A Few of My Favorite Things – 16 Beauty Indulgences Worth the Splurge

Holiday Indulgences

One question I get asked a lot prior to Sephora’s winter sale (20% off for VIBs with code VIBTOPIA, 11/7 through 11/11!) is, “What do you recommend?” This is a loaded question! There are so many ways to answer this question! The way I tend to frame my answer is in the context of, “What have I wanted to buy but felt was a little too expensive normally? What favorites do I need to stock-up on?” I think sales offer us an opportunity to indulge in something that might be above our price point comfort zone the rest of the year, or be more willing to take a chance on a brand we’re not familiar with (because they’re not cheap!) as well as stock-up on things we know we’ll use over and over again.

Of course, it being the holiday season, there are also plenty of seasonal offerings to indulge in like sets and palettes–you can see my top palette picks in full here as well as some picks for sets and kits generally. Those both cover some of the seasonal offerings, and this post is less focused on seasonal/limited edition as it is just really fantastic products that I highly recommend from trying them.

Products to Indulge In — Lips

  • Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick ($22 @ Sephora, see my review here) — great if you love creamy, more emollient lipsticks with high pigmentation and moderate lasting power
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains ($34 @ Sephora, see my review here) — long-wearing, moderately pigmented color that doesn’t dry out lips
  • Givenchy Le Rouge ($36 @ Sephora, see my review here) — creamy, luminous opaque lip color that wears well, makes lips look smoother than they really are
  • Guerlain Rouge G Lip Color ($49.50 @ Sephora, see my review here) — Rouge G is a long-time favorite (still reigning supreme after years and years of trying new formulas) for long-wear, hydration, opacity, and feel
  • Buxom Full-Bodied Lipstick ($21 @ Sephora, see my review here) — superbly hydrating, smooth, rich color that wears well
  • Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipgloss ($24 @ Sephora, see my review here) — for a high-gloss, insanely shimmering/glimmering gloss

Products to Indulge In — Face

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a variety of gorgeous shades from intensely pigmented to subtly neutral with a soft, blendable formula
  • Illamasqua Velvet Blusher ($26 @ Sephora, see my review here) — perfect for someone who loves the feel and blendability of of a cream blush but look and finish of a powder
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($45 @ Sephora, see my review here) — a gorgeous finishing/luminizing powder to give that something special to the skin (and don’t forget the Ambient Lighting Palette!)
  • Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($ @ Sephora, see my review here) — creates a lovely, smooth canvas and helps keep makeup on longer

Products to Indulge In — Eyes

Most of what I wanted to recommend (in terms of what came to mind) were palettes, which I’ve recommended previously here.

  • Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38 @ Sephora, see my review here) — buttery, soft texture and intense color payoff
  • bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow ($30 & up @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorite eyeshadow formulas for texture and color payoff
  • Dior Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadows ($30 @ Sephora, see my review here) — obsessed with these pigmented cream eyeshadows that wear well

Products to Indulge In — Nails

  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer ($18 @ Sephora, see my review here) — high-shine, long-wearing formula with a nice range of colors/textures
  • Illamasqua Nail Varnish ($17 @ Sephora, see my review here) — one of my all-time favorites for application, wear, and range
  • Guerlain Nail Lacquer ($23 @ Sephora, see my review here) — so glossy and high-shine, pigmented, long-wearing

Products to Stock-Up On

These are your favorites, but this is a little list of basics that we sometimes blank on but often have a favorite we use quite frequently, so consider what you reach for in these product types:

  • Eyeshadow Primer
  • Lip Balm/Lip Care
  • Foundation
  • Skincare
  • Mascara
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Sprays
  • Top/Base Coats (for nails)
  • Makeup Remover

Are you indulging in Sephora’s upcoming VIB sale? What’s on your list? What would you recommend to someone?

And if you aren’t a VIB, while Sephora has hinted at upcoming promotions for BIs as well, they haven’t confirmed what that means (could just be more samples, free shipping, etc. or it could be really awesome), Beauty.com’s F&F sale is open to all with 20% off.

5 Shades of Bright, Metallic Silver

As someone with a warmer complexion, I always go gold during the holidays, but I would be remiss if I didn’t consider the opposite–silver–which can work well to brighten and reflect just as nicely as gold!

  1. Le Metier de Beaute Platinum — a bright, metallic silver
  2. NARS Interstellar — a frosted, metallic silver cream
  3. Urban Decay Cuff — a brightened silver eyeliner–perfect for brightening up a smoky eye
  4. Inglot #447 — an extremely bright silver with a highly metallic finish in powder form
  5. Zoya Electra — silver tinsel with a holographic finish to make any nail color festive

What’s your favorite silver-hued beauty product?

5 Shimmering Shades of Pewter

One of my favorite shades in makeup (especially for eyes and nails) is pewter. I love that it’s this mix of gray, gold, silver, and green–it can be such a complex shade.

  1. Dior Millenium — shimmering, warm-toned pewter in a cream formulation that can be worn sheer or opaque
  2. MAC Antique Diamond — a metallic golden pewter with soft sparkle in a cream form
  3. Benefit Skinny Jeans — a classic green-leaning pewter with a golden bronze sheen
  4. Inglot #454 — a lovely light-medium golden pewter with a frosted, metallic finish
  5. Urban Decay Addiction — limited edition but still available (so I couldn’t resist), this is a beautiful green-ish, dirty gold for tips

What’s your favorite pewter-hued beauty product?

Urban Decay The Mother Lode Shadow Set & 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Vault (2013 Edition)

Urban Decay Mega Sets for the Collector in You
Urban Decay Mega Sets for the Collector in You

Urban Decay wants to take over your holiday wish list in a fierce way! Can’t say I wouldn’t swoon if I saw one of these under my tree!

Urban Decay The Mother Lode Shadow Set ($595.00, but a $1,234 value, or the equivalent of $8.75 per eyeshadow) contains 68 eyeshadows. SIXTY-EIGHT. Each eyeshadow is a regular full-sized eyeshadow. The list is daunting, but here you go: Blackout (blackest black matte), Gunmetal (dark metallic gray shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Bust (pale sable brown satin), Darkhorse (deep mocha shimmer), Lost (medium metallic brown shimmer), Snakebite (dark bronze shimmer), Smog (deep coppery bronze shimmer), Tease (creamy pale brown matte), Stray Dog (cool metallic ash brown shimmer), Toasted (antique copper penny shimmer), Sin (champagne shimmer), Oil Slick (black matte w/silver micro-glitter), S&M (steel gray shimmer), Pistol (light grayish brown shimmer), Busted (deep brown shimmer), Twice Baked (rich brown satin w/gold micro-glitter), Secret Service (soft cool brown matte), Suspect (pale golden beige shimmer), Roach (deep metallic burgundy brown shimmer), Chopper (copper shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Midnight Rodeo (taupe shimmer w/silver glitter), Scratch (rose-gold shimmer), Gravity (deep violet shimmer w/multicolored micro-glitter), Grifter (sheer lavender shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Flash (bright iridescent purple shimmer), Rockstar (deep aubergine shimmer), Evidence (deep navy blue shimmer), Loaded (deep metallic emerald), Cobra (black matte w/gold micro-glitter), Mushroom (warm gray shimmer), Last Call (metallic plum shimmer), Woodstock (saturated deep pink shimmer), Fishnet (bright pink shimmer w/purple shift), Psychedelic Sister (deep amethyst shimmer), Radium (peacock blue shimmer), Peace (bright turquoise shimmer), Shattered (turquoise shimmer w/gold shift), Haight (mermaid blue shimmer), SWF (pale cotton candy pink shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Bordello (pale mauve shimmer w/gold micro-glitter), Asphyxia (hyacinth shimmer w/blue shift), ACDC (smoky grayish purple shimmer), Hijack (deep metallic teal shimmer), Bender (metallic forest green shimmer w/gold micro-glitter), Mildew (mossy green shimmer w/gold shift), Kush (grass green shimmer w/gold micro-glitter), Buck (fawn brown matte), Chase (bright bronze shimmer), Baked (rich bronze shimmer), X (peach shimmer w/gold shift), ABC Gum (pale peach matte), Freelove (golden vibrant peach shimmer), Sellout (pinky champagne shimmer), Virgin (cool pale beige satin), Foxy (cream bisque matte), Polyester Bride (white snow shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Vanilla (golden pearl shimmer), YDK (cool bronze shimmer), Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (light pink champagne shimmer w/silver glitter), Naked (nude matte), Half Baked (golden bronze shimmer), Blunt (light golden bronze shimmer), Snatch (pale peach shimmer w/gold glitter), Midnight Cowboy (pink champagne shimmer w/silver glitter), Verve (oyster shimmer), Midnight Cowgirl (warm sand shimmer w/multicolored glitter), Maui Wowie (metallic golden beige shimmer w/silver glitter) and Zephyr (natural pearl shimmer). .

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Vault ($295.00, but a $760 value or the equivalent of $7.38 per eyeliner) contains 40 full-sized eyeliners (aka, one of every color Urban Decay currently makes). These include: Perversion, Zero, Smoke, Uzi, Oil Slick, Underground, Mushroom, Smog, Roach, Bourbon, Hustle, Whiskey, Corrupt, Demolition, Desperation, Scorch, Goldmine, Loaded, Freak, Invasion, Mildew, Stash, Junkie, Mainline, Deep End, Electric, LSD, Sabbath, Abyss, Chaos, Ether, Delinquent, Vice, Psychedelic Sister, Rockstar, Empire, Asphyxia, Woodstock, Yeyo, Cuff.

Availability: Both are available now Sephora

‘Fess up, who’s caving?

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The Best Holiday Palettes for Holiday 2013

Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Kat Von D Spellbinding theBalm Balm Voyage Urban Decay Vice 2 Eyeshadow Palette Sugarpill Cold Chemistry LORAC Pro Palette Too Faced Pretty Rebel Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Sleek MakeUP Vintage Romance

As promised, here are my top picks for palettes to snag during the holidays! :)  Also… as I review other palettes from the holidays (I don’t think I have too many more!) and find other great choices, I’ll be sure to add them here.

  1. Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Set ($45.00 for 1.28 oz.) consists of two “books” of makeup–each has six eyeshadows and two blush/cheek colors. The quality was good across the board, and there was a nice variety of colors and textures. You can read part one and part two of my reviews on it.
  2. Kat Von D Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 1.20 oz.) contains twenty-four (24!!!) eyeshadows, and they’re even designed to be layered and used together, so you can have an endless amount of combinations and textures! You can read part one and part two.
  3. theBalm Balm Voyage ($42.50 for 1.21 oz.) has sixteen eyeshadows and three lip/cheek colors, but the eyeshadows are the stars. This is a great choice for someone who prefers more matte/satin finishes. Check out part one and part two for reviews on this palette.
  4. Urban Decay Vice 2 ($59.00 for 0.60 oz.) has twenty eyeshadows to choose from with a variety in texture and color to choose from. If you love pigmented, buttery, soft eyeshadows–this one’s for you. You can read part one and part two of my reviews.
  5. Sugarpill Cold Chemistry ($34.00 for 0.48 oz.) is a wintry mix of cool-toned gray, white, purple, and teal for someone who loves bold, rich colors and a lot of them. Not limited edition but a perfectly-timed release for the holiday season. Read my review here.
  6. LORAC Pro Palette ($42.00 for 0.55 oz.) is a cult-favorite palette for a reason–it combines mattes with high frosts. There are eight matte shades and then eight more frosted shades, and you can mix and match them for satin and pearl finishes, too! Permanent and available year-round, there’s no hurry to snag one, but with holiday deals and sales, now’s a great time to try it. Read my review here.
  7. Too Faced Pretty Rebel ($46.00 for 0.50 oz.) contains ten eyeshadows, which might not be as sexy as a mega palette, but these are ten fantastic eyeshadows. If you love jewel-tones, bold and bright shades, and your frost finishes, this is a palette worth considering. Read my review here.
  8. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($58.00 for 0.35 oz.) is for those who love a beautiful, glowing complexion and flawless canvas. Ambient Lighting Powders are amazing on their own but getting three for a little more than the price of one? Great opportunity to try more shades or add them to your routine. Read my review here.
  9. Sleek MakeUP Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette ($9.99 for 0.36 oz.) is my more budget-friendly pick for a fall/winter palette with great quality–nicely pigmented shades in hues of gold, berry, and purple. Read my review here.

What palettes would you recommend to others for the holidays?

Top 5 Shades of Black for Halloween

I shared my favorite oranges yesterday for Halloween, so of course, the other side of the coin is rich, inky blacks! Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Illamasqua Creator — a deep, dark black with silver flecks and sparkle with a glossy, high-shine finish
  2. Chanel Mirifique — a sparkling, creamy, deep dark black
  3. Urban Decay Perversion — a cult favorite; deep, dark, inky matte black for the lash line
  4. Milani Pitch Black — a deep, dark black eyeshadow with a matte finish for under $10
  5. Sugarpill Stella — a deep, dark black loose eyeshadow with teal, violet, pink, and emerald green micro-shimmer

What are your favorite black-hued beauty products?