The Mini Glam to Go Eyeshadow Palette has 8 shades in a small compact. I love the colors, texture and pigment. It has a mix of shimmers, mattes and a sparkle shade. The overall color theme is pink and plum with a good balance of neutrals mixed in. Shadows are soft and blend beautifully.
Pretty is a shimmery light mauve
Dawn is a matte soft tan
Sunburst is a shimmery peach
Softy is a medium rose peach
Sunset is a warmer tan
Fireworks is a gorgeous plum taupe gold shimmer
Rosey is a reddish matte brown
Dusk is a deeper brown
I’ve also accumulated a few of the Stick Cream Blushes ($32 each) which I think are lovely. The shades are really flattering and easy to wear. They blend out to a very natural finish but you can build pigment. They don’t have a powdery dry-down but I like that they’re not super dewy. Lasting power isn’t going to be all day since it’s a cream but they have decent lasting power. I like that there’s a brush on one end making it easy for touch ups on the go.
So far I have:
Latte is a light nude pink (almost my skin tone)
Peachy Keen is a pretty fresh peach
Pink Dahlia is a bright pink (but blends out more sheer)
Soft Rose is a brown rose pink
Bubblegum is hard to see in the swatch but it’s a really pretty pink gold shimmer
There’s lots to love in the ABH lip world. I did a post of my haul here a while back of the Lipsticks and Lip Liners. I recently picked up Lipstick in Rose Dream (really pretty rose) and Lip Gloss in Peachy (almost clear base loaded with peach, pink and gold shimmers).
Anastasia Beverly Hills launched new Satin Velvet Lipsticks ($23 each) and Lip Pencils ($18 each) and they looked so beautiful on Instagram I couldn’t help but order a bunch to try. It’s been a while since I’ve tried any of her lipsticks since I only remember her launching mattes in the past. This round she has a new Satin Velvet Lipstick formula which is more like a regular lipstick. Her Lip Liners looked promising, and I love the square shape! I hauled 6 of each. Here are my thoughts, swatches and lip looks.
Satin Velvet Lipstick ($23 each) is more like a satin lipstick. It’s not really that velvety to me and I am 100% ok with that. They’re ultra pigmented, smooth, creamy and have great lasting power. (I still like to use a lip primer underneath to smooth/prep the lips like the MAC Prep and Prime Lip.)
Formula is really good and I love the sleek slim no-fuss packaging. Color selection seems pretty good too although with nudes and neutrals it’s always hard to see how it will look on the lips. A few of these were misses for me simply because the color doesn’t work for my skin tone or lip tone.
Tease is pale pink peach and looks like washed out death on me, would probably work if I paired it with a liner and gloss (similar to Tom Ford Blush Nude on me which looks great on so many others, but not me)
Warm Peach is a light warm peach orange, also a bit pale for me on its own, but if I add a brown liner I can make it owkr
Peach Bud is my favorite, it’s the perfect mix of peach and pink
Praline is an easy to wear neutral nude on my lips
Dusty Rose is a light rose neutral, goes on my lips lighter than what I see in the tube, but if you don’t have pigmented or brown tones in your lip, then this will look more true to tube
The Lip Liners ($18 each) are your basic everyday lip pencil. I like that they’re not too creamy and not too stiff. They do tug a little but it’s not so matte that it drags. I’m still in the process of testing different combinations but I swatched them on their own below on the lips so you could see the color.
Baby Roses is actually a wearable pale peach on me! I was worried it would be too pale, but it works on me!
Hazelnut is a cool-toned brown (not my color, but looks pretty in the arm swatch)
Deep Taupe is a deeper cool-toned brown
Warm Taupe is a warmer taupe brown
Sunbaked is an interesting peach, warm but not orange, I love it!
Dusty Rose is a deep plum rose brown
Overall I think they’re all worth checking out. After testing what I ordered and looking at other reviews I would have probably skipped the lipsticks in Tease and Warm Peach and opted for the Soft Brown or Rosy Brown instead.
They do appear to be permanent which is nice (even though some of the colors keep selling out). I still have some more lipstick reviews coming soon for the new Sisley Phyto-Rouge Shine, Natasha Denona I Need a Rose, Chanel La Comete and Hermes Shine lipsticks! So stay tuned!
