Sephora Shopping Guide: Makeup

The Sephora Sale is upon us. We're digging deep into makeup today.


If you're curious to see these products in action, check out my Sephora Sale Makeup Guide on YouTube! I demo and swatch a majority of the products mentioned. While you're there, I'd love for you to subscribe!


Lastly, I just want to remind you that while there is a lot of hype around the Sephora sale, sales will be ongoing throughout the holiday season and beyond. Beauty products are never worth going into debt. I hope I can help guide thoughtful and worthwhile purchases.

 

Sephora Sale Info


Rouge 20% off, Nov. 5-15

VIB 15% off, Nov. 9-15

Insider 10% off, Nov. 11-15


code YAYHOLIDAY

 

Table of Contents


Primer

Base

Cream Cheek Products

Powder Cheek Products

Single Eyeshadows + Small Palettes

Large Eyeshadow Palettes

Eyeliner + Mascara + Brows

Lip Liners

Lip Balms + Masks

Lip Oils + Glosses

Lipsticks

Brushes + Tools

 

Primer

Milk Makeup Hydro-Grip — I’m not an everyday primer user (I turn to my skincare for that), but I do enjoy the Milk Hydro-Grip for longwear makeup days. It’s a gel formula that’s not too sticky but does hang onto makeup well throughout the day. I use and review it here.

Base (from low to high coverage)


Fenty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint (in 9, worn on the right) — A fluid, lightweight lotion consistency, Eaze Drop is a new go-to everyday base product for me. It’s a light/medium coverage that applies best with fingers. Creates a natural finish, neither too mate nor too dewy. The film-forming properties in this formula somehow make this very long-wearing for a lighter coverage product. Probably best for normal to oily skin, as I’ve heard dry skin folks say it catches on dry patches. I wish there were a shade between 9 and 10, but if I had to pick one I’d go for 9. I use it here!



Tower 28 Sunny Days in 30 PCH* — A note on the brand: I’ve admittedly been on a journey with T28. I did not shop brand the brand for a while there after their initial bronzer release because it simply wasn’t inclusive enough. In the last few months, they’ve partnered with Black and POC makeup artists to extend their bronzer and blush range and released a very inclusive tinted SPF, and I’m happy to see them turn feedback into practice.

The newest complexion product to me, this is a tinted SPF with broad spectrum SPF 30, all mineral UV filters, and light/medium coverage. This is a beautiful, creamy, easy-to-wear tinted SPF that’s perfect for everyday wear. It has a natural, slightly dewy finish on my combo/oily skin. Personally I wear this over my regular SPF to make sure I get sufficient SPF coverage. It can be difficult to get the appropriate SPF coverage with a tinted product like this, so I think of this more as a makeup step with the added bonus of SPF. It’s fragrance-free and alcohol-free, the only complexion product with the National Eczema Association’s seal. In short: excellent for sensitive skins. Tower 28 created a very inclusive shade range with this release, and though it has 14 shades, they are evenly distributed from very light to very deep.


Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick (in Sand, worn on right) — One of the few stick foundations I’ve tried and enjoyed, with a few caveats. Sand is a good shade match for me and it blends out beautifully without sinking into pores like some stick foundations do. Light coverage with a natural finish, though I do need to use a mattifying primer with this to get it to last on my combo/oily skin all day. Best to build up coverage with fingers. Do be aware, you don’t get a lot of product in here for the price. I actually am enjoying this best as a concealer for that reason. Works beautifully when paired with the Merit No. 01 Brush, my new favorite base brush! My full review here!



Dior Backstage Foundation (in 2wo) — My all-time favorite foundation for a skin-like finish. I love everything about it. It is a very liquid-y foundation that applies beautifully with brush, sponge, or fingers. It has a very adjustable/buildable coverage, but starts out light/medium. The finish is natural, and when my oils break through mid-day it doesn’t break down or sink into pores or get gunky. I also think that Dior has a better shade offering than most high-end brands, and they do POC undertones particularly well. I wear the shade 2WOyear-round. I also love the minimal, lightweight packaging of the squeeze tube. At $40 for 1.6 oz., it’s a luxury steal. I use it here!


