Sephora VIB Sale: My Recommendations

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Who else gets thrown off by Sephora having an extra VIB sale in the summer now? I thought I was safe until November! I’m making an effort not to buy anything in the sale this time, but I still wanted to talk about some of my favorites that are worth checking out if you are looking to shop the sale.

Roen Beauty Eyeshadow Palettes - This is a new product to me, but after just a week of wear I’m sold. These are quads of cream/powder eyeshadow hybrids (I still can’t decide what I think the formula is) in either a warm or a cool tone. I have the cool-toned one, and I’ve worn it every day since I got it. It’s perfect for an undone, easy look - I find the shadows apply best with fingers and blend out easily. They’re quite sparkly, but to me they don’t look like “too much” for an everyday/office look. They’re creamy to the touch and have that effortless, glossy look on the eye that cream shadows give. They crease a little on me, even with a primer, but they smudge back into place easily. I personally prefer a more lived-in, effortless look, so the creasing doesn’t bother me at all. If you’re looking for a quick way to pull off a polished eye, check these out.

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Milk Makeup Flex Foundation Stick - This is officially my new favorite foundation. I’ve been such a fan of the Flex Concealer for years, and I’m so excited that the Foundation Stick is really working for me as well. It has a natural satin finish on the skin, glides on super easily, and blends out flawlessly just with your hands. It seems to just smooth over my skin so effortlessly, leaving a perfected finish that still looks like skin. It lasts well throughout the day without becoming greasy, cakey, or patchy too.

Primera Alpine Berry Water Cream - Primera is a new brand to Sephora, and I was very interested in trying something from them when I first saw the line. I grabbed the Alpine Berry Water Cream and have been absolutely loving it. It has a “cloudlike” consistency, somewhere between a gel and a cream. It’s lightweight and yet extremely hydrating. It leaves the skin feeling so soft and smooth, and it gives a lovely glow. I’ve been using it morning and night, and it works well either way.

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Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen - This is one of my go-to sunscreens. It’s a clear gel that has a bit of a silicone slip to it, but once it’s rubbed into the skin you don’t feel that at all. It makes the skin smooth and works excellently as a makeup primer. I love that it not only contains SPF 40, but it also protects against blue light exposure. If this one isn’t right for your skin type, I highly recommend any SPF by Supergoop!

Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara - This is truly the best mascara I’ve ever tried, and I have no desire to ever use another one. I’ve been through two tubes already and can’t get enough - it fans out and thickens the lashes, lengthens them, holds a curl, and stays put all day without smudging. It meets every requirement I have for a mascara, so I can’t imagine myself reaching for anything else.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask - This might be my favorite mask by Fresh now. It comes in a tub with two halves: you first apply the gel mask, which sinks into the skin quickly and gives a burst of hydration. Then you seal it in with the cream side of the mask, which has a similar consistency to their Rose Face Cream (another favorite). It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, but it does keep me moisturized all night. I always wake up to such plump, dewy, soft skin the morning after applying this.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Mist - This is another new favorite! I love the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair line, so I was super excited to try the new mist. It really is the most soothing face mist I’ve tried. It feels cooling and refreshing, the mist isn’t too aggressive, and it leaves my skin feeling hydrated and not sticky. It helps to bring down redness, too.

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Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer - This is probably one of the most unique products in my collection. It’s water-thin out of the bottle, but as you pat it into your skin it really feels like you’ve added a moisturizer. I always reach for this when my skin is feeling tight or dry, but it’s a pleasure to use any time. I load up a few layers of this and my skin stays hydrated all day. I use moisturizer on top, but if your skin is more oily than mine, you could probably get away with using this as your moisturizer.

Amika Supernova Moisture & Shine Cream - I’m kind of lazy about styling my hair. More often than not, I just let it air dry and then pin it back instead of dealing with it. But this hair cream helps to tame frizz and puffiness of my freshly-washed hair, so I actually like how it looks when it’s air-dried. I always work a nickel-sized amount of this through my hair after the shower, and it makes all the difference without weighing my hair down.

