NYX I Dream of St. Thomas Eyeshadow Palette ($8.75 for 0.28 oz.) contains five eyeshadows and is part of NYX’s Caribbean Collection of eyeshadow palettes. (I reviewed St. Lucia previously.) NYX is one of my favorite brands for more affordable makeup, because the quality is consistently high and the range is huge.
St. Thomas includes: a dark charcoal gray with soft silver shimmer (similar to MAC’s Knight Divine); brightened cotton candy pink with a satin sheen; bright silver with a near metallic shimmer-sheen (similar to MAC’s Electra); pale golden peach with a high sheen; and a medium-dark, mint green with a pearly shine.
The pigmentation was excellent on the pink, peach, and green shades; it was still quite good on the charcoal and silver shades, too, but a touch sheerer than the other three. My favorite shade is the minty green, because you don’t see that kind of color–or with such vibrancy–by every brand. These shades have a soft, smooth texture, though there is some residual powder kick up during use. NYX eyeshadows have worked well for me and only fade minimally, but not noticeably so until six or more hours of wear.
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Ease of Use: 4/5
RECOMMENDATION: If you’re on a budget, NYX’s palettes are worth considering. They maintain quality and pigmentation while still keeping the price down.
Trish McEvoy Instant Pick-Me-Up All Over Face Color Quad
Ye Olde Swatches, Volume 1
Sometimes I get a little overzealous and swatch more products than I’m actually able to test. There are just so many new beauty products (and shades) releasing continuously through the year that I am not always able to conduct a full test for all of the ones I’d like to. But since I did take photos and do swatches, I can at least share those with you… No ratings/grades, because I did not finish testing these.
Would you rather at least see swatches and get a general at-a-glance kind of summary than nothing at all? Or is it just confusing without a real review?
(Note, these do not and will never take the place of full reviews – but instead of relegating these images to the “unreviewed” folder, share them.)
Trish McEvoy Instant Pick-Me-Up All Over Face Color Quad ($42.00) is designed to “bronze, luminize, highlight, and blush.” It has four different shades, but each square is on the smaller side, making individual use more difficult but still possible. When siwlred together, it creates a light bronze with a shimmer-sheen that would work best on light-medium to medium skin tones.
Aveda Uruku Bronzing Kit in Amazonia ($55.00) includes a pan of a dual-toned bronzer and a buffing brush. The brush uses non-anhimal fibers, so it is cruelty-free. It’s a very, very soft brush, and I love that the handle is made from 25% PCR. The bronzer is literally just a pan of bronzer, so you’ll need to have a palette to put it in or grab one from Aveda. The color itself is a muted medium-bronze brown with soft gold micro-shimmer. It’s a little sheer, so the effect will be subtle.
Lancome Luminous Rose Ageless Minerale Blush ($29.50) is a gorgeous shade of muted rose pink-brown with very soft shimmer-sheen. It’s really pretty, but I haven’t gotten around to wearing it on cheeks yet. I’m not sure if I will, so before it’s totally stale news, I thought I’d share the swatches with you.
MAC Tartan Tale: Chapter 2 Overall Review & Roundup
Of all of MAC’s holiday offerings, I do like their miniaturized sets the best, because I find them to be on par with full-size products.
The pigment sets are definitely the most value-oriented set, and I think the holiday sets are an opportunity to try out a variety of pigment shades without laying down $19.50 for a full-size pigment. Pigments can be really hard to use up in their entirety, so the smaller vials are perfect–and still more than enough for most! I would just caution you that each set does include either a few permanent or repromoted shades.
I’m not as gung-ho with the lipglass sets, but I do like that they included a lot of new shades in each of them, rather than the same repromotes each holiday season. The sets are a little more economical than buying full-size lipglasses (on a per ounce basis), but I like that you get to try five shades for the price of two. Lipglasses have a lot of variability; some are more pigmented, some are creamy, some are frosty.
The only item I did not like much was the nail lacquer set, because the shades themselves were a little finicky. I found two of the shades had a tendency to be streaky, and four of the five needed a full three coats for opaque color coverage. Though the shade selection did not affect the overall score of the set, I think it’s worth noting that none of the shades are groundbreaking–and MAC has done some interesting shades in the past.
FROZEN DREAM (repromote), ELECTRO LUSH (repromote), MIMMY (repromote), REFLECTS BRONZE (permanent), GOLD MODE (repromote), GILDED GREEN (repromote), REFLECTS PEARL (permanent), SILVER FOG (permanent at PRO), SOFTWASH GREY (repromote), MAUVEMENT (repromote), REFLECTS BLACKENED RED (repromote), NAKED (permanent), BLUE BROWN (permanent), DARK SOUL (permanent), NOCTURNELLE (repromote), ASIATIQUE (repromote), BEYOND JEALOUS (repromote).
