I Shopped My Stash and Found 5 Products I Love But had Totally Forgotten About

As part of my no-buy year, I’m trying to really get to know and love my collection, and part of that is diving back into my collection to re-fall in love with products I already have (or realize they don’t work for me). These are 5 products that I recently dug back out and realized how much I love them, and I’m so excited to be getting more use out of them! 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.

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation in Shade 4 – This is what inspired this post. I started wearing this again (honestly because I’ve had it for years and want to finish it before it expires), and I was reminded about how amazing it makes my skin look. It has exactly the the right amount of coverage (light to medium and buildable), looks glowy but not oily, and lasts all day. I was actually shocked that it lasted over 14 hours and looked exactly the same as when I applied it. I had to really build up this swatch because a light layer blended seamlessly into my skin, but as you can see, it’s definitely buildable. I’m so glad I pulled this back out!

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, and I never think to reach for. But using it again – wow, I love how much it brightens up my face and how easy it is to use.

W3ll People Superpowder Brightening Powder – This was my go-to before I got the Kosas Cloud Set powder, and I started using it again just to switch it up. I love it just as much as I did before! I like to use this powder as a last step before my setting spray to clean up and brighten any areas that might need it. It’s super useful as a way to correct going too far with blush or bronzer without adding coverage or mattifying your skin. It’s been really nice to use even in conjunction with other powders because I can use this to brighten vs just set.

Vesca Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil in Ginger Lily – I honestly completely forgot I owned this because I just have so many lip balms and oils right now. I started using it again recently, and I was reminded about how amazing it is. The formula is like the perfect combo of a lip balm, lip oil, and lip gloss. It’s super moisturizing, stays glossy for so much longer than I would have expected, and the color is just the right level of sheerness for me. I’ve found this so easy to apply throughout the day, and the color works so well with so many blush and eyeshadow combinations!

Holo Taco Glitter Polishes – This is more of a category, but I had totally forgotten about how much I love this polish formula. I used them for this tropical flower nail art and was so happy with how it turned out. Especially in the sun, the glitter formula is so sparkly and holo. I do have to do 3 coats for full coverage, but that’s very expected for glitter/jelly shades. I tend to use these glitters in the winter because they remind me of holiday time, but I will definitely need to keep using the lighter shades like Play Rose, Menchie the Cat, and Gliterally Purple more often in the spring and summer!

What other products would you like to see an in-depth review of? 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.

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.

5 Products that Always Give Me A Confidence Boost When I Use Them

Someone requested this post, and I got super excited about the idea to think about which products give me a boost when I use them. These products are my version of a bold, red lip – when I put them on, I instantly feel more confident and put together. They make me feel happy and ready to face whatever life is throwing my way no matter what kind of day I’m having. 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.

Roen 1:1 Quad – I love the Roen eyeshadows, but there’s one shade I use the most. The sparkly shade swatched farthest to the right below is my go to for adding a high impact sparkle to any eye look, whether it’s on top of the other shades in the 11:11 palette or any other eyeshadow I’ve used. It just seems to finish off any look, particularly in a world where I want people to see my eyes mostly through a screen. I did a huge presentation that I was really nervous for and covered my eyes with this shade and got so many compliments on it. So now when I’m feeling nervous, I just put on a ton with a finger, and I’m good to go.

Swatches of the Roen 11:11 Quad

Glossier Portrait and Lisa Eldridge Velvet Petal – I thought I wasn’t a pink person at all since I tend towards more browns and roses for my lip shades. Then I tried these two lip products and realized there’s something about a warm, pink lip that just makes me feel amazing. I’ve gotten compliments wearing both of these, and they really brighten up my face. Portrait is my go to for when I want a glossy lip, and Velvet Petal for when I want something matte and long lasting, especially under a mask.

Auric Glow Lust – This product is my favorite for making my skin look amazing no matter what’s going on with it. Even if my skin is dull and dehydrated and not looking its best, Glow Lust will make it look glowy, smooth, and moisturized. Every time I wear it, I instantly feel more confident, especially for video meetings because Glow Lust reflects so beautifully and distracts from anything else going on. Of all of my glowy, liquid products, this is definitely my favorite of the bunch.

