The 2018 beauty discoveries I’m obsessed with!

Hi friends!

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

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

So let’s get into it!

FOUNDATION / BASE

Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm

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

Read this: The best tinted moisturizer for summer?

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

CONCEALER

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

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

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

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

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

Mascara

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

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

Read this: My favorite luxe beauty products

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

EYESHADOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLUSH

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

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

Watch this: The neutral blush of dreams.

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

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk
Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

HIGHLIGHTER

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

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

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

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

BROWS

Peripera Speedy Brow Cara

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

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

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

Peripera Speedy Brow Cara
Peripera Speedy Brow Cara

LIPS

Flower Beauty Mix n’ Matte Lip Duo in Honey Nude

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

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

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

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

BRUSHES

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

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

Read this: A night with L’Oreal in NYC

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

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

Xo, Erica

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Check out my 2018 beauty discoveries from NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, Elf, Stila, Glossier, Bobbi Brown & more!
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Tips on how to wear glitter this holiday season!

Hi friends!

Tis the season to bring out the glitter! Glitter is something that really divides people; some hate it, some love it, some think it’s juvenile, some think it’s more trouble than it’s worth. It’s true, it can get messy, there’s no two ways about it. However, I think it’s undeniably fun and beautiful to wear every now and then; to a party, on a night out, or even walking around your house if you feel so inclined.

We’re in the throes of the holiday party season so what better time to get extra festive and throw a little glitter on ourselves, right? In this post, I’ll give you some quick tips on how I apply & wear glitter that hopefully will be helpful for those of you out there who may struggle with it or who are looking for ideas. Also, I’ll share with you a few of my personal favorite glitters that are oh so beautiful 😊.

TIP #1 – SAFETY FIRST

There are tons of glitters out there at all different price points, but just be sure you’re using cosmetic glitter (i.e. eye-safe glitter) & not craft store glitter from Michael’s or something. That stuff is not safe for use around the eyes! Non-cosmetic glitters can scratch your cornea if any particles get in your eyes, so please be aware.

Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss in Mermaid
Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss in Mermaid. The glitter is suspended in a jelly formula that sets on the eye after a few seconds, so there’s very little fall-out.

TIP #2 – BE TACKY!

This is especially helpful when using loose glitters, like the MAC Glitter Pigments for example. Make sure to apply your glitter over a tacky base so it has something to stick to. You also will save yourself from as much dreaded fall-out as possible when you do this. You can use an eye primer or a glitter glue, for example. I’ve heard the Too Faced Glitter Glue Glitter Shadow Primer is very good, or if you want something cheaper NYX does one too. Personally I use my regular eye primer (MAC Paint Pot) and apply the glitter before it sets dry.

Sometimes I will simply just pat glitter on top of an existing powder or cream shadow, but I really only do that with the ‘Pop’ shade from The Dolce Vita Palette from Charlotte Tilbury (pictured directly below).  I don’t know, that stuff is magic and just seems to stick without a tacky base!

Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita Palette
Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita Luxury Eyeshadow Palette. The ‘Pop’ shade, indicated by the arrows, is a coppery glitter top coat that is gorgeous. It’s a very “grown-up”, sophisticated glitter. It’s probably my all-time favorite to wear.

TIP #3 – FINGERS ARE BEST

I find that glitters are best applied by the warmth of your fingers. Brushes tend to drop the stuff everywhere. A simple pressing motion with the soft pad of the finger helps the glitter cling to the eye.

I like to wear glitter either tapped all over the mobile lid (with a matte shade blended in the crease), or lining my upper lash line. The Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadows are great for lining because of the size & shape of the applicator. But if you want even more precision, check out the Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliners.

Huda Beauty Emerald Obsessions Palette (glitter shades highlighted)
Huda Beauty Emerald Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette. The three shades containing glitter are indicated by asterisks. The top yellowy shade is a chunkier glitter top coat, while the two other more green shades are traditional shadows with flecks of glitter suspended in them.  

TIP #4 – ORDER MATTERS

If you’re really concerned with glitter fall-out spoiling your beautiful base, then I suggest doing your eye makeup and glitter application before your foundation & concealer. Intutively it just makes more sense, doesn’t it? Then you can just easily remove any fall-out with a makeup wipe, without removing your base.

Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Smoldering Satin. This is a revolutionary product in the world of cosmetic glitter, in my opinion. It’s a wet liquid packed with glitter particles that gives off the most incredible high-shine effect. And once it sets on the eye, it doesn’t move!

TIP # 5 – NOT ALL GLITTERS ARE CREATED EQUAL

If you want the most out of your glitter cause you’re going to an office Christmas party or a night out with the girls, make sure to pick the right one. I say, go for a glitter that is suspended in something as opposed to loose glitter pigments. Could be a gel (Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss), a liquid (Stila), or a shadow (Huda Beauty Emerald Obsessions Palette). The glitter will be less inclined to fall all over the place as the night goes on, as it’s almost self-contained by its formula.

Swatched glitters for your visual pleasure! Top two: Huda Beauty; Third down: Charlotte Tilbury; Fourth down: Stila; Fifth down: Butter London; Bottom: Huda Beauty.

TIP #6 – DON’T RUB YOUR EYES!

This should be obvious, but just in case you need a reminder 😉. Any time you wear eye makeup, you should refrain from rubbing your eyes but this is particularly important when wearing any kind of glitter. The mess is just more extreme.

So hopefully those tips were helpful! I’m planning on doing what I’m calling “7 Days of Glitter” on my Instagram account (@weareglamerus) starting tomorrow in the lead up to Christmas. So if you’d like to see how these glitters look on the eye, make sure to follow me over there!

What are your feelings on glitter? Do you crack it out during the festive season? Which are your favorites? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Check out my how-to tips on glitter application and take a peek at my favorite glitters to use!

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!

My favorite luxe beauty products

Even though I live for a good drugstore beauty find, I still have plenty of more luxury beauty products that I frequently indulge in. I love having a mix of high and low-cost items in my stash; it gives you a well-rounded understanding of all the beauty world has to offer. I’ve spoken about plenty of more affordable products here on the blog, so I wanted to take this opportunity to devote an entire post to my luxury beauty faves and tell you why I love them so much. To challenge myself, I picked one item from each category. But of course I slightly cheated here and there, so in some instances I’ve included a runner-up. Without further delay, here we go.

FOUNDATION

Dior AirflashShop here

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Image Source: Feelunique.com

I’ve actually never talked about this product on the blog before, but this is probably the most beautiful foundation I’ve ever used, hands down. Beautiful in terms of both the finish and the texture. What you see pictured above is actually an aerosol can so the product sprays out in the most fine texture you can imagine; this is essentially airbrushed makeup. I preferred to spray it directly onto a damp sponge and then blend it in all over my face. When I first bought this I tried spraying it directly onto my face from the can but that resulted in a horrible mess. The combination of the fine-textured foundation and the damp sponge was total magic; my skin looked glowy, fresh and almost plumper when I applied this. I don’t have this in my collection at the moment since my previous bottle got old and I sadly had to toss it. Even though this is insanely expensive, I would still repurchase it. It’s that good.

*First runner-up: Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm

CONCEALER

Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer – Shop here

I did an entire review on this product which was packed with detailed information so please check that out for photos & swatches. Even though I didn’t find the most ideal shade match for me, I still love this concealer. The application, the coverage level, the longevity, the finish, everything is lovely. I’ve used this as both an undereye concealer and also as a spot corrector all over my face when I don’t want to wear any other base. I’ve never noticed any cakiness or significant cracking (I don’t always set it with a powder either). Great stuff.

*First runner-up: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

POWDER

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

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You see how much I’ve used of this powder? I have never, repeat never, used a product up or seen as much pan as I have with this palette. I love it that much. Hourglass just knows what they are doing with powders. Typically I take a duo-fiber kabuki brush and swirl it around all three colors/finishes, and then lightly dust it all over my face. It doesn’t look like traditional powder in the slightest; it gives you this beautiful soft-focus finish to your skin with the tiniest bit of sheen. It never looks cakey or dry on me. My mother refers to it as a “veil” and I think she’s onto something.

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From L to R: Radiant Light, Incandescent Light, Dim Light.

I know the swatches are hard to see especially on my light skin tone, but there are three different colors and finishes in this palette. Radiant Light is a beautiful pearly cream shade, which you can buy individually as well. Incandescent Light is exclusive to this palette and has the most noticeable shimmer/sparkle to it. And Dim Light is the deepest shade of the three that has the most warmth; it’s a light peachy shade with very fine gold shimmer. You can buy this individually as well.

EYE PRIMER

MAC Pro-Longwear Paint Pots – Shop here 

I spoke about my love for MAC’s Paint Pots back in a much earlier post I did on my favorite cream shadows, which you can check out here. I also have swatches in that post as well that you can reference. But I’ve been using Paint Pots as eye primers for years. They are creamy and blend across the eye very easily. I use the lighter, skin-tone shades (for my complexion) like Painterly and Camel Coat. They have just the right amount of tackiness that powder shadows really cling to well. I wish MAC would bring them out in stick form for even easier application!

EYESHADOW (POWDER) 

MAC Sumptuous Olive – Shop here

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When I was making my list for this post, this shade was an absolute no-brainer for me. I’ve been using and enjoying this product for years and years. It applies on the eye like a dream and blends out perfectly with hardly any fallout. And the color! One of my absolute go-to’s. It’s a wonderful mix of gold and olive green, and it has just the right amount of shimmer. This is one of MAC’s Veluxe Pearl finishes. I usually just apply this all over my eyelid, into the crease and smudged along the lower lash line as well; nothing else on the eye apart from lots of black mascara. It’s the nicest daytime-appropriate smokey eye I can think of.

I swatched this alongside my favorite highlighter, which you’ll find below.

EYESHADOW (CREAM) 

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Sticks – Shop here 

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Bobbi Brown Shadow Stick in Taupe

I also talked about this product in my favorite cream shadow post, so I won’t stay here long. But these are so easy to use, creamy and they stay on quite well. (You may get a little creasing at the end of the day, but nothing major. If you want to be extra safe, put a primer on underneath.) I just love shadow sticks though, and while you can absolutely find them on a budget in the drugstore, I have yet to find one as creamy as the Bobbi Brown version. They come in loads of colors and finishes, so there’s something for everyone. The two I have are both matte: Taupe and Nude Beach. Check out my earlier post linked above for swatches.

EYELINER

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliners – Shop here 

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Three things I look for in an eyeliner: 1) goes on creamy; 2) gives me playtime to smudge; 3) sets for the day. The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliners tick all these boxes for me. Of course you can get really good eyeliners in the drugstore; I have a few of them myself. But there’s something about these I absolutely adore and always will. I have them in a variety of colors and finishes; they’re all awesome.

MASCARA 

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara (for upper lashes) – Shop here;

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (for bottom lashes) – Shop here 

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Image Source: Cult Beauty

I’m a little high maintenance with mascaras I know. I need two all the time: one for the top lashes and one for the bottom. I can’t deal with smudging mascara, which is what I experienced before I discovered the Clinique product. I wrote about both mascaras in much detail in my very first blog post, which you can read here. The Stila is perfect for those who want dramatic and volumized lashes that are very black; it’s not for those who go for natural mascara looks. The Clinique is specifically made for bottom lashes so the brush is tiny and the formula is perfection; no flaking or smudging in sight. Both are total winners in my book.

*First runner-up: Lancome’s Hypnose Drama Mascara

BLUSH

YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush – Shop here 

Blush is so important in my makeup routine because I’m so fair-skinned. I love nearly all colors of blush from brights to neutrals, but I tend to lean towards more warm tones like pinky-peaches and pinky-reds. I also heavily prefer the finish of creams over powders, so my go-to for years has been the YSL Kiss & Blush which is a dual lip and cheek product. I spoke about my favorite cream blushes in this post which included the YSL product plus swatches. The thing I like most about this product is the staying power. It goes on like a cream-gel hybrid, blends out quite easily (beware of some of the darker colors though) and stains the cheek. I don’t mean stain like you’ll never get it off, but it’s still there in some form at the end of the day. Blush is one of the first makeup products to fade on me so when I find one that actually lasts, it’s a keeper.

*First runner-up: Stila Convertible Color

HIGHLIGHTER

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter in Opal – Shop here

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From L to R: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, MAC Sumptuous Olive eyeshadow.

I got three Shimmering Skin Perfectors in a set years ago called Spotlights, which included Pearl, Opal and Moonstone in the cream versions. I ditched Moonstone since it was too yellow for my skin tone and hung onto Pearl and Opal. I love the formula on these, but then again who doesn’t love Becca highlighters? They’re some of the best on the market. They’re creamy and blend seamlessly into the skin with the tap of your fingers. And the amount of shimmer is just perfection in my opinion; not overly shiny or obvious in the slightest. If you’re looking for a blingy highlighter, go with the powder version over the cream (or layer both together).

LIPSTICK

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick – Shop here 

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Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

Although this is a fairly recent addition to my lipstick collection, it’s become my absolute favorite. I wrote about this in my makeup travel bag post, but I find the formula on these lipsticks second to none. Comfortable, easy to swipe across your lips, and with decent staying power. I feel this is more of a semi-matte finish because there’s a generous amount of give when you rub your lips together, although the color gives off no shine. I would happily repurchase again and again for a formula this good.

What are your favorite luxury beauty products? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

Top 5 cream blushes you need in your collection

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’ll know that cream products are my ultimate preference when it comes to makeup textures. I think creams look the most natural on the skin; they offer softness and dewiness, and as a person with dry skin they provide a certain amount of hydration as well. If you’re oily or have acne, your skin’s chemistry may not agree with creams so powders might be better for you.

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