What Happened to my Skin after One Month of High End Makeup

I said this would be up at the end of May beginning of June but here we are in July! Life got ahead of me, have no fear I still had my notes from the month of May and documented how my skin reacted in May. During the month of April, I did an entire month using drugstore makeup items. In the month of May I decided to use all high-end makeup. I used the It Cosmetics CC Cream, the Charlotte Tilbury Magic away concealer, the Kosas tinted face oil, the NARS highlighter and the Anastasia highlighter among a few other bits and bobs from my collection. I wanted to do this contrast to my previous project because I wanted to see: does your skin get a more positive effect from using high-end makeup versus drugstore makeup. 

I switched up my foundations and used solely my Charlotte Tilbury Magic away concealer and the CoverFx duo. The main thing I noticed was my skin wasn’t as clogged as it previously was using the more inexpensive drugstore foundations (think the CoverGirl and Rimmel). I found that using the Kosas and the It Cosmetics my skin did not break out as much, but I did have some skin issues on my chin because (at least I think) my skin was recovering from its previous experiment. My skin definitely likes higher-end base products better than the least expensive side of the drugstore. I would like to do an experiment where I only use say $20 drugstore foundations (because that is what they are in Canada) and see what happens then because near the end based on my previous experiment where my skin vastly improved once I began using the more expensive foundations. 

Day 1
Perricone MD No Highlighter Highlight, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer , CoverFx peach duo

Now, the main difference I used what the way the products felt on my skin, in particular, the concealer and powder products. By the end of the day, my fave didn’t feel clogged. However, I was also playing with some other things in my life and so my chin spots persisted. 

Day 2 – note the friends on my chin

To be honest, my skin spots persisted on my chin, but my skin did not appear to have such a dramatic difference as it did in the drugstore makeup for a month. I don’t really know if this is attributed to the different ingredients or to fewer fillers and preservatives (presumably) in the makeup I used. 

It Cosmetics CC Cream, Kosas Tinted Face Cream, Perricone MD No highlighter highlighter, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away concealer, CoverFX duo in Dirty Peach
Last day of the project
Urban Decay Naked 3, Nudestix Matte eye pencil in Putty

For example, comparing the Kosas Tinted Face oil to my Maybelline BB Cream the ingredients are visibly different. This could be attributed to the fact that the BB Cream is not part of the clean at Sephora, but I would say that the It Cosmetics CC Cream has just as many or more ingredients than the Maybelline BB Cream and I don’t really know what to think about that. While I do find myself reaching for high-end products because I don’t feel that on my skin versus the drugstore products. 

I can say, that by the end of the experiment my skin was good, but I do think I did these experiments a bit close together and did not let my skin fully heal from the foundations that did irritate it! I also added a few products in my skincare routine so it’s really a mystery. 

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Sephora Haul: Mini Reviews

I did a bit of shopping over the past few months at good old Sephora. I have been near a Sephora about twice a month for the past 6 months for work training, and I always took the opportunity to do a little bit of a pop in at Sephora. I got a few of these products online (during the Sephora sale) and a few in store during my journey’s there. I wanted to do a few mini reviews rounding up my thoughts on these products. I will do some more in-depth reviews coming in the next month! 

In Store Purchases

Mac fix plus and nudestix nudies matte

Mac Fix plus: This is an iconic product. I have heard on several makeup podcasts that its purpose is to not actually set your makeup but to refresh your skin and melt the powders together. I really like this, however, because it is not a setting spray it makes me miss my beloved Too Faced Hangover RX setting spray. This doesn’t irritate my skin and has a lovely scent. 

Nudestix nudies matte in sunset strip: This was a YouTube made me buy it product. As soon as I saw Jamie Paige Beauty and Samantha Ravndahl use this, I knew I was going to “need” it in my collection. This is a lovely, coral blush that is the perfect summer flush (or any season flush). It is creamy, and while it claims its matte I don’t find it to be a flat matte, it is almost like the Physicians Formula butter blush in a cream stick version. 

The Online VIB Sale Purchases

Clockwise: Kosas tinted face oil, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar bronze and glow, Bite Beauty lip balm, Charlotte Tilbury Magic away concealer, Coverfx matte and shimmer blush duo

CoverFx Matte and Shimmer blush duo: This duo, again, something I saw on Instagram and it immediately piqued my interest. I love the idea of having the option of using a shimmer or matte blush or layering them. I also like to use these on my eyes as well. Full review and comparison coming soon! 

close up of charlotte tilbury filmstar bronze and glow
coverfx matte an shimmer blush

The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow: This has been on my list of things to get for YEARS. Since I saw Allanarama use this back in 2016 I have been eyeing it ever since. Now, that Charlotte Tilbury is finally in Sephora (and I finally could justify this in my budget) I bought it. This is a lovely product. The sculpt shade is the perfect contour without being too grey that I feel I can wear on its own or paired with bronzer. The highlighter is beautiful and glowy, without being metallic or glittery. This is the perfect palette for work!

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away concealer: Oh mama. This concealer. Is. Magic. See what I did there? This concealer creases so minimally and spreads out so easily while maintaining excellent coverage, I don’t know if I ever want to go back to any other concealer… although you know me I’ll always be trying more. However, I think that this is going to be my new holy grail concealer … it’s just lovely! 

Kosas Tinted Face Oil: This has mixed reviews from various sources. However, I really like this. It does tend to look greasy so I usually set my t zone when using this. I was concerned that this may break down on my skin but honestly, it lasts really nicely throughout the day. I don’t recommend this if you already have oily skin, but if you have normal to dry skin this is a lovely light coverage base. Full review to come! 

Bite Beauty Agave and Daytime Lip Balm: I got this because I needed a good lip balm. This is nice, but I find that it doesn’t really hydrate my lips as much as I thought it would. I wear this in the morning as I’m doing my makeup. I find that my favourite lip balm is still the Fresh one in terms of actually hydrating my lips. I will use this up but I’m not sure if I would repurchase this!

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February lip challenge: A recap

A very popular “trend” right now in the beauty community is a buy less mentality, particularly in the project pan community where the goal is to use and love your collection. The goal is also to shop your stash and realize that you don’t need the new shiny thing. I am not good at this (shameless haul plug here) but I am trying to strike that balance of new products and the being more creative with my blog posts by using makeup I already have, curating more lists and doing more in-depth reviews on products. For the month of February, I wanted to do a wee experiment with my obscene lipstick collection. If you follow me on Instagram I posted on my stories or my grid each day showing what lipstick I chose

In January I went through my lipsticks and picked ones that I wear often, and the ones that I never wear (looking at you Marcelle velour liquid lipsticks that I bought in July). I created an excel document and wrote down all the lipsticks I wanted to wear for the month. I also forgot to take a photo of the Pixi lip balm in peach for my flatlay but I did take a pic of it on my lips.

I tried to theme the weeks into reds, berry’s, and nudes because those are the categories I wear the most often. I wanted to do this experiment because lipstick is very difficult to use up when you have a lot of them. I really wanted to challenge myself to wear a different lipstick every day instead of the same 4-5 I rotate through on the weekly. To be honest I did this to determine if there are any lipsticks I should declutter but I did use a lot of tinted lip balms which are my absolute favorite to wear to work so none of those will be decluttered. That was a bit of a blunder on my part. I have learned that while I love super bold lipsticks, I prefer ones that I can simply slap on with no mirror and know it is going to look semi alright. That is why I love the Burt’s Bees lipsticks and balms, as well as the CoverGirl sultry sienna nude lipstick because they are so easy to wear.

The first couple of weeks were more subtle nudes, the Marcelle Velour Liquid lipsticks, Mac See Sheer (a beautiful sheer pink) and other rose nudes. The second half of the month floated more into my reds, darker berries, and mauve shades. Mauve shades are something I used to wear ALL the time.

What have I learned

I love wearing bold lipsticks but with a blotted effect. For example, with Bite Beauty Beetroot, I didn’t wear it to it’s fullest opacity because I was at work. While I easily could have, it just felt right to pare it down a bit. I am trying to rotate through my entire collection and lipsticks are by far one of the largest parts of it. I love buying and trying new formulas, but lately, since I’m working an 8:30-4:30 job I’ve found that I pick a few standard ones and use those during the week and my “fun” shades get left behind. I want to continue to try and wear fun and bold shades (not a red as my Burt’s Bees Scarlet Soaked is my most favourite low maintenance red) like my dark berries and brighter pinks. Also, I have an affinity for rosy, beige nudes and it shows. Below are the lipsticks I wore every day in order!

What is your favourite type of lipstick?


Products Worth the Splurge

I did a post last year (eek) about products I’m not willing to splurge on. I wanted to do another one about products I am willing to splurge on and why they are worth it. I get it, spending $45 on a blush is wild, it is, but I will say with no shame that I have spent that amount of money on a blush. Now, don’t splurge if you can’t afford it, but for me there is something about wonderful saving for that one item and buying it.


Blush

Two of my favouite blushes are in this (overpriced) palette

I love blush, while I do own mostly drugstore blushes, I love me a good high end blush. My favourite are the Hourglass Ambient lighting blushes and their palettes. These have this light reflecting technology that gives you a glow from within.


Skincare

Caudalie Essence and Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

I have a few high end skincare items including items from Caudalie and Summer Fridays and I love them. I splurge on high end skincare with good ingredients because my skin loves it. I know, it’s a bit ridiculous to spend $34 on a cleanser or $50 on an essence, but I don’t know what to tell you my skin enjoys it. It’s not to say I don’t have drugstore skincare favourites like the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum or the Cerave hydrating cream and lotion, but I don’t feel bad when I spend money on skincare. The biggest benefit to buying skincare from higher end brands in the formulation of the products and the sourcing of the ingredients. Sometimes less expensive products can have the same ingredients, they are just formulated differently and sometimes diluted to be less effective. However, this doesn’t mean their aren’t great drugstore skincare products

Eyeshadow palettes

There are some great drugstore eyeshadow palettes out there, but I have no problem splurging on a high end palette. I love the Anastasia eyeshadow formula, the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette, and the Urban Decay Naked Heat and Naked 3. The interesting thing about high end eyeshadow palettes is while the drugstore is catching up, I find that anytime I wear a high end palette my eyeshadow actually lasts all day, despite wearing the same eyeshadow primer.

Tinted moisturizers and BB Creams

FAB Tinted Moisturizer and Nudestix Tinted blur stick

Okay, I only own two of these, the First Aid Beauty Tinted Moisturizer and the Nudestix Tinted blur stick, but I would repurchase both. The First Aid Beauty does pull a bit orange so I’m on the hunt for a tint that isn’t orange so I can round them up for you. The Nudestix meets that bill but I want to find a tinted moisturizer that also meets the criteria.

Highlighters

NARS Forte De France, Anastasia Amrezy, Anastasia Nicole Guerriero glow kit, Nudestix nudies

I LOVE highlighters and because I rarely use them up, spending a bit more on a good quality powder doesn’t really bother me. Now, I realize that the drugstore makes amazing highlighters. Trust me, I have some that are among my favourites but I think that for powder highlighters you can get a really beautiful sheen and glossy finish from high end highlighters vs the drugstore where tend to come across as a bit more powdery. My personal favourite formulas are Anastasia, NARS and Nudestix. However, highlighters like the Essence Pure nude and the Annabelle Cream highlighters are wonderful. However, if you want a tried and true, easy to use highlighter I would go for high end.

All of these products are what i personally don’t mind splurging on. I think that it is ridiculous the amount of money products cost. However, despite my issues I take with capitalism and elitism, beauty that costs a lot and feels so nice to use, these items get me every time, congratulations to the marketing people for selling overpriced items so well (not being sarcastic, it’s impressive). What is your favourite splurgy item?

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