The 2018 beauty discoveries I’m obsessed with!

Hi friends!

Well folks, here are the 2018 beauty discoveries I’m obsessed with! Most of them I have discussed on here or written reviews for, so I’ll refrain then from any lenthy discussion in this post. However, I think it’s good to have everything in one place so if you were curious as to which products I was most impressed by in 2018, you can easily refer to this post. I will link to any previous posts I have on these products so you can deep-dive into whatever you prefer.

When I initially put this list together I had multiple products in each category, but I got a bit strict with myself and set a new rule: one product per category. It was actually more fun to do it that way! So I included the following categories: FOUNDATION/BASE, CONCEALER, MASCARA, EYESHADOW, BLUSH, HIGHLIGHTER, BROWS, LIPS & BRUSHES.

So let’s get into it!

FOUNDATION / BASE

Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm

This is a luxurious tinted moisturizer that offers sheer coverage, hydration and tons of glow, which is my ideal scenario. I did a whole review of this product, which is linked below.

Read this: The best tinted moisturizer for summer?

First runner-up in this category is the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue.

CONCEALER

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

This was a hard one. I’ve tried some great concealers this year, both drugstore & more luxury. But after some deliberation, I have to go with the NARS. I never did an in-depth review of this, and I’m not sure why! I did mention it briefly in a blog post about which products I was taking with me on summer vacation. This edged out the Too Faced Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer since the packaging is light-years ahead in terms of convenience & ease of use. The NARS is a beautiful concealer that never creases on me & covers redness, discoloration & blemishes very well.

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

First runner-up in this category is the Too Faced Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly (the lightest shade)
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly (the lightest shade).

Mascara

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Side note: this was the only product that didn’t make it into the photos for this post, since I currently don’t have it in my collection (I jump around with mascaras a lot!). I’ve talked about this mascara several times on here, so I won’t dwell. Short story: it’s awesome! Volume: ✅. Length: ✅. Drama: ✅. For more detail, make sure to check out the post below.

Read this: My favorite luxe beauty products

First mascara runner-up is L’Oreal Voluminous Superstar X-Fiber Mascara.

EYESHADOW

Elf Cosmetics Mad for Matte Palettes in either Summer Breeze or Nude Mood (powder);

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks in either Taupe or Nude Beach (cream)

Yup, I cheated on this one and allowed myself two picks! Whoops, forgive me. I’ve spoken about my love for these products in separate blog posts that, of course, I’ll link below. But if you want quality drugstore matte shadows in a variety of color schemes, go straight to Elf. And if you’re more into cream shadows, and don’t mind spending a bit more cash, get yourself over to the Bobbi Brown counter. These sticks are probably the creamiest and easiest to blend that I’ve ever used (and I’ve used a lot).

Read this for more Elf: My fave drugstore matte eyeshadows, $10 and under.

Read this for more Bobbi Brown: My top 5 fave cream eye shadows.

Flatlay with Elf Mad for Mattes Palette in Summer Breeze, Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizing Balm, Bobbi Brown Longwear Cream Shadow Stick, & Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
Elf Mad for Matte Palette in Summer Breeze, Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks, Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter.

BLUSH

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

Before I tried anything from Glossier, I knew I would like the Cloud Paint. It’s very strange, it’s like I had a hunch or something. So when I finally got my hands on it in the early fall, I wasn’t at all surprised when I became obsessed. I got the shade Dusk, which is beautiful neutral peachy shade that looks very natural on my skin tone. It’s a lovely creamy texture that blends into the skin seamlessly either with fingers, a sponge or brush. Just beautiful. Cream cheek products are definitely my preference.

Watch this: The neutral blush of dreams.

First runner-up in this category is Elf Cosmetics Aqua Beauty Blush & Bronzer in Bronzed Pink Beige.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk
Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

HIGHLIGHTER

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

I just did a whole blog post not long ago on the Flawless Filter and some drugstore alternatives that I found. However, I don’t think there’s anything quite like the original in this case. This is just a beautiful, beautiful product that I personally think is worth the price tag. To be honest, I was obsessed from the very first time I used it!

Read this: Drugstore alternatives to Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter

First runner-up in this category is the Ohii Beauty Wake Up Pen

BROWS

Peripera Speedy Brow Cara

I tried a lot of brow mascaras this year, but I picked up this one from Peripera in the later quarter of the year and it’s quickly became my fave! I think it all has to do with the size & flexibility of the brush. You’ll see from the photo below, it’s tiny & very thin; perfect for working through your brows. It’s also water-resistant as well. It deposits just the right amount of color and nicely grooms the brows in place. This just edged out the Glossier Boy Brow, which was a tad too gloopy.

