Haul at Halloween: MAC, Sephora, CVS + Wedding Anniversary!

I can’t really call it a Halloween Haul, because none of the products are spooky. Sorry.

I was in Burlington, Vermont last week for a work training event. This was exciting because I got to visit some stores I don’t have ready access to most of the time – namely MAC and, to a lesser extent, Sephora. There is one of those in my parents-in-law’s town, but the one in Burlington is bigger and the staff have historically been better and nicer to me.

At MAC, I had a look at their current seasonal gift range and felt decidedly uninspired. I had however had my eye on one of the Paint Pots in “Groundwork”.

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As you can see, it’s a really nice neutral brown. It’s a tiny bit warm but not too warm, kind of a taupey-brown, and totally devoid of shimmer so it’s perfect for toned-down winter workdays where you just want to swipe on some long-lasting eyeshadow and stumble out the door into the cold. This is my fourth Paint Pot and they’ve all impressed me so far. I’m sure Groundwork won’t let me down.

You can get it from MAC for $22 in the USA or Australia for $35.

Next up I shuffled off to Sephora and grabbed one of the Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks that I’ve been pondering over for awhile (this purchase thanks to a long and in-depth conversation about this product and its many beautiful shades with my bestie Mem) – Bauhau5.

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It’s kind of a deep berry-pink tone. I have not yet put it onto my lips but when I do, I assure you I will post on instagram (you can find me there @freedomandvanity) because I really feel like I’m going to love it, like I love all of its siblings (some of them are boys, you see, like Echo). As I have stated many times, you can grab these from the Sephora US site for $22 and maybe even the Australian site by the time this goes up but I don’t really want to talk about the crapshow that the Australian Sephora site launch has been, tbh. If you’re in Australia and you have a choice, please go with Mecca Cosmetica they’re just so much better. Sadly, KvD is Sephora only.

I picked up one of my favorite brow products, the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow. Before, I had it in the shade “medium brown”. It has occurred to me recently that this is actually too warm for my brows, it’s got a reddish tinge to it that looks a little strange at close examination, so I decided to grab “ash brown”.

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I think it’s going to be much better even just at first glance.  I’ll keep you updated, fair readers. ABH is available at quite a few places, but I get it from Sephora for $18 in the USA and in Australia you can get it from AdoreBeauty for $39 and from a couple of other places too, but the shades are a little different which is confusing. Ok ok I caved and went to Sephora.com.au, and they have it for $30 with all the right shades YOU WIN THIS ROUND, SEPHORA AUSTRALIA.

I’ve been vacillating about buying some of the Ceramidin products from Dr Jart+ (my latest skincare love) for awhile now, because in winter my skin entirely forgets how to hold moisture and ceramides are great for holding moisture in the skin longer than other moisturizing ingredients, and creates a protective barrier. I saw this nifty little sample kit of the liquid (serum) and cream moisturizing products so I grabbed it, it was the last one.

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So far I really like both these products, they’re light enough to absorb rapidly, but not so much that I feel like it all disappears and I have to reapply. Strangely, I can’t find this pack on the Sephora site anymore but you can get these products for $39 and $48 respectively. Check Sephora.com.au for these as well.

I also grabbed a sample of the Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping mask and so far I freakin’ LOVE IT you guys. It’s probably the thing that I’m most excited about. But it’s relatively pricey at nearly  $50. Eep! Still, it feels so nice, I think I’m going to grab it. Sleeping Masks have always been a bit mysterious to me, but having tried this one, it feels different to a normal moisturizer because some of the product appears to stay on the skin. It absorbs overnight though, leaving my skin super soft and not greasy. Hooray!

I popped into CVS as well and picked up a CoverGirl Outlast nail polish from the Star Wars range. It’s a kind of greige color – grey/beige/taupe. The name is “Speed of Light”.

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I think it set me back around $6-7, you can get it from any number of places that sell CoverGirl.

I read recently on Lily Pebbles’ blog that Maybelline had released a new creamy matte range. I couldn’t find that exact range but I found something where the shade names matched, in a matte formulation, so I picked up “Siren in Scarlet”.

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Does that look like a “me” color or what? I’m gonna wear it tonight (pub trivia), keep an eye out on my instagram.

It was my first wedding anniversary recently and my amazing husband got me two very coveted Charlotte Tilbury products – Filmstar Bronze & Glow and the Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk. First of all can we talk about the amazing packaging?!

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So luxe! And on the inside of the palette, we have a lovely cool-toned bronzer/contour shade and a very finely milled highlight.

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It’s hard to even use them to be honest, they’re so nice. But I’m going to anyway. Best husband ever!

So that’s my latest … acquisitions.. I’m sorry I don’t have many pictures of me wearing them! I honestly haven’t been wearing much makeup lately, I’ve been really busy and prioritizing sleep over makeup application. Heh!

Thanks for reading!

Love+++
F&V

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New Makeup Monday: Kat von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow

A quick note on posting: lately I’ve been really slack on blog posts and I realised that one of the main reasons for that is that I always make such LONG posts. So that has to stop, I’m going to try to post short posts more regularly – I hope that’s okay! The long posts are exhausting and time consuming and anything that makes me AVOID posting on my blog can get straight in the bin.

Onto the subject at hand! You guys know I love Kat von D products. I really do. I love the products themselves (well, most of them), I love the packaging, I love the marketing and just give me everything forever. I also love bold metallic/shimmery eyeshadows so natch I was SUPER excited when I saw that the brand was releasing some!

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I went to Sephora at JCPenney and swatched them and omg I was in LOVE. I forced myself to choose ONE. I chose Synergy, a bronze/copper (closer to bronze really) because it spoke to me and because I’ve been wearing a lot of those shades recently.

I wore it to work the next day and although it creased a LITTLE bit, it’s worth noting that everything does on me. Next time I wear it, I’m going to wear a little of the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze underneath, because that stuff is amazing and they’re basically the same color.

The shadow was SO pigmented and smooth and easy to blend, I knew I had to have another. So when I went to Sephora Albany I picked up Raw Power, a burnt red/burgundy.

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Here they are swatched together:

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I am sorry to say that I only have really too-bright sunshiney pictures of these on, that don’t do them justice! I’ll post them anyway but I promise to take more decent pictures and post them on Instagram (@freedomandvanity) this week for you guys.

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Next I’m going to pick up Thrasher, a gorgeous antique gold and Black No.1 which is a metallic dark grey/black.

If you think these sound cool, you can pick them up at Sephora for $21 and in Australia at Sephora too I would think.

Thanks for reading! As always, throw me some ideas for new posts if you like!

Love++
F&V

Priceline Australia 40% Off Makeup Sale! How to Not Lose Your Shit.

So my beautiful friend Memily brought to my attention today that Priceline’s 40% off Makeup Sale starts tomorrow. This is exciting news! I had actually unsubscribed from their emails in preparation for leaving the country so I didn’t know. But now I do, and I’m here to help you not lose your mind and buy all the things.

I have said from the beginning of this blog that I’m super pro pharmacy (drugstore) brands. Not just because I have access to them and not much else here, but because they frickin own and some of them are actually made by the same companies as the more expensive brands (Chanel/Bourjois anyone?) so there’s that, as well. I’m not going to go into super big detail on any of these products, I’m just going to give a basic rundown of things I think are awesome and worth spending money on. Hang tight, here we go!

FullSizeRenderThis is what I pulled out of my makeup collection in a frantic hurry…

First up, let’s talk about foundation. If you have a favourite brand of foundation and you’re running low, or you just want to stock up, go nuts. Do that thing. But if you haven’t tried any of the foundations available at Priceline and you think you might like to, here are my recommendations.

First of all, Bourjois Healthy Mix (for oily/combo) or Healthy Mix Serum (dry-normal). I use the former and love it. It’s a fabulous foundation with medium to full coverage, it’s a lovely consistency that doesn’t take much blending and is just generally a real winner. The shade range isn’t huge, but there should be something to suit most shades. I wear this is an everyday foundation, mostly because it’s cheap and using my expensive foundations every day (when I am in high-use makeup periods) makes me nervous. They’re both normally $32, so you’d pick them up for just under $20. You could also get yourself the Healthy Balance powder for $12 (usually $20) and the Healthy Mix concealer for $14.40. All brilliant products that I personally recommend.

The next foundation recommendation that I’ve tried and loved myself is the L’Oreal True Match foundation. This one has LOADS of different shades and is another fabulous medium coverage everyday use foundation. It’s not as matte as the HM, which is quite matte, but it’s semi-matte I would say so it’s still good for those of us with oily skin as well as dryer skin types. It’s normally $29.95 so you’d get it for $18 though I note at the moment Priceline has a $8.99 off deal for it – I wonder if that will continue into the sale? Would be SWEET if it did, but I doubt it. We can dream!

Other foundations that I haven’t tried myself but that are popular so rate a mention include the L’Oreal Lumi Magique Light Infusing foundation, normally $33.95 now $20.40 (great for dry skin), Revlon ColorStay range (usually $34.95, will be $21) and I’m sure there are more too, ask your friendly Priceline beauty consultant for one that will match your skin type 🙂

My lip product collection is largely premium branded I must say, there’s a lot of MAC and Nars in there, but there’s definitely a few key pharmacy brands to look out for. The first one won’t come as any surprise to you guys, it’s the Australis VelourLips range.

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ZERO REGRETS

These are like $10 so you’re looking at paying $6 each. I’m going to stock up, as well as grab some to give to my American friends because they are just THAT good. I swatched my favourites for you below.

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Fun fact: they also smell like delicious candy. I dug up a few Insties of me wearing them too:

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Left to right: Buda-Pash, Doo-Bai, NY-Cee

They’re seriously good, buy them, omg, they’re $6 for the love of god. BUY THEM! They’re so pigmented and they last forever and they’re just great. They make me want to cry.

Okay so. I also very much enjoy and have three of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks which are really similar, just probably not AS long lasting. There’s a great colour range. I actually packed two of these, Hot Pepper and Ole Flamingo (bright red and hot pink respectively) but I found Nude-Ist hiding under my bed so that one stayed. Here it is swatched:

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And here are some other random insties of Hot Pepper (left) and Ole Flamingo (right).

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As you can see they are similar in level of pigmentation but not quite there, you need a couple of coats.. Anyway they’re good and for $14 down from $24, a great choice IMO.

That’s it for lip stuff, like I said I do tend towards the higher end for a lot of lip stuff but that’s just me.

Eyeshadow gets a good run at the pharmacy for me, particularly Maybelline eyeshadows. Their Color Tattoo range is fabulous and I have lots of them. It’s a cream shadow that lasts for EVER, the longevity really is astounding, through an entire work day easily. I consider them as good if not better than my beloved Smashbox cream shadow range which is known for being ultra longlasting. Pop a bit of eye primer on before you start and you’re good for an entire day, sweat and all. They are normally $11.95 which is frankly a bargain anyway (the Smashbox ones are $26) but tomorrow and Wednesday they’ll be $7.20. GO. JUST GO. That goes for the Metal range as well (of which Inked in Pink is one).

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I’ve sent a few to the USA but the ones that have stayed are swatched here:

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The taupe is quite a lot darker than you think it’s going to be, that was a lesson learned. I like it though, it’s a taupey greyish purple, and totally matte unlike the other two, which are shimmery. Barely Branded is a really fabulous base colour, I don’t have it because I have a Smashbox one that’s exactly the same and I have SOME self control sometimes I SWEAR TO GOD OKAY

Ahem

Speaking of shimmery eyeshadows, these lovelies are by MaxFactor and they’re quite similar to the above except that they are much lighter and more moussey of a consistency. They definitely don’t last as long but they are really nice and still relatively longlasting. They’re the Excess Shimmer shadows and I have them in 3 colours, all of which I wear fairly regularly.

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Swatched:

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The copper is almost a creamy beige moreso than a true copper, but I do very much like it. For reference, when I went to wipe these off, they came off fairly easily with some Bioderma (what a pity that won’t be included in the sale) on a cotton pad but the Maybelline Color Tattoo range did NOT, it took some scrubbing. So there’s that. Anyway, these are great. Weirdly, I cannot find them on the Priceline website but I know I bought them from there, and they’re definitely not discontinued because I saw them at Target the other day.. can’t solve that mystery however if you see them and you feel the price is right – go nuts they’re tops. From what I remember they are definitely not as cheap as the Maybelline though, and they don’t last as long.

