My beauty anti-wishlist, October 2018

It’s time for another beauty anti-wishlist today! The first post in September went down so well that I thought I’d do another edition now that we’re in a new calendar month. A lot more launches have come out since my last post, especially a lot of the holiday gift sets. Not everything on this list is part of a gift set, but I believe 3 out of 5 are.

If you haven’t read my first post, my anti-wishlist contains beauty items from recent or upcoming launches that I will not be picking up anytime soon based purely on personal preference. To be clear, I’m not labeling these products as “bad” or “horrible” (I’ve never tried any of them of course); they are just products that I’m not necessarily excited for nor could I see myself getting much use out of. I think it’s good every now and then to talk about the things we don’t want, not to be negative but to make the point that you don’t have to run out and get every new launch out there.

So let’s get into it!

TOO FACED SUGAR COOKIE EYESHADOW PALETTE (LIMITED EDITION) 

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Image source: Allure.com

This is part of Too Faced’s larger holiday gift collection for 2018, and while I think the colors in this palette look beautiful, wearable and are generally up my alley, I already have all these tones in my collection already. Supposedly these shades are all exclusive to this particular palette, and they smell like fresh-baked cookies! I’m sure I’d love the smell and just stand there and sniff the palette for 10 minutes before applying my makeup, but that’s still not gonna make me shell out $26.00 for this. If you are interested for yourself or for a gift, right now this is still in stock on Ulta.com but out of stock on Toofaced.com, so I’d get on it quick. For me, I’ll pass this time.

WET N’ WILD MEGA GLO BODY LUMINIZER

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Image source: Wet n’ Wild Instagram

I believe this product is now available on both wetnwildbeauty.com and walmart.com, and will launch in Walmart stores by mid October. I read an article on Allure.com that said this is the more affordable version of the Fenty Beauty Body Lava, a luminizing product for the body that you can wear on its own or mixed in with a lotion or moisturizer. Um, I never luminize my body nor do I expose a lot of skin even in the summer months, so I would probably get no use out of this product. I do sometimes apply an all-over luminizer like MAC Strobe Cream or my newer fave, The Hollywood Flawless Filter from Charlotte Tilbury, on my face but that’s about it. Pass.

FENTY BEAUTY STUNNA LIP PAINT IN UNINVITED

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Image source: Fenty Beauty Instagram

Speaking of Fenty Beauty, they’ve just brought out new colors of the Stunna Lip Paint, their long-wear matte liquid lipstick, and the majority look beautiful. I have my eye on Uncuffed, the mauve color, which just speaks to me. But I’ll tell you what I’m turning my cheek to, the black color in the shade Uninvited. I’m just not brave or cool enough to wear black on my lips (unless it’s for Halloween maybe?); I don’t even wear black eyeshadow that much unless I’m using it to line my eyes. I don’t do any lip art or anything like that, and mixing lipstick shades just seems too fussy to me. This will probably look striking on others, but I can’t imagine it on my pale-as-printer-paper complexion. Pass.

PUR COSMETICS GRINCH HOLIDAY SET 2018 (LIMITED EDITION)

  • All images are from purcosmetics.com

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Just no, PUR. I’m sorry but none of this 5-piece holiday collection speaks to me (and I love the Grinch!). I assume this collection is coming out in celebration of the new Grinch movie later this year (which I so want to see), but I probably wouldn’t use any of it. The palette looks too big and bulky, and I never use face masks or liquid eyeliners. Oh, and I’m not in the market right now for new face brushes either. Pass.

KAT VON D FETISH BLUSH + HIGHLIGHTER PALETTE (LIMITED EDITION)

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Image source: Kat von D Beauty Instagram

While I am through and through a blush wearer and lover, I hardly use powder textures as much as I once did. This is a cool-looking palette for sure which contains 3 of Kat’s new Everlasting Blushes (a debut for the formula in fact) and 3 Metal Crush Extreme Highlighters (2 of which are exclusive to this palette). I’ve only ever bought one blush palette before. It was a holiday palette from Benefit a few years back, which is still in my collection although I don’t give it much love anymore. It’s just so pretty I can’t stand to part with it, you get me? I just have a few MAC powder blushes now (in singles) along with a cavalry of my much-preferred cream & liquid products. So I’m just not getting another blush palette. Pass.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these products. Will you be picking anything up from this list? What is on your anti-wishlist this month? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Find out what I won’t be picking up this month and why!