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

First runner-up in this category is the Glossier Boy Brow

Peripera Speedy Brow Cara
Peripera Speedy Brow Cara

LIPS

Flower Beauty Mix n’ Matte Lip Duo in Honey Nude

I’m so glad I discovered this in 2018! Totally beautiful in texture & color, plus it won’t break the bank. I did a blog post comparing this side-by-side with Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Lipstick. Short story: they are very similar. Check out that post for much more detailed info (linked below).

Read this: A drugstore dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Lipstick?

First runner-up in this category is a 2018 rediscovery: Clinique Chubby Sticks!

Flaylay with Peripera Speedy Browcara, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk & Flower Beauty Mix n Matte Lip Duo in Honey Nude
Flower Beauty Mix N’ Matte Lip Duo in Honey Nude, Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, & Peripera Speedy Brow Cara.

BRUSHES

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe 6-piece Travel Brush Set + Case

I hadn’t really shaken up my brush collection in ages before this year. It was all MAC & Real Techniques. Now I have several beautifully soft brushes from IT Cosmetics that I got in a gift bag when I attended a L’Oreal event this fall. I’m so obsessed now! These brushes are very good quality; they blend your products amazingly well and are a joy to hold. They feel slightly weighty but in a very appealing, luxurious way. In this kit you get a foundation brush, powder brush, concealer brush, crease brush, eyeshadow brush & an eyeliner/brow brush.

Read this: A night with L’Oreal in NYC

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe 6-Piece Travel Brush Set. Pictured from L to R: eyeshadow brush, crease brush, eyeliner & brow brush, powder brush & concealer brush. Foundation brush not pictured.
From L to R: eyeshadow brush, crease brush, eyeliner/brow brush, powder brush, & concealer brush. Not pictured: foundation brush.

What were your beauty discoveries & obsessions of 2018? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

PIN IT!

Check out my 2018 beauty discoveries from NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, Elf, Stila, Glossier, Bobbi Brown & more!
Advertisements

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) 

C002564A-4D25-44B9-93A8-C17C72961921
Gilt by Association by MAC

 

MAC Palette with Patina, Club, Satin Taupe highlighted
My MAC palette featuring Patina (P), Club (C), & Satin Taupe (S).

eyeshadowswatches
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

 

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.

3F3EC1C5-EEF2-40BA-88F8-CB1A6F74D8ED
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

6C411FD9-727F-47BD-8612-0FAEA21F419B
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

58AC21A4-3AA1-4C5E-9F9E-3073F8D0845C
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 

91C796B6-DA00-46CF-A38C-D8C2021B6069
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

A1959A8E-F8A4-4DFC-89ED-C3DA0C82BCB0
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

846B2323-1CDD-49E0-B1DC-50C9FC55DFDB
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 

4FC8EA3B-F446-443C-9D6B-F864747CF958
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

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

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

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

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

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

3BE11ED5-C9BD-49C3-95E7-06A94FFCE911

EYE MAKEUP 

Beautaniq Beauty Glow Serum – Shop here 

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

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

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

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

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

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in Black – Shop here

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

DF87F1B3-A5A5-4F81-A151-1776BCB31256
From L to R: Clinique High Impact Mascara (travel size), Beautaniq Glow Serum, Physician’s Formula Eyeliner, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (full size).

114CA1F0-DE5A-418F-8218-3EB554290C1A
From L to R: Physician’s Formula Brown Eyeliner, Beautaniq Glow Serum. The silver sheen in the Glow Serum really picks up in natural light but the pink tint is clearly visible in artificial light.

COMPLEXION MAKEUP

MAC Strobe Cream in Pinklite – Shop here

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

NARS Creamy Concealer in Chantilly – Shop here

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

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

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

BROWS

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

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

429C5CF9-A008-45E2-AF1F-C415B12F4344
From L to R: L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper, NARS Creamy Concealer, Kiko Velvet Touch Blush, MAC Strobe Cream.

LIPS

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk – Shop here

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

6D97C77D-0AA0-4396-9174-400280ED8A46

4244E77C-8DBC-4EC4-A1AC-F4B3B7988052
Swatch of Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick

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

xo, Erica

Review: Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer

I was recently in the market for a new concealer as both my Tarte Shape Tape and Maybelline Fit Me had seen better days. I have a “1-in-1-out” policy with my makeup collection: if I add a new item I have to let another go. It’s how I prefer to control my makeup stash. So as it goes, letting go of older products means slots for newer ones open up. I’m always up for trying new base products, so I initially picked up the NARS Creamy Concealer (I’ll probably do a separate review later), which I’d been eyeing forever.

Continue reading “Review: Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer”