Instagram images that inspired me this week, Vol. 2

As a follow-up to my post from last month, here is another round of cool images from Instagram this week! If you’re not familiar with my first post, it’s a very simple premise: I pick images that I feel are particularly beautiful and/or inspirational in some way, feature them here and tell you why I love them. That’s it. Considering this is a beauty blog and most of the accounts I follow on IG are those of other beauty bloggers, brands, publications, influencers, etc, most of the images are beauty-related (what a surprise?). But I do like throwing in some randoms here and there.

I hope you are as wowed by these images as I am, so let’s get into it!

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Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month I think it’s only fitting to include this post from Bobbi Brown in this list. You’ll be hard pressed to find any person or family that hasn’t been touched in some way by this horrible disease, so it’s important to remember what the fight is against. These particular lipsticks are part of Bobbi Brown’s Pinks with a Purpose Lip Color Duo, where they will donate $17 for every $45 Lip Duo purchase to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I think that’s awesome.

 

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Two things that drew me to this image: the hues of rose-pink & burgundy and the textures. I loooovveee the whole autumn color palette both in makeup & fashion. Sign me up for more deep pinks, plums, burgundys, golds, warm browns & reds, please.

 

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Don’t you just love all the glitter?? This image stopped me mid-scroll and I knew I had to screenshot it. Between the deep (but still bright) glittery eyes, the sheen on the skin, and the twinkle on the lips, it’s like magic. Of course I know that this has been filtered within an inch of its life, Photoshopped/manipulated, but don’t ruin my fantasy. I still love it anyway for what it is. Plus I really like Dose of Colors; they’re a kick-ass indie brand that does some high-quality products.

 

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Did I mention already that I love texture? Well I do, so #texturetuesday on IG is a fun day for me. I love almost everything that skincare & beauty blogger @ohglowygirl posts, but these kinds of images are particular favorites of mine. We see so many photos of outer packaging, it’s nice to see what’s going on inside sometimes. I love the overall beigey tone of the photo and how the colors of each product play off each other.

 

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I’ve been following the jewelry brand Ragen Jewels on IG since this summer and their whole aesthetic just speaks to me. They do dainty jewelry very well and their prices are quite affordable to boot. I love the mix of traditional golds & silvers with bright pops of color, like in the piece above. Any image with stacked or layered jewelry catches my eye to be honest. And I’m a sucker for any piece with the ‘evil eye’ design; I have a few already in my collection (although not from this brand…yet). The ‘evil eye’ is a huge design element for this brand, so if you’re into that kind of thing you should really check them out here.

 

ohprettythings

This image is just so gorgeous and luxurious to me, yet it seems somewhat retro at the same time, which I assume is down to the fabulous editing skills of makeup artist Jessica or @Ohuprettythings as she’s known on IG. The play of white and black against each other is great. I love a good flat-lay not only because I’m a product junkie but also because it’s a little voyeuristic to me I guess. I just love to see what others are using, what backgrounds they have, etc; almost a peek into someone’s life. You might think the lighter sitting in the middle is a bit strange and out of place, but it nearly blends in with the rest of the image and it adds something a bit personal IMO.

 

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This image speaks to my girly-girl side. Can you guess why? If you can’t, don’t worry I’ll tell you: pink & purple of course! That’s what immediately drew me in but then the high-shine or gloss on both the eyes and lips is what kept my attention. I’m not bothered either way by the expression on the model’s face; to me it’s all about the colors and textures. I’m a real fan of a glossy editorial-looking eye, and the “broken” quality of this (i.e. the nude eyelid with the gloss up to the browbone) makes the image just more interesting to look at frankly.

 

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Remember when I said earlier that autumn colors & tones are kinda my thing? Well now you know why this image from Samantha or @thebeautidentity got me excited! I love the staging of this and the shadows that the light is throwing; the products are perfectly aligned and in focus and it seems like the sun is either rising or setting. I also have that eye palette from Dose of Colors (in Baked Browns) and it’s so incredibly lovely. I must use it more!

 

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This is my random pick, but it was a must. In college I went through a serious James Dean phase and enthusiastically read several books on him, watched all his movies (only 3 sadly) and even some of his early TV work. Anything that I could find either on DVD or on YouTube in the early days. I even did a presentation on his life & work in one of my communications classes. I was obsessed. When I saw this image it brought me right back to that time in my life. Rebel Without a Cause was probably my favorite work of his; it’s just so iconic, isn’t it? Little trivia fact: the actress that played Jerry Seinfeld’s mother on Seinfeld actually dated James Dean in the early ‘50’s before he was famous and even wrote a book about it (which I’ve read of course).

What images have inspired you recently, from Instagram or elsewhere? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Check out the IG images I’m loving this week!

Mini Glossier haul plus my showroom experience

Well I’ve finally gotten my hands on some Glossier products! If you’re a dedicated reader, you’ll know in the past I’ve lamented the lack of products from this brand in my makeup collection. As luck would have it, about 10 days ago I had some time to spare between meetings in NYC, so I visited their showroom and of course I picked up a few bits to try out. I’d love to share them with you now! I’ve been using 2 out of 3 of the products on and off since then, so I’ll throw in a few brief comments when I can. (I wouldn’t say these products are ready for review though. I’d like to use them a bit more.)

CLOUD PAINT IN DUSK – Shop here

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This was probably the #1 Glossier product on my list to snatch. I’m a cream/liquid blush enthusiast so the Cloud Paint was a must for me. After watching her capsule makeup video series from Harry Makes It Up on YouTube (which I very much recommend), I had a hunch that I would pick up the color Dusk, which is a neutral shade with beige/brown, & orange undertones. I swatched it in the showroom and immediately liked it, so my hunch was confirmed!

The texture is somewhere between a cream and a liquid and it blends like a dream into the skin with the warmth of my fingers. Like most items in the Glossier line, it’s quite sheer for the most part. I find that I have to layer it up a bit in order to get the pigment to last most of the day, but otherwise I’m really liking this product a lot. I’m curious to try this on the lips or on the eyes like Harry did in her series.

BOY BROW IN BROWN – Shop here

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This is probably one of Glossier’s most famous products, and since I love me a good brow mascara I knew I had to try this out eventually. A few friends of mine told me that this was their brow product of choice as well. It comes in just 4 shades (Clear, Blonde, Brown, Black) and I picked up Brown, which is quite dark on me but it’s workable. The tiny wand on this is very reminiscent of the Gimme Brow from Benefit, if you’re familiar with that. It has little fibers to bulk up the brows and a small comb to groom them into place.

I do like this product so far but it does hold a little too much product for my liking, so I have to make sure to wipe the wand off before applying to my brows. Even then, I feel like you still have to follow it up with a clean spoolie just to get out any extra product. After doing all that, the brows do look lovely though.

LASH SLICK MASCARA – Shop here

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lashslickwand

I have yet to try the Lash Slick Mascara but I’m super curious about this one. Most of the reviews I’ve read or heard say this is a really good mascara for “daytime.” I don’t differentiate between daytime or nighttime mascaras; I want big, long lashes any time of day. To me, “daytime” translates to something natural or more undetectable, so I’m really not sure if this will become a favorite. But I’m committed to trying it anyway because I may be able to build it up to my liking or perhaps I’ll have an epiphany and start to like more “natural” lashes (wouldn’t count on that though).

