After two years of following a very strict financial diet, I decided to treat myself with a little splurge at Sephora and CVS. By and large, I purchased items that I needed rather than things I wanted on an impulse, so I’m proud of the restraint that I showed.
If you’re interested to read about my luxury and affordable beauty haul this month, then please keep reading.
Luxury and Affordable Beauty Haul
The first section of my luxury and affordable beauty haul will cover the goodies that I picked up at Sephora.
Sephora Collection – Ready to Roll 10 Piece Brush Set | Price: $70.00 USD
Sephora Collection Ready to Roll 10 Piece Brush Set
After moving this September, I went through a major decluttering spree. Nothing was safe from being thrown out or re-homed, including my makeup brushes.
When I was first getting into makeup, I purchased a giant 22-piece brush set from Coastal Scents on Amazon. The set was inexpensive and with tons of brushes. As I matured and got better at applying my makeup, I noticed that these brushes didn’t work for me anymore.
This year, I finally tossed my old brush set and purchased a new, smaller set from Sephora. While the Sephora Ready to Roll Brush Set doesn’t have every brush I might want, it is a great starting point and provides me with the essentials I need for my complexion and eyes.
The brush set comes in faux leather, travel-friendly case and the brushes are cruelty-free.
Sephora Collection Line Up Makeup Tape (top), Duo Eyelash Adhesive in Black (bottom)
Sephora Collection – Line Up Makeup Tape | Price: $6.00 USD
When I was younger, I was much more adventurous with my eye makeup. I used to wear bold, bright colors. I experimented with bold winged eyeliner. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve fallen into a routine. I am no longer as good at creating a precise, defined, cat eyes.
I purchased the Sephora Collection Line Up Makeup Tape with the hope of using this to reteach myself how to get create a pristinely defined wing. Buying this tape felt bougie, but I would rather buy specific beauty tape over normal scotch tape. Regular tape could irritate the skin or exacerbate wrinkles.
This tape promises to be hypoallergenic and easy to remove. Additionally, this product is not tested on animals.
Duo – Eyelash Adhesive in Black | Price: $9.00 USD
Although I’ve heard mixed things about the Duo Eyelash Adhesive online, I decided to purchase this glue. It was relatively inexpensive and comes from a known brand. I’ve seen people complain about the smell of Duo online, but I felt like I would be fine giving this product a try. Since I am so new to applying false lashes, I opted to purchase the black glue. My hope is that any sloppy application will be better hidden.
Like both of the aforementioned products, this adhesive is not tested on animals. Also, it is formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosan.
I should probably be embarrassed about this purchase but I’m not. Like nearly every other human on the planet, I have hair on my face. Personally, I don’t like the way that my fuzzy baby hairs impact how foundation lays on my face, so I chose to remove them with a facial razor.
The Tweezerman Pink Perfection Pointed Slant Tweezers looked like they’ll be great for plucking stray eyebrow hair. I am slightly nervous to use them near my eyes (when applying false lashes). I may need to purchase a pair of tweezers specifically meant to apply false lashes.
Looking at the reviews online, I’m seeing a lot of mixed opinions on these tweezers. I had no clue how expensive these were until looking at them again online…
This product is not tested on animals.
Natasha Denona Mini Lila Palette
Natasha Denona – Mini Lila Palette | Price: $25.00 USD
The Natasha Denona Mini Lila Palette was the only true splurge that I made during this haul. I’ve wanted to try the Natasha Denona eyeshadows for some time. The Natasha Denona brand creates beautiful color stories for each palette.
However, Natasha Denona Palettes are some of the most expensive palettes at the drug store. Her regular five-pan palettes sell for $48.00 USD and her most expensive palettes retail for over $200.00 USD.
I’ve seen and read a lot of mixed reviews about the Natasha Denona formulas. Some people rave about the shadow formula while others hate it. Apparently, they claim that the mattes do not have a long shelf life and that the shimmers have bad fallout. All the above being said, the makeup lover in me really wanted to try this brand.
The palette contains five shadows, two of which are shimmers and three of which are mattes. Of the shadows included, four shadows are warm-toned and one is cool (the deep, shimmery purple). Although this is a similar format to her traditional five-pan palettes, this palette is actually much smaller.
The Mini Lila Palette is cruelty-free, talc-free, and paraben-free. Check out my Mini Lila review.
Milk Makeup Meet the Fam Milk Bestsellers Set | Price: $39.00 USD
I technically bought two of these Meet the Fam kits because I purchased a kit for a friend. The products in this set include a mix of skincare and makeup. All products in the set are vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. Each included product is formulated without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. Included within the set is:
Let me first say, if you are not a Sephora Insider you should be because
(1) it is free to join
(2) you get a free birthday gift every year
(3) Sephora now offers birthday gift choices
This year, Beauty Insiders had the choice between a mini Glamglow Set or a mini Bite Beauty Set. Needless to say, I picked up the Bite Beauty lip set.
I have never been disappointed with any product I’ve tried from Bite Beauty. Having recently the Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil in Rhubarb, I was eager to try more from the brand. The above lip kit comes with several minis:
Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Chai
Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Glace
Agave Lip Balm
Agave Sugar Lip Scrub
Although I’m not the biggest fan of a matte lip, I do love matte lips during the colder months, so I can’t wait to give these a try! Also, Bite Beauty is Cruelty-Free, so these products are not tested on animals.
It Cosmetics – It’s Your Glow-Getting Essentials 500-Point Sephora Insider Perk
It Cosmetics – It’s Your Glow-Getting Essentials Kit | Price: Free
Although It Cosmetics has a cult following, I’ve never been enticed to try anything by this brand. This point perk called my name. I am curious to see whether the brand is worth the hype. This 500-point perk includes:
Miracle Water 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water Mini
Keep reading for the second portion of my luxury and affordable beauty haul.
Once I became a regular Sephora customer, I started to neglect the drugstore. I falsely believed that many drugstore products were inferior in quality. However, that just isn’t true. There are really great gems at the drugstore, just like there are expensive duds at Sephora.
(L:R): Wet N Wild Kohl Crayon & Photo Focus Foundation
Wet n Wild – Kohl Crayon Eyeliner | Price: $1.49
I love using a light-colored eyeliner in my waterline to make my eyes look bigger. This year, I’ve been focused on finishing my NYX Jumbo Crayon in Milk, but I am eager to return to a flesh-colored eyeliner since the contrast is less harsh compared to my skin.
Since CVS was having a Buy One, Get One Half-Price sale on Wet n Wild, I decided to give the Kohl Crayon Eyeliner another try. I’m sure that I purchased this product at one point or another when I was in middle school because Wet N Wild was one of my go-to brands (alongside NYC, Maybelline, and Milani). However, it’s been so long that I have no memory of how this product wore.
This pencil promises to be long-wearing, easy to apply, and highly pigmented. Additionally, I love that this is a traditional pencil because I find retractable pencils to be somewhat wasteful.
Wet’n Wild – Photo Focus Foundation (in Soft Beige) | Price: $5.99 USD
Since I am so close to finishing my current Tarte foundation, I decided to hold off on purchasing a high-end foundation until the Sephora sale this November. The Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation promises to be “your skin, only better.” It is a full coverage foundation that promises to make your skin look good no matter the lighting. This foundation was a hot commodity when it came out – YouTubers everywhere were praising the formulation and the affordable price tag.
Although I am moving away from full-coverage foundations, I was curious to try this foundation because I’ve really only ever tried (and loved) the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation at the drug store. In order to find my shade, I actually grabbed a bottle of the Fit Me foundation off the shelf and compared it to the Wet ‘n Wild shades. Hopefully, this color will be a close enough match for me.
Again, like everything else mentioned on this list, this foundation is not tested on animals. Wet n Wild is cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny Certified.
Final Thoughts on my Luxury and Affordable Beauty Haul
Overall, I am pleased with this luxury and affordable beauty haul. I feel like it shows my restraint. Two years ago, a haul of this size would have been mainly color cosmetics (eyeshadow, etc). Also, a luxury and affordable beauty haul would have been far more expensive. This year, nearly all the items in this haul represent an immediate or impending need.
Also, this is the first major Sephora purchase I’ve made all year. The last time I stepped into a Sephora was earlier this spring when I purchased my sister’s birthday gift! Prior to this haul, I hadn’t bought myself anything at Sephora this year (outside of repurchasing my HG sunblock from Algenist).
Finally, this is the longest I’ve ever gone without hitting VIB at Sephora (a.k.a. spending over $350.00 USD in a calendar year) in YEARS! Normally, I would have hit this spending threshold by Sephora’s April sale, so I am quite proud of myself.