Between the Sephora 20% off sale, a Glossier order and me finally realising the value of Shoppers Drug Mart points, I’ve picked up a few new makeup bits lately that I wanted to mention. I buy makeup pretty slowly these days and always consider my purchases carefully before buying them, which is why these kinds of collective haul style posts only happen on my blog every so often. But here is what I’ve been buying and loving lately.
I never thought I’d see the day that I started wearing bronzer, but that day is here! I dipped my toes in the bronzer pool and realised the water’s fine! In fact, it’s nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be. I’ve never been bothered by having such fair skin, but I was always too scared to give bronzer a try because I was worried about looking muddy or like I had big brown streaks down the side of my face. But in the last few years more and more brands have started catering to the fair and very deep-skinned among us, crucially in the world of foundation and concealers, but also with bronzers too, because they really do need to be the right shade to work with your complexion.
I started with the Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer (AU) in Light because I’d heard it was the best drugstore bronzer for fair skin, and I didn’t want to invest too much straight away in case it wasn’t my thing after all. For a powder this formula is surprisingly creamy – it contains three Amazonian nut butters and the brand claims that it offers the best features of a powder and cream bronzer in one. I find the formula really easy to work with, and I love that it’s on the sheer side so it’s very easy for a first-timer to use without going overboard. The tone is on the warm side of neutral and it has a satin finish that looks very natural and skin-like. It gives my skin a really soft looking warm glow, and because it blends so easily there are no harsh edges or uneven patches that would give away the fact that it’s makeup. All I can say is that bronzer does exactly what everyone always said it does – gives my skin a beautiful, natural warmth, and I’m so glad I finally saw the light!
The only downsides I want to mention about this particular product are that I think the packaging is hideous. Everyone has different tastes, and I chose to buy it anyway because I’d heard so much about the actual product, but I’m really not a fan of the packaging. Another thing to note is that the bronzer pan flips up and there is a compartment underneath with – not a brush, but a little sponge applicator?! I mean, it might work, but I don’t tend to use the brushes/applicators that come with my makeup anyway, let alone ones that I don’t think are suited to the purpose, so sadly that went straight in the bin (such a waste – I wish brands would stop including brushes with their products). It also has a coconutty/fruity scent which is quite pleasant, but may potentially be irritating for people with sensitive skin.
After my initial success, I decided to pick up one more bronzer, this time it was the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer (AU) in the shade Nude Bronze Light. I’m not going to go overboard and buy 10 more bronzers by the end of the year, but as someone who is obsessed with beauty, I couldn’t just own one! I’m going to be very picky about what I buy, because there really aren’t that many bronzers on the market that will work for my complexion and I just don’t shop the way I used to when I first got into beauty. But I’d heard that the Hourglass bronzers are the cream of the crop, and since they offer a shade for fair skin I wanted to give it a go, so I picked it up during the Sephora 20% off sale and have zero regrets.
This is actually sheerer, fairer and more neutral than the Physician’s Formula one, but I love how both of them look on my skin. Again, it has a satin finish so it looks like a very natural, soft glow, and you would really have to be applying your makeup in the dark to go overboard with this. The Hourglass blushes are some of my favourites so I’m not surprised that I love the bronzer so much. It’s pretty much fool-proof and as with all Hourglass products, the packaging and the product itself are both absolutely beautiful.
Between bronzer and a few new Glosser purchases, this post is mostly me contradicting things I’ve said in the past, lol. When the Cloud Paints initially launched I just wasn’t interested, I didn’t think any of the shades were right for me, and I was at a point where I wasn’t really using cream blush all that much. I thought the Cloud Paints would be the kind of product that would sit in my drawer unloved. But this year I finally fell in love with applying my foundation & concealer with a sponge and started doing it daily, which means that applying a cream/gel blush would fit into my routine much more easily since I just blend it in with the same tool. I hadn’t owned any cream blushes in a while, but I kept thinking about the Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk and finally decided to bite the bullet.
Nude/neutral blushes are my favourites these days so I wasn’t particularly tempted by the other shades, but I wasn’t sure if this would be too brown for me as they suggest that really fair people could use it as a bronzer. I do find that when I’m wearing bronzer these days the two can blend together and look like they’re very similar colours on the cheeks, so perhaps this would be good for doing double duty on low-key days. I probably would prefer that it was slightly peachier just so it would look more distinct from my bronzer, but I do still like how it looks. It gives a very nude/neutral flush to the cheeks and the formula blends just as easily over powder as it does under it. What I really like is that it washes off my hands/fingers easily and doesn’t stain them, and you have some time to work it into the skin without it looking blotchy, which is something I’ve always disliked about Benefit’s liquid blushes.
I also picked up the Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose. I already owned another blush from this line but decided it was too pink for me and decluttered it recently, so I picked up the more nude shade from the line and I really like it. I typically always go for high end blushes, but for some reason I’m still attracted to Milani blushes, so this one and Luminoso from their Baked Blush line are still in my collection and I use them often. I think the rose imprint and the packaging of these blushes is really pretty and looks much more luxurious than the price would indicate.
I’d been using the Anastasia Brow Powder for a while and decided that I don’t think brow powders are really my thing. Either that or my product is past its best by, because I find that it’s not overly pigmented and so I end up with brows that look kind of soft and hazy. I mean, I don’t want my brows to look super sharp and angular, but it wasn’t really doing what I wanted it to, so I found myself reaching for my NYX Micro Brow Pencil all the time. I like having a pencil on hand because they’re easier to travel with (less pieces to remember to pack) and I do like that product and would repurchase it, but after the spoolie snapped off I decided I needed another brow pencil for travelling, and would just keep using my NYX one day to day until I finished it up.
I spotted the Marc Jacobs Brow Wow Defining Eyebrow Pencil on sale at Sephora (I think it’s been discontinued?) so I picked it up in the shade Dark Brown (8) and I really like it. The packaging is super sleek and it performs just as well as the NYX or Anastasia’s Brow Wiz because like the other two, the formula is quite stiff and waxy, so you get a lot of control with the product and can create defined brows that don’t look super harsh or overdone.
I also had a craving to revisit the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade (AU) so I picked it up during the 20% sale in the shade Ebony. You can definitely create super sharp Instagram-brows with this, but I tend to use it in the same way I would a pencil. I fill in any blank spots and lightly add some definition to the front of my brows and get a really natural effect. The product is super pigmented when you first open it, so I’ll dip my brush in once or twice and then transfer all the product to the back of my hand and fill my brows in from there. Less is more!
I’ve also got a new brow gel to talk about - as with the Cloud Paint, I have definitely said before that I wasn’t interested in Glossier’s Boy Brow because $20 was more than I was willing to spend on a brow gel. And yet, here we are. I picked up the shade Brown and although I kind of hate to admit it, it’s pretty impressive. It’s got a much thicker texture than most brow gels, in fact it’s not really a gel, I’d say it’s more of a pomade as it feels quite waxy and really grabs onto the hairs as you’re applying it. Although I do fill in my brows with other products, this adds enough beefiness that I could easily get away with just this if I was feeling lazy. I’d say this is the best brow gel I’ve used so far, although I still think you could use a drugstore one that costs a few dollars and it really won’t make that big a difference.
In my time I have definitely collected enough red lipsticks to last me until I die, but after developing a love for a nude lipstick, I’ve picked up a few more in recent times, and they’re all quite different from each other. The first one I bought recently was the NARS Audacious Lipstick (AU) in the shade Brigitte (AU) again, in the 20% off sale. This is still one of my favourite lipstick formulas, and since I own two red shades from this line, when I was thinking about buying some nude lipsticks, it made sense to stick with a formula I’m really happy with. These are super smooth and pigmented, don’t dry out my lips and the lid is magnetic so it closes with a satisfying click. These still live up to the hype for me, and Brigitte is a beautiful nude-rose shade that I’ve been loving wearing.
One that I picked up using Shoppers Drug Mart points is the Dior Lip Glow (AU) in the shade Coral. I know everyone raves about the original shade, but I know myself and I just don’t reach for pinky-tinted balms very often. If I’m going for something glossy and tinted, my heart really lies with coral shades and I knew I’d get much more wear out of this. Although I originally was very curious about the new matte formulas, and I picked up the 101 Matte Pink shade, the formula was so patchy and looked so bad on my lips I swapped it out for the coral shade, which I absolutely adore.
I picked up the Bite Beauty Lip Pencil (AU) in #18 on sale from Sephora for $10 and I absolutely love how the Dior Lip Glow looks on top of this. I had heard great things about this line of lip pencils so when I spotted them on sale I thought it was a good chance to try one out. They’ve since gone on sale again so I picked up another one in the shade #20 which is more of a true nude shade (#18 is pinker). They have a really creamy formula and are very comfortable to wear. I’ve been making more of an effort recently to wear lip liner under my lipsticks (both nudes and reds) so I’m glad I was able to add these two into my stash.
Charlotte Tilbury recently launched at Sephora, which is great for me as I don’t actually shop for beauty in person very often, and until now they were only available in certain department stores in Canada. As a gift with purchase they offered a mini Wonderglow Primer (AU), so I picked up the KISSING Lipstick (AU) in Bitch Perfect which is a lovely peachy-nude. I’m quite new to the world of peachy-nudes, having mostly stuck with pinky-nudes before now, but I quite like how this looks, and of course the formula is beautiful.
The final lip product is the Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet (AU) in the shade 508 Androgini. I picked this up at a L’Oreal brand sale that I went to with some work friends. I remember hearing the formula of these was good and when I spotted this I thought it was worth treating myself since it was about 40% off the retail price. This is called a liquid lipstick, and obviously it’s a liquid, but I would say this has a formula that’s much more like a lipstick than a traditional “liquid lipstick.” What I mean by that is that it’s not super drying, and although it has a matte finish, it’s not particularly long-wearing, and it does require regular reapplication throughout the day, just like a creamy lipstick from a bullet does. It feels super comfortable and doesn’t dry out my lips in the slightest, so if you don’t mind touching up your lipstick throughout the day then this is a really nice option.