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5 of My Favorite Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes

With so many neutral palettes available these days, it can be hard to keep them all straight! These are my current favorites that are permanent…

  1. Urban Decay Naked — the original is still a go-to for travel for me, though I love Naked2 and Naked3 as well
  2. LORAC Pro Palette — 16 shades of neutrals from matte to shimmer
  3. Chanel Raffinement — smokier, cooler neutrals
  4. bareMinerals The Truth — cooler-toned, darker neutrals
  5. LORAC Unzipped — warm, shimmery pinks, browns, and bronzes
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5 Must-Have Eyeliners for Summer

I have a definite weakness for colored eyeliner! I love how it can add a pop of color with very little effort. Here are a few shades I’m loving for summer this year…

  1. Urban Decay Chaos — bold blue
  2. Marc Jacobs Beauty Ody(sea) — bright teal
  3. Stila Mint Julep — mint
  4. Milani Perfect Purple — sparkling purple
  5. Sephora Sun Tan — coppery bronze

>> See side-by-side swatches here! <<

Makeup Look: Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner

Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner
Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner

Last week, a few readers said they missed seeing looks posted on the blog (as in, cohesive ones!), so I’ll try to post some periodically–depending on whether there’s time for a more “free” day.  Sometimes there are so many products to test, I can’t give up the facial real estate 🙂  On Saturday, we spent all day with my husband’s family, which is usually a 14-hour minimum, so it’s a day where I prefer to just go with something that works.  I remember several readers wanted to see Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep in action, so I thought this might a good opportunity to showcase that as well.  Going forward, I will try to post looks using recently reviewed products, but this was a very “for me” look more than anything, so hopefully you can forgive the excess of older products in it.

Eyes

A lot of the times if I’m not specifically testing something for wear, then I’ll reach for products that I really, really love that are, more-than-likely, discontinued or long ago limited editions. I love the two shades of cream eyeshadow Tom Ford released a year ago so much that I keep them in my basics/regular routine drawer, and I always take them with me when I travel. I’m so used to not using primer these days, but when I know I’m going out and about all day and am not testing, then I’ll still start with a primer!

I used NARS Smudge Proof spread all over the lid to the brow bone with a finger tip. I also like to take a little and apply it to the lower lash line for extra hold for the eyeliners I’ll use as well. Next, I applied Tom Ford Escapade Cream Eyeshadow to the first two-thirds of the lid, starting from the inner lid and moving outwards. Tom Ford Pink Haze Cream Eyeshadow was applied to the outer third of the lid and into the crease, blending outwards and upwards. To soften the edge of the crease eyeshadow, I applied Burberry Trench Eyeshadow to the brow bone (this is my go-to highlighter). For the lower lash line, first I applied Marc Jacobs Beauty Ody(sea) (62) Highliner Gel Crayon, and then I applied Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep underneath the inner two-thirds of the lower lash line and along the water line. The effect made it look as if the eyeliner was glowing–I was quite in love with it! For lashes, I used a mascara fan brush to apply MAC Opulash Mascara.

Face

Normally, I find primer an unnecessary step with my skin type (normal-to-dry) for regular, everyday wear, but yesterday was going to be a longer, 14+ hour kind of day, so I started by applying Hourglass Mineral Veil all over my face. Then, I mixed two shades of Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation with half of a pump of Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion as my base. For blush, I applied Troy Surratt Duchesse Blush  on the apples of cheeks. I set with Urban Decay Naked Loose Finishing Powder and finished with Guerlain Wulong Pressed Meteorites Powder.

Lips

I mixed two shades of OCC Stained Gloss in Aurora and Dune (reviews are forthcoming).

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Urban Decay Streak Naked Flushed Palette

Urban Decay Streak Naked Flushed Palette
Urban Decay Streak Naked Flushed Palette

Urban Decay Streak Naked Flushed Palette ($30.00 for 0.49 oz.) just debuted on the brand’s website and will be available at all the other retailers later this month/early June. It features a bronzer, highlighter, and blush in a slim compact. The texture of the bronzer and highlighter were good, while the blush was powdery and didn’t apply evenly. I wish the highlighter was just a bit less metallic, as it tended to emphasize skin imperfections and enlarge pores.

Streak Bronzer is described as a “pale bronze matte bronzer.” It’s a light-medium, peachy-brown with soft, gold shimmer. I wouldn’t describe it as matte, though it is not loaded with shimmer. The texture was soft, smooth, blendable, while it had good color payoff. It lasted for eight hours on me. Tom Ford Beauty Unabashed Bronzer (LE, $90.00) is yellower. bareMinerals Golden Gate Radiance (LE, $19.00) is pinker. MAC Optical (LE) is more matte. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Streak Highlighter is described as a “peachy shimmer highlighter.” It’s a very light, gold-shimmered peach with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and smooth. The finish is high-shine, though, and it emphasized pores. The shade wore well for seven and a half hours before fading. bareMinerals The Many Splendors #2 (LE) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Streak Blush is described as a “bright coral blush.” It’s a pink-coral with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had so-so color payoff, but the texture was really powdery and didn’t bind well together, so it didn’t apply as nicely to skin. If you wear liquid foundation and apply this while the foundation is still drying down, you’ll have better luck getting good color payoff. Dior My Lady (003) (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery, pinker. NYX Apricot (P, $5.00) is warmer. Hourglass Radiant Magenta (P, $35.00) is a touch lighter. Dior Corail Bagatelle (763) (LE, $43.00) is darker. NARS Love (LE, $29.00) is similar. Bobbi Brown Pink Coral (LE, $26.00) is brighter, pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Urban Decay Cheek Palette Streak
Streak
Streak
8
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
82%
Total
See All Glossovers

