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 Cold Weather Favorites for Dry Skin

It’s somehow already December which means we’re well into winter where I live. For me, that means much drier skin than usual and needing to really layer on the hydration and moisturization. These are my five favorite products to keep my skin happy and healthy during these dry, cold days and many of them I’ve written about over and over again because of how much I rely on them. 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 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 Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask – This continues to be HG face mask, and one of the only ones I use consistently. 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, especially as it gets super cold. 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. My skin feels so smooth, hydrated, and glowy after using this. 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 1.7oz jar is still going strong so it was totally worth the investment.

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.

Fitglow Beauty Lip Night Serum – This formula is incredibly nourishing, thick, hydrating, and long-lasting, which makes it perfect for super dry winter nights. It’s honestly the best night time lip treatment I’ve ever tried, and I wake up consistently to hydrated and nourished lips, which I’ve never had happen in the winter before using this product. It’s quite expensive for a lip balm, but it’s really so much more than that and totally worth it for me to not have consistently dried out, chapped, painful lips.

Josie Maran Skin Dope Argan Oil + 100 mg CBD – This is my HG facial oil, and something I can’t live without, especially during the winter. 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 even with how nourishing and occlusive it is. Besides being my go-to finishing skincare step, I also always 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 (even after all the recent sales, I’m sure there will be more soon!).

What’s your go to winter skincare product? 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.

2021 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 14

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!

Supergoop Zincscreen – This sounded great because it’s meant for sensitive skin and supposed to work well under makeup as a glowy base. I used it every day as my primary sunscreen and did really like it under makeup or by itself. It has no white cast, blends super quickly, and isn’t too heavy on the skin. The only thing I don’t love about it is the way it smells – I can’t describe it but I just don’t like it. I’ve not planning on repurchasing it because I’ve fallen in love with the Josie Maran sunscreen, but I did really like it while I used it.

Flamingo Foaming Shave Gel – This was really great while I used it, but the 1oz size that comes with the starter set lasts such a short period of time that it’s really more of a trial size. It does everything you’d expect from a shave gel and otherwise was pretty unremarkable. I’m now using the Athena Club Cloud Shave Foam because I was looking for something even more conditioning than this one. Given that I have extremely dry skin, I am appreciating the extra moisture with the one from Athena Club so far, but I’m still on the hunt for the best shave gel.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator – 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.

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 already bought a full size of this to use once I finish my Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream, and I can see it becoming my new HG.

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter – I have yet to find another body butter I like more than this one. It is incredibly moisturizing while still being fast absorbing and super lightweight. I love all the scents, but this unscented one is my favorite to mix with any body oils so there’s no competing fragrances. I’m already on my next tub, and I have one more backup that I will absolutely replace now that holiday sets are out again.

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.

My Top 15 Recommendations for the Sephora Sale

The fall Sephora sale is starting this Friday for Rouge members and soon after for VIB and Insider members! I wanted to share my top 15 recommendations for things to pick up during the sale, focusing on products that I’ve used, loved, and repurchased over and over again with a couple of newer must haves thrown in. If there’s a product you’re considering that I didn’t mention here, feel free to ask any questions in the comments! 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.

Mini Retro Eyeshadow Palette – I wrote about this palette in my March/April 2020 favorites, and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s been such a 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 in person, these are so special. I love using these shades in conjunction with other palettes (especially the shimmer shades) to add some color to an otherwise neutral look or to make a really pretty and sparkly pink or a sultry green look. The shadows still feel like new even having it for almost 2 years now, and I highly recommend it instead of spending over a hundred dollars on a larger ND palette.

Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Foundation Brush – This is one of my favorite foundations brushes (and I have a lot of brushes). I find myself continually going back to it instead of any others I have. It has such a perfect shape for foundation and even concealer because the angles and edges make it super easy to get into all the contours of my face. It’s also 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.

Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Concealer Brush – Like the foundation brush, this has really densely packed bristles which I really appreciate. It’s also designed to mimic the shape of your fingertip, and I find that it makes it like I’m blending out with my finger but without losing any coverage. I use it every day with my undereye corrector, and it helps so much when I’m attempting to correct my dark circles. It also works great for spot concealing given how precise you can get with it.

