2017 Holiday Gift Guide
Our Sephora Favorites
Last week, I polled readers via Twitter about retailer-specific gift guides, and here we are with one of two for Sephora! I shared my limited edition, holiday picks earlier, and this gift guide focuses on a mix of specific shades that I particularly enjoyed over the last year (that are permanent) along with my personal, go-to formulas.
Natasha Denona Sunset Eyeshadow Palette ($129.00 for 1.20 oz.) includes 15 eyeshadows in various warm-toned hues–a lot of red/orange-toned coppers, oranges, and browns–with a mix of matte, shimmer, and sparkle finishes. Read full review.
St. Tropez is a deep, pink-plum base with strong, contrasting gold shimmer throughout. It had more of a metallic finish because of how intense the... Read full review.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner ($25.00 for 0.01 oz.) is a smooth, gel-like pencil eyeliner with excellent adhesion to the lash line as well as the waterline and long-wear. Some of my favorites are: Peridot, Brown(out), Ody(sea), Intro(vert), and Blacquer.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner ($25.00 for 0.01 oz.) is just as pigmented, long-wearing, and easy-to-apply as the original Highliner range but in a matte finish. Some of my favorites are: Whirl(pool), Fine(wine), (Grape)vine, and Out of the Blue.
Sephora Contour Eye Pencil ($10.00 for 0.04 oz.) is one of my favorite, go-to eyeliner formulas. They’re pigmented, comfortable to apply, long-wearing, and come in a variety of shades. There are only a few formulations I keep on my vanity, and this is one of them! Some of my favorites are: Fairytale, Good Mood, Suede Shoes, Flirting Game, and Go For a Ride.
Love Drunk is a deep red with cool, pink undertones and a satin sheen. This is a newly released, permanent shade, which I just reviewed in the last... Read full review.
Marc Jacobs Air Blush ($42.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a new formula for the year, but it is permanent and, surprisingly, quite good. The brand actually made a rather extravagant claim for wear, but it lived up to it better than anticipated–14 to 16 hour wear was definitely possible for me. They had good color coverage that was blendable and sat well on the skin. There are only five shades presently, but here’s hoping for a greater variety in selection in 2017! Some of my favorite shades are Flesh & Fantasy and Lines & Last Night.
Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is one of those formulas that is just easy to use–the silky, incredibly finely-milled consistency makes short work out of blending and diffusing a chosen shade on the skin. The shade range is rather extensive now, too, which is nice; some pops of color with a lot of more neutral, everyday kind of shades are available. Some of my favorite shades are De Cherubique, Coup de Genie, Parfait, and La Vie En Rose.
Clinique Cheek Pop Blush ($23.00 for 0.12 oz.) is well-worth checking out if you have more mid-tone blush colors paired with pearly, luminous finishes. The finish is what draws me in with this formula, because it sits well on the skin–lightly glowing but never emphasizing. The consistency is smooth, dense, and blendable on the skin. Some of the shades I’ve been reaching for often (at least, more recently) are: Black Honey Pop, Peach Pop, Ginger Pop, Fig Pop, and Rosy Pop.
Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette ($42.00 for 0.35 oz.) includes 14 eyeshadows that come in a mix of warmer neutrals and pops of pink/red. The one that started the avalanche that has become warm, red, rosy, and orange-toned palettes in the last year but still just as good today as it was when it launched!
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow ($21.00 for 0.08 oz.) still remains my very favorite powder eyeshadow formula. I’m particularly fond of their more shimmery and satin finishes, though their mattes are nice (but they aren’t as dense, and I love a denser, creamier eyeshadow). Their are over 200 shades to choose from, so you can imagine it is hard to pick favorites, but here are swatches of some of my must-haves!
Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a brilliant powder eyeshadow for those who like rich, shimmery formulas with intense pigmentation and long wear. I really like how well they adhere to bare lids while still being blendable and easy to work with. Some of my favorite shades are: Thrasher, Thunderstruck, Iggy, and Synergy.
Anastasia Eyeshadow ($12.00 for oz.) are available as pans only, which can be put into any freestyle palette system or if you purchase four (or eight), you’ll get a palette from Anastasia (and I love their quad–very sturdy and travel-friendly). Their Titanium finish is my favorite, because it’s a denser, almost cream-like formula with rich pigmentation and good adherence to the lid. I also like a lot of their newer mattes, which are soft, smooth, and blendable while still being pigmented. Check out our list of the top 25 best Anastasia eyeshadows!
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a very pigmented–typically opaque with one pass–formula with a few shades being semi-opaque but usually buildable. The majority of the shades I’ve tested have been lightly hydrating to non-drying and fairly comfortable to wear for the long-haul. They wear longer than average, from four to eight hours, depending on the intensity and propensity of the shade to stain. The range is rather extensive, so you may find our top 15 best Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks list useful. Some of my favorite shades are: Pickled Ginger, Kale, Sour Cherry, and Spritzer.
Bite Beauty Amouse Bouche Liquified Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a liquid lipstick with a natural finish (so not a flat matte finish!) that has rich color payoff, long-wear, and a hydrating formula. Some of my favorite shades are: Chutney, Candied, Braised, Chiffonade, and Infuse.
NARS Audacious Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is supposed to be a richly pigmented, creamy, hydrating, and long-wearing formula. In my experience, the formula is typically opaque in a single stroke, lightweight, moderately to very creamy with four to six hour wear. It feels lightly hydrating to mostly non-drying overall. There is no noticeable scent or taste, and they are very comfortable to wear. Some of my favorite shades are: Apoline, Natalie, Anna, and Audrey.
Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38.00 for 0.14 oz.) is an incredibly smooth, lightly creamy formula with opaque coverage that are long-wearing but extremely comfortable and easy to apply. I have only tried six shades in the range, but I loved Madame Greige, Beautiful Creature, Major Red, and Sorry Not Sorry.
Huda Beauty Lip Strobe ($18.00 for 0.16 fl. oz.) is a shimmering, hydrating gloss that wears four to five hours available in sheer to opaque shades with a mirror-like shine. Some of my favorite shades are: Angelic, Fearless, and Saucey.
NARS Velvet Lip Glide ($26.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a hybrid between lipstick and lipgloss that is hydrating, richly pigmented, and comfortable to wear. They have stronger color payoff, a non-tacky consistency, and a smoothness to their consistency that is a lot like a good lipstick, while they have a plusher, thicker texture that gives lips a plumper, fuller look along with a glossy sheen that is more like a gloss. Some of my favorite shades are: Unspeakable, La Maine Bleue, and Bound.
Surratt Beauty Lip Lustre ($32.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is is a light-medium thick, tacky gloss that feels very smooth going on and holds on well, even when the coverage is on the sheerer side. This gloss lasted for four hours and was somewhat hydrating while worn. I like the more shimmery shades in the range, which have great shine and sparkle. Soigne is one of my favorites from the shades I’ve tried.