e.l.f. Instant Lift Brow Pencil in Deep Brown: unfortunately, I couldn’t use this up because I got it in the wrong shade. Deep Brown is too dark, Neutral Brown would have probably been the better match (although it seems to have a red undertone, and doesn’t look ashy enough for me, from the swatches I’ve seen) but I never got to try a different shade because I don’t like the formula of this pencil. It was so waxy, that it made my brow hairs stick together and look greasy. Due to the excessive waxiness, I can’t imagine it being long wearing. I also don’t think that this brow pencil was well thought out, the pencil comes to a point, but it isn’t as thin as the ABH Brow Wiz, so when you wear down the tip, you’re not going to get much precision from this pencil if you want to mimic brow hairs by filling in with thin strokes or if you want to outline/create shape, and you aren’t provided a tool to get the tip sharp again. I do like that it has a built-in spoolie, so you don’t necessarily need a separate one while using this product.
M.A.C Prep + Prime Highlighter in Peach Lustre: I’m surprised that M.A.C doesn’t market this as a color corrector because it’s so much better than the Bobbi Brown Corrector. The formulation of this product is stellar, it’s not too emollient that it creases, and slides around especially under the eyes, but it’s not drying either, it’s not thick, yet has great coverage and staying power. If you’re darker skinned, like an NW45 – 50 and maybe even darker, you might be hesitant to try this because the color is not as orange as other correctors meant for dark skin, but it truly corrects dark under eyes, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation around the face, it also brightens in an understated way. I apply this on top of my foundation, then blend it out with a damp sponge, you can wear concealer over it if you want, but I find that it gives enough coverage to warrant skipping that step. The pen-style packaging with the built in brush makes it easy to apply. It’s one on my all-time favorite makeup products, I always make sure to have a backup.
M.A.C Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder- Pressed: I liked this powder, it was smooth, finely milled, didn’t look chalky or leave a white cast, it was mattifying, and it set my makeup well. It’s a good powder overall, but not an immediate repurchase for me, because I have yet to try a translucent powder that is as impressive as the NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Setting Powder- Pressed in terms of looking undetectable on the skin.
L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara: I love everything about this mascara: the bristles, size of the brush, formula, and simple packaging, it’s an all-time favorite. I don’t get the best of both worlds with this mascara, it’s primarily for volume, I’ve noticed that I tend to get more definition, and length out of some of my other mascaras (especially the ones with plastic bristles). The size of the wand is perfect because it’s neither too big nor too small, so I can get right to the roots of the lashes without creating a huge mess/poking myself in the eye. The formula is neither too wet nor to dry, so it doesn’t weigh down my lashes too much if I’ve curled them, plus I don’t get too much product on the wand, and I can add more coats without too much clumping (there will be some clumping as this is a volumizing mascara). I’ve not experienced any running or flaking (unless it was time to throw it out anyway) with this mascara, despite it not being the waterproof version (granted, I only use it on my top lashes). I’ve recently bought the waterproof version to test whether waterproof mascara holds a curl better than washable. Finally, I don’t think there is a noticeable difference between this Carbon Black version, and the original version in blackest black.
e.l.f. Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Turks & Caicos: this is my go-to bronzer, I’ve already hit pan on the one I’m currently using. I always refer to it as the best $4 I’ve ever spent. This is a good bronzer especially if you have dark skin, and have issues with finding ones that will actually show up on your skin. It doesn’t have an overly red undertone, and it doesn’t look orange on the skin, it has a nice neutral undertone that’s great for adding some light definition, and a natural sun-kissed look to the skin. I apply it around my temples and in the contours of my cheeks, I also use this in my crease and on my lids when I don’t feel like wearing eyeshadow, it’s an effortless way to add color and definition to my lids. If I’m wearing shadow, I’ll sometimes have this in my crease as a transition shade. This bronzer does have shimmer in it, but it isn’t too noticeable on the skin, I also never use the blush, as it’s too light for my skin. My sister recently got me the Shea Moisture Illuminating Mineral Bronzer in Dusk, which I’ve really been liking, it’s deeper than Turks & Caicos, and has more of a reddish undertone (comparison swatches below), so it would look great on even deeper skins especially if the e.l.f. one isn’t deep enough for your liking. Dusk is also more pigmented, and the shimmer in it is more noticeable but still quite subtle, it’s definitely one to build up a little at a time, instead of applying heavy handedly at first.