Posts Tagged Swatches
It never fails: as soon as March hits, regardless of the fact that spring doesn’t actually start till the 20th of the month, I move headfirst into ~spring~ mode. Last night I switched over all my makeup to spring-like colours, and over are the days of dark & moody / icy & cool nail polish colors – bring on the pops of colour and pastels!
I went through my nail polish collection this week (which, despite my *efforts* is still increasing in size, rather than hovering around 100 which is my goal :S) and rounded up the shades that most say ‘SPRING!’ to me. Many of these shades are new acquisitions to my stash, so of course I’m totally enamoured with them. I think I’m quite covered when it comes to a good array of shades…though I may need a few more metallics, now that I think about it ~always enabling~ I only really own two – the perfect gold, and a striking silver. I wouldn’t mind throwing a nice rose-gold in the mix somewhere. Suggestions??
I’ve noticed a trend over the past couple years, and it’s that spring isn’t just for pastels anymore. Though I do love all the Easter egg shades that crop up this time of year, I’m enjoying seeing random pops of colour in the spring collections more and more.
Having said that, I am a sucker for any pale aqua or minty green shades that come my way. Last week at Winners I snagged butter London’s Poole for $12CAD; I had drooled over it last summer but felt that I had several shades similar. Turns out, indeed I do – but it’s different enough to justify owning it and I love it all the same
I also grabbed China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint at Winners at the same time (on for $5CAD). Green is NOT my polish colour of choice – unless it’s pale/pastel. I had bought butter London’s Bossy Boots last year for that reason, but I find it’s yellow-leanings don’t do my hands any favours. I’d hoped Re-Fresh Mint with it’s cooler tones might make up for that error….sadly, I dislike it even more than Bossy Boots! UGH this looks terrible on me – it’s like white-out with a drop of green food colouring mixed in (got St Paddy’s Day and green beer on my mind, I guess lol) and aside from it looking awful on my skin tone, the formula leaves much to be desired. Two thick, gloopy coats are required (actually, it’s the only option – thin coats are impossible as it streaks and balls up on itself in seconds) so if I’d actually wore this as a mani (I only put it on for this swatch) then dry time would be atrocious. NO THANK YOU
In the spirit of Radiant Orchid Madness 2014, I ordered Essie’s Splash of Grenadine from NPC last month, and guys – I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS COLOR!!!!! I think it’s the prettiest nail polish colour I own, seriously. It required three thin coats to reach opacity, but the little bit of extra time is totally worth it!
My photos don’t capture the gloriousness, but trust: this polish is LOVELY.
You may have noticed that I failed to mentioned the beautiful bright pink polish to the far left, Dior Bloom. Fear not, my dear friends – THAT baby is going to have a separate post all to it’s own
What shades do you like to wear in spring? Are you more of a pastel girl, or do you prefer brights? Do you like / can you wear green nail polish? ~shudders~
This is going to be a post with many pictures and few words. After a week where I was falling asleep by 9:30pm, now I’ve had insomnia the past few nights so I’m gonna try and get some shut eye early this evening!
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m all about pushing a huge pink/red theme in all things beauty. I’ve been rocking a serious pink flush and juicy pink lips every day this week so far, and have a pretty pink mani to boot! If you’re on the hunt for pink or red makeup and polish this week, look no further – I’ve gotcha covered
Let’s begin with some cool pink blush and lippies:
Left to right: Kat Von D Backstage Bambi, Illamasqua Divine, Buxom April
Though my skin truly leans neutral, I still find that blue-based pinks are my JAM and really pop on my skin tone. Love ‘em!
Next we have some warm pink cheek and lip colours:
After doing these swatches, I think I should have swapped the Chanel blush for Illamasqua Unrequited, as the former is more cool and the latter is more warm. Oops ~shrugs~ Some of the ‘warm’ pink lippies are probably more neutral in tone, but you can see they’re not that cool when you compare them to the ‘cool’ lip colour swatches above. It’s all about comparing and contrasting!
Bringing a little more sass and edge, red is a great alternative when you don’t want the sweetness of pink. Sadly, I do not have a great stash of red blushes (horrors!) but I plan on picking up MUFE’s Scarlet Blush/Eyeshadow in the near future. I don’t really feel that I need more than 3 reds – one warm, one cool, one neutral – but goodness knows I may change my mind if I find a few good ones. Red blush seems hard to come by!
Red lips, however, and happily bountiful with SO many options to choose from, it’s just plain crazy.
