Anastasia Beverly Hills

About 10 minutes into my shift this morning, I shattered a lightbulb. The moment it broke, my soul broke and I was over everything. I had been struggling with a shelf for most of those 10 minutes, trying to get a piece out from underneath and so far all I had accomplished was carnage. Naturally, as soon as I asked someone for help, they easily maneuvered the object right out and I had my first “I’m an idiot” moment of the day.

What does this have to do with Anastasia Beverly Hills? Absolutely nothing, but sometimes it’s nice to share about your day with people who care.

After two days off for various reasons, I was back in the game today using a hodpge podge of products thanks to ABH’s incomplete line. For makeup fans, ABH is practically synonymous with eyebrows. The line’s Brow Wiz arguably the most well-known brow product and for good reason. It’s really good.

You may also be familiar with the infamous glow kits and a little something known as the Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette. Or maybe you’ve never heard of anything, I don’t know your life.

Brand History

Anastasia Soare immigrated to the United States from Romania with only a dream. She didn’t have any money or knowledge of the English language, but that didn’t stop her from shaping eyebrows as we know them today. Using her art and architecture education combined with her approach to beauty, she created the now patented ‘Golden Ratio’ method for eyebrows and brought us all out of the dark ages of thin eyebrows.

Her cosmetics brand was founded in 1997 after Soare became the first person to use the idea of brow shaping in the states. Some of her early clients helped catapult the brand to stardom, including Oprah, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Heidi Klum, among others. Think about it, they all have great eyebrows.

Instead of remaining a trailblazer in only eyebrows, ABH decided to take on other areas like contour kits, glow kits, liquid lips and eyeshadows, creating high quality and easy to use products.



Products Used:


The Look



To be honest, today was kind of a disaster. Not a life ending one, obviously, but certainly not my best day. I got into some heavy conversations with my coworker about teenage pregnancies and the death of classmates, so I wasn’t really focused.

Also there was the lightbulb thing.

I tried a few of the Urban Decay primers before today, but not the Self-Adjusting one. It seemed okay. The foundation stick was actually really nice – blended well and made my skin look great, which also a plus. Same for the concealer. Thick but not heavy, if that makes sense.

Because I’m quite familiar with the ABH brow line, I tried two new products in the powder and pen. The brow powder was meh, just not my favorite application method. The pigment was nice and easy to use, but didn’t give me the natural look I like. To correct this, I used the brow pen to add some hair-like strokes which helped significantly. I like it a lot. And then of course the brow gel to lock it in. All in all, great brows (if I do say so myself, maybe you hate them)

Next came the complexion, including the regular contour kit. Obviously I’ve heard great things and I wasn’t disappointed. My only issue ever with most contour kits are all the colors. I understand banana for under the eyes to brighten, but the rest is always too much for me. I just need sculpting and bronzing, but maybe that’s because I use my concealer to highlight. Who’s to know. Either way, it was nice.

ABH currently doesn’t have blush so I used an eyeshadow which was holy cow way too much pigment all at once for my cheeks. I think it was in Dusty Rose. Very pretty, but also a lot of blush even by my standards. I own the Nicole Guerriero kit so I used the basic instead. It wasn’t as flattering on my skin, but I definitely glowed.


As far as my eyes go, it’s a strange mix of colors. I didn’t find the single shadows as easy to use as my Modern Renaissance palette, but then again my palette is closed when not in use and these guys have been under the grueling Sephora lights for some time.

I used the Darkside gel liner but didn’t really know how to use it. I liked it because it wasn’t dark or heavy, and I could definitely build and smudge without fear of over-gothing it. In lieu of an ABH mascara, I tried Buxom’s and honestly it was pretty okay.

My lips are the biggest disaster. You can see I swatched a lot and then started with Party Pink. The brightness combined with the pink and blue shades on my eyes + extreme blush made me look WAY too 80s. I then tried Soft Lilac but I did a really poor job of removing the pink so the lilac was lined with pink? It was bad, real bad. When my shift ended, I removed the lips and accepted defeat.

Probable Purchase

  • Maybe the foundation. It was nice and felt nice but I still wasn’t wowed like ‘this is the best thing ever’ I don’t know
  • Brow Pen – I have a lot of brow products, but I might add this one day just for more defined looks

Never Again

Honestly I don’t think I used any products I hated. Granted, I hated the experience, but everything worked well. Some days you create a logical makeup look and sometimes everything goes wrong and you hope you at least look human.


Three days a week I have the opportunity to do my makeup at work, and one day a week I have time to take it off and take care of my skin. I usually mask during this time, using one that addresses whatever problem I’m currently facing, but then I realized I could use this time wisely as well. So Thursdays are for trying skincare brands. Yay!

Similar to how I do color, I’m going to go down the line in order that we have them in the store, starting with Origins. My roommate in college always used Checks & Balances, and as a result I would occasionally sample, but I was never so wowed that I purchased it myself. This could also be because cleansers may feel nice immediately, but they don’t instantly clear your skin.

Speaking of! While I’m trying new products, I can’t really discuss long term results, because it takes between four and eight weeks to really see results because of cell turnover. But I will tell you how it felt on my skin, how my skin felt after and then the next morning feels. All the feels, okay?

Brand History

The more research I do on brands, the more I realize Estee Lauder basically owns everything and it makes me wonder how I can get into that family. Anyway. Leonard Lauder, son of Estee, founded the brand in 1990 making Origins the same age as me. His idea capitalized on people becoming more interest in their own health as well as the health of the planet.

The two trees in the logo stand for ‘yin and yang’ and support the tagline of ‘Powered by Nature. Proven by Science.’ The rest of the history just focuses on expansion, both of stores and product, but I don’t feel like listing everything.

Products Used


Typically I won’t use a wipe to remove my makeup because they can be harsh on the skin and I’m not convinced they do the best job, but I love the rose wipes from Sephora Collection. They smell great and are nourishing, but also remove most of my makeup easily without a lot of rubbing. I know some residue remains, but the bulk is taken care of, which is great. I use it when I work and need to remove my look in a pinch.


Having used the bestselling Checks & Balances, I tried the Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser. Because I have oil and pores, this sounded ideal. It felt really good on my skin and like it was getting right into my pores, so I recommend it if you need a little extra love like me.

Next I exfoliated and used maybe my favorite product from the line. Modern Friction is marketed as a gentle exfoliator, but if you aren’t used to physical exfoliation, it feels like you’re rubbing your face in sand. In a good way! Once I had it rinsed off, my skin felt so fresh and new, like I had scraped off all the bad karma in my life that was clogging my pores.

Before hitting the mask, I tried the Maskimizer, potentially the only product of its kind. Listen – I think the only way you can know this product actually makes your masks work better is to believe the research that compares the results of people who used it vs people who did it. Because honestly I have no idea about the efficacy in my life. But I tried.

I regularly use the overnight hydration mask and pink clay resurfacing, so I decided to try the Out of Trouble quick mask to address some of my troublesome areas. I’m not sure if I immediately noticed any results, but it felt like it was working on my skin which is important.

Once the mask came off, I tried the white tea treatment lotion, which is meant to help with environmental damage along with everything else a treatment lotion should do. I’m a fan of serums and toners but this one didn’t feel like much, like it just kind of happened on my skin. I didn’t notice a softening feeling either which I typically enjoy.

To complete the routine I used the bestselling Night-a-Mins to treat my face overnight and an eye cream for dark circles. The dark circle minimizer definitely helped immediately, and I know a selling point is it helps long term as well, which makes me very interested. The Night-a-Mins at first felt weird but then suddenly everything softened and I had baby-like skin,

The following morning, my skin still felt heavenly. Sometimes it gets greasy and heavy feeling overnight, but I didn’t experience anything like that with this combination of products. Overall it was an a-okay experience.

Probable Purchase

  • Modern Friction – typically I stick to chemical or enzymatic exfoliators, but this made my skin feel SO GOOD, even if maybe it helps spread my enemy P. Acnes all over my face
  • Eye cream because I have the subtlest of dark circles and I just wish they would go away

Never Again

  • Idk, maybe the treatment lotion? Everything seemed ok though

I almost do 

I bet you either think I moved on or hate you, because each time you reach out there’s no reply. And I bet it never, ever occurred to you that I can’t say ‘hello’ to you and risk another goodbye.

No, those aren’t my words. They belong to the queen of expressing heartbreak herself Taylor Swift, but I found myself singing along as I read your text today. It’s funny because I’ve jammed to this song before, thinking of past loves, but I never thought about you.

As soon as I saw the number, I prayed it was someone else, but deep down I kind of knew. To be honest, part of me wanted it to be you. It’s been so long and I miss you so much. Sometimes when life is hard, I imagine the talks we had and how much you listened, cared and believed in me. All I want is that again, to be reminded that I can do anything and that you’re so proud of me no matter happens. 

Maybe this is why we’re bad for each other. We’re both lazy dreamers who want so much but arguably watch way too much television to accomplish anything. You support my wild ideas and impulses because you’re just as flighty as me. Or maybe I’m just as flighty as you. After all, you are my father.

I want to be rude and ignore you, because after all it’s what you deserve. What kind of person tells his daughters he needs some time away from them? Then I remember that I’m not blameless either, and the ‘get what you deserve’ game is a dangerous one, considering deep down we’re all garbage humans anyway.

I want to be nice to you because I don’t want to be the bad guy in your social media rantings. I don’t want people to think you’re some martyr with demon children because for some reason they believe everything you say online. I don’t want strangers, or even worse the people who watched us grow up, to believe the nasty things you say about us online, and maybe if I play your game I can spare the condemnation.

I want you to come back into my life because I miss your laugh and stupid jokes and the twinkle in your eye. I want you to know I’ve forgiven you and to ask for your forgiveness too.

But then I remember you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, and you won’t say sorry. Why would you? You’re sick, right? We need to be more understanding. We need to love you more. We need to put you first. 

