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Thursday, 27 August 2015

BEAUTY || An Overdue Sephora Haul.

Hands up, I've been back from the States for over a week now and I've been meaning to write this post ever since. But better late than never, right? So put your feet up and make yourself a cup of tea because this is going to be a long 'un. Yep, it's my somewhat overdue Sephora Haul.
You know you're a beauty blogger when you visit Sephora on three separate occasions. Because once just isn't enough. Oh, and you also made it your mission to find Becca's 'Champagne Pop' and the 'Better Than Sex' mascara. As you do.
I know the above picture looks like a lot of stuff, and it certainly is, but it helped enormously to go into the beauty palace of dreams with a game-plan. I've watched enough YouTube tutorials over the past year and a half to know what I wanted to splurge on.
First up are lip products - because there are a lot of them. I don't know if it's only me, but I can buy lipstick until the sun goes down. I think it's because they feel like just the right indulgence - and a quick pop of colour can totally transform a make-up look. No wonder I have lip products in the excess. 
Anyway. The first thing I bought was actually a repurchase - the Fresh 'Sugar Lip Treatment' in Petal. When I first bought this back in 2013, I was actually quite disappointed ha. I wasn't such a fan of the pigmented colour and wanted something a little more girly. But about a month before I left for New York, I rediscovered this product from the depths of my collection and loved it. Weird, huh? Colour-wise, it's a bold dark pink that packs a punch. Applies like a dream and moisturises the lips while also remaining pretty long-lasting. Just make sure it doesn't get on your teeth... I've had a couple of slightly embarrassing incidents at work ha. 
I've read about Too Faced's 'Melted Lipstick' range around the bloggosphere and thought why not give them a try. Any long-term readers of LydiaLulu will know that I can't resist a liquid lipstick. I picked Melted Peony - a very light, almost bubblegum pink shade - because I've got plenty of bold colours in my collection. It's a lot brighter than I was expecting and so I have to make sure to play down my eyes when I'm wearing this one to avoid that Disney Princess-gone-wrong effect. All in all, a very comfortable lip product to wear, with good staying power - I just have to be careful about re-appling to avoid that awkward build-up in the corners of your mouth. Not a great look! (See Melted Peony in action here).
Yeah... I bought even more NARS lip pencils. I can't help it! They're that good. I'll avoid the gushing because I've already raved about these beauties too many times to count but I bought the Satin pencil Lodhi (which Sephora describes as 'Coral' but I'd say it's more of a peach) and the Velvet Gloss pencils in Mexican Rose and Frivolous. Expect a review in the next couple of weeks.
And finally, I had to try one of the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Lipsticks while I was on a lip product binge. I chose the hot pink shade Ballet because it's unlike any colour I've tried and because, well, it's pink. So far, I'm not too impressed. The pigment is great - the watery formula is what lets it down. If you have time to check up on your lips regularly then you can just about pull this off - but when you're working an 8 hour shift, it's not ideal. I also purchased two mascaras that have been much-discussed on the bloggosphere of late. Again, I have a post coming up with a direct comparison of Benefit's RollerLash and Too Faced's 'Better Than Sex' mascara. SPOILER ALERT: Too Faced wins in terms of drama and I feel like RollerLash will improve dramatically once the formula dries out a little. Time will tell with this one. 
Next up and I just had to try the Kat Von D Liquid Eyeliner that US beauty gals are always raving about. As far as first impressions go, this stuff is seriously long-lasting. It was definitely put to the test in the New York heat and it was fairly successful, only smudging a little. You do have to be quick with this one, however, as once its applied it sets incredibly quickly. But again, I need a bit longer to judge as it hasn't really been liquid-eyeliner weather of late.
And now we have to appreciate the beauty that is the Too Faced Natural Eyes palette. I'd been in the market for a browny-bronzy palette for quite some time as these shades really suit blue-eyed girls like myself. The idea is that you have three ready-made eye make-up looks all neatly aligned which is great if you're feeling unsure about mixing and matching. But I personally love playing round with the mattes and shimmers, just to see what works for me. My current favourite is applying 'Silk Teddy' all across the lid and then blending 'Cashmere Bunny' in the crease.The moment I saw 'Champagne Pop'  in stock in the Sephora on Fifth Avenue was a real exciting one for me. In fact, I got so overexcited that my sister bought one too... That store had gotten it back in stock the day I was leaving so this was my last US beauty purchase and probably my best. It really is the most incredible highlighter - I'm glad I resisted buying too because this one will last me forever. I can't see myself ever finishing it, it's such a pigmented powder that I have to be very careful to not overdo it on the shimmer front! This beauty really does deserve it's own post but it needed to be mentioned here as I was practically bouncing off the walls when I found it.
I'd been wanting to try an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder for a fair few months but again, was slightly put off by the price tag. So naturally I made a point of picking one up in the States where it's considerably cheaper. The shade, Incandescent Electra, is not a shade I normally go for - it's quite a shocking peach and I'm normally a cool-toned pink kind of gal. But it's good to try new things, right? This blush has a lot more shimmer than I was expecting and I do find stray glitter on my face throughout the day where the product has faded. Although very pretty and Instagrammable, the jury is still out on this one.Of course, Nails Inc were always going to creep into my Haul somehow. Each polish is $15 in the States which means they're practically half the price. Like I was going to resist. First up is Rose Street, part of 'The Perfect Pink' mini collection. I went for it just for the simple fact that I have so many shades of pink but none like this. It's a lot brighter than it looks in the bottle but is still pretty and understated. A winning formula and a pretty colour, there's not much more to say ha. 
I wrote about the Alice + Olivia collaboration last week but I was equally as thrilled to bag these colours. Rosé & Poetry and Midnight Merlot are right up my street in their deep, sultry tones and perfectly in keeping with the 70s vibe of AW15. The shades themselves are so dark that I'd say they need only one coat to achieve the right shade. Anything that quickens the nail painting process is okay by me!
And finally, we have the Miscellaneous section. I finally got round to picking up the Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray that I've read so much about! They had a mini at the checkout and I couldn't resist. When we were still in the States, I shared it with my Mum and Sister and they loved it just as much as me. When sprayed onto wet hair and then left to dry naturally, it creates such a nice natural wave and I love that it's weightless and totally scent-free. Although not a necessary step in my morning routine, I've just been enjoying using this product and it gives my hair some extra oomph when I feel I need it. 
I finally indulged in some Sephora brushes and got this whole wrap which is basically like a starter kit for $39. A total steal. So far, I've got the most use out of the eyeshadow applicators and still need to play round with the foundation brushes as I'm normally one to apply most products with my fingers. But the blush brush is a good size and I love how portable this little kit is if I need to take it with me somewhere. It was safe to say I was pretty chuffed with this unexpected purchase. 
And we're done! Phew. That's got to be one of the longest posts I've written in a while! Hope you enjoyed this lengthly haul and got some beauty inspiration if you're in need of it. I'd say these are all typical 'Lydia' products but I've been loving them so far nonetheless. See - it helps to go in with a Wishlist!

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