Posts Tagged Urban Decay

Operation Reduce: Eyeshadows, Part III

I’m back with another instalment of my challenge to reduce the number of eyeshadows in my collection! Today we’re going to tackle some of the more neutral shades from the Urban Decay BoS III palette, as well as a couple from the Kat Von D Spellbinding palette (which has also been completely deconstructed and the packaging thrown away, huzzah!).

Let’s dive right in, starting with everyone’s favourite eyeshadow shade, taupe!

Urban Decay Bordello

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Ok, I tricked you a bit here, because while I compared Bordello to numerous purple-leaning taupes in my collection, Bordello is actually more of a mauve. It didn’t really have any identicals in my stash, but there were a number of shades that looked close, so I swatched ‘em all for good measure.

IMG_3518 IMG_3519Left to right: MAC Sable, Urban Decay Rehab, bareMinerals Meteorite, Sephora + Pantone Tuscany, Urban Decay Bordello, MAC Shale, Le Metier de Beaute Corinthian, Hourglass Exhibition duo (pale lilac-taupe side)

IMG_3522Left to right: MAC Sable, Urban Decay Rehab, bareMinerals Meteorite, Sephora + Pantone Tuscany, Urban Decay Bordello

IMG_3521Left to right: bareMinerals Meteorite, Sephora + Pantone Tuscany, Urban Decay Bordello, MAC Shale, Le Metier de Beaute Corinthian

IMG_3520Left to right: Urban Decay Bordello, MAC Shale, Le Metier de Beaute Corinthian, Hourglass Exhibition duo (pale lilac-taupe side)

Swatched on my darker skin, it looks the most similar to the pale shades of Hourglass’ Exhibition duo. This is unsurprising to me, because Bordello doesn’t look very nice on my skin tone – too light and too greyed out – and neither does the Hourglass shade. Since I LOVE the deep eggplant side of the Exhibition duo, I’m not getting rid of that anytime soon, so Bordello can hit the road – I don’t need TWO unflattering shades in my collection!

*On a side note, though I seem to have quite a few, purply-taupes are not generally my friends. As mentioned, if they lean too grey, they tend to wash me out terribly. My favourites from the above are Urban Decay’s 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Rehab, bareMinerals Meteorite, and MAC’s Shale. It is entirely likely that I will be getting rid of the Sephora + Pantone shade, and I’m battling with keeping LMdB Corinthian – it’s much-loved by the beauty community, but on me it looks kind of blah. ~cries~ 

Onwards! Next we have the blacks/charcoals/dark browns from my collection (hint: there aren’t many!).

Urban Decay Perversion & Kat Von D Dark Throne

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IMG_3417Left to right: Laura Mercier Espresso, Urban Decay Perversion, Kat Von D Dark Throne

It’s probably strange to compare brown to black, but truth be told – I never use these kinds of shades (sacrilege, I know), so any deep dark shade like this is all one and the same to me. Which is to say, I only NEED one – and the winner here is Espresso, since it comes in the only palette I have left – Laura Mercier’s Artists Palette from Holiday 2013. The other two are fine, but as you can see, Perversion isn’t all that black, and Dark Throne (which to be fair is a charcoal shade, not black) is kinda patchy. Bye bye!

Finally we have a whole slew of pale shimmery shadows from both the UD and Kat Von D palettes…let’s get this over and done with. These shades are the bane of my existence!

Urban Decay & Kat Von D Light Shimmery Blah Blah Blah SMACKDOWN

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Displayed together, you can see some similarities, yes, but I bet to most of your eyes there are also quite a few differences, eh? HA, I say to you. Behold:

IMG_3516Left to right: Urban Decay Maui Wowie, Kat Von D Precious, Kat Von D Galore, Kat Von D Instaglam, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Kat Von D Holy Bible, Urban Decay Uzi

IMG_3514Left to Right: Urban Decay Maui Wowie, Kat Von D Precious, Kat Von D Galore

IMG_3510Left to right: Kat Von D Instaglam, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Rides Again 

IMG_3508Left to right: Kat Von D Holy Bible, Urban Decay Uzi

As you can see, these are easily grouped into three separate areas in my swatches, and each section has almost no discernible difference on my skin. In the first, the more golden shades, Maui Wowie stands out the most – but I hate that it has glitter bits in it. The fallout doesn’t look too bad here, but it annoys me when I wear it, so it’s going. The other two were in the SAME PALETTE and yet look almost identical on my skin. I decided to keep one, Galore, which is a hint more rose-gold on me and therefore makes it better :)

In the second grouping, Instaglam has better pigmentation than Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, and it doesn’t have that blasted glitter – you can see the fallout here more plainly. UGH. However, truth be told I wouldn’t wear either of these shades much, if at all – too frosty and garish on me – so I’m getting rid of them both.

Finally, we have the frosty whites. I FREAKIN’ HATE these kinds of shades, and I’m dead serious when I say that I will skip a palette altogether (no matter what size) if they have a shade like this in there, because I’ll NEVER use it. I know some gals of darker skin use these to do really dramatic looks, but even at my most OUT THERE in terms of makeup, I still wouldn’t go this all-in. I just can’t, you guys! I guess I’m a more natural girl at heart than I even realized. And so, sayonara to both Holy Bible and Uzi (like I’d keep that fall-out-tastic shadow anyway! BAH!).

Urban Decay Snatch

I was just about to do a recap, stating that I have now finished swatching all the BoS III shades, when I realized I never talked about Snatch. