Holiday beauty gift sets $50 and under – my picks from Sephora!

Hi friends!

I’m back with my second gift guide of the season. If you missed the first one, I’ll link it here; it was a drugstore beauty gift guide featuring sets all $20 and under. This one focuses on more luxury items so I’d say this is geared to the true beauty-obsessive in your life. I kept it really simple and picked sets that are currently available at Sephora for $50 and under. Since Sephora is probably the biggest beauty retailer in the world, my picks are bound to go out of stock some time after publishing this post, so if you are intrigued by something on this list, I say snatch it quick!

This is more tightly edited than my drugstore list in terms of the number of items featured, but instead I included a broader range of categories which are: haircare, skincare, makeup & beauty tools

Let’s get into it!

HAIRCARE 

Morrocanoil Ultimate Moisture Favorites

MOROCCANOIL ULTIMATE MOISTURE FAVORITES

  • $48.00 ($66.00 value) – Shop here

This gift set contains:

The Moisture Repair Shampoo, the Moisture Repair Conditioner, the Moroccanoil Treatment, & the Hand Cream Fragrance Originale

I love Moroccanoil hair products; most, if not all (?), of their products are infused with argan oil. I think they are great quality and the smell is absolutely amazing to boot. I’ve used a lot of their hair oils & creams since my hair is processed and a bit dry, but this is for anyone who’s craving some extra hydration in their strands. Moroccanoil also started bringing out body products a few years ago and their creams are very luxurious as well so I’m sure the hand cream is gorgeous. 

SKINCARE 

Belif Winter Waterdrop Set
Belif Winter Waterdrop Kit (outer packaging)
Belif Winter Waterdrop Set
Belif Winter Waterdrop Kit (contents)

BELIF WINTER WATERDROP KIT

  • $22.00 ($48.00 value) – Shop here 

This gift set contains:

The Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist, the Hungarian Water Essence, the Moisturizing Eye Bomb, the True Cream Aqua Bomb, & the Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask

I recently tried some products from Belif this year, and I have to say I’ve fallen in love with this brand! I want to try more myself. I first tried the Aqua Bomb and then the Moisturizing Bomb, and they both rival my love for Clinique Moisture Surge now! I think this is an awesome gift for anyone into skincare and who’s looking to sample the brand. It also looks like there are products for almost every skin type included here, which is great. And the outer packaging is just so adorable! 

MAKEUP 

Pat McGrath Labs Mini Mattetrance Trio in Colour Blitz
Pat McGrath Labs LUST Mini Mattetrance Trio in Colour Blitz
Pat McGrath Labs Mini Mattetrance Trio in Colour Blitz (swatches)
Pat McGrath Labs LUST Mini Mattetrance Trio in Colour Blitz (swatches)
Pat McGrath Labs Mini Mattetrance Trio in Skin Show
Pat McGrath Labs LUST Mini Mattetrance Trio in Skin Show
Pat McGrath Labs Mini Mattetrance Trio in Skin Show (swatches)
Pat McGrath Labs LUST Mini Mattetrance Trio in Skin Show (swatches)

PAT MCGRATH LABS LUST: MINI MATTETRANCE LIPSTICK TRIO

  • $25.00 ($45.00 value) – Shop here

This gift set contains:

Three mini lipsticks in one of two color varieties (each set is sold separately). One color variety is Skin Show, which contains the colors: omi, 1995, & flesh 3. The other color variety is Colour Blitz, which contains the colors: obsessed, full panic, & elson

I’m soooo tempted to buy this for myself! I’ve been interested in trying out Pat McGrath lipsticks since they initially launched, and I feel this would be an awesome place to start. And what value! Three mini’s for only $25.00! These are supposedly amazing quality and the formula promises to be hydrating, lightweight yet extremely opaque. It sounds divine! 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Mini Macaron Set
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter Mini Macaron Set
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Mini Macaron Set
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter Mini Macaron Set (swatches)

BECCA SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR PRESSED HIGHLIGHTER MINI MACARON SET 

  • $40.00 ($76.00 value) – Shop here 

This gift set contains:

Shimmering Skin Perfector® Pressed Highlighter in Opal (neutral white gold with soft pink pearl), Vanilla Quartz (light gold infused with pink pearl), Rose Quartz (neutral pale pink with soft gold pearl), Prismatic Amethyst (pale lavender with gold, violet, and rose duo-chrome pearls).

You really can’t beat Becca highlighters. They are creamy, blendable and very buildable on the skin. They can be used in a subtle way, but can also be layered up without depositing tons of glitter or sparkle. I like to also use Becca highlighters are eyeshadows as well, and they are equally as lovely used in that way. This kit is perfect for anyone who’s really serious about highlighting, or conversely someone who’s just starting to experiment with highlighting. 

