Joah Beauty has launched at CVS Pharmacy!

Joah Beauty, the new makeup line from Kiss Products, Inc, has launched exclusively at CVS Pharmacy in the U.S. You may know Kiss from their extensive nail offerings including nail care products, nail art & jewelry, and at-home salon-style treatments. (Not to mention fake lashes, cosmetics and haircare.) Well, they’ve partnered with CVS to bring the high-grade formulations typically associated with K-beauty skincare to color cosmetics with Joah Beauty. Hence, the tagline “K-beauty inspired.” Joah (which in Korean translates to “I like it” apparently) is not completely brand-spanking new; it became available on CVS.com by mid-summer, I believe, and is now in the process of being rolled out to over 4,000 CVS locations around the country.

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Joah Beauty endcap at one of my local CVS’s

CVS is no stranger to the K-beauty trend in America. They stock brands like Holika Holika, Peripera (another new offering), and Peach Slices, just to name a few. Target has definitely up’d their K-beauty game as well. The skincare aisle in my local CVS became flooded particularly with Korean sheet masks just a few years ago. They seem to be adding more & more K-beauty products all the time now.

Joah Beauty offers affordable products across the following categories: eyes, lips, face, brows & brushes. The whole line ranges in price from around $3.00 to $16.00. Their vibe is fun, carefree and very feminine (leaning heavily towards girly). True to the whole K-beauty vibe, their packaging and naming system is super cute and colorful. When I started picking up some of the products, I noticed that the packaging itself is not overly weighty at all. Everything is quite lightweight and to be honest a little bit cheap-feeling. (But this stuff isn’t very expensive so there you go.)

This is a very big launch so instead of taking you through each and every item like I did last week with Ohii Beauty, I’ll take you briefly through each product category and give you some commentary. I haven’t tried the majoritiy of this line yet so I cannot speak to overall quality, but I did recently purchase the Large Powder Brush and one of the matte gel lipsticks called I’m Your Jelly Bae in the shade Honey.

EYESShop here

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I’m So Fly Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner available in 2 shades for $7.99. Image source: Joah Beauty Instagram.

In this category there are:

  • 2 eyeshadow palettes (average price $9.99)
  • 6 eyeliners (average price $7.99)
  • 4 mascaras  (average price $7.99)

As you can probably tell, the broadest offering in this category by far is eyeliner. They’ve got everything from brush-tip to ink pens to gels to jumbo liquid pens. Whatever your eyeliner preference is, I’m sure they’ve got you covered! Both eyeshadow palettes have 6-pans each and come in very natural, wearable color schemes (Bare & Unveiled). At $9.99 though they’re by no means the cheapest option at the drugstore so hopefully the quality is great.

LIPSShop here

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Mirror Mirror Lip Gloss available in 6 shades for $4.99. Image source: Joah Beauty Instagram.
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Wat-a-matte Matte Liquid Lipstick available in 10 shades for $6.99. Image source: Joah Beauty Instagram.
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I’m Your Jelly Bae Matte Gel Lipstick available in 10 shades for $5.99. Image source: Joah Beauty Instagram.
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I’m Your Jelly Bae Matte Gel Lipstick in Honey

I feel like Joah’s lip category is quite broad as well. There are 8 total offerings with an average price of $5.00-$6.00 in a variety of different finishes and textures including:

  • Lip gloss (6 shades)
  • Matte liquid lipstick (10 shades)
  • Matte gel lipstick (10 shades)
  • Satin liquid lipstick (10 shades)
  • Lip stain (6 shades)
  • Lip liner (6 shades)
  • Tinted lip balm (4 shades)
  • Matte velvet lipstick (10 shades)

I do feel like there’s something for everyone here, and their shade ranges are quite nice too. As mentioned earlier, I picked up one of the I’m Your Jelly Bae lipsticks because the name just intrigued me so much. What’s a matte gel lipstick?? I’ll give you my first impression super quick.

When I applied it the formula went on smoothly and immediately felt like nothing on my lips. It turns from a creamy consistency to a velvety, almost powdery finish quite quickly. I don’t know, I like the weightlessness for sure but it seemed quite dry to me. I ended up putting my more moisturizing Revlon HD Gel Lipcolor over top for some give. I may use the Jelly Bae as a long-wearing base for a more hydrating product going forward (especially going into the colder months), but this definitely isn’t my ideal formulation. (Oh, Honey is great color if you love beige nudes.)

FACE – Shop here

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Truly Yours Natural Finish Foundation Drop available in 8 shades for $8.99. Image source: Joah Beauty Instagram.
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Truly Yours BB Radiant Beauty Balm available in 4 shades for $8.99. Image source: Joah Beauty Instagram.
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Selfie Ready Setting Powder available in Translucent & 2 other shades for $8.99. Image source: Joah Beauty Instagram.
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Be My Everything Cream Contour Kit with 8 skintone shades plus 3 color correctors for $15.99. Image source: Joah Beauty Instagram.

This is by far the meatiest category in Joah’s range: 21 products in total consisting primarily of cosmetics and a few skincare items.

There are:

  • 2 foundations (liquid, cushion)
  • 1 BB cream
  • 2 concealers
  • 4 primers
  • 1 blush/bronzer palette
  • 1 highlighting palette
  • 1 powder contour palette
  • 1 cream contour palette
  • Setting powder (3 shades)
  • 2 setting sprays
  • 3 peel-off face masks
  • 2 makeup removing products

Right off the bat after perusing the endcap, I noticed that the coverage products offered only a very narrow shade selection. The Truly Yours Natural Finish Foundation Drop only comes in 8 shades, while the Angel Cake Cushion Foundation comes in a puny 3 shades. And there are only 11 shades between the two concealers. So I’d say there’s a fat chance you’d find your perfect match from this range, especially since there are no testers available. A bit disappointing for a new launch to say the least; hopefully the range will be expanded in the future. However there are many other face products to shop from.

BROWSShop here

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Brow Down to Me Precision Brow Pencil available in 6 shades for $8.99. Image source: Joah Beauty Instagram.

This is a much narrower category for Joah with just 5 products total and an average price of $8.00. They are all brow pencils (one also has a brow mascara built into it), with the exception of one clear brow gel. No pomades, powders or mousses available (yet). I’d predict this category may expand in the future to include colored brow mascaras or brow kits perhaps.

BRUSHESShop here

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Large Powder Brush for $5.99

Last category here, and again this is a narrow one with just 5 offerings and an average price of $6.00. I also predict this category will expand eventually simply because it’s so small and there’s so far you can go with brushes.

There are:

  • 1 brow brush
  • 1 eye brush
  • 3 face brushes (foundation, powder, fan)

As mentioned earlier, I picked up the Large Powder Brush. When I took it out of its plastic packaging I noted the softness of the bristles and the weightlessness of the handle. It didn’t appear to shed at all but I really won’t be able to tell until I start using and washing it. I have a preference for drugstore brushes so I’m excited to start using this for my powder blushes and bronzer. Fingers crossed it’s good quality!

What do you think of this new brand? Will you be picking anything up? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

Joah Beauty has launched at CVS Pharmacy! Find out about the new and affordable K-beauty inspired cosmetics line.

 

New brand alert! Ohii Beauty launches today*

Exciting news! Ohii Beauty, the new makeup line from lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters (UO), has launched today both online and in UO stores in North America*! (It will be available in Europe by October, according to the brand.) If you follow beauty news closely, articles announcing the line and teasing the products started popping up in places like Cosmopolitan and Refinery29 in late August. (Ohii’s Instagram account debuted a mere two or so weeks ago.) UO is no stranger to beauty. It’s carried makeup and skincare products from brands like Benefit, bh Cosmetics, Truly Organic and Embryolisse for years now, but this is their first in-house beauty brand.

Just a disclaimer, I have limited information on these products. I do know the entire product line is cruelty-free and vegan. There wasn’t much copy available online, and the Ohii website was pretty bare leading up to the launch. Everything I have has been gathered from either Ohii or UO’s respective Instagram accounts. They pre-launched the entire line at a pop-up store in NYC this past weekend, but I sadly couldn’t make it there.

*All the products are available for sale on UO’s site, click here.

So in this post I will simply be running you through the product list, and letting you know what I’m most interested in picking up. To be clear I have not tried anything from this line yet. I got my inspiration for this post idea from Mimi over at Blushy Darling, who comments on new or upcoming launches every week on her blog.

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Image source: Ohii Instagram

Let’s get to the products now! They are launching 13 makeup and skincare products (one bodycare), all under $25.00 each. 

SKINCARE/MAKEUP

Wake Up Pen available in 2 shades (Pearl & Peach), $18.00 each

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Image source: Ohii Instagram story

This product is stumping me. I can’t make out exactly what it is. From the above description it seems like it would be some kind of skincare/makeup hybrid, so I’m putting it in a category of its own. It’s an undereye treatment that color corrects but when it’s swatched, it looks quite shimmery. Hmmm, see what I mean? I can’t imagine putting something shimmery under my eyes, but I am definitely intrigued by it so this is a maybe.

SKINCARE

Big Reveal Mask available in 2 types (Brighten & Detox), $16.00 each

ohiiglowmask
Image source: Revelist

I’m trying to get more into masks these days, but preferably sheet masks since I have a few floating around the house. The Ohii ones are specifically peel-off masks. I tend to have a really simple skincare routine so I don’t have oodles of new products rotating in and out of my daily menu. I’m personally more interested in moisturizers and serums. I’ll pass on this one.

2-in-1 Clay Cream Cleanser Wash, $14.00

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Image source: Revelist

See my note directly above. I’ll pass on this one too.

Daydream Hand Cream available in 3 scents (Almond, Citrus Tea, Rose), $10.00 each

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Image source: Urban Outfitters Instagram

I’m definitely interested in this hand cream, especially now going into the cooler months. I usually just pick up either Vaseline or Gold Bond hand creams from the drugstore. I keep one in my handbag for on-the-go application and another on my night table for bedtime application. I really like the price point on this; I just don’t see the rationale behind expensively priced hand creams. This is a want from me, preferably in the Almond scent.

BODYCARE

Pure Stick Deodorant available in 2 scents (Rose, Citrus Tea), $12.00 each

ohiideodorant

This may be shocking to some of you but I actually don’t use deodorant and never have. Luckily I’ve hardly ever been told that I smell, and I live with some pretty honest people who would inform me if I did. I also don’t have a problem with excessive sweating, so I guess I just never got in the habit of using deodorants. I’m more into using perfumes and fragrances to impart a fresh scent before I leave the house. So this is a pass from me.

MAKEUP

Soft Glow Highlighter available in 2 shades (Cosmic Jasper, Gold Charge), $18.00 each

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Soft Glow Highlighter in Cosmic Jasper. Image source: Revelist

I’m not sure if this is a cream, powder, or some kind of hybrid texture. With highlighters it’s all about the texture for me. If it’s powder, I’m not into it and it would be a pass, but if it’s cream I’d be a bit more interested. With my complexion I’d definitely go for Cosmic Jasper since I usually favor icy to pink-colored highlighters. (Gold Charge is a much deeper option for darker complexions.) I rarely buy single highlighter pans so this is one I’d like to swatch or feel in-store before making my final decision. This is a maybe from me.

Glass Powder, $20.00

ohiiglasspowder
Image source: Revelist

There’s only one face powder in this range so I assume it must be a translucent setting powder. I’m not huge on setting my makeup since I have dry skin. With that being said, I am pretty loyal to the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder for setting my concealer which is much cheaper than this. I’m going to pass here.

Magic Hair Wand, $12.00

ohiimagicwand
Image source: Revelist

Ohii claims this is a multi-use product for both hair and brows. For instance, you can tame “flyaways” by simply brushing it through your hair when it’s in an updo or use it to groom your brows and hold them in place. Quite simply though, it’s a clear brow gel; I’m not so sure about the whole brushing “flyaways” part. I much prefer colored brow mascaras over clear gels, so until Ohii brings those to their product line I’m not interested. Pass.

Eyeshadow Palettes available in 2 colorways (Treasure, Magic Hour), $24.00 each

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Eyeshadow Palette in Treasure. Image source: Revelist
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Eyeshadow Palette in Magic Hour. Image source: Revelist.

As you can see, these shadow palettes have 10 pans each and offer one more colorful option (Treasure) and one more muted option (Magic Hour). From photos I’ve seen, it looks like Treasure has about 4 mattes with 6 shimmers, and Magic Hour looks entirely shimmery. Who isn’t excited by a new shadow palette? But my collection is just so chock-a-block with palettes that I love at the moment that I can’t justify yet another purchase right now. So sadly this is a pass for me right now, but I would in the future like to try the Magic Hour Palette.

Skinny Mascara available in one color, $16.00

ohiiskinnymascara
Image source: Revelist

If a mascara comes in one color, I assume it’s gotta be black right? The wand on this mascara is quite skinny as the name would lead you to believe (you can get a closer look in the banner image to this post), which makes me think it must be great for lengthening and separating. Because I have an obsession with trying new mascaras, this is definitely a want. The price is pretty fair as well.

True Matte Lip available in 6 shades (Supreme, Self, Star, Hero, Icon, Ego), $16.00 each

ohiimattelipsticks
Image source: Revelist

Since this is a liquid lipstick with the name ‘True Matte’, I assume it’s a long-wear formula that dries completely down. I don’t know the claim on the amount of wear obviously, but Ohii featured a customer’s IG story on their page wherein she said that she had been wearing one of the True Mattes for hours without much wear down. Take that for what you will. I feel most beauty lovers know by now if they’re still into matte liquid lipsticks or not. Personally I feel like my penchant for them is on the wane, so I’ll probably pass on this one. I’m much more into traditional lipsticks these days.

Gummy Gloss available in 3 shades (Golden Charge, Rose Quartz, Opaline Dream), $16.00 each

ohiigummygloss
Gummy Gloss in Golden Charge. Image source: Revelist

Although I am starting to get back into glosses very, very slowly, when I saw these swatched on Ohii’s IG story they looked a little too glittery for my liking. A pass from me.

Lip Jelly available in 3 flavors (Mint Scents, Agave, Rose), $18.00 each

ohiilipjelly
Image source: Ohii Instagram
ohiilipjellyinfo
Image source: Urban Outfitters Instagram story

If you read my beauty anti-wishlist blog post, you’ll know my fear of lip balms, lip mositurizers and lip masks after my fiasco with Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask. It might be an irrational fear from a third-party perspective, but it’s very, very rational in my mind! And one of them is called Agave…I don’t think so. Pass from me. Plus $18.00 for such a little guy? Seems excessive.

What do you think about this launch? Will you be purchasing anything? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

Want to know how ColourPop became so successful? Read this.

I’ve always been fascinated with ColourPop’s skyrocket to success and the dizzying rate with which they launch their products. Since 2014, it’s been the brand on every beauty lover’s tongue, in their wishlists and in their hauls. You turn around and there’s five more major launches and collaborations from them, it’s crazy. To me it seemed like they exploded out of nowhere very quickly, am I right? They were considered very mysterious at the time since there was no official spokesperson for the brand and the founders remained very much in the background. But of course there’s always a story to tell.

Interestingly, I’ve barely tried any ColourPop products before. My mom bought me an old Kathleen Lights collaboration from a while back which consisted of four Super Shock Shadows, Blaze, Kathleenlights, Glow & Cornelius (some or all of these were discontinued I think). Otherwise I’ve never touched one product. This is what’s truly ironic about this scenario. The reason that ColourPop has been “unsuccessful” selling products to someone like me is exactly the same reason (or one of the key reasons) why the brand has been so wildly successful selling to millions of other consumers. Haven’t guessed yet? It’s a true e-commerce brand for the modern digital world. I still rarely buy makeup online that I’ve never used or at least sampled before. This probably makes me “old school” but I’m fine with that.

But despite my inexperience with their product line, as a former student of business I find ColourPop to be its own terrific case study, and I’ll explain to you why.

What does being an e-commerce beauty brand for the modern digital world have to do with being successful at selling and marketing to consumers? Well, everything actually. I wrote briefly about ColourPop’s backstory in my older post on indie beauty brands, but I’d like to go into more detail here. If you don’t know much or anything about the brand, you’ll find this interesting I’m sure. The founders are two siblings, John & Laura Nelson, who grew up in the beauty industry since their father bought Spatz Labs, a beauty supply/manufacturing company, in the late ‘80’s. They saw an opportunity a few years ago that was ripe for exploitation: the meeting point between the prevalence of social media & influencer marketing, and the expansion of consumer spending in the beauty industry. If they created a beauty brand that was entirely e-commerce (no dependency on brick-and-mortar retailers) and targeted beauty influencers who would market their products to millions of followers, well that could be pretty successful. And don’t forget they had experience, heritage and first-hand access to a cosmetics manufacturing company.

So the Nelsons founded Seed Beauty, a brand-incubation company that became the parent to ColourPop Cosmetics, the first official brand under its umbrella. (If you’re curious, a brand incubator nutures and helps grow smaller startups to become full-fledged brands.) From the very start, ColourPop had definite advantages with customers. Like a lot of other e-commerce brands, its digital-first, social media-driven strategy gave it broad & fast exposure to their customer base. Social media marketing has broken down a lot of barriers that used to exist between brands and consumers; they can interact in ways they never used to. This newfound closeness has fast become the modern way to grow community, make sales and boost success. Much like Glossier, ColourPop claims its products are not conceived of nor designed in board rooms, but through interactions with their customers. They’ve designed products specifically requested by influencers and customers.

The second key factor here is having the established infrastructure of Seed Beauty baked into the ColourPop model, which gives it unparalleled speed-to-market. Everything from product concepting, R&D, production, and marketing is housed under one roof in Oxnard, CA; no middleman manufacturer or packager is necessary. So basically, they can pump more launches out more quickly. That’s huge. It’s the concept of ‘fast fashion’ yet applied to beauty, as Laura Nelson has stated. Oh and if you didn’t realize, this makes all their products super affordable. Everyone who loves ColourPop loves how affordable they are without skimping on quality. Hopefully now you understand how they are able to do that.

In four years, ColourPop has gone from strength to strength with no signs of slowing down. A little-known company called Kylie Cosmetics became the second brand to come under Seed Beauty after ColourPop. I think we all know how successful they’ve turned out to be (hello Kylie Jenner Forbes cover). The Nelsons claim there are more brands that will be coming up through Seed Beauty soon, one of which just launched a few weeks ago. Fourth Ray Beauty is an affordable skincare line where almost all the products are under $15.00 from cleansing oils to tonics and serums. I’m definitely intrigued by this line.

What do you think about ColourPop’s rise to success? Are you a fan of the brand? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

(Sources used here: Refinery29, Revelist, FastCompany, Northwest Business Review.)

My beauty anti-wishlist, September 2018

Hi friends! Since I’m always talking about the beauty items I either want to pick up or already have in my collection, I thought I’d do something different today and talk briefly about some new or upcoming makeup launches I will not be picking up. An “anti-haul” or “anti-wishlist” if you will. Just a disclaimer: this is not meant to be overly negative in the slightest, nor a knock on any of the brands mentioned here. Shopping for beauty products is entirely subjective stuff. These particular launches just don’t excite me based on my own style preferences; you may be chomping at the bit to get your hands on these. Variety is the spice of life, and all that.

So let’s get into it (in no particular order).

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS NORVINA PALETTE – Shop here

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Image source: allure.com

This is probably the oldest launch of this list, and while the colors are definitely beautiful I just don’t see the hype here. It’s often referred to as a “purple palette” but there’s only three (maybe four if you count the burgundy shade, Passion) purpley shades out of fourteen. The rest are neutrals that I probably already have somewhere in my collection. Think of the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette which just has two peachy shades out of eighteen, yet it’s referred to as a “peach palette”. I know the quality of ABH shadows tends to be top-notch; I’ve used the beloved Modern Renaissance palette and loved it. I’m just not the biggest fan of purples on me (despite my recent experimentation with the Born to Run Palette); plus I have a few neutral palettes already, so I won’t be picking this one up. I am super curious about Soul though, that periwinkle shade on the bottom left of the palette. If ABH ever releases that as a single, I might hop on it!

JEFFREE STAR COSMETICS LIQUID FROST HIGHLIGHTERS – Shop here

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Image source: makeup.co.nz

While I do prefer a liquid or cream highlighter over a powder (I almost never use powder highlighters), I still won’t be adding this to a future shopping list. At $25.00 for a whopping 30 ml of product, it’s just way too much highlighter for too high a price tag for my liking. I’d rather spend that cash on a nice foundation or concealer. I would never, ever make my way through 30 ml of highlighter unless I was bathing myself in the stuff on a daily basis. I wrote about my feelings surrounding the current highlighter craze way back when I first started my blog. I love a nice, subtle highlight on the cheekbones and on the bridge of the nose, but I’m by no means a glow-freak. Too much highlighter just seems too obvious for everyday life. Not my style so I’ll pass.

FENTY BEAUTY GLOSS BOMB IN DIAMOND MILK – Launches 9/7/18

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Image source: temptalia.com

When I saw this on Fenty’s IG my immediate thought was, nope! Way too cool-toned for me. While I realize that the gloss won’t show up as straight silvery-white on the lips (there’s swatches on Fenty’s IG if you’re interested), I’m much more interested in snatching the original Universal Gloss Bomb since it has a slightly rosy color. Seriously, I’ve been eyeing that one since it first launched. I’m quite cool-toned myself so I have to be a bit careful with cool-toned lip colors for risk of looking dead. I believe this is also launching with a matching highlighter in the shade Diamond Bomb on September 7th in celebration of Fenty’s year anniversary. Sadly, I’m passing on both products.

TOO FACED SUGAR PEACH WET & DRY FACE AND EYE PALETTE – Launches 9/4/18

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Image source: Trendmood

Just recently Too Faced announced that their Peach Collection is expanding to include this palette, plus a peach-scented lip scrub, a lip balm and additional shades in the Peach Kiss lipstick range. Everything launches tomorrow at Sephora and on Too Faced’s site. My mom bought the original Sweet Peach Palette last year and I might have used it once or twice. The scent is delicious and the shadows are good quality, but I’m not overly into the whole scented makeup trend. So when I saw this Sugar Peach Wet & Dry Face and Eye Palette on Trendmood’s IG page, I was just nonplussed. Supposedly this is the first time Too Faced has marketed a palette as being wet/dry but can’t every palette be used wet or dry? I’m not sure which colors are supposed to be eyeshadows or face colors. Everything just looks too shimmery to me. One of the shades looks like it’s got straight glitter in it; you’re supposed to use that on your face? I rarely use shimmery (or glittery) shades on my face, and I have enough shimmery eyeshadows in similar tones as this. I just don’t think I’d get much use out of something like this.

ANYTHING FROM BITE BEAUTY!

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Image source: leapingbunny.org

Oh I wish I could use more products from Bite Beauty! I read that in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, Bite Beauty would soon be releasing a new collection of their well-loved Amuse Bouche lipsticks. My first and only foray into this brand was the Agave Lip Mask a few years back. Everyone was raving about this product saying it was a game-changer for those with really dry lips. I have dry skin all over my body, and in the winter like a lot of others I get extremely dry, chapped lips. I picked up the mask and used it religiously for almost a year every night. I loved it. It was super thick and extremely moisturzing. But then something horrible happened. I woke up a few weeks before Christmas and my lips was almost double the size, red and inflammed beyond belief. Even the sides of my mouth were cracked, it was disgusting. It didn’t hit me right away what was causing the issue, but it finally became clear after continuing to use the mask that somewhere along the line I must have become highly allergic to some ingredient in it. I’ve been terrified ever since to use anything else from this line.

What do you think about these launches? Will you be picking anything up? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

 

 

Makeup that makes me nostalgic

I’m not big on nostalgia. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reminiscing from time to time about great experiences or moments that I’ve had with friends and family. But I generally try to keep looking ahead rather than backwards. While this sentiment refers to a broader life philosophy, let me take this back down to makeup. I found myself watching an old Pixiwoo video a few days ago when all of a sudden I was struck by a feeling of honest-to-goodness nostalgia. Sam whipped out Gilt by Association eyeshadow by MAC, which I believe is now discontinued, and a piece of my makeup past flashed in front of me. It was one of the very first eyeshadows I used in high school, and I couldn’t remember the last time I even thought about it.

It got me thinking, how many other products did I regularly use when I first started wearing makeup that I’ve since forgotten about? How many are actually still on the market now? How many do I still use today? I racked my brain and came up with a nice list of products (sorted by brand) that I’d love to share with you. And in true nostalgic form, each product reminds me of a specific period in my life. I know I missed ‘Throwback Thursday’ with this post but I hope you’ll indulge me anyway.

COVERGIRL

LashBlast Volume Mascara – Shop here

CoverGirl Lashblash Mascara
Image Source: eBay.com

Of course we all know this one is still on the market, but I feel this is definitely a product that has been overshadowed over the years by a million new launches. This was either one of or the first mascaras I used, I can’t remember exactly. I used it in high school for quite a long time and generally enjoyed it. However I stopped using it after my mom told me it was snapping off her eyelashes (!). Yup, you read that right. She had noticed her lashes were getting shorter since using this mascara. It got me so freaked out, I threw mine out and never went back.

Intense ShadowBlast Eyeshadows (discontinued)

CoverGirl Intense Shadow Blast
Image source: popsugar.com.au

I loved these way back when. At one time I had all the colors from the line, which were the three pictured above plus a light olive green shade. They were cream shadows in a tube with a doe-foot applicator; easy to apply, blended perfectly and locked into place all day. I particularly loved the brown shade (of course) which I think was called Brown Bling. It was a true taupe shade, very cool-toned, which made it very work-appropriate. This was a staple in both my work makeup menu and also in my travel makeup bag in the mid to late 2000’s. I remember specifically taking this on so many work trips since it was so easy to apply. But unfortunately CoverGirl discontinued this line a while back and have yet to replace it.

JEMMA KIDD MAKEUP (DISCONTINUED LINE) 

Jemma Kidd Eyeshadows

Jemma Kidd Eyeshadow Palette
Image source: poshmark.com

Remember Jemma Kidd makeup?? This was definitely early in my makeup-wearing days when I only really shopped at either MAC, the drugstore or Target. This was a UK brand that was carried at Target in the U.S. before the entire line was discontinued. I know a lot of UK bloggers and YouTubers were obsessed with her complexion products like foundations and highlighters, but I never really wore face makeup until about six or seven years ago. I had the eye/lip palette pictured above (probably right after college), and I was obsessed with the dark, sparkling blue shade on the lower right-hand side of the top quad. I look at this now and I’m not sure what I was thinking with that shade, but I used to dig my finger in and lightly pat it across my lids. I almost hit pan on that shade too.

MAC

Pro Longwear Lip Pencils – Shop here 

MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencils
Image source: eBay.co.uk

MAC was the first higher-end makeup brand I ever used because my mom was a big fan of their products. (Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of MAC on this list.) I’ve honestly never been the biggest lipstick/lip liner person. I alternate between really loving lip products and wearing them everyday to hating the feel of any product being on my lips. But when I was first experimenting with lip color after college, of course I went to MAC first. If I was going to wear anything on my lips, I thought, it was going to have to last so I bypassed lipstick at the time and went straight to lip pencils. I still think the Pro Longwear Lip Pencils are a great formula, if not a bit stiff, but I don’t have any in my collection right now. I used to have Staunchly Stylish (a browny nude), In Anticipation (a mid-tone pink), and More to Love (a deep but bright fuschia). Most of the time I would apply these all over my lips as a lipstick.

Prep & Prime Eye BaseShop here for the newer version

MAC Prep + Prime Eye Base
Image source: beautybulletin.com

The Prep & Prime Eye Base (in the compact version) was very first eye primer I ever used. I remember specfically my mother gave it to me and said you should always prime your eyes before using powder shadows to get the best effect. So I do what I’m told and I still prime to this day. I’m not sure if this version exists anymore in the Prep & Prime line, but I’ve linked above to the 24-hr Extend Eye Base in the squeeze tube.

Pro Longwear Paint Pots – Shop here 

MAC Paint Pot in Camel Coat

I’ve talked about my big love for Paint Pots as primers umpteen times on this blog before, so I won’t bore you much longer. But after the Prep & Prime Eye Base, it was Paint Pots for me, and Paint Pots it will likely stay.

Eye Kohl Pencils – Shop here 

MAC Power Kohl Liners

These are real nostalgia products for me. Before I was into face makeup, I was into eye makeup…big time. My eyes were the first feature I really wanted to play up as a teenager and as a young adult. I remember lining my upper and lower lashes with black liner for the first time and thinking I was super cool. The MAC kohl liners weren’t the first liners I ever used, but they were the first liners I really loved. But this was back when I didn’t know much about makeup, so I’d line all over my eyes without setting it with powder, and by half-way through the day I was a panda. I really don’t use kohl liners anymore because of their smudginess, but I’ll always have a fondness for the MAC ones. I used to own Powersurge (a gold), Teddy (a bronze), Smolder (a charcoal-black), and Tarnish (a blackened-green that might be discontinued?).

Powder Eyeshadows in Gilt by Association, Patina, Club & Satin Taupe – Shop here (everything except Gilt by Association) 

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Gilt by Association by MAC

 

MAC Palette with Patina, Club, Satin Taupe highlighted
My MAC palette featuring Patina (P), Club (C), & Satin Taupe (S).
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Swatches from top to bottom: Patina, Club, Satin Taupe, Lola Lola (NARS).

Gilt by Association was a baked eyeshadow with a mineralize finish that had this beautiful marbled effect with gold, black and dark browns. I hardly used eye brushes early in my makeup-wearing days, so I used my fingers to gently tap the shadow all over my lids. It gave me a subtle, shimmering golden-brown effect that I loved at the time. Then I got heavily into MAC singles in the mid-2000’s and eventually created my own palette with my favorites, as pictured above. But I particularly loved, and still love to this day, Patina (a cool-toned golden-pearl shade), Club (a warm brown with green/blue shift), and Satin Taupe (a cool-toned purpley-brown satin shade). Classics.

MAYBELLINE

Dream Bouncy Blush – Shop here

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush
Image source: walmart.com

This was one of the first blushes I ever bought when I started wearing blush. I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but most likely I was in my early to mid-20’s. I didn’t want to invest in a high-end blush yet in case I didn’t like the effect, so I went to the drugstore instead. If memory serves, the only reasons I gravitated towards the Dream Bouncy Blushes were the fun colors they came in and the cool-looking texture. I had an apricot shade and a pink shade, but I remember thinking these were kinda crap after a while. But perhaps it was my fault. They have a powder-to-cream kind of formula, so I used my fingers to apply the color to my cheeks but I could barely get anything to show up (and I have fair skin). They hit the trash not too long after purchasing them, but whenever I see them in the drugstore I remember when I first discovered blush.

NARS

Lola Lola Single Eyeshadow (may be discontinued?)

NARS Lola Lola Eyeshadow

This one takes me all the way back to high school. I loved this warm, rusty brown shade just simply applied all over my lid (again, just using my fingers). I never applied shadow underneath my lower lash line when I was teenager; too dramatic. I might have hit pan on the first one I had, but I repurchased it a few years ago. Sadly I couldn’t find this shade on NARS’s website, so perhaps it’s since been discontinued.

REVLON

Lip Butters (discontinued)

Revlon Lip Butter
Image source: walgreens.com

I was heavy into the Lip Butters around 2013-2014. I loved this formula so much that I had three or four of these on the go at one time, and nearly all of them lived in my purse. I would never remember the exact names but I had a fuschia, a red, a nude and a peach at least. If you never owned a Lip Butter, they were basically colored lip balms. Nothing special necessarily, but they had some cling to them so the color lasted a little longer than you’d expect for such a moisturzing formula, which I loved. And they had decent color payoff for being just balms. Revlon discontinued them in the past few years and replaced them with the HD Gel Color line, which is equally as moisturizing.

Which makeup items make you feel nostalgic? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

 

Review: Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette

You could say that anytime Urban Decay launches a palette, it’s big news in the beauty world. If Urban Decay knows anything, they know palettes. The release of the original Naked Palette in 2010 was a watershed moment in the beauty community created in part by the burgeoning social media scene of the time when new platforms and influencers were gaining popularity. While we were all shocked by the recent news regarding this iconic product (UD decided to discontinue the palette), we can assuage our grief by diving into exciting newer releases.

The Born to Run Palette is just this kind of release. It recently launched this summer and had all those in the beauty community talking. I was really wowed by the color range when I first saw the press images: lots of bright tones alongside some neutral, everyday shades. The theme of the palette is travel and jet-setting; having all the necessary shades you need in one place plus some fun pops of color. UD’s shadows tend to be very high-performing, so I wasn’t surprised when nearly all the reviews were glowing. I hauled this palette a while back, which I’ll link to here, but it took two trips to Ulta to finally get my mitts on this (it was sold out in one location).

Let’s jump straight into the review.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION 

21 eyeshadow shades for $49.00 (0.42 oz total; 0.02 oz per shadow)

Cruelty-free formula 

Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette offers endless escapes in one travel-ready package. With 21 shades and a full-size mirror, it lets you choose your own adventure.

If you find yourself packing multiple kits for one look, our Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette is your globe-trotting go-to.

When it’s time to grab your carry-on and dash off to the next big adventure, you’ll want to pack light. Enter Born To Run, an all-in-one eyeshadow palette that has everything you need to create neutral looks, add in pops of color and play with brights, no matter where you’re going. With 21 of-the-moment shades—from jewel tones and modern neutrals to more colorful shadows—you’ve got every possible eye look covered in one sleek kit. Made from our mind-blowing formula that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich color and blendability, Born To Run’s Eyeshadow shades hold tightly onto pigment that stays put.

Got a conference in Dallas where you need to look like a boss? Create subtle definition with creamy, light neutrals like Breakaway and Weekender en route (using the palette’s full-size mirror, of course). Or, blend Baja, a burnt orange matte, into the lids and smudge Accelerate, a reddish copper metallic, into the crease for a sunset-hued smoky eye that mirrors the view on your road trip through the Mojave Desert. If you’re dancing until daybreak in Prague, put a twist on the traditional cat-eye look and smudge Guilt Trip, a smoky purple shimmer, into the lash line to create an imperfect wing.

Can’t decide which awe-inspiring shade to swipe on next? No matter which shades you try, we designed them all to be universally flattering for any skin tone and any lifestyle. Whether you’re a total road warrior, a weekend escapist or a staycationer—this one palette has everything you need when you’re Born To Run.

Source: urbandecay.com

SHADES & SWATCHES

  • BREAKAWAY (warm ivory shimmer)
  • STRANDED (pale rose gold with tonal micro-shimmer)
  • BLAZE (light metallic peach with pink shift)
  • WEEKENDER (light neutral beige matte)
  • STILL SHOT (bright peach matte)
  • RIFF (brown-nude matte with floating micro-sparkle)
  • GOOD AS GONE (deep brown satin with iridescent micro-shimmer)
  • HELL RIDE (deep fuchsia matte)
  • BAJA (burnt orange matte)
  • ACCELERATE (reddish copper metallic)
  • GUILT TRIP (smoky purple shimmer)
  • IGNITE (rose gold metallic)
  • SMOG (deep coppery bronze shimmer)
  • WANDERLUST (forest green with gold micro-shimmer)
  • WILDHEART (bright fuchsia satin)
  • PUNK (red-brown matte)
  • DOUBLE LIFE (metallic rust)
  • JET (black satin with deep shimmering purple shift)
  • DRIFT (charcoal satin with tonal micro-sparkle)
  • RADIO (deep emerald satin)
  • BIG SKY (frosted green shimmer with iridescent micro-sparkle)

Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

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Top to bottom: Breakaway, Stranded, Blaze, Weekender, Still Shot, Riff, Good as Gone.
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From top to bottom: Hell Ride, Baja, Accelerate, Guilt Trip, Ignite, Smog, Wanderlust.
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Top to bottom: Wildheart, Punk, Double Life, Jet, Drift, Radio, Big Sky.

HOW I APPLY MY EYESHADOW

I’ve written extensively on how to apply eyeshadow in an earlier post, which includes tips and photos/information on the brushes I typically use. I always use a tacky eye primer (my favorite is MAC Paint Pot in either Painterly or Camel Coat) as a base first so the powders have something to grab onto. I recommend using a primer especially if you have oily eyelids, or if you don’t want your shadows to crease or fade throughout the day. I typically use generous, fluffy brushes (e.g. MAC 217) to apply my shadows since I prefer blown-out and softly defined looks on me. Smaller, detailed brushes (e.g. MAC 219) are specifically for upper/lower lash definition only. I usually don’t switch brushes when I use different finishes, like matte or shimmer, as others might.

MY THOUGHTS ON…

Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

Packaging: As you can see from the photo above, the packaging design is a collage of travel snapshots from different locations around the world, which I think is super cool-looking. The palette itself is quite sturdy without being too bulky or overweight. There’s also a nice, generous mirror inside which you would expect for a travel palette. However just keep in mind it’s not the smallest palette around. Certainly the UD Naked Basics Palettes are much more compact and in my opinion more travel-friendly than Born to Run, at least from UD’s line. It really all depends what you want out of your travel palette. If you want neutrals in a small format, go with something like the Naked Basics. If you want variety both in color & finish, Born to Run is perfect. I didn’t buy this palette with the intent of traveling with it, so the format doesn’t matter to me either way.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Color range: This is what drove me to buy this palette in the first place. I love the color story here; the brights and metallics alongside the more neutral shades. You can go in a variety of different directions in terms of looks and I love that. The pitfall with some more neutral palettes is that you can end up creating the same look over and over again. This won’t happen here, so I applaud UD for that. There are 6 mattes, 6 shimmers, 3 metallics, and 6 satins. According to Blushy Darling’s review, the only shades that are not original to this palette are Smog and Punk. My favorite shades are Stranded (shimmer), Blaze (shimmer), Still Shot (matte), Riff (matte), Accelerate (metallic), Ignite (metallic), Wanderlust (shimmer), Radio (satin) and Big Sky (shimmer). Fun fact: Blaze is like a warmer version of MAC’s Patina shadow.

I still have one gripe though. While I love the colors in this palette, I do think it’s missing perhaps one more neutral, mid-tone matte shade. I found I kept having to go back to Riff for my crease shade. Weekender was too light and both Good As Gone and Punk were way too intense for that purpose. So in my opinion UD went a little too dark and provided a few too many liner shades for my liking.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Application: I used every shadow in this palette in some form throughout the last few weeks and I can say that almost every color applies smoothly and evenly on the eyes with the exception of a couple. I thought I’d break it down my texture below.

  • Shimmers & Metallics: they are extremely creamy to the touch and they apply and blend out the absolute best on the eyes.
  • Satins: they are semi-creamy to the touch and apply/blend quite smoothly and evenly.
  • Mattes: they take a bit more work applying and blending on the eyes to get an even finish. They are definitely more dry to the touch. The worst performing shade of the entire palette is Hell Ride, the beautiful deep plum-berry matte from the second row. I LOVE the color, but try putting it in your crease and you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s choppy as all hell and grabs at certain places, doesn’t want to blend in others, and is generally quite difficult to work with. It’s best packed onto the lid with a flat brush. The second shade I had trouble with is Still Shot, one of my faves. It was a bit patchy so I had to use my finger to pack color onto my lid, but honestly it wasn’t nearly as problematic as Hell Ride and in the end I still got it to work.

Rating: 3.8/5 ⭐️

Pigmentation: Without a doubt, the pigmentation on every shade in this palette is top-notch. I hope you can see that from the swatch photos above. The dark shades are dark from first swipe, the brights are bright from first swipe, etc. You don’t need to keep digging in again and again to get full color payoff, which is what we’ve come to expect from UD shadows.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: Overall these shadows perform very well and keep their pigmentation over time. I did notice two issues after about 10 hours of wear. First, a little creasing with the matte shades and second, some fading of any of the purple shades (Wildheart, Hell Ride, & Guilt Trip) but only if I applied them to the lower lash line. I wouldn’t consider either one of these a major problem though considering the length of wear time.

Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️

Price: This palette is $49.00 for 21 shadows, or about $2.33/shadow. The total product weight is 0.42 oz. or 0.02 oz./shadow, which to be honest seems quite low. However when you compare it against the Naked 3 Palette where you get considerably less shades (12), but more product per shadow (0.05 oz.) for more money ($54.00), it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Or the Lorac Pro Palette where you pay less money ($44) but get less shades (16) for the same amount of product per shadow as Born to Run (0.02 oz.), again it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. You’re getting a lot of shades after all, the vast majority of which are perfectly workable, lovely textures that you can create beautiful looks with (with the exception of Hell Ride). Therefore I think the price is perfectly fine.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

SOME LOOKS I CREATED WITH THE PALETTE

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Look # 1: I used Guilt Trip on the top lid and into the crease, and smudged Hell Ride underneath my lower lash line. Super simple. Loved it!
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Look #2: I blended Stranded onto my top lid and into my crease, and smudged Big Sky underneath my lower lash line. Again, super simple. I particularly loved this look, but the photo doesn’t do the colors justice, especially Big Sky which is gorgeous.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall I think this is a beautiful palette that I would recommend to those who really love eyeshadow and who love experimenting with different looks. I think it wouldn’t be the right fit for someone who craves the same kind of look everyday (nothing wrong with that of course). The pigmentation and longevity are definitely there, but just keep in mind that application can be tricky with some of the mattes, and when I say that I’m referring predominantly to Hell Ride. If UD would replace that shade with one mid-tone crease color, the palette would be absolutely divine! But at the end of the day you’re getting a lot of good quality shades for a reasonable price point.

Have you tried the Born to Run Palette yet? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

A tour of my beauty mini’s

Over the past month or so I seem to have accumulated a nice little collection of beauty mini’s from various Sephora trips (I need to stay away now for quite a while, pray for me), and from my Birchbox subscription. I think mini’s are genius. They are such a good way to sample various products and brands; they’re less expensive and take up way less room in your collection than regular-sized products would. Most of the time now when I go into Sephora I go straight to the mini section near the registers. You can shop nearly every category in mini-size there from makeup, to skincare, haircare, bodycare and fragrance. And if you subscribe to any beauty box service, you’ll know that every month you get a curated collection of mini beauty products based on your preferences. I used to get Glossybox back in the day but switched over to Birchbox a few years back.

I thought I’d take you on a little tour of my current mini beauty collection since I’m really enjoying several items at the moment. This post is somewhere between a haul and a review. I’ve used and loved some of these products, while I still need to try others; others are just meh so far. Let’s get into it.

BIRCHBOX MINI’S 

Lise Watier Hydraforce BB Cream – Shop here 

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Swatch of the Lise Watier Hydraforce BB Cream in Light/Medium
  • Mini = 0.23 fl. oz; full size = 1.18 fl. oz. for $40.00

I received this last month and have used it a few times since. I love a good BB cream since I’m a light-coverage girl. I’m always willing to try a new one. This is definitely super light in terms of texture (it’s almost runny) and coverage, but honestly it’s just OK in my opinion. It’s got a subtle yet lovely scent, but I don’t find it offers much moisture, glowiness or anything particularly special to my skin. I was sent the darkest shade (Light/Medium) which isn’t very dark at all as you can see from the swatch photo above. Take a quick look at the Birchbox website and you’ll see it only comes in 3 shades. So if you have a deeper skin tone this will probably look ashy on you. I’ll continue to use this so as not to waste it, but I wouldn’t purchase the full size.

Peek Beauty Metalimatte Naturally Quick Drying Blush in Aboo – Shop here

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Swatch of Peek Beauty Blush in Aboo
  • Mini = 0.05 oz.; full size = 0.24 oz. (?) for $22.00

Got this a few months ago and have used it on and off ever since. You know I love a good cream blush and the cute sliding-tin packaging on this one got me from the start. I love how Birchbox really reps small indie brands like this. Peek is all about semi-sheer, weightless textures and this blush definitely embodies that makeup philosophy. The product is very creamy and layers on the skin quite nicely. The color is super natural (like a light peachy-pink) so if you want to see decent payoff you have to build it up a bit. However you get a nice glow from the peachy-golden pearl. While the website says this color is out of stock, it appears you can still order it. It’s also not clear to me from looking at the site just how big or how much product you get in the full size. I sincerely hope that what I consider the “mini” is not the actual full-size! But I did find a review of a few other Peek products on rougebeka.com that said most products in the line had 0.24 oz. I do like this product and will continue to use it, but probably wouldn’t purchase the full size; there’s other cream blushes I love more.

Winky Lux Disco Kitten Gloss in Groovy – Shop here

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Swatch of Disco Kitten Gloss in Groovy
  • Mini = 0.05 oz.; full size = can’t find product weight but retails for $14.00

This came in August’s Birchbox and I immediately became obsessed with it for obvious reasons. Look at that sparkle and the weird green color! I hopped onto my IG (@weareglamerus) and did a quick little video showing the product, so please head over there if you want to see it, or scroll up this page to my IG roll. I’ve never tried anything from Winky Lux before but I remember seeing all those photos of the clear lipsticks with the mini flowers in them. This gloss is one of those self-adjusting products that changes color depending your body’s chemistry, so don’t worry the bright green color goes away! On me this turns into a bright, cool-tone pink. It’s got a ton of shine with hardly any stickiness or grittiness from the glitter. It also has decent staying power on the lips, but just know that as the gloss wears down the glitter gets more and more noticeable. I think this is a fun product and the gloss is super comfy, but the pink is a little bright for me so I’m not sure if I’d purchase the full size.

Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer – Shop here

  • Mini = 0.25 fl. oz.; full size = 1 fl. oz. for $39.00

I’ve been milking this little guy for months now. I’m not one for face primers because I never felt I needed one, but when I saw the words “radiance” and “hyaluronic acid” I became intrigued. Smashbox describes this as a primer/highlighter hybrid and I completely agree. It’s got a slight golden, almost reddish tint when you first squirt it out of the tube but don’t be alarmed, it does dull down when applied to the skin. What you’re left with is a subtle golden sheen to your skin. I usually apply a tiny amount to my T-zone before my base and then sometimes I even tap a small amount over the high points of my face for a little extra sheen. I like it a lot, and it does seem to lengthen the hold of my base. I was a bad blogger and completely forgot to swatch/photograph this, so I apologize but I’m sure you can find swatches elsewhere online. I would purchase this in the full size.

