May 2022 FITNESS AND LIFESTYLE FAVORITES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY 5 FAVORITE PRODUCTS UNDER $50

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

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

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

Auric Glow Lust in Morganite and Selenite

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

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

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

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

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

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Juggernaut AI Program and App Review after 120 Days

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

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

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

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

My 336lb deadlift!

Things I absolutely love about this program:

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

Things to keep in mind before investing in JTS AI:

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

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

April 2022 Favorites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 2022 No-Buy Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angelica (left) and Bianca (right)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

highlighter, bronzer, and blushes from the face palette

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

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

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