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.

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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.

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

 

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A night with L’Oreal in NYC

Hi friends!

Something a bit different for today. I had the pleasure of attending an event this past Wednesday night featuring a talk with Jean-Paul Agon, the CEO & Chairman of the L’Oreal Group. If you’re brand new to the beauty scene, L’Oreal is a huge global beauty & fashion empire that owns countless other brands you’re probably very familiar with including Urban Decay, Giorgio Armani, Maybelline, Clarisonic, Essie, Redken, Garnier & Pureology just to name a small fraction.

I bought my ticket for this event back in late summer since I was so intrigued by the theme of the discussion, “Beauty for the New World.” I’m always interested in what industry professionals have to say about the future of beauty. And from the head of L’Oreal no less, so I knew I had to go.

The talk was hosted by the CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) Organization at The Harmonie Club in NYC. This place was swanky, let me tell you! Right by Central Park on the Upper East Side, I’m sure you get the picture now 😉. It was a 2 1/2 hour event. The first hour was cocktails & hor d’oeuvres (food & service were great but I felt a little awkward since I went to this event solo and didn’t really know anyone), and then the talk and q&a with Jean-Paul filled out the rest of the time slot.

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View from my seat before the talk started.
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It was quite a crowded event.

The first thing I noticed when I sat down in the event space was the massive swag bag on each seat! I felt like I hit the jackpot (even though I kinda paid for it with my ticket price, but moving on)! There was cool stuff from a few L’Oreal brands like IT Cosmetics, Lancome & Kiehl’s. Take a look below.

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A Lancome mini set with the Monsieur Big Mascara & Cils Booster XL Primer. I’ve used the Monsieur Big Mascara before and wasn’t particularly wowed. But I’ll give it another try with the Cils Booster underneath.
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This is a hero moisturizer for a lot of people but I’ve never tried it so I’m excited to start using it going into winter.
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The IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette. A soft, neutral lovers dream. All shades are matte except for the ‘Transforming’ pearlized shade in the bottom right corner.
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IT Cosmetics brush kit with travel pouch. It came wrapped up like a gift. I started using some of these right away, and wow are they soft & beautiful!
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Lancome gift set box
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La Nuit Tresor Scented Body Lotion, Fragrance & Shower Gel. Not sure I will use any of this so I might save it for a giveaway in the future.

Jean-Paul has been with L’Oreal for 40 years so his perspective on the beauty industry and how it’s changed was very interesting. From the ‘70’s until about 2010 he claimed the way L’Oreal did business didn’t really change much. But then the digital revolution happened and nothing was ever the same. He views the onslaught of technology not as a threat to the beauty business but as an exciting opportunity. For example, the consumer is now at the heart of all products & decisions that are made at L’Oreal, whereas prior to the digital revolution it was products & services that were at the center of decision-making. Throughout his talk he was emphatic on the point that big companies must be ready for change and should try to anticipate it as much as possible. When asked what he hopes his legacy at L’Oreal will be, he said he wanted to be remembered as someone who readied the company for the future as much as possible.

There were some other interesting tidbits I took from the talk. Back in 2001 when Jean-Paul last spoke at a CEW event, an audience member called him out on the fact that L’Oreal was still a “boys club” and had little to no females in high positions of authority. Seventeen years later, things have evolved and now L’Oreal is lauded in the industry for gender equality and pay parity. And when they bought Kiehl’s in 2000 it was a humble $20 million business; news flash it’s now valued at over $1 billion!

What do you think of L’Oreal? Do you like or dislike their products? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Come with me to a special event with the CEO of L’Oreal

 

 

Snatch or skip? Drugstore eye palettes

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.

Time for another edition of ‘Snatch or Skip’! I spoke about some of the best and the not-so-great mascaras from L’Oreal a few posts ago, which you can read here. This time I’m delving into drugstore eyeshadow palettes.

Drugstore shadows have come such a long way in terms of quality. When my mom was discovering makeup in the 70’s the quality of lower-cost brands, like say Wet n’ Wild, were absolute crap. Affordable makeup was almost laughable for a long time. Even when I was in high school I feel it was nowhere near as good as it is now. Can we say drugstore makeup is at its peak now? I don’t know, but it does seem like most of the palettes coming out of CVS, Walgreens, Target, Rite Aid and other low-cost retailers around the world are pretty darn awesome. And the bar just keeps getting higher and higher. So here are my most favorite palettes in terms of quality and price, and a few that I think are either overpriced or just poor quality.

(One note I’d like to make here first in an effort not to sound like a broken record. All palettes mentioned here with exception of the e.l.f. Mad for Mattes are very powdery. Make sure to tap the excess pigment off your brush very well before applying to your eye.)

WHAT TO SNATCH!

*Milani Everyday Eyes Palette in Bare Necessities

$10.79 @ CVS.com;

$11.00 @ milanicosmetics.com

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This one is so lovely. The pigmentation, blendability, longevity, everything is nearly perfect. These Milani palettes come in 8 different colorways but I only have Bare Necessities. This one definitely leans warmer but they do have more neutral, cooler and even more colorful versions in the line; I’ve heard they’re all awesome.

In this palette you have 2 mattes, 1 shimmer, 2 metallics and 1 light-shimmer (for lack of a better description). All of the shadows are top-notch in my opinion with the exception of the light-shimmer, which is the cream shade pictured on the right-hand side of the first photo & the bottom swatch of the second photo. This shade seems to be a totally different texture to the other shimmers & metallics, and can be a bit chunky and flakey. Other than that, this palette is a must-have!

e.l.f. Cosmetics Mad for Matte Palettes in Nude Mood & Summer Breeze

$10.00 @ elfcosmetics.com, target.com & ultabeauty.com

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Nude Mood
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Swatches of Nude Mood
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Summer Breeze
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Swatches of Summer Breeze

It used to be difficult to find good quality matte shadows at a drugstore price level. Everything was shimmer, shimmer, shimmer. So when e.l.f. came out with the Mad for Matte line I knew those days were behind us. They immediately got rave reviews online and in social media, but for some reason I held off on trying them until earlier this year. I can’t imagine not having them in my collection now. Across the board from texture, application, and color payoff, these palettes get high marks. The application of these shadows is really the most impressive element. We all know how stubborn some matte shadows can be. But these don’t skip or become patchy or have too much fallout. And you get 10 quality shades for only $10.00. Bravo e.l.f.!

I first picked up Nude Mood, which is wonderful for everyday natural looks using either warmer or cooler tones. Although I wish they could have offered a few more contrasting shades towards the deeper end of the palette (some of those browns are very, very similar), I do think it’s a palette that anyone can use quite easily. I then got Summer Breeze because I was attracted to all those beautiful plums & rose tones. This is probably my favorite out of the two since I find each color to be quite unique.

*Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

$4.99 @ ultabeauty.com & wetnwildbeaty.com

Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

I just did a whole in-depth review on this palette which I’ll link to here, so I won’t stay on this too long. (If you’d like to see swatches from the palette please go to my earlier post.) But as the most affordable palette from this whole list, the quality really blows me away on both the mattes and the shimmers. Soft, smooth textures that apply easily with little hassle. Bright, bold colors that last on the eyes for hours and hours. When Wet n’ Wild delivers such solid product on such little coin, it makes it difficult to reconcile spending more money on more pricey drugstore palettes. My mom recently bought Rose in the Air, which gives everyone in the beauty community Anastasia Modern Renaissance vibes. She loves it, which means I’ll have to try it soon too 😉.

Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutrals #2 Matte Palette 

$14.39 as a bundle with the #3 Shimmer Palette on overstock.com

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RIP Sonia Kashuk makeup, I really loved you. It looks like only her brushes, makeup bags and other accessories are now available at Target. However I did a little snooping online and it appears Overstock has some inventory on this palette. I included the link above so if you’re interested, hop on it! Or if you’re looking for a “shop my stash” moment, crack this one out. I used to own several Sonia Kashuk eye palettes actually: the quads, the Eye On Neutrals #3 Shimmer Palette, and of course the Eye On Neutrals #2 Matte Palette. I loved each and every one of them dearly. The quality is totally there. The shades are smooth as all hell, apply perfectly and stay on the eye all day. And this goes for both the shimmers and mattes.

I really don’t remember how much I originally paid for this palette, but I do remember that Sonia Kashuk was on the higher-end of drugstore in terms of price. I still pull the #2 Matte Palette out quite frequently since I love it so much. Actually I used this palette on the day of my graduation from business school in May. If you cannot get your hands on this guy, go with the e.l.f. Mad for Matte in Nude Mood; the colors are quite similar.

WHAT TO SKIP!

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1

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So this one is difficult. I actually love the colors and the tones. The mattes are quite lovely too, pigmented and easy to apply. But the shimmers are extremely lackluster and fade rather quickly. Keep in mind the shimmers to mattes ratio is 7:3. And the palette is $20.00 (!). Really L’Oreal? It’s completely overpriced for the quality you’re getting. The swatches don’t look half bad but you never know the full story until you apply to the eye. While I can get very pretty looks using this palette, I just can’t fully get behind it. No thanks.

Maybelline The Nudes Eye Shadow Palette & The Blushed Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

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Image source: Walmart
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Image source: Walmart

To be honest, I have yet to find any Maybelline eye palettes that I can get behind. (However, I haven’t tried any of their newer releases yet like those City Mini Palettes. Are those good? Feel free to send any recommendations my way cause I’m always looking to be enabled!) I don’t have these Nudes Palettes anymore in my collection since they were so inconsistent and generally poor quality. Out of 12 shades I found maybe 5 or 6 of them would actually be usable.

What are your favorite and least favorite drugstore eye palettes? I’d love to know!

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

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

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.

I’m off on a short vacation to the beach next week which means some travel makeup packing is in order. The weather has been very hot and humid in NY lately and next week looks to be no different. So I’ll need simple-to-apply cream products in small, lightweight packaging that will layer well and will keep (most of) their intensity through sticky weather. A tall order for any product I know, but it is possible to achieve. Travel sizes or mini’s are ideal of course.

So let’s launch now right into my chosen products.

(This is a post about travel makeup and not SPF, but of course I will be taking loads of SPF with me. I’m partial to Neutrogena as their formulas are great for those with sensitive skin like myself. I typically wear factor 50 or above all over my body and on my face.)

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EYE MAKEUP 

Beautaniq Beauty Glow Serum – Shop here 

I got this in a Birchbox recently and while it’s marketed as a highlighter, I find it’s way too sparkly for the face. But as a cream shadow it’s beautiful. It’s a water-based product that just glides on the eye and then locks in place. It’s got a lovely pink-champagne tint to it. I have not worn this yet for long hours in the heat so this trip will be a good test. I don’t usually wear heavy or dramatic on vacation so I’ll probably wear this alone during the day for a little shimmer on the eye.

Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Brown Eyeliner from the Warm Nude Trio – Shop here

I’ve spoken about this eyeliner before in an earlier post, so I won’t stay here long but this is a great affordable dark & chocolatey brown liner that goes on smoothly, allows you a little playtime to smudge if you want, but then sets for long-wear. It comes in a trio with black and copper liners so you won’t be able to buy it alone. But all the colors are awesome. (I used the black liner to death so I had to toss it away not along ago, fyi.) I’ve travelled with this product several times in the past since it’s retractable and very user-friendly.