SEPHORA MINI’S

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb – Shop here

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  • Mini = 25 mL for $22.00; full size = 50 mL for $38.00

Before using this I hadn’t had an amazing skincare discovery since I first tried the Clinique Moisture Surge line years ago. I didn’t purchase the Aqua Bomb per se. I used my Sephora rewards points at the checkout, but you can buy either the standard or the mini size on Sephora’s website. Wow, I totally loved this! It has this lovely gel-cream texture, which is quite similar to the Clinique Moisture Surge actually. It sinks quickly into the skin, leaves almost no tack but gives this wonderful hydrated, almost plump feeling to the skin. Plus it has this subtle fresh smell that I think is delicious. I finished the whole thing and promptly got a mini of The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb on my next trip to Sephora (again with my rewards points). While I love the Moisturizing Bomb too, I think my heart belongs to the Aqua Bomb; I prefer the texture more. Would absolutely buy it in the full size!

Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in Supernova – Shop here 

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Swatch of Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in Supernova
  • Mini = 0.25 oz. for $14.00; full size = 1 oz. for $28.00

I’ve been wanting to try more products from Milk Makeup forever, since I love the whole vibe of easy-to-use, no-fuss stick makeup. I recently bought my mom the Matte Bronzer in Baked and she absolutely loves it. I’ve tried one of their Eye Pigments but that was it before I got this. I jumped when I saw this little Holographic Stick since I love a cool-tone highlight. It comes in two other shades, but they definitely wouldn’t match my skin tone. The texture on this is almost balmy. It goes on quite smooth, blends very nicely and even layers over powder without much issue. It gives a subtle sheen of a duo-chrome purple/blue, so if you’re into intense sparkle then keep moving. I’ve used and applied this in a number of ways. I’ve layered it both under my base and on top of on the high points of my face; I’ve applied it both straight onto the skin from the stick and from my fingers. I wouldn’t say it’s got the best payoff, but I’m not one for intense highlighters. I’d say I like it a lot, but I don’t necessarily love it. I’d repurchase in the mini size, not the full size.

Natasha Denona Mini Lila Eyeshadow Palette – Shop here

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Swatches from top to bottom: Poison Berry (fuchsia matte), Blue Dahlia (purple with blue duo-chrome sparkle), Raisin (burgundy matte), Linen (champagne metallic), Flint (sandy matte).
  • Mini = 0.8 g for $25.00; full size = $129.00 for 15 shadows

I’ve been dying to try Natasha Denona shadows since the line initially launched, but I’ve always been deterred by the huge palette sizes and the huge price tags. So when I spotted this new Mini Lila Eyeshadow Palette at Sephora, I snatched it up immediately. Supposedly this is an “extension” of the larger Lila Palette with five brand-new shades not included in the 15-pan palette. I have not tried this yet on my eyes since I’m currently testing the Urban Decay Born to Run Palette, but the swatches on this were a-maz-ing. Soft, smooth, no tugging or skipping and with no eye primer underneath. The mattes actually seemed softer and even more pigmented than the shimmers, which blows my mind. I cannot wait to try this out after my other testing is done so I’ll report back. I have high hopes!

Have you tried any interesting beauty mini’s lately? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

Fenty made me do it: Inclusivity in the beauty world

By this point so much has been said and written about how Fenty Beauty changed the makeup game in 2017. And with good reason. The launch of their Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 40 shades is now widely considered a hallmark moment in beauty. It sent an unequivocal message to the larger community of brands, corporations, and advertisers that coverage products should be formulated, produced, and distributed equally for all skin tones. To highlight this point further, Fenty produced an equal 10 shades per skin tone category (light, medium, tan, deep) for the grand total of 40 shades. The bottom line: no one (or nearly no one) felt left behind this time.

While the concept of 40 foundation shades wasn’t invented by Rihanna or Fenty (heritage and pro brands like Estee Lauder and Make Up For Ever, respectively, have historically produced extensive foundation lines with upwards of 35 to 40 shades), they were the first to successfully market or call out said concept. The Pro Filt’r launch awakened and revived the dialogue between brands and frustrated consumers who felt systematically excluded from certain segments of the beauty industry.

It’s a conversation that’s now clearly here to stay.

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All shades in the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Longwear Foundation range (Image source: allure.com)

The issue of companies not producing enough shades for either the very lightest skin tones, or in most cases the darkest skin tones, isn’t confined to just a few brands nor is it confined to just one segment of the makeup industry. Truthfully it’s been an issue across the board from luxury/high-end, to more middle-market brands, and in the drugstore. Drugstore brands have been particularly notorious for this in the past. Historically they’ve crammed most of their foundation & concealer shades into narrow buckets, and produced ranges of perhaps 10-15 shades that have left a lot of the makeup-wearing population out in the dark. (Off the top of my head Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Concealer comes to mind. Really poor selection of shades.)

But the tide is certainly shifting since the Fenty launch. More consumers, more influencers, and more thought-leaders in the beauty community are speaking up and demanding more of companies and brands not only in regards to product ranges but also in regards to marketing imagery. They want to know that brands are formulating products not for just for those with light to medium skin tones. They want to see more people with medium to darker to deepest skin tones in beauty ads and campaigns. Quite simply, they want to be represented; they want to be included.

While 2018 started off on the wrong foot with the Tarte Shape Tape Foundation fiasco, I feel that this has been the year of inclusive foundation launches as both high-end and drugstore brands work to either mimic Fenty’s approach or best it. Below I’ve compiled just a few of the stand-out foundation launches that we’ve seen so far in 2018. These launches offer a broader range of shades that are more equally distributed from fair to deep skin tones.

Just a few things to note. Firstly, this is not an exhaustive list (plus the year isn’t over anyway). Secondly, this is not meant to be a traditional review of these foundations, especially since I’ve never tried any of them personally. This is just a commentary on how the heightened conversation around inclusivity in makeup has influenced recent product launches.

BEAUTY BAKERIE CAKE MIX DEMI-MATTE FOUNDATION – Shop here

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Image Source: Hiplatina.com
  • 30 shades total ranging from fair to deep

Like Fenty, Beauty Bakerie brought out an equal amount shades across skin tone categories for their widely celebrated Cake Mix Foundation launch back in April (their magic number is 5). While they launched a lesser amount of shades total than Fenty did, they spread their line across a slightly broader category range; meaning 5 fair, 5 light, 5 medium, 5 tan, 5 dark, and 5 deep shades. As a black-owned indie brand that’s gaining massive traction on social media, Beauty Bakerie took it one step further and reversed the standard convention of listing shades from lightest to darkest; their range is listed darkest to lightest. It’s subtle, but it’s brimming with meaning and significance at the same time.

NARS NATURAL RADIANT LONGWEAR FOUNDATION – Shop here

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Image Source: narscosmetics.com
  • 33 shades total ranging from fair to deep

While this launch from NARS may not have the most equal distribution across skin tones, it’s much more wide-ranging in comparison to some of their earlier launches like the Sheer Glow Foundation (20 shades) and the Luminous Weightless Foundation (also 20 shades), with more undertones represented as well.

DIOR BACKSTAGE FACE AND BODY FOUNDATIONShop here 

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Image Source: magi-mania.de
  • 40 shades total ranging from fair to deepest

This is Dior’s most recent foundation launch inspired by makeup artist secrets and backstage beauty, that includes what they call “16 intensities” and 6 undertones within a total of 40 shades (the magic number now). Looking at the visual above, it’s undoubtedly an impressive range. And if you take a quick peek at the other Dior complexion products currently on the market, the Backstage Face and Body is much more expansive in comparison. Diorskin Forever stands at 24 shades with significantly less variety in dark/deep skin tones.

COVER FX POWER PLAY FOUNDATION – Shop here

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Image Source: beautyalmanac.com
  • 40 shades total ranging from fair to deepest

Of all the visuals included in this post, this one holds the most weight to me. Look at that color range! Truly impressive. And Cover FX really wants you to know that too. If you scroll through their Instagram feed and take a look at the marketing on this product, the messaging is all to do with the vastness of the shade and undertone range (“ your perfect match awaits”) (“foundation for all”).

COVERGIRL TRUBLEND MATTE MADE FOUNDATION – Shop here

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Image Source: thebeautyinfluencers.com
  • 40 shades total ranging from porcelain to deep

CoverGirl made news this year with one of the largest drugstore foundation offerings after Maybelline’s expansion of the Fit Me range in 2017. The TruBlend Matte Made Foundation comes in at the magical 40 shade-number, making it broader than even L’Oreal’s True Match range. At less than $10 a bottle for both TruBlend and Fit Me, it’s reassuring to consumers of all skin tones that the more affordable brands are taking the issue of shade range seriously.

COLOURPOP NO FILTER NATURAL MATTE FOUNDATION – Shop here 

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Image Source: allure.com
  • 42 shades total ranging from fair to deep-dark

Finally, ColourPop. With the largest offering of this entire list, the new No Filter Natural Matte Foundation comes in at a bulky 42 shades which are distributed equally amongst 6 skin tone categories, ranging from fair to deep-dark. This is another visual that has both great aesthetic and emotional impact when you stop to think just how many options ColourPop is offering to its customers at an extremely affordable price ($12/bottle). If any brand could best Fenty’s range, it would be ColourPop; a brand that has immense community, marketing and financial power within the industry and an extremely quick turn-around to market.

What is your opinion on inclusiveness in beauty? Do you think it’s at a good place now or do we have some distance to go still? Would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

xo, Erica

Review: Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette

You may recall that I hauled the new and improved Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette a few weeks ago in this post. I spoke a bit about the backstory on the palette and my first impressions of a couple of the shadows in that post. I have since put the rest of the colors to the test so I’m here to present you with a more informed review of this product. I know that this isn’t a new launch by any means, but hopefully this will be helpful to those of you looking to buy an affordable drugstore palette, or to those that have never tried Wet n’ Wild shadows before. So let’s get into it!

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

10 eyeshadow shades for $4.99 (0.35 oz)

Cruelty-free & Vegan

Powerfully pigmented, buttery-soft, glides on like a dream. That’s what we dreamed up with our reformulated Color Icon eyeshadows. Our reformulated Color Icon hues come in a mix of coveted colors, from shimmery daytime hues to sultry shades for cocktail hours—including new matte transitional shades for impeccable blending.

Source: Wet n’ Wild official website

HOW I APPLY MY EYESHADOW

I’ve written extensively on how to apply eyeshadow in an earlier post, which includes tips and photos/information on the brushes I typically use. I always use a tacky eye primer (my favorite is MAC Paint Pot in either Painterly or Camel Coat) as a base first so the powders have something to grab onto. I recommend using a primer especially if you have oily eyelids, or if you don’t want your shadows to crease or fade throughout the day. I typically use generous, fluffy brushes (e.g. MAC 217) to apply my shadows since I prefer blown-out and softly defined looks on me. Smaller, detailed brushes (e.g. MAC 219) are specifically for upper/lower lash definition only. I usually don’t switch brushes when I use different finishes, like matte or shimmer, as others might.

SHADES & SWATCHES

A closer look at the full palette: 8 shimmer shades, plus 2 matte shades labeled TRANSITION. None of the shades have particular names, so the row starting with the light cream shimmery shade is ‘Shimmer row 1’ for the sake of this post, and the row starting with the green shimmery shade is ‘Shimmer row 2.’ Check the photo captions for shade descriptions.

*I photographed one of the looks I did using this palette, which is up on my IG now (@weareglamerus). If you’d like to see it please head over there and show it some love. (My IG roll is also on my blog on the right sidebar.)

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Shimmer row 1 top to bottom: light cream shimmer, light sandy-taupe shimmer, light to mid-tone peachy gold shimmer, black with golden shimmer.
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Shimmer row 2 top to bottom: light to mid-tone grassy-green shimmer, mid-tone golden bronze, mid-tone to dark warm brown with green-blue shimmer (duo-chrome), black with green shimmer.
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Matte Transition shades from top to bottom: mid-tone orange, mid-tone to dark warm reddish brown (wine).

MY THOUGHTS ON…

Shade range: As you can probably tell, this palette definitely leans warm although the pops of green cool it down a bit. I think each shade brings something interesting and unique to the palette. There aren’t too many shades that look similar to one another once applied to the eye, although that being said I could do without one of the two black-based shimmer shades. In its place perhaps Wet n’ Wild could have included a dark matte brown or just an entirely matte black for a slightly more well-rounded shade range.

My favorite shades are probably both matte transition colors, plus the grassy-green shimmer, the duo-chrome green-blue and the mid-tone golden bronze. They have the most impact.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Packaging: This might be a bit unfair, but as we all know extremely affordable brands such as Wet n’ Wild are usually not known for their quality packaging. In plain terms, the packaging here is cheap. The plastic can easily be dented or shattered if dropped. But I wouldn’t feel this review were complete without some discussion on the matter. However, I very much appreciate Wet n’ Wild’s attention to detail when it comes to safety packaging. The palette is taped shut on three sides and my goodness, that tape is hard to peel off (you can probably see the residue it left behind on the cover photo to this blog). But I think in the drugstore this is particularly important since there are virtually no testers available to us. So you never know if the product you pick up has been opened, touched or swatched by someone else unless you see broken safety packaging.

Rating: 3/5 ⭐️ (kudos to that ironclad safety packaging)

Application: Overall I’m very impressed with the application on all these shades. For the most part they applied quite smoothly across the eye without much tugging or fussiness. I had a little trouble though with the warm reddish-brown (wine) matte transition shade when I went to put it all over my eyelid, as I wrote about back in my haul post. It got a little patchy when applied with a fluffy brush, but I rectified that by patting the color over top with my finger. Nothing horrible but just something to take note of. I did not notice any patchiness with the orange matte transition shade nor any of the shimmers.

Another thing to note is the softness of these shadows. While they feel extremely smooth to the touch, they also fall apart very easily when you swirl your brush in to pick up color. You must, must tap your brush out a few times before applying to your eyes. Most likely you’ll get some degree of fall-out on your cheeks after using these shadows. Therefore I recommend doing your eyes first before doing your base if you’re going to use this palette.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Pigmentation: The pigmentation is awesome on all these shadows. If I’m being super picky, the lightest cream shimmer shade can be a bit flakey but that really doesn’t bother me much; I’ve only used it as an inner-corner highlight anyway. For such an affordable price though, I was especially impressed with the brightness and punchiness of the matte transition shades. If you look at the swatch photo above, you’ll see what I mean. It can be really difficult to get well-pigmented matte shadows at a drugstore price, so Wet n’ Wild really killed it here. Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: I think the longevity of these shadows is quite good generally with one exception. I’ve worn every color now in a variety of looks and I noticed two instances of fading. In both instances I had layered one shimmer color over another. I layered the grassy-green shimmer over the peachy gold shimmer on the ball of my eye for a quasi-halo effect; by later that day the green color had all but disappeared. In a separate look, I layered the warm bronze over the grassy-green color on the outer corner of my eye but it also eventually disappeared. Contrarily, I noticed hardly any fading at all on any shadow, matte or shimmer, when simply applied over a primer. Perhaps if you wet your brush when layering the shadows it will make difference, but I never do that extra step.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Price: I’ll keep this short and snappy. This palette is only $4.99 for 10 shadows; $4.99 for 10 quality shadows. How can you beat that? Wet n’ Wild is probably one of if not the most affordable drugstore brand out there (at least here in the U.S.). The pigmentation and quality of the beautiful duo-chrome green-blue shade in this palette, for instance, rivals one of my favorite, more high-end duo-chrome shadows that’s $21.00 for a single (Peacock from Ardency Inn). I think this palette is an absolute steal.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

FINAL THOUGHTS

I would absolutely recommend this product to anyone, either if you are looking for a great drugstore palette or just looking for a great palette in general. Despite some minor issues with application and fading, I would still go as far as to say that this palette rivals some of my higher-end purchases. And historically I’ve had more pronounced issues with some high-end makeup than I’ve ever had with Wet n’ Wild. Just goes to show that you can absolutely get quality makeup at affordable prices.

Have you tried the Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica