What I Bought: Santa Monica Day 1.

Hello, all! I'm currently on the second day of my one month journey around the west coast of America and so I thought I'd fill you in on the goodies I've picked up so far! I was planning on posting hauls weekly, or even as I leave each city, but I simply cannot wait to post about these (and, surprise surprise I'm buying a lot on a daily basis - self control is minimal)! So enjoy! (Exclamation points everywhere!). Note: I go into detail in this post, get a cup of tea, it's a long'un.

So, let's get into it. Today I made my way down to Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica - this place is so lovely (and festively decorated much to my delight) and I would highly recommend to non-Americans as it is a little melting pot of all the shops we want but don't have; H&M, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Made Well, American Apparel (which is in Australia, but not my state), Chipotle (heart eyes), J-Crew, Nordstrom and the mothership, Sephora. Although its at the other end of the promenade to where I entered, I made a beeline for the wonderful world of make up that I can safely call my favourite place on earth. I didn't buy as much as I would like (the Sephora customers' manifesto) because I told myself I was only allowed to buy holiday sets. This is because of the fact that California has sales tax which can really add up, and so I'm holding out on a lot of make up until I'm in Oregon in January - I'm only allowing myself to buy holiday sets before then because I don't want to miss out! (Notice how I make rules and excuses for my own brain like a parent does with a small child, my self control is toddler-esque).

On my I-want-this-list were seven items, and I came away with only three as they came in under budget (good job, Sophia!) however you will be seeing a few of the others in a couple of days when they fit into that day's budget (you tried, Sophia!). The items I picked up Benefit's Cheeky Sweet Spot Box o' Blushes, Sephora Favo(u)rites Super Stars Beauty Must Haves and Sephora Luxe At First Sight Blockbuster Eyelash Kit. Are you salivating yet?

Let's start with the Box o' Blushes because, to be honest I am straight-up, up-and-down, around the block in love with this little baby. Look at it. Embrace it. Weep at its beauty. Ok, calm down. Inside this sweet little tin is even sweeter products, from top left to bottom right: Dandelion blush, Bella Bamba blush, Sugarbomb blush, lil baby sized Watts Up! highlighter, Hoola Blush, Coralista Blush Rockateur blush and a small brush which feels like surprising good quality for one that comes with a palette! Firstly, this box has a great mix products for my blush, highlight and contour routine - all of which are incredibly wearable and would suit a variety of skin tones wonderfully. Rockateur and Hoola were already on my Shopping-In-America wish-list, so this kit was naturally the first thing in my basket.

I'm going to give you a mini review of each blush, because frankly, they deserve it - this is what I meant about it being a long post, not even sorry. Dandelion surprised me in the most wonderful way, in my whole blush-wearing life I've avoided baby pink blushes as I've felt they haven't suited my complexion, but I wore this beauty today and god damn it looks good, if I do say so myself. It suits my skin tone (light to very, very slightly medium with pink to neutral undertones) wonderfully and gives that natural glow look beauty gurus rave about. Bella Bamba is warmer, and more shimmery than Dandelion, however I feel it gives an amped up effect of the previous blush - perfect for days where you want a little something extra (me tomorrow, do normal people plan their make up in advance?). Sugarbomb contains four colours, which when mixed provide an amazing highlight or very light blush, I'm very glad this was in the box as I wouldn't have tried it normally and I'm very happy with it, thanks Benefit. Watts Up! is a cream highlighter, which generally scares me as I've found them quite hard to blend out when I've dabbled with them in the past, but this product thankfully breaks the mould (thanks also to the mini buffer brush). It is also the perfect shade for my liking - not too intense, not invisible - I'm definitely buying the full-size once this one runs out! Hoola lives up to it's cult beauty status with ease as it is so easily to build/blend and is not at all muddy (nothing is worse than looking like someone wiped a cheeto finger under your cheeckbone). Coralista is expectedly coral and also lives up to the hype surrounding it, I have no words for how beautiful this looks swatched! Rockateur is as lovely as I expected, giving a rose gold-like hue like no other - completely in love.
Overall, the products in here are amazing in both size and quality and are perfect for travelling; had I known I'd be buying this I would have left all of my other blushers and bronzers at home in favour of just toting this around. Buy this, Now.

The Super Stars kit is quite literally filled with must haves, as promised, and was the second thing I reached for. I had this in my mind (and heart) before I even got on the plane and it did not disappoint in person. Inside this wonder-box, from top left to right, is: Nars Orgasm blush, Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner in Intense Black, Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sin, Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment, Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Light, Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, Benefit's The Porefessional and They're Real! Mascara, Formula X Nail Colour in Ignite and Chloe Rollerball Perfume. Phew, did you take all of that in? That is all of the cult products you've been hearing and reading about for the last 12 months. Take a minute to get your breathing back on track.

On to the mini review! I am yet to use Orgasm, however it looks as beautiful as I've heard described when I swatch it on my hand; I am often afraid of blushes with shimmer, and this one packs a punch, so I am waiting until the travel-induced break outs leave my skin before I try this baby out. Anastasia Brow Wiz is amazing, my brows have never looked better than today, that is all. Stila's waterprrof liner has been on my wish list for about 18 months, and so I was incredibly pleased to get my greedy little hands on it, I used it this morning and got perfect wings, need I say more? No, I needn't. I have never tried Urban Decay's shadows (not even the naked palettes - gasp!) but I am very glad that Sin is my first foray into this line of products - its that pink-undertoned shade of champagne that looks wonderful as an all-over lid colour, an inner corner or browbone highlight or even cheekbone highlight, if you feel inclined to do so. The Fresh lip balms have only come to my attention in the last month or so, and it was not particularly high on my list of things to try, but boy does this impress me! It's tinted enough that you wouldn't look dead if you left the house with only this on your lips, but not enough that you can't put it on before lipstick without altering the colour of it, plus its all lovely and minty - I'm very impressed. I've wanted to try Bumble and Bumble products for a while now, and the Surf Spray has certainly lived up to expectation. I used this today to jazz up my third-day-hair back to its wavy glory and I'm in love. I haven't officially tried the Smashbox BB cream, but it blended out beautifully on my hand, with NO orange undertone - this is the problem I usually find with BB creams, so I can't wait to wear this on my I-don't-want-to-put-effort-in-but-I-want-it-to-look-like-I-did day. I've heard a lot about Josie Maran, and this all purpose argan oil is something I cant wait to use! I use argan oil in my hair after every wash, and so I'm always glad to have more, plus this can go on your face and body so I'm going to try that out and see it's wonders! I have tried The Porefessional primer before, but I've never bought one due to a) the price, and b) the fact that I change my primer up almost daily, so it takes me ages to go through a full size product - for this reason I'm glad its a travel size! I also never purchased They're Real! because of the hefty price tag, and I genuinely feel that drugstores do some of the best mascaras around, but I'm very grateful to be able to try it out - and who knows, maybe I'll fall in love with it! Formula X nail polishes are great in my opinion, and everyone needs a great red nail polish so this is a great addition to the box (great, aint it?). I've never been the biggest fan of the original Chloe perfume, not that I didn't like the scent, its just very expensive and since it's not my favourite scent of all time I could not justify spending on it - this rollerball is the perfect way to receive it, particularly for travelling.
I love this little kit, the only downside is that there are no different colour options for the products inside, which isn't a problem for the blush, eyeshadow, lip treatment, eyeliner or nail colour, but is a problem for the brow pencil and BB cream. I'm very lucky in that they match my colouring, but this will be limiting for those not in this colour range!

Lastly, I could not say no to this lash kit. I'm very picky when it comes to lashes; I don't like them to be 'too much', I prefer them long and natural looking to enhance my eye shape and occasionally a little fuller, but never with thick pieces of hair, only multiple thin ones (does this make sense?). I also enjoy wearing half lashes on an almost daily basis so I am grateful to see a pair of those inside. Inside this thing is not only a Sephora 12HR Waterproof Contour Liner in black and glue, but 5 pairs of lashes: Astonish, Celebrity, Flair, Flutter and an unnamed new set featuring gold accents. I can't wait to try these!

If you're still here after this monster of a post, thank you! Reward yourself with a biscuit or a trip to Sephora! (I will be, tomorrow.)


Benefit's Cheeky Sweet Spot Box o' Blushes $38US ($119 value)
Sephora Favourites Superstars Beauty Must Haves $75US ($225 value)
Sephora Luxe at First Sight Blockbuster Eyelash Kit $38 ($60 value)


Thank you so much for reading, have a beautiful day!

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