Drugstore Dud or Delight: Pixi Eye Reflection Shadow Palette in Natural Beauty

The perfect everyday palette

No secrets here: this one is a complete delight! I’ve exclusively been wearing the Natural Beauty Eye Reflection Shadow Palette since Pixi Beauty kindly sent this over a couple weeks ago. The shade selection is right up my alley and the formula is beautiful as well! I would highly recommend this palette, especially for $24.

The mattes and satins are soft without being powdery and they layer and blend out nicely. The shimmers are truly the star of the show here as they catch and reflect light better than any other drugstore shadow I’ve tried (and probably most of my expensive palettes too!). I apply the shimmers with my finger and get intense color and coverage in one swipe. You can also use a brush to diffuse the pigment a bit if you want something more subtle.

I’m loving the neutral color scheme with a great mix of warm- and cool-toned shades. There are a couple options for crease colors, the perfect matte bone shade, and several shimmers in a variety of depths. I love how you can create so many different looks with this palette! I’ve done a nice all matte look, a simple one shadow shimmer all over the lid, and even a dramatic smokey eye. Because it’s so versatile, I think this is an awesome every day palette and it would make a great travel option too.

Here are the swatches! From the top left we have Sheer Sand, Metal Mauve, and Petal. The second row is Antique Rose, Rose Clay, and Metallic Rose. Then there’s a warmer row with Deep Taupe, Foiled Bronze, and Soft Brown. Lastly, the bottom row is Chocolate Brown, Cocoa Shimmer, and Bronze Gleam.

I continue to be impressed with Pixi Beauty, you guys! The quality of everything I’ve tried is fantastic, plus the line is quite affordable and there’s the convenience of grabbing anything during your next Target run.

So there’s another delight this month! What have you been loving from the drugstore?

Benefit Gimme Brow+ Quick and Easy Tutorial

My favorite brow gel

 

I’ve posted about my love for this product before, but I thought I would put together this super fast tutorial on how to use Benefit’s Gimme Brow+. These three simple steps take less than a minute per brow, but the final look adds polish and definition to my face. Gimme Brow+ even fills in the scar in my left brow while looking totally natural. Thanks to Birchbox for gifting me this when I had just run out of mine!

Brow Gel Battle – Benefit Gimme Brow+, Glossier Boy Brow, and Beautaniq Beauty Fill + Tame Brow Gel

Comparing three brow tamers

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I love a good brow gel. It’s such a simple step that really helps frame your face. My brow hairs are longer and can get a bit wild, so I need help taming, but I also have a scar in my left brow, so I like when a tinted brow gel can fill in a bit too.

Benefit’s Gimme Brow ($24) is a classic; I think it was the first of its kind with fibers in the formula to help volumize sparse brows while maintaining some hold. Gimme Brow+ is the new version and I kindly received this from the Birchbox team to create some content. Check out for this video on their feed if you’d like!

This new and improved version is vegan, paraben-free, phthalate-free and has a water-resistant tint. I got caught in a downpour last week on the way home from ballet and I’m happy to report that it held up very well!

What I love most about Gimme Brow+ is the tiny tapered brush. It helps with precise application and I find it holds enough products for both brows with just one dip of the wand. Benefit definitely has the best color selection, with eight different shades and a variety of undertones! The shade 4 is great for my deep brown brows as it’s just a tad warmer and adds dimension.

Then we have Glossier Boy Brow ($16), which has to be one of the most popular brow gels out there as it once had a 10,000 person waiting list! I picked the shade Brown at their Showroom here in NYC. Here’s 10% off  if you want to shop with my link!

I like the mini brush size and don’t mind the straighter shape on Boy Brow, although it does pick up more product than I generally need for both brows. I think the color is nice too; it’s quite dark and more cool toned.

The formula is a lot wetter compared to Gimme Brow+, which means it can transfer onto my skin easily versus staying on my brow hairs. For that reason, I don’t love filling in the scar on my left brow with Boy Brow; it doesn’t look as natural as either of the others!

With Beautaniq Beauty’s Fill and Tame Brow Gel ($12), the formula isn’t too wet or too dry. The color Brunette is pretty dark and neutral in tone. I love the bright green packaging and how affordable this one is too.

The brush is quite similar to the Benefit one because it’s also small and tapered. I think the very tip of the brush helps get some of the tiny hairs at the tail end of my brow and also means there isn’t too much product to disperse.

Fill and Tame definitely adds definition while still looking natural, but it’s not as long lasting as Gimme Brow+ in my experience (it’s also not water-resistant). My brow hairs start looking a tiny bit wild at the end of the day.

Both get my stamp of approval, but I would definitely recommend Gimme Brow+ most. If you’re on a budget, I think Fill and Tame is a pretty close second choice at half the price!

New Becca Cosmetics Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow Palette Swatches and First Impressions

Swatches of a gorgeous new launch 

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Becca just dropped a new line of volcano inspired cosmetics and I had to snag the Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow Palette because it’s so beautiful! I’ve actually never purchased a palette sight unseen, but I went for it because I think this one may sell out! I also received 20% off the palette since I’d never purchased anything from the Becca website before. I’m very happy with the free shipping too; I ordered on Wednesday morning and the package showed up this morning (Friday)!

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These shades are absolutely stunning and perfect for creating neutral looks with enough fun pops of color that add a bit more interest. I think it will be great for travel since you have warm and cool toned options as well as those bolder shades. The packaging itself is quite sturdy as well and there’s a nice, large mirror inside too.

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Here are swatches taken indoor in indirect sunlight. I made a tiny circle in each pan and swiped once on my arm (with the exception of diamond dust, which took two passes to show the true color on my pale skin). You can really see the difference between the  finishes with three matte shades, four shimmers, and five pressed pigment/glittery shades. From the left we have: Cloud, Volcanic Sand, Granite, Gilded, Diamond Dust, Haze, Red Rock, Lava, Agate Ash, Crater, Hematite, and Midnight Sapphire.

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Here are swatches with the flash on. It was pretty cloudy this morning and it’s supposed to rain all weekend, but I wanted to get this post up! So I hope it’s helpful if you were interested in this palette but couldn’t find many swatches.

For my first impression, I wore Granite, Haze, and Agate Ash on my eyes today without any primer and I’m pretty impressed with the finish and lasting power so far! The shimmer catches the light beautifully and they haven’t creased yet!

I’ll definitely have a full review up after I’ve worn all of the shades on my eyes. I can note that Diamond Dust does have a bit of fallout as the texture is a bit chunkier than the rest; it’s workable though and doesn’t ruin the palette for me!

Have you heard anything about this collection yet? What’s your current favorite eyeshadow palette?

5 Minute Face for Summer – Minimal Makeup

Easy, fast makeup

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Summer is one the busiest times for me since I’m traveling a bunch. It’s also been incredibly hot and I don’t want to wear a lot of makeup that may melt off. So recently, I’ve paired down my everyday makeup to just a few steps. It has made getting ready in the morning or before a flight a bit faster and I’m into the minimal dewy look.

I totally forgot to include my First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tinted Moisturizer since it’s in my medicine cabinet, but that’s the first step. I love that product for its lightweight feel and sheer coverage that adds a dewy glow to the skin. I have the shade Fair which matches me nicely now that I have a tiny tan. It has SPF 30, which I appreciate, but is unfortunately not Reef Safe, so I won’t be repurchasing it. Any recommendations for tinted moisturizers with Reef Safe SPF would be so helpful! I’ve tried the Raw Elements one, which is great on its own, but makes my face look super oily at the end of the day when layered with other makeup.

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Next, I apply Vapour’s Illusionist Concealer in 010 under my eyes and brows, down the bridge of my nose, and a little on my cheeks. This brightens, highlights, and covers redness beautifully (full review here!). That quickly blends in with my Real Techniques Mini Expert Face Brush. I have the full size of this too and absolutely love it! This smaller version works just as beautifully and is so travel friendly.

One of my favorite steps is bronzer and my current go-to is the BareMinerals Invisible Bronze in Medium. This works nicely to warm up my complexion and looks very natural on the skin. It’s a bit strange that medium is my shade match in this product because I’m relatively fair, so be careful if you’re looking at the different shades. Sometimes I’ll blend this into the crease of my eyelid as eyeshadow too.

 

I’ve actually been using my Luxie Tapered Highlight Brush from June’s Boxycharm with that bronzer. It seems odd because bronzer brushes are generally quite large, but I don’t have much room in my travel makeup bag and was looking for another alternative. This one worked out because it’s a fluffy brush. If it were dense, it would be hard to lightly sweep product onto the skin.

Since there is a scar in my left brow and my brows can be a bit unruly, even a super minimal look includes some type of brow product for me. I love this Beautaniq Beauty Fill + Tame Brow Gel for how quickly and easily it applies and evens out my brows. It doesn’t leave them crunchy either. The Brunette color matches my dark brown, almost black brow hair really well, which can sometimes be hard with gels.

Lastly, I’ve been trying out the Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara in Black. It’s a very wet formula, so I have to be careful while applying or little specks get all over my lids (which is hard to hid when you’re not wearing any eyeshadow!). However the longer application time is worth it because it gives me serious length and pretty volume too.

So that’s this super simple look. I always have lip balm on and a few gloss options with me too. I love Tom Ford La Piscine and Clinique Pop Splash in Pinot Pop (swatched here).

What’s your favorite look for summer? Are you feeling a minimal vibe or all out glam?