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini – I’m not a huge powder product user, but there’s something about this bronzer that really pulls a look together. 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. When my makeup is feeling a bit blah, I add this as a finishing touch, and everything feels right again.

Nail polish – Having super pretty, sparkly, fun nail polish on always makes me feel more confident and put together. I have a ton of polishes that I love for this, so here’s some recent ones that made me feel great while wearing them. I could list so many more – let me know if you want to see more nail polish on here in the comments!

KBShimmer Wrap It Up
Holo Taco Bring Me the Teal and Starrily Star Cluster
ILNP Cityscape
Starrily Uranus

What products make you feel more confident? 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.

2021 Makeup Favorites

I get frequently asked for makeup and skincare recommendations for a full routine, and I’m super excited to put them all in one place – again! I did this last year, and it’s been really fun to look back and see what’s still a favorite (turns out, a lot of things) and what was newly discovered this year. Like last year, I’ll be splitting out the makeup and skincare lists so these posts don’t get too long. I would love see your favorites and recommendations for 2021 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.

Primer: Glossier Future Dew – This continues to be one of my favorite products, and is one of the only things I consistently use every day in my makeup routine. It provides such an 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). It works beautifully with any foundation, concealer, and powder combo I put on top of it and makes them look way better on my skin – no dry patches, no clinging, no flatness. I got another back-up during Glossier’s 20% off sale recently so I always have another bottle on hand.

Foundation: Typology Skin Tint and Fenty Eaze Drops

When I think through all my base products, these two really rise to the top of my list for the ones I would keep if I only got to keep my HGs. The Typology is my go-to for when I’m having a really dry skin day or want something light coverage (which is most days). It’s incredibly smoothing and lightweight while being able to build to medium coverage. It wears incredibly well for how moisturizing it feels (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 gravitate towards the Fenty Eaze Drops when I need something more long wearing and loved using it in the summer when it was super hot. The formula is almost entirely mask proof and sweat proof, but doesn’t look heavy at all. It has a natural finish that I can easily add dew too with something like Glossier Future Dew without effecting how long it lasts. Even walking around or working out when it’s incredibly hot, it holds up super well all day. I love that I can blend it in super quickly with my fingers, and it looks flawless – during the summer, I want things that are quick and easy, and this definitely checks all the right boxes. You can hopefully see from these swatches the difference in texture between the Typology and the Fenty but check out my full review for more details.

From left to right: Typology Tinted Serum in 001, Glossier Skin Tint in G11, Fenty Eaze Drop in 2, Charlotte Tibury Light Wonder in 2, Typology Tinted Serum in 002

Concealer: Ulta Under Eye Brightener – I have super dark undereye and can’t get away without a corrector, and I’m so happy to have discovered this one. It’s about $10 and a very effective dupe of my beloved Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector. 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!

As last year (like 2019), the search continues for the perfect concealer to go over top of it, although I did love the Kosas Revealer Concealer (heavier coverage) and Glossier Stretch (lighter coverage) concealers that I reviewed this year. Stay tuned for more concealer reviews in 2022 (I have three new ones going to share information on in the new year)!

Powder: Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder – This one is the same as last year, and 2019, and I’m not surprised! This is the perfect powder for dry skin, and the full size does last forever. It looks like I’ve barely used it even though I bought it in 2019. 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. I really also love the Kosas Cloud Set powder, especially for a “brighten up my look at the end” but I find myself going back to the Hourglass more often.

Contour: Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick – This was my favorite in this category last year, and nothing beat it out this year. It is the perfect color and texture for a natural looking contour. I also love the packaging – it feels super luxe with the magnetic closure, and I really appreciate having a stick for a quick makeup look. If I had to start my collection over, this would definitely be one of the first things I replace.

Bronzer: Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate and Salt New York Crème Tint Pro
Two favorites for this year and it’s the same as last year – both are cream products that give a super natural look in about 2 seconds. They are super blendable and easy to build up to the opacity I want or leave fairly sheer. I actually think the colors and formulas are pretty similar so if you want to not spend way too much on the Tom Ford, I would definitely recommend getting the Salt New York paired with one of their highlighters to replicate the duo.

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate cream bronzer and highlight duo in Shade 0.5 (but this could just as well be Salt New York in Light and Beige)

Blush: Kjaer Weis Blushes – I own over 50 blushes, so it was almost impossible to pick a favorite from this year. I have to go with the Kajer Weis blushes though because it has the perfect balance between blendable and long-wearing. It’s so easy to work with, create impact, and stays all day. The first time I used one of these, I was shocked to find that it was still on my cheeks after wearing makeup for over 15 hours. I love that I can just buy a refill without the extra packaging and put it in my Salt New York empty palette, and that it’s still around $30 even for a luxury product. Because I own so many cream blushes, I tried to get shades I didn’t have already and chose Sun Touched, Inner Glow, Blushing, and Blossoming. All four shades are beautifully unique, and I get a ton of use out of them.

Highlight: Auric Glow Lust – I wrote about the Auric Glow Lust many times this year, and I’m still in love with it. 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 the shades Selenite and Morganite, and I love using Selenite all over as foundation or a primer and Morganite as a true “high points of the skin” highlighter. I have a full review here if you’d like to see more comparisons between the two. I also have since gotten the Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter, Glossier Haloscope, and Beauty Pie Triple Luminizing Wand and am happy to do a full comparison post – let me know in the comments below!

Eyeshadow: 75° Warm , 11:11, and 52° Cool Roen Quads, Vesca Moonlit Dream Cream Eyeshadow in Lyra, and Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy

I couldn’t just pick one eyeshadow product because I had so many favorites this year, but I narrowed it down to three. First it’s all the Roen quads – each shade is a perfect one-and-done on it’s own, and they are so easy and quick to use. I’m so happy I have all of them but my favorite is the 11:11 quad (the middle four in the swatches), especially the most sparkly shade which is just the prettiest eyeshadow I own. The formula is also super versatile so I find myself reaching for them all the time when I don’t want to have to work at an eye look. With a finger, the shades go on incredibly pigmented and intense, but with a brush, you can create a very sophisticated wash of color.

Swatches of the 75° Warm , 11:11, and 52° Cool Roen Quads

I’ve written about how much I love the Vesca Moonlit Dream Cream Eyeshadows, especially the shade Lyra. This formula is still the easiest cream shadow I’ve ever worked with. They stay blendable for long enough to get your look just right, and then they dry down and don’t crease all day. I’m also still in love with the packaging – it’s super easy to only get what you need, and I don’t have to worry about them drying out. The color Lyra is described as a champagne rose with an iridescent reflect, and it’s the perfect coppery, rose, shiny, glittery, works for day and night color for me.

Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy – I own a ton of single glittery/topper type eyeshadows and love them all, but I think my absolute favorite is this one. I’ve used it on top of my eyeshadow almost every single time I’ve used my eyeshadow since I bought it, and I’m so happy with the effect it has. It’s a sheer shimmery eyeshadow that adds a wet look to any shadow without really adding any color or changing the color of the look underneath. It’s also incredibly reflective and glossy, doesn’t have any fallout, and is so easy to apply with a brush or fingers (and doesn’t require any glitter glue).

Brows: Kosas AirBrow and Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil 

Something finally unseated Glossier Boy Brow as my HG brow gel, and it’s the Kosas AirBrow gel. It tints and fills in the brows so quickly and easily without overdoing it or over applying the gel. It doesn’t get crunchy or hard and stays in place all day. I prefer it to the Boy Brow because it’s a bit thicker so it lasts longer and keeps my brows exactly where I want them all day. After trying so many eyebrow pencils over the years, I finally have found my favorite, and it’s the Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil. I use it for a sparse area I have in one of my brows, and it goes on so quickly and naturally. Unlike other pencils, it stays all day, so I don’t end up with a hole in my brow by the end of the day.

Mascara: Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara
This is hands down the best mascara I’ve ever used and continues to be what I go back to even after trying others. It makes my lashes look amazing, doesn’t smudge, and actually holds a curl. The best part is that it washes off so easily and quickly. I’m never going back to a non-tubing mascara again and bought enough of these to last me through next year just like I did last year.

Lip Liner: Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liners from Em Cosmetics – 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.

From left to right: Em Cosmetics Lip Liners in Kitten and Mink

Lip gloss: Fitglow Beauty Serums – I now have 5 full sizes of the tinted serums, 7 minis, and 5 night lip serums because of how obsessed I am with this formula (and I don’t like to use that word unless I really mean it). The formula is incredibly nourishing, thick, hydrating, and long-lasting, and I just can’t stop using them. The Night Lip Serum is the best night time lip treatment I’ve ever tried, and I wake up consistently to hydrated and nourished lips. The swatches below are from the first four I got, but all the colored serums are beautiful and I can always find one to match my look. Let me know in the comments if you’d like more swatches of more shades!

Fitglow Lip Serums in Night Lip Serum, Beach Glow, Gospel, and Root

Lipstick: Lisa Eldridge Velvet Matte Lipsticks and Glossier Ultralip

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. 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

When I’m looking for something more long-wearing, especially under a mask, I always reach for one of my Lisa Eldridge Velvet Matte Lipsticks. The formula is the most comfortable matte lipstick I’ve tried – they’re not drying at all, have the staying power I expect from a matte lipstick, and looks velvety smooth on the lips. They’re highly pigmented and blurring and cover the lips in one swipe. I have the shades Velvet Fawn, Velvet Muse, Velvet Petal, Velvet Affair, Velvet Midnight, and Velvet Dragon. My most used are definitely the first four lighter shades, but I love dabbing on Velvet Midnight or Velvet Dragon as more of a stain.

Setting spray: ABH Dewy Set Setting Spray
The Cover FX Dewy Finish Setting Spray has been my favorite for years, but I like this even better. It does just the right amount of dewiness and sets my makeup while still leaving everything skin-like and flexible. I love how this makes my makeup look after everything is said and done and how it provides great lasting power without drying out my skin (in fact, I think it adds another layer of hydration). It’s also less expensive than similar options, like the Hourglass Setting Spray, so I’m very excited this has come into my makeup routine.

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.

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.

August 2021 Favorites

I know I’m a bit late with my August favorites, but hopefully that’s okay! 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. Since I took quite a long break, if there’s anything you were looking for a review on or a topic that you wanted me to cover, please let me know if the comments below! 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!

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 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.

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini

Urban Decay 24/7 Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy – I own a ton of single glittery/topper type eyeshadows and love them all, but I think my absolute favorite is this one. I’ve used it on top of my eyeshadow almost every single time I’ve used my eyeshadow since I bought it, and I’m so happy with the effect it has. It’s a sheer shimmery eyeshadow that adds a wet look to any shadow without really adding any color or changing the color of the look underneath. It’s also incredibly reflective and glossy, doesn’t have any fallout, and is so easy to apply with a brush or fingers (and doesn’t require any glitter glue).

Flower Beauty Chill Out CBD Lip Glaze – If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know I tend towards mid-range, high-end, and luxury products, but sometimes I find a budget gem – this is one of them. These are $10 and just as beautiful and high quality as my lip glosses that are over $30. I have the shades Unwind (a beautiful pink that really brightens up my face) and Peace Out (a sheer shimmery peach that adds a luminosity and glow to any lip color I put underneath). The formula is incredibly nourishing and thick enough to stay within lip lines unlike thinner glosses. It has really great lasting power for a gloss and feels great for hours.

Dieux Forever Eye Mask – I have incredibly dry undereye, and these really lock in hydration and increase the effectiveness of any eye cream I put underneath. They also feel like they are doing a bit of tightening on the undereye area, which I love. They also really stay put so I can walk around and do other things with them on instead of worrying about them sliding down my face like some other eye gels. These are so incredibly worth it for $25 since they are reusable and continue to feel new no matter how many times I use them (whereas some eye patches are in the $2/use mark, these will be around $0.25 per use even if I only use them twice a week).

