush combinations. I love the pinkier tones too, especially as we head into spring.

Em Cosmetics Heaven’s Glow Radiant Veil Blush ($34) – This is my other favorite blush to use on top of cream blush. It provides a soft, glowy look without being overly pigmented and is such an easy way to brighten up a look. I also use this to set cream and liquid blushes if I know I’ll be on video calls for 12 hours, and the colors I have cover a wide enough range to match with almost any look I’m doing. There’s a bit of a sheen to them, so they’re great if I’m in a hurry because I can use these without needing a highlighter. My favorite shade right now is Baroque, a beautiful bronzy beige, but I use Magic Hour (peachy-pink) and Venetian Rose (vintage rose) all the time. These are definitely my most used powder blushes (since the Glow Play are more of a hybrid).

Em Cosmetics Heaven’s Glow Radiant Veil Blush in Baroque, Magic Hour, and Venetian Rose

Lisa Eldridge Velvet Matte Lipsticks ($36) – This formula is the most comfortable matte lipstick I’ve tried – they’re not drying at all, have the staying power I expect from a matte lipstick, and looks velvety smooth on the lips. They’re highly pigmented and blurring and cover the lips in one swipe. I have the shades Velvet Fawn, Velvet Muse, Velvet Petal, Velvet Affair, Velvet Midnight, and Velvet Dragon. My most used are definitely the first four lighter shades, but I love dabbing on Velvet Midnight or Velvet Dragon as more of a stain. These are definitely worth it in my opinion, even though they’re some of my most expensive lipsticks.

Lisa Eldridge Velvet Matte Lipsticks in Velvet Fawn, Velvet Muse, Velvet Petal, Velvet Affair, Velvet Midnight, and Velvet Dragon

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator ($35) – This continues to be my favorite facial mist of all time. I’ve tried a few others for testing, but I always end up missing this one. It’s so hydrating, it helps my other products sink in better and faster, and it smells amazing too. I’ve used it alone with nothing else if I’m in a pinch and somehow it actually moisturizes my skin enough even with my incredibly dry skin. I’m planning on repurchasing this forever unless something really amazing launches that knocks it out of its HG spot in my routine, and it’s totally worth the price to me (though I try to always get it on sale).

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 ($34)– This has been my sunscreen of choice for a couple years now since I first tried it. It’s both moisturizing and lightweight and doesn’t leave a white cast despite being an all mineral sunscreen. I love that the formula doesn’t dry out my skin or have a tint that leaves my face looking a strange color like a lot of mineral sunscreens tend to do. It doesn’t pill, it great under makeup, and also smells amazing – every time I put it on, it just cheers me up and helps me get ready to face the day.

Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask ($38) – This mask warms up as you massage it into your skin, so not only does it work to deeply moisturize and calm my skin, it’s also a really great relaxing experience. It is the perfect mask to use after an exfoliating treatment or when your skin is feeling extra dry. It really is the best face mask of all time and is just so soothing and comforting. It’s my go to for when my skin is feeling stressed, irritated, overly dry, or anything else that requires help. It always comes to the rescue, and my skin feels so cared for after I use this. My 1.7oz jar has lasted forever so it was totally worth the investment.

Allies of Skin Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser – This is my favorite cleanser, and it was first cleanser I’ve ever used that doesn’t require putting on moisturizer immediately afterwards. It creates such a luxurious cleansing experience, like you are cleaning your skin with silk. And while it really does clean, it also leaves your skin feeling hydrated. I’ve also used it as a quick mask by leaving it on for a few minutes before washing it off, and I love it that way. It really helps with any extra dryness, and I love that I don’t need to use a separate mask.

What are your favorite products under $40? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

March 2022 Fitness and Lifestyle Favorites (includes mini Juggernaut AI Review)

I’m so excited to share my fitness and lifestyle favorites to kick off March (how is it already April?!), and that I loved especially during March. I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very into fitness and health. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

A7 Bar Grip Shirts – I work out in a commercial gym that doesn’t allow chalk, so you’ll always find me wearing a bar grip shirt. From A7’s site – A7 Bar Grip is a one-of-a-kind performance shirt with a patent-pending silicone grip on the back that is designed to help with slippery commercial benches and bars. The grip helps you stick to the bench during bench press and anchors the barbell to your back when squatting. I wear one of these every single time I go to the gym so I have the grip for both squat and bench. They are so helpful for both lifts when you can’t use chalk (and are way less messy than chalk anyway). I honestly can’t imagine working out without a bar grip shirt now.

Buff Chick Strawberry Banana Buff Whey – I have been loving mixing this protein powder in smoothies lately. I use about a cup of protein milk, half of a frozen banana, a few frozen strawberries, a spoonful of greek yogurt, and one scoop of protein powder. The powder blends in so easily, and there’s no weird texture or aftertaste. It honestly takes just like a strawberry banana smoothie, and I wouldn’t be able to tell how much protein it has. The smoothie is over 40 grams of protein for about 250 calories which are incredible macros, especially given I try to hit around 125g of protein a day.

The Stick – I use this both before and after my workouts, particularly ahead of heavier lift days. I use this during a warm-up to make sure my muscles are ready to go and there isn’t any tightness. After, this helps with muscle recovery by dispersing the effects of lactic acid. When I tried to use a traditional foam roller, I honestly never got around to it. This is way better because it’s handheld and is super-efficient so I can roll out my legs in less than 5 minutes. It’s also fairly flexible which is perfect for really getting at calves, quads, and other areas that aren’t flat.

Juggernaut AI Powerlifting program – I wanted to talk about the program again because I’ve been so impressed with the progress, I’ve been able to make. In October, I barely lifted 225lbs for my squat and this week, I did 250lbsx3! I also couldn’t even move 255lbs deadlifting in the gym last year, and now I’m doing 305lbs. It’s clear to me that this is a very well researched and designed program, and it really works! I’m still only doing 4 days a week and have even missed a session here and there – I’m still getting so much stronger. The app is super easy to use, and they updated it even since the last time I wrote about it. I’ll be doing a full review after my meet but I wanted to share because I’ve just been loving it. As always, you can use my affiliate code LIFTBAKELOVE with Juggernaut to get 10% off. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about this program without being an affiliate (I even wrote this before getting a code and am editing this in afterwards). 

What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for being here! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

March 2022 Favorites

I can’t believe March is already almost over, and it’s time for another round of favorites! As always, I’m only featuring products in my favorites that are true favorites that I’ve been using consistently for longer than a couple months. If there’s anything you were looking for a review on or a topic that you want me to cover, please let me know if the comments below! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Beauty Pie Triple Beauty Luminizing Wand – This blends so easily and quickly and creates a sophisticated glow without glitter. It’s a perfect wash of light-catching pigment and is also blurring. It looks great as a finishing touch to any look I’ve used it in, and I love that it looks great on the cheeks, brow bone, inner corner, or anywhere else I want it to go. I can apply it straight from the wand or use my finger – either way, it takes only a few seconds to apply and blend. This is the highlighter I reach for when I need something super quick which has been most days this month.

Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer in Arrowroot – I have been loving this concealer ever since I got it. It has a very hydrating feel and finish without being too glossy or dewy. It’s light to medium coverage which matches with the coverage level I prefer for my foundations.  Despite being so hydrating, it’s long-wearing and non-creasing throughout the day. It’s also incredibly blendable and easy to work with. I can use it under my eyes, for spot concealing, or all over as a light coverage foundation, and it works great. I’m so glad I have this one!

Fitglow Beauty Lip Color Serums – I know I talk about the Lip Color Serums all the time, but I really do use them. The formula is incredibly nourishing, thick, hydrating, and long-lasting, and I just reach for them so often especially because they work so well as toppers for more matte lipsticks or lip liners. All the shades are beautiful, and I can always find one to match my look. Lately, I’ve been really loving the shade Halo. It’s described as a soft brown nude, and it’s honestly my favorite neutral lip shade. I only have a tiny bit left of my mini, and I’m definitely going to grab the full size when my no-buy is over, and I’ve had a chance to finish some of my other shades.

Fitglow Beauty Lip Colour Serum in Halo

Holo Taco Sea Foam Home – This is a creme shade that is described as a “cool mint,” but I find that it reads more of a light teal. I’ve been using this in nail art over and over again. I didn’t think it would be this useful of a shade, but it’s been so great to have. Holo Taco’s creme formula is incredibly smooth, self-leveling, and pigmented. It works so well for water marbling and other nail art. These are all from the last month and show how useful this shade of green can be!

Amika Multi-Task Repair Treatment – My hair had been feeling incredibly dry and lifeless lately, but when I added this into my routine, it’s like my hair went right back to normal and then some. It makes my hair feel so soft, so much less frizzy, and way shinier. It also has more volume and movement without me doing anything to it, which I love. I’ve only been using it once a week, and that’s been plenty to see results.

What were your favorites this month? Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

March 2022 No-Buy Update

I’m on a no-buy for most of 2022 and using these monthly updates to keep me accountable. For these updates, I’ve decided to answer the same set of questions every month. Feel free to follow along in the comments with your own no-buy or low-buy updates. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

What’s one thing that helped this month go easier?
Shopping my stash for things I already own to “dupe the vibes” of something I want to buy has helped a ton. It’s made me realize that I usually have exactly what I need to make the look I want, and I don’t need to buy anything new. For example, I did this post about the upcoming Sephora sale, and I definitely don’t need to buy anything. I’m going to continue using this strategy because it helps me save money but also enjoy what I already have.

What was one thing I wanted to buy but didn’t and why?
I really wanted to get the new limited edition Heirloom Collection Cherub blush from Em Cosmetics. I love this formula (I have 3 of them) because it gives such a soft, glowy look without being overly pigmented. It’s a really easy way product to use to brighten up a look that’s coming off a little dull or flat.  Even though this wouldn’t technically break my rules because I have a limited edition products budget, I know I just don’t need any more blush, so I didn’t grab it. It’s also sold out now, so I can’t get it even if I changed my mind (and also why I didn’t link to it here).

Did I buy anything this month?
I have gotten really into stamping for nail art and bought myself a few stamping plates for my birthday this month. Technically, the plates aren’t against my rules but I think I need to rethink how I handle nail art tools purchases. I have no regrets because I’ve gotten so much joy out of having the new stamping plates. Stamping is a pretty meditative process for me, and it’s one of my favorites ways to relax. That said, I need to make sure I don’t put all of my buying energy into amassing a huge collection of them. Here’s a few of my favorite recent stamping manicures:

What’s a product I rediscovered by having to shop my stash?
One of my favorite rediscoveries is the Elf Active Lip & Cheek Palette. This has been discontinued so I can’t link to it, and I’m so glad I got it when I did. I forgot how much I loved this palette and how well it compares to even my most expensive cream blushes and highlighters. The colors are all the ones that I love using, and the formula is so easy to blend and has great longevity for cream products. The highlighter is perfectly glowy without being glittery. I can also do my full cheek with this palette using the darker brown as a warm bronzer which makes it great for when I need to do something super quick.

Swatches of the ELF Active Lip & Cheek Palette

If you’re doing a no-buy, how did your February go? If not, what amazing thing did you buy this month? I’d love to know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! 

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 6

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! I have a bunch of empties this month, but, as usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short. As always, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again. And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Cutex Nourishing Nail Polish Remover – I was trying to find something more cost effective than my favorite remover, the Zoya 3-in-1 Formula Remove + Nail Polish Remover. This just doesn’t remove as well or quickly and felt like it was damaging my cuticle way more than the Zoya one. I’ve already repurchased the Zoya one instead and am planning on buying the bigger refill bottle to save money and plastic packaging.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter – I have yet to find another body butter I like more than this one. It is incredibly moisturizing while still being fast absorbing and super lightweight. I love all the scents, but this unscented one is my favorite to mix with any body oils so there’s no competing fragrances. I’ve been using this a ton now that we’re really into winter, and my skin is drier than ever. It’s been so helpful to keep my skin from getting to that “so dry it’s unbearable and itchy” state. I am currently on a backup of this and then have a bunch of other body lotion to get through, but I’m planning on repurchasing this when those all run out.

Pixi Fortifeye Firming Eye Patches – I honestly didn’t feel like these did anything for my undereye area. They felt nice, but otherwise, I’m not sure they had any lasting effects. It’s much also more wasteful than something like the Dieux Forever Eye Mask. The Dieux masks are reusable and do the same type of thing, but I like them so much more because I can use them with eye products that I know are effective and they don’t slide down my face. I will definitely not be repurchasing the Pixi eye patches.

The Inkey List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment – I really struggle with breakage and split ends, and this product has completely changed that for me. I use this after every shower and now have way less breakage and almost no split ends despite not getting a hair cut for a long, long time. My hair also feels much softer and less frizzy even if I only used just this product. I’m used to needing to use a couple of different products to get my hair to look and feel great, so that has really impressed me! The only con for me is that I can’t stand this packaging – it’s so hard to spray the product, and I ended up having to pour this into a different container to keep using it. For $12.99, it’s absolutely worth dealing with though, and I’ll repurchase this once I get through some of my other hair treatment products.

Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD – I’ve written about this oil in almost every empties post that included a facial oil I finished because it is my true HG and the one I always miss when I’m not using it. Most facial oils I’ve tried have been equally moisturizing and glow-giving, and they all provide an occlusive layer as my last step in my skincare routine. The thing I love most about the Josie Maran oil is that it sinks in so quickly so I don’t end up with a oil slick on my face when I’m getting into bed. I can also see a big difference in my skin’s brightness and firmness when I use this vs when I don’t. So, I already repurchased this one!

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and I’ll be sharing empties posts every other Friday all year. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Shopping My Stash instead of Shopping the Sephora Sale

The Sephora sale is coming up on April 1st, and there’s about to be a ton of Sephora sale recommendation videos and blog posts. Since I’m on a no-buy this year, I went through my wishlist and then looked into my collection to find something I already own that can do the same thing. I hope this inspires you to shop your stash instead of shopping the sale too! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Wishlist: Item Beauty Air Hug Clean Lightweight Full-Coverage Concealer | What I already own: Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer in Arrowroot
The Item Beauty concealer wasn’t on my radar until Kackie Reviews Beauty started talking about it, and now it’s one of my most wanted products. It sounds amazing – hydrating, long-wearing, non-creasing, smoothing, and blendable. The good news for me is that I already have a concealer that has all those qualities already. I got the Ilia concealer a while ago and have really been loving it for all the reasons I’m sure I would love the Item Beauty one. Instead of buying another concealer, I’m going to get more use out of the one I already have. I’m also not sure there’s a shade match for me in the Item Beauty concealer – 100 looks too cool and light and 110 looks too dark, so I’m glad I already have a concealer I love.

Item Beauty Concealer Swatches from the Sephora Website

Wishlist: Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick in Slip | What I already own: Finding Ferdinand custom brown lipstick
I put the Merit lipsticks on my wishlist right when they launched, and I started seeing the rave reviews of the hydrating, not too pigmented, satin formula. In particular, Slip looks like a great shade for me and is described as a warm neutral shade. I realized that it looks like such a great shade for me because it’s very similar to a Finding Ferdinand lipstick I custom made for myself. I love this shade so much – it’s the perfect neutral warm brown that looks right at home on me. The Finding Ferdinand shade is a bit more dewy and and hydrating (at least as far as I can tell from the swatches), which I actually prefer. It’s also a bit warmer, but that works for me! I’d much rather get more use out of my custom shade than grab yet another lipstick.

My Finding Ferdinand Custom shade
Slip from the Sephora website

Wishlist: Tom Ford Cream and Powder Duo in Naked Bronze | What I already own: Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Spice and Bodyography Glitter Pigment in Off the Hook
I’ve had the Tom Ford Naked Bronze duo on my wish list for so long – I don’t even remember what first made me want to buy it. It looks like the perfect bronzey cream and topper that would make for a day or night one shadow look depending on which you use or a super dimensional look when used together. I happen to already own Tom Ford Spice, which I have to imagine is super similar in formula to the Naked Bronze cream. It’s also a very similar dark metallic brown shade, even though it’s definitely not an exact dupe. Bodyography Off the Hook seems like a great shade pair with it as a topper. It’s a beautiful taupey bronze glitter topper that matches the opacity of the Naked Bronze topper. I’m honestly super excited to play with this duo instead of buying something new even if it isn’t exactly the same color story.

Bodyography Glitter Pigment in Off the Hook and Tom Ford Cream Color For Eyes in Spice
Naked Bronze from the Sephora website

Wishlist: Melt Cream Blushlight in Golden Hour | What I already own: Em Cosmetics So Soft Blush in Lychee
Golden Hour is described as a bright coral cream with golden pearl, and while Lychee isn’t quite the same, I think I could get a very similar effect. I love the Melt Cream Blushlight formula (I already have two) and have had Golden Hour on my wishlist for awhile. But in looking in my collection, the So Soft Blush in Lychee looks like it’ll give me the same effect. Lychee is a warm melon that is quite golden and peachy, and while it doesn’t have any shimmer like the Blushlight, it is a very radiant formula. I also think I could mix Lychee with my Melt Cream Blushlight in Polished to get an even closer effect to what I’d get from Golden Hour. The So Soft formula is so incredibly soft and creamy (like the name implies), and that makes it so easy and quick to apply. It blends so seamlessly into the skin without disappearing, and it’s one of the longest wearing cream blushes I own. For those reasons, I’d absolutely rather get more use out of Lychee than buy another cream blush.

Em Cosmetics So Soft Blush in Lychee
Golden Hour from the Sephora website

What are you shopping for and do you already own something similar that you can use instead? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Pat McGrath Midnight Sun Mothership Eyeshadow Palette Review

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection, and part of that is doing more in-depth reviews of products I already have. This helps me spend more time playing with them and learning about why I like (or don’t like) certain products. For this series, I’m planning on doing a full review on each one of my palettes, starting with the ones I have from Pat McGrath. For transparency, I was able to get Midnight Sun for $65 on sale last year, so while I know it costs $125 regularly, some of my opinions are influenced by having purchased it half off. And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Even though this is one of the least talked about Pat McGrath palettes, it’s the one I was most excited about. It has 10 shades of varying finishes including mattes, shimmers, and glitters. The color story feels tailor-made for olive skin and brown eyes, and even most the more colorful shades are still ones that I can use.

Midnight Sun shades are swatched and listed below from left to right top row and then left to right bottom row. For transparency, I took this after I swatched these and swirling with my fingers smoothed the shades and took away any signs of usage.
Midnight Sun shades are listed below in order from left to right on my arm

Skinshow Moon Glow – This is one of my favorite inner corner and browbone highlight shades I own. It’s a pale beige with a pearl finish that just finishes off any look with a bit of brightness. The shimmer is very fine so it’s easy to use with any other eyeshadow finish without it feeling like it’s “too much.”

Bronze Eclipse – I love using this as a one and done shadow. It’s a rich bronze with warm undertones and a beautiful metallic finish. It goes on so smooth and easily and blends out like a dream. It’s just so quick to throw this one with a brush to get a beautiful eye look, but I can also mix in some of the lighter and darker shades in the palette for something more dimensional.

Vermillion Venom – This is a warm, deep burgundy red shade in the matte finish. This is the only shade in the palette I haven’t gotten any use of yet. It feels really smooth as I swatch it, so I’m sure it’s a lovely matte formula just like the rest of the mattes in this palette.

Blood Moon 005 – Surprisingly, this is my most used shade in the palette. It’s a beautiful warm-toned, bright sparkly copper metallic glitter. I prefer applying this with a wet brush for maximum impact but it works with a dry brush or finger too (though this might lead to a tiny bit of fallout). It really makes my brown eyes pop and works great as a one shadow look or combined with other shadows.

Jubilee – This is a warm pale gold with a sparkly metallic finish. It’s a bit too light and too yellow for me to use for a gold eyeshadow look by itself, but I find it helps add a brightness to a darker brown look or even something more neutral (like Mac Groundwork) as a topper shade.

Xtreme Dusk – This is a deep cool almost black matte that is a fantastic shade for deepening a look in the outer corner. It’s also great as eyeliner, especially because it’s not as stark as black but still darker than a dark brown. It is richly pigmented , silky, and super blendable without becoming sheer.

Taboo – This is one of the best crease shades I’ve found for my skin tone. It’s a more yellow toned brown that works really well with olive skin. Like the other mattes, it’s incredibly smooth, pigmented, and blendable. I was honestly surprised how much I appreciated this shade.

Wicked Envy – This is a medium-dark olive green that has a slight shimmer to it. Like the other metallic shades in this palette, this is incredibly smooth, pigmented, and easy to use. I love using this as an eyeliner shade because it’s quite a bold color and works really well with an eyeliner brush.

Blitz Violet Orchid – This shade is a cool-toned metallic purple that has flecks of blue in it. While this shade is beautiful, I’ve only used it once so I can’t say much about it. It goes on incredibly smooth and shiny and looks really cool, but I just don’t use purple very often.

Astral Solstice – This might be one of my favorite shadows of all time and is hands down my favorite eyeshadow topper in my collection. This shade is a warm beige that is incredibly sparkly and shiny and is sheer enough to go over lots of base shades. Whenever an eye look is feeling lackluster, I can throw this shade on top, and it immediately feels incredibly special. I’m glad I love this shade as much as I do because I actually own it in two palettes now (this one and Divine Rose) so keep in mind that this is one that been repeated across Mothership palettes.

What other palettes would you like to see an in-depth review of? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

MY 9 FAVORITE PRODUCTS UNDER $30

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection and starting a “favorite products under $X series” to help me in that process. I’ll be doing posts every month for different dollar amounts, and I’m so excited to dive into my collection in this way. This time, I’m writing about my favorite products under $30. I would love see your favorites and recommendations for under $20 beauty products in the comments! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Glossier Futuredew ($24) – This continues to be one of my favorite products, and it’s one of the only things I consistently use every day in my makeup routine. It provides the most amazing glossy, hydrating base that makes me look like I drank enough water (and if you know me, you know I have never had enough water). It works beautifully with any foundation, concealer, and powder combo I put on top of it and makes them look way better on my skin – no dry patches, no clinging, no flatness. I’ve also used it mixed in with other base products to sheer them out a little bit and make them more hydrating, and that works great too.

Melt Cosmetics Cream Blushlights ($22) – I have the shades Polished (warm pink) and Daydreamer (rich cinnamon), and I love having both a warm and cool option in this formula. It has a really beautiful luminosity to it from a slight amount of shimmer that makes this really special. These are my favorite formula for when I want a super glowy from within blush look. The formula blends so effortlessly and quickly, and I just love the super thin but hydrating texture. They also have great staying power for such an emollient cream blush.

Melt Cosmetics Cream Blushlights in Polished and Daydreamer

Viseart Petite Pro 4 ($30) – I got this during a sale at the end of 2019, and I still reach for it all the time even with all the other eyeshadows I own now. I’m so happy I decided to get it and that I have it in my collection. It’s the perfect mix of neutrals, and I’ve loved how small and compact this is for travel and how easily I can put all the shades into my Salt New York palette with my other single eyeshadows when I’m at home (which is why it’s missing from the picture above). Like all Viseart shadows, these blend seamlessly with little fallout and aren’t overly glittery, so I can put together a look for work super quickly too. I love using the mattes to blend out another look that might need it or use the shimmers as a sophisticated topper.

Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy ($22) – I own a ton of single glittery/topper type eyeshadows and love them all, but I think my absolute favorite is this one. I’ve used it on top of my eyeshadow almost every single time I’ve used my eyeshadow since I bought it, and I’m so happy with the effect it has. It’s a sheer shimmery eyeshadow that adds a wet look to any shadow without really adding any color or changing the color of the look underneath. It’s also incredibly reflective and glossy, doesn’t have any fallout, and is so easy to apply with a brush or fingers (and doesn’t require any glitter glue).

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Eyeshadow in Angelica and Bianca ($27) – I absolutely love this eyeshadow. This formula is so quick and easy to use. It’s almost like a mousse and feels halfway between a cream and a liquid. I’ve tried using a brush and fingers, with and without a primer, and applying directly from the doe-foot and from my hand – nothing I tried didn’t work out amazingly. The formula doesn’t crease and looks exactly the same all day. I tested it on a 17-hour makeup day, and it honestly could have just been applied. I even did an hour and a half long gym session, and it didn’t budge. I’ve used it as one sheer layer, a thicker application, and layered on top of itself, and it looked great all three ways. I love how I have enough time to play with it and blend it out however I want before it sets down. They’re also some of the more spangly eyeshadows I’ve ever used, which may be the thing I love about them the most. Angelica is a rosy bronze that is the absolute perfect shade for me – I feel like I’ve been hunting for this color for years, and here it is. Bianca is a warm, purply-pink that really makes my brown eyes pop. Regardless of price, these are some of my favorite eyeshadows in my collection.

Angelica (left) and Bianca (right)

Chantecaille Brightening Eye Nude Kajal ($29) – This is the only eye liner I’ve found that is the right color to brighten up my eyes when I use it in the waterline – it’s not too white or pink. It just looks like I actually get enough sleep and makes my eyes look less red, even if it’s from allergies. It also stays all day and doesn’t irritate my eyes. It’s on the pricier side for an eyeliner at $29, but mine has lasted me so long, and I think it’s completely worth it.

Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour and Venetian Rose  ($23) – I’m honestly surprised I haven’t panned one of these yet. I keep them at my desk to have an easy, full pigment lip color that’s incredibly easy to swipe on without a mirror. The formula is incredibly moisturizing and has enough thickness to not disappear right away even if I’m talking a lot. Either color completely brightens up my face, and I love having both a brighter pink and dusty rose shade at hand.

Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour and Venetian Rose

Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Foundation Brush ($28) – This is one of my favorite foundation brushes (and I have a lot of brushes). I find myself continually going back to it instead of any others I have. It has such a perfect shape for foundation and even concealer because the angles and edges make it super easy to get into all the contours of my face. It’s also really densely packed which ensures it maintains the level of coverage of any product I’m using it with. It also never creates any streaks and cleans really well even with consistently using it with liquid products.

Olaplex No. 3 Hair Repair Perfector ($28) – Every time I use this, I feel like my hair has been transformed. It feels way smoother, stronger, and shinier without being weighed down. I notice a huge difference when I don’t use this treatment, and it’s incredibly worth it to me. My hair is normally super prone to breakage, and this is one of the only products I’ve tried that actually helps with that. It also helps my hair feel way less dry than usual without making it greasy. This is one of my only true hair staples (outside of my Bumble & Bumble loves) that I continue to repurchase over and over again.

What are your favorite products under $30? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

My 5 Favorite Relaxing Products

Shout to my friend who suggested a post all about the things that help me stop and appreciate something small and comforting. I had a great time thinking through all the things I use that help me destress and take a moment to relax, and these are some of my favorites! As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Necessaire The Body Wash  in Eucalyptus and Sandalwood– I love the eucalyptus for when I need a mood boost (like a morning shower or a “I hype myself up for the rest of the day after the gym” shower). It’s such a fresh, awakening scent, and it’s just strong enough. The sandalwood is great for creating a sense of calm and a very spa like experience. The packaging definitely also enhances the experience because it’s easy to squeeze out just what I need. The formula is perfect for my dry skin even in the winter – it’s super nourishing and a joy to use.

NBM Cuticle Buddy in Cashmere Sweater and Lavender – My nails have never been healthier or stronger since I starting using these, and I don’t freak out about nail breaks anymore because they grow back so fast now. The Lavender Cuticle Buddy has been a very important part of my nighttime routine since it’s such a calming scent paired with the relaxing routine of oiling my nails. Since I ran out of that scent, I’ve been using the Cashmere Sweater scent (which is retiring soon but coming back again in the winter!). It’s also great for winding down at night, with notes of vanilla and rich amber and hints of smoky cedarwood. I can’t wait to see what spring launch comes out that will take up the spot as my nighttime calming cuticle buddy! As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10.

Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask – This mask warms up as you massage it into your skin, so not only does it work to deeply moisturize and calm my skin, it’s also a really great relaxing experience. It is the perfect mask to use after an exfoliating treatment or when your skin is feeling extra dry. It really is the best face mask of all time and is just so soothing and comforting. It’s my go to for when my skin is feeling stressed, irritated, overly dry, or anything else that requires help. It always comes to the rescue, and my skin feels so cared for after I use this.

KBShimmer Hand & Body Sugar Scrub in Warm Apple Cider  – Using this body scrub in such a joy! It smells exactly like fresh apple pie and cider in the fall welcoming into a cozy evening. It’s just super comforting to me, and it also works really well. It’s incredibly moisturizing while also being an effective scrub – I usually don’t even need body lotion when I use this since. This particular scent was limited edition for September, but they have tons of other scents on their site which I’m sure are equally amazing. It is heavily fragranced so keep that in mind if that’s something that will bother you, but I absolutely love how this smells and how well it sticks around for my whole shower.

Oakley Soap Co Shower Steamers – These are my favorite shower steamers, which I use when I’m taking a shower to create a super spa-like experience. Depending on which scent you use, you can have a very relaxing or energizing shower – Keep Calm is a calming lavender scent, Morning Sun is an energizing citrus blend, and Just Breathe is an even more awakening blend of eucalyptus and peppermint. I love all the scents and highly recommend the variety pack to try them all out!

Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 5

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! I have a bunch of empties this month, but, as usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short. As always, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara in Brynn (rich black)– This continues to be the best mascara I’ve ever used. I’ve moved on to one of the four minis I have, and I still love it. It makes my lashes look amazing, doesn’t smudge, and actually holds a curl. The best part is that it washes off so easily and quickly. I still have more minis to get through after this and will definitely repurchase until an amazing tubing formula comes out that’s better than this one.

Glossier Body Hero Dry-Touch Oil Mist – I’m not a huge fan of the packaging (who wants to spray oil everywhere and try to handle a glass bottle with oily hands?), but the oil in here is the most moisturizing body oil I’ve tried. It also smells great and absorbs incredibly fast so moisturizing my whole body with this is super fast. I find I actually use this more often because it’s so quick so I’ve had way less dry areas since I got it. I have a back-up I’m planning to start once I get through some other things and will probably repurchase it when I’m totally out of it and the rest of my body oils.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask – I have to imagine that I would love this if I had normal to oily skin, but as someone with very dry skin, it didn’t do enough for me. It smells amazing and sinks in so quickly. It definitely is moisturizing and makes my skin feel hydrated and glowy in the morning. That said, I find that I have to layer on at least 2 other moisturizers with this, and I would love something that’s a heavier hitter than this. So, I won’t be repurchasing this.

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm – I’ve written about this a few times already, and it’s because it’s my HG makeup remover. I had been trying the cleansing oil for awhile, but found that the balm was more effective at removing makeup if I was wearing more of it. The cleansing oil is great for the summer and really light makeup days, but the balm is what I need (both in terms of effectiveness and hydration) in the fall/winter and whenever my skin is irritated by spring allergies. I have 2 more back-ups of this in the full size so not going to rebuy any time soon.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve – I’m trying to use up my hand creams so have them all over our apartment, and this lands in the middle of the pack in terms of formula and is scent free. It’s definitely hydrating and effective but it doesn’t provide as long-lasting nourishment as some of the others I’m using right now, so I’m not planning on repurchasing this.

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and I’ll be sharing empties posts every other Friday all year. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

My Favorite Products from the 5 brands I own the most from

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection, and thought I’d look at my favorite products from my most purchased from brands. These are the brands I own the most of from a quantity perspective vs retail value. I also decided to exclude nail polish brands for this one because we’d end up with a list of my favorite polishes, but I’d be happy to do that soon – let me know in the comments if you’d like to see that! As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Jumbo Base brush from Sonia G – I own 25 Sonia G brushes and honestly love and use them all constantly. But my favorite is definitely this one! It’s one of my most used and most versatile. I love using it most for bronzer, blush, and highlighter even though it’s meant for foundation (though it works great for that too). It blends out bronzer so fast, and then I use the tip of the brush to seamlessly add highlighter. I can then use the center of the brush to pop on some blush, and I’m good to go. It also washes out beautifully and feels good as new even though I’ve had it for almost a year.

Farmacy Honey Halo Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer – Not only is this my favorite product from Farmacy, this is also just the best moisturizer I’ve tried for my super dry skin. It’s incredibly thick but still absorbs super quickly and plays well with my other night time skincare products. Usually by this time of year, my skin starts to get flaky and itchy because it’s so dry, but I’ve had no issues since I’ve been using this. I’m so glad they have the jumbo version now because I know this is going to be a staple for me for a long time, and it’s honestly been saving my dry skin from totally losing all its hydration overnight.

Custom Bite Beauty Lipstick – I still have a lot of Bite agave lip masks and lipsticks from before the brand reformulated and am really enjoying still having them around to use. My favorite thing from the brand though has to be one my custom lipsticks. I went to the Bite Lip Lab for my bachelorette party years and made my perfect red, my wedding lip color, and a dupe of my favorite but now discontinued lipstick. I then got a sheer version of that dupe, and it’s still one of my favorite lipsticks ever. Even though it looks pretty non-unique, it’s really one of my perfect lip colors, and it has so much nuance in person. I’m still so happy I have it.

Salt New York Crème Tint Pro Highlighter in Beige – I’ve written about my love for Salt New York’s products so many times, and it’s because it continues to be one of my favorite cream formulas that I go back to over and over again. All the Crème Tint Pros I have (and I have 21) blend out incredibly easily and seamlessly, are super lightweight, and look so at home on my skin. This is my favorite formula for when I need a “I’m running late and need something easy” look – they blend out so quickly with a brush, sponge, or fingers and never look patchy. My favorite though of all of them, if I really had to choose, would be beige. It’s just my perfect, my skin but better highlight, and it always looks absolutely amazing.

FitGlow Lip Serums in Night Lip Serum, Beach Glow, Gospel, and Root (some of my other favorites)

Fitglow Beauty Lip Night Serum – I love all of the Fitglow Lip Serums so much, but my absolutely favorite is the night serum. This formula is incredibly nourishing, thick, hydrating, and long-lasting, which makes it perfect for super dry winter nights. It’s honestly the best night time lip treatment I’ve ever tried, and I wake up consistently to hydrated and nourished lips, which I’ve never had happen in the winter before using this product. It’s quite expensive for a lip balm, but it’s really so much more than that and totally worth it for me to not have consistently dried out, chapped, painful lips.

Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Reviewing all the products I keep on my desk: the work from home version of “what’s in my bag”

I used to love watching “what’s in my bag” videos to see what people kept on hand and with them all the time. I think it shows what people actually use day in and day out. Because I hardly ever leave my apartment anymore (except to go to the gym of course), I wanted to do my own version on “what’s on my desk” instead. These are all the products I keep within arm’s reach on my desk separated into 3 categories: lips, hand and body, and nails. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Lips: I keep a bunch of lip products on my desk to apply throughout the day since I’m in tons of video calls, and I use my lip products super often between them wearing off and needing to moisturize my lips.

Glossier Ultralip in Villa – The Ultralips are a pretty pigmented tinted lip balm that has a touch more glossiness than your average balm. I love how moisturizing it is and how long lasting it is (for a lip balm texture). You can also build up the color without anything weird happening like pilling or patching. Villa is such an at home shade for me that makes it super easy to throw on, so I love using these during the day on work calls when I want something quick and easy while still taking advantage of how moisturizing these are.

Glow Recipe Glow Lip Pop Lip Balm in Watermelon Glow and Blueberry Bounce – When my lips are incredibly dry, I always reach for these because of how incredibly moisturizing they are. I got a set of two for $22 and then 20% off, which made these much more reasonable in terms of price. They are slightly exfoliating, which I find really helps with any flaking or super dry spots. They also smell amazing and the color is just enough to make it look like I did something without being too much.

Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour and Venetian Rose

Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour and Venetian Rose  – I’m honestly surprised I haven’t panned one of these yet. I keep them at my desk to have an easy, full pigment lip color that’s incredibly easy to swipe on without a mirror. The formula is incredibly moisturizing and has enough thickness to not disappear right away even if I’m talking a lot. Either color completely brightens up my face, and I love having both a brighter pink and dusty rose shade at hand.

Famarcy Honey Butter Lip Balm – When I want something truly foolproof and clear, I reach for this. It’s amazingly hydrating and moisturizing and doesn’t have a weird taste or scent. Because it’s in a stick (unlike something like the Glossier Balm Dotcom), it’s super quick to apply if I only have a second in between meetings.

Hand and body: I have incredibly dry skin and need to have lotions and oils nearby, but there’s only a few I keep on my desk to have on hand all day.

Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm – This is the most amazing smelling product I own, hands down. If I need a pick me up, this is always what I reach for first, because it smells like fresh squeeze citrus and is so bright and fresh. It always makes me so happy. I got this on sale for $82, and while it is expensive, you do get 17 oz which I have found is lasting forever even if I use it all over (seriously, I’ve owned this over a year and use it all the time since it sits on my desk, and there’s still so much left).

The Lavender Cuticle Buddy is also one of my faves

NBM Cuticle Buddy – My nails have never been healthier or stronger since I starting using these (someone actually thought my nails were fake at the gym because they looked so nice!). I don’t freak out about nail breaks anymore because they grow back so fast now that I’m using this. I originally got a kit that comes with a great travel nail file, the cuticle buddy, and a full 1oz of nail oil to refill your cuticle buddy with and fell in love with the product. I keep 4 of them on my desk: Hot Chocolate, Tea Tree & Eucalyptus, Lemon & Ylang Ylang, and Carmel Iced Coffee. These are my favorite day time and afternoon scents, so I love having them available all day. As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10.

Nails: I keep all of my most used nail products on my desk (where I paint my nails), so I don’t have to pull them out and put them back every time I do a manicure.

It’s great having a top coat that makes sure everything looks smooth when working with one coat polishes like this one from Starrily

KBShimmer Fillin’ Groovy Ridge Filling Nail Polish Base Coat – I really struggle with nail polish lasting on me, and every base coat I’ve tried so far has led to nail polish that peels off completely after about 3 days. And if not, there is always a ton of chipping no matter what polishes and top coat I use. All that changed when I started using this base coat from KBShimmer that I happened to have gotten as a gift with purchase with an order in 2021. My manicures can last almost 2 weeks now (although I usually end up changing them up for fun before then). Beyond the amazing longevity this provides, it creates smoother base because it’s ridge filling. It’s also not completely clear, which I found has helped me use less coats of polishes on top for full coverage. The best part is that it’s only $6.50, and I’m so glad to have settled on the perfect base coat for me.

A good quick dry top coat is so helpful when using decals and stickers like these

KBshimmer Clearly on Top Quick Dry – This top coat is incredible and only $6. It dries so fast, doesn’t cause shrinkage, and is super shiny. I can do a full manicure in less than 30 minutes and go about my day, including going the gym, with no issues. I also have way fewer chips than normal, and my nails last way longer than with other top coats. With how affordable this is, I’m so impressed and can’t imagine going back to more expensive top coats when this works even better than they do.

I was very glad to have good clean up brush for this design!

Holo Taco Nail Polish Clean Up Brush – I don’t talk about it often here, but I love painting my nails and do so at least a couple times a week. A clean up brush is a must have tool for me to ensure my manicure looks great. I just dip it in some acetone and use it to clean up any nail polish that got onto my cuticle or skin. The Holo Taco clean up brush has a much smaller head than my others and more tapered which makes it super easy to get into small areas without accidentally taking off polish from my nail. It’s such a worthwhile investment for $10.

A recent water marble manicure that required protective peel

Holo Taco Protective Peel – I use liquid latex when I do most nail art like gradients and stamping. Most liquid latex takes forever to dry and has a big brush that makes it hard to apply. The Holo Taco one is so easy to use and dries so much quicker than all the other ones I’ve tried. Even with the high quality, it’s still less than $15, and this tube has lasted me through many manicures already.

NBM nail files – These are my favorite glass nail files. They make super quick work of filing my nails before a manicure without being harsh. They also still feel good as new even though I’ve been using them for so long. They also work great to easily file down super specific spots since they are quite small, but they still can file down a whole nail fast. As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10.

What products do you keep on your desk or in your bag? I’d love to know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Victoria Beckham Beauty Review – Satin Kajal Liner in Bronze and Cocoa and Lip Definer in 02

I’ve been wanting to try Victoria Beckham Beauty products ever since the brand launched, and I finally picked up a few things during a sale in 2021. I wanted to thoroughly test these products to provide a more detailed review of them. I’ve gotten a ton of wear time out of them so if you have any questions I haven’t addressed, please ask in the comments! Victoria Beckham Beauty is a luxury beauty brand that focuses on being clean but also high performance and was founded by Victoria Beckam. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Satin Kajal Liner in Cocoa and Bronze – I hate most eyeliners because I have incredibly watery eyes. Especially when it comes to tightlining, most eyeliners break down, running into and smudging beneath my eyes for the remainder of my day. That hasn’t happened to me once with these – once they set, they stay put. They are incredibly creamy and blendable so it’s shocking how well they dry down. They don’t smudge all over, they don’t run into my eyes, and they don’t move. I love that even though they set so well, there’s still enough time to play with them to get the look I want. Because of all of this, they are totally worth the price to me. And they’re less expensive than I would have expected! If you purchase these without the sharpener, they are $26, which is much more reasonable than I expected for a luxury brand. For comparison, Urban Decay’s eye liners (which have 0.04oz compared to Victoria Beckham’s 0.042oz) are $22. And during a sale, you can get them for even less (even just with the welcome10 code, they’re around $23). Obviously, it’s still over $20 for an eyeliner which I know is a lot of money, so I would love to know your recommendations for drugstore eyeliners that actually don’t smudge or run.

Satin Kajal Liner in Bronze and Cocoa

Bronze is a golden brown with a slight shimmer that I love using as a subtle liner for every day. It pairs really well with the eyeshadow looks I tend to use, and the shimmer is just enough to add some brightness without going overboard. Cocoa is my perfect deep matte brown that I love using for tightlining or to create definition for a smokier look. Normally I would compare these to other similar products I own, but I actually got so frustrated with all my previous eyeliners over the years that I have decluttered all of them.

Lip Definer in 02 – The formula is really stiff but is still relatively easy to work with as long as your lips aren’t incredibly dry. Because it’s so stiff, it dries down immediately and lasts an incredibly long time, so if you’re looking for something that really will stay put, this formula is great. Despite it’s dry texture, It’s quite agreeable, especially if you use lip balm ahead of time. That said, I find I don’t reach for it as much right now because it’s so dry here and it feels like I’m tugging on my lips in an uncomfortable way. I’m excited to get more use out of it in the summer.

02 is described as a neutral beige brown for light to medium lip tones, but I think it has much more pink than brown, as you can hopefully see from the above swatches. Both Kackie from Thrive and Mink from Em Cosmetics are truer beigey brown tones. In my collection, 02 is closest to Kitten from Em Cosmetics which is described as a rose nude. Both the Victoria Bechkahm and the Make Up For Ever pencils require sharpening, whereas the Thrive Causmetics and Em Cosmetics liners are twist ups. It’s no surprise then that the formula is closest to the Make Up For Ever Artist Pencil – the least creamy and emollient of the bunch but also the longest lasting. When I have really dry lips, I reach for the Em Cosmetics and Thrive Causemetics formulas over the Victoria Beckham or Make Up For Ever (or when I just don’t feel like using a sharpener). These are similarly priced to the eyeliners at $24 with no sharpener (less if on sale), which is in the same range as the rest of these (Thrive Causmetics is $20, Make Up Forever is $20, Em Cosmetics is $19). The formula is less special than the eyeliners, so while those are worth the splurge, I honestly think you don’t need this one if you already have lip liners you love.

Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

February 2022 Fitness & Lifestyle Favorites (includes mini Juggernaut AI Review)

I’m so excited to share my fitness and lifestyle favorites to kick off March (how is it already March?!), and that I loved especially during February. I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very into fitness and health. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

A7 Bar Grip Hoodie – This hoodie is so incredibly comfortable that I never want to take it off. The site says it’s made with an ultra-soft cotton/polyester fleece blend, and it truly is ultra-soft. I have it in an XS but there’s still plenty of room given the relaxed fit. I love that it has the bar grip material on the back so I can use it for bench and low bar squats (it helps you stick to the bench or a bar stick to you) or just look super cool while I’m walking around. The material is lightweight enough that I can workout in it but warm enough that I’ve been able to wear it as my only top layer in 40 degree weather. Even though it’s $60, the quality, fit, and comfort are absolutely worth the price to me.

A7 Defy Joggers – I’ve been trying really hard to mix up the brands that I include in these favorites posts, but I really need to share about these joggers. In full transparency, A7 gifted these to me in the same order as the sweatshirt, but as always, these are my unbiased opinions. I also had already purchased a pair for my husband, and he loves them so much – now I understand why. These fit so well in a way that is comfy and oversized but doesn’t look baggy, which is shocking considering they’re unisex. The fabric is lightweight but still warm enough for these winter to spring transition months and is so soft and comfortable. The zippered pockets are deep enough for all my stuff, and there’s no weird back pockets to content with. I’ve been wearing these for days on end and might buy myself another pair for my upcoming birthday.

