It’s officially winter (apparently it wasn’t before) and I have for you all a long-awaited, kind of late, (but worth it!) winter makeup haul.

This has a mix of free samples, drugstore products, and Sephora products.


Starting off with the free samples, I got three with my Sephora order. The first sample was the Black Tulip perfume by Nest, which I realized later I had gotten a sample of before, and I don’t wear perfume often so I’ll probably not get through them quickly. However, of all the perfume samples I have (and I have rather a lot thanks to Sephora’s lack of many other decent sample products) I have to say this deep floral scent is one of my favourites.

I also got Bumble and Bumble’s invisible oil. I’ve got to say, I was curious to try this because while it sounded a bit backwards to be putting oil in my hair, the reviews were good and if it did what it claimed to do, it might actually be what I was looking for without knowing it. I’ve tried it a few times since, and I find it great to use on my hair ends, especially in the winter when my hair is dryer and prone to static. Plus it smells nice, as a bonus.

Last of the samples is the Grande Lips Hydrating Lip Plumper. Now I have to be honest, I don’t really go out looking for ways to make my lips bigger, and the concept of enlarging lips for beauty purposes seems a bit strange to me. But I tried this and while I didn’t really notice a huge difference in lip size, I thought it made a good lip gloss. It wasn’t very sticky and when it eventually wore off, it didn’t leave my lips dry at all. It’s just a simple clear gloss and feels kind of like toothpaste, as in a bit minty, a bit spicy. Fits in my wallet, and is great for daytime wear.


From Sephora I got a refill of my Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara, since the old one had reached the point of being dry and clumpy. It isn’t the cheapest of mascaras out there at 30-something bucks, and it isn’t my favourite wand although it does the job well enough. The big reason why I keep coming back to this mascara is because it is one of the few mascaras that does what it promises and actually never smudges! I don’t know if my eyes are just shaped different or if they’re extra oily or something, but nearly all the other mascaras I’ve ever tried ended up smudging within the hour. This mascara is a lash-saver.


I also got a Sephora-brand eyebrow pencil with comb. It does the job, but it isn’t my favourite eyebrow pencil, not to mention the mini eyebrow comb on its end is completely useless. Still, it is one of the cheaper eyebrow pencils I’ve owned (the cheapest being from elf which broke upon opening) and it delivers what you pay for.

It might be cheating to have this next thing in a haul since it was given to me as a gift, but here it is. I was given Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain Set which has four mini Sephora-brand lip stains in colours they say are bestsellers.


Bestselling colour #1 is Blackberry Sorbet. Good colour, not as deep as it looks in the tube, unless you layer it maybe. More of a vibrant magenta than a deep berry. Wears well, though isn’t infallible and suffers from the same risks as any colourful lipstick.

Bestselling colour #2 is Nude Blush. Terrible colour. Makes you look like Voldemort and dries out your lips so that no other lipstick or stain can be worn until you’ve cleansed your lips of it’s evil with 48 hours of Vaseline. Avoid.

Bestselling colour #3 is Vintage Rosewood. A pretty, natural, brick-red type; not brown as it looks in the tube. Very oily, and kind of sheer pigment, so avoid wind and pressing your lips together until the stain has fully dried and expect to require thick application.

Bestselling colour #4 is Always Red. The brightest red I’ve ever seen, practically glows, holy-grail red, poisoned-apple red, neon red if there ever was one. Love it. A bit sheer like #3, but not as bad because it isn’t nearly as oily, and worth it.

I also received Sephora’s free birthday gift. They let me choose, and I can’t remember what the other option was, but I got the Tarte “paaarty” blush and “birthday suit” lip paint.


The lip paint had a great consistency and a little goes a long way. However, I’m really not the type to wear nude colours. The closest I get is sheer balms and clear glosses. I also find that this particular colour with this particular formula just makes my lips look dry, even if they’re not. So I don’t reach for this lip paint much.

The blush however is quickly becoming part of my daily routine. I like the little pathway picture on the blush and it’s a good size for travel (about 2 inches in diameter). The label says it’s an Amazonian clay 12-hour blush. It’s nice having a blush that doesn’t have any glitter or shine to it. The colour is sweet and natural and perfect for winter.

Onto the drugstore beauty. These I kind of reviewed in my $20 Makeup Challenge video, so if you want my initial thoughts and see me actually test out the products, here’s that.


But if you don’t want to watch all that, here’s a rundown:

Essence cosmetics is kind of amazing and unbelievably cheap. The eyeliner smudges well and has a good smooth application. I haven’t used it much since the video, but that’s just because I don’t use eyeliner often. The eyebrow gel mascara is freaking amazing and if I want my brows to look done and only have a minute to do them, this is what I reach for. Lip gloss is also amazing and not sticky at all, even though I thought they would be at least a bit. Colour selection for glosses wasn’t great though. Last but not least, the Rimmel concealer was kind of gross and made me look jaundiced. Also not super great at concealing. Pass.

Can you tell the Essence lipgloss has been living in my backpack?

And that’s everything! What do you think? Anything you want to try? Anything you’ve tried before? Give me your opinions in the comments below!


4 thoughts on “Winter 2017 Makeup Haul

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