Buy or Bye: Fenty Gloss Bomb Cream Review

Rihanna has done it again. I mean, are we surprised? The woman can do no wrong.

Her eponymous cosmetic brand (in case you didn’t know, her real name is Robyn Fenty) caused a stir in the beauty world when it launched in 2017. From the jump, the brand has consistently pushed the envelope. From launching a foundation range featuring 40 shades (her name powder foundation has 50 shades!) to releasing a broad spectrum sunscreen specifically designed to not look grey deeper skin tones, Rihanna continues to put almost every other makeup company to shame by releasing innovative new products and formulas (and highlighting the gross lack of inclusivity in cosmetics).

Her new lip product, the Gloss Bomb Cream Color Drip Lip Cream, is no exception. (Also, wow. That is a mouthful.) Keep reading for my review:

ROOTS

Since its inception, one of the most popular items from Fenty Beauty has been the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer—a rosy nude tinted lip gloss that delivers a plumping, non-sticky glow that lasts for hours. Initially launched in one shade, Fenty Glow, it’s now available in seven shades ranging from a clear gloss to a rich brown shade.

I saw one woman say that the Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer is chapstick for bad bitches and I don’t disagree. And I’m thrilled that all of us bad bitches now have even more glossy goodness to add to our arsenals LOL.

GLOSS BOMB CREAM COLOR DRIP LIP CREAM

I have the original Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fu$$y and I love it. However, my one complaint is that it has shimmer in it. I’m a gloss girl, but not a shimmer girl. When I found out that Fenty was launching a new version of the Gloss Bomb, sans shimmer, I could not wait to get my hands on it.

According to the brand, the new formula is supposed to have “medium-to-full-coverage color and zero shimmer.” It features the same XXL doe foot applicator that we know and love from the OG Gloss Bomb and, not surprisingly, it does not disappoint.

TELL ME MORE

  • Universally-flattering, shimmer-free color, in five creamy shades
  • Buildable full-intensity pigment
  • Brilliant shine
  • Non-sticky feel
  • XXL wand applies in just one swipe
  • Vitamin A to nourish lips
  • Light peach-vanilla scent

SHADES

The new formula comes in five different shades:

Fenty Glow: a universal rose nude
Honey Waffles: honey butter brown
Mauve Wive$: rosy mauve
Cookie Jar: chocolate caramel
Fruit Snackz: berry red

These were designed to look good on all skin tones and they do. I personally think that these shades would look gorgeous and work as nudes on deeper skin tones and I love to see Rihanna catering to an audience that is routinely left out—or at the very least an afterthought and not the intended target market.

Our #1 gloss—now with pure, creamy color and incredible shine. Lips are instantly smoother and more voluminous-looking.

LASTING POWER

If you dont plan on going anywhere, or if this had been released in the Before Times, the lasting power on this is pretty impressive (about 3.5 hours for me—and that includes eating and drinking). If you’re wearing a mask, don’t expect it to hold up for very long because of its glossy nature. That’s not a dig against the formula, that’s really just something to be expected when wearing lip gloss and having cloth rub against it for a prolonged period of time.

RATING

Pigmentation: 9/10
Longevity: 8/10
Application: 10/10
Formula: 10/10
Packaging: 10/10

TL;DR

I love Gloss Bomb Creams. It’s glossy and shiny, but not sticky. It’s pigmented. It goes on smooth. Feels nourishing. I love the gigantic doe foot applicator. I love Fenty Glow, which I anticipated, but was honestly surprised by how much I liked some of the deeper, bolder colors too. If you’re in the market for a new lip gloss, I highly recommend this one.

Best of Beauty 2020

2020 was a crazy year. Despite spending almost 10 months of the year quarantined alone at home, I somehow managed to still shop at Sephora on 58 separate occasions. I am nothing if not consistent, I guess?

Without further ado, here are my favorite makeup products of 2020

PRIMER

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Hydrating Makeup Primer – $42

My skin has changed a little in the past year and I have been dealing with dry skin for the first time in my life. This stuff gives you a really healthy, beautiful glow. Primers can be hit or miss, but this sits well underneath all my other products, and seems to also increase the longevity of my makeup. The other downside is that you’re paying $42 for 1 fluid ounce.

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer – $30

If you want your makeup to last forever, this is the product for you. Apply to clean, dry skin and wait a minute or two before going in with any other makeup products. In that time, the product is activated and actually becomes tacky. Not only does this stuff grip to your makeup all day, but it makes products go on very smoothly. It took me some time to get used to, but I love this stuff.

Tatcha The Liquid Silk Canvas: Featherweight Protective Primer – $52

This a weightless, oil free liquid primer that helps your makeup go on better and last longer. It’s expensive but it lasts a long time, truly works and is great for any skin type.

FOUNDATION

Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation – $39

This foundation quickly became one of my favorites because it’s just so good. It has great coverage, a beautiful finish and stays put all day. The shade range is amazing (51 shades!!). Despite the fact that I am a very boring shade of beige, not super pale, not super deep, I have a difficult time finding a foundation that matches my undertone without giving me a stark line of demarkation between my face and neck. This is the best shade match I have found, hands down. Bonus: Uoma Beauty is a black, woman owned business.

Dior Airflash Spray Foundation – $62

I know, I know. This is crazy expensive but I love it. I tried it this year on a whim and it’s so good. I only use it for special occasions though, like trips to the grocery store or maybe an invasive vaginal examine at the gynecologist (the second part is a joke, but leaving the house at all is a special occasion in 2020, let’s be real). I spray it on a brush vs. directly on my face and the finish is just *chefs kiss.*

beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation – $40

GAH, I see this is half off on Sephora’s website which makes me wonder if it’s being discontinued. This is one of my ride or die foundations. The shade range is great, transfer proof, long wearing, great coverage. This won’t let you down—it’s going to look great every time I use it. BRB, stocking up.

CONCEALER

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer – $32

This somehow only has 3 stars on the Sephora website which is absolutely blasphemy. I would die for this concealer. I have used it religiously since I first purchased it and have repurchased it at least four times. Dark circles? We don’t know her!

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer – $30

If you have anything on your face you want to disappear—blemishes, scars, veins, etc.,—this concealer is a God send. I have lots of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on my face (like, a lot) and you would never know it because this concealer works wonders. It’s a little too dry for underneath the eyes, but anywhere else on the face it’s amazing. Will cover all your sins. I am never without it.

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Face and Under Eye Concealer – $38

I bought this on a whim one of the first times I was back in Sephora post-shelter in place. I spent a ton of money that day because it felt so good to be back inside the store, seeing makeup in person (although not touching or swatching it, since that is a relic of times past). I really enjoy this concealer. It does a good job of hiding dark circles under my eyes but doesn’t crease or look bad. Still comes in second place to my beloved Charlotte Tilbury, though.

POWDER

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder – $45

This is the best product on the market. Mattifies (but not too much), blurs pores, makes you look like you’ve been FaceTuned in real life (but a good amount, not like into oblivion). Throw away all your other powders, this is the only one you’ll need from here on out.

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Blurring Under Eye Setting Powder – $30

Let’s be honest—this is not as good as the CT powder. Especially for the price per ounce. But I like it for setting my undereye concealer. It’s lightweight, blurring, doesn’t crease. I have used it virtually every time I have worn makeup in 2020 and I have not hit pan yet. However, if you were going to buy one powder buy the Charlotte Tilbury.

BRONZER

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer – $52

I remember the first time I bought this bronzer. I was in college, working at MSU IPF, and I snuck away on my lunch break for my yearly pilgrimage to Sephora for the holiday sale to score some things I otherwise couldn’t afford while they were 20% off. I have continued to repurchase it ever since. I use the shade Luminous Bronze and find that it works best with my skin tone. There are lighter shimmer shades veining through the bronzer that give the skin the prettiest sheen without looking glittery or sparkly.

Tower 28 Beauty – Bronzino Illuminating Bronzer – $20

I talked about my affinity for Tower 28 Beauty way back in the beginning of 2020 and, I have to say, they are probably my favorite brand of the year. This illuminating bronzer is unlike anything I had ever tried. It’s a balm that blends very seamlessly into your skin and provides a very natural sun-kissed sheen. I always set with powder as it does stay a little tacky, but a super innovative product that I reached for time and time again throughout 2020.

Gucci Poudre de Beaute Eclat Soleil Bronzing Powder – $62

I bought this because I really liked the packaging, let’s be real. At $62, thank God the product itself wasn’t bad either. I actually really like this bronzer. The brand claims that the product is designed to “deliver a luminous finish and a natural glow” and it does exactly that.

CONTOUR

Huda Beauty Tantour Contour and Bronzer Cream – $30

I feel like I’ve been using this product for years but in actuality, I purchased this on March 2, 2020. (I checked my Sephora order history, to be sure). I love this product. I use the lighter of the two shades and it gives the perfect cool-toned contour shade without looking muddy. It is insanely pigmented and looks very intense at first, but blends out like a dream. Huda Beauty is very hit or miss for me, but I absolutely love this product.

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Contour Powder – $44

This matte, powder formula was created Kevyn Aucoin himself—the man, the myth, the legend. It combines brown, red, and gray pigments that work together to recreate natural shading and dimension on the face. The formula mimics the look of natural shadows, is crease-proof, and won’t settle into fine lines or pores. This is one thing that I have to have at my disposal at all times.

HIGHLIGHT

NUDESTIX Nudies All Over Face Color Bronze + Glow – $32

This was arguably my most-used highlighter all year. I thought for sure that if I rubbed this on my face all the product would lift off, but it didn’t. It’s super easy to use, very easy to blend out and gives a really beautiful, natural looking glow to the face. Highly recommend.

BLUSH

MAC Glow Play Blush – $30

The Glow Play blushes came out earlier this year (around summer, I want to say?). These blushes are unlike anything else I have tried. They have a really unique spongy texture, that almost feels like a hybrid between a gel and a powder. They go on beautifully and have a very natural finish with sheer-to-buildable color.

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush – $20

I wrote an entire blog post about Rare Beauty—how I was, at first, entirely uninterested in even trying it and how I was, subsequently, really impressed by the quality and performance of everything I tried. The two products that stood out to me the most were the blushes and the lip products. Coming in at only $20 this is a pretty good deal (all things considered), too.

Tower 28 Beach Please Tinted Lip+Cheek Balm – $20

This is such a great cream blush. I got it in the shade Magic Hour and it’s such a gorgeous sun-kissed rosy nude. It’s buildable, very creamy and blends seamlessly into the skin.

BROWS

Benefit Precisely, My Brow – $24

This is a pretty straightforward, run-of-the-mill eyebrow pencil. They have a good shade range, have a very fine point that makes it easy to draw hairlike strokes and is long-lasting and smudge-proof. The exaggerated cap shape is annoying as it takes up extra space in a travel bag, but who is traveling right now anyway?

Got2Be Glued – $4.99

This is not technically an eyebrow product, but I’ve been using it on my eyebrows all the same. This like soap brows on steroids. Your eyebrow hair isn’t going anywhere with this shit. I am obsessed.

EYESHADOW

Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette – $48

The other two palettes that I chose as my 2020 favorites are very specific to my taste because I love a warm, bronze eyeshadow look. This, however, is a palette that I think that every makeup enthusiast could stand to have in their arsenal. It has 12 universal matte shades that can be used to create any look on any skin tone. In fact, Mario said that this was inspired my human skin tones from light to deep. The formula is great, creamy and long lasting with very minimal fallout and amazing blendability.

Natasha Denona Bronze Eyeshadow Palette – $65

I love a good bronze-y eyeshadow palette and I couldn’t resist buying this one when it came out over the summer. I used this almost exclusively for months on end. It has everything you need for a casual everyday look —but can also create some very intense night time looks, too. It’s smaller than most ND palettes, but also around half the price.

