February 2022 No-Buy Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 2022 No-Buy Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Eyeshadow Review

I own almost everything that Lisa Eldridge has come out with except for her lip liners and foundation and have generally been super happy with the products (including the lipsticks, highlighter, blushes, and lip glosses). When I saw these eyeshadows come out last year, I knew I wanted to try a couple and have been testing them since then for this review. If you’d like to see a full Lisa Eldridge brand run down, let me know in 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.

Spoilers: I absolutely love this eyeshadow. This formula is so quick and easy to use. It’s almost like a mousse and feels half way between a cream and a liquid. I’ve tried using a brush and fingers, with and without a primer, and applying directly from the doe-foot and from my hand – nothing I tried didn’t work out amazingly. The formula doesn’t crease and looks exactly the same all day. I tested it on a 17 hour makeup day, and it honestly could have just been applied. I even did an hour and a half long gym session, and it didn’t budge. I’ve used it as one sheer layer, a thicker application, and layered on top of itself, and it looked great all three ways. I love how I have enough time to play with it and blend it out however I want before it sets down. They’re also both some of the more spangly eyeshadows I’ve ever used, which may be the thing I love about them the most.

Angelica (left) and Bianca (right)

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. It’s the perfect mix of brown, bronze, rose gold, and metallic sparkle that isn’t too dark or too light. The sparkle really shines against the darker color in a very sophisticated way. I can pair it with almost any blush and lip color, and it looks right at home. If I could only pick one eyeshadow to keep, this would probably be the one.

Bianca is a warm, purply-pink that really makes my brown eyes pop. It also has a very sparkly, almost metallic finish, that makes it one of the sparkliest eyeshadows I own or have ever seen. I used Angelica first and thought that was the sparkliest eyeshadow ever, and this totally blew it out of the water. I was worried it would be too light and pink, but I’m really happy with the color for a brighter look and can’t wear it in the spring and summer. That said, I find that it looks better on me with a crease color and some added depth in the outer corner vs being a true one and done for me like Angelica.

Agelica (Top) and Bianca (Bottom)

The Liquid Lurex Eyeshadow is in the same price range as other liquid shadows like the Kosas 10-Second Eyeshadow ($28). It’s more expensive than the Bodyography Liquid Eyeshadow ($20) and the Glossier Lidstar ($18), but I like the formula so much more than those. The shadows stay pigmented and sparkly all day and don’t fade or crease, but they’re still easy to remove. They also are much easier to work with because of their almost cream like texture. Even if I wasn’t on a no-buy, I wouldn’t get any other liquid shadows because I honestly would rather be using the Liquid Lurex every time. And if I could go back in time, these would be the only two I would get.

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.

May and June Favorites

Since it’s now July (again, already? how? I was just saying this about May!), I wanted to share my favorites from May and June since I missed last month.

So I am definitely part of Kackie Reviews Beauty’s blush fam and own over 20 blushes. I love blush, particularly cream blush, and the Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Petal is the perfect “natural but makes me look way healthier and hydrated than I am” shade. And now that I just don’t feel like doing anything really, it’s so nice to have something that is so easy to put on and blend and that stays all day. It’s super expensive (I got it on sale – like everything in this post!), but I am still very tempted to get other shades because I just love this formula so much.

After watching so many of my favorite YouTubers rave about this, I finally broke down and got the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate cream bonzer and highlight duo when it was on sale. Just like the Westman Atelier blush, it’s such amazing formula that blends like a dream, looks natural, and still makes an impact. The shade intensity 0.5 is great for my skin tone, and I even really like the highlight shade even though I know a lot of people don’t. I love how they are both a little sheer which makes it super easy to just throw on without having to be super precise.

Kaja Bento from lightest to darkest. Westman atelier Blush in Petal. Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate in 0.5.