Have you tried the Anastasia Beverly Hills lipsticks and liners yet? What did you think?
I’m a sucker for minis so when I saw the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip Set ($28, limited-edition) it didn’t take me long to buy one. It sold out online but just restocked so if you haven’t seen it yet I hope these swatches will either help you decide to splurge or save $$$. I also got their Beauty Insider Birthday Gift and redeemed my points for a Tarte mini so I thought I’d round them all up in one post here.
The Sephora Favorites sets have a lot of great options to sample products in mini sizes. I have my eye on the Ultimate Travel Bag because it looks like it has a little bit of everything. I bought and reviewed their spring version back in January. The one for summer is just as fun. Quick note first – the current set still comes with the black stuffing, but I swapped it out for some white stuffing I had from a different set simply because it was easier to see the product.
How cute are the minis?! (On the nails is Essie Spin the Bottle)
Inside the Give Me Some Nude Lip Set you get 6 lip products, all are minis except for the Urban Decay lip which is full-sized:
Tarte Lingerie Lippie Matte Tint in Revealed is a mocha brown shade. I love the formula, pigment, texture and finish – I just found the color too dark for my personal preference. It’s a smooth finish chubby stick with a semi velvety finish. It says matte but it’s not flat looking and feels super lush on the lips. I will definitely try to check out other shades in this formula.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Kristen is one of my favorite opaque glosses, I already own it in the full size. It’s a neutral pinky brown color and perfect for any occasion. I love the rich opaque pigment and high shine. The color is just perfect.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi Shine Lip Lacquer in Sugar Sugar is a light nude champagne color. For me this one is best when worn over another lipstick or liner. Alone it has a sharper contrast to my natural lip tone making it look like I have a dark rim around the lips when I wear this because my lip shows through. The glosses in line have a lush cushiony feel without the tacky sticky finish.
Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in Spice Girl is probably the most painful lip product I’ve ever tried. Tingles scare me because I’ve tried a few in the past where my lips literally flare up from an allergic reaction. This one started to sting within 10 seconds in such a sharp burning manner. I couldn’t wear it long enough to test because it hurt so much. I had it on probably 5 minutes just swatching and photographing it. The color and finish is really pretty but I just couldn’t tolerate the tingle.
NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound is another one I own in the full size. I definitely should have read the labels on the box to see if I already owned most of these, but the minis got me. This one is a perfect soft mauve color. It has the word “velvet” in it but on me these still have a slight sheen to them.
Urban Decay Vice Waterproof Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick is a full size metallic rose color. I’ve tried this one before and it was a total fail for me. The color dried on the lips in a way that make them look dried out and shriveled. In the past when I tested this one it dried out my lips so bad they peeled for several days after. They do last a long time as in they don’t budge all day long so if you don’t have sensitive lips this formula might be worth a try. Based on my one experience with this color though I’m passing on all the rest.
Next are some Beauty Insider Perks. This year you have a couple options for the Beauty Insider Birthday Perk. You can pick between skincare from Caudalie and makeup from Tarte. I opted for the Tarte options but in reality I should have gone with the skincare as they would have been perfect to travel with. The Tarte set comes with the Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Paaarty (1.5 g/0.05 oz) and a Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit (1 ml/0.034 fl oz). Both are really pretty neutrals, the blush is a matte pink brown and the lip paint is a creamy nude pink that doesn’t wash me out. I also picked up a mini Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Rose (1 ml/0.034 fl oz) as a 100 point perk. I actually already own this one in the full size but couldn’t resist the mini. It’s a warm rose peachy color on me. I’m not the biggest fan of matte lips or matte liquid lipsticks but the colors from Tarte are pretty good and I can add a bit of balm or gloss on top.
