Holiday beauty gift sets $50 and under – my picks from Sephora!

Hi friends!

I’m back with my second gift guide of the season. If you missed the first one, I’ll link it here; it was a drugstore beauty gift guide featuring sets all $20 and under. This one focuses on more luxury items so I’d say this is geared to the true beauty-obsessive in your life. I kept it really simple and picked sets that are currently available at Sephora for $50 and under. Since Sephora is probably the biggest beauty retailer in the world, my picks are bound to go out of stock some time after publishing this post, so if you are intrigued by something on this list, I say snatch it quick!

This is more tightly edited than my drugstore list in terms of the number of items featured, but instead I included a broader range of categories which are: haircare, skincare, makeup & beauty tools

Let’s get into it!

HAIRCARE 

Morrocanoil Ultimate Moisture Favorites

MOROCCANOIL ULTIMATE MOISTURE FAVORITES

  • $48.00 ($66.00 value) – Shop here

This gift set contains:

The Moisture Repair Shampoo, the Moisture Repair Conditioner, the Moroccanoil Treatment, & the Hand Cream Fragrance Originale

I love Moroccanoil hair products; most, if not all (?), of their products are infused with argan oil. I think they are great quality and the smell is absolutely amazing to boot. I’ve used a lot of their hair oils & creams since my hair is processed and a bit dry, but this is for anyone who’s craving some extra hydration in their strands. Moroccanoil also started bringing out body products a few years ago and their creams are very luxurious as well so I’m sure the hand cream is gorgeous. 

SKINCARE 

Belif Winter Waterdrop Set
Belif Winter Waterdrop Kit (outer packaging)
Belif Winter Waterdrop Set
Belif Winter Waterdrop Kit (contents)

BELIF WINTER WATERDROP KIT

  • $22.00 ($48.00 value) – Shop here 

This gift set contains:

The Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist, the Hungarian Water Essence, the Moisturizing Eye Bomb, the True Cream Aqua Bomb, & the Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask

I recently tried some products from Belif this year, and I have to say I’ve fallen in love with this brand! I want to try more myself. I first tried the Aqua Bomb and then the Moisturizing Bomb, and they both rival my love for Clinique Moisture Surge now! I think this is an awesome gift for anyone into skincare and who’s looking to sample the brand. It also looks like there are products for almost every skin type included here, which is great. And the outer packaging is just so adorable! 

MAKEUP 

Pat McGrath Labs Mini Mattetrance Trio in Colour Blitz
Pat McGrath Labs LUST Mini Mattetrance Trio in Colour Blitz
Pat McGrath Labs Mini Mattetrance Trio in Colour Blitz (swatches)
Pat McGrath Labs LUST Mini Mattetrance Trio in Colour Blitz (swatches)
Pat McGrath Labs Mini Mattetrance Trio in Skin Show
Pat McGrath Labs LUST Mini Mattetrance Trio in Skin Show
Pat McGrath Labs Mini Mattetrance Trio in Skin Show (swatches)
Pat McGrath Labs LUST Mini Mattetrance Trio in Skin Show (swatches)

PAT MCGRATH LABS LUST: MINI MATTETRANCE LIPSTICK TRIO

  • $25.00 ($45.00 value) – Shop here

This gift set contains:

Three mini lipsticks in one of two color varieties (each set is sold separately). One color variety is Skin Show, which contains the colors: omi, 1995, & flesh 3. The other color variety is Colour Blitz, which contains the colors: obsessed, full panic, & elson

I’m soooo tempted to buy this for myself! I’ve been interested in trying out Pat McGrath lipsticks since they initially launched, and I feel this would be an awesome place to start. And what value! Three mini’s for only $25.00! These are supposedly amazing quality and the formula promises to be hydrating, lightweight yet extremely opaque. It sounds divine! 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Mini Macaron Set
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter Mini Macaron Set
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Mini Macaron Set
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter Mini Macaron Set (swatches)

BECCA SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR PRESSED HIGHLIGHTER MINI MACARON SET 

  • $40.00 ($76.00 value) – Shop here 

This gift set contains:

Shimmering Skin Perfector® Pressed Highlighter in Opal (neutral white gold with soft pink pearl), Vanilla Quartz (light gold infused with pink pearl), Rose Quartz (neutral pale pink with soft gold pearl), Prismatic Amethyst (pale lavender with gold, violet, and rose duo-chrome pearls).

You really can’t beat Becca highlighters. They are creamy, blendable and very buildable on the skin. They can be used in a subtle way, but can also be layered up without depositing tons of glitter or sparkle. I like to also use Becca highlighters are eyeshadows as well, and they are equally as lovely used in that way. This kit is perfect for anyone who’s really serious about highlighting, or conversely someone who’s just starting to experiment with highlighting. 

Stila Big Shots Redux Eye Set

STILA BIG SHOTS REDUX EYE KIT

  • $17.00 ($45.00 value) – Shop here 

This gift set contains:

The Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black, & the HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara.

This kit was originally priced at $25.00, but Sephora marked it down to only $17.00!! My mother is a huge proponent of the Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner, and has gone through countless tubes (in both black & brown). She only uses waterproof liners these days, and this formula is her failsafe. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of the HUGE Extreme Mascara. I’ve been through at least two tubes at this point. If you like volume & length then this is the mascara for you! This is a perfect gift for either the beauty-obsessive or the beauty-minimalist. 

BEAUTY TOOLS

Sephora Collection Complexion Uncomplicated Brush Set

SEPHORA COLLECTION COMPLEXION: UNCOMPLICATED BRUSH SET

  • $45.00 ($117.00 value) – Shop here

This gift set contains:

Five-piece set with a foundation brush, concealer brush, powder brush, buffing brush, & detailed concealer brush. Plus faux-leather pouch & a PRO Team brush tutorial. 

Sephora brushes are fantastic and this complexion set would be a great gift for someone who perhaps doesn’t wear much eye makeup, but who loves their base products. Great tools are necessary for great makeup!

Will you be treating someone this season to one of these kits? Or do you have other beauty favorites in mind? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out my luxury beauty gift picks from Sephora!
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Birchbox is coming to Walgreens!

Drugstore beauty is taking another leap into the future! After hearing that CVS Pharmacy partnered with Glamsquad & eSalon to create the “Beauty IRL” store-within-a-store (which I wrote about here), I recently read that its drugstore competitor Walgreens is getting in the game as well. They are partnering with Birchbox, the well-known beauty subscription service, to bring Birchbox boutiques to 11 select Walgreens locations in 6 U.S. cities starting this December! See the image below from Walgreens’ Instagram with city listings/times.

birchboxlaunches

This is very similar to CVS’s “Beauty IRL” concept in that these Birchbox-branded boutiques will “live” within a larger Walgreens store. But while Birchbox (and most other beauty subscription services) are synonymous with mini or sample sizes, these boutiques will be stocked with fullsize makeup, skincare & haircare products from Birchbox’s roster of brands. To be more specific, this partnership will introduce 40 new brands into Walgreens including Sand & Sky, Wander Beauty, Embryolisse, Winky Lux & ARROW, to name a few. How exciting!

Interestingly, the products will be merchandized by need and not by brand inside these Birchbox boutiques, which I think is really cool and unlike a lot of other shopping experiences we know. So if you’re not the biggest beauty shopper nor very brand-loyal, this may be something that excites you.

birchboxwalgreensspace
A rendering of a Birchbox-Walgreens boutique. Image source: Businesswire.com

birchboxwalgreensspace2
A rendering of a Birchbox-Walgreens boutique. Image source: Businesswire.com

Supposedly each boutique will have “Birchbox-trained” beauty consultants to assist you, plus a “BYOB” (Build Your Own Birchbox) section where you can curate your own Birchbox from a selection of beauty mini’s. I think this is such a cool idea as I’ve been a Birchbox customer for a number of years now (and I love a mini anything). And if you don’t live in or near any of the cities listed above, the Birchbox offerings will also be available online at walgreens.com.

I think this will be another great option for beauty shoppers (big or small). It’s awesome to see drugstore retailers making big investments that will ultimately give their customers a different, more exciting experience. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Are you excited for Birchbox to come to Walgreens? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

Sources used: Fastcompany.com, CNBC.com, news.walgreens.com, CEW.org, businesswire.com.

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Birchbox boutiques are coming to 11 Walgreens locations in 6 U.S. cities starting this Dec. 2018!

I hit 100 followers on my blog! GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Big news today! Over the weekend I hit 100 followers on my little beauty blog here! While this number may be small in comparison to many other bloggers out there, it’s a big deal to me. I started this blog in May of this year right before graduating from business school because I love the world of beauty and everything in it. I wanted to find and/or pull together a community of like-minded people where we could discuss our passion for products and trends and get to know one another. I think we’ve made a great group. Everyone is so supportive and kind, which can be challenging to find on the internet these days.

I wanted to say thank you to each and every one of you for following, reading and engaging in my little corner of the internet. It really means a lot. So in gratitude, I wanted to give something back. One lucky winner will win a $100 Sephora eGift Card to spend on whatever your heart desires! This is open internationally. (Outside the U.S. and Canada, the eGift Card is redeemable online; in the U.S. and Canada, it’s redeemable online and in stores.)

Here are the rules. In order to win, you must:

1. Follow my blog (of course).

2. Leave a comment below this post telling me one fun fact about yourself. (One comment per blogger/entry; if you spam the comment section you will be disqualified.) I’ll start it off: in 2011, I walked in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade under The Diary of a Wimpy Kid balloon!

3. Like this post and my previous three blog posts. (You will need a WordPress account to do this.)

4. Be 18 years or older

5. Have a valid email address in order to claim your eGift Card if you win.

*All of the above criteria must be met in order to be eligible to win.

The giveaway will be open for 3 days, ending on Friday, Sept. 14th at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The winner will be randomly chosen, and I will make a short announcement on here regarding who won. The winner will have 24 hours from announcement time to claim their prize. If they don’t claim it, another winner will be chosen/announced, etc.

I hope everything is clear. Good luck to you all and thank you very much once again for the support ❤️.

Disclaimer: this giveaway is in no way affiliated or sponsored by Sephora, WordPress, or any other entity.

xo, Erica

 

The future is cool & clean: Indie Beauty Expo NY 2018

If you don’t follow me on IG, first off you should (my handle is @weareglamerus), and secondly you wouldn’t know that I’ve been barking my head off for the past few days about attending Indie Beauty Expo (IBE). If you’ve never heard of IBE before, it provides a major platform to smaller, independent beauty brands from around the world to connect with buyers, press and consumers mainly through their large-scale expos. The expos (or conventions) travel around the U.S. and Europe, but luckily for me it was in NYC this past week. I believe the next expo will be in London this October, so I’ll link the website here if you’re interested in looking up the exact info.

Below you’ll find IBE’s mission statement taken directly from their website.

IBE’s mission is to provide a platform to recognize, showcase and celebrate independent beauty brands and to support the growth and success of the entrepreneurs behind them

I’m going to talk about the Expo in 2 parts here on the blog. In this first post I’ll give a general overview of IBE, share a few photos and some takeaways. In my next post I’ll talk more in depth about the products I picked up while I was there and the brands I interacted with. So consider this an introduction of sorts.

I booked my General Admission ticket in early July for $39.00, which included a tote bag and discounts on products sold at the Expo. Conversely I could have booked a VIP Admission ticket for $195.00, which included everything from the General Admission ticket plus tons of samples ready for me in my tote bag. (And those bags looked bulky! So now of course I regret being cheap, but oh well.) I believe ticket prices change depending on the location of the expo and various other factors, so don’t take my quotes above as categorical.

ibephoto2

IBENY was held at Pier 36 in the Lower East Side right on the East River. It was a 2-day event that was open to the public on the first night for about 4 hours (‘Shop Indie’), and to trade professionals, buyers and press on the second day (‘Trade Indie’). Over 200 skincare, cosmetics, haircare, bodycare, wellness and personal hygiene brands were in attendance; you can check the full exhibitor list here. Most of these brands I had never heard of before, and this was exactly why I wanted to attend the event. I dedicated an entire post not too long ago as to why I think indie beauty is important, which I’ll link to here. I’m really proud of that post so please go check it out.

There was no line to get into the event space thankfully so check-in was a breeze. I was handed my black, branded tote, a map of the space and sent on my way. I felt the space was quite easy to navigate as I was making laps around each and every aisle and crevice of the pier. There was definitely more skincare brands there than anything else, I’d say. I noticed quite soon upon entering that most of the cosmetics brands like Ellis Faas and Kokie, for instance, got very easily swamped with passers-by, so I had to make several laps before I could come back to play with the products. But there was considerably less cosmetics at this particular expo so that’s probably why.

ibephoto1

The biggest takeaway for me was that independent beauty is really at the forefront of the clean/green/natural (whatever you want to call it) movement. Walking around the pier, the buzzwords I saw and heard were “organic,” “natural,” “vegan,” “plant-based,” and “cruelty-free.” As more and more consumers become concerned not only with what they put in their bodies, but also what they put on their bodies, indie beauty will continue to flourish more and more. I think this really has to do with the level of transparency that indie brands have with their customers. A lot of these brands hand-create their products in small batches, so they know exactly what’s in them and how to market them effectively. And many of the brand founders created these product lines to initially solve skin or health issues of their own or that of a family member. There were a lot of very interesting stories behind the brands, which I’ll get into more in my next post.

I took a short video clip of inside the event space which you can check out over on my IG (again, the handle is @weareglamerus, or scroll up to my IG roll on this page).

Has anyone attended IBE in the past? Do you have any indie beauty products that you’d recommend? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica