Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation

“I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.”- Muhammed Ali

Double Wear FoundationEstee Lauder Gift BagES gift bag

ES lipstick swatch day

In natural light from L-R Pure color envy lipsticks in “intense nude” and “insolent plum”, lip pencil in “rose”

IMG_2623

With flash

You know when something is hyped up SO much that it deters you from even wanting to try the product? That’s how I felt about Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation. I’m a foundation hoarder and there just didn’t seem to be any good reason to splash out on yet another foundation. That all changed when I saw a bottle on clearance for a mere $11 at my local CCO (Cosmetics Company Outlet). $11?! That was a no-brainer and I snapped it up unsure of whether it was even the right color for me. This was at the tail-end of last Summer and I’ve barely reached for my other foundations since.

This foundation stays put. It’s by far the most long-wearing foundation I own and when I took it on my trip to blisteringly hot and humid Ghana and drizzly England in October, it performed fantastically in both climates. I’ve never had a foundation even come close to outlasting the African sun and this did a truly admirable job.

I would describe it as a medium- full coverage foundation and a little bit goes a long way. It is pretty easy to control how much coverage you want so that’s always a plus. It sets pretty quickly so I advise that you don’t dally when it comes to blending it out. It offers a very matte finish so if you suffer from chronically dry skin, I would not necessarily recommend this foundation. It comes in a decent shade range and although I think my shade (7W1 Deep Spice) is a touch red for me, it definitely does the job.

There are a couple of cons though, the main one being that this foundation doesn’t come with a pump. It’s a never-ending source of annoyance to pour out the foundation each time because a lot of foundation gets wasted and it’s just messier in general. Additionally, the bottle is made out of glass so this may cause some concern for the butterfingers amongst you.

I  decided to purchase this new bottle from Macy’s as they were doing a fantastic gift with purchase that I just couldn’t pass up. A $35 purchase of any Estée Lauder item came with a cute bag filled with a ton of (expensive) goodies. There was a choice between an eyeshadow palette and mascara, or two full-sized lipsticks and a lip liner and I chose the lipstick option. The bag also came with deluxe-sized samples of a serum, eye cream, and moisturizer. The lipsticks are lovely and creamy and wore well on me for about 5 hours and did I mention they’re full-sized? This offer is currently still available so if you’ve had your eye on this foundation, this is a fantastic chance to get some great extras with it. The foundation retails for $39.50 and that is slightly lower than most of the higher-end foundations out there so I have no quibbles with the price. I wholeheartedly recommend this foundation so grab a sample and try it out for yourself if possible.

And now here’s a picture of me wearing Double Wear with the rest of my makeup on in natural light. Unfortunately, I don’t remember absolutely everything else on my face because I’ve developed a sieve-like memory and this was taken about a month ago. However, I have listed the things I do remember:

Estee Lauder doublewear on dark skin 7W1 Deep Spice

Eyes:

Viseart theory palette 02 in “minx”

Kat Von D tattoo liner in “trooper”

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil in “05”

Lips:

Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick in “chianti”

Face:

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place makeup in “7W1 Deep Spice”

Kat Von D Lock-It concealer crème in “Deep 31”

Nana Adomah

Artis Brushes- A Review

“A good tool should make doing something easier, not harder.”- Matthew Waitesmith

What sane person would spend $80 on a makeup brush? That’s a question I asked myself until I held the sexiest brushes ever made in my hand. You’re likely to have been living in a cave (I kid, I kid) for the past few years if you haven’t seen some variation of the Artis brushes and their various knockoffs recently.

I first saw brushes with this shape a few years ago at MAC and immediately wrote them off because why fix what isn’t broken? The brushes didn’t last long at MAC and the creator, Matthew Waitesmith, went on to develop his brushes under the “Artis” label.

Nowadays, I’m more willing to give different things a chance and various reviews I’d seen on the internet made me curious so I decided to purchase two brushes to try. I got the Oval 6 and Oval 8 brushes in the Fluenta line because I felt like those were the ones I’d get the most use out of. I’ve used the Oval 8 for foundation and powder application and the Oval 6 for concealer, contour, and blush. Needless to say, these brushes are versatile!

Artis

Artis fluenta

Artis Fluenta Oval 8 brush

Artis oval 8 brush

The Oval 8 brush has hundreds of thousands of bristles

Artis oval 8

Artis fluenta oval 8

Artis oval 6

Artis Fluenta Oval 6 brush

Artis oval 6 brush

Artis brush pad

Microfiber cleaning pad

Artis brushes are made out of something called CosmeFibre, which is supposed to apply makeup more efficiently, in addition to having 3-10 times more bristles than traditional makeup brushes. They also hold their shape better whilst resisting the absorption of makeup.

Now when I spend a ton of money on something, the packaging better correspond with the price and my Artis brushes don’t disappoint. The brushes come in a satin-lined black velvet box that can be repurposed for your own use. The fluenta line, in my opinion, is also far sexier looking than the elite collection. Everything about these brushes just scream luxury. They are sleek and feel reassuringly weighty in the hand. The brushes feel like velvet on the skin and are incredibly easy to use.

The Oval 8 ($80) is great for foundations, setting powders, and bronzers and allows me to apply my foundation in seconds. It has hundreds of thousands of fibres and gives the most flawless application. I like to apply the foundation directly to my face and just glide the brush across my face. for best results. Bear in mind that I have quite a large face so this may be too big for those of you with smaller faces. I’d recommend the Oval 6 or the Oval 7 in the elite collection for you instead.

I like the Oval 6 ($60) best for concealer and contour and because the bristles don’t hold on to product, you can just wipe the brush on a paper towel and use it for both in the same application. You literally only have to glide the brush across your face to get the best application. I also find that I use way less product when I use these brushes so that’s a bonus.

Now how exactly are you supposed to clean these brushes? I have a friend at the Neiman Marcus counter who hooked me up with the cleaning pad and foam cleanser free of charge. You squeeze a small amount of the cleanser on to pad and swirl in circular motions to clean the brush between applications. The brush dries in minutes. However, I still like to deep clean my brushes under running water weekly and I’ve experienced no adverse effects.

Clearly I love my Artis brushes but are they a “must-have?” I’d have to say- “no.” If you already have a set of good makeup brushes, I don’t think you have to add these but if you’re looking for new ones, then definitely give these a look. They are very expensive and although I think that the price makes sense when you actually have them in your hand, they are more of a luxury purchase than an essential one. They also have a few sets which may make more sense than buying them individually as they work out to be significantly less expensive.

Artis brushes can be found at Net A Porter, Saks, Bloomingdales, and Dillards. The fluenta line however, is exclusive to Neiman Marcus.

Have any of you tried the Artis brushes before? Let me know in the comments!

 Nana Adomah

Tartelette Tease Palette- A Review

“Why do we have this desire to tease the innocent? Is it envy?”- Graham Greene

Tarte tease palette

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Tarte Tartelette palette on dark skin NW45 swatch

From L-R, top to bottom: “whisper”, “crush”, “heartbreaker”, “wink”, “first kiss”, “BFF”

“Tease me tease me tease me tease me baby, till I lose control….” Aside from reminding me of this iconic Chaka Demus and Pliers tune from the halcyon days of my youth, Tarte have another winner on their hands with their Tartelette Tease palette.

The Tartelette Tease is a mini version of their Tartelette In Bloom palette, with just 6 shades in a palette about the size of a credit card. This is my second Tarte palette, after the original Tartelette palette, and I find the quality and performance of these shadows to be pretty consistent across all three “Tartelette” palettes.

The palette consists of 4 matte shades and 2 shimmers, and the layout is such that each row gives you a complete eye look. The mattes are buttery and pigmented but I find that they definitely need a primer underneath them. The staying power on my oily lids was disappointing without a primer but perfectly fine with my Urban Decay primer.

Of the two shimmery shades, one is of notably higher quality than the other. “Crush” can be a sparkly mess if not applied extremely carefully and I found that it worked best with a glitter glue. “First Kiss” is much less sparkly and thus didn’t give me any problem on application.

Whisper” and “wink,” the two lightest shades, appear a tad chalky in swatches but they can be easily sheered out for a good brow bone highlight on the eye. The best-performing shades were the two darkest shades- “heartbreaker” and “BFF.” These made great crease colours and I see them performing equally well in a smoky eye.

The price for what you get in the palette is a very affordable $21 (but bear in mind that each pan contains less product than the pans in the regular Tartelette palettes) and I think this is a great palette to take on the go.

If you are new to Tarte products, the brand claims to be natural, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly. If these things are important to you and you’re looking for a portable makeup palette, I highly recommend giving the Tarlette Tease palette a look!

You can find the palette at Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, and on the Tarte website. The palette is apparently limited edition so hurry if you want it!

Nana Adomah

 

Lancôme Teint Idole Foundation Stick: A Review

“You know how it is when you get back with somebody you’ve loved. It felt better than it ever was, better than it ever could be again.”- Junot Díaz 

Lancome teint idole 510 530

Hello my name is Nana and I’m a foundation junkie.

I absolutely did not need to make this purchase but boy am I glad I did. I’ve used it almost everyday since I bought it over a month ago. I’m having a bit of a stick foundation love-in at the moment (as seen in my last post) and they’re so easy and mess-free to use.

The Lancôme stick is the most weightless foundation I’ve used. It really feels like I have nothing on my skin but the coverage is excellent. I would characterize it as a medium-coverage foundation but it can be easily built up to full coverage depending on how much you use and the tool with which you use to blend it. I’ve tried it with both a brush and a sponge and I like the finish I get with the beauty blender best. It gives a lovely natural, skin-like finish that’s perfect for all times of the year.

Lancome teint idole stick swatch 510 555

“510” and “555” in sunlight (L) and indoors with flash (R)

I bought the stick in “510”, rather than the “530” I usually am in Lancôme foundations since Winter means that my skin has lightened. I was also given the stick in “555” after I had already bought the “510” and since “555” is much too dark for me, I’ve been using it as a contour shade and it works well for that purpose too.

The stick comes in 20 shades, which is fewer than the 35 shades available in the liquid teint idole ultra foundation, but there is still a good range for most skin tones.

The stick also comes with an SPF of 21 and it’s oil-free. The stick formula ensures precise application and it glides beautifully onto the skin.

My only con is the size of the product. It’s 0.31 oz, which is significantly less than the 0.44 oz of the Make Up For Ever foundation stick but puts it on par with the Bobbi Brown foundation stick (which I also think could be bigger) and at $42, it puts it in the same price range.

Lancome teint idole foundation stick 510 555 on dark skin

The foundation in action

Continue below to find out the rest of the products on my face:

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Current Favourites

“January, month of empty pockets! Let us endure this evil month, anxious as a theatrical producer’s forehead.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

sake balm, pro sculpting duo, jo malone mimosa cardamom, limecrime poisonberry, mufe, bobbi brown larsson and jennings

First of all I’d like to wish all of you who read ReadBetweenTheEyeliner a very happy new year. I’ve been a bit absent in the past few weeks but I mean to start 2016 as I mean to go on.

I have been enjoying a lot of beauty (and non-beauty) items in the past few weeks and I thought I’d share my current faves:

Jan Faves 1

1. Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom Cologne (100ml, $125)

This is such a lovely all-rounder fragrance. Like a typical Jo Malone fragrance, it’s not super strong but it leaves a nice, soft freshness in its wake. It’s simultaneously floral and warm with a hint of spiciness. Describing perfumes is extremely difficult but every single time I wear this, I’m chased down by somebody to ask what I’m wearing. I can’t think of a better recommendation that that so check it out if you get the chance!

2. Boscia Sake Balm, $46

This is the perfect moisturiser for oily skin. The bouncy gel texture disappears almost immediately into the skin and it’s entirely responsible for how amazing my skin has been looking lately. The glycolic acid and sake in this moisturiser has my skin glowing and it can even be used alone as a primer. If you have normal- dry skin, I’d recommend adding an oil or another moisturiser to it for extra hydration but this is the perfect product to layer under foundation.

3. Limecrime “Poisonberry” lipstick, $18 (currently on sale for $5)

I know Limecrime is (deservedly) controversial in the blogging streets but I’d forgotten how much I loved this lipstick. The dark purple is a showstopper and the best part is that it has wonderful staying power. I never have to touch up when I wear this and it’s so flattering on all skin tones. I’m hesitant to buy anything from Limecrime’s website since my personal information was compromised with my last order, but all their lipsticks are currently on sale for a whopping $5. These usually go for $18 so the choice (and risk) is entirely yours….

4. Bobbi Brown Corrector in “Very Deep Bisque”, $25 

The Bobbi Brown correctors live up to everything you’ve heard and more. I have more correctors than you can shake a stick at but I’ve come back to this again and again. It’s the perfect consistency, doesn’t crease, and manages to look natural while making my dark circles disappear. They come in an impressive 12 shades so there’s something for everybody.

Jan faves 2

5. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation, $43

I wasn’t blown away by the re-tooling of the liquid HD foundation as I didn’t see much wrong with the old formula but I’m a big fan of the stick version. It covers wonderfully without looking heavy and it gives a nice radiant finish, which is ideal for the Winter. it unfortunately doesn’t come in as many shades as the liquid but there is still plenty to choose from.

6. Make Up For Ever Small Highlighter Brush #140, $34 & Pro Sculpting Duo #2, $39

This MUFE brush was a completely unnecessary purchase since I definitely did not need a new highlighter brush but I’ve been loving it for more precise highlighting duties. It’s super soft and blends products out really well. I’ve been enjoying using it with my neglected Pro Sculpting Duo. The bronzer side of the duo has absolutely no use for me as it’s almost the exact same shade as my skin but the highlighter side is gorgeous! It reminds me of a slightly more golden version of Anastasia’s “So Hollywood” highlighter. It’s not a must-have if you’re darker-skinned as you won’t be able to use the bronzer side but the bronzer is a nice shade for you fairer toned ladies.

7. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in #10 “Espresso”, $46

Yes it’s another foundation stick but this one I’ve been using to contour. I was unsure of it at first as it leans much redder than I usually like my contour shades, but this shade gives me a lovely warmth for my skin. It blends so easily and stays on all day to boot. Yes, it’s pricy but a little goes a looooong way for my purposes.

8. Larsson & Jennings CM Rose Gold Watch, $380

I’ve been fiending for this watch for a while but the price was always a hindrance since I most definitely do not need a new watch. However, the rose gold version of this Larsson & Jennings watch just kept calling out to me and when they did a (rare) sale on Black Friday, I decided to snap it up. I love a good minimalistic watch and the 40mm size also ticked my big watch box. This watch is beautiful and well-made in person and it attracts a lot of compliments despite its minimalism. It comes in different colours and sizes to suit most preferences so I highly recommend you checking it out.

9.Jessica Jones & Making a Murderer (Netflix)

I loved Daredevil when it was release on Netflix earlier last year so I was chomping at the the bit for Jessica Jones. It took a few episodes to get into it as the pacing is a bit slow at the beginning but I thoroughly enjoyed the newest instalment in the Marvel universe. It was darker than I expected but a great cast (hello to my hubby Mike Colter) with a fantastic villain made this worthwhile. Highly recommended.

I’m still in the middle of Making A Murderer but whoah is it gripping stuff. I’ve had to take a break because the injustices were making my blood boil but it is truly gripping viewing. Run, don’t walk!