Recommendations by Skin Tone
Please note that this section is merely suggesting shades that would complement a particular skin tone better than other shades, but these lists are meant to be rather exhaustive of the entire collection; it’s not reflective of must-haves for your skin tone. When it comes to cooler/warmer skin tones, these are products that lean noticeably cool/warm and therefore complement the corresponding skin tone better (but it does not mean you can’t wear a warmer product if you’re cooler!).
Light, Medium, Dark Skin Tones: I think all of the sets would work equally well across the range of skin tones.
Best Picks for Cooler Skin Tones: Sassy Pink, Cool Thrillseekers, Smoky Thrillseekers
Best Picks for Warmer Skin Tones: Sassy Coral, Sassy Neutral, Warm Thrillseekers
What are you loving? What are you looking forward to?
Nail Lacquer: Asiatique, Beyond Jealous, Nocturnelle, Vice is Nice, Vintage Vamp
MAC Tartan Tale: 5 Naughty Little Vices Nail Lacquer
This year, MAC has created a miniature set of nail lacquers, which includes two new (and exclusive) shades as well as three repromotes. The set itself is limited edition.
This includes: Asiatique (creamy classic red), Beyond Jealous (blackened blue green), Nocturnelle (black-as-night black), Vice is Nice (classic metallic gold), and Vintage Vamp (deep black wine).
Asiatique is a bright, cherry red cream. It applied opaque in two coats, and it went rather smoothly–not streaky at all. This is a repromote.
Beyond Jealous is a green-teal tinged black cream. This applied rather streakily; I needed three coats to get an even, smooth look. I think three coats was necessary just to achieve total opacity, too. This looks rather black regardless of the lighting, though. This is a repromote.
Nocturnelle is a dark black cream. Three coats. It’s come out a few times before.
Vice is Nice is a shimmering lightened gold with soft yellow tones. The finish looks like a metallic frost to me. It did need a full three coats to get an opaque result, and you can see some brush strokes. It is golder than China Glaze Midnight Kiss.
Vintage Vamp is a deep burgundy-red cream. Like several of the other shades, I did need three coats for this, and the first two layers applied on the streakier side.
Each vial contains 2.5g/0.09 oz., while a full-size polish contains 0.34 oz. There is a total of 0.45 oz. worth of polish in the set, which is just under a polish and a half worth of product. MAC’s Nail Lacquer retails for $38.24/oz., while this set works out to be $56.67/oz. I would expect a bit more given the price tag.
Given some of the application issues and the overall uniqueness of the colors (low), I don’t know if this would be the best introduction to MAC’s nail lacquers or even a great deal. MAC has done some really interesting shades, but this set does not include those. A black, red, and dark red cream just feel too standard. There’s no reason to settle for streakier, less pigmented formulas at this price point when competitors in this price range do it better. Just from the quality issues I had, it’s not a must-have based on my experience.
If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ!
Ease of Use: 4/5
RECOMMENDATION: The formula on these is just so-so; the majority needed three coats, and a couple had streaky application.
Here are some comparison swatches for obvious and/or most requested dupes.
Her Blooming Cheek: The best dupe would be Azalea, which I don’t own so I’m not able to swatch it. Full Fuchsia is noticeably different in undertone, while Florida is similar but is a touch more purple.
My Highland Honey: Utterly Game is a touch darker, Peaches a touch darker as well — but they’re both similar, especially when worn. Melba is too dark.
Deepest Wish: A little browner than Media, but very similar to Kittenish.
Cut-a-Caper: It’s quite similar to discontinued Funshine, and it’s a little less orange and sheerer than Jazzed.
Courting Lilac: Similar to Aristocat, but the latter has more berry to it, while the former is definitely lilac.
The Faerie Glen: It’s a sheerer, slightly lighter version of Cherish; not like Freckletone at all.
Radiant Jewels: It looks exactly like Creme Allure.
It is absolutely a color and product that will work better on very, very pale skin tones. On my medium complexion, it just barely shows up, and it may turn chalky/ashy on deeper skin tones because of the light base color. For lighter skin tones, though, especially those with natural redness occurring in their cheeks, this will work quite nicely. The importance here is that the pigmentation is still good, as it appears true-to-pan; it’s just that the color won’t show itself to its full potential on my complexion. (Pale readers who’ve tried this, speak out!)
From what I could tell, the color lasted around six to seven hours on me, but it was even harder to see after eight hours (it’s so much harder to see wear when it’s barely visible to begin with!). The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and a smidgen on the powdery side but it lies nicely on the skin–it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and if you buff it into the skin, it turns just slightly luminous from that satin finish.
Sometimes products are discontinued or limited edition, which means that a product may no longer be available at one or more retailers so you may need to shop around for those hard-to-find shades! We try to update products as they become discontinued, and if you discover a product has been discontinued, please help us help others by letting us know.
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