As much as I love reading and book blogging, I have a variety of interests outside of those hobbies that I love to chat about and share with others. I started Beyond the Books as a way to take a break from bookish content and feature some of my other favorite things!
One thing you may not know about me: I LOVE the beauty blogging world. I was reading beauty blogs long before I knew book blogs existed, and to this day I still prefer watching a good beauty Youtube review rather than a book review. I love that for virtually any product under the sun, I can find multiple opinions online and extensively research products before I decide the purchase. So it goes without saying that I ADORE makeup. I have a lot of it, and even have a dedicated vanity in my room just for doing my makeup. The holidays are an especially great time for the beauty world because all of the exclusives, gift sets, limited edition products, etc. Though I always include some of my Christmas list, most of the time the holiday exclusives are sold out well before December. I therefore picked up some of my must haves from this year’s holiday releases in October and early November in order to ensure I’d get them!
MAC Snow Ball Collection
MAC’s holiday sets this year are the best the brand has had in YEARS, with the best price points and quality for your money, too. I picked up my must have items from the collection during October right after the first wave of releases (this collection was released in two parts) and everything was technically FREE since I had Nordstrom notes to spend (thanks to my Anniversary shopping!).
It really all started with the MAC Snow Ball Mini Lipstick Kit. I saw it featured on Instagram and FREAKED OUT because hello, you get TWELVE colors for under $70?! Also the minis are still pretty sizeable and it takes me quite a while to use up a full size MAC lipstick (hence why I have a drawer full of them). I only had two of the twelve colors so it was a great buy and is going to allow me to try a bunch of colors, and THAT PACKAGING. The fact that the bullets are the color of the lipstick rather than the standard black? STUNNING.
I took advantage of Nordstrom’s order online and pick up in store service (since I knew I NEEDED to secure this ASAP because they’re already sold out practically everywhere) and I didn’t want to have it shipped to my house since we were having grossly hot weather and I was afraid they would melt. So when I strolled into my favorite store the next day to pick them up, you can bet that I also took a walk by the MAC counter and ended up purchasing two more items from the collection. The Snow Ball Eye Compact caught my eye, especially because it was only $29, came with a brush, and the shadows are almost FULL SIZE. It also includes two Dazzleshadows, which are glittery and sparkly and perfect for the holidays. TBH this palette would be perfect if it weren’t for the fact that it’s called the ROSE GOLD palette but it’s in SILVER packaging…
My last item from the collection I picked was the Snow Ball Peach Face Bag, which I think may be a Nordstrom exclusive (I couldn’t find it on the US MAC site, but did find it on the UK site). You get a full size Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Show Gold (a duochrome highlighter that shifts between gold and pink), a fan brush and a bag. Even though this product is available as a standalone regular item, I LOVED the holiday packaging and the brush and bag as well (especially since I don’t have a fan brush in my collection). A lot of people were waiting for the release of the Gold Face Bag instead because it has the coveted, limited edition gold Extra Dimension Skinfinish, Whisper of Gilt, but I loved the pink in Show Gold and found it to be much more unique. These are my FAVORITE highlighters in the whole wide world, so I was thrilled to get to pick one up as part of the holiday release.
Lush, Sephora, & More
I headed to the mall the first weekend of November to pick up some more remaining holiday (and some non-holiday items) because I’m coming out of a three month busy season at work (55+ hours a week) so some #treatyoself was in order.
- Lush Once Upon a Time Body Lotion | Lush comes out with a LOT of holiday exclusive scents and products, and in years past one of my favorite holiday scents has been “So White.” It used to come in the form of a shower gel and a bath bomb, and smelled like fresh apples. This year they didn’t bring those back, but re purposed the scent into this new lotion.
- Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel | My all time favorite Lush scent is their Ro’s Argan Body conditioner (and all associated Rose scented products). This shower gel has that same scent but is only available around the holidays, unfortunately.
- Sephora Paint the Town Nude Lip Pencil Set | I’ve been wanting to get more lip crayons because I love the trend and they tend to be a lot more hydrating and forgiving than normal lipsticks. I’ve been wanting to try Clinique Chubby Sticks, but saw a lot of negative reviews about their holiday sets (because the product you got was so small). I decided to try Sephora’s version, as I think they’ll be great for work!
- Kat von D Everlasting Glimmer Veil Liquid Lipstick in Razzle| Ok, this is technically not a holiday item but I’ve had my eye on these for a while (they’re so glittery!) and glitter is perfect for the holidays. Plus Kat von D is my latest Beauty obsession, so I allowed myself to try one!
- Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in Blonde Ambition | I love these pencils for adding a pop of color to my lower lash line, and the color payoff and staying power is really impressive! Also, you cannot beat $10 for an eyeliner.
- NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Fiji | Fun fact: I am ALWAYS on the hunt for a holy grail foundation. A coworker recommended this to me so I picked up a bottle to try at Nordstrom. I’m looking to branch away from MAC foundations (which I love but I want to try something new) so I’m hoping I’ll love this one! I also like that they have a numbering system based on warmth the way MAC does.
Are you a makeup junkie? Have you picked up any holiday sets this year? Do you like to take a departure from bookish content for your blog and focus on other things? Let me know in the comments!
Ahh I really hope you do more beauty and lifestyle posts! This was such an enjoyable read (despite that I’m now makeup shopping!). I absolutely love that highlighter with the snowflake pattern! I’m SUCH a sucker for all the Christmas sets! My favorite thing each year has been the Too Faced collections and I’m really loving the gingerbread liquid lipstick they released this year! I think I’m going to grab another one before the season ends because it’s perfect for Autumn and I’m scared I’ll be running out!
Thank you, Kristin! Honestly it was really fun to do a post that was a departure from books! The holiday sets are getting me BAD this year (I’m going to have to try REALLY REALLY hard to avoid the Sephora sale going on this weekend…) I just went to buy the Too Faced Gingerbread liquid lipstick and it looks like it’s sold out EVERYWHERE D:
I did not avoid the Sephora sale this weekend and I copied you and got that Kat Von D glitter liquid lipstick! I’m so excited to try it out!!!
Nice!!! What color did you get???
Same color! It’s outside of my comfort zone but I’m thinking it’ll be super cute with an all black outfit!
Yay! Have you used it yet? You’ll have to let me know what you think- I have my eye on the bright pink one too but I haven’t tried the one I have yet- I feel like I always want to wear it but chicken out thinking it will be too much lol.
Love this post! Rose Jam is my favorite from LUSH– I buy the biggest bottle they offer every year around the holidays. And Once Upon a Time is on my Christmas list this year! NARS Sheer Glow is one of my holy grail foundations; I hope you love it! It gives such a wonderful finish and coverage and just melts into the skin. I sadly won’t be repurchasing it since NARS is no longer cruelty-free, and I’M SO SAD. I’ve had my eye on the KVD Glimmer Veil lipsticks, too. I LOVE her lip products, and these seem so fun!
Once Upon a Time is soooo worth it (and honestly the price point isn’t too bad either for being a Lush product!) I’m glad to hear that about Nars Sheer glow! It’s really pricey so I felt guilty about buying it and haven’t used it yet (spent 2 hours watching YouTube reviews on it last night LOL) and I’m worried it’s going to settle into my fine lines, but everyone says aside from that it’s pretty good!