NYC SHOWROOM

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If you’re going to the Glossier NYC showroom, just be aware that it’s not a place you can just stroll into; you will probably have to wait outside on line first and depending on when and what time you go, the wait may be a while. I went on a Friday afternoon around 4:30ish and luckily I only had to wait 10 minutes outside (phew). To be honest when you see the size of the showroom upstairs, you’ll understand why they have to control the amount of people in the space.

The showroom is in the penthouse (I believe) of 123 Lafayette Street (off Canal St.), and a very nice Glossier employee dressed in a pink boilersuit will escort you up there from the street. For some reason I thought the space was going to be much bigger but really it’s quite compact.

All the products are laid out very nicely to play with and swatch, and you notice right away that there’s no inventory on the floor. What I mean is you can’t grab your own products; you have to make a list of what you want and place your order either with one of the Glossier employees who’s walking around the floor or go up to the cashier. When your order is ready, they call your name and you get that now-famous pink pouch that’s become synonymous with the Glossier brand. You also get a sheet of fun stickers, many of which are now stuck on the back of my phone 😉.

Overall I found the space quite easy to navigate, but it still can get a little congested so you may have to wait to swatch your product of choice until the crowd clears a little. All of the Glossier employees were very nice, helpful and informative. So considering that I barely waited on line outside and on the cashier line to place my order, I’d say I had as pleasant shopping experience as I could.

Have you tried anything from Glossier before? Have you been to one of their showrooms? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out what I experienced and what I bought when I went to the Glossier NYC showroom!

Juvia’s Place has launched in Ulta stores!

So…Juvia’s Place is now available to swatch and play in stores at Ulta! Hurray! I’ve been eyeing this brand up for a while now so I’m thrilled that it’s become physically accessible to the public. If you’ve never heard of Juvia’s Place before, I briefly spoke about their backstory in my post about indie brands that I wanted to try. They’ve exploded in the past few years thanks in large part to social media and the glowing reviews they’ve received from influencers and customers alike. They’re primarily known for their high-performing, bright and colorful eyeshadow palettes, but they also stock highlighters, blushes, liquid lipsticks and brushes. All in all it’s a carefully curated roster of products, which is what you’d expect from an indie brand.

Juvia’s Place became available for purchase on Ulta.com back in late July after the official announcement of the partnership hit social media. Just this week their products started appearing in stores, as seen in the endcap image at the top of this post. They announced that they are currently in about 500 Ulta locations; I’m not sure if they plan to expand that any further.

The brand is cruelty-free and mostly vegan (but not 100%).

I have yet to go into my local Ulta and see what they have in store, but I did wander over to Ulta.com. It doesn’t appear that they stock Juvia’s Place entire line, but they definitely do have their most popular items (i.e. the eyeshadow palettes). So I’ll quickly take you through now which products Ulta offers, and which they don’t.

THE PRODUCTS ULTA STOCKS – Shop here

All 11 EYESHADOW PALETTES!

  • range in price from $20-$25 depending on the number of pans/amount of product
  • all palettes appear to be in stock at the time of publishing this post
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Image source: Juvia’s Place Instagram
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Image source: Juvia’s Place Instagram

 

ALL BLUSHES INCLUDING 2 PALETTES & 2 SINGLES

  • palettes are $18 for 6 pans
  • singles are $8
  • all blushes appear to be in stock at the time of publishing this post
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Image source: Juvia’s Place Instagram

 

TWO LOOSE HIGHLIGHTING POWDERS

  • The Nubian Loose Highlighters in shades Nubia & Nefertiti, both $14/each
  • both appear to be in stock at the time of publishing this post
  • Juviasplace.com stocks a total of 4 loose highlighting powders
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These are all 4 of their loose highlighters but Ulta now stocks just the top two. Image source: Juvia’s Place Instagram

 

THREE LIQUID LIPSTICKS

  • All matte formulations retailing for $12/each in the shades Soil, Afrik & Lulu
  • all three appear to be in stock at the time of publishing this
  • juviasplace.com currently sells 6 matte/metallic liquid lipstick duo’s for $18/each

The liquid lipsticks on Ulta.com are currently not stocked on the Juvia’s Place website at the time of publishing this post. I believe these lipsticks were part of the Afrique collection that launched simultaneously with their Ulta.com launch, so perhaps these shades are exclusive to Ulta but I’m honestly not sure about that.

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THE PRODUCTS ULTA DOESN’T STOCK

BRUSHES

Juvia’s Place also sells 8 brush sets on their site but Ulta is not stocking any at this time; again, I don’t know if this will change in the future.

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Image source: Juvia’s Place Instagram

A quick PSA: at the time of publishing this post, Juviasplace.com is having a sale on some of their eyeshadow palettes (plus no shipping charge over $35 order within the U.S.). So right now they are cheaper if you order direct from the brand, just FYI. Not sure how long this will last but I wanted to make you aware. My mother and I did a joint order two nights ago and snatched The Saharan Palette, The Nubian Palette, and The Warrior Palette. So excited to finally get my hands on this brand!

Are you excited that Juvia’s Place is now carried in Ulta stores? Will you be picking anything up? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out which products Ulta stocks and which products they don’t from this brand

Has CVS brought us the future of drugstore beauty?

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve read up about CVS a lot recently and it certainly seems like they’re taking an aggressive position when it comes to beauty. Last week I spoke about how they’ve partnered with Kiss Products, Inc. to launch the brand Joah Beauty, bringing K-beauty inspired cosmetics into mass retail. Well, it turns out that CVS is broadening its beauty offerings in a big way through at least two other strategic partnerships. Firstly, they’re collaborating with the on-demand, at-home beauty service company Glamsquad to pilot BeautyIRL (IRL stands for “in real life” by the way), an exciting store-within-a-store concept that reimagines what the beauty aisle of CVS could be. And secondly they’ve also partnered with eSalon, the bespoke hair color company, to bring their Allure award-winning custom color kits to the masses.

Each partnership brings more fun, more personalization and more convenience to the beauty-shopping experience which really hasn’t existed at the mass retail level before.

Totally exciting stuff!

If you’re lucky enough to live in Andover, Massachusetts, Stamford, Connecticut or Florida you may have access to one of these BeautyIRL concept stores right now. So far CVS has made it available at just 4 locations in the U.S. (FL got 2, while MA & CT got 1 each), but there are plans to expand the offerings online and to more store locations by 2019. I have my fingers and toes crossed that one will come to NY soon! (However I’m not horribly far from Stamford, so maybe a field trip is in order 😉.)

So what is BeautyIRL exactly? I believe the idea is this: you feel like you’re walking into a stand-alone beauty retailer but in reality you’re simply wandering into the (enhanced) beauty department of your local CVS. It seems there’s a whole bunch of uber cool offerings in these concept spaces. There’s a “trending” section with up-and-coming indie brands; an expanded K-beauty section; more natural and/or organic products; and a whole section where you can shop just beauty mini’s. If that doesn’t excite you already, well get ready! A whole slew of on-demand, personalized beauty services are also on the menu thanks to Glamsquad including consultations, makeovers, blow-out’s, and various skincare services. Also, in massively big news for me, there were will a “Test-and-Play Hygiene Bar” where you can (finally!) sample and touch your favorite drugstore brands. Oh my gosh, are we finally getting drugstore testers???

But CVS is not stopping at just cosmetics & skincare. You can also now get bespoke hair color kits in the new BeautyIRL locations thanks to their partnership with the e-commerce company eSalon. Color consultants will be on-site to match customers to their perfect hair shade and to operate a device that will create and dispense custom shades. The whole hook is making the product available for immediate purchase.

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A bespoke color dispensing device from eSalon in a BeautyIRL space. Image source: CEW.org.

The concept of BeautyIRL builds off CVS’s biggest beauty campaign yet, the “Beauty in Real Life” campaign which initiated earlier this spring. All of the beauty promo imagery from this campaign was released with absolutely no retouching or digital manipulation of any kind to foster more realistic beauty standards. It also featured a diverse roster of “real” women (so no models or celebs) to give the campaign a more relatable feel.

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Image source: Allure
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The new CVS Beauty Mark which stands for ‘Beauty Unaltered.’ Image source: CVS Instagram

If the BeautyIRL concept is a success for CVS, I think it will mark a definitive change in drugstore & other mass retail beauty shopping. If you read any article about the future of retail there are a few trends that always get discussed: enhanced experience, more product choice, and more personalization. Consumer expectations are shifting and we generally want more of our in-store shopping experience. CVS is attempting to answer to those needs with their new beauty initiatives. I’m excited to see what happens next!

What do you think about CVS’s beauty initiatives? Would you go into a BeautyIRL space if it was in your local CVS? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

Sources used: Allure, InStyle, Elite Daily, CEW.org. Cover image source: InStyle.

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Five moisturizing lippies for Autumn-Winter

As the seasons start to change and the outside temperature starts to dip, invariably my skin will start its journey to ultimate dryness. It will flake, it will peel, it will itch, it will crack; all the bad things. One of the areas on my body that tends to suffer the most, especially in the depths of winter, are my poor lips. The peeling is just on another level people. I know it isn’t just me, so many have this problem throughout the colder months when the air is devoid of any kind of moisture. So what happens when you want or need to wear color on your dry lips but it’s cool or frigid out? Well, you pick a product that packs as much moisture as possible. A product that will provide a cushy barrier between your lips and the dry air; extra points for the product that will also treat your lips at the same time!

I’ve gathered a list of 5 lippies that will make your lips feel beautiful this Autumn-Winter season. A variety of products and price points are represented here so there’s something for everyone. This is less about the particular colors I have in my collection and more about the formulas/finishes of these products. But if you are interested in the colors I’ve included swatches here as well.

Before getting into the list, just a quick note about exfoliation. If you suffer from badly chapped lips like I do in the cooler months, no matter what color product you apply to your lips (balms, lipsticks, glosses, etc) I highly recommend exfoliating beforehand to get a smoother texture. Color will cling to any dry patches or flakes and just look all-around awful. I like to take a paper towel or a little textured cotton pad, wet it well, and very gently rub it back and forth over my lips to get rid of all the dead skin.

CLINIQUE CHUBBY STICK MOISTURIZING LIP COLOUR BALM – Shop here

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Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Super Strawberry. This is a mini that was included as a gift-with-purchase.
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Super Strawberry
  • $18.50 for full size from Clinique.com
  • paraben-free, phthalate-free, fragrance-free

I’ve been a big fan of the Clinique Chubby Sticks for years and years. If you’ve never used one before, they are automatic (non-sharpening) jumbo pencils or tinted balms that give you a sheer kiss of color while conditioning your lips with mango & shea butter. They’re super comfortable to wear and I love to throw this on before heading out the door. This is definitely a product to toss in your handbag. I would say this has a moderate level of shine once applied to the lips.

There are actually two ranges of Chubby Sticks: the original and the Chubby Stick Intense, which has the same comfy texture as the original but with more color saturation. I used to have Broadest Berry from the Intense range which I absolutely loved, so I would recommend either range really. There are 16 shades available in the original Chubby Stick range and 8 shades available in the Intense range.

CLINIQUE POP LIP COLOUR + PRIMER – Shop here 

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Clinique Pop Lip Color + Primer in Bare Pop
  • $19.50 from Clinique.com
  • paraben-free, phthalate-free, fragrance-free

Like with the Chubby Stick above, I got the Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer as a gift-with-purchase a while back. The packaging on this is much different than the packaging pictured online for this product, so not sure what’s up with that but I’m simply reading the label on the bottom! Apparently this formula has a built in primer which provides smoothness for ease of coverage. I’d definitely agree that it’s a very smooth & creamy lipstick with beautiful color payoff. According to Clinique, it provides hydration for about 8 hours and I would agree with that claim as well. I’d say this gives a little less shine than the Chubby Sticks once applied to the lips. There are 20 shades to choose from in this line. I believe there are 2 other formulas in this range, a matte version and a liquid version, but I haven’t tried either one.

REVLON ULTRA HD GEL LIP COLOR – Shop here

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Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Color in HD Sand
  • Between $7.00-$10.00 depending where you buy it

I blogged about this product way back when in this post about my favorite high/low lip combo. The Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lip Color formula contains hyaluronic acid so it’s super, super moisturizing and shiny in finish. Think of it as a gloss but in stick form. I like to layer this over longer-wearing lip products (like discussed in my earlier post) to make them more comfortable or wear it on its own. The color saturation here is quite good as well and the scent is lovely! (Like fruit punch in case you’re curious.) There are 15 shades to choose from in this range.

BOBBI BROWN CRUSHED LIP COLOR – Shop here

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Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color in Lilac
  • $29.00 from Bobbibrown.com
  • paraben-free, phthlate-free, sulfate-free, sulfite-free, gluten-free

The Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color is probably the most saturated in terms of color payoff from this entire list. The texture on this formula is just beautiful, a cross between an opaque lipstick and a moisturizing balm. This has been formulated with beeswax and vitamins B & C to give a comfortable satin-matte finish with tons of cushy comfort. I would say this probably has the least amount of shine once applied to the lips than all the other products from this list. There are 21 shades to choose from in this range.

CLOVE + HALLOW LIP GLAZE – Shop here 

Clove + Hallow Lip Glaze in Angelic
Clove + Hallow Lip Glaze in Angelic. This color sheers out as you apply it to the lips so it looks more like a clear gloss with a slight pink tint.
  • $15.00 from cloveandhallow.com
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • 99% natural, 64% organic
  • Formulated without parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance or flavor, gluten, mineral or petroleum oil, talc, Bismuth Oxychloride, Phenoxyethanol.

I spoke about the Clove + Hallow Lip Glazes in this post about my haul from Indie Beauty Expo. For me this is a cross between a lip balm and a gloss. It’s super moisturizing, comfortable and shiny. It’s been formulated with olive oil, jojoba oil and shea butter, so you’re definitely treating your lips as you wear this product. I would imagine this is a great layering formula, just like the aforementioned Revlon product is, but so far I’ve only worn it on its own. The great thing about this product is it’s not sticky at all; it’s just simply hydrating. There are 6 shades to choose from in this range. Trivia fact: in 2017 the Lip Glaze won both a Women’s Health Beauty Award & an Essence Best in Black Beauty Award.

What’s your go-to moisturizing lip product for autumn-winter? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out my recommendations for 5 moisturizing lippies that will keep your lips feeling beautiful this Autumn-Winter

Charlotte Tilbury is now in Sephora! My shopping guide.

Charlotte Tilbury is now officially stocked in Sephora! As of today you can get all your favorite goodies or explore the brand online at sephora.com; the products will be in stores tomorrow 9/14. Very exciting stuff. Prior to today you either had to shop on charlottetilbury.com or nordstrom.com if you lived in the U.S. I’ve been a big fan of this line ever since it initially launched, so over the years I’ve curated my own little collection of favorites. As usual, there are also a few items that I think are not worth the purchase. So in celebration of the Sephora launch, I put together a little shopping guide on what to buy and not to buy from Charlotte Tilbury.

Please keep in mind that this is definitely a premium brand, so what I think is worth my money may not be what you think is worth yours. All the products that I recommend below bring something unique to the experience of applying makeup (in my opinion of course).

WHAT TO SNATCH!

Luxury Eyeshadow Palettes – Shop here

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Luxury Palette in The Dolce Vita contains 3 shimmers and 1 finely-milled glitter (the third swatch down). Palette leans warm-toned.
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Luxury Palette in The Rock Chick contains 2 shimmers, 1 matte, and 1 finely-milled glitter (the third swatch down). Palette leans cool-toned.
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Luxury Palette in The Sophisticate, the only fully matte shadow palette in Charlotte’s line. Palette leans neutral to cool-toned.

These eyeshadow palettes were my first loves from Charlotte’s brand. These products date back to her initial launch in 2013 when she released 10 iconic looks. Now they come in about 8 different colorways excluding the new limited edition Pillow Talk Luxury Palette (which is currently out of stock on charlottetilbury.com). The shadows are buttery smooth, blend seamlessly (in every finish!) and keep their color intensity all day; what else can you ask for really? The only thing I’ll say is these are very, very powdery so make sure to tap your brush out a few times before applying. The most special part of each palette is the glitter pigment on the lower left; it’s the most beautiful, finely-milled glitter I’ve ever used. With the exception of The Sophisticate, there’s one in every Luxury Palette. You just use your finger to lightly tap the glitter over your eyelid and it is so incredibly gorgeous. Perfect for a night out or special occasion. These palettes all retail for $53.00 and personally I think they’re worth every penny; I go back to them time and time again.

Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Iconic Nude – Shop here

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Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude

This is actually more of a recommendation from my mother than me! You can’t see the full pencil in this photo but take my word for it she’s whittled this down pretty far. She loves this particular color, Iconic Nude, which is very neutral and goes with a lot of different lipstick shades. (This formula comes in loads of different colors.) I did use the Lip Cheat once on myself and it had this slightly waxy, but very comfortable texture. It reminded me a bit of the MAC Pro-Longwear Lip Pencils but much easier to work with. It lasts quite well on the lips, yet it creates this very soft definition. And at $22.00, it’s one of the more affordable items from Charlotte’s line.

Matte Revolution Lipsticks in Very Victoria & Pillow Talk – Shop here

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Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick
Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk
Swatch of Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick
Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

I’ve talked about my obsession with this formula in a previous blog post, so I’ll be brief here. This is probably the most comfortable, velvety matte lipstick I’ve ever used, hands down. The Tom Ford matte lipsticks are a close second though. And it lasts through eating and drinking quite well; there’s always a soft stain left on my lips at the end of the day. Pillow Talk, a soft, mid-tone pink, is my personal recommendation; Very Victoria, a taupe nude that is almost mauvey, is another recommendation from my mom. At $34.00, again I think this is worth every penny. If you struggle to find a comfortable matte and want to treat yourself, get one of these.

Hollywood Flawless Filter – Shop here

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Hollywood Flawless Filter in Light/Medium

This is my most recent obsession from Charlotte’s line. I heard about this product when it first launched and was totally confused as to what it was, as was the rest of the beauty community. However when my mom decided to buy it she got me a little sample, and boy am I glad she did. It comes in 7 ‘shades’ (the one pictured above is my mom’s), but honestly this isn’t a coverage product in the slightest. This is a liquid glow product that gives you the most beautiful dewy sheen. I usually apply it (in the shade Fair) as you would a highlighter on the high points of my face; sometimes I apply it underneath my base product, over the top of it and sometimes I do a combination of both if I really want serious dew! This is what I’d imagine red carpet makeup to be. It’s not sparkly or glittery at all; it just softens your features ever so slightly. Pure magic. At $44.00 it’s definitely not cheap, but you do get 30 ml of amazing product.

WHAT TO SKIP!

Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow – Shop here 

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Eyes to Mesmerize in Bette

You know by now that I love a good cream eyeshadow. I got this one ages ago in the color Bette (a coppery-bronze), and while it has a lot of things going for it (interesting texture, saturated color pigment, great longevity) I just don’t find myself gravitating towards it in my collection. At $32.00 a pop, I think you can absolutely get cream shadows just as nice and well-performing at a much lower price point. Try Maybelline, Revlon, or ColourPop for a cheaper alternative.

Instant Look in a Palette in Seductive Beauty (discontinued)

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Instant Look in a Palette in Seductive Beauty

I don’t see this particular palette listed anywhere on either Sephora or Charlotte’s website so I think this was limited edition. She’s done a few different versions of this all-in-one palette with slightly different shades (right now you can get the Smokey Eye Beauty version). If you travel a lot or want all your face and eye makeup in one place, this kind of product would be ideal for you. It’s got 3 eyeshadows (labeled 1, 2, 3), 1 bronzer (labeled 4), 2 blushes (labeled 4, 5) and 1 highlight (labeled 7). The quality is definitely very good. However with that being said, I just don’t think it’s necessary, especially at $75.00. If you have a decent-sized makeup collection, you probably have all these products already.

Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Barbarella Brown – Shop here

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A lot of beauty editors, makeup artists and influencers love this product but it just wasn’t my favorite. I threw mine out a while ago since it got old, so the one pictured here belongs to my mom. She likes it a lot but I couldn’t get on with it. Everyone talks about how creamy it is (and it certainly swatches well), but on me it was stiff and I could never get a good blend. I applied it both over bare skin and over eyeshadow; the result was always the same. This is touted as being so smooth it’s more like a liquid eyeliner than a pencil. Just didn’t find that to be the case. I’ve gotten much more use out of some of my drugstore eye pencils than this $27.00 product.

Are you excited that Charlotte Tilbury is now in Sephora? Will you be picking anything up from the brand? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

Instagram images that inspired me this week

Happy Friday! To transition us gently into weekend mode, I thought I’d do something a bit different today. I’d like to share with you all some of the Instagram images in the beauty category that stopped me in my tracks this week and made me go, wow! I find these all to be visually striking images in different ways depending on the personality behind the account (hopefully this will make more sense later). I gathered a nice mix of images from social media influencers, YouTubers, makeup brands, beauty editors and bloggers. To be honest I could have picked so many more than I did, but I decided to cut it off at 9 images. I’d love to periodically do posts like this in the future; perhaps they won’t always be beauty-related either. I like the idea of sharing beautiful images that perhaps will introduce you to accounts you didn’t know of or follow before.

I’m going to try to keep my commentary to a minimum here so the images do most of the talking but I’ll let you know along the way just why I think these particular images are noteworthy and who is behind the account.

3ceigphoto

I’ve been following the Korean makeup brand 3CE or 3 Concept Eyes on Instagram for a while now. I love almost all the imagery they put up mainly because it seems to focus more on beautiful, luxurious skin rather than dramatic eye looks. Also their reverse-ombre lip looks, a huge Korean makeup trend with the highest concentration of pigment towards the center of the lips, are just so gorgeous. Look at how dark that lipstick is in the tube but how soft it looks on the lips.

alexsteinherrigphoto

OK this is not beauty related, but just look at that rainbow! Alessandra Steinherr has been the Beauty Director of Glamour Magazine for the past decade and is a recent beauty blogger as well. She regularly posts interesting content and does lives quite frequently so if you’re not following her already, I recommend doing so.

byrdiebeautyigphoto

Byrdie is a great destination for all things beauty, lifestyle and wellness and their Instagram is always on point. For some reason I find myself gravitating more towards their posts on nails and manicures. In my dreams I’d get a manicure like the one pictured in this image. How beautiful, elegant and fairytale is this? And may I say, I appreciate the shorter nails. I think this would take on a whole different vibe if the nails pictured here were longer.

emanigphoto

This image is like Instagram perfection, isn’t it? Eman does great glam looks on YouTube if you haven’t heard of her before. I think the element that really struck me about this particular image was the different tones of blue used on her eyes. Even though her skin and lips looks flawless here, the focus is still all on those colorful, smokey eyes. Gorgeous.

katiejanehughesigphoto

I love, love, love the makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes. Not just her style but her whole makeup philosophy is appealing to me. Just look at the caption on this image and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about. She’s extremely active on Instagram and does lives and videos almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Her focus is often on juicy, healthy-looking skin and she shares helpful tips on both skincare and makeup application especially for hooded eyes. She’s definitely one to follow.

glossierigphoto

I still haven’t tried anything from Glossier yet (tear), but I’ve known for the longest time that the first product I’m likely to buy will be the Cloud Paint. It’s just so me! Easy-to-use cream, sheer blush that looks natural on the skin? Sign me up. I just have so many cream blushes at the moment, I can’t justify the purchase right now. Instead I’ll satisfy myself with looking at cool images like this.

glamourgigglesigphoto

I actually first discovered beauty and lifestyle blogger Priyanka Patel from Glamour & Giggles on Pinterest before I followed her on Instagram. Her blog is awesome, excellent recommendations and product reviews. I love the staging of this particular image. Everything about it is striking to me. The black and white of the Sephora bags against the pale pink color of the chair. And those cool makeup organizers and brush holders in the background. Even the tissue paper looks perfectly staged!

pixiwoosigphoto

I couldn’t not include an image from makeup artist Sam Chapman, aka one-half of Pixiwoo on YouTube. I’ve been watching her videos and tutorials since 2011; she’s one of the reasons I really got into makeup in fact. Like Katie Jane Hughes, her makeup philosophy is the primary reason I respect her. She often incorporates broken or disheveled elements into her makeup to give it a more authentic and relatable feel. I feel like this image gives both glam and understated vibes at the same time, which is awesome.

overgloweditigphoto

I love everything that skincare and beauty blogger Melanie at Overglow Edit does pretty much. I adore the aesthetic and overall vibe of both her Instagram feed and her blog. She kills it at snapping and editing her product overlays, and giving us little tidbits of info on the skincare she’s using. I’m not much of a skincare blogger since I rarely change up my very simple routine (although I did incorporate a new product just recently), so I enjoy hearing what others who much more knowledgeable, like her, have to say. I could have picked any image from her feed to feature here honestly, so I just picked one of her more recent posts. I love the pairing of the books & the greenery with the beauty products.

What images from Instagram or elsewhere have inspired you recently? Beauty or otherwise? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

Makeup that makes me nostalgic

I’m not big on nostalgia. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reminiscing from time to time about great experiences or moments that I’ve had with friends and family. But I generally try to keep looking ahead rather than backwards. While this sentiment refers to a broader life philosophy, let me take this back down to makeup. I found myself watching an old Pixiwoo video a few days ago when all of a sudden I was struck by a feeling of honest-to-goodness nostalgia. Sam whipped out Gilt by Association eyeshadow by MAC, which I believe is now discontinued, and a piece of my makeup past flashed in front of me. It was one of the very first eyeshadows I used in high school, and I couldn’t remember the last time I even thought about it.

It got me thinking, how many other products did I regularly use when I first started wearing makeup that I’ve since forgotten about? How many are actually still on the market now? How many do I still use today? I racked my brain and came up with a nice list of products (sorted by brand) that I’d love to share with you. And in true nostalgic form, each product reminds me of a specific period in my life. I know I missed ‘Throwback Thursday’ with this post but I hope you’ll indulge me anyway.

COVERGIRL

LashBlast Volume Mascara – Shop here

CoverGirl Lashblash Mascara
Image Source: eBay.com

Of course we all know this one is still on the market, but I feel this is definitely a product that has been overshadowed over the years by a million new launches. This was either one of or the first mascaras I used, I can’t remember exactly. I used it in high school for quite a long time and generally enjoyed it. However I stopped using it after my mom told me it was snapping off her eyelashes (!). Yup, you read that right. She had noticed her lashes were getting shorter since using this mascara. It got me so freaked out, I threw mine out and never went back.

Intense ShadowBlast Eyeshadows (discontinued)

CoverGirl Intense Shadow Blast
Image source: popsugar.com.au

I loved these way back when. At one time I had all the colors from the line, which were the three pictured above plus a light olive green shade. They were cream shadows in a tube with a doe-foot applicator; easy to apply, blended perfectly and locked into place all day. I particularly loved the brown shade (of course) which I think was called Brown Bling. It was a true taupe shade, very cool-toned, which made it very work-appropriate. This was a staple in both my work makeup menu and also in my travel makeup bag in the mid to late 2000’s. I remember specifically taking this on so many work trips since it was so easy to apply. But unfortunately CoverGirl discontinued this line a while back and have yet to replace it.

JEMMA KIDD MAKEUP (DISCONTINUED LINE) 

Jemma Kidd Eyeshadows

Jemma Kidd Eyeshadow Palette
Image source: poshmark.com

Remember Jemma Kidd makeup?? This was definitely early in my makeup-wearing days when I only really shopped at either MAC, the drugstore or Target. This was a UK brand that was carried at Target in the U.S. before the entire line was discontinued. I know a lot of UK bloggers and YouTubers were obsessed with her complexion products like foundations and highlighters, but I never really wore face makeup until about six or seven years ago. I had the eye/lip palette pictured above (probably right after college), and I was obsessed with the dark, sparkling blue shade on the lower right-hand side of the top quad. I look at this now and I’m not sure what I was thinking with that shade, but I used to dig my finger in and lightly pat it across my lids. I almost hit pan on that shade too.