Left to right: Becca Papaya, NARS Turkish Red (discontinued)
I find my red lippies all look the same in swatches…and in real life, they are quite close. L’Oreal’s Endless Red is obviously more glossy, and MUFE’s N46 is slightly more blue-based, but overall they’re all close in shade. Time to diversify, methinks! An orange-red is my next purchase
Finally, we have some pretty pink and red polishes for you to peruse! Though I don’t profess to wear much of either shade, I have a reasonable size stash of both (though again, the red lacks variety):
Front row, left to right: Zoya Kissy, China Glaze Ahoy!, butter London Snog, L.A. Girl Hyper, Essie Muchi Muchi, Rescue Beauty Lounge Poco a Poco
Back row, left to right: China Glaze Ruby Pumps, Essie Limited Addiction, American Apparel Downtown LA, butter London Come to Bed Red
So there you have it! A few ideas to get your mind going (and perhaps your wallet screaming?). I picked up a couple more pink items this past week which I hope to show you before the 14th. Time to get girly, ya’ll!!
Do you wear pink makeup or nail polish? Is red a staple colour you wear or do you shy away from it?
Yay!! Danielle of Bloomin’ Beauty tagged me to do a Lipstick Tag, which has been making the rounds in the blogsophere for a while now. I was desperately jealous of everyone else doing their tags and showcasing their enviable collections, and now I’ve gotten my chance! Truth be told I was probably just gonna do my own solo post if I didn’t get tagged, but thankfully Danielle saved me from the embarrassment hehe.
Let’s get started, shall we?
1. How many lipsticks do you own?
A meager 19 lipsticks (in blogger terms)….plus 16 samples. BAH, those samples are the bane of my existence! First off, I hate mini sizes of any makeup, it just annoys me. Second, it makes it seem like I have way more lippies than I do, and so I feel bad about buying anything new. Ergh.
2. What was your first lipstick?
Absolutely no clue…maybe MAC Freckletone? Though I’m certain I had some sort of drugstore lipstick as my first (ugh maybe one of the super-old-school CoverGirl ones that always turned red on my lips no matter what the colour! ~shudders~) Anyway, the oldest lipstick in my current collection is MAC Russian Red. How classic
3. What is your favourite lipstick brand?
MAC is what I have the most of, but I think the Buxom Full-Bodied formula is my fave, and those little samples get the most love from me (half because they’re so comfy to wear, the other half because I’m trying to get rid of the damn things so I can buy a full size!).
4. What is your most worn lipstick?
Aside from the aforementioned Buxom samples, MAC Dare You seems to be the most worn. I’m sort of surprised by this because I don’t feel like I wear it a ton, but I’ve had it a while and it used to be my go-to daytime red (Russian Red used to be for most bold looks…now I just wear it when I feel like it ;)). Another lipstick that has gone through it’s paces is my Ellis Faas L102 – I wore that a TON last year, though the packaging doesn’t give me any way to know just how much is used.
5. What is your favourite lipstick finish?
A creme finish all the way! By that I mean, not glossy at all, but just just a touch of moistness. Lips look luscious and feel great! I will admit however that I do love a matte when my lips are in shape to pull it off!
6. What was your last lipstick purchase?
When Sephora had their $20 off $50+ late last year, I picked up NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita, a perfect looks-good-on-everyone shade of reddish-rose. I wanted to finally try the Velvet Matte pencils, and I also wanted to check out one of the iterations of Dolce Vita from the brand. It’s a gorgeous colour that gives lips that just bitten look and works in all seasons. However, my lips are too flaky this winter to wear much of anything more than a balm, which is super-frustrating. I’ll get my chance soon enough I hope! One odd point about this lippie though – does anyone else have a strange issue with the cap where it seems like there’s extra air or something and the top pops off if you don’t push it down very firmly? So weird…
7. How many lip products are in your bag right now?
One. Giorgio Armani’s Rouge d’Armani in 606, which I bought in NYC I always rotate out my lip colours each day and bring with me only the shade(s) that are part of my makeup look that day. ANAL MUCH? Why yes, yes I am
8. What is your favourite red lipstick?
I do love Russian Red, but I think of the handful of reds I own (almost all very similar in tone LOL), I like the way Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Rouge #8 looks the best (and the wear time is unbeatable!). It’s really the perfect ‘throw on and go with hardly any other makeup on’ kinda colour.
9. How do you store your lipsticks?
Haphazardly until tonight Recently I rearranged my lippies to be seasonally appropriate – so the ‘winter’ shades were in my makeup drawer, and all my other shades were in my train case with the rest of my ‘seasonal’ shadows, blushes, foundations, etc. But as I’m trying to use up my lip colours in order to buy new ones (weeeee!) I figured they should all be in one spot. Behold my new system (for lipsticks, anyway)!
10. What lipsticks are your currently lusting after?
I plan on buying Givenchy’s Le Rouge in Carmin Escarpin when the next Sephora sale comes around Other than that, I don’t have any BIG lemmings…a few small ones, but let’s ignore them and hope they go away lol.
Oh dear, now I have to tag people! Good grief, I’m sure everyone has done it by now!! How about I just put out the invite to ALL OF THE PEOPLE who would like to share with us their lipstick collections And if you want, feel free to answer in the comments below too! In fact, I encourage you in the comments to at least tell me: How many lipsticks do you own?
“A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones.” Sounds quite fabulous, no?? I have to admit, every year Pantone piques my interest in their Color of the Year choices, and this year’s selection, Radiant Orchid, is no different. And it’s so darn wearable!! I can see this being one of the biggest hits out of the more recent colour selections because anyone can pull this shade off, even the most novice of makeup wearers.
To show you just how easy it can be, I’ve rounded up my top colour picks I plan to incorporate into my own routine!
1. Ilia Beauty Lip Gloss in Love Buzz ($24CAD), a cool pink with a blue undertone.
2. Benefit Lollitint ($36CAD), a candy orchid shade.
3. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in Pourpre Preview ($36CAD), the perfect orchid.
4. Essie Nail Polish in Splash of Grenadine ($7.95CAD), a playful magenta pink.
5. Stila Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Primer + Shadow + Liner in Pink Violet ($29CAD), a warmed up, medium violet with sparkle.
While I was searching for ideas for products in the colour range, I really tried to stick to the swatch above, as some examples I came across looked far more lilac to me than orchid. But let me note that I DID start my search first in my own stash to see if I had anything suitable. I was surprised to find that overall, I really didn’t! See below my paltry collection of orchid tones:
Left to right: Sephora Disney Collection Ariel Mermaid’s Song Lip Gloss in Dream Girl, Kat von D Spellbinding Lipstick in L.U.V., MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Fashion Boost, American Apparel Nail Polish in Neon Violet
The A.A. Neon Violet nail polish isn’t really orchid but it’s sort of like the electric version of what I imagine the shade to be (and is MUCH brighter in person than photos). The rest are closer, though the MAC lip pencil is more fuchsia and the Kat von D lipstick is more purple; the only one I really feel is right on is the Ariel lipgloss. In any case I clearly need to pump up my orchid-tone makeup and polish, so the list above will definitely be helpful in that task!
Do you get into the ‘Colour of the Year’ fad? Which shade has been your favourite so far? Do you have any orchid shades you can already use?
Here is my Tom Ford comparison post as promised! I’m pleased to say that I don’t have any ‘dupes’ within my collection, which helps to make more expensive purchases like these much more enjoyable, no matter how fabulous they are
I’ll begin with the polishes:
In the bottle, it’s clear that none of these are copies of Bordeaux Lust (though you’re not wrong that the Essie and OPI shades are QUITE similar, urgh). Even after 1 coat, Anja is out of the running. The 3 other shades however, look strikingly alike.
However, after a second and then third coat, the vampiness of Bordeaux Lust becomes readily apparent:
Though it appears only a touch darker than Lost on Lombard, as a full manicure it’s vamp qualities far surprass the dusty, muted quality of the OPI shade. Essie’s contender is far too bright to even be in the running. Win number one
The Lacquer in Black Sugar is next on the hit list:
Though the shade is not replicated in my collection, it does comes close, though darker, to Commander in Chic, another fave shade. Ingrid is too brown, and Paradoxal has too much purple to be a match. Score number two!
Following the polish success, I had to check out the Lip Colour in True Coral against my existing red lipsticks. I suspected it wouldn’t have an equal, but there were 2 shades in particular that I thought may compare.
Russian Red is a very bold red that is almost as stand out as True Coral; MUFE’s N46 leans more blue but in swatches it looks quite close as eell. Though it’s difficult to see the differences between the 3 shades in swatches (though easily apparent in the photo of the bullets, above), trust me when I say that aside from it’s coral tone, True Coral retains a brightness that makes it quite different than your standard red.
Finally, the item that I felt I would most likely have a comparable facsimile – the Cheek Color in Flush. Like many blush fiends, coral blush is sort of an obsession, as it just looks so. damn. good. Surprizingly, I don’t own any shade that is exactly the same, though a few look similar once worn. Let check them out!
In the pan, Flush and Boys Don’t Cry look very alike aside from the slightly glowing quality of Flush, while BDC is completely matte. When worn lightly, the two do look quite similar on the cheek, but in swatches you can see that BDC is much deeper in tone. I love them both equally, truth be told
Otherwise, the swatches reveal that none of the shades are quite like Flush, though Coral Crush comes close in the depth of pigmentation and finish – though it’s much more pink. Happily, I feel entirely justified in owning Flush, though I think I REALLY need to take a break on the coral blushes, eh? I think I’ve got enough for a few lifetimes, anyway!
When you are a makeup junkie, its always nice to be able to validate your purchase with evidence to prove that you are not, in fact, just purchasing the same shades over and over – a feat that gets harder the more your collection grows. While I have significantly reduced the amount of makeup I buy and am much more selective in my purchases, replicates are bound to happen – you can only have so many shades, right!? Nevertheless, I think I did fairly well with my Tom Ford splurge, and am enjoying every item with relish. Ultimately, that’s what counts, AMIRITE???
What have you splurged on lately? Do you have a hard time avoiding ‘dupes’ in your collection?