Pat McGrath Foundation (in LM10 for summer, LM14 for winter) — This is luminous but not oily, lightweight on the skin with medium buildable coverage. A go-to fall/winter foundation for me. Ever so slightly thicker with modern coverage than Dior Backstage. Applies beautifully with brush, sponge, or fingers, with an extensive shade range.


Gucci Foundation (in 220N for winter, 250O for summer) — My most full coverage foundation, this foundation is truly like a filter for your face. It’s what I turn to for special occasions. It truly blurs and filters the skin, making it look poreless. It is a lotion consistency that smooths over the skin, though I’ve heard dry skin folks say it catches on dry patches. The shade range is also very extensive, with nuanced undertones. Note that this is a fragranced foundation, so be careful if you’re fragrance-sensitive. I think this would work best for normal to oily skin types. I use it here!


Armani Power Fabric Concealer (in 5) — My all time favorite under-eye concealer. The gel-like consistency is very thin in texture, but uncompromising in pigmentation. It gives nice medium/buildable coverage, but doesn’t add any heaviness or texture to the under-eye. In fact, on me, it really smooths out my under-eye. While I like light/medium coverage when it comes to foundations, I like higher coverage in concealers. I would rather apply a small amount of a thin, pigmented concealer like this than apply a heavy amount of a low coverage concealer. The shade offering isn’t huge, but they do offer a variety of undertones, which I appreciate. You can see me use it here.

Nars Soft Matte Concealer (in Custard for winter, Ginger for summer) — The best spot concealer, small but mighty. This is a thicker concealer that comes in a pot. Nothing covers up acne, scars, and pigmentation like this bad boy. I apply this with brush or fingers. It’s called a soft matte but I actually find it adapts to the finish of whatever base product you pair this with, while remaining rather undetectable. One pot will last you forever! I use it here.


Dior Backstage Face & Body Powder-No Powder (in 2 Neutral)— A super lightweight, baked gelée tinted powder, this is a beautiful powder for people who don’t want to look powdery. It knocks back shine and sets makeup, without leaving any trace of powderiness because of the gelée formula. I’m especially appreciating it in cooler weather. Truly oily skins may need something more mattifying, but all other skin types will really appreciate this. I use it here!


Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray - If you want to help mask-proof your makeup, a setting spray like All Nighter will be your friend. Obviously it won't make your makeup totally budge-proof, but it will really help set your makeup and seal it in from humidity and wear. Use it at the very end of your makeup routine to lock everything in. If you want extra proofing, lightly powder on top of the spray. This is available in a bunch of gift sets, like this one where you get two for one.

Cream Cheek Products



Merit Flush Balm (in Terracotta or Beverly Hills)— If you love a truly dewy blush, this is for you. A sheer, juicy cream blush with a thin balm texture that doesn’t set down. It’s not the longest-lasting on my skin type unless I set it with a powder or use a mattifying primer, but I find myself willing to take this step because I like this so much. Can be applied directly onto cheeks, with fingers, or with a brush — which is how I like it best. Terracotta is a beautiful muted burnt peach, and Beverly Hills is a classic neutral rose. I haven’t tried the other shades but I would like to.


The Holiday Essentials Face Set is a great value and a nice way to try out a few of the brand offerings: one blush, one tinted lip oil, and the mascara.

Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush (in Drama Cla$$ or Rosé Latte, shown right) — This is a Fenty launch I loved, despite some mixed reviews. Rosé Latte is rosy brown shade is deeper in pan than it applies on the cheeks (as with most cream blushes). I love rosy browns like this because they are the perfect multi-step shades to use as bronzer/blush hybrids. A one and done cheek product. Applies beautifully with a brush or fingers, creamy but not sticky. I also love the shade Drama Cla$$ for a surprisingly soft, baby pink/lilac cheek. Perfect for the purple blush TikTok trend.

You can see me using Rosé Latte here, and a swatch of it here!

Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer (in Macchiato) — I love this cream bronzer and it lives in my everyday makeup bag over a year after getting it. Macchiato is the perfect yellow undertone, caramel sort of bronzer for light/medium skin tone. It’s not too warm or too cool, just pretty neutral on my skin tone. It is a sheer product, as others have noted, but I actually prefer that with cream cheek products because it allows you to build up pigmentation slowly. I use a brush to tap into the pan and then stipple onto the cheeks. A natural shine, no shine or shimmers in this.

You can see me using the shade Macchiato here.


Tower 28 Beach Please Lip + Cheek Cream Blush in Magic Hour — This is the one blush I own in this formula, a warm peachy pink. It is very dewy but not somehow still long-lasting, and the pigmentation is excellent. I personally love this applied with a small cheek brush, but fingers would work beautifully as well. I’d love to try this in their newer shades.

Danessa Myricks Vision Flush (in Ballet Slippers, Tiara) — I love the Vision Flush formula, a liquid formula designed for cheeks, eyes, and lips. It’s incredibly pigmented; just one dot will be more than sufficient for blush. This is a great formula for people who want to try liquid makeup but are nervous about stickiness, dewiness, or added texture. These set down all the way (not powdery, but no added texture), and are truly long-lasting. I have the shade Ballet Slippers, a mid-tone rosy coral with a hint of brown. You can see me using it here. The shade Tiara is an stunning champagne liquid highlight, and you can see me use it in my Mid-Year Favorites video here!


Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (in 4) — HFF remains my most-used liquid highlighter. I use this under or over foundation on the high points of my face, and I always receive compliments when I wear it. I wear it on no makeup days as well full beat days. I don’t find CT to be always inclusive, but HFF comes in a great shade range, so I am sharing it here.


Powder Cheek Products


Gucci Poudre de Beauté Éclat Soleil Bronzing Powder (in 03 medium) — I admit I bought this for the packaging. But if you’re a luxury makeup lover like me, you understand why a release like this might make you weak at the knees. The formula is soft but not too powdery, and very blendable on the skin. I use the shade 03 medium, which is a golden bronzer with caramel undertones. It does contain a super fine pearlinesss throughout the formula. It is pretty pigmented, so I go in with a fluffy brush and a light hand. Be aware that this is very scented, if you are fragrance-sensitive. I use it here!


Laura Mercier Blush Color Infusion (in Fresco) — Fresco is a neutral beige rose with a super fine shimmer running through it. It’s the perfect “nude” blush if you’re my skin tone or lighter, the kind of neutral undertone that goes with every kind of look. There are also several shades in this line that are far more pigmented and bright. Like all Laura Mercier products, the powder is super refined and melds with the skin beautifully. I use it here!





Eyeshadow Singles & Small Palettes



Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color (in Naked Bronze or Golden Peach, two swatches shown right) — A long-standing favorite for a one-and-done eye look. This is a duo with cream eyeshadow on bottom and a pressed glitter topper on top. This is a slightly moussey cream formula that blends out like a dream and wears well throughout the day (over a primer, for my oily lids). You can apply with a brush or finger and sweep it all over the eye to create a super easy, luminous, sophisticated eye look. Golden Peach gives me a warm rosy champagne sort of look all over the eye. The glitter topper is a sheer base with champagne micro-glitters that create a wet, twinkly look on the eye. Naked Bronze is also gorgeous for a more golden bronzey look. You can see Golden Peach in action here and swatches here!


The cream shadows also come in single pots, without the glitter topper. I really enjoy the shade Sphinx.

Pat McGrath Ritualistic Rose Blitz Astral Quad — This is the only Pat McGrath quad with all “special shades,” those textured, flaky, impossibly twinkly iridescent shades. If you’re not ready to commit to a Mothership palette but you’re curious to try the special formula, start here. There’s an array of gold, rose, lilac, and bronze. I use it here!


Tom Ford Honeymoon Quad — An ideal product for someone who appreciates a sophisticated eye look, but doesn’t want the fuss of a large palette. This quad has stood the test of time for me; I've reached for it consistently through the years, even as my eyeshadow palette collection has grown considerably. The color story is so balanced and is excellent for one-and-done eyeshadow looks or something more dramatic. Tom Ford’s wet/dry formula is a baked gelée, super smooth and blendable when dry, and even more pigmented and metallic when wet. I use it here!

Dior 5 Couleurs Couture Eyeshadow Palette — Dior’s eyeshadow quints are excellent for neutral and color lovers alike. There are a variety of textures, from creamy mattes to smooth satins to metallic shimmer, and even micro-glitter shimmers — still very refined and elegant, of course. hey have brought out both neutral and colorful palettes, but I think their neutral offerings are truly exceptional and sophisticated in their nuanced color stories. Mitzah is a warm tone lovers dream. and Denim is an excellent blue palette. I use Mitzah here, and Denim here!

Kaja Beauty Bento Bouncy Shimmer Eyeshadow Trio — So underrated. These are eyeshadow trios with mattes, shimmers, and metallics. The shimmers all have very complex micro-glitters in them with different colors running through each shade. I think they're twinkly more than glittery. The color selection, I find, is pretty nuanced and sophisticated. An overall a drier formula than we see trending on the market, but I actually think that lends itself to longevity and blendability on the eyes. They all apply well with a brush or fingers, though you might get a bit of fallout with the micro-glitters if you use a brush. My personal favorite is Orange Blossom, an all shimmer trio which I think is very unique. Spiked Ginger is excellent for a soft, everyday eye look.


You can see my whole Kaja Beauty Bento collection swatched here and in action here!


Large Eyeshadow Palettes


Natasha Denona — There are so many standouts from this brand, but any of her eyeshadows, especially the larger format palettes, are excellent.

Biba — An “investment” palette that has proven its worth in my collection over time, Biba is one of the first eyeshadow palettes I’d go out and repurchase if I lost all my makeup, a study in neutrals with incredible nuance. This is a mostly matte palette with three metallics to create an endless variety of neutral looks, from natural to glam. I use it here! If you’re into cooler tones, the Glam Palette may be a more desirable option.

Bronze (shown right) — A gorgeous fall palette for warm-toned, pumpkin spice looks in her $65 midi palette format. The warm tones are balanced by two very interesting cooler-toned plum-leaning shades. The formulas in this palette are something else, uber creamy and rich. The metallics are uber foiled and wet-feeling. You can see me using it here.

Triochrome and Zendo are newer in my collection and definitely for the color lovers out there. I can say, both are excellent in formula, pigmentation, and performance. Natasha doesn’t play when it comes to color. Triochrome swatched here and used here. Zendo swatched here and used here.


Pat McGrath — It’s no secret that I love Pat McGrath. I'm wearing Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream on the left. If you want to make one splurge purchase, make it a Pat McGrath Mothership Palette. From packaging to formula, these palettes are works of art. Her large Mothership palettes are also where you will find her “special shades” — textured, finely milled micro-sparkles in a baked formula. I have swatches of all three of these palettes in my swatches highlight!

Mothership V Bronze Seduction — A dream for warm neutral lovers; it is full of warm coppers, bronzes, and textured golden sparkle. You can see it in action here!


Mothership VII Divine Rose I (shown right)— This creates the most daytime-appropriate/soft looks of all the Mothership Palettes, in my opinion, with the dusty rose, mauve, and peachy tones. You can see me using it here and swatched here!


Mothership VIII Divine Rose II (not seeing it on Sephora currently but will update if that changes!) — This is distinct from her predecessor with its richly pigmented pinks, deeper purples, and that incredible green/purple/gold trio-chrome shade. You can see it in action here and swatched here!



Mothership IX Huetopian Dream (shown right) — The latest addition to the Mothership lineup, this is full of the rosy bronzes that Pat McGrath has come to be known for, with a few pastel astral shades, lilacs, and another multi-chrome. I do see noticeable improvements to her matte and metallic formulas in this palette. I give a full review of the palette here, with 4 looks and comparison swatches to some of her previous palettes! I also use it for a more everyday look here.

Artist Couture Supreme Nudes — A gorgeous neutrals palette and an excellent alternative to ND Biba, at a much more approachable price point. It leans on the warmer side, which is my preference. The mattes, I find, are on the drier side, which makes blending very easy. I think this palette would lend itself well to makeup beginners and experienced users alike. It also includes a few rich, buttery metallics, including a deep olive, which I love.

Eyeliner + Mascara + Brows


Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil (in Alkaline, Whiskey) — This is a liner formula that I’ve used for, like, 15 years. It’s creamy, blendable, smudge able, but also sets down and does not budget. Wears well in the waterline as well as the lash line. Alkaline is a a deep wine shade I often use in lieu of brown or black to subtly amp up a look. Whiskey is an excellent warm brown.

Shiseido Lash Curler — Simply the best lash curler. It’s excellent for my eye shape and catches every single one of my lashes for a precise, lifted curl. Don’t forget some replacement lash pads to keep things hygienic!


Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara — Wow. A 2021 favorite and an instant hit for me. This creates a fluffy, separated, voluminous, lengthened lash look. The wand is a large natural bristle brush, which typically isn’t my favorite, but it clings onto each tiny lash and separates them very effectively, for a fluttery look overall. Non-smudging, long-wearing, but also not difficult to remove. The formula is on the drier side, which I prefer, and the color is a rich black. It’s immediately shot up the list to a top 5 mascara for me. Also available in a mini! I use and review it here!


Bite Beauty Upswing Mascara — This baby builds serious volume. I love it layered on top of a separating primer/mascara because then I really see the benefits of the mascara without risking clumping. My one wish is that I’d love for the brush to be a bit smaller. It’s a large, natural-bristle hourglass brush, and I find I have to wipe off a lot of excess in order to prevent clumping and smudging. It takes a bit of babying but the results are incredible, especially for my naturally straight, very short lashes. Doesn’t it look like I’m wearing falsies here?


By the way, one of the best ways to try this mascara is with the Sephora Lashstash Set. It's a set of 5 mini mascaras for $29 (Bite Upswing, Pat McGrath Dark Star, Huda Legit Lashes, Milk Makeup Kush, and Too Faced Better Than Sex) with a coupon you can redeem for a full size of any of those mascaras.


Refy Brow Sculpt (worn left) — Another 2021 favorite, this is a brow pomade that actually holds my brows up if I want to create a lifted or laminated brow look. It does have a bit of a learning curve. I find it works best on clean brows (I run a q-tip with micellar water through my brows to remove excess skincare). I back-comb my brows then press the brows down into place for an all-day hold. This also prevents me from over-applying the product, which can result in flakiness. It also comes with a dual-sided brush that is actually an excellent tool for shaping the brows. I explain the whole technique here, and you can see me use it here and here.

Lip Liners

Make Up Forever Artist Lip Pencil (in Anywhere Caffeine, Endless Cacao) — Anywhere Caffeine perfect nude lip pencil. It’s a rosy brown that goes with everything. This lip liner formula is creamy but it sets down to a matte finish, which makes it super long lasting. I wear it under lip glosses, lipsticks, lip oils, liquid lips. I also just picked up Endless Cacao, a Katie Jane Hughes favorite, and it’s an excellent cool-toned lip contour shade. I use Anywhere Caffeine here.


Lawless Forget the Filler Definer Lip Definer (in Pink Sand, Honey Rose, top two on right) — Another long-wear lip pencil, this formula is slightly creamier and a bit more pigmented than the MUFE pencils. Pink Sand is a great peachy pink, and Honey Rose is a deeper dusty rose shade.






Lip Balms + Masks


Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask — I have used this lip sleeping mask every night for 5+ years. It just does everything I need. It’s a thick balm in a pot that contains .7 oz of product, meaning it will last forever. You only need a small amount. It coats the lips and feels super cushiony. I wake up every morning with smooth, hydrated lips. It comes with a cute little spatula for hygienic application, which I appreciate but always lose. My favorite flavors are Vanilla and Original - Berry. There are also a few limited edition scents: Peppermint, Gingersnap, and Peach Iced Tea from summer.


Laneige Lip Glowy Balm — If a potted lip balm isn’t your thing, try the squeezy tube offering from Laneige. It’s more of a glossy liquid balm that creates a nice shine on the lips. It’s not as long-lasting as the Lip Sleeping Mask, of course, but it is very moisturizing on the lips and a nice daytime option. Peach and Grapefruit are my favorites!

Fresh Sugar Hydrating Lip Balms (in Watermelon, Mango, Peach) — This is a potted lip balm that is just so satisfying and pleasant to use. It’s thinner than, say, the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, but it’s still comforting and moisturizing on the lips. This doesn’t provide me long-lasting hydration, but I love the feeling of it on the lips so much that I find myself applying and reapplying all the time. These are just delicious.

Fresh Sugar Recovery Lip Mask Advanced Therapy Lip Mask — To my delight, Fresh came out with a lip mask version of their iconic Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm (another favorite). This is a thick, uber balmy, rich lip mask with their iconic lemony-sugar fragrance. It’s a stiffer formula in the tub than, say, the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, but it melts with the heat of your lips and really coats and moisturizes the lips.


Belif Aqua Bomb Overnight Lip Mask — Similar in texture to the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, this lip mask has a fresh, ever so slightly citrusy scent. It melts onto the lips and coats them overnight, but works beautifully during the day too.

Lip Oils + Glosses

Dior Lip Glow — I’ve lost count of how many tubes of this I’ve emptied over the years, but I would probably guess no less than 10. It’s a product that perpetually lives in my purse. I’ve used and loved the original Pink Glow shade the most because it gives me a juicy, slightly pink-tinted lip that, on me, looks very natural. But truly, there’s a shade for everybody in this line. It’s also a rare product that truly moisturizes my lips for hours. Something about this formula really coats the lips. I actually don’t have one in my possession right now and I really miss it, even in my huge collection of lip products.

Dior Lip Glow Oil — They call this an oil, but I think of it more as a moisturizing lip gloss. It’s uber shiny and will create a glassy appearance on the lips. Slightly minty vanilla, but nothing overpowering. This comes with a super chubby doe-foot applicator that generously coats the lips. Always feels like a treat. I like the original Pink, but I’m actually eyeing this in Mahogany.

Merit Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil (in Marrakech [worn on right] , Cara Cara, Taupe) — Another 2021 favorite, Shade Slick is a lip oil meets a lip gloss. The shades in the tube appear deeper than they are on the lips. They are thin in texture and hydrating, but don’t slip around or migrate outside of lip lines. They are sheer with one layer and can be built up to higher pigmentation. They’re not long-wearing, but they fade gracefully and are easy to reapply. Marrakech is a juicy peach; Cara Cara is a bright orangey red; and Taupe is a neutral caramel. All three shades are living in my purse. Swatches of all 3 and a full review here!


Pat McGrath Lust Lip Gloss (in Flesh Fantasy, Pale Fire Nectar) — A gorgeous classic gloss formula that comes in several finishes: shimmer, high-shine, and glitter. It’s an easy to wear gloss formula: not too thin, not too thick. Flesh Fantasy is a beautiful my-lips-but-better shade, and Pale Fire Nectar is a super dimensional glitter with a pink flip.

Urban Decay Vice Plumping Shine Balm (in Runyon, My Dude) — This is a liquid lip balm/gloss hybrid with a nice amount of shine. It moisturizes the lips over time. It does have a bit of menthol in it, very slight, but nothing I can’t get past. I especially love the shade Runyon, a milky latte, and My Dude, a juicy coral. I lip swatch several of the shades here.

Lipsticks


Gucci Brilliant Glow & Care Shine Lipstick (in My Cousin Rachel and Goldie Red) — My new favorite Gucci lip formula, the shine lipsticks are glossy, balmy, emollient, and moisturizing over time. It’s a very creamy formula that melts onto the lips as you apply it. They come in a slim bullet tube with beautiful packaging, as one would expect from Gucci. My Cousin Rachel is a warm peach. Goldie Red is the classic bright Gucci red, but in the sheer formula it’s almost a bright cherry red. I lip swatch both shades here!

Gucci Sheer Lipstick (in Agatha Orange) — Everything I want in an orangey red lipstick! It’s a sheer formula that sort of melts into your lips. It’s much thinner than the Glow & Care formula (which is more balm-like); this is thin, but doesn’t move around. It’s a true sheer lipstick - it’s more pigmented than a tinted lip balm. The packaging is a work of art with the vintage rose print and the gold beveled accents.

You can see me using Agatha Orange here and here, and swatched here.

Gucci Matte Lipstick (in They Met in Argentina) — Another slice of luxury in an embossed gold tube. This is a very velvety matte, not too flat or drying. It is a high pigment formula that is soft on the lips. You will get full opacity with just a swipe or two. They Met in Argentina is a warm rosewood shade, but it has a touch of coral that makes it pop, versus some other rosewoods that are more muted or earthy. I actually find this to be a really unique shade. I swatch it here and I’m wearing it here. You can see it in action here. I also review both more thoroughly in my Mid-Year Favorites video here!

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick Balm (in Chili Morocco) — A sheer, juicy lipstick that is moisturizing on the lips. This is a rather thin formula, which makes it very comfortable to wear. Almost like a shiny tint. Chili Morocco is an orangey red, one of my favorite kinds of tones to wear.

Brushes + Tools

Beauty Blender Pro— The iconic beauty sponge, with good reason. I’ve tried tons of beauty sponges from different brands through the years, and none of them rival the Beauty Blender, in my opinion. They really got the texture and density of these sponges right. They are also durable and, with proper cleaning, drying, and care (I mean, wash it every day before and after use!), can last several months. I love the finish this gives me with thicker foundations, concealers, cream cheek products, and even powders. Personally, I like the Beauty Blender Pro best. While they are spendy at full price ($20 full price, $16 on sale), they are available in a ton of different holiday sets which are a great value.


Rare Beauty All-Over Eyeshadow Brush — I was actually surprised by how much I liked this brush! It’s an excellent one-and-done eyeshadow brush, especially for cream shadows, though it works well with powder formulas too. It’s cut at a slight angle, which makes for easy blending across the lid. Also, love the price point at $15. I use it here!

Sephora Collection Pro Foundation Brush #56 — The Sephora Collection brushes are fantastic, in my opinion. They are very well-made mid-range synthetic fiber brushes. #56 is my favorite brush for a variety of purposes. It’s called a foundation brush, and it works very well for that, but I also love it for cream cheek product application, blush especially. It’s densely packed with medium length, soft fibers. It has a dome shape and a small ferrule that makes it perfect for blending out all cream products. I see there’s a mini version of this brush, if you’re curious to try it for a lower price point! Also, Sephora Collection products are 30% off.


Urban Decay Grind House Pencil Sharpener — You might not think you need a really good sharpener, until you try this one. Grind House gives me the sharpest, most precise tips for my pencil makeup. Other sharpeners often break off the tip if it gets too pointy; this one does not. It delivers precision every time. I have one for my eye pencils and one for lip pencils, to keep things sanitary.


Tweezerman TweezersThe best tweezers. Precise, sharp, great pressure. Can’t live without them. I like the flat edge tweezers, but they also make pointed tip tweezers for precision.


Sephora Collection Pack It All Organizer — The best makeup travel bag I have when I need to, like the name says, pack it all! This thing holds so much. There are two pouches that fit perfectly into the bag, a small clear zipper pouch, as well as slots for brushes. It has a sturdy faux leather handle and it's very easy to clean. I use this especially when I'm traveling for special occasions. Recently I packed this for a wedding and I fit two Pat McGrath Mothership palettes, Tom Ford Honeymoon quad, two foundations, multiple concealers, powder, a face palette, two cream blushes, my regular everyday makeup, and multiple lip options. After two years of use, it still looks brand new. Also, Sephora Collection products are 30% off.