See more photos & swatches!

Also In This Review

Urban Decay Strip Naked Flushed Palette

Urban Decay Strip Naked Flushed Palette
Urban Decay Strip Naked Flushed Palette

Urban Decay Strip Naked Flushed Palette ($30.00 for 0.49 oz.) just debuted on the brand’s website and will be available at all the other retailers later this month/early June. I’m not in love with the texture that Urban Decay has in their cheek palettes, as there’s always something off about them. Strip didn’t impress me, as two shades were problematic. The best shade was the bronzer, but if you aren’t a fan of more shimmery bronzers, that will likely make this an automatic pass.

Strip Bronzer is described as a “deep bronze shimmer bronzer.” It’s a medium-dark, subtly red-toned brown with gold shimmer and a frosted finish. It’s shimmery enough to impart a soft glow to the skin, but it doesn’t seem to emphasize my pores (just maintains the status quo). It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft without being powdery. The color lasted for eight hours on me, which is about average. Tom Ford Beauty Unabashed Bronzer (LE, $90.00) is lighter. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is less shimmery. Disney by Sephora Golden Sands (LE, $55.00) is yellower. Urban Decay Baked (P, $26.00) is slightly lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Strip Highlighter is described as a “golden shimmer highlighter.” It’s a light-medium, golden brown with larger, gold sparkle and shimmer. It doesn’t bind together well and almost seems like a loose highlighter. It tends to catch on any baby hairs you may have on your face, and it doesn’t adhere to the skin, so it travels to parts unknown. It also emphasizes pores, unfortunately. The sheen was visible for six and a half hours. Too Faced Snow Bunny (P) is less sparkly. MAC Whisper of Gilt (LE, $30.00) is lighter, less sparkly. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Strip Blush is described as a “deep mauve blush.” It’s a medium, rosy plum with subtle warm undertones and a matte finish. It had so-so color payoff, while the texture felt soft, it also seemed powdery and didn’t bind together well, so it sheered out easily. This shade stayed on the skin for seven hours. Divergent Misty Rose (LE) is darker, pinker. Hourglass Mood Exposure (P, $35.00) is warmer. Tarte Elevated (LE, $26.00) is cooler-toned. Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane (P, $25.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Urban Decay Cheek Palette Strip
Strip
Strip
7
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
7
Longevity
4.5
Application
73%
Total
See All Glossovers

See more photos & swatches!

Also In This Review

Urban Decay Summer 2014 Launches

Urban Decay Summer 2014 Launches
Urban Decay Summer 2014 Launches

Naked Flush Bronzer/Highlighter/Blush ($30.00)

  • Streak Pale bronze matte bronzer; peachy shimmer highlighter; bright coral blush
  • Strip Deep bronze shimmer bronzer; golden shimmer highlighter; deep mauve blush

Naked Body Beauty Balm ($32.00)

Love the benefits of Naked Skin Beauty Balm so much that you’re tempted to slather it all over? We’ve got a better idea: Urban Decay launches Naked Skin Body Beauty Balm. Like a beauty balm for your whole bod, this luxe, moisturizing formula instantly tightens skin (yes, TIGHTENS!) and blurs flaws. The result? Smoother, FIRMER, more perfected skin every time you use it. (And a luminous, all-over Naked glow.) Lightweight and non-greasy, this sheer, illuminating formula works on every skin tone (from pale to deep-dark) and gives skin a subtle sheen. And did we mention the light-diffusing spheres that make you look professionally retouched? You’ll want to start every day Naked.

Naked Beauty Balm ($34.00)

Like our other shades, Naked Bronzing and Naked Illuminating blur flaws in seconds and provide serious anti-aging benefits in just 8 weeks. Naked Skin Beauty Balm diffuses light with high-tech pigments to give you amazing, natural, NAKED-looking skin as it perfects, protects, treats, primes and hydrates. Moisturizing but never greasy, it hydrates skin instantly and improves hydration over time. Makeup goes on beautifully and stays put. And did we mention the light-diffusing spheres that make you look professionally retouched? You’ll definitely look better Naked!

  • Naked Bronzing Medium bronze
  • Naked Illuminating Illuminating

Availability: May 2014 at urbandecay.com; late May/early June everywhere else

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