Sooo….I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday!! I have been living it up in a big way, despite the fact that I came down with a wicked cold two days before Christmas :S Probably why I haven’t yet shaken it a week later, oops! Nevertheless, I didn’t let it stop me from having a really lovely holiday I hope you all had the same!
I have so many products to write about that it’s kind of criminal. I feel particularly guilty that I haven’t shared with you the handful of Tom Ford goodies that I picked up while in New York – I mean, it’s TOM FORD guys, probably the ultimate in luxury cosmetics (in no small part due to the price lol).
First up, the nail lacquers. I have been searching for a great deep red polish for a while now, and none were doing the trick for me – either too dark veering on black, or too light. When I visited the counter at Bergdorf Goodman, I had a plan that I was going to buy a polish, lipstick, and blush from the brand. As soon as I saw the shade Bordeaux Lust, I knew I had found a winner!
Bordeaux Lust ($32US) is truly the perfect shade of dark red – it’s clearly not black, but it’s more vampy than your typical red. It’s got a somewhat sheer, slightly jelly-ish formula which adds to it’s uniqueness – from reviews I know that some dislike this aspect, but I actually like the way it looks, and it’s UBER glossy on it’s own. Due to the formula it does require 3 coats to avoid streakiness, but again, I’m so pleased with the colour that it *ain’t no thang*
Sexy, no??? IRL it’s even more fabulous. All I’m sayin’ is that I LOVE THIS COLOR and I don’t even mind the insane price tag. Also, the bottle shape with it’s clean lines and dark bronze cap with just a hint of gold is totally up my alley. This checks all the boxes for me!
Next we have the shade Black Sugar ($32US), which I picked up separate from my initial Tom Ford splurge, at Saks on Black Friday. I had seen this shade in swatches several times before and it intrigued me with it’s secret red shimmer in a perfect mauve-taupe base.
Of course, as with most secret shimmer, you really can’t capture it once worn on the nail, and in particular with this polish it’s next to invisible altogether, even in sunlight. Kind of a bummer, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me too much – guess I’m getting used to these kinds of polishes pulling fast one on me. I’m content to admire the shimmer in the bottle – although I’m hoping that in the more sunshine-y days (of which we have been lacking of late) I’ll get a surprise glimpse here and there.
The formula of this one was good – two coats here, and easy-peasy application with a great viscosity that allows it to dry in a reasonable amount of time. It’s not as glossy as Bordeaux Lust, but a top coat would fix that right up. I really enjoy shades like this and find they work on a variety of skin tones, so another thumbs up here!
Moving right along, we come to the covetable Lip Colour, a creamy lipstick that has a wonderfully opaque finish. After trying on several ‘nude’ shades at the Bergdorf counter that just didn’t do it for me, the SA Maria (SO great, by the way!) tried out the fabulously bright True Coral ($49US), a punchy coral-red that pretty much forces you to stand out anywhere you go.
The formula feels great on the lips, creamy but not slippery and long-lasting – it’s such a rich colour that it stains the lips, leaving considerable colour behind so touch-ups are required less frequently. If you have particularly dry lips, you might want to put a bit of balm on first, as while it’s not drying, its slightly matte and that combined with the outrageous colour can make dry flakes noticeable if your lips are parched.
It was hard to capture the coral aspect of this shade in photos – it tends to look just like a bright red, but trust me when I say that it’s not nearly that simple. It has an almost neon quality to it that makes it completely unique to most reds I’ve ever seen! Its not a shade for the faint of heart, that’s for sure – but if you like bold colour, this is a great bet.
Finally, probably the item you’re most interested in – THE BLUSH. I present to you the Tom Ford Cheek Color in Flush ($56US). I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Pow!! Look at that colour, will you? How can you resist a bright, gorgeous coral like this one? And it obviously compliments the lipstick perfectly, which was actually just a happy accident.
Maria told me that the blush was extremely pigmented and only required the slightest touch of brush to pan to pick up plenty of colour. How right she is! The blush packs a serious punch with only a hint of effort. Its finely milled, super-soft texture blends out beautifully and is a great shade to brighten up the face, stat. I don’t have a shortage of shades like this, truth be told, but nevertheless this has become one of my go-to’s since purchasing it – which is good because the cost is kind of crippling, hey? It’s unlikely I’ll be buying anymore Tom Ford blushes, but I’m certainly happy to have this one in my possession nonetheless
Below are a couple shots of me wearing the lipstick and blush so you can see them in real time. I also want to point out that I’m wearing nothing else aside from the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light (all over) and Radiant Light (on cheekbones). I hadn’t seen them in action before in pictures and I am HELLA impressed at how well they blur imperfections! My skin is in pretty good shape right now due to my organic skincare regime (which I promise to write about soon!), but I still have some unevenness which needs attention. I’ve been preferring to skip foundation altogether lately to keep a more glowing look to my skin, and these powders have helped that cause immensely. Oh, and also – no mascara!! Witness again the amazingness that is XLash growth serum. I honestly think I might have to buy a barrel of this stuff, I still can’t get over the difference in my lashes. SO good.
Overall, my first foray into Tom Ford Beauty has been a complete success. Despite the fact that these 4 purchases did some significant damage to my bank account, I am 100% pleased with them all so the cost doesn’t hurt my heart (much). In terms of originality, I think Bordeaux Lust and True Coral stand out the most, while Flush is one of many coral blushes on the market and you may find one better suited to your chequebook. Black Sugar looks original but I’m sure there are similar shades available as well. Stay tuned for a comparison post for all, just to cover the bases!
Hiiii guys! Is everyone making it through the holidays ok so far??? It is FLYING by for me, every year I seem to be busier than the last! This is the first time in a week that I have sat down in front of my MacBook at all…and work has been so busy that I can’t get any personal stuff done there like I used to (LOL!). I just realized that I hadn’t shared with you the new position I’ve been in for the past two months – I’m working with our Communications team on an acting assignment, and it was SO. GREAT. My main task is to write and/or upload articles to our internal webpage, and the set up is just like WordPress, so I took to it pretty quickly – uh, hello, I like to write and I have a blog; what a PERFECT position for me! I think I’ve found my niche, guys! It’s only a short-term position, but it’s given me some much needed career direction, so I’m feeling really great work-wise lately
However, due to the mega-busy factor in all areas of my life, I have fallen behind on my blog posts – and one item in particular that I have been wanting to review for several weeks now: Make Up For Ever’s new Midnight Glow palette!
If ever there was a palette that captured the essence of winter, this would be it. Inspired by the glistening effect of the winter moonlight, the Midnight Glow palette ($48CAD) contains icy shades of white, blue, grey, and pink; a shimmering violet; and two grounding shades of black and soft brown. Honestly, it’s one of the prettier palettes I’ve come across, and it’s just the perfect size – the shadows are large enough to actually get right in their with your brush (and conveniently, the palette comes with two of it’s own!), but it’s small and thin enough that you could stash it in your clutch for touch-ups with ease. The case is black with splashes of rose gold and silver design – in a word, I love it!
The shadows in the palette are relatively smooth even though the majority contain small bits of glitter throughout their frosty finishes. Now, everyone knows that high frost shadows can be tricky to wear – particularly on aging eyes, but still difficult for those of us without too many fine lines yet. I was a bit nervous about this palette, despite how much I love how it looks, that it would be a shimmering disaster once worn. However, the shadows are all on the sheer side – a fact that initially I was frustrated over (the swatches required many passes to get strong colour), but to which I came to realize allows them to be more easily worn as a wash of shimmer and sparkle on the lid, versus intense frost that could easily veer into the danger zone. Also, I really appreciate the inclusion of the two matte shades, the black and brown, which allow for blending and grounding of such sparkling shades. Both shadows are also quite sheer, which may not be ideal for certain looks – especially with the black – but I think it follows the theme of the palette which seems to be more ethereal in nature, rather than disco ball.
Though the sheerness does mean that many of the shades look similar once worn, I do appreciate that nevertheless the palette is made much more wearable by this trait. It may come as a disappointment to those of you looking for a more intensely frosty look, but overall I think that it’s not a bad thing. I don’t have many frosty, glittering shadows, and I think it will add the perfect touch of sparkle to my nighttime looks over the holiday season (and beyond!).
What kind of makeup looks do you favour during the holiday season? Are you comfortable wearing frosty shades?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
So, despite the fact that of all the sets I received last month for review, I was MOST excited for Laura Mercier’s Artist’s Palette for Eyes ($60CAD) – it’s taken me ages to post about because I really wanted to do it justice. But DAMN guys, this palette is hard to photograph!
The light shades looked far too bright and almost glowing. The medium shades came out too light and washed out. The glorious sparkling shade, African Violet (which, by the way, I’ve been drooling over forEVER) didn’t come out quite sparkly enough. The dark shades…well, you get the picture. I did 4 different photo sessions with this palette, and suffice to say, I just had to get on with it already. But unfortunately for you, the ‘good’ shots came after I uh, already played around with the palette a bit. You think I could hold off for that long!?! Pfffft.
You’ll just have to deal with it.
In the shot above, the shades Guava and Primrose on the left are lighter and a bit less pink than in they appear. Plum Smoke (SO hard to capture that shade) is a touch warmer and lighter…the rest are fairly accurate. Let’s see a close-up!
Sparkling Dew and Vanilla Nuts (WTF?) are a bit lighter in the pan and are great for highlighting the eyes – the former having a satin finish and the latter being matte. Guava and Primrose would be excellent neutral shades to brighten up the eye, Primrose being a bit more beige-y – both have a satin finish with itty bits of glitter in each (not a fan usually but they pretty much blow away the instant to put brush to pan). African Violet (swoon) is a gorgeous light-medium violet with golden shimmer…I’ve had my eye on this baby for years so I’m pretty stoked to finally get to try it out! Fresco is a perfect matte nude on my lid that is a touch warm to keep it from looking flat – sort of a mix of light brown and peachy-pink (if that makes sense).
See those bits of glitter in Sparkling Dew and Guava? Weird, right? They’re less noticeable in Primrose. Still, odd inclusion – but they aren’t problematic when worn.
Next 6 shades:
Plum Smoke is my fave shade next to African Violet in terms of color – such a beautiful, sultry yet subtle soft matte plum; the name is perfect. Bamboo is a shimmering taupe-y shade that personally falls kinda flat for me – it’s too washed out for my skintone – but I can see others LOVING it. It also contains that strange hint of glitter here and there. Kir Royal is a medium-deep plum with reddish tones – this requires appropriate use an execution to avoid that mega-tired or punched-out look. It has a mostly matte finish but not flat. Truffle is a great matte warm brown that works well as a crease shade to blend out smoky looks. It’s going to be a workhorse for me I can tell. Violet Ink is a deep indigo that would be awesome as a liner shade or smoked out in the crease/outer edge of the eye. Same goes for Espresso Bean, a dark cool brown with a hint of grey. Both are matte.
And again, swatches:
This half of the palette is my JAM. Love the soft smokiness of all the shades, and I think even though Bamboo isn’t the most complimentary tone on my skin, I can make it work.
Ok, so you’ve seen the pretty – how about the formula? Well, each and every shade is super soft and lovely, though this does mean they kick up powder a little bit. They’re more on the sheer side though pigmentation can be built up if so desired. All the shades meld seamlessly with one another and for this palette-phobic girl, they pretty much hit the mark dead-on.
Here’s the thing. I read Karen’s review of the palette and couldn’t quite get what she meant about the shades blending into one another and being a bit aggravating that way. I tend to be a one to two shadow girl, and I didn’t have any previous issues in using them. But when I tried to pull a more intricate look together, I totally got what she meant – it’s like they just muddy together to make one shade; there’s no gradient or definition, and the more I tried to add to the look to build up certain colors, the worse it got. It was almost like they were repelling one another…totally bizarre. So it’s something to keep in mind if you do, in fact, want to be a bit of an artist with this palette. You might have a little bit of trouble on your hands!
Quite honestly though, I wouldn’t let this oddity deter you from at least checking out the palette in store. The shades are all quite nice and it’s extremely wearable. And, hello with that fabulous faux croc case!!! LOVE it. And it fits right into the palm of my hand – perfect for travel or for just storing with your other products, as a few of you mentioned those bulky palettes can be the WORST. Overall, Laura Mercier gets my vote, bizarre shadows be damned. Maybe the ‘artist’ part is that you’ll gain MAD skill at application after using this palette a few times!
OK, what say you? Yay or nay to THIS palette!?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Some of you may already know my avoidance of palettes. I think I’m in the minority in my feelings, it’s true…but to put it plainly, palettes have most everything I dislike in the world. Too much choice (anxiety! which shades to choose?), plus more often than not there are several colors that end up never being used, which to me is a waste (HUGE pet peeve). Also, I have generally found that palettes have a lesser formula than their permanent, single counterparts, which just plain pisses me off. Having said all that, I think there is enormous benefit to palettes for the right kind of person – if you love options, playing around with shades and creating different looks, and/or if you’re just building your shadow collection, they’re quite the ideal purchase, and they’re usually a great bang for your buck. If I was to choose a palette for whatever reason, the pre-requisites would be a good array of wearable shades (but not TOO many number-wise), great quality, and, of course, sexy packaging. How does Kat Von D’s Spellbinding Eyeshadow Book ($65CAD) that has come out for the holidays measure up? Let’s take a look.
First of all, the packaging. While I’m not over the moon about it (I’m a big fan of a sleek look with minimal design and perhaps leather or metal (like) encasing….but I already said I was picky!), it’s not terrible. The artistry here is attractive and eye-catching. It’s thin and not too bulky, though all said it’s about the size of my palm spread wide. It’ll do.
On the backside, you get an idea of what shades are contained within, with an additional note that the shades are already ideally paired for you. This is great if you’re someone who isn’t confident in their shadow-combining capabilities.
There is an emphasis throughout the whole schema of the palette on layering and really playing with shade pairings to get unique and interesting looks – once you open the palette, on the inside of the top cover you’ll see more suggestions and diagrams on how to match and wear shades to create your own ‘works of art.’
In the eyeshadow portion of the palette, there is a plastic insert which covers the shadows, that reiterates the shade names for your reference. The ones marked with a star are never before seen shades exclusive to the palette. I have no idea where some of the shade names originate from – such as ‘stupid autocorrect,’ which is slightly humorous if not a bit strange. Each of the pairings do have complimentary themes however, and I do like this consistency.
Below are the shades without the plastic cover, in all their glory:
My first thoughts were that the palette was somewhat haphazard and that there didn’t seem to be much continuity with the shades or the placing of each. However, when you look at them as pairs of twos, they are quite complimentary to one another; and when you look at each row together, you start to see a theme for each column which actually makes sense.
The first column of shades is sort of like your standard, smoky plus pale metallics/shimmers night-out kind of tones – shades you may already have in your possession:
Swatched (note that I stupidly did all of my swatches in this post backward – my bad!!):
Queen is one of a few duochrome shades in the palette, and the one with the strongest duo-coloring. It reminds me of MAC Club, and also of an existing shade within Kat Von D’s Shade Shifter range that Maggie reviewed in the past. While I have neither, I’m kind of excited to try this shade out, as it’s has a lot of interest and I think you can make some great looks with it. It also has a great, smooth pigment. The other shades in this column wow me a lot less: Smile Now is a soft peachy pink with a soft formula that has a slight duochrome finish as well that I just could not capture – I think one someone with fair skin and blue eyes this would be quite striking, but on me I suspect it’ll fall flat. Instaglam and Holy Bible are the kinds of pale frosty shades I hate, as they look very garish on my darker skin. However, the texture of the two is quite good – smooth and creamy. Sunset Blvd is a gold shade with gold glitter that has a stiff texture and a fair bit of fall-out – not my jam. Dark Throne is not quite black but more charcoal, and is a touch patchy, but blends out well and has a soft texture though not as creamy as some of the others.
In the next column, we have a handful of more edgy, eye-catching shades – not your standard fare and great for when you wanna mix things up a bit. For whatever reason, they kind of give me a 60s vibe:
Bukowski is a great medium blue shade with a hint of teal – great pigmentation and a lovely formula. Cry Later is a mid-tone warm brown with fine gold glitter – it has a bit of fall-out, but the glitter is actually quite pretty and its one of the few times that I appreciate it’s inclusion. The formula is more stiff, like most of the shades with glitter in the palette, but only slightly and feels smooth to the touch. Stupid Autocorrect is soft and smooth, but the pigment is lacking which is not ideal with a unique shade such as it is – go bold or go home! Oddfellow is one of those shades that catches your eye – a deep, dark green with bright emerald glitter flecks – but those flecks don’t translate to the eye. The fall-out isn’t as bad as it could be, and the shade had a nice dark pigmentation so it’s not a complete loss. A bit stiff, again, but workable. 8 Bit is a pretty seafoam green with a lovely texture – but not necessarily MY kinda shade, nor is it terribly unique. Finally we have Precious, yet another super-light shade that probably looks great on fair skinned gals but just YUK on me. Formula is good – smooth and creamy – but somehow a bit chunky as well. Weird.
In the third column are what I like to think of as our pastel, girly shades. They have a spring-like quality to them, even though I didn’t notice it until I swatched them:
Aside from Countess, a nice matte (the only one) skintone shade (smooth though a bit stiff), and Geek, a pretty satin peach (soft and smooth), the rest of the shades leave me cold. Again, these light colors on my skin tone – gah!! On the right person, they would likely sing, but on me…ugh. Arcadia is a pale lavender frost with a creamy formula that has that same odd chunky quality like Precious. Galore…ANOTHER pale frost that looks the same-ish on my skintone as a couple of the other shades (smooth/chunky formula). Birdcage is one of those shades I want to look nice on me but doesn’t – kind of a duo-golden green that would rock on a brown-eyed gal. It has a stiffer formula however. Babe is an electric purple with a blue flash that people often seem to go ga-ga for…myself excluded. Stiffer texture and takes a bit to build up.
Finally, in our last column we have a handful of jewel-tone shades – THESE kinds of tones I can get behind!! Come to mama:
Though I’ve previously documented my love of red shadow, I’m not sure about WTF – it might to TOO red? I haven’t yet tried to wear it so I’ll reserve judgement for now. It’s got a stiffer formula which doesn’t endear me to it a ton. Wonderland looks great in the palette, but like Oddfellow, doesn’t translate as well on the skin – the red glitter particles blow away and all you’re left with is a a deep reddish plum. However, the formula is more like Cry Later (smooth) than the other glitter shades, so it’s workable. Hexagram is a lovely taupe-like shade with a khaki lean and a duochrome flash – quite unique I think! It reminds me of a more aggressive NARS Rajasthan (the golden taupe shade), which is one of my faves. Awesome, creamy formula here. Gunner is a forest green and one of the worst performers of the bunch – dry, stiff, lackluster pigment with glitter fallout…just overall a disappointment. Fallen is a great staple bronze shade with a stellar formula and dense pigment – not original, but a great shade for all nonetheless. Piaf is probably one of the shades I’m most pleased to have, as I’ve been needing a nice gunmetal shimmer for some time now but hadn’t made a purchase. It leans cool and has good pigment and a creamy formula.
Ok. So first of all, clearly I have high expectations – have we gleaned that yet? What can I say? I expect the best. Having said that, despite my clear distaste for some of the shadows in this palette, there are actually a handful of really wonderful shades and formulas that I’m super keen to use like crazy: Queen, Cry Later (formula is a tad iffy but shade is great), Bukowski, Geek, Piaf, Fallen, and Hexagram. That’s 7 shades out of…24??? Eeks. See, THIS is why I don’t like palettes so much. I’m pretty much a one or two shade wonder and rarely play around to come up with intricate looks – so all these shades will probably go unused for the most part – and I hate having all these other shades kicking around when all I wanted was a handful! ~sigh~
Anyway, if you don’t have bizarre *excess* issues like I do, I think this palette definitely has some value (speaking of value, the shade costs on their own would total $130CAD, versus the $66 cost of the palette). Though there are a few shades I felt repetitive (namely, Instaglam, Precious, and Galore, which have minimal difference between them), the range of color is quite encompassing, and you really could come up with a huge variety of looks if that’s your thing. There are a few shades that could use an upgrade in formula, but it’s mainly limited to the glitter shades which we all know are more often than not a hassle. If you read other reviews of the palette, they’re mostly positive and are coming from people with NORMAL feelings toward palettes, so there’s that. And I mean…it IS kinda pretty to look at all the colors, no??
Are you a bit crazy when it comes to palettes? How do you (mentally) DEAL with the shades you don’t use??
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Even though Halloween hasn’t yet passed, the holiday push has been full-on now for most of October. While in some ways this really annoys me (and I’m honestly the very SPIRIT of Christmas…when December 1st hits!), in others it does get me a little bit excited for the season, and what better way to usher it in than with a slew of awesome makeup and skincare sets! These are something you can benefit from well before Christmas, or if you’re more charitable than I apparently am, start purchasing for gifts so that you’re good and ready once Christmas hits. Either way: BRING. IT. ON.
After trying out the Buxom lipstick set last week, I was sure that the Kat Von D Spellbinding Lipstick Set ($47CAD) wouldn’t even come close in terms of wowing me like those lipsticks did. While the texture isn’t nearly as creamy, these lipsticks still pack plenty of punch in their own right. And with ten shades to choose from, you’re bound to find one or two to rock your world!
Kat Von D’s Painted Love lipsticks are said to be rich, long-lasting, moisturizing, and wearable, and the ten shades in the set have a variety of finishes, from matte to metallic. Paraben-free, each mini-bullet in the set is 0.042oz – full-size lipsticks are 0.11oz and go for $23CAD, so you’re getting quite a deal here at almost half the price (the set is about $112/oz; a single full-size lipstick is $209/oz). With a good range of shades, I think it’s a great opportunity to try out Kat’s line without committing to a full-size lipstick (and a chance to get your hands on a few never before seen shades* as well!).
Left to right: A Go-Go (reddish coral), Underage Red (bright crimson), Bachelorette* (dark fuchsia pink), Mau5* (deep pinky purple) , L.U.V.* (rich violet), Backstage Bambi (hot pink), Lovecraft (berry beige), Ritual (terracotta suntan), Vampira* (deep reddish burgundy), Thin Lizzy* (metallic rusty red)
Thin Lizzy is truly the only metallic of the bunch; the rest are all cremes, which is OK with me as I prefer that finish anyway! Below, I have a few lip swatches of the shades I was most interested in (as well as a few comparison shots) – I would have done them all, but my lips have been seriously flaky for the past few weeks with the weather finally turning cooler, and I didn’t think they’d take too kindly to me trying 10 different shades on top of the swatchapalooza I had last week with the Buxom lippies.
Lovecraft is a great neutral shade that doesn’t look lifeless or flat on my lips, which I appreciate, as I struggle with that at times. A great staple shade, and thankfully part of the permanent lineup.
Ritual reminded me of NARS’ Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in More, which I purchased last fall. In truth, Ritual is slightly less brown and more wearable than More, as evidenced below:
Ka-POW!! This is one bold lippie! L.U.V. is eye-catching and fun but somehow remains quite wearable even in it’s brightness – I find it quite flattering on my skintone (remember my discovery of all things fuchsia!?).
IRL Vampira looks a bit darker and more vampy on me (more like the swatch), and I’m loving it. I have a ton of very similar red lipsticks already, so this is a nice addition that brings something new to the table entirely. And it’s kind of PERFECT for fall!
Each of the lipsticks have a very typical ‘lipstick feel’ to them – they are not particularly lightweight or creamy, but they apply with relative ease, feel comfortable to wear, and sit well on the lip. I’m not entirely sure I’d purchase a full-size (although if L.U.V. was permanent, I’d be terribly tempted!), but I am enjoying playing with the set and find I can get quite a variety of looks from them all. If you’re a lipstick gal and love having options, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
Do you like lipstick sets? Or would you just rather buy one or two full-sized shades?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.