Juvias Place The Warrior Eyeshadow Palette – $20

This is honestly one of my favorite eyeshadow palettes that I have ever owned. Juvia’s Place pumps out extremely high quality, high performing products at an insanely low price point. This palette is full of beautiful rich, earthy, warm tones in a variety of finishes ranging from matte to shimmer. I used this throughout 2019 and 2020 and it shows. I finally hit pan on my favorite shade (these pan sizes are enormous, by the way).

LIP LINER

Victoria Beckham Beauty Lip Definer 02 – $26

Posh was my favorite Spice Girl and when I found out that Posh herself had a makeup line I couldn’t not try it out. Her lip looks defined an entire generation, okay? I got this lip definer in #2 which is one of those “my lips but better” shades but every-so-slightly more brown than my actual lip color. These go on so smoothy—absolutely no tugging—and enhance your lips in the most beautiful, delicate way. Amazing pigmentation. I cannot say enough good things about this lip liner.

em cosmetics Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liners – $22

I wrote an entire blog (née love letter) about my unwavering devotion and admiration to and for these lip liners and for good reason. They are so. good. I got two shades—Fawn and Kitten—and both go on smooth, no pulling or tugging, stay put all day (even under a mask!) and it matches my natural lip color. It’s truly everything you could ask for. The formula is definitely creamier than the VB liners. I can’t decide which I prefer.

LIPSTICK

Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint in Cherie – $36

This is arguably the best lip product of 2020. It’s a gorgeous, subtle rosy tint that enhances your natural lip shade and stays put all day long. Seriously. For hours and hours and hours—even with a mask on. It’s a gorgeous and very interesting geleé formula unlike anything else I’ve tried. On top of being beautiful and lovely to wear, it’s made of hyaluronic acid squalane which plump your lips and leave them better than they were before you put it on. 12/10. Well done, Posh.

Rare Beauty Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick – $20

As I wrote in my dedicated blog about Rare Beauty, this lipstick formula kind of blew me away. My liquid lipstick days are long gone and I much prefer wearing lip products that don’t give me insanely dry lips or make my mouth look like a butthole (if you’ve ever worn liquid lipstick, you know exactly what I’m talking about). This dries matte but is not drying in the least. I wore this to dinner with a friend one night and, despite the fact I wore the brightest red known to man, it’s so lightweight that I actually forgot that I had it on. It doesn’t flake off, doesn’t leave you with the dreaded ring and stays on for hours on end.

Pat McGrath Labs Lip Fetish Divinyl – $36

I got the shade Nude Venus and I love it. One of my favorite lipstick purchases of all time, honestly. It’s a light beige color but it deposits just the right amount of pigment. It has an extremely glossy, nearly glassy finish. It’s very sexy, IMO. I keep it in my purse at all times for the day when masks are no longer required and everyone can appreciate my beautiful lips (yes, they are beautiful. And they should be, I paid enough for them LOL).

LIP GLOSS

Tower 28 ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss – $14

Hands down the best lip gloss of the year. I have this lip gloss in nearly every shade that Tower 28 makes. Chill (clear) and Fire (orange) are my favorites, by far. This is never sticky, extremely high shine and actually leaves your lips feeling moisturized. I am so obsessed.

Kosas Wet Oil Lip Gloss – $27

This comes in a close second. It’s an oil, so it truly has some moisturizing properties. I got it in the shade Jellyfish (clear). It also is extremely high shine and never sticky. But it costs twice as much as the Tower 28, so there’s a clear winner here and it isn’t Kosas 😦

LIP TREATMENT

Lucas’ PawPaw Ointment Lip Balm – $8.95

This is the best chapstick on the market, hands down. I use this every single night and every morning when I wake up my lips are so soft and supple. I cannot say enough good things about this and I will never be without it!

TL;DR

2020 was a wild ride. Was spending money on makeup super “responsible” to do? Probably not. But it made me feel momentarily better to try something new, to spend time on myself, doing something that I really love—and that makes it worth it to me. What were your favorite products of 2020?

Weekly Roundup: Dyson V11 Vacuum, Melt Cosmetics + More

My weekly round up is kind of all over the place this week. From cleaning products to makeup and more, here are the random things I tried this week!

DYSON V11 ANIMAL+ CORDLESS STICK VACUUM

I have wanted a Dyson vacuum for the longest time but have always shied away from the extremely steep price tag. I got this at Costco for less than normal retail, which is how I justified the purchase to myself.

I have to say, it felt like Christmas when I came home and pulled this out of the packaging. I’ve been testing this out for about a week to see how well it works, how long the charge lasts, how it compares to my previous vacuum, etc. So far, I love it. I want to keep testing it out and eventually do a full review on it, so stay tuned.

MELT COSMETICS DIGITAL DUST DUO

I knew that I needed this blush duo as soon as I saw it. I got it in the shade Queen, which is a bronze and gold duo (which functions as more of a bronzer than a blush on my skin tone) and is so pretty. The product itself has a honey comb pattern and bee stamped directly into—and it’s actually so cute that I don’t really want to use it because I know it will ruin it.

TOWER 28 SHINE ON MILKY JELLY

If you’ve been here for awhile, you’ll know that I am obsessed with the Tower 28 lip gloss. They recently launched a new lip gloss formula, the Shine On Milky Jelly gloss, that is more opaque than the previous versions. I got it in the shade Cashew which is a very pretty brown-y nude. It’s very much a “your lips but better” shade, because it adds a hint of milky color without being entirely opaque. Bonus: it’s only $14 (just like all of their glosses!). Seriously, you can’t go wrong with these.

MEJURI CROISSANT DÔME HOOPS

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#mejuri @mejuri

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I have seen these braided, rope style earrings on Instagram for the longest time and always wanted them. I decided that I was going to buy them and narrowed it down to two different earrings from two different brands. Ultimately, I went with Mejuri because shopping with them is always such a wonderful experience (I talked about them in my Favorite Online Jewelry Brands blog). They shipped almost immediately after I purchased them, arrived within three days and had to be signed for. The earrings themselves are so chic and cute, can be dressed up or down, and go with everything. These are a bit of a splurge, so I’m trying to find a more affordable option for different price points. Stay tuned for that!

MELATONIN

The last time I picked up a grocery order from Kroger, they gave me a goody bag with a bunch of different samples in it (in a reusable grocery bag!). One of those samples was melatonin, which I almost didn’t try because melatonin has never worked for me. It ended up working extremely well. I fell asleep fast and stayed asleep all night, which literally never happens, so I immediately went out and purchased a full bottle. We’ll see if I keep seeing the same results, but for now, I’m a big fan.

PEN15

I started watching Season One of PEN15 a long time ago (not sure how long ago, but it feels like forever) and thought it was the most hilarious thing I had ever seen. The show centers around two middle school aged girls who are best friends, and depicts very honestly what that time in your life is like. I have to say, the thong episode is honestly one of my favorites and I laughed so hard that I was nearly in tears. If you experienced being a girl in middle school, I highly recommend.

BLOGS FROM THE PAST WEEK

If you missed it, these were the blogs I posted this week!

I WANT TO SEE A THERAPIST. NOW WHAT?

FALL MAKEUP TRENDS I’M LOVING

TL;DR

This weeks list is such a random hodgepodge of things. Do you use or have you tried any of these? If nothing else, bookmark the PEN15 suggestion and circle back this winter when we are undoubtedly still quarantined and you need something funny to watch!

Fall Trends I’m Loving

Fall is here! If you’re looking for something to inspire your makeup routine, these fun trends might give you a reason to break out your brushes.

GLOSSY LIPS

It’s no secret that I love a good glossy lip. Fall has traditionally been a time for dark, matte lips but you can pry my lipgloss from my cold, dead hands. I am loving the Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Divinyl lip glosses, as well as the new Tower 28 Beauty milky glosses. Can’t go wrong with either!

GRAPHIC LINER

I am so obsessed with graphic liner. I honestly think that this started as a Tik Tok trend but has since made it’s way to the general masses (and was even on a lot runways this season, as you can see in Gigi Hadid’s IG post).

This is a great inexpensive eyeliner to try if you’re wanting to experiment with graphic eyeliner without the costly commitment.

TERRA COTTA TONES

There are few things in life that I love more than terra cotta makeup looks. I wear some variation of a terra cotta shadow on my eyes every single day, regardless of the season. I love these Natasha Denona palettes (the face + eyeshadow palettes!) and I also am obsessed with these Rare Beauty lip souffles (the shade Brave is my favorite). Terra cotta is flattering on essentially every skintone and is such a fun and easy way to transition into fall.

MONOCHROMATIC ROSE

If terra cotta isn’t your thing, it’s hard to go wrong with a rose look. Right now, I am obsessed with rose-hued monochromatic makeup looks it looks so beautiful, trendy and put together without really putting in an abundance of effort. Charlotte Tilbury’s Walk of No Shame collection has everything you need for a monochromatic rose look, or if you’re looking on a budget, this Color Pop palette is only $8 and is crazy good quality. Pair with a rosy lip (you know I love CT Pillow Talk but this Flower Beauty lipstick in Spiced Petal is almost an exact dupe for a fraction of the cost.

DRAPING

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should!), I recently talked about bronzer and blush placement (and how you should place them horizontally if you’re going for a truly sun-kissed look). Draping is basically the opposite of that. Do you remember a few years ago when highlighting got rebranded to “strobing” and was used exclusively instead of bronzing/contouring? This is similar. Draping is when you don’t use bronzer to contour, you use blush to bring structure to your face. To “drape,” you’ll want to place your blush on your cheekbones instead of the apples of your cheeks, and blend out toward your temples. This can look super high fashion if you use an intense color or really intensify the pigment, but I think it’s really pretty when done correctly and I actually especially like it combined with the monochromatic rose look.

Sidenote: My mom has been draping since the 80s, so I’m going to need to let her know she’s a trendsetter!

FOX EYES

From PDO threads to shaving off the majority of your eyebrow, people have gone to extreme lengths to get the Hadid-inspired fox eye. Turns out, you can get a similar effect with just eyeliner! There are tons of tutorials on social media from Instagram to Youtube, but the basic idea is to use a soft brown liner and false lashes to create an elongated shape.

TL;DR

Fun fall trends have me inspired to try more than just new makeup products, but new looks and techniques too. Since I’ve spent the better part of the year at home with a bare face, this is a welcome change of pace. Any new looks you’re interested in trying? Let me know!

Weekly Roundup: Detangler for long hair, Violet Grey order + more

I routinely do a monthly favorites post where I talk about the things that I have tried and loved throughout the month. That post only ever captures the products or things that stood out as my favorites—but I use and try so many other things that I don’t end up talking about that I decided to start doing a weekly spotlight in addition to my monthly favorites. Keep reading for my first roundup!

Long Sexy Hair Luxe Nourishing Leave-In Detangler

I have long hair—and a lot of it—but it’s very fine and it gets tangled very easily. A few years ago I discovered 7 Seconds by Unite haircare and promptly stopped searching for anything else. It was a the end-all-be-all of leave in conditioners. Long Sexy Hair gifted me their new detangler, the Long Sexy Hair Luxe Nourishing Leave-In detangler, so I started using that this week. I had very low expectations but I was blown away by how well it works. It was made specifically for people with either long natural hair or extensions. It works really well and also smells really nice. I’m going to keep testing this out, but I haven’t reached for 7 Seconds in almost a week (which is unheard of because I have used it every day for at least 3 years).

Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation

I had terrible skin for years and as a result only wore the thickest, most full coverage, most matte foundations I could find. I was basically waking up and spackling my face every morning. Thanks to my friend Jennifer, my skin is completely changed and I wear all sorts of base makeup, CC cream, BB cream, tinted moisturizer, medium-fo-full coverage foundation—I have so many choices now. For some reason, when I saw the Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation, I was like, “I need that! It’s everything I want in a foundation.” My friend Taylor, the manager at the Sephora in Eastwood Towne Center, was like, “just so you know this is matte. Like, really, really matte,” and I thought “ok, no problem!” Turns out, she was right. It is much more matte and much more full coverage than I am used to wearing now. I think if I mixed it with a moisturizer or used a glowy primer I would like it much better. I’m going to keep testing out because I haven’t used it enough times or tried it with enough different products to really give my final verdict on this yet. Stay tuned.

Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Divnyl Lip Shine

I bought this on a whim at Sephora one day, mainly because I was so excited that my Sephora had anything Pat McGrath. I got it in the shade Nude Venus because you really can’t go wrong with a good nude lip. Honestly, this is one of the best lip products I have tried in forever! It is so good. It is so shiny, so moisturizing, so buttery. It makes your lips look so plump and juicy. I think I’ve worn it every single day since I got it. This is going to be a favorite for sure.

Westman Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlight

Coming in at a mouth-dropping $75 for 0.14 ounces of product, this is officially the most expensive highlighter that I own. I got it during the Violet Grey sale, so I saved some money but still. Westman Atelier is a luxury clean and cruelty free beauty brand owned by the iconic makeup artist Gucci Westman. The brand claims that they “cater to those looking to enhance their complexion while elevating their vanity.” I got this highlighter in the shade Peau de Peche (which I found out translates to peach skin lol). Everything about it is extremely luxe. The product itself comes in a leather dust bag. The component is black with gunmetal accents. It’s only 0.14 ounces of product but it feels like a brick—very heavy and substantial. The product itself is just *chefs kiss.* It is so gorgeous. I have only used it a few times, but I know that it’s going to be a staple—and listen. We appreciate a pretentious luxe moment around here, okay? Life is short, you have to indulge sometimes.

We Should All Be Mirandas

If you know me, you’ll know that I love Sex and the City. I have every season on DVD (the one that came in a pink velvet collector’s box), I went on the SATC bus tour when I was in NYC, I have a t-shirt that says “abso-fucking-lutely” and I rewatch the show at least once a year (and always when I’m sad). The show is nothing short of iconic and I won’t apologize for how much I enjoy it. The women behind the IG account @everyoutfitonsatc wrote a book called “We Should All Be Mirandas” and it is just as wonderful as you might imagine. If you order the book right now, you also get a magnet that looks like a sticky note that says. “I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me” for free! I consider this to be one of my best purchases to date.

Gum Drop Grapes

Speaking of luxe. I recently ordered some grapes from Kroger that I later realized are called “gum drop grapes.” They are from the same grapery as Cotton Candy grapes, but far superior. They literally taste like candy. As someone who is watching their diet, these sweet little succulent grapes have become my daily treat. They are expensive (about $3.49 per pound) but they are so, so worth it.

TL;DR

In addition to my monthly favorites, I’m doing a weekly roundup of things I’m trying, using and loving (or not). Have you tried any of these things? I mean, TBH, if you get one thing make it the grapes! I need people to talk about the grapes with lolol.

Buy or Bye: Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez

Up until about a week ago I was entirely ambivalent about Rare Beauty. I don’t really have strong feelings about Selena Gomez one way or another—if I’m being honest my favorite thing she had done prior to this was not get back together with Justin Bieber—and I really didn’t think we needed another celebrity beauty brand. However, after seeing rave reviews from every corner of the internet I headed into my local Sephora to see what the fuss was about.

RARE BEAUTY

Selena Gomez launched Rare Beauty earlier this month on Sept. 3. The brand launched almost an entire face of products, including foundation, concealer, blush, highlighter, brow products, lip products and more. It’s been awhile since I’ve been excited by a new launch, but Rare Beauty has impressed me in more ways than one. Read on for my honest (non-sponsored, non-gifted) thoughts.

THE PACKAGING

One of the first things that attracted me to Rare Beauty was the packaging. The ball on the top of the packages was unlike anything that I had seen before—and it turns out the ball on top is more than just a chic component. The packaging was actually designed specifically with people who suffer from arthritis in mind, because Selena has lupus (rheumatoid arthritis is a common comorbidity of lupus).

I’m really inspired by the intentionally of the entire product range. Selena saw a gap in the market and filled it with something beautiful (and affordable).

LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD

Another interesting thing about Rare Beauty is that Selena has pledged to donate $100 million dollars to mental health initiatives over the next 10 years. Selena has struggled very openly with depression, anxiety and mental health issues, and it’s refreshing to not only be honest about that struggle, but to work to help others deal with it head on, too.

PRODUCTS

I tried just about every product in the line, with the exception of the setting spray, powder product and brow product. Because this post isn’t sponsored and I’m not on Rare Beauty’s PR list, I had to be somewhat selective about what I purchased.

Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation

This foundation comes in 48 different shades, making it one of the most diverse shade ranges on the market. According to the brand, Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation is a natural-finish foundation with concentrated pigments that feels barely there while providing buildable medium-to-full coverage.

This is a true liquid foundation. In fact, it feels almost like a gel or a face serum to me. While most foundations claim to be “weightless” this is one of the only foundations, if not THE only foundation, that I have ever found to actually feel weightless. In fact, I actually forgot that I had it on.

And while it isn’t the most sanitary thing in the world, I do appreciate the doe foot applicator for it’s ease of application.

Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer

I knew that I loved the foundation right away, but I had (and still have) mixed feelings on the concealer. For one, I think I got the wrong shade. Not being able to test things really sucks. Secondly, no concealer in the world can possibly compare to my beloved Charlotte Tilbury Magic Wonder concealer.

