My beauty anti-wishlist, January 2019

Hi friends!

It’s a new month so that can only mean it’s time for another beauty anti-wishlist! There are tons of new launches coming out this month (what else is new?), but unfortunately not all of them are exciting me. So I present to you a fresh list of 5 beauty items that I am passing on based on personal preferences and other reasons. As always, no disrespect is intended with this post; these are just my personal feelings.

Catch up on my previous anti-wishlists, if you’d like!

My beauty anti-wishlist, September 2018

My beauty anti-wishlist, October 2018

My beauty anti-wishlist, November 2018

My beauty anti-wishlist, December 2018

MORPHE BRUSHES FLUIDITY FOUNDATION

Morphe Brushes Fluidity Foundation
Image source: Trendmood1

This is Morphe’s next big launch coming on January 17th and I believe their first foray into complexion products. And it’s going to have…wait for it…60 foundation shades to choose from. Boom. They are also releasing concealers & setting powders on the same day, so this is a huge release for them and a big PR moment, no doubt. But I’m just over here yawning 😆. I’m pretty happy with my current collection of base products, and I’m really not into matte, full-coverage foundations because of my dry skin. I don’t mind full-cover concealers, but certainly not foundations. I’m sure the launch will be amazing for them, but no thanks Morphe.

More info on this product here.

PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA BUTTER COLLECTION X CASEY HOLMES PALETTE

Physician’s Formula Butter Collection x Casey Holmes Palette
Image source: Physician’s Formula Instagram

This is the first influencer collab for Physician’s Formula, but unfortunately I won’t be picking this up anytime soon. The packaging looks a bit bulky (a pet peeve of mine) and when I look at it, I just don’t get excited at all. It’s a palette featuring all of Physician’s Formula Butter products that have been curated by YouTuber Casey Holmes. It includes a bronzer, blush, highlighter, 4 eyeshadows, a lip cream & a perfume. I already have the much-beloved Butter Bronzer, which I do like (read my full review here) but I’m not completely gaga over it like some other people are. I just don’t need any of what this palette offers right now.

More info on this product here.

BH COSMETICS MINI ZODIAC CAPRICORN PALETTE

BH Cosmetics Mini Zodiac Capricorn Palette
Image source: BH Cosmetics Instagram

I know the shadows from BH Cosmetics are awesome quality, and oh so affordable, but this palette just looks really basic, ya know? And I’m a Capricorn too, I should love this palette! I can only speak for myself of course, and I already have so many brown shadows (both warm & cool) in my collection. I love earthy tones a lot, but this just isn’t doing it for me, sorry BH! The highlighter looks gorgeous but I would never buy this just for one item.

More info on this product here.

MILANI COSMETICS CONCEAL + PERFECT Longwear CONCEALER

Milani Conceal + Perfect Concealer
Image source: Trendmood1

Milani’s new concealer offering goes on sale on January 8th, and honestly if I hadn’t just bought two drugstore concealers last fall (Revlon PhotoReady Candid & Joah Beauty Truly Yours Full Cover), I might get this! I love me a drugstore concealer, but I’m just too stocked up right now. I’ve been curious to try Milani’s complexion products in the past but the shades always seemed to be too dark for me. But the new Conceal + Perfect has 18 shades, so I may have an easier time finding the right shade. According to Trendmood, this has medium-to-full coverage which I do like the sound of, but like I said before, I just have too many concealers to justify another purchase right now.

Read my review on the Revlon PhotoReady Candid Concealer.

Read my review on the Joah Beauty Truly Yours Full Cover Concealer.

BENEFIT ROLLER LINER LIQUID eyeLINER

Benefit Roller Liner The Matte Liquid Liner
Image source: Benefit Instagram

I believe this just became available a few days ago. I’ve been a long-time fan of Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara, but I’m just not a liquid liner kinda girl. I’m quite horrible at eyeliner to be fair, so I either use a soft pencil or a dark shadow and just smudge it along my lash line to get rid of any imperfections. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a liquid liner in my life now that I think about it, so I’m certainly not about to start now. However if you do love your liquid liner, this does sound like a good one. Supposely the formula is waterproof and therefore quite long-wearing. My mom would probably love this actually.

More info on this product here.

What products are on your anti-wishlist this month? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Find out the newer launches that won’t be making it into my cart this month!
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My quick, 8-minute makeup routine

Hi friends!

Let’s face it, most people have very little time each day to do their makeup before rushing off to work, school, or wherever. Likewise, a lot of people simply don’t wear much makeup on a day-to-day basis, or are perhaps just starting to experiment with it. These are all examples of where having a quick, effortless face routine in your arsenal can be very beneficial.

So in this post, I wanted to give you a peek into my quick, 8-minute makeup routine that utilizes just 6 products. I’ll also give you some tips I have for quick application along the way. If you can apply the same amount of products or even more in less time than this, please teach me your ways Yoda! I’ve tried to master the whole 5-minute face and personally it’s just too hard for me. I think it’s the mascara application that slows me down; I like to pile it on! My mom is actually really good at quick makeup, so I’ll have to start mimicking her!

THE STRATEGY

When I want to apply my makeup fast, I think of the facial features I want to emphasize the most or the areas of my face that I want to “correct” the most. Of course, this will be different for everyone and it will help you choose which products to use. For me, I always want to emphasize my eyes & cheeks and correct my under-eye discoloration. So think about what the indispensible aspects of a makeup routine are for you and go from there.

Also, think about how you want to apply your products in a short amount of time. You may be able to work quickly with brushes or sponges, but for me I work everything in quickly with the warmth of my hands.

THE PRODUCTS

Now, you can use whatever products you want of course. But when I want quick makeup, I go for textures that I know will be impactful, will blend out quickly with my hands, and could be used for more than one purpose. For me, cream textures are the most versatile & blendable. And if I want to wear lipstick too, I make sure to pick a formula that’s creamy and easy to apply; no lip liners, precision or extra patience needed!

Product flatlay with NARS, Clinique, Peripera, Kiko, Bobbi Brown & Hourglass

In this particular makeup routine, I used mascara (2 types, high-maintenance I know!), concealer, cream blush (as both blush & highlighter), brow gel & lipstick. I’ve listed & linked the exact products below if you’re interested to know.

Read this: The 2018 beauty discoveries I’m obsessed with!

Read this: Five moisturizing lippies for Autumn-Winter

THE STEPS

Again, you can order your routine any way you like; there’s no right or wrong way here. But this is just what I did, step-by-step, to achieve the quick look you see on me in the image above. And yes I did time myself by the way! It was actually quite a fun little challenge.

Step 1 – Apply copious amounts of mascara to top & bottom lashes. When I forego eyeshadow, eyeliner or any color on my eyes, I want my mascara to be as dramatic as possible.

Step 2 – Apply concealer to my under-eyes, around my nose and on any little red spots or blemishes.

Step 3 – Apply cream blush to the tops of my cheekbones to add color & sheen. The Kiko blush I used has little flecks of shimmer in it, so it can double as a highlight in this case.

Step 4 – Brush brow gel through my brows.

Step 5 – Apply lipstick & smudge into lips.

I hope that was helpful to you if you’re looking for ideas or inspiration on how to do quick makeup! Do you have any tips or tricks on no-fuss makeup you can share? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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This is the makeup routine I crack out when I want to be out the door in less than 10 minutes!

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!

I went to the new CoverGirl flagship store in NYC!

Hi friends!

If you didn’t know, CoverGirl recently opened their first stand-alone store in NYC. I first heard about this back in the spring, and I got so incredibly excited. As a self-described “super-fan” of drugstore beauty, I feel I haven’t tried as many products from CoverGirl over the years than I have from, say, L’Oreal or Elf. They were one of the first makeup brands, along with MAC, that I ever used as teenager, but I got distracted along the way and lost touch with their products. They’ve been in the news a lot lately since they became certified cruelty-free, making them the largest cosmetics brand to do so. So now is the perfect time to get inspired by CoverGirl again!

The 2-level, 10,000 sq. ft. store stands at the corner of 48th Street and 7th Avenue, right in the heart of Times Square. From what I could spy online, they opened to the public back on Black Friday.

When I walked in, I saw rows and rows of product, testers (thank goodness and finally!!) and loads of merch. Everything from makeup bags, stationary, hoodies, active wear, cell phone cases, water bottles, beanies, you name it. All branded with the CoverGirl logo.

Supposedly there’s a bunch of interactive stuff there like glam stations where you can virtually “apply” makeup to check for colors, but to be honest I must have breezed right over those! I was on sensory overload a bit and my attention was on the products & the merch.

On a side note, I felt I had the store all to myself for most of the visit, which was awesome! No fighting through crowds or waiting to swatch a product. (I was there at a slightly odd time during the week.) Also, the staff was overall very sweet and helpful which made for a pleasant shopping experience.

So you’re probably wondering by now, what did you snatch while you were there? Well, I have a quick little story for ya.

Three out of the seven items I’m going to show you below I got for free, and here’s why. When I was on the second floor checking out the Cheekers Blushes, a couple of CoverGirl marketers approached me and asked me a few questions about the Clean Liquid Foundation. (I’ve never tried the stuff before, by the way.) What did I think of the bottle? What did I think of the word “clean”? Stuff like that. In exchange for my time, they rewarded me with a free bottle of the Clean Liquid Foundation. Score! They also slipped in two of the Katy Kat glitters for nothing.

(On a side note, I have no idea what to do with the Katy Kat glitters. They are not approved for use around the eyes…so where do I apply them? Any suggestions?)

So besides the free items, I got an adorable CoverGirl beanie hat (don’t judge me, I couldn’t resist), good ‘ole Shimmering Sands Eyeshadow Kit which has been in the CoverGirl line-up forever (my mother specially requested this), and the Exhibitionist Lip Liner in In The Nude. I’ve already started using the lip liner, and I really like the texture and longevity. After I use the foundation for a while, I’ll bring you guys a thorough review.

If you’re in the NYC area or are coming for a visit and you like CoverGirl products, I’d definitely recommend stopping by the store. There’s a lot to see, touch and try on. I’ll definitely be returning sometime soon myself!

Exterior of the CoverGirl NYC store

Are you a fan of CoverGirl products? Are you excited about their first stand-alone store? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

SIMILAR POSTS

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

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Want a peek inside the new CoverGirl store in NYC? Read this!


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!