Holidaying in America is always disastrous for my bank account, even when you don’t consider flights, accommodation, and food. That’s because I always, always buy way too much when I’m there. Everything’s just so different, and there are so many things available that just aren’t available in the UK, so any shopping trip whilst I’m over there basically turns into a supermarket sweep (if the supermarket were a mall, obvs). You guys know that I’m mad on make-up and beauty products, so here’s an overview of most things I picked up in New York and Austin over the two weeks that we were there.
Okay so first up, a couple of airport Duty Free purchases (obviously)! I picked up a Jo Malone 30ml fragrance in Wood Sage and Sea Salt – honestly I’ve heard so many people rave about this but never understood (I mean, sea salt??). But it’s so gorgeous and so unique, I love it! I also couldn’t resist the lure of Mac – unfortunately not for the last time this holiday – and picked up one of the limited edition Star Trek eyeshadows in the shade To Boldly Go. This is an amazing shimmery copper-red, but sadly this is soooo glittery and has tons of fallout! It will probably work great with a bit of Fix+ for an all-out glam look, but unfortunately not a new favourite. I also picked the Mac Prep+Prime highlighter in Light Boost on a whim, although have yet to fully test this out. Watch this space!
Drugstore makeup in America never seems that cheap to me. This might be because the brands that I hear about on Youtube but can’t get in the UK tend to be the more expensive of the drugstore brands, but there were some products which I just had to hunt down. The L’Oreal Infallible Pro Glow was definitely one of those, and sooooo worth it. I first picked up the shade 204 in New York, but grabbed a lighter shade when I saw them on offer in HEB in Texas. This is just so perfect for my skin type, although the packaging isn’t great – it leaks easily! I also bagged the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer on sale in HEB, and I love this bronzer – it’s so natural, not too warm toned, and you get used to the smell! In New York I also saw a Milani stand and couldn’t resist. The Baked Bronzer is in the shade 04 Glow, and is perfect for warming up the whole face. There’s a tiny bit of shimmer in this but it doesn’t show on the face at all. The other Milani product is this eyeshadow in the shade Bella Chiffon. This is one of their gel powder eyeshadows, and it’s brilliant for highlighting the inner corner of the eye. I absolutely love NYX products, but they’re reasonably widely available in the UK now, so I didn’t go crazy. I actually only grabbed this primer, which is the NYX Hydra Touch primer. So far I really, really like this – it’s super comparable to the MUFE Step 1 Hydrating primer, which is probably one of my all time favourites. Finally, I picked up two of the Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Chromes in the shades Beige Luster and Bronze Sheen. I don’t think we can get these in the UK yet, or we couldn’t back in September anyway. These are really cool, they provide a great amount of pigment and require the tiniest amount of blending. My only problem is that I find them ridiculously hard to put on without getting it in my eyelashes!
Right, onto my favourite part! Most of these more high-end products are from Sephora, although a couple are from Ulta. I had to pick up one of the Anastasia Glow Kits, I think it was one of the first things I bought in New York! This is in the shade That Glow, which is the one that always seemed to be out of stock over here. In my opinion, this really does live up to the hype, and if you’re a highlighter gal like me, you need one of these kits on your life! The only other palette I picked up was the Lorac Pro 3 palette. I have the original version and the second one never appealed to me, but this one was calling my name. It’s totally gorgeous, as you might expect, and the colours are just amazing. I actually really love Lorac eyeshadows, and I also have two of their Mega Pro palettes. I would highly recommend to any eyeshadow-wearers, you won’t regret it! Another high-end purchase was this 50ml Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black perfume. I had a tiny sample from a 100 point perk from my trip to the US last year which I used to death, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the full size. Yes, it’s pricey, but as a bit of a perfume obsessive, I couldn’t resist!
Looking at this picture, I can’t believe how many brushes I bought! I’m a bit of a makeup brush junkie, and I love finding brushes that work really well for me. These It Cosmetics brushes are from Ulta, and I’m already a big fan of both of them. I actually bought two brushes from the same line last year, and although they’re great quality, neither are massively useful to me personally. These ones, on the other hand, have quickly found a place in my daily makeup routine. The foundation brush is either the #101 or #102, I can’t remember which! But it’s exactly the kind of brush I like to use for my foundation, reasonably dense but not harsh on the skin, and blurs foundation into the skin. The larger brush is the #108 Airbrush Powder Wand, and this is fantastic for setting concealer with powder. It’s better than any smaller brush I’ve tried, and beats an ordinary powder brush any day. The Make Up For Ever brush is the 242 large blending brush, which I had heard of thanks to Brianna Fox on Youtube. This is a brilliant blending brush, although for the price I think there are cheaper alternatives which will do the same job. Finally, I picked out three different Sephora Pro brushes over the two weeks that we were away. The one I had actually planned to buy was the one on the left hand side above – the Pro Airbrush #55. I have the smaller #56 and absolutely love it, and thought this would work just as well. Unfortunately, it’s a little flimsy for foundation, but I’ve been trying to make it work. The long tapered brush is the Featherweight Blending brush, #93. This is a bit of an odd one, which I thought would work for highlighter, but the jury’s still out on this one for me. Lastly I bought my first individual eye brush from this range, the Pro Featherweight Crease #38. I’ve had an eye brush set from Sephora since last August which I still use constantly, so I thought one of their Pro eye brushes would be a good bet. Although this is great quality, I haven’t quite worked out how to use this yet. I know, I know, it’s just a blending crease brush, but I think the bristles are a bit longer than what I’m used to. Definitely one that I’ve got to work with!
I got quite a few bits from Tarte, although I definitely would also have picked up the Shape Tape concealer and Risqué blush if they had been in stock! The two mascaras are the new Tarteist Lash Paint and the Gifted mascara. I loved the Lights Camera Lashes, it’s probably my favourite mascara, so thought I’d try out Tarte’s other offerings. The Lash Paint I like, the Gifted I’m yet to try. I also picked up the new Tarte highlighter in Exposed – I did have my eye on the highlighter palette from the Rainforest of the Sea collection, but when swatched the three shades all looked really similar. So I opted for this single instead, and I love it. It’s not exactly subtle, but it’s not Champagne Pop-levels of shine either. The perfect suit-all glow.
Another brand I splurged upon was definitely Becca. I’ve got a couple of their highlights and the Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection face palette, but I just couldn’t resist the Champagne Splits. This is the Flowerchild/Prosecco Pop version, and oh my look at that packaging! I’m a sucker for anything gold. Or anything shiny really! I also finally got my hands on the Backlight Priming Filter, which I’ve had my eye on for ages. As a lover of glowy bases, it was really just a matter of time before this was added to my basket. Finally, I grabbed the Becca Aqua Luminous concealer. This is probably one of my more disappointing purchases – the colour match is great, the finish is good, but the coverage is shocking. I just don’t get the point of a light coverage concealer, because it’s not going to do the job of, y’know, concealing. I’m sure I’ll get some use out of this, but not most work mornings when I’m attempting to hide the dark circles under my eyes!
So, time for a round-up of the rest of my picks. The few Clinique products in the picture are from a 500 point perk, shown here is the Chubby Lash mascara and the Take the Day Off balm. I also got a sample of the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair cream as a 100 point perk, which I LOVE. I couldn’t resist picking up an EOS balm – they’re not that easily available over here – in the scent Vanilla Mint. Love the scent, but I actually (bizarrely) find this quite drying on my lips. I got waylaid in the aisle of doom in Sephora and ended up with this mini Caudalie Eau de Beaute, which is the limited edition with Jason Wu. I never ever needed this but it’s so pretty! And last but not least, I got my hands on the It Cosmetics CC+, the ultimate lightweight-but-full-coverage base. This smells a bit odd but I love the way it looks on the face and how it lasts throughout the day.
If you’ve made it all this way through the post, be assured that I’m very impressed! I’ll probably be doing reviews on some of these products in the future, so watch out for those. I hope this post has been in some way informative, or of course that it’s inspired you to pick up one of these products – in which case, happy hauling!