There’s also the Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigments which are for the loose powder lovers in all of us, of which I am majorly one. I only have one of these however, because I’m trying to curb my intense loose powder collection (*buys 1000 Baroque Cosmetics shadows* oops). This is the one I have:

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Swatched on skin:

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It’s really nice! I wore it to work the other day and it lasted well. It’s quite dark for a copper but I love the colour, personally.

I also have another Maybelline eyeshadow (I srsly love this brand), it’s a little palette and I just loved the rose-gold colour in it. It’s this one:

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Also in the “sent to USA” group.. soz.

This is one of the Eye Studio Hyper Diamonds Eye Shadow sets in “Hyper Bronze”. I was really surprised how well all the colours worked together in this little baby. I’m a fan. These are normally $18.95 which means you’ll pick one up for about $11.50 which is smashing value for an eyeshadow palette. There’s lots of other colour sets too including a lovely looking green one, but lately I’m really into metal bronze/copper/rose gold type tones so yeah soz not soz.

My last eyeshadow rave is the L’Oreal Color Infallible range. Seriously, these are AMAZING. They’re a dupe for something really spectacular – the Tom Ford shadows maybe? They are a lightly pressed powder, in that they live with a little stamper in them so they’re kept pressed but they’re not pressed in the traditional sense. This makes them way easier to work with if you’re not keen on the messiness of loose powder.

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This one is an absolutely amazing navy blue, a TRUE navy blue if I may dare to say so, and it’s lovely and shimmery! Swatched on skin:

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These are normally $19.95 so will set you back about $12 tomorrow and Wednesday, which is a total bargain because they are wonderful. I am told there are all kinds of new and different colours in this range in the USA so I look forward to that. Hourglass Beige is one that I’ve been wanting too but it’s always sold out so if you see that one, snap it up. Great value even at their full price, IMO.

As far as mascara goes, well, drugstore mascara is where it’s at. There’s tonnes to choose from however my favourite at the moment is still the Kate Moss for Rimmel one, “Idol Eyes”. It’s normally $16.95 so tomorrow it’ll be about $10. A bargain, it’s got a weird wand but I just love it. But honestly if you have a favourite pharmacy brand mascara just grab a couple of them and make sure they’re very tightly sealed. It’s letting air into them that makes them go off!

Brows, well, you know, I’m a big fan of the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow range (Brow Wiz and DipBrow come at me) but I also really was surprisingly a huge fan of the Maybelline (oh god) Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara. It’s a very interesting little thing! It’s got a kind of knobbly end, as shown:

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Making it fabulous for when you’re just in a real hurry and you want to give some definition to dem brows. It doesn’t add a lot of colour, and in fact sometimes I use this as a brow gel over my already filled in brows. This is normally $12.95 so will be $7.80 tomorrow and Wednesday.

Speaking of brow gels, I think the Ardell one is excellent and it is cheap as chips at $6.99 for normal price. It’ll be like $4.20 in the sale which is a great price and honestly, it does what it says on the tube what more can you ask for? Give it a whirl.

If you haven’t bought any Real Techniques brushes yet for some insane reason, this is a great time to pick them up. I will be grabbing myself a new Complexion Sponge (normally $16, will be <$10) because I think it’s as good if not better than the beauty blender (and vintageortacky agrees with me).Grab yourself an Expert Face Brush ($20 normally, will be $12) – I guarantee you won’t regret it. I’m also tempted to grab another Core Collection pack purely for the Buffing Brush because I love it so. But the rest of that pack is kinda garbage so it makes me sad. Anyway we shall see!

So those are my main recommendations. It’s certainly not the entirety of my pharmacy brand collection but that’s what I’d get, were I you.

I hope this has been helpful, please feel free to leave any questions, comments or suggestions either in the comments section or on whatever social media you’d like. Links for that stuff will be up soon – but you can certainly find me on instagram @freedomandvanity in the meantime!

Love+++