This legacy post has been given a facelift! Content was edited for clarity and ease-of-reading with 2018 updates marked in-line.
On Sunday, June 15 (2014), the Lorac PRO 2 came available for sale. Because I own (and dearly love) the Lorac Pro, I had to get a look as soon as I could. I placed an order and anxiously awaited their arrival. Because Ulta and UPS must have shipping wizards in their ranks, I received it on Wednesday. I was so excited to check out these shades and anxious to confirm that they are the same awesome formula as the Lorac Pro. You’re anxious too, so let’s tear ‘er open!
The outer retail packaging is very similar to that of the Lorac Pro Palette (Original). Like the original, it comes with a small tube of their Behind the Scenes Primer, which you can see in the window on the right.
The Lorac PRO was my first palette. I still have it, and it is a workhorse. I loved it so much that I purchased, without question, Lorac PRO 2 and Lorac PRO 3, which later had posts.
I don’t own any of the Mega PRO palettes; I am more than a bit jaded on mega palettes and holiday palettes at this point. Now, I’ve owned all (regular) PRO palettes for a while and have had time to put them through their paces.
My first and for several months only palette once I got into makeup, the first Lorac PRO palette served me extraordinarily well. As a neutral, light-to-medium-at-most skintone, it had everything I needed to handle work, evening, weddings, etc. Garnet looks incredible applied with a wet brush.
If you’re looking to spend up to $50 on beauty gifts, I’m keeping the gift guides going – here are some gift ideas in the Under $50 range.
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray Duo, $39
Normally $30 for one, this is a pair of full-sized UD All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. I picked up one of these and split it with a friend during Sephora’s VIB sale, but still $39 for two is a great price. Anyone who needs their makeup to last a little longer (who doesn’t?) can benefit from this.
Want to give a little luxe? Britain’s iconic, classic luxury brand has an outstanding makeup line. The chic packaging of the product is pretty enough, but this particular lipstick comes in 28 shades. All you need to do is decide to get a color your recipient will wear and enjoy all the time, or something more preferable for special occasions.
The LORAC PRO was my first palette, and then I purchased, swatched, and reviewed the LORAC PRO Palette 2 when it came out. From the standpoint of owning both, they would both make great gifts for someone starting out or who has an established collection.
More of the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under $50 after the jump
Those of you in the United States, I hope you had a delightful Thanksgiving. I’m still working on my tryptophan coma. No, I did not go shopping yesterday (I vehemently disagree with shopping on Thanksgiving). No, I did not line up or go shopping today (as someone who, in a past life, worked Black Friday at a big-box store… never).
ANYWAY. The $25 and under price point is where value really starts to kick in. Admittedly, I was wanting to add most of these to my own cart (especially the candles & Black Honey set!) – but I’m on a bit of a no-buy for myself for the time being.
I’ve hosted giveaways for each of these, because, frankly, they’re a great sampling from their big sister palettes, LORAC PRO and LORAC PRO 2 (which I also reviewed & gave away). They’re a great value, and a nice way to expose someone to prestige-quality products without busting your own budget. Quite stuffable, as far as stockings are concerned, too.
Primal Elements Santa’s Cookies, $20
This one is the scent of warm cookies (side note, who’s ready to put those holiday baking skills to the test?!) and it is divine. Really, practically anything from Primal Elements. I found Primal Elements years and years ago – Ulta.com actually carried some of their smaller candles on their site back then. I picked up a small pair of their Tahitian Vanilla candles – the’re so unique, a blend of wax and that weird, fun-colored jelly-goo… and they smell amazing. Most of the candles in my house are Yankee due to the sheer accessibility and price-point, but I’d say Primal Elements candles are my true candle love.
More of my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Under 25 after the jump…
I did not plan all along to do an annual favorite round-up, but jumped on the bandwagon after being inspired by too many other bloggers and vloggers to count, let alone name.
Beauty Tool Favorites of 2014
beautyblender PRO – The only difference between this and the original is the color. I need to replace mine now, but I have worn this little sponge out. It really does deliver a no-brainer, no-fuss, excellent application. I order mine from MakeupGeek or Amazon (being careful to seek legit ones and buy safely) so as to avoid paying full retail but also to ensure I’m getting the real thing.
Sigma F80 – Still my foundation-applying champ. I tend to use my beautyblender more in the winter, but this brush is fantastic for creating a flawless, picture-perfect canvas.
Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer – I like this more than the Maybelline Fit Me! concealers although those are decent, too. The sponge applicator is goofy but the product itself is so good that I ca overlook the annoying applicator. The whole line is good, my shade varies on the season.
Urban Decay Naked – Yes, still. Yes, probably forever. Urban Decay’s original iconic neutrals make my heart sing. They’re good for work, good for play, good for daytime, night, lazy days, and days where you actually do feel like looking as though you give a bother.
Skincare Favorites of 2014
Josie Maran’s Argan Oil(s) – Original and Light. My face likes them, the smallest bottles last me a REALLY long time (as in, I’m still on my original bottles of both – need to repurchase the regular variety soon though). I was skeptical about these, but have really come to like them a lot.
Pond’s Original Fresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes – These are my favorite makeup removing wipes. They’re gentle but effective, and remove most makeup without trouble. To date, the only thing I’ve had an issue with using these on is Benefit’s they’re Real! Push-up Liner. Otherwise, they’re awesome.
China Glaze Gelaze – Love the formula of these gel polishes, also love that I don’t need to bother with a base coat of gel. Fewer layers to cure means less bulk on the finished nail. It looks feels, and wears better. Also Shocking Pink is bright and amazing…just sayin’.
Seche Vite – I don’t tend to use gel polish on my toes (though I will use Gelaze), so I need to keep an RNP top coat on hand. It smells strong, but it is the best I’ve found. I buy mine at Sally Beauty, but Ulta carries it, and I believe Target and Wal-Mart do, too, now.
Red Carpet Manicure Glitz and Glamorous – This showed up in my December Favorites, but I use it throughout the year. I like it so much, in fact, that it was what was on my nails for my wedding.