Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sephora Haul

So ... I didn't intend to not post for a month, but if you've been following me on Instagram, you may have known I was on holidays in the US for a couple of weeks. Things were a little hectic the week before and after the trip, so I've only now had a spare moment to get things in order with the blog. To make up for my mini absence, I've returned with some makeup p0rn: a Sephora haul!

My last trip to the States was 3 years ago, and because I was clueless back then, I didn't create a Beauty Insider account. This time, I made sure to remedy that. Even with the abysmal state of the Australian dollar (long gone are the glory days of parity), I didn't exactly exercise restraint. (Though I did manage to avoid buying any lip products, so I'll give myself that.) It's surprisingly stressful when your travelling companion, like an AA sponsor, limits your visits to Sephora to the number of fingers on one hand. I had to make sure I wasn't skipping over anything I would regret not buying, but also not go completely overboard (because as we all know, that's easy to do).


My loot (hauled in one and a half weeks, over 4 Sephora stores):
  • Smashbox Primer Water ($32 USD, about $50 AUD)
  • Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Radiance ($20 USD, about $30 AUD)
  • Clinique Cheek Pop in Nude Pop ($22 USD, about $34 AUD)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette ($30 USD, about $46 AUD)
  • Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in Brown/Black ($10.50 USD, about $16 AUD)
  • Maison Martin Margiela Lazy Sunday Morning Rollerball ($25 USD, about $39 AUD)
  • Fresh Sugar Lychee Rollerball ($22 USD, about $34 AUD)
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone ($19 USD, about $29 AUD)
  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($15 USD, about $23 AUD)
  • Elizabeth and James Nirvana Mini Rollerball Set ($25 USD, about $39 AUD)
  • Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo ($11 USD, about $17 AUD) 
  • philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser ($11 USD, about $17 AUD) 
  • Benefit Rockateur Box o’ Powder Blush ($28 USD, about $43 AUD)
  • Too Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blush in Baby Love ($26 USD, about $40 AUD)

So basically, I spent a lot of money.

Mind you, that's not all the cosmetics/skin care stuff I bought in the US. Ugh. 

I did also buy the Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel but I ended up returning it the next day after one use because it left my skin feeling taut and dried out.




Some of the stuff was literally more expensive than if I'd bought it in Australia (Smashbox Primer Water, Too Faced blush), some was only slightly cheaper but basically the same price (philosophy cleanser, Benefit Rockateur). The extensive rollerball display at Sephora was like Christmas and I was pretty ecstatic when two perfumes I'd been eyeing were available in rollerball form (Maison Martin Margiela Lazy Sunday Morning and Fresh Sugar Lychee, both unavailable in Australia). I also couldn't resist any of the good ol' minis (Fresh cleanser, Elizabeth and James rollerball set, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, Laura Mercier primer, even that darn 60ml bottle of Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo which I classify as the most ludicrous purchase ever, because as if I do hair, as if this shampoo is especially better than other shampoos, and as if I couldn't buy 2 litres of Pantene for the same price).


It didn't feel right to come away from Sephora without an eyeshadow palette, so I limited myself to just one: Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow Couture World Traveler Palette. The price was right, the reviews were mostly positive, I hadn't seen the palette available at the Sydney Sephora store, there are a multitude of shades and finishes, and I was curious to try my first product from the brand. I had listed the Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Volume 1 – Nudes as a potential purchase, but the shades/packaging seemed underwhelming to me in person. Maybe neutral shadow fatigue. I wasn't interested in the new Naked Smoky palette from Urban Decay at all. I had a look at Buxom, and while the shadows swatched beautifully, nothing was really calling out to me as a must. Other options (Smashbox, Laura Mercier, Tarte, Stila) were too expensive with the currency conversion. I kind of wanted the Bobbi Brown Telluride Eye Palette but it was $52 USD, which would've worked out to have been $81 AUD. Like, no.





l-r: Too Faced Baby Love, Clinique Nude Pop, Benefit Rockateur

Bottom to top: Too Faced Baby Love, Clinique Nude Pop, Benefit Rockateur

Bottom to top: Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone

l-r: Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone

For some reason, I was super into the idea of dewy, highlighted skin, so I purchased the Laura Mercier primer and the Becca, with the idea of potentially mixing them into my foundation, or applying it to my face before foundation for added natural luminosity. I also bought a small tube of MAC Strobe Cream and a Benefit set that included a 'That Gal' Brightening Face Primer sample, so I'm good with liquid highlighters for now. After trial and error, I've learned to avoid placing luminiser over my nose, and that a 40/60 ratio of highlighter and foundation is a bit excessive.

While I'm sure I have similar blushes to three I bought, I'm really happy with all of them. Too Faced Baby Love almost reminds me of a pinker/plummier NARS Douceur, Clinique Nude Pop is like a muted version of NARS Madly, and Benefit Rockateur is a foolproof pick that goes with anything.

One product I'm on the fence about is the Smashbox Primer Water. As a primer, it did absolutely zilch, and as a setting/refresher spray, I'm not convinced it's any better than much cheaper options such as rosewater or even MAC Fix+. I do like the packaging and the spray mechanism, but I'm not sure if that's $50/116ml like. Probably not, but now that I've bought it, I'll try to forget about the inflated price tag and enjoy it.

56 comments:

  1. Great haul! Clearly you restrained yourself this time around haha. I like your thoughts on the Smashbox Primer Water! I thought it was a bit gimmicky for the exorbitant price tag.

    Wendy xx
    madein97.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Haha, I was very much #yolo in mindset. Though to be fair to myself, I did write down a lot of things I wanted to check out/buy beforehand. Yeah, the Smashbox isn't the best value for money, but I'm such a sucker for sprays that I couldn't help myself. It is practically identical to MAC Fix+ though, but like 2x more expensive.

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  2. Fab haul hun, the Anastasia palette looks stunning and I love the look of Baby Love :) Roackateur is one of my favourite boxed blushers by Benefit.

    Charlee XO | CharmedCharlee

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    1. I'm really enjoying Baby Love! I haven't tried all of the shades in the ABH palette, but some of them do remind me quite a bit of the Too Faced Semi Sweet palette :)

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  3. The blushes are all really pretty I love your haul! I would love to try the ABH palettes x

    Zoe Mountford x

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    1. The shades are really easy to wear and go with pretty much anything! I'm impressed with the ABH palette so far - the shades are really pigmented and blend smoothly.

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  4. Replies
    1. It's what happens when one goes to the magical place of Sephora in the US :p

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  5. I'd say you were pretty restrained! I'm mentally compiling my wishlist for my US holiday next year and it is GETTING OUT OF HAND. I think when I see everything in person though, I'll probably cull items (hopefully that is). I'm tempted by the Too Faced blushes, mostly for the packaging but I've been hearing mixed reviews! I definitely want to pick up some of the Clinique blushes shades we can't get here, since I love the formula so much. I'm looking forward to the rollerballs too!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

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    1. I'd say don't even bother with the Too Faced blushes (in terms of buying them in the US) - just get them here! They're $38 I think? Basically the same price as in the US. I paid $40 for mine.

      I did compile an actual list prior to flying out ... haha. It's necessary to avoid going overboard while there. It's surprisingly hard to commit to things because there's so much choice and nothing is really cheap, so you don't want to make the 'wrong' decision. But I approached a lot of the shopping with a "now or never" mindset, since it's not like I was going to drag my friend into every Sephora store and have her wait for me to browse through the entire shop for hours. Had to be fairly decisive (at least by my standards) and know what I wanted.

      Anyway, you'll love it there - the shops are so much better and you get point perks! :)

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  6. What a great haul and it's been years since I've been to the US and if I go back I would not restrain from getting so many things. The too faced blush is one I would pick up and I don't know how you did not buy any lip products.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

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    1. I'm not entirely sure how I did it either, but I'm pretty proud of myself!

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  7. Welcome back! Missed your posts. ;)
    The eyeshadow palette looks great having both fun and safe colors all included.
    It's funny I feel greatly satisfied reading about your haul and the thoughts behind it as I myself is feeling a bit fatigued about beauty purchases in general. I was just at a big Sephora location on 5th but barely sniffed a few scents and left. Not that I am on a no-buy or anything (I still buy stuff as you know. LOL) but that fuzzy feeling comes by much less frequently.

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    1. Thank you! Glad to be back :)

      I know what you mean ... sometimes all the products and bright lights and excess seems so unappealing and you're not motivated at all to shop. It's good though, since acquiring more beauty stuff is entirely superfluous and unnecessary :p I think what made me haul was because the Sephora stores where I live (there's only one, though a new one opened up recently which I haven't visited yet) are so inferior in comparison. If I lived in NYC, then it would be a different story! I think I'd be a lot more restrained since there's the idea you can get whatever you want whenever you want.

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  8. great haul! Lots of goodies. I am in the same boat with being obsessed with dewy glow skin. Can't wait to see how you fair out with the Laura Mercier and Becca products.

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    1. It's the continued highlighter craze! Plus my dry skin won't let up, so I need moisture and dewiness. I've tried both - the LM is more subtle and definitely more of a primer (as its name suggests!), whereas the Becca is more noticeable and multipurpose. They're both great in that they impart a reflective sheen and aren't distinctly glittery or shimmery.

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  9. Nice haul and welcome back :) !
    I've been wanting to get myself ABH eye shadow palette, since a friend of mine swore to me it's one of the best eyeshadow palette she's ever encountered ( and she has a lot of palettes to start with ). So yeah , I think I'll wait to hear your thoughts on it before I cave in ^^
    How do you like Fresh Sugar Lychee? it's one of my favourite spring summer scent, very fresh indeed and sweet but nothing sickening. ^^

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    1. I really like Sugar Lychee! I was pretty set on getting a Fresh perfume and I liked that one the best. My favourite part is that it does develop on the skin and while it reminds me of Laura Mercier Tarte au Citron a little bit in the opening, it mellows out and becomes softer and not as tangy/artificial.

      I haven't tried all the ABH shades but so far, I'm liking it. I do think some of the colours are similar to my existing shadows though, so whether it's an absolute must-have is debatable.

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  10. Great haul! I hope you had a good vacation despite dropping loads of money at Sephora =D You picked some really great products! I especially love the Becca highlighters. You can't go wrong w/the Anastasia palette either =)

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    1. Thank you! I did have a great holiday and I miss being on vacation already.

      I'm happy that Sephora offers the mini tubes of the Becca highlighter. I wish they had one in Pearl but I only found Moonstone and Opal. I'd never get through a full bottle so these tubes are fantastic :)

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  11. Love what you picked up! I've just been to the States too and went a little overboard with the beauty shopping (haul is on my blog if you wanna see!). I love the Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil range and the Laura Mercier primers are great too - they last forever!

    Amy | Get Glam

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    1. Oooh, will definitely go check out the haul on your blog!

      I like the shampoo but I'm not sure whether it's hugely better than what I was using before, but then again, I've only used it once. I think Laura Mercier does fantastic base products and this primer is no different.

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  12. Love the look of the clinique blush, it's such a pretty colour!
    Maddy, xo

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    1. It's one of the more subtle blushes I have but looks really pretty on the cheeks!

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  13. So jealous you got your hands on one of the new Clinique Cheek Pop shades! I love the look of the Too Faced blushers too :) xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. They definitely were on the shopping list since the new shades haven't been released in Australia yet!

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  14. What a fab haul, it looks like you picked up some amazing things. I so wish we have a Sephora here in the UK. I'm going to Paris next month and cannot wait to go to one!

    Lucy x
    http://shebearacharmedlife.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Sephora is truly a beauty lover's heaven! Hope you enjoy your trip to Paris :)

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  15. Nice haul! I really want one of the Too Faced blushers! Or them all!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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    1. The heart-shaped packaging is just too adorable!

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  16. Awesome haul, your perfume selection looks awesome ! I have been wanting to try the Benefit Rockateur blush for long now !