In summary I like Tarte Birthday Suit enough to consider buying the full size. It’s a good neutral nude color that works for my skin tone and doesn’t wash me out. For the Give Me Some Nude Lips set turns out I like the colors I already own the best (NARS Bound, Marc Jacobs Sugar Sugar and Anastasia Kristen). The others were nice to try and even though I didn’t like the colors or formula so much at $28 it was worth it for me to try. That being said $28 could still have gone towards a full size gloss or lipstick that I really wanted – but I never use the lip testers in store on my lips because of all the germs so sometimes it’s hard to guess what a color will look like. I’ll swatch lip products on my hand and then hold it up to my face to see if I can kinda tell what it will look like, but I’m one who cringes when I see others using store testers on their lips.
Bottom line not a total win, but not a total fail either. You can find the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Nude Lip set at Sephora. It’s limited-edition and they’ve launched a few variations over the past few seasons.
Have you picked up any Sephora Favorites sets lately? If so which sets did you try and what did you think?
For highlighters there are so many factors to consider when picking one. Skintone plays a key role in determining whether a highlighter will actually look like a highlight or more of a bronzer on you. I know for many fair skin beauty lovers many colors that look like a highlighter on me turn peachy or bronzey on lighter skin tones. On the flip side some super pale highlighters will look more true to pan on fair skins while on medium to deep skins like me, some will just look like a white frost.
Skin type and shimmer preference are also other things to consider. If you have a lot of texture or larger pores sometimes the more glowy powder shimmers will emphasize fine lines or settle into pores. If you’re oily you will probably prefer powders if you’re normal to dry creams may be better for you.
I have a lot to roundup today, but first since many of you have asked, I can finally share the details about the upcoming Sephora Beauty Insider event today. If you’re a Beauty Insider member check your mail or e-mail for the codes! We have the official dates:
4/18 to 4/24 Rouge will receive 15% off
4/19 to 4/24 VIB will receive 15% off
4/20 to 4/23 RBI will receive 10% off
Up first is the palette I was most excited about but did not end up loving. I’m a huge fan of the Anastasia Glow Kits even though they tend to be more on the intense side of shimmer. The limited-edition ABH x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit comes in the prettiest pink packaging with gorgeous glowy colors. There’s a mix of pink, mauve, peach, white, gold and tan – unfortunately on my medium skintone they pull a lot lighter than what you see in the pan and most of them look very similar. I knew before ordering that it would be on the extra glowy side but the shades are all too intense to wear on the face. I love them with a super light hand on the eyes but I prefer Sun Dipped by far for more variety and more wearable colors. It’s currently sold out online but check your stores to see if they still have them.
Up next are some liquid drops. Cover FX launched three new shades of the Custom Enhancer Drops and I bought two in Blossom and Rose Gold. Both of these have a softer finish compared to the first round they launched (reviewed here). I really loved the first round of shades even though they are shimmery. You can easily blend for a pretty glow. Blossom is the prettiest shade of soft pink and rose gold is a soft rosy peach gold. Both are close to my skin tone so they look very natural on me but the color still shows up. The drops are fluid and easy to blend and layer.
Marc Jacobs Beauty launched a Coconut Gel Highlighter called Dew You? and it’s a lovely light gold. The texture is a gel and you have to work quickly with this one because it dries fast. The nice thing about the texture is that it’s great for oily skin and I found it lasted longer on me than most liquid highlighters. Once it sets it pretty much does not budge. It also smells like coconuts 🙂
Third are some Algenist Concentrated Luminizing Drops. A while back I received a mini duo that you can buy as a set, but you can also find them separately in the full size. I am obsessed with the way they smell – it’s not really scented but it has this makeup scent that I really like. These are probably among the most subtle and sheerest out of the drops I’ve tried. Once on the face the shimmer almost disappears into a very subtle sheen. I would say these are probably best for mixing in with your foundation for a subtle glow. Because they are so sheer I found they did not do much for me other than add a sheen. That being said these have a serum skincare element in them so I do suspect they are meant to apply all over the face under foundation for a very soft glow.
Next up is the Laura Mercier Lightstruck Prismatic Glow Palette. As a huge fan of the Face Illuminators I had high hopes for this one but after testing this I found this was completely not for me. First I’m not into the holographic makeup trend – it just doesn’t work well for my skin coloring. That being said the packaging is more prismatic than the creams, but the lighter creams are on the glittery side. Aurora and Reflect have a softer smooth texture but they’re so sheer they disappeared on my skin completely. I do like a good neutral glow sometimes but I feel like there are so many other products on the market that already do this – this just didn’t really wow me.
I’ve already featured the MAC Quikstick Sticks before with the Work It Out review but had shot the photos before I reviewed them. I do believe they are limited-edition so if you have your eye on any I’d recommend checking them out soon. These have a highlighter on one side and a blush/contour on the other.
Perhaps my favorite launch of all the new highlighters I’ve tried are from NARS. I featured the Sheer Pop Multiples when I reviewed the Pop Goes the Easel Collection a few weeks ago. Navagio Beach is a pretty soft sheer gold (exclusive to Nordstrom), but my heart was completely won over by the Banc de Sable Highlighter Palette (exclusive to Sephora, now available online at NARS). A close up and swatches of both below. The Banc de Sable has a finely milled shimmer that glides on the skin smoothly and without any harsh frost. I wish more highlighter formulas and finishes were like this – it looks smooth and pretty on the skin and doesn’t emphasize lines or pores. Complete win for me on this one.
Last but not least because I’m a lover of all things Tom Ford, I had to include the new cheek duos again in this roundup. I really love both Reflects Gilt and Paradise Lust. I’m in the process of packing for a few trips at the end of the month and will be packing both of them to bring with me. Full review here.
So even though I mentioned at the top I prefer some other ones over these I do think there are a lot of new launches that are different and unique enough to justify splurging on. Picking one will depend on your preference for shimmer intensity.
My top picks of the new releases: Tom Ford Reflects Gilt, NARS Banc de Sable, Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Rose Gold.
For me misses were the ABH Nicole Guerriero and Laura Mercier Lightstruck Palette.
There are so many more that have launched recently I could not possibly test them all. If you’ve tried the Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighter let me know your thoughts.
Do you have a favorite go-to highlighter? Or have you splurged on anything recently from new launches that you have fallen in love with? Let me know what your favs are!
Press samples featured include MAC Quiktrick Sticks, Laura Mercier Lightstruck, Tom Ford Cheek Duos, Algenist Mini Reveal Drops Duo and Chanel Plissee Lumiere Highlighter.
I can hardly believe another year has flown by! Thank you to each and every one of you who followed me along on my beauty journey this past year. Today I have a round up of my 2016 favorites in makeup (skincare to follow in a separate post). As a long-time nail polish junkie I was surprised to find this past year was pretty light on the nail polish features and reviews – I remember in past years going through tons of nail wheels and bottles of polish remover. Perhaps by now I simply have collected all the possible colors? 2016’s focus seemed to be all about lips and highlighters for me. As always I’d love to hear what your favorite makeup discoveries were for the year! I picked out items that were new in 2016 (they’re listed in alphabetical order by brand):
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche wins for creamiest most opaque lipstick launch, the colors I reached for the most were Honeycomb and Sake
YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick in Beige Blouse #47 (swatches here) is another great nude, after my review quite a few of you e-mailed me saying you picked up the same color and finally found your HG nude – yay!!
Louboutin had the best colors and formulas for me this year, I loved Miss Mars and the Hawaii Kawai Trio minis were so fun to shoot, there were three Red Nail Extensions that I was able to play with back in May to swatch for you, months later I ended up buying Jazzy Doll and Edgypopi
What were your makeup favorites this past year? They can be new launches, rediscoveries or new-to-you products! I love reading about your favorites so please feel free to share in the comments below. Several of you have asked that I bring back the monthly roundups on a regular basis, some have asked for a hits and misses roundup as well. I’ll be starting a monthly review series in the new year!
My love for Anastasia Beverly Hills continues with two new launches in the Master Palette by Mario ($45 for .7g/0.2 oz x 12 shadows) and Stick Foundation in Warm Natural and Golden ($25 for 9 g/0.32 oz). I bought all three from Sephora – the palette is something I ordered sight unseen. For the foundation I spent some time in store swatching colors but they did not have all the testers or colors for sale. Luckily they had the colors that matched my skintone range so I was able to find something that matched. For a line that I feel is very much on the trendy side I’ve been fortunate to find some really great products that are still suitable for my conservative makeup taste. Pigment and formulas are versatile, rich in pigmented and shimmer, but still easy to blend out for a less sharp look. As much as I love new makeup trends I will not bake my face, strobe heavily, use the heavy contour method or have my highlighter “on fleek” as the young ones say these days. So for my fellow conservative makeup lovers – I think you might be able to find some really good products that are easy to wear even if you feel like you’re not the trendy type.