10. Ty Dolla $ign- “Miracle/ Wherever” 

I’d never really paid Ty Dolla $ign much attention before and I often got him mixed up with the countless other singer/ rapper hybrids in the music  streets but that all changed with the release of his latest album Free TC. Ty’s raspy singing voice is a delight and this surprisingly soulful album has a little something for everybody. My favourite song often changes but “Miracle/ Wherever”, a duet with his incarcerated brother TC is the one I come back to again and again. Have a listen:

So there you have it. It was hard narrowing it down to just 10 but this is everything I’m loving right now. Anything catch your eye? Let me know what you’ve been enjoying in the comments below!

Nana Adomah

(I’m extremely active on Snapchat (nanaadomah)- these days so be sure to follow me for instant reviews and unboxings!)

 

 

My MAC Lipstick Collection

I recently filmed a video of me swatching all of my MAC lipsticks. I honestly didn’t even realise I had so many until I started filming (thanks Back 2 MAC)! I always find these type of videos useful, especially when looking for what lipsticks actually look like on people. I plan to depot most of my lipsticks soon into a more convenient palette so I decided to film before the big event.

Most of these lipsticks were acquired from my local CCO and via MAC’s “Back 2 MAC” program. If you take any 6 empty MAC containers to a MAC store/ counter you can get a free lipstick (or eyeshadow in PRO stores).

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the video and let me know what your favourite MAC lipsticks are!

Nana Adomah

Anastasia Self-Made Palette

He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.” – Joseph Heller

Anastasia self made paletteAnastasia Self-Made paletteAnastasia Self-Made palette swatchAnastasia self made palette swatch

Anastasia Beverly Hills Self made palette dark skin swatch NW45 WOC NC50

From L-R Top: hot chocolate, spirit rock, Isla, sherbert, hot & cold, treasure, deep purple From L-R Bottom: buttery, blossom, blush, witchy, self-made, metallic plum, pink champagne

Anastasia self made palette dark skin swatch WOC NW45 NC50The Anastasia Beverly Hills “Self-Made” eyeshadow palette is my second Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) palette after last year’s Tamanna palette and I’m in love. Actually this technically my third Anastasia palette as I purchased the Artist Palette but quickly returned it after swatching. I was so unimpressed with most of the shades (particularly the mattes) and it put me off ABH for a while. This in addition to the general (and at times baffling) hype of most ABH products left me completely uninterested in the Self-Made palette… until I swatched it.

The Self-Made palette is in my opinion the best palette released by ABH. All the colours are so incredibly pigmented and buttery and there’s not a single dud in the palette. I’m a sucker for shimmers and I always gravitate towards them over matte shadows. This palette only has 2 1/2 mattes so that may be something to think about if you prefer matte shades.

I won’t detail every shade but my favourites are “pink champagne”, “self-made”, “hot & cold”, “deep purple” (almost an exact dupe for Urban Decay’s “urban” from the Electric palette), and “blush” (not to be confused with the “blush from the Tamanna palette). “Pink champagne” is described as “a rose gold with a titanium finish” and it looks absolutely stunning on my skin. It was the shade that first convinced me to even give this palette a look.

The packaging of the Self-Made palette feels sturdier than previous iterations and canvas/ plastic feel makes it feel much more durable than cardboard alone.

The palette has 14 shades rather than the usual 10 found in Anastasia palettes and the prize has increased accordingly. However, $35 for 14 shades is still a fantastic deal and you do also get a capable double-ended brush thrown in.

I really recommend the Anastasia Beverly Hills Self-Made palette for everybody as you get a wonderful mix of neutrals and colour that will be sure to spice up your make up collection. The palette can be found at all the usual Anastasia stockists and on their website. It is limited edition so grab it early if you’re interested.

Have you tried any Anastasia palettes before? Tempted by this one? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

(Look out for a FOTD featuring this palette very soon!)

BECCA Afterglow Palette Review

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” – Theodore Isaac Rubin

BECCA afterglow palette WOC

I’ve missed you guys so much! I’ve been away for a little while but I’m determined to get back into the swing of things. My makeup addiction has not abated in my absence and I have a ton of new stuff to show you.

First up is my newest addition and it’s the BECCA Afterglow palette. Now BECCA have released two highlighter palettes for the Christmas season with one being exclusive to Sephora and one being exclusive to Ulta. The Sephora palette is a trio of highlighters which includes “blushed copper, “champagne pop”, and the new “pearl” highlighter. Since I already own two of those highlighters in the full-size, it was a no-brainer for me to choose the Ulta exclusive.

The Afterglow palette consists of mini versions of moonstone”, “rose gold”, and “topaz highlighters in addition to blushes in wild honey” and flowerchild”. The palette is very small and it’s the same size as the usual BECCA eyeshadow palettes. This makes it great for travel but it may prove problematic if you like to use big brushes. The packaging is a dark rose gold plastic case which is definitely a fingerprint magnet but it is nice and slim, which is a bonus.

BECCA Afterglow

Becca afterglow palette

BECCA afterglow palette on dark skin swatches

From L-R: “moonstone”, “rose gold”, “topaz”, “wild honey”, “flowerchild”

I think this palette will be especially good for those who haven’t tried BECCA’s highlighters before or those who want something for travel. I actually intend on mainly using this in my makeup kit as I don’t really feel comfortable de-potting/ carrying around my full-size BECCA highlighters. However, my main problem is how small the palette is (each shade is the size of a typical eyeshadow pan) and I also think the colour selection is a little iffy. I don’t understand why having “moonstone” (the lightest shade) and “topaz” (the darkest) in the same palette would appeal to the average buyer. I do however intend to play around with mixing shades to see how it looks on my dark skin. I also definitely can’t use “wild honey” on my skin but I can just about get away with “flowerchild”.

Reservations aside, I really recommend this palette and I think almost everybody will get some good use out of it. You get to try 5 BECCA products for the price of 1 and you can’t really beat that! The BECCA Afterglow palette is available at Ulta for $39.50. 

It’s good to be back!

Nana Adomah

Bite Butter Cream Lipstick in “Marzipan”: A Review

“I shouldn’t think even millionaires could eat anything nicer than new bread and real butter and honey for tea.”- Dodie Smith 

Bite Handcut Butter Cream Lipstick marzipan

Bite beauty marzipan lipstick review

Bite hand cut bullet lipstick marzipan

Bite butter cream lipstick on dark skin marzipan nw45 woc nc50

Top- bright daylight swatch, bottom- indoor swatch with flash

Bite butter cream lipstick in marzipan on dark skin nw45 nc50 woc swatch

“Marzipan” paired with a light application of MAC “chestnut” liner

I’m a big fan of Bite’s lipsticks and my interest was piqued when they rolled out their “hand cut” butter cream lipsticks a few months ago. Bite posits that cutting the lipstick bullet straight across rather than at an angle results in a creamier lipstick and by removing the waxy outer layer of lipstick, they can get straight to the creamier core. I’d have to say that they are absolutely correct.

I picked up the shade “marzipan”, a milky chocolate, and it is most definitely one of the creamiest lipsticks I own. It’s the perfect nude shade for my complexion and I love that it needs very little work to look good on my lips. It has surprisingly good staying power for such a creamy lipstick and it feels wonderfully comfortable on the lips. I usually wear it with just a touch of brown lipliner and I’m good to go.

However, I have two gripes about this lipstick. Firstly, the butter cream lipsticks are $28 each rather than the $24 Bite usually charge for their lipsticks. Granted, we are given slightly more luxurious magnetic packaging to justify this price increase but the decision to charge $4 more is really baffling.

Secondly, the shape of this lipstick is just awkward. I have pretty big lips and I have trouble reaching the corners of my lips and my cupid’s bow whenever I wear this lipstick. I’ve had to employ the use of a lip brush on many an occasion. It really makes me wonder how customers with thinner lips will fare.This leads me to wonder whether the shape is just a gimmick or if it really contributes to the creaminess of the lipstick.

However, as customary for Bite products, the lipstick is full of wonderful food-grade ingredients like shea butter, almond butter, pomegranate butter, argan oil, etc. and it is also organic. So if natural ingredients are important to you, you can most definitely rest easy.

Despite a couple of misgivings, I still highly recommend this lipstick. It comes in 8 neutral shades and they are all extremely flattering for most skin tones. Yes it’s pricy, but I think it’d be a nice product to pick up if you wanted to treat yourself.

Bite butter cream lipsticks are $28 and are available at Sephora.

Nana Adomah

May Favourites

‘Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness.’ – Karen Joy Fowler
Makeup to breakups BECCA songbird MAC peach lustremakeup to breakups bag I would cry but my mascara is designerMay favouritesI’ve never done a “favourites” post before and there’s no time like the present! Without further ado, here are a few of the products I’ve been loving the last month or so:

1. Breakups To Makeup cosmetic bag- The cult brand is now carried at Sephora and even though I wanted all three bags on offer, I restricted myself to one. Super sturdy and super roomy. I’ve even used it as a clutch!

2. Urban Decay “Enigma” Eyeshadow Primer Potion– I’ve been loving this neutral-toned eyeshadow primer as it really makes my matte shadows and my bright shadows in particular pop. The best part is 100% of all proceeds from this particular shade goes towards an initiative to empower women. Look out for a full review on this soon. Get it here.

3. Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Waterproof Eyeliner– I got this as part of a 500pt perk from Sephora and I love it! I’ve waxed poetic about the pencil version of this since the inception of Marc Jacobs Beauty but I’d never tried the liquid version until now. It’s ridiculously pigmented with a glossy finish. This is high voltage liquid liner. Best of all- it stays put no matter what! I’m not sure if I’ll get the full-size one as it’s very expensive IMHO but grab it here if you’re interested.

4. BECCA Mineral Blush in “Songbird”– I’ve had this blush for about two years and after some neglect, I’ve fallen in love with it again. It’s a gorgeous coral shade that looks surprisingly fantastic on dark skin. I use it most often on the days I don’t want to look too made up. Grab it here.

5. MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in “Peach Lustre”– This is almost like the famous YSL Touche Éclat but for brown skin. I use it for gentle correcting but it can most definitely be used as a natural looking highlighter too. It stays on well throughout the day too. You can find it here.

6. Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix– I’ve been very lazy with my skin care this month and it shows. However, this has been great for whenever I feel a spot coming on. I don’t know if it’s in my head but it seems to stop the spot before it appears on the surface of my skin. Additionally, it doesn’t have that horrible sulphur smell that a lot of spot treatments do. Get it here.

7. Laura Mercier Sponge– I’m a huge fan of the original Beauty Blender but I’d always see these fly off the shelves at Sephora and my interest was piqued. I took advantage of a coupon I had and bought a 4-pack of these last month. They make my foundation look amazing and because they’re a bit stiffer than other beauty sponges, they don’t soak up product. They’re very durable and they can be easily washed and reused. They work out to be $3.50 each so the price is most definitely right.

8. Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer– Another product I’ve had forever but ignored until recently. It’s a creamy concealer that’s not too creamy and it covers any blemish on my face while still feeling very lightweight. I especially like using it under my eyes when I don’t want the overly highlighted look. I wear the shade “sable”. Get it here.

9. Sephora Collection Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara in “Blue”– I’ve rediscovered my love for blue mascara and this is the perfect shade. It’s definitely noticeable but it’s by no means in your face. The brush and the formula also work well for my eyelashes so I have no complaints.

Let me know if you’d like an in-depth review of any of the products mentioned. What have you been reaching for lately? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah