This or That? Answering your “which should I choose” makeup dilemmas!

I asked my followers on Instagram for their makeup dilemmas, inspired by this video from Kackie Reviews Beauty, and these were the most common ones! Before I get into it, I love all of these products, and this is just for fun – if you want a more specific recommendation for your particular needs, don’t’ hesitate to ask in the comments or on Instagram DMs. 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!

Auric Glow Lust vs Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter – I have a longer review comparing these, but the TLDR of that post is Auric Glow Lust all the way. The packaging is way better, and I like the formula more. I love the packaging so much more and it’s way more versatile since I can use it by itself in lieu of foundation, as a primer, mixed in with my foundation, as a highlighter, and any combination of those methods. I also think the Charlotte Tilbury was breaking me out so I ended up decluttering it because of that and because I found I never reached for it over the Auric Glow Lust or the Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter.

Glow Lust in Selenite and Hollywood Flawless Filter in 2

Fit Glow Lip Serum or Finding Ferdinand Custom Lipstick (if you’re buying yourself a gift) – For this one, I would go with the Finding Ferdinand custom lipstick. There’s something so special about getting exactly the color you want (the team at Finding Ferdinand will help you choose if you’re stuck) and being able to choose formula and the scent. I love my custom Finding Ferdinand shades and would happily give or get them as a gift. I also love the Fit Glow Lip Serums (they were in my 2021 Makeup Favorites and I talked about them a bunch last year), but they aren’t the same gift experience as Finding Ferdinand.

Finding Ferdinand Custom Shade and FitGlow Lip Serum in Root

Salt New York vs Phytosurgence highlighters – Even though both of these products are amazing, I would choose the Salt New York highlighter. The Phytosurgence Spectral Shine is gorgeous, but the formula does take a bit of effort to work with. You really have to run your finger or brush over the product many times to get it to pick up. The Salt New York highlighter is so easy to use with a brush or finger and goes on so quickly and easily. It adds a beautiful sheen that isn’t glittery every time and blends easily with other products. I find myself reaching for the Salt New York over my Spectral Shine almost every time because I usually have very little time to get my makeup on in the morning. That said, if you have oily or normal skin (vs my desert skin) or need your makeup to be locked in all day, you might prefer the matte dry down of the Spectral Shine over the dewiness of the Salt New York.

Salt New York in Beige and Phytosurgence in Divine Daylight

Salt New York vs Phytosurgence blushes – I feel similarly about these as I do the highlighters. Both are amazing in their own way and it’s honestly so hard to choose, but I generally reach for the Salt New York Creme Tints. They are so much sheerer and easier to mix and build that I can mindlessly use them and create whatever shade I’m feeling that day. The Phytosurgence Skin Spark Blush Balms are richly pigmented, which is amazing when I want something impactful that still blends beautifully into the skin. But usually, I’m doing my makeup half asleep before I even have coffee and can easily end up overdoing it, which never happens with the Salt New York Creme Tints. I also usually end up sticking to just one shade vs the mixing I love to do. All that said, you can’t go wrong with either!

Salt New York in Raspberry and Phytosurgence in Simmer

Phytosurgence vs Vesca Eyeshadows – I love both of these so much, but from a versatility standpoint, Phytosurgence has a much better range of formulas and shades. Vesca’s liquid shadow in Lyra is one of my all time HGs but there’s only four shades and that one formula from the brand. Plus, the Phytosurgence shadows also provide a different effect depending on how you apply them (finger vs brush vs which kind of brush) whereas the Vesca looks the same regardless. From Phytosurgence, I love both the cream and glitter formulas, and they have four shades in each formula. They’re also (I think) coming out with more of the cream shadows soon! Like all of these, you can’t go wrong with either, but my guess is you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for from Phytosurgence unless you’re specifically looking for the kind of liquid shadow formula the Vesca is.

Vesca in Lyra and Phytosurgence in Potent Petal and Orchid Overload

What other products would be helpful to see compared? Let me know in the comments below!  And 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.

KACKIE (REVIEWS BEAUTY) MADE ME BUY IT (Part 2)

Kackie has one of my favorite beauty channels to watch – so much so that it’s part of my morning routine Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays when she posts new videos, and I can’t imagine it any other way. What makes her stand out for me is that she actually reviews products rather than fawning over new releases. She covers textures, colors, formulation, packaging, etc. in depth, usually with comparisons to similar products you might already have. She has what she refers to as an encyclopedic knowledge of products, and I think that’s why I find her reviews so helpful. Kackie goes out of her way to give the most pertinent information to help viewers decide why something might or might not work for them and what they should know about the product when making a purchasing decision. For that reason, almost everything I’ve gotten because of her recommending it has become a fast favorite and something I wish I had bought sooner. 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!

Typology Paris Serum Teinte – I’m still really loving this, especially for when I’m having a really dry skin day. It’s incredibly smoothing and lightweight while providing solid light to medium coverage (which is the coverage level I prefer for foundations). It is actually so smoothing that I got carded at dinner wearing it, and the person said “your skin is so smooth, there’s no way you’re not in your early 20s.” And I’m not in my 20s anymore at all! It wears incredibly well for how moisturizing it feels (as Kackie says it wears in without wearing off), and it plays well with every bronzer, blush, highlighter, and powder I’ve used with it. It also contains lots of great skincare ingredients, and my skin definitely feels way less dry at the end of the day than with other base products. I have lots of swatches on my Typology review if you’re interested!

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 that makes this really special. I only tried it because of Kackie, and now 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 above. 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 (which is exactly what Kackie said about this shade for her collection and how I knew I had to try it).

Phytosurgence Skin Spark Blush Balms and Flash Florescence Cream Shadows – Phytosurgence is yet another brand that I never would have known about until Kackie  talked about them in a video. I’m so glad she did though because I’ve loved everything I’ve gotten from the brand. Phytosurgence is a small indie brand that focuses on transparent and conscious beauty, and they make high performance and affordable products. The Skin Spark Blush Balm formula (I have Fume and Simmer) impressed me from the first time I used it, and I find myself using them over and over again over my other cream blushes. 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.

The eyeshadows (I have Wild Oak and Potent Petal) are 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. I’ve frequently added a more sparkly shadow (like the ones from Phytosurgence) on top for something extra, 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).

Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Powder – This powder is really so amazing, and I know I posted about it super recently because I love it so much. I have it in the shade Airy, but because of how sheer it is, I’m sure Breezy or Feathery could have worked for me as well. It has a tiny bit of luminosity to it so it sets without mattifying too much, and it’s the perfect hybrid between a finishing and setting powder. I love using this for all over my face and to set all my cream products without getting rid of any of their dewiness.

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini – I have been loving setting my cream products with powder products in a matching tone to make them last longer and add a bit of coverage in those areas. I didn’t purchase this before watching Kackie talk about it, and her review helped me know that it would work for me. I find this creates a more satin finish which is great for someone like me that wants to look hydrated and dewy while still having something long lasting, especially under a mask. This Vesca bronzer is my favorite for this purpose (and also my favorite powder bronzer in general) – it’s not too orange, feels incredibly smooth and velvety, blends beautifully, smells amazing, and is such a believable bronzer on me (to borrow a Kackie phrase).

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini

Ulta Under Eye Brightener – Kackie mentioned this is a very effective dupe of my beloved Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector for $10, and she was so right. Just like the Becca one, this corrector works so well for correcting my super dark circles and helps hydrate my super dry under eyes for whatever concealer goes on top without any heaviness. It blends like a dream and the color is perfect for me. And it’s in stick form which is so much easier to use than the pot!

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.

Phytosurgence Review: Phytobrushes, Spectral Shine, Flash Florescence Cream Shadows in Bloom, and Verdant Forcefield

I’ve been waiting to do another Phytosurgence review until I had enough products to do a full post with only buying things I thought I would love. And now I almost have too much for one post because they keep launching amazing things! If you haven’t heard of Phytosurgence before, they are a very small indie brand that focuses on transparent and conscious beauty. They make high performance and affordable products that absolutely rival luxury brands. As with my last Phytosurgence review, I’m about to really rave about the products so I want to say upfront that this was not sponsored, and I bought the products with my own money. 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!

It took me an incredibly long time to start this paragraph because 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.

I used the Phytobrushes, Skin Spark blushes, and Spectral Shine highlight for a perfect no-makeup look

It’s so hard to describe how special Spectral Shine is and how unique the formula is. It doesn’t have glitter or shimmer, just really fine pearl pigments that blend seamlessly into the skin. It’s incredibly lightweight and feels like nothing but is super long lasting. Especially if you want something that looks like your skin but better in person (vs blinding highlights that look great on camera), this is for you. I was waiting for the right shade to come out, and then the limited edition Divine Daylight launched. It’s a peachy neutral beige shade, which is so at home on my skin.

Spectral Shine in Divine Daylight

I’ve been using the Flash Florescence Cream Shadows – In Bloom almost every day since I got them. The formula is incredibly thin and lightweight with very little fallout. I love how multidimensional the shimmers are – they’re just really special. I have two of the shades: Defiant Dahlia (described as a rich deep brown shade with violet undertones and neutral/gold shimmers scattered throughout) and Orchid Overload (described as a translucent based shade with pink, purple, and silver shimmer). Defiant Dahlia looks amazing as a one-and-done shadow, and Orchid Overload is one of my favorite toppers of all time. And these are about half of the price of the Hourglass Scattered Light eyeshadows! If you’d like me to get and review the other two shades, let me know in the comments below.

Flash Florescence Cream Shadow in Orchid Overload and Defiant Dahlia

I’m always looking for new moisturizers to try because of how ridiculously dry my skin is. Verdant Forcefield 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 and how much softer my skin feels now that I’ve been testing it for over 3 months (I don’t like to review skincare until I’ve really tried it). 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.

Have you tried anything from Phytosurgence? Are there other products from them or other brands you’d like me to try and review? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks as always for reading!

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!