Let’s start off with a palette I’ve been loving for a few months! While upon first glance, the Too Faced
Life’s A Festival palette looks like it would appeal to a rather small subset of makeup-wearers, I
would beg to differ. A lot of critics of this palette cite the fact that there are very few matte shades to
“complete” a look with, rendering the palette useless in their eyes. I would think quite the opposite.
The one matte transition shade, Desert Vibes, works beautifully as a transition for any of the
shimmers and duochromes in this palette, thus eliminating the need for multiple matte shades. I
think that Too Faced did something unexpectedly brilliant with this palette- they made just about
nearly every shimmer/duochrome in the palette unique enough to be a standout look on its own. It’s
difficult to describe, but I’m truly blown away by the fact that I can throw Desert Vibes in the crease,
pack literally any other shade from the palette on the lid, and have a striking, gorgeous, unique and
flattering look. It’s rather genius and I’m so freaking glad I picked this palette up. I’d recommend it to
anyone who wants a large range of unique shimmers to play with, without having to hunt down
single shadows from indie brands. I’d also recommend it to my 15-year-old self, which may be part
of why I love this palette so much- it’s foolproof, beginner-friendly yet not boring. A genius and fun
Another colourful palette I’ve been getting tons of use from is this Ocean Jewels Highlighter palette
by BECCA! This is the first palette by BECCA I’d ever been interested in picking up, because their
highlighter formula isn’t usually my favourite. I swatched it in-store and bought it almost immediately-
I love, love, love funky-coloured highlighters, and these are actually stunning. They don’t appear like
much in a swatch- the powders are actually kind of dry and stiff. But this actually works to their
advantage when it comes to application, in such that they don’t appear to be a stripe of eyeshadow
on the skin, like many of their duochrome compatriots from other brands. I would say these aren’t
quite as transparent as the Kat Von D Alchemist palette, but they’re close- these do appear as a
visible highlight on the skin, but the real magic happens when you turn your head to the light.
They’re super flattering, don’t tend to emphasize texture, and being that the formula is sheer and a
lot of the colours are more “wearable”- bronze, yellow, pink, peach, with a baby blue thrown in the
middle- this may be a good pick for someone with more mature skin (or tastes) who wants to dip into
the duochrome highlight trend. I’ve personally been loving the yellow, blue, and pink shades, and
usually I wear more than one at a time!
I have another duochrome highlighter love to talk about as well! Fenty Beauty released these Fenty
Flash Highlighter Duos in their summer collection and so far, Mint’d Mojito is my favourite! I haven’t
tried the other side of my duo yet, but this mint-aqua sheen is to die for. It’s not exactly subtle, but
like the BECCA highlights, it’s not “stripey” either. The name “Fenty Flash” is actually pretty accurate
to the effect this highlighter gives- it’s a pale blue highlight, but when turned to the light, gives off the
most striking aqua shift. It’s magical, and I’ve been loving using this all over my face for an ethereal
The next cheek product I have in this iteration of my favourites is this older-than-old Mineralize Blush
Duo from MAC in Hang Loose. I bought this off a blog sale ages ago and recently pulled it out to use
in a specific look, and haven’t been able to put it down since! It’s so freaking perfect for springtime-
one side is a baby pink satin and the other side is a blue-toned lavender shimmer. It is so shimmery
and sheeny on the cheeks, imparting a very ethereal touch to any look that just gets better and
better as the day goes on. It does emphasize some skin texture, but that is its only downfall in my
Now onto some base products I’ve been getting tons of use out of as the weather warms up!
When I first got the IT Cosmetics CC+ cream in Fair, I wasn’t in love with it. The texture is thicker
than what I was used to, plus in the dead of winter the shade was a little off. However, I discovered
that I love mixing this in with my primer and making it into a more sheer base product. I've been
mixing it in with the next product I'll mention and I love, love, love the results. I do really like that this
has such a high SPF in it. I usually wear an SPF underneath anyway, but when I forget to, it's not the
end of the world. This will (with setting spray) last my commute and 9 hour work day. It can tend to
be a little sticky on its own, but when sheered out with primer/moisturizer it loses that tackiness. It
smells like lemon cake, which I like, but others might not. I will note that this product does not play
nicely with any LOOSE setting powder that I have tried.
The First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer is a favourite that snuck up on me.
I just kept using it and acquiring it in kits, point perks, and gratis until I decided that I wouldn't want to
do my makeup without this. It's just so good! It's the perfect moisturizer/primer to prep the skin or mix
with foundation. It even plays well with my pores (most luminizing/moisturizing primers tend to
emphasize them or pull my foundation into them). It smells vaguely fruity in the way that GlamGlow
moisturizers do, but not to the same intensity. I do find that this makes my makeup last longer
through the day, which is something I can't say of most moisturizing primers. A definite sleeper hit!
As for the Wet N Wild Photofocus Pressed Powder, it took me a long time to totally fall in love with
this one as well! I’m kind of still on the fence about how it performs on its own- I’m convinced it
oxidizes a little- but I do love how this sets my aforementioned IT Cosmetics and First Aid Beauty
base combo. I prefer this powder because it’s a baked powder, so it plays very well with a
moisturizing base. It doesn’t stick down onto the foundation nor darken it, and instead of completely
mattifying it, it makes the skin look healthy and natural while still setting it down and prepping the
base for cheek products. I’m certainly glad I grew to really enjoy using this powder!
Next up are these lip products that I don’t actually tend to wear that often- on my lips. These
NUDESTIX Magnetic Matte Lip Pencils have been gracing my eyelids on just about every lazy
makeup day I’ve had in the past few months. I have the boxed set from when they did an influencer
collab a while ago, and while I’ve been using all the shades in that box, my two favourites have been
Sonoran and Freckle. Sonoran is a beautiful yellowy tan shade, and Freckle is a terracotta burnt red.
I usually draw these onto my crease/lid area messily, right from the stick, and then buff them out
quickly using a Real Techniques eyeshadow brush- though anything dense, synthetic, and a little on
the rough/coarse side will do. They blend out so easily and create the nicest grungey brown smokey
eye in seconds! They set down to a lovely, non-powdery matte finish, and I’d say that without primer,
these will usually last about 5-6 hours on my eye before creasing or fading. With primer they’ll last
closer to the 8-9 hour mark.
Now onto a few brow products!
While I still fill in my brows with my ABH Dipbrow, I’ve been loving adding a gel to my brows for
added hold and definition. I have two here that help me achieve two different brow looks!
Gimme Brow by Benefit makes my brows bushier and more natural-looking. I tend to use this
product when I’m presenting fully masculine to bulk up my brows and make them appear a little less
polished, and more bold.
The Maybelline Brow Precise Fibre Volumizer does almost the opposite- the product comes loaded
onto a plastic comb rather than a spoolie, so it brushed all of the brow hairs into place and overall
makes everything look polished and finished and dimensional. It also has amazing hold and staying
The last product I have to talk about is kind of a random one- the MILK Makeup Star Stamp adds fun
to any look, and I freaking love it. It’s a perfect, quirky, unexpected touch that is nothing but cool and
intentional. I think it looks great on everyone. Plus, it is super long-lasting- almost to a fault, to wear it
will stain my skin even when put over foundation. But if you’re looking for something to last through
festivals, dance nights, or parades, look no further! As an added plus, I’ve had this stamp since
Christmastime and used it on many occasions. It’s still good as new and doesn’t seem to get
clogged with powder, eyeshadow, or foundation!
Here are swatches of some shades from the Too Faced Life's A Festival palette on the left, and
three highlighters from the BECCA Ocean Jewels palette on the right!
From left to right: Fireflies, Euphoric and Artist Pass from the Too Faced palette. Pink Pyrite,
Aquamarine, and Citrine from the BECCA palette.
And here are swatches of some of the other products! Sonoran and Freckle from Nudestix, Mint'd
Mojito from Fenty and the MILK Makeup Star Stamp.
I also put a look together wearing most of the products I mentioned today!
Here I'm wearing Nudestix Sonoran buffed into my crease and Freckle put messily on the outer
corner, with Fireflies from the Too Faced Life's a Festival palette on the inner half of the lid and Fun
in the Sun from the same palette on the inner corner. I dotted the MILK Makeup Star Stamp in a few
places, and I'm wearing the base combo of the First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie, the IT
Cosmetics CC+ cream, and the Wet N Wild Photofocus powder.
On the lower lashline I have Euphoric and Desert Vibes from the Too Faced palette. Fenty Mint'd
Mojito is on the nose and forehead, and on my cheeks I have a mix of the BECCA highlights that I
swatched earlier. On the cheeks is MAC Hang Loose. On my lips, though not mentioned in this post
otherwise, is a mix of Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Sweet Cream and Urban Decay Vice
lipstick in PDA.
Thank you so much if you read to the end of this very wordy post! I'll have more content up soon.