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.

 

Charlotte Tilbury is now in Sephora! My shopping guide.

Charlotte Tilbury is now officially stocked in Sephora! As of today you can get all your favorite goodies or explore the brand online at sephora.com; the products will be in stores tomorrow 9/14. Very exciting stuff. Prior to today you either had to shop on charlottetilbury.com or nordstrom.com if you lived in the U.S. I’ve been a big fan of this line ever since it initially launched, so over the years I’ve curated my own little collection of favorites. As usual, there are also a few items that I think are not worth the purchase. So in celebration of the Sephora launch, I put together a little shopping guide on what to buy and not to buy from Charlotte Tilbury.

Please keep in mind that this is definitely a premium brand, so what I think is worth my money may not be what you think is worth yours. All the products that I recommend below bring something unique to the experience of applying makeup (in my opinion of course).

WHAT TO SNATCH!

Luxury Eyeshadow Palettes – Shop here

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Luxury Palette in The Dolce Vita contains 3 shimmers and 1 finely-milled glitter (the third swatch down). Palette leans warm-toned.
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Luxury Palette in The Rock Chick contains 2 shimmers, 1 matte, and 1 finely-milled glitter (the third swatch down). Palette leans cool-toned.
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Luxury Palette in The Sophisticate, the only fully matte shadow palette in Charlotte’s line. Palette leans neutral to cool-toned.

These eyeshadow palettes were my first loves from Charlotte’s brand. These products date back to her initial launch in 2013 when she released 10 iconic looks. Now they come in about 8 different colorways excluding the new limited edition Pillow Talk Luxury Palette (which is currently out of stock on charlottetilbury.com). The shadows are buttery smooth, blend seamlessly (in every finish!) and keep their color intensity all day; what else can you ask for really? The only thing I’ll say is these are very, very powdery so make sure to tap your brush out a few times before applying. The most special part of each palette is the glitter pigment on the lower left; it’s the most beautiful, finely-milled glitter I’ve ever used. With the exception of The Sophisticate, there’s one in every Luxury Palette. You just use your finger to lightly tap the glitter over your eyelid and it is so incredibly gorgeous. Perfect for a night out or special occasion. These palettes all retail for $53.00 and personally I think they’re worth every penny; I go back to them time and time again.

Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Iconic Nude – Shop here

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Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude

This is actually more of a recommendation from my mother than me! You can’t see the full pencil in this photo but take my word for it she’s whittled this down pretty far. She loves this particular color, Iconic Nude, which is very neutral and goes with a lot of different lipstick shades. (This formula comes in loads of different colors.) I did use the Lip Cheat once on myself and it had this slightly waxy, but very comfortable texture. It reminded me a bit of the MAC Pro-Longwear Lip Pencils but much easier to work with. It lasts quite well on the lips, yet it creates this very soft definition. And at $22.00, it’s one of the more affordable items from Charlotte’s line.

Matte Revolution Lipsticks in Very Victoria & Pillow Talk – Shop here

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Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick
Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk
Swatch of Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick
Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

I’ve talked about my obsession with this formula in a previous blog post, so I’ll be brief here. This is probably the most comfortable, velvety matte lipstick I’ve ever used, hands down. The Tom Ford matte lipsticks are a close second though. And it lasts through eating and drinking quite well; there’s always a soft stain left on my lips at the end of the day. Pillow Talk, a soft, mid-tone pink, is my personal recommendation; Very Victoria, a taupe nude that is almost mauvey, is another recommendation from my mom. At $34.00, again I think this is worth every penny. If you struggle to find a comfortable matte and want to treat yourself, get one of these.

Hollywood Flawless Filter – Shop here

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Hollywood Flawless Filter in Light/Medium

This is my most recent obsession from Charlotte’s line. I heard about this product when it first launched and was totally confused as to what it was, as was the rest of the beauty community. However when my mom decided to buy it she got me a little sample, and boy am I glad she did. It comes in 7 ‘shades’ (the one pictured above is my mom’s), but honestly this isn’t a coverage product in the slightest. This is a liquid glow product that gives you the most beautiful dewy sheen. I usually apply it (in the shade Fair) as you would a highlighter on the high points of my face; sometimes I apply it underneath my base product, over the top of it and sometimes I do a combination of both if I really want serious dew! This is what I’d imagine red carpet makeup to be. It’s not sparkly or glittery at all; it just softens your features ever so slightly. Pure magic. At $44.00 it’s definitely not cheap, but you do get 30 ml of amazing product.

WHAT TO SKIP!

Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow – Shop here 

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Eyes to Mesmerize in Bette

You know by now that I love a good cream eyeshadow. I got this one ages ago in the color Bette (a coppery-bronze), and while it has a lot of things going for it (interesting texture, saturated color pigment, great longevity) I just don’t find myself gravitating towards it in my collection. At $32.00 a pop, I think you can absolutely get cream shadows just as nice and well-performing at a much lower price point. Try Maybelline, Revlon, or ColourPop for a cheaper alternative.

Instant Look in a Palette in Seductive Beauty (discontinued)

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Instant Look in a Palette in Seductive Beauty

I don’t see this particular palette listed anywhere on either Sephora or Charlotte’s website so I think this was limited edition. She’s done a few different versions of this all-in-one palette with slightly different shades (right now you can get the Smokey Eye Beauty version). If you travel a lot or want all your face and eye makeup in one place, this kind of product would be ideal for you. It’s got 3 eyeshadows (labeled 1, 2, 3), 1 bronzer (labeled 4), 2 blushes (labeled 4, 5) and 1 highlight (labeled 7). The quality is definitely very good. However with that being said, I just don’t think it’s necessary, especially at $75.00. If you have a decent-sized makeup collection, you probably have all these products already.

Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Barbarella Brown – Shop here

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A lot of beauty editors, makeup artists and influencers love this product but it just wasn’t my favorite. I threw mine out a while ago since it got old, so the one pictured here belongs to my mom. She likes it a lot but I couldn’t get on with it. Everyone talks about how creamy it is (and it certainly swatches well), but on me it was stiff and I could never get a good blend. I applied it both over bare skin and over eyeshadow; the result was always the same. This is touted as being so smooth it’s more like a liquid eyeliner than a pencil. Just didn’t find that to be the case. I’ve gotten much more use out of some of my drugstore eye pencils than this $27.00 product.

Are you excited that Charlotte Tilbury is now in Sephora? Will you be picking anything up from the brand? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

I hit 100 followers on my blog! GIVEAWAY CLOSED

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

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

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

1. Follow my blog (of course).

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

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

4. Be 18 years or older

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

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

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

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

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

xo, Erica

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Image source: Ohii Instagram
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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

Instagram images that inspired me this week

Happy Friday! To transition us gently into weekend mode, I thought I’d do something a bit different today. I’d like to share with you all some of the Instagram images in the beauty category that stopped me in my tracks this week and made me go, wow! I find these all to be visually striking images in different ways depending on the personality behind the account (hopefully this will make more sense later). I gathered a nice mix of images from social media influencers, YouTubers, makeup brands, beauty editors and bloggers. To be honest I could have picked so many more than I did, but I decided to cut it off at 9 images. I’d love to periodically do posts like this in the future; perhaps they won’t always be beauty-related either. I like the idea of sharing beautiful images that perhaps will introduce you to accounts you didn’t know of or follow before.

I’m going to try to keep my commentary to a minimum here so the images do most of the talking but I’ll let you know along the way just why I think these particular images are noteworthy and who is behind the account.

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I’ve been following the Korean makeup brand 3CE or 3 Concept Eyes on Instagram for a while now. I love almost all the imagery they put up mainly because it seems to focus more on beautiful, luxurious skin rather than dramatic eye looks. Also their reverse-ombre lip looks, a huge Korean makeup trend with the highest concentration of pigment towards the center of the lips, are just so gorgeous. Look at how dark that lipstick is in the tube but how soft it looks on the lips.

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OK this is not beauty related, but just look at that rainbow! Alessandra Steinherr has been the Beauty Director of Glamour Magazine for the past decade and is a recent beauty blogger as well. She regularly posts interesting content and does lives quite frequently so if you’re not following her already, I recommend doing so.

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Byrdie is a great destination for all things beauty, lifestyle and wellness and their Instagram is always on point. For some reason I find myself gravitating more towards their posts on nails and manicures. In my dreams I’d get a manicure like the one pictured in this image. How beautiful, elegant and fairytale is this? And may I say, I appreciate the shorter nails. I think this would take on a whole different vibe if the nails pictured here were longer.

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This image is like Instagram perfection, isn’t it? Eman does great glam looks on YouTube if you haven’t heard of her before. I think the element that really struck me about this particular image was the different tones of blue used on her eyes. Even though her skin and lips looks flawless here, the focus is still all on those colorful, smokey eyes. Gorgeous.

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I love, love, love the makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes. Not just her style but her whole makeup philosophy is appealing to me. Just look at the caption on this image and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about. She’s extremely active on Instagram and does lives and videos almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Her focus is often on juicy, healthy-looking skin and she shares helpful tips on both skincare and makeup application especially for hooded eyes. She’s definitely one to follow.

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I still haven’t tried anything from Glossier yet (tear), but I’ve known for the longest time that the first product I’m likely to buy will be the Cloud Paint. It’s just so me! Easy-to-use cream, sheer blush that looks natural on the skin? Sign me up. I just have so many cream blushes at the moment, I can’t justify the purchase right now. Instead I’ll satisfy myself with looking at cool images like this.

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I actually first discovered beauty and lifestyle blogger Priyanka Patel from Glamour & Giggles on Pinterest before I followed her on Instagram. Her blog is awesome, excellent recommendations and product reviews. I love the staging of this particular image. Everything about it is striking to me. The black and white of the Sephora bags against the pale pink color of the chair. And those cool makeup organizers and brush holders in the background. Even the tissue paper looks perfectly staged!

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I couldn’t not include an image from makeup artist Sam Chapman, aka one-half of Pixiwoo on YouTube. I’ve been watching her videos and tutorials since 2011; she’s one of the reasons I really got into makeup in fact. Like Katie Jane Hughes, her makeup philosophy is the primary reason I respect her. She often incorporates broken or disheveled elements into her makeup to give it a more authentic and relatable feel. I feel like this image gives both glam and understated vibes at the same time, which is awesome.

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I love everything that skincare and beauty blogger Melanie at Overglow Edit does pretty much. I adore the aesthetic and overall vibe of both her Instagram feed and her blog. She kills it at snapping and editing her product overlays, and giving us little tidbits of info on the skincare she’s using. I’m not much of a skincare blogger since I rarely change up my very simple routine (although I did incorporate a new product just recently), so I enjoy hearing what others who much more knowledgeable, like her, have to say. I could have picked any image from her feed to feature here honestly, so I just picked one of her more recent posts. I love the pairing of the books & the greenery with the beauty products.

What images from Instagram or elsewhere have inspired you recently? Beauty or otherwise? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

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

sugarpeachpalette
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

urbandecayborntorunlook2
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!
urbandecayborntorunlook1
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xo, Erica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snatch or skip? Drugstore eye palettes

This post contains affiliate links (denoted with an asterisk), which means I earn a small commission if/when you click through to purchase. Regardless, these are my honest opinions. I do not recommend products I do not love or use myself.

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

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

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

WHAT TO SNATCH!

*Milani Everyday Eyes Palette in Bare Necessities

$10.79 @ CVS.com;

$11.00 @ milanicosmetics.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

$4.99 @ ultabeauty.com & wetnwildbeaty.com

Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

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

Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutrals #2 Matte Palette 

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

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

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

WHAT TO SKIP!

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1

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

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

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Image source: Walmart
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Image source: Walmart

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

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

Xo, Erica