MAC

Pro Longwear Lip Pencils – Shop here 

MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencils
Image source: eBay.co.uk

MAC was the first higher-end makeup brand I ever used because my mom was a big fan of their products. (Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of MAC on this list.) I’ve honestly never been the biggest lipstick/lip liner person. I alternate between really loving lip products and wearing them everyday to hating the feel of any product being on my lips. But when I was first experimenting with lip color after college, of course I went to MAC first. If I was going to wear anything on my lips, I thought, it was going to have to last so I bypassed lipstick at the time and went straight to lip pencils. I still think the Pro Longwear Lip Pencils are a great formula, if not a bit stiff, but I don’t have any in my collection right now. I used to have Staunchly Stylish (a browny nude), In Anticipation (a mid-tone pink), and More to Love (a deep but bright fuschia). Most of the time I would apply these all over my lips as a lipstick.

Prep & Prime Eye BaseShop here for the newer version

MAC Prep + Prime Eye Base
Image source: beautybulletin.com

The Prep & Prime Eye Base (in the compact version) was very first eye primer I ever used. I remember specfically my mother gave it to me and said you should always prime your eyes before using powder shadows to get the best effect. So I do what I’m told and I still prime to this day. I’m not sure if this version exists anymore in the Prep & Prime line, but I’ve linked above to the 24-hr Extend Eye Base in the squeeze tube.

Pro Longwear Paint Pots – Shop here 

MAC Paint Pot in Camel Coat

I’ve talked about my big love for Paint Pots as primers umpteen times on this blog before, so I won’t bore you much longer. But after the Prep & Prime Eye Base, it was Paint Pots for me, and Paint Pots it will likely stay.

Eye Kohl Pencils – Shop here 

MAC Power Kohl Liners

These are real nostalgia products for me. Before I was into face makeup, I was into eye makeup…big time. My eyes were the first feature I really wanted to play up as a teenager and as a young adult. I remember lining my upper and lower lashes with black liner for the first time and thinking I was super cool. The MAC kohl liners weren’t the first liners I ever used, but they were the first liners I really loved. But this was back when I didn’t know much about makeup, so I’d line all over my eyes without setting it with powder, and by half-way through the day I was a panda. I really don’t use kohl liners anymore because of their smudginess, but I’ll always have a fondness for the MAC ones. I used to own Powersurge (a gold), Teddy (a bronze), Smolder (a charcoal-black), and Tarnish (a blackened-green that might be discontinued?).

Powder Eyeshadows in Gilt by Association, Patina, Club & Satin Taupe – Shop here (everything except Gilt by Association) 

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Gilt by Association by MAC

 

MAC Palette with Patina, Club, Satin Taupe highlighted
My MAC palette featuring Patina (P), Club (C), & Satin Taupe (S).
eyeshadowswatches
Swatches from top to bottom: Patina, Club, Satin Taupe, Lola Lola (NARS).

Gilt by Association was a baked eyeshadow with a mineralize finish that had this beautiful marbled effect with gold, black and dark browns. I hardly used eye brushes early in my makeup-wearing days, so I used my fingers to gently tap the shadow all over my lids. It gave me a subtle, shimmering golden-brown effect that I loved at the time. Then I got heavily into MAC singles in the mid-2000’s and eventually created my own palette with my favorites, as pictured above. But I particularly loved, and still love to this day, Patina (a cool-toned golden-pearl shade), Club (a warm brown with green/blue shift), and Satin Taupe (a cool-toned purpley-brown satin shade). Classics.

MAYBELLINE

Dream Bouncy Blush – Shop here

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush
Image source: walmart.com

This was one of the first blushes I ever bought when I started wearing blush. I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but most likely I was in my early to mid-20’s. I didn’t want to invest in a high-end blush yet in case I didn’t like the effect, so I went to the drugstore instead. If memory serves, the only reasons I gravitated towards the Dream Bouncy Blushes were the fun colors they came in and the cool-looking texture. I had an apricot shade and a pink shade, but I remember thinking these were kinda crap after a while. But perhaps it was my fault. They have a powder-to-cream kind of formula, so I used my fingers to apply the color to my cheeks but I could barely get anything to show up (and I have fair skin). They hit the trash not too long after purchasing them, but whenever I see them in the drugstore I remember when I first discovered blush.

NARS

Lola Lola Single Eyeshadow (may be discontinued?)

NARS Lola Lola Eyeshadow

This one takes me all the way back to high school. I loved this warm, rusty brown shade just simply applied all over my lid (again, just using my fingers). I never applied shadow underneath my lower lash line when I was teenager; too dramatic. I might have hit pan on the first one I had, but I repurchased it a few years ago. Sadly I couldn’t find this shade on NARS’s website, so perhaps it’s since been discontinued.

REVLON

Lip Butters (discontinued)

Revlon Lip Butter
Image source: walgreens.com

I was heavy into the Lip Butters around 2013-2014. I loved this formula so much that I had three or four of these on the go at one time, and nearly all of them lived in my purse. I would never remember the exact names but I had a fuschia, a red, a nude and a peach at least. If you never owned a Lip Butter, they were basically colored lip balms. Nothing special necessarily, but they had some cling to them so the color lasted a little longer than you’d expect for such a moisturzing formula, which I loved. And they had decent color payoff for being just balms. Revlon discontinued them in the past few years and replaced them with the HD Gel Color line, which is equally as moisturizing.

Which makeup items make you feel nostalgic? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

 

Review: Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette

You could say that anytime Urban Decay launches a palette, it’s big news in the beauty world. If Urban Decay knows anything, they know palettes. The release of the original Naked Palette in 2010 was a watershed moment in the beauty community created in part by the burgeoning social media scene of the time when new platforms and influencers were gaining popularity. While we were all shocked by the recent news regarding this iconic product (UD decided to discontinue the palette), we can assuage our grief by diving into exciting newer releases.

The Born to Run Palette is just this kind of release. It recently launched this summer and had all those in the beauty community talking. I was really wowed by the color range when I first saw the press images: lots of bright tones alongside some neutral, everyday shades. The theme of the palette is travel and jet-setting; having all the necessary shades you need in one place plus some fun pops of color. UD’s shadows tend to be very high-performing, so I wasn’t surprised when nearly all the reviews were glowing. I hauled this palette a while back, which I’ll link to here, but it took two trips to Ulta to finally get my mitts on this (it was sold out in one location).

Let’s jump straight into the review.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION 

21 eyeshadow shades for $49.00 (0.42 oz total; 0.02 oz per shadow)

Cruelty-free formula 

Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette offers endless escapes in one travel-ready package. With 21 shades and a full-size mirror, it lets you choose your own adventure.

If you find yourself packing multiple kits for one look, our Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette is your globe-trotting go-to.

When it’s time to grab your carry-on and dash off to the next big adventure, you’ll want to pack light. Enter Born To Run, an all-in-one eyeshadow palette that has everything you need to create neutral looks, add in pops of color and play with brights, no matter where you’re going. With 21 of-the-moment shades—from jewel tones and modern neutrals to more colorful shadows—you’ve got every possible eye look covered in one sleek kit. Made from our mind-blowing formula that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich color and blendability, Born To Run’s Eyeshadow shades hold tightly onto pigment that stays put.

