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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My beauty anti-wishlist, December 2018

Hi friends!

Even though we’re now in the season of giving and receiving, it’s still anti-wishlist time, the December edition! As is the standard now, I’ve rounded up 5 beauty items from newish (I’m really stretching that this time!) launches that I won’t be picking up anytime soon for various reasons. This time I have a really well-rounded list including makeup, skincare, & hair items, so let’s get into it!

I always include this disclaimer, but this is not at all meant to be a bash on these brands or these particular products. This is just stuff that I imagine I wouldn’t get much use from based on my personal preferences, so I thought I’d tell you why.

Catch up with my previous anti-wishlists here: September, October, November.

JAMES CHARLES X MORPHE BRUSHES PALETTE

James Charles x Morphe Brushes Palette

James Charles’ palette launched a few weeks ago in November, and I think it’s already gone in and out of stock a few times. Currently it’s out of stock at Morphe & Ulta, but that doesn’t really matter to me since I won’t be putting my order in. This is probably a really lovely palette, and I appreciate the wide spectrum of colors here. And at $39.00 for 39 colors, it seems very affordable. But the size is just too big for me. I’m not sure where I would store it, and it wouldn’t be able to fit on the surface in my house where I normally apply my makeup. So for me this is a practicality issue, so I’ll take a pass.

DYSON AIRWRAP

Dyson Airwrap

The Dyson Airwrap launched back in October so I’m a little late to the party on this, but to be honest as soon as I saw this I knew it wasn’t for me. If you’re not already familiar, it’s a hair dryer/styling hybrid tool that can come with up to 6 different attachments depending on the model you order: paddle brushes, conical wands, hair dryers, etc. It ranges in price from $500 – $550 depending on the number of attachments, I believe. It boasts a special aerodynamic technology that attracts hair and wraps it around the barrel for minimum effort on your part. (There are tons of videos on the internet demo’ing this product, just look it up.) There are a few reasons why I’m not interested in this tool. Firstly, it’s too big of an investment for me. Secondly, my hair styling routine is very low-maintenance, plus I don’t use a hair dryer; I only use a flat-iron in the morning after my hair air-dries the night before. And lastly, my mom had a bad experience with the original Dyson hair dryer. It literally started to fry her hair! Now I’m scared of Dyson hair products!

CHANTECAILLE 20TH ANNIVERSARY MOONLIT PERLE GLOW POWDER

Chantecaille Moonlit Perle Glow Powder

Now, I’m not saying I’m immune to pricey AF purchases from Chantecaille. (Hint: I have a fun review coming at the end of the month on a Chantecaille product, so keep a look out!) But $125.00 for a glowy setting powder?? No thanks. Hourglass has me covered in that department. To be fair, this is a collector’s item to commemorate the brand’s 20th anniversary this year. I’m sure not many were made, and as it is their website says this is currently out of stock. The pearl packaging and the whole presentation is absolutely beautiful, without a doubt. But I do have (some) limits 😉.

DR. JART+ MASK HEROES

Dr. Jart+ Mask Heroes

This is a limited edition set of 6 of Dr. Jart’s bestselling sheet masks including:

– Hydration Lover Rubber Mask
– Firm Lover Rubber Mask
– Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution™ Mask
– Dermask Micro Jet Brightening Solution™ Mask
– Prescriptment Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask
– Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask

At the present moment, I just don’t reach for sheet masks. I tried a hydrating mask from Garnier a few months ago, but I can’t get past the overly drippy, wet feeling against my skin. I know this will horrify a lot of skincare enthusiasts out there, but don’t judge me too harshly! We all have our things, don’t we? I want to get more into them since I have a few in my stash from The Creme Shop, but I certainly wouldn’t go as far as to buy a set of 6 like this one. However, if you are a Dr. Jart+ fan or a mask enthusiast, this does seem like a really good value for money: 6 masks for only $36.00 when normally it would cost $57.00.

PAT MCGRATH LABS BLITZTRANCE LIPSTICKS

Pat McGrath Labs Blitztrance Lipsticks

I’ve only tried one product from Pat McGrath Labs so far, the Bronze Ambition Eyeshadow Palette which was the first ever in-depth review I did for this blog (you can read it here). I love that palette; the colors, textures, packaging, everything is beautiful! Pat’s brand in general has become synonymous in the beauty community with lush and beautiful (and pricey) products, so I have no doubt these Blitztrance Lipsticks are top-notch in the quality department. However, they’re just not my cup of tea. They are described on the brand’s Instagram as “iridescent lipstick(s) with multidimensional, highshine effects.” But at $38.00 a pop, I just can’t justify purchasing what is essentially a glitter lipstick. I believe the colors shown in the Instagram image above are limited edition by the way (from left to right: Flesh Fatale, Rebel Red, Blitz Gold.) I’m far more interested in trying their Mattetrance Lipstick formula than these.

What’s on your December anti-wishlist? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out the beauty products that I won’t be picking up anytime soon and why!

 

Drugstore alternatives to Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter

Hi friends!

Since my last post on the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick dupe was so well-received, I decided to bring the brand back to the blog. This time we’re talking about another of my favorite CT products, the Hollywood Flawless Filter! I first spoke about my love for this product in this post, and since then my obsession has not abated 😊. But I know not everyone wants to or can pay upwards of $40 for (essentially) a glow/highlighter product, so I wanted to tell you about some cheaper drugstore alternatives that give a similar effect. It just so happens that both alternative products come from L’Oreal, but that wasn’t necessarily planned.

So let me refresh you first on what exactly the Hollywood Flawless Filter is, and why I love it. Then we’ll talk about the drugstore alternatives & compare.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

CHARLOTTE TILBURY HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER – Shop here

  • $44.00 for 30 ml
  • Available in 7 shades
  • Cruelty- free formulation

Darlings, my Hollywood Flawless Filter is a customisable complexion booster with the versatility of a primer, the mega-watt glow of a highlighter, and the perfecting properties of your favourite digital filter. Ingredients help to soft-focus, illuminate skin and makes lines and pores appear smoother.

WHAT MAKES HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER MAGIC:

• The ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! This was born on the red carpet makeup, inspired by technology, for real life, in real time that looks amazing on-screen or off.

• Smoothing airbrush polymers roll over your complexion for a poreless-looking, creamy finish.

• Glossy Oil is a lightweight moisturising oil that reflects and adds light to your face where you need it.

• Finely milled powders soft focus, makes lines and pores appear smoother which means it only ever looks as amazing in real life, as it does on camera.

• Porcelain Flower Extract is a brightening ingredient derived from a Thai flower with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to enhance microcirculation and brighten skin.

• Ideal for superstar-lit skin whether you want a subtle glow or a mega-watt complexion.

Source: charlottetilbury.com

This is an amazingly highshine product that I apply either under my makeup and/or over the top of my makeup, specifically targeting the high points of my face. It gives the most beautiful, dewy & almost juicy look to the skin that I’ve never experienced with any other makeup product until this point. It’s not glittery or shimmery in the slightest; it’s much more wet-looking, which to me is the pinnacle of sophisticated highlighting. I can see how this would play off the cameras on the red carpet very well. Charlotte really knows what she’s doing!

DRUGSTORE ALTERNATIVES

1. L’Oreal Visible Lift Luminous Serum Tint – Shop here 

  • $14.99 for 30 ml
  • Available in 5 shades

24 Hour Hydration. A touch of sheer radiant color. Smooths fine lines and wrinkles.

Give your skin a beautiful boost of hydration and a touch of radiant color with L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift® Luminous Serum Tint. The lightweight and sheer tinted moisturizer for mature skin smooths fine lines and wrinkles, while evening skin tone. This serum moisturizer is infused with key skincare ingredients such as nourishing oils and Vitamin E. L’Oréal Luminous Serum Tint delivers instant hydration to dull, tired skin while improving skin instantly and over time. Apply the glow serum all over the face to revive radiance for a healthy complexion that stays fresh all day long.

Source: lorealparisusa.com

I have to give credit to The Critical Babe on this one. I read an earlier post of hers where she spoke about how the L’Oreal Visible Lift Luminous Serum Tint gives a similar-type effect on the skin as the Flawless Filter does. I have to say I agree, but the Luminous Serum Tint feels just a bit more moisturizing than the Flawless Filter believe it or not. However this product is marketed as ‘skincare + makeup’, so perhaps it shouldn’t be as surprising. To me, the Luminous Serum Tint is like the shy little sister of the Flawless Filter; it doesn’t have as much impact or sheen as the Flawless Filter on first swipe, but you can build the layers up a bit to resemble a similar effect on the skin.

I got shade 801 Pearl which is a pinky, luminous tint that was probably designed to impart moisture & glow only. There are 4 other skin tone shades that perhaps provide a bit of coverage as well, but I can’t speak to those.

lorealglowtints

2. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer – Shop here

  • $14.99 for 40 ml
  • Available in 4 shades

Highlighting glow lotion. Effortless illumination. For an all over natural glow look.

L’Oréal Paris True Match® LUMI Glotion instantly hydrates and luminizies skin for an all-over, fresh, natural glow. The highlighting formula delivers an illuminating color tint to enhance your skin’s natural skinglow for a healthier, brighter complexion. True Match® Lumi glow lotion formula is infused with Glycerin and Shea Butter for all day continuous hydration.
Available in 4 shades for all skintones, True Match® LUMI glow lotion can be worn alone, under foundation, or target areas for a more luminous effect.

Source: lorealparisusa.com

I’d say the description on the Glotion more closely mirrors the description of the Flawless Filter, as it seems to emphasize the glowy & brightening aspects of its formula rather than the hydrating, skincare-infused Serum Tint does. This is definitely a glowy product that gives off a lovely sheen, but its not glowy in exactly the same way as the Flawless Filter, just so you’re aware. Again, the Flawless Filter gives an almost wet appearance to the skin; the Glotion gives a more shimmery effect on the skin. It’s a very refined shimmer though, but if you’re adverse to anything like that on your skin then I’d skip this one.

I got shade 901 Fair, but there are 3 other skin tone shades as well. Like any of the products spoken about in this post, this is not a traditional coverage product in the slightest. I think the shades correspond more to undertones, so fair skins don’t look orange & deep skins don’t look ashy, if that makes sense.

ctlorealglowtinttextures
From top to bottom: CT Hollywood Flawless Filter in Fair, L’Oreal Glotion in Fair, & L’Oreal Luminous Serum Tint in Pearl.

ctlorealglowtintsswatches
Swatches rubbed in & sheered out. Same order as mentioned in previous photo. You can’t tell much difference between the products from this photo, but applied to the face you definitely can, trust me 😉.

So to recap, both L’Oreal alternatives give a similar effect on the skin as the Flawless Filter does. They are by no means exact dupes, but they are great options at a much smaller price point. If you want something more moisturizing, I’d go with the Luminous Serum Tint; if you want something slightly more shimmery, then go with the Glotion. If you want something that resembles the Flawless Filter as much as possible, then again I’d go with the Luminous Serum Tint. Or just go ahead and treat yourself to the Flawless Filter! It’s an amazingly beautiful product that I think is one-of-kind.

Have you tried the Hollywood Flawless Filter yet? Or any of the L’Oreal products mentioned here? Do you have any cheaper alternatives or dupes I should know about? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

Check out my post on a great alternative to Pillow Talk Lipstick here.

Check out my shopping guide to Charlotte Tilbury here.

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Check out some cheaper alternatives to the Hollywood Flawless Filter from L’Oreal!

 

My fave drugstore matte eyeshadows, $10 and under

Hi friends!

First off, I hope everyone in the U.S. had an amazing Thanksgiving yesterday!

In all honesty, I wanted to post a video today but unfortunately my skin decided to go crazy this week (something that doesn’t normally happen to me), and I just couldn’t face going in front of the camera. Sorry about that, but I do have some drugstore recommendations for you! I love a cheap (but great) beauty find, so today I thought I’d briefly tell you about some of my favorite drugstore matte eyeshadows that will only run you $10 at the most. I’ve been absolutely loving an all-matte eye look lately. It’s classic & very flattering for all ages. It’s also perfect during the daytime for work or school.

Great matte shadows can be a little elusive to find and tempermental to work with. Sometimes even high-end brands can’t do them well. Some require a sticky base like a primer to grab onto the eye properly, while others catch and skip unless blended over a smooth surface. They generally need more blending and finesse than shimmer or metallic shadows, so finding good mattes at the drugstore level is like finding a diamond in the rough!

So, my list of recommendations is no way meant to be an exhaustive list. There are tons of drugstore & other affordable brands out there that produce great quality shadows. This is just a small list for you guys. So let’s start!

ELF COSMETICS MAD FOR MATTE PALETTES 

You really can’t go wrong with these all-matte palettes from ELF. I’ve talked about them on the blog before in this post, and over on my Instagram stories back in the summer. These are absolutely stunning! They blend seamlessly with no skipping, have beautiful pigmentation and great longevity. I have two, in Nude Mood & Summer Breeze, but I believe ELF does a few more in other color varieties. At $10.00 for ten awesomequality shadows, I think these are a steal and I truly recommend them if you’re looking for mattes at a low price point. I’d say these are my top picks.

Pictured, top left panel – Nude Mood – Shop from ELF or Ulta

Picture, bottom left panel – Summer Breeze – Shop from ELF or Ulta

PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA MATTE COLLECTION QUAD EYE SHADOW 

This is an unexpected one. While Physician’s Formula is not primarily known for eyeshadow, they do have some hidden gems. Canyon Classics, pictured above, has been around forever and for good reason: it’s absolutely beautiful on the eyes! It’s in small, dinky, unattractive packaging that you wouldn’t look at twice, but I tell you it’s very deceiving. It’s an all-matte quad of very cool-toned shadows that are absolutely perfect for subtle daytime looks. The matte grey, in particular, blends better than some greys I have from MAC! If you haven’t tried this guy already, or haven’t dug it out of your collection in forever, I suggest you do. The swatches above look terrible, but don’t get too hung up on that. On the eyes, the pigment & blendability are definitely there. This will run you about $8.00 or so depending on where you shop.

Shop from Rite Aid here or Walgreens

WET N’ WILD COLOR ICON PALETTES

If you’re in the market for more affordable mattes than either ELF or Physician’s Formula can provide, go straight to Wet nWild then. Their Color Icon Palettes & Quads contain amazing quality mattes for a tiny price tag. Impressive color, easy blending and only minimal fading (over a primer). I’m not sure if Wet n’ Wild has made an all-matte palette or quad yet, but the quads usually contain at least one matte transition shade and the palettes can contain anywhere up to eight mattes (but that does vary). The Color Icon Quads are a mere $2.99, while the Palettes are $4.99 for ten shadows. Seriously, you can’t wrong! If you’re interested in an in-depth review of a Wet nWild palette, see my post on the Comfort Zone Palette.

Pictured, left two panels – Rose in the Air – Shop from Wet n’ Wild here or Ulta

Pictured, right two panels – Comfort Zone – Shop from Wet n’ Wild here or Ulta

*HONORABLE MENTION: Maybelline City Mini Palette in Matte About Town. Unforunately mine has since gone missing from my collection, but I’d like to continue playing with this one before I can definitely recommend it. That being said, I was really impressed with this palette the last time I used it. Maybelline is notorious (in my mind) for horrible shadows, so I think this must be a new formulation for them. It was about time! The mattes applied very well and stayed on all day without much fading.

Maybelline City Mini Palette in Matte About Town

 

Have you tried any of the products mentioned in this list? Do you have any drugstore recommendations for me? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out my recommendations for cheap but awesome matte eyeshadows from the drugstore!

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!