 Viseart Petite Pro 4 – I got this during a sale at the end of 2019, and I still reach for it all the time even with all the other eyeshadows I own now. I’m so happy I decided to get it and that I have it in my collection. It’s the perfect mix of neutrals, and I’ve loved how small and compact this is for travel and how easily it fits in my Salt New York palette when I’m at home. Like all Viseart shadows, these blend seamlessly with little fallout and aren’t overly glittery, so I can put together a look for work super quickly too. I love using the mattes to blend out another look that might need it or use the shimmers as a sophisticated topper. This a great option for anyone wanting to try out Viseart eyeshadow, especially during the sale.

Melt Cosmetics Cream Blushlight – I have the shade Polished, and it’s such an incredible warm pink that looks so at home on me. It has a really beautiful luminosity to it from a slight amount of shimmer, and it’s my go-to blush for when I want something that has that super glowy from within blush look. It blends so effortlessly and quickly, and I just love the super thin but hydrating texture. They also have great staying power for a cream blush. I’m likely going to pick up another one during the sale because I love using it so much, even with my dozens of other cream blushes.

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 below. 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.

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder – I’ve talked about this in my favorites many times, and I still use it almost every day. It’s such a great for dry skin, and the full size really lasts forever. It looks like I’ve barely used it even though I bought it in 2019 and use it super consistently. If you don’t want to splurge for the full size and don’t use a lot of powder, you can totally get away with using the travel size for over a year in my experience. Even though I love the Kosas Cloud Set Powder (which is also a great thing to pick up during the sale), I still find myself reaching for this all the time, especially for under my eyes.

Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask – This continues to be HG face mask, and one of the only ones I use consistently. 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. My skin feels so smooth, hydrated, and glowy after using this. 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 1.7oz jar is still going strong so it was totally worth the investment.

Nuface Mini Facial Toning Device – I know this is expensive, but it really works! This device has helped so much with my forehead wrinkles (they were so deep and now they are basically gone between this and the retinol!) and firming up my jawline and my neck. I’m so glad I invested in this now so I can keep using it on my skin for years to come. I have convinced a couple of other folks to get one and so far, they have all had good things to say too! I featured this in my year end favorites last year, and it’s still going strong and working great for me.

Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Cream Duo – 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 four times! This is the only eye cream I’ve found that actually works to reduce wrinkles around my eyes without irritation and while still adding a ton of hydration. And this duo makes it less than $50, plus even less with the VIB discount. It’s totally worth it for me for how effective it is, and this is another product where I can really tell the difference if I switch to something else.

Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub – I got this mini as a gift with purchase, and I didn’t expect to get a lot of use out of it. It turns out that it’s the best scalp scrub I’ve ever used (and I’ve tried a lot of products like this). It works really well as a scalp scrub in that it gets out any residue or product build up that I have in my hair. What I really love about it though is that it actually hydrates as it works so I don’t have to worry about irritating my already super dry scalp. It makes my hair feel so much cleaner but without drying anything out, and it also smells amazing! I’ve already purchased the full size, but if I hadn’t, I would absolutely grab a jar now.

Necessaire The Body Wash – I have tried a ton of body washes this year and my favorite is still this one. I love the eucalyptus for when I need a mood boost and the sandalwood is great for creating a sense of calm before I head to bed. I love the packaging and the formula is perfect for my dry skin even in the winter (I posted this as one of my July favorites last year, and it was great for the summer this year too). I’m starting to run low on this one after finishing my other one, so I might pick up another one during the sale.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist – 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.

Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask  – I’ve talked about this in 3 favorites posts now because I love it so much. My last jar lasted me from before January 2020 until now, so for me, it’s 100% worth the $34 price for the jar (and I always pay less because I pick up one during the Sephora sale). I only use this mask twice a week when I use my AHA toner, and it really helps with any potential irritation that comes with using an exfoliator. It also makes a huge difference in taming the redness in my skin that I really don’t have any anymore. I will definitely be picking up another one during the sale!

Olaplex No. 3 – Every time I use this, I feel like my hair has been transformed. It feels way smoother, stronger, and shinier without being weighed down. I notice a huge difference when I don’t use this treatment, and it’s incredibly worth it to me. My hair is normally super prone to breakage, and this is one of the only products I’ve tried that actually helps with that. It also helps my hair feel way less dry than usual without making it greasy. This is one of my only true hair staples (outside of my Bumble & Bumble loves) that I continue to repurchase over and over again.

What’s on your Sephora sale wishlist? 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.

October 2021 Favorites

I can’t believe it’s almost November, and it’s time for another round of favorites! 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. As always, 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.

Amika Multi-Task Repair Treatment – My hair had been feeling incredibly dry and lifeless lately, but when I added this into my routine, it’s like my hair went right back to normal and then some. It makes my hair feel so soft, so much less frizzy, and way shinier. It also has more volume and movement without me doing anything to it, which I love. I’ve only been using it once a week, and that’s been plenty to see results.

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.

Phytosurgence Phytobrushes – I have been loving both the Skybuff and Skyfluff brushes, and I am so happy I have them in my collection. I’ve been using them with lots of different cream blushes, bronzers, and highlighters, not just Phytosurgence products, and they’ve been fantastic. They pick up and blend out products so seamlessly and quickly so that the products really look like they’re naturally part of my face – exactly the kind of look I love doing. I’ve washed them a few times now and can confirm that they still look and feel brand new and have no issues with shedding or misshaping.

Salt New York Crème Tint Pro in Flora – I’ve written about my love for Salt New York’s products so many times, and it’s because it’s my favorite cream formula. They blend out super easily, are super lightweight, and look so at home on my skin. I’ve been loving the shade Flora from their summer duo, which is described as a a rich, juicy, intoxicating hot pink with a slight blue undertone. It doesn’t matter how little sleep I got or how bleh I’m feeling, this shade brightens up my face and makes me look so healthy, hydrated, and happy. It’s not available anymore, but the 90s duo just launched, and I think Sugar Plum is going to be my Flora equivalent for winter!

Mac Glow Play Blushes in Grand and So Natural

MAC Glow Play Blushes – I wrote about these in my February 2020 favorites and can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written about them again. This formula has been my go-to recently for finishing off my cheek looks because they have a really incredible blurring quality that really pulls together any look I’ve done. Because the texture is like a cross between a powder and a cream, it adds a slight sheen like a cream and great lasting power like a powder. I’ve been using both of the shades I have, So Natural and Grand, depending on what other blushes I’ve used, and I’m so glad I’ve been using these again. These are on sale right now at Nordstrom too!

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.

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!

Cate the Great Beauty Made Me Buy It

Cate has one of my favorite channels on YouTube, and she is a really great person. She sung me Happy Birthday on a live stream and gave my blog a shout out in a different live stream because she’s awesome! I really appreciate her approach to reviews, and (spoiler) I’ve been incredibly impressed with everything she’s recommended. I’ve even found a few things that aren’t makeup that I’ve fallen in love with because of her channel. If you aren’t following her yet, I recommend it! She also has a bunch of discount codes and affiliate links for various products (including some of these), so I would head over to her channel to use those to support her and save some money.

One of the first things I got that Cate recommended is the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation in 2 Fair. This is a “your skin but better” foundation – it’s incredibly light weight and feels like a moisturizer. It looks incredibly seamless and natural and blends in so quickly. It’s slightly dewy and is low to medium coverage, which are both things I look for in base products. Even though I love this, I likely won’t repurchase it when I run out because I have so many other foundation favorites that are less expensive like the Glossier Skin Tint, Fenty Eaze Drop, and the Typology Tinted Serum.

The Fenty Eaze Drop filled a gap in my foundation collection I didn’t realize I had. It’s a really unique formula that’s blurring, light-weight, not too matte, and doesn’t budge. The formula is almost entirely mask proof and sweat proof, but doesn’t look heavy at all. I love that I can blend it in super quickly with my fingers, and it looks flawless. It also works great with a brush if I don’t feel like using my hands to apply it. I wouldn’t recommend using it with a sponge if you have dry skin, but otherwise, I have no issues with it. I was on the fence given some folks had issues with it, but I trust Cate, and she was right! It’s my pick when I want a bit more coverage than the Charlotte Tilbury Foundation or any of my skin tints.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder in 2 Fair, Fenty Eaze Drop in 2, Kosas Concealer in 02, Glossier Stretch Concealer in G11

I’d heard about the Kosas Revealer Concealer from a bunch of people but Cate finally convinced me to pick it up. It blends out beautifully and doesn’t dry out the area under my eyes – it really does feel like a concealer & eye cream hybrid. It doesn’t lose coverage when you’re blending it out, which is super important to me with concealers since I have incredibly dark under eyes. I can use it both under my eyes and on my face and alone or with foundation. Cate uses the concealer in shade 1, and I think that would have been a better match even though 2 is a good match for my face. I’m planning on trying the new Thrive Causemetics concealer next but would absolutely grab the Kosas in shade 1 otherwise.

I wasn’t sure about the Glossier Stretch Concealer in G11, but I figured I would give it a go because Cate loves it so much. I’m really happy I did – it’s my favorite pot concealer and is great for someone with skin as dry as mine. My favorite way to use this concealer is all over like a foundation. It looks incredibly skin like, lasts all day, and provides just the right amount of coverage for me. It also feels very light weight, and everything I put on top of it looks great. I would recommend using setting powder on top of it if you don’t have dessert dry skin like I do or if you’re planning on doing any amount of sweating.

I know I talk about the Auric Glow Lust all the time, but it really is such a great product. It gives both a super smooth and glowy effect to the skin, whether I use it as foundation, a primer, a mixer, or a highlighter. Of all of my glowy, liquid products, this is definitely my favorite of the bunch. The packaging is also amazing, especially the pump – it’s so much easier to use than something like the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. It feels like much more of a luxury experience, from the packaging to the formula. I have a full review here if you’d like to see more comparisons!

I have no idea why more people don’t talk about the Chantecaille Brightening Eye Nude Kajal – I think Cate may be one of the only people I’ve seen mention it! It’s the only eye liner I’ve found that is the right color to brighten up my eyes when I use it in the waterline – it’s not too white or too yellow. It just looks like I actually get enough sleep and makes my eyes look less red, even if it’s from allergies. It also stays all day and doesn’t irritate my eyes. It’s on the pricier side at $29, but mine has lasted me so long, and I think it’s completely worth it.

I had wasn’t planning on buying the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Sculpture Unlocked palette, especially because it was $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 after watching Cate’s review of it, and I honestly have no regrets. It’s so quick and easy because the powders are very finely milled and blend 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.

The Pat McGrath Lust Glosses (I now have Pale Fire Nectar and two Pat McGrath Mini Lust: Gloss Trios) is one of my favorite gloss formulas all of time. Cate is obsessed with the Pale Fire Nectar shade so I started there. Everything Cate said about these is true. There is just the right amount of glitter to make my lips look amazing, and the color is perfectly pinky coral without going overboard. The formula is incredibly hydrating and smoothing, even with the glitter. When I saw the trios on sale for $9 at Sephora, I knew I had to get them. Every color in the trios are great for me, and they all have the same great formula. They also have amazing lasting power – you can’t go wrong with this gloss, and there’s usually always a couple of shades on sale on the Pat McGrath website.

Video swatch of Pale Fire Nectar

The Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask is my HG face mask, and I am so thankful to Cate for introducing it to me. 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. My skin feels so smooth, hydrated, and glowy after using this. 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 1.7oz jar is still going strong so it was totally worth the investment.

Cate is known for her amazing headbands, and I love how they look on her. I decided to pick up some of the ones from Soulvation Society after she talked about them. They are so soft and comfortable and feel incredibly high quality. They also stay put and don’t put any dents in my hair. They don’t give me a headache even if I wear them a long time, which I normally have issues with. I got the neturals twist pack which comes with 5 super pretty shades that go with anything else I’m wearing. I’m honestly set for headbands for a long time with these!

I pretty much immediately bought the Frâicheur Facial Ice Globes after watching this video. I love using them at night to help my nighttime skincare absorb quickly and in the morning to depuff my face before putting on makeup. I think they really help my skin improve over time, but even if it’s just a placebo, I love the way it feels when I’m using them. My favorite thing about them is that they really help me with headaches and migraines. They really came in handy when I was experiencing a few terrible migraines last week, and I was so glad I had them. I love that you can keep them in the freezer so I always have them ready to go, which is particularly great when it starts getting really hot.

If you like these influencer made me buy it posts, comment below who you you’d like me to focus on next! Thanks as always 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!

2020 Skincare Favorites

This is more a list of my best skincare discoveries in 2020, and the products I still can’t live without. I have a ton of tried and true favorites that I’ve used every day for years (comment below if you’d like a detailed post on that!), so instead of going through each category, I’ll be listing my ultimate HGs and discoveries from this year. I’m also skipping the haircare favorites because they are literally all the same as 2019 – I still love Bumble and Bumble and everything else I listed so much, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner – This toner was my favorite skincare discovery of 2019, and it’s still going strong in 2020! It has continued to make my skin clearer, brighter, and less dry. It’s also $14 for a huge bottle, and I was able to grab a bunch of bottles during a Black Friday sale. My husband loves it too, and it’s one of the only skincare products he consistently uses.

Krave Beauty Kale-lalu-yAHA – I’m still sticking with this as my chemical exfoliant of choice. For only twice a week, it really makes a huge difference for my skin and has kept it super clear and not congested. I’d be surprised if anything comes into my routine that’s better than this one for exfoliation.

Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask – On the nights I use the Kale-lalu-yAHA, I pair it with this sleeping mask so I only use it twice a week. This really helps with any potential irritation that comes with using an exfoliator and makes a huge difference in taming the redness in my skin. I’ve had the same $34 jar I raved about it in my January 2020 favorites, and it’s going strong. I have already bought a replacement though, because I notice when I don’t use it!

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator – This is the best face mist I’ve ever used – and I’ve tried so many. It’s actually hydrating (like I can use it instead of a moisturizer in a pinch even with my super dry skin), and it smells amazing. Like a lot of other things on this list, I have a bunch of backups now because I don’t want to be without this.

Allies of Skin 1A™ Retinal + Peptides Overnight Mask – After a lot of searching, I have finally found my HG retinol! This doesn’t irritate my skin at all, is somehow hydrating, and still actually does all the things retinol does (smooths the appearance of wrinkles and brightens skin). It’s really a miracle product, and I have already tried so many other Allies of Skin products because how good this is. I love them all so far, and this brand is hands down my favorite brand discovery of 2020!

Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask – I have to shout out Cate the Great Beauty who convinced me to get this after raving about it over and over again. 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, especially in the winter. It is the perfect mask to use after an exfoliating treatment or just when your skin is feeling extra dry and really is the best face mask of all time. My skin feels so smooth, hydrated, and glowy after using this. 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 1.7oz jar is still going strong so it was totally worth the investment.

Peter Thomas Roth face masks – My friend Emily surprised me with this masking set (thank you again!), and I am obsessed with them. The cucumber is the perfect cooling mask to add hydration, the pumpkin is so good for quickly exfoliating without irritation, and the gold mask is some crazy magic product that totally transforms my skin. I actually love the pumpkin one so much I have a full size of it as well, and my favorite thing to do is use the pumpkin mask and then the Farmacy honey potion mask for a true skin renewal self-care moment. When I don’t have the time, I use the gold mask because it makes my skin look and feel so good so fast. And if I have even less time, I will use the eye patches for a quick pick me up of my under eye area that I don’t even have to wash off.

Nuface Mini Facial Toning Device – I know this is expensive, but it really works! This device has helped so much with my forehead wrinkles (they were so deep and now they are basically gone between this and the retinol!) and firming up my jawline and my neck. I’m so glad I invested in this now so I can keep using it on my skin for years to come. I have convinced a couple of other folks to get one and so far, they have all had good things to say too!

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm – 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. I think I’ve gone through at least 6 of these by now, and I have 3 back ups right now. It gets all my makeup off while hydrating my skin, and it provides a really nice moment of self care massaging it into my skin. I will definitely keep using this as the first step in my cleansing routine. Ulta has this for 50% quite often so that’s when I stock up!

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 twice! This is the only eye cream I’ve found that actually works to reduce wrinkles around my eyes without irritation. I was able to find a set of two for $80 which was a steal, so I’m going to keep keeping an eye out because I can’t imagine switching to another eye cream.

I’ll be doing body care next, and let me know in the comments below if there’s anything you want more info about or a post you’d like me to do!

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!