Review: theBalm Manizer Sisters Luminizer Palette

Okay, so I’m super guilty of not posting in a longgggg time! A recent chat with a dear friend inspired me to get back into writing again, not to meet anyone’s expectations but for just my own enjoyment. I thought about what had been holding me back (aside from time I guess, like everyone else) and I realized that I wasn’t really enjoying the photography part. Trying to stage products and take the “right” shot just isn’t where my creativity is and honestly makes it feel more like a job than a hobby lol. So I decided not to pressure myself too much with the photos and just start again with what I enjoy the most – writing reviews! With that said, if you have any feedback/tips for my photos I’ll take those too 🙂

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll jump into a review of one of my recent go-to products – theBalm’s The Manizer Sisters Luminizer Collection Palette. I picked this up during their website’s half-off sale back in February after reading raving reviews and I’m happy I did! I definitely think this is a useful palette to have, even at the original price of $28.
In terms of packaging, I really like it. Unless the packaging is extra special I typically focus less on aesthetics and more from a functional standpoint so honestly I’m most pleased that the palette is sturdy and a good size to keep in my makeup bag/purse. This saves me from having to lug separate bronzer, blush, and highlighter. It is a box with magnetic closure and it comes in a sleeve. I’ve actually kept it sleeve and all in my makeup bag and the whole thing has been holding up great with daily use. It also comes with a mirror on the top flap, so no complaints in my book!
theBalm Manizer Sisters Luminizer Palette
This trio face palette contains a highlighter (Mary-Lou Manizer), a light iridescent blush (Cindy-Lou Manizer), and a bronzer (Betty-Lou Manizer). Each of these luminizers can be purchased separately, but this palette is basically a travel-sized sampler of all 3.  It is a very convenient palette to have in the makeup bag, especially since I live on bronzer/blush and highlight to contour my face. I am also addicted to that fresh-faced glow that highlighters give! Speaking of the highlighter, do not expect this to be a high glam or sparkly highlighter. This one is subtle, making it work-friendly or good for anyone who wants a tame highlight. Personally I wear it for the office every day but for special occasions or going out I usually like something a little more glam.  I’m usually too lazy in the morning to do full on eyeshadow for work so I’ll brush the highlighter over my eyelids to look more wide-eyed.
theBalm Manizer Sisters Luminizer Palette
The highlighter is a champagne shade. The blush is a light shimmery peach color that gives a peachy pink glow. The bronzer is a warm orange-y bronze with a metallic finish. I usually use the bronzer on my cheeks for contour then layer with the blush on top to avoid looking too orange. All 3 powders are pigmented, easy to pick up on the brush, go on smooth (no grittiness), and stay on well for most of the day.
theBalm Manizer Sisters Luminizer Palette Swatches

L-R: Mary-Lou, Cindy-Lou, Betty-Lou

Overall, this is a face palette worth checking out! Now tell me, what are your favorite contour palettes??
xo, A

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Swatched: MAC Star Trek Collection Lipglass, Lipsticks, and Nail Lacquers

Hello loves! I know it’s been a longgg time since I’ve done a blog post đŸ€ but since I started an IG account I’ve been uploading more on to there these days 📾. If you have time, please go check out and follow my IG account (atypicalwho) for more MOTD posts!

This will be a short post as I mainly want to share some swatches from MAC’s Star Trek collection that launched earlier this month in stores.

LIPGLASS

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top to bottom: Set to Stun // Warp Speed Ahead // Khaaannnn! // Pleasure Planet

LIPSTICK

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top to bottom: LLAP (frost finish) // The Enemy Within (frost finish) // Where No Man Has Gone Before (lustre finish) // KlingItOn (frost finish)

NAIL LACQUER

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L – R: Skin of Evil // Holladeck // Enterprise

I’m absolutely in love with all the metallic and glitter shades in this collection!! With a good amount of self restraint I left with *only* 3 of the lipglasses 😅 – can’t wait to layer them over some lippies!

Soo…which of these in the collection catches your eye??

xo, A

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Review: Clarins Multi-Active Day/Night Cream

I received a free 5-day sample of Clarins Multi-Active Day and Night Creams from Influenster to try and give my opinion on. Here are my thoughts after a week of using the set:

 

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Overall I’d say I’m quite happy with this set. I’m in my late 20s and recently started noticing some fine lines on my forehead. I used these creams as my moisturizer step (after cleansing and applying toner, serum, and eye cream) with Nude Skincare’s ProGenius Omega Face Oil mixed into these creams (which I do in the Winter with any moisturizer). With anti-aging products I know it’s hard to tell if they’ve really worked their magic until some time has passed but in terms of more immediate effects I’ve noticed that this set has kept my skin sufficiently moisturized in the last week. I  have dry skin and consistently have clogged pores/breakouts on my forehead and chin due to hormones/stress or dryness (which in turn makes your skin create more oil in attempt to compensate). When using this set I did not notice any unusual breakouts or extra dry skin, which to me makes it a potential keeper!  The only criticism I have is that these come in jars, which can make it less sanitary or can result in the product degrading faster.

 

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Source: clarinsusa.com

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Source: clarinsusa.com

Now on to each cream individually:

Clarins Multi-Active Day All Skin Types

The day cream, made for all skin types, was definitely thicker than the night cream. I noticed that this cream had a stronger floral fragrance, which didn’t bother me personally but those who are sensitive to fragrance may be affected. The scent does disappear pretty quickly after application. Despite its thicker texture it was easy to apply and absorbed pretty quickly without leaving an oily feel. It left my skin smooth for makeup application (but not a matte finish). I liked that this day cream had SPF 20 – even though most days I applied a separate sunscreen after (I usually use SPF 50), there was a day I forgot to before leaving the house and was grateful that the cream contained some degree of protection. As mentioned before,  I have not noticed any adverse effects to my skin.

Clarins Multi-Active Night Normal to Combination

When I saw that this night cream is geared toward normal to combination skin I was a little wary of it drying out my skin (and effectively aging it faster) but I decided to give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised! This cream was really comfortable to wear, not sticky or oily at all. It absorbed quickly and the next morning my face still felt soft.  I have frown lines between my eyebrows that I am particular conscious about – when my skin is dry they become more pronounced so I use them as a measure of my skin’s moisture. Happy to say that I woke to see no frown lines when using this night cream. (I know it’s not a permanent effect after a few days of use but at least it moisturized my skin enough. I am curious to see if the effects become more permanent with long term use so I may consider buying a full sized jar to try.) I think between the two creams I liked the night cream better – the scent was softer and helped me relax more and I love how comfortable it felt on my skin while still providing enough moisture!

So tell me, do you have any other anti-aging skincare products you’d recommend??
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Valentine’s Day MOTD – Golden Eyes and Red Lips

Happy Valentine’s Day!! 😘

My hubby and I don’t usually make a big production of the day (too lazy to bear the crowds đŸ€) but we did have a casual date night yesterday. Movie and dinner, simple enough! Here’s the look I wore last night, which I suppose we can call my Valentine’s Day look 😊:

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Eyes

Shadows:

  • Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Palette in Alabaster (a matte bone/beige shade) for a base from lid to brow bone
  • Kiko Milano Color Sphere Duo Eyeshadow in Gold on the lids – I wore this shade wet but it still seemed a bit sheer so I topped it off with with Kiko Milano Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in #07 Golden Beige for a more opaque metallic gold look
  • Kat Von D Shade and Light Eyes in Samael a light-medium neutral brown) on the crease and slightly higher since I didn’t use a separate transition shade
  • Shade #1 (a shimmery ivory) from EstĂ©e Lauder’s Pure Color Five Color Eyeshadow Palette in Surreal Skies to blend out the lines of the brown to the brow bone
  • Kiko Milano Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in #07 Golden Beige on the inner corners to brighten up my eyes

Eyeliners:

  • Kiss Me Heroine Make Liquid Eyeliner Ultra Slim to draw on the cat eyes
  • NARS Larger Than Life pencil eyeliner in black on my waterline
  • Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Palette in Sea (a very light sea foam with glitter) to line my lower lashline to add some sparkle (sadly this doesn’t show up in the photos)

Mascara:

  • Coffret D’or Mascara Base – Picked this up on my trip to Japan last year. Long story short, this primer definitely adds volume and length to my lashes!
  • Coffret D’or Glamorous Beauty Mascara in black – Works well with the primer to further build length and volume. Does not clump or transfer. Really happy with the performance of this set!

Face:

  • Flower About Face Foundation in LF5
  • Sephora Colorful Face Contour in Tranquil to contour under my cheekbones and my jawline
  • Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Palette in Sunset (an orangey brown blush)
  • EstĂ©e Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in Ivory Box to highlight

Lips:

  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red

Hope you all enjoyed the look I created. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

xo, A

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Sephora Color Wishes 5 Eyeshadow Palette Swatches

Okay this post is a little late, but since this set is still on sale I figured this review could still be relevant! Anyway, while shopping for Christmas gifts on Sephora I came across this cute set of five mini eyeshadow palettes, each matchbox-sized with two shades.IMG_7574
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Each little matchbox opens like a book and has a magnetic closure on the right side.
I love that each mini-palette comes with color-coordinated duos and a picture of a look to create with that duo. (I’m honestly not that creative so I love when palettes come with inspiration.) Here are photos of each palette and swatches in natural light:

 

Wish No. 1: Be a Celebrity

– The top shade is a medium brown that leans taupe with a stain finish. A beautiful color, but as you can see from the  swatch, this shade unfortunately wore too sheer for my liking.
– The bottom shade is a brown champagne shimmer that was a little powdery but had good pigmentation.

 

Wish No. 2: Be a Role Model

 

– Top is a pretty mauve matte shade that had soft texture with fair pigmentation.
– Bottom is a peach champagne shimmer that was well-pigmented. The texture felt a little gritty at first but smoothed out with blending.


Wish No. 3: Be a Rockstar


– On top is a matte light pink shade that swatched chalky and lacked pigmentation (definitely needed multiple layers to achieve opacity).
– On the bottom is a dark khaki shade with gold shimmer and a bit of gold glitter. It was not soft to the touch but turned out to have pretty good pigmentation and looked quite pretty when blended out.


Wish No. 4: Be a Hero


– The top shade is a matte ivory that was also chalky and lacked pigmentation.
– On the bottom is a matte black shade with specks of glitter. I was looking forward to a glittery look, so I was a bit disappointed that the glitter fell out upon application and I was left mainly with a matte black shadow. This shade felt gritty to the touch but was quite pigmented so if you don’t mind a matte black with scattered glitter then this could work for you.


Wish No. 5: Be a Queen


– The top shade is a gorgeous matte navy that was soft and well-pigmented. This was definitely my favorite shade out of the set!
– The bottom shade is a silver shimmer that was also soft and well-pigmented. It did take some blending to even out the shimmer.


Overall, I’d say if you’re just starting to get into eyeshadows and want some versatile colors for your collection to experiment with at an affordable price you may want to give this set a try. Or if you’re looking for a cute gift to give (either as a whole set or separately), these would fit the bill too. For me, unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed in some of the chalkier or less-pigmented shades but nonetheless, I do think that the set offers really pretty colors! I picked up the set at its full price of $15 before Christmas, but I believe it’s been on sale on the Sephora site and in stores for $10 since after Christmas.


Thanks for reading!
-A

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EOTD Using Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Palatte

Broke out one of my  favorite gifts from Christmas today – Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Palette! This is a limited edition holiday palette that’s still on sale at Sephora for $45 (original price was $65).

I used this palette a few times and found that the shadows do kick up powder and fallout when applying (especially when I do my outer V with the darker shades, I have to wipe afterward). And I wish they were a bit more pigmented (I find that I have to apply a few layers of a color to attain full opacity). Nonetheless, I enjoy this palette for all the fun colors it adds to my collection! In terms of wear time, it does pretty well. With primer and a setting spray, it holds up for at least a good 5-6 hours before I noticed any fading.

I haven’t had a chance to take photos of the palette itself yet but did want to share the look I wore today.

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Shades used (from the Smashbox palette unless otherwise stated):

Browbone: Alabaster – a matte bone/beige

Transition shade: Custard – a matte light peach/orange

Crease: Solas from Kat Von D’s Shade and Light Eyes Contour Palette – a matte warm dark brown

Lid: Steel – a shimmery blue-grey

Outer corner (blended into the crease): Smoke – a matte medium-dark grey

I have to say I do enjoy playing with all the colors this palette offers. So I’m looking forward to sharing swatches/more looks from this palette in a future post!

xx, A

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Recent Rave: Buxom Lash Macara

Let me start by saying how much I love receiving mascara samples. I appreciate that they come with enough product to allow me to take my time in finding a mascara that I actually like before taking the plunge on a full size. Honestly, if not for mascara samples I would probably not venture away from my already tried and true products because I wouldn’t bother purchasing different mascaras to test (which, for some reason is not true for me with skincare or other makeup). So congrats marketing tactics, you got me! Of course, I’m not complaining since I feel like a winner when I find a new mascara that really works for me lol!

On to my recent rave, which by now I’m sure you guessed is a mascara that I got as a sample lol Buxom Lash Mascara – one of my new favorites and here’s why:

  • It adds a good amount of length to my lashes
  • The wand does an awesome job at separating lashes and it does not clump!
  • It leaves my lashes fairly soft and layers well without clumping so that I can effectively add volume (as opposed to some products that stiffen lashes after a layer and are therefore not conducive to building on).
  • It visibly lifts my lashes and gives it curl without using a curler. (I’m lazy in the morning and this is one of the main reasons why I love this mascara!)
  • It doesn’t take too much effort to remove. (Sometimes after a long day at work I just want something that comes off easily during cleansing. Extremely waterproof mascaras are awesome for all-day wear but come nighttime take a little more effort to remove.)

   

Based on my experience the Buxom Lash Mascara doesn’t run, but sometimes depending on what under eye concealer I wear it may transfer a little bit under my eyes (think thicker, creamier concealers that don’t fully set). It’s nowhere near the worst transfer I’ve experienced but I guess that’s where I would like improvement in the product. Honestly though, the pros totally outweigh the cons for me here so I still love it. With that said, this mascara wears off a bit throughout the day so I usually have to reapply before going out after work (which I don’t mind at all since I like to freshen up my makeup after a long day anyway). Keep in mind, it does takes me at least 2 layers with this mascara to build volume and length for an evening look since one layer just leaves you with a very natural look. Even in the daytime I like to use 2 layers. But like I said, this product layers very well so not a problem for me. 

To sum up, I really enjoyed my sample of Buxom’s Lash Mascara and I will definitely be purchasing a full size! 

 Happy New Year!
-A

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Drugstore Buys – Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows

After seeing many beauty bloggers recommend Milani’s Bella Eyes Gel Powder eyeshadows, I decided to go check out the selection at my local CVS and pick up one or two to try. To my delight when I got there, they were having a 40% off sale off of all Milani products! So naturally, being the makeup hoarder that I am, I bought 6 lol. After all, they were less than $3 each so why not have a little fun! Anyway, here are the shades I picked up:

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L-R: Bella Chiffon, Bella Champagne, Bella Sand, Bella Rose, Bella Khaki, Bella Taupe

Here are the swatches, in natural light:
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L-R: Bella Chiffon, Bella Champagne, Bella Sand, Bella Rose, Bella Khaki, Bella Taupe

Bella Chiffon – I pretty much agree with Milani’s description of this shade on its site as a “shimmery off-white” since I swatched it as a shimmery ivory tone, making it a good highlighter/inner corner shade.

Bella Champagne – Described on Milani’s site as “shimmery champagne pink,” this shade, simply put, swatched as a shimmery rose gold. So far out of all the shades, I’ve gotten the most use out of this one since it is very versatile and can be paired with a variety of colors. To help define my crease, I wear it on my lids to give that shimmery “pop” while using matte shadows on the rest of my eyes. My skin is  naturally very light, but I imagine this shade would also be a gorgeous highlighter color for tanner skin.

Bella Sand – Milani describes this as “shimmery beige,” but I’d say this leans a bit more on the peachy side as opposed to straight beige. This is also a very versatile color, and is similar to Bella Champagne but put side by side you can see that Bella Champagne is a tad pinker while Bella Sand shows up more orange-y.

Bella Rose – A Milani’s site describes, this shade is a “shimmery light pink.”

Bella Khaki – A beautiful color that Milani describes as a “shimmery dark green,” but I think can be better described as a khaki or olive green with golden shimmer. I was most excited about this shade as I was instantly drawn to how the golden shimmer adds another dimension to the green. I’ve used this color on my outer lid to create a smokey look.

Bella Taupe – Described by Milani as a “taupe-brown satin matte,” this swatched as a dark taupe that is more on the grey side. I was happy to add a warmer grey shade to my collection since I think I carry warm shades better. This is the only matte shade I picked up and have used it on my crease for a smokey eye.

So don’t let the name fool you – these shadows are not gel, but all powder. (I think the gel refers to the process in which these shadows were made, according to Milani’s website.) These babies are a little powdery when you first pick them up on the brush but still pretty soft and very blendable, not chalky. Really no issue there – all I had to do was tap some of the excess off the brush and pat the product on my eyes. There was a small bit of fallout, mainly with the micro-shimmer, but nothing I’d complain about. Even without primer they’re quite pigmented, but then they do wear a little sheerer and fade faster. (Without primer they seem to last for approx. 3-4 hours, but over that time I did notice gradual fading.) The good news though is no creasing! With primer they wore slightly more pigmented/opaque with no fallout. Most notably with primer, the wear-time was noticeably longer. I don’t think I really noticed much fading until about the 7-hour mark and still, no creasing for me! After about 9 hours the color, though clearly faded, still hasn’t fully worn off. An important point I’d note is that fading with these  shadows seem to always be gradual and even, which I appreciate – it just looks better than if a random section of shadow goes missing on just one of my eyes! Oh, and these shadows can apparently be worn wet as well, which I definitely look forward to doing sometime.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my purchase, especially given the performance for this price (even at full price they’re under $5). Definitely a great bang for your buck! I believe they have about 30 shades in the collection so anyone looking to try these out would find at least one color they like. Actually, some of the shades are on sale right now at Milani’s site for under $3, so if you’re interested now may be a good time to pick up a few. (Note: This is not an endorsed message. I just happened to notice the sale as I was looking up descriptions on their site and thought to share this info.)

So tell me, what are some other Milani products you’d recommend I try?

Til next time,
-A

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Discovering the Beauty of Matte Eyeshadows & MOTD

A month ago you would not have caught me wearing any matte shadows. I could never stand the flatness of matte, I always thought. Only recently did I realize that I’ve been misjudging matte shades all along and the truth was, I just hadn’t used them correctly! Thanks to beauty bloggers out there I finally discovered how to incorporate matte shades into my eye makeup, especially for building different textures on the eye and as transition shades to give additional definition. Now I’m totally hooked on mattes!

Of course, true to my obsessive form, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some matte shadows to start experimenting after all the inspiration I saw online. Since I already owned a bunch of shimmery shades and didn’t feel I needed more, I decided to get a palette with just mattes. After reading a good amount of positive reviews, I decided to get the original Tartelette palette! I’m hoping to do a full review on the palette another time, but in a nutshell, I’m really happy with my purchase. The matte shades are well-pigmented, soft, blend well, and very long lasting!

Alright, on to the look I wanted to share today, where I incorporated my newfound love for matte shadows:

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Face

  • Miracle Skin Transformer in Light – Heavy foundation tends to break me out so I use this for light coverage on my face.
  • Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal in Light – As mentioned in previous posts, my go-to concealer to cover up any blemishes on my face. I use this daily, with or without foundation.
  • Cheer Rouge from Pinkey – A pale pink blush my mom picked up for me from Hong Kong a while ago. Honestly, I’m not too familiar with this brand and can’t seem to find any info. online about it but since the blush works for me I just keep using it!

Eyes Overall

  • Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette – My brows are naturally pretty thick but have areas that could benefit from filling in so I just use this to lightly fill those in. I love that this pencil comes with a brow wand on the other end – I use it to blur out and soften the fill so that my brows don’t appear too dark/overdone.
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
  • Canmake Highlight & Retouch Concealer UV for light, brightening coverage under my eyes. For those who are interested, you can find my review of this product here.
  • Blinc Lash Primer and Blinc Mascara in Black (my thoughts on these products can be found here).

Eyeshadows

  • Kiko Colour Sphere Duo Eye Shadow #208 in Pink Beige, which is a light taupe shade, all over my lid and crease. For more details on this product, please see my review here.
  • Tartelette’s Dreamer along my crease.
  • Tartelette’s Force of Nature as a transition shade, blended out above the crease.
  • Tartelette’s Multi-tasker on my outer V, blending it into the crease shade
  • Tartelette’s Free Spirit under my brow and blending it with the transition shade.
  • To finish off, I pat Candy Pink (the other shade from Kiko Colour Sphere Duo Eye Shadow #208) all along my lid for a touch of sparkle to complement this otherwise matte look.

For some reason it’s hard to tell from the close up photos, but I love how the lighter, sparkly color on my lids contrasts with the darker colors on my crease and outer V! I’ve definitely been trying this type of look using different shade combinations lately.

Lips

Kiko Velvet Mat Satin Lipstick #613 Pink Carnation – This lippie has a soft matte or satin texture. I love wearing this soft pink shade when rocking a bolder eye.

Hope everyone enjoyed my look and please feel free to leave suggestions on your favorite uses for matte shadows!

-A

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100 FOLLOWERS GIVEAWAY!!!

Congrats to lipsticksanddreams for reaching 100 followers 🙂 Reblogging her fabulous giveaway!

Lipsticks and Dreams

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Hello everyone, I hope you had a great weekend! Today I have great news and that is I reached 100 followers last week here on WordPress and I decided to host a giveaway! I would like to thank everyone who is following my blog here and on bloglovin’ – thank you so much, you are awesome and make my day, every day! I honestly cannot express how grateful and happy I am, so let’s go straight to giveaway now!

To thank you I decided to make a giveaway and the item I chose is


TOO FACED LE GRAND CHATEAU

The set contains three beautiful eye shadow, blush and bronzer palettes with a total of 18 eyeshadows and a deluxe size of the famous Better Than Sex Mascara, all in a dollhouse box. The set already got great reviews and it’s so gorgeous that I was lovestruck as soon as I saw it in Sephora!

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