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

Makeup Startup: Bronzer for Beginners

Hi! I’m back. Thanks for your patience. End of August and all of September is a crazy time for me at work, but I’m going to try to pre-write blog posts to keep some kind of regularity.

Today I want to talk about bronzer. I am really new to bronzer! I bought my first one about a year ago and used it once before abandoning it because I felt like I looked as if I’d rolled around in a pan of brownies. Not cool.

I think I avoided bronzer for so long because I thought that if you wore bronzer it was because you wanted to look tanned and summery all the time. Or in the more extreme cases because you like to look like you ate a packet of Doritos a little too aggressively.

AHH! ummm. You look very.. healthy..

But actually, bronzer is a great way to give your face some shape and dimension. Foundation tends to flatten out our complexions – which is what you want, even skin tone, even color. But adding back in some color can really give our faces back some life.

I learned about bronzer finally this year at MAC in Burlington. I went in there and said I was having trouble choosing the right one, that I was trying to keep it matte and avoid too much shimmer, but that I still wanted to give my face some life. She recommended that I try using one of their face powders – specifically the Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in “Medium Deep” – ie for someone whose skin tone is about 4 shades deeper than mine. She used a paddle-type brush with a tapered end and flat sides to sweep bronzer onto the sides of my face in a “C” shape. I was SO impressed by the effect that I went back and bought the powder the next day.

So this morning I started with a totally blank slate. My skin is looking great at the moment, this is about as good as it gets!

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Next up, I used some Smashbox Primer Water to provide a nice sticky base, then applied some Kat von D Tattoo Lock-It foundation (still trialling this one, but it DOES have good coverage!), plus the matching concealer and powder.

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Decent base, but not a lot of shape or definition. So like I said, I use a “C” shape (well, in this case a backwards C (um excuse me what did you just call me m8?!)) to add some shape back into the face. I swipe the end of the brush through the bronzer and then use the straight end of the brush to apply the product. Then I use the flat sides of the brush to go over it and blend. See my extremely profesh diagram:

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End result:

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And a comparison:

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Not overly golden or tanned just a bit of shape and definition. Today I used the MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Natural in Medium Deep as discussed earlier, and a paddle-like ELF complexion brush that I got for like $5 from KMart:

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But here are some other bronzers I own and use fairly often:

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Top: Tarte Bronzer in “Park Ave”, MAC MSFN in “Medium Deep”, Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer, Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer in “Carrie & Big”.

So you can see I mostly lean towards cooler toned (ie, not orangey warm-browns) bronzers with not much shimmer. The heart-shaped TF bronzer does have a little bit of shimmer to it which can be nice. It’s more of a glowy shimmer than a glittery one. The Tarte bronzer has a tiny bit of shimmer in it too but not enough that it makes you look like a disco ball. I think that for beginners the TF Milk Chocolate Soleil is a fabulous choice (or the darker shades for someone who might not be as pale as me). It’s really matte, really subtle and can be built up slowly.

And here is the finished look with some blush. I haven’t added any eye or lip makeup, I just did my brows (early in the piece) and used some setting spray.

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Products used:

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The end! I’m going to do a disappointing products post soon. You also may notice that there’s no August favorites. I think Favorites posts will be bi-monthly, or I need to start making notes of things I’m really enjoying throughout the month.. Whenever the end of the month comes around I can never think of anything I’ve really loved, that I haven’t already talked about!

Sorry, once again, for the irregularity! Sometimes life gets in the way, you know?

So tell me, how do you use your bronzer? I’m such a noob, I’d love some more tips!

Love+++
F&V