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.

My 5 Favorite Relaxing Products

Shout to my friend who suggested a post all about the things that help me stop and appreciate something small and comforting. I had a great time thinking through all the things I use that help me destress and take a moment to relax, and these are some of my favorites! 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!

Necessaire The Body Wash  in Eucalyptus and Sandalwood– I love the eucalyptus for when I need a mood boost (like a morning shower or a “I hype myself up for the rest of the day after the gym” shower). It’s such a fresh, awakening scent, and it’s just strong enough. The sandalwood is great for creating a sense of calm and a very spa like experience. The packaging definitely also enhances the experience because it’s easy to squeeze out just what I need. The formula is perfect for my dry skin even in the winter – it’s super nourishing and a joy to use.

NBM Cuticle Buddy in Cashmere Sweater and 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. The Lavender Cuticle Buddy has been a very important part of my nighttime routine since it’s such a calming scent paired with the relaxing routine of oiling my nails. Since I ran out of that scent, I’ve been using the Cashmere Sweater scent (which is retiring soon but coming back again in the winter!). It’s also great for winding down at night, with notes of vanilla and rich amber and hints of smoky cedarwood. I can’t wait to see what spring launch comes out that will take up the spot as my nighttime calming cuticle buddy! As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10.

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 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.

KBShimmer Hand & Body Sugar Scrub in Warm Apple Cider  – Using this body scrub in such a joy! It smells exactly like fresh apple pie and cider in the fall welcoming into a cozy evening. It’s just super comforting to me, and it also works really well. It’s incredibly moisturizing while also being an effective scrub – I usually don’t even need body lotion when I use this since. This particular scent was limited edition for September, but they have tons of other scents on their site which I’m sure are equally amazing. It is heavily fragranced so keep that in mind if that’s something that will bother you, but I absolutely love how this smells and how well it sticks around for my whole shower.

Oakley Soap Co Shower Steamers – These are my favorite shower steamers, which I use when I’m taking a shower to create a super spa-like experience. Depending on which scent you use, you can have a very relaxing or energizing shower – Keep Calm is a calming lavender scent, Morning Sun is an energizing citrus blend, and Just Breathe is an even more awakening blend of eucalyptus and peppermint. I love all the scents and highly recommend the variety pack to try them all out!

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.

Reviewing all the products I keep on my desk: the work from home version of “what’s in my bag”

I used to love watching “what’s in my bag” videos to see what people kept on hand and with them all the time. I think it shows what people actually use day in and day out. Because I hardly ever leave my apartment anymore (except to go to the gym of course), I wanted to do my own version on “what’s on my desk” instead. These are all the products I keep within arm’s reach on my desk separated into 3 categories: lips, hand and body, and nails. 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!

Lips: I keep a bunch of lip products on my desk to apply throughout the day since I’m in tons of video calls, and I use my lip products super often between them wearing off and needing to moisturize my lips.

Glossier Ultralip in Villa – The Ultralips are a pretty pigmented tinted lip balm that has a touch more glossiness than your average balm. I love how moisturizing it is and how long lasting it is (for a lip balm texture). You can also build up the color without anything weird happening like pilling or patching. Villa is such an at home shade for me that makes it super easy to throw on, so I love using these during the day on work calls when I want something quick and easy while still taking advantage of how moisturizing these are.

Glow Recipe Glow Lip Pop Lip Balm in Watermelon Glow and Blueberry Bounce – When my lips are incredibly dry, I always reach for these because of how incredibly moisturizing they are. I got a set of two for $22 and then 20% off, which made these much more reasonable in terms of price. They are slightly exfoliating, which I find really helps with any flaking or super dry spots. They also smell amazing and the color is just enough to make it look like I did something without being too much.

Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour and Venetian Rose

Em Cosmetics Lip Cushion in Magic Hour and Venetian Rose  – I’m honestly surprised I haven’t panned one of these yet. I keep them at my desk to have an easy, full pigment lip color that’s incredibly easy to swipe on without a mirror. The formula is incredibly moisturizing and has enough thickness to not disappear right away even if I’m talking a lot. Either color completely brightens up my face, and I love having both a brighter pink and dusty rose shade at hand.

Famarcy Honey Butter Lip Balm – When I want something truly foolproof and clear, I reach for this. It’s amazingly hydrating and moisturizing and doesn’t have a weird taste or scent. Because it’s in a stick (unlike something like the Glossier Balm Dotcom), it’s super quick to apply if I only have a second in between meetings.

Hand and body: I have incredibly dry skin and need to have lotions and oils nearby, but there’s only a few I keep on my desk to have on hand all day.

Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm – This is the most amazing smelling product I own, hands down. If I need a pick me up, this is always what I reach for first, because it smells like fresh squeeze citrus and is so bright and fresh. It always makes me so happy. I got this on sale for $82, and while it is expensive, you do get 17 oz which I have found is lasting forever even if I use it all over (seriously, I’ve owned this over a year and use it all the time since it sits on my desk, and there’s still so much left).

The Lavender Cuticle Buddy is also one of my faves

NBM Cuticle Buddy – My nails have never been healthier or stronger since I starting using these (someone actually thought my nails were fake at the gym because they looked so nice!). I don’t freak out about nail breaks anymore because they grow back so fast now that I’m using this. I originally got a kit that comes with a great travel nail file, the cuticle buddy, and a full 1oz of nail oil to refill your cuticle buddy with and fell in love with the product. I keep 4 of them on my desk: Hot Chocolate, Tea Tree & Eucalyptus, Lemon & Ylang Ylang, and Carmel Iced Coffee. These are my favorite day time and afternoon scents, so I love having them available all day. As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10.

Nails: I keep all of my most used nail products on my desk (where I paint my nails), so I don’t have to pull them out and put them back every time I do a manicure.

It’s great having a top coat that makes sure everything looks smooth when working with one coat polishes like this one from Starrily

KBShimmer Fillin’ Groovy Ridge Filling Nail Polish Base Coat – I really struggle with nail polish lasting on me, and every base coat I’ve tried so far has led to nail polish that peels off completely after about 3 days. And if not, there is always a ton of chipping no matter what polishes and top coat I use. All that changed when I started using this base coat from KBShimmer that I happened to have gotten as a gift with purchase with an order in 2021. My manicures can last almost 2 weeks now (although I usually end up changing them up for fun before then). Beyond the amazing longevity this provides, it creates smoother base because it’s ridge filling. It’s also not completely clear, which I found has helped me use less coats of polishes on top for full coverage. The best part is that it’s only $6.50, and I’m so glad to have settled on the perfect base coat for me.

A good quick dry top coat is so helpful when using decals and stickers like these

KBshimmer Clearly on Top Quick Dry – This top coat is incredible and only $6. It dries so fast, doesn’t cause shrinkage, and is super shiny. I can do a full manicure in less than 30 minutes and go about my day, including going the gym, with no issues. I also have way fewer chips than normal, and my nails last way longer than with other top coats. With how affordable this is, I’m so impressed and can’t imagine going back to more expensive top coats when this works even better than they do.

I was very glad to have good clean up brush for this design!

Holo Taco Nail Polish Clean Up Brush – I don’t talk about it often here, but I love painting my nails and do so at least a couple times a week. A clean up brush is a must have tool for me to ensure my manicure looks great. I just dip it in some acetone and use it to clean up any nail polish that got onto my cuticle or skin. The Holo Taco clean up brush has a much smaller head than my others and more tapered which makes it super easy to get into small areas without accidentally taking off polish from my nail. It’s such a worthwhile investment for $10.

A recent water marble manicure that required protective peel

Holo Taco Protective Peel – I use liquid latex when I do most nail art like gradients and stamping. Most liquid latex takes forever to dry and has a big brush that makes it hard to apply. The Holo Taco one is so easy to use and dries so much quicker than all the other ones I’ve tried. Even with the high quality, it’s still less than $15, and this tube has lasted me through many manicures already.