For something that is actually a reasonable price in this list, the Kaja Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Eyeshadow Trio in Toasted Caramel is an amazing set of shimmer shadows that you can wear alone or as toppers. They have a ton of different shades available, including some with mattes to make an easy 3 shadow look.I love wearing any of them all over the lid or pairing them with my other palettes to bring in some extra sparkle. I also love the packaging and how it really clicks closed, and I can’t wait to bring it with me when we can finally travel again.

I’ve talked about how much I love my Bite Beauty Lip Lab Bespoke Lipsticks before, and when I got an email that I could get a replacement for only $40 + 15% off, I jumped at the chance to get one of my favorites in the sheer formula. And, of course, it’s perfect. I love the formula, I love the color, and I love the new packaging. It was super easy to order via email from the SOHO lab where I made my original ones, and it’s definitely my new favorite lipstick.

My new sheer lipstick, and then my other 3 custom lipsticks in the satin finish.

And now a few skincare favorites:

I thought that the Caudalie Grape Water was kind of silly, to be honest. Then, it was on sale, and it’s actually fairly affordable for a spray like this anyway, so I finally got it because I’d heard so many good things about it. They were all right – it really does increase hydration, and help my other skincare sink in. It also helps calm my skin down after a workout, when my face is usually super red and hot. Less important, but it also smells great, and I love the mister on the packaging. It’s definitely my favorite spray.

Anyone knows me knows I only have one holy grail makeup remover/first cleanse, and that’s the Clinique Take Off the Day Cleansing Balm. It started feeling a bit heavy now that I’m stuck inside all day without air conditioning, and everything just feels hot and gross, so I decided to switch to the cleansing oil and see if that worked better in these circumstances. It’s great – I loved how I can pump it out from the bottle without having to dig into a jar, it works exactly the same as the balm, and it feels way lighter. I will definitely switch back to the balm in the fall/winter, but I’m so happy to have this for the summer!

With all the hand washing and walking around barefoot in my apartment with no ability to get my nails done, my hands and feet really needed some TLC. It turns out that the Sephora foot and hand masks are amazing. My hands and feet feel so hydrated and so much better after using them, and I love to stock up during their sales. All the scents I’ve tried have been awesome!

March/April Beauty Favorites

I’ll be sharing some of my favorite “stay at home purchases” as I mentioned in my last post. Since it’s now May (already? how?), I wanted to share my favorites from March and April since I took a break last month.

I’ve tried lots of wash-off face masks, but I’ve finally discovered my holy grails, and I’m so excited to share these. The first is the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. I’m only using it once or twice a week, so this jar will last forever, making the price much more reasonable for me. It is one of the only things I’ve found to really help my skin when it’s feeling congested or dull when an AHA toner won’t do quite enough. It smells strongly like pumpkin, so if you’re not into that, I would consider skipping this one. For me, it’s totally worth the smell for a few minutes to get clear, bright skin. Bonus – I haven’t had any acne issues since I start using it despite my not great diet and high stress levels lately.

What I use right after the pumpkin enzyme mask to deeply moisturize my skin is the Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask. This mask warms up as you massage it into your skin, so not only does it work to deeply moisturize and calm my skin , it’s also a really great relaxing experience. It is the perfect mask to use after an exfoliating treatment or just when your skin is feeling extra dry. My only regret is that I bought the small size! I know there are a bunch of folks who use this a few times a week, which I definitely want to do now that I understand how great it is, so I’m hoping I can pick it up on sale when I run out!

If you know me or have read my past posts, you know I definitely don’t need any more blush. I got more anyway because it’s one of my favorite product categories. I think I’ve featured blush in my favorites every month so far, and that probably won’t stop any time soon. I’m usually more drawn to cream and liquid blushes, so I very excited to have found a really amazing powder blush formula – the Em Cosmetics Heaven’s Glow Blush in Magic Hour. It provides a soft, glowy look without being overly pigmented so it 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 color is perfect for that for a wide range of shades. It’s been beating out my favorite Nars and Hourglass blushes for my most used powder blush, and I really hope they come out with more than just the two shades they current have!

