I Spend All My Lunch Breaks at Sephora (WARNING: Swatch Overload)

I spend an unreasonable amount of time at Sephora. I go there on lunch breaks, I pop in after work, I find any and every excuse to play with new products and explore fun colors. It’s like Build-A-Bear meets Disney World for aesthetically-minded grown-ups.

If Sephora started selling liquor, I would never leave.

On Friday, I had a legitimate excuse to visit CosMecca (portmanteau of cosmetics and Mecca). My Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Sabbath had met its final, stubby end and was laid to rest in my bathroom garbage. The color is a creamy, super-pigmented matte navy that is wildly flattering and easy to apply. It’s smudge-able upon immediate application, but sets into a long-wearing, water-resistant line that stays true to color all night long. However, due to its smooth consistency and ease of application, I feel like I wear through it more quickly than I would a harder, waxier pencil or liquid liner. I wanted to explore my options. Thus begins our journey; prepare for an assload of swatches.

Top: UD 24/7 Pencil in Sabbath
Below: UD 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Sabbath

Urban Decay also makes  a Sabbath-colored liner in its waterproof liquid formula, which wears beautifully and truly lives up to the “waterproof” label. However, I didn’t feel like I had much control with the brush and wanted something that handled a bit better. My search continued.

The offending brush

My search was temporarily interrupted when I found the Three Way Lash Lining Pen by Too Faced, which reminded me of a first-world problem which I frequently bemoan: limited access to Korean cosmetics in the US.

<rant> You see, there is a wonderful felt-tip brow pen made by Tony Moly. It’s called the 3 Point Easy Eyebrow Pen. Like the Too Faced Liner, it has a tripoint tip, which beautifully mimics the texture of brow hairs when applied in short, light strokes. However, it’s difficult to find reliable and reasonably-priced sellers who ship to the United States. And don’t get me started on the Suqqu brow pen. I beauty-lust for it every time it makes an appearance in Lisa Eldridge’s videos (which is often), but shipping from Selfridges to Seattle is seriously cost-prohibitive. I should just move to the UK and have fabulous brows all day every day. </rant>

But back to the issue at hand: the Too Faced liner pen. It handles great, the three-prong application would be great for tight lining, it also makes smooth lines of both medium and thick widths dependent upon the angle at which you hold the brush. The formula is a nice, glossy black with rich color payoff. This sucker stays put–no melting or migration. However, the color selection is limited to black, black, or black, so I had to pass. This was, after all, a mission to find a new navy liner, and I’d already strayed a bit from that task.

A variety of lines, brought to you by Too Faced.

Here is the point in my search where I found the Batman of liner pens; it’s the pen I deserve, but not the one I need right now. I need a navy pen, but this is more of a muted peacock-blue. I need intense color payoff, and this one doesn’t have quite the same pop as the UD liners. Nevertheless, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Indigo was my choice. The pen is a dream for controlled application, good for thin- and medium-thickness lines, and will likely still be on my corpse after nuclear fallout. It wears forever. I could probably sob through Titanic and this shit would stick firmly in place, withstanding the emotional roller coaster of Jack and Rose’s undying love.

Check those middle lines. Such smoothness. Such great color payoff. Such limited bleeding. When I applied this liner, choirs of angels sang. I swear I heard Beyonce whisper “fierce.”

After I found what I had come for, I left the store with my one little purchase like a responsible adult continued my reckless consumption like the addict I am. Eyeliner is my crack. Sephora is my purveyor of fine cosmetics dealer.

I decided to check out the new Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen in Blacquer, since everyone on the beauty blogosphere (sweet Jesus I hate that word) seems to have their collective panties in a wad over it. I must say, skeptical though I was, it does live up to the hype.

I got a little carried away with the calligraphy-inspired pen tip.

I’m a little upset with how this photographed; it reads a little brown here, but in person it’s a glossy carbon-black. It’s waterproof, but I didn’t have too much difficulty removing it. The application is super-smooth and the versatile tip is great for everything from thick lines to delicate wings. I managed to talk myself out of impulse-buying it, but may purchase it this week thanks to triple bonus points for very important beauty insiders, now through August 18th.

By the end of my eyeliner expedition, my hand looked like the margins of all my high school notebooks.

The deep olive liner on the right is Stila Stay All Day in Moss, which would look killer on hazel eyes.

Another stop on the beauty blogger bandwagon lead me to check out Urban Decay’s Revolution Lipsticks, shown here in Naked, F-Bomb, and Venom:

Left to Right: Naked, F-Bomb, and Venom

Naked is a great pinky-neutral, my-lips-but-better color. F-Bomb claims to be a classic red, but it’s got some nice blue undertones and would be ideal for an Old Hollywood look. Venom is described as a “deep plum,” but looks like a deeper version of Tom Ford’s Violet Fatale. I’m dying to try this shade for fall. All three shades had great staying power, and I’ll likely pick up more than one of them in the coming weeks.

Last stop on the beauty addiction express: Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Lip Balm. I’m down to the stubbiest stub of my Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry, and I wanted to see what these newer, more heavily-pigmented iterations had to offer in terms of replacement. I was pleasantly surprised by the pigmentation in these, which offer the same smooth application and finish as the original Chubby Sticks. The horizontal stripes on the right are Grandest Grape, Mightiest Maraschino, and Broadest Berry, top to bottom. The vertical stripes on the left are Plushest Punch and Roomiest Rose, left to right.

Plushest Punch, Roomiest Rose, Grandest Grape, Mightiest Maraschino, Broadest Berry

And so my lunch hour at Sephora draws to a close. My trip, like this post, strayed drastically from its stated goals, but I left happy. One day, I may be able to pop in and out of Sephora quickly, buying only what I intended, refraining from dallying around and testing out products I don’t need. But that day is not today.

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