January 2021 Favorites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!