When I was in NYC last month I vowed that I would do one beauty/makeup related thing even though I was tagging along with two guys with absolutely no interest whatsoever in such things. So, I had to fit it in somewhere with a minimum of backtracking or disruption to our main itinerary. There were several really beautiful looking Sephoras along the way but I can go to Sephora or order online anytime, so I didn't want to waste precious time there. When doing research into this matter I discovered that on the fifth floor of the Chelsea Market building there is an Inglot Cosmetics. I have seen rave reviews about Inglot online numerous times but since there are no stores anywhere near me I never investigated further. Since we were going to Chelsea Market anyway I figured it would be a perfect time to try this brand.

I checked out their website to see what kinds of shadows I would be interested in but that is honestly one of the major downsides to online ordering -the product images are really not very good and it's very hard to tell what the shades actually look like. There are plenty of swatches online from various bloggers which help, but the website definitely needs more interactive, intuitive searching and product descriptions.

I decided up front that I was mostly interested in a small Freedom Palette, and if I liked the quality I would perhaps try other products online later. Their Freedom System consists of magnetic palettes of varying shapes and quantities, which you fill with products of your choosing, including eye shadows, lipsticks, concealers, brow powders and waxes, etc. I haven't used pressed shadows ever since I discovered loose mineral shadows a few years ago and I wasn't sure what to expect in regards to pigmentation, wear time, etc., but I was eager to try them out.

While we were there we split up for an hour so I could shop in peace. I took the elevator up to the fifth floor and realized quickly that I was virtually the only customer there, aside from one person having makeup applied by an employee, which was pretty shocking given the fact that most places in NYC are packed to the gills. It was strange to be somewhere so quiet! This location is a makeup studio/photography set as well as a retail store, so if I hadn't read beforehand that it was open to the public, I would have thought I wasn't allowed in. But I knew better, and sauntered in like I knew what I was doing, and started swatching to my heart's delight. An employee offered assistance to me, but didn't hover or try to sell me anything, which was nice.

Look at all the pretty colors!
Recently I made an online order from Ulta that I thought I'd share with you all. It seems every year I do a hefty "summer staples" haul with all the things I need to emerge from the season unscathed. I usually don't order from Ulta online since I have several local stores, but sometimes the online promotions and perks justify it, plus, I bought enough for free shipping. I was specifically looking for affordable alternatives to several of my favorite products.

Here's what I got:


Maybelline Clean Express Facial Wipes
NYX Liquid Illuminator in Gleam
NYX blush in Summer Peach
NYX Slide On Eye Pencil in Jewel
NYX Dewy Makeup Setting Spray
Maybelline One By One waterproof mascara
Revlon ColorStay concealer
Clean and Clear Advatage Oil Free Acne Moisturizer
Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Cream

You might notice a theme here-I was definitely focused on products that will keep me
de-slicked, non-smudgy and clear skinned. The Revlon concealer is  by far my favorite concealer and I keep coming back to it time and again. The Clean and Clear moisturizer is a good basic anti-breakout cream, which I've used before and liked. It doesn't dry me out too much as well. I am still looking for the perfect magical product that will give my mostly-straight-but-wayward-in-humidity-and-rain-hair beachy waves, and I'm not sure if I will ever find one that doesn't take more effort than its worth. I thought the Not Your Mother's cream might hold a wave better in my hair when used in conjunction with sea salt sprays, but I'm not sure. The jury is still out on this product.

I bought several items from NYX as they were on sale. The blush is a pretty pinky-peach color. I made a mistake when ordering the eyeliner because the image on the website really makes it look like a medium metallic brown, not the plum-y wine shade that I got. I suppose the name "Jewel" should have tipped me off! It's not what I expected, but it's actually sort of pretty. I will still use it.




I was looking for an alternative to Urban Decay's All Nighter makeup setting spray,  so I decided to try NYX's dewy version. The full size bottle costs less than the travel size of the All Nighter I would usually buy. I honestly can't name any clear differences between them, and they seem to work equally well to me. The bottle will last me a very long time!

I was also able to get a makeup bag filled with very generous samples as a promotion for spending 35+ dollars. The yellow Eos lip balm pictured below wasn't part of the perk, I just forgot to put in in the main haul picture. I bought it because I wanted to have a lip balm with SPF handy when I'm out in the sun. I've never used Eos before. The flavor is a light, summery lemon, and the round shape is interesting; feels like I'm a little kid playing with a huge toy lipstick.



I had gotten a sample tube of Nars Orgasm Illuminator a while back and really love using it right on my cheekbones. It gives a pretty, ethereal glow. But I just couldn't bring myself to spend 30 dollars on a full size. I saw that NYX had an illuminator that seemed comparable for a much more reasonable price, so I decided to try it.


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Upon comparison, these really are quite similar. Gleam is slightly thicker and creamier, with a bit more pigmentation, whereas Orgasm feels more sheer, with almost a liquid-gel feel to it. The swatches below show that Gleam's tint definitely shows up more. But honestly once I use it on my face (and I only use the tiniest of dots) any difference is negligible. I get the exact same glow with each product, so I would repurchase the NYX first in a heartbeat.




So, are there any summer beauty staples that you are planning to get or products that you come back to year after year?
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