That being said, there are also 48 shades of the concealer, with each concealer shade designed to work with its corresponding foundation shade. This concealer is pretty thick and creamy, but it sheers out nicely and offers good coverage without feeling heavy or looking cake-y. It also doesn’t settle into fine lines or crease.

Positive Light Liquid Luminizer

I love highlighter so it’s no surprise that I wanted to pick this up. Like the other products in the range, this offers a wide variety of shades that will suit any skin tone. I got the shade Outshine which is a true gold. I wasn’t sure that it would work for me, but it blends out beautifully. I think that this is a good natural to moderately glow-y highlight. It’s not the most blinding thing you’ve ever sheen, but leaves a nice sheen on your cheekbones.

Pro tip: Blend fast. This stuff dries down quickly and can leave you with stripes on your cheeks if you don’t blend fast enough.

Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

This blush is SO good. I mean, it’s just *chef’s kiss.* I love cream and liquid blushes because they look so natural. This one is no exception. You need a tiny little bit of product, I mean tiiiiny. Apply it to the apples of you cheeks and blend outward toward the hairline with your fingers. You’re left with the glowiest, rosiest cheeks like maybe you’re slightly embarrassed or someone’s grandma just gave them a quick pinch. If you’re interested in buying something from the line but can’t choose, I would suggest starting here.

Lip Souffle Matte Lip Cream

My favorite product in the line are these lip souffles. They have the strangest texture of any lip product that I have ever used. They go on liquid and then dry down to an almost powder finish. I got four shades, including the super bright red shade that Selena is wearing in the promos. They stay on forever and even when they wear off, they leave a wonderful stain on your lips. 10/10 recommend.

Pro tip: If you want to be the kind of person who wears bright lipstick but don’t feel like you can pull it off, now is the time to start. Wear it around your house or under your mask! You can get over feeling self-conscious so when we can safely leave our houses and mingle again, you’ll be confident AF.

TL;DR

Rare Beauty kind of blew me away. I wasn’t expecting to like these products at all, let alone by this impressed by them. They are made intentionally and inclusively, from the impressive shade range to the packaging designed to be easily opened by everyone. PLUS, nothing in the line costs more than $30, which we all know is essentially unheard of for a brand in Sephora.

Buy or Bye: Gucci Bronzer

This bronzer came out a few months ago and I knew, based on the packaging alone, I needed it. Is the product worth the $62 price tag? Let’s discuss.

DOING THE MOST

I bought the Gucci Poudre De Beaute Eclat Soliel Bronzing Powder bronzer directly from Gucci and it arrived within 2 days (the perks of luxury retailers!). The bronzer arrived in a box, inside of a Gucci bag, inside of a Gucci dust bag, inside of a velvet pouch. It was like a Russian doll of Gucci-branded packaging. I wasn’t mad about it though, it made me feel rich LOL.

PRODUCT DEETS

As part of their expanding beauty line, Gucci launched their Gucci Poudre De Beaute Eclat Soliel Bronzing Powder earlier this year. It retails for $62 and is available in 5 different shades.

The packaging is gorgeous and—as I mentioned earlier—the first thing that drew my attention to the product. The compact is a beautiful mirrored component with a turquoise and gold design. This is the kind of product that you can leave out on your vanity as decor—it’s that pretty. Each bronzer also comes with a flat blush that is housed in a compartment on the bottom of the compact. Gucci or not, the brushes that come with products always suck. I kept the brush, but won’t use it.

The shade range is a little weird to me. I ended up buying shade 03 because, at least online, it appeared to be lighter than shade 02. Thankfully, it works well for my skin tone and I have no complaints.

I’m kind of picky when it comes to bronzer bronzer. What does that mean? It means that I don’t want something cool-toned that is going to work as a contour. I also don’t want something that’s too red-toned that’s either going to make me look sunburnt (we like natural but not too natural, you feel me?) or muddy. What I look for in bronzers is a medium-toned bronze color that is going to make me look sun kissed and naturally flushed, like I spent a long weekend at the beach (which won’t happen without SPF and sun protection because I spend too much on skincare to throw it all away).

This bronzer does a good job of achieving that look. It’s silky and smooth on the skin and is buildable, depending on how sun-kissed you want to look.

COMPARISONS

This is a good bronzer. It goes on nicely; it’s finely milled and never muddy—but how does this stack up in comparison to other bronzers?

I like trying new products for the sake of trying new products. I also do it as a service for my readers (you’re welcome!). Do you need this? No. Are there other bronzers that work just as well and cost less. Yes. Let’s do a break down of some of my favorite bronzers and a few cost saving alternatives.

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer

I think this might be one of the closest dupes and it’s a fraction of the cost.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Matte Bronzer

These two bronzers are quite similar in formula, application and feel. The CT bronzer is still expensive, but would save you a couple bucks off the retail price of the Gucci bronzer.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

From shade range to formulation, the Gucci bronzer gives me some Hoola vibes. I would say that colors are similar but the Gucci bronzer is slightly more finely milled. However, you could buy entire Benefit palette for the cost of one Gucci bronzer, so do with that what you will.

TL;DR

The new Gucci bronzer is a great bronzer if you’re willing to spend nearly $70 on a bronzer. If not, there are other great options out there, too! What’s the most you’re willing to spend on luxury makeup? Let me know!

August Favorites

Happy September, friends! Because I’m nosey and love reading what other people purchase, use and love, I decided to get back on the bandwagon and do my own monthly favorites again. If you’re interested in the hodgepodge of random things that I used throughout the last month, keep reading!

BEAUTY

This is a beauty blog, so it only makes sense that I start out with beauty products.

Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbe Enzyme Cleansing Balm

I have a very specific skincare routine and I’m extremely particular about the products I use on my face. I have been using the Elemis Pro-Collagen cleansing balm for months, but finally ran out and bought this during the Sephora sale and I love it. I use it as the first step in my double cleanse routine and it removes all my makeup very nicely without leaving any kind of weird residue. The only downside for me is that I don’t love the glass jar. I’m extremely accident prone and prefer the plastic packaging of the Elemis makeup remover. While it feels like it’s much smaller than other makeup removing balms, it has 3.4 ounces of product, compared to Elemis’ 3.7—and it’s half the price, so not a bad deal. The smell is a little childish and reminds me of Smacker’s lip balm or Trix yogurt (I said childish but I also didn’t say I disliked since I am big fans of both those things).

Overall,  9/10. I will continue to use and would recommend but don’t love the glass jar.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Stain

I love a good lip stain. I don’t think this is technically a new product, I think this is a reformulation. I could be imagining this, but I could have sworn that ABH had a lip stain back in the day and discontinued it. Anyway, I got the shade Rosewood because there is no such thing as too many pinky-brown nudes. I like this product—well, I don’t hate it. I think that the shade ends up being way more pink than nude on me but my biggest complaint is the smell. I am extremely sensitive to smells and I didn’t like this one. I, did, however, appreciate that my lips were stained all day.

Overall, I would give it a 6/10. I’ll use it again but not sure that I would repurchase.

Ouai x Byredo Super Dry Shampoo Mojave Ghost

I don’t really buy dry shampoo because I wash my hair every day, but I do occasionally use it to add texture or grit to my hair. I really like this because I love the scent. It’s extremely fragrant and it lasts all day long. If you like Mojave Ghost and don’t want to spend $200 on it, I highly recommend picking this up. Or if could have the reverse effect on you like it did on me. I spend $24 on dry shampoo and now want the perfume itself. Buyer beware.

Overall, 9/10. I love love it, but its inspiring some bad spending decisions 

Saint Jane Beauty Bright Repair CBD Eye Cream

I love this stuff. I was talking to my esthetician about wanting to add an eye cream into my routine since I am creeping up on my 27th birthday and want to prevent wrinkles before they happen vs. treating them once they are already there. She told me that right now I really want something that will hydrate the area. I had been eyeing this one (pun intended) on the Saint Jane website and when I saw it in my Sephora I snagged the last one they had in stock. It works great, doesn’t upset my eyes at all, hasn’t caused any milia and (I think) makes me look a little more awake and refreshed.

10/10 will continue to use and repurchase.

EM Cosmetics Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liners

I love these so much I wrote an entire blog about them. I have never loved and will never love another lip liner as much as I love these. They are so good. Perfect in every way. They offer nude lip liner options for a variety of skin tones. So velvety and butter-smooth but with great staying power. If you want to try them, I suggest you get on it before I buy all of them to hoard so I never run out.

10/10 would shout my love for these from the rooftops. 

LIFESTYLE

Insecure

My friend Andrea mentioned on a Thursday that she loved this show and by Sunday I had binge-watched all four seasons. IT IS SO GOOD. I am so invested. I need Season 5 to happen immediately.

10/10 want to be BFFs with Issa (and sleep with Andrew?)

Decorative Objects & Coffee Table Books

I’ve been trying to up my home decor game lately (blog post coming soon!). One of my favorite pieces that I’ve purchased has been this limestone knot from Target x Studio McGee. I was looking at objects similar to this that cost MUCH more than this at CB2 and West Elm, so this was such a great find. It comes in and out of stock, so if you’re interested just sign up for emails!

I also purchased some fun coffee table books from Amazon that I had been eyeing for months that finally dropped in price, including this Architectural Digest book and this iconic Tom Ford book.

At Home Sweet Cream Foam Ice Coffee

I really like the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks but don’t like paying for it, so I made it myself at home. I previously talked about how I make my own iced coffee at home to save money. If that isn’t your thing, Starbucks has cold brew you can purchase from any grocery store (I usually get it at Target or Kroger). I also picked up some Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer. To make a dupe of the drink, just froth the creamer until it doubles in size and then pour into the coffee. Et voila!

Aesop Hand Wash

This is an extravagant purchase and it was probably stupid to spend $40 on soap but I love it and I’m washing my hands all the time because of COVID—that’s my justification. It looks fancy on my bathroom counter and I appreciate the smell and the exfoliating properties. Will I repurchase? The jury is out.

Aerie 

I recently picked up two of Aerie’s oversized crewneck sweatshirts and a pair of joggers and I am in love. I got the sweatshirts in camo (Olive Fun) and Olive Daze because I love green and didn’t have anything like these. I almost didnt buy the joggers because they were just straight sizes but I went for it anyway and they fit great! They are so, so soft and have a fold over waistband AND pockets. They don’t really do anything in terms of shaping or keeping everything sucked in but I’m looking for comfort at this point, since I’m sure I’ll be home alone for another 6 months.

The sweatshirt is oversized so you could size down if you want a more fitted look, but I would recommend sticking with your normal size since it’s supposed to be a little looser. If you buy any of these or have any more Aerie recommendations, let me know!

Friends

I know this is cheesy, but having spent nearly 6 months in total isolation, I have started to see my friends in moderation lately and it has been so wonderful. I feel like my social skills have deteriorated and I am not a social mutant but my friends are accepting of me no matter how weird I get. Invite me to your outdoor patio hangs (but don’t be offended if I decline as I am still worried about getting COVID and will be for a long time).

TL;DR

I have been trying and using a lot of new things lately and have been quite pleased with my purchases. What are some things that you’re using and loving lately? Let me know!

I bought all these things with my own money, but some links are affiliate links meaning I make a small commission if you purchase through them. Also, I took that glorious sunflower photo myself.

 

 

 

EM Cosmetics Soft Blur: The Best Lip Liners You’ll Ever Buy

I’ve written in great detail about my love for Michelle Phan and her company, Em Cosmetics. It should come as no surprise that I am smitten with her new lip liners, the Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liners.

THE PRODUCT

Last month, em cosmetics launched their very first lip liners, the Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liners. The product claims to be an innovative, blurring lip liner that is moisturizing and delivers a luscious velvet finish. I own more lip liners than any person should legally be allowed to have, so I had pretty high expectations when it comes to this product—but at the same time I kind of felt like, “it’s a lip liner, how different could it really be?”

 

SHADE RANGE & PRICE POINT

The shade range here is pretty good and I feel confident that most if not all skin tones could find a shade that works for them, since they are essentially just a variation of different nude shades.  There are five shades in the range, including:

  • Fawn –  a peach nude with neutral undertones.
  • Bunny – a pink nude with neutral undertones.
  • Kitten – a rose nude with neutral undertones.
  • Teddy – a brown nude with warm undertones.
  • Mink – a brown nude with cool undertones.

The product retails for $19 each, or you can get a set of all 5 for $75. 

THE CLAIMS

  • Formulated with Sachi Inchi oil, Squalane, Shea Nut oil, and vitamin E to help condition the lips
  • Enriched with bisabolol to help provide antioxidant defense and ease inflammation
  • No harsh lines, feathering or waxy finishes
  • Cruelty-free

THE VERDICT

I picked up the shades Fawn and Kitten because they looked like they would be closest to my actual lip color. The only downside of purchasing makeup online is that you can’t swatch it beforehand, which, when it comes to lip liner, is pretty important to me. These shades ended up being the perfect match for my lips and I have worn this almost every single day since I got it.

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I love makeup (obviously) but it’s honestly impressive that I have such a strong opinion on this. I love this lip liner. At the risk of sounding dramatic, it’s the best lip liner that I have ever used. It goes on smooth, no pulling or tugging, it stays put all day (even under a mask!) and it matches my natural lip color. It’s truly everything you could ask for. And it’s cheaper than my previous “holy grail” lip liner, Charlotte Tilbury’s Iconic Nude Lip Cheat Lip Liner which retails for $22..

TL;DR

If you wear lipliner, this one is 100% worth picking up. If you’re interested, you can purchase it here.

I purchased these products with my own money. This post is not sponsored in any way and I do not make a commission if you purchase through the links provided. 

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020: Best in Beauty

The N-Sale? In this economy?! Yep.

Buckle up friends—the Nordstrom Sale is upon us. If you’re a big spender at Nordy’s, you probably already have access to the sale. If you have the credit card but use it sparingly, like me, you’ll likely get access sometime between  August 13-18. Otherwise, the sale opens to the general public on August 19.

Nordstrom-Sale-2020-Dates

People think that Nordstrom is a snobby store that sells overpriced stuff and in some cases, that is true. However, they sell a lot of things that you can buy at other retailers (think Sephora) that rarely go on sale—and when it goes on sale, it goes If you use this stuff, it would be foolish not to stock up and save some money. Plus, this years sale features markdowns on never before marked down brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm, Briogeo and Olaplex.

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MY TOP N-SALE PICKS

Paula’s Choice Jumbo Size Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

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I think that every person on the planet could benefit by adding this toner into their skincare routine. It’s a chemical exfoliant that helps to remove dead skin cells, leaving you with brighter, tighter-looking skin (while also helping to get rid of blackheads and shrink the appearance of pores). This is one of my favorite toners of all time, secondly only to Lotion P50.

Pro tip: No cotton round/cotton ball needed. Simply drip some into your hands, rub on your face and continue on with the rest of your skincare routine.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray Set

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The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray has a cult following—and for good reason. You would be hard-pressed to find a dry texturizing spray that works as well as this one does. It gives you hold and texture without being overly sticky or drying. PLUS, you also get a full-size Gold Lust Dry Shampoo. If you use this product regularly or are looking for a good texturizing spray, I recommend picking this up while it’s a better value.

Olaplex Bond Maintenance System Set

Untitled design (23)If you’ve ever read my blog before (or know me in real life) you’ll know that I love Olaplex and sing its praises constantly. You get three FULL-SIZE products in this set! FULL SIZE! Anybody with hair on their head needs Olaplex, especially so if you ever process your hair (color, bleach, etc) or use heat on it. Your hair will feel so silky smooth after using this, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it before. You can thank me later.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brows Bae-sics Kit

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Another oldie but goodie. I have genuinely used these brow products for close to 10 years. You really can’t go wrong with this combo. Fill in sparse spots, add shape, arch, length to your tail, etc. with Brow Wiz and then finish up by brushing those babies in to place. You get two full size products for almost the price of one. Will be grabbing one of these for sure. (If you’re not sure how to do your brows, check out my brows for beginners post).

Bobbi Brown Full Size Crushed Lip Duo

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This is another one of my all time favorite lip colors. It is the perfect nude and it works on so many skintones. It gives the perfect flush of color to your lips for when you want to look alive and awake but not “done up.” This would also be the perfect lip for someone who wants to dip their toes into the world of lipstick but isn’t ready for anything bold or bright. I keep on in my purse at all times and also have one for my car that I keep in my glove box when it isn’t one million degrees out.

Pillow Talk Lip Secrets Set

216eba01-55ed-4c4a-80c4-2c5812f1434ePillow Talk is an absolute staple for me. Again, this is one of the products that I have beaten like a dead horse over the duration of my blogging career. I also tell everyone I know IRL that they need this. It’s just that good. This set comes with the lip liner, lipstick and lip gloss for $68 which is essentially like getting one of the products for free. If you’re a Pillow Talk fanatic like myself, or you’re curious about trying it, now is the time to do it.

Diptyque Set of 5 Travel Limited Edition Scented Candles

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This isn’t really a beauty item but I added it anyway. I recently did a blog post about luxury candles and how, IMO, they are worth purchasing. If you want to dip your toes in the world of expensive ass candles, this seems like a really good way to try them without having to commit to one fragrance. It also would be a nice gift to keep on hand. I plan on picking one up.

TL;DR

Those are my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020 Beauty Picks! Anything on this list that you’re planning on picking up? Anything that I didn’t mention that you can’t live without? Let me know!