Saturday, December 16, 2017

Review and Swatches: The Queen of Hearts Eyeshadow Palette

Well, this is long overdue. This palette by Coloured Raine was certainly the palette of the summer, maybe even the past year. It was first limited edition, then became permanent, which was cool of Coloured Raine. I bought this during a flash sale, for $40. Shipping was $6.00. Full price, the palette costs $50.00.

So, let's talk about it, shall we? I have blogged about this palette often. I have featured it in many TMO's, and have compared it to other palettes in my collection, specifically the Tarte Pro to Go, as well as the Modern Renaissance.

I am happy to report that this palette has a unique place in my collection, but I do not think it is worth the full price of $50. Let's talk about this palette. I'll start with pictures:

Over top of the mirror, I've placed the sleeve. I am in the camp that believes the sleeve should have just been the packaging itself, but whatever. The mirror is on the smaller side, but it is covered in the picture. The packaging is sleek hard cardboard, a black outer covering, and gold foil inside. It's really lovely.

Some specs below. Each shadow is 1.5 g.

So the way I have them swatched is the order of the palette, from left to right. The first shade is the bottom one on my arm, Crown, and so on. The metallic/shimmer shades were swatched with my finger, as that is how I apply them to my eye. The mattes were applied with a shader brush. 

1. Crown: An opaque metallic white duochrome, with a pink shift. This is a really impressive shadow because of its opacity and staying powder. I've found that shades like this don't last long, especially in the area of the inner corner, but this one sticks around. It is also really easy to mix this shade with others.

2. Royal Highness: A taupe metallic shade. This has been my favorite so far. But for this and the other shades of the same formulation, glitter glue is necessary for my eye shape, to avoid transfer. This also is a very creamy shadow. 

3. Your Majesty: An orange leaning metallic gold. The only bummer about this is that it inexplicably contains bits of silver glitter. It also requires glitter glue for me, but it is of the same excellent quality as Royal Highness.

4. Princess: A brown leaning dusty rose matte. A beautiful, creamy shade, perfect for me as a transition shade. The mattes are not as soft and delicate as ABH's, which I am grateful for. I can build, and the mattes last a while.

5. Empress: A bright orange, also of excellent quality and pigmentation. 

6. Queen Mother: This one reminds me of Rosette from ABH, but not as red-toned. Queen Mother has a strong brown base, and though it swatches beautiful and applies on the eye just as nicely, I am afraid that it looks like its sealing up in the pan, as Rosette once did. 

7. Heir: I already own this shade, actually. It is called Angel Face, also by Coloured Raine. Actually, Angel Face is softer and a tad more pigmented than Heir. 

8. Royal Perogative: A soft, blendable, mid-toned brown. 

Beginning with the shade on the bottom, we have, 

9. Noblewoman: A creamy, metallic shimmery burgundy leaning red. This is very intense, and I still have to get a handle on it. 

10. Ladyship: If I were to do a finger swatch of this particular shade, you would be disappointed. On the brush, however, it works fine. It lasts a long time. I did even experience some staining. 

11. Duchess: A dark matte brown. 

12. Dethrone: This is a gorgeous shade. It is a bit dark for me, but I love to use it patted on the outer corner- it is very shimmery.

Here is an example of a look I did with this. Also posted on my instagram (@beldamsansmerci). 

For this look, we have Princess in the crease, Ladyship also blended in the crease, and Queen Mother patted on the outer corner. Royal Highness is on the lid.

Overall, I am glad that I also have the Modern Renaissance palette to work with this. On its own, I do feel I am a bit limited with the amount of transition colors. The shimmers are really beautiful, and the palette presents a lot of options. Glitter glue is an absolute must for me, however, because of my particular eyeshape, to prevent transfer of shimmer shades.

When I first got this palette, I was a little intimidated, but once I delved in I found that this palette has a welcome place in my stash, and is perfect for the fall and winter.

I highly recommend it, but only if the colors are up your alley. Personally, I would not pay the full price for it, which is $50. Forty, however, is a good deal.

Let me know if you have this palette. I am always looking for new ways to use this!

My final rating is four and a half stars.

TMO: Upcoming Winter Eyeshadow Products

I wanted to talk about palettes that I've been hearing about and have been genuinely interested in. Part of why I do these TMOs is for my own benefit. The particular palettes I've taken the time to break down into great detail are ones that I even may buy one day, just not any time soon.

That being said, let's do this. Let's begin with a new line from Tarte:

Tarte Chrome Shadow Paint Pot, $22 for .11 oz (about 3 grams). I especially wanted a Pot of Gold- a very yellow gold eyeshadow. Limited amount of colors in this collection, and limited edition...I don't know. I feel like I'll see this on discount after a while.
They remind me of the L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadow pots, which cost a whole lot less, and are excellent products. I also found it weird that Tarte kept emphasizing that this should be applied with the finger, and that there is no internal covering over the product. It seems like this would dry out fast.

Tarte is also releasing a foiled eyeshadow palette, for $39, called the Foiled Fingerpaints palette or something like that. Again, emphasizing shadows to be applied with the finger.

These are the swatches from Sephora:
Those glitters are going to be an issue, I know it. And last palette they released, the Buried Treasure, reminds me a little of this. Personally, I think the swatches look interesting, but I feel that this palette would take a lot of effort to create a neat and interesting look, especially if the point is to use your fingers. Again, we'll probably see this product discounted in a few months. I might consider it at at a lower price point, but something about the formula of these I am wary of.

Beauty Bakerie Do It For the Graham Palette, $38.
 First of all, I love the name of this palette so much, on multiple levels.

This is the palette:

While I think this palette could rival the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette in terms of having both warm and cool tones, as well as interesting duochrome shadows, I am not going to be buying this palette. It actually reminds me of some of the shadows from the WnW palette that I am expecting, the Not a Basic Peach palette (which costs $5.00). Furthermore, I don't feel there is a lot of variety- I can count three or four coppery shimmers, and the two color shifting shades don't seem that different. I think this could be a very wearable palette for many, but the amount of repeating shadows does not seem inspiring to me. 

Next, is a palette that Coloured Raine has been sneak-peeking for a while now. Finally, they released the promotional images of the Cheers to the Beauty palette, for $56. This is what it looks like:
To begin, I do think that Coloured Raine should be applauded for doing something different. This palette looks like a rainbow. However, I do have to refrain from buying this for a couple of reasons:
1. I really don't like the face product in an eye palette. And of course, the rationale is that the face product can also be used as an eye product, or that this is an eye product that gets the most use which is why the pan is so large, but for everyone? I don't know. I don't like the placement of it, and it bothers me that this could have been a $50 palette without the stupid highlighter.

Moving on, I do think the colors are gorgeous. However, I am not going to pretend that this palette is gong to inspire me to wear blue or green shimmer eyeshadow. it won't, because I don't, unless the shadow is some sort of duochrome that has more of a neutral base. I have tried to wear blues and greens, but they are not for me. And dropping $56 is not going to push me to.

Just by looking at the pans, there seems to be a lot of crossover with their Queen of Hearts palette, which I own.  The swatches tell a different story, and the palette does seem more unique than I originally thought, but I still can count three or four similar colors to the QoH palette.

If you are not going to love most of the colors, especially the really distinct ones, don't get this palette. Especially at this price point. If there is a single shadow that calls to you, go for it. Coloured Raine has excellent singles that are glimmery and bright and you just need one that you will use and love. 

Another palette I will be staying far away from is the new Violet Voss Purple Palette. Now, the color scheme is very sunset-like, which is right up my alley. But I have heard that Violet Voss is way overpriced for what it is, and I feel like the palette could be condensed into a couple of colors, instead of repeats. With that being said, I have those colors in one shape or another. Reds, oranges, purples, etc., and purples that I know are decent. And if I really wanted a matte purple that I did not have, I would just buy a single, instead of shelling out $45. 

Another palette I thought that was really pretty is the Sephora x House of Lashes Secret Garden eyeshadow palette. There are some greens in this palette, as well as some browns and peaches, and it reminds me of the color scheme of a Monet painting. It is $45. The packaging resembles a music box. Now, this is right up my alley. But, I've never tried eyeshadow products from a lash company, though I know that it is a common practice. The packaging is rather bulky, and I know I don't have the space for it. It appears to come with a compartment for eyelashes- but I don't wear lashes. I tried, and I really did not enjoy the sensation of lashes on my eyes. So there goes that. Overall, I just don't see myself coming up with a variety of looks from this palette, so I do have to pass. 

I am going to end this post with a brief TMO of the Chocolate Gold palette. I am not even going to insert a picture, because we all know what it looks like. All I will say is it contains, out of 16 shadows, it contains SEVEN coppery/goldy colors. Do not delude yourself that this will appear distinct on your eye. This is all the same sh**. It TF was truly interested in making a holiday, glittery palette, they would have devised a greater variety of shades. That's all. Oh they try to trick you. They put in a vivid pink, green, bright yellow gold, and strong silver, expecting you to notice those only. But look in between the colors- the majority of the palette. And that's when it becomes tiresome. Don't do it, folks.

EoTD: Orange and Purple

Today is one of those days when I add to my eye makeup a little over time. When I woke up, I first just put Kitten by Stila all over my eye, as well as Shiro's Fleece-Lined Pillow Fort in my inner corner.  Later, I decided I wanted some color, so I took the Milani Earthly Elements palette (which I technically destashed but it was laying around) and added the brown and orange to my crease and outer corner.

After a while, I took the Queen of Hearts palette and the shade Ladyship, and added that to my look.

This was the final result:

Overall, I think it's a pretty simple look.  Ladyship was regarded as the only negative part of the Queen of Hearts palette, because it swatches terribly, but I don't see any problem with how it works on the eye. Here I blended out with it, as well as packed it over the shade Kitten. 

I'm becoming more interested in color, specifically warm-tones. I've been really loving orange eyeshadow. I have cool-toned skin, so I find that orange really does complement my coloring. 

Currently, I have three orange eyeshadows in my collection, and I have them swatched below for comparison. From left to right, we have the orange from the Milani Earthly Elements palette, Empress from the Queen of Hearts palette, and Realgar from Modern Renaissance. Realgar is pretty dark, and I can even get away with using it as an outer corner shade. 

The Milani shade is the east pigmented, but I still enjoy using it. I wonder if I can depot it from the entire palette.....That will be another story, I guess. 

Anyway, thanks for reading!

Friday, December 15, 2017

EotD and More Ramblings

So I am still waiting on my new elf Mad for Matte palette in Jewel Pop. A very cool person I follow on Instagram actually made a post about that palette today, indicating that the promotional pics were not an accurate representation of the color scheme. She was also kind enough to explain that the Mad for Matte formula does need some finessing, with a tacky base and careful application.

Obviously, my hopes are not set too high on this $10 palette. I don't even think I would have spent more on a palette with those colors that were guaranteed to be more pigmented for a higher price point. We'll see how it goes, but I do think the internet's silence is pretty telling.

The internet, save for the initial spate of video reviews, is also oddly silent on the new reformulated Wet 'n Wild palettes. I will be honest- Temptalia's Sneak Peek Swatches were far different than what was represented by many reviews. Hers looked really patchy. We'll see.

Additionally, shipping on my Ipsy bag has been delayed, so silence on that front.

Let's move on to products I have been really enjoying. As I've noted before, I feel like my makeup "successes" are products I've taken time to research and wait for reviews. With that in mind, the Butter Bronzer and Maybelline Superstay Concealer both proved to be very useful. With the Maybelline concealer, it sticks around much longer than all the other ones, and blends very nicely. It is visible in the pictures of my eyes below, after more than 12 hours.

On my eyes I am also wearing the Modern Renaissance palette, as well as Amber Rush from L'Oreal Infallible. I feel as though the Infallible eyeshadows are doing a good job of staving off my desire to try the Stila liquid eyeshadows. Though out of all the Stila shades, I really want to try Diamond Dust, as MakeupStruggles suggested that Diamond Dust is really the only shade one would need, out of all of them....

In the pictures below, I am wearing Pumpkin Pie by Coastal Scents, Realgar by ABH, Burnt Orange by ABH, and Amber Rush by L'Oreal on my eyes. In the inner corner I used Fleece Lined Pillow fort from Shiro, which I still am surprised by how much I love it. I totally did not expect to get attached to a random eyeshadow sample, but this looks great on my face.

I was thinking about the Modern Renaissance palette, and about how I have gotten and still continue to get good use out of the palette.Would  I repurchase it, though? No, I don't think so, not with my current collection. However, it still proves to be a palette that I keep finding new things to enjoy about it, so in that way I think the palette was a total success.

Thanks for reading!

Makeup Updates (An Assortment of Things)

Let's begin this rambly post with a small declutter.

The first is a lipstick that I've given away recently. From TJ Maxx, I purchased the Bite Beauty Creme Lipstick in Caramel. While I do think this is a certainly wearable shade, for me it is a tad too orange. I think the formula is pleasant, just not long wearing at all. This line of lipstick was something I did not really enjoy, and though Bite Lipstick has been popping at TJ Maxx lately, since trying and not really liking Caramel, I've steered clear. I think Bite Beauty is an interesting brand, but charges much too much for their products. This also was an important step in realizing that products sold in TJ Maxx should not necessarily be purchased just because they are discounted high-end.

Another product I decluttered is a powder I think I talked before about not liking.  I finally decided I am not going to use it. A while ago, I bought an ittse powder duo from Ipsy, of two highlighters. While I really love one of them, the other (Run the World) does not have great intensity, and contains chunks of glitter. Some reviewers noted that this one can be used under the eyes or something, but I tried this and basically it amounted to me putting glitter under my eyes- what's the point of that? So goodbye, Run the World.

In recent use-ups, my favorite eyeshadow primer from Wet 'n Wild is all finished, but I already have a back-up to use. Additionally, I am nearly finished with with my Ipsy sample size of the Neogen Truffle Oil Drop thing, which I believe came in the October bag.  I have to say, though I did not mind the product, as a moisturizer is was very light and when I woke up in the morning, it was like I applied nothing at all. I don't think it's worth it. I am not upset that I got it or that I extensively tried it out, but it is something I have no interest in.

In terms of recent purchases....I have been kind of bad.

Off of ebay, I bought Becca's Lilac Geode, for $30. Remember when I said there are some products that I just had my eye on for a while? This is one of them. I am not necessarily trying to justify my purchase, but the mix of purple, pink, and gold was very intriguing to me.

I also have a bid on Diamond Dust from Stila's Magnificent Metals line, for $14.00.
I have also placed an order with Deciem, arriving shortly,  of the following:

The Ordinary
Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (Previously Advanced Retinoid 2%) - 30ml

The Ordinary
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil - 30ml

I am actually really impressed with how soon this order shipped. As my old posts reflect, The Ordinary is absolutely terrible most of the time with order turn-arounds, but by the looks of this, I will be getting my order tomorrow.

At first I was only going to get the Retinoid, primarily because it is something I feel works nicely for my face, but I am also interested in moisturizers, now that it is getting super cold out, and my face feels really dry. Which reminds me, I also bought a body oil, to quickly spray and moisturize my body in the mornings:

 OGX Extra Rich + Coconut Miracle Body Oil Mist, 6.8 Ounce

This had pretty good ratings on Amazon, and lately I have been obsessed with Coconut scents recently. I understand that this is pretty odd, considering everyone is embracing holiday scents, but something about coconut makes me so happy during this time.

In terms of orders I placed a while ago, my ipsy bag is still MIA. I have completed an inquiry form with USPS to see what is going on. My elf order is due on Monday, which includes the Jewel Pop matte palette, which I have been getting lukewarm feedback about. My Wet 'n Wild order, the Not a Basic Peach palette, is due to arrive next Tuesday.

I am a little overhwelmed with all of the orders that seem to coincide around the same time, but I think this is a sign that I need to slow down with the spending. After the holiday season dies down, I know I will also be taking a break.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Shiro Face Products Swatches and Thoughts! (updated with reviews)

My Shiro sample haul came in today! Which was surprisingly fast for a Black Friday order. My last experience with Shiro was okay. I still have the two matte eyeshadows from a year ago, but the highlighter is long gone.

For this order I wanted to try out some tried and true favorites from the brand. I did not want to get full size because I did not want to make the same mistake as last time, when I bought a full-size jar of product that I ended up not using.

These just came in today, so I can't offer a complete review. I'll post the swatches, as well as my initial thoughts.

As of this morning, I've had the opportunity to use most of these products on my face. My review on the products will be in the same font!

The top swatch (under the bruise) is the light grey contour, Do Your Research. I've never really tried a proper grey contour in the powder form, so I am excited to try this. I am pleased with how sheer it is- it really behaves as a shadow on the skin.

On the face, Do Your Research is an excellent contour for me. For reference, I wear shade 110 Porcelain in Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, and 1.0 P in the Ordinary Serum Foundation (mostly in the winter, in the summer that one is too light). To apply it on the face I used the Beaute Basics contour brush and just applied it to the hollows of my cheeks. I don't contour a lot, but I am interested in it, as I do have a round face, but I want to avoid drawing obvious streaks on my face. I found that the end result was very subtle and natural. I would buy a full size of this. 

Second one down is the bronzer Milk Chocolate Frog. The first thing that surprised me was the golden shimmer. Immediately, I drew parallels to Too Faced's newest golden bronzer product. It was very easy to blend on the skin, and I do think this will work nicely.

Trying to apply this as I would normally do with bronzer was a bit difficult. I poured some out of the baggy onto a clean flat surface, and then took my fluffy brush and dabbed it into the product, aiming to get an even enough spread of product. On the skin, the product does blend out nicely, but that golden shimmer. I don't know. It looks pretty, don't get me wrong, but the golden sheen adds another layer of color that I didn't necessarily want. Though I will use up the rest of the sample, I would not buy full size of this. Pictured below is my forehead. Lol. 

The only one that was a little frustrating was the last swatch on the bottom- the brown contour/bronzer The Game is On. Maybe it is because of the amount of pigment in the product, but it was a little more dry on the skin and more difficult to blend evenly. You can see the difference in swatches.  

I did not end up testing this out. I was a little intimidated by the swatch. 

Below we have the two highlighters. Both are beautiful products, and I don't really have anything like them in my collection. The top swatch is Fleece-Lined Pillow Fort, which came as a free sample. I was completely stunned by this one, it is a very light cream color highlight that is pretty opaque and with a slight sheen. I am looking forward to trying this out on the face. *edit- okay, I just went back to the Shiro site- turns out this one is an eyeshadow, which explains why it came off so opaque. Honestly, I'll probably use this in the inner corner of my eye and as a highlighter anyway.
For "...Pillow Fort," I did use this as an inner-eye highlight and wow- I did not expect to like this, but I really do. It is not too shimmery, but does lighten up that area significantly. I did not try it as a highlighter, but I don't think I want to. I will happily use up the sample size of this and continue to use this on my eyes. 

White Chocolate Frog, the bottom swatch, was sheerer than I expected. It is more visible in the full-size version of the pics. It reminds me of a liquid illuminator blended out, but I anticipate enjoying this one as well! 

Finally, we'll end with White Chocolate Frog. Being someone who does love shimmer and sparkle, White Chocolate Fro seems a bit muted for me. It is noticeable on the skin, and does create a highlighting effect, but I am just not impressed with the level of intensity. I am sure, though, people who are looking for a subtle luminous effect would love this. In my initial reaction, I did say how it reminded me a liquid illuminating product, blended in. I will say that I stand by that opinion, and that it performs the same on the skin. 

Pictures! The first one is half of my face, with the products. Please excuse the potato quality. 
Most noticeable for me is the bronzer. I might have been too liberal with my application. The loose product and container does make it difficult to gauge how much is needed. 

You can also see the contour, Do Your Research, in the hollow of my cheek. It is just a tad darker than what I usually use- my contour stick in Proton by Life's Entropy, but I like that. 

The highlight is apparent also, but way too subtle for me. And look at that inner corner highlight!

We also have some uncomfortably close photos of my face:

So, my favorites are the inner corner highlight/eyeshadow Fleece-Lined Pillow Fort, as well as the contour Do Your Research. I am not a huge fan of either Chocolate Frog, but I will end up using up the samples.

Thanks for reading! 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Not a Review: Thoughts on the New Wet 'n Wild Palettes (Not a Basic Peach and Rosé in the Air)

Yesterday I placed an order with Wet 'n Wild for the new palette, Not a Basic Peach. This is what it looks like:
Out of all the new palette offerings, this one was not based on a previous design (other than the MR dupe), and it was the most inspiring to me. Could I probably dupe this in my collection? Probably. But I appreciate the palette as it is and would definitely get a lot of use out of it. I really like the almost duo-chrome nature of some of the shimmer shades.

Overall, I am really super impressed with Wet 'n Wild. As someone who owns (and is actively panning) the Modern Renaissance, I did not need to purchase Rosé in the Air, but I did notice something interesting about that palette.

Many beauty bloggers are discussing what the Rosé in the Air palette imitated, but I want to discuss what shades from the Modern Renaissance palette WnW left out. This is the Rosé in the Air palette:
It contains 10 shades, while the MR contains 14. The four shades that Wet 'n Wild left out?
1. Golden Ochre
2. Vermeer
3. Raw Sienna
4. Venetian Red

As someone who does not think that the Modern Renaissance palette is perfect, I do agree that out of the 4 shades to omit, these were probably the smartest choices, if WnW was aiming to mimic (and not revise) the original color scheme of the Modern Renaissance palette. Partially because of the price point and manufacturing requirements, to condense the MR into 10 pans means one had to think with an economical and efficient mind, and I agree that WNW mostly got it right. We'll go into my thoughts on each of the omitted shades:

1. Golden Ochre was supposed to add a glow when you blend it into the crease before the mid-toned crease colors. Trouble is, it does not show up really well on the skin, and is not golden enough for me, and I am pretty light. So how is that supposed to work even for people with darker skin tones? Maybe as something other than a crease color? Even though I did hit pan on it, after I while I just got very underwhelmed with how this color turned out.

2. Vermeer: I kind of wish WnW went with Vermeer instead of Primavera, because Vermeer performs better in the MR palette. If WnW has a better formula, though, I can stand by it. Vermeer is a cooler-toned champagne shimmer, and I think the light golden shimmer of Primavera works with a greater range of colors in the palette.

3. Raw Sienna. It makes sense to omit this one- it and Burnt Orange were the SAME. Or very nearly.

4. Finally, Venetian Red was like the cross between Love Letter and Red Ochre. It makes sense therefore to get ride of it.

Over all, even though I don't need to buy the MR palette dupe, I think WnW was very smart and conscious of the consumer when they made this. I was happy to buy Not a Basic Peach and look forward to reviewing it!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What I Did Buy: Elf Jewel Pop Palette

Unlike the TMO, the What Did I Buy feature is me giving a spotlight to a feature product that I did purchase. It is not a review, but rather a rationale of why I purchased it.

For starters, this palette cost $10, and is part of elf's popular "Mad for Matte" line. This is the newest one in the line, and released yesterday.

The line is quite popular, due to being an entire palette of mattes that are of decent quality. I myself have never tried a palette from this line.

Let's go shade by shade.
1-The pink-toned off white/cream shade. I do feel I have something like this in my EyesCream palette, which I hit pan on. We'll see how they compare.
2- This shade reminds me a lot of Golden Ocher from the Modern Renaissance palette, just darker. Usually I am wary of these colors because I don't feel they perform well in the crease, but lately I've just been learning to appreciate using mattes on the lid.
3- An orange matte- I am not at a loss for those at all. I've got one in the Modern Renaissance palette, as well as one in the Queen of Hearts palette. However, because I love orange so much, I am really not mad at having another one.
4- A burgundy matte. Another color I quite like, and I don't feel I have this one.
5-Another color that is super interesting to me. I only have a couple of berry-tones in my collection, so we'll see how they compare.
6-A blue-toned violet. I don't see myself wearing this.
7-A vibrant blue. Also something I will not wear.
8- pretty much my main reason for wanting this- to see how I can use green eyeshadow.
9-a matte black, which also I don't mind.

I mainly was also interested in this as a potential alternative for the Viseart Dark Mattes palette, which I am also very interested in, but don't want to shell out EIGHTY DOLLARS.

So, be on the look out for a review from me regarding this elf palette! Very excited.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December Ipsy Wish List (updated with product reveals!)

So looking at all the spoilers, I decided I would make a master list of what I would hate getting, versus what I would look forward to.

This post will be updated as I actually find out what my bag is, and will later be updated with product reviews.

This post is also going by the spoilers provided by My Subscription Addition.

Products I Would Like/ Would Not Mind Getting:
  • Either the Mac or Essence Mascara. I can't remember what I put down for my quiz, as I did get a couple of mascaras lately (the Doucce and Makeup Forever one) that I just was not thrilled with. Either of these two mascaras would be fine by me. I also have never tried a Mac product before. 
  • Oribe Dry Shampoo. Now I love dry shampoo. And I heard this one smells really nice. 
  • City Color Shimmer Eyeshadow. I've talked about these before on the blog, and have it on good authority these are swoon worthy. 
  • and that's Not enough for a whole bag, even though I know Ipsy does not provide spoilers for all its products.
Products that I do NOT want to get:
  • Please please do not send me loose eyeshadow pigment in white. What weirdness is that?? (specifically, the product is Meech and Mia loose pigment eyeshadow in white).
  • Eyeliners. Do not need them, nor want them.
  • Liquid lipstick. I do not use this, nor do I want it.
  • Smashbox lipstick. I was gifted one of these before, and it was alright. But the one they keep previewing is bright red, which I do not wear. 
  • A Luxie shader brush- I usually like brushes, but I've got so many shader brushes. If I had it my way, I would only get blending crease brushes, or flat synthetic brushes. 

Overall, the "categories" of things I do not want include multiple products, which far outnumber things I would actually want. While I was not impressed with the November bag, I don't have much hope for the December one, either. 

As of December 5, ipsy revealed the contents of the glambag. This one is mine:
I'll go through, talk about what I am excited about, and what I am not.

1.) Tony Moly Green Tea face cream. I am excited for this one. At night, I used a heavier moisturizer about three times a week, but when I don't feel like using that I go for lighter creams. This will be perfect for that. 10 ml= approximate value of $4.00.

2.) City Color Eyeshadow Single. Yes! I was hoping to get one of these. Actually, I do hope I get the more neutral of the two, the taupe color, as I am really tired of the berry-toned reds that appear purple in the pan. Fingers crossed. The approximate value of this is $4.00.

3.) Nyx Faux Blacks Eyeliner. Ugh. I did not want eyeliner. Crayon eyeliner is the worst for me. There is not much information online about this eyeliner, but I am not very happy. Value is $8.00.

4.) Another Luxie Brush...And I am not a fan of this kind of eye brush. Approximate value is $14.00.

5.) Lastly, a quite interesting serum product from Nip and Fab, which I've never tried before. It contains 20 mL of product, and the approximate value is $8.00

Total value of the bag: $38.00. Not too bad. I think this bag is much more interesting than last months, and there are a couple of items I think really make the bag worth it. 

The only thing I wish ipsy would just be more up front about is telling you the specific color you are getting. I don't see why they can't do this. They used to reveal it in an email, but even that is not working for me anymore. 

This page will continue to be updated with product reviews and reflections, so stay tuned! 

Friday, December 1, 2017

EoTD: Modern Renaissance and Coastal Scents!

Hello hello!

Today I've continued by never-ceasing love of warm eyeshadows with a mostly-matte look. As I've noted before, I feel I've really narrowed down my eyeshadow preferences and have gotten a bit more capable.

Today I used Modern Renaissance, as well as the shade Pumpkin Pie from Coastal Scents. Pumpkin Pie was an instant favorite for me, because it is a bit darker compared to Angel Face from Coloured Raine, and so perfect to use as a transition, for a nice orange glow on the eyes.

Below I've swatched Angel Face (l) and Pumpkin Pie (r) for reference:

Coastal Scents is more known for their shimmers, but they do have some really excellent mattes, such as Pumpkin Pie. Before purchasing from Coastal Scents, I would do some research about which ones perform better than others.

And so here is the eyelook:

So this was my look by the end of the day, after about 10 hours.  We had Pumpkin Pie in the crease, Burnt Orange from MR on the lid and blended into the crease, and the outer corner I used Red Ochre. The only dud for me is Primavera, which I used in the inner corner. It did hold up, but applies patchy and is just an all-around annoying shimmer.

The eye primer I used was Wet 'n Wild, and I've already bought a back-up of it. Eyeliner was the usual Physician's Formula, and mascara was Essence Lash Princess in False Lash Effect. I don't seem to enjoy this as much as I did when I first opened it. Is that normal?

Anyway, I am pleased with the progress I am making on the Modern Renaissance, and I am also very pleased with Pumpkin Pie. After thinking about buying it for so long, I think it was a smart purchase.

Which makes me think of all the other Holy Grails in my collection- they were all things that I feel I did not get out impulse, which makes all the difference.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Collection Updates/Style Changes

New Eyeshadow Technique

For some reason, I really hate the idea of putting shimmer all over my lid. What I have been doing now is using a matte shade in my crease and outer corner, and then patting either the same or a different one on the lid. Then, if I feel like it, I'll take a shimmer shade and put it only on the inner third of my lid. So, I still have obvious glitter, but it is not all over my lid.

I am not sure why I prefer this, but it's just something I've been wanting to do.

Additionally, I have just been less enthusiastic overall about eyeshadow, but I think it is because I feel like I have enough in my collection. I have and am panning the Modern Renaissance, and I have the Queen of Hearts palette, which I have wanted since forever. I also have a variety of mini palettes. I do enjoy and use all the different pieces in my collection, and when it comes to eyeshadows, I think I have been so effective in my own TMOs and Anti-Hauls, that I realize when to not be bothered. Which is most of the time. This also has translated to shopping in person, as I am less tempted by the makeup I see (especially the discounted higher end makeup at TJX, I've been so strong!).

All About Blush

While I think highlighter will continue to trend, and while I continue to love and use highlighter, I am all about the blush. Blush can be so scary until you know how to do it, and once I got my technique down I could not get enough.

For me, my face is a bit round, so I like to gently tap and sweep my blush away from the center of my face. I follow the "two finger rule" for blush placement, but sweep it up, like a highlight.

For a while I was about purple plushes, but in this cold weather, I actually am really embracing the corals and oranges!

Be An Adult, Use Sunblock

This is something I am trying to be good about. When I leave work, it is dark out, but I do this anyway- I use Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, with SPF 30. I use it as a primer. I also need to get in the habit of putting something on my face before I leave work, during the drive back. I am henceforth setting down to bring this with me, to put on my face before I leave!

Battle of Maybelline Concealers

So I noticed that I have three concealers in my collection, and all of them are Maybelline. Today I thought I would review each of them, and ultimately decide which of the three I think is best.

(l-r) Master Conceal, Better Skin, Age Rewind
 Let's go in order of the swatches.

First up is Master Conceal by Face Studio, Camouflaging Concealer, in Fair. It contains 12 mL of product, and sells for $7-$8..00. The product is dispensed through a narrow squeeze tube. It is a little warm toned for me, but it is the lightest of the three. This was recommended as a drug store "dupe" for Tarte's Shape Tape concealer, by LivLovesHerMakeup. I've never used Shape Tape, but was interested in its purported coverage and staying power.

A main ingredient of this is dimethicone, and that for me is a huge factor for this not working out. The dimethicone gives this a smooth, mousse- like texture that it is easy to blend out, but it will break apart so easily on my face. It performs especially poorly as an undereye concealer, as my bottom eyelid and undereye area are both textued. The coverage was good at first, but faded quickly. This one was a fail for me . :(

Next, we have Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin foundation. This one comes in a bottle with a doefoot applicator. The one swatched below is in the color 01 Ivory, and contains 7.5 mL, and sells for $8-9. This one also contains dimethicone, but I don't think as much as the aforementioned one- I like the formula of this a lot more. Though it appears to be the darkest of the three (all of which are very light), it works well on the eye, blends easily, and does stay on pretty long. In terms of coverage, I would say it provides half the coverage of the first concealer, but for my particular needs this is fine with me. It does not feel as heavy as the Master Conceal. Furthermore, it has the best shade range of all products (albeit still limited), being the only offering that has a deep shade.

Finally, we have my third purchase of Age Rewind. It contains 6.0 mL of product, and costs $7-9 dollars. The swatch below shows how pink this is. The applicator and container, though, is a huge draw, because it does not waste any product. I have used this a lot, but sometimes think it is too pink, or sometimes think I can't really see a a brightening effect. It does wear well on the skin, though, and has the same amount of coverage as the Master Conceal.
same order, no flash. 
To wrap up, Master Conceal was a total dud. I've been using Better Skin for a couple of days now, and really do enjoy the look and feel of it. I think it is tied with Age Rewind, as both are great concealers. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Milani Stellar Lights Highlighting Palette: Holographic Beams Review and Swatches!

Today I am super excited to talk about a brand new arrival to the drugstore- Milani highlighting palettes. I have been so impressed with Milani these past few months with their face powders, and with glee I snagged one of these in my local Walmart, sold for $10.67. Interestingly enough, the Walmart not only had a display, but two testers! I found this to be a good sign, and hope that more stores follow this example- especially with foundations.

There are two palettes in this line. From their website, they also dropped a whole line of single iridescent highlighters, the "Hypnotic Lights Powder" for $13.00 each online. I have a feeling that they will be slightly cheaper in stores. These Stellar lights palettes are also sold for $13.00 on the site too.

The first one in the line is called Rose Glow, and contains more neutral but also warmer colors, which would not work as well for me.

The second one, which I am reviewing today, is called Holographic Beams, and contains three different powders that have some sort of color shift.

The front of the palette. It came in sturdy plastic packaging, with a pretty wave design. These designs are meant to emulate the designs of higher end highlighting powders, such as from Makeup Forever.

Here is the back of the palette, with the shade names, as well as amount of product. Each pan contains four grams of product.

The palette opened, no flash.

With flash

Unicorn Dreams, Make Believe, and Other Worldly. 

I. Unicorn Dreams is a purple-pink shifting duochrome with a strong metallic white base.

2. Make Believe is a lavender-blue shifting duochrome , also with a strong white metallic base.

3. Other Worldly is a warm gold metallic powder with an orange shift.

All three powders are beautiful, blend easily, and remain on the skin. I went through my collection to see possible dupes, and these are my findings:

Milani Make Believe (l), Wet 'n Wild Royal Calyx (r)
We have here two blue-toned highlighters. In the case of WnW, the swatch is a bit deceiving, because it took TWO swipes to build up, while the Milani one just took one. I found WnW to have a drier and sheerer formula, and was much more sparkly. Milani, on the other hand, has a "wetter," more metallic formula, that also has a stronger white base.

From left to right, we have Nabla in Millenium (eyeshadow), Milani Unicorn Dreams, and Urban Decay Fireball. 

The Nabla eyeshadow is has a greyer base to me, and flashes more gold and orange. Meanwhile, Urban Decay also has a stronger orange shift as well, is sheerer and less metallic than Milani. 

Finally, we have Wet 'n Wild Precious Petals on the left, and Milani Other Wordly on the right. In this case, Precious Petals has a lighter gold reflect, while Other Wordly is far more orange. Other Worldly blends out excellently, though. 

Now let's see how this applies on the face! 

Here I've tried to create an "ombre" effect with the pink and blue: with the pink near my temple and blue farther down. My skin is a bit textured in this area, and I think I need to use a lighter hand with these powders. Other than that, I really like the effect that the powders create.

 On the other side of my face is Other Worldly. The darker orange base is present on my skin, and I just have to be more careful, as I did go in a little enthusiastically.

To wrap up:
This palette is an exciting addition to Milani's line. Not only are the powders beautiful in the pan, they are really nice to use. 

Compared to the single highlighter I have from Milani, the strobelight in Afterglow, I feel these powders are not as dry, and do require a steady hand and moderation- both of which are variable for me. 

Now that I have this palette, I am debating whether it is necessary to buy one of the Hypnotic Lights Powder singles- I would have to see swatches. But for now, I am very satisfied with the palette and excited to continue using it! 

Review and Swatches: The Queen of Hearts Eyeshadow Palette

Well, this is long overdue. This palette by Coloured Raine was certainly the palette of the summer, maybe even the past year. It was first l...