Up first is the Master Palette by Mario. This is the first eyeshadow palette I’ve bought from Anastasia Beverly Hills. After a few years of accumulating several palettes in my early days of makeup exploration I found many sat unused in my makeup drawers if I did not love all the colors. So I made myself a self-imposed rule that if there were 2-3 shades I did not like I told myself “don’t buy it.” I did try to stick with it and for quite a few years I was able to resist a lot of palettes. In recent years palettes have been more tempting and my resolve weakened. In this case there were 2 shades I didn’t really like which included the olive and navy teal – but seeing swatches online made me decide to cave and I’m glad I did.
This is one of the more trendy palettes I own. The shimmer is noticeable and on the scale of shimmer intensity I would say it’s pretty high but I can still wear all the colors. The pigment is medium but buildable to full coverage. There are a few matte shades which also have excellent coverage. The shades are easy to blend and layer. Texture is soft so there is some fallout when applying on the eyes but I have yet to find a powder shadow that doesn’t have some level of fall out. Once on the eyes the colors stay put – no smudging, fading or creeping. I like that they apply well with or without a base (at least for me).
Hollywood is a pale shimmery gold
NYC is a warm coppery bronze shimmer
Kim is a warm tan shimmer with orange tones
Muse is a reddish pink shimmer
Marina is a shimmering champagne mauve
Claudia is a deep greyed navy shimmer
Lula is a matte cool brown
Isabel is a matte burnt orange
Violeta is a warm deep brown
5th Ave is a shimmering pale frosted gold
Bronx is a shimmering olive
Paris is a shimmering bronze
In terms of how to wear this palette I often get overwhelmed with this many options – but I really like this one. I’ve tried every single color in combinations of 3-4 shades and every time the look is just really pretty. Unfortunately I don’t have any eye looks for you as I’m still trying to figure out how to photograph warm shades on the eyes.The brush is easy to use and the shape is good for blending and lid application – quality isn’t the best as I feel it’s not as soft as I’m used to, but it’s functional and works.
A few more close ups:
Next up are the Stick Foundations. These offer medium-full to full coverage. Picking a color was a bit tricky in store as there is a wide range and they aren’t displayed in sequential order. There are handy face photos with models to help narrow down your shade. My exact match is Warm Natural but with full coverage foundations often times an exact match can make the face look a bit flat. I picked up Golden as well which matches my tanned body so I use two shades and blend.
I would say the finish pulls more on the matte side and for me – I don’t like matte finish foundations because I find they emphasize fine lines and crevices. Especially around the mouth where lines form when you smile – full coverage mattes tend to creep into those lines and age my face. The one from Anastasia Beverly Hills does not emphasize lines but if you have dry skin or skin that tends to pull dry you will probably find it too drying for all over the face. I think it still can be used for extra coverage if you like to layer foundations. To date my favorite foundation stick is still the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation (review soon but you can see it in action on my face in this post here).
Lancome Teint Idole Ultrawear Makeup Stick (c/o) in 330 and 340 – this gets lots of rave reviews but I found the formula did not work for my skin type, emphasized my dry patches, made my skin look aged and the colors pull very pink
To find your match if you’re looking online or want to know where to start I recommend visiting their Stick Foundation Pinterest Page where they have lots of swatches, face charts and more. Here are a few that helped me. Based on these my best guess was Natural, Warm Natural and Golden and I think it was pretty accurate:
One last look:
Bottom line winners in my book and even though some of you have pointed out the line is overpriced as items are made in China, I still find quality and performance to be quite good. I’ve found them priced reasonably although many of you may be correct in your assessment that they are priced higher than they should be considering where the product is made. I still find what I’ve tried to be solid performers. Update: I took a closer look at the eyeshadow palette, shadows are made in USA and brush is made in PRC. Foundation sticks say made in PRC.
For other reviews you can always click the tag/label at the bottom of each post to find other features. I’ll link the ones I’ve done below for reference.
Onto my favorites for this month which was difficult for me to narrow down. I’m still enjoying these Molton Brown mini hand washes and these lip treatments. In addition these liquid lips are really very good. I have managed to narrow down a list of my top favorites for this past month though even though a lot of loves have gone unmentioned:
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows have been in heavy rotation because of their silky smooth texture, rich pigment, blendable finish and easy to wear shades. You can pick and choose your own colors to create quads, the one shown above has Sateen, Chiffon, Warm Taupe and Chocolate. To date I’ve accumulated quite a few you can see swatched here and here.
Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara is something I discovered in a set from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I love this because it thickens, volumizes and holds the curl. It also looks super dark on the lashes. I will repurchase this.
Anastasia Glow Kit in Sundipped is one of the prettiest palettes I think I’ve seen in a while. If you don’t mind a good shimmer this is a great one for eyes and cheeks. I like mixing and swirling colors before applying to the eyes. Review + swatches here.
MAC Eyelash Curler is something I picked up recently and was pleasantly surprised. My go-to Chanel lash curlers have seen better days after years of use and I don’t think they’re carried in the US anymore. The one from MAC comes in close second for my eye shape.
Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Kidman’s Kiss (shown) and Super Cindy are both pretty close neutral peachy colors, I think the entire Hot Lips Lipsticks have been a knock out success, especially for those who like matte lips (she has the best matte lipstick formula in my opinion). The entire launch reviewed and swatched here.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Shampoo wins for best shampoo to clean the hair well with a squeaky clean feel but won’t dry out the hair. It has a mild but fresh beachy kind of scent. Leaves the hair feeling soft and fluffy (but not frizzy). Even my husband likes it. September beauty events are just around the corner. I recommend putting this on your shopping list. I will repurchase this.
Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel (c/o) is something I received earlier in the spring. It took me a long time to get into testing this because frankly I don’t like face gels. They’re often sticky or tacky and just don’t absorb well into my skin. This one does indeed have a gel like consistency but if you massage it into the skin it melds in nicely and doesn’t leave a film like other brands. I’ve been alternating this with Kate Somerville Nourish, both of which are lightweight for warmer weather. Neither will get greasy but have enough for my normal-combination skin. They wear very well under foundation too. The Pore Perfecting Water Gel is also available in a mini travel size. I love the packaging, the pump and the way it feels on the skin. Huge thumbs up. It also helps to smooth out pores.
Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask remains my tried and true clarifying mask that is gentle, even when my skin has flare ups. It sucks up excess dirt and oil. I have finally lost count of how many tubes I’ve bought and used up.
Kate Somerville RetAsphere™ Micro Peel (c/o) is a leave-on treatment for night that helps with skin uneveness and really works to improve texture. It’s very gentle but I use it once a week. It’s a micro-peel that infuses skin with retinol with 10% glycolic acid and lactose to help resurface skin. Out of all the skincare lines I’ve tried, I feel that Kate Somerville has truly been one of the game changers for my skin as I transitioned from my 20’s to 30’s. During that transition I went through a lot of stress and my skin suffered a lot with texture issues and repeated break outs. While I’ve worked to manage the stress, finding the right skincare has played a major role in improving texture. I’ve tried so many lines and out of all the ones I have tried, Kate Somerville all around has worked the best for me. I don’t use a night treatment every night because I sometimes just want to let the skin breathe. The RetAsphere™ 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream is one of the best most gentle yet effective night treatments I alternate with the Micro-Peel. The Micro-Peel makes the favorites list though because just using this once a week has improved my skin texture tremendously.
What are you loving right now? Do you have any favorites from the past month? As always I love reading about what you’ve tried, love and recommend. Even if something you tried hasn’t worked for you, I still love reading about those experiences as well. Are there any colors or collections you’ve been smitten with as we transition to fall beauty?
Press samples featured indicated with a “c/o”. As always all opinions my own.