Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes Review

Hello Lovelies!

Recently, in my 7 Deadly Sins of Makeup post, I mentioned one of my favorite products is Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes in Brunette. Coming in at $39.50 on Sephora’s website, this is a higher end beauty item. However, since eyebrows are the frame for your face, I feel it’s one of, if not the most important thing to get right. After all, you wouldn’t frame the Mona Lisa with cardboard, would you?

Let’s get down to business.

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I had my eye on this product for a few months, as I was looking to branch out of my norm. I used to apply my brows using a cheap, drugstore pencil, and occasionally I would set them with powder. My brows are highly arched, but they’re sparse from over plucking when I was younger. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with thin brows. There’s nothing wrong with removing them completely to draw on yourself. But lately, the trend has been to have full, luscious brows. It’s literally everywhere on the catwalks since early last year, if not even before that. As one that tries to keep up with current makeup fashion, I tried it and discovered I look much better with a full brow than with the thin, pencil lines I used to do.

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I actually purchased this when I went to a Sephora skincare class in the beginning of the year, and figured I’d give it about a month of using to see if I liked it. It came highly recommended by the salesgirl, as did a lot of other products I’m slowly adding to my collection. Like me, she has porcelain skin, does her brows, and adores makeup. We have similar skin type and tone, so I trusted what she said. I got the set in Brunette. 

Now the kit contains brow wax, two shades of brown powder, two highlighters, five stencils and a thin, angled brush. It all comes in a really cute black snakeskin and gold box. It has a magnetic lid, so you don’t have to worry about it popping open in your purse. There’s a small mirror, and a guideline beside it to show you the proper way to apply the products. It feels heavy, and should be durable. It’s definitely made it through banging around in my purse, being dropped on tile, and just general use without any show of wear and tear.

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The first time I used this product, I hated it. I nearly returned it the same day I bought it. Or I would have, if the store hadn’t been closed for the night already. None of the stencils were right for me. The only one with an arch as high as mine was way too big for my face and made me look like the Joker. It was difficult to hold it on while applying, and I just wasn’t pleased. A few days later, I decided to try again, this time without the stencils. And oh my, am I glad I did. I used a spoolie to apply the brow wax to my hairs, getting them all moving in the same direction. This is great for me, because my hairs tend to go in wonky directions and it can be difficult to tame them. Then I took the angled brush and smoothed it over the darker brown. I applied it the way I used to do my pencil, with light, feathery strokes. It went on well, and was highly pigmented. The wax seemed to just grab at the color, making it stay where it was supposed to be and not moving at all! I used the lighter brown to fill in the tail ends, to appear more natural. Getting my brows even was a cinch, and when I finished with both, I ran the waxy spoolie over them again to set them, and put the highlighter on my brow bone. The final look was divine and I realized why everyone was absolutely raving over this kit.

Since then, I’ve ended up using the kit every time I do my eyebrows. I’ve thrown out all my old pencils, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. The stencils are useless to me, but if you have a square or round face, or a high forehead, I think they would be great. My face is small and heart shaped, which doesn’t do well for overly dramatic eyebrows, at least not on me. They’re still bold, and definitely make a statement, though!

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Finished Look

Verdict

Packaging: 10/10 – This kit has perfectly sized packaging, everything fits in neatly. In fact, since removing the stencils, I can easily fit my tweezers and spoolie in it as well! The mirror comes in handy for touch up work on-the-go. The magnetic lid keeps it from opening unexpectedly. The whole case is well designed and seems like it will end up lasting me until I’ve finished with everything in it.

Look of Product: 10/10 –  Once applied, I feel that it makes me look polished without looking unnatural. It allows the natural hair to show through, and the wax is a great consistency, that doesn’t leave you looking like you have glue keeping your brows in place, as I’ve noticed with other brow wax.

Components of Product: 7/10 – The wax has a delicate, buttery consistency that does a great job of keeping your brows in place all day. The two brown shades are wonderful, very highly pigmented and they look natural when applied. The highlighters are nice, but I tend to stick with other highlighters, as I’m more into shimmery whites. These are a beige-ish color that is a little darker than my skin tone, but I love them for a light eyeshadow. The brush does a great job of creating little strokes, and washes out easily. Being small, it allows me to get a precise line, and it’s easy to hold. I’ve heard others complain that it’s too thin, but I prefer that. I get perfect accuracy and don’t have to worry about any fallout at all. The only thing I truly dislike would be the stencils. But since there are five of them, they probably fit a variety of faces. I’m not going to toss them, however. I may end up using them or reshaping my brows so that I can use one that has a lower arch eventually.

Using Product: 9/10 – While I find this product easy and self-explanatory, I don’t feel that it’s appropriate for beginners. It could be a little bit daunting to newbie eyebrow architects, and I’d suggest for your first time, trying something a little less expensive. That way, you can get a feel for it, and use up the powder, and try different looks without fear of wasting. For me, I think it’s a breeze. I love the wax, and just wish the brush was a double-ended spoolie, like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Genius Kit has.

After Using Product: 10/10 – Having my eyebrows look like this gives me a serious confidence boost! I feel like I’ve never had them look better, and couldn’t be happier with the results. They last all day (and if I forget to wash them off, all night) without a smudge at all. I get a lot of compliments on them. This is definitely an improvement over a pencil or just using an eyeshadow.

Overall Result: 9.2/10

I would highly recommend this kit to anyone that enjoys doing their eyebrows, but is looking for that little extra something to really amp it up! I know that I’ve never been happier with how mine look, and I find myself checking out other girls’ brows when I go out, wishing I could do them with this kit! Shame on me! But when you look good, you want everyone else to look good too. This is definitely my ultimate ego boost product, and I don’t think I’ll ever be caught without it.

What do you think? What do you use for your brows? What would you like to see next? And as always, thanks for reading!

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Boscia Luminizing Black Mask Review

Hello fellow Bloggers and beautiful Bloggees! I ordered a new face wash from Sephora the other day, and when it arrived, my package contained several deluxe samples, including a Boscia Luminizing Black Mask, which I was simply thrilled to receive. … Continue reading

7 Deadly Sins of Makeup Tag!

I was asked to share my answers to this awesome little thingamabob, by Ginger Loves Make-Up! I’m super excited whenever I’m tagged, as I feel like I’m seriously a part of the blogging community. Cue warm and fuzzy feelings in 3…2…1…Ahhhhhh…..

So this is all about the 7 Deadly Sins of Makeup, and without further ado, let’s begin.

Greed: What’s your most expensive beauty item?
That’s a toss up between two different products that cost about the same amount. First is my ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Beauty Express For Brows and Eyes kit. It sells for $39.50 at Sephora. It’s a full brow kit, including 5 stencils, a brush, brow wax, two different shades of brow powder and two different highlighter shades. It has a mirror inside of it and a magnetic lid so it won’t pop open in your bag. It’s a must have for me, even though it takes a little bit of time, and I don’t use the stencils. They seem a little big for my face.

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The second item would be my Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Fair. I actually JUST got this in the mail today, after saving up for it, as it’s a $42.00 item. It has a dark spot correcting formula, has a ridiculous amount of product that goes a long way, and makes the redness around my nose go away entirely! I have high hopes after trying it out at Sephora a while back at a skincare class. This is technically my most expensive beauty item, but since I just got it today, I figured I’d give the Anastasia Beverly Hills kit an honorable mention.

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Wrath: What item do you have a strong love/hate relationship with?

Oh man…This is a tough one. Probably my Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector. I’ve been using it for a little over a month now, and while I adore what it does to my eyes, the first part of the application sucks. It goes on feeling a little bit greasy, and you have to wait a few minutes before you continue with the rest of your skincare routine for it to absorb completely, otherwise it’ll get chalky. But I can’t argue the results, baby! And at $39.50, there had BETTER be results. (I only have this in a sample, which is why it’s not on my expensive beauty items list.)

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Gluttony: What brand takes up most of your collection?
Smashbox, hands down. I keep getting samples of their stuff, or the little Try It Kit that I reviewed in an earlier post. And the CC cream that I mentioned. And I love the face primer. The only thing I don’t love by Smashbox (so far) is the eyeshadow primer. And that’s because I’m a sucker for Urban Decay Primer Potion and I always will be.

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Sloth: What product do you ignore the most due to laziness?
Foundation. I haven’t got any acne to speak of, with the exception of an occasional break out. Which actually means one or two pimples that I get mad at and won’t leave alone so they end up staying there for like two weeks. So I do my normal routine, wash, eye treatment, face oil, moisturizer, CC cream and then I stop. Unless I’m going out for a super fancy night or I’m taking photographs of myself (because I’m terribly vain), I tend to skip it entirely.

 

Pride: Which product gives you the most confidence?
Back to the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow kit, again. To me, eyebrows are the most important part of the face. They frame everything, provide a base for the look you want to do (fierce, calm, retro) and there’s no way I’d leave without them done perfectly.

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Lust: What item is at the top of your list?
All I want in this world is the GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment mask. This stuff is unreal. It goes on thick and dark gray, and then lightens up as it dries. You can actually see it pulling junk out of your pores. And it makes my skin feel like heaven, or a baby’s butt, or whatever metaphor you like. But at $69.00, it’ll probably be a long time in my future before I’m able to splurge on it.

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Envy: Which makeup product/look looks great on others but not on you?
Barbie pink lipstick. I’m so jealous of girls that can pull it off. Or bright lipstick in general. I can pull off red occasionally, but I’m just so porcelain white that anything I wear on my lips tends to reflect across my face, and I come across looking like a clown. I usually stick with nudes or the occasional raisin. Once in a while, if I’ve got the hair, clothes, and eyes for it, I can do a dramatic red lip. But only once in a while. In dark places. 

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Well, that’s all my answers! Hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them! And thanks again to Ginger Loves Make-Up for asking me to share my thoughts.

Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss Review

Hello all!

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a huge fan of Clinique products. However…I despise lip gloss. Loathe. Abhor. I just never saw a point once I was over the age of 13 to wear it. I can see other girls in it and it’s fine, but on me, I have large lips and tend to look like a greasy fish if I use something glossy or high shine. Also, your hair gets stuck in it. Yuck.

Last November, when I went to visit my family, my mom gave me a tube of Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss, and because I’m such a fan of Clinique (and I also can’t say no to free makeup. ever.), I figured I’d find a use for it somewhere or another. I put it into my makeup box, and there it lay, lonely and forgotten. Shunned in favor of mattes every time. 

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Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Apricot

Now I live in Florida, and it’s usually very humid. I tend to have hair that doesn’t frizz often, calm cuticles, and hydrated lips. Occasionally I’ll swipe on some lip balm if I haven’t been guzzling Gatorade like normal, but on an average day, my lips are plump and smooth. No cracks, no dryness. Well, it’s been super cold lately! Like in the 30s! Which doesn’t seem like much to most people, but here, it’s drying out the air and is making my lips and cuticles die a slow and painful death. 

Last night the boyfriend and I needed to go up to the store. He’s destroyed all his jeans by working at his construction job, and needed a nice pair to wear when we go out. And of course, I wanted an excuse to go to Sephora. There’s ALWAYS an excuse to go to Sephora. I did make a tiny purchase, but more on that in the next post! (It’s Tarte, so you’ll want to read it!) Ahem, I digress. I had on a full face of makeup, and it was just lovely. Except my lips. I tried Chapstick. I tried Carmex. I tried lip balms up and down. My face looked great, but I ended up actually using concealer over my lips and then a nude lipstick over the top, just to try and hide it. Ugh.