My beauty anti-wishlist, September 2018

Hi friends! Since I’m always talking about the beauty items I either want to pick up or already have in my collection, I thought I’d do something different today and talk briefly about some new or upcoming makeup launches I will not be picking up. An “anti-haul” or “anti-wishlist” if you will. Just a disclaimer: this is not meant to be overly negative in the slightest, nor a knock on any of the brands mentioned here. Shopping for beauty products is entirely subjective stuff. These particular launches just don’t excite me based on my own style preferences; you may be chomping at the bit to get your hands on these. Variety is the spice of life, and all that.

So let’s get into it (in no particular order).

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS NORVINA PALETTE – Shop here

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Image source: allure.com

This is probably the oldest launch of this list, and while the colors are definitely beautiful I just don’t see the hype here. It’s often referred to as a “purple palette” but there’s only three (maybe four if you count the burgundy shade, Passion) purpley shades out of fourteen. The rest are neutrals that I probably already have somewhere in my collection. Think of the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette which just has two peachy shades out of eighteen, yet it’s referred to as a “peach palette”. I know the quality of ABH shadows tends to be top-notch; I’ve used the beloved Modern Renaissance palette and loved it. I’m just not the biggest fan of purples on me (despite my recent experimentation with the Born to Run Palette); plus I have a few neutral palettes already, so I won’t be picking this one up. I am super curious about Soul though, that periwinkle shade on the bottom left of the palette. If ABH ever releases that as a single, I might hop on it!

JEFFREE STAR COSMETICS LIQUID FROST HIGHLIGHTERS – Shop here

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Image source: makeup.co.nz

While I do prefer a liquid or cream highlighter over a powder (I almost never use powder highlighters), I still won’t be adding this to a future shopping list. At $25.00 for a whopping 30 ml of product, it’s just way too much highlighter for too high a price tag for my liking. I’d rather spend that cash on a nice foundation or concealer. I would never, ever make my way through 30 ml of highlighter unless I was bathing myself in the stuff on a daily basis. I wrote about my feelings surrounding the current highlighter craze way back when I first started my blog. I love a nice, subtle highlight on the cheekbones and on the bridge of the nose, but I’m by no means a glow-freak. Too much highlighter just seems too obvious for everyday life. Not my style so I’ll pass.

FENTY BEAUTY GLOSS BOMB IN DIAMOND MILK – Launches 9/7/18

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Image source: temptalia.com

When I saw this on Fenty’s IG my immediate thought was, nope! Way too cool-toned for me. While I realize that the gloss won’t show up as straight silvery-white on the lips (there’s swatches on Fenty’s IG if you’re interested), I’m much more interested in snatching the original Universal Gloss Bomb since it has a slightly rosy color. Seriously, I’ve been eyeing that one since it first launched. I’m quite cool-toned myself so I have to be a bit careful with cool-toned lip colors for risk of looking dead. I believe this is also launching with a matching highlighter in the shade Diamond Bomb on September 7th in celebration of Fenty’s year anniversary. Sadly, I’m passing on both products.

TOO FACED SUGAR PEACH WET & DRY FACE AND EYE PALETTE – Launches 9/4/18

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Image source: Trendmood

Just recently Too Faced announced that their Peach Collection is expanding to include this palette, plus a peach-scented lip scrub, a lip balm and additional shades in the Peach Kiss lipstick range. Everything launches tomorrow at Sephora and on Too Faced’s site. My mom bought the original Sweet Peach Palette last year and I might have used it once or twice. The scent is delicious and the shadows are good quality, but I’m not overly into the whole scented makeup trend. So when I saw this Sugar Peach Wet & Dry Face and Eye Palette on Trendmood’s IG page, I was just nonplussed. Supposedly this is the first time Too Faced has marketed a palette as being wet/dry but can’t every palette be used wet or dry? I’m not sure which colors are supposed to be eyeshadows or face colors. Everything just looks too shimmery to me. One of the shades looks like it’s got straight glitter in it; you’re supposed to use that on your face? I rarely use shimmery (or glittery) shades on my face, and I have enough shimmery eyeshadows in similar tones as this. I just don’t think I’d get much use out of something like this.

ANYTHING FROM BITE BEAUTY!

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Image source: leapingbunny.org

Oh I wish I could use more products from Bite Beauty! I read that in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, Bite Beauty would soon be releasing a new collection of their well-loved Amuse Bouche lipsticks. My first and only foray into this brand was the Agave Lip Mask a few years back. Everyone was raving about this product saying it was a game-changer for those with really dry lips. I have dry skin all over my body, and in the winter like a lot of others I get extremely dry, chapped lips. I picked up the mask and used it religiously for almost a year every night. I loved it. It was super thick and extremely moisturzing. But then something horrible happened. I woke up a few weeks before Christmas and my lips was almost double the size, red and inflammed beyond belief. Even the sides of my mouth were cracked, it was disgusting. It didn’t hit me right away what was causing the issue, but it finally became clear after continuing to use the mask that somewhere along the line I must have become highly allergic to some ingredient in it. I’ve been terrified ever since to use anything else from this line.

What do you think about these launches? Will you be picking anything up? 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.
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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

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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!
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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

Fenty made me do it: Inclusivity in the beauty world

By this point so much has been said and written about how Fenty Beauty changed the makeup game in 2017. And with good reason. The launch of their Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 40 shades is now widely considered a hallmark moment in beauty. It sent an unequivocal message to the larger community of brands, corporations, and advertisers that coverage products should be formulated, produced, and distributed equally for all skin tones. To highlight this point further, Fenty produced an equal 10 shades per skin tone category (light, medium, tan, deep) for the grand total of 40 shades. The bottom line: no one (or nearly no one) felt left behind this time.

While the concept of 40 foundation shades wasn’t invented by Rihanna or Fenty (heritage and pro brands like Estee Lauder and Make Up For Ever, respectively, have historically produced extensive foundation lines with upwards of 35 to 40 shades), they were the first to successfully market or call out said concept. The Pro Filt’r launch awakened and revived the dialogue between brands and frustrated consumers who felt systematically excluded from certain segments of the beauty industry.

It’s a conversation that’s now clearly here to stay.

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All shades in the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Longwear Foundation range (Image source: allure.com)

The issue of companies not producing enough shades for either the very lightest skin tones, or in most cases the darkest skin tones, isn’t confined to just a few brands nor is it confined to just one segment of the makeup industry. Truthfully it’s been an issue across the board from luxury/high-end, to more middle-market brands, and in the drugstore. Drugstore brands have been particularly notorious for this in the past. Historically they’ve crammed most of their foundation & concealer shades into narrow buckets, and produced ranges of perhaps 10-15 shades that have left a lot of the makeup-wearing population out in the dark. (Off the top of my head Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Concealer comes to mind. Really poor selection of shades.)

But the tide is certainly shifting since the Fenty launch. More consumers, more influencers, and more thought-leaders in the beauty community are speaking up and demanding more of companies and brands not only in regards to product ranges but also in regards to marketing imagery. They want to know that brands are formulating products not for just for those with light to medium skin tones. They want to see more people with medium to darker to deepest skin tones in beauty ads and campaigns. Quite simply, they want to be represented; they want to be included.

While 2018 started off on the wrong foot with the Tarte Shape Tape Foundation fiasco, I feel that this has been the year of inclusive foundation launches as both high-end and drugstore brands work to either mimic Fenty’s approach or best it. Below I’ve compiled just a few of the stand-out foundation launches that we’ve seen so far in 2018. These launches offer a broader range of shades that are more equally distributed from fair to deep skin tones.

Just a few things to note. Firstly, this is not an exhaustive list (plus the year isn’t over anyway). Secondly, this is not meant to be a traditional review of these foundations, especially since I’ve never tried any of them personally. This is just a commentary on how the heightened conversation around inclusivity in makeup has influenced recent product launches.

BEAUTY BAKERIE CAKE MIX DEMI-MATTE FOUNDATION – Shop here

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Image Source: Hiplatina.com
  • 30 shades total ranging from fair to deep

Like Fenty, Beauty Bakerie brought out an equal amount shades across skin tone categories for their widely celebrated Cake Mix Foundation launch back in April (their magic number is 5). While they launched a lesser amount of shades total than Fenty did, they spread their line across a slightly broader category range; meaning 5 fair, 5 light, 5 medium, 5 tan, 5 dark, and 5 deep shades. As a black-owned indie brand that’s gaining massive traction on social media, Beauty Bakerie took it one step further and reversed the standard convention of listing shades from lightest to darkest; their range is listed darkest to lightest. It’s subtle, but it’s brimming with meaning and significance at the same time.

NARS NATURAL RADIANT LONGWEAR FOUNDATION – Shop here

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Image Source: narscosmetics.com
  • 33 shades total ranging from fair to deep

While this launch from NARS may not have the most equal distribution across skin tones, it’s much more wide-ranging in comparison to some of their earlier launches like the Sheer Glow Foundation (20 shades) and the Luminous Weightless Foundation (also 20 shades), with more undertones represented as well.

DIOR BACKSTAGE FACE AND BODY FOUNDATIONShop here 

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Image Source: magi-mania.de
  • 40 shades total ranging from fair to deepest

This is Dior’s most recent foundation launch inspired by makeup artist secrets and backstage beauty, that includes what they call “16 intensities” and 6 undertones within a total of 40 shades (the magic number now). Looking at the visual above, it’s undoubtedly an impressive range. And if you take a quick peek at the other Dior complexion products currently on the market, the Backstage Face and Body is much more expansive in comparison. Diorskin Forever stands at 24 shades with significantly less variety in dark/deep skin tones.

COVER FX POWER PLAY FOUNDATION – Shop here

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Image Source: beautyalmanac.com
  • 40 shades total ranging from fair to deepest

Of all the visuals included in this post, this one holds the most weight to me. Look at that color range! Truly impressive. And Cover FX really wants you to know that too. If you scroll through their Instagram feed and take a look at the marketing on this product, the messaging is all to do with the vastness of the shade and undertone range (“ your perfect match awaits”) (“foundation for all”).

COVERGIRL TRUBLEND MATTE MADE FOUNDATION – Shop here

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Image Source: thebeautyinfluencers.com
  • 40 shades total ranging from porcelain to deep

CoverGirl made news this year with one of the largest drugstore foundation offerings after Maybelline’s expansion of the Fit Me range in 2017. The TruBlend Matte Made Foundation comes in at the magical 40 shade-number, making it broader than even L’Oreal’s True Match range. At less than $10 a bottle for both TruBlend and Fit Me, it’s reassuring to consumers of all skin tones that the more affordable brands are taking the issue of shade range seriously.

COLOURPOP NO FILTER NATURAL MATTE FOUNDATION – Shop here 

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Image Source: allure.com
  • 42 shades total ranging from fair to deep-dark

Finally, ColourPop. With the largest offering of this entire list, the new No Filter Natural Matte Foundation comes in at a bulky 42 shades which are distributed equally amongst 6 skin tone categories, ranging from fair to deep-dark. This is another visual that has both great aesthetic and emotional impact when you stop to think just how many options ColourPop is offering to its customers at an extremely affordable price ($12/bottle). If any brand could best Fenty’s range, it would be ColourPop; a brand that has immense community, marketing and financial power within the industry and an extremely quick turn-around to market.

What is your opinion on inclusiveness in beauty? Do you think it’s at a good place now or do we have some distance to go still? Would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

xo, Erica

Snatch or skip? L’Oreal mascaras

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.

Just this week I realized I hadn’t written a dedicated mascara post since I started my blog back in May, so let me remedy that right at this moment. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to spend much money to get a good mascara; you can absolutely get it done on a drugstore budget. There are so many great options available now when you walk into CVS, Walgreens, Walmart or any other lower-cost retailer.

However for every good or great mascara, you’ll find another not-so-great one right next to it. It’s all about sussing out what your mascara preferences are and letting them guide your purchases. For example, my mascara preferences include decent volume, length & a lot of darkness (i.e. how black the product is). I want a “false-lash effect” without false lashes, if that exists. What one person is looking for in a product, another person might avoid, so please keep in mind that lists like this are all subjective. If you love something I don’t, well that’s great cause variety is the spice of life!

This post will focus quite specifically on L’Oreal mascaras, as the title indicates. To keep this short and snappy (hopefully), I’ve narrowed this to only four products: two that I would recommend to snatch, and two that I would say to skip. So let’s get into it. (This might be the start of a little series here on the blog. I’m brainstorming other products and lists atm.)

WHAT TO SNATCH!

*L’Oréal Voluminous X Fiber Mascara with Black Primer

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Image Source: Walgreens

I spoke about my love for this back in my first blog post in May, but I picked this up pretty soon after it first launched. It was garnering good reviews on social media so when I saw the display in Ulta, I grabbed it. At first it seemed too high maintenance to me because of the whole 2-step process. The first end is a lash primer; the second end is a fiber-rich mascara. I never use lash primers normally. They just seem too fussy. But I have to say this formula really wowed me, so much so I was willing to go through both steps. The first end puts a light coating on the lashes and really separates and lengthens. The second end gives a ton of volume as it deposits the fibers over top. I didn’t find it too clumpy either. My tube got old so I had to toss it, but I would happily repurchase this.

*L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara

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Image source: L’Oreal Paris

This one is so, so, so good in my opinion. I’ve gone through about two tubes and I would definitely repurchase again. It gives me extremely black, separated lashes with tons of length. It makes me look like I have more lashes than I do. I think it all comes back to the wand. It’s a strange one but genius. It’s long and tapers towards the front, which you may think would be awkward to work with but actually it catches all those hard to reach corner lashes. It also has plastic bristles that only cover one side of the wand, which normally I hate but it somehow works here. I wouldn’t say it gives the best volume I’ve ever seen but the length and the fluffiness of the lashes after using this is just awesome.

WHAT TO SKIP!

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara

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Image source: eBay

Wow, I know, controversial. It seems like everyone and their mothers and grandmothers go ga-ga for this formula, but I just can’t fully get behind it. I bought this early in its hype when every beauty influencer was saying this was the best drugstore mascara on the market. The brush is very reminiscent of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara, which I very much enjoyed, so I was eager to try it. At first I remember liking it and even recommending it to my friends, but somewhere around the 1-month mark I just realized it was a mediocre mascara. It’s definitely not horrible by any means, but just nothing memorable to me. It was very black which I loved, but after a while I found the formula to be too thick to the point where my lashes would clump together too much for my liking. It didn’t give me much in the way of length either. It was just meh.

L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara

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Image Source: Look Fantastic

I have not tried the regular L’Oreal Telescopic in the light gold tube, but I was none too impressed by the Carbon Black version. I was hoping it might be similar to the IT Cosmetics Tightline 3-in-1 Black Primer/Eyeliner/Mascara that I loved from years back, but unfortunately it wasn’t. It’s primarily a lengthening mascara with a long wand and plastic bristles. It definitely lengthened but it didn’t separate my lashes like I would have hoped. In some places the formula made my lashes stick together so much that it looked like I had bald patches. Needless to say, I wouldn’t repurchase.

What are your favorite and/or non-favorite mascaras from L’Oreal? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

Imitation or rip off? The case of Revolution Beauty

If you’re a makeup lover, you live for a great dupe. (If you’re a makeup newbie, ‘dupe’ is short for duplicate. When you apply that to makeup you’re talking about products that are either very similar or near identical both in color and texture.) It’s very challenging these days to have a truly original idea in makeup whether it comes to unique packaging, formulas, or color schemes. In a sense, we’ve seen a variation of everything before. And the drugstore has historically been a goldmine for dupes to many high-demand and expensive products. Take for example, the similarities between the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops and NYX’s Total Control Drop Foundation; both boast the ability to customize your foundation coverage with a thin, watery formula that’s delivered through a glass stopper. So if you had the option to buy a similar foundation for $14 (NYX) or $44 (Cover FX), chances are you’d go with the lower-priced item.

Many in the beauty community make the case that the drugstore or other lower-cost retailers help democratize the experience that higher-end makeup products provide. If you love the color and ornate packaging of a Tom Ford lipstick but don’t have the budget to buy one, L’Oreal or Maybelline can provide you with a similar experience if you buy one of their lipsticks. I personally see nothing wrong with this way of thinking, nor do I see a problem with L’Oreal or Maybelline creating more affordable lipsticks that may by happenstance be similar to higher-end ones. But things get a little more contentious when you study what UK drugstore brand Revolution Beauty (formerly known as Makeup Revolution) has done throughout its past.

As someone who lives in the U.S., Revolution seemed to come bounding onto the beauty scene very suddenly a few years back. At first they occupied a small end-cap in Ulta, and now they take up nearly half an aisle; their popularity has exploded. They are generally well-received by social media influencers and consumers who praise their low price points and gobble up their seemingly endless makeup releases.  So where is the problem exactly? If you peruse Revolution’s site, amongst their vast offerings you’ll find several products that go well beyond the imitation or ‘duplication’ of well-known higher-priced items; these products could easily be considered rip off’s of said higher-priced items.

In 2017, Twitter shouted Revolution out for copying the iconic rose-gold, fluted packaging associated with the Charlotte Tilbury brand for their Renaissance Lipsticks Luxe launch. Quite famously in the same year, Kat Von D tried publicly shaming them via Instagram for blatantly copying her best-selling Shade & Light Eye Contour Palette. While the packaging on the Revolution Ultra Eye Contour Light and Shade is different and much cheaper than the Shade & Light, everything else from the color selection to the sequencing of colors are nearly identical between the palettes (I’m sure the formula isn’t identical though). Revolution’s response was matter-of-fact and unapologetic: they are in the business of making dupes so that makeup can be accessible to all.

It doesn’t stop there. Revolution has essentially copied other popular products from Too Faced, Ben Nye, Kylie Cosmetics & KKW Beauty as well.  Here are just a few visuals for comparison.

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Original Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette – $49.00 (Source: Ulta)
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Revolution version: I Heart Revolution I ❤️ Chocolate Palette – $15.00 (Source: makeupmusthaves.nl)
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Original Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette – $49.00 (Source: Mecca AUS)
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Revolution version: I Heart Revolution I ❤️ Chocolate Salted Caramel Palette – $15.00 (Source: makeupmusthaves.nl)
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Original Shade & Light Eye Contour Palette from Kat Von D Beauty – $48.00 (Source: Pop Sugar AU)
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Revolution version: Ultra Eye Contour Light & Shade – $15.00 (Source: Pop Sugar AU)
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Original KKW Beauty Creme Contour & Highlight Set (with brush) – $48.00 (Source: Pinterest)
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Revolution version: Creme Contour & Highlight Set (with brush) – $20.00 (Source: Revolution Beauty)

 

From comparing the packaging and the overall execution of the Revolution products in all the cases above, you can see that they’re similar enough to be identified as a lower-priced ‘dupe’ for those very popular higher-priced makeup items, but also different enough not to put themselves under the threat of copyright infringement. Revolution has figured out a way to successfully skirt this fine line so they can quickly capture the popularity of other makeup brands. Customers don’t have to wait for makeup artists or social media influencers to tell them that these Revolution products are ‘dupes’ for luxury items; they can make that association much quicker for themselves if the packaging and layout look similar enough or nearly identical.

I haven’t tried any of the Revolution products pictured above. I know most people talk about their great quality, but I would rather put my money towards other drugstore items or even other Revolution items that didn’t so blatantly appropriate others’ successes. I don’t hate Revolution Beauty. I happily use their Conceal and Define Concealer regularly, which everyone says is a dupe for Shape Tape but I don’t personally agree on that. I just find some of their business practices troublesome.

I do think makeup should be accessible to all incomes. I do think drugstore brands should be able to recreate luxurious experiences at more affordable costs. But that doesn’t mean drugstore brands can’t be innovative, and it doesn’t mean drugstore brands should take what Too Faced, Kat Von D, or KKW Beauty is producing, change the packaging ever so slightly, and call it their own.

I really would love to hear your opinion on Revolution Beauty. Do you think what they do is wrong in these instances, or just another example of lower-cost duplication?

Xo, Erica