Juggernaut AI Powerlifting program – I started using Juggernaut in December, and I’ve been thrilled with my progress training for my next competition in April. My 1RMs are already over 100lbs over my competition total in October, and I still have over 2 months left to train, and I’m still only doing 4 days a week. I love that the app is super easy to use, the program is 100% personalized to me down to adjusting after every set based on how I said it felt. I’ll be doing a full review after my meet but I wanted to share because I’ve just been loving it. As always, you can use my affiliate code LIFTBAKELOVE with Juggernaut to get 10% off. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about this program without being an affiliate (I even wrote this before getting a code and am editing this in afterwards). 

Strawberry Built Bars – I’m still shocked at how good these are considering the macros (most bars have around 17g of protein for 130 or 140 calories!) and keep trying new flavors. My most recent favorite are the strawberry bars which I can tell have actual dried strawberries in them. They were the perfect “I want chocolate covered strawberries but also protein” bar all February. There’s almost always a 20% off code going around and free shipping which helps with how expensive they are. That said, at about $1.8 a bar, they’re still less expensive than other bars like Quest ($2.25 a bar plus shipping from their website) and taste way better to me, and I’ve kept loving them since the first bar I tried last year.

Ember Mug – I know this mug is incredibly expensive, but it’s so worth it for me. It takes me forever to drink coffee in the morning, so I’ve really appreciated having coffee that stays hot for hours. It also means that I can add cold milk and the coffee heats back up to a great temperature without me having to do anything. And if I have other things right after the coffee’s done, it’s so nice to be able to step away and come back to coffee that hasn’t gotten any colder. It’s held up super well over the years I’ve had it and charges fairly quickly so I can use it again for tea in the afternoon. I’ve been really appreciating this mug lately, and it’s definitely one of my favorite things.

What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for being here! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

February 2022 Favorites

I can’t believe February is already almost over, and it’s time for another round of favorites! As always, I’m only featuring products in my favorites that are true favorites that I’ve been using consistently for longer than a couple months (I have some products I received during the holidays that I’m loving but not ready to talk about just yet!). If there’s anything you were looking for a review on or a topic that you want me to cover, please let me know if the comments below! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Softlight Clean Dewy Hydrating Concealer in LX010 – This formula is incredibly high coverage – definitely the most pigmented of all my base products. A tiny amount goes so far, and because of that, it doesn’t look heavy or cakey. I have the shade LX010 (the lightest in range), and I’ve found it to be super helpful to mix with my foundations to lighten them because I haven’t seen sun in so long and everything is a bit too dark. It dries down on its own to a satin finish that doesn’t need to be powdered, but it plays well with all my powders. I think I’ll like it even better in the summer because it’s a touch drying on my super dry winter skin, but I’ve found that mixing it in with Glossier Future Dew or Auric Glow Lust has made it the perfect texture.

Em Cosmetics So Soft Blush in Venetian Rose – This formula is so incredibly soft and creamy (like the name implies), and that makes it so easy and quick to apply. It blends so seamlessly into the skin without disappearing, and it’s one of the longest wearing cream blushes I own. I’ve been using the one I have in Venetian Rose so often the last few months since I got this. This color is a beautiful purply/pink rosy tone that is so at home on my skin. It also matches the Lip Cushion in Venetian Rose, which is one of my favorite lip products, and the Heaven’s Glow Blush in Venetian Rose, which is one of my favorite powder blushes. Having all of them makes it so easy to put a look together that I know will be cohesive.

Wondergloss Collagen Lip Oil in Nude Nectar – This lip oil reminds me so much of the Dior Lip Oil but is so much more nourishing and a fraction of the price (the Beauty Pie is $8.21 and the Dior is $35). It’s hydrating, comfortable, and not sticky while still providing that shiny and glossy effect. I have the shade Nude Nectar which is sheer enough to use as a glossy topper for most of my lipsticks and lip liners but still pigmented enough to provide some “my lips but better” color if I’m not wearing anything. It also smells like vanilla in the best way, and I get so much joy from it every time I use it. It’s been a struggle to not pick up a ton more shades but between my no-buy and all my FitGlow Lip Serums (which is also very similar to this), I definitely don’t need more right now.

Beauty Pie lip oil in Nude Nectar

KBShimmer Fillin’ Groovy Ridge Filling Nail Polish Base Coat – I really struggle with nail polish lasting on me, and every base coat I’ve tried so far has led to nail polish that peels off completely after about 3 days. And if not, there is always a ton of chipping no matter what polishes and top coat I use. All that changed when I started using this base coat from KBShimmer that I happened to have gotten as a gift with purchase with an order in 2021. My manicures can last almost 2 weeks now (although I usually end up changing them up for fun before then). Beyond the amazing longevity this provides, it creates smoother base because it’s ridge filling. It’s also not completely clear, which I found has helped me use less coats of polishes on top for full coverage. The best part is that it’s only $6.50, and I’m so glad to have settled on the perfect base coat for me.

What were your favorites this month? Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 4

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! I have a bunch of empties this month, but, as usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short. As always, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again.

Glossier Boy Brow – This been my favorite choice for brow gel for years because it just does exactly what I want a brow gel to do. It deposits color, but not too much, defines the brow hairs, but not too much, and has staying power, but not too much. Now that I’m through all my backups, I’ve been testing out other brow gels like the Rose Inc Brow Renew in Clear and Kosas AirBrow. I actually like them both better than Boy Brow, and I’m excited to not have any brow gel backups so I can keep testing out new formulas and find the one that really works best for me.

Glossier Stretch Concealer in G11 – My favorite way to use this concealer is all over like a foundation, which is one of the reasons I actually finished the whole pot. I can just dot it all over my face, blend, and be done without needing both a concealer and foundation step. The Stretch Concealer looks incredibly skin like, lasts all day, and provides just the right amount of coverage for me (which is light). I find the light coverage makes it blend seamlessly and wear well even without powder since it’s harder to tell where it’s worn off than with a fuller coverage product. It also feels very light weight, and everything I put on top of it looks great. Because I love it so much, I already had another one, and I likely will repurchase it again unless something similar comes into my life that I like even more.

Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream – This eye cream was sent to me to try and review, and I thought at the time “there’s no way I’m going to fall in love with a $70 eye cream.” And now, I’ve repurchased it at least five or six times! This is the only eye cream I’ve found that actually works to reduce wrinkles around my eyes without irritation. I’ve been able to continually find it on sale, which is awesome, so I usually spend about $40 on average for it. I already have another one going and a backup ready to go, and I will keep repurchasing this until something even better comes along.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex Serum – I got sent this to try for review, and it’s a totally fine serum. It hydrates and made my skin feel great. It promises to do a bunch of other “anti-aging” things, and I didn’t notice a huge difference from when I started it to when I finished this mini size. This serum is so expensive that I’m not going to be buying a full size because I’d rather invest in other things that really work for my skin.

Allies of Skin 1A™ Retinal + Peptides Overnight Mask – This continues to be my HG retinol product, and I’m already using my backup and will repurchase this when I run out. It doesn’t irritate my skin at all, is very hydrating, and still actually does all the things retinol does (smooths the appearance of wrinkles, fades scars, and brightens skin). I love that if I’m really exhausted, I can use this as my all-in-one nighttime product without waking up to incredibly dry, blotchy skin, which is what used to happen with other retinol products. It’s pretty expensive, like the rest of this brand, but it works so well, and now I can’t imagine going back to something that isn’t as effective as this.

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and I’ll be sharing empties posts every other Friday all year. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

February 2022 No-Buy Update

I’m on a no-buy for most of 2022 and using these monthly updates to keep me accountable. For these updates, I’ve decided to answer the same set of questions every month. Feel free to follow along in the comments with your own no-buy or low-buy updates. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

What’s one thing that helped this month go easier?
Keeping a wishlist has continued to be incredibly helpful in this process. There have even been a few things I added to my wishlist that I removed only a few weeks later. It’s such a great reminder that there’s so many things I want to buy purely because they’re new and exciting rather than because I need them. And because I’m spending so much more time just getting to know my collection, it’s way easier for me to realize that I’d be essentially duping what I already have (like these products I wrote about earlier this month). I think even after my no-buy ends, I’m going to continue the policy of putting things on a wishlist and letting them sit there for a bit before I buy them. It’s a great way to make sure I’m only buying what I truly want.

What was one thing I wanted to buy but didn’t and why?
I really wanted to get new Glossier After Baume moisturizer that is specifically designed for very dry and/or sensitive skin like mine. I don’t have anything that thick and occlusive, so it feels like a gap in my collection. My skin has also just been feeling super dry lately, and it seemed like the perfect thing to help with that. But I own 26 serums and moisturizers, and I know between them all, I can make a mixture that will work for me. It’s also permanent so it’s still going on the wishlist for Black Friday, but I really need to get through some of my moisturizers (many of which are minis I got as gifts with purchase) before I add any more to my collection.

A recent manicure I did trying to really appreciate what I already have!

Did I buy anything this month?
I caved and bought three Starrily polishes (Aphrodite, Catnip, and The Cat’s Meow). One of my rules is that I can buy limited edition products as long as I don’t go over my budget for that category, and Starrily polishes tend to come back into stock very rarely. There have been polishes from them I had to wait at least 6 months to a year for, so in my head these were “limited edition,” That said, for full transparency, I did break one of my rules, and I wanted to share because it’s important that we don’t only talk about being perfect on the internet. I’m excited to 100% stick to it in March, especially knowing I really have everything I already need.

From left to right: Vesca Lyra, Bodyography Off the Hook, Mac Groundwork, Laura Mercier Rose Gold, Hourglass Reflect, Chantecaille Cheetah

What’s a product I rediscovered by having to shop my stash?
One of my favorite rediscoveries is the Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot Eyeshadow in Groundwork. I had honestly totally forgotten about it and how great it is as an eyeshadow base or matte one and down shadow. It’s a neutral taupe that goes with any blush and lip color I’ve chosen. The formula is incredibly easy to work with and doesn’t require a primer because it’s a hybrid primer shadow. It doesn’t crease and stays all day without fading. While I love using it alone, I’ve been using it again specifically as base for cream glitters and shimmer shadows. I have so many pretty, sparkly shadows that look off without a base like this, so it’s been perfect for that. You can see above how it compares to some of my other favorite one and done shadows (more details about them here).

If you’re doing a no-buy, how did your February go? If not, what amazing thing did you buy this month? I’d love to know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! 

The Products from my 2019 Favorites I Still Use and Love

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection, and thought I’d look back at my 2019 Makeup Favorites and see which products are still mainstays in my collection. I was surprised at how many weren’t favorites anymore, and it really made me realize both that I need to stop buying backups because new and better formulas are coming out all that time and that these products are truly favorites of mine. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Natasha Denona Biba Palette – The Biba Palette is still one of my favorite palettes of all time, regardless of how much new eyeshadow I’ve gotten over the years. It is the perfect mix of warm, neutral, and cool tones with the right number of shimmers. The formula is amazing and has been a great stand-by for me. The formula has held really well even though I’ve had it for quite a long time now, and it’s still my go-to if I just want something quick and easy. The amount of shadow you get in the palette is also so much – it looks I’ve barely touched some of the colors even though I’ve used them over and over again.

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder – I’ve talked about this in my favorites many times, and I still use it almost every day. It’s such a great for dry skin, and the full size really lasts forever. It looks like I’ve barely used it even though I bought it in 2019 and use it super consistently. If you don’t want to splurge for the full size and don’t use a lot of powder, you can totally get away with using the travel size for over a year in my experience. Even though I love the Kosas Cloud Set Powder, I still find myself reaching for this all the time, especially for under my eyes.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream – My friend Vera recommended this to me when I was looking to replace the reformulated Clinique Moisture Surge (which I had used for ten years!). I’m so happy she did because it’s been a staple of mine ever since I started using it. It’s incredibly moisturizing without being oily or heavy, and it smells amazing. I notice a huge difference in my skin when I stop using this to try other moisturizers, and I’ve found that this and the Farmacy Honey Halo Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer make my perfect dry skin nighttime dream team.

Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner – This toner was my favorite skincare discovery of 2019, and I’ve been using it every single morning ever since. It has continued to make my skin clearer, brighter, and less dry. This is probably the only product I’ve been using nonstop for almost 3 years, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. It’s also $14 for a huge bottle, and it’s my most cost-effective skincare product in my routine. My husband loves it too, and it’s one of the only skincare products he consistently uses. I see this being a staple for me for a very long time.

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer and the While You Sleep Damage Repair Masque – This primer and the mask are still magic for my hair. Together, they keep it looking shiny, soft, and frizz-free without weighing it down. Plus, they smell amazing and compliments all the perfumes I own vs overpowering them like other hair products can do. I only use the mask about once every 3 weeks, and that’s been more than enough to keep my hair feeling great. I’m honestly not surprised that haircare is one of the places where I have so many staples because it’s easy to just rebuy these when I run out.

What are some of your long time favorites? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

What I Actually Used for a 5 Minute Full Face

The other day, I really only had 5 minutes to get my makeup on before heading out the door for something. I’ve done a few “what I would use for a 5-minute face of makeup” posts before, so I thought it would be fun to report back on what I actually reached for when I had to do it for real. This also made me really appreciate how I already have everything I need to do my makeup. Are there any other topics you’d like to see me experiment with and report back on? Let me know in the comments! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Glossier Future Dew mixed with Rose Inc Softlight Clean Dewy Hydrating Concealer – My base routine is usually what takes the longest because I use primer, corrector, foundation, and concealer, so I tried to think really quickly about how I could merge those together. My solution was to mix together Future Dew with the Rose Inc concealer, which resulted in something hydrating, dewy, and medium coverage. I quickly applied with my hands, and then blended out with my sponge – it looked great in one step. The shade LX10 is a bit light for me to use all over, so if I did this again, I’d mix in some liquid bronzer, and I think it’d be perfect. I also think my under eyes could have used my usual corrector but I’m sure no one but me noticed.

Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick in Biscuit – This is one of my go-tos when I’m short on time and just need to add some color to my face without having to do a lot of work or blending. I own so many cream bronzer products, and always come back to this one as my “I just don’t want to think about it and need something that works” product.

Westman Atelier Blush Stick in Petal – Similar to the contour stick, this is just so easy to use and blend, and it’s my go to for when I’m running late or don’t have as much time to do a full “blush look.” Petal is the perfect “natural but makes me look way healthier and hydrated than I am” shade. This and the contour stick make a perfect pair for me, and the stick format and formula make them both so incredibly easy to slap on and blend.

Beauty Pie Triple Beauty Luminizing Wand – This blends so easily and quickly and creates a sophisticated glow without glitter. It’s a perfect wash of light-catching pigment and is also blurring. It looks great as a finishing touch to any look I’ve used it in, and I love that it looks great on the cheeks, brow bone, inner corner, or anywhere else I want it to go. I applied it straight from the wand and blended – a process that took about 10 seconds. Because of the packaging, it’s the highlighter I reach for when I need something super quick.

 Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil – Because of a sparse area I have in one of my brows, I never skip this step. I love this pencil because it goes on so quickly and naturally and the size makes it perfect to fill areas in fast but not overdo it. And unlike other pencils, it stays all day, so I don’t end up with a hole in my brow by the end of the day.

Rose Inc Brow Renew in Clear – Because this is clear, it was super easy to throw it on my brows in less than 10 seconds without having to worry about making my brows look too big or dark. And because of my big brows, the applicator is also perfect for me vs the usual tiny brow applicators, especially when I want to apply brow gel super quickly.

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Eyeshadow in Angelica – I’m not surprised my first thought for eyeshadow was this one. Angelica is a rosy bronze that is the absolute perfect shade for me, and I can pair it with almost any blush and lip color. The formula also doesn’t need a primer and still lasts all day. It’s so quick and easy to apply and looks amazingly impactful. I applied directly from the doe foot and blended out with a brush – it was so fast and looked like I spent a long time doing an “eye look.”

Glow-All Super Powder Face Palette – Because I didn’t set anything with powder and did everything so quickly, I wanted to add a finishing touch of powder products to blend the look together. I immediately reached for this palette because it has blush, bronzer, and highlighter all in one and because the formula is amazing. The formula is so easy to work with and you don’t have to think about what you’re doing because it’s so hard to overdo it – super important when I’m trying to work really quickly. It’s exactly what I wanted for a “set without getting rid of all the dewiness” product, and these shades match the cream products I used so they melded together super well.

Fitglow Lip Serum in Gospel – Gospel is described as a warm berry, and it’s super in my comfort zone. It’s so easy to slap on with any of my usual makeup looks and is the perfect amount of pigmented for me. Aside from how well the color fit with this look, FitGlow is always a go-to for me when I’m not sure what I want to wear because of the nourishing, thick, hydrating, long-lasting formula. While I reached for Gospel, any of the shades I have (like Root or Beach Glow) would have worked great too.

FitGlow Lip Serums in Night Lip Serum, Beach Glow, Gospel, and Root

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara – Something always looks a bit off until I finish a look with mascara, so I finished off the look with my trusted Thrive mascara. This is the only mascara I use so it was an easy choice. It makes my lashes look amazing, doesn’t smudge, and actually holds a curl. It also builds super quickly, so I only have to do one coat. As always when I mention this mascara, if there’s a tubing mascara you love and think I should try, definitely let me know in the comments!

What do you use for a fast face of makeup? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

MY 8 FAVORITE PRODUCTS UNDER $20

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection and starting a “favorite products under $X series” to help me in that process. I’ll be doing posts every month for different dollar amounts, and I’m so excited to dive into my collection in this way. This time, I’m writing about my favorite products under $20. I would love see your favorites and recommendations for under $20 beauty products in the comments! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Glossier Stretch Concealer – My favorite way to use this concealer is all over like a foundation, and I’ve been using it a ton this way lately. I’ve been super tired lately with how dark it’s getting, and this has been so great to use to get my makeup done super quickly. I can just dot it all over my face, blend, and be done without needing both a concealer and foundation step. The Stretch Concealer looks incredibly skin like, lasts all day, and provides just the right amount of coverage for me (which is light). I find the light coverage makes it blend seamlessly and wear well even without powder since it’s harder to tell where it’s worn off than with a fuller coverage product. It also feels very light weight, and everything I put on top of it looks great. 

Salt New York Crème Tint Pro Bronzer, Blush, and Highlighter – I’ve written about my love for Salt New York’s products so many times, and it’s because it continues to be one of my favorite cream formulas that I go back to over and over again. All the Crème Tint Pros I have (and I have 21) blend out incredibly easily and seamlessly, are super lightweight, and look so at home on my skin. This is my favorite formula for when I need a “I’m running late and need something easy” look – they blend out so quickly with a brush, sponge, or fingers and never look patchy. My most used shades over the years has been the bronzer in Light/Medium, highlighter in Beige, and blush in Rose, and I’ve really been loving Cocoa and Plum recently. They are all $16, but they have sales all the time, so I technically based on what I paid for most of them, these could have been in the under $10 post.

Salt New York bronzer in Light/Medium, highlighter in Beige, blushes in Rose, Cocoa, and Plum

Blush Divine Radiant Cheek & Lip in Ophelia, Foxglove, and Azalea– This formula is incredibly pigmented, opaque, and thick (like a balm), which I actually appreciate. It doesn’t need to be built up because it’s so pigmented but can still be layered with other cream blushes because it blends so easily. Because of its thickness, it has great staying power and even manages to keep its dewy (but not shiny) finish for hours. I love that you can just buy the refills for about half the price, and they pop into a magnetic palette super easily. I have the shades Ophelia (“true pink”), Foxglove (“warm terracotta”), and Azalea (“berry”). Ophelia is my most used because I’ve really been into a pink looks lately, but I find all the shades work well for me. All that said, if you’re not a fan of that super thick, on the edge of sticky cream blush, you might not like this formula, but I love it so much.

Flower Beauty Desert Lights and Jungle Lights Eyeshadow Palettes – For being under $20, I’m still shocked at how comparable these shadows are to my high-end palettes from brands like Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona. The formula is incredible – it’s super pigmented, smooth, and sparkly. All the shades blend easily and last super well all day with a primer. They have enough dimension to use them all as one shadow looks and blend together well enough to make a more complex look with multiple shadows. They’re just incredibly creamy and easy to use in the same way my much more expensive shadows are. If you wanted the look of the Roen shadows without the cream texture and creasing, this might be a really good option. If I had to choose one, I’d go with the Desert Lights Palette because I use it much more often and am really into pinky rose golds right now, but the quality is amazing in both palettes.

Em Cosmetics Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liners in Kitten and Mink – Out of all my lip liners, I definitely reached for these the most often. The formula blends so easily so you can get a soft, blurred, and diffused look. I find that creates a much more natural look that still defines my lips and helps prevent any feathering of the lipstick I use on top. Even with how soft and lightweight they are, they are very long lasting. I have the shades Kitten, a neutral rose, and Mink, a cool brown, which both work really well with my lip color and the with my favorite lipsticks and glosses.

Em Cosmetics Lip Liners in Kitten and Mink

Glossier Ultralip in Villa, Trench, Cachet, and Portrait – The Ultralips are a pretty pigmented tinted lip balm that has a touch more glossiness than your average balm. I love how moisturizing it is and how long lasting it is (for a lip balm texture). You can also build up the color without anything weird happening like pilling or patching. I love using these during the day on work calls when I want more color like a traditional lipstick, don’t mind having to reapply, and can take advantage of how moisturizing these are.

Glossier Ultralip in Portrait, Villa, Trench, and Cachet

Phytosurgence Phytobrushes – I’m still in shock about how good the Phytobrushes are, especially for both being under $15. I purchased both the Skybuff and Skyfluff brushes, and I’m in love with both of them. If you’re a regular reader here, you know how much I invest in fude brushes (from Sonia G., Chikuhodo, Wayne Goss, etc.), and these fit right in my collection because of how high quality they are. They suggest using the Skybuff for their Spectral Shine and Skyfluff for their Skin Spark blushes, but I actually love using them the opposite way. They blend out the products so seamlessly and quickly so that the products really look like they’re naturally part of your face – exactly the kind of look I love.

The Inkey List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment – I really struggle with breakage and split ends, and this product has completely changed that for me. I use this after every shower and now have way less breakage and almost no split ends despite not getting a hair cut for a long, long time. My hair also feels much softer and less frizzy even if I only used just this product. I’m used to needing to use a couple of different products to get my hair to look and feel great, so that has really impressed me! The only con for me is that I can’t stand this packaging – it’s so hard to spray the product, and I ended up having to pour this into a different container to keep using it. For $12.99, it’s absolutely worth dealing with though.

What are your favorite products under $20? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

This or That? Answering your “which should I choose” makeup dilemmas!

I asked my followers on Instagram for their makeup dilemmas, inspired by this video from Kackie Reviews Beauty, and these were the most common ones! Before I get into it, I love all of these products, and this is just for fun – if you want a more specific recommendation for your particular needs, don’t’ hesitate to ask in the comments or on Instagram DMs. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Auric Glow Lust vs Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter – I have a longer review comparing these, but the TLDR of that post is Auric Glow Lust all the way. The packaging is way better, and I like the formula more. I love the packaging so much more and it’s way more versatile since I can use it by itself in lieu of foundation, as a primer, mixed in with my foundation, as a highlighter, and any combination of those methods. I also think the Charlotte Tilbury was breaking me out so I ended up decluttering it because of that and because I found I never reached for it over the Auric Glow Lust or the Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter.

Glow Lust in Selenite and Hollywood Flawless Filter in 2

Fit Glow Lip Serum or Finding Ferdinand Custom Lipstick (if you’re buying yourself a gift) – For this one, I would go with the Finding Ferdinand custom lipstick. There’s something so special about getting exactly the color you want (the team at Finding Ferdinand will help you choose if you’re stuck) and being able to choose formula and the scent. I love my custom Finding Ferdinand shades and would happily give or get them as a gift. I also love the Fit Glow Lip Serums (they were in my 2021 Makeup Favorites and I talked about them a bunch last year), but they aren’t the same gift experience as Finding Ferdinand.

Finding Ferdinand Custom Shade and FitGlow Lip Serum in Root

Salt New York vs Phytosurgence highlighters – Even though both of these products are amazing, I would choose the Salt New York highlighter. The Phytosurgence Spectral Shine is gorgeous, but the formula does take a bit of effort to work with. You really have to run your finger or brush over the product many times to get it to pick up. The Salt New York highlighter is so easy to use with a brush or finger and goes on so quickly and easily. It adds a beautiful sheen that isn’t glittery every time and blends easily with other products. I find myself reaching for the Salt New York over my Spectral Shine almost every time because I usually have very little time to get my makeup on in the morning. That said, if you have oily or normal skin (vs my desert skin) or need your makeup to be locked in all day, you might prefer the matte dry down of the Spectral Shine over the dewiness of the Salt New York.

Salt New York in Beige and Phytosurgence in Divine Daylight

Salt New York vs Phytosurgence blushes – I feel similarly about these as I do the highlighters. Both are amazing in their own way and it’s honestly so hard to choose, but I generally reach for the Salt New York Creme Tints. They are so much sheerer and easier to mix and build that I can mindlessly use them and create whatever shade I’m feeling that day. The Phytosurgence Skin Spark Blush Balms are richly pigmented, which is amazing when I want something impactful that still blends beautifully into the skin. But usually, I’m doing my makeup half asleep before I even have coffee and can easily end up overdoing it, which never happens with the Salt New York Creme Tints. I also usually end up sticking to just one shade vs the mixing I love to do. All that said, you can’t go wrong with either!

Salt New York in Raspberry and Phytosurgence in Simmer

Phytosurgence vs Vesca Eyeshadows – I love both of these so much, but from a versatility standpoint, Phytosurgence has a much better range of formulas and shades. Vesca’s liquid shadow in Lyra is one of my all time HGs but there’s only four shades and that one formula from the brand. Plus, the Phytosurgence shadows also provide a different effect depending on how you apply them (finger vs brush vs which kind of brush) whereas the Vesca looks the same regardless. From Phytosurgence, I love both the cream and glitter formulas, and they have four shades in each formula. They’re also (I think) coming out with more of the cream shadows soon! Like all of these, you can’t go wrong with either, but my guess is you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for from Phytosurgence unless you’re specifically looking for the kind of liquid shadow formula the Vesca is.

Vesca in Lyra and Phytosurgence in Potent Petal and Orchid Overload

What other products would be helpful to see compared? Let me know in the comments below!  And let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 3

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! I have a bunch of empties this month, but, as usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short. As always, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again.

Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner – This toner was my favorite skincare discovery of 2019, and I’ve been using it every single morning ever since. It has continued to make my skin clearer, brighter, and less dry. This is probably the only product I’ve been using nonstop for almost 3 years, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. It’s also $14 for a huge bottle, and it’s my most cost effective skincare product in my routine. My husband loves it too, and it’s one of the only skincare products he consistently uses. I have a ton of backup bottles so I won’t be repurchasing this any time soon, but I absolutely will when I run out.

Dieux Deliverance – This is truly a game changing product. My skin had been looking a bit dull and overly dry in the summer, and even though I love the other products I use, I needed something more. This serum is supposed to address skin issues like irritation, uneven tone, texture, lack of firmness, among others, and it definitely does everything it says it does. My skin definitely looks more even, less dull, and less textured since I’ve been using this, and I could tell a big difference when I didn’t have it with me at home for Thanksgiving. Given how much I love their Forever Eye Mask, I’m not surprised this is just as amazing. I already bought 2 backup bottles in 2021, and I’ll definitely keep repurchasing this as I run out.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – It has been so incredibly dry here recently, and I’ve been experiencing way more dry, flaky patches on my skin. I tried a ton of different products, and this was the only one that truly made a difference in hydrating my skin closer to normal. It says on its product page that it’s made for visibly irritated areas associated with dry skin, and I can confirm it really does help with that. It’s even gentle enough that I can use it on my currently dry, flaky eyelids with no issues. I also love that it’s under $15 too, and this tube lasted me forever! While I do want to repurchase this eventually, I have a few other similar dry skin saving balms I’d like to try out first and then decide which is best.

Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator – This is a “totally fine but nothing special” product. I have tried so many other leave in conditioner/pre-styling treatments (let me know if you’d like a rundown of them), and compared to those, this feels like it does nothing. Somehow I ended up with 3 or 4 of these minis, so if you see it in my empties again, it’s because I don’t want them to go to waste so will still use them. I don’t think it’s anything you need to run out and get, and I will not be buying more of it.

Typology Hand & Nail Serum – I have suffered from incredibly weak nails that break seemingly for no reason and have never found anything that really improves them. I also have such dry hands that they itch and crack regardless of what time of year it is. While hand creams help, they don’t do enough for my hands to feel normal. I’ve been using this serum about once a day since I’ve gotten it, and my nails have literally never looked this good or grown so long without breaking. I had to actually file my nails down because they don’t even break at the gym while I’m lifting! My hands also look and feel normal even if I forget to use hand cream, which I’ve never experienced before. I’m honestly so thankful I found this product and will be buying more once I get through some of my other favorite nail treatment – NBM Cuticle Buddies. Between these two oil products, my nails have never been better.

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and not all of them are as positive as this group. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading!

Beauty Pie Review: Seamless Foundation Buffing Brush, Pro Angled Contour Cheek Brush, and Pro Angled Concealer Brush

If you haven’t heard of Beauty Pie, it’s described as providing consumers with exceptional formulas sourced from the best factories worldwide – all while keeping costs low by cutting out the middleman, excessive packaging and expensive marketing budgets. It’s basically like the Costco of beauty – you pay a membership fee to access the low prices, but in theory, you save way more than your membership fee. This is part three (see my other reviews here and here), and I know I’ve already saved more than the yearly membership cost (I ended up getting a Black Friday deal where the membership was $9 when all was said and done). As with all of my reviews, this is not sponsored, and there are no affiliate links in this post. And as always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Seamless Foundation Buffing Brush – This brush is really densely packed which ensures it maintains the level of coverage of any product I’m using it with. It also never creates any streaks and cleans really well even with consistently using it with liquid products. While this brush is amazing for foundation, I actually love it even more for cream blush. It blends every formula so seamlessly and quickly and is my go-to for when I’ve overdone my blush and need to blend everything together quickly because of its size. This brush is under $10 and feels similar to my much more expensive synthetic brushes. I now totally understand why Kackie Reviews Beauty said in her review that she wanted tons of these in her collection.

Pro Angled Contour Cheek Brush – I’ve been getting way less use out of this one than I expected to. I use the foundation brush more often for cream blush and bronzer and my Sonia G brushes for powder products. I love the shape and the quality of it – it’s probably my favorite angled brush in my collection. It has the perfect density of bristles to apply and blend just the right amount of pigment. I just really never reach for this particular brush shape. If you’re looking for an angled cheek brush, this one is amazing quality for less than $10.

Pro Angled Concealer Brush – This reminds me so much of the Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Concealer Brush. It has an extremely similar shape that seems to be designed to mimic the shape of your fingertip. I find that it makes it like I’m blending out with my finger but without losing any coverage because of the densely packed bristles. I switch between this brush and the Rare Beauty one purely depending on which one is clean and/or is still drying from being cleaned. I use them every day with my undereye corrector, and it helps so much when I’m attempting to correct my dark circles. It also works great for spot concealing given how precise you can get with it while still being big enough to blend out edges. I don’t think you really need both this one and the Rare Beauty one, but it’s amazing that this is almost half the price.

What new products and brands have you discovered lately? Are there Beauty Pie questions you have or products you’d like me to review? Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading!

Rose Inc Review: Blush Divine Radiant Cheek & Lip, Lip Sculpt, Brow Renew, and Softlight Clean Dewy Hydrating Concealer

During the 2021 holidays, I was gifted a bunch of Rose Inc products, including a set that came with a blush, eyebrow gel, and lipstick. I wanted to wait to review until I’d had plenty of time to try them, which is why this is coming now. As usual, my goal is to provide you with information to make the best purchasing decisions for yourself and the reasons why I might not like something might be why you’d love it or why I love something might be why you’d hate it. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Blush Divine Radiant Cheek & Lip in Ophelia, Foxglove, and Azalea– This formula is incredibly pigmented, opaque, and thick (like a balm), which I actually appreciate. It doesn’t need to be built up because it’s so pigmented but can still be layered with other cream blushes because it blends so easily. Because of its thickness, it has great staying power and even manages to keep its dewy (but not shiny) finish for hours. I love that you can just buy the refills for about half the price, and they pop into a magnetic palette super easily. I have the shades Ophelia (“true pink”), Foxglove (“warm terracotta”), and Azalea (“berry”). Ophelia is my most used because I’ve really been into a pink looks lately, but I find all the shades work well for me. All that said, if you’re not a fan of that super thick, on the edge of sticky cream blush, you might not like this formula. It’s very different from something like the Salt New York Creme Tint Pros which are lightweight and sheer and closer to the formula of the Kajer Weis blushes.

Lip Sculpt in Quartz – I’ve not a big matte lipstick fan unless it’s the Lisa Eldridge Velvet Matte formula. My lips are so dry that most matte formulas make my lips look and feel terrible. Somehow, this manages to be super smoothing while still being matte, and I really love the way the formula looks. It’s not as dry as other matte lip products I’ve tried, which pleasantly surprised me. While it’s not nourishing, it’s not uncomfortable and is so light weight and thin that I hardly notice I’m wearing it despite how long-lasting it is. I do wish I had another color (the one I have came in a set that someone bought for me) because I generally prefer more brown in my lip shades. With a brown lip liner underneath, it balances out to a really pretty shade that I use way more often than I expected.

Brow Renew in Clear – Similar to the Lip Sculpt, I wasn’t expecting to love this as much I do. This also came in the set, and I assumed I’d never touch it. I’ve been reaching for it over my other brow products and loving the result. I have giant, thick brows that look overdone super quickly, and I honestly didn’t realize how much a clear brow gel could make them look put together and “done” without overwhelming my face. It doesn’t feel crunchy or sticky but has great staying power like the rest of these products. Because of my big brows, the applicator is also perfect for me vs the usual tiny brow applicators. It makes applying this so fast and easy to get my brows into shape. I’m not sure I would spend $26 for the full size when I run out, but I’m definitely considering it.

Softlight Clean Dewy Hydrating Concealer in LX010 – This formula is incredibly high coverage – definitely the most pigmented of all my base products. A tiny amount goes so far, and because of that, it doesn’t look heavy or cakey. I have the shade LX010 (the lightest in range), and I’ve found it to be super helpful to mix with my foundations to lighten them because I haven’t seen sun in so long and everything is a bit too dark. It dries down on its own to a satin finish that doesn’t need to be powdered, but it plays well with all my powders. I think I’ll like it even better in the summer because it’s a touch drying on my super dry winter skin.

What other products would be helpful to see reviews of? Let me know in the comments below!  And let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

January 2022 Fitness & Lifestyle Favorites

Here are my fitness faves and lifestyle favorites that I wanted to share to kick off February to get everyone excited about working out, being hydrated, and flossing (really!). I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very into fitness and health. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

A7 UBag – I’m using a powerlifting specific program where I squat and bench every workout (and deadlift every other workout), so I need a lot of equipment with me in the gym every time I go. I bring my squat shoes, deadlift slippers, belt, liquid chalk, a variety of bands, knee sleeves, wrist wraps, and snacks. This all fits so well in the UBag, and I love that there’s a separate pocket for shoes, for small items like chalk and wrist wraps, and for snacks. There’s also room for a water bottle on the side and a laptop sleeve (which I use as another pocket). There’s also a belt loop in the front which is really convenient for easy access to my super bulky belt. One of my favorite things is that it’s super comfy to carry even with how big and heavy it can get with everything I’m carrying. It’s expensive, but tailor made for someone who powerlifts, and I’m so glad I have it.

Glossier Water Bottle – I know this is just a water bottle, and that I’ve written about it before, but this is honestly one of my favorite “fitness” items I got in 2021. If you’re a long-time reader, you know I’m awful at staying hydrated and had once posted about how I regularly have 1 cup of coffee and 1 cup of water a day. As a competitive athlete, this is not enough, and it’s been a huge issue for me. The Glossier bottle is the first bottle I’ve had that I’ve used every single day since I got it, and have still used every day since I got, and it’s meant that I’ve had a full 32oz of water without fail every single day. Because I love it, I’ve usually been able to get through 64oz of water a day, which I have never been able to do before. I’ve also still been using this for my daily mix of Gatorade Zero Powder and Buffchick Creatine, and because it’s pretty wide, it’s really easy to clean even mixing so many powders in it every day. I have the special Seattle version you can only get here that holds 32oz (the one on the website is 16oz), so if you’re near a Glossier store, I highly recommend checking it out.

BuffBunny Rosa Bra – This is hands down my favorite sports bra, not just from BuffBunny, but from any brand. They are all made out of their Nubre fabric – the softest, most buttery fabric of all time (really) except for the holo Rosa Bra V2, which is made out of performance material that I also love. They are so comfortable to wear for hours on end, which is important when we have a workout that lasts almost 2 hours and go grocery shopping right after (a very normal occurrence). Even though they are super comfortable, they still provide amazing support and coverage. Because the coverage is almost to the level of a crop top, I have no problems wearing the Rosa Bra without a shirt on top. This style comes back during most of BuffBunny’s launches in different colors, and it’s definitely the sports bra I’d most highly recommend from them.

BuffBunny Rosa Bra V2 in Holographic Black and Rosa Pocket Leggings in Secret Garden Dark Teal
BuffBunny Rosa Sports Bra and Jewel Joggers in Secret Garden Dark Teal

Built Bar Strawberry Puffs – Important context for this one is that I know it’s not everyone’s thing, but I’m a big fan of strawberry marshmallows. We make strawberry marshmallows for the holiday season every year, and they’re one of the only holiday foods I can’t stay away from. So, when I discovered strawberry protein marshmallows, I was beyond excited. And honestly, if I didn’t know better, I would swear these are regular chocolate-covered marshmallows. They’re 17 grams of protein for 130 calories (as a comparison, that’s about 5 marshmallows worth of calories but 17g more protein). I have a bunch of different Built Bar products and flavors now, so let me know if in the comments if you’d like a full run down, especially because it looks like Puffs are currently out of stock.

Cocofloss – Anyone who’s known me for a long time knows how obsessed I am with Cocofloss, but I wanted to share how much I’ve been loving the Cara Cara Orange and Strawberry flavors. The only reason I floss every day is because of Cocofloss, and these flavors make it even more fun. It reminds me that spring is coming eventually and just makes me happy. If you’re not familiar with Cocofloss, it’s a floss made from recycled water bottles and infused with coconut oil which makes it both sustainable and very effective. I’ve honestly tried to go back to regular floss after using this, and I can tell the difference in how much better it works. I can’t wait to see what flavors they come out with for spring and summer this year!

What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for being here! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

5 Functional Dupes I Bought of Makeup I Already Had

My no buy is giving me lots of space to explore my collection, and one thing I’m starting to notice is how many things I own that basically look exactly the same once they’re on my face. I’m calling these pairs of products functional dupes because they may not be the exact color or formula, but once I have them on, no one could tell the difference. I definitely didn’t need to buy both! When my no buy is over, I’m going to make sure I think about whether I have something that can be used for that look in my routine even if it’s not exactly the same – as Hannah Louise Poston would say, if I could “dupe the vibes”. This is not meant to be a “this or that” kind of post so I won’t be saying which one I’d get or keep – they really are that similar, but if you want me to choose, feel free to ask in the comment. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate in 0.5 and Salt New York Sculpt and Bronze in Light/Medium – Both of these are cream bronzers that give a super natural look in about 2 seconds. They are both super blendable and easy to build up to the opacity I want even though they go on a bit sheer. As you can probably see from the swatches below, the Tom Ford is slightly cooler and slightly dewier, but once they’re blended out on my skin, I can’t tell the difference between them. They both apply in exactly the same way and work great with a brush, sponge, or fingers. They’re also both great for travel (Salt New York because it pops right into a palette that I can customize and Tom Ford because it’s a compact duo).

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate in 0.5 and Salt New York Sculpt and Bronze in Light/Medium

Rose Inc Blush Divine Radiant Cheek & Lip Color In Azalea and Phytosurgence Skin Spark Blush Balm in Simmer – If you’re looking for an opaque, warm-toned pink blush, both of these are perfect for that. Both formulas have are thick and creamy and a little goes a long way. They both blend super seamlessly and easily into the skin, leave an impact with very little product, and stay all day. Because they’re so pigmented, they don’t need to be built up but absolutely can be layered. The finish is just glowy enough without being sticky even though they both have a balmy, moisturizing texture. Azalea has a bit more red in it, but on the skin, I can’t tell the difference between them especially once they’re blended with bronzer, highlighter, and other blushes.

Rose Inc Blush Divine Radiant Cheek & Lip Color In Azalea, Phytosurgence Skin Spark Blush Balm in Simmer

Flower Lights Amazon from the Jungle Lights Palette and Pat McGrath Sextrovert from the Sublime Palette (discontinued) – While I chose these two to compare, this is a great example of how many shimmery and glittery gold, bronze, and brown shadows end up looking the same even if they have lots of little differences in a swatch. I’m sure I have over a dozen of these kinds of shades, and they basically all do the same thing. These formulas are very similar in that they both have a bit of a warm leaning shift to them, are very soft, and are very flaky and shimmery. I actually forgot which was which and had to swatch them again underneath (you can see a bit in the corner) because they look so similar in real life. I would also say that these two color stories fill the same gap in my collection with the darker purply and green shimmers and lighter and bronzier golds. I definitely didn’t need both of these palettes and would happily only have one in my collection.

Flower Lights Amazon from the Jungle Lights Palette and Pat McGrath Sextrovert from the Sublime Palette

Glossier Ultralip in Villa and Lisa Eldridge in Kitten Mischief – These two are probably the most different in terms of formula, even though the colors are almost exactly the same on the lips. The Ultralip formula is much glossier (pun intended) and hydrating whereas the Luxuriously Lucent formula has a much more natural finish that I find to be more drying over time. Even with that though, I end up with basically the same look while wearing these, especially after it’s worn in a bit. Because I love this color, I would bet I have a bunch of other lip products that do exactly the same thing, and I’m going to remind myself that I already have the perfect lip products many times over in my collection.

Glossier Ultralip in Villa, Lisa Eldridge in Kitten Mischief

Pat McGrath Taboo from Midnight Sun and Natasha Denona Freckle from Biba – Unlike the earlier eyeshadow comparison, these entire palettes aren’t the same. This is more an example of how all medium, neutral brown eyeshadows look the same once applied even if they look a bit different in the pan. I use these kinds of colors as my crease shade, and since there’s one in most palettes, I have so many of them to choose from. I also played around with the darker browns and greys that I have and as expected, those are all virtually identical. Given that I love natural eye looks, what I’ve learned from this is I don’t need any more eyeshadow palettes. And even though these palettes are different in terms of their color stories, I do end up gettting very similar looks out of them (dark brown in the inner corner, lighter brown in the crease, glittery shade all over the lid, lighter shimmer in the inner corner), so I do think I could have gotten by with just one of these even though I love them both.

Pat McGrath Taboo from Midnight Sun and Natasha Denona Freckle from Biba
Pat McGrath Midnight Sun, Natasha Denona Biba

Do you own any functional dupes that you imagined would be totally unique to your collection but do basically the same thing? Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

January 2022 Favorites

I can’t believe January is already almost over, and it’s time for another round of favorites! As always, I’m only featuring products in my favorites that are true favorites that I’ve been using consistently for longer than a couple months (I have some products I received during the holidays that I’m loving but not ready to talk about just yet!). If there’s anything you were looking for a review on or a topic that you want me to cover, please let me know if the comments below! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

MAC Glow Play Blush in Blush, Please – This formula has been my go-to recently for finishing off my cheek looks because it has a really incredible blurring quality that really pulls together any look I’ve done. Because the texture is like a cross between a powder and a cream, it adds a slight sheen like a cream and great lasting power like a powder. I’ve been getting great use out of all of the shades I have (So Natural, Blush Please, Heat Index, and Grand), but I’ve been really loving the shade Blush, Please this month. It’s described as a neutral light mauve, and I find it pairs so well with so many different eyeshadow, lip product, and blush combinations.

Salt New York Sculpt + Bronze Crème Tint Pro in Light/Medium – I’ve been mentioning the Salt New York crème tint pro bronzer a ton lately (the swatches are from a post recently where I also talked about this), and it’s because it’s really become a staple in my everyday makeup routine. It blends out incredibly easily and seamlessly, feels like nothing on the skin, and looks so natural on me. It’s my favorite formula for when I need a “I’m running late and need something easy” look, which is every day right now. It blends out so quickly with a brush, sponge, or fingers and never looks patchy which is great when I’m behind on washing my brushes. This honestly might end up being the first cream color cosmetic product I hit pan on ever, and I wouldn’t be surprised.

Salt New York bronzer in Light/Medium, highlighter in Beige, blushes in Rose, Cocoa, and Plum

Fitglow Beauty Lip Colour Serums – I know I just wrote about these in my 2021 Makeup Favorites, but I have been loving them and use them almost every day. The formula is incredibly nourishing, thick, hydrating, and long-lasting, and I just reach for them so often especially because they work so well as toppers for more matte lipsticks or lip liners. All the shades are beautiful and I can always find one to match my look. I’ve been really loving Bliss and Gospel this month in particular, but all of the shades I have get a ton of use. I have 5 full sizes and the rest are minis, and I highly recommend looking out for sales or mini sizes if you’re interesting in these!

Fitglow Beauty Lip Colour Serums in Bliss, Beach Glow, Kind, Halo, Ful, Root, Nudie, Gospel, Regal, Cheer, and Juice

NBM Cuticle Buddy – My nails have never been healthier or stronger since I starting using these, and I don’t freak out about nail breaks anymore because they grow back so fast now. I have been particularly loving the Lavender Cuticle Buddy right now – I use it every night as I’m getting ready for bed, and it’s become a key part of my nighttime routine. It’s calming and relaxing and the perfect “wind down” scent. As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about these without being an affiliate.

Holo Taco Lavender Syrup topped with Gliterally Purple to match my Lavender Cuticle Buddy

What were your favorites this month? Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 2

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! I have a bunch of empties this month, but, as usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short. As always, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again.

IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser – This is a very hydrating facial cleanser was great for my dry skin. It cleaned my skin and didn’t just not strip it of moisturize, but actually added hydration. This bottle also lasted me a really long time because I didn’t need to use very much. That said, I still like the Allies of Skin Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser  even more and have two bottles of it to get through. I won’t be repurchasing the IT Cosmetics Cleanser, but I did really enjoy using it while I had it.

Nécessaire The Body Serum – This added extra hydration to my skin, and I definitely noticed that my skin felt moisturized longer when I used this before my body lotion. It sinks in super quickly and doesn’t pill. It’s fragrance free so it didn’t mix weirdly with any of my lotions, which I really appreciated. It’s pretty expensive for what it is, but the bottle lasted a long time and I did really enjoy it. I’m trying out two other body serums I got last year, and I’m going to wait to decide which of the three (if any) I’ll repurchase once I finish all of them.

Zoya 3-in-1 Formula Remove + Nail Polish Remover – I love how effective yet gentle this is for removing nail polish. It’s really important to me to keep my cuticles, nails, and hands healthy and hydrated because they get really dry and crack super easily. This has been so non-irritating compared to other nail polish removers. Plus, I love the way it dispenses onto a cotton round instead of having to tip the bottle over so I found this lasted way longer than other bottles of nail polish remover I’ve had. I already bought a replacement for this and will likely continue to use this one over any other nail polish remover.

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Mask – I love the entire invisible oil line, and this mask in particular is magic for my hair. My hair always feels so much shinier and softer when I use it and is so much less frizzy. Plus, it smells amazing like the rest of the line. I only use the mask about once every 3 weeks, and that’s been more than enough to keep my hair feeling great. Even though it’s pretty expensive at $43, I find that it lasts me so long (almost a year) that it’s definitely worth it, especially if I can get it on sale. I have a couple of other masks that I’m working through, but I’ll likely go back to this after those run out.

L’Oréal 8 Second Wonder Water – I really love this product and not just because it’s less than $10. I don’t understand what magic is in this product, but it does truly transform my hair only using it a couple times a week, 8 seconds at a time. It leaves me with silkier, shinier, healthier-looking hair without weighing my hair down. I have really dry hair that tends to look dull, so this has been a game changer for me. I happen to already have a ton of backups that my mom bought me (thank you!) as she loves this too so I won’t be repurchasing quite yet, but I totally will when I need to.

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and not all of them are as positive as this group. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading!

January 2022 No-Buy Update

I’m on a no-buy for most of 2022 and using these monthly updates to keep me accountable. For these updates, I’ve decided to answer the same set of questions every month. Feel free to follow along in the comments with your own no-buy or low-buy updates. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

What’s one thing that helped this month go easier?
At the start of the year, I unsubscribed from tons of brand emails and created a filter so that any I kept would skip my inbox. This has helped so much! I thought I’d be tempted to buy things constantly, but I really haven’t because I just don’t know what’s launching. I also haven’t been tempted by any sales because (if there have been any) I don’t know about them so can’t be tempted. Similarly, I deleted the Sephora and Ulta apps off my phone and haven’t been able to just browse for what’s new. I only have 2 non-nail polish items on my wishlist which is so much less than I would have expected.

What was one thing I wanted to buy but didn’t and why?
I really wanted to get the Holo Taco Winter Shimmers collection that launched recently. I don’t have any iridescent shimmer toppers in my collection, so I immediately wanted to buy them since that felt like a gap. They also looked so pretty on all the combinations I was seeing online and so different from what I already own. But if I buy every new launch, I’ll never get to enjoy what I already have. Plus, I have really fun toppers to play with like the one I used on launch day in the photo below – it was great to try and “dupe the vibes” as Hannah Louise Poston would say. Since these are permanent, they’re going on the wishlist for Black Friday, and I can bet anything there will be so many other nail polish launches to get excited about been now and then that I might even not want these anymore.

Orly Star Glaze over Holo Taco I’m Over Brew in beautiful elevator lighting

Did I buy anything this month?
Nope! I got nothing from my no-buy categories, and I’m so excited to keep this progress going. I didn’t even need any replacements so got through the month with no shopping at all in my no-buy categories at all.

What’s a product I rediscovered by having to shop my stash?
One of my favorite rediscoveries are the Bodyography eyeshadows. I had honestly totally forgotten about them and how great they are. Their site says that these are a unique formula that incorporates “the saturation of a loose pigment, the cushion of a cream, and the silkiness of a powder”, and that describes it better than I could. I can throw them on with a brush or finger to create a lot of impact and dimension quickly with one shade, but I’ve been loving layering them together too. I have Celestial (Pink/Brown), Off the Hook (Taupe), and Sparkler (Rose Gold), which cover all the kinds of glittery shades I would want. They stay all day even with a regular eyeshadow primer, and they work great with a glitter primer as well. I’ve loved shopping my stash and enjoying the amazing products I already have!

If you’re doing a no-buy, how did your January go? If not, what amazing thing did you buy this month? I’d love to know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! 

The Products from my 2020 Makeup Favorites I Still Use and Love

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection, and thought I’d look back at my 2020 Makeup Favorites and see which products are still mainstays in my collection. I was surprised at how many weren’t favorites anymore, and it really made me realize both that I need to stop buying backups because new and better formulas are coming out all that time and that these products are truly favorites of mine. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Glossier Future Dew – This continues to be one of my favorite products, and is one of the only things I consistently use every day in my makeup routine. It provides such an amazing glossy, hydrating base that makes me look like I drank enough water (and if you know me, you know I have never had enough water). It works beautifully with any foundation, concealer, and powder combo I put on top of it and makes them look way better on my skin – no dry patches, no clinging, no flatness. This was listed in both my 2020 and 2021 Makeup Favorites, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s my favorite primer again in 2022.

Salt New York bronzer in Light/Medium, highlighter in Beige, blushes in Rose, Cocoa, and Plum

Salt New York Crème Tint Pro Bronzer, Blush, and Highlighter – I’ve written about my love for Salt New York’s products so many times, and it’s because it continues to be one of my favorite cream formulas that I go back to over and over again. All the Crème Tint Pros I have (and I have 21) blend out incredibly easily and seamlessly, are super lightweight, and look so at home on my skin. This is my favorite formula for when I need a “I’m running late and need something easy” look – they blend out so quickly with a brush, sponge, or fingers and never look patchy. My most used shades over the years has been the bronzer in Light/Medium, highlighter in Beige, and blush in Rose, and I’ve really been loving Cocoa and Plum recently.

Thrive Causemetics Lip Liner in Kackie and Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour and Venetian Rose

Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour – This is still one of the products I use all the time, and I’m honestly surprised I haven’t panned it yet. It’s so easy to swipe on, is incredibly moisturizing, and has enough thickness to not disappear right away. The color completely brightens up my face, and I frequently keep it on my desk to reapply before video calls. I have since gotten Venetian Rose as well as a gift, which is a beautiful “vintage rose” shade that works so well with the brown tones I tend to gravitate towards.

Thrive Causemetics Lip Filler Long-Wearing + Plumping Lip Liner in Kackie – I still love this lip liner, and it’s one I reach for all the time. I don’t know how Kackie did it, but this is the most perfect neutral brown shade for me. I can put any gloss or lipstick over top of it, and it looks great. The formula also manages to be creamy, not drying, and have great staying power. It’s the lip liner I use when I don’t want to worry about my lip look coming together, especially in the morning before I’ve had coffee and just want something I know will work. Thank you again to Kackie for this perfect collab shade.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara – Not only do I still use and love this mascara, it’s still the only one I use. This is hands down the best mascara I’ve ever used and continues to be what I go back to even after trying others. It makes my lashes look amazing, doesn’t smudge, and actually holds a curl. The best part is that it washes off so easily and quickly, and I never have to worry about accidentally pulling out my lashes when I’m washing my face. More tubing formulas are coming on to the market, so I’m curious to see if something comes around that unseats this for me eventually, but the joy of a no-buy is that I get to keep using and loving what I already have.

Glossier Lidstar Eyeshadow, Haloscope Highlighter, and Generation G Lipstick Review

During the 2021 holidays, I was gifted a Glossier set that comes with a Lidstar eyeshadow, Generation G lipstick, Haloscope highlighter, and Stretch concealer. I have never tried any of these products other than the Stretch concealer (which I love and have posted about many times), so I wanted to take this opportunity to review these staple Glossier products. Before I get into it, I love so many products Glossier makes and a few are even HGs of mine I’ve repurchased over and over again, so the fact that (spoilers) all of these ended up not being perfect for me is not a comment on the brand’s products in general. And as usual, my goal is to provide you with information to make the best purchasing decisions for yourself and the reasons why I might not like something might be why you’d love it! As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Lidstar eyeshadow in Bun, Haloscope in Quartz, and Generation G in Leo

Glossier Lidstar in Bun – I really love how easy this formula is to use and how perfect the color is for a work appropriate one and done eye look. Bun is described as a soft champagne with a gold shimmer, and it’s a great shade of champagne because it isn’t too warm or cool. I can apply and blend the eyeshadow on both eyes in about 20 seconds and haven’t needed to use a brush any time I’ve used this. And initially, I’m always really happy with how it looks. Then, within about a half hour, the shimmer looks a bit faded, and it starts to look patchy. It’s a very different wear experience than other liquid eyeshadows I have like the Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex, which stays sparkly and full impact all day. The Lidstar seems to break up on my eyelids very quickly, and I find myself applying other shadows over top to make it look the way I want. I’ve tried it with and without eye primer and glitter glue and nothing seems to help. As a base for other shadows, it works pretty well, but I have so many other eyeshadows that I’d rather use for that.

Haloscope in Quartz and Generation G in Leo

Glossier Haloscope highlighter in Quartz – I love the effect this gives when I take the time to apply it just right. It provides a natural looking subtle glow that is glitter free and looks like I just have healthy skin. But because it has a champagne colored section and a clear section, if I apply it directly to my skin, I end up with a darker streak on my cheekbones and a patch where my blush has picked up under that. Instead, I’ve found it’s really important to either swirl it on the back of my hand first and then pick up with a brush or use a brush to pick it up from the stick before I applying it. I can get away with swirling my fingers in it and then tapping onto my skin but that can also lead to picking up product underneath because it’s a bit sticky. I hardly reach for this because I have so many easy to use cream and liquid highlighters that don’t require really any thought or attention.

Glossier Generation G in Leo – Like the other two products, I love the shade of this product. Leo is a perfect neutral brown that is so easy for me to wear and never looks like “too much.” I’m not surprised that it’s as drying as it is because it’s a matte product, but I find that it’s more drying than the other matte lipsticks I have. I can get away with using the Generation G if I really prep my lips with a lip mask while I’m doing the rest of my makeup or topping it with a gloss. I do appreciate that it’s sheerer than my other lipsticks, which makes it super easy to throw on. It also lasts much longer a lip gloss or balm, so it’s great if I need something to last under a mask. That said, I’d much rather use the Glossier Ultralips for a similar effect of the Generation G with a gloss added on top without needing two products. That way, I get the benefits of all the hydration that comes with the Ultralip formula which I’d rather have even if I need to reapply, since I am very rarely these days going somewhere I really need the lasting power of a lip product.

What products in your collection do you like but don’t use often for one reason or another? Let me know in the comments below!  Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Buff Chick Supplements Review

I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions (see my last competition recap here) and am very into fitness and health. I’ve been using supplements from Buff Chick since they launched and wanted to share my thoughts on everything I’ve tried so far in one post. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Only one of each supplement pictured but this is a small subset of my collection!

Buff Pump – This is the product that got me hooked on Buff Chuck, and it’s really amazing. It’s caffeine free, which is great for me since we workout in the evenings. It’s made such a huge difference in my workouts to help me have enough energy to get through them and give them my all. It also has helped me with motivation to go to the gym when I really don’t feel like it, because I will take the pre-workout exactly 30 minutes before we want to go and then then I feel like I need to workout to “not waste it.” Unlike other pre-workouts, this doesn’t make me feel weird, jittery, or shaky. My favorite flavors are the Watermelon and Icy Blue Razz. The Sour Lemon is fine but I don’t think I’ll get it again once I get through my current bottles. I am not a fan of the Cherry Limeade at all – it tastes like sour medicine to me and I’d much rather have the other flavors.

Buff Chick Supplements Creatine – According to the website, studies have demonstrated Creatine supplementation supports strength and power output during intense resistance training. I add this to my Gatorade Zero every day (I use the powder which is much cheaper and no plastic bottles!), and I can confirm that it has absolutely helped my ability to push through heavy lifts and high volume sets way better than I ever have been. It’s $25 for about 3 months worth, which ends up being $100 per year (or less depending on if you can grab it with a 10% off code or other sale). The Icy Blue Razz flavor is also great if you want to drink it by itself and don’t mind paying extra for the flavored version. I actually prefer mixing the unflavored into other things so I’m going to stick with that one for the cost savings, but I’m definitely not sad I have the Icy Blue Razz.

Buff Reds and Buff Greens – I feel so much better after I drink either of these (or both together), and I wish I remembered to drink them more often. They help with my soreness after hard workouts and give me more energy without any caffeine. I’m a big fan of strawberry lemonade and love how the reds taste. I don’t like the taste of the greens as much but it’s still good and totally masks any vegetable flavor. Both mix into water super easily without any grittiness and mix well with each other or with the creatine.

Buff Whey – I am very picky when it comes to protein powder and have generally hated every one I’ve tried for being too powdery, too sweet, not great macros, or some other reasons. But I love Buff Whey – I have the Strawberry Banana and Birthday Cake flavors and am super happy with both of them. I actually make the same smoothie with them – a cup of protein milk, half of a frozen banana, and one scoop of protein powder. The powder blends in so easily, and there’s no weird texture or aftertaste. The smoothie is almost 40 grams of protein for less than 250 calories which are incredible macros, especially given I try to hit around 125g of protein a day. I’m likely going to pick up the Fudge Brownie in their next sale and already have Iced Cappuccino on deck to try once I get through more of the ones I have already.

Do you have any favorite supplements or protein powders? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for being here! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Revisiting the 5 Oldest Products in My Collection

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection, and my friend suggested that I review the oldest five products in my collection as a way to revisit products that I might have forgotten about. I track all my purchases in an Excel sheet, so it was super easy to find the five oldest products, and I’m excited to review them. Not everything is linked because some of these items were limited edition or discontinued and aren’t available anymore. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

diptyque Paris Eau Moheli – My husband bought this for me for our first holidays together, and I’ve loved and cherished it ever since. It’s been more than 8 years since I received it, and it still smells exactly the same. The scent is a very fresh citrusy, green, and woody and definitely fits our joint love of nature and hiking. I wore it on our wedding day and have a travel atomizer I used whenever I went on a trip alone for work. The scent continues to make me so happy, and this is a great reminder for me to use it more often instead of trying to save it. I know it’ll go bad eventually, and I’ll have to throw it away, so I want to get as much use out of it as possible.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette By Mario – This was a limited edition palette, and I’m honestly so glad I bought it even though I wasn’t even really into makeup yet when it came out. It is one of my most loved makeup products in my collection and always what I used when I wanted my eye makeup to look great. I got so many compliments wearing this palette, especially the shades Paris and Marina. The quality is actually still the same as when I got it in 2016, and I won’t be getting rid of it until I’ve panned more of the shades. I wish that instead of buying more eyeshadow over the years, I just used this one more.

Four of the shades from the Viseart Theory Palette in Cashmere are on the right under JD Glow Unexpected

Viseart Theory Palette in Cashmere – This was given to me as a gift and was my first “higher end” palette. I honestly don’t use it very much because it’s quite cool toned and the shimmers don’t provide as much impact as I would want. I like the mattes but like using the mattes in my other palettes so much more, including in the Petit Pro palette I have from Viseart. I wish that I had gotten that one instead of this one originally. Writing this up had made me consider decluttering this to a friend because it’s made me realize that I’ve been forcing myself to use it instead of palettes that work much better for me. In the meantime, I had moved some of the shadows into my Salt New York palette to see if I’ll get more use out of them that way.

Bite Beauty Amouse Bouche Lipstick in Chai – This was part of the Sephora birthday gift set in 2018 and still one of my favorite lipstick shades. It’s a warm plummy brown that works so well with my lip color, and I always loved how it looked when I wore it. The formula is still super creamy and slightly hydrating. I also purchased the full size of Chai when they were discontinuing the lipstick line because I thought I’d for sure get through the mini. I didn’t know 2020 was going to happen and we’d be wearing lipstick so much less, but even so, I learned that I don’t need to buy a full size no matter how much I like the mini because it takes so long to get through lip products. The mini is still going strong and now I have so many other lipsticks I love wearing just as much.

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in Nude Glow

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Single in Nude Glow – I used and loved this eyeshadow so much. It’s still one of the singles I pack when I’m going on a trip because it’s such a great one and done. The color is a really pretty rosy bronzy sparkly shade that isn’t too dark or light on me. The formula has held up really well and still goes on creamy with no fallout. It was only $3.99, and looking back, it was a much better investment than some of the other eyeshadows I’ve purchased over the years.

What products do you have in your collection from years ago? Do you still wear them? Tell me about it in the comments below!  Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 1

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! I have a bunch of empties to go through, but, as usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short. These are all products I finished while travelling for Thanksgiving in 2021, which is why they’re all minis. As always, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser – This cleanser took me forever to go through because I hate the smell and the texture. I know lots of people love it, so that might just be a me problem. It’s a lovely cleanser – it cleans without stripping, it leaves my face hydrated, and it washes off cleanly. But it feels like gross slime and smells like rotten cucumbers to me. With so many amazing cleansers on the market, I won’t be repurchasing this one and will happily never use it again.

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray – I used and loved this face spray for years before I started using my all-time favorite mist continues to be the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator. It’s hydrating, doesn’t have a strong fragrance, and feels great on the skin. That said, I don’t feel like it does anything extraordinary, and I didn’t feel a huge difference when I ran out of it before my trip was over. I have a travel size bottle of the Josh Rosebrook and will likely keep refilling it when I travel, so I won’t be repurchasing the Clinique.

Tatcha the Silk Peony Eye Cream – I normally don’t do this but I actually think the description of this eye cream is very spot on: An eye cream that fights the signs of aging and melts to release a double shield of hydration with liquid silk and moisture-locking Japanese white peony for instantly youthful-looking, radiant eyes. It felt amazing on and made my undereyes look way more hydrated. I honestly loved this eye cream when I was using it and would consider getting it again if I didn’t like my HG Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothie Eye Cream even more. Plus, I can usually get the Shiseido buy one get one free during the holidays (so $32 each) whereas the Tachta is $60, so I won’t be repurchasing it.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder – I got this as a mini so long ago, and it lasted a very long time because I kept it in my travel bag. It’s incredibly lightweight and blurring without being too matte or drying. It’s honestly a lovely powder, and I totally agree with everyone who has hyped it up for use on dry skin. That said, it’s more than $10 more than the Kosas Cloud Set Powder for less product in the full size, and I like the Cloud Set even better, so I won’t be repurchasing this.

Cocofloss – The only reason I floss every day is because of Cocofloss, and I love the pineapple flavor, so I’m not surprised it’s one of the ones I’ve made it entirely through (I switch through flavors every day). If you’re not familiar with Cocofloss, it’s a floss made from recycled water bottles and infused with coconut oil which makes it both sustainable and very effective. I’ve honestly tried to go back to regular floss after using this, and I can tell the difference in how much better it works.

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and not all of them are as positive as this group. Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

My 5 Favorite Products Under $10

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection and starting a “favorite products under $X series” to help me in that process. I’ll be doing posts every month for different dollar amounts, and I’m so excited to dive into my collection in this way. I’m starting with my favorite products under $10. I would love see your favorites and recommendations for under $10 beauty products in the comments! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Beauty Pie Triple Beauty Luminizing Wand – This blends so easily and quickly and creates a sophisticated glow without glitter. It’s a perfect wash of light-catching pigment and is also blurring. It looks great as a finishing touch to any look I’ve used it in, and I love that it looks great on the cheeks, brow bone, inner corner, or anywhere else I want it to go. I can apply it straight from the wand or use my fingers or a brush and it works great. It only comes in one shade but I think this shade would work for a lot of people because it’s so sheer. Compared to $38 for the Charlotte Tilbury version of this, it’s incredible that this only costs $9.18. I honestly would’ve thought this was a luxury product down to the packaging, and I can’t believe it’s less than $10.

Elf Hydrating Camo Concealer – This is my favorite concealer for when I want something high coverage to cancel out my undereye circles. The shade Fair Warm is perfect for me (my arm where I swatch shows up much lighter and cooler than my face, but I find that helps show product colors really well). It’s incredibly lightweight for how much coverage it provides, and I can layer it with no issues. It doesn’t look dry or cakey and has great lasting power for something that actually is hydrating. I’m able to use powder on top of it with no issues or any weird texture. This is everything I wanted the Tarte Shape Tape to be. This concealer is $6, and I got it on sale for $4.80.

Essence Mosaic Blush – I have both shades that are currently at Ulta, a rosy pink shade called The Berry Connection and a peachy pink shade called All You Need Is Pink. There’s a little bit of kick back because it’s a bit dry, but it goes on smoothly and is easy to blend. I love using these to set any cream blushes I’ve used because they’re not too pigmented and have a satin finish. I got these blushes for $3.99 so both together are under $10. I was shocked at how great this formula is – it rivals my high-end blushes easily. I find myself reaching for it over other powder blushes because it looks so pretty and is so easy to blend. I also like having them for travel because the compact is so thin and easy to slide into my makeup bag if I want something to help my cream products last longer.

Essence Mosaic Blush in The Berry Connection and All You Need is Pink

Ulta Under Eye Brightener – I have super dark undereye and can’t get away without a corrector, and I’m so happy to have discovered this one. It’s about $10 and a very effective dupe of my beloved Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector. Just like the Becca one, this corrector works so well for correcting my super dark circles and helps hydrate my super dry under eyes for whatever concealer goes on top without any heaviness. It blends like a dream and the color is perfect for me. And it’s in stick form which is so much easier to use than the pot!

Shop Miss A Super Soft Wonder Blender – I cannot believe I was spending $20 regularly on Beauty Blenders when these were an option. They get so big once you’ve wet them, and they have an amazingly soft texture. And they are still firm enough to avoid soaking up a ton of makeup and blend products seamlessly. I have tried many Beauty Blender dupes and makeup sponges, but none of them have as great as this one. At $1.55 per sponge, I am never going back and have loved and used these for almost a year now with absolutely no issues.

What are your favorite products under $10? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Beauty Pie Review: Wondergloss Collagen Lip Oil, Futurelipstick Luxe Shine, and Supercheek Cream Blush

If you haven’t heard of Beauty Pie, it’s described as providing consumers with exceptional formulas sourced from the best factories worldwide – all while keeping costs low by cutting out the middleman, excessive packaging and expensive marketing budgets. It’s basically like the Costco of beauty – you pay a membership fee to access the low prices, but in theory, you save way more than your membership fee. This is part two (see my first reviews here), and I know I’ve already saved more than the yearly membership cost (I ended up getting a Black Friday deal where the membership was $9 when all was said and done). As with all of my reviews, this is not sponsored, and there are no affiliate links in this post. And as always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Wondergloss Collagen Lip Oil – This lip oil reminds me so much of the Dior Lip Oil but is so much more nourishing and a fraction of the price (the Beauty Pie is $8.21 and the Dior is $35). It’s hydrating, comfortable, and not sticky while still providing that shiny and glossy effect. I have the shade Nude Nectar which is sheer enough to use as a glossy topper for most of my lipsticks and lip liners but still pigmented enough to provide some “my lips but better” color if I’m not wearing anything. It also smells like vanilla in the best way, and I get so much joy from it every time I use it. It’s been a struggle to not pick up a ton more shades but between my no-buy and all my FitGlow Lip Serums (which is also very similar to this), I definitely don’t need more right now.

From left to right: Beauty Pie lip oil in Nude Nectar, lipstick in Nothing Nude, cream blush in Bare Blush

Futurelipstick Luxe Shine – This formula is really high shine and super smoothing, and I find myself reaching for it so much more than my other lipsticks. It’s surprisingly nourishing and hydrating for such a pigmented lipstick – it has the finish of a lipstick and the formula of a hydrating lip balm. I have the shade Nothing Nude which is a cool rosy brown that I’m super excited to wear even more when fall rolls back around this year. This lipstick is $10.60 – the least expensive full sized lipstick I have in my collection. It reminds me the most of the Lisa Eldridge Luxuriously Lucent Lip Color ($36) and the Glossier Ultralip ($18) in terms of formula and finish.

From left to right: Beauty Pie lip oil in Nude Nectar, lipstick in Nothing Nude, cream blush in Bare Blush

Supercheek Cream Blush – The formula is creamy but it totally dries down and isn’t sticky. It’s super easy to dip a brush into the pot and blend onto my cheeks – it takes less than 10 seconds. The formula is also surprisingly blurring (which hopefully you can see in the swatch above), and I love how it sets down to a powdery finish without being matte. The texture is really thin and because it dries down, I don’t notice it on my skin at all. I love the color I got, Bare Blush, which is such a warm, rosy pink. The only issue I have with this blush is that it can tend to pick up what’s underneath it if I’m not careful, so my favorite way to use it is actually over powder. Out of these three products, this is my least favorite, and I think I prefer my other cream blush formulas over it. That said, it’s a really great product for less than $10 vs some of my favorites like the Kjaer Weis Cream Blush which is $32.

What new products and brands have you discovered lately? Are there Beauty Pie questions you have or products you’d like me to review in the future? Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading!

5 Products that Always Give Me A Confidence Boost When I Use Them

Someone requested this post, and I got super excited about the idea to think about which products give me a boost when I use them. These products are my version of a bold, red lip – when I put them on, I instantly feel more confident and put together. They make me feel happy and ready to face whatever life is throwing my way no matter what kind of day I’m having. As always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Roen 1:1 Quad – I love the Roen eyeshadows, but there’s one shade I use the most. The sparkly shade swatched farthest to the right below is my go to for adding a high impact sparkle to any eye look, whether it’s on top of the other shades in the 11:11 palette or any other eyeshadow I’ve used. It just seems to finish off any look, particularly in a world where I want people to see my eyes mostly through a screen. I did a huge presentation that I was really nervous for and covered my eyes with this shade and got so many compliments on it. So now when I’m feeling nervous, I just put on a ton with a finger, and I’m good to go.

Swatches of the Roen 11:11 Quad

Glossier Portrait and Lisa Eldridge Velvet Petal – I thought I wasn’t a pink person at all since I tend towards more browns and roses for my lip shades. Then I tried these two lip products and realized there’s something about a warm, pink lip that just makes me feel amazing. I’ve gotten compliments wearing both of these, and they really brighten up my face. Portrait is my go to for when I want a glossy lip, and Velvet Petal for when I want something matte and long lasting, especially under a mask.

Auric Glow Lust – This product is my favorite for making my skin look amazing no matter what’s going on with it. Even if my skin is dull and dehydrated and not looking its best, Glow Lust will make it look glowy, smooth, and moisturized. Every time I wear it, I instantly feel more confident, especially for video meetings because Glow Lust reflects so beautifully and distracts from anything else going on. Of all of my glowy, liquid products, this is definitely my favorite of the bunch.

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini – I’m not a huge powder product user, but there’s something about this bronzer that really pulls a look together. I find this creates a more satin finish which is great for someone like me that wants to look hydrated and dewy while still having something long lasting, especially under a mask. This Vesca bronzer is my favorite for this purpose (and also my favorite powder bronzer in general) – it’s not too orange, feels incredibly smooth and velvety, blends beautifully, smells amazing, and is such a believable bronzer on me. When my makeup is feeling a bit blah, I add this as a finishing touch, and everything feels right again.

Nail polish – Having super pretty, sparkly, fun nail polish on always makes me feel more confident and put together. I have a ton of polishes that I love for this, so here’s some recent ones that made me feel great while wearing them. I could list so many more – let me know if you want to see more nail polish on here in the comments!

KBShimmer Wrap It Up
Holo Taco Bring Me the Teal and Starrily Star Cluster
ILNP Cityscape
Starrily Uranus

What products make you feel more confident? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.