2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 12

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. 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 Skin Tint – This has been my daily go-to for that perfect “my skin but better” look. It’s super hydrating and has just enough coverage to use as a “I’m only going to be on video calls today” base. The G11 shade is a great match for me, but it’s low coverage enough that I’m confident you could go up or down a shade just fine. Even though I wouldn’t recommend using a beauty sponge with this, It applies quickly and seamlessly with fingers or a brush. I’m considering repurchasing it eventually because it was such a staple for me, but I’m trying to get more use out of my Typology Tinted Serum and Fenty Eaze Drops.

Glossier Boy Brow – This has still been my favorite choice for brow gel – 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. I’ve been using my backup already, and similar to the Skin Tint, I might repurchase this, but I have a few brow gels in my collection I want to test out and see if I like better than this first.

Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick – This has been one of my favorite highlighters of all time, and I’m surprised I haven’t mentioned it before. It honestly makes my skin look so healthy and radiant while blending so seamlessly and easily. If I didn’t have so many other highlighters right now, I would absolutely consider buying a full size. I also have a second mini of it to get through, and I’m sure there will be even more amazing highlighters that get launched by the time I finish that one.

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Serum – For me, this wasn’t special enough to justify the high price, especially when compared to similar serums that I’ve used and loved like PSA Skin The Most or The Inkey List Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which is only $7.99 for an ounce. So, I will not be purchasing the full size of the Glow Recipe one.

Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer – I’m still surprised by how much I love this given how incredibly lightweight it is. It’s still very moisturizing, but has the benefit of sinking into my skin so fast. I really appreciate that for a morning moisturizer because I tend to start my makeup pretty quickly after my morning skincare routine. It also layers incredibly well with my other morning skincare without causing pilling. I already bought a full size of this to use once I finish my Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream, and I can see it becoming my new HG.

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.

STRONGER BY THE DAY WORKOUT PROGRAM REVIEW – 120 DAYS IN & USAPL Meet Recap

I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions now that we are back in the gym, and the program I’ve been following for training is Stronger By The Day. It’s is a 4 day a week workout program created by MegSquats that is focused on strength and powerlifting movements. It’s $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for the in-the-gym program. It also includes a full at-home workout program, an extra workout day every week, warm ups, and access to a Facebook group with other lifters running the program. For transparency, I did win a free year of the program in 2019 but have become a paying customer since then.

Wearing all Buffbunny, my favorite activewear

I did a 90 days in review of this program in early 2020 after I had recovered from a back injury and was beginning to prep for a powerlifting competition. As happened with most things in 2020, the competition got cancelled, the gyms closed, and we had to figure out something else for the last year and a half. Luckily Stronger by the Day added a home workout program, and we also discovered the amazing home HIIT workouts from The Team Plans. Because of that, we didn’t start from zero going back into the gym in June, but I was definitely a long way off from my pre-COVID lifts (as you can see from day Day 1 numbers here).

Day 1 (lbs)Day 120 (lbs)
Squat115226
Bench75115
Deadlift135270
Total325611

The 120 days numbers are from my competition on October 2nd, which was the USA Powerlifting 2021 Washington State Championship. I placed 5th, which I was incredibly excited about given it was my first meet and there were some amazing competitors there. I’m really proud of what I was able to accomplish after only four months of training, which included a few weeks off for vacations and other things, so I ended up doing exactly 50 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.

KB Shimmer in Better Lake than Never with my USAPL medal

Beyond the incredible strength gains, I really love that there’s a ton of variety week to week and block to block so you avoid getting bored. There’s still enough consistency to actually make progress, but it stays fun. I also love how many substitutions are offered to make it easy to work with whatever is available at the gym. And because I’m always wary of getting another back injury, I appreciate that there are core and mobility movements included in every workout, which I find help keep my back feeling great.

However, as I noted with my last review, I still struggled with peaking for my meet since it’s not personalized to you and doesn’t account for things like having a meet coming up. I had switch up some of the sessions to try and prep as best I could (which honestly still worked out just fine!). I also found that the blocks in these months focused way more on squat and deadlift progress, so I made way less progress on my bench than on those lifts. So if you’re prepping for a meet, I don’t think this is necessarily the best program for you unless you’re on a budget. Even with this issues, the program is still definitely one of the most affordable while still being very effective.

I also can’t wait for the team to launch their app which will make it so much easier to use than having to copy everything into the Strong app. I know that’s coming out as soon as they have it ready, and the sneak peaks have made it look amazing. I’m still planning on using the program to prep for my next meet in December, app or no app!

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!

September 2021 Favorites

I can’t believe it’s already October, and it’s time for another round of favorites! As always, 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!

I am so happy to have discovered the Ulta Under Eye Brightener. 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!

I’ve been testing Dieux Deliverance serum since August, and it’s 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 is already looking less uneven, less dull, and less textured This serum did the trick and absolutely has my skin more even and calm and all the other improvements I was looking for. Given how much I love their Forever Eye Mask, I’m not surprised this is just as amazing.

Everything everyone has said about Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Powder is true – it really is that amazing! I have it in the shade Airy, but because of how sheer it is, I’m sure Breezy or Feathery could have worked for me as well. It has a tiny bit of luminosity to it so it sets without mattifying too much. I love using this for all over my face and to set all my cream products without getting rid of any of their dewiness. The only thing I find is that it doesn’t add any coverage, unlike the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder, which is still one of my favorite powders of all time, and I’m still using under my eyes because I prefer it for that.

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

So I know I’ve only had this for a few weeks, and I try not to share things in my favorites until I’ve been using them for awhile, but I just can’t not talk about the FitGlow Beauty State of Kait Edit. The kit comes with Night Lip Serum, Beach Glow, Gospel, and Root. The formula is incredibly nourishing, thick, hydrating, and long-lasting, and I just can’t stop using them. The Night Lip Serum is the best night time lip treatment I’ve ever tried, and I wake up consistently to hydrated and nourished lips. The 3 colored serums are all beautiful and, between the three, I can always find one to match my look. I expect to have these in favorites posts for months to come, and I’m hoping they do some more mini sets so I can grab a few more shades!

I didn’t realize how much I need the Cupcake Polish VNL Blur #1 until I purchased it. It’s a neutralizing base coat that comes in multiple shades and is meant to reduce the number of coats of the nail polish you’re using. It works incredibly well and turns all my 3 coaters into 2 coaters and 2 coaters into 1 coaters! I never do a manicure without it now.

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.

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 11

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. 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!

SkinFix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream – A ton of people I follow on YouTube and Instagram were raving about this, so when Sephora had this deluxe same for free with a $25 purchase, I had to try it. And it’s totally a fine moisturizer. I didn’t notice a huge difference after finishing it, but it definitely works to lessen skin dryness like any other moisturizer. I won’t be repurchasing it when I have so many other moisturizers I love and that I’m testing out right now, especially at almost $30 an ounce.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – I’ve been using this every morning for years, and it’s been a staple in my dry skincare routine. It’s simple, effective, not too heavy or light, and plays well under makeup. I don’t have much to say about it except that it’s one of my favorite moisturizers for my dry skin – it just works really works. That said, I’ve been using the Phytosurgence Verdant Forcefield since I ran out of the Kiehl’s and have been absolutely loving it (and now have a Farmacy Honey Drop to get through as well), so it may be a long time before I repurchase this if I do.

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 I think the cranberry may be my favorite. This also mixes with any body oils super easily when I need that extra boost. I’m already on my next tub, and I have two backups that I will absolutely replace when holiday sets come out again.

Allies of Skin Vitamin C+ Perfecting Serum – This serum has continued to be amazing. I didn’t have any irritation when I started using it, which has never happened before with a Vitamin C product, and I haven’t had any since. I have noticed such a big change with my skin since I started using this, particularly with helping with dullness. My skin has a glow that I’ve never seen before (since I have such dry skin), to the point that I can get away without using highlighter! I’m already using my backup of this because it’s such a key part of my morning skincare routine now and am planning on repurchasing unless I find something to test instead.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara – 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 three more minis to get through after this and will definitely repurchase until an amazing tubing formula comes out that’s better than 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 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.

Phytosurgence Review: Phytobrushes, Spectral Shine, Flash Florescence Cream Shadows in Bloom, and Verdant Forcefield

I’ve been waiting to do another Phytosurgence review until I had enough products to do a full post with only buying things I thought I would love. And now I almost have too much for one post because they keep launching amazing things! If you haven’t heard of Phytosurgence before, they are a very small indie brand that focuses on transparent and conscious beauty. They make high performance and affordable products that absolutely rival luxury brands. As with my last Phytosurgence review, I’m about to really rave about the products so I want to say upfront that this was not sponsored, and I bought the products with my own money. 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!

It took me an incredibly long time to start this paragraph because 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.

I used the Phytobrushes, Skin Spark blushes, and Spectral Shine highlight for a perfect no-makeup look

It’s so hard to describe how special Spectral Shine is and how unique the formula is. It doesn’t have glitter or shimmer, just really fine pearl pigments that blend seamlessly into the skin. It’s incredibly lightweight and feels like nothing but is super long lasting. Especially if you want something that looks like your skin but better in person (vs blinding highlights that look great on camera), this is for you. I was waiting for the right shade to come out, and then the limited edition Divine Daylight launched. It’s a peachy neutral beige shade, which is so at home on my skin.

Spectral Shine in Divine Daylight

I’ve been using the Flash Florescence Cream Shadows – In Bloom almost every day since I got them. The formula is incredibly thin and lightweight with very little fallout. I love how multidimensional the shimmers are – they’re just really special. I have two of the shades: Defiant Dahlia (described as a rich deep brown shade with violet undertones and neutral/gold shimmers scattered throughout) and Orchid Overload (described as a translucent based shade with pink, purple, and silver shimmer). Defiant Dahlia looks amazing as a one-and-done shadow, and Orchid Overload is one of my favorite toppers of all time. And these are about half of the price of the Hourglass Scattered Light eyeshadows! If you’d like me to get and review the other two shades, let me know in the comments below.

Flash Florescence Cream Shadow in Orchid Overload and Defiant Dahlia

I’m always looking for new moisturizers to try because of how ridiculously dry my skin is. Verdant Forcefield 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 testing it for over 3 months (I don’t like to review skincare until I’ve really tried it). 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 still can’t get over how high quality Phytosurgence products are from the packaging to the efficacy for their prices.

Have you tried anything from Phytosurgence? Are there other products from them or other brands you’d like me to try and review? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for reading!

MORE LIFESTYLE FAVES: WHAT I’VE BEEN LOVING THAT’S NOT BEAUTY

I have more fitness faves to share! I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions now that we are back in the gym and am super 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!

Almost all of my activewear is now from Buffbunny, and I know I’ve written about them before, but I just had to share how amazing the new Jewel Joggers. They are a hybrid between joggers and leggings and made out of their Nubre fabric – the softest, most buttery fabric of all time. I was living in my first pair so much that I actually bought a second pair so I could switch between them. They have zippered pockets that hold my wallet, phone, keys, hair ties, a mask, and anything I need with me. I’m so excited to have these for upcoming flights and long car trips (but also just to wear around the apartment every day). These feel like an upgraded version of the Lululemon Align joggers and for less money – I’m so glad they made these.

Buffbunny Rosa sports bra and Jewel Joggers in Secret Garden Dark Teal

Anyone who’s known me for a long time knows how obsessed I am with Cocofloss, but I wanted to share how amazing some of their seasonal flavors are. I have been loving the pineapple flavor and the chocolate and vanilla from their S’mores set. The only reason I floss every day is because of Cocofloss, and these new flavors make it even more fun. 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 winter!

Since I’m training for competition (my next one is in a week!), I am doing some pretty intense workouts. I’ve been trying different masks to find the one that is most comfortable to wear for these long, sweaty, hard-breathing workouts. The Atoms masks are perfect for this, and I’m never going back to anything else. They are so comfortable, and almost cooling, they wick sweat so well, and I love that I can keep it on for a whole workout with no issues so I can be protected and protect others around me. I originally bought 3 and then immediately went and bought 3 more – I can’t live without them now.

In the very, very beginning of this blog, I wrote a post about how having more plants in our apartment makes us happier. And it turns out, having our own little herb garden makes us even happier! I am loving having an Aerogarden in our kitchen and watching all the herbs grow every day. It’s only been a few weeks, and we already have enough to use in our cooking, and I love not having to run to the store to grab some basil or dill. I never thought I’d need something like this, but I’m so happy we have it.

Now that we’re solidly in cold weather, I have been switching to wearing my boots more often, and forgot how uncomfortable they can get on long walks. Luckily, the folks from Walk Fulton sent me a pair of insoles to try (not sponsored or any obligation to review), and I honestly love them. I wasn’t expecting anything, but my boots are so much more comfortable, and it’s so much better for long walks now. My feet are a pretty weird shape (it’s a long story), and I was shocked how perfectly they fit – they say that the insoles mold to your feet, which I didn’t think was true, but it is! I didn’t realize how much I needed these, but now that I have them, I’m never taking them out of my boots.

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.

Matching Manis and Lipsticks for fall featuring Finding Ferdinand’s new collections

If you’re a regular here, you’ll know how much I love my Finding Ferdinand products and the company, so I was super excited for their fall collections. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to showcase one of my favorite things to do – match my manicure to my lipstick! As always, you can use my affiliate code with Finding Ferdinand to get 10% off sitewide: liftbakelove10. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about these without being an affiliate. This post was not sponsored, but these were gifted to me.

First up, the Cabernet Collection, which features three sheer lipsticks with the flavor Cabernet Crush. The flavor is super bright and fruity but not in a fruit candy kind of way. It’s more a sophisticated grape flavor that really does pair well with these shades. Like all Finding Ferdinand lipstick flavors, it lasts just long enough without lingering in an annoying way.

Finding Ferdinand Sip Happens and Starrily Oxytocin

Sip Happens, which is my favorite of the collection, is a bright reddish berry that is now my go-to “red.” Because of the sheer quality of the lipstick, this is one of the only red toned lipsticks I can actually wear. It also has enough brown in it to work for me since my natural lips tend to make everything quite pink. I paired Sip Happens with Starrily Oxytocin, which is a dark red holo polish and perfectly matches the vibe of this lipstick.

Finding Ferdinand Grapeful and Holo Taco Purple Slushie

Grapeful is a cool purple shade that reminds me of Finesse but darker. I’ll be honest that this shade doesn’t look great on me on its own, but it’s a great mixer shade to cool another lipstick down without making it lighter. And because it’s a sheer formula, it mixes super well into other lipstick formulas. I paired it with Holo Taco Purple Slushie, which is a vibrant royal purple linear holo from their original rainbow collection. I love their linear holo formula, and this was such a great excuse to use the original rainbow colors again.

Finding Ferdinand On Cloud Nine and ILNP Dash of Cocoa

On Cloud Wine is a super deep red berry shade that is now the darkest lipstick I own. I’m so glad to have it in my collection to add some depth under my lighter glosses (I have a lot of pale glosses that make me look dead, but not on top of this lipstick!). It’s a bit intense for me on its own (like Grapeful) but so useful to have especially now that we’re in the colder months. I paired it with one of my new favorite nail polishes, ILNP Dash of Cocoa. This polish is a deep brown holo polish with a red-to-gold shift. It’s incredibly complex with a ton of depth and so perfect both for fall and with this lipstick shade. I’m still wearing now as I write this, and I can’t get over how beautiful it is.

The second collection is the Pumpkin Spice Collection, which also includes three sheer lipsticks but with the flavor Pumpkin Spice. The flavor is smells exactly like pumpkin pie to me in the best way possible. I’m not even a huge fan of pumpkin scents (I’m much more of an apple person), but I really love this one.

Finding Ferdinand Pumpkin Spice Latte and Holo Taco Orange Drink

Pumpkin Spice Latte is a warm orangey brown that is the exact opposite of Grapeful. I use it similarly as a mixer shade to add warmth to my cool-toned lipsticks and under cool-toned glosses. It’s much less bright than my other orange mixer shade, and I really appreciate having both. I paired it with Holo Taco Orange Drink, which is a vibrant, bright orange linear holo also from their original rainbow collection. As I mentioned above, I love their linear holo formula and loved wearing this color again.

Finding Ferdinand Autumn and Olive and June JJ

Autumn, which is my favorite shade of this collection, is a warm pinky nude shade. This is almost exactly the color of my lips, and I love pairing it with Kackie’s Thrive Lip Liner and a clear gloss. It’s a great my lips but better look for fall for me. I paired this with JJ from Olive and June, which is a rosy terracotta shade. I love this color, but I’m not a huge fan of Olive and June’s formula, so if you have suggestions for a color like this, please let me know if in the comments below!

Finding Ferdinand Cold Brew and ILNP Chai Latte

Last, but certainly not least, is Cold Brew, which is a deep neutral brown that I’ve been loving using to “fall-ify” my punchier pink lipsticks. I’m also wearing this lipstick right now, and it works so well with the deep brown eyeshadows I tend to pull out this season. I paired it with the shade Chai Latte from ILNP, which is a mocha ultra holo, and perfectly compliments the brown tones in Cold Brew. I love the cozy vibes this pair gives me since it feels like having hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold winter night under a blanket.

