Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Top 10

Hello again readers!

It's been an exciting start to the new year. I started my last semester of university (and it wasn't as bad as I thought, but I'm still nervous!) and so far, I've been keeping up with my own resolution to keep my room clean. This is the first time it's been clean for a whole month in YEARS so I'm really pleased with myself. I hope I can keep it up!

These were some of my most reached for products in January, and I'm glad to see the return of a couple favorites.

January Top 10


Aeropostale Maximum Cologne:
I think this is the best cologne you can buy at Aeropostale in my opinion. It just smells so fantastic, without being overwhelming. I've been having a lot of masculine days, so I have been reaching for this a lot, and it smells so good on my skin.

ELF Translucent High Definition Powder:
I have had this as a backup for a while, and I told myself I wouldn't use it until I finished my Rimmel London Stay Matte Powder... well that didn't happen, but I missed this too much to leave it in my backups box! I love how finely milled this is, and I love how it feels on my skin. It sets my foundation perfectly, and just feels like soft skin afterwards. So glad I opened this up.

NYX Taupe Powder Blush:
This is the first time I've been using this product, and I'm glad for it. It's warmer than I thought it would be, so I was disappointed, but the powder seems to be working out rather well. It's still on the cool side, and it buffs out great on the hollows of my cheeks. I've heard that people have gotten layers of oil over this powder, and so far that hasn't happened. Time will tell if I still love this product or not.

Bath and Body Works Fresh Lemon Antibacterial Hand Spray:
I don't know if I have ever mentioned this, and if I haven't I'm sorry. Their hand sanitizers are my favorite, and I always have a stock of them around at all times because they are really wonderful. Their sprays, are equally impressive. I like to use this in the morning right before I apply moisturizer/makeup so my hands are for-sure clean and ready to go. It's lighter than the gel sanitizers, and I find that I don't have to wait as long for them to dry with the spray. They're more expensive, but I find having a bottle or two around is worth it, so maybe pick one up during a sale or with a coupon. 

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub:
This winter has taken it's toll on my skin, especially my lips! I don't remember them ever being so bad, even with ample amounts of balms through the day. I use this everyday it seems, and it is still so so great. Just a little bit applied and rubbed into the skin of my lips and then they're exfoliated, and ready to accept more moisture from balms. I've even used it on my face a couple of times this winter, with fantastic results. Worth the money for sure, and even with using it as often as I do, I still have just a dent in the product, it's amazing.

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm -Shea Butter & Vitamin E:
One of the best balms I have ever tried. I can't get enough, and it seems like I've had this tube for ages, and I still have almost half a tube left. It's fantastic, and so worth the money it's almost laughable. It comes in other scents, but I'm not sure if I'll pick one of the others when i go to buy a new tube. I'll have to make sure I have a tube ready when this one is almost empty, so I don't ever have to be without one.

ELF Single Eyeshadow - Pebble:
Such a shame they don't sell these anymore (I believe there is one color listed on the site) because this one is great. I use it for my eyebrows since I've been to lazy to go the distance and fill them in with a pencil/gel, and they look really nice. There's a subtle shimmer in the powder, but it doesn't transfer onto the brows at all.

NYX HD Concealer - 02:
I keep wanting to say these are my holy grail concealers, but I don't think that they are. However, they still remain my favorite to use. 02 is the shade I use to conceal any issue with my face, because it's like my skin tone in a bottle. I also have 01, but it's only good for under my eyes since it's slightly lighter than my skin tone, and would bring unwanted attention to any blemishes I have on the skin.

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Mascara:
Laziness was my goal apparently, since I didn't want to take a lot of effort to remove mascara at the end of the day... if I wasn't at school, I'd generally wear this one instead. It makes my lashes look amazing, and it doesn't take ages to take off at the end of the day. When it warms up a little, I'll be wearing this more often, since I won't have to worry about my eyes watering at the cold.

Benefit The Porefessional:
This is not my favorite primer by any means, but it stole a spot in this months favorites because I've been reaching for it a lot. I think I'm still drawn to how new it is and can't resist the temptation, and that's why i reach for it as much as I do, but the fact remains that since I've been using this almost every time I put on makeup, that this should have a spot in my monthly favorites.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mac Kitschmas Pigment

Hello again readers!

Onto my second MAC makeup purchase. I have two of the palettes, but not a lot of makeup. I'm building up my collection slowly...

Kitschmas was a pigment that I didn't think I'd ever want, honestly. It just didn't do it for me in the swatches I went to look for, and I decided I would never get it. Then I kept seeing other swatches, and makeup looks, and just collections with Kitschmas included and I found myself drawn to it yet again, and I went ahead and bought it.


It's such an odd pigment. It's a light pink, with lavender and silver shimmer/glitter and it's pretty unique. I can just tap a small amount in the center of my lids to get the halo effect with ease. The color since it's not so neutral, brightens up the eye and adds some color.

It also can be built up with a glitter glue to better payoff to stand alone, but I prefer it as a highlight.


I've also used this as a face highlight, and while I like it, it will not be appealing for everyone. 

This is one of those products that I'm happy to have, but it doesn't blow me away by any means. I just wanted it because it looked really pretty, even though I don't reach for it very much.

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Smashbox On The Rocks Palette

Hello again readers!

It's just the year of palettes I suppose, where I keep buying new eyeshadow palettes, even though I'm confident that I can't even dream of finishing them in my lifetime. There have been some good hits, especially around the holidays, I was surprised with how many I really wanted to own.


The Smashbox On the Rocks palette just looks really sleek and luxe on the outside. Sleek, black packaging with holographic decals of precious gems just glowing. It definitely catches attention, and it just draws you in (it sucked me in for sure).


The palette contains 12 shadows, with a plastic gem in the center. I get the goal they're trying to meet, making this palette look glamorous, but it just doesn't do anything for me. I feel like the plastic gem gives it the appearance of play makeup, like you'd give to a child, rather than something meant for the wear of a makeup aficionado.

The shadows themselves are pretty consistent around the palette - smooth, easy to pick up pigment, and opaque. Unfortunately, not all of them meet this mark, as a general consensus shimmers generally have greater pigment payoff than mattes, but the shadows feel good to the touch.

I found these (especially the shimmers) to be easily blendable, making the bold looks, look put together instead of muddy. The mattes I felt lacked this ability to be easily blended, but I didn't have to much of an issue to make them work, and just had to put a little extra effort.

Left to Right: Blacktop, Coronation, Nutmeg, Opus, Vanilla, Chianti

Blacktop:
Black with glitter. This shadow was disappointing, and I found it to be chalky. It needed a few passes to get the color payoff I wanted, and the glitter didn't transfer like it was expected to, based on the look of the pan.

Coronation:
Going with royalty being represented by the color purple, this shadow is named appropriately. A dark violet with glitter, that has a similar glitter issue as Blacktop, but I found to be much more pigmented.

Nutmeg:
A warm, coppery-gold shimmer. Incredibly pigmented, and gets great color payoff quickly.

Opus:
A matte cream shade, that is almost useless to me. Unless I use it on my eyelids (that happen to be darker than my face) to brighten it up, it doesn't serve any other purpose for me. This color is better suited to those with tans, or darker complexions.

Vanilla:
Classic yellow-cream shade. This one shows up far better on me than Opus, and has great payoff for being such a light shadow.

Chianti:
Now this is what I'm talking about - a dark, burgundy brown shade with glitter - done right! This sort of set the precedence for how the other failure shades would be, where they gave the appearance that they'd have glitter spread throughout, they just didn't deliver. Chianti did, however, do what was expected, and I took a liking to it. It does however need some build-up to be fully opaque.

Left to Right: Sapphires, Confectionette, Mist, Bourbon, Midnight Emerald, Obsidian

 Sapphires:
A shimmering navy shadow. This is one of those shades that even though I have many that are similar, I just can't get enough of it. It looks great on the lid, or on the waterline, or smoked out for a sultry look, and this looks good on pretty much everyone.

Confectionette:
A gold eyeshadow. I'm glad that there was a gold included, because the gem has the whole theme of precious gems and rich metals. Gold is a shade that I don't have very many of, but I'm glad to add this to my collection.

Mist:
A champagne shimmer. I didn't know how else to explain this, because it's not necessarily a cream shimmer, nor is it a taupe. It's champagne, yellow with a bit of pink, and incredibly flattering to wear.

Bourbon:
Dark brown with gold glitter. This shadow is fantastic. It's deep, warm, and just gives off the air of elegance. There is always a place in my heart, and my collection, for shadows that can pull of being pigmented with glitter, without being shimmers.

Midnight Emerald:
Another Emerald green, that seems to be put in palettes quite often, but it's always welcome. It's bright, gleaming, and looks fantastic blended out with a neutral eyeshadow in the crease. It's another color that comes out often, like Sapphires, but it's welcome.

Obsidian:
Pretty self-explanatory, at being an obsidian shadow with shimmer. It's not quite grey, not quite black, and it packs a punch. This shadow sort of redeems, Blacktop, because it darkens up a look without bringing the look down with the lack of pigment and the sparse glitter.

This is a palette that is sort of all over the place. It has two mattes, which I feel is better suited for brow-bone highlights and not necessarily for the eye looks. The rest of them are shimmers, and I sort of wish the two mattes were replaced with another two shimmer products, or maybe with more impressive matte shades.

It seems like this palette was trying to do too may things, and it just didn't work in it's favor, however, if I ignore the matte shades, the rest of the palette is uniform with being shimmery. This palette may not be the favourite of the older members of the beauty community, or anyone that doesn't like flashy shadows, but if you like a bright pop of shimmery color, this may just find a great place for you in your collection.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kat Von D Haul

Hello again readers!

Like many others, I have succummed to the pull of the Kat Von D selections at places like Sephora, Marshals, and TJ Maxx. Unfortunately, even though I went out for just two (Lolita and Vampira) I didn't find them, instead I ended up picking up a variety of other goodies instead, and made my wallet cry a little bit (because these deals are fantastic).


From Sephora, I picked up the A-Go-Go Painted Love Lipstick, and two Everlasting Love Liquid Lipsticks in Backstage Bambii, and Bow and Arrow.


The older packaging for this lipstick, is definitely bulky. It even feels heavy in my palm. I really do love the decorated cap though, because I can't get enough of the tattoo-inspired artwork.


A-Go-Go is orange. Straight up orange. There's really nothing else to the color at all. 

The lipstick is pigmented, and the only issue I had was that it's decently dry. It's not like the pigment doesn't come off onto the skin (obviously it does) but it dragged over my skin, and my lips when i went to test it out.

The formula is definitely a long-wearing lipstick formula, even a little drying. I had this last on my lips for a good few hours, with minimal middle-wear, and a bit of smearing on the edges, before taking it off completely. Wearing a lip balm underneath would make this lipstick more comfortable to wear, but would affect the longevity of the product.



These were my first experiences with the Kat Von D liquid lipsticks, and I was sort of... scared? I think that's the best way to describe these - longwearing, doesn't come off unless you use a good makeup remover or an oil - what's not to fear, that's some commitment!


Bow and Arrow:
A very brown-tone lipstick, with just the right amount of pink to make it wearable. This I thought for sure wasn't going to work with me, and I was pleasantly surprised. It makes my skin look extra pale, but in a good way, I suppose.

Backstage Bambi:
A bright, almost neon pink. I was really overwhelmed with this, and I don't like to wear it alone.

The Everlasting Love Liquid lipsticks I feel to be pretty great. They're worth their hype, for being longwearing lipsticks that survive eating and long periods of time. I feel that if the lipstick is lighter, it gets better coverage, because they're less noticeable if the application is lighter in one spot, and not the others. The darker colors, like Bow and Arrow, need two coats to be opaque; if there's too much product put on at once, it will crack and peel; if there's not enough, it looks like you haven't quite finished.

Since these were the older formula, I'm sure some things were changed, but for now, the biggest issue I have with these is that they separate like crazy. Before I apply, I have to shake it up to re-mix the pigment and the medium in order to get the best application possible.


At Marshall's, I picked up two Everlasting Love Liquid Lipsticks in Outlaw, and Berlin, and a Eau de Parfum Rollerball in Poetica. I admittedly don't know a thing about perfume, so I had to look up what they're supposed to smell like.

I felt both of the fragrances were very rich, musky, and not necessarily meant for daily wear. I know I couldn't pull off, and I was pleased that they reacted well with my body chemistry, but I wouldn't go out of the house smelling like these any time soon. These are geared I suppose for those who like deeper, sultry scents, or for nights out.





Berlin:
A warm, salmon colored pink. This shade is also the one that came in the Black Friday set, but that contained the new formula.

Outlaw:
A true red. This is the perfect pinup red, and just looks fantastic, and I wasn't even going to buy this one originally! It looks so flattering on a large amount of skin tones, and dare I say this is almost a must have if you're into reds.


And at TJ Maxx I found another Eau de Parfum Rollerball in Sinner.



Not bad for a clearance haul, if I say so myself. I'm still lamenting I never got my hands on my wishlist items, but I managed to expand my collection a little bit more and also expand my horizons.

It's still worth checking out places like Marshall's, and TJ Maxx, because you never know if you'll find a goldmine, or nothing, so if you have the means, make the trip out and search your local stores.

Thanks for reading!

Smashbox Full Exposure Travel Palette

Hello again readers!

I think that places like Sephora and Ulta are really stepping up their game with their travel selections. Anything from mini-versions of their hair care/skin care/cosmetics/beauty tools/etc. are just getting better and better! A while ago, Smashbox added their Full Exposure mini to the mix, and well, I just couldn't resist.

I found it first at Sephora (but it's available at both retailers both online and in store) and I liked how it swatched on my fingers. It picked up pigment, but placing them on the back of my hand, I found that it was a bit more powdery than I expected, and it was easily brushed away. A primer is necessary for these, for sure.


The Mini-Full Exposure Palette retails for $22, and comes packaged in this sleek cardboard box. I really like the packaging for mid-range and high-end products, because even the packaging that you end up recycling just feels higher quality. It's not glossy, but smooth, almost like a rubberized finish on the cardboard. Not really entirely sure how to explain it, but touching it is a delight.


The travel Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette from Smashbox is, dare I say it, adorable. It's slim, the size of a credit card (though thicker than one!), and packs a hell of a punch inside.

The black packaging collects fingerprints and oils like crazy though, and just touching it once will leave smudges and prints behind. It may not be as dirt attracting as say, my Naked Basics, but it's still a magnet for oils.


In the palette, you get 8 shades at .026 oz each! That's an amazing deal, because the full size palette gives you 14 shades at .035 oz each. You get a good pick of colors, more than half of the full-size, and it's less than half of the price of the full size (which retails for about $50).

You get four Shimmers, and four Mattes. They have the numbering system that matches up with the original Full Exposure Palette, and seeing them out of order is rather amusing. It goes S1, S3, S4, and S6, for the shimmers, and M1, M3, M4, and M6 for the mattes.

S1, S3, S4, S6
S1 - A chocolate brown shimmer

S3 - Gold Shimmer

S4 - Nude Shimmer

S6 - Gunmetal Shimmer

The shimmers I found to be a little dusty. If you just apply them with one swatch, you'll get some shimmer on the lid, but the pigment doesn't show up unless you either use a wet applicator, of you apply multiple layers.

On top of that, there are chunks of glitter. Not that it's a deal breaker, but if you're not fond of chunky glitter in your shimmers, these will be a turn off for you. 

M1, M3, M4, M6
M1 - Chocolate Brown Matte

M3 - Tan Matte

M4 - Nude Matte

M6 - Dark, Ashy Brown Matte

Swatching the mattes in store on my fingers made the final decision for me to get this palette, but the swatches are really disappointing. This is with multiple passes over my arm (no primer) and they just came out patchy, and uneven. The pigmentation didn't get built up like I wanted it to, and it was just a let down. Though the eyeshadows feel smooth, it's because of how powdery they are, and it kicks up fallout when dipping the applicator into the product.

----

I bought this palette for the mattes, and ended up liking the shimmers more. Weird how that happens, right?

I should mention, that this palette is best used with a primer. I know, that seems like an obvious statement to say, and I know I mentioned it earlier, but I mean they really need a primer. If you want them as pigmented as you imagine, and you want the shadows to remain crease-free, then a primer is your best friend.

Another issue I have with this, is that it doesn't have a matte black, and the browns are just too light to really get the definition I desire. It's easily solved with packing a matte black single shadow, but then it kind of takes away from having a conveniently packaged travel palette.

I think, with honesty, that you can pass on this. If you're looking for shimmers, there are better options out there for you. If you're looking for mattes that you can keep with versatility, check out the Naked Basics palettes.

Though this palette is cute, it's just under the bar for me, and when I can say with honesty that I have drugstore shadows that out perform this, then it's sad.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Wet n Wild Halloween and Fall Lip Colors

Hello again readers!

Here is some more backlogged posts. I'm hoping to get into the proper swing of things, and I hope I won't feel so lethargic this semester. All of my professors seem to be wonderful, and amazing, and even though I'm already getting drowned in reading and journals and writing, it's a good feeling that I'm going to be getting some proper critique and replies to my work.

In the fall, Wet n Wild launched a matte collection, containing four lipsticks, and then six matte nail polishes. Out of the six mattes, I only picked up two of the polishes: Distressed to Impress (a taupe), and Echo Dark (navy). They weren't particularly matte, but they all have something in common: the caps of the polishes, and the bases of the matte lipsticks, were all coated with a rubberised matte plastic finish. Really, they already look ten times better (if only the issue with the caps would be resolved, and they'd be perfect)! After this, it's astounding that all of their mattes aren't packaged in this way. It feels more luxurious and looks so much better, and they were the same price as the lipsticks and polishes usually are. I personally think they should make a change.

Out of the four lipsticks, I bought all of them. Big shocker there, right?

Sweet Cream, Sunset Siren, Urban Night, and Bordeaux Boulevard.

A better look at the bases of the lipsticks. The downside is like any other packaging like this, is shows oil and dirt, but the regular plastic isn't a saint either, because it shows oil and fingerprints like nobody's business.



Sweet Cream:
A cream nude with just a hint of pink. This is one of my favourite nudes ever, because of how surprising it is. In the tube, it looks stark foundation-colored (thank you former photo for saying otherwisse, but in real life it looks very foundation like) but applied it actually turns into the perfect light nude. Not too pink, but not too skin-like either. A great medium, and I wish this one was permanent.

Sunset Siren:
A really pretty red with a touch of orange. It's bright, it's warm, and it definitely reads 'sunset'. It's not my favorite color, because this one does bring out how yellow my teeth are (something I'm working on) but it's really pretty. It's a great alternative to the classic red lip, and I think this is one of those colors that you can wear no matter what.

Urban Night:
This is one of those colors that I reach for a LOT. It's a beautiful deep, cool red. It's such an odd shade, because it's not really a true red, but it's not a berry either, kind of like wine. It's sort of in limbo between the two, and it's just one of those shades that really strikes you as beautiful.

Bordeaux Boulevard:
Is a deep violet-toned mauve. Really a striking color in the way that it's so different. It goes great if you're into the violet lip, but it's also warm enough that it doesn't come off as too strange either.

This entire collection was such a hit! I can't believe that they're only limited editions, because I just love them all dearly. What a shame. :(


It was strange, because for Halloween, they also released a shade: Urban Nights. They look identical in the tube, except for their bases. I didn't want to open the one from the Halloween collection, unless I could confirm that they were similar.


I didn't compare them myself, because I'd rather have the one with the matte packaging anyway,  but to see just how similar they are, here's a link to the comparison on gymbagmakeup. They were similar enough (barely a difference) that I just kept the one, and returned the other.

Now onto the Halloween collection:


It has been ages since I've tried one of their glosses, and after trying them again, I could see why. I picked up the shades Bloody Good, and Perishing Bare.


Perishing Bare looked pretty pigmented on my arm, but on my  lips it was a disaster. Patchy, goopy, and it settled into the lines of my lips. I was expectng a nice nude gloss, and I didn't get it here. Plus, it had surprise shimmer in it, and it was just a disappointment all around.

Bloody Good is better, in fact I ended up not returning this one, even if now I wish I did. It's not a bad red gloss. It's pigmented, a good red shade, and it doesn't go on patchy. It's still rather thick, and I'm not fond of the scent of these lipglosses. Never again.


I wanted to pick up one of the Balm Stains, because I wanted to try their take (I wasn't too keen on the Jordana ones, even though my original review I raved about them!) and see how well I'd like it. It was between 2AM  Call Time, and Lady and the Vamp, and I went with Lady and the Vamp because 2AM Call Time was opened, and I didn't want to risk it.


Lady and the Vamp ended up being a berry shade. Not too surprising, but I wouldn't really call it a 'vamp', either. It goes on... really odd. It's sheer, and it applies patchy. Even building up pigmentation, it still applies patchy. It's such an odd thing to work with, because it feels smooth, but then wearing it is kind of greasy.


And on the lips it was a disaster. It slipped, and slid, and it settled into the lines of my lips. I couldn't keep it even without putting on some concealer around it, and a lip liner. It didn't want to stay put at all!

And did it stain? If you could call it that. It left what resembled a stain, but it was very light. Barely anything. The lipsticks leave more of a stain than this product does, and it just turned me off of them completely.

I'm going to forever kick myself for not getting the limited editon 2AM Call Time Balm Stain, but the past is in the past, and this Balm Stain ruined me for all the others because of how much I hated it. Can't win them all.

And then I picked up all 6 of the limited edition lipsticks in the display.


Sunset Stripped, Clothing optional, Rose to Fame, Coming in Latte, Tangelinos, and Urban Nights.

Sunset Stripped:
This was the biggest disappointment. In the tube, I thought it would go on like a liquid gold. The King Midas touch, really. Swatched, it doesn't live up to the expectation at all. Instead of a gold shimmer in a gold base, it's just packed with gold shimmer, in a clear base. Since it relies so heavily on  the shimmer, it's gritty, and doesn't apply evenly at all. It needs multiple swipes, and even then it just doesn't look good. I couldn't even use it as a topper, because if I were to swatch it over another lipstick, the grit of this one would wipe away whatever lipstick I laid down first. I thought there was potential, and I was terribly wrong.


Clothing Optional:
Another fabulous nude. It's nothing like Sweet Cream, it's just... wow. It's lighter, for one, and then to top it off it almost looks scary. Since the lipstick has a peach tone in it, it ends up working surprisingly well, and doesn't look like concealer lips gone awry. It's really creamy, and though these are marketed as 'matte' lipsticks, this has a creamy shine to it.

Rose to Fame:
Probably my favorite from the limited editions, a dark rose pink. I am always drawn to rose pinks, even though my collection is severely lacking. I find they always look good on me, and they just go on with ease. This lipstick did not disappoint, and it was such a great pick to put in their Halloween collection, just in time for fall and winter.

Coming in Latte:
A mid-tone brown. Really a shade I wouldn't have usually picked up, but you know, grunge is coming back apparently, and having at least one brown-tone in the collection is a good thing, right? It goes on really creamy, and I surprisingly don't hate it. I wouldn't find myself using it all the time, but on occasion I've found myself drifting towards it.

Tangelinos:
An outrageous shade. Orange, almost straight orange, if it wasn't for that bit of red. I can't really pull of orange (though I wish I could) so I ended up passing this on to Emma, but it's a firecracker. It catches attention, and goes on soooo smooth.

A day late, a buck short, but I put it up. :) I need to get my game up and start pre-writing out reviews and posts so I don't manage to fall behind. I know my 'to-swatch' drawer for nail polish is getting to the point of overflowing, and they don't sit pretty anymore, and I was almost caught up!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lorac The Royal Eye Shadow Set

Hello again readers!

I only feel a little bad about presenting this to you, because you can't buy it online. You should be able to find some in Ulta still, if they have them in stock, but I can't guarantee it. I'm just so happy to have it, and it was my really big splurge for myself for Christmas. I wanted to invest in a Lorac palette (I was going to get either the Pro 1, or Pro 2 Palette) and this one just stole my attention and I couldn't resist, so I bought it!


The packaging contains four mini-palettes; Queen, Countess, Princess, and Duchess. This is really great if you had in mind stocking stuffers, or if you were going to split this set with friends. I of course wanted it for myself because the colors were all so gorgeous I couldn't resist.

The palettes themselves caught me by surprise. The shadows are housed in cardboard wrapped in a velvet fabric. The look of them makes them look like luxury, with the dark velvet printed with gold print. They scream "Royalty", so there were good choices made there. It feels very luxurious, but I can assure you it gets dirty very quickly. 

Each palette contains a mirror, and each mirror has a plastic coating over them to protect them from scratches. A great choice, really, since some travel palettes don't include a mirror at all, and if you don't have one at all... say hello to leaning awkwardly over sinks to get to the bathroom mirror.

They're not large palettes, but they aren't small either, each palette having .28 oz of product. And another great thing, is the feeling of the shadows were very similar across the board: very smooth, almost buttery or creamy in texture.

The only gripe I have on the packaging front, is I'm saddened there isn't a violet palette, due to the association of Violet and Gold as royal, regal color choices.

Queen



The Queen Palette has a satin nude, a peachy-pink shimmer, a burgundy shimmer, and a matte charcoal shade.

Satin Nude: 
A very pink-toned nude, really. This is a highlight shade for sure. It doesn't do much for me in terms of pigmentation, because the color is so close to my skin tone I can't really tell. It catches light, but not as much as say a shimmer, so this would only work for me as a brow-bone highlight or a lid shade, not necessarily an inner-corner highlight. This would be a better shade for those with a tan or darker complexions.

Peachy-Pink Shimmer:
This such a beutiful shade. The pigmentation is really great, and it catches the light perfectly. A great choice for this warm-themed palette. This shade can get a little dusty, so watch out for fallout!

Burgundy Shimmer:
This shade is nice, but it does need a bit of build-up. It's a darker shade, so it's not unheard of to need another layer, but it's also a hassle and something I felt I should mention.

Matte Charcoal:
 This was the most trouble for me, because it was matte. The pigmentation doesn't compare to the others, and it definitely needs build-up to get it to look opaque.  I didn't use a primer under these swatches, so you can see that it needs a little something to help it look better. 

Countess



This I felt had the most hodge-podge of them all. On the outside it seems like it'd bee cool, but the inside is mostly warm, and then they throw in a cool shade at the end. It's the most odd out of all four of the palettes, but it's not a disaster either. This was the only one out of the four that the tester palette was missing, so it was just a bit jarring to open the lid and see this. It contains a cream shimmer, a brass shimmer, a brown shimmer, and then a matte teal.

Cream Shimmer:
Now this is a highlight! It's light, but it shows up too and since it's a shimmer instead of a satin, it attracts more light. I can't really say much else about it, but I do like it as an lid shadow as well.

Brass Shimmer:
Just a beautiful warm shadow. I really really love this shade, and out of all four of the shades in this palette, this one is my favourite. It's the kind of shimmer that you can wear all over the lid and a bit extra in the crease, and be done with it. A no-nonsense shade.

Brown Shimmer:
This one is pretty unique. It has a shimmer, but instead of being a bright silver, it's a more subdued gold. It has the appeal of catching the light, without being too in your face. A more sultry take on the shimmer, that really works.

Matte Teal:
This is similar to charcoal, in the way that since it's matte, it needs a bit of a boost. Unlike charcoal, the pigmentation of this shadow is better! The biggest  gripe I have with this, is that it stains! Definitely use a primer underneath, and remove makeup carefully.

Princess



The neutral palette of the bunch. I can never turn down a neutral palette, I have a bit of an addiction. It contains a satin cream, a warm gold shimmer, a copper shimmer, and a deep chocolate brown.

Satin Cream:
This shade I can get away with using as a highlight and a lid shade. It's pretty pigmented, and being a satin doesn't deter it from being great.

Gold Shimmer:
I had to ask a second opinion from my sister, because I considered it a gold, but it's such a warm gold I was unsure. It has the look of gold, and the benefit of being warm. I can't put my finger on it, but it's just such a great pick, though the pigmentation could be better, it duals as a shade that can stand on it's own, or be popped in the center of a lid to get the halo effect.

Copper Shimmer:
You can never go wrong with a copper shade in any palette, they're just so great! It's warm, and so pigmented it's almost crazy. Very great shadow.

Chocolate Brown Shimmer:
This one is just such a ringe,r with the introduction of gold shimmer again to add a sultry effect to it. It's great as an all-over-the-lid shade, or just to darken up the crease. It's a breathtaking shade, and I never thought I'd like it as much as I do.

Duchess




I was a littler nervous about this one, because I'm sort of over all the blue-shadows and prefer neutrals, but this paltte is just so great I'm slipping bakc into love. This palette contains a white shimmer, a platinum shimmer, a satin grey, and a matte navy.

White Shimmer:
A basic white pearl. It's not revolutionary, but it's nice to have it included in this palette. It goes with the theme, and it is a nice bright pop of shadow where you need it.

Platinum Shimmer:
Another shade that looks great on everyone and I just can't get enough. It's opaque enough to be noticeable, but it can be sheer enough to pop on the lid for the halo effect. I'm really pleased that the "metal" shades they included in these palettes are as versatile as they are. It's like a two for one!

Satin Grey:
It's almost a matte, almost. It has the cool tone of a matte grey, but I find it to be a little more workable since it's a satin instead. Matte greys can look ashy on certain skin tones, and I think this is a happy medium of a true grey, but without the powdery ash of a matte.

Matte Navy:
I will never tire of navy anything - ever. It looks fantastic on me, and it looks fantastic on so many other people and their vast differences of skin tones. A beautiful addition, a beautiful shadow. Even without a base, this shadow is pigmented, and goes on so well. With a base or a primer, this could be almost unstoppable. Well, maybe I'm getting just a little carried away.

If you can get your hands on this, I suggest you jump on it. Majority of these shadows are pigmented, and buttery smooth. Some may feel a little chunky, and some may need a little work, but across the board it's definitely worth having in your collection. 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mac Blue Brown Pigment

Hello again readers!


Well, I start uni again tomorrow, and I'm dreading it, but it's the last semester I have to do! So that's really amazing.

I thought I'd bring up a post that I wanted to post ever since I got the pigment in. The Mac Blue Brown pigment has been on my wishlist for ages and ages, since I first got into makeup, and for the longest time, it seemed like an unreachable goal. Fortunately, it wasn't unreachable at all!


I picked up the 'To-Go' size, as it's in fact a better value than the full-size product. A 'To-Go' pigment is .09 oz for $10, while the full-size is .15 oz for $21. So if you bought two of the 'Sized to Go' pigments, you'd get .18, which is an extra .03 oz for CHEAPER. What a deal, right? Plus, they're super travel-friendly.

The downside is that not all of the pigments have Sized to Go sizes (there's only 8!), so don't be disappointed if they don't have your favorite pigment in the travel section.


The opening is small, smaller than the full-sized pigments (I'm assuming, since the packaging for the full-sized pigments are also bigger), so you can't dip a large brush in, but a shadow brush to pack the pigment on will dip in no problem.

I tried it in the way that I'd shake some of the pigment out onto a piece of paper, and then whatever excess was left over I'd fold the paper so I wouldn't waste pigment, but I find just dipping my brush is easier and there is less of a mess.

I've used this as an eyeshadow, and an eyeliner (I also have a nail polish and a gloss in this color, but from different brands, so maybe I'll do a duo-chrome post in the future because it's my favorite) and haven't tried it as say, a blush or something, though I want to. The cool thing about this pigment, is you can apply it subtly, or pack it on for a really cool look.


The pigment is everything I ever dreamed up, and more. It's a warm red-brown base with a beautiful blue shimmer when the pigment hits the light. It goes on so well, even without a primer. Though, if I don't wear a primer, it'll crease like crazy (not a bad look, but I'm not always down for the grunge look) and it's noticeable because of the duo-chrome finish.


And for so long, I've been using the definer shade from the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette, which is said to be a dupe for MAC Blue Brown pigment.


Is it a dupe? Mostly, yes! If you love the color, you'll get it with the Comfort Zone palette.

The biggest differrence (which I use to defend myself when I collect all the blue-brown duo-chromes I can get my hands on) is that the finish is different. Comfort Zone is a more subdued illumination, but it picks up more light in it's subtlety. MAC's pigment is crazy intense and picks up light in one spot enough to draw your eye to it, but then fades off towards the sides.

Both are worth having in your collection in my opinion, and I'm really glad to have bought this pigment because it's just flawless.

Thanks for reading!