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Pictured Above: My dying lips, hidden by packing on the lipstick. But on the bright side, my eyebrows are on point.

Well, as I waited for my boyfriend to get ready, I went outside to check the mail, and by the time I came back in, my lips had cracked right through the layers of stick and chap. Desperate at this point, I grabbed the Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss. I removed the other stuff I had on, and applied it over my poor, bare mouth. And then it hit me. I understood why girls love lip gloss. My lips immediately felt soothed, protected and comfortable. After about 15 minutes, the gloss soaked into my lips, making them feel smoother than they have in ages. I reapplied as it wore off, because I usually drink from a straw and I use an e-cigarette, so things tend to need to be reapplied often, it’s no fault of the gloss. 

Upon application, there was absolutely zero scent. Zero taste when I accidentally licked my lips. It wasn’t overly glossy, and after sitting for a few minutes, soaked in nicely. I was able to go out and brave the cold with no additional damage! I was starting to get seriously excited about this revelation. In order to check out the full effect of Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss, I applied a fairly heavy layer before going to sleep. When I woke up this morning, I knew I had to blog this. My lips are nearly perfectly healed! I was seriously about to start globbing on Neosporin if the humidity didn’t come back soon. 

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Pictured Above: Still chapped, but coming back to life!

Now, Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss costs $15 on Clinique’s Website. It comes in eight different colors: Apricot, Raspberry, Grapefruit, Root Beer, Lilac, Ginger, Currant and Mango. Mine is in the Apricot shade. Which isn’t really a shade at all. When I used it, there was virtually no color deposit. Thankfully, that’s not why I was using it, but unless you’re looking for a sheer color, I’d stay away from that shade. It comes in a small, plastic tube with a just a hole and a slanted top, instead of any kind of applicator. I used one of my spare doe foot applicators the first time I used it, but then just used my finger every time after that. It has a very thick consistency. The gloss has been allergy tested. 

Verdict

Packaging: 8/10 – I normally despise products that come in tubes. You can’t get everything out of them, and sometimes they’ll split open in your purse and get goo everywhere. But the way the top is, I think I’ll be able to get most of the product out without having to re-pot it. Also, I doubt I’ll use this product in the summer, so the chances of it splitting open are slim.

Look of Product: 9/10 – If I’m going to apply a lip treatment, I don’t need color. You may desire more pigmentation than I do, but I preferred the sheer. It also didn’t look overly heavy on the lips, even though it felt quite thick.

Smell of Product: 10/10 – It doesn’t get any better than this. No scent. None. I love that in a product, especially one on or around my face. 

Texture of Product: 10/10 – While I was initially turned off by how thick the product is, a little bit goes a long way. It doesn’t have a greasy feel to it at all, which is surprising. It applies smoothly and fills in the cracks, making your lips look whole. It’s not sticky or overpowering.

Using Product: 10/10 – Application was smooth, getting the product out wasn’t a problem, you only need a little bit.

After Using Product: 10/10 – My lips felt whole this morning. I don’t have the Sahara in the middle of my face anymore!

Overall Result: 9.5/10 

This has shockingly turned into one of the highest rated products on my blog. I’m really hoping Clinique doesn’t change their formula because I believe once this tube is empty, I’ll be purchasing another for lip care first aid. The price is reasonable, especially for someone like me, who will only be using it during the winter months, or during times of incredible dryness. I can see this lasting longer than the Use By date would suggest. 

What do you think? What’s your favorite gloss and why? What would you like to see next? And as always, thanks for reading!

Huge Sephora Haul Reviews!

Hello to my lovely followers, friends, fans and foes! 

I received a huge box of stuff from Sephora today, including Murad Pore & Fine Line Minimizing Hydrator, Clinique Even Better Eyes, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener in Luminous 2, Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer, Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner in Onyx, Stila Collage of Color, Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black, and Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume.

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So of course I had to try all of it. 

Most of what I got were samples, and all of the Smashbox stuff was part of their amazing Try It Kit. It’s only $19 and includes foundation primer, eyelid primer, lip gloss, mascara and a pencil eyeliner. The Bare Minerals kit was a Deluxe Sample and included a foundation powder in Golden Dark, which is obviously not my skintone, but I figured I could use it for an eyeshadow or a bronzer, and it’s a gorgeous coppery brown color. It also came with a Baby ‘Buki brush and the under eye illuminator. I suffer from awful under eye circles, so I’m really glad I picked it up! Then I got the Murad Pore & Fine Line Minimizing Hydrator, which I’ve used before, and a sample of Clinique Even Better Eyes to help out with those pesky circles. 

Here’s my finished look:

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It’s a fairly natural look, even if I am wearing a million different products. 

Okay, so let’s start with face stuff first. I used my Yes to Tomatoes moisturizer, as usual. Next was the Murad Pore & Fine Line Minimizing Hydrator (which is stellar, by the way. If you haven’t tried it, you need to. It immediately gets rid of any little lines you have, shrinks your pores, and makes your skin look so even!) Then I applied the Clinique Even Better Eyes under both of my eyes. It applied feeling a little greasy, but after a moment, it soaked in and made the skin beneath my eyes feel much better. It felt hydrated and very non-greasy, for how the application was. It looks a bit yellow when it comes out, but goes on sheer.

Next, I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. This is something I’ve been really interested in. I’ve only ever used an Avon foundation primer in the past, and it gave me Oompa Loompa face. This is clear, though, which is really cool! There’s no real scent to it, just a vague memory of something chemical-y when applying. This fades fast, and the primer absorbs quickly into my skin. Then I applied my normal foundation, Revlon Photoready Airbrush in Vanilla 001 after using the primer. At first, my foundation seemed to sit on top of my skin, which is NOT a good thing. It looked totally unnatural! I decided to just let it sit for a second, like with the Clinique Even Better Eyes, and whaddyaknow? It calmed down. The foundation set really nicely with the primer, and looked far more smooth than it normally does.

After this, I used the Stroke of Light by Bare Minerals in Luminous 2 underneath each eye. This, as you can see above, has made my dark circles pretty much disappear. There aren’t any edits done to the photos I’ve included in today’s post, other than cropping. The Stroke of Light had kind of a strange applicator. It reminded me of a bubble wand from when I was a kid, only with a thin layer of fabric stretched over it. It went on smoothly, however, and I really like the look and feel of it.

Following the under eye illuminator, I applied the Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer. I had a bad feeling about it the moment I opened it up. It had a doe foot applicator, which I despise, and the product looked thick and dark. When applying, it looked chalky and matte, and before I even put anything on my lids, there were creases everywhere. There were creases in the corners of my eyes, there were creases under my eyes, there were creases inside of creases. UGH! I did my best to smooth it out and moved forward with my process.

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See all the crease lines?

 

Now it’s time to open up my Stila Collage of Color! I decided to use the Peach Poppy all over today, as I wanted to focus on a less dramatic look. The palette can be used for lips and cheeks, but I have a triple threat going on and used it as an eyeshadow too! First I put it on my cheeks. It goes on pretty sheer at first, but you can build it up so that it gives you a really nice flush. I can’t wait to try some of the other colors in the palette! Peach Poppy is an orange-y pink, and is very pigmented. It goes on so smooth and feels amazing when it’s on your cheeks. 

I then set everything I had done so far with Revlon Colorstay Aqua in Light, my normal foundation powder. Everything was looking good so far! 

Now I did my lips, and I usually don’t do peach colors, but I’m crazy today, so why not? First I put on the Peach Poppy, and then topped it off with the Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume. Neither the Stila nor the Smashbox were sticky on my lips, and they felt very hydrated. The color stays on well, and the Smashbox really brings out the shape of my mouth, enhancing all of the good parts! I like that it’s not so thick and goopy. I normally LOOOAAATHHE lip gloss because my hair always gets stuck in it and then I’ve got hair lines everywhere. But this doesn’t do any of that. It absorbs well and still leaves you with a kissable shine!

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I then applied my eyebrows, and got ready to work on my eyes. The Smashbox eyelid primer I was convinced was crap at this point, but I wanted to keep going. I used the Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner in Onyx on my waterline, where it went on and STAYED on. It glides right on and smudges well, but then stays in place. I loved how dark it was, and that it’s a matte. I’m so over glittery eyeliner right now. I can definitely see this liner becoming a staple in my makeup collection. I then applied the Peach Poppy color to my poor, creased lids, and it went on in a really lovely way, even with the problems the primer was causing. (I’m so sorry, UD Primer Potion, I won’t cheat on you again!) Next, I used the Smashbox Full Exposure mascara. Now I’m really picky about mascara. I have very long lashes, and if the brush isn’t good, then I’ll end up with tangled spiders on my eyes, which sucks. Also, my eyelash curler recently took a dump on me, so I can’t curl them up right now. The mascara was okay, but I didn’t like the brush. It’s absolutely enormous. I think if I were to use the brush from my Clinique High Impact Mascara (my one true love), that I’d really like the formula they use, though. It builds nicely without getting clumps in it. After applying the mascara, I cleaned up around my eyes and added another coat of the Peach Poppy from Stila. 

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In the above picture, you can see that there is some creasing from the eyelid primer, but the color looks great with my pale skin and dark eyes. I think it would look really nice on people with deeper skin tones as well, it seems pretty versatile. 

Overall Verdict

Clinique Even Better Eyes: 7/10 – Because it’s a product that will require time. It doesn’t provide instant results. However, after the initial greasiness fades, it makes your under eye area feel divine.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer:  7.8/10 – Because it look and feels good, but takes a moment to settle in. Also, it comes in a tube, and I hate tubes. (To get all the product out, you always need to cut it open and transfer it to a new container.)

Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener: 10/10 – Because I have awful, purple under eye circles, and this pretty much cleared them up completely. Even if I went without any foundation, I think I could get away with putting this on and some mascara, and I’d look like I’d had a full night’s rest. I also liked the weird applicator.

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer: 1/10 – Because it sucks. It creased all over the place. I looked like I had raisins for eyelids. It had an awful applicator and goes on chalky. NOT recommended.

Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner: 9/10 – Because it glides on smoothly and looks great, but can end up smudging as the day wears on. It’s very dark and looks great, and I think with my Urban Decay Primer Potion, it would stay on better.

Stila Collage of Color:  9.8/10 – Because it looks gorgeous! It feels great and is super useful since you can use it on eyes, cheeks and lips. I haven’t tried the other two colors in the palette yet, but I’m sure they’ll look great too! It only gets points off for packaging. It comes in a small cardboard palette with a magnetic lid, but doesn’t come with an  applicator or a mirror, which is a shame. 

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara: 7/10 – Because I didn’t like the brush, but the formula is great. It builds nicely without getting clumpy, and doesn’t flake off.

Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss: 9/10 – Because it’s the only lip gloss I’ve ever liked, but it’s still a gloss. I like that it’s a nude. It enhances all the good parts and doesn’t feel sticky. 

Overall, I’m really happy with my purchases. The only thing I really didn’t like was the eyelid primer. However, I actually think that it might be usable as a concealer, so I won’t bin it just yet.

The Try It Kit is a must-have, if you’ve never used Smashbox products before. It gives you a great taste of what they have to offer. Anyways, here’s a set of photos to show off the look one more time.

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What do you think? Have you tried any of these? What would you like to see next?

 

Thanks for reading!