What do you think of these collections? Would you like to see more matching makeup and nail polish from me? What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for being here! And a big thank to Color Expression for editing these photos – all edit credit goes to him!

State of Kait Made Me Buy These Lip Products

Next up in my “they made me buy it” series is Kait from State of Kait! I really trust her opinion on shades and formulas of lip products in particular, so I wanted to do a run down of all the lip products that I can think of that she inspired me to buy. 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!

I discovered Kait through her Finding Ferdinand blog post. I’m a Finding Ferdinand affiliate (if you’re a regular here, you’ll know how much I love my Finding Ferdinand products and the company), so I was super excited to see who their first ambassador was. I loved every shade Kait came up with, but especially Girl Crush, and So, I worked with the folks at Finding Ferdinand to make a version of Girl Crush just for me (this lipstick was gifted to me in full transparency). I love this shade so much – it’s the perfect neutral warm brown that looks right at home on my face. As always, you can use my affiliate code with Finding Ferdinand to get 10% off sitewide: liftbakelove10. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about this shade even without being an affiliate, and I was absolutely planning on buying it myself because it looked so great on Kait. If you’d like to support Kait, she also has an affiliate code with them: stateofkait10.

My version of Girl Crush from Finding Ferdinand

I couldn’t talk about Kait without mentioning all of the FitGlow Lip Serums I have now. Starting with the, FitGlow Beauty Mini Lip Trio of travel sizes. After hearing Kait rave about this formula, I needed to try them, and $22.4 including shipping (I used Kait’s code Kait20 for 20% off) seemed worth it for this sample set. Unsurprisingly, I fell in love with the nourishing, thick, hydrating, long-lasting formula, and all three shades I got are super flattering. Note: while the one I purchased included the shades Nudie, Halo, and Regal, the set at the time of this post publishing includes Juice, Kind, and Night Lip Serums.

FitGlow Lip Serums in Halo, Nudie, and Regal

When the FitGlow Beauty State of Kait Edit was announced, it was the opportunity I needed to grab some full sizes (it’s an amazing value vs buying them separately especially if you use her code!). The kit comes with Night Lip Serum, Beach Glow, Gospel, and Root. Starting with the Night Lip Serum, I’m not sure I can ever go back to another night time lip treatment again after experiencing it. I have never woken up consistently to such hydrated and nourished lips that lasted for hours into the morning. Compared to every other lip balm and night treatment, this is so much more effective, and I’m so glad I have such a giant tube of it now.

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

Beach Glow is a sheer coppery bronze that is so much subtler than it looks in the tube. I love wearing it over Kackie’s Thrive Lip Liner for that my lips but way better look. Gospel is described as a warm berry, and it’s super in my comfort zone for fall. It’s so easy to slap on with any of my usual makeup looks and is the perfect amount of pigmented for me. Root might be my favorite though – it’s a gorgeous brown plum shade that just really pulls a look together. I love how pigmented it is with one swipe and how much it just screams “fall, but make it sexy.”

I knew I needed to get the Glossier Ultralips once I heard Kait’s YouTube review. I have been loving all of the shades I got – you can see more swatches and comparisons of all of them here. 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. Everything Kait said about the formula is true!

Ultralip in Portrait, Villa, Trench, and Cachet

I already had the Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour, but I was really inspired to pick up the shade Venetian Rose when Kait was talking about it in her Glossier Ultralip Review video. I was reminded of how lovely the formula is (pigmented, nourishing, balmy, glossy finish, all with a much easier to apply applicator than the Ultralips) and could tell the shade would be great for me. It’s a “vintage rose” shade that is so much easier for me to wear consistently than Magic Hour (which is much brighter), and I’m so happy I picked it up.

Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Venetian Rose

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading, and thank you to Kait for all of your amazing recommendations! What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for being here!

August 2021 Favorites

I know I’m a bit late with my August favorites, but hopefully that’s okay! As usual, I fell in love with a ton of new products this month, but am only featuring products in my favorites that are true favorites that I’ve been using consistently for longer than one month. Since I took quite a long break, if there’s anything you were looking for a review on or a topic that you wanted me to cover, please let me know if the comments below! 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!

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini – I have been loving setting my cream products with powder products in a matching tone to make them last longer and add a bit of coverage in those areas. 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.

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini

Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy – 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).

Flower Beauty Chill Out CBD Lip Glaze – If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know I tend towards mid-range, high-end, and luxury products, but sometimes I find a budget gem – this is one of them. These are $10 and just as beautiful and high quality as my lip glosses that are over $30. I have the shades Unwind (a beautiful pink that really brightens up my face) and Peace Out (a sheer shimmery peach that adds a luminosity and glow to any lip color I put underneath). The formula is incredibly nourishing and thick enough to stay within lip lines unlike thinner glosses. It has really great lasting power for a gloss and feels great for hours.

Dieux Forever Eye Mask – I have incredibly dry undereye, and these really lock in hydration and increase the effectiveness of any eye cream I put underneath. They also feel like they are doing a bit of tightening on the undereye area, which I love. They also really stay put so I can walk around and do other things with them on instead of worrying about them sliding down my face like some other eye gels. These are so incredibly worth it for $25 since they are reusable and continue to feel new no matter how many times I use them (whereas some eye patches are in the $2/use mark, these will be around $0.25 per use even if I only use them twice a week).

Allies of Skin Multi Acids & Retinoid Brightening Sleeping Facial – This is incredibly effective and strong, so I recommend only using this if you are already comfortable with retinols and acids. It contains a blend of 7% AHAs + BHA, 1% Retinoid Complex and 7 Brighteners, and it really does everything it says it does! It makes me feels like I have new skin that is brighter, clearer, less dull, and more hydrated. Because I only use this twice a week, this bottle is lasting forever (I got this in May and feel like I’ve barely made a dent in it), which makes the $88 much more reasonable. Plus, I was able to get this for 15% off which made it even more worth it, and, as always, I highly recommend also waiting for a sale to grab Allies of Skin products.

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 10

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.

Dr. Brandt Luminizer Primer – I got this as part of a subscription box in 2019 and finally used it up recently. I found that this was nothing special – it was a little blurring and a little luminizing and didn’t cause any irritation. For $38, I didn’t find that it did anything out of the ordinary to justify that price. I much prefer the Glossier Future Dew (my favorite primer and only $24), Auric Glow Lust, and VDL Lumilayer primer instead and won’t be repurchasing this.

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’m already on my backup and have a couple of other masks I’ll try when I run out, but I’ll likely go back to this.

Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel – This is less than $4 and lasted me quite a long time. It definitely does what it says, and it was totally fine shaving gel. I decided to try the Athena Club Cloud Shave Foam when I ran out of this though because I was looking for something even more conditioning. I have extremely dry skin, and I am appreciating the extra moisture with the one from Athena Club so far. I still haven’t decided if it’s worth paying double for and will provide an update when I run out of that one! Depending on how it goes, I may or may not repurchase the Aveeno one (but please recommend your favorite in the comments if you have one!).

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.

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – This is my HG morning moisturizer. I can’t count how many times I’ve repurchased this, and I find that when I’m trying something else, I can really tell the difference. I find that this helps much more with skin dehydration than just dryness, which is very important for my skin. I also find that it’s a really good prep step before makeup to make sure everything goes on smoothly without catching on any dry patches. I recommend getting this during Sephora’s holiday sales because there’s always set of this and a couple other Dr. Jart+ products for less than the price of just the Ceramidin cream. I’m already on my backup and will repurchase this when I run out.

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!

July 2021 Favorites

I can’t believe it’s already time to talk through my July favorites, which means we’re more than half way through 2021! I fell in love with a ton of new products this month, but as usual, I only feature products in my favorites that are true favorites that I’ve been using consistently for longer than one month. So if you don’t see something you were expecting based on how much I raved about it, you’ll likely see it in a future 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!

Phytosurgence Flash Florescence Cream Shadow in Potent Petal – I have used this shadow so many times since I got it that I feel bad for neglecting my other eyeshadows. Potent Petal is described as a  a soft cherry blossom pink with a slight hint of a champagne shimmer, which is perfect for my brown eyes. The formula is the perfect mix between a matte and shimmer shadow so I can use them for a more subtle day time look or build them up to something super multidimensional and impactful. It’s just so easy! I’ve frequently added the their new Flash Florescence Cream Shadow in Orchid Overload for some extra dimensional glitter, and the glitter sticks to these eyeshadows all day. I also love how much time I have to play with these to get them just where I want them on my lids, but then they dry down and stay put (even through some super intense gym sessions). I have also been loving Wild Oak (the other shade I bought), but Potent Petal is my favorite of the two.

Phytosurgence Skin Spark Blush Balm in Simmer – I have been loving the Phytosurgence blushes I got last month, but in particular the shade Simmer. It’s a beautiful bright pink that really wakes up my whole face. It blends so seamlessly and easily into the skin, leaves an impact with such little product, and stays all day. It doesn’t need to be built up but absolutely can be layered. The finish is just glowy enough without being sticky even though it has a balmy, moisturizing texture. I don’t know how they did it, but it’s basically perfect. it’s just really special, especially considering it’s only $17. If I didn’t own so much blush, I would buy more colors (definitely let me know if you want me to review any other colors though – I will grab them if you comment below with a request!).

Glossier Ultralips – I have been loving all of the shades I got – you can see more swatches and comparisons of all of them here. 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. Glossier says that the formula is so comfortable it’s like “pulling on a buttery-soft, well-loved cashmere sweater”, and I definitely agree. This is like putting on your favorite pair of sweatpants after a long day, but for your lips, and I have been using them so much.

Ultralip in Portrait, Villa, Trench, and Cachet

Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer – I’ve been loving this in the summer because it’s incredibly lightweight but still very moisturizing. It also sinks into my skin so fast, which I really appreciate when it’s this hot and I don’t want to feel moisturizer on my face. It also layers incredibly well with my other morning skincare without causing pilling. I’m planning on picking up the Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer to try for the winter when my skin gets even drier than it is right now – let me know if you’d like a review!

NBM Cuticle BuddyColor Expression, who does amazing nail polish reviews, totally sold me on the Cuticle Buddy. And for $35, you can get 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. I think this is just such an incredible value, especially considering how great the oil is. I got the orange (growth) formula which contains tangerine and sweet orange essential oils, and it smells amazing. I’ve been using this every night, and I definitely feel a difference in my nail health and strength. I’m so excited to have found these and am hoping to pick up some of the fun summer scents when they restock.

What was your favorite product this month? What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for reading!

My 10 most repurchased skincare and haircare items

I’ve been keeping track of all of my beauty purchases and empties since 2016 in Excel. I went back through to see what are the things I finished and repurchased over and over again, and these are the things that made the top of the list. There are a couple of things I’m not including either because I wouldn’t recommend them anymore even having used them for years or because they are no longer available, but these are all the things I’ve repurchased at least 4 times that I’m still planning on getting the next time I need more. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see my most repurchased makeup items, and subscribe if you’d like to see more reviews from me!

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – This is my HG morning moisturizer. I can’t count how many times I’ve repurchased this, and I find that when I’m trying something else, I can really tell the difference. I find that this helps much more with skin dehydration than just dryness, which is very important for my skin. I also find that it’s a really good prep step before makeup to make sure everything goes on smoothly without catching on any dry patches. I recommend getting this during Sephora’s holiday sales because there’s always set of this and a couple other Dr. Jart+ products for less than the price of just the Ceramidin cream.

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 four times! This is the only eye cream I’ve found that actually works to reduce wrinkles around my eyes without irritation and while still adding a ton of hydration. I’ve been able to continually find it on sale, so I usually spend about $40 on average for it. It’s totally worth it for me for how effective it is, and this is another product where I can really tell the difference if I switch to something else.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – I’ve been using this every morning for years, and it’s a staple in my dry skincare routine. It’s simple, effective, not too heavy or light, and plays well under makeup. I don’t have much to say about it except that it’s one of my favorite moisturizers for my dry skin – it just works really works, and I keep coming back to it over and over again no matter what else I try.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator – 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 just bought two more when Ulta was doing 20% off recently. I’m planning on repurchasing this forever unless something really amazing launches that knocks it out of its HG spot in my routine.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist – I use this as a hydrating step while I’m doing my makeup every morning, especially if things are starting to feel a little drier than I want it to be, because I set everything with my Cover FX Setting Spray. I use this very much like a Mac Fix+, but Fix+ breaks me out, so I was so excited to find this. The watermelon mist is so fine, actually hydrating, and smells amazing. I love how it melts all my makeup together to look seamless without disrupting anything.

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. 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.

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 or summer allergies. I try to always repurchase this when it’s 50% off, which it usually is as some point during the year, which makes continuing to repurchase this much more cost effective.

Bumble and Bumble While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair Masque – This hair mask always makes my hair feel completely revived from whatever I’ve been subjecting it to. It’s really magic for my hair. It keeps it looking shiny, soft, and frizz-free without weighing it down. Plus, it smells amazing, and I only need to use it about once every 3 weeks. I usually use it for only about half an hour instead of overnight, and that’s been more than enough to keep my hair feeling great. I love how long one of these tubs lasts for me, but I’ve repurchased it quite a few times because I’ve been using it consistently for so many years.

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.

Soap from The Oakley Soap Co. – This is the best bar soap I’ve ever tried. The scents and colors are so fun and the soap is very high quality – I don’t think I can ever go back to another bar or liquid soap. The soap works well without stripping my skin, and the scents are just strong enough to last a bit but not be overpowering. I’ve used so many bars at this point, and I’ll keep buying this forever as far as I can tell. I also love their shower steamers, which are so amazing for a relaxing (or energizing, depending on what scent you use) experience just by dropping one on the bottom of your shower.

What are your most repurchased items? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading LiftBakeLove!

2021 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.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist – I’m honestly shocked I’ve never written about this on here before, especially because I’ve gone through so many bottles of this. I use this as a hydrating step while I’m doing my makeup every morning, especially if things are starting to feel a little drier than I want it to be, because I set everything with my Cover FX Setting Spray. I use this very much like a Mac Fix+, but Fix+ breaks me out, so I was so excited to find this. The watermelon mist is so fine, actually hydrating, and smells amazing. I love how it melts all my makeup together to look seamless without disrupting anything. I have two back-ups of this and am planning to keep repurchasing it.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – I’ve been using this every morning for years, and I think there will be more of these in my empties because I ended up getting a bunch of the smaller jars in sets and am going through them pretty quickly. It’s simple, effective, not too heavy or light, and plays well under makeup. It’s really such a staple in my routine that I don’t have much to say about it except that it’s one of my favorite moisturizers for my dry skin – it just works really works, and I keep coming back to it over and over again no matter what else I try. I have another back-up to get through and am planning to repurchase unless something knocks it out of my morning moisturizer spot.

Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate – 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.

It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product – This definitely worked well for my hair as a spray-on deep conditioning treatment. It didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, and even though I’m willing to make an investment if the quality is there, I didn’t find this special enough to spend almost $40 on the full size. I’m really happy with the products I recently reviewed from the Inkey List and have a ton of deluxe sample spray leave-in conditioners to get through, so I won’t be repurchasing this.

Allies of Skin Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser – If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I love Allies of Skin products, and this cleanser is one of my favorites. This cleanser creates such a luxurious cleansing experience – you can even use it as a quick, hydrating mask if you leave it on for 5 minutes before washing it off. And while it really does clean, it also leaves your skin feeling hydrated like you used a moisturizer. This is the only cleanser I’ve used that actually helps with any extra dryness and irritation, and I really notice a difference when I’m not using it. I have already started with the backup I had and will absolutely be repurchasing it when I finish that 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 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!

Hot Weather Favorites

Now that we’re really in summer and I’ve experienced a historic heatwave, I wanted to share some of my hot weather favorites. This is a short list of the makeup and skincare that I’ve been relying on to ensure my makeup lasts all day and to improve summer skin issues. If you have requests for other product round-ups, let me know in the comments below! And as always, subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Fenty Eaze Drops in Shade 02 – The formula is almost entirely mask proof and sweat proof, but doesn’t look heavy at all. It has a natural finish that I can easily add dew too with something like Glossier Future Dew without effecting how long it lasts. Even walking around or working out when it’s incredibly hot, it holds up super well all day. I love that I can blend it in super quickly with my fingers, and it looks flawless – during the summer, I want things that are quick and easy, and this definitely checks all the right boxes.

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini – I have been loving setting my cream products with powder products to make them last longer without putting setting powder everywhere. I find this creates a more satin vs matte finish, which is great for someone like me that wants to look hydrated and dewy while still having something long lasting. There are lots of powder bronzers that would work great for this, but I’ve been really loving using the Vesca bronzer. Since I just got this recently, I’ll be doing a full review of it soon – let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini

Cover FX Dewy Finish Setting Spray – This spray in particular is my HG setting spray that I’ve been using for years and love. It’s alcohol-free, it really does add dewiness which I can never get enough of, and it’s so much less drying than other setting sprays I’ve tried. I always use this to finish off any makeup look, but I find it’s especially important in the summer to make everything last all day.

Good Molecules Pineapple Exfoliating Powder  – My skin starts feeling super congested in the summer, and I need to do a bit more than my normal chemical exfoliant routine. Because my skin is generally very dry and dehydrated, I tend towards super gentle exfoliants, especially if I’m going to use a physical exfoliant. The pineapple powder is super gentle while still being very effective. My skin always feels so much better when I use this – much less congested without any irritation. It’s only $16, and this bottle will last forever. I also love that I don’t have to worry about it expiring as quickly because of its powder format.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator – This is my favorite mask to use when it’s been really hot out. This has been such a skin saver for me (and my husband, who also loves this mask!). It’s so hydrating and leaves my skin super soft and moisturized. If my face feels irritated from the heat, it helps my skin feel better immediately because it’s so cooling. It’s even if you keep it in the fridge, and I’ve been loving using mine straight from the fridge lately. It’s pricey but a little goes a long way, and the small jar that both my husband and I use is still going strong.

What are your hot weather favs? Let me know down in the comments below!

My Favorite Nail Polishes Right Now

I am an avid nail polish user and have over 100 polishes – I love trying out new brands and finishes! I’ve gotten requests to share more about my favorite polishes, so I’m going to start sharing my favorites every month! I almost always use Orly Bonder Basecoat and KBShimmer Clearly on Top Quick Dry top coat and will let you know if I needed to use black or white underneath something to make it work. If you’re interested in more nail content definitely let me know in the comments below. And as always, subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Thumb to pinky: Hydropower, Hot-wire pink, Pink Fizz, Lavender Syrup, Sparkling Water

Holo Taco is Simply Nailological’s nail polish brand, and I absolutely love their polishes. I was so excited for the new pastel collection and electric linear holo collections, and these are the 5 I choose to grab from each. The linear holo formula is reliably 2 coats for full coverage in all of the colors Holo Taco makes. Some of them I can even get by with one coat, but I like doing a second coat to ensure depth of color and even coverage. I love how strong the holo is in all of these and how unique the colors are.

Hydropower is my favorite polish from Holo Taco – it’s a vibrant aqua that feels like summer to me. Hot-wire Pink is a bright hot pink, and it’s a color I was always hoping to have in this formula. Pink Fizz is a cool toned pink that leans purple. I was hoping for something more pink when it first came out, but now that I have Hot-wire Pink, I have exactly the pink I was looking for. Lavender Syrup is a pale cool toned lavender that I find leans on the blue side. Sparkling Water is a soft blue shade that is so pretty for spring and summer.

Starrily is an indie nail polish brand based in the US, and one of my favorite brands. Starrily Pegasus is a purple metallic foil that full of micro-flake that make it incredibly reflective. It’s full coverage in 2 coats for me (though Starrily recommends using 3 coats which would be totally okay with me to get this incredible finish). It’s extremely beautiful in the sun or inside, and I think the Starrily Foil formula is incredibly underrated. Starrily polishes constantly sell out, but if you sign up to be notified when they’re back in stock, I find it pretty easy to get the shades I’ve been waiting for when they restock.

Picture Polish is an indie nail polish brand based in Australia that recently had a big sale – I took the opportunity to grab a bunch of different shades and formulas. I’ve watched Kelli Marissa talk about how amazing the brand is for a long time and was very excited to try them out. I was not at all disappointed!

Maldives is a scattered holo warm teal polish that reminds me of the beach and the ocean (check out the website for a more true to color picture – I couldn’t capture it correctly for some reason and want to make sure you get to see how gorgeous the color is!). It was fully opaque in 2 coats, and the finish is really unique for my collection. It is so perfect for summer for me and reminds me of a tropical vacation that I hopefully will be able to take one day.

Chameleon is a green/blue/purple multi chrome nail polish. Depending on the light and angle, it will show up as a different color, and I couldn’t be happier. This is by far my favorite multi chrome formula that I’ve tried – it’s fully opaque in two coats (though you migh tneed 3 if you have longer nails), and the sparkles in it make it truly unique. I also love how it doesn’t require a black base coat, which is rare in this kind of formula as most multi chrome polishes tend to need a black base coat to show up.

What are you wearing on your nails lately? I’d love to know down below in the comments!

The 5 Products I’d Use for A Quick and Easy Full Face of Makeup

Someone suggested I write a post about what I would use for a full face if I could only choose 5 products, and I loved that idea (thank you!!). These are the 5 products I would use to do a super quick “I have a video call starting in 5 minutes that I need to get ready for” look. I have dry skin and prefer a dewy look, so you’ll see lots of cream products and no powder. If you’d like me to do this again but focusing more on something much more sweatproof/long wearing, let me know in the comments below! And if you enjoy reading, subscribe here or follow me @liftbakelove on Instagram for updates!

Glossier Stretch Concealer – My favorite way to use this concealer is all over like a foundation, so it would absolutely be my pick to use as both a foundation/concealer. This is one of the best ways to do a full face fast since you can dot it all over your face, blend, and be done. The Stretch Concealer is my go to for this because it 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.

Glossier Boy Brow – My eyebrows are super thick and unruly and require a brow gel (at minimum) to look okay, so there’s no way I would skip a brow product. My choice would be Boy Brow because it deposits color (but not too much), defines the brow hairs, and has great staying power without being crunchy.

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate cream bronzer and highlight duo in Shade 0.5

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate duo – This might be cheating since this is a duo, but it was one of the first things that came to mind for this. I would use it as a bronzer, highlighter, and eyeshadow. The formula is a little sheer which makes it super easy to just throw on without having to be super precise, and it blends into the skin incredibly seamlessly. The bronzer shade is neutral enough to be used as more of a “brontour,” which makes it a great shade for a one and done eyeshadow look too. I normally always use an eyeshadow primer, but I found that I could use my finger to apply this to my eyes without a primer, and it worked great. Because it’s a cream product, it’ll definitely crease a bit especially without a primer, but I’m totally okay with that for this kind of look.

From left to right: blackberry, raspberry, coral, peach – brighter shades I think would be perfect for this kind of look!

Salt New York Crème Tint Pro – Because the crème tint pro functions as both a lip and a cheek product, they make for a super easy monocrhomatic look. I’ve written about these many times because they are one of my favorite cream products. I own all of the shades they make, and I love that any of them would look great paired with the Tom Ford duo. You can also use them on the eyes if you don’t mind creasing similar to the Tom Ford, and I would totally do that if I wanted to pull the look together even more. This is a great formula for a “I’m running late and need something easy” look – they blend out quickly with a brush, sponge, or fingers and never look patchy.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara – Something always looks a bit off until I finish a look with mascara, so I knew it would have to be one of my 5 products. The only mascara I’ve been using for awhile is this one so it was an easy choice. It makes my lashes look amazing, doesn’t smudge, and actually holds a curl. 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!

If I could choose a 6th product, it would be the Cover FX Dewy Finish Setting Spray. There’s a lot of cream products in this list and no setting powder, and I think adding the setting spray would go a long way for longevity. This spray in particular is my HG setting spray that I’ve been using for years and love. It’s alcohol-free, it really does add dewiness which I can never get enough of, and it’s so much less drying than other setting sprays I’ve tried. It would be a great finishing touch for this almost full face of cream products.

What would your 5 products be? Let me know down in the comments below!

Brand Review: The Inkey List Haircare

After watching Kayley Melissa’s review on The Inkey List Haircare products, I really wanted to know if they were really as good as she said they were. Since her video was sponsored, I was a little skeptical, but 5 products for less than $60 shipped seemed like a great thing to review for all of my readers (thanks for being here!). I used the website’s “recipe builder” to get a routine recommendation and bought 5 of the recommended products. I’ve been testing these since May to make sure I can give a thorough review of their effectiveness and also took a break from using them for the last week to if there was a difference not using them (spoiler: there was!).

PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment ($12.99) – 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 really impressed me! The only con for me is that I can’t stand this packaging – it’s so hard to spray the product. I even had my husband try it to see if it was just me, and he struggled with it too. I love everything else about this product so I will definitely continue to use it and likely repurchase it, but I wish they made it way easier to use.

Peptide Volumizing Hair Treatment ($9.99) – In addition to my hair being super dry and brittle, it’s also really flat. I usually need to give myself a blow out or curl my hair to get any kind of volume, and I’ve been loving that I now can get volume without doing either of those things especially since it’s been so hot here. My hair looks thicker and bouncier whenever I use this and actually has some movement to it. I notice a huge difference when I skipped this, and it’s my go-to for when my hair is looking a little lifeless.

Caffeine stimulating scalp treatment ($14.99) – This product is really unique and was the only one of these that filled an actual gap in my collection. You are supposed to see best results after using it for 3 months, which I haven’t hit yet, so these are my initial impressions. It doesn’t create any issues for my hair even using it every night, and I can definitely already see a different in how fast my hair is growing and its strength. I’ve been seeing a lot less hair coming out onto my brush and in the shower since I started using this, and I’m excited to see the effects over time!

Shea Oil Nourishing Hair Treatment ($9.99) – This is meant for dry and brittle hair (which mine is!) and feels like a serum for your hair. It’s very lightweight and instantly makes my hair look way more hydrated and healthy. It also adds so much shine without destroying any volume I have. I like it a lot better than something like the Moroccanoil Treatment or the Verb Ghost oil which both feel much heavier. Even though it’s incredibly lightweight, I still found that if I applied too much, my hair did feel weighed down and greasy. While this happens much less than with other oil-based hair treatments, I still always try to use less than I think I need to avoid that.

Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Hair Treatment ($9.99) – This is another product meant to add hydration, boost shine, and reduce brittleness. Everything I said about that is true about this, and I used this interchangeably with the Shea Oil Nourishing Hair Treatment. I don’t think you need both, and this works just as well and also doesn’t add any heaviness or weigh my hair down. I found that I didn’t have the same issue when adding too much so I prefer this treatment for that reason, especially when I’m on day 2 or day 3 hair.

This whole haircare routine was less than $60, and I am so impressed by each of the products and how they work together. My three favorites are the PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment, Peptide Volumizing Hair Treatment, and the Caffeine Stimulating Scalp Treatment because they are incredibly effective and I don’t have anything I can think of that’s remotely similar in the price range. That said, they’re all amazing, and I’m very glad I decided to try them out since I now have affordable stapes for myself and that I can recommend to you. Are there other hair products or brands you’d like a review of? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram @liftbakelove!

2021 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.

Allies of Skin Molecular Saviour Probiotics Repair Mist – While my all-time favorite mist continues to be the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, this one is amazing in the morning and during the day, especially to help prevent any mask-ne. It’s lighter than the Josh Rosebrook, and I’ve really loved having both in my collection. That said, I feel I got through it a little too quickly given that it costs $59 for only 50ml (1.7oz). The Jose Rosebrook is double the amount for about half the price so I’ve been using it for all my misting, and it’s been great. If anyone has other mists I should try, please let me know in the comments!

Josie Maran Argan Oil – This is a nice oil – it sinks in pretty well, it moisturizes, it provides an occlusive layer, and it has never broken me out. That said, I love the Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD so much more and have switched back to that already. It absorbs so much faster, and I find that it actually improves my skin brightness and firmness whereas the argan oil is just a nice oil. I tend to get this as a gift with purchase, and I’ll use it when I do (if you’re a regular here, you’ll know I recently finished one of these a couple months ago), but I won’t be repurchasing.

Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil – After finishing this eyebrow pencil, I switched back to a drugstore eyebrow pencil assuming it would be the same. It absolutely wasn’t, and I found myself missing this pencil so much. It’s super easy to get a natural look without going overboard and the color blends in really well. The pigment lasts incredibly long which I’ve found is much more unique than I realized. I think the shade range is pretty great with 12 shades, and I’m glad I can find something that more closely matches my eyebrows than having to choose between a warm dark brown and black. I’m definitely repurchasing this and can’t wait to get back to it!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Primer – This is my HG eyeshadow primer, and I already repurchased the large size of this. My eye lids are naturally much darker than my face so I like to use a primer that’s tinted to help even everything out and get my eyelids closer to the rest of my skin in shade. Beyond being a great color for me, this also helps my eyeshadows show up way better and last longer. I always notice a huge difference when I use this versus when I don’t. I know the large size will take me forever to get through, so I’ll look around to see what else is available then. I can’t imagine anything being better than this for me so I will likely repurchase it!

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara – This continues to be the best mascara I’ve ever used. This is my second mini of the four I got as a buy 3, get one free deal, 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 two more minis to get through after this and will definitely repurchase until an amazing tubing formula comes out that’s better than this one. Let me know if there’s any you think I should try!

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!

Cate the Great Beauty Made Me Buy It

Cate has one of my favorite channels on YouTube, and she is a really great person. She sung me Happy Birthday on a live stream and gave my blog a shout out in a different live stream because she’s awesome! I really appreciate her approach to reviews, and (spoiler) I’ve been incredibly impressed with everything she’s recommended. I’ve even found a few things that aren’t makeup that I’ve fallen in love with because of her channel. If you aren’t following her yet, I recommend it! She also has a bunch of discount codes and affiliate links for various products (including some of these), so I would head over to her channel to use those to support her and save some money.

One of the first things I got that Cate recommended is the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation in 2 Fair. This is a “your skin but better” foundation – it’s incredibly light weight and feels like a moisturizer. It looks incredibly seamless and natural and blends in so quickly. It’s slightly dewy and is low to medium coverage, which are both things I look for in base products. Even though I love this, I likely won’t repurchase it when I run out because I have so many other foundation favorites that are less expensive like the Glossier Skin Tint, Fenty Eaze Drop, and the Typology Tinted Serum.

The Fenty Eaze Drop filled a gap in my foundation collection I didn’t realize I had. It’s a really unique formula that’s blurring, light-weight, not too matte, and doesn’t budge. The formula is almost entirely mask proof and sweat proof, but doesn’t look heavy at all. I love that I can blend it in super quickly with my fingers, and it looks flawless. It also works great with a brush if I don’t feel like using my hands to apply it. I wouldn’t recommend using it with a sponge if you have dry skin, but otherwise, I have no issues with it. I was on the fence given some folks had issues with it, but I trust Cate, and she was right! It’s my pick when I want a bit more coverage than the Charlotte Tilbury Foundation or any of my skin tints.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder in 2 Fair, Fenty Eaze Drop in 2, Kosas Concealer in 02, Glossier Stretch Concealer in G11

I’d heard about the Kosas Revealer Concealer from a bunch of people but Cate finally convinced me to pick it up. It blends out beautifully and doesn’t dry out the area under my eyes – it really does feel like a concealer & eye cream hybrid. It doesn’t lose coverage when you’re blending it out, which is super important to me with concealers since I have incredibly dark under eyes. I can use it both under my eyes and on my face and alone or with foundation. Cate uses the concealer in shade 1, and I think that would have been a better match even though 2 is a good match for my face. I’m planning on trying the new Thrive Causemetics concealer next but would absolutely grab the Kosas in shade 1 otherwise.

I wasn’t sure about the Glossier Stretch Concealer in G11, but I figured I would give it a go because Cate loves it so much. I’m really happy I did – it’s my favorite pot concealer and is great for someone with skin as dry as mine. My favorite way to use this concealer is all over like a foundation. It looks incredibly skin like, lasts all day, and provides just the right amount of coverage for me. It also feels very light weight, and everything I put on top of it looks great. I would recommend using setting powder on top of it if you don’t have dessert dry skin like I do or if you’re planning on doing any amount of sweating.

I know I talk about the Auric Glow Lust all the time, but it really is such a great product. It gives both a super smooth and glowy effect to the skin, whether I use it as foundation, a primer, a mixer, or a highlighter. Of all of my glowy, liquid products, this is definitely my favorite of the bunch. The packaging is also amazing, especially the pump – it’s so much easier to use than something like the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. It feels like much more of a luxury experience, from the packaging to the formula. I have a full review here if you’d like to see more comparisons!

I have no idea why more people don’t talk about the Chantecaille Brightening Eye Nude Kajal – I think Cate may be one of the only people I’ve seen mention it! It’s 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 too yellow. 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 at $29, but mine has lasted me so long, and I think it’s completely worth it.

I had wasn’t planning on buying the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Sculpture Unlocked palette, especially because it was $58, and we all know I don’t really use powder products or need any more of them. Then, I saw it on sale for $35 and decided to grab it after watching Cate’s review of it, and I honestly have no regrets. It’s so quick and easy because the powders are very finely milled and blend seamlessly into my skin (see swatches below). I can do a full face is about a minute, which has been fantastic. If you don’t need a full palette (or can’t find a version for your skin tone which is likely because Hourglass really needs to do a better job at making sure these work for all skin tones), I would recommend getting a mini version of the product you want. They make minis of most of their powder products, and they last forever.

The Pat McGrath Lust Glosses (I now have Pale Fire Nectar and two Pat McGrath Mini Lust: Gloss Trios) is one of my favorite gloss formulas all of time. Cate is obsessed with the Pale Fire Nectar shade so I started there. Everything Cate said about these is true. There is just the right amount of glitter to make my lips look amazing, and the color is perfectly pinky coral without going overboard. The formula is incredibly hydrating and smoothing, even with the glitter. When I saw the trios on sale for $9 at Sephora, I knew I had to get them. Every color in the trios are great for me, and they all have the same great formula. They also have amazing lasting power – you can’t go wrong with this gloss, and there’s usually always a couple of shades on sale on the Pat McGrath website.

