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 see what I purchase this month, then please keep reading.
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 because it was inexpensive and came with seemingly every brush I needed. However, as I matured and got better at applying my makeup, I noticed that these brushes didn’t really work for me anymore.
This year, I finally decided to toss out my old brush set and purchase 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.
Price: $70.00 USD
Sephora Collection – Line Up Makeup Tape
When I was younger, I was much more adventurous with my eye makeup- I used to wear bold, bright colors and experiment more with winged eyeliner looks. Admittedly, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve fallen into such a routine that I am no longer as good at creating a precise, defined, cat eye.
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 winged eyeliner look. While buying this tape felt kind of bougie, I would rather buy tape that was meant to be applied to the under-eye than use normal scotch tape that could irritate the skin or exacerbate wrinkles when pulled off the skin.
This tape promises to be hypoallergenic and easy to remove. Additionally, this product is not tested on animals.
Price: $6.00 USD
Duo – Eyelash Adhesive in Black
I’ve never been one to wear false lashes because my own lashes are naturally long, dark, and voluminous. However, there are definitely looks where false lashes are better-suited. Wanting to experiment more and get out of my makeup rut, I purchased some eyelash glue to use with the eyelashes I received for free this year at Beauty Con LA. Thus, I decided to purchase some Duo Eyelash Adhesive.
Although I’ve heard mixed things about the Duo Eyelash Adhesive online, I decided to purchase this glue because it was relatively inexpensive and comes from a known brand. I’ve seen countless people complain about the smell online, but I felt like I would be fine giving this product a try. Also, since I am so new to applying false lashes, I opted to purchase the black glue, in the hopes 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.
Price: $9.00 USD
Sephora Collection Level Setter Razors
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.
I’ve purchased the Sephora Collection Level Setter Razors before and found them effective. That being said, I think these are expensive for what they are and know that other stores sell the same things for a much cheaper price point. However, the last time I went to CVS, I couldn’t find any razors like these, so I decided to repurchase the Sephora Collection razors.
Price: $8.00 USD
Tweezerman – Pink Perfection Pointed Slant Tweezer
For the longest time, I’ve been loyal to my Revlon Tweezers. However, after more than 10 years of use, they’ve finally gotten so dull that I actually cannot use them to pluck errant hairs. Although Tweezerman is a household name in the US, I’ve never tried any of their tweezers, so I decided to give them a go.
The Tweezerman Pink Perfection Pointed Slant Tweezers look like they’ll be great plucking stray eyebrow hair. However, I am slightly nervous to use them near my eyes (when applying false lashes) so 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 this product. I will definitely provide an update once I get a chance to try these out. Also, I had no clue how expensive these were until looking at them again online…
Again, this product is not tested on animals.
Price: $25.00 USD
Natasha Denona – Mini Lila Palette
The Natasha Denona Mini Lila Palette was the only true splurge that I made during this haul, as it was truly purchased on an impulse. I’ve been wanted to try the Natasha Denona eyeshadows for quite some time because of the brand beautiful color stories selected within 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.
Additionally, I’ve seen and read a lot of mixed reviews about the Natasha Denona formulas. Some people rave about the formulation of her shadows while others find 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 and has been searching for some beautiful purple shadows. Unfortunately, I’ve been struggling with my Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Palette (admittedly, my eye primer could be the problem since it is so old), so I decided to pick up this mini palette on a whim.
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.
I will be sharing my first-impressions on this palette soon. 🙂
Price: $25.00 USD
Milk Makeup Meet the Fam Milk Bestsellers Set
I technically bought two of these Meet the Fam kits… I was looking for a gift for a friend whose go-to look is no-makeup makeup. Struggling to figure out what to buy, a Sephora employee helped me find this gift set. Needless to say, I got sucked in given the fact that I’ve tried so little from this brand and the set comes with a variety of products, but in mini form.
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:
- Mini KUSH Mascara
- Cooling Water Under-Eye De-Puffer Stick
- Watermelon Brightening Serum
- Blur Stick Matte Primer
- Lip + Cheek in Werk
- Highlighter in Lit
- Holographic Highlighter Stick in Supernova
- Rainbow glitter clutch
In theory, I should hate most of the cream-based makeup products included in this kit, because I have oily skin, but I am so curious to try these products. Hopefully, I these will workout without making me look like a total grease ball.
Price: $39.00 USD
Bite Beauty – Beauty Insider Birthday Gift 2018
Let me first say, if you are not a Sephora Insider you should be because (1) it is free and (2) you get a free birthday gift every year during the month of your birthday. Furthermore, Sephora now offers choices as to what you might want for your gift! 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 Kit
I’ve hoarded quite a large stash of Sephora Insider points over the years because I don’t like wasting them on point perks that I genuinely have no interest in. Although It Cosmetics has a cult following, I’ve never been enticed to try anything by this brand. However, this point perk called my name because 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
- Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm Mini
- Secret Sauce Clinically Advanced Miraculous Anti-Aging Moisturizer
- Bye Bye Under Eye – Eye Cream
Once I became a regular Sephora customer, I started to neglect the drugstore because 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.
Wet n Wild – Kohl Crayon Eyeliner
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.
RELATED: Daily Makeup Basket
Wet’n Wild – Photo Focus Foundation (in Soft Beige)
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.
Price: $5.99 USD
Overall, I am pleased with this haul because it shows my restraint. Two years ago, a haul of this size would have been mainly color cosmetics (eyeshadow, etc) and 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. In fact, the last time I had stepped into a Sephora was earlier this spring when I purchased a birthday gift for my sister! 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.
RELATED: 2018 No-Buy Finale
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What beauty items have you recently picked up? Have you tried any products on this list? If so, please share your experiences down below!