Alright you guys, I caved…and I’m feeling super guilty about it…
In November I posted about my favorite drugstore foundations and in this post, I mentioned how I would never be one of those women who spends $40+ on a single product. To me, that’s just insane. It still is, really. But that post then led me to get some super awesome recommendations from you all as well as from family and friends on high-end foundations I should try so I caved in and decided to pick one up….I was hooked from the start. It’s so bad. I was drawn in THAT quickly. I just saw such an improvement in my skin and the product went on so smoothly and I just completely fell in love with it. So that led me to do some more research on high-end makeup companies and their many benefits and now here I am with a rather large haul to share with you all.
Related: 3 Of The Best Drugstore Foundations
I’m super excited for everything I purchased, but here’s why I feel bad. I get so many compliments from you all on my authenticity. I’m very open with you all on the things that are going on in our life and the things that I struggle with. I also only share products that I know you all would love and prefer to share products that I know you all can afford and are interested in. One of the biggest issues I have with some of my favorite beauty and fashion blogs and YouTube channels is that they’re full of products that I instantly fall in love with, but then either can’t afford or can’t afford right that very second. So then I’m left lusting over these products that I can’t have. And I know so many others have this issue as well.
A very good majority of my readers are between the ages of 21 and 35 which is a rather large range, but a lot of those readers are on the younger side of that age range. Some of you are mothers, some of you are students or only have your blog as your incomes. So not all of you can go out and just drop $300+ on makeup all in one trip. So I like to promote products that I know you all can afford and easily buy if you wanted to.
But I failed you. I tried ONE product and now I’m just completely hooked and very much wanting to upgrade my makeup collection. So I hope that doesn’t completely ruin my authenticity in any way because sometimes you just change your mind! After a ton of research, I decided I really wanted to focus on companies that are cruelty-free. Next, I wanted products that are paraben-free. Those are the top two must-have’s. I caved in with a couple of items on this list, but thankfully Sephora includes all this info in their product descriptions so it was rather easy to find the right products.
HOWEVER, this was SUCH a long process to choose products. I decided to start by upgrading the products I use on a daily basis. Which is a good 15ish products or something like that. So it’s quite the initial investment. Then later I’ll start upgrading lip products and eye shadows and all that. I spent a good 48 hours non-stop on the Sephora and ULTA websites choosing and comparing products and reading reviews and researching the companies. It was fun at first, and then got to be a bit stressful because there were just SO many options. BUT I finally picked out all of my products, placed my order and just got everything in the mail last week. So I wanted to share all the awesome products I chose with you all! This is totally not meant to be a brag because this was NOT a cheap investment. I paid for all of this on my own and I’m still cringing at the overall price of it all. But I’m super excited and want to share! So here’s what I picked up…
My Sephora Purchases:
I chose this product because it was one of the few brands I could find that made a white concealer. Yes, I am that pale that I need a white concealer in order to do any type contouring. It’s insane. Any other concealer just matches my skin or foundation perfectly so it doesn’t even look like I’m wearing anything. It always makes it hard to make certain parts of my face look brighter when everything happens to be the same color. So I was super excited to try this one. If you’re super pale like I am, then I highly suggest trying this product out.
Now here’s a slight downside that I have with this product. I apply my concealer with a dampened sponge which for some reason works a million times better than a brush or a dry sponge for some reason. I can’t explain it. Someone suggested it to me, so I tried it and I’ve been applying my concealer that way ever since! But this conceal is suuuuper thick and it sometimes has a little bit of a tacky, sticky feeling which prevents it from applying as evenly and easily. So my recommendation there would just be to not let it sit long before you blend it in. As long as you’re blending it instantly, it’s not an issue. I still plan to purchase this again in the future.
I was super excited for this product because I’ve heard so many amazing things about it. While I do absolutely love it so far, the product is sooooo tiny. I can’t even imagine how tiny the mini version is compared to this one. It’s 0.75 oz/21 g and I feel like it’s almost gone already which is super sad. Again, it really is a great product and it works so well, but for $31, I’m not sure I’ll be buying it again. It’s just not going to last as long as I’d like it to so I’m not sure it’s really worth the money. If you have another primer you think I should try out then leave your recommendations in the comments section for me!
I’m not typically a fan of loose powders simply because they’re super messy and can be challenging to work with. But one of my favorite Youtubers using this one and highly recommended it. So I decided to try it out and so far I’m in love. I use this product for setting my concealer as well as for baking my under eye area for contouring. It works perfectly! Like I mentioned with the concealer, it can be so hard for me to contour simply because I’m so pale. I can get the contour part perfectly, but it’s next to impossible to make parts of my face look lighter. This power paired with the Kat Von D concealer is an amazing combination for women who are pale.
I use the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder to set my concealer and then I use this product to set the rest of my face and give it a little more of a glow. It does a great job in locking in my foundation and would be great as a highlighter as well. The color is super pretty too, but I’m a little disappointed in how closely it matches the CPerfect Light Highlighting Powder that I purchased as well. The two are very similar, but thankfully this one has much less of a highlight. Lastly, it’s been super amazing on my skin as well. I use this product to set the foundation over the area of my face that is more prone to acne and so far, it’s not causing any breakouts or anything. So that makes it a winner for me.
I purchased this moisturizer in blush and so far, it’s super amazing. First off, the bottle is huge. As you may be able to see in the photo above, it’s the largest product I purchased and I definitely see it lasting a while. When I first started to apply it, I was a bit worried because the color of the moisturizer just looked way too dark for my skin and slightly orange as well. So I was instantly disappointed that it may have been a waste of money. BUT I gave it a try and after applying it, the color really lightened up and evened out. It was a huge relief because I was really wanting to love this product. It comes in multiple shades as well so if you’re really pale, there’s always a lighter option if you want it. I do, however recommend limiting the amount of product you use. A little goes a long way with this one so you really don’t need much to cover your entire face. It’s also super thick as well so you definitely don’t want to be applying too much product.
When I was picking out the products I’d be trying out, I think I spent the most time picking out a highlighter. I really liked the two I was using before the upgrade so I needed one that would be just as amazing. I searched so many photos on the internet and even went to YouTube to see the products in action and hear about the pros and cons from the beauty gurus and after spending days debating, I finally landed on this one. And I am SO glad I chose it.
I got this product in ‘moonlight’ and it’s such a pretty pale pink shade with an amazing highlight. Even on super pale skin, I have zero problems with it showing up. It’s gorgeous! I’d really love to try the other two shades at some point as well.
Since I was upgrading all of my makeup products, I felt it was necessary to upgrade my skin care routine as well. Since my skin is rather sensitive and challenging to work with in terms of skin care, I decided to get the Clinique starter kit to try out before diving in and buying the full-size products. I’ve heard really good things about this skin care system and after just a day or two of using it, I was hooked. I already have the full size versions in my Sephora shopping cart right now.
What I’ve determined from using this system is that my skin is much more oily than I thought it was. While these products make my skin feel super dry after using them, it’s been so helpful in getting rid of acne and keeping my skin clear. I don’t know if it sounds bad or not, but clearly I needed to dry out my skin a bit in order to see some better results. I then re-add moisture with an oil-free moisturizer to balance it back out. So I definitely plan to continue this system for a while and see if it continues to benefit my skin in the long run.
- NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella in Scarlet Red (full product)
- (sample) City Block Purifying Charcoal Cleansing Gel
- Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana Perfume (sample)
- Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose Perfume (sample)
- My Burberry Eau de Toilette Perfume (sample)
My ULTA Purchases:
ULTA Automatic Eyeliner in Lace and Black
This is the only non-high-end product I purchased in this haul. I still have to upgrade my eyeliners and mascara, but I’ll do that later. For now, I just really needed a new white eyeliner. Am I the only one who can’t stand pencil eyeliners?! They’re so scary and dangerous! I randomly bought a white pencil eyeliner a few weeks ago and it just doesn’t sharpen properly at all. So it’s always scary when I go to apply liner to my waterline because I’m afraid of getting a splinter or something. It’s terrifying. So I love automatic eyeliners.
ULTA was having a sale where you can get two free if you buy two so I purchased this eyeliner in white and black since those are my most used and then I got it in charcoal and deep brown as well. My only complaint with the white is that it doesn’t go on as smoothly as I’d like. It’s not as bright as the pencil I had been using. BUT it’s not going to give me splinters. So I have to pick and chose my battles there. My only other “complaint” is that I don’t think these are waterproof. I haven’t had problems with them wearing off or anything yet, but I’m pretty sure they’re not waterproof so we’ll have to see.
I’ve never heard of this brand before so I was a little iffy about trying it at first. After some research, I found that it’s both cruelty-free and paraben-free so since it fit my list of needs/wants, I decided to give it a try. This bronzer was a bit darker in person than it looked online so I was a little a little worried when it arrived. Like my highlighter, I was super picky about the bronzer I chose as well. Being pale, I really didn’t want anything that was too dark for me. It can be so easy to ruin my entire contouring process if I’m using a bronzer that’s too dark. And nine times out of ten, it’s too dark. That’s how pale I am. Are you noticing how much of a struggle this is for me?!
When I first went to apply it, I made sure to use a small amount at a time so that I could see how dark it was and thankfully, it doesn’t apply as dark as it looks in the packaging. My foundation routine also makes my skin slightly darker as well so that helps with matching the bronzer. This one is super great and it lasts all day as well without fading! So I’ll probably buy it again unless you all have another one you recommend I try!
CLINIQUE Cheek Pop in Melon Pop
The next product, I purchased was my blush. Again, this one was a hard one for me to choose as well. The bronzer, highlighter, and blush all have to work together to give the natural, contoured look that I do every day so I spent a lot of time comparing products and making sure they’d go together perfectly. This blush is a little smaller than I wanted and it’s not as pigmented either so it can be a little harder to apply. But the color is gorgeous and it looks really nice with the bronzer and highlighter I chose.
OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish in Vampsterdam and She’s A Bad Muffuletta
Lastly, I purchased two nail polishes which aren’t pictured above because I completely failed at rounding up all my products for the photos. I was a few points away from platinum membership with ULTA so I had to add a couple extra products to my bag in order to make it. I’m a huge nail polish addict so I decided to add a couple pretty colors to my collection. ‘Vamperstdam’ is a very deep purple color and ‘She’s A Bad Muffuletta’ is a really pretty reddish pink color. I’ve been wearing the pink for a few days now and I love it a lot. Paired with the OPI top coat and base coat, my manicure has been locked in place perfectly!
- ULTA Automatic Eyeliner in Charcoal and Deep Brown (full size)
- L’Oreal Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening + Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer Sunscreen (sample)
- L’Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition System – eye balm, facial oil, anti-sagging moisturizer, and golden balm (samples)
So I’ve had all of these products for about a week now and so far, I’m really loving my purchases. Overall, I’m seeing a huge difference in not only my skin, but in how long my makeup lasts me throughout the day. I’m now in need of a new makeup remover because the wipes I currently have just don’t do a good enough job anymore. So I have to watch out for that when removing my makeup at night and be sure that I’m actually removing all of it every single time. But it’s good to know it’s locked in place and wont go anywhere throughout the day regardless of what I’m doing. The other day, I wore my makeup to the gym and out in the rain. Even cried at one point that day and never had to touch it up. That’s a HUGE bonus for me.
If there’s a product here that you want me to do a full review on then please let me know in the comments section below. OR if you have a product you want me to try (specifically lip products and eye shadows since that’s what I’m upgrading next) then please let me know those recommendations as well! I’m already excited to try out some new brands and products.
Have you tried any of these products? What should I purchase next?