Video swatch of Pale Fire Nectar

The Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask is my HG face mask, and I am so thankful to Cate for introducing it to me. 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. My skin feels so smooth, hydrated, and glowy after using this. 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 1.7oz jar is still going strong so it was totally worth the investment.

Cate is known for her amazing headbands, and I love how they look on her. I decided to pick up some of the ones from Soulvation Society after she talked about them. They are so soft and comfortable and feel incredibly high quality. They also stay put and don’t put any dents in my hair. They don’t give me a headache even if I wear them a long time, which I normally have issues with. I got the neturals twist pack which comes with 5 super pretty shades that go with anything else I’m wearing. I’m honestly set for headbands for a long time with these!

I pretty much immediately bought the Frâicheur Facial Ice Globes after watching this video. I love using them at night to help my nighttime skincare absorb quickly and in the morning to depuff my face before putting on makeup. I think they really help my skin improve over time, but even if it’s just a placebo, I love the way it feels when I’m using them. My favorite thing about them is that they really help me with headaches and migraines. They really came in handy when I was experiencing a few terrible migraines last week, and I was so glad I had them. I love that you can keep them in the freezer so I always have them ready to go, which is particularly great when it starts getting really hot.

If you like these influencer made me buy it posts, comment below who you you’d like me to focus on next! Thanks as always for reading!

More Fitness Faves: What I’ve Been Loving That’s Not Beauty

I have more fitness faves to share! I spend most of my time outside of work and testing beauty products training for powerlifting competitions now that we are back in the gym. For some additional background, I primarily focus on increasing strength on the squat, deadlift, and bench, and I am using the RP Diet app to gain muscle while staying in my weight class. If you’d like a review of the RP app, let me know in the comments below! For now, here are some of my latest fitness favorites:

I’m so glad I already had the A7 Soul Go Slippers for deadlifting! They make such a huge difference in helping me really plant my feet into the ground and not slide around when I’m deadlifting. These also enable me to be as low to the ground as possible so I can lift even more. I love how thin they are so they’re super easy to bring with me even in a small gym bag. For $29.95, these are one of my favorite gym investments. They’re also IPF approved, and I cannot wait to wear them in competition.

Most “protein foods” are pretty awful, but the Quest Peanut Butter Cups really impressed me. They are almost exactly like a normal peanut butter cup, but with way better macros. I love dessert and chocolate, but am always looking to hit my protein targets for the day without going over on carbs, so these are perfect. One cup has about 5.5g of protein, 7.5g of fat, and 6.5g of carbs for 95 calories. For reference, a Reese’s peanut butter cup has 2.5g of protein, 6g of fat, and 12g of carbs for 105 calories. Getting double the protein and half the carbs and still getting to eat my chocolate is a win in my book (of course, there’s nothing wrong with eating any food and all food choices are valid!). I’m excited to keep trying more of Quest’s line!

I recently discovered powdered Gatorade Zero. I am a big Gatorade Zero fan to avoid dehydration and personally love the way they taste. I really struggle to get enough water in so this is great for me. But this is way better than buying bottles of it! I love how much less expensive per serving it is and that I can avoid a big plastic bottle every time I drink one. I also can bring them with me when I’m traveling, and they take up almost no space.

I grabbed the Strong Strong Supply Liquid Chalk about a week into lifting again because I really missed having it in my gym bag. Especially with it getting so hot here, having liquid chalk is so useful to help with gripping the barbell. It dries down so quickly so I can put a tiny bit in my hands and get right to the bar. It’s also not messy at all – I don’t get chalk everywhere and feel totally fine using this in the gym. It also cleans off super easily and quickly and doesn’t dry out my hands.

I’m back in the gym, which means I’m back on the Stronger By The Day program. It’s a 4 day a week workout program created by MegSquats that is focused on strength and powerlifting movements. It’s $10/ a month and includes an extra workout day, warm up, and a second program if you’re working out at home. I’ll be doing another 90 days in review with my lift results and how it’s been going, but I am loving it so far!

Let me know if you’d like to see more fitness related content in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!

June 2021 Favorites

I can’t believe it’s already time to talk through my June favorites, which means we’re half way through 2021! I fell in love with a ton of new products this month, but as usual, I only feature products in my favorites that are true favorites that I’ve been using consistently for longer than one month. So if you don’t see something you were expecting based on how much I raved about it, you’ll likely see it in a July or August post.

I think I’ve found my new HG lip liners – the Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liners from Em Cosmetics. 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. I was heavily influenced by Jaime Paige who loves these, and she definitely was right that these are amazing.

From left to right: Em Cosmetics Lip Liners in Kitten and Mink

My lips are incredibly dry right now, and Finding Ferdinand Lip Balm has been so helpful. The formula is really moisturizing, lasts a long time, and is a great base underneath lipsticks. I keep one of these in my purse, and the packaging is very secure so I don’t have to worry about balm getting all over everything. I also have one with their summer flavor Orange Popsicle added to it, and I love this flavor so much. It actually tastes and smells like an orange popsicle and always makes me feel a little bit happier applying it. I have an affiliate code with Finding Ferdinand which you can use to get 10% off sitewide: liftbakelove10. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about this balm even without being an affiliate.

I’m so glad I got the Salt New York Lilac and Tangerine Crème Tint Pro, which is a limited edition duo they launched for spring. At the time of writing this, these are still in stock and on sale. I love using Lilac to cool a look down and Tangerine to warm a look up. These are super useful to bring a look together if something looks just not quite right. I brought them with me on my trip in May so that I could easily through together a monochromatic orange or purple look or adjust my blush to match my eyeshadow or lip color better. These are super versatile, and as with all Salt New York products, the formula is beautiful – buildable, dewy without shimmer, and super easy to blend.

From top to bottom: Salt New York Crème Tint Pro in Lilac and Tangerine

It’s been super hot and dry in our Seattle apartment, and my skin has really been feeling it. The Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator has been such a skin saver for me (and my husband, who also loves this mask!). It’s so hydrating and leaves my skin super soft and moisturized. If my face feels irritated from the heat, it helps my skin feel better immediately because it’s incredibly cooling even thought I don’t keep it in the fridge. It’s pricey but a little goes a long way, and my small jar that both my husband and I use is still going strong.

I don’t talk about nail polish here often, but I discovered a new favorite top coat and I needed to share it with all of you. The KBshimmer Clearly on Top Quick Dry 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.

What was your favorite product this month? What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for reading!

Glossier Ultralip Review

I’m a little late getting this review out because I wanted to spend a lot of time with them. I got them right on launch day and have been using them every day since then, so I feel like I’ve had them long enough that I have a better feeling for which shades are my favorite, which pair best with different lip liners I have, and what other comparable formulas are out there. If you’re looking to get them (or another Glossier product) for less than full price, they normally have a sitewide 20% sale for Black Friday and you can use this link for 10% off sitewide if you are a new Glossier customer.

The Ultralips are a more 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). The shades I chose all have a great level of pigmentation that’s low enough that I can swipe them on without a mirror but high enough that they make an impact. You can also build up the color without anything weird happening like pilling or patching. Glossier says that the formula is so comfortable it’s like “pulling on a buttery-soft, well-loved cashmere sweater”, and I definitely agree. This is like putting on your favorite pair of sweatpants after a long day, but for your lips.

Ultralip in Portrait, Villa, Trench, and Cachet

I have the shades Villa, Portrait, Cachet, and Trench. I was very surprised by how much I like Portrait – it’s a bright pink shade that I didn’t realize I needed in my collection. It goes so well with any of my brighter blushes and really brightens up the rest of my face. Villa is my perfect lips but better shade, and Cachet and Trench are both browny nudes (Catchet leans more purple and Trench more orange) that are very much in my comfort zone. I started writing which one I would choose if I could only choose one, and it turns out, I really can’t. They all have a place in my collection, and I’m really happy with all four of them.

Lisa Eldridge Luxuriously Lucent Lip Colour in Kitten Mischief, Ultralip in Villa, and Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour

I wanted to compare the formulas of the Ultralips with the Lisa Eldridge Luxuriously Lucent Lip Colour, Rare Beauty Dewy Lip Balm, and Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion. The Ultralips are more moisturizing and glossier than the Lisa Eldridge Luxuriously Lucent Lip Colour, but it’s the closest formula that I have. I personally prefer the formula of the Ultralips particularly because I need the extra moisture, but the Luxuriously Lucent Lip Colour plus a gloss works to replicate the effect.

Ultralip in Trench and Rare Beauty Dewy Lip Balm in Thankful

The formula of the Rare Beauty Lip Balm is super similar to the Ultralip formula except it’s a bit more waxy. I also personally can’t handle the smell/taste of the Rare Beauty lip balm so I’m really thrilled to have found a similar color to the one I have to use instead.

Lisa Eldridge Luxuriously Lucent Lip Colour in Spirited Away, Ultralip in Cachet, and Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Venetian Rose

I love how hydrating and glossy the Em Cosmetics Lip Cushions are, and they definitely have a place in my routine, but I find they are so soft and emollient that I need mirror to apply them. The Ultralips are easier to use for that reason, and I don’t worry about them moving outside of my lip line in the same way.

If you want more information on the Ultralips, I highly recommend watching Hannah Louise Poston’s review on them. Her video is over a half hour just on the Ultralips, and she got a few of the shades I didn’t get. I found it really useful in not getting more shades during the recent sale because I don’t think the formula of the brighter shades would work for me. I also really try to remember Hannah’s advice that she’s given before – if you find the perfect shade in the perfect formula, don’t buy more shades, just enjoy using the one you have.

What did you think of the Ultralips? Is there something else you’d like me to review? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for reading!

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 7

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.

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 but I’ll definitely repurchase it again the next time it’s 50% off, which it usually it as some point during the year.

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment – This eye cream has a really weird texture. It was also almost too thick so it didn’t feel like it actually ever sunk in and just sat on top of my skin. Because of that, other products sat weirdly on top of it. I also didn’t see any positive differences in my eye area even after using this entire jar up. On the plus side, it is way more affordable than my HG eye cream (it’s exactly half of the price). I’m not going to repurchase this because it didn’t do anything for me, and I think there are plenty of affordable eye creams that are more effective and have a more elegant formula than this one.

Glossier Future Dew – This continues to be one of my favorite products, and I already had another back-up to start using once this ran out. It’s one of the only things I consistently use every day in my makeup routine. It continues to be 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 got another back-up during Glossier’s 20% off sale recently because I know I’ll continue to go through Future Dew and want another one.

IT Cosmetics CC Cream – I used to love the IT Cosmetics CC Cream. It was my go-to foundation because it made my skin look so dewy and even and played well with other products. It could be a combination of my skin changing as I’ve gotten older or that I just prefer different foundation styles now, but I prefer every one of my other base products over this cc cream now. It feels way too high coverage for me now, and it feels mask-like and heavy. It also emphasizes dry patches, especially if I don’t use something like Future Dew under it (I try to test everything a bunch of different ways for thorough reviews!). I’m not planning on repurchasing it especially since I have so many other foundations I love.

Uoma Beauty Stay Woke Luminous Brightening Concealer – This is a beautiful concealer. It’s medium to full coverage without looking heavy or dry. It dries down to a super smooth and natural finish, and I love how the formula is really easy to blend. I have 6 other concealers in my rotation right now – concealer is a product category I actually really love testing to see if I can find the next best thing. Because of that, I won’t be repurchasing the Uoma concealer, but I would definitely recommend it.

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? I’m planning on posting empties at least twice a month from now on – let me know if you have any feedback on that cadence or if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove in the comments! As always, thanks so much reading!

Typology Review: Tinted Serum and Hand & Nail Serum

I was incredibly intrigued when the Typology Tinted Serum was featured in Kackie Reviews Beauty’s video “Affordable Luxury Beauty Products” since I tend to skew much more expensive on the blog. I want to make sure I’m not always pricing folks out (and if you want more affordable finds, definitely let me know in the comments!). So, I grabbed the Tinted Serum foundation and Hand & Nail Serum to test. I also got the Nourishing Body Scrub which will be coming to a body scrub show down post in the future, both because I think that will be way more useful to see all in one post and because I haven’t gotten to test it long enough to give a thorough enough review.

The Tinted Serum really impressed me! It’s incredibly smoothing and lightweight while providing solid light to medium coverage (which is the coverage level I prefer for foundations). It is actually so smoothing that I got carded at dinner wearing it, and the person said “your skin is so smooth, there’s no way you’re not in your early 20s.” And I’m not in my 20s anymore at all! It wears incredibly well for how moisturizing it feels (as Kackie would say, it wears in without wearing off), and it plays well with every bronzer, blush, highlighter, and powder I’ve used with it. It also contains lots of great skincare ingredients, and my skin definitely feels way less dry at the end of the day than with other base products.

From left to right: Typology Tinted Serum in 001 and 002

The foundation is $29.90 for a 1oz bottle, and you can get a second shade for 50% off. This is pretty amazing if you’re in between shades or get lighter in the winter and darker in the summer. Getting both for less than $45 together feels like a steal compared to my favorite luxury foundation which is the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk and is $64 for 1oz). My only issue with this product is even with two shades, I can’t make a great match because they both run a bit peachy/orange for my skin tone. I’m really excited that Salt New York came out with adjusters so I can make anything lighter and more olive to match my skin (it’s hard to see in the photo below but my skin runs a bit yellow/green/even blue in undertone in real life).

From left to right: Typology Tinted Serum in 001, Glossier Skin Tint in G11, Fenty Eaze Drop in 2, Charlotte Tibury Light Wonder in 2, Typology Tinted Serum in 002

I swatched all of my light coverage foundations/skin tint products so you can see the formula differences and color comparisons. The Typology Tinted Serum 002 swatch is the best representation of how smoothing it looks on the skin vs the 01 swatch is built up a bit for color comparison. The Tinted Serum has more coverage than the Glossier Skin Tint, is much dewier than the Fenty Eaze Drop, and is more smoothing than CT Light Wonder. It actually feels like what you’d get if you had a formula that was the perfect mix of all three of these. I think it’d easy to see how much warmer the Typology products are next to the other shades. The Fenty is by far my best shade match, and I’ve been enjoying mixing it with the Tinted Serum in 001 to tone down some of the peachiness.

The Hand & Nail Serum also really impressed me. I honestly wasn’t expecting much, but I figured it was worth trying for only $12.90. I have 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 am planning to never be without it (which is going to be pretty easy since a little goes such a long way, I doubt I’ll have to replace it any time soon).

What products have you found lately that have really impressed you? What brands or products do you want to see reviewed next? Let me know in the comments! As always, thank you so much for reading!

My Favorite Travel Containers for Beauty Products

I’m so excited that we’re able to travel again! If you’re a frequent reader, you likely already know that I recently spent a month on the East Coast. I wanted to make sure I could bring my staples and have never found containers I actually liked until now: Cadence Capsules. As usual, this is not sponsored, I bought these with my own money (although the company did send me a few extra custom labels – thank you!), and everything in this review in my unbiased opinion.

I feel like I’ve tried a dozen different travel container brands/types, and they all have been really frustrated. My number one issue is leaking – there’s always that one thing that leaks all over your suitcase or purse. I’ve started putting containers in plastic bags (sometimes double bagged) because they leak so much, and that feels so incredibly wasteful to me. I’ve also had containers that never seem to get clean enough to reuse, so I end up throwing them away rather than use them again. Plus, some of them are way too small and definitely wouldn’t fit enough for a month long trip.

That’s why I was so excited to stumble upon Cadence (yes, the Instagram ads got me)! These honestly don’t leak – ever. I’m able to throw them in a bag and not have to worry about anything leaking or spilling. Even with the most watery toner, it was 100% leak-proof. I also love that they magnetize together so I’ll never lose them in the bottom of a suitcase. These hold half an ounce, which is about the amount of foundation I use over 6 months, and they still manage to take up so little space. Because they have such a wide opening (more in the video below), these are incredibly easy to fill with products, and you don’t need a funnel, mini spatula, or spoon to do it. I’m actually still going through some of the moisturizer and foundation I brought because they hold so much, but the ones I did finish up, I’ve already cleaned, and they look brand new again. This is my favorite thing about these because I hate cleaning out those little plastic containers where you can barely get into them unless you want to spend forever with one of those straw cleaners. With these, I can wash them with a normal sponge, it takes a couple of minutes, and they are actually clean.

Because of how streamlined the design is, these are super easy to fill and clean.

Before travelling with them, I use them to use up foil samples that I get. For example, I love emptying out shampoo and conditioner samples so I can get multiple uses out of them and really try out the product. When it’s empty, these are super easy to clean and reuse. And now, with my extra labels, I can easily switch them out so I always know what kind of product is in the capsule without having to use tape or stickers.

I love how easy it is to switch out the labels!

You can get 6 capsules (including choosing your own colors and labels for each capsule) for $70 plus free shipping. I know this sounds like a lot, but I know I will end up saving a ton having to continually buy new containers that break or leak or are impossible to clean. As I mentioned, I’ve been using mine since I got them in 2020, and they’ve held up amazingly well, so I think these are totally worth the investment!

What’s your favorite thing to have when you travel? Thanks for reading, and let me know what you’d like to see next in the comments!

2021 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.

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – This is my HG morning moisturizer. I can’t count how many times I’ve repurchased this, and I find that when I’m trying something else, I can really tell the difference. I find that this helps much more with skin dehydration than just dryness, which is very important for me. I also find that it’s a really good prep step before makeup to make sure everything goes on smoothly without catching on any dry patches. I have already started the next tube and have a backup. I recommend getting this during Sephora’s holiday sales because there’s always set of this and a couple other Dr. Jart+ products for less than the price of just the Ceramidin cream.

Acure Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream – I really liked this cream – it’s super nourishing without feeling super heavy, and it does exactly what it promises to do. It’s also much more inexpensive than comparable creams I’ve tried. That said, my HG is still the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream, and I’m excited to get back to it, so I won’t be repurchasing the Acure.

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 four 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.

Josie Maran Argan Oil – This is a nice oil – it sinks in pretty well, it moisturizes, it provides an occlusive layer, and it has never broken me out. That said, I love the Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD so much more and have switched back to that already. It absorbs so much faster, and I find that it actually improves my skin brightness and firmness whereas the organ oil is just a nice oil. I tend to get this as a gift with purchase, and I’ll use it when I do, but I won’t be repurchasing.

Biossance Squalane Oil – Similar to the Josie Maran Argan Oil, this is also really nice and does everything you’d expect it to do. I also like the Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD more than this for my face. That said, I love using this as a body oil. They make a jumbo size for $48 which you can grab during a sale for even less, and it’s amazing to either mix in with or use on top of body lotions. I have a ton of body oils that I’ve using and testing right now, but this is definitely on the list for a possible repurchase.

Thanks so much for reading! I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? What else would you like to see here on LiftBakeLove? I’m posting twice a week now so there’s double the opportunity for posts!

Phytosurgence Review: Skin Spark Blush Balms and Flash Florescence Cream Shadows

This is yet another brand that I never would have known about until Kackie Reviews Beauty talked about them in a video. I’m so glad she did though because I’ve really enjoyed trying these products out. Phytosurgence is a small indie brand that focuses on transparent and conscious beauty, and they make high performance and affordable products. I’m about to really rave about them so I want to say upfront that this was not sponsored, and I bought the products with my own money.

I own over 30 cream blushes right now, so it takes a lot for something to become a real favorite. The Skin Spark Blush Balm formula impressed me from the first time I used it, and I find myself using them over and over again over all my other cream blushes. It blends so seamlessly and easily into the skin, leaves an impact with such little product, and stays all day. It doesn’t need to be built up but absolutely can be layered. The finish is just glowy enough without being sticky even though it has a balmy, moisturizing texture. I don’t know how they did it, but it’s basically perfect. The only complaint I have about this formula is that I’m not a huge fan of the packaging . That said, knowing they are such a small brand and with how incredible the formula is, I am super okay with having to deal with the pot format. it’s just really special, especially considering it’s only $17. If I didn’t own so much blush, I would buy more colors (definitely let me know if you want me to review any other colors though – I will grab them if you comment below with a request!).

Simmer and Fume

The colors I got were Simmer, a bright pink, and Fume, a dusty rose, and they both look right at home on my skin. I swatched Simmer next to the Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Petal Poppin, the Westman Atelier Baby Blush Stick in Petal, and the the Kajer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming. I swatched Fume next to the Salt New York Crème Tint Pro in Spice, the Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Rose Latte, and the Rituel de Fille Inner Glow Creme Pigment in Lovesick. I hope this gives you a better idea of the shades and formulas. As you can see, the Phytosurgence blushes are much more pigmented and have more of a thickness to them, which I think is what helps make them last so long. They also apply so quickly because of that. One note – the swatches above were on a cloudier day than the ones below, but I would say the colors are accurate in both, just the sheeniness is more true to life on the sunnier day below.

Simmer next to the Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Petal Poppin, the Westman Atelier Baby Blush Stick in Petal, and the the Kajer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming
Fume next to the Salt New York Crème Tint Pro in Spice, the Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Rose Latte, and the Rituel de Fille Inner Glow Creme Pigment in Lovesick

I also own a ton of cream eyeshadows that I love, and I have to admit that these haven’t beat out my beloved Roen or Vesca shadows. They do fill a gap in my collection I didn’t even know I had, and I’m so happy I got them. They are the perfect mix between a matte and shimmer shadow so I can use them for a more subtle day time look or build them up to something super multidimensional and impactful. I’ve frequently added the Bodyography glitter pigments on top for something extra (though I think Phytosurgence might be coming out with their own toppers!), and the glitter sticks to these eyeshadows all day. I also love how much time I have to play with these to get them just where I want them on my lids, but then they dry down and stay put (even through some super intense gym sessions).

Potent Petal and Wilk Oak

The colors I got, Potent Petal and Wilk Oak, are also very special and unique to my collection. Potent Petal is a much brighter pink than anything I own and really brings out my brown eyes, and Wilk Oak is a golden, neutral bronze that is such a perfect smokey but still daytime appropriate shade. I was planning on swatching them next to some other eyeshadows but realized they don’t really compare to anything I own in a way that it could be a dupe – let me know if you have any requests, and I’ll add here or post them on my Instagram stories!

Have you tried anything from Phytosurgence? Are there other products from them or other brands you’d like me to try and review? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

The 5 Makeup Products I missed the most while I was gone for a month

Like I mentioned in my last post, I recently took a month long trip to the East Coast and brought a pared down routine. I tried really hard to bring only what I needed, and there were a bunch of things I left at home and really missed. I was so excited to be reunited with these makeup products this last week and never want to be without them in the future!

I didn’t realize how much I loved the Auric Glow Lust until I didn’t have it for a month. This product is so versatile – 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. It gives both a super smooth and glowy effect to the skin, which is something I can’t find with any other product. It’s a really special product that I missed having and being able to use to liven up, brighten, and blur any look that needs it.

I didn’t bring any powder blushes, but I wish I had brought just one – which would have been the the Em Cosmetics Heaven’s Glow Blush in Magic Hour. 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. This is my go-to for setting cream and liquid blushes, particularly if I know I need my makeup to last all day for video calls or running around a city. This color matches so many of my cream blushes and adds just the right hint of bright pink without changing the overall look too much. I just got this formula in the shade Venetian Rose – let me know if it’s like a review!

Swatches of the 75° Warm , 11:11, and 52° Cool Roen Quads

I bought a mini-palette that I made of single powder eyeshadows, but I so wish I had brought my Roen quads instead. I 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. I totally could have gotten away with just one eyeshadow brush and gotten so many incredible looks with this range of shades, particularly with how many great one-and-done shades there are. I also love that these are so quick and easy to use and last all day which is super important to me when I’m travelling. If I had to pick one, I probably would have gone with the 11:11 but I would have loved to have them all.

I bought my IT Cosmetics CC Cream for foundation because I’m trying to use it up, but it ended up being too full coverage and not as long wearing as I would have liked. The Fenty Eaze Drop would have been a much better choice. The formula is almost entirely mask proof and sweat proof, and it would have been much better for me given all the walking we did outside in the hot weather. It also looks way more natural on my skin while still providing coverage. I love that is blends super quick and easily with fingers which means I wouldn’t have needed a foundation brush, and the packaging would have taken up such little space. Definitely bringing this the next time I travel!

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate cream bronzer and highlight duo in Shade 0.5

I’ve gushed about the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate cream bronzer and highlight duo so many times, and I definitely missed it when I was travelling. It has such amazing formula that blends like a dream, looks natural, and still makes an impact. I love how they are both a little sheer which makes it super easy to just throw on without having to be super precise, and it blends into the skin so seamlessly. I love that this has both a bronzer and highlighter in one and that the bronzer shade is neutral enough to be used as more of a “brontour.” I’ve been using it everyday since I got back, and I’m so happy to have it back in my life.

What are your must-haves when you travel? What do you want to see next here on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments!

The 5 Skincare Products I missed the most while I was gone for a month

I recently took a month long trip to the East Coast and tried to pack as lightly as I could. This meant paring down my routine to the necessities and using up my travel sized products instead of bringing my full size HGs. Because of that, there are a bunch of things I had to leave at home, and there were some skincare products that I really missed and will make sure to take with me from now on!

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – I have no idea why I didn’t bring this with me because it is my ultimate skin saving product. Like everyone else, I hadn’t been on a plane for about a year and a half, and my skin wasn’t ready for it. My skin also reacted to the incredibly high amount of pollen on the East Coast and the change in climate. Since this product is made for irritated skin that comes from dry skin, it would have been super helpful to have it to calm down my skin. I’m definitely going to remember to bring it the next time I travel.

Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask – I know I’ve talked about this before, and it’s because it’s always one of go-to masks. It’s what I reach for for moisturization and calming, which as I mentioned, my skin really need. It is also so great when my skin is feeling extra dull and dehydrated because my skin feels so smooth, hydrated, less irritated, and glowy after using this. It was the first thing I used after washing my face when I got home, and it made my skin feel so much better after being in new environments, planes, and under a mask for many more hours than usual.

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. If you’re looking to get this, I highly recommend waiting for a sale on the Josie Maran site because you can buy it for way less than $78.

Allies of Skin Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser – If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I love Allies of Skin products. I didn’t bring this one because I have a bunch of travel sized cleansers to get through, but I really wish I brought this instead.  This cleanser creates such a luxurious cleansing experience – you can even use it as a quick, hydrating mask if you leave it on for 5 minutes before washing it off. And while it really does clean, it also leaves your skin feeling hydrated like you used a moisturizer. This is the only cleanser I’ve used that actually helps with any extra dryness and irritation, and I really noticed the difference when I wasn’t using it.

PSA Skin the Most – I hardly ever do this, but I feel like the brand’s description is so spot on that I’m just going to paste it in here: “This nutrient-packed hydrating serum is like an island oasis for stressed out, hungover, dull, and dehydrated skin. It provides essential hydration immediately while helping skin cells better retain moisture overall for plump and supple skin.” My skin absolutely loves this serum, and I missed having something for dehydrated and dull skin, especially right after I washed my face. I’m never not bringing this with me again.

What’s your can’t be without it skincare product? Let me know in the comments, and let me know what you’d like to see here next!

My Favorite One and Done Single Shadows

My favorite eye look to do right now is one shadow all over the lid. It’s super quick and easy, but with the right shades, can still be complex and impactful. These are my favorite six products to use for a one and done look! To easily compare, swatches of all 6 are in the middle of this post if you’d like to jump straight there.

I’ve written about how much I love the Vesca Moonlit Dream Cream Eyeshadows, especially the shade Lyra. This formula is still the easiest cream shadow I’ve ever worked with. They stay blendable for long enough to get your look just right, and then they dry down and don’t crease all day. I’m also still in love with the packaging – it’s super easy to only get what you need, and I don’t have to worry about them drying out. The color Lyra is described as a champagne rose with an iridescent reflect, and it’s the perfect coppery, rose, shiny, glittery, works for day and night color for me.

I just mentioned this Bodyography Glitter Pigments in my April favorites, but it’s quickly risen to the near top of my favorite shadows list. Off the Hook has been my favorite. It’s a beautiful taupe/bronze color that makes it perfect as a one and done shadow, especially when I’m looking for something more neutral than Vesca’s Lyra and with way more glitter impact. 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 create a lot of impact and dimension quickly with one shade. They stay all day even with a regular eyeshadow primer, but they work great with a glitter primer too.

I’m a big fan of glittery/shimmery eyeshadows, but sometimes I just want something that’s a super easy matte look. I always rely on the Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot Eyeshadow in Groundwork for that. 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 these are a hybrid primer shadow. It doesn’t crease and stays all day without fading. I know this formula and shade has a lot of hype around it, but it’s my only matte cream shadow for a reason – it’s really the best.

When I want something warmer and brighter, I always reach for the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Rose Gold. I’m not a huge fan of eyeshadow sticks because they tend to dry out on me and become hard to apply and blend. I’ve never had that issue with any of the caviar sticks I have, and the rose gold one in particular has continued to be reliable for much longer than I expected. Like the rest of the shadows on this list, it’s super easy to blend and stays all day. I particularly like this one for travel since it’s compact and I can swipe it on, quickly blend with my finger, and then I’m good to go.

From left to right: Vesca, Bodyography, Mac, Laura Mercier, Hourglass, Chantecaille

When I want a one and done with even more glitter than the Bodyography, the Hourglass Scattered Light shadows are my go-to choice. The shade reflect is a beautiful pink leaning champagne. I love using this when I want a fun look with one shadow, something impactful for a night out (remember those?), or used sheerly as a topper. The only issue I have with these that I don’t find with any of the others is that I sometimes experience fall out, so I recommend using a glitter primer if you have one.

I put this one last because even though I love it, I can’t seriously recommend it because it’s so expensive. Especially with all the other amazing options on the market, you don’t have to ever spend $52 on a single eyeshadow. That said, the Chantecaille Luminescent Eye Shadow is truly special, and I am so happy I have it in my collection. I have the shade Cheetah, which is a beautiful warm champagne. It has just the right amount of gold for me, and I find that it manages to bring complexity even though it’s quite light. I love how much impact this creates so quickly, and I continue to have to convince myself not to get another one.

What round up would you like to see next? I’d love to know, so leave it in the comments!

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 5

Back again with another 5 empties (fully finished products)! I have a very big backlog of empties, but as usual, I am keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short. This is a little different than my usual empties posts because I happened to finish a set of products that I love and have repurchased already at the same time. So as a spoiler – these are all HGs for me and most of them I have more than at least one backup of already.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator – This is still 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 already have at least two more bottles of this, and I will continue to repurchase this forever unless something really amazing launches that knocks it out of its HG spot in my routine.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – Somehow I’ve never posted about this moisturizer before, but I’ve been using it every morning for years. It’s simple, effective, not too heavy or light, and plays well under makeup. This is just such a staple in my routine that I don’t have much to say about it except that it’s one of my favorite moisturizers for my dry skin – it just works really works, and I keep coming back to it over and over again no matter what else I try.

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 the mini for $3 and the full size 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. There are a bunch of balmy formulas I’m testing for review so I may be taking a break from this, but it’s such an easy, moisturizing, pretty formula that I love having in my collection.

Olaplex No. 3 – 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.

Nuface Gel Primer – I know the Nuface device is expensive, but it really works, and I’ve kept using it consistently since I last posted about it. This is the gel that you used to go along with the device, and although you can find cheaper alternatives, I really like how this one feels and how it makes my skin feel after I use it. I bought the larger size on sale after finishing this 2oz tube, and it’s both a better price per ounce and better packaging with a pump. It also takes me way longer to use up than I expect, so it’s worth the investment for me. That said, it’s usually easy to find both the device and this gel primer on sale, so I would recommend not paying full price for them.

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!

April 2021 Favorites

Another month has flown by, and it’s been feeling like it’s already summer some days! This month’s favorites are a mix of tried and true favorites and some newer products I’m really excited about sharing with all of you.

The one skincare product I wanted to mention this month is the 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 has lasted me forever! This is a dry skin staple I can’t live without.

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate in 0.5

I’ve had the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate duo for about a year now, and it’s been included in 3 favorites post already so you may have read everything I’m about to say. I’m still in love with this formula, and the shade intensity 0.5 is just so great for my skin tone. A lot of reviewers aren’t a big fan of the highlight shade, but I’ve continued to love it. The formula for the bronzer shade is a little sheer which makes it super easy to just throw on without having to be super precise, and I can build it up without worrying about overdoing it. When I’m really having trouble in the morning because I’m exhausted and my coffee hasn’t hit me yet, this is my go to face product for a “my face but better” look. It’s great to be able to grab this duo and have products that I know work well together and pair well with any blush I own.

Fenty Eaze Drop in shade 2 and Glossier Skin Tint in G11

I know the Fenty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint has been a polarizing product that some people really hate and some people really love. I am on the side of loving it, and it’s my new HG foundation. My usual go to is the Glossier Skin tint but I’m finding that it’s a little too dewy and very much not mask proof though now that we’re actually leaving our apartment and it’s getting hot outside. So, I decided to try the Fenty Eaze Drop, and it’s everything I want in a summer foundation. It’s almost entirely mask proof and sweat proof, and it stays all day (even after a test I did with 14 hours of wear and a 10 mile walk). It looks so natural on my skin while still providing coverage, and it blends so easily. I actually have been applying with my fingers (though a brush works great too!), and it’s the fastest foundation application I’ve ever experienced. One thing to watch out for – I have tried with a sponge and don’t recommend it since it seems to suck up the moisture in the foundation and make it too dry. Other than that, I’ve had no issues!

Bodyography Glitter Pigment in Off the Hook

I got 3 Bodyography Glitter Pigments recently because I had a really great coupon code and have been really wanting to try them since watching Katie Jane Hughes use them over and over again. 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 create a lot of impact and dimension quickly with one shade. They stay all day even with a regular eyeshadow primer, but they work great with a glitter primer too. While I love all three shades I got, Off the Hook has been my favorite. It’s a beautiful taupe/bronze color that makes it perfect as a one and done shadow.

If you’re a regular reader, you already know how much I love the Pat McGrath lip glosses. I got another trio in the Sephora sale (the set of 3 minis was $9!).  The formula is incredibly hydrating and smoothing, and the three new shades I got are such great colors for me. This one in particular is Flesh 6, which is a rich rosy brown color with no glitter. The non-glitter shades have just enough shine without going overboard and have even better lasting power than the glitter ones (which last amazingly well for a gloss). If you can find the trios on sale either through Sephora or Pat McGrath’s website, I highly recommend getting them.

What was your favorite product this month? What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below!

Fitness Faves: What I’ve Been Loving That’s Not Beauty

I wanted to take a quick break from beauty to talk about some of things I’ve been loving in the fitness and lifestyle realm. My other main hobby than beauty is fitness, so I like to share some of that here once in awhile. I’m hoping to do a bit more once we’re back in the gym but please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see!

We’ve been doing the Team Plans Full Body Fit Guides given that we still don’t feel comfortable being back in the gym yet. We’ve gone to the gym in our apartment building a couple of times (as you’ll see in some of these photos) because they only allow one household at a time, with masks on, but we try to workout in our living room as much as possible. The plan is 3 HIIT style workouts a week using 15 pound and 5 pound dumbbells and optional bands (which I also have from the Team Plans and one from Buffbunny). I truly believe that I get almost as good as gym results at home for less than 2 hours a week with these workouts. I used to be in the gym constantly, and it’s amazing to me how effective such short workouts can be. The guides are also super affordable relative to workout programs I’ve been on before (and you can do the free videos on YouTube instead). They are also just really fun, and I am so thankful for these workouts for helping me continue to be an athlete over the last year.

Wearing the Buffbunny Jade Mesh Bra and Limitless Leggings in Citrus Lilac

I’ve never been able to handle pre-workout before, but the Buff Chick Supplements Buff Pump is 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 do them, because I will take the pre-workout and then feel like I need to workout after to “not waste it.” Then, I’ll usually have enough energy to add on a yoga session or one of Abby’s mobility flows, which I’ve really gotten a lot out of. Unlike other pre-workouts, this doesn’t make me feel weird, jittery, or shaky. My favorite flavor is the Watermelon Pump, but the Sour Lemon and Cherry Limeade are also really good, and I’m already on my second container of the Sour Lemon. I can’t wait to see what Buff Chick comes out with next!

Wearing the Buffbunny Canceled Sports Bra in Shaded

Anyone who knows me has heard about my Buffbunny obsession. I have a ton of leggings, shorts, sports bras, tanks, crops, and even a jacket. I love every single thing I’ve gotten and have found the quality to be just as good or even better than Lululemon for much more reasonable prices. Pieces I’ve worn and washed over and over again still look brand new, and I find myself reaching for them over all my others for my workouts or just to wear during the day. My favorites are the Limitless Leggings, Rosa Pocket Leggings, Limitless Flow Tops, Jade Mesh Bra, Arnold Bomber Jacket, Canceled Sports Bra, Material Girl Ribbed Biker Short, and Spin Tank. I picked up a few things yesterday for their Marble and Ecoline launches – let me know if you’d like to read specific reviews about any of the pieces!

Wearing the Buffbunny Aurora Crop and Limitless Leggings in Citrus Blue

I never thought I’d get so excited about a “protein snack”, but the Quest Nutrition Tortilla Style Protein Chips have proven me wrong. They are almost the same as Doritos, but with almost 20g of protein for the same number of calories for a serving. I’ve been snacking a lot more these days since we’re still mostly just home all day, every day. These have been a great way for me to eat chips and get my protein in too. I was really surprised at the texture and taste of these, for both the Nacho Cheese and Ranch flavors. If I had to choose one, I’d definitely choose ranch.

This is going to sound silly, but as I’ve written about before, I really struggle to drink enough water. I’ve purchased so many different water bottles and tumblers to help me drink more water. My amazing friend Alice suggested I get the Tronco 20oz Glass Tumbler – it holds a lot more water than any of the glasses we have, the protective sleeve helps keep water cold and comes in so many colors, and it comes with a lid and straw. I have really loved it and use it every day as my main drinking glass, I’ve starting drinking more than triple the water because I love it so much. It’s also so much easier to clean than a traditional water bottle, especially because it’s dishwasher safe. For less than $20, this has been one of my best investments of 2020.

What have you been loving lately? Is there anything you’d like me to review? Let me know in the comments!

Auric Glow Lust vs Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

I wanted to wait to do this comparison post until I really had time to use the Glow Lust long enough to really be able to talk through the nuanced differences between it and the Hollywood Flawless Filter. For those unfamiliar, Auric is a new brand recently launched by Samantha Ravndahl and their Glow Lust product is often compared to the Hollywood Flawless Filter, so I wanted to compare their price, packaging, and formulas to help anyone who is trying to decide between them! Before I get into it, if you have one, you don’t need the other. I’m going to talk through how I use them both in my routine, but I want to say upfront that they aren’t different enough that you absolutely need both.

Comparing prices, the Glow Lust is $45 and the Hollywood Flawless Filter is $44. That said, you get 1.18 ounces for the Glow Lust ($38/ounce) and 1 ounce for the Hollywood Flawless Filter ($44/ounce) so the Glow Lust is more cost effective. With something like the Sephora sale going on right now, Rouge members can get the Hollywood Flawless Filter for around $35, so they are very comparable in terms of price.

The Glow Lust wins hand down for packaging for me. It feels so much more luxurious, down to the writing on the bottle (look at Hollywood Flawless Filter bottle writing just peeling off!). The Glow Lust bottle has the best pump I’ve ever used – I can pump out as much or as little product as I want without having any wasted product. It’s much harder for me to control the Hollywood Flawless Filter because of the large doefoot, especially if I want to use a tiny bit to spot highlight. It also gets all over the bottle opening and can feel really messy. Choosing purely on packaging experience, I would go with the Glow Lust every time because the bottle is just designed so well for this kind of product.

Glow Lust in Selenite and Hollywood Flawless Filter in 2

It’s probably impossible to tell the differences in formula from the above swatch, but they are definitely different. The Glow Lust has a much thicker texture that feels closer to a moisturizer than a liquid highlighter. For me, that makes it much better to mix it with my primer or foundation, particularly since it adds additional moisture (which my dry skin can never get enough of). I’ve also used it in lieu of foundation, and it creates this lovely smoothing effect that makes my skin just look good. I find the Hollywood Flawless Filter has just a bit too much shimmer in it to use by itself or mixed in with other all-over face products, as it turns everything into a shimmer finish that just looks off when applied all over. That said, that’s what makes the Hollywood Flawless Filter a great spot highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones. It gives slightly more of an impact than the Glow Lust when used in this way, and it’s my go to for video calls when I want my face to look less flat. Of course, you can use the Glow Lust in this way, and it works amazingly well (as I mentioned in my February Favorites). To achieve my most glowy look, I use Glossier Future Dew as my primer, mix Glow Lust in with my foundation, and then use Hollywood Flawless Filter as my highlighter – I look hydrated and healthy without looking greasy and the lasting power is still great after at least 12 hours of wear.

If I had to start my collection from scratch, I would absolutely buy only the Auric Glow Lust out of these two. 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.

Are there any other comparisons you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments below!

2021 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. That said, 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.

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.

Molecular Saviour Probiotics Repair Mist. – While my all-time favorite mist continues to be the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, this one is amazing in the morning and during the day, especially to help prevent any mask-ne. It’s lighter than the Josh Rosebrook (which I use at night), and I actually really love having both in my collection. I’ve also still been using this before their Vitamin C serum to help it absorb, and I love using it that way. I’m currently using the backup I already had and will absolutely be repurchasing this again when I run out of this bottle.

Drybar Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler – I don’t think this is anything special, and it definitely doesn’t beat out my favorite detangling product, the Oribe Run-Through Detangling Hair Primer. But even if it worked incredibly well, I just can’t over the smell. It’s so strong and lingers for so long. I’m sure that’s great if you like the scent, but I’m not a fan. It also mixes super weirdly with any perfume I’m using. As a perfume lover, that makes it an instant not repurchase for me.

Bumble and bumble Bb.Repair Blow Dry –  This does exactly what it promised – gives really smooth, shiny hair when you blow dry it. My hair definitely feels healthier when I use this when I blow dry my hair than when I don’t. As usual, I’m currently working through a bunch of hair styling treatments, but this is definitely in the running for repurchasing when the time comes.

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara – 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 three more minis to get through after this and will definitely repurchase until an amazing tubing formula comes out that’s better than 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 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!

March 2021 Favorites

This month went by so fast – I feel like I was just writing about my February 2021 Favorites yesterday! Spring is finally here, and I’ve been loving leaning into brighter colors as it gets warmer outside. I didn’t include any skincare products this month because I’ve talked about so many of them recently, but let me know if the comments if there’s anything you’re interested in learning about!

I now own over 20 cream blushes – it’s by far my favorite makeup product. And I think my new favorite formula out of all of them is the Kjaer Weis Cream Blush. I love that I can just buy a refill and put it in my Salt New York empty palette, and that it’s still around $30 even for a luxury, “clean” product. This formula has the perfect balance between blendable and long-wearing. It’s so easy to work with, create impact, and stays all day. I was shocked to find that it was still on my cheeks after wearing makeup for over 15 hours. Because I own so many cream blushes, I tried to get a shade I didn’t have already and chose Sun Touched, and it’s the perfect shade as we transition into spring. I also love mixing it with Spice and Rose , my favorite shades from Salt New York, for that “sun touched even though I never go outside” look.

Swatches of the Salt New York Blushes in Rose and Spice and KW Blush in Sun Touched

I’m shocked I haven’t written about the mini base brush from Sonia G. yet. I got it as part of the Keyaki holiday 2020 set, and while I love all the brushes in that set (so much so that I am still considering buying a backup set), this brush is truly one of a kind. It blends cream blush and highlight with no effort and is the perfect size for my face. For something that applies so seamlessly, I usually expect to have trouble picking up product. This brush is dense enough to pick up enough product and flexible enough to create a diffused look. If anyone connected to the company is reading this, please bring this brush back into your permanent line!

I was having trouble with some of my glitter eyeshadow toppers not staying put all day and moving around, so I decided to pick up the NYX Glitter Primer, and it’s a total game changer. It goes on super smooth, helps glitter adhere all day, and doesn’t cause any irritation. I really appreciate how lightweight it is on the eyes while still creating a great base for glitter to stick to. I definitely have had way more success with my glitter toppers with it, and I’m so glad to have found something under $10 that works as well as this does!

I’ve been loving all three of the Roen eyeshadow quads, but my favorite is absolutely the 11:11. 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.

Swatches of the Roen 11:11 Quad

My lips have been super dry lately, and I’ve been leaning on the Glow Recipe Glow Lip Pop Balms a ton. I have both scents/colors, but I like the watermelon better. They are hydrating, leave a nice stain, and smell great. They also gently exfoliate while you’re using it, which I really love. I’m always forgetting to take the time to scrub my lips, so this is a really easy way to buff away anything on my lips during the day when I apply this. My favorite way to use it is actually underneath my more matte lipsticks, especially darker brown ones like Velvet Affair from Lisa Eldrige. It mixes with the color to make it feel more springy while also making sure my lips don’t dry out from the matte formula.

The Replica Coffee Break perfume reminds me of a coffee shop on a Sunday morning early in the day before it gets busy. I used to love going to get coffee every Sunday with our friends (who I miss so much!), and this reminds me of when that was a thing. Even with the vanilla notes, it’s not too sweet. It’s perfectly balanced with pepper, citrus, and tonka bean notes, and it’s my favorite perfume that I own in the vanilla/veviter/patchouli category. One important note – this doesn’t smell anything like coffee. If anyone has a recommendation for something that leans closer to actual coffee, let me know in the comments!

I got this Ouai Scalp & Body Scrub as a gift with purchase, and I didn’t expect to get a lot of use out of it. It turns out that it’s the best scalp scrub I’ve ever used (and I’ve tried a lot of products like this). It works really well as a scalp scrub in that it gets out any residue or product build up that I have in my hair. What I really love about it though is that it actually hydrates as it works so I don’t have to worry about irritating my already super dry scalp. It makes my hair feel so much cleaner but without drying anything out, and it also smells amazing! I’ll definitely be buying the full size when I run out.

What was your favorite product this month? What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below!

Kackie (Reviews Beauty) Made Me Buy It

Kackie has one of my favorite beauty channels to watch – so much so that I now start my day every weekday morning watching her newest video with my coffee, 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. 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. There are, of course, a couple of things I wouldn’t buy again, and you’ll have to read on to find out which ones. With that incredibly long intro, let’s get into the products!

All of the products I’ve bought because of Kackie

Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm – I mentioned this in my 2020 body care favorites, and I’m still obsessed (and I really try not to use that word too much). This is the most amazing smelling product I own, hands down. My husband also loves it both because of the scent and how moisturizing and quickly absorbing it is. Because it’s 17oz, I feel like it’s going to last forever, and it’s totally worth the price to me.

Supergoop Zincscreen – My HG sunscreen, Krave Beauty The Beet Shield, was out of stock (as usual) when I saw Kackie recommend it. This sounded great because it’s meant for sensitive skin and supposed to work well under makeup as a glowy base. I used it every day as my primary sunscreen and have loved it under makeup or by itself. It has no white cast, blends super quickly, and isn’t too heavy on the skin. The only thing I don’t love about it is the way it smells – I can’t describe it but I just don’t like it. I decided not to repurchase it so I could try the Josie Maran sunscreen I talked about in my post last week, but I did really like it while I used it.

W3ll People Bio Baked Brightener Powder – I use this powder as a last step before my setting spray to clean up and brighten any areas that might need it. It’s perfect for that, and I’m surprised I didn’t have something like this in my routine. Kackie mentions this all the time as a way to correct going too far with blush or bronzer, and it really works for that purpose without adding coverage or mattifying your skin. It is one of the only brightening products I’ve ever used that actually works, and I’m so glad I picked it up.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Liquid Set for Cheeks – I mentioned this highlighter in my 2020 favorites, and it’s still a favorite. I’ve also fallen in love with the bronzer! They both give an ethereal, natural, glowy effect while actually drying down so they last all day. I really love them both, and I’m pretty sure you can’t get them separately so I’m totally happy to have bought the set to get them. This blush formula is not my favorite – it’s pretty hard to control, and I’d rather use any of my cream blushes instead (like the ones I’ll talk about next). That said, if you’re a liquid blush person, I think you’d love these, and I do like them a lot better than the Glossier Cloud Paints which tend to disappear on my skin extremely quickly.

Petal Poppin and Rosé Latte in natural light

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush – I just wrote about these in my February 2021 Favorites, so I won’t repeat myself too much. This is one of my favorite cream blush formulas, and I don’t think I would have chosen the Rosé Latte shade if Kackie hadn’t shown it on camera. I figured if it worked for her, it would work for me, and I was right! I’m so glad I ventured out of my comfort zone a bit with that color because it’s now one of my favorite shades in my collection.

Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Petal – This continues to be my the perfect “natural but makes me look way healthier and hydrated than I am” shade. It’s 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.” I also continue to love the packaging, which just makes it a joy to use. I’ve written about this a few times on the blog because it’s been a favorite since I bought it.

Roen 52° Cool, 11:11, and 75° Warm Eyeshadow Quads

Roen Eyeshadow Palettes – Every time Kackie used these, they looked incredible. She described them as having no compromises in formula, fun and easy to use, and something she wanted to reach for everyday. And I totally agree! I have really fallen in love with the formula and every look I’ve gotten with these. I love that I can do a one or two shadow look in seconds, and it has a ton of impact that lasts all day. The 11:11 quad is definitely my favorite, but I have no regrets getting all three.

Swatches of the 75° Warm , 11:11, and 52° Cool Roen Quads

Vesca Moonlit Dream Cream Eyeshadows – I will admit that I bought these eyeshadows right after I saw Kackie’s reaction the first time she used the shade Lyra. I have absolutely no regrets! These eyeshadows are by far the easiest cream shadows I’ve ever worked with, and I still love the packaging – it’s super easy to only get what you need, and I don’t have to worry about them drying out. It’s so hard to choose between these or the Roen shadows if I had to only choose one sparkly/wet/creamy formula because they are all so beautiful, and I’m glad I have them all.

Thrive Causemetics Eye Brightener, Mascara, and Lip Liner – The mascara and lip liner are both now my standby HGs. I haven’t used any other mascara since I got this one (don’t worry – I switched to a new tube since then!). I can’t see myself switching any time soon.  It makes my lashes look amazing, doesn’t smudge, and washes off so easily. The lip liner I got is actually in the shade Kackie as it is Kackie’s collaboration shade. This is my favorite lip liner shade, and I can put any gloss or lipstick over top of it and it will look perfect. The formula also manages to be creamy, not drying, and have great staying power. The eye brightener is the only thing I didn’t love – the formula is great, but the shade I got is both too light for an all over color and too dark for an inner corner shade. I don’t reach for it very often for that reason and wouldn’t buy it again if I could go back in time.

Finding Ferdinand Custom Lipstick – I still can’t over being able to literally make any color that has a hex code for only $30. And the formula is incredible – it’s somehow sheer, impactful, moisturizing, and long-lasting all at the same time. The packaging is also so well thought out and truly feels like a luxury product. If I ever need another lipstick, even though it will definitely be awhile, I will be getting it from Finding Ferdinand. I do have an affiliate code with Finding Ferdinand which you can use to get 10% off: liftbakelove10. I wrote this review before I had this code, and like all my reviews, is my completely unbiased opinion.

