MY 7 FAVORITE PRODUCTS UNDER $40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 16

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

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream – This is my HG morning moisturizer. I can’t count how many times I’ve repurchased this, and I find that when I’m trying something else, I can really tell the difference. I find that this helps much more with skin dehydration than just dryness, which is very important for my skin. I also find that it’s a really good prep step before makeup to make sure everything goes on smoothly without catching on any dry patches. I recommend getting this during Sephora’s holiday sales – this year I was able to get them for half off, so I got myself two which should hopefully last through 2022 until next year’s sales.

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

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist – I’ve gone through so many bottles of this and still love it. I use this as a hydrating step while I’m doing my makeup every morning, especially if things are starting to feel a little drier than I want it to be. I use this very much like a Mac Fix+, but Fix+ breaks me out, so I was so excited to find this. The watermelon mist is so fine, actually hydrating, and smells amazing. I love how it melts all my makeup together to look seamless without disrupting anything. I’m already on my back-up of this and am planning to keep repurchasing it.

Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion – Of all the CBD body lotions I’ve tried, this one was definitely my favorite. Most CBD body lotions pill right off me (I have no idea why), and this one doesn’t. It seems to help with muscle soreness, though that might just be a placebo, and is an effectively hydrating lotion. That said, it’s pretty expensive for what it does, and I’m planning on getting through all my samples that I have of this, but not repurchasing.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – This eyebrow pencil worked great for filling in my brows without overdoing it. It provides a fairly natural look and stays put all day, which I definitely appreciate over some of the drugstore brow products I use that my face seems to eat up during the day. That said, I like the Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil more than this one and already had one of those to start using when I finished the Brow Wiz, so I won’t be repurchasing this.

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

August 2021 Favorites

I know I’m a bit late with my August favorites, but hopefully that’s okay! As usual, I fell in love with a ton of new products this month, but am only featuring products in my favorites that are true favorites that I’ve been using consistently for longer than one month. Since I took quite a long break, if there’s anything you were looking for a review on or a topic that you wanted me to cover, please let me know if the comments below! And as always, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts!

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini – I have been loving setting my cream products with powder products in a matching tone to make them last longer and add a bit of coverage in those areas. I find this creates a more satin finish which is great for someone like me that wants to look hydrated and dewy while still having something long lasting, especially under a mask. This Vesca bronzer is my favorite for this purpose (and also my favorite powder bronzer in general) – it’s not too orange, feels incredibly smooth and velvety, blends beautifully, smells amazing, and is such a believable bronzer on me.

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini

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

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

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

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

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 8

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

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

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

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

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

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara – This continues to be the best mascara I’ve ever used. This is my second mini of the four I got as a buy 3, get one free deal, and I still love it. It makes my lashes look amazing, doesn’t smudge, and actually holds a curl. The best part is that it washes off so easily and quickly. I still have two more minis to get through after this and will definitely repurchase until an amazing tubing formula comes out that’s better than this one. Let me know if there’s any you think I should try!

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

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

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

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

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

Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD – I’ve written about this oil in almost every empties post that included a facial oil I finished because it is my true HG and the one I always miss when I’m not using it. Most facial oils I’ve tried have been equally moisturizing and glow-giving, and they all provide an occlusive layer as my last step in my skincare routine. The thing I love most about the Josie Maran oil is that it sinks in so quickly so I don’t end up with a oil slick on my face when I’m getting into bed. I can also see a big difference in my skin’s brightness and firmness when I use this vs when I don’t. If you’re looking to get this, I highly recommend waiting for a sale on the Josie Maran site because you can buy it for way less than $78.

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

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

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

Allies of Skin Brand Review

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

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

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

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

As I mentioned in my January 2021 favorites, the Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser is my new HG cleanser – it’s the first cleanser I’ve ever used that doesn’t require putting on moisturizer immediately afterwards. It creates such a luxurious cleansing experience, like you are cleaning your skin with silk. And while it really does clean, it also leaves your skin feeling hydrated. I’ve also recently used it as a quick mask by leaving it on for a few minutes before washing it off, and I love it that way. It really helps with any extra dryness, and I love that I don’t need to use a separate mask.

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

And last, but certainly not least, my first product from the brand and my favorite retinol product, the 1A™ Retinal + Peptides Overnight Mask. This doesn’t irritate my skin at all, is very hydrating, and still actually does all the things retinol does (smooths the appearance of wrinkles, fades scars, and brightens skin). I love that if I’m really exhausted, I can use this as my all-in-one nighttime product without waking up to incredibly dry, blotchy skin, which is what used to happen with other retinol products. It’s pretty expensive, like the rest of this brand, but it works so well, and now I can’t imagine going back to something that isn’t as effective as this.

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

January 2021 Favorites

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

I fell in love with two new skincare products from Allies of Skin, which also makes my favorite retinol product. The first is their Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser – the first cleanser I’ve ever used that doesn’t require putting on moisturizer immediately afterwards. It creates such a luxurious cleansing experience, like you are cleaning your skin with silk. And while it really does clean, it also leaves your skin feeling hydrated. I have a lot of cleansers I love, but I think this may be my new all time favorite.

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

I know I just mentioned this in my 2020 Makeup Favorites post but the Glossier Future Dew continues to be one of my favorite products. It’s one of the only things I consistently use every day in my makeup routine, and it works beautifully with any foundation, concealer, and powder combo I put on top of it. It continues to be the most amazing glossy, hydrating base that makes me look like I drank enough water (and if you know me, you know I have never had enough water).

I also mentioned the Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick in my 2020 Makeup Favorites, but it really is a favorite. When I was short on time and just needed to add some color to my face without needing to do a lot of work or blending, this was my go to. I own many cream bronzer products, and I kept falling back on this one as my “I just don’t want to think about it” product. I stand by what I said in my 2020 favorites post: If I had to start my collection over, this would definitely be one of the first things I replace.

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

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

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