Beauty Products the Internet Made Me Buy (and How I Feel About Them)

Dear Mimi,

When you get older and start exploring in makeup, there will be things that you hear about that everyone is buying. Literally everyone and their moms. And sisters. Everyone. I don’t know if YouTube will still be a thing in 10 years, but if it is, (and even if it’s not), you’ll hear people talking about these ah-mazing products and guess what? You’re gonna want to buy them and try them out for yourself. And most of them will be kind of expensive. You’ll start racking up those Ulta and Sephora points like it’s your job. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything (*nervous laugh*).

Well, here are the products that I did not have enough self-restraint to escape from purchasing and what I really think about them. Were they worth it? Were people just lying/pretending? Or were they really things I would buy again AND tell you to buy too? Let’s find out.

~Disclaimer: These are in no particular order and I purchased ALL of these with my own money. My wallet definitely shed a few tears. Also, these are all of my own and honest opinions. I’m your sister so that’s all I’m gonna give you, every time~

1. Benefit Hoola Bronzer ($29)

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Okay, so before I heard about this, I NEVER thought I would ever need a bronzer because, let’s face it, growing up Indian, you were already dark enough, no matter your skin tone. It wasn’t until I heard how this was the best thing on the planet for contouring (I will explain this later) that I started to look into and finally bought it. And this will be the first and last bronzer that I will ever buy.

Not because it’s bad. Definitely not! Because it’s that good! This stuff is so pigmented and lasts all day! You just need one little dip, not even a swipe, just a dip, and you have enough for one cheek. It’s a really neutral tone, so it really gives that hollowed effect really well, without looking too yellow or orange (and I just realized that I used the word “really” 3 times in that sentence). And because you only need one dip, this stuff will last for ages, hence why I will never buy another bronzer in my life.

It came in a really cute cardboard box package that has a mirror and a brush. I don’t really care for the brush. I mean, it’s cute, but it’s not compact enough to contour correctly with and plus, I think it smells really bad. I have no idea why. The bristles are also kind of rough and reminds me of a paintbrush, so I don’t want to use it on my face. Just go pick up a RealTechniques contour brush, and you’ll be good to go.

Verdict: Will Not Buy Again, But You Should Go Buy It.

2. Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette ($54)

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So I first became interested in this palette a few years ago on Instagram when I came across this look and instantly decided that it was the look I wanted for my wedding (along with a white/silver dress because I, like most girls, plan stuff like this in their heads. Don’t pretend that you don’t).

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HOW pretty is this?! It’s so simple, yet elegant, and everything you want in a stunning eye look. Thank you @vegas_nay for coming up with this

So yeah, after I saw this look, I was hooked, and obviously you need the Naked 2 palette to create it. But after seeing the price, the idea of obtaining this palette occupied a little room in my head, rent-free mind you, for the better part of 2 years, and every time it would come out to convince me to get it, the logical part of my brain would always shut it down. In the end, Nani gave me enough money to go out and purchase it as a birthday/Eid present and I haven’t looked back.

This palette is a cult favorite for a reason. It is so versatile and you can create soooo many different looks with it. I recently had a photoshoot and it was so hard for me to decide what eye look I wanted to do with this palette, since they all turn out so great! All the colors are very pigmented and blendable, and it’s not too overbearing since it’s still a neutral palette. There are 3 matte shades in this palette and the rest (9) are shimmers, but I love them all the same. It is a gorgeous palette.

Verdict: Would Buy Again and You Should Too.

3. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($20)

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Of course, every good eyeshadow palette needs a good eyeshadow primer. This one brings out the colors wonderfully and really makes sure they stay in place. I’ve never had creasing with this and it creates a nice base. However, there are other good eyeshadow primers out there, just like this. For example, I just bought the Smashbox 24 Hour Photofinish Eyeshadow Primer (whew!) which worked just as well (although that is $21, but I got mine for $10 🙂 ) But lots of other drugstore ones work amazingly too I’ve heard, although I have yet to try them myself.

Verdict: Would Buy This Again, But There Are Others Like It.

4. Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder ($38)

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This is one of the those products that I had NO IDEA everyone was going crazy about until I started looking for it. Because I had my photoshoot as mentioned earlier, I wanted to try baking, and nearly every single tutorial I watched used this exact same powder. And so naturally, I went on and bought it.

It was really great for baking, but that’s not something I do every day. Instead, it’s also really really good for setting your undereye concealer so it doesn’t crease, and to buff everything in at the end of doing your makeup, a la Wayne Goss (The link to that video is here.) When I use it to buff in my makeup, it just meshes all the layers together so flawlessly and makes me look airbrushed in real life. It’s a dream.

Plus, there’s so much in here and you only need a tiny amount for whatever use you have for it, that this stuff will last you 3 lifetimes.

Verdict: If It Ever Does Run Out, I Will Buy It Again. You Should Go Buy It Too.

P.S. Here is where I learned how to bake, if you want to too.

5. Yves Saint Laurent Lumiere Divine Highlighting Finishing Powder ($47)

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Uggghhh this product. I learned about this from @ThriftThick in her September Best & Worst of Beauty video and then I heard Kathleen Lights talking about it in her Luxury Makeup video. For some reason, something in my brain clicked and suddenly, I had to have it.

This highlighter is SO pretty. It gives a very natural finish to the skin, so you can’t really tell you’re wearing highlighter until it catches in the right light, which is exactly how I like it. It is very finely milled, so it doesn’t emphasize imperfections on the skin, and it’s a very delicate champagne toned type of color. It comes in gorgeous gold packaging and you definitely feel like million bucks while you’re putting this on and wearing it (which is good because that’s how much I feel like I paid for this).

Because of the price alone, I don’t know if I would repurchase it, but I’m so glad I have it. I use it almost every day and it just makes me feel like I’m glowing from within.

Verdict: Beyond Glad I Bought It Once, But Wouldn’t Repurchase.

6. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard ($29)

Alright, so we are just about halfway through this post, and I’m already like 1300 words in. Clearly, being concise is not my forte. Onto the concealer.

Everyone was raving about this concealer and I just wanted to know why. At first I didn’t like it, since it was a little thick and creased on me, but after using it a little more, I do actually like this concealer a lot. It gives good coverage and blends really well. The color match works perfectly for my skintone (which is the skintone of the arm in the picture) and it’s not too cakey. The key to this is making sure to set it with that Laura Mercier powder, or any other setting powder.

Verdict: Probably Would Buy Again, But There Are More Options Out There (Try the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. I Love That Stuff)

7. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Opal ($38)

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Google ‘Best Highlighters’ and this one makes every. single. list. It seems like no one can stop raving about this stuff and it’s constantly being sold out. I was never really interested in highlighters, but after never being able to stop hearing about this one, I wanted to see what the hype was all about.

And I see why there’s a hype. This is a beautiful highlighter. It’s soft, creamy, extremely pigmented, and definitely gives you that glow. I’m glad to have it in my collection, but for me, the highlight is a little over powering. I cannot wear it everyday like my YSL one, but it’s great for special events and strobing, when you just want a dewy look, or if you really really want that highlight to come through where you can see it from the moon. For me personally, it’s a little too much shimmer to look natural.

Verdict: Wonderful Product, But Would Not Repurchase.

8. Farsali Rose Gold Elixir ($54)

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While scrolling through Instagram one day, I saw that one of my favorite makeup artists (whom I’ll have do that Naked 2 look for my wedding iA lol) post about this product and how she loved it so much. After doing some more research on it, I purchased it (2 bottles because I totally gave into their whole “buy now and save some money on it” scheme. Note: Do not EVER buy more than one of anything if you’re testing it out for the first time). This has 24 karat gold in it which is supposed to do wonders for your skin and so many celebrities and magazines go gaga over this stuff.

I used it each morning in lieu of my moisturizer and this stuff was okay. It smelled good and moisturized well, but I feel like it made my skin darker and it didn’t do so much for me as everyone said it did.

I used up one bottle, but now I have one more and I’m trying to figure out what to do with it. It was $54 after all, so I need to make sure it gets used :/ .

Verdict: Skip. Overpriced and Not Worth It.

9. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate ($46)

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THIS. This stuff is my go to, must have, ultimate, holy grail product. It works like magic (so much so that my friends, who I have coerced into buying this product as well, have dubbed it the ‘Magic Potion’). I cannot say enough good things about this.

I first heard about this in high school, but being a broke, under-aged minor, I couldn’t fathom shelling out the money for this. Fast forward to my 21st birthday and I decided that I needed to invest in my skincare. I also had my own money at that point, so there was tangible cash to spend in my hands.

I had really terrible acne marks in September 2015, to the point where I wouldn’t leave the house without some type of foundation. I was so insecure about my skin and didn’t feel or look my best. I bought this stuff in January 2016 and in May 2016, ALL of my scars were gone. I’m not even kidding. It does take a while to work since it’s all natural, but every night that I put this on, I look so refreshed and awake the next morning. My skin looks happier and healthier each time I use this.

Also, I know it’s kind of expensive, but as I said, I bought this in January and I just ran out. It lasted me 10 months. You only need 3 drops every night, so a little goes a very very long way. The best $50 (with tax) I’ve ever spent.

Verdict: Will Continue to Buy for Life.

10. Benefit They’re Real Mascara ($24)

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This is one of my favorite mascaras. The brush really separates and lengthens your lashes, so they look like your lashes, but 8489753 times better. I love the formula of this. It’s not too wet or too dry, and it never flakes on me. I always find myself reaching for this mascara and get compliments every time.

Verdict: Love This and Will Buy Again. One of the Best Mascaras I Own.

11. Nars Lipsticks ($26)

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After a year long search to find the perfect “my lips but better” shade for me, I found it in the Nars Sheer Lipstick in Dolce Vita (pictured) and the Nars Satin Lipstick in Tolede. This lipsticks are a pretty penny (actually 2600 pennies), but they make your lips look so good and the colors are incredible. They don’t dry out my lips and have pretty good staying power for a regular lipstick. Need I say more?

Verdict: Expensive, but Worth It.

12. Mac Prep and Prime Fix+ ($23)

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Okay, so I haven’t used the Fix+ enough to decide if I like it or not. Sure it makes my makeup look a lot more fluid and natural, but it just feels like overpriced water to me. I use it to damp my makeup sponge and before and after makeup to kind of make it look less cakey, but I’m not sure if $23 is worth it for this. Is there some kind of magical effect that I’m missing?

Verdict: Meh. Not Sure About This.


So there you have it Mimi. I spent $428 ($500 if you count the other Nars Lipstick and the extra bottle of the Rose Gold Elixir). Be right back, crying. That’s almost half of $1000! Who knew wanting to make faces look pretty would be this expensive? You’re beautiful just the way you are Mimi, save your money. (But some of these really are worth it. Oh the struggle).

Love,

Didi

If anyone tells you not to buy new makeup, stop talking to them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

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