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion - I have no idea why I decided I needed to try this, but I’m glad I did. It’s an exfoliating toner containing glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids to slough away dead skin and clear out the pores, and it also contains niacinamide and reishi mushroom extract to hydrate and soothe the skin. I go back and forth on exfoliating toners - usually after a while, they just dry my skin out and I have to take a break. But I’ve been able to consistently use this one for months with no issues. It’s helped make my skin smoother and clearer, and although I still get my usual hormonal breakouts, this seems to make them clear up faster.

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Kosas Weightless Lip Color Lipstick in Rosewater - If I had to get rid of all but one of my lipsticks, I think I would keep this one. The formula is one of the most comfortable I’ve tried: not too slippy and shiny, yet not too matte. It’s super creamy but lasts a long time without sliding or fading. All the shades I’ve tried are beautiful, but Rosewater is my favorite. It’s the most perfect pink neutral/nude with a slight cool tone. It looks quite similar to my natural lip color, but you can still tell there’s something there.

Laura Mercier Caviar Chrome Veil Liquid Eyeshadows - I almost forgot to mention these, but I wear one of these just about every day. They give the eyes a glossy wet look, but the formula itself is weightless and sets down so you don’t feel it at all. It stays all day without creasing on me, which is almost unheard of. I usually wear the shade Gilded Fresco, which is a shimmery pink-beige that goes with any look. I’ll even use it as an eyeshadow primer, and it keeps other products on top from creasing, too.

What are some of your favorites from Sephora?

Rouge: 20% off August 19-27 with code SUMMERSAVE

VIB: 15% off August 20-27 also with code SUMMERSAVE

I will update with Beauty Insider info once I find it!

Some products mentioned have been gifted, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

The Easy Vacation Makeup Look

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Long time no blog post! I was just really feeling like writing today, and since I had these photos all ready to go I decided I’d talk you through the typical makeup look I did while on vacation a few weeks ago. It was super quick and easy to slap on, didn’t feel too overdone or heavy, and still looked good in the few photos we would take while hanging out after going to the beach. I loved this look so much, in fact, that I’m still wearing a very similar look on an everyday basis now to work.

I’ve recently started doing my brows and eyes before foundation, which is a big change for me. I’ve been doing this because it’s much easier to get a defined brow with Glossier Brow Flick when my brows are absolutely bare with no possibility of having any makeup in them. I’ve really been liking this brow pen for creating hair-like strokes and making my brows look naturally really full and bushy. I then go over it with Glossier Boy Brow in Clear just to keep the hairs brushed up all day. I started using the clear Boy Brow at the same time as Brow Flick - I was always using the brown shade, but I like how polished the clear makes my brows look without adding any extra color. Lately, I’m in a little too much of a rush to get to work to use Brow Flick every morning, but I do still reach for it when I have a little extra time. Instead, I’ve been loving the Maybelline Total Temptation Brow Definer - it’s a softer formula with a teardrop-shaped applicator, so it’s really easy to apply, but it’s not too soft so it still gives a polished brow look.

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For eyes I’ve been keeping it super simple with just one eyeshadow: the Laura Mercier Caviar Chrome Veil Liquid Eyeshadow in Gilded Fresco. I can’t get over how much I love this. It’s the perfect pink-beige shade whose glitter gives it a wet look on the eyes. It looks like an eye gloss, but sets down and doesn’t budge at all, even on my oily/creasy eyelids. I dab a bit directly on my eyelids from the doefoot, and then I blend it out with a synthetic brush (usually the Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush). I never remember to include eyeliner in my photos, but I always wear it! I do a quick tightline with a dark brown gel liner pencil on my upper waterline and a small wedge on the outer corner of my upper lashline to make my lashes look nice and thick, and that’s it. The Colourpop Creme Gel Liner in Brew-Haha is always my go-to, but Ilia’s brand new one in Dusk has really been impressing me as well. Last is mascara, and after curling my lashes with the Surratt Relevee Lash Curler, I coat them with the Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara. This is seriously my favorite mascara I’ve ever tried. It’s defining, lengthening, holds a curl well, adds a bit of volume by fanning the lashes out, and doesn’t budge all day. It’s definitely my perfect mascara, and in my next declutter I’m going to get rid of all mascaras except this (and Glossier Lash Slick, which I use on my bottom lashes).

I also tried to keep the skin as simple as possible while on vacation: letting my skincare be the primer and using the Glossier Stretch Concealer all over as a tinted moisturizer/concealer in one. I dab the concealer all over my face and blend it in with a fluffy brush. I absolutely love the finish of the Stretch Concealer when applied this way, but unfortunately I think it’s been breaking me out! Lately I’ve switched over to the Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint and Flex Concealer on a daily basis for a similar look with a little extra coverage.

The theme here is quick and easy of course, so for cheeks I stuck to cream products. Ilia’s Multi-Stick in At Last was my go-to blush of choice while on vacation. It’s a beautiful neutral pink that goes with anything. The formula is super creamy, buildable, and leaves a dewy finish on the skin. To add a little more glow I grabbed one of the stick highlighters I brought with me, something like the Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Stick in Nude or the Flesh Touch Flesh Highlighting Balm in Pinky.

For lips I wanted something comfortable that gave my lips a flush of color, and there’s no better product for that than the Flesh Fleshy Lips Lipstick in Chew. It’s a sheer raspberry pink shade that adds the perfect amount of color and shine to my lips. It’s still been one of my most-worn shades even after getting home.

What are your favorites for a quick and easy makeup look?

This post contains affiliate links

Review | bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick

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I’m constantly singing the praises of the original bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream - it’s been a staple in my makeup routine for about four years now (or whenever it first came out!), and it’s still the base product I reach for the most. When bareMinerals contacted me (seeing what a fan I was of the original) to see if I’d be interested in trying their new Complexion Rescue iteration, the Hydrating Foundation Stick, I just about squealed with excitement and jumped at the chance.

Wearing the Complexion Rescue Foundation Stick and a little bit of Milk Makeup Flex Concealer

Wearing the Complexion Rescue Foundation Stick and a little bit of Milk Makeup Flex Concealer

The Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick comes in 20 shades that seem to match up with the original’s shades. I wear shade 01 Opal in both formulas, and it’s a perfect match. It also has SPF 25, if that matters to you. It’s meant to be a “liquid foundation in a stick” with naturally radiant, medium coverage. I’d say that description is pretty accurate. For one, it’s the most hydrating foundation stick I’ve ever tried. It never clings to dry patches and just totally smooths over them as if they’re not even there. It looks totally seamless on my skin. Most foundation sticks kind of drag on my skin and take some time to blend, but this is so emollient that it actually feels wet gliding onto the skin (did anyone see the KathleenLights & RawBeautyKristi video where Kristi said it feels like a wet tongue on her face? because it’s kind of accurate), and I can blend it out in a matter of seconds with my hands. It’s become such a staple for rushed mornings because I can slap it on and have it look perfect in literally 10 seconds.

I’d describe the coverage more at the low end of the “medium” they claim (though it still has higher coverage than the Tinted Gel Cream), although it is really buildable. I like to add a second layer over areas that need more coverage, and it blends right in without getting cakey. It has a beautifully radiant finish as well. My favorite part about the original Complexion Rescue was how glowy it looked without feeling tacky or greasy on the skin, and the same thing goes for the Foundation Stick. It’s nice and dewy, but you can’t feel it on your skin, and it stays at the exact same level of dewiness all day for me. My sister has oily skin and is also in love with this foundation stick because it looks a little radiant but never turns greasy on her - so it seems like it would work on a variety of skintypes!

I find this lasts perfectly throughout the workday for me as long as I powder the center of my face in the morning. On days I skip powder, I notice it wearing off my skin (mostly where I touch my face a lot) and my acne scars start to peek through. But I never notice any obvious fading or patchiness - it fades away evenly. I’m SO happy to have this in my makeup collection, and it’s all I’ve been reaching for lately on workdays and chill weekend days.

Have you tried the Complexion Rescue Foundation Stick yet?

*bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick has been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

A Skin Tint Roundup | Kosas Tinted Face Oil, Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint, & Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

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When it comes to foundations and base products, I certainly have a type. If it’s marketed as lightweight and glowy, I’m there. Recently I’ve picked up the Kosas Tinted Face Oil (ed note: it was recently when I started writing this blogpost in November, whoops), and I wanted to see how it compared to two of my favorite skin tints: the Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint and the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint. All three promise similar things: light coverage that smooths over the skin and leaves a natural, radiant finish.

The first thing I notice is that the Kosas is the runniest of the three, and the Milk Makeup is the thickest (or it seems that way at least because of the packaging. You have to be careful to not let pretty much the whole bottle of the Kosas Tinted Face Oil spill out into your hand, despite it having one of those dropper spouts. The Glossier Skin Tint has a similar delivery system, and it comes out drop by drop.

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Consistency-wise, the Kosas feels like a dry oil and sinks into the skin quickly while leaving the veil of pigment behind with a satin finish. The Milk and Glossier feel more emollient, gliding over the skin as you blend them in and leaving quite a dewy finish. I’ve noticed if my skin is not exfoliated and moisturized properly, the Kosas will show dryness, while the Milk just glides over and hides this. The Glossier is somewhere in between, not totally gliding over dry patches, but not catching on them as much as the Kosas. This is not to say the Kosas is not for dry skin types - it really is, you just have to prep your skin properly.

Over the course of the day, all three fade evenly. I’d say the Glossier lasts the longest on me, followed by Kosas, and then the shortest wear time is Milk. Glossier and Milk remain quite dewy throughout the day without veering into greasy territory (though my skin is on the dry side), and the Kosas gets a little dewier over time - it starts out as a satin finish and ends up being quite glowy by the end of the day. This also never gets greasy on me, and it certainly looks better and better as you wear it. If I find it catching on a few dry patches when I first apply it, I always notice it goes away and looks smooth and even after about an hour of wear.

Despite all having the word “tint” in their names, I find these all have quite different levels of coverage. The Kosas has the highest coverage of the three, although it’s still quite light and allows some imperfections to show through. I’d say it’s a step above typical light coverage - maybe on par with something like the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation. The Milk is next on coverage levels and has about the same as a tinted moisturizer. I think it has similar coverage to the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer or the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue. The Glossier has the least coverage of the three by far - this has just a whisper of coverage, just offering a sheer veil of color to gently even out the skin.

I’ve been asked a lot which is my favorite of these three, and honestly I can’t pick one. I always think I have a favorite and use it constantly, and then I start using one of the other two and fall in love all over again. Right now I’m using the Milk Sunshine Skin Tint almost daily - my skin is majorly dry right now, so this is the most forgiving formula.

If you’re just looking for a lightweight foundation, I don’t think you need all three. I’d go with Kosas if you’re looking for coverage, Milk if you’re looking for a serious glow, and Glossier if you want something to even out your skintone on minimal days.

Which one would you pick?

This post contains affiliate links. Glossier Skin Tint was gifted.

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Lina Choo The Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipsticks | Review & Swatches

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What better day than Valentine’s Day to talk about some beautiful, luxe lipsticks, right? Lina Choo is a new brand to me and is now available on Beautylish, and they’ve debuted with six shades of The Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipsticks. They’re all named after famous artists, from Botticelli to Da Vinci to Van Gogh, and they come in colorful yet wearable shades.

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The packaging of these lipsticks is just stunning. They’re housed in a weighty black tube with gold detailing that has a satisfying magnetic closure. The brand’s logos are etched into the gold tube and also into the lipstick bullet itself. They feel nice to hold and have a good, balanced weight to make application easy - if those kinds of things are important to you.

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The formula is what really blew me away. They’re described as a velvet matte, but I’d say there’s a bit of a satin finish instead. They’re not completely matte on me, but rather have a tiny bit of sheen, and I really like that. They’re incredibly creamy and pigmented, giving full pigmentation with one swipe. They don’t catch on dry patches on initial application, and they continue feeling comfortable and actually quite moisturizing throughout the day. They feel like they have a little bit of slip like a lip balm would, but rubbing your lips together doesn’t shift the color. Rather, the color doesn’t budge at all. I can’t believe how long these last on my lips without fading at all, especially for such a creamy formula. I can apply these in the morning and they’re still totally intact by the end of the day, even after eating and drinking. They also stain the lips a little (as well as my arm after doing these swatches), so that probably helps the longevity.

The Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipsticks come in six shades: Andersen (a bright coral pink), Shakespeare (a true classic red), Da Vinci (a deep brick red), Botticelli (a peachy pink), Duras (a cool mauve-y pink), and Van Gogh (a punchy orange-red). I think they would be flattering on a variety of skintones because of their intense pigmentation. My favorites are Shakespeare and Duras.

Have you tried The Great Artist Lipsticks yet? What’s your favorite luxe lipstick formula?

*Lina Choo The Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipsticks have been kindly gifted by the brand, but all opinions are my own.

Review | Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation

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It’s been awhile since I’ve written a foundation review on here, and I think this one was worth the wait. Everyone’s been talking about the new Hourglass Foundation lately, but there’s a different new foundation on the scene that really caught my eye. I’ve always been a fan of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizers (some of my earliest posts here featured it), and I had been meaning to try a foundation from the brand for awhile. When their newest foundation was released, I knew it would be the one for me just based on the name - “Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation.” It promises a “weightless, medium-to-full coverage, perfectly-glowing finish in any light.”

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I use the shade 1C0 Cameo (which was also my shade in the Tinted Moisturizer), and it’s a great match for me. It comes in 30 shades in a variety of undertones, and there seems to be a good distribution of shades among those 30. Its consistency sits between thick and thin - it holds its shape when pumped out and doesn’t run down my hand, but it spreads easily over the skin and doesn’t drag. It interestingly feels like a burst of hydration when I initially start working it into my skin, which I’ve never experienced with a foundation before. I apply it with a dense buffing brush (this one), and it blends it out super easily and quickly. At this time I don’t have any makeup sponges, so I haven’t tried applying it with one, but I will report back once I do!

I have to make sure my skin has been well-moisturized (but maybe this is because it’s winter) before applying, specifically with an oil or an oil-based moisturizer. This makes the foundation glide on more easily and ensures it doesn’t look dry on my skin. When first applied, it has more of a satin finish on me that grows more radiant within about an hour - once that hour is over, that’s pretty much the level of radiance it will have all day. I typically don’t set it with powder until this hour is up, otherwise it makes it look too dry. The finish is just stunning - it seems to gloss over every imperfection and really blurs out my pores. I’d say they’re correct on describing the coverage, too - it sits somewhere between medium and full. I like to apply a thin layer all over, and then I’ll pat on a little more on areas where I need more coverage. It layers beautifully this way and doesn’t pick up on itself or get cakey. It’s been lasting a full workday on me without getting patchy or fading unevenly. It will wear away a little where I touch my face a lot throughout the day (I’m working on that bad habit), but it doesn’t leave noticeable patches.

A closeup look at the foundation - this is a light layer. Bronzer/blush/highlight are from the Hourglass Volume III Palette, lips are NUDESTIX Sin.

A closeup look at the foundation - this is a light layer. Bronzer/blush/highlight are from the Hourglass Volume III Palette, lips are NUDESTIX Sin.

This has instantly become one of my favorite foundations - I could probably get rid of all of my other foundations and be just fine. I’d feel confident wearing this for a special occasion as well as every day. I just really love how it still manages to look like glowy, healthy skin, despite offering a higher coverage than I’m used to. It’s really been making me feel more confident while I’m waiting for all these Christmas-chocolate-induced breakouts on my chin to clear up.

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation?