2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Best of Beautylish

It’s the last day of Beautylish’s Annual Gift Card Event! Earn a complimentary $20 gift card for every $100 you spend at Beautylish. It ends at 11:59pm PT on November 4, 2018!

I’ve partnered with Beautylish to highlight some of my favorite products to kick off the start of their Annual Gift Card Event.  All of the products featured below are ones I’ve featured previously on the blog, so you’ll find swatches and full reviews as applicable. On my own shopping list: Sonia G. Face Two Brush (have one, want another), Wayne Goss Brush 20 (have one, want another), and Farmacy Green Clean.

Makeup Favorites

Natasha Denona Darya Diamond & Blush Palette ($89.00 for 1.50 oz.) contains six shades–two cream formulas, four powder formulas–in an assortment of finishes, textures, and shades. Read full review.

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Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold Highlighter Palette ($58.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains three, powder highlighters including the brand’s original Bar of Gold shade, along with two other gold-inspired shades. Read full review.

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Natasha Denona Gold 15-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($129.00 for 1.20 oz.) is a new, permanent palette that features an assortment of gold-inspired shades. Read full review.

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The formula is supposed to be a “customizable complexion booster” that can be used as a primer, highlighter, or mixed with base products. The line includes seven shades, like a more typical foundation or concealer range, but they have sheerer coverage and fine pearl, so there is some flexibility, though for added luminosity (but not altering color) all-over, one would want to choose a shade closer to their actual skin tone.

It has a jumbo-sized, doe-foot applicator, which I preferred for spot highlighting and priming but isn’t as functional for mixing in with base products (compared to a pump). I find that the lighter shades look very similar when mixed with foundation or layered under it (I’m wearing Fair mixed with my foundation here).

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Anastasia Sultry Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a new, limited edition palette for the holiday season that contains 14 shades across matte and metallic finishes. Read full review.

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Natasha Denona Safari 15-Pan Eyeshadow Palette ($129.00 for 1.20 oz.) is a new, limited edition all-matte eyeshadow palette with a mix of neutrals and earthy pops of color (like blue and green). Read full review.

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Stila says that it’s supposed to be a “long-wearing, sparkle eye shadow” in a “water-infused texture” that “dries down smoothly” with “minimal fallout.” There’s a lot to be impressed by with the formula, but there was some inconsistency in opacity and overall wateriness between shades so not all shades were equally impressive. When they’re good, they were pigmented, dried down evenly without creasing, and were long-wearing with minimal fallout. When they’re less impressive, they are more watery, semi-sheer to semi-opaque, prone to creasing as they dry down, though the wear is similar across all shades.

I felt like there was less fallout with the less blending done with them, e.g. applying directly to lid and only minimally working along the edges yielded the least fallout compared to diffusing and blending out the color with a brush. If I accidentally rubbed an eye, it seemed to interfere with the integrity of the wear completely–it was like a downhill avalanche of glitter that could not be stopped. They were easiest to use as the last step in a look, patted over eyeshadow with fingertip or swiped on with the sponge applicator for more of a “cut crease” kind of effect, or used along the lash line as eyeliner (I liked using a thin, liquid eyeliner brush to get a thinner line). They removed fairly well, but it was hard to get every last bit of glitter off the skin, though it was never painful or uncomfortable to remove them.

Top Rated Shades

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The Artistique Blush formula is supposed to have a “naturally glowing finish.” The formula is consistent: the blushes have a very soft, almost cream-like powder texture that blends out effortlessly to a luminous sheen with semi-opaque to opaque coverage (but is soft and blendable enough to be applied sheer if preferred). Most shades lasted between eight and nine hours on me.

The only downside is that the packaging will feel underwhelming for the price point, as they are sold as refill pans with very thin plastic coverings and are designed to be housed in the brand’s freestyle palettes.

Top Rated Shades

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The Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed formula is described as having an “ultra-reflective shine” with a “creamy” texture that “applies seamlessly.” In general, the texture of the highlighters is incredibly smooth, silky, and finely-milled with frosted to metallic finishes and the occasional more sparkly finish. They tend to have a high-shine, more metallic finish and are a stronger highlighter, so they are going to be best suited to someone who likes an obvious highlight over a very subtle one. That being said, with a fan brush and a deft hand, one could certainly achieve a subtler, all-over luminosity as well, but if one takes a typical, tapered highlighting brush, there will be quite a bit of pigment and highlight on the skin. I find that some shades can emphasize the look of pores slightly to moderately, depending on application. They tend to last between eight to nine hours on me.

Top Rated Shades

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Tobacco Vanille begins with an initial blast of spices, like cardamom, cinnamon, and clove, followed by sweetened vanilla bean, and rum–warm, boozy, and fragrant. There’s an undercurrent of chocolate after about forty-five minutes of wear while, for me, a blend of vanilla and spice continues to be the main event. I felt as if there was a general haziness to the scent, which gave it a darker element, but it didn’t smell smoky or incense-like; more unsmoked pipe tobacco. I very much had the impression that I was breathing in the aromas from a freshly-made vanilla Chai tea latte–there’s a milky creaminess that really made me feel like cozying up by a fire with a good book.

It is not a scent that I would have thought would appeal to me. I tend to like heavier, amber-rich scents that are often masculine, but I do like the pairing of vanilla and amber, and here, with Tobacco Vanille, I love how well the spices and vanilla that play with the ginger, fruity tartness, and tobacco notes. On me, it’s not a complex perfume, but for all of its simplicity, it is exactly as described:  a potent mix of spice, tobacco, and vanilla.  It wore close to the skin, and three sprays lasted around fourteen hours.  I think if you like rummy, boozy scents, spices like cinnamon and cardamom, and vanilla, this perfume might interest you.

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The Cream Color for Eyes formula is supposed to be “ultra-pigmented” and “metallic” with a “creamy formula” that doesn’t “crease or smudge.” The majority of the shades I’ve tried in the range live up to those things–good pigmentation but can be applied sheerly (use less and/or apply with a fluffy brush) or kept opaque (a little goes a long way) with eight to twelve hours of wear (no primer). They’re blendable and dry down fast enough not to crease too easily while you’re working on them but not so quickly that they don’t budge. I did find that a couple of the new shades were more emollient than past shades and did have a longer dry down time and were harder to keep out of creases (in this review, that would be Siren Blue).

Top Rated Shades

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Top Rated Shades

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Brush Favorites

Smith Cosmetics 205 Angled Liner Brush ($20.00) is a firm, medium-sized angled eyeliner brush. It is similar in the overall feel, application, and consistency as the #202 and #203; it is just larger than the #203–it is longer and thicker but the angle is the same for both. Read full review.

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Wayne Goss Brush 19 Eye Shadow Precision Blending Brush ($23.00) is a smaller, more precise crease brush that I reach for often when I want deeper color in my crease for depth and drama without getting it so diffused that it overwhelms the look. It’s one of those brushes I find so useful that I keep multiples on hand!

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Sonia G. Sculpt Three is a smaller fan brush with a more typical shape, though more domed across the edge. It was incredibly silky and soft, and it was comfortable and easy to use even underneath my eyes to set undereye concealer. It’s marketed to apply a “soft wash of highlighter all over the skin,” and it’s supposed to differ from traditional fan brushes by picking up more product and giving the user more control. I’d agree with the latter; the edge picked up product better and more evenly as the product concentrated on the center rather than a little all over, so I could apply with more precision (and the smaller shaped helped, too).

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Smith Cosmetics 214 Spoolie Brush ($16.00) is a large, bent spoolie brush. It’s longer (almost double the length) of most spoolie brushes, and the ferrule is bent at an angle. Read full review.

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Wayne Goss Brush 20 Eye Shadow Smudging Brush ($22.00) is a small, rounded crease brush that gets deep into the crease and lays down intense color and diffuses it gently but never blows out the color that one loses the definition. I love using this brush for detailed placement of color in my crease or when I want to really diffuse color along my lower lash line.

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Sonia G Face Two is a smaller-sized face brush that flares from the base and has a domed edge with very soft, smooth bristles. It was designed for “contouring and sculpting the face” to be used with “blushes, bronzers, and contour powders.” I liked it most for blending and diffusing powder products on my skin, particularly using buffing motions. I find it easiest to work with sheer to medium pigmented products rather than any super intense, opaque red blush, as it can pickup a fair amount of product in one go. Where it’s a bit different than others like it is that it’s both dense enough to apply with precision but the edge of the brush splays enough to allow it to blend and diffuse product, too.

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Wayne Goss The Air-Brush ($35.00) is a powder brush designed for sculpting, buffing, and baking. It is made out of blue squirrel hair, which are some of the softest natural hairs I’ve come across. Read full review.

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Sonia G. Worker One has the shape of a more typical, fluffy eyeshadow blending brush but is much, much denser and a bit softer with less fluffy edges. If you were ever struggling to blend something out, this one tackles it with aplomb. I’d love to see this brush shape offered in smaller sizes–at least two more!–because I find it very versatile and unique (but not strange!) within my collection of brushes. (Worker Two, which is newly released, is the same in shape and size but is undyed). Out of all the brushes in the range, Worker One is the one I’d most recommend and one that I’ve purchased duplicates of.

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