*Clinique High Impact Mascara, 01 Black .28 oz / 7 mL

I got this great travel size as a gift-with-purchase recently. But I’ve been through a few travel sizes of this mascara over the years, plus a full size. Clinique just does mascara really, really well. I love this. The formula is not too thick and coats the lashes very nicely without clumping. It’s got a traditional bristle brush, which is my absolute favorite; it distributes the product evenly throughout the lashes to give a very lengthened appearance.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in Black – Shop here

Packing two mascaras is probably not every person’s idea of makeup downsizing, but this is non-negotiable for me. This mascara never flakes or smudges under my eyes like a lot of others do. And it’s tiny anyway so it doesn’t take up much room in my makeup bag. I’ve been using it for absolute years so it’s a real hero product of mine. I wrote about my love for it in my very first blog post.

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From L to R: Clinique High Impact Mascara (travel size), Beautaniq Glow Serum, Physician’s Formula Eyeliner, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (full size).
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From L to R: Physician’s Formula Brown Eyeliner, Beautaniq Glow Serum. The silver sheen in the Glow Serum really picks up in natural light but the pink tint is clearly visible in artificial light.

COMPLEXION MAKEUP

MAC Strobe Cream in Pinklite – Shop here

Yet another tried, tested and loved product for me. I used to only apply this under more drying bases like the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, as written about in detail here. But now I use it most days as a first step in my face routine. It’s primarily a moisturizer but it has some fine pink pearl that gives a little luminescence to the skin. I definitely wouldn’t say it’s anywhere near a highlighter; it’s extremely subtle. I’ll be taking the mini size with me, as pictured below.

NARS Creamy Concealer in Chantilly – Shop here

I mentioned this product briefly in my review of the Too Faced Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer, but I picked it up around the same time as the Too Faced and I really like it. It sets nicely without creasing on me, so I won’t have to take a powder. I wouldn’t say it’s overly dry either but keep in mind I only apply as little as I can get away with. The shade I have is the lightest in the whole range so it really helps brighten under my eyes as well. Plus the packaging is lightweight and slim; a win for travel. This is the only coverage product I’ll be taking.

Kiko Cosmetics Velvet Touch Creamy Stick Blush in 02 Golden Peach – Shop here

I’ve spoken about Kiko here and there on the blog, but I discovered the brand in Italy years ago when I used to go there for business. They make great quality products at fairly affordable prices, but in the U.S. they are only available to purchase online. I picked up a few bits to try a while back including this cream stick blush, which is indeed super creamy and easy-peasy to apply with fingers. This particular color has a good deal of peachy shimmer, so it can both blush and highlight my face depending on the placement. It’s got a light texture and natural finish, minus the shimmer. I feel like it doesn’t get enough love from me, so I’m taking it along.

BROWS

*L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Brow Plumper, Light to Medium, 0.27 fl. oz. (Packaging May Vary)

I’ve talked about this in detail in an earlier post. This is my most favorite, top-shelf brow product. I exclusively use brow mascaras now; I haven’t touched a brow pencil in I-don’t-know-how-long. To me this is easy, no-fuss makeup at its best. The brush has just the right amount of product on it, so you’re rarely left with the odd clump that you have to frantically brush out.

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From L to R: L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper, NARS Creamy Concealer, Kiko Velvet Touch Blush, MAC Strobe Cream.

LIPS

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk – Shop here

This is a fairly recent addition to my rather small lipstick collection, but it instantly has become my go-to shade and texture. This is a iconic shade in the Matte Revolution range, which I can best describe as a soft, medium pink with warm undertones. The unique square-shaped bullet makes application easy and quick. The formula is buildable and offers just the right amount of hydration. It doesn’t become the least bit dry over time either. I wouldn’t call this 100% matte though; perhaps more a semi-matte finish as there is some give when you rub your lips together. It’s just so gorgeous in every way.

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Swatch of Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick

Are you taking any interesting vacations before the summer is over? What are your makeup travel essentials? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica