Sephora Spring Savings Event: Best of Makeup

The Sephora Spring Savings Event is live, from April 1-11!

I just shared my recommendations on YouTube (in partnership with Sephora!) across all categories: makeup, skincare, haircare, body care, and fragrance – with swatches, close-ups, & demo of the products.

code SAVESPRING

20% off for Rouge: 4/1-4/11

15% off for VIB: 4/5-4/11

10% off for Insiders: 4/7-4/11


All Beauty Insider Members: 30% Off all Sephora Collection. No code needed.


I’m sharing my makeup recommendations below, plus a few extra favorites and limited edition sets that I think are a great value


 

BASE


Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Setting + Refreshing Spray — A Tiktok hit, I actually like this as a slightly grippy spray to prime the skin before I apply base makeup. A bi-phase formula that lends the skin a nice luminosity.


iNNBEAUTY PROJECT Face Glaze — Unlike anything else in my collection, this is a glowy gel cream primer. It contains a very light champagne tint that reflects light beautifully, not as pigmented as a liquid highlighter. I love that this gel cream sets down, so it creates radiants without a greasy feel. I also think the price point of iNNBEAUTY PROJECT is excellent, between $15 - $35.

I use the formula here!


Tower 28 Sunny Days SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation in shade 30 PCH— A tinted sunscreen 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’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 small but inclusive shade range with this release, with 14 shades evenly distributed from very light to very deep.

I demo it here!

Fenty Eaze Drop in shade 9 worn here — A fluid, lightweight lotion consistency with 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!



Dior Backstage Foundation in 2WO — My all-time favorite foundation for a skin-like finish. I love everything about it. The fluid texture 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 2WO year-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!


Dior Backstage Concealer in 2W — An instant hit and my new everyday concealer. It’s a high coverage concealer with a natural skin-like finish and long-wear. I especially love the brush applicator, which is small enough to apply concealer around the corners of the eye without risking over application. The formula is extremely flexible and stretchy, so a little goes a long way. I demo and review it here and here.


I like this so much, it’s replaced my other favorite, the Armani Power Fabric Concealer!



Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Custard (winter) or Ginger (summer) — The best spot concealer, small but mighty. This is a slightly drier consistency that really sticks to the face, which makes it excellent for covering acne, scars, and pigmentation. 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 Powder No Powder in 2N — A creamy, tinted baked gelée powder that even dry skin types will appreciate, this is the least powdery powder I've ever used. It lends the skin a creamy soft quality, not quite luminous but somehow smoothened. I love this for setting under-eye concealer and around the face. I even tap this onto the face with fingers to touch up in any areas where foundation may be breaking up.



CHEEKS

Rose Inc. Blush Divine in Azalea — A cream blush from Rosie Huntington Whiteley’s beauty brand, the Blush Divine is such an interesting formula. It feels dense in the pan, but blends out very evenly and sheerly across the cheeks and lasts all day, even on my oilier areas. I like it best applied with a brush. I use it here and here.


I love that it’s a refillable compact. I’m considering picking up the shades Foxglove and Heliotrope for the warmer months.



Tower 28 BeachPlease in Magic Hour — A dewy but somehow long-lasting cream blush, the pigmentation in this formula is excellent. I personally love this applied with a brush, but the warmth of fingers blends this onto the skin nicely, too. I’d love to try this in other shades. Plus, at $20, the price is right. I use it here.

Danessa Myricks Vision Flush in Ballet Slippers, Nutcracker, Tiara — A liquid formula designed for cheeks, eyes, and lips. Very pigmented, just one dot will be more than sufficient for blush. Because these set all the way down, they’re a great option for even oily skins, and are truly long-lasting.


Nutcracker is my newest shade, a very unique rosy taupe that somehow sculpts and also blushes the face. I use it here.

Ballet Slippers (on the left) is a mid-tone rosy coral, which I use here.

Tiara is an stunning champagne liquid highlight, which I use here.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in 4 — This remains my most-used liquid glow product to create luminosity and also smooth over imperfections. I use this over or under foundation, on low makeup days as well as for more glam makeup looks

Fenty Cheeks Out Cream Bronzer in Macchiato — A cream bronzer that remains one of my most-used cheek products. 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. I use a brush to tap into the pan and then stipple onto the cheeks.


Patrick Ta Major Beauty Headlines Créme and Powder Blush in She’s So LA, She’s Blushing, and She’s Baked — I finally got around to trying the Patrick Ta blush formulas this year, and my collection has quickly grown. The powder blush formula is extremely smooth and quite pigmented, and the cream formula is buildable and sets to a natural skin finish.


She’s So LA is a warm bronzey blush (top shade on the right), which I use here. She’s Blushing is a neutral rose (bottom shade on the right), which I use here. She’s Baked is a burnt rosy red (used here). The last two are new additions to the shade range.


Laura Mercier Blush Color Infusion in Fresco — Fresco is a neutral beige 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 brighter and more pigmented. Like all Laura Mercier products, the powder is super refined and melds with the skin beautifully. I use it here!

EYES


Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize in Walk of No Shame — A beautiful mousse-y cream eyeshadow formula, Eyes to Mesmerize shadows blend out like a dream. They can be sheered out or built up for more pigmentation. Your best bet for long-wear is to apply these over a good eyeshadow primer. They apply beautifully both with a brush and with fingers.


Walk of No Shame is a rusty burnt peach with a golden shimmer, a perfect summery shade. I use it here!



Tom Ford Cream and Powder Duo in Naked Bronze or Golden Peach — 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 creates 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 neutral bronzey look.


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


Tom Ford Crème Eyeshadow Quad in Tiger Eye — A new release from Tom Ford, the Crème is an ultra smooth, thin yet pigmented crème-to-powder formula. Smooth, buttery, and truly unique. Tiger Eye is a warm quad comprised of a shimmery champagne, peach, and caramel, with a matte deep chestnut. I swatch and use the shades here.


Personally I’m eyeing the Smoky Quartz quad, comprised of all creamy mattes.


Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Honeymoon — Sense a pattern here? This quad is 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. I use it here.

Tom Ford’s wet/dry formula is a baked gelée, super smooth and blendable when dry, and even more pigmented and metallic when wet. Worth a try in any of the many color stories. Note: the shades with the “TF” embossing are the wet/dry formula.


Dior 5 Couleurs 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. Truly exceptional and sophisticated in their nuanced color stories


Mitzah (on the left) is a warm tone lovers dream (used here). and Denim is an fun retro blue-green palette (used here).



Natasha Denona Biba and Bronze Palette — If you’re looking for a large-format eyeshadow palette, I recommend the Natasha Denona palettes.


Biba is my go-to neutral eyeshadow palette that has proven its value over time. Mostly matte neutrals, with three shimmery metallics to create a variety of neutral looks. I use it here.


Bronze (swatched left) is a midi-palette, half the size (and price) of the larger palettes. Warm-toned, bronzey, peachy goodness with a variety of mattes, metallics, and shimmers. I use it here.

If smaller palettes are your thing, you should check out Natasha Denona’s mini palettes. A great way to try out her formulas.



Pat McGrath Mothership Palettes, V and IX — It’s no secret that I love Pat McGrath. 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.

Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream (on the right) contains bright corals, pinky nudes, complex lilacs, and a complex triochrome. Full review here! Mothership V: Bronze Seduction is what I’d consider a warm neutrals palette, with golden bronzes, pinky reds, and an astral shade that flashes lime green. I have swatches of all three of these palettes in my swatches highlight!

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Alkaline and 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!


Merit Clean Lash Lengthening Tubing Mascara — My current favorite everyday mascara, this is a tubing formula that means it's easy to remove at the end of the day with warm water, but smudge-proof throughout the day. This creates a soft, fluttery look for me, buildable but not so voluminous as to weigh down my lashes throughout the day.


Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara — 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. Also available in a mini! I use and review it here!


Milk Rise Mascara — Lengthens, holds a curl, creates what I would call a clean volume look. This mascara has a curved bristly wand that helps catch every baby lash and builds for a fluttery, fanned-out lash look. Also love the grippy silicone packaging. Also comes in a mini. I use it here!

bareMinerals Maximist Phyto-Fiber Volumizing Mascara — A mascara for those who seek drama. This mascara builds serious volume and length instantly. The brush is quite large, but great for creating major impact quickly.

Refy Brow Sculpt — 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 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.


Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel — A clear brow gel that acts almost as a glue to lay down brows for a laminated effect. The formula starts out fluid then becomes extremely tacky. It took me a couple of times to get it right, and now I love this budge-proof formula.

LIPS


Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil in Anywhere Caffeine and Endless Cacao — The Artist Color Pencils are multi-use pencils that come in a wide range of tones with a guaranteed “nude” lip liner for every skin tone. Anywhere Caffeine remains my most-used and ideal nude lip pencil, a rosy brown that goes with everything. Endless Cacao is a very cool-toned lip contour shade that I use to sculpt the lips.

Dior Lip Glow in Mahogany — 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 shade the most because it gives me a juicy, slightly pink-tinted lip that, on me, looks very natural.


My newest shade is Mahogany, a rosy brown that pulls a pinky jammy tone on my lips. There’s a shade here for everyone.



Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm in Vanilla Beige — A silky liquified balm that comes in a squeezy tube, this is the kind of lip product you can apply anywhere and everywhere. A purse lippie. Vanilla Beige is a sheer rosy beige, flattering on every skin toon.

Dior Lip Glow Oil — A shiny, glassy oil-gloss hybrid, the Dior Lip Glow Oils moisturize the lips and also create the illusion of fullness, smoothing over lip lines. I have the original Pink shade. I hope Sephora restocks these soon, because I’d love to pick it up in Mahogany, too. Full review here!


Tower 28 Shine On Lip Jelly — A thin-yet-hydrating jelly gloss formula, the Shine On Lip Jelly is lightweight and very pleasant to wear. If you dislike thick, sticky glosses, this is the formula for you. I love the range of nudes, sheers, and bright oranges and red shades in this range.


Merit Shade Slick Lip Oil in Au Naturel, Marrakech (worn here), Cara Cara, Taupe, and Falcon— 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. Sheer with one layer but buildable. They’re not long-wearing, but they fade gracefully and are easy to reapply.


Au Naturel is a light apricot flush; Marrakech is a juicy peach; Cara Cara is a bright orangey red; Taupe is a neutral caramel; and Falcon is a fascinating deep sheer brown. Marrakech and Cara Cara are probably my two favorites. I swatch and review all 5 shades here.



Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick in Slip, Cabo — Merit knocked it out of the park with this release. The formula is thin and sheer but moisturizing, balmy on application then sets to a natural satin finish. It feels modern and fresh, done-but-not-overdone.


Slip is a warm brown-toned nude.

Cabo is a juicy orange-y red, worn here.


I swatch and try on both lipsticks here!


Gucci Brilliant Glow & Care Shine Lipstick in My Cousin Rachel, Goldie Red— My favorite Gucci lip formula, the shine lipsticks are glossy, balmy, emollient, and moisturizing over time. 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 Rouge à Lèvres Voile 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.


I use Agatha Orange here and here, and swatch it here.


Gucci Rouge à Lèvres Satin Lipstick in Penny Beige — A stunningly thin but pigmented satin lipstick. It feels almost weightless on the lips, yet is comfortable. Penny Beige is fascinating yellow-based brown-toned nude. I think there’s a nude for every skin tone in this range, and I would love to pick up the shade Blaze of Noon in this formula.


Gucci Rouge à Lèvres Mat 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, with 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.


TOOLS


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 domed top and a small ferrule that makes it perfect for blending out all cream products. Also, available in this 6-Piece Brush Set. Sephora Collection products are 30% off!



Merit Brush No. 1 Tapered Blending Brush (on the left) — A soft, easy-to-use foundation brush with very soft bristles cut at an angle. The chubby, short handle makes it easy to grip and easy to travel with. I hope Merit comes out with more brushes!

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 Tweezers — The 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. Plus, it’s 30% off.