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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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!