My Sally Beauty haul, featuring COL-LAB!

Hi friends!

I’m back with a good old-fashioned haul for you guys today. It’s safe to say I hadn’t been to (nor bought anything from) Sally Beauty in a while, but after watching Tati from GlamLifeGuru on YouTube last week, that changed. I’ll link her video here, but it was a dedicated video on Sally’s-stocked makeup where she specifically talked about this brand called COL-LAB. Everything she featured from them looked amazing, both in terms of the colors and the quality. Overall the video was very positive and she gave glowing reviews on a few items from this brand.

FUN FACT about COL-LAB: it’s a makeup brand created by a group of beauty influencers including xSparkage, Whatwouldlizzydo, Makeupbyamarie, and a few other YouTubers & Instagrammers.

Now, I’m not saying I’m the most susceptible to the sway of big social media influencers, but I’m not saying I’m above it either 😉. Sally Beauty is very affordable and there’s nothing I love more than great quality products for cheap prices (who wouldn’t love that though??). So here’s my Sally Beauty haul, exclusively featuring COL-LAB!

(I actually have used a few of these products a bit already, but not enough to do a full-fledged review just yet. I will let you know my first impressions of the products I’ve used along the way.)

COL-LAB HIGH-RISE INSANE LENGTH MASCARA – Shop here

Col-Lab High-Rise Insane Length Mascara

You probably know by now that I’m addicted to trying new mascaras, so it’s rare that I go makeup shopping without snagging a new one. The packaging on this is so sturdy and luxe-feeling for just $11.69; it has that soft-touch effect that is often associated with NARS. I have yet to try this since I’m trialing another mascara until the end of this month. The “brush” is very small & narrow with the tiniest of plastic bristles. I have high hopes considering it’s called Insane Length, but I’ll have to let you know how it builds volume. Ideally I like a mascara to give me both volume & length.

COL-LAB PALETTE PRO EYESHADOW PALETTE IN GET READY WITH ME – Shop here 

Col-Lab Eyeshadow Palette in Get Ready With Me

In her video, Tati demo’ed this particular palette and was really raving about it. I have used this palette the most so far out of these haul items, and I have to agree that this is really, really good. I haven’t used every color yet, but from what I’ve used I can tell you that the shadows are high-pigment and high-quality. They blend very well and the longevity is insane! After 9 – 10 hours, the colors look almost as good as right after application. And it’s only $15.00! And the colors in this particular palette are super wearable and flattering. You can’t go wrong. 

Col-Lab Eyeshadow Palette in Get Ready With Me (swatches)
Swatches from Get Ready With Me containing 3 mattes & 5 shimmers.

COL-LAB PALETTE PRO EYESHADOW PALETTE IN AFTER HOURS – Shop here 

Col-Lab Eyeshadow Palette in After Hours

Really this palette is more for my mother since she’s currently obsessed with green eyeshadows, but I still think these are beautiful colors. I’ve used it twice so far and again, the quality is very good. I was most surprised by the color on the upper right-hand corner: it’s actually a soft duo-chrome! You might never notice that until you swatched it as it’s on the subtle side. This palette seems to have a larger variety of textures than the Get Ready With Me Palette. There are metallics, mattes, satins, & that one duo-chrome, so it’s an incredibly well-rounded little palette. And for only $15.00, it’s a steal!

Col-Lab Eyeshawdow Palette in After Hours (swatches)
Swatches from After Hours containing 3 mattes, 2 metallic, 2 satins, & 1 duo-chrome.

Just so you’re aware, COL-LAB is exclusive to Sally Beauty and does not ship internationally outside of North America. 

Have you tried anything from COL-LAB yet? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Flatlay of Get Ready With Me Palette, After Hours Palette & High-Rise Insane Length Mascara
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I went to a CVS Beauty IRL Store & here’s my haul!

Hi friends!

Warning: this is going to be a jam-packed post! Remember when I wrote about CVS teaming up with Glamsquad & eSalon to bring us the Beauty IRL store-within-a-store back in September? Well if you don’t you can read my inital post here, but just to recap super quickly: in only 4 select locations across the U.S. CVS is currently piloting an enhanced beauty store experience where they have expanded product offerings, beauty services like blow-out’s, etc (via Glamsquad), and custom hair color mixing (via eSalon). If you want more detailed info make sure to check out my earlier post!

THE EXPERIENCE

Well, I’m lucky enough to live not far from the Stamford, CT test location and last weekend I went! It was beyond awesome. I was like a kid in a candy store, taking photos and walking around exclaiming to myself and to my mother how utterly cool this all was. The standard drugstore brands like Physician’s Formula, Revlon & CoverGirl were definitely there, but there were so many more interesting findings. K-beauty was everywhere. From Peripera, to The Creme Shop, to Peach Slices, to A’Pieu and beyond. There were tons and tons of sheet masks; rows of the stuff. Entire sections of Korean hand & body creams. Also, there were indie brands like Doll 10, Storybook Cosmetics, & Karity too. A total beauty-lovers dream!

Here’s a quick video to give you a feel for the space:

I took a lot of photos of the aisles. I tried to get it all but there was so much it was impossible. The only areas I didn’t encounter were the sections with mini products and the testers, although a very nice CVS beauty consultant told me there were definitely testers there.

And that was just the products. The Glamsquad beauty stand was in the back, next to the custom color-mixing machine from eSalon called “Polly.” I saw one woman getting her hair blown out but that was it. That area seemed to be a bit vacant (just for reference, I went on a Sunday afternoon around 3 p.m.). All in all, I’d say the foot traffic in the area was pretty low. It was just me, my mother and a few other women navigating the aisles. However, the same beauty consultant I had spoken with earlier said they were getting good feedback and good responses overall to the enhanced beauty store.

THE HAUL

Of course I had to pick up a few items 😉. How could I not?? I was very restrained and I got just three things, but I could have grabbed so much more. I really want to go back with my girlfriends soon! I did a quick little video of my haul for Instagram, which you can see down below.

Since filming this, I’ve used all the products mentioned a bit more (or for the first time). My early impressions are that I like all the items I picked up. I can definitely recommend the brow mascara from Peripera; the brush is tiny and it does a great job coating all your brow hairs with little to no clumping. I will need to use the cushion blush & the concealer a little more before I form my final opinions, so stay tuned on those.

You can shop the Tres Cheek Cushion Blush from The Creme Shop in C’est La Peach  here.

You can shop the Speedy Browcara from Peripera here.

You can shop the Truly Yours Full Cover Concealer from Joah Beauty here.

Has anyone gone to a CVS Beauty IRL store yet? Has anyone used any of the products I picked up in my haul? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out the cool products & services that the new CVS Beauty IRL Store offers!

 

A (teeny-weeny) Sephora haul

Last week my mom and I found ourselves in Sephora, as you do. I had to buy a watch for my brother’s birthday and since Sephora is right next to Nordstrom in our local mall, you know, we had to go in. It would have been rude not to. I was very restrained and only picked up two (count ‘em two!) items. (I did a declutter recently people, so don’t judge me too harshly!).

Just to be clear, I have not started using either of these products yet so I cannot provide any well-informed opinions or insights just yet. With that said, let’s talk about what I bought!

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Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara (mini) & Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue

BARE MINERALS COMPLEXION RESCUE – Shop here

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Opal, the lightest shade.

I’m very excited to start using this product. I’m really either a tinted moisturizer girl or just a concealer-no foundation girl these days. Very low-maintenance on the base. (Except if I’m going to an event, or I know I will be out for 10-12+ hours in a day. In those cases, I will use my trusty Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in very thin layers.)  The Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue has been a pretty popular item since it initially launched (it was an Allure Readers’ Choice Award winner), and it was something that always interested me. I’ve been searching for a cheaper alternative to my beloved Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm (full review here), since that one is so incredibly pricey. Fingers crossed this will be it!

There’s tons of info on this product on Bare Minerals’ site, but this supposedly offers sheer coverage, hydration, SPF protection, and overall clean ingredients without a lot of nasties like mineral oil, parabens, & phthalates.

I like the packaging on this a lot. It’s basically like a squeezy tube, which should prevent mess and control the amount of product that comes out well.

Like a lot of tinted moisturizers though (or BB creams, whatever) the shade selection isn’t very large at all; there are just 16 shades that cater mainly to lighter & medium skintones so that’s disappointing.

I definitely want to do a more in-depth review of this after I’ve used it for a while, so stay tuned for that.

HOURGLASS CAUTION EXTREME LASH MASCARA – Shop here 

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This is a fairly new release from Hourglass, a luxury brand that I love. I’ve been hearing really good things, but to be honest any mascara that says “extreme” on the packaging has got my attention! According to the Hourglass site, this promises extreme volume, length, lift & definition thanks to its “4D Amplifier” brush. No idea what that means, but I’m very into it! I want 4D lashes! I did notice that the bristles on one side seem to be a bit longer than the other, which reminds me a bit of the CoverGirl Super Sizer Mascara. I picked up the mini size for $14.00, but the standard size normally retails for $29.00. I got high hopes for this one!

Have you tried either product from this haul? Have you picked up anything interesting from Sephora recently? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out what I recently picked up from Bare Minerals & Hourglass!

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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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!

New skincare purchases & bits I’m loving

I haven’t written about skincare yet on here, which is probably a big shocker to a lot of other beauty bloggers. Truth be told I rarely change up my very basic skincare routine of eye cream, serum & moisturizer. Don’t skincare routines seem to be getting longer and more complicated as time goes on? It’s all very confusing to me. At the end of the day I think you should be guided only by what your skin needs and what it’s currently doing, rather than by what the new product releases are. By that rationale, I’m guided by my dry, sometimes flakey skin that needs as much moisture and illumination as possible.

I’m just not the biggest skincare connoisseur. I know what works for me and so I tend to be quite product-loyal (not necessarily brand-loyal). Historically, I’ve used both the Garnier SkinActive Ultra Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream and the No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum for years now. (I was quite late to the party on serums in general; back in the day I just used moisturizer and that was it.) But I can’t resist sometimes changing the product line up. For instance, I will change up moisturizers from time to time. I was a big fan of the Chanel Hydra Beauty Creme for a while but then I discovered the more affordable Clinique Moisture Surge range, which is a firm favorite for life.

With that being said, I have made a few sneaky skincare purchases over the past few months that I wanted to talk to you about now. Some of these products have already become favorites, some I’m still testing, and one I haven’t even tried yet. That is how I’m categorizing them for this post. Let’s get into it!

NEW FAVORITES!

Belif The True Cream Aqua & Moisturizing Bombs – Shop here

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Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb

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Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

I spoke about my newfound love of The True Cream Aqua Bomb (and a little about the Moisturizing Bomb) in my earlier post on beauty mini’s, which was a hit with a lot of you. To recap, I didn’t buy either because I redeemed some of my Reward points on two separate Sephora visits, but I would absolutely buy either formula in the full size. You can buy either the standard size (50 ml for $38) or the mini size (25 ml for $22.00) from Sephora.

Belif is a Korean skincare brand I believe (someone correct me if I’m wrong), that has exploded on social media recently. Their products already have reached cult status like that of Tatcha and Laneige. To that point, The Aqua Bomb and The Moisturizing Bomb are both considered ‘Bestsellers’ on Belif’s website. Everything is formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates & synthetic preservatives, synthetic dyes & fragrances, mineral oils or animal byproducts.

When I wrote my earlier post I didn’t realize that Aqua Bomb technically wasn’t formulated for dry skin; it’s more suited to normal, combo or oily skin since it has a very lightweight, gel-cream texture. I still felt it hydrated and plumped my skin quite nicely, however I used it during the very humid NY summer when my skin was probably at its best. I’m just about to finish my mini of the Moisturizing Bomb, which is indeed formulated for dry skin. It’s definitely thicker than the Aqua Bomb and is creamier as well.

BITS I’M TESTING!

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream – Shop here

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I just recently started using the Magic Cream after getting it at Sephora the day of the Charlotte Tilbury launch (and the day I met Charlotte herself!!). I deliberated for a while before putting this on my wishlist since it’s so darn expensive (50 ml for $100!), but I have to say the Sephora employees really talked me into this. The words “revolutionary” and “life-changing” were thrown around a lot, and while I’d like to say that I’m immune to all that sales mumbo-jumbo, clearly I’m not!

This is a very luxurious, thick cream that feels amazing to apply to your face and smells beautiful. The story is this is the secret weapon product that Charlotte formulated and used on models, clients and celebrities before they walk the red carpet. I think this will be a hero product for me going into the fall and winter months due to its richness. I tend to apply it at night before bedtime but you can also use it prior to makeup as Charlotte often promotes; I have yet to use it in that capacity. This gives a beautiful sheen and a feeling of plumpness to my dry skin. I really like it so far and it hasn’t broken me out at this point, but I’ve only been using it for about a week now.

(UPDATE 10/10/19 – sadly, I will be returning this product to Sephora. About a week after writing this post, I noticed little red bumps on my forehead, around my nose & my chin. I stopped using it for a few days to see if my skin would clear up and it did. Then I used it for about 3 more nights just to double-check and sure enough, the little red bumps came back. Such a bummer!)

On charlottetilbury.com there are 3 sizes available (150 ml, 50 ml, & 15 ml), although Sephora just seems to sell the 50 ml tub. The formula has SPF 15, and is gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free & cruelty-free.

Honey Belle Elixir Rejuvenating Facial Oil – Shop here

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I spoke about the Elixir Facial Oil and about Honey Belle’s backstory in my earlier post detailing my Indie Beauty Expo haul. At the time of writing that post I still had not received this product in the mail, but since then I have incorporated this into my nightly routine. I hadn’t used a facial oil in ages so I was keen to get on that bandwagon again. I found a way to incorporate this product that didn’t extend the time of my normal routine: I combine it with my moisturizer. So far I’ve only added it to the Moisturizing Bomb from Belif and not the Magic Cream; I think the Magic Cream has enough richness on its own.

The smell of the Elixir is quite strongly herbal and ‘homemade’ but I like it. It gives serious shine and glow to the skin which you would expect from an oil. It doesn’t stay tacky for long and seems to absorb into the skin quite nicely, but keep in mind I’m applying this right after my shower so my pores are ready to drink this stuff up. Is it doing amazing things for my skin? I’m not sure at the moment to be honest, but it’s a lovely product that I like using. As the colder months approach and my skin gets drier, I will probably be able to tell more of a difference.

You can grab either the mini size (15 ml) for $15.00, which is pictured above, or the standard size (56 ml) for $34.00. Very affordable organic skincare.

BITS I HAVEN’T USED YET

Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream – Shop here 

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I purchased this just recently and it’s currently waiting its turn behind my latest pot of the Garnier eye cream, which I’m about halfway through at the moment. This smells amazing and as the name would suggest, it’s got a gel cream texture (my favorite). I’m new to Fresh skincare but I have high hopes for this little guy. There’s 15 ml of product in there for $41.00 so it’s definitely not cheap; this is actually my first foray into luxury eye cream. According to Fresh’s site, this is a cooling eye treatment that promises oodles of hydration and illumination. Oh, and ‘30 hours of continuous moisture.’ Cool, sign me up! I’ll have to report back 😉.

Fresh products are primarily made from natural ingredients and are cruelty-free.

Have you tried any of the products on this list? What skincare products are you currently loving or trialing? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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