Let me start by saying that many of us are makeup junkies at NaturallyCurly. Most of us have makeup cases overflowing. We're always up for trying new brands and products. And there was no better time to experiment than the holidays, when we're all looking for a way to zhoosh it up.

So we reached out to some of our favorite makeup brands and retailers and asked them to send us their favorite palettes, eye lashes, lipsticks, luminizers. Boxes arrived from ULTA and Sephora and a number of other brands. To say it was like Christmas, Hannukah and our birthdays all in one would be an understatement. When the makeup came out, it was like sharks circling the water.

We spent hours going through the makeup and trying it on ourselves and each other. There were a lot of surprises - products we had never tried that became Holy Grails and exciting new brands. New brands we discovered included PUR, Marc Jacobs, Japonesque, Peeks, Revolution and By Terry.

Highlighters/luminizers were the big surprise. They added a glow to a wide range of skin tones, making everyone feel more festive.

Some standouts:

Nikki Johnson, Video Production Manager

Too Faced Chocolate Shop Eye Palette

"It came with millions of everything - eye shadow primer, lipstick, primer and mascara. I liked that it had shimmery and matte shades (I loved the Ginger Doodle!).And it was really cute. I loved the packaging!" (Available at Sephora)

Frances Shaw , Graphic Designer

Urban Decay Junkie Vice Lip Palette (Available at Sephora)

"I really liked the Urban Decay Lip Palette. I like having all of these options in one place so I don't have to carry around a bunch of tubes. The color options are perfect for holidays! I especially Loved Wrath." (Available at Sephora)

Cristina Cleveland, Managing Editor

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector

"Most highlighters or illuminators I've tried had too much glitter in them for me to use on a daily basis or during the day. I really like that this one by Becca blends well and looks subtle enough to wear during the day, but also gives me the glow I'm looking for in photos."

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

"It's really hard to find a liquid lipstick that will stay put (even through lunch) but won't dry me out or flake off during the day, so my favorite find of the day was the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. The kit I got came in mini sizes of several different colors, so I can try new shades every day without getting bored!"

Leslie Lozano, Social Media Manager

Too Faced Merry Macaroons Eyeshadow Palette (Available at ULTA)

"The colors are nicely pigmented and lasted for hours. The palette has a great mix of matte neutral shades, and fun sparkly shades."

Lorac Alter Ego Lip Gloss, Dominatrix (Available at ULTA)

"The shade is a true deep burgundy, is very moisturizing and not sticky!!! Hard to feel cute when you have a pigmented glue on your lips haha."

Kami Smith, Senior Manager of Client Development

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams (Available at ULTA)

"It was all about the lips. I tried on every possible lip color. I'm obsessed with NYX soft matte lip cream in Dubai and Vancouver."

Jennifer Winter, Executive Video Producer

By Terry -Impearlious Voile de Perle

"I loved the By Terry compact. I have never used a highlighter and stayed away because I am older. I thought I would look silly but the compact gave my skin a nice finish. I totally love it and want to use for every special occasion."

Laura Geller - The Best of Baked Palette (Available at ULTA)

"I also loved the flexibility of the laura geller product especially because I am not a makeup expert. Their baked palette is pretty much goof proof."

Burt Bees lipstick - orchid ocean 533 (Available at ULTA)

"I loved the burt bees lipstick. I am a huge fan of burt's bees balm but I had never tried to their lipstick. I love the texture of their lipstick and how smooth it was to apply."

Hard Candy Cheeky Tints Sheer Blush Gel in Diva

"It looks super intense in the tube. It's scary looking. But when you put it on, it's sheer and natural looking. It's not caky and doesn't sit on top of the skin. It looks like a natural flush."

Michelle Breyer, Co-founder and Head of Business Development

  • Kat Von D MetalMatte Eyeshadow Palette (Available at Sephora)
  • Japonesque Pixelated Color Eye Shadow Palette (Available at ULTA)
  • Lorac Pro Palette 3 (Available at ULTA)
  • FACEatelier Eye Shadow Palette (Available at FACEatelier)
  • PUR Château Kisses Lip Gloss in Glitzy (Available at ULTA)

"I'm all about the eye shadow palettes. Each of these a standout because of the range of shadows, combination of shades and unique shades. For special occasion, my Japonesque Pixelated Color Eye Shadow. I especially liked Shade 06 emerald green w/ purple reflects metallic) and Shade 02 (light cream w/ high satin finish). I also loved PUR's Lip Gloss in Glitzy. It was the perfect shade for me, and I loved the feel of it. I had never tried products by PUR and I loved everything I tried."

A Lavish Affair Alter Ego Lip Gloss Collection (Available at ULTA)

"I love lip glosses, and this selection includes shades that can be used alone or mixed for pretty much any color you want. I especially liked Dominatrix (deep burgundy) and Icon (cherry red.)"

By Terry -Impearlious Voile de Perle (available at By Terry)

"I've felt like this offered just the right amount of shimmer. It worked on pretty much everyone in the office (I literally went around with a brush and put it on everyone)."

Devri Velazquez, Content Editor

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams (Available at ULTA)

"My favorite was the NYX Matte Lip Cream. It applies creamy but dries quickly and lasts a long time. It's actually been a holy grail lippie of mine for a while now."

Carissa Chiu, Client Success Assistant

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams (Available at ULTA)

"My favorite is the Nyx Matte Lip Cream. I NEVER wear lipstick but I think I might start! I like the color looks soft and it feels really light on my lips rather than the caked on feeling that other lipsticks have. It feels really smooth and also doesn’t dry out my lips. Also, I love the colors!!"

Ali Holdrige, Sales Specialist

Burts Bees BB Cream in light/medium (Available at ULTA)

"I absolutely loved the Burts Bees BB Cream in light/medium. I have used a lot of BB creams and none have been this light and comfortable. The cream is made from natural ingredients and smells way better than any other BB cream I've used. Also has sunscreen and felt good for my skin!"

Avon Luxury Eyeliner Collection (Available at Avon)

"I used a purple eyeliner from AVON and couldn't believe how fun it was! It was dark enough to where it still looked classy but fun at the same time!"

Kaitlyn Eberhardt, Editorial Intern

Lorac Tops & Tails Eyeshadow Palette

"I LOVE the Lorac Tails & Top Hats Eyeshadow Palette! I like to wear neutral colors because I go with a darker lip, and these were perfect."

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in Antwerp(Available at ULTA)

"I loved the pinkish/brownish shade and it had a nice consistency that didn't stain my lips."

Cara Logue, Graphic Designer

  • Lorac Alter Ego Lip Gloss (Available at ULTA)
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in Antwerp(Available at ULTA)
  • Burt Bees lipstick - orchid ocean 533 (Available at ULTA)
  • Peeks Lip Gloss, Sultry (Red) (Available at Peeks)

"I really liked all of the lipsticks I tried, especially the Lorac Alter Ego Lip Gloss, the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, Burt's Bees and Peeks."

Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Concealer (Porcelain) (Available at ULTA)

"This has a great consistency and blended well."

Sephora Collection Precision Makes Perfect Mini Airbrush Sponge Set

"I'd never used sponges before and really liked how well these helped me apply my concealer. Also, red and purple is my favorite color combo."

Watch us try them on

We shared our makeup unboxing and first impressions with you live on Facebook. If you didn't catch it live you can still watch it here:

Holiday Makeup Tips

Loren Ridinder, founder of Motives, shared the ways we can tweak our skin and makeup routines this winter.

Dark hue lipsticks are back in style

The change in weather puts the bright pink and red lipstick days far behind us. A moisturizing dark statement color is all the rave for this season as it plays on the warmth of the holidays and season. Try: Motives Mineral Lipstick (Pink Berry), Motives Ultra Matte Lipstick (Kinky) and Motives Mineral Lipstick (Use Me).

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Now that the air is getting much cooler and dryer, some parts of the body, particularly your face and hands, are more prone to dryness. It's very essential to apply a moisturizer for many reasons, it will help your makeup stay fresh all day, keep necessary moisture on your skin and minimize large pores and redness. Try: Lumière de Vie Intense Rejuvenation Crème, Lumière de Vie Intensive Hand & Body Crème and Lumière de Vie Serum Concentrate.

Switch to a more powerful cleanser

Getting out the bed in the cold weather will get more and more difficult. Thankfully, there are strong multipurpose cleansers that will make the process less time consuming and still deliver the cleansing and refreshing benefits. Switching to an all-in one cleanser will leave your skin feeling invigorated. Try: Lumière de Vie Facial Cleanser and Lumière de Vie Micellar Cleanser.

Illuminate your eyes

My favorite pass time for the winter is all the holiday parties. Now a little shimmer to go along with a smoky eye is absolutely justified and will help bring brighten your makeup and eyes. Try: Motives Eye Illusions and Motives My Party Weapon.