Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Kat Von D Spellbinding theBalm Balm Voyage Urban Decay Vice 2 Eyeshadow Palette Sugarpill Cold Chemistry LORAC Pro Palette Too Faced Pretty Rebel Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Sleek MakeUP Vintage Romance

As promised, here are my top picks for palettes to snag during the holidays! :)  Also… as I review other palettes from the holidays (I don’t think I have too many more!) and find other great choices, I’ll be sure to add them here.

  1. Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Set ($45.00 for 1.28 oz.) consists of two “books” of makeup–each has six eyeshadows and two blush/cheek colors. The quality was good across the board, and there was a nice variety of colors and textures. You can read part one and part two of my reviews on it.
  2. Kat Von D Spellbinding Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 1.20 oz.) contains twenty-four (24!!!) eyeshadows, and they’re even designed to be layered and used together, so you can have an endless amount of combinations and textures! You can read part one and part two.
  3. theBalm Balm Voyage ($42.50 for 1.21 oz.) has sixteen eyeshadows and three lip/cheek colors, but the eyeshadows are the stars. This is a great choice for someone who prefers more matte/satin finishes. Check out part one and part two for reviews on this palette.
  4. Urban Decay Vice 2 ($59.00 for 0.60 oz.) has twenty eyeshadows to choose from with a variety in texture and color to choose from. If you love pigmented, buttery, soft eyeshadows–this one’s for you. You can read part one and part two of my reviews.
  5. Sugarpill Cold Chemistry ($34.00 for 0.48 oz.) is a wintry mix of cool-toned gray, white, purple, and teal for someone who loves bold, rich colors and a lot of them. Not limited edition but a perfectly-timed release for the holiday season. Read my review here.
  6. LORAC Pro Palette ($42.00 for 0.55 oz.) is a cult-favorite palette for a reason–it combines mattes with high frosts. There are eight matte shades and then eight more frosted shades, and you can mix and match them for satin and pearl finishes, too! Permanent and available year-round, there’s no hurry to snag one, but with holiday deals and sales, now’s a great time to try it. Read my review here.
  7. Too Faced Pretty Rebel ($46.00 for 0.50 oz.) contains ten eyeshadows, which might not be as sexy as a mega palette, but these are ten fantastic eyeshadows. If you love jewel-tones, bold and bright shades, and your frost finishes, this is a palette worth considering. Read my review here.
  8. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($58.00 for 0.35 oz.) is for those who love a beautiful, glowing complexion and flawless canvas. Ambient Lighting Powders are amazing on their own but getting three for a little more than the price of one? Great opportunity to try more shades or add them to your routine. Read my review here.
  9. Sleek MakeUP Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette ($9.99 for 0.36 oz.) is my more budget-friendly pick for a fall/winter palette with great quality–nicely pigmented shades in hues of gold, berry, and purple. Read my review here.

What palettes would you recommend to others for the holidays?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Sleek Makeup Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette
Sleek Makeup Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette

Sleek Makeup Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette ($9.99 for 0.36 oz.) is one of the newer palettes released by Sleek, and it features a mix of cool and warm-toned shades ranging from neutrals to purples and burgundies. Overall, it’s a good palette, but it’s not flawless–there are a few shades that have a slightly drier feel, so the color payoff and/or blendability was lessened. Each shade wore between seven and a half and nine hours on me; with the sheerer/drier shades tending to last closer to seven. For the price point, I would still recommend it–it is a purchase I was happy with, even if it wasn’t as stellar the Sunset palette I reviewed previously.

I purchased mine through Amazon (same seller as linked), but it is also available from Sleek directly and will ship to U.S. addresses. I wanted to see how the buying experience was through Amazon’s third-party seller, as they also ship palettes that Sleek won’t ship directly to U.S. addresses. I had no issues, and it arrived about a week after I placed my order.

Pretty in Paris is a bright, light silver with a frosted, metallic finish. It had fairly good color payoff, and it’s very, very metallic so it brightens wherever it’s applied–would work well on the inner corner as a highlight. Urban Decay Revolt (LE, $18.00) is similar. Urban Decay Shellshock (LE, $18.00) is cooler-toned, darker. NARS Flowers 3 #1 (LE, $24.00) is similar. MAC Guise (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Extra Silver (LE, $21.00) is also darker. L’Oreal Primped & Precious (LE, $7.99) is slightly darker. Guerlain Les Aquas #4 (P) is similar. Chanel Infini (P, $28.50) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Meet in Madrid is a medium, slightly subdued, gold with orange and yellow undertones and a frosted sheen. It had good pigmentation and applied fairly smoothly. MAC Her Cocoa #1 (LE, $15.00) is warmer. Giorgio Armani #10 #2 (P) is lighter. Urban Decay Blunt (P, $18.00) is very similar. L’Oreal Eternal Sunshine (P, $7.99) is a touch yellower. Lancome Eternal Gold (P, $24.50) is a bit yellower. Dior Night Golds #4 (LE) is similar. Dior Fairy Golds #2 (LE) is less warm-toned. Chanel Harmonie du Soir #1 (LE) is very similar. Chanel Vision (LE, $36.00) is a cream product. bareMinerals Surreal (P) is a touch yellower. See comparison swatches.

Court in Cannes is a medium, warm-toned brown with a golden sheen and frosted finish. It had nice color payoff and applied smoothly, thought it appeared lighter on than it did in the pan. Chanel Initiation (827) (LE, $36.00) is a cream product and more sparkly. Urban Decay Radar (LE, $18.00) is darker. MAC Golden Touch (LE, $15.00) is similar, less brown. Maybelline Downtown Brown (P, $6.99) is similar. bareMinerals Schmooze (LE) is less warm-toned. Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss #2 (P, $30.00) is less frosted. MAC Romantico (LE, $15.00) is darker, warmer. MAC Cactus Thorn (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Heavenly Bliss (LE, $15.00) is a little browner. See comparison swatches.

Lust in LA is a dark, chocolate brown with warm, reddish-orange undertones and a frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation and applied very smoothly and evenly. theBalm B4 (LE, $16.00) is  less frosted. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #3 (P) is less metallic/frosted. Disney by Sephora Abu (LE) is darker. Urban Decay Snakebite (LE, $18.00) is a bit darker, less frosted. Chanel Topkapi #1 (LE) is slightly darker. Inglot #422 (P, $6.00) is warmer. Inglot #402 (P, $6.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Romance in Rome is a cool-toned, medium-dark purple with a frosted finish. The texture was on the drier side, so it had decent color payoff but wasn’t as stellar as other shades in the palette. Urban Decay Voodoo (LE, $18.00) is very similar. Too Faced Badass (LE) is bluer. Urban Decay Half Truth (LE, $18.00) is darker. NARS Marie-Galante #2 (LE, $24.00) is bluer-based. Milani Purr-fect Purple (P, $6.99) is less cool-toned. MAC Warm & Smoky (LE, $15.00) is richer. MAC Dusty Desire (LE, $32.50) is darker, richer. See comparison swatches.

Propose in Prague is a medium-dark brown with warm, reddish-orange undertones and a matte finish. It had good color payoff, but the texture wasn’t as soft as other shades in the palette, so it wasn’t as easy to work with. Kat Von D Cleopatra (P) is more orange. MAC Exposed (LE, $15.00) is browner, less red-toned. MAC Brown Script (P, $15.00) is darker. Guerlain Turandot #2 (LE) is very similar. Guerlain Les Fauves #2 (LE) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

A Vow in Venice is a medium-dark berry with warm undertones and a soft, frosted finish. It had good pigmentation and applied smoothly. Chanel Seduction #1 (LE) is a touch warmer. Urban Decay Last Call (P, $18.00) is more metallic. MAC Festive Delight (LE, $15.00) is darker, less frosted. MAC Cranberry (P, $15.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches.

Marry in Monte Carlo is a bright, medium-dark fuchsia-berry with a frosted finish. It almost has orange undertones when you sheer it out, but the color looks cooler in tone overall. It had really nice color payoff and a smooth, buttery feel. Disney by Sephora Maiden (LE) is more muted. MAC Hepcat (P, $15.00) is less frosted. MAC Stylishly Merry (LE, $21.00) is lighter. Sugarpill Magentric (P, $12.00) is a bit pinker. See comparison swatches.

Honeymoon in Hollywood is a rich, deep berry wine with a satin finish and a bit of silver sparkle and cool undertones. It had fairly good pigmentation, but the texture was a little stiffer so it doesn’t blend as easily as I’d like to see. Disney by Sephora Sha La La (LE) is sheerer, lighter. MAC Dynamic Duo 1 #2 (LE, $15.00) is less intense. MAC Palace Pedigreed (LE, $15.00) is darker, less cool-toned. Make Up For Ever #39 (P, $20.00) is more muted. See comparison swatches.

Bliss in Barcelona is a medium-dark, cool-toned violet purple with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and it applied evenly overall; the texture wasn’t as buttery as the best shades in the palette but wasn’t difficult to work with. Disney by Sephora Snarfblat (LE) is more muted. Disney by Sephora Sea Witch (LE) is less frosted. MAC Warm & Smoky (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Pink Union #2 (LE, $21.00) is brighter. MAC Parfait Amour (P, $15.00) is less frosted. MAC Dusty Desire (LE, $32.50) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Forever in Florence is a dark, burgundy with cool, red undertones and a mostly matte finish. The texture was somewhat dry, so the resulting color payoff was semi-opaque–not a total dud, but it requires some extra patience while blending. MAC Deep Damson (P, $15.00) is browner. MAC Hyperviolet (LE, $18.00) is a cream product. MAC Palace Pedigreed (LE, $15.00) is lighter. Make Up For Ever #39 (P, $20.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Love in London is a medium black with a satin finish. It’s almost a light enough black that it can turn gray when used less intensely. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft but not powdery. MAC Fashion Legend (LE, $15.00) is more matte. theBalm Guilty Gwen (P, $16.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Vintage Romance

B+

Overall, it's a good palette, but it's not flawless--there are a few shades that have a slightly drier feel, so the color payoff and/or blendability was lessened. Each shade wore between seven and a half and nine hours on me; with the sheerer/drier shades tending to last closer to seven. For the price point, I would still recommend it--it is a purchase I was happy with, even if it wasn't as stellar the Sunset palette I reviewed previously.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Pretty in Paris

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Meet in Madrid

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, October 12th, 2013

It might be cliche to opt for a top five of orange-colored products with Halloween a few weeks away, but hey! it’s just an excuse to pay homage to some of my favorite oranges. :)

  1. Buxom Rogue — a luminous, rich orange-red with intense color payoff and a wonderfully comfortable formula
  2. Zoya Amy — a rich, molten orange with hints of deep gold and metallic shimmer
  3. Sugarpill Flamepoint — a true orange with a matte finish that’s incredibly pigmented
  4. Maybelline Electric Orange — a lush orange with a glossy sheen for under $10!
  5. Sleek Sunset #4 — it may be part of a palette (which I try to avoid, but the price point on this palette is so low, plus the palette is amazing from start to finish, I couldn’t resist!), but it’s such a bright and rich shade of tangerine with so much color payoff!

What’s your must-have orange-hued beauty product?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick Sleek Sunset Eyeshadow Palette Inglot #434 Marc Jacobs Th(ink) Giorgio Armani #701 Giorgio Armani #701 NARS Taj Mahal Cult Nails You're My Dandy Lion Fyrinnae Parental Advisory OCC Jubilee Illamasqua Stranger

October is a time that reminds me to be brave; to not be afraid of bold, unusual colors. Halloween is an often excuse to play with color in ways we’ve never felt comfortable doing so the rest of the year, but it also serves as a great reminder to: experiment more. play more. go outside of our comfort zone. embrace the unknown. thirst for something different. These are a few of my favorite more unique and unusual shades that I’ve come across, and I hope you’ll share your own unusual finds with me!

  1. Illamasqua Apocalips is a vivid, medium-dark blue-teal with a matte finish. I love the unusual color, but what I love even more is that it still applies and wears fairly well. It’s definitely a show-stopping color!
  2. Sleek Sunset Palette is a budget-friendly palette that’s top-to-bottom fantastic. No duds in the bunch; not only is this a feat for an eyeshadow palette in general, but to do so at under $15? It’s quite unusual!
  3. Inglot #434 is a cool-toned, purplish taupe–a glorious mix of purple, gray, and brown for something infinitely complex, bold but neutral.
  4. Marc Jacobs Beauty Th(ink) is a bold, cool-toned violet purple with a pearly shimmer that really opens up the eye–and it is a shade that had many, many readers asking, “What are you wearing?” Purple eyeliners that can be applied with opaque, rich color are hard to come by, but Th(ink) makes a strong case for one that does.
  5. Giorgio Armani #701 is a cool-toned, sheer bluish-purple gloss filled with blue and violet shimmer. It’s very intriguing on its own, but it can be layered over lipstick for a different look.
  6. NARS Taj Mahal is bold, bright, but not totally over-the-top, and it’s more of a tangerine than a full-on orange with red tones, so it has more golden, yellowy undertones.
  7. Cult Nails You’re My Dandy Lion is a warm, buttery yellow with a cream finish–and lo and behold, it applies beautifully. It’s practically a unicorn among polish!
  8. Fyrinnae Parental Advisory is a bold, bright, royal purple like I haven’t seen before. It’s so vibrant and pigmented–if you are a fiend for purple eyeshadow, it is a must-have.
  9. OCC Jubilee is a pale, aqua-green with a blue-purple duochrome. It’s metallic, shimmering, and reflective. I love the way the color shifts as you move, as it is layered over other products, and will lean one way or another depending on what is paired with.
  10. Illamasqua Stranger is a green-ish gold gloss with a high-shine finish, lots of metallic shimmer, and it is a shade that changes as you move.

I hope you’ll consider sharing your must-haves for October in the comments! Here’s a quickie list to get you started…

Must-Have Eye Products:
Must-Have Cheek/Face Products:
Must-Have Lip Products:
Must-Have Hair/Skin Products:

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Sleek Makeup Sunset i-Divine Palette
Sleek Makeup Sunset i-Divine Palette

Sleek Makeup Sunset i-Divine Palette ($12.99 for 0.36 oz.) consists of twelve eyeshadows that are supposed to be intensely pigmented and long-wearing. All twelve shades are, in fact, richly pigmented, wear well, blend beautifully, and are all-around fantastic eyeshadows. To get the same vibrancy as seen in the pan, no primer is needed; I had no trouble applying these to bare lids to get bright, true-to-pan color. Even better, they lasted well for a full eight hours. There was some faint signs of fading with some shades (as noted) after nine hours of wear but very little. The texture of these is very soft, dense, and buttery, and at times, they’re almost so soft that they can crumble, but once you’re using a makeup brush and a light hand, you’re unlikely to encounter any issues. The only thing I’d have loved to see were actual shade names (that desire had no impact on rating, though).