Stila Big Shots Redux Eye Set

STILA BIG SHOTS REDUX EYE KIT

  • $17.00 ($45.00 value) – Shop here 

This gift set contains:

The Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black, & the HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara.

This kit was originally priced at $25.00, but Sephora marked it down to only $17.00!! My mother is a huge proponent of the Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner, and has gone through countless tubes (in both black & brown). She only uses waterproof liners these days, and this formula is her failsafe. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of the HUGE Extreme Mascara. I’ve been through at least two tubes at this point. If you like volume & length then this is the mascara for you! This is a perfect gift for either the beauty-obsessive or the beauty-minimalist. 

BEAUTY TOOLS

Sephora Collection Complexion Uncomplicated Brush Set

SEPHORA COLLECTION COMPLEXION: UNCOMPLICATED BRUSH SET

  • $45.00 ($117.00 value) – Shop here

This gift set contains:

Five-piece set with a foundation brush, concealer brush, powder brush, buffing brush, & detailed concealer brush. Plus faux-leather pouch & a PRO Team brush tutorial. 

Sephora brushes are fantastic and this complexion set would be a great gift for someone who perhaps doesn’t wear much eye makeup, but who loves their base products. Great tools are necessary for great makeup!

Will you be treating someone this season to one of these kits? Or do you have other beauty favorites in mind? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out my luxury beauty gift picks from Sephora!
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Holiday beauty gift sets $20 and under – my picks!

Hi friends!

Christmas is quickly creeping up, and whether you celebrate it or not, you may feel the need (or pressure, let’s be honest) to buy something last-minute for the beauty lover you know this season. Or you may want to gift a little something to yourself. So I put together a concise guide featuring a few holiday sets that I think would make great stocking stuffers for friends, colleagues or whoever. Oh, and here’s the best part, they’re all under $20! Keep in mind that drugstores always have sales and cool offers going on; for example, right now in Walgreens it’s buy 1 gift set, get a second one 50% off through this Saturday, 12/15. So you can definitely get more for less if you know how to shop savvy at the drugstore.

I’ve separated this out into three categories: body, makeup & skincare sets, with one sneaky subcategory. My guide clearly favors makeup the most since that’s where my passion lies, but I still wanted to create something a little more well-rounded. So let’s get started!

BODYCARE GIFT SETS

Soap & Glory Showered in Glory Set 2018
Image source: Soap & Glory Instagram

SOAP & GLORY SHOWERED IN GLORY SET 

  • $10.00 @ Target (there’s a buy 1, get 1 50% off offer on beauty items right now!)
  • $11.00 @ Walgreens (out of stock online, but available in-store)

This gift set contains:

Clean On Me™ Creamy Moisture Shower Gel, Sugar Crush™ Fresh & Foamy Body Wash, Rich & Foamous™ Shower & Bath Body Wash, Foam Call™ Shower and Bath Body Wash.

Soap & Glory’s body products are super lush, thick-textured and moisturizing. They are usually heavily scented though so just keep that in mind. This may a perfect gift for a friend who’s into the brand or into body products in general, or for a teen who loves kitschy packaging.

Dove Nourishing Beauty Set 2018
Image source: Target.com

DOVE NOURISHING BEAUTY GIFT SET

This gift set contains:

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash, Dove Macadamia & Rice Milk Exfoliating Body Polish and an added body pouf.

I love Dove body washes, especially their exfoliating body washes. Their products tend to be gentle and generally don’t irritate the skin. And what better time to gift them as the brand recently became certified cruelty-free!

SKINCARE GIFT SETS

No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Duo 2018
Image source: Pinterest 

NO. 7 PROTECT & PERFECT INTENSE ADVANCED DUO

This gift set contains:

Protect and Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream (travel size). Read full description hereProtect and Perfect Intense Advanced Serum (travel size). Read full description here

I’ve been using No. 7 skincare for years in my routine, specifically the Intense Advanced Serum which is a lovely product that sinks right into the skin and leaves it very smooth-textured. This would be a great gift for anyone concerned about sun & environmental exposure and/or fine lines & wrinkles.

Freeman The Gift of Glow 5-piece set
Image source: Five Below

FREEMAN THE GIFT OF GLOW 5-PIECE MIX + MASK KIT

  • $5.00 @ CVS in-store so if you’re interested go get it now!

This gift set contains four face masks (3 sheet masks, 1 clay mask) & one mask applicator tool. The masks included are:

Rejuvenating Cucumber + Pink Salt Clay Mask, Polishing Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask + Scrub, Anti-Stress Dead Sea Minerals Clay Mask, & Hydrating Cactus + Cloudberry Water Gel Mask.

Masking is all the rage now, so if you know someone who’s into their skincare, they’ll probably love this something like this. Freeman is also carried at Ulta & Five Below, by the way. This set sold out at Five Below online but they may still have some stock in-stores.

MAKEUP GIFT SETS

Sleek Makeup Totally Lit Kit 2018
Image source: Walgreens.com
Sleek Makeup Cleopatra’s Kiss Highlight Palette
A closer look at the highlighting palette in Cleopatra’s Kiss from Sleek’s Instagram account. It looks like there are 2 powders & 2 creams in this palette.

SLEEK MAKEUP TOTALLY LIT GIFT SET

This gift set contains:

The Highlighting Palette in Cleopatra’s Kiss, & Major Matte Metallic Lip Cream in Metallized Rose. 

Sleek Makeup is really, really good quality drugstore makeup that has come over from the UK. Their highlighting palettes have gotten fantastic reviews, and I’ve heard the liquid lips are quite good as well. I think this is an awesome gift for any beauty lover. Also, keep in mind that makeup doesn’t necessarily have to be used for its exact purpose; meaning this palette can be used on the face but also on the eyes as well. And the liquid lip, for example, can be used on both the lips and the cheeks. 

Maybelline Countdown Mini Mascara Kit
Image source: Maybelline Instagram

MAYBELLINE COUNTDOWN MINI MASCARA KIT

This gift set contains:

Total Temptation Mascara, Lash Sensational Mascara, The Colossal Volume Express Mascara, & Great Lash Mascara

Mascara is the great equalizer in makeup, I believe. Even if you’re not into makeup and beauty in general, chances are you still own a mascara or wouldn’t mind being gifted one. So this would be awesome for anyone really, the beauty-obsessed, the beauty-beginner, or even the minimalist.  Maybelline mentioned on their Instagram last month that Walgreens was selling these for 50% off in-store, so you may be lucky enough to snag that deal. I believe I also saw this kit in Ulta recently although it doesn’t seem to be available online.

WET N’ WILD & WALGREENS EXCLUSIVE SETS

Please note: there are a lot of Wet n’ Wild sets that are exclusive to Walgreens this season. This is just a small selection.

Wet n’ Wild Liquid Catsuit Lipstick Collection & Mega Slick Lip Gloss Set

WET N’ WILD LIQUID CATSUIT LIPSTICK COLLECTION

  • $10.00 @ Walgreens in-store

This gift set contains:

Three mini Mega Last Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipsticks, and one mini Mega Last Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipstick. I don’t know what the particular colors are, I’m sorry! This is an awesome formula, and probably one of my favorites from the drugstore. Gift this to someone who loves their comfy, long-wearing liquid lips and they’ll be a happy camper! (I believe Ulta has a similar set with four mini Liquid Catsuits, but instead of just one metallic formula they have an even split of two mattes and two metallics. Check it out here. It’s on sale for 50% off too!)

WET N’ WILD MEGASLICKS LIP GLOSS SET 

  • $5.00 @ Walgreens in-store

This gift set contains:

Four MegaSlicks Lip Glosses. Again, I don’t know the specific colors but I believe one of them is totally clear. I think this set would be perfect for a makeup beginner or a young teen just starting to experiment with color cosmetics.

Wet n’ Wild Matte n’ Shine Set 2018

WET N’ WILD MATTE N’ SHINE SET

  • $15.00 @ Walgreens in-store

This gift set contains:

Two 10-pan eyeshadow palettes (one matte, one shimmer), one Photo Focus Mini Eyeshadow Primer, plus one Tapered Blending Pro Brush

Wet n’ Wild, in my opinion, makes some of the best eyeshadows at the drugstore for barely any cost. I’ve extensively used both their matte & shimmer shadow formulas and with only a few exceptions, I’ve always had a good experience. To me this kit would be awesome, again, for anyone just starting out with makeup, since you’re getting the full package here (shadows, brush & primer). 

Which gift set are you lusting after this season? Luxury or drugstore? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out my drugstore beauty gift sets picks for under $20!

My Sally Beauty haul, featuring COL-LAB!

Hi friends!

I’m back with a good old-fashioned haul for you guys today. It’s safe to say I hadn’t been to (nor bought anything from) Sally Beauty in a while, but after watching Tati from GlamLifeGuru on YouTube last week, that changed. I’ll link her video here, but it was a dedicated video on Sally’s-stocked makeup where she specifically talked about this brand called COL-LAB. Everything she featured from them looked amazing, both in terms of the colors and the quality. Overall the video was very positive and she gave glowing reviews on a few items from this brand.

FUN FACT about COL-LAB: it’s a makeup brand created by a group of beauty influencers including xSparkage, Whatwouldlizzydo, Makeupbyamarie, and a few other YouTubers & Instagrammers.

Now, I’m not saying I’m the most susceptible to the sway of big social media influencers, but I’m not saying I’m above it either 😉. Sally Beauty is very affordable and there’s nothing I love more than great quality products for cheap prices (who wouldn’t love that though??). So here’s my Sally Beauty haul, exclusively featuring COL-LAB!

(I actually have used a few of these products a bit already, but not enough to do a full-fledged review just yet. I will let you know my first impressions of the products I’ve used along the way.)

COL-LAB HIGH-RISE INSANE LENGTH MASCARA – Shop here

Col-Lab High-Rise Insane Length Mascara

You probably know by now that I’m addicted to trying new mascaras, so it’s rare that I go makeup shopping without snagging a new one. The packaging on this is so sturdy and luxe-feeling for just $11.69; it has that soft-touch effect that is often associated with NARS. I have yet to try this since I’m trialing another mascara until the end of this month. The “brush” is very small & narrow with the tiniest of plastic bristles. I have high hopes considering it’s called Insane Length, but I’ll have to let you know how it builds volume. Ideally I like a mascara to give me both volume & length.

COL-LAB PALETTE PRO EYESHADOW PALETTE IN GET READY WITH ME – Shop here 

Col-Lab Eyeshadow Palette in Get Ready With Me

In her video, Tati demo’ed this particular palette and was really raving about it. I have used this palette the most so far out of these haul items, and I have to agree that this is really, really good. I haven’t used every color yet, but from what I’ve used I can tell you that the shadows are high-pigment and high-quality. They blend very well and the longevity is insane! After 9 – 10 hours, the colors look almost as good as right after application. And it’s only $15.00! And the colors in this particular palette are super wearable and flattering. You can’t go wrong. 

Col-Lab Eyeshadow Palette in Get Ready With Me (swatches)
Swatches from Get Ready With Me containing 3 mattes & 5 shimmers.

COL-LAB PALETTE PRO EYESHADOW PALETTE IN AFTER HOURS – Shop here 

Col-Lab Eyeshadow Palette in After Hours

Really this palette is more for my mother since she’s currently obsessed with green eyeshadows, but I still think these are beautiful colors. I’ve used it twice so far and again, the quality is very good. I was most surprised by the color on the upper right-hand corner: it’s actually a soft duo-chrome! You might never notice that until you swatched it as it’s on the subtle side. This palette seems to have a larger variety of textures than the Get Ready With Me Palette. There are metallics, mattes, satins, & that one duo-chrome, so it’s an incredibly well-rounded little palette. And for only $15.00, it’s a steal!

Col-Lab Eyeshawdow Palette in After Hours (swatches)
Swatches from After Hours containing 3 mattes, 2 metallic, 2 satins, & 1 duo-chrome.

Just so you’re aware, COL-LAB is exclusive to Sally Beauty and does not ship internationally outside of North America. 

Have you tried anything from COL-LAB yet? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Flatlay of Get Ready With Me Palette, After Hours Palette & High-Rise Insane Length Mascara

Video: Mini review of the new Glossier Generation G Lipsticks

Hi friends!

I’m finally back with a video this time. It’s been a while since I did one of these, so I thought I’d turn my review post on the new & improved Glossier Generation G Lipsticks into a short vid for your guys. I hope you enjoy! Make sure to scroll down after the clip to see some up close photos of the lipsticks & swatches.

 

Shop the new Generation G Lipsticks here!

Generation G in Cake (left), & Jam (right)
In natural light. Cake on left, Jam on right.

glossiergengbullets
From left to right: Cake, Jam.

glossiergengswatches
A few passes of the Generation G lipsticks to show full color. Top swatch – Cake. Bottom swatch – Jam.

glossiergengliveswatches
Top row showing lip swatches of Cake; one layer of color in left photo, 2-3 layers of color in right photo. Bottom row showing lip swatches of Jam; one layer of color in left photo, 2-3 layers of color in right photo.

Have you guys tried the new Generation G formula yet? If so, what do you think! I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out my video review of the new & improved Generation G lipsticks from Glossier!

My beauty anti-wishlist, December 2018

Hi friends!

Even though we’re now in the season of giving and receiving, it’s still anti-wishlist time, the December edition! As is the standard now, I’ve rounded up 5 beauty items from newish (I’m really stretching that this time!) launches that I won’t be picking up anytime soon for various reasons. This time I have a really well-rounded list including makeup, skincare, & hair items, so let’s get into it!

I always include this disclaimer, but this is not at all meant to be a bash on these brands or these particular products. This is just stuff that I imagine I wouldn’t get much use from based on my personal preferences, so I thought I’d tell you why.

Catch up with my previous anti-wishlists here: September, October, November.

JAMES CHARLES X MORPHE BRUSHES PALETTE

James Charles x Morphe Brushes Palette

James Charles’ palette launched a few weeks ago in November, and I think it’s already gone in and out of stock a few times. Currently it’s out of stock at Morphe & Ulta, but that doesn’t really matter to me since I won’t be putting my order in. This is probably a really lovely palette, and I appreciate the wide spectrum of colors here. And at $39.00 for 39 colors, it seems very affordable. But the size is just too big for me. I’m not sure where I would store it, and it wouldn’t be able to fit on the surface in my house where I normally apply my makeup. So for me this is a practicality issue, so I’ll take a pass.

DYSON AIRWRAP

Dyson Airwrap

The Dyson Airwrap launched back in October so I’m a little late to the party on this, but to be honest as soon as I saw this I knew it wasn’t for me. If you’re not already familiar, it’s a hair dryer/styling hybrid tool that can come with up to 6 different attachments depending on the model you order: paddle brushes, conical wands, hair dryers, etc. It ranges in price from $500 – $550 depending on the number of attachments, I believe. It boasts a special aerodynamic technology that attracts hair and wraps it around the barrel for minimum effort on your part. (There are tons of videos on the internet demo’ing this product, just look it up.) There are a few reasons why I’m not interested in this tool. Firstly, it’s too big of an investment for me. Secondly, my hair styling routine is very low-maintenance, plus I don’t use a hair dryer; I only use a flat-iron in the morning after my hair air-dries the night before. And lastly, my mom had a bad experience with the original Dyson hair dryer. It literally started to fry her hair! Now I’m scared of Dyson hair products!

CHANTECAILLE 20TH ANNIVERSARY MOONLIT PERLE GLOW POWDER

Chantecaille Moonlit Perle Glow Powder

Now, I’m not saying I’m immune to pricey AF purchases from Chantecaille. (Hint: I have a fun review coming at the end of the month on a Chantecaille product, so keep a look out!) But $125.00 for a glowy setting powder?? No thanks. Hourglass has me covered in that department. To be fair, this is a collector’s item to commemorate the brand’s 20th anniversary this year. I’m sure not many were made, and as it is their website says this is currently out of stock. The pearl packaging and the whole presentation is absolutely beautiful, without a doubt. But I do have (some) limits 😉.

DR. JART+ MASK HEROES

Dr. Jart+ Mask Heroes

This is a limited edition set of 6 of Dr. Jart’s bestselling sheet masks including:

– Hydration Lover Rubber Mask
– Firm Lover Rubber Mask
– Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution™ Mask
– Dermask Micro Jet Brightening Solution™ Mask
– Prescriptment Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask
– Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask

At the present moment, I just don’t reach for sheet masks. I tried a hydrating mask from Garnier a few months ago, but I can’t get past the overly drippy, wet feeling against my skin. I know this will horrify a lot of skincare enthusiasts out there, but don’t judge me too harshly! We all have our things, don’t we? I want to get more into them since I have a few in my stash from The Creme Shop, but I certainly wouldn’t go as far as to buy a set of 6 like this one. However, if you are a Dr. Jart+ fan or a mask enthusiast, this does seem like a really good value for money: 6 masks for only $36.00 when normally it would cost $57.00.

PAT MCGRATH LABS BLITZTRANCE LIPSTICKS

Pat McGrath Labs Blitztrance Lipsticks

I’ve only tried one product from Pat McGrath Labs so far, the Bronze Ambition Eyeshadow Palette which was the first ever in-depth review I did for this blog (you can read it here). I love that palette; the colors, textures, packaging, everything is beautiful! Pat’s brand in general has become synonymous in the beauty community with lush and beautiful (and pricey) products, so I have no doubt these Blitztrance Lipsticks are top-notch in the quality department. However, they’re just not my cup of tea. They are described on the brand’s Instagram as “iridescent lipstick(s) with multidimensional, highshine effects.” But at $38.00 a pop, I just can’t justify purchasing what is essentially a glitter lipstick. I believe the colors shown in the Instagram image above are limited edition by the way (from left to right: Flesh Fatale, Rebel Red, Blitz Gold.) I’m far more interested in trying their Mattetrance Lipstick formula than these.

What’s on your December anti-wishlist? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out the beauty products that I won’t be picking up anytime soon and why!