Sephora Holiday Sets

Every year around Christmas, Sephora releases a lot of gift sets. This is always a great way to get your hands on something for usually half the cost. Most of the time the products in the gift sets are mini or travel sized, but something that is a good thing so you can try it out and not spend money on the full-size version and potentially waste it if you do not like it. I also take advantage of these sets to get the luxury products that I don’t want to spend full price for.

For luxurious products that I am interested in, I have listed the Drunk Elephant Night Bright Duo and the Tatcha Pore-Perfecting Moisturizer and the Cleanser. I have never tried Drunk Elephant products, but I have heard great things about them. I haven’t tried them because it will run you about $60-$100 per bottle of product, and usually you want to use at least 2 different products so they can work together and you have somewhat of a set. This mini set at Sephora is selling for $28.00 and you get to try two products, which I think is a good price and opportunity since it is luxury skincare.

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For Tatcha, I have tried the Water Cream moisturizer in a sample sized and really enjoyed it. I haven’t bought a full size just because it is about $70. But this gift set for $25 is a great way to try some Tatcha products. Most likely if I liked the Water Cream as much as I did, I know I’ll probably enjoy anything else from their line. I think it is beneficial that Tatcha is offering the moisturizer and the cleanser in a set. Just like with shampoo and conditioner, it is recommended to use the same brand so you can get the same effect. I believe this is true with skin care to, and Tatcha is making it easy with this holiday set.

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For makeup, Sephora is offering this Tarte mini set with a blush and a mascara from their Amazonian products. I have gone through about 2 tubes of the full-sized Amazonian clay mascara that is pictured. I really do love this mascara, and the Amazonian clay in the ingredients is said to be really beneficial to your lashes. This mascara always gave me long lashes with volume. I have given this mascara as a gift many times, and people always love it! There is one Tarte mascara that I do love more than this one, and it’s the “Lights, Camera, Flashes” mascara in the purple, shiny tube. I do think this one is a little better, but I think it is a personal option because they are both amazing. With the Amazonian clay mascara, the selling point is that it benefits your lashes while you are wearing it. I have never tried the Tarte Amazonian clay blush that is pictured, but I know a lot of YouTubers reach for it on an everyday basis and enjoy it. In my opinion you can’t go very wrong with a higher end blush, I’m not very picky with my blush so they all work for me if they have a solid color range. This holiday set is selling for $10. That is a steal to try these products! And if you end up liking them, you can buy the full size without breaking the bank, for example the mascara runs around $20-$25. If you want to try something new that you k now is good quality, you can’t go wrong with this. Be aware, these products in the set will probably be a lot smaller than they look online but at least you can try them out, and I bet they will last a month or two.

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My YouTuber Picks

A lot of my spare time goes to watching YouTube videos! Instead of watching tv, movies, or scrolling through social media I would prefer makeup videos. Sometimes I venture out into funny/lifestyle videos, but makeup is my go to. Some of the lifestyle videos that strike my interest are things that show the life of someone in their everyday life, like “Day in the life of a doctor” or “Day in the life of a 30 year old single lawyer in NYC.” These aren’t specific examples but you get the idea! It’s so interesting to me to see how other people live, lol.

I really started to get into YouTube when I came to college. I guess the late nights in my dorm, and not wanting to wake my roommate up with the TV lead to YouTube! My first love on YouTube was and still is, Tati Westbrook or @glamlifeguru.Image result for tati westbrook

She is a review channel for all and every piece of makeup you could imagine! The cheapest all the way up to the luxurious stuff. She is so humble, caring, and classy! She also gives great fashion inspo, she always has the best outfits on! Tati is huge on not having brands sponsor her. There has been some drama going around on YouTube where one makeup artist split the secrets and said that a brand paid her $60,000 for a positive review! Tati makes sure her audience knows she does not get paid for promotions, and because of this her reviews are always trustworthy and honest! Honestly, If Tati does not like a product, I most likely will not buy it! If I’m out and about and run into some makeup that I’m interested in, I will pull Tati’s videos up in the aisle just to make sure it si #Tatiapproved. She posts Monday through Friday which is amazing, she films and edits so much so her audience never runs out of content. She also has recently released her own line of vitamins for your skin, hair, and nails. Her motto is that beauty comes from within. I have really wanted to try these about for about a year now, I’m just not very good at ordering online! But I will one day!

One of the other YouTubers I catch myself spending hours on their channel is Jeffree Star. He is a complete character! When I first started watching him, it did take me awhile to get comfortable with him just because he is a lot (like cutting Chanel handbags in half). But my love for him has definitely increased! He is one of the original beauty gurus on YouTube, along with Tati. They are about the same age, so they have been around for awhile! He is a character and can offer lots of entertainment.Related image

He also has Jeffree Star Cosmetics, which includes a ton of products. From eyeshadows, to highlighters, and everything in between. Although Jeffree really shows his wealth on YouTube (which doesn’t bother me, it’s entertaining seeing how he lives) he always is humble about the creation of his cosmetic products. He really is in front of the company, nothing is happening that he does not know about. He frequently goes to the warehouse and oversees the products being created and is truly involved in the whole process.

A couple others that are worth checking out are James Charles and Manny MUA.

Kylie Cosmetics

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This past weekend it was announced that Kylie Cosmetics (Kylie Jenner, sister of Kardashian’s) would be available in EVERY Ulta. Although Kylie’s lip kits are kind of old news, since they were hot about 2 years ago. I never got ahold of one just because I didn’t want to hassle with buying them online and they would sell out in minutes so you had to be competitive. But if I could go to my local Ulta and swatch her lip kits and see them in person, I’m all about it. The products that are in Ulta are only her lip products, not her eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, etc. Her lip products are her best selling and what she is known for. I was very surprised at the shade ranges available at Ulta. I heard through social media that they were releasing her most popular shades only, so I figured there would be about 5-6 shades available. But I was so wrong!! She had lots of lip kits out, lots of velvet lips, and lots of glosses. Pictured below are her famous lip kits, and to the left side are shelves of Velvet lips and glosses.

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I definitely wanted to go to Ulta Saturday morning when they opened to see what was going on. I wasn’t sure if it would be super crowded and all her lip products would be sold out. Or if no on would care and it would be a ghost town. I did want to purchase one and I didn’t want them to be sold out so I showed up at 10 am. I would say there was about 10 people there specifically for Kylie. I would say this is an average amount, no too many and not too little.

I went into Ulta thinking I was going to get a lip kit in the shade Kristen, which is pictured as the second to the left on the top row. Her lip kits sell for $30 and you get a matching lip liner and of course the matte liquid lip. I think that is a fair deal for the 2 items and for the brand name. Once I realized that they also released her velvet lips, I was second guessing my lip kit decision. The Velvet lips are a lot less matte, and literally look and feel like velvet. The Velvet lips sold for $16, since they did not come with a lip liner. I ultimately bought a Velvet lip instead of a lip kit just because of the price difference and my preferences with texture. I’m not a huge matte liquid lip fan, and knew I would wear the Velvet lip more. And getting the cheaper, velvet lip first is a good lean in to getting the $30 lip kit if I ever decide to.

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I wore the Velvet lip out last night to dinner and was super pleased with it’s performance. I decided on the shade “Surprise Me” (pictured above) because it was a bright pink/red and thought it would be good for the holidays. This was also the only bright shade in the velvet lips, with the rest being nudes/browns/peaches. I do want to do back and get a nude shade because I loved the way mine wore. It was not drying like I figure the original lip kits would be. It was still a matte look, but not as quenching. To the eyes, you can see why they are called Velvet lips. They look so smooth and clean. The Velvet lip stayed on really well. I went through dinner and noticed on my glass that there was no transfer. About 4 or 5 hours in, it did start to come off on the insides of my lips. This is reasonable since this lip is not supposed to be a super matte, stay all day look like the lip kit would be. Even though it started to come off, it left behind a pretty stain on my lips so it was not super noticeable. I like when brighter shades do this because you really don’t have to keep reapplying and you can just let your lip fade naturally and still be wearing color. A trick I also like to do with this, is just put chapstick on when the lip starts to fade, and it redistributes the product over your whole lips without having to reapply.

