2022 EMPTIES (WILL I REPURCHASE?) – PART 6

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.

Cutex Nourishing Nail Polish Remover – I was trying to find something more cost effective than my favorite remover, the Zoya 3-in-1 Formula Remove + Nail Polish Remover. This just doesn’t remove as well or quickly and felt like it was damaging my cuticle way more than the Zoya one. I’ve already repurchased the Zoya one instead and am planning on buying the bigger refill bottle to save money and plastic packaging.

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’ve been using this a ton now that we’re really into winter, and my skin is drier than ever. It’s been so helpful to keep my skin from getting to that “so dry it’s unbearable and itchy” state. I am currently on a backup of this and then have a bunch of other body lotion to get through, but I’m planning on repurchasing this when those all run out.

Pixi Fortifeye Firming Eye Patches – I honestly didn’t feel like these did anything for my undereye area. They felt nice, but otherwise, I’m not sure they had any lasting effects. It’s much also more wasteful than something like the Dieux Forever Eye Mask. The Dieux masks are reusable and do the same type of thing, but I like them so much more because I can use them with eye products that I know are effective and they don’t slide down my face. I will definitely not be repurchasing the Pixi eye patches.

The Inkey List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment – I really struggle with breakage and split ends, and this product has completely changed that for me. I use this after every shower and now have way less breakage and almost no split ends despite not getting a hair cut for a long, long time. My hair also feels much softer and less frizzy even if I only used just this product. I’m used to needing to use a couple of different products to get my hair to look and feel great, so that has really impressed me! The only con for me is that I can’t stand this packaging – it’s so hard to spray the product, and I ended up having to pour this into a different container to keep using it. For $12.99, it’s absolutely worth dealing with though, and I’ll repurchase this once I get through some of my other hair treatment products.

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. So, I already repurchased this one!

I’d love to know – what have you finished lately? Like I mentioned, I have a ton more empties that I will be posting about, and 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 8 FAVORITE PRODUCTS UNDER $20

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection and starting a “favorite products under $X series” to help me in that process. I’ll be doing posts every month for different dollar amounts, and I’m so excited to dive into my collection in this way. This time, I’m writing about my favorite products under $20. I would love see your favorites and recommendations for under $20 beauty products in the comments! And, of course, thank you so much for being here, and it would mean so much to me if you subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Glossier Stretch Concealer – My favorite way to use this concealer is all over like a foundation, and I’ve been using it a ton this way lately. I’ve been super tired lately with how dark it’s getting, and this has been so great to use to get my makeup done super quickly. I can just dot it all over my face, blend, and be done without needing both a concealer and foundation step. The Stretch Concealer looks incredibly skin like, lasts all day, and provides just the right amount of coverage for me (which is light). I find the light coverage makes it blend seamlessly and wear well even without powder since it’s harder to tell where it’s worn off than with a fuller coverage product. It also feels very light weight, and everything I put on top of it looks great. 

Salt New York Crème Tint Pro Bronzer, Blush, and Highlighter – I’ve written about my love for Salt New York’s products so many times, and it’s because it continues to be one of my favorite cream formulas that I go back to over and over again. All the Crème Tint Pros I have (and I have 21) blend out incredibly easily and seamlessly, are super lightweight, and look so at home on my skin. This is my favorite formula for when I need a “I’m running late and need something easy” look – they blend out so quickly with a brush, sponge, or fingers and never look patchy. My most used shades over the years has been the bronzer in Light/Medium, highlighter in Beige, and blush in Rose, and I’ve really been loving Cocoa and Plum recently. They are all $16, but they have sales all the time, so I technically based on what I paid for most of them, these could have been in the under $10 post.

Salt New York bronzer in Light/Medium, highlighter in Beige, blushes in Rose, Cocoa, and Plum

Blush Divine Radiant Cheek & Lip in Ophelia, Foxglove, and Azalea– This formula is incredibly pigmented, opaque, and thick (like a balm), which I actually appreciate. It doesn’t need to be built up because it’s so pigmented but can still be layered with other cream blushes because it blends so easily. Because of its thickness, it has great staying power and even manages to keep its dewy (but not shiny) finish for hours. I love that you can just buy the refills for about half the price, and they pop into a magnetic palette super easily. I have the shades Ophelia (“true pink”), Foxglove (“warm terracotta”), and Azalea (“berry”). Ophelia is my most used because I’ve really been into a pink looks lately, but I find all the shades work well for me. All that said, if you’re not a fan of that super thick, on the edge of sticky cream blush, you might not like this formula, but I love it so much.

Flower Beauty Desert Lights and Jungle Lights Eyeshadow Palettes – For being under $20, I’m still shocked at how comparable these shadows are to my high-end palettes from brands like Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona. The formula is incredible – it’s super pigmented, smooth, and sparkly. All the shades blend easily and last super well all day with a primer. They have enough dimension to use them all as one shadow looks and blend together well enough to make a more complex look with multiple shadows. They’re just incredibly creamy and easy to use in the same way my much more expensive shadows are. If you wanted the look of the Roen shadows without the cream texture and creasing, this might be a really good option. If I had to choose one, I’d go with the Desert Lights Palette because I use it much more often and am really into pinky rose golds right now, but the quality is amazing in both palettes.

Em Cosmetics Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liners in Kitten and Mink – Out of all my lip liners, I definitely reached for these the most often. The formula blends so easily so you can get a soft, blurred, and diffused look. I find that creates a much more natural look that still defines my lips and helps prevent any feathering of the lipstick I use on top. Even with how soft and lightweight they are, they are very long lasting. I have the shades Kitten, a neutral rose, and Mink, a cool brown, which both work really well with my lip color and the with my favorite lipsticks and glosses.

Em Cosmetics Lip Liners in Kitten and Mink

Glossier Ultralip in Villa, Trench, Cachet, and Portrait – 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. I love using these during the day on work calls when I want more color like a traditional lipstick, don’t mind having to reapply, and can take advantage of how moisturizing these are.

Glossier Ultralip in Portrait, Villa, Trench, and Cachet

Phytosurgence Phytobrushes – I’m still in shock about how good the Phytobrushes are, especially for both being under $15. I purchased both the Skybuff and Skyfluff brushes, and I’m in love with both of them. If you’re a regular reader here, you know how much I invest in fude brushes (from Sonia G., Chikuhodo, Wayne Goss, etc.), and these fit right in my collection because of how high quality they are. They suggest using the Skybuff for their Spectral Shine and Skyfluff for their Skin Spark blushes, but I actually love using them the opposite way. They blend out the products so seamlessly and quickly so that the products really look like they’re naturally part of your face – exactly the kind of look I love.

The Inkey List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment – I really struggle with breakage and split ends, and this product has completely changed that for me. I use this after every shower and now have way less breakage and almost no split ends despite not getting a hair cut for a long, long time. My hair also feels much softer and less frizzy even if I only used just this product. I’m used to needing to use a couple of different products to get my hair to look and feel great, so that has really impressed me! The only con for me is that I can’t stand this packaging – it’s so hard to spray the product, and I ended up having to pour this into a different container to keep using it. For $12.99, it’s absolutely worth dealing with though.

What are your favorite products under $20? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see here on LiftBakeLove, and thanks for reading! As always, some links may be affiliate links that support the blog, but all reviews/opinions are completely my own and unsponsored.

Brand Review: The Inkey List Haircare

After watching Kayley Melissa’s review on The Inkey List Haircare products, I really wanted to know if they were really as good as she said they were. Since her video was sponsored, I was a little skeptical, but 5 products for less than $60 shipped seemed like a great thing to review for all of my readers (thanks for being here!). I used the website’s “recipe builder” to get a routine recommendation and bought 5 of the recommended products. I’ve been testing these since May to make sure I can give a thorough review of their effectiveness and also took a break from using them for the last week to if there was a difference not using them (spoiler: there was!).

PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment ($12.99) – I really struggle with breakage and split ends, and this product has completely changed that for me. I use this after every shower and now have way less breakage and almost no split ends despite not getting a hair cut for a long, long time. My hair also feels much softer and less frizzy even if I only used just this product. I’m used to needing to use a couple of different products to get my hair to look and feel great, so that really impressed me! The only con for me is that I can’t stand this packaging – it’s so hard to spray the product. I even had my husband try it to see if it was just me, and he struggled with it too. I love everything else about this product so I will definitely continue to use it and likely repurchase it, but I wish they made it way easier to use.

Peptide Volumizing Hair Treatment ($9.99) – In addition to my hair being super dry and brittle, it’s also really flat. I usually need to give myself a blow out or curl my hair to get any kind of volume, and I’ve been loving that I now can get volume without doing either of those things especially since it’s been so hot here. My hair looks thicker and bouncier whenever I use this and actually has some movement to it. I notice a huge difference when I skipped this, and it’s my go-to for when my hair is looking a little lifeless.

Caffeine stimulating scalp treatment ($14.99) – This product is really unique and was the only one of these that filled an actual gap in my collection. You are supposed to see best results after using it for 3 months, which I haven’t hit yet, so these are my initial impressions. It doesn’t create any issues for my hair even using it every night, and I can definitely already see a different in how fast my hair is growing and its strength. I’ve been seeing a lot less hair coming out onto my brush and in the shower since I started using this, and I’m excited to see the effects over time!

Shea Oil Nourishing Hair Treatment ($9.99) – This is meant for dry and brittle hair (which mine is!) and feels like a serum for your hair. It’s very lightweight and instantly makes my hair look way more hydrated and healthy. It also adds so much shine without destroying any volume I have. I like it a lot better than something like the Moroccanoil Treatment or the Verb Ghost oil which both feel much heavier. Even though it’s incredibly lightweight, I still found that if I applied too much, my hair did feel weighed down and greasy. While this happens much less than with other oil-based hair treatments, I still always try to use less than I think I need to avoid that.

Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Hair Treatment ($9.99) – This is another product meant to add hydration, boost shine, and reduce brittleness. Everything I said about that is true about this, and I used this interchangeably with the Shea Oil Nourishing Hair Treatment. I don’t think you need both, and this works just as well and also doesn’t add any heaviness or weigh my hair down. I found that I didn’t have the same issue when adding too much so I prefer this treatment for that reason, especially when I’m on day 2 or day 3 hair.

This whole haircare routine was less than $60, and I am so impressed by each of the products and how they work together. My three favorites are the PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment, Peptide Volumizing Hair Treatment, and the Caffeine Stimulating Scalp Treatment because they are incredibly effective and I don’t have anything I can think of that’s remotely similar in the price range. That said, they’re all amazing, and I’m very glad I decided to try them out since I now have affordable stapes for myself and that I can recommend to you. Are there other hair products or brands you’d like a review of? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram @liftbakelove!