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Freebie Fridays | Testing Out Makeup Causing Drama on Instagram

You'll have to excuse me. I'm in the mood to discuss some beauty tea, and this week it's steaming hot.

I'm not one to dip my toes in it myself, but when the beauty world serves a steaming cup…I enjoy it. Seriously though, there have been many new launches this week accompanied by Twitter rants and YouTube takedowns where unassuming beauty gurus derail all of your favorite brands. Yay consumerism!

Eyeshadow

Huda Beauty

Considering the success of the original formula, the new Rose Gold Remastered Palette ($ 65.00) doesn't seem necessary: Why would Huda Beauty come out with a palette that supposedly reformulates and reimagines its predecessor? Many beauty blogs and beauty gurus have reviewed the 18-pan palette, noting that there aren't significant—if any—changes to the pigmentation, blendability (Is that a word?), and absurdly hyped metallic shades (that still require some type of adhesive or water spray to pop). Owner Huda Kattan expressed how impassioned this product update was on Instagram, so the lukewarm response has kind of killed the celebratory vibe. My thought, having never tried the original palette, I believe the new formula performs similarly to the Desert Dusk Palette—there's a beautiful assortment of mattes, glitter pigments, and silky metallic finishes. They both have the same amount of fallout and powder kickback, and quite frankly, they seem to blend out all the same as well.

Rose Gold Remastered: ⭐⭐⭐⭐It's the product equivalent of grabbing a box from the middle or very back of a row and realizing it's still defective like all the other boxes. The improvements aren't obviously noticeable or rave-worthy. Nonetheless, it's a pretty palette. (#StopDraggingHudaBeauty)

Highlighter

Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty is back to snatch your wig (or whatever the kids are saying these days) with the new Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo ($36.00). The problem—according to angry moms and yoga instructors—is that the highlighter is impractical; the performance problem, according to Youtube's arsenal of 20-something-year-old reviewers, is that the product itself casts a chalky shadow on the face. Those familiar with RiRi's highlighters know they tend to be more of a pigmented eyeshadow than a sheer formula for the face. "Trophy Wife" is basically a gold/green eyeshadow on me and makes me look sickly, like I just ate gas station sushi. The duo I tested, "Mimosa Sunrise," is pretty in theory, but I'm not sure I want a pink cast of light all over my cheeks. It has chunks of glitter and the color payoff is a little too strong for day looks.

Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo: ⭐⭐Fun for festival looks. Outrageous for the office. (#LeaveTheChalkInClassrooms)

Vitamins

Halo Beauty

Youtube's Tati Westbrook launched her own brand, Halo Beauty, last month and the product in question—a designer multivitamin formulated to hydrate skin and encourage hair/nail growth—wasn't welcomed into warm arms. (Obviously, vitamins can only do so much: Your diet greatly affects the health and appearance of your hair and skin.) The beauty community, expecting a cosmetics line from the prolific reviewer, was underwhelmed by Westbrook's company launch and line of beauty vitamins. Well, being a Tati fan, I tried these vitamins out for myself and can say the dramatic before and afters are real. I tested an entire bottle and saw dramatic results for myself. My eczema on my arms and legs has significantly cleared up and I don't have as much inflammation surrounding my dry areas. My nails have grown as well, but any drugstore vitamin with an active dose of biotin will provide the same results. I'm in Tati's corner on this one; it's a vitamin that works.

Halo Beauty Booster Vitamins ($39.95): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ If you're the type to splurge on luxury vitamins, these baby pink pills won't disappoint you. The addition of Ceramide-Rx makes for a multivitamin that replenishes both the skin and hair. (#StopDraggingTheMomOfYouTube)

Toner

Benefit Cosmetics

Okay, so this one has nothing to do with Instagram drama. On my freebie search for the perfect summer toner, I landed on Benefit Cosmetics' Moisture Prep ($30.00), a toning lotion with meadowsweet and oat, botanical extracts, aloe leaf (to clarify and soothe the skin), and yeast extract (to diminish fine lines). I absolutely love this toner. It leaves my skin baby soft and silky and it gives a lightweight tackiness to my skin that allows my foundation to glide on effortlessly. I would say its effect is comparable to Thayers Witch Hazel—one of my favorite toners. My under eye area is softer and the dry patches around my nose and cheeks have cleared up only after a few days of use. (What can I say? Last week, I told you I was rekindling my love with Benefit.)

Benefit Cosmetics' Moisture Prep Toning Lotion: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A bottle-worthy investment. A great buy if you're familiar with Thayers line of witch hazel toners and you want to switch things up.

Hopefully, the tea wasn't too hot—it's not fun if you can't even sip it. Next week, I am hunting down the best lippies and eyeshadow pigments for a perfect concert/festival look. The winner this week, again, is Benefit Cosmetics and the Moisture Prep Toning Lotion. Ugh! It's so good. Until next time, enjoy some tea in the beauty kingdom, but don't burn your tongue.

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