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    1. I love all the Benefit blushes - I think I own most of them :) They're such great quality and the shades are so flattering.

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    1. They're too adorable! Polly Pocket vibes all the way.

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  18. Aw hope you've had a lovely time! I love the blush colors!

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    1. I did, thank you! The blush colours are basically a good representation of the shades I'm usually drawn to when it comes to blush :p

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  19. Hahah! Yes, "Basically I spent a lot of money"...totally sums up this haul monetarily! I'd like to say money well spent though! I would do similarly too if I were on such a long holiday in the US (where there are so many brands and products that I can't find here) with a big beauty budget. I absolutely would steal that fresh sugar lychee rollerball from you! I'm just imagining the gorgeous scent! Also you've picked up some stunning and super wearable blush shades, I totally would have gotten similar shades! I definitely have the Rockateur blush on my wish list as well as a deeper nude brown blush from the Love Flush line! Basically, I want to pick off about half of your haul and bring them home! Great haul and I can't wait to see the reviews! Eeeeeek! :p

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    1. Haha I did indulge a little bit, but I'd at least been planning and budgeting for a bit of a splurge when I was there :) It's always more tempting to buy stuff that's not available where you live as well - hence the rollerball purchases!

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  20. Oh DANG you big spender you haha. That is quite the loot. Too bad about the primer water though, I figured it wouldn't work as a primer. I really like the moonstone swatch. Looks very promising :)

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    1. Big spender indeed, just like the big band songs they play in Vegas (one of the cities we visited on the trip). The primer water doesn't work to prime anything, but it's basically the equivalent of MAC Fix+ in slightly nicer packaging.

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  21. That's a pretty good haul! I hope you had a great trip! I've only ever been to sephora in france and they don't have some of this stuff. I did get a Sephora Cream Lip Stain which I love. I'm dying to try the Elizabeth and James perfumes after hearing so much about them. My parents are going to the US next week so you've given me some good ideas of what to ask them to bring back for me! Also Love Benefit Rockateur!

    Emma x

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    1. I didn't pick up any Sephora brand products but I have heard good things about their lip products :) The Liz & James perfumes are pretty nice but nothing overly unique. The white one reminds me a lot of your typical slightly fruity floral and the black one reminds me a lot of those heavier, muskier, more chocolatey Tom Ford-ish scents.

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  22. Loving this haul! I'm so jealous of American pricing since makeup is soo much affordable over there! I picked up my Becca Moonstone at Sydney Sephora for double the price you paid! Still, it's probably my favourite highlighter so far :)

    sayyip.blogspot.com.au

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    1. I did buy the travel size (20ml rather than 50ml), unless the Sydney Sephora has started stocking the mini as well!

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  23. So you got Rockateur after all! It will be for sure one of my Autumn picks for this year for sure. I'm also really curious about the new Too Faced Blushes - for some reason only three were released here. One of them seems a bit similar to Seduction from Nars so I am scared of getting it ( I mean, I love seduction but...I don't really need another shade like that...specially when the same happens with Demerara which I don't use that much any more...) And I'm also really curious with these Clinique blushes. I'm going to get two from my mother - she will be shipping them from the UK - and eventually I might ask her to get me more two or three shades ( because I have another two or three faces to slap more blush...I'm starting to hoard more blushes than what I should...)

    The palette also looks really nice and yes, I'm not really into the new Naked palette either. It feels like "more of the same" to me. And after getting the two Zoeva palettes the only palettes that would make me want to splurge the money would be Lorac's and Kat von D's - which is now going to be sold in Spain...I'll probably ask my friend to get me a few items from there for sure! Oh and Stila's palettes as well.

    I really do love that shampoo. I got myself a big bottle last year and I still have a third of it. I'm thinking about getting another one next to the new year and I might also get their spray as well.

    Personally, I would also get a good amount of products from Tarte and Kat von D ( specially Tarte's blushes!)

    Take care, have a nice day!
    RandomlyDi

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  24. <3 <3 Your purchases are so exciting. I'm particularly curious about the adorable Too Faced blushes. I'd love to get one for myself x

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  25. So gorgeous! That Too Faced blush in particular ;)

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  26. Such a great haul - you showed much more restraint than I did when I was in the States a few months ago. Did you make any drugstore trips while you were there? How beautiful is the rollerball display? I took so long picking and choosing - I got that same Elizabeth & James set and a Stella rollerball (which is actually a spray). The White scent in the set is actually VERY similar to Stella. Love all your luminous skin purchases!

    Ash / The Beauty Collection

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    1. The Stella one is great because it's a spray!

      I wanted to go drugstore makeup shopping but never really had the opportunity. Plus, I didn't know what to get or didn't have too many specific items in mind beforehand, unlike with my Sephora purchases. I did end up getting a couple of things from Walgreens though ... the L'Oreal Infallible e/s in Amber Rush and the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige.

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  27. A large part of me is convinced that I need that Anastasia palette... I saw a cartful at Sephora Sydney the other day... Ah the colours look divine. I think I'll wait for your review before I give into temptation. The remaining part is telling me, I only have two freaking eye lids. But, whatever.

    I have missed your posts very much. I am glad to see that you're back, safe and sound.

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    1. Thank you so much, really sweet of you to say :)

      I haven't been to the Sephora in Sydney for a while - so I guess they must've restocked? Unless this was a while ago. I do like the palette but there are shades I probably will never touch, and given I have so many eyeshadows, there are a few that can be duped in palettes I already have. Still, I think it's a worthwhile addition to my collection. Will definitely try to get a review up or at least swatches :)

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  28. Aaah what a wonderful haul :)
    I have been seeing that Anastasia palette pop up everywhere lately.. tempting me to buy it.. I think I can hold myself but ooh it looks so lovely :D
    The blushes look really lovely too..
    Oh who am I kidding, everything looks really lovely :)
    xx

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  29. This is THE post. Oh my god, this is getting me so excited for my trip and so great to give me a bit of an idea as to what to expect in terms of prices.
    How great that you can return things after using them if they don't suit your taste!! what are the rules around that? Did you buy much drugstore products?
    A few things on my wishlist on here - mostly all the fragrances! I love the rollerball packaging, I'm going to pick up a few too.
    That Anastasia palette looks stunning! I really want to pick up a more colourful palette because I found that I hardly own any. All my eyeshadows are neutrals and pinks and as much as i love them, i can never do anything new or adventurous with them.
    I really want that exact same too faced blush mainly because I just bought "I will always love you" for my best friend for her birthday and now I want one too. That compact packaging is love!!!
    I was given the becca Moonstone for my birthday and I love it! I've been mixing it with my foundation and using my RT sponge to tap it on my cheekbones before putting champagne pop on top and its so pretty :)
    I feel like this comment was just one big ramble and written terribly because I'm just so excited haha!

    chloĆ©⎪ status.chlo

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    1. Haha I'm glad to have provided some form of excitement and an idea as to pricing :) I am not sure about the rules surrounding returns since I only did it once and literally the next day. If you're a Sephora Beauty Insider, I think you can return without even the receipt. But I did bring a receipt with me as it makes things a lot easier and I find legitimises your return that bit more. All I did was explain I bought the product yesterday and after one use, it was unsuitable for my skin, and therefore I'd like to return it. They basically did it no questions asked in like 3 minutes. They didn't even open up the box that the product came in to check for use or anything like that.
      I didn't buy many drugstore products at all. I wanted a pair of Ardell Demi Wispies but I literally could not find them anywhere. I bought a Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige and L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow in Amber Rush ... I'm pretty sure that's it in terms of drugstore products.
      The Too Faced blushes are basically the same price (or maybe even $2 cheaper) in Australia, so I wouldn't bother buying from US!
      I was tempted by the Artist palette from ABH (the one with more colourful shades), but realistically I knew I'd get no wear out of it, so I refrained. The one I bought does have a few brighter shades and it isn't completely neutral, so it's a good compromise.
      That idea of mixing your highlighter with your foundation and then using a sponge to apply it sounds terrific! I'm sure you're absolutely glowing :)

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