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Freebie Fridays | Your Tour Through Beauty (samples!)

For every raspberry cut crease that goes viral on the 'Gram, 15 warm-toned palettes fall from makeup heaven.

With social media trends hijacking the beauty industry, makeup has certainly evolved since my pre-teen Lip Smacker days. (I can still remember the faint smell of the Coca-Cola flavor.) Makeup is no longer just makeup, in case you didn't notice. It's art for your face, a visionary palette of colors, textures, and vibrant hues that make your grandmother blush. A highlighter with crushed crystals in it? It exists. A metallic liquid lipstick for a red vampy vibe? It exists. A facial serum that grants you immortality and permanently blemish-free skin…that doesn't exist, but boy are skincare brands trying.

For every raspberry cut crease that goes viral on the 'Gram, 15 warm-toned palettes fall from makeup heaven. The biggest problem for a makeup junkie these days is choosing where to start, what brands to try, what formulas to use, and what to avoid at all costs. It's a little-known secret that most beauty stores sample their products upon request. I know right? Talk about missed connections. I've been a Sephora junkie for some time and have never thought to ask for foundation or skincare samples. Silly me. My go-to counter has swindled me for too long. I'm on a quest to sample as many products as I can or, at least, as many products my sensitive skin can handle, testing everything from the good to the bad (and hopefully there's no bad). Follow my sample journey to see what goodies await in the makeup kingdom.

Eyes

Urban Decay

Eyeshadow is everything. EVERYTHING. But there was once a time when my eyeshadow creased minutes after my application. Why the beauty gods would punish me so—I'm not sure, but Urban Decay's Primer Potion in Eden redeemed me this week. Seriously, I was never a primer girl. To me, it was just another product to buy. But this stuff is so good it's impossible to fault its price tag ($22.00), which is a little steep considering it's merely a base pigment to set your eyes. Wanna know how many times I've had to reapply or touch up my eyeshadow this week? Zero. Yep. I'm goals.

Urban Decay Primer Potion: A solid 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lips

Addict Lacquer Plump

Dior

For lips, I wanted to sample Dior's new Addict Lacquer Plump in "Dior Glitz" ($37.00)—a high-intensity gloss/lipstick hybrid—but I was sidetracked by Too Faced Natural Nude Lipsticks ($22.00) in the shade "Nip Slip," so I got them both (after hunting down two unassuming beauty advisors).

"Dior Glitz" is a sparkling coral that is a bit too loud for my skin right now, but I can see myself wearing this in the summer when my complexion is a bit warmer. The glitter in the lip gloss is finely milled and doesn't give me kid makeup vibes; however, the texture is too heavy for my liking. It kind of feels like my lips are shellacked—I want the pigment of a lacquer, but not the texture of one, Dior. Too Faced's "Nip Slip," despite its name, is a refined warm, toasted caramel, a very sexy lip when paired with a brown lip liner. All 90s babies will love this shade, and I can see myself pairing it with a gloss on top for the ultimate Cindy Crawford throwback.


Dior Addict Lacquer Plump in "Dior Glitz": ⭐⭐⭐

Too Faced Natural Nude Lipsticks in "Nip Slip": ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Skincare

Drunk Elephant

Allure

Everyone talks about this brand on YouTube, and it's always mentioned in beauty blogs. Drunk Elephant has supposedly made a lot of people happy. But how happy? I'm not worried about my rent and food budget, happy? I wanted to know, so I talked to (or harassed?) a cute skincare advisor who told me it was his first day on the job. I wouldn't have known because he pitched the C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream ($64.00) as though it was the next best thing to a Chipotle burrito. Although it's hard to say if I've seen dramatic results from my measly sample, I can attest to my eyes looking less puffy, which is something I'm constantly trying to hide with buckets of concealer. It smells like cucumber and lemon and has a thin texture. It's good, but I'd get the burrito instead.

I'll give it ⭐⭐ for smelling like a chilled summer beverage, and an additional ⭐for making me look less like a human hand puppet.

Cheeks

Diamond and Blush Palette in Darya

Natasha Denona

Around this time, I believe I saw a few headset notifications that a girl in a pink puffer jacket was asking for several testers, aka me. Remember that highlighter made of crystals? I got a sample of it just before getting cut off by a friendly, though mildly cautious employee wearing purple lipstick. She rocked that lippie. She paired it with a sleek cat eye and a tiny bit of blush. But back to this highlighter. I have to say, watching a spatula dip into Natasha Denona's Diamond and Blush Palette in Darya ($89.00) brought tears to my eyes—metaphorical tears, of course. (A girl's mascara game isn't waterproof.) This highlighter (LITERALLY) made my skin look glazed, wet, but in a natural way. It has the appearance of crushed diamond powder—hence the name—and gives the high points of your cheeks and eyes the most beautiful reflection of light. And in direct sunlight—please, forget about it. This is one I might have to cough up the cash for.

Natasha Denona's Diamond and Blush Palette: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐😭

What will you test out this week? Maybe we should make it a contest and see how many samples you can get before getting kicked out. I mean, five is tough to beat. Freebies are fun, but getting blackballed from your go-to counter isn't, so choose wisely.

The winner this week is, of course, Natasha Denona, a makeup goddess who's adorned my cheeks with crushed crystals. Someone fan me—I'm swooning. Check back next week to see what other goodies I pick up…for free, duh.

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