Allies of Skin Multi Acids & Retinoid Brightening Sleeping Facial – This is incredibly effective and strong, so I recommend only using this if you are already comfortable with retinols and acids. It contains a blend of 7% AHAs + BHA, 1% Retinoid Complex and 7 Brighteners, and it really does everything it says it does! It makes me feels like I have new skin that is brighter, clearer, less dull, and more hydrated. Because I only use this twice a week, this bottle is lasting forever (I got this in May and feel like I’ve barely made a dent in it), which makes the $88 much more reasonable. Plus, I was able to get this for 15% off which made it even more worth it, and, as always, I highly recommend also waiting for a sale to grab Allies of Skin products.

Hot Weather Favorites

Now that we’re really in summer and I’ve experienced a historic heatwave, I wanted to share some of my hot weather favorites. This is a short list of the makeup and skincare that I’ve been relying on to ensure my makeup lasts all day and to improve summer skin issues. If you have requests for other product round-ups, let me know in the comments below! And as always, subscribe here or on Instagram @liftbakelove for new posts.

Fenty Eaze Drops in Shade 02 – The formula is almost entirely mask proof and sweat proof, but doesn’t look heavy at all. It has a natural finish that I can easily add dew too with something like Glossier Future Dew without effecting how long it lasts. Even walking around or working out when it’s incredibly hot, it holds up super well all day. I love that I can blend it in super quickly with my fingers, and it looks flawless – during the summer, I want things that are quick and easy, and this definitely checks all the right boxes.

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini – I have been loving setting my cream products with powder products to make them last longer without putting setting powder everywhere. I find this creates a more satin vs matte finish, which is great for someone like me that wants to look hydrated and dewy while still having something long lasting. There are lots of powder bronzers that would work great for this, but I’ve been really loving using the Vesca bronzer. Since I just got this recently, I’ll be doing a full review of it soon – let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Vesca Kissed By Bronzing Powder in Santorini

Cover FX Dewy Finish Setting Spray – This spray in particular is my HG setting spray that I’ve been using for years and love. It’s alcohol-free, it really does add dewiness which I can never get enough of, and it’s so much less drying than other setting sprays I’ve tried. I always use this to finish off any makeup look, but I find it’s especially important in the summer to make everything last all day.

Good Molecules Pineapple Exfoliating Powder  – My skin starts feeling super congested in the summer, and I need to do a bit more than my normal chemical exfoliant routine. Because my skin is generally very dry and dehydrated, I tend towards super gentle exfoliants, especially if I’m going to use a physical exfoliant. The pineapple powder is super gentle while still being very effective. My skin always feels so much better when I use this – much less congested without any irritation. It’s only $16, and this bottle will last forever. I also love that I don’t have to worry about it expiring as quickly because of its powder format.

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask Extreme Detoxifying Hydrator – This is my favorite mask to use when it’s been really hot out. This has been such a skin saver for me (and my husband, who also loves this mask!). It’s so hydrating and leaves my skin super soft and moisturized. If my face feels irritated from the heat, it helps my skin feel better immediately because it’s so cooling. It’s even if you keep it in the fridge, and I’ve been loving using mine straight from the fridge lately. It’s pricey but a little goes a long way, and the small jar that both my husband and I use is still going strong.

What are your hot weather favs? Let me know down in the comments below!

My Favorite One and Done Single Shadows

My favorite eye look to do right now is one shadow all over the lid. It’s super quick and easy, but with the right shades, can still be complex and impactful. These are my favorite six products to use for a one and done look! To easily compare, swatches of all 6 are in the middle of this post if you’d like to jump straight there.

I’ve written about how much I love the Vesca Moonlit Dream Cream Eyeshadows, especially the shade Lyra. This formula is still the easiest cream shadow I’ve ever worked with. They stay blendable for long enough to get your look just right, and then they dry down and don’t crease all day. I’m also still in love with the packaging – it’s super easy to only get what you need, and I don’t have to worry about them drying out. The color Lyra is described as a champagne rose with an iridescent reflect, and it’s the perfect coppery, rose, shiny, glittery, works for day and night color for me.

I just mentioned this Bodyography Glitter Pigments in my April favorites, but it’s quickly risen to the near top of my favorite shadows list. Off the Hook has been my favorite. It’s a beautiful taupe/bronze color that makes it perfect as a one and done shadow, especially when I’m looking for something more neutral than Vesca’s Lyra and with way more glitter impact. Their site says that these are a unique formula that incorporates “the saturation of a loose pigment, the cushion of a cream, and the silkiness of a powder”, and that describes it better than I could. I can throw them on with a brush or finger create a lot of impact and dimension quickly with one shade. They stay all day even with a regular eyeshadow primer, but they work great with a glitter primer too.

I’m a big fan of glittery/shimmery eyeshadows, but sometimes I just want something that’s a super easy matte look. I always rely on the Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot Eyeshadow in Groundwork for that. It’s a neutral taupe that goes with any blush and lip color I’ve chosen. The formula is incredibly easy to work with and doesn’t require a primer because these are a hybrid primer shadow. It doesn’t crease and stays all day without fading. I know this formula and shade has a lot of hype around it, but it’s my only matte cream shadow for a reason – it’s really the best.

When I want something warmer and brighter, I always reach for the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Rose Gold. I’m not a huge fan of eyeshadow sticks because they tend to dry out on me and become hard to apply and blend. I’ve never had that issue with any of the caviar sticks I have, and the rose gold one in particular has continued to be reliable for much longer than I expected. Like the rest of the shadows on this list, it’s super easy to blend and stays all day. I particularly like this one for travel since it’s compact and I can swipe it on, quickly blend with my finger, and then I’m good to go.

From left to right: Vesca, Bodyography, Mac, Laura Mercier, Hourglass, Chantecaille

When I want a one and done with even more glitter than the Bodyography, the Hourglass Scattered Light shadows are my go-to choice. The shade reflect is a beautiful pink leaning champagne. I love using this when I want a fun look with one shadow, something impactful for a night out (remember those?), or used sheerly as a topper. The only issue I have with these that I don’t find with any of the others is that I sometimes experience fall out, so I recommend using a glitter primer if you have one.

I put this one last because even though I love it, I can’t seriously recommend it because it’s so expensive. Especially with all the other amazing options on the market, you don’t have to ever spend $52 on a single eyeshadow. That said, the Chantecaille Luminescent Eye Shadow is truly special, and I am so happy I have it in my collection. I have the shade Cheetah, which is a beautiful warm champagne. It has just the right amount of gold for me, and I find that it manages to bring complexity even though it’s quite light. I love how much impact this creates so quickly, and I continue to have to convince myself not to get another one.

What round up would you like to see next? I’d love to know, so leave it in the comments!

Kackie (Reviews Beauty) Made Me Buy It

Kackie has one of my favorite beauty channels to watch – so much so that I now start my day every weekday morning watching her newest video with my coffee, 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. 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. There are, of course, a couple of things I wouldn’t buy again, and you’ll have to read on to find out which ones. With that incredibly long intro, let’s get into the products!

All of the products I’ve bought because of Kackie

Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm – I mentioned this in my 2020 body care favorites, and I’m still obsessed (and I really try not to use that word too much). This is the most amazing smelling product I own, hands down. My husband also loves it both because of the scent and how moisturizing and quickly absorbing it is. Because it’s 17oz, I feel like it’s going to last forever, and it’s totally worth the price to me.

Supergoop Zincscreen – My HG sunscreen, Krave Beauty The Beet Shield, was out of stock (as usual) when I saw Kackie recommend it. 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 have loved 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 decided not to repurchase it so I could try the Josie Maran sunscreen I talked about in my post last week, but I did really like it while I used it.

W3ll People Bio Baked Brightener Powder – I use this powder as a last step before my setting spray to clean up and brighten any areas that might need it. It’s perfect for that, and I’m surprised I didn’t have something like this in my routine. Kackie mentions this all the time as a way to correct going too far with blush or bronzer, and it really works for that purpose without adding coverage or mattifying your skin. It is one of the only brightening products I’ve ever used that actually works, and I’m so glad I picked it up.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Liquid Set for Cheeks – I mentioned this highlighter in my 2020 favorites, and it’s still a favorite. I’ve also fallen in love with the bronzer! They both give an ethereal, natural, glowy effect while actually drying down so they last all day. I really love them both, and I’m pretty sure you can’t get them separately so I’m totally happy to have bought the set to get them. This blush formula is not my favorite – it’s pretty hard to control, and I’d rather use any of my cream blushes instead (like the ones I’ll talk about next). That said, if you’re a liquid blush person, I think you’d love these, and I do like them a lot better than the Glossier Cloud Paints which tend to disappear on my skin extremely quickly.

Petal Poppin and Rosé Latte in natural light

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush – I just wrote about these in my February 2021 Favorites, so I won’t repeat myself too much. This is one of my favorite cream blush formulas, and I don’t think I would have chosen the Rosé Latte shade if Kackie hadn’t shown it on camera. I figured if it worked for her, it would work for me, and I was right! I’m so glad I ventured out of my comfort zone a bit with that color because it’s now one of my favorite shades in my collection.

Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Petal – This continues to be my the perfect “natural but makes me look way healthier and hydrated than I am” shade. It’s just so easy to use and blend, and it’s my go to for when I’m running late or don’t have as much time to do a full “blush look.” I also continue to love the packaging, which just makes it a joy to use. I’ve written about this a few times on the blog because it’s been a favorite since I bought it.

Roen 52° Cool, 11:11, and 75° Warm Eyeshadow Quads

Roen Eyeshadow Palettes – Every time Kackie used these, they looked incredible. She described them as having no compromises in formula, fun and easy to use, and something she wanted to reach for everyday. And I totally agree! I have really fallen in love with the formula and every look I’ve gotten with these. I love that I can do a one or two shadow look in seconds, and it has a ton of impact that lasts all day. The 11:11 quad is definitely my favorite, but I have no regrets getting all three.

Swatches of the 75° Warm , 11:11, and 52° Cool Roen Quads

Vesca Moonlit Dream Cream Eyeshadows – I will admit that I bought these eyeshadows right after I saw Kackie’s reaction the first time she used the shade Lyra. I have absolutely no regrets! These eyeshadows are by far the easiest cream shadows I’ve ever worked with, and I still love the packaging – it’s super easy to only get what you need, and I don’t have to worry about them drying out. It’s so hard to choose between these or the Roen shadows if I had to only choose one sparkly/wet/creamy formula because they are all so beautiful, and I’m glad I have them all.

Thrive Causemetics Eye Brightener, Mascara, and Lip Liner – The mascara and lip liner are both now my standby HGs. I haven’t used any other mascara since I got this one (don’t worry – I switched to a new tube since then!). I can’t see myself switching any time soon.  It makes my lashes look amazing, doesn’t smudge, and washes off so easily. The lip liner I got is actually in the shade Kackie as it is Kackie’s collaboration shade. This is my favorite lip liner shade, and I can put any gloss or lipstick over top of it and it will look perfect. The formula also manages to be creamy, not drying, and have great staying power. The eye brightener is the only thing I didn’t love – the formula is great, but the shade I got is both too light for an all over color and too dark for an inner corner shade. I don’t reach for it very often for that reason and wouldn’t buy it again if I could go back in time.

Finding Ferdinand Custom Lipstick – I still can’t over being able to literally make any color that has a hex code for only $30. And the formula is incredible – it’s somehow sheer, impactful, moisturizing, and long-lasting all at the same time. The packaging is also so well thought out and truly feels like a luxury product. If I ever need another lipstick, even though it will definitely be awhile,

Vesca Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil – I’ve already talked about this product on my blog twice because I love it so much. it’s like a lip balm meets lip oil meets lip gloss, and it’s one of my favorite lip product formulas I’ve ever tried. It’s super moisturizing, stays glossy for so much longer than I would have expected, and the color is just the right level of sheerness for me. Kackie showed all of the shades in a recent video, and it turns out that the shade I have (Ginger Lily) is likely the perfect shade for me so not only did she influence me to buy one of my favorite lip products of all time, but she saved me from buying a ton of other shades that wouldn’t have looked great on me.

Glossier Berry Balm Dotcom – I’ve written about how much I can’t stand the birthday shade of the balm dotcom and was pretty sure I would never get another one. Then Kackie included it in a best + worst lip balms video raving about them a few months ago, and I realized I could get one for essentially free while buying replacements for two of my favorite products of all time, Futuredew and Boy Brow since they come in a set. The berry shade is so much better than the birthday, and I can actually say I really do like it. It’s not in my all time favorites because I have a few balms I reach for more, but I absolutely don’t regret getting it, and it’s still getting a lot of use.