Vesca Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil – I’ve already talked about this product on my blog twice because I love it so much. it’s like a lip balm meets lip oil meets lip gloss, and it’s one of my favorite lip product formulas I’ve ever tried. 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. Kackie showed all of the shades in a recent video, and it turns out that the shade I have (Ginger Lily) is likely the perfect shade for me so not only did she influence me to buy one of my favorite lip products of all time, but she saved me from buying a ton of other shades that wouldn’t have looked great on me.

Glossier Berry Balm Dotcom – I’ve written about how much I can’t stand the birthday shade of the balm dotcom and was pretty sure I would never get another one. Then Kackie included it in a best + worst lip balms video raving about them a few months ago, and I realized I could get one for essentially free while buying replacements for two of my favorite products of all time, Futuredew and Boy Brow since they come in a set. The berry shade is so much better than the birthday, and I can actually say I really do like it. It’s not in my all time favorites because I have a few balms I reach for more, but I absolutely don’t regret getting it, and it’s still getting a lot of use.

Acure Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream – I have super dry skin, and Kackie recommended this for someone who really need a lot of moisture in their night time routine. I really like this cream – it’s super nourishing without feeling super heavy (just like Kackie said it would be). It’s much more inexpensive than comparable creams I’ve tried. That said, my HG is still the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream, and I’ll be switching back to that once I finish this. I’m super excited to have found a less expensive alternative though if I ever need it!

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! What would you like to see next?

New Products I’m Loving

There’s some new products that I’ve recently gotten that I really wanted to share because I love them so much! It isn’t quite time for March favorites, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable including these yet as I aim to test things for at least a few weeks if not months because I deem them a favorite, so I wanted to make a separate post. You likely won’t see these again until April when I’ve had more time to thoroughly test them, but I hope these quick hits of new products is still helpful.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 – My favorite sunscreen of all time, Krave Beauty’s The Beet Shield, is still sold out, and I’m almost out of my current sunscreen. I decided to give this a try since it’s a favorite of so many people with dry skin. They weren’t wrong – it’s both moisturizing and lightweight and doesn’t leave a white cast despite being an all mineral sunscreen. I’m so excited to have a higher SPF product now that it’s finally getting nice outside. I’m even more excited to have one that 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.

PSA Skin The Most – I recently wrote about how I stopped buying hyaluronic acid serums because they tend to either not do anything or are actively destructive for my skin. So when Allies of Skin sent this to me (PSA is their sister brand), I expected to hate it or at least feel indifferent about it. I was so wrong! This really made a huge difference for my skin in a way I never expected. I’ve used it with slightly damp skin right after showering with a tiny amount of moisturizer on top and been able to wait hours before using anything else. This is actually game changer for me – usually I need to really think about when I shower at night because I need to do my whole skincare routine after to avoid my skin getting dry and dehydrated. Then, I worry about what to do after taking a walk, doing yoga, or eating dinner if I’ve already done my routine – do I start all over or hope it’s fine? With this product, I can shower whenever and do the rest of my skincare routine whenever I want! And of course, even though I was gifted this, all opinions are 100% my own, and I am absolutely buying this with my own money whenever I run out.

Dew Wet Balm (left) and Finding Ferdinand Lipstick (right)

Danessa Myricks Dew Wet Balm in Rosewater – I’ve been obsessed with the idea of owning the Super Loaded Tinted Cream Highlighter from Westman Atelier for however long it has existed. But every time I thought about getting it, I just couldn’t do it – it’s $75 and apparently full of glitter which just isn’t for me. Then, I discovered the Dew Wet Balm in Rosewater for $22 and decided that this could be the perfect thing to get instead. And I was right! It’s the perfect texture that’s balmy without being sticky. It picks up from the pan so easily, blends out fast, and dries down to a gorgeous sheen that doesn’t budge. It also imparts a beautiful touch of rosiness to add to any blush I’m already using. It’s not full of glitter, it’s not $75, and I’m so happy I found it.

Finding Ferdinand Custom Lipstick – I’ve been having so much fun playing around with the custom lipstick maker on this site – you can literally make any color that has a hex code for only $30 (for comparison, Bite Lip Lab charges $60 per lipstick though you do get to meet with a consultant in-person or on Zoom). And the one that I ended up getting is a beautiful color that matches so well with my favorite lip liner in the shade Kackie. It also adds some springy brightness and sheen to any of my other lipsticks without needing to go straight to a gloss, which I’m so pleased with. This is also possibly my favorite lipstick formula – it’s somehow sheer, impactful, moisturizing, and long-lasting all at the same time. And the packaging feels so luxurious! If I am ever able to pan a few lipsticks, I know exactly where I’m going to get some new ones. I do have an affiliate code with Finding Ferdinand which you can use to get 10% off: liftbakelove10. I wrote this review before I had this code, and like all my reviews, is my completely unbiased opinion.

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!

I do everything I can on this blog to give thorough reviews of products that I’ve tested for at least a month or two (if not years), but I couldn’t keep these five to myself! Do you want to see more early impressions of products or should I stick to reviews of products I’ve had longer to try? Let me know!

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 3

Back again with another 5 empties (a fully finished product)! I have a bunch of empties this month, but am still keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short, so you’ll likely be seeing them a little more often than usual for a bit. That said, 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.

Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask  – I’ve talked about this in 3 favorites posts now because I love it so much. My last jar lasted me from before January 2020 until now, so for me, it’s 100% worth the $34 price for the jar (especially if I can get it on sale). I only use this mask twice a week when I use my AHA toner, and it really helps with any potential irritation that comes with using an exfoliator. It also makes a huge difference in taming the redness in my skin that I really don’t have any anymore. I already had a replacement because this is one of the only products I know I can’t be without, but I will absolutely get another jar in 2022 when I finally run out again.

Cover FX Dewy Finish Setting Spray – I mentioned this in my 2020 and 2019 favorites and, like the Cica mask, I already had a backup because I love it so much. This is my HG setting spray that I’ve been using for years, and something really incredible would have to come out for me to switch. It’s alcohol-free, it really does add dewiness which I can never get enough with, and it’s so much less drying than other setting sprays I’ve tried. And yes, I do already have a backup for my backup that I’m using now.

CosRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner – Unlike those first two, I will not be replacing this. For me, it just didn’t do anything, and even though it’s “only” $19, I really want every step in my skincare routine to be an effective one. It’s supposed to be a very gentle exfoliating toner/prep your skin for other chemical exfoliators, but I really didn’t notice a difference after using it for over a year. I don’t think this is a worthwhile step in my skincare routine, and so not only did I not replace it, I didn’t get anything else to sub in for this step.

Dr. Jart+ Tiger Grass Cream – I love this product for when I’m having any skin issues, especially when I’m testing something new and have a reaction. This always helps calm my skin down quickly, and it’s so nourishing. I also have really loved using it for my super dry winter skin. When we used to be able to travel, I loved having some of this with me because it’s perfect for after a flight or long car trip to help with dehydrated skin. That said, as much as I love it, I am testing a few heavy-duty creams right now, so I won’t picking up another bottle unless it beats out the ones I’m trying. I will report back in a future post!

Living Proof Restore Smooth Blowout Concentrate – I really enjoyed using this, and it does exactly what it promised – gives really smooth, shiny hair when you blow dry it. I personally like the Bumble and bumble Bb.Repair Blow Dry better for that purpose, and I’m currently working through a bunch of hair styling treatments, so I won’t be repurchasing this.

I’m loving reviewing my empties, and it’s great to see that I actually am using the things I love and getting through things I don’t. There will likely be another empties post next week too because I already have a bunch to review – let me know if you’d rather see more things in between!

February 2021 Favorites

I can’t believe February is already over, and March is almost here! This month, it got even colder outside and my skin was even drier than usual so I really invested in products that would make my skin look and feel hydrated with very little effort. I also have started to receive some early birthday presents, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more of them make their way into my future favorites!

The one skincare product I wanted to shout out is the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask. As I mentioned, my skin is feeling super dry but it’s been even worse with all the snow, cold weather, and heater running. I’ve been added this mask to my nighttime skincare routine, and it has totally saved my skin. It works incredibly well to add a ton of hydration overnight, and I love how it really melts into the skin. Plus, unlike a lot of my skincare, the price per ounce is fairly low, and this tube will last forever.

I love all of the products I’m mentioning this post, but there is something truly special about the Auric Glow Lust. I’ve tried it by itself in lieu of foundation, as a primer, mixed in with my foundation, as a highlighter, and a bunch of combinations of those methods. I’ve loved it every way I’ve tried. My favorite thing to do is mix it in with my foundation and use it as a highlighter, and it just makes my skin look so naturally glowy, hydrated, and healthy, even more than the Glossier Future Dew does. The packaging is also amazing, especially the pump – it’s so much easier to use than the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. I’m planning on doing a comparison post between the two – let me know if you have specific questions! And to my friend that I wasn’t giving 100% attention to on a call because I kept getting distracted by how amazing and glowy my skin looked with Glow Lust as a highlighter, I’m so sorry (and thank you for letting me know that you noticed it too!).

For more info on the Vesca eyeshadow and lip gloss, I would check out my Vesca review from earlier in the month. I’ve abandoned almost all my other eyeshadows and lip products (except for one I’ll get to shortly) and have continued to love them both as much as I did when I wrote that review. The eyeshadows have such easy textures to work with that leave a lot of impact quickly, and the lip gloss has the most amazing cushiony moisturizing feeling. When you’d rather sleep for an extra 30 minutes then do a 5 shadow look for all day Teams calls, these are perfect.

I was able to get the Pat McGrath Mini Lust: Gloss Trio for $13 with free shipping (still in stock as of posting!), and I’m so happy I did. I love all three shades in the cool trio, but I particularly love the Divine Rose shade. This color is my lips but so much better, goes with all the lip liners I own, and is just really pretty. Along with Vesca and Lisa Eldridge glosses, this is one of my favorite gloss formulas. It’s incredibly hydrating and smoothing, and the colors I’ve tried have just the right amount of shimmer to make your lips look like you actually drink water but not overly sparkly. And they smell amazing! I’m so happy that Cate the Great Beauty turned me on to these and that I’ve been able to get them on sale because they are just so nice.

Petal Poppin and Rose Latte in natural light

Even with over 20 cream blushes to choose from, something about the Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Petal Poppin and Rose Latte really made me happy this month, and I kept coming back to them. The two I have are both beautiful colors that seem dupable but are actually quite unique, and really brighten up any look (used alone or together!). The formula is really light, blendable, and easy to work with while still being pigmented enough that it shows up without a ton of layering. They also leave a really nice hydrated glow without being sticky and without picking up any products you’ve already used. I also love that they are only $20, which while in general is still a lot for blush, is very affordable compared to some others that I’ve recommended. There’s also a really fantastic shade range if these don’t speak to you. This is definitely one of my top cream formulas!

Swatches of Petal Poppin and Rose Latte in natural light

I’ve been getting back into perfume again as a way to create different atmospheres in the morning rather than just feeling like another same day in my home office. I got gifted a Replica perfume set for my upcoming birthday (thanks, mom!), and I love all the scents in the set. I have particularly been enjoying Beach Walk during the dreariest of winter days. It’s so light, fresh, and summery and really does remind me of walking down a sandy beach. I’m been loving using this to transport me away from our apartment and as a small reminder that one day in the future we’ll be back to sunny beaches and vacations far away again.

What did you love using this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Allies of Skin Brand Review

It’s no secret that I love the brand Allies of Skin. I’ve talked about how effective and worth the price these products are, but I thought it would be useful to put all of my thoughts in one place (though if you are a regular reader, some of this may be familiar). A note upfront that many of these products are quite expensive, but I’ve always been able to grab them at 20-30% off during sales! As with all of my reviews, this is not sponsored – I just really love these products and wanted to share.

I’ve talked about most of these products before, so wanted to start with the products I haven’t talked about here yet.

I have a lot of trouble finding Vitamin C serums that don’t irritate my skin, but the Vitamin C+ Perfecting Serum has been amazing – I didn’t even have irritation when I started using it, which has never happened before with a Vitamin C product. I have noticed such a big change with my skin since I started using this, particularly with helping with dullness. My skin has a glow that I’ve never seen before (since I have such dry skin), to the point that I can get away without using highlighter! I already have a backup of this because it’s such a key part of my morning skincare routine now.

I got the Vitamin C & Probiotics Brightening Masque as a gift with purchase, and the brand says to keep an eye out on their Instagram for when it’s coming out in the full size. Whenever that happens, I will be first in line to buy it. I have a lot of face masks that I love, but this is definitely in my top 5. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed, hydrated, smooth, and bright in 10 minutes with no irritation so I can use it in the morning before putting on makeup or as part of my evening skincare routine with no issues. Fingers crossed it launches soon!

As I mentioned in my January 2021 favorites, the Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser is my new HG cleanser – it’s the 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 recently 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.

I’m also still loving the Molecular Saviour Probiotics Repair Mist. While my all-time favorite mist continues to be the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, this one is amazing for helping prevent any mask-ne and to use in the morning as an extra glow-booster (along with all the other glow-boosting products I use). The brand says to use this before the Vitamin C serum to help it absorb – and it does work great for that! I also love the packaging and mister, whereas I’ve actually depotted the Hydrating Accelerator into another bottle.

And last, but certainly not least, my first product from the brand and my favorite retinol product, the 1A™ Retinal + Peptides Overnight Mask. This 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.

Is there another brand you’d like to see reviews of? Let me know in the comments!

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 2

I’ve decided to do one of these posts every 5 empties (a fully finished product) to keep the posts short and so I don’t keep more than 5 pieces of extra trash around at a time. 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.

Human Kind Body Soufflé – This smelled great and was a totally fine lotion. It’s not quite as moisturizing as any of my favorites – the Josie Maran Body Butter, Aesop Body Balm, or Glossier Oil Mist. Given I have so many lotions to go through even beyond those, I definitely won’t be repurchasing this. It just wasn’t anything special. That said, if you don’t have super dry skin and want something light that sinks in quickly that is fairly affordable, I will say this is a good choice. So I’m not repurchasing, but you might like it if that’s what you’re looking for!

Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum – This was another worked fine, but nothing special product. I realized I have so many other products with hyaluronic acid in them that I just don’t need a separate serum. If you’re looking for one, this one is fine and super affordable, but just doesn’t feel like something I need. So nope, will not repurchase!

Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray – The Cover FX Dewy Setting spray is still my top setting spray spot for keeping my makeup looking great all day without drying out my skin. It’s alcohol-free, and I find that has helped a ton with my skin feeling less dry throughout the day. Using the Skindinavia spray is more drying and more matte than the Cover FX and using it just make me miss the Cover FX one. I have a couple minis of the Skindinavia still which I’ll use for days when I really need my makeup to last all day (maybe if we can do things in the summer), but definitely don’t need a full bottle so will not repurchase!

Kiehl’s Lip Balm – I guess the theme of this list is “totally fine but nothing special”, and this lip balm is no exception. I have no many lip balms and masks I love more (the Glow Recipe Lip Pop and Pat McGrath Lip Fetish are my current favs (the PMG balm is on sale right now too!). The formula is pretty meh and I’m not into the tube packaging, and I think it’s too expensive for what it is. So nope, will not repurchase!

Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator – And the last “totally fine but nothing special” product is this hair treatment. I love the Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Primer and Blow Dry Repair 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, but I don’t think it’s anything you need to run out and get. So nope, will not repurchase!

Interestingly, this is a full list of empties I won’t be repurchasing. I’m so happy I’ve found things that I like better, and I’m glad I am reviewing all my empties for this reason – I’ll know not what not to get in the future, even if it’s on sale.

Let me know what else you’d like to see in 2021 – I’m so happy to have you reading and would love to hear from you!

Vesca Review: Moonlit Dream Cream Eyeshadows and Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil

I’ve wanted to try Vesca for awhile now, but I have a bunch of powder bronzers and highlighters to get through that I have not used in so long because I am all about cream products now. When I saw these eyeshadows and the lip oil though, I knew I had to try them. My only regret is not getting them sooner! I wanted to share a bit more about the products compare to some similar products/shades I already own.

Moonlit Dream cream eyeshadow in Carina and Lyra & Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil in Ginger Lily

These eyeshadows are by far the easiest cream shadows I’ve ever worked with. I honestly love the packaging – it’s super easy to only get what you need, and I don’t have to worry about them drying out. The colors are perfect for a one shadow look (see below for swatches!), they stay blendable for long enough to get your look just right, and they dry down and don’t crease all day. Even with that dry down, I was able to add additional shadows on top, like glitter toppers, and they stuck on amazingly well. I tried them with and without primer, and they worked well both ways. As usual (for me), I did find the primer helped with making the colors brighter (I use a very light colored primer) and longevity. My only gripe with these is that they only come in 4 shades.

I own 76 lip products at the moment. It takes a lot for something to edge itself into my top 5 formula/color favorites, but this lip oil easily did it. It’s hard to explain the formula – it’s like a lip balm meets lip oil meets lip gloss, and I’m honestly obsessed with it. 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. If I didn’t own 75 other lip products, I would buy the whole range (let me know if you want me to review any other colors though – I will grab them if you comment below with a request!).

Vesca Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil in Ginger Lily, Lisa Eldridge Gloss Embrace Lip Gloss in Muse, and Sephora Collection Melting Lip Click in Caramel from left to right

I had a hunch that these three would be fairly close in texture and formula, and they are – but they also aren’t. If you’re looking for something super sheer and slightly moisturizing, the Sephora Melting Lip Click will totally suffice. If you’re looking for something more moisturizing that will add color, you’ll be happy with either the Lisa Eldridge or the Vesca. The Vesca is a bit more sheer, but it stays glossier on the lips, so it’s up to personal preference which one you’d like better! I have to say that I don’t regret owning them all because they serve different functions for me. I would only repurchase the Lisa Eldridge and the Vesca products, and I want more shades in both formulas for sure.

Sephora Collection Melting Lip Click in Caramel, Lisa Eldridge Gloss Embrace Lip Gloss in Muse, and Vesca Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil in Ginger Lily from left to right
Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Spice, Vesca Moonlit Dream in Carina, Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in Reflect, and Vesca Moonlit Dream in Lyra from left to right

I also thought that it would be really helpful to compare the Hourglass Scattered Light and Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes with these, both for texture and color. The Vesca is by far my favorite formula to work with – it doesn’t flake or have fall out like the Hourglass can and it’s way easier to blend and maneuver than the Tom Ford (though the shade I have is quite deep on me which may be part of the problem). They all do dry down and don’t budge and look beautiful on the eyes. In terms of color, the Vesca is more true to the rose gold and gold colors I expected and I would rather use the Vesca for a one and done look than either of the other two for that reason – as you can see form the swatches, they have a lot more dimension and texture than the others in a really good way.

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in Reflect, esca Moonlit Dream in Lyra, Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Spice, and Vesca Moonlit Dream in Carina from left to right

I’m so happy I picked these up, and I hope this review and comparisons were helpful! What do you want me to review next? Comment below!

January 2021 Favorites

The theme of this month (like most of 2020) was “I’m tired and don’t want to do anything but still want to look awake at work.” It was dark and rainy outside, too much news reading happening, and I didn’t have the patience for anything that wasn’t easy.

I fell in love with two new skincare products from Allies of Skin, which also makes my favorite retinol product. The first is their Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser – the 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 have a lot of cleansers I love, but I think this may be my new all time favorite.

The second is their Molecular Saviour Probiotics Repair Mist. While my all-time favorite mist continues to be the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator, this one is amazing for helping prevent any mask-ne and to use inn the morning as an extra glow-booster (along with all the other glow-boosting products I use). I also love the packaging and mister, whereas I’ve actually depotted the Hydrating Accelerator into another bottle. I know this, and all Allies of Skin products, are very pricey, but I have found all the ones I’ve tried to be incredibly effective. They also almost always have a sale, including right now!

I know I just mentioned this in my 2020 Makeup Favorites post but the Glossier Future Dew continues to be one of my favorite products. It’s one of the only things I consistently use every day in my makeup routine, and it works beautifully with any foundation, concealer, and powder combo I put on top of it. It continues to be 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).

I also mentioned the Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick in my 2020 Makeup Favorites, but it really is a favorite. When I was short on time and just needed to add some color to my face without needing to do a lot of work or blending, this was my go to. I own many cream bronzer products, and I kept falling back on this one as my “I just don’t want to think about it” 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.

I had not planned on buying the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit – Sculpture Unlocked palette, especially because it is $58, and we all know I don’t really use powder products or need any more of them. Then, I saw it on sale for $35 and decided to grab it, and I honestly have no regrets. It’s so quick and easy because the powders are so finely milled and blend so seamlessly into my skin (see swatches below). I can do a full face is about a minute, which has been fantastic. If you don’t need a full palette (or can’t find a version for your skin tone which is likely because Hourglass really needs to do a better job at making sure these work for all skin tones), I would recommend getting a mini version of the product you want. They make minis of most of their powder products, and they last forever.

Swatches from top to bottom of the highlighter, blush, bronzer, and finishing powder in natural light.

What was your favorite product this month? What would you like to see next on LiftBakeLove? Let me know in the comments below!

2021 Empties (will I repurchase?) – Part 1

I’ve decided to do one of these posts every 5 empties (a fully finished product) to keep the posts short and so I don’t keep more than 5 pieces of extra trash around at a time. 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.

Vichy Pureté Thermale One Step Face Cleanser for Sensitive Skin – I loved this cleanser. It’s incredibly non-stripping and hydrating while still being effective at cleansing. That said, I have a bunch of cleansers I’m testing right now that I need to get through before deciding which one I’ll buy when I finally run through them all. Will maybe repurchase!

Vichy Minéral 89 Face Serum – This is great for my dry skin, and I’ve loved using it as a primer for makeup and as a serum. I loved the texture of this and how effective it was. Plus, it’s a lot more cost effective than some similar products I’ve tried. Like cleansers, I have a ton of similar products to get through before deciding on my HG. Will maybe repurchase!

Saint Jane Luxury CBD Beauty Serum – This oil was lovely, and my skin liked it. Was it worth $38 for this tiny bottle? Absolutely not. Are there dozens, if not hundreds, of other oils (even with CBD) that work just as well for way cheaper? Yes! I’m glad they have the mini so you can try it out without spending $125 for the 1oz full size, but definitely not worth it for me. My favorite of the CBD face oils I’ve tried is the Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil which is about $46 for 1oz. You can get 2.7oz for the same price as 1 of the Saint Jane. So nope, will not repurchase!

Glossier Balm Dotcom – So hear me out – not all of the Balm Dotcoms are created equal. I have the berry one and love it so much. The Birthday one though – I hate it. The scent is overwhelming, the glitter is far too much (you can feel it!), and it is somehow way less moisturizing than the berry. The packaging also rubs off (as you can see in the picture) and gets everywhere! If you read my blog, you know how much I love Glossier products in general (so many have shown up in my favorites), but this is a definite no from me. So nope, will not repurchase!

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator – This is my favorite facial mist of all time. I’ve used it alone with nothing else if I’m in a pinch and somehow it actually hydrates my skin enough even with my incredibly dry skin. I already have two more bottles of this, and I will continue to repurchase this. Once I get through the two I have left, I am 100% getting the giant bottle because I will for sure go through 8oz of this, and I can keep the smaller bottles I have to refill. Will definitely keep repurchasing!

Let me know what else you’d like to see in 2021 – I’m so happy to have you reading and would love to hear from you!

2020 lifestyle favorites

These are the things I discovered in 2020 that made my life better – whether it was for working out, sleeping better, eating better, or enjoying my time more at home. Let me know if there’s anything you want me to test out in the comments – I’m always excited to try new things!

I cannot gush enough about The Team Plans bands, workout plans, and YouTube videos. Ever since the gyms closed, I’ve been really struggling with my fitness because I’d spent so long prepping for powerlifting meets and trying to get my maxes up. It’s been amazing to have a work outs that are fun, fast (like 20-30 minutes 3x a week fast), and really work. I am getting stronger again and love that I’m just just strong – I’m more flexible, mobile, agile, faster, and tons more. I love Abby’s approach to fitness and finally feel like an athlete again!

I am obsessed with the newly launched Buff Chick Supplements – this pre-workout works so well with no caffeine, and it tastes great! I already bought 3 backups because I can’t imagine a workout without Buff Pump. The extra power and stamina I get is unmatched. I also have their creatine and love how easily it mixes into drinks without making anything taste weird. I can’t wait to see what Buff Chick comes out with in 2021

I also discovered lots of new activewear companies thanks to HopeScope, my favorite activewear review channel. Here are my favs from Buffbunny Collection, Colorfulkoala (amazing dupes for Lululemon Aligns), CRZ Yoga (great dupes for Lululemon Fast & Frees), Lorna Jane, and Bombshell Sportswear. I love that they are all super practical and effective activewear pieces (and squat proof!) while also being really pretty and cute clothes that I would be happy to wear out. This year also proved to me that great leggings can be super affordable and high quality!

This is a selection of the activewear I got in 2020 because it didn’t all fit on the table but I am loving all of it!

The Slip Pure Silk sleep mask and Brooklinen silk pillowcases have been life changing for my sleep – I have slept way better since I invested in these and wake up with no lines on my face and silky smooth, tangle-free hair. I was able to get both of these on sale (which is great, because they are an investment!), but I would gladly pay full price for these because they improve my sleep so much.

I was gifted two of these Levoit Humidifiers (thank you, mom!), and I am so happy we have them. It has gotten so dry this winter and having humidifiers running makes a world of difference. I love how easy this one is to fill – you just take the top to the sink, fill it up, and then put it back on the base. It also has a sleep mode that automatically turns itself off when it hits the right humidity in the room and a super-strong setting if it’s really dry. These work so much better then the smaller, cheaper ones I used to have, and I think these are a great investment if you live in a dry environment or are running your heater constantly.

I got a ton of cookbooks this year (like every year), but Dessert Person is hands down my favorite. I’ve already made a bunch of recipes from the book, and they’ve all been so good! After BA’s downfall, it’s been so great to have Claire Saffitz in my life again, in the form of many pies, cakes, and even bagels. I can’t wait to bake my way through the rest of Dessert Person in 2021.

This Amish Country Popcorn has been a highlight in my 2020 snacking. I love popcorn of all kinds, but the quality of this popcorn is incredible. You can really tell the difference. Plus, they have a ton of different shapes and sizes, and it’s been super fun to explore their variety packs and find our favorites. I know this is kind of random but we all need to find those little joys, especially in 2020.

If we’re friends, you’ve already heard me rave about this waffle maker. The Cuisinart WAF-F20 Double Belgian Maker Waffle Iron is the best waffle iron. It has been so fun making different kinds of waffles, waffle cookies, and even waffle latkes. We love that we can make two waffles at the same time so we can eat fresh waffles together and how quick it heats up and cooks the waffles. I know a few people who have already gotten one, and they love it too!

I found my perfect storage solution – Allies Glines bag collections. I love how easy it is to organize everything with the different bag sizes, and the clear tops makes it so easy to find whatever I’m looking for. Plus, there tons of room for extras in the back and top for things like my nail tools or bottles I want to have standing up. I love being able to organize everything into categories (like holo polishes, base/top coats, and cremes or makeup, skincare, and haircare). It’s hard to see, but they also have a handle on the bag which makes them super convenient to move around.

My current set of bags!
My nail polish collection fits so well in the full bag collection!
And the pink boxes hold my makeup and skincare backups!

I also upgraded my tech this year – my partner got me a new gaming keyboard (the Logitech G915 TLK) for Hannukah, and I love using it. Not only it is an amazing wireless keyboard, it also has a ton of options for changing the colors of the keys, which is super fun. And I also upgraded to the Switch Pro Controller. I played so much Breath of the Wild this year (among other games) and upgrading to the pro controller was so worth it for my hands. It’s so much more comfortable to use and has way less lag than the joy cons.

That wraps up my 2020 favorites, and now 2020 is finally over – HAPPY 2021! What do you want to see next? Let me know in the comments!

2020 body care favorites

This was a big year for body care and self care because…2020. My skin has been super dry (as per usual), and I also wanted to really step up my bathroom/shower experience. I did a ton of research and tried so many things – body washes, soaps, lotions, oils – I tried it all. Here were the things I loved this year:

Soaps and shower steamers from The Oakley Soap Co. – This is the best bar soap I’ve ever tried. The scents and colors are so fun and the soap is very high quality – I don’t think I can ever go back to another bar or liquid soap. The shower steamers are so amazing for a relaxing (or energizing, depending on what scent you use) experience just by dropping one on the bottom of your shower. This was the 2020 purchase I didn’t know I needed!

 Nécessaire The Body Wash – I tried a ton of body washes this year and my favorite is still this one. I love the eucalyptus for when I need a mood boost andthe sandalwood is great for creating a sense of calm before I head to bed. I love the packaging and the formula is perfect for my dry skin even in the winter (I posted this as one of my July favorites, and it was great for the summer too).

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter – I got a small sample of this awhile ago and fell in love with it right away. It is incredibly moisturizing while still being fast absorbing and super lightweight. I love all the scents, but I think the cranberry may be my favorite. This also mixes with any body oils super easily when I need that extra boost.

Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm – I got this on sale for $82, which is still incredibly expensive for what I basically use as a hand lotion or “special treat” lotion. This is the most amazing smelling product I own, hands down. And while it is expensive, you do get almost 17 oz which I have found is lasting forever even if I use it all over. I can’t decide if I love this or the body butter from Josie Maran better, but I like having both because if you mix this into the unscented body butter, you get the most effective best smelling lotion of all time.

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.

Kenzzi IPL Laser Hair Removal Handset – I used to be a person that had hair grow back on my legs literally 4 hours after I shaved, and now I can go about a week or more! I’m so glad I spent some of my extra stuck at home time lasering because when we can travel again, I can go on a beach trip for a week and not even have to bring a razor. This was way less expensive than going to a professional, and it was really nice to be able to do it at home while listening to podcasts. And it works so well! (Side note – no one needs to shave their legs (or anything else) if they don’t want to!)

Up next, I’ll be posting about my lifestyle favorites and then that’s a wrap on my 2020 favorites series. As always, let me know what you want to see in 2021 next!

2020 Skincare Favorites

This is more a list of my best skincare discoveries in 2020, and the products I still can’t live without. I have a ton of tried and true favorites that I’ve used every day for years (comment below if you’d like a detailed post on that!), so instead of going through each category, I’ll be listing my ultimate HGs and discoveries from this year. I’m also skipping the haircare favorites because they are literally all the same as 2019 – I still love Bumble and Bumble and everything else I listed so much, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner – This toner was my favorite skincare discovery of 2019, and it’s still going strong in 2020! It has continued to make my skin clearer, brighter, and less dry. It’s also $14 for a huge bottle, and I was able to grab a bunch of bottles during a Black Friday sale. My husband loves it too, and it’s one of the only skincare products he consistently uses.

Krave Beauty Kale-lalu-yAHA – I’m still sticking with this as my chemical exfoliant of choice. For only twice a week, it really makes a huge difference for my skin and has kept it super clear and not congested. I’d be surprised if anything comes into my routine that’s better than this one for exfoliation.

Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask – On the nights I use the Kale-lalu-yAHA, I pair it with this sleeping mask so I only use it twice a week. This really helps with any potential irritation that comes with using an exfoliator and makes a huge difference in taming the redness in my skin. I’ve had the same $34 jar I raved about it in my January 2020 favorites, and it’s going strong. I have already bought a replacement though, because I notice when I don’t use it!

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator – This is the best face mist I’ve ever used – and I’ve tried so many. It’s actually hydrating (like I can use it instead of a moisturizer in a pinch even with my super dry skin), and it smells amazing. Like a lot of other things on this list, I have a bunch of backups now because I don’t want to be without this.

Allies of Skin 1A™ Retinal + Peptides Overnight Mask – After a lot of searching, I have finally found my HG retinol! This doesn’t irritate my skin at all, is somehow hydrating, and still actually does all the things retinol does (smooths the appearance of wrinkles and brightens skin). It’s really a miracle product, and I have already tried so many other Allies of Skin products because how good this is. I love them all so far, and this brand is hands down my favorite brand discovery of 2020!

Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask – I have to shout out Cate the Great Beauty who convinced me to get this after raving about it over and over again. 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, especially in the winter. It is the perfect mask to use after an exfoliating treatment or just when your skin is feeling extra dry and really is the best face mask of all time. My skin feels so smooth, hydrated, and glowy after using this. 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 1.7oz jar is still going strong so it was totally worth the investment.

Peter Thomas Roth face masks – My friend Emily surprised me with this masking set (thank you again!), and I am obsessed with them. The cucumber is the perfect cooling mask to add hydration, the pumpkin is so good for quickly exfoliating without irritation, and the gold mask is some crazy magic product that totally transforms my skin. I actually love the pumpkin one so much I have a full size of it as well, and my favorite thing to do is use the pumpkin mask and then the Farmacy honey potion mask for a true skin renewal self-care moment. When I don’t have the time, I use the gold mask because it makes my skin look and feel so good so fast. And if I have even less time, I will use the eye patches for a quick pick me up of my under eye area that I don’t even have to wash off.

Nuface Mini Facial Toning Device – I know this is expensive, but it really works! This device has helped so much with my forehead wrinkles (they were so deep and now they are basically gone between this and the retinol!) and firming up my jawline and my neck. I’m so glad I invested in this now so I can keep using it on my skin for years to come. I have convinced a couple of other folks to get one and so far, they have all had good things to say too!

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm – Anyone knows me knows I only have one holy grail makeup remover/first cleanse, and that’s the Clinique Take Off the Day Cleansing Balm. I think I’ve gone through at least 6 of these by now, and I have 3 back ups right now. It gets all my makeup off while hydrating my skin, and it provides a really nice moment of self care massaging it into my skin. I will definitely keep using this as the first step in my cleansing routine. Ulta has this for 50% quite often so that’s when I stock up!

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 twice! This is the only eye cream I’ve found that actually works to reduce wrinkles around my eyes without irritation. I was able to find a set of two for $80 which was a steal, so I’m going to keep keeping an eye out because I can’t imagine switching to another eye cream.

I’ll be doing body care next, and let me know in the comments below if there’s anything you want more info about or a post you’d like me to do!