NBM nail files – These are my favorite glass nail files. They make super quick work of filing my nails before a manicure without being harsh. They also still feel good as new even though I’ve been using them for so long. They also work great to easily file down super specific spots since they are quite small, but they still can file down a whole nail fast. As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10.

What products do you keep on your desk or in your bag? 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! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

2021 Skincare Favorites

This is more a list of my best skincare discoveries in 2021 instead of the traditional “all time favorites” like my 2021 makeup favorites post. I have a ton of tried and true favorites that I’ve used every day for years and post about all the time in my empties posts and most repurchased posts. Many of my favorites also still hold from last year’s post, so instead of going through each category, I’ll be listing my ultimate HGs and discoveries from this year.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 – I ran out of my sunscreen, and decided give this a try since it’s a favorite of so many people with dry skin. And I love 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.

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 already have a backup from their recent sale, and I’m so excited to have this in my routine.

Dieux Deliverance – This is truly a game changing product. My skin had been looking a bit dull and overly dry in the summer, and even though I love the other products I use, I needed something more. This serum is supposed to address skin issues like irritation, uneven tone, texture, lack of firmness, among others, and it definitely does everything it says it does. My skin definitely looks more even, less dull, and less textured since I’ve been using this, and I could tell a big difference when I didn’t have it with me at home for Thanksgiving. Given how much I love their Forever Eye Mask, I’m not surprised this is just as amazing.

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 or issues. It’s a more lightweight option for the winter even though it’s incredibly moisturizing so I use it in the morning (and the Honey Halo at night – more on that below). It’s also only about $11 per ounce, which is a bargain compared to some of my other faves like like the Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream at $28.4/ounce and Farmacy Honey Drop at $26.4/ounce. I still can’t get over how high quality Phytosurgence products are from the packaging to the efficacy for their prices.

Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer – I’m still surprised by how much I love this given how incredibly lightweight it is. It’s still very moisturizing, but has the benefit of sinking into my skin so fast. I really appreciate that for a morning moisturizer because I tend to start my makeup pretty quickly after my morning skincare routine. It also layers incredibly well with my other morning skincare without causing pilling. I’m so excited to have this in the summer months especially when it’s really hot outside, but it’s honestly been great for the winter too.

Farmacy Honey Halo Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer – This is honestly 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 night time skincare products. Usually by this time of year, my skin starts to get flaky and itchy because it’s so dry, but I’ve had no issues since I’ve been using this. I’m so glad they have the jumbo version now because I know this is going to be a staple for me for a long time, and it’s honestly been saving my dry skin from totally losing all its hydration overnight.

NBM Cuticle Buddy – My nails have never been healthier or stronger since I starting using these (someone actually thought my nails were fake at the gym because they looked so nice!). I don’t freak out about nail breaks anymore because they grow back so fast now that I’m using this. I originally got a kit that comes with a great travel nail file, the cuticle buddy, and a full 1oz of nail oil to refill your cuticle buddy with and fell in love with the product. I now own 8 of them and carry them with me everywhere. They have amazing scents, especially the seasonal ones, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about these without being an affiliate (I even wrote this before getting a code and am editing this in afterwards). 

What were your favorites this 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.

My 5 Favorite Mood Boosting Products

I wanted to share my five favorite products I go to when I need a little mood boost or that always make me a little happier when I use them, and it was so fun to go through my products to figure out which are the most immediate mood boosters. These are all first and foremost amazing smelling products, and they all happen to also have incredible formulas and efficacy. 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!

Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm – This is the most amazing smelling product I own, hands down. If I need a pick me up, this is always what I reach for first, because it smells like fresh squeeze citrus and is so bright and fresh. It always makes me so happy. I got this on sale for $82, and while it is expensive, you do get 17 oz which I have found is lasting forever even if I use it all over (seriously, I’ve owned this over a year and use it all the time, and there’s still so much left).

Glossier Body Hero Dry-Touch Oil Mist – The scent of this is described as a “Orange Blossom Neroli scent (with fresh notes of pear, mandarin, and cypress)that faintly lingers on skin for a whisper of “vacation” throughout the day” and that is so accurate. It always makes me take a moment to just enjoy how good this smells (and feels), and it definitely does continue to smell great for awhile in good way. I’m not a huge fan of the packaging (who wants to spray oil everywhere and try to handle a glass bottle with oily hands?), but the oil in here is the most moisturizing body oil I’ve tried and it absorbs incredibly fast which makes it great for moisturizing my whole body.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47  – I know it’s weird to include a sunscreen in this list, but it just smells go amazing. This was actually the product that inspired this list because I realized when I put it on that having something that smells and feels amazing can make a big difference for me. Every time I put it on, it just cheers me up and helps me get ready to face the day. The formula is also great – it sinks in quickly, is moisturizing, and doesn’t have a white cast. It doesn’t pill and works great alone or under makeup.

Caramel Iced Coffee Cuticle Buddy – Using this cuticle oil is one of my favorite parts of my morning routine. It smells exactly like the caramel lattes I used to get in college in the winter, and it makes me so happy. It’s just so spot on how close the scent is to actual caramel coffee, and I’m pleasantly surprised every time I use it. All the cuticle buddy scents are fantastic if caramel coffee isn’t your thing – I also love the Sweet Orange & Tangerine, Lavender & Rosemary, and Lemongrass & Ylang Ylang. The cuticle oil itself is also fantastic – my nails have never been healthier or stronger since I starting using these (someone actually thought my nails were fake at the gym because they looked so nice!). As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about these without being an affiliate (I even wrote this before getting a code and am editing this in afterwards). 

Finding Ferdinand Custom Lipsticks – I have a couple with their summer flavor Orange Popsicle added to it, and I love it so much. It actually tastes and smells like an orange popsicle and always makes me feel a little bit happier applying it. That scent isn’t available anymore but every scent of theirs I’ve tried has been equally amazing, including the fall scents they have right now which I wrote about in my review. Because the shades I have are custom made for me, they also always look great on me, and I don’t have to worry about whether or not it’ll look good. These are always what I reach for if I need a little pick me up when I’m finishing off a makeup look.

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

July 2021 Favorites

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

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

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

Glossier Ultralips – I have been loving all of the shades I got – you can see more swatches and comparisons of all of them here. The Ultralips are a pretty pigmented tinted lip balm that has a touch more glossiness than your average balm. I love how moisturizing it is and how long lasting it is (for a lip balm texture). You can also build up the color without anything weird happening like pilling or patching. Glossier says that the formula is so comfortable it’s like “pulling on a buttery-soft, well-loved cashmere sweater”, and I definitely agree. This is like putting on your favorite pair of sweatpants after a long day, but for your lips, and I have been using them so much.

Ultralip in Portrait, Villa, Trench, and Cachet

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

NBM Cuticle Buddy Color Expression, who does amazing nail polish reviews, totally sold me on the Cuticle Buddy. And for $35, you can get a kit that comes with a great travel nail file, the cuticle buddy, and a full 1oz of nail oil to refill your cuticle buddy with. I think this is just such an incredible value, especially considering how great the oil is. I got the orange (growth) formula which contains tangerine and sweet orange essential oils, and it smells amazing. I’ve been using this every night, and I definitely feel a difference in my nail health and strength. I’m so excited to have found these and am hoping to pick up some of the fun summer scents when they restock. As always, you can use my affiliate code with Shop NBM to get 10% off sitewide: LIFT10. Like all my reviews, everything written is my completely unbiased opinion, and I would definitely be talking about these without being an affiliate (I even wrote this before getting a code and am editing this in afterwards). 

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