Acure Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream – I have super dry skin, and Kackie recommended this for someone who really need a lot of moisture in their night time routine. I really like this cream – it’s super nourishing without feeling super heavy (just like Kackie said it would be). It’s much more inexpensive than comparable creams I’ve tried. That said, my HG is still the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream, and I’ll be switching back to that once I finish this. I’m super excited to have found a less expensive alternative though if I ever need it!

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! What would you like to see next?

Vesca Review: Moonlit Dream Cream Eyeshadows and Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil

I’ve wanted to try Vesca for awhile now, but I have a bunch of powder bronzers and highlighters to get through that I have not used in so long because I am all about cream products now. When I saw these eyeshadows and the lip oil though, I knew I had to try them. My only regret is not getting them sooner! I wanted to share a bit more about the products compare to some similar products/shades I already own.

Moonlit Dream cream eyeshadow in Carina and Lyra & Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil in Ginger Lily

These eyeshadows are by far the easiest cream shadows I’ve ever worked with. I honestly love the packaging – it’s super easy to only get what you need, and I don’t have to worry about them drying out. The colors are perfect for a one shadow look (see below for swatches!), they stay blendable for long enough to get your look just right, and they dry down and don’t crease all day. Even with that dry down, I was able to add additional shadows on top, like glitter toppers, and they stuck on amazingly well. I tried them with and without primer, and they worked well both ways. As usual (for me), I did find the primer helped with making the colors brighter (I use a very light colored primer) and longevity. My only gripe with these is that they only come in 4 shades.

I own 76 lip products at the moment. It takes a lot for something to edge itself into my top 5 formula/color favorites, but this lip oil easily did it. It’s hard to explain the formula – it’s like a lip balm meets lip oil meets lip gloss, and I’m honestly obsessed with it. It’s super moisturizing, stays glossy for so much longer than I would have expected, and the color is just the right level of sheerness for me. If I didn’t own 75 other lip products, I would buy the whole range (let me know if you want me to review any other colors though – I will grab them if you comment below with a request!).

Vesca Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil in Ginger Lily, Lisa Eldridge Gloss Embrace Lip Gloss in Muse, and Sephora Collection Melting Lip Click in Caramel from left to right

I had a hunch that these three would be fairly close in texture and formula, and they are – but they also aren’t. If you’re looking for something super sheer and slightly moisturizing, the Sephora Melting Lip Click will totally suffice. If you’re looking for something more moisturizing that will add color, you’ll be happy with either the Lisa Eldridge or the Vesca. The Vesca is a bit more sheer, but it stays glossier on the lips, so it’s up to personal preference which one you’d like better! I have to say that I don’t regret owning them all because they serve different functions for me. I would only repurchase the Lisa Eldridge and the Vesca products, and I want more shades in both formulas for sure.

Sephora Collection Melting Lip Click in Caramel, Lisa Eldridge Gloss Embrace Lip Gloss in Muse, and Vesca Lush Glow Creamy Lip Oil in Ginger Lily from left to right
Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Spice, Vesca Moonlit Dream in Carina, Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in Reflect, and Vesca Moonlit Dream in Lyra from left to right

I also thought that it would be really helpful to compare the Hourglass Scattered Light and Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes with these, both for texture and color. The Vesca is by far my favorite formula to work with – it doesn’t flake or have fall out like the Hourglass can and it’s way easier to blend and maneuver than the Tom Ford (though the shade I have is quite deep on me which may be part of the problem). They all do dry down and don’t budge and look beautiful on the eyes. In terms of color, the Vesca is more true to the rose gold and gold colors I expected and I would rather use the Vesca for a one and done look than either of the other two for that reason – as you can see form the swatches, they have a lot more dimension and texture than the others in a really good way.

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in Reflect, esca Moonlit Dream in Lyra, Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Spice, and Vesca Moonlit Dream in Carina from left to right

I’m so happy I picked these up, and I hope this review and comparisons were helpful! What do you want me to review next? Comment below!