I’ve written about my love for Natasha Denona shadows before when I talked about my favorite products of 2019, but I know it’s not possible or practical for everyone to get a $129 or more palette. I’m so excited she came out with these $25 mini palettes with the same high quality formula and much more curated shadows so you only get what you need. The Mini Retro Eyeshadow Palette is a really great addition to my collection because the colors are so unique. I’m not sure I was able to capture them in my swatches here, but I’m loving the shade selection here. These are great to use in conjunction with other palettes (especially the shimmer shades) to add some color to an otherwise neutral look or to make a really pretty springy pink/green look.

I have found my perfect gloss formula, and they are only $14! The Tower 28 ShineOn Jelly Lip Glosses are beautifully sheer, moisturizing, glossy without being sticky, fairly long lasting for a gloss, play nicely with lipsticks and lip liners underneath, come in a great color selection – I could go on and on about these. I have the shades Fire and Fearless. Fire is a great spring/summer bright orange shade and Fearless is a really pretty berry, but both are sheer enough that I can wear them for my work calls or to warm up or cool down lip products underneath. I was going to splurge for a expensive lip oil during the Sephora sale, but these definitely fulfill that need for me, and I’m so happy I got these instead.

I definitely didn’t need more brushes, but Sonia G. restocked her pro face brushes, and I was so excited to grab the Face Pro and the Designer Pro. The Face Pro is the best brush I have found for a diffused contour and bronzer application and is able to create that diffused look with all of my powder bronzers. It’s really great for me to have a brush I can use without having to think about if it’s the right one for the formula. The Designer Pro is perfect for blush or highlight or targeted powder application and similar to the Face Pro, it works great with every formula I’ve tried it with. As with all her brushes, they look great after washing, there is very little shedding, and they have the right weight distribution to make using them a great experience. Of all my Sonia G. brushes so far, I would recommend these as these shapes are more unique in her line versus others, and if you’re looking for a super high quality brush for blush, bronzer, and highlighter, you can’t go wrong with these two.

What are you loving this month? Anything you want to see from me next? Let me know!

What’s been making me happier lately

I was going to do a round up of some of my favorites purchases I’ve made for working/staying at home (and probably still will) but I realized what’s much more helpful is this: what have I been doing to make myself a little happier? Most of these are free (or close!), and I hope these suggestions will help someone out there who needs a bit of joy in their day!

Reading:
This hilarious, amazing book and all of Samantha Irby’s other books
The Anna Edit‘s tips on kitchen organization, working from home, and what books to read next
Half Baked Harvest’s Nine Favorite Things because there are so many fun and interesting links and recipes every week
M.M. LaFleur’s newsletter which has fun things to do, make, read, and watch (just like this! I like these kinds of lists a lot) – you can subscribe here.

Working out with:
My favorite dance/cardio workout from when I lived in NYC (305 Fitness) is live streaming multiple classes a day – they are so fun and effective!
My normal powerlifting program (which isn’t free, but is only $8/month), Stronger by the Day, now has a 4x a week bodyweight/at-home workout program which has been keeping my strength up with the gym closed

Still getting a pump even at home!

Listening to:
My favorite podcast of all time (Forever 35) has a full length and mini-episode every week
The hosts of Forever 35 also launched a fantastic daily podcast, Here For You, which I love listening to every morning

Watching:
I recently discovered Kackie Reviews Beauty, and she is so informative, relaxing, uplifting, and more – very much recommend her videos
Cate the Great Beauty is now doing livestreams 3 times a week! So many hot takes and skincare and makeup advice, and lots of the same people come every time, so you get to enjoy plenty of inside jokes
My usual YouTube list – Allana, Meg, Michele, The Try Guys, Amanda, Natacha, Kayley, Anna, Sam, Kristi, and Jamie
The entirety of the Office because my husband hadn’t seen it before, and clearly we needed to fix that