International Beauty Swap: Here's What Maura Sent from The Netherlands to New Orleans

Publish date:
March 31, 2016
HEMA, Kiko

One of the things I love the most about xoVain is the authors. Not only do we get to hear from people of different perspectives and interests, but also from different parts of the globe.

And I mean, what's the point of knowing international makeup fanatics if they won't send you some goodies, am I right?

Just kidding.

Not really, though.

So when Maura asked if anyone wanted to do an international swap with her, I jumped at the chance because I'm always looking for cool new makeup.

Maura, being a babe, asked what kind of things I was looking for; being smack dab in the middle of a quarter life crisis, however, I just don't know what I WANT, you know?

So I told her to send me makeup that I can't just get in the States — because what's the point of that? — and to keep it in colors that I typically like because I want to feel all cool and chic and wear the stuff all the time. And really, I just want to have someone ask me where did you get that lipstick and I say, "Oh I have a friend in The Netherlands who shipped it to me. Sorry you can't find it for 4 million miles" or something.

Anyway, here's the amazing stuff that Maura sent little ol' me.

Kiko Milano Water Eyeshadow in #200 Champagne

Look at this piece of perfection. Not only is the shadow pressed into an awesome wave, way upping its cool factor, it is also in a great taupe-y champagne shade that I've been wearing every day.

Like, I'm sorry that I didn't take a picture of it when it was untouched and perfect but I have no restraint. I've been sweeping this on dry most days, which really brings out its sparkle and leaves a light wash of color over my eyelids.

I use this with the Urban Decay Primer Potion because my lids are greasy sinkholes that just eat up powders. With a primer, it sticks with me through the whole day.

Using it wet, unsurprisingly, kicks up the metallic factor, and it's GORGEOUS. I've been very stylishly adding this on top of a smoky liner right in the center of my lids for a little zing.

HEMA Wet and Dry Blush in #52

This HEMA Wet and Dry Blush powder is a hell of a good dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes.

A lot of the dupes you'll see around drugstores in the States are mostly just not-matte blushes. This blush has a very subtle shimmer and although it isn't as soft to the touch as the Hourglass options, it is very finely milled so it doesn't make my pores look larger, and it leaves a pretty glow.

Solid job on the color choice too, Maura. I don't have anything in my collection quite like it, and if I do say so myself, it looks pretty damn good on me.

Kiko Milano Smart Lipstick in #917 Mauve Pink

Now onto the lipsticks!

This lipstick is a great springy option that I've been wearing to work a lot because it is so easy to swipe on and go while I'm still half asleep.

The finish is similar to MAC Lustre, which is my favorite finish because it is ever so slightly sheer so it lets my natural lip color show through a bit, it has some shine, and a bit of teeny gold glitter. It's not small enough that I would call it a shimmer or a frost (no thanks) but the tiny glitter adds dimension without being chunky or gross feeling on the lips.

Flattering gold glitter lips. Who knew?

HEMA Soft Matt Lip Balm in #11

Obviously I had to have multiple lipsticks because I love lip products so much. Last. and definitely not least. is the HEMA Soft Matt Lip Balm in #11. It's Matt — no E, which both Maura and I found funny (close but no cigar). And the rusty mauve is freakishly close to my natural lip color, just a tad darker.

This matte formula is SO COMFORTABLE. It's similar to the Revlon matte balms, or the Maybelline matte range, but it isn't super-emollient so it lasts longer than the Revlon, but is more comfortable than the Maybelline.

This matte will be a top drawer pick forever and ever and ever.

Thanks again to Maura for making this whole thing possible!

  • Have you tried any of these brands?
  • If you could swap makeup with someone on xoVain, who would it be?