Sunset #1 is a medium-dark black with a satin finish–not quite matte but nowhere near as shimmery or as metallic as the other shades in the palette. It had good color payoff with a soft, smooth texture that wasn’t powdery or too soft. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #2 is a vibrant red with warm, orange undertones and a frosted, slightly metallic finish. The texture was soft, buttery, and smooth, and this shade had excellent pigmentation. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #3 is a warm, somewhat dulled, copper with brown undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. It was richly pigmented, and the texture was soft and dense, though it was just slightly powdery. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #4 is an intense and incredibly bright tangerine orange that leans yellow. It had intense color payoff and a buttery, dense consistency. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #5 is a medium yellow gold with a frosted, metallic finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was smooth but not quite as soft or as buttery as other shades. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #6 is a brightened, light-medium blue with cool undertones and a silvered shimmer and frosted finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, and it applied smoothly overall. It wasn’t as intensely pigmented as other shades in the palette. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #7 is a muted, dark burgundy-brown with warm, coppery undertones and a frosted sheen. It had excellent pigmentation and a really smooth, buttery consistency. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #8 is a muted, coppery-red with warm undertones and a frosted finish. This isn’t quite the same as the red in the palette–it is definitely browner/more orange and muted. It had good color payoff and applied smoothly. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #9 is a rich, rusty orange-brown with a golden shimmer-sheen finish. It had nice color payoff, and the texxture was soft, buttery, and smooth. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #10 is a lightened copper with gold sparkle and shimmer. It had a frosted, metallic finish, and it was more sparkly compared to the other shades. I noticed some slight fall out over time with this shade. The pigmentation was good, though. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #11 is a rose gold with a frosted, metallic sheen; it is warmer, less rose-tinted than it is orange. The texture was soft, smooth, and buttery, while the color payoff was great. See comparison swatches.

Sunset #12 is a light-medium pink with warm, yellow undertones and a soft, frosted finish. It had really nice pigmentation, and the texture was easy to work with it as it was soft, smooth, and blendable. See comparison swatches.

P.S. — Technically, this palette is $9.99, but unfortunately, it can’t be purchased direct from Sleek Makeup due to U.S. shipping restrictions. However, there are a few reputable sellers on Amazon that have it available for $12.99 (plus $2.50 shipping). Some Sleek Makeup products are available for purchase directly from the brand but not all.

The Glossover

P
palette

Sunset

A

All twelve shades are, in fact, richly pigmented, wear well, blend beautifully, and are all-around fantastic eyeshadows. To get the same vibrancy as seen in the pan, no primer is needed; I had no trouble applying these to bare lids to get bright, true-to-pan color. Even better, they lasted well for a full eight hours.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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P
product

Sunset #1

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Sunset #2

A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, April 26th, 2012


Sleek MakeUP Ultra Matte i-Divine Palettes in V1 Brights, V2 Darks

Makeup trends have gone mad for matte. From matte manis to matte lips, gloss and shimmers are taking a back seat.

Matte eyeshadows are notorious for their lack of pigment and chalky texture. But Sleek MakeUP’s ULTRA MATTE i-DIVINES are intensely creamy, highly pigmented colours that are super-blendable. These mineral-based eyeshadows are so smooth in texture they make colour blending and contouring effortless.

Every palette of Sleek MakeUP’s legendary i-Divines are 12 shades of high-quality, super-pigmented eyeshadows suited to every skin tone, giving you the freedom of choice according to your preference, mood or skin tone. Sleek MakeUP’s intense eyeshadow pigments mean shades can also be used as long lasting eye liners by applying with a small eyeshadow brush.

Sleek MakeUP’s ULTRA MATTE i-DIVINES are available in 2 palettes of fully pigmented matte shades: V1 Brights and V2 Darks. So whether you prefer bold brights or muted darks, we’ve got it covered. For perfect Spring Summer eyes mimic the muted mattes seen at Haider Ackerman at Paris FW and Salvatore Ferragamo at Milan FW. Or for a more daring pop of colour, seek inspiration from Moschino Cheap & Chic or Paul Costelloe at London FW.

Sleek MakeUP’s Ultra Matte i-Divines launch on 9th May 2012 in Superdrug stores nationwide and online at sleekmakeup.com and will retail for £6.49/€8.50/$10.00.

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