Got a conference in Dallas where you need to look like a boss? Create subtle definition with creamy, light neutrals like Breakaway and Weekender en route (using the palette’s full-size mirror, of course). Or, blend Baja, a burnt orange matte, into the lids and smudge Accelerate, a reddish copper metallic, into the crease for a sunset-hued smoky eye that mirrors the view on your road trip through the Mojave Desert. If you’re dancing until daybreak in Prague, put a twist on the traditional cat-eye look and smudge Guilt Trip, a smoky purple shimmer, into the lash line to create an imperfect wing.

Can’t decide which awe-inspiring shade to swipe on next? No matter which shades you try, we designed them all to be universally flattering for any skin tone and any lifestyle. Whether you’re a total road warrior, a weekend escapist or a staycationer—this one palette has everything you need when you’re Born To Run.

Source: urbandecay.com

SHADES & SWATCHES

  • BREAKAWAY (warm ivory shimmer)
  • STRANDED (pale rose gold with tonal micro-shimmer)
  • BLAZE (light metallic peach with pink shift)
  • WEEKENDER (light neutral beige matte)
  • STILL SHOT (bright peach matte)
  • RIFF (brown-nude matte with floating micro-sparkle)
  • GOOD AS GONE (deep brown satin with iridescent micro-shimmer)
  • HELL RIDE (deep fuchsia matte)
  • BAJA (burnt orange matte)
  • ACCELERATE (reddish copper metallic)
  • GUILT TRIP (smoky purple shimmer)
  • IGNITE (rose gold metallic)
  • SMOG (deep coppery bronze shimmer)
  • WANDERLUST (forest green with gold micro-shimmer)
  • WILDHEART (bright fuchsia satin)
  • PUNK (red-brown matte)
  • DOUBLE LIFE (metallic rust)
  • JET (black satin with deep shimmering purple shift)
  • DRIFT (charcoal satin with tonal micro-sparkle)
  • RADIO (deep emerald satin)
  • BIG SKY (frosted green shimmer with iridescent micro-sparkle)

Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

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Top to bottom: Breakaway, Stranded, Blaze, Weekender, Still Shot, Riff, Good as Gone.
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From top to bottom: Hell Ride, Baja, Accelerate, Guilt Trip, Ignite, Smog, Wanderlust.
urbandecayborntorunrow3
Top to bottom: Wildheart, Punk, Double Life, Jet, Drift, Radio, Big Sky.

HOW I APPLY MY EYESHADOW

I’ve written extensively on how to apply eyeshadow in an earlier post, which includes tips and photos/information on the brushes I typically use. I always use a tacky eye primer (my favorite is MAC Paint Pot in either Painterly or Camel Coat) as a base first so the powders have something to grab onto. I recommend using a primer especially if you have oily eyelids, or if you don’t want your shadows to crease or fade throughout the day. I typically use generous, fluffy brushes (e.g. MAC 217) to apply my shadows since I prefer blown-out and softly defined looks on me. Smaller, detailed brushes (e.g. MAC 219) are specifically for upper/lower lash definition only. I usually don’t switch brushes when I use different finishes, like matte or shimmer, as others might.

MY THOUGHTS ON…

Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

Packaging: As you can see from the photo above, the packaging design is a collage of travel snapshots from different locations around the world, which I think is super cool-looking. The palette itself is quite sturdy without being too bulky or overweight. There’s also a nice, generous mirror inside which you would expect for a travel palette. However just keep in mind it’s not the smallest palette around. Certainly the UD Naked Basics Palettes are much more compact and in my opinion more travel-friendly than Born to Run, at least from UD’s line. It really all depends what you want out of your travel palette. If you want neutrals in a small format, go with something like the Naked Basics. If you want variety both in color & finish, Born to Run is perfect. I didn’t buy this palette with the intent of traveling with it, so the format doesn’t matter to me either way.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Color range: This is what drove me to buy this palette in the first place. I love the color story here; the brights and metallics alongside the more neutral shades. You can go in a variety of different directions in terms of looks and I love that. The pitfall with some more neutral palettes is that you can end up creating the same look over and over again. This won’t happen here, so I applaud UD for that. There are 6 mattes, 6 shimmers, 3 metallics, and 6 satins. According to Blushy Darling’s review, the only shades that are not original to this palette are Smog and Punk. My favorite shades are Stranded (shimmer), Blaze (shimmer), Still Shot (matte), Riff (matte), Accelerate (metallic), Ignite (metallic), Wanderlust (shimmer), Radio (satin) and Big Sky (shimmer). Fun fact: Blaze is like a warmer version of MAC’s Patina shadow.

I still have one gripe though. While I love the colors in this palette, I do think it’s missing perhaps one more neutral, mid-tone matte shade. I found I kept having to go back to Riff for my crease shade. Weekender was too light and both Good As Gone and Punk were way too intense for that purpose. So in my opinion UD went a little too dark and provided a few too many liner shades for my liking.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Application: I used every shadow in this palette in some form throughout the last few weeks and I can say that almost every color applies smoothly and evenly on the eyes with the exception of a couple. I thought I’d break it down my texture below.

  • Shimmers & Metallics: they are extremely creamy to the touch and they apply and blend out the absolute best on the eyes.
  • Satins: they are semi-creamy to the touch and apply/blend quite smoothly and evenly.
  • Mattes: they take a bit more work applying and blending on the eyes to get an even finish. They are definitely more dry to the touch. The worst performing shade of the entire palette is Hell Ride, the beautiful deep plum-berry matte from the second row. I LOVE the color, but try putting it in your crease and you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s choppy as all hell and grabs at certain places, doesn’t want to blend in others, and is generally quite difficult to work with. It’s best packed onto the lid with a flat brush. The second shade I had trouble with is Still Shot, one of my faves. It was a bit patchy so I had to use my finger to pack color onto my lid, but honestly it wasn’t nearly as problematic as Hell Ride and in the end I still got it to work.

Rating: 3.8/5 ⭐️

Pigmentation: Without a doubt, the pigmentation on every shade in this palette is top-notch. I hope you can see that from the swatch photos above. The dark shades are dark from first swipe, the brights are bright from first swipe, etc. You don’t need to keep digging in again and again to get full color payoff, which is what we’ve come to expect from UD shadows.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: Overall these shadows perform very well and keep their pigmentation over time. I did notice two issues after about 10 hours of wear. First, a little creasing with the matte shades and second, some fading of any of the purple shades (Wildheart, Hell Ride, & Guilt Trip) but only if I applied them to the lower lash line. I wouldn’t consider either one of these a major problem though considering the length of wear time.

Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️

Price: This palette is $49.00 for 21 shadows, or about $2.33/shadow. The total product weight is 0.42 oz. or 0.02 oz./shadow, which to be honest seems quite low. However when you compare it against the Naked 3 Palette where you get considerably less shades (12), but more product per shadow (0.05 oz.) for more money ($54.00), it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Or the Lorac Pro Palette where you pay less money ($44) but get less shades (16) for the same amount of product per shadow as Born to Run (0.02 oz.), again it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. You’re getting a lot of shades after all, the vast majority of which are perfectly workable, lovely textures that you can create beautiful looks with (with the exception of Hell Ride). Therefore I think the price is perfectly fine.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

SOME LOOKS I CREATED WITH THE PALETTE

urbandecayborntorunlook2
Look # 1: I used Guilt Trip on the top lid and into the crease, and smudged Hell Ride underneath my lower lash line. Super simple. Loved it!
urbandecayborntorunlook1
Look #2: I blended Stranded onto my top lid and into my crease, and smudged Big Sky underneath my lower lash line. Again, super simple. I particularly loved this look, but the photo doesn’t do the colors justice, especially Big Sky which is gorgeous.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall I think this is a beautiful palette that I would recommend to those who really love eyeshadow and who love experimenting with different looks. I think it wouldn’t be the right fit for someone who craves the same kind of look everyday (nothing wrong with that of course). The pigmentation and longevity are definitely there, but just keep in mind that application can be tricky with some of the mattes, and when I say that I’m referring predominantly to Hell Ride. If UD would replace that shade with one mid-tone crease color, the palette would be absolutely divine! But at the end of the day you’re getting a lot of good quality shades for a reasonable price point.

Have you tried the Born to Run Palette yet? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

Snatch or skip? Drugstore eye palettes

This post contains affiliate links (denoted with an asterisk), which means I earn a small commission if/when you click through to purchase. Regardless, these are my honest opinions. I do not recommend products I do not love or use myself.

Time for another edition of ‘Snatch or Skip’! I spoke about some of the best and the not-so-great mascaras from L’Oreal a few posts ago, which you can read here. This time I’m delving into drugstore eyeshadow palettes.

Drugstore shadows have come such a long way in terms of quality. When my mom was discovering makeup in the 70’s the quality of lower-cost brands, like say Wet n’ Wild, were absolute crap. Affordable makeup was almost laughable for a long time. Even when I was in high school I feel it was nowhere near as good as it is now. Can we say drugstore makeup is at its peak now? I don’t know, but it does seem like most of the palettes coming out of CVS, Walgreens, Target, Rite Aid and other low-cost retailers around the world are pretty darn awesome. And the bar just keeps getting higher and higher. So here are my most favorite palettes in terms of quality and price, and a few that I think are either overpriced or just poor quality.

(One note I’d like to make here first in an effort not to sound like a broken record. All palettes mentioned here with exception of the e.l.f. Mad for Mattes are very powdery. Make sure to tap the excess pigment off your brush very well before applying to your eye.)

WHAT TO SNATCH!

*Milani Everyday Eyes Palette in Bare Necessities

$10.79 @ CVS.com;

$11.00 @ milanicosmetics.com

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This one is so lovely. The pigmentation, blendability, longevity, everything is nearly perfect. These Milani palettes come in 8 different colorways but I only have Bare Necessities. This one definitely leans warmer but they do have more neutral, cooler and even more colorful versions in the line; I’ve heard they’re all awesome.

In this palette you have 2 mattes, 1 shimmer, 2 metallics and 1 light-shimmer (for lack of a better description). All of the shadows are top-notch in my opinion with the exception of the light-shimmer, which is the cream shade pictured on the right-hand side of the first photo & the bottom swatch of the second photo. This shade seems to be a totally different texture to the other shimmers & metallics, and can be a bit chunky and flakey. Other than that, this palette is a must-have!

e.l.f. Cosmetics Mad for Matte Palettes in Nude Mood & Summer Breeze

$10.00 @ elfcosmetics.com, target.com & ultabeauty.com

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Nude Mood
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Swatches of Nude Mood
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Summer Breeze
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Swatches of Summer Breeze

It used to be difficult to find good quality matte shadows at a drugstore price level. Everything was shimmer, shimmer, shimmer. So when e.l.f. came out with the Mad for Matte line I knew those days were behind us. They immediately got rave reviews online and in social media, but for some reason I held off on trying them until earlier this year. I can’t imagine not having them in my collection now. Across the board from texture, application, and color payoff, these palettes get high marks. The application of these shadows is really the most impressive element. We all know how stubborn some matte shadows can be. But these don’t skip or become patchy or have too much fallout. And you get 10 quality shades for only $10.00. Bravo e.l.f.!

I first picked up Nude Mood, which is wonderful for everyday natural looks using either warmer or cooler tones. Although I wish they could have offered a few more contrasting shades towards the deeper end of the palette (some of those browns are very, very similar), I do think it’s a palette that anyone can use quite easily. I then got Summer Breeze because I was attracted to all those beautiful plums & rose tones. This is probably my favorite out of the two since I find each color to be quite unique.

*Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

$4.99 @ ultabeauty.com & wetnwildbeaty.com

Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

I just did a whole in-depth review on this palette which I’ll link to here, so I won’t stay on this too long. (If you’d like to see swatches from the palette please go to my earlier post.) But as the most affordable palette from this whole list, the quality really blows me away on both the mattes and the shimmers. Soft, smooth textures that apply easily with little hassle. Bright, bold colors that last on the eyes for hours and hours. When Wet n’ Wild delivers such solid product on such little coin, it makes it difficult to reconcile spending more money on more pricey drugstore palettes. My mom recently bought Rose in the Air, which gives everyone in the beauty community Anastasia Modern Renaissance vibes. She loves it, which means I’ll have to try it soon too 😉.

Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutrals #2 Matte Palette 

$14.39 as a bundle with the #3 Shimmer Palette on overstock.com

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RIP Sonia Kashuk makeup, I really loved you. It looks like only her brushes, makeup bags and other accessories are now available at Target. However I did a little snooping online and it appears Overstock has some inventory on this palette. I included the link above so if you’re interested, hop on it! Or if you’re looking for a “shop my stash” moment, crack this one out. I used to own several Sonia Kashuk eye palettes actually: the quads, the Eye On Neutrals #3 Shimmer Palette, and of course the Eye On Neutrals #2 Matte Palette. I loved each and every one of them dearly. The quality is totally there. The shades are smooth as all hell, apply perfectly and stay on the eye all day. And this goes for both the shimmers and mattes.

I really don’t remember how much I originally paid for this palette, but I do remember that Sonia Kashuk was on the higher-end of drugstore in terms of price. I still pull the #2 Matte Palette out quite frequently since I love it so much. Actually I used this palette on the day of my graduation from business school in May. If you cannot get your hands on this guy, go with the e.l.f. Mad for Matte in Nude Mood; the colors are quite similar.

WHAT TO SKIP!

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1

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So this one is difficult. I actually love the colors and the tones. The mattes are quite lovely too, pigmented and easy to apply. But the shimmers are extremely lackluster and fade rather quickly. Keep in mind the shimmers to mattes ratio is 7:3. And the palette is $20.00 (!). Really L’Oreal? It’s completely overpriced for the quality you’re getting. The swatches don’t look half bad but you never know the full story until you apply to the eye. While I can get very pretty looks using this palette, I just can’t fully get behind it. No thanks.

Maybelline The Nudes Eye Shadow Palette & The Blushed Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

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Image source: Walmart
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Image source: Walmart

To be honest, I have yet to find any Maybelline eye palettes that I can get behind. (However, I haven’t tried any of their newer releases yet like those City Mini Palettes. Are those good? Feel free to send any recommendations my way cause I’m always looking to be enabled!) I don’t have these Nudes Palettes anymore in my collection since they were so inconsistent and generally poor quality. Out of 12 shades I found maybe 5 or 6 of them would actually be usable.

What are your favorite and least favorite drugstore eye palettes? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica