The 2018 beauty discoveries I’m obsessed with!

Hi friends!

Well folks, here are the 2018 beauty discoveries I’m obsessed with! Most of them I have discussed on here or written reviews for, so I’ll refrain then from any lenthy discussion in this post. However, I think it’s good to have everything in one place so if you were curious as to which products I was most impressed by in 2018, you can easily refer to this post. I will link to any previous posts I have on these products so you can deep-dive into whatever you prefer.

When I initially put this list together I had multiple products in each category, but I got a bit strict with myself and set a new rule: one product per category. It was actually more fun to do it that way! So I included the following categories: FOUNDATION/BASE, CONCEALER, MASCARA, EYESHADOW, BLUSH, HIGHLIGHTER, BROWS, LIPS & BRUSHES.

So let’s get into it!

FOUNDATION / BASE

Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm

This is a luxurious tinted moisturizer that offers sheer coverage, hydration and tons of glow, which is my ideal scenario. I did a whole review of this product, which is linked below.

Read this: The best tinted moisturizer for summer?

First runner-up in this category is the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue.

CONCEALER

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

This was a hard one. I’ve tried some great concealers this year, both drugstore & more luxury. But after some deliberation, I have to go with the NARS. I never did an in-depth review of this, and I’m not sure why! I did mention it briefly in a blog post about which products I was taking with me on summer vacation. This edged out the Too Faced Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer since the packaging is light-years ahead in terms of convenience & ease of use. The NARS is a beautiful concealer that never creases on me & covers redness, discoloration & blemishes very well.

Read this: What’s in my makeup travel bag for summer 2018?

First runner-up in this category is the Too Faced Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly (the lightest shade)
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly (the lightest shade).

Mascara

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Side note: this was the only product that didn’t make it into the photos for this post, since I currently don’t have it in my collection (I jump around with mascaras a lot!). I’ve talked about this mascara several times on here, so I won’t dwell. Short story: it’s awesome! Volume: ✅. Length: ✅. Drama: ✅. For more detail, make sure to check out the post below.

Read this: My favorite luxe beauty products

First mascara runner-up is L’Oreal Voluminous Superstar X-Fiber Mascara.

EYESHADOW

Elf Cosmetics Mad for Matte Palettes in either Summer Breeze or Nude Mood (powder);

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks in either Taupe or Nude Beach (cream)

Yup, I cheated on this one and allowed myself two picks! Whoops, forgive me. I’ve spoken about my love for these products in separate blog posts that, of course, I’ll link below. But if you want quality drugstore matte shadows in a variety of color schemes, go straight to Elf. And if you’re more into cream shadows, and don’t mind spending a bit more cash, get yourself over to the Bobbi Brown counter. These sticks are probably the creamiest and easiest to blend that I’ve ever used (and I’ve used a lot).

Read this for more Elf: My fave drugstore matte eyeshadows, $10 and under.

Read this for more Bobbi Brown: My top 5 fave cream eye shadows.

Flatlay with Elf Mad for Mattes Palette in Summer Breeze, Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizing Balm, Bobbi Brown Longwear Cream Shadow Stick, & Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
Elf Mad for Matte Palette in Summer Breeze, Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks, Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter.

BLUSH

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

Before I tried anything from Glossier, I knew I would like the Cloud Paint. It’s very strange, it’s like I had a hunch or something. So when I finally got my hands on it in the early fall, I wasn’t at all surprised when I became obsessed. I got the shade Dusk, which is beautiful neutral peachy shade that looks very natural on my skin tone. It’s a lovely creamy texture that blends into the skin seamlessly either with fingers, a sponge or brush. Just beautiful. Cream cheek products are definitely my preference.

Watch this: The neutral blush of dreams.

First runner-up in this category is Elf Cosmetics Aqua Beauty Blush & Bronzer in Bronzed Pink Beige.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk
Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

HIGHLIGHTER

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

I just did a whole blog post not long ago on the Flawless Filter and some drugstore alternatives that I found. However, I don’t think there’s anything quite like the original in this case. This is just a beautiful, beautiful product that I personally think is worth the price tag. To be honest, I was obsessed from the very first time I used it!

Read this: Drugstore alternatives to Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter

First runner-up in this category is the Ohii Beauty Wake Up Pen

BROWS

Peripera Speedy Brow Cara

I tried a lot of brow mascaras this year, but I picked up this one from Peripera in the later quarter of the year and it’s quickly became my fave! I think it all has to do with the size & flexibility of the brush. You’ll see from the photo below, it’s tiny & very thin; perfect for working through your brows. It’s also water-resistant as well. It deposits just the right amount of color and nicely grooms the brows in place. This just edged out the Glossier Boy Brow, which was a tad too gloopy.

Read this: I went to a CVS Beauty IRL Store & here’s my haul!

First runner-up in this category is the Glossier Boy Brow

Peripera Speedy Brow Cara
Peripera Speedy Brow Cara

LIPS

Flower Beauty Mix n’ Matte Lip Duo in Honey Nude

I’m so glad I discovered this in 2018! Totally beautiful in texture & color, plus it won’t break the bank. I did a blog post comparing this side-by-side with Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Lipstick. Short story: they are very similar. Check out that post for much more detailed info (linked below).

Read this: A drugstore dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Lipstick?

First runner-up in this category is a 2018 rediscovery: Clinique Chubby Sticks!

Flaylay with Peripera Speedy Browcara, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk & Flower Beauty Mix n Matte Lip Duo in Honey Nude
Flower Beauty Mix N’ Matte Lip Duo in Honey Nude, Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, & Peripera Speedy Brow Cara.

BRUSHES

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe 6-piece Travel Brush Set + Case

I hadn’t really shaken up my brush collection in ages before this year. It was all MAC & Real Techniques. Now I have several beautifully soft brushes from IT Cosmetics that I got in a gift bag when I attended a L’Oreal event this fall. I’m so obsessed now! These brushes are very good quality; they blend your products amazingly well and are a joy to hold. They feel slightly weighty but in a very appealing, luxurious way. In this kit you get a foundation brush, powder brush, concealer brush, crease brush, eyeshadow brush & an eyeliner/brow brush.

Read this: A night with L’Oreal in NYC

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe 6-Piece Travel Brush Set. Pictured from L to R: eyeshadow brush, crease brush, eyeliner & brow brush, powder brush & concealer brush. Foundation brush not pictured.
From L to R: eyeshadow brush, crease brush, eyeliner/brow brush, powder brush, & concealer brush. Not pictured: foundation brush.

What were your beauty discoveries & obsessions of 2018? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Check out my 2018 beauty discoveries from NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, Elf, Stila, Glossier, Bobbi Brown & more!
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A drugstore dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Lipstick?

Hi friends!

I’ve spoken a few times on here about my love & obsession with the Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk from Charlotte Tilbury. It’s a beautiful lipstick with luxe, fluted rose gold packaging that to me embodies what is often referred to as a “modern matte” texture. It’s a velvety matte that is so cushy & comfy, but at the same time clings to your lips for longer than a cream lipstick generally would. This is an extremely popular shade from the brand, with 1 sold every 2 minutes in 2017 according to their website.

But Charlotte Tilbury is quite a premium brand so this formula comes at the hefty price tag of $34.00. I personally think it’s worth the money, but others may not think so. Or perhaps you like the idea of the “modern matte” texture, but can’t fathom spending $30+ on one makeup item. I hear you, and I got you. A few months ago I picked up one of the Mix N’ Matte Lip Duo’s from Flower Beauty in the shade Honey Nude for a mere $10.00, and I tell you it’s just as beautiful & comfy as Pillow Talk! According to Flower Beauty’s website, this product is also a best-seller for them.

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From L to R: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk, Flower Beauty Mix N’ Matte Lip Duo in Honey Nude

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A closer look at the lipstick bullets. Top is Pillow Talk, which has a square-shaped bullet that makes application super simple. Bottom is Honey Nude, which has a traditional slanted bullet shape.

I’m going to compare these lipsticks on 3 elements: color, texture & longevity. At the end I’ll give you my verdict on if these are dupes or not. So let’s get into it!

COLOR

Pillow Talk is described on the Charlotte Tilbury website as a “nude pink matte lipstick,” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s definitely a lot more on the pink side of nude than Honey Nude is. Honey Nude pulls a bit more brown & dark. Hopefully you can see the difference in the swatch photo below; there are also post-application photos towards the end of the post.

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Top swatch is Pillow Talk. Bottom swatch is Honey Nude.

TEXTURE

I’d say the textures on both these lipsticks are quite similar. They both apply extremely smoothly & very opaquely with minimal tugging. Both are lightweight and almost “set” onto your lips. When you rub your lips together, there’s a definite feeling of moisture and a bit of give there. A few subtle differences: Pillow Talk feels a bit more velvety or almost powdery (but not in a bad way), while Honey Nude feels more creamyHoney Nude is also a bit thicker than Pillow Talk to be honest, but not by much. At no point during the day do my lips feel dry with either of these lipsticks on, even after eating or drinking.

LONGEVITY

While both lipsticks do last quite well on the lips throughout the day, you will have to touch up after a big meal with both formulas. These are not liquid lipsticks that shrink-wrap onto your lips; you kinda know that going in. That being said, both formulas have lasted on me about 6 to 7 hours without major fading. Actually Honey Nude has lasted a little bit longer since the formula is slightly thicker than Pillow Talk.

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Honey Nude matte lipstick on left. Honey Nude pearlized gloss on right.

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Honey Nude swatches from left to right: matte lipstick alone, pearlized gloss alone, & pearlized gloss layered on top of matte lipstick.

If you’re chomping at the bit now to get your hands on Honey Nude from Flower Beauty, you should also know that you get 2 products in 1! (It ain’t called a Lip Duo for nothing!) On the opposite side of the matte lipstick, you get a pearlized gloss that you can wear on its own or layered on top of the lipstick. Honestly, I’ve only worn the gloss once on its own so I really can’t say much about it. But it’s cool that you get 2 products for only $10.00! You can check out more info on Flower Beauty’s website.

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Honey Nude applied on the lips. On the left, I have the matte lipstick on alone. On the right, I have the pearlized gloss layered on top the matte lipstick.

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Pillow Talk applied on the lips. If you’re curious, I also have the NYX Grind Machinist Palette on my eyes!

So, do I think Honey Nude from Flower Beauty is a dupe for Pillow Talk from Charlotte Tilbury? After analyzing both formulas, I would have to say they are not dupes. However they are quite similar to each other, so I would call Honey Nude a great drugstore alternative to the more expensive Pillow Talk. In fact, for less than one-third of the price you get 2 products that feel & last just as well as (if not slightly better than) Pillow Talk. A total steal, I’d say!

*Shop for Pillow Talk @ Sephora.

*Shop for Honey Nude @ Ulta.

Have you tried either lipsticks from this post before? If so, what did you think? Do you know any drugstore dupes or alternatives to Pillow Talk? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

PIN IT!

Did I find a drugstore dupe for Pillow Talk Lipstick? Read this to find out!

Review: Flower Beauty Lash Warrior Mascara

So you may remember that I hauled the Lash Warrior Mascara from Flower Beauty in the same post as the Urban Decay Born to Run Palette back in the summer. Since Flower became available at Ulta I’d been keen to try more products from the line, so I settled on Lash Warrior since it was a fairly new launch for them. As you can probably tell from the name, the marketing around this product is all about being a fighter, a warrior and looking as fierce as possible. The message is, if you use this mascara you will have a warrior’s confidence thanks to your fierce lashes. Pure fluff but that’s marketing for you 😉. Check out the promo video with Drew Barrymore here to get a better sense of what I’m talking about, or one of the IG visuals below.

lashwarriorinstagram
Image source: Flower Beauty IG

This mascara gets 4.5/5 stars on Ulta so it definitely has a following. I read a review on Makeupalley that said this is a dupe for the Benefit They’re Real Mascara. It’s been a long while since I used that mascara so I cannot directly comment on that, but take it for what you will. I’ve been using Lash Warrior fairly steadily for over a month (in Fiercest Black which is now currently out of stock on Ulta.com) so I’d love to bring my review to you guys now. My first ever solo mascara review, here we go!

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

  • $11.00 Flower | $9.99 Ulta | $8.98 Walmart
  • Comes in 3 shades (Fierce Brown, Fierce Black, Fiercest Black)
  • Cruelty-free formula

Now lashes go fierce with +150% full blown volume and extreme length for your mightiest lash look yet!

Our exclusive Spiked Warrior brush catches every lash and coats them from root to tip for super charged, dramatic volume. 360 degree spiked bristles combat clumps on every angle for unimaginable definition. The result is fiercely volumized lashes with statement making length & definition.

Source: Flowerbeauty.com

PRODUCT BENEFITS/CLAIMS

  • +150%* fierce, full blown volume
  • 100%* saw dramatic thickness
  • +88%* extreme length

*in a clinical test

Source: Flowerbeauty.com

MY LASH PREFERENCES

I’m a mascara freak; it’s my desert island product. If I could literally take one product with me anywhere, it would have to be mascara. I like my lashes to be dramatically defined, long and volumized. “Naturally defined” means nothing to me. I could spend minutes just piling coat after coat of mascara on my lashes if I have the time. And my mascaras have to be very black. I do use colored mascaras occasionally, but 99% of the time I use richly black formulas. I just feel like my eyes need that definition.

MY THOUGHTS ON…

Flower Beauty Lash Warrior Mascara

Packaging: For what it’s worth I really like the packaging of this mascara. It’s quite lightweight and sleek-looking, but I love the dark hunter-green body fading into the gold handle. Just very striking-looking. The only slight drawback I’d mention is the component seems to scratch quite easily; some scratches I noticed as soon as I took it out of its plastic outer packaging in fact. It’s not a big deal at all to me (I’m more concerned with what’s going on inside) but perhaps that would annoy some of you. So keep this in mind if you plan on throwing this in and out of your handbag.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

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Application & wand: I could tell right away that this mascara was going to be easy to use. It just grips onto your lashes right away and combs through them perfectly with almost no clumpiness. Some mascara formulas are just clump-city and after a few coats it looks like you have only 3 or 4 lashes; not cute. That’s not the case here, it’s very user-friendly. The formula doesn’t get everywhere during application and it doesn’t dry too quickly so you’re able to build up coats quite nicely.

The wand here is plastic with spiky bristles and it curves upwards from the root to the tip (both the wand and the length of the bristles curve upwards). I’m assuming this is why it grips onto the lashes so well. I’m not sure about the “360 degree” spiked bristles that Flower is talking about though; there are no bristles on the very tip (like with They’re Real), just on 4 sides.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Volume & thickness: Because this formula is easily buildable, you can get a decent amount of volume with it if you have the patience to stand there and layer and layer. It doesn’t instantly volumize in the least on me, I have to work more to get that drama. So I wouldn’t say this gives the best or the most volume or thickness of any mascara I’ve used before. My beloved Stila Huge Lash is instantly more dramatic and thickening than this one. I’d say this gives above average volume/thickness (certainly not “150% fierce, full-blown volume” though – not really sure what that means anyway.)

Rating: 3.5/5 ⭐️

lashwarriorinaction

Length: Without a doubt this formula is wonderful for lengthening. I particularly like to build up the length in the middle of my eye right above my iris to give my eyes a wider appearance. It doesn’t take as much work to build up length as it does for the volume, so that I appreciated. Again, I think this comes down to the construction of the wand, the bristles, and that upwards curve that makes combing through the lashes so simple and easy.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: I have no problem at all with smudging or flakiness here, however you should know that I don’t apply this formula to my lower lashes. I only ever use the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara for that purpose. To be truthful though I hardly ever have problems with smudgy mascara on my eyes even though they are hooded. I think it’s because my skin is just so bone dry most of the time! Right now there’s no waterproof formula available in the Lash Warrior range, so if you only wear waterproof you probably won’t be satisfied with this. But on me this formula is very long-wearing.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Price: Depending on where you buy this mascara, you can get a price as low as $9.00 at Walmart or as high as $11 directly from Flower. Either way it’s very affordable, so I take no issues with the price. Yes of course you can get cheaper from say Wet n’ Wild or Maybelline, but for the quality I think the price here is very fair.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

FINAL THOUGHTS

While not every claim on the front packaging turned out to be true for me, I do think the Lash Warrior Mascara from Flower Beauty is a good quality purchase if you’re in the market for a new mascara. It lenghens beautifully, is buildable and can achieve decent volume and thickness if you don’t mind working for it a bit. While I’ll continue to use it happily until the formula dries out, I probably won’t repurchase it (at least not right away) since, a) it hasn’t become a holy grail item like the Stila Huge Lash or the L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt, and b) I’m addicted to trying new mascaras all the time to find the absolute best 😊.

Have you tried the Lash Warrior Mascara or do you want to? What’s your holy grail mascara? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

Check out my review of Lash Warrior, an affordable mascara from Flower Beauty!