My nostalgia for the good times of Saturday night trips to Butler and late night movies spirals into the bad, like all the times you didn’t show up when we needed you. Or when you wouldn’t pick us up on time because you were drunk. Or when you finally showed up and took us somewhere while you were still drunk.

You swoop in like the hero of my story to remind me of your great love for me, even if I can’t believe it. You make it seem like we could be happy again if I just got over my pride and accepted your love. You ignore my sister and try to pull me back in, just like every time before.

It’s almost as if you can tell when I need you the most. Maybe you still have fatherly instincts buried somewhere deep. You get to me when I’m weak and give me a glimpse of the love I used to know. You make me want to crawl back to you.

In this way, you’re the worst kind of ex. I know you’re bad for me and I know you will hurt me again. I want it to feel like it used to, but I know it never will. I even start to tell myself this time it will be different, but like every idiot from my past, you can’t say to me what I need to hear.

I’m sorry.

It’s all I need. I don’t need it to forgive you; that’s already done. I need it because it means for the first time you see how much you’ve hurt us too. You understand that disappearing and not showing up and sending emails about killing yourself can have a profound effect on your daughters. 

I don’t want you to apologize for being sick, I get that. I don’t hold your mental illness against you. But you’ve admitted and we know that your illness isn’t to blame for everything. I want you to say sorry for being selfish and cold toward us.

Sometimes it feels like I spent my entire childhood trying to convince you I loved you, because you could never believe I actually did. It got harder and I stopped trying as much, and it was like you stopped trying too. I used to believe I had to hold us together and do whatever it took, even if it hurt, but now I know that isn’t what we needed.

I’m sorry, Dad. I’m sorry I wasn’t enough and couldn’t convince you of my love. I’m sorry I saw you less and less as I got older. I’m sorry it got harder and I became more selfish. It doesn’t matter how you made me feel, I should’ve kept trying for you.

This is just another way we’re alike, I guess. We’re good at relationships when they’re easy, but when they going gets tough, we become the victim and only think about ourselves. I see this now, and I want to get better. I hope you do, too.

I love you so much. I have a great life, but there is always a piece of my heart missing. It doesn’t matter that you broke it; it still wants you to come back and make it whole again.

I just want to tell you it takes everything in me not to call you. And I wish I could run to you, and I hope you know that every time I don’t, I almost do. 

I almost do.

Cover FX + Friends

Today was a hodge podge of brands because Cover FX doesn’t have a full line. It’s a full gondola at Sephora, but only because they still 20 different foundations and setting powders and it’s cray. Not 20, but you know, it’s a lot of base makeup.

My first cream contour kit was from Cover FX. It was a hand-me-down from my friend Sam and occasionally I tried to use it, but it was too orange on my skin and also cream contours are the worst.

While Cover FX does sell a lot of complexion products, they organize them really intelligently. Some brands, like Tarte, have foundations that have names that are the same, but not, like medium beige honey and honey medium beige. Those aren’t real, but the point is it’s confusing. Cover FX uses a numbering system, starting with a letter to signify the undertone. For example, N-20 is for someone with neutral coloring and P-20 is for someone who is more pink.

Brand History

Cover FX didn’t hit the United States until 2007, seven years after its creations. The brand was founded as Ontario Corporation with the goal of creating complexion products with healthy ingredients that don’t irritate and provide environmental protection. Co-creator Lee Graff was dedicated to helping those with burns and skin disorders achieve the same flawless complexion as everyone. Her co-creator, Jenny Frankel, is a chemical engineer and helped design the formulas.

With more than 40 shades of foundation, Cover FX’s specialty, there is a shade for everyone. Even better, the products will actually improve your skin overtime while making it look great now.

Products Used:





As I mentioned, today is all over the place and it gave me the opportunity to try products from brands that aren’t full lines. I began with their mattifying primer that actually has salicylic acid to treat acne, which is cool of course. I’ve actually used it before (oops) but I knew I liked it so I cheated and didn’t branch out I’M SORRY

Next was the cream foundation. Earlier I discussed all the different foundations available, so I chose a formulation different from what I typically use. Plus, Jaclyn Hill purchased it earlier this year and I am nothing if not a follower. When it says ‘total cover,’ it means total cover. I’m typically a full coverage queen, but my skin felt trapped. Maybe I used too much, I don’t know. I definitely prefer working with liquid.

For my concealer I chose one that also treats blemishes because makeup that helps my acne is a-okay in my book. Despite my reservations with cream contours, I dove back into the contour kit and tried to be as light as possible. I still don’t like it, but it’s important to try.

From here, I used the Perfect Setting Powder to freeze everything before moving in with more powder. I’m on the fence with this powder. People love it, but I it feels heavy on my skin. I bought a travel size to try so maybe I will learn to love it. For the most natural of warm glows, I used the bronzer in Sunkissed and decided to go for a soft and subtle look (v unlike me) based on the pretty base these products provided.

Cover FX doesn’t have a blush, so I went to Estee Edit to try one of their Barest Blushes. At first it was so dark on my cheeks. Like horrifying even for me. In a both fortunate and unfortunate situation, the pigment didn’t hold up well and eventually it all but disappeared from my face.

One of my favorite parts of the Cover FX line are the Custom FX drops. Cover FX is all about the drops. You can purchase drop foundation, highlighter or even mixers to help mattify or calm your skin. I chose to use the drops in Bloom and Rose Gold to continue my soft and glowy feel. These drops are nice because you can make it subtle or make that highlight appear from Heaven – the choice is yours. They blend fairly easily, but it’s important to check in different lights to ensure you don’t have any harsh striping. I added some celestial powder on top to further brighten my glow, although it didn’t really add much to what I had going on.

Out of everything, I was most excited to use the Natural Love palette from Too Faced for my eyeshadow. I had heard mixed reviews, most often people complaining the pigment wasn’t there so there wasn’t a lot of color that actually comes off the brush. The point of the palette IS natural, so you shouldn’t necessarily see the color in the pan on your eyes. However, if you use a different based on your eye, like Too Faced’s Glitter Glue or even eyelash glue, the pigment will stick to it and give you that pay off you’re looking for. I loved it. So much. The colors blended well and looked lovely on the lid.

Next I dove into Chubby Lash which I won’t talk about again today.

Although I’m not always looking for a dewy appearance, I used the Illuminating Setting Spray because it’s the only spray they have and it goes with my woodland fairy look. It was nice and misty, but I didn’t notice a lot of radiance. Maybe that’s the point.

Finally, I completed the look using the Bite Prismatic Pearl Creme Lip Gloss in Pink Pearl. I’m not a gloss person, but I’ve tried other Bite lip products and the creme lip glosses are beautiful. It was definitely different than what I like on my lips, but it was comfortable and wore well, which is a plus if you’re looking for a pretty gloss.

Probable Purchases

  • Chubby Lash, but again that’s old news
  • NATURAL LOVE because the 27 eyeshadow palettes I have aren’t enough

Never Again

  • That Estee Edit blush. No thank you


There are many brands at Sephora I can’t wait to try (Marc Jacobs) and then there are brands I wish I could pretend didn’t exist (Bare Minerals), and Clinique falls somewhere in the middle. In fact, I almost skipped today because I cared so little, but my coworkers convinced me to carry on and so I did.

I feel Clinique is your mom’s favorite makeup. A lot of people I know began their makeup journey by shopping the Clinique counter and loving the mascara. Until today, my experience was stocking it and then one time I used a Chubby Stick lip balm when my lips were chapped.


Brand History

Believe it or not, there was a time when people believed you were trapped in the skin you had and everything was up to genes. In 1967, one dermatologist, Dr. Norman Orentreich, told Vogue he believed good skin could be created and suddenly everything changed.

Intrigued by his idea, the famed Estee Lauder family scooped him and Carol Phillips up to bring the dream to reality. One year later, Clinique launched with the iconic 3-step skincare system – cleanser, exfoliator and moisturizer, a system still sold in stores today. By 1969, Clinique opened its first counter in England and became the first collection of beauty related products that were allergy tested, fragrance free and dermatologist-created. They continued to set the standard by releasing skincare specific for men in 1976.

Clinique remains a prominent player in the field, both with its skincare and makeup. Many of the foundations are designed with oily or acne prone clients in mind, allowing them to help their skin both on the surface and below.


Products Used:



Prior to this, I’ve swatched several of the foundations because I’ve heard such good things, especially if your skin still insists on breaking out. While there is a great shade range, they’re all pretty much too warm for my skin tone. This basically means they’re light, but they look yellow on my skin. Fortunately, one of our artists guided me to Superbalanced Silk Makeup and the Silk Porcelain shade ended up working out for the most part.


I started with the Superprimer Color Corrector for redness and while it felt nice, I’m not sure how much it helped with my redder areas. To be fair, my face gets instantly red anytime I rub product on it, which makes it hard to tell. The foundation spread easily on top and I loved the coverage. It didn’t feel heavy at all. Plus, it has SPF in it which is always important (and in NY it means no tax when you purchase).

For the rest of the complexion, I used a concealer that was nice but unremarkable. I selected the famous Chubby Sticks in the contour and highlight shades, but was afraid to use the contour to heavily. It only comes in one shade, and that shade is much darker than I would typically select. To its credit, it blended really well and made it easy to use, so I never looked like I rubbed my face in dirt. I put the Sunkissed bronzer on top to warm up my skin and it was subtle but nice.

Arguably, the Cheek Pop blushes are some of the most beloved Clinique products and they’re hard not to love. First of all, it’s molded into a daisy in the packaging which is just adorable. Second, there are a lot of really pretty and unique shades. Third, it’s buildable, which means at first you’re going to get a very light and natural flush but you can keep adding it until you’re satisfied. Personally, I dipped into that pretty flower like 27 times. Maybe not that much, but I went hard.

Next I added the Hefty Highlight stick and a nude glow and I looked very naturally glowy, which is nice if you like that kind of thing. Honestly, you can probably skip the powder highlight and just use the highlight stick to build for better results.


The brows were my least favorite part of this experiment. The pencil didn’t seem to glide well and went very dark instead of allowing room to slowly get to the darkness I wanted. There was a lot of shearing with a spooly. The brow gel was okay as well and overall I think they turned out okay, just not the easiest product to use.

Unfortunately, the eyeshadows didn’t really impress me, but it’s possible it’s because I’m not their audience. The colors were beautiful and didn’t go on super heavy, but I’m always looking for a little more pigment. Overall I think it was a nice look, and I added some eyeliner to define everything more but I’m not great with eyeliner that isn’t a liquid wing so who’s to know if it was okay.

Potentially my favorite discovery was the mascara. The lash primer and bottom lash mascara were nice, but holy cow am I IN LOVE with the Chubby Lash. It basically did what I want every mascara to do. It lengthened and separated and man I’m obsessed. It’s also not thick or clumpy, which is great.

Finally comes the lip color. I chose this based on the color of the bottle, not taking into account it was frosted and therefore not an accurate display. I thought I was putting on a soft pink and ended up with this vibrant pop.


At first drink of my Starbucks, I was convinced my color wouldn’t last, but I powered through and ate my breakfast sandwich. To my surprise, despite dat transfer, it stayed on well and was very vibrant all day. It was definitely brighter than I wanted, but it was a beautiful finish. My only issue is the ongoing transfer. I don’t like it when my lips are staining everything all day, even if the color remains.

Probable Purchase

  • Obviously the masara. Obviously.
  • Maybe the foundation. I need to go back and try it again
  • Cheek Pop if I ever need blush again (unlikely)

Never Again

  • The brow products. I just really hated them, you know?

Tarte // Make Believe in Yourself Collection

Today actually started as a great day for me and Tarte, not because of the makeup application, but because the gondola got an update. In my operations role, I spend a significant amount of time organizing and stocking the shelves. Some of the brands have really terrible shelves that make it clear whoever designed them has never actually stocked them.

Tarte used to be one of those brands. Until today.


The update made it gloriously simple to stock products with firm merchandisers to hold the products we didn’t have to build. Plus everything is easier to find now. Well done, Tarte. Thank you.

Getting back into what you’re here for, Tarte is a brand where I’ve used more products than I realize, but I really don’t have a lot of love for the brand. That isn’t to say it isn’t great and I know it does have its fans, but I don’t feel the same. Opinions are fun!

Saying this, there are some high points to the brand. Tarte blushes are my favorite. Years ago I purchased a holiday set with five blushes and I’m still using it today. The brand boasts “high-performing naturals,” which includes 12-hour wear, and the blush doesn’t disappoint.

Brand History

Seventeen years ago, Maureen Kelly created Tarte after looking for a natural line with runway appeal and falling short. She wanted healthy makeup that was “pure and powerful.” If she did find a brand that fit this category, the packaging left something to be desired.

Kelly made her dream a reality and created products that were good for you and looked good too. The use of Amazonian clay and maracuja oil is infused in many products. Now, there is the regular Tarte line, Rainforest of the Sea and the skincare line.

Products Used


The Look


I was really feeling my complexion today. I started with a poreless primer to because pores suck and then used the 12-hour Amazonian Clay foundation. I’d heard good things about the primer, but I had never used myself. I understand now while people say good things. The coverage was nice but definitely gross or chalky on my skin.

The concealer helped perfect a little more and then the blush and bronzer finished off my base. The brow products gave me nice and natural brows which are my favorite. Now to the real star, the Make Believe in Yourself Collection.

With the update came the launch of these products in store. Selfishly, right as we opened, I borrowed 90 percent of them to put on my face. I figured it wouldn’t be that high trafficked at 10 a.m. during a weekday. I chose to try the line because I’ve used a lot of other Tarte products already, and these were all new.


Make Believe in Yourself, a line I will henceforth refer to as MBIY, is capitalizing on the current trend. While other brands (*cough* Too Faced *cough*) will try and act like they kickstarted the phenomenon, I think it’s most a combination of the actual mythical creature’s rise in popularity and how that seeps into every area of our lives, like fashion and makeup. Although really who’s to know.

Anyway. The products.

For being a unicorn-based line, MBIY did not wow me with its glow products. I used the liquid highlighter with the rainbow highlight on top and I don’t think you could see it from space, which is always the goal. The powder highlighter also isn’t secure in its holder, so it will spin around when you use it which is annoying.


For my eyes, I used a combination of the face & cheek palette in the MBIY line as well as the Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay, mainly for the crease. I don’t love Tarte shadows and that opinion held up after using the pro palette (they aren’t my favorite for blending), but I really like the sparkly ones for MBIY. If I could justify buying a palette filled with all shimmer shades, I would, but I just can’t. But it’s beautiful and the pigment is nice and buildable.

The rose gold liner falls into the same ‘if I could justify it’ category. I wasn’t convinced it would be that noticeable given it’s rose gold, but man it STAND OUT. I have a coworker who wears it frequently and it looks great with her eyes. It applied easily and it didn’t need several layers to get the color payoff. My only real complaint is I don’t think the glitter end added much. Maybe if you use it over a bigger area, but it just kind of blended with the liner.


There was a glitter with the line, but it’s not online anymore so I don’t know what happened. It was really finely milled and beautiful. I used it for accents around my face and on my lips for a festival vibe. Speaking of festival, one of the lip colors in the limited edition MBIY collection is actually a regular Tarte Lip Paint color, only repackaged.

Looking at the box, I was sure I would hate the color because nudes aren’t really my specialty, but this color definitely surprised me. I swatched it and was like okay I can work with this. It’s definitely long lasting, but very drying. Tarte says it’s more hydrating than others, but they’re wrong. And that is a shared opinion with others.

The lash primer and Lash Paint were nice, but not like ‘oh my goodness how did I live without this before.’ And then finally I used the new radiant setting mist and like the Rainforest of the Sea refresher spray, it smelled wonderful and felt wonderful.

Probable Purchase

  • Potentially the foundation, but I would want to try it again first.
  • Next time I’m looking for a nude, I will definitely buy Festival

Never Again

  • I would say most everything from MBIY kind of because it’s limited edition but also because I wasn’t wowed

Sephora Collection

Sephora Collection

Sometimes I would avoid Sephora Collection because I’m bougie and want the name recognition. Yes, I know I’m the worst. But I’m getting better I promise. Mainly because now I know that Louis Vuitton owns Sephora Collection so I’m maybe the bougiest of all. Jk.

Sephora Collection stands as one of the most affordable brands in the store, but quality isn’t sacrificed. In fact, its liquid lipsticks are one of my favorite formulas and it has easily the most impressive display of eyeliners. I’ve actually used a lot of SC’s products before, but fortunately the line is huge so I didn’t overlap too much.

Brand History

Sephora, in its earliest form, began in France in 1970 as a perfumery chain. In 1993, it was purchased by Dominique Mandonnaud who joined his perfumery with it and continued to use the name Sephora. It was during this time the store took on an unheard of feature in retail, letting customers try the product on in store.

The brand continued to grow in the 1990s and then Mandonnaud and partners sold the company to LVMH, or as you might know it, Louis Vuitton.

From here, LVMH took the company global and then brought in both cosmetic and beauty products. In 1998, Sephora arrived in the United States and hit the web in 1999. Last year, the 400th store was opened. Today you can purchase from almost 300 brands in the categories of cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, haircare and nails. One of these brands is of course Sephora’s own private label, Sephora Collection. The goal of SC is ‘beauty uncomplicated,’ or to make it simple for everyone to be on trend with easy to use products and affordable prices.



Products Used


The Look


I’m going to keep this rundown short and sweet by telling you man I was surprised by (almost) everything I used. From the list, I’d only previously used the concealer and eyeliner. Everything else was new and worked really, really well. My makeup lasted all day and held up really nicely, which is a credit to the makeup, primer and setting spray.


The first roadblock I hit was the aerosol foundation. Having never used it, I didn’t know if you sprayed it directly on your face, hand, brush, etc. I tried my face first, but scrunched in panic so I had tiger stripes of foundation on my nose. Sadly, I don’t have a picture. This is where I learned a valuable lesson – this formula dries quickly, so blend quickly.

Once I figured that out, it was pretty much smooth sailing (after I managed to get everything blended out). I decided to spray it directly on the brush for faster application and it worked well. While the color I chose worked well for me, the selection is very limited.

I loved the brow products. Almost loved them as much as Anastasia Beverly Hills. If you’re looking to get those brows on fleek and you want easy to use products that won’t break the bank, Sephora Collection is for you. Two thumbs way high.

The biggest issue I had was the eyeshadows, which wasn’t unexpected. I hadn’t heard great things about them before. Don’t get me wrong – they aren’t horrible and for basic looks, you’re probably all right. My problem was the pigment wasn’t always great and then there was a ton of fall out. The shimmer shades lost so much products on my cheeks, which I don’t love. I understand sometimes fallout is inevitable, but it felt like too much.

Oh and the eyeliner! I use the Animal Instinct (a glitter gold/brown) color regularly to add some definition to my eye without a full, black wing, so I was aware of the formula going in. It’s long lasting and pretty, but sometimes the color is hit or miss and you really have to work to get it as dark as you think it should be. It took a lot of work to get my wing up to par, but everything else about it was nice. It’s a liquid liner in a pot, but the tip is very precise.

The second roadblock was the lipcolor. While you can’t really tell in the photo, it was way too 90s. The liner was darker than I anticipated and the color weirdly purple with sparkles. It didn’t look like in the tube, but on was another story. Shortly after the photos were taken, I removed the product and put on an SC lip stain instead, which never disappoints.

Probable Purchase

  • Honestly most of the products I would buy again because they all worked really well. Sephora Collection is a great option for anyone

Never Again

  • The eyeshadows. Just no.


Sometimes I disappear. As my stresses increase, my brain will seek an outlet to distract me from the weight of what I’m actually feeling. I can feel it happening, but I usually ignore the symptoms until it’s too late.

The stress levels spike and for some reason, my mind plays a game where I convince myself everything is fine. I’m just tired. It’s been a long week. I greet every day with ten snoozes and a reminder that after today, I only have X number of days until I can sleep in.

Then I become less hesitant to make plans. I say it’s just right now, everything is crazy now, but I know I don’t see a time when it will be better. I say the right words to convince myself one day this will end and everything will be okay.

My retreat intensifies, and culminates with an obsession. In general, I have a very obsessive personality. It manifests in my attention to detail and need to control every thing. It also makes me become obsessed very easily. This is where I find my true escape.

Some people turn to drugs or alcohol, and thank God that’s never been me. I turn to stories. To feel better about where I am, I become immersed in the lives of fictional characters and let them fill my brain, pushing out how overwhelmed I am.

From here, I become more selfish with my time, hardly making time for anyone. I avoid plans because I need to get back to this life where I have inserted myself in a world that doesn’t truly exist. I stop caring about making my bed or putting my laundry away. I forget that I wanted to write or read my Bible or finish another chapter in my book.

All I want is to escape.

Last Saturday was absolutely gorgeous. Typically I’d be out walking and exploring, but not right now. In the throes of a deep obsession, all I can think about is watching one more episode. Sleep? Not necessary. I need to know what happens. So I watched 16 hours of Netflix on this gorgeous day. Stayed up until 3 (three hours before I had to wake up), trying to forget about my own life for a little longer.

For the length of the obsession, it’s all I want to talk about with anyone who will listen. I’m constantly trying to bring it up in conversation and connect with other people about it. Heck, I even hang out on Tumblr (because they are truly my people).

That Sunday morning, I realized I couldn’t deny it any more. I needed to sleep and take care of myself. I decided to stop binging instead of living my life and taking care of what needed done. I didn’t watch any TV Sunday. Today I put away my clothes and organized my desk. I read and took a walk. I did watch two episodes of my show, but I did it on my laptop in the kitchen so I wasn’t comfortable in my bed for hours. And now I’m writing this.

It’s like crawling out of a hole in soft dirt. It may seem as simple as turning off the TV, but for me it’s a constant struggle. I can’t imagine being addicted to an actual substance because what withdrawal I feel is horrible.

But slowly I will. I’ll start texting people. I’ll keep my bed made. I’ll remember what’s actually an important pursuit and make sure it gets done.

Now I will keep crawling.

Ulta “Haul”

I titled this ‘Ulta Haul,’ but haul is a really strong word for my purchases. ‘Five Items I Bought at Ulta’ seems like a strange title too. Obviously, as a Sephora employee, I rarely shop at Ulta. Mostly because I can get all the same products (or comparable ones) where I work at a discounted price. But also because I’m spoiled by how Sephora operates compared to Ulta.

There is one way they get me in – 21 Days of Beauty.

For 21 days, Ulta places really great products on sale, sometimes for half price. My discount doesn’t compare to 50 percent, unfortunately. This year, I waited up until 1 a.m. when it was Brow Wiz day to make sure I could buy two before they went out of stock. Two for the price of one! Can you blame me!

While I was hitting up the 21 Days sales, I decided to try some other raved about products. Plus, sometimes I get my hair done at Ulta which meant I had a lot of Rewards Points which translated into free money. I love being a Rouge at Sephora, but I wished it almost meant free money, you know?


e.l.f. Cosmetics BB Cream SPF 20, Fair

Okay, so this isn’t really a raved about product, but I wanted a lighter coverage for warmer weather with some SPF. I’d actually like to purchase one from a skincare line, but they’re expensive and this wasn’t AND the reviews were good. I didn’t wear it for awhile because my face was too broken out so I needed a fuller coverage, but recently I’ve been grabbing it over my foundation. The coverage level is nice, evens out everything and isn’t heavy. A lot of people love e.l.f., especially the prices, but I’ve never been that impressed. Until now.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Kathleen Lights made me do it. She loves this sponge and it’s less than a Beauty Blender, so I decided why not. Holy. Cow. I was worried because often cheap sponges don’t absorb and expand as well, staying small and hard, but this thing becomes a giant. Plus, it’s so soft and lovely to work with. I think I’ve been converted to this $7 miracle.

Tarte Naughty Nudes Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush Collection, Exposed

Honestly I’m not sure why I included this because I’ve used Tarte blushes before and I love them. This was half off as well, which is why I bought it at Ulta. Not really much to say except Tarte has nice blushes.

Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask

I was trolling the sale section when I found this and decided why not, masks are fun. At first, it was very tingly, almost stingy, but I powered through. Eventually it calmed down to a nice cooling effect and I didn’t want to take it off. I believe it’s supposed to exfoliate and brighten and my skin certainly felt nice, but I can’t be sure about the latter. I’ve never thought my face needed brightened, so maybe it’s fine in that area or I don’t know that I have dull skin. Either way it feels good and was a nice sized pot for $15.

NYX Cosmetics Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer

Now this was a ‘they made me buy it’ kind of purchase. I’ve heard whispers of how great the Angel Veil primer was, but I had never tried it for myself. I like NYX a lot and used to exclusively wear their BB Cream before I jumped back into the land of foundation. Most often, I heard it referred to as a dupe for Mineral Veil Primer from Hourglass, aka angel tears mixed with clouds. Mineral Veil is expensive, so I was excited about the potential of a much less expensive product. Sadly, it didn’t work for me. I’m not saying everyone else is wrong, only that my skin didn’t like it. I tried it with three different foundations to no avail. Returning.

Maybe you tried these products and felt differently. If so, let me know! I’d love to listen to your opinion just to ultimately agree we all have different skin and opinions.

Too Faced

This morning I returned to one of the first brands I ever tried at Sephora. Granted, I couldn’t distinguish it from Urban Decay, but I was like a blind baby back then still waiting for the light to set me free. A first crack of light appeared when I purchased Better than Sex mascara. At the time I remember being slightly scandalized by the name, but Orgasm from NARS was one of my first blushes so I can’t act like it hindered my purchase decision.

After years of use and cheating, it still remains my all-time favorite, and I’m not alone. It’s the number one selling mascara at Sephora and based on my research as a cashier, one of the most commonly purchased items overall. We always have a ton in back stock because it sells so well all the time.

Brand History

Almost 20 years ago, long before YouTube makeup tutorials reigned supreme, there was a boy named Jerrod Blandino with a dream. Working at a makeup counter, he went on to use the products sold to create his own, innovative cosmetics and began selling them at another department store during his breaks. Inspired by the power of makeup, Jerrod and his partner-turned-husband Jeremy Johnson sought to create a line that embraced the pink in a time when 90s grunge was all the rage. Now they define themselves as “a serious makeup brand who knows how to have fun,” encouraging people to create their own unique looks and own their pretty.

The name ‘Too Faced’ came from Jerrod’s description of his clients who would turn from sweet to salty when he no longer had their favorite product in stock. His innovative and dreamer spirit continued to guide he and Too Faced into new, exciting territory, including being the first person to develop a glitter eye shadow, 24-hour eye shadow primer and plumping lip gloss. Different lines have different scents associated with them, from the delicious chocolate line including contour and eye shadow palettes, brow products and bronzers, to the Sweet Peach collection including eye shadows, lip gloss, blush and highlighter. They even TASTE good (not that I intentionally tasted them).

As always, I stuck to products never used which was sad when I didn’t even give the Sweet Peach line a second glance. I avoided the Melted Matte liquid lipsticks and regular chocolate bronzers. I saw Better than Sex smiling at me in it’s pretty pink tube, but I resisted.

Products Used

The Look


Overall, I was really pleased with this look, not that I was surprised. Too Faced is one of the brands I’m most familiar with, which is why I didn’t go with the more popular Hangover Primer. I actually used it for a time and loved the way it smelled (coconutty), but eventually it stopped holding my makeup as well. It’s likely a change in my skin occurred; I just haven’t gone back.

This was my second time trying Born This Way Foundation (I’m a fan of the concealer), and it turned out better than before. Sometimes products with hyaluronic acid don’t sit well after awhile on my skin, but today it held up and looked nice for most of the day. Basically everything with my complexion went well. The contour and highlight were subtle and the blush beautiful.

My eyebrows are almost exclusively Brow Wiz so we really don’t need to have a discussion about them.

I’m loyal to Urban Decay’s eyelid primer, but Shadow Insurance was also nice. I’ve heard mixed reviews about TF’s eyeshadows, with them being hit or miss, but I’ve enjoyed every palette I’ve tried (Chocolate Bon Bons, Sweet Peach, Natural Love). It blended easily and the colors were beautiful. I grabbed a lilac Sketch Marker for liner, but the tester was dry and I decided never mind. Sorry.

I primed my lashes with my new favorite from Urban Decay and grabbed the TF mascara I hadn’t tried. Here is the problem. By the time I sat down to put this together, it was gone. Off the gondola, off the website. So I think it was called Queen of Hearts and the brush was HUGE. Like way bigger than any mascara brush has a right to be, but I loved it anyway. I’m actually sad it disappeared.

For my lips I strayed way out of my comfort zone. It’s important to note I don’t love the Melted Liquid Lipsticks. I find on me they bleed pretty easily, which is annoying. I’ve tried a few shades, including Lady Balls and Drop Dead Red (both beautiful), but I can’t keep them on my lips like other liquid lip formulas.

I decided to try the Melted Longwear Lipstick in Melted Violet and then put a gloss on top, also in purple. It was actually pretty. Like really pretty. I’m a fan of purple on the lips in general, but this combination felt oh so right. It even stayed on well, considering I ate a bagel right after applying.


All in all, A+! But then again I know Too Faced really well so it turned out like I expected.

Probable Purchase

  • Both lip products – I know I have enough purple lip colors and who actually needs a gloss, but it was that great. Biggest surprise, I think.
  • That dang mascara, gone forever

Never Again

  • The Sketch Liner – Listen I know this isn’t fair, I haven’t tried it. But it doesn’t look like as nice of a point plus it’s a terrible gondola to fill so I have issues. Sorry for my biased reporting.