I do think I would have been more excited if KKW (Kim K’s line) was in Ulta more than Kylie. I enjoy Kim more in general, and her products seem more luxurious. But I’ll take what I can get for now, and be happy with Kylie.

Also, the same day Kylie Cosmetics got released in Ulta, so did James Charles palette that I talked about in my last blog. I honestly didn’t know his palette would be in EVERY Ulta so quickly so that was a nice surprise! Below is a picture of his palette at Ulta, and it is just as pretty in person!

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All in all I really enjoyed Kylie’s Velvet lip and expect to purchase more. I don’t think I will be getting a lip kit soon just because I’m not very into mattes, and I still use the Les Chocolate lipsticks that I talked about in a previous post, so I am covered. The Velvet lips are a better price and worth it!

Whipped

You know the people that you always associate with a certain smell? Growing up and still to this day, my mom always uses the Olay Beauty lotion on her face. This product has been around for many, many years and it is a staple in a lot of people’s bags as a drug store moisturizer. You can pick it up at any drugstore, Target, Walmart, CVS for under $10. The smell is soothing and not strong by any means, I have just always associated it with my mom. Because she always used it, once I started to understand that you need to take care of your skin many years ago, I started using it. It’s like I didn’t know other lotions were out there because I’ve been so tunnel vision on this.

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I have probably been using this at night and in the morning before I apply my primer or makeup for 7+ years. It light enough to go under makeup, and at night when I apply a generous amount and let it soak in, I wake up with moisturized skin. They have expanded their products and now have one with an SPF. I have used this one before and didn’t notice a different, I pick the SPF one up whenever I see it but am not exclusive to it.

Recently Olay has come out with a more luxurious lotion, called Olay Whips. There are 3 different versions of the whipped product, Luminous, Regenerist, and Total Effects. I have seen commericals for them but didn’t pay any attention until one of my favorite bloggers (@thesouthernstyleguide) tried them and talked great about them.

 

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I guess I wasn’t interested at first because I’ve never thought about needing to change my everyday lotion routine. But with the weather getting colder and colder, I think I will love this product because it is supposed to be even more hydrating than the original and it is supposed to feel lighter on the skin.

This past weekend after dinner at On the Border, Andrew was kind enough to go look around Ulta for me (I conveniently picked On the Border because it’s close to Ulta, lol). While looking around, I went to go check out the Whips. This was before I had done much research on them, and only heard the praises from @thesouthernstyleguide. Even though I know this was a more luxurious product than their original formulated, I was shocked to see they were prices at around $30 each! I wasn’t prepared in that moment to spend that much, mostly because I was shocked they weren’t at a better drugstore price like the original Olay. But from reading more about them, I realize they seem to be much more moisturizing and I like how you can pick out of the three types to really target your skin how you want to. I think this weekend I am going to try the Luminous one (conveniently my original lotion is almost out, also).

I think it’s fun to see something my mom and I have used for years get a “face lift” or a more expensive counter-part. I’m confident in the product because I’ve loved the original for so long. I think another difference is that the Whips are fragrance free, unlike the original. I think that is a plus in a lot of people’s books and there’s less of a chance it will irritate your skin. I’m hoping it will be heavy enough to lather on at night time, and light enough to use in the morning before your makeup routine!

Sister Shadows

This title is only fitting because it’s about the one and only, James Charles. If you are familiar with James then you are familiar with his implementation of the word “Sister” before any other S word.

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James has become very popular on YouTube within the last year. He is younger than I am, so he is new to the famous beauty community. I first discovered James before he was extremely popular because he did Tati’s (my favorite beauty guru) makeup for her wedding, and James appeared on her channel a couple of times. Since then I’ve been an avid follower of James and I think it is amazing how he is implementing artistry in his makeup tutorials and reviews. As seen above, he is doing Halloween makeup on Kylie Jenner, but this type of artwork is noticeable in a lot of his work.

All of that to say, he has only been a guru on YouTube for a few years now and just released his on makeup line with Morphe. He graduated high school last year, just bought a house, and now has his own makeup line in Ulta, that is impressive! His line includes an eye shadow palette, and a brush set. With his palette he really wanted to incorporate his artistry. The colors are well thought out and can provide many many different looks, from neutral to artsy. Below are some examples of the looks James has created with the palette to influence others to “unleash your inner artist,” which is the theme for his collection. I respect him for going this direction with his palette because it is out of the ordinary and it reflects his true passion.

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As you can see the palette does have a lot of bright colors to create art/bright looks. It is definitely not boring. It cost $39 for 39 shadows. I think this is a great price! I recently bought the Jaclyn Hill Morphe palette (another YouTuber that did a collab with Morphe) and it was around the same price range. I love supporting the people I watch on YouTube, so I might pick the palette up when it comes in stores just to have it, even though I most likely won’t use it that often since I shy away from bright colors. I probably won’t be buying his brush set because it is $150 and I have already accumulated the brushes I typically need, but if you are someone wanting to start fresh with your brushes, this is a good way to get them all at once!

The palette and brushes launched this morning at 8 am online and in some stores in bigger cities, so I don’t expect them to be in Conway’s Ulta for a little while. But I am going to keep on the lookout and potentially make the purchase!

Christmas List

Since I’m planning a wedding and getting married in May, I originally told my mom I didn’t want anything for Christmas since a wedding costs…like all my Christmasses thus far combined + more??! But of course once I started about thinking about wedding day makeup and what I would probably buy before then, I went ahead and sent it to my mom for my Christmas list. I choose things that I know other people like, as I’ve watched many reviews throughout the months. These are classics from great beauty brands that you could never go wrong with. They are more expensive than your average Too Faced or MAC brand, so that’s why I thought they would be good Christmas gifts since I know I couldn’t get myself to buy all this.

9B225B52-06E5-46C6-A949-2B885E65D72DThis is the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic blush. This is a well-loved product throughout the beauty community. I think it will have a glow to it that compliments your highlight well. I choose the color “First Love” since it seems better suited for fair skin from the reviews I’ve read. It will be soft pink with some peach tones! It is $40, which I think is not too bad for such a classic piece.

8B7B2D7E-9DE0-4D9A-B5F6-44DD9708E063.pngI’m sure a lot of you probably already have this, or at least have heard of it. Everyone loves this and it’s such a stable in lots of people’s everyday routine! I’ve never been into highlighters, this will actually be my first so of course I choose Becca. I was torn on what to color to choose, it was between Moonstone and Opal. I think they are similar but Moonstone is more toned down. I went with Opal since it is $38 I want to make sure it’s noticable! Also, you could get a mini sized to try for $19!

DB1E89A9-0827-42EB-B8CE-F2F4CCB842FB.pngI’ve been wanting to get this for awhile, and I actually might end up getting it myself because Christmas comes around. My current mascara (Urban Decay Proversion) is almost out, and I don’t want to buy that one again. I’ve been super interested in the Hourglass brand so I thought this would be a good place to start! One of my favorite bloggers, Emily Gemma, just got it and she raved about it. It is a good price point at $29, also! Can’t go wrong with an awesome high-end mascara under $30.

9B649372-0B22-4673-902B-982C8D4386B1.pngI’ve tested this before in store and loved the color range they have! I wasn’t the lightest shade which is a first! This foundation is full-coverage and really great from what I have heard. I’ve always wanted to get it, but my YSL foundation is also expensive so I can never get myself to have buy both of them at the same time. I’m excited to see how I will like the stick application, I feel like it will be great for travel! This foundation is also popular with people getting a darker shade for contour also. I might try that in the future! Compared to YSL at almost $60 this is a better price at $46!

1BE36C0D-B287-428E-A286-EBD059C0231BFrom what I’ve heard Natasha Denona eyeshadows can basically blend themselves. This is the queen of all eyeshadow palettes. I have never personally known someone to have Natasha Denona, probably because it’s expensive! What’s is pictured from the Sephora website, is the mini size at $25! Their full size is $120-$150. I can’t say I would never spend that on the full size palette, but I at least need to try the mini first! I think minis are a great way to try something expensive and still get the same experiences. Tati is the one who I heard of Natasha Denona from, and the podcast hosts just mentioned her also (podcast details in my other post).

E0076322-578B-4460-8239-8FF1A2008C4FLast but not least, another Charlotte Tilbury product. Honestly, I don’t have a huge need for this product since I use and enjoy my Laura Mercier setting powder. But I wanted to try one more Charlotte Tilbury product and I know a lot of beauty gurus that enjoy this!! I am excited about it since it is tinted, unlike my current one that is translucent. I plan to use it under my eyes to set my foundation/concealer, and other high points. Sometimes I don’t put powder all over my face since I don’t have oily skin so I think this product will be a good addition.

This Christmas will be all Sephora for me! Which I am okay with! This will complete my collection and I’ll be wedding day makeup ready in May! I just hope none of these products run out by then so I won’t have to buy more myself, lol!

Breaking Beauty

This week I finally discovered the podcast I have been searching for! One of the beauty/fashion bloggers that I follow on Instagram posted about how she saw the hosts of the “Breaking Beauty” podcast at the inaugural Sephoria event. I then looked them up and have been hooked ever since!

I never understood how my fiancé could listen to sports talk radio everyday while he commutes to Little Rock, like how do you just sit there and listen to people talk to each other?! But now, that I found something I’m interested and have knoelwdge about, I completely get it. Thankfully I am pretty familiar with higher end makeup/skincare (Le Mer, Tom Ford, Natasha Denona, etc) because they talk about these types of brands if they’re not talking about the middle tier of makeup. I’d consider “middle tier” basically as everything the Little Rock Sephora store sells (Laura Mercier, Anastasia, Too Faced, etc.). I say only the Little Rock store, because when you get into bigger cities with stand alone Sephora’s they carry much high end brands like the previous ones I mentioned. The podcast doesn’t really talk about drugstore makeup, as far as I have noticed, but that doesn’t bother me since I usually don’t go for drugstore stuff (expect those les chocolates lipsticks, I wear them all the time).

Yesterday the episode I listened to, they were talking with Bobbi Brown, the creator of Bobbi Brown cosmetics. She told her story of how she become a makeup artist/creator, all about the brand, and ultimately why she left the brand. Today I listened to one covered their experience at the Sephoria event, and their experience at the masterclass with Mario (@makeupbymario Kim K’s artist, among many other cool celebs). They were sharing some of Mario’s tips and had clips from him talking at his class, so that was really cool! The one I’m currently listening to is the well know celeb hair stylist, Jen Atkins, who was also at Sephoria. Jen Atkins is the inventor of the super expensive Dyson Supersonic blow dryer that you have probably seen in some stores, and said “why would I pay $500 for a hair dryer??” She just came out with another Dyson product, a Air Wrap! I’d suggest you look at Instagram or YouTube videos because it’s seriosuly cool. Or listen to that episode of the podcast and really get all the details!! I would ask for the new Air Wrap for Christmas if it wasn’t selling for $1,000 right now….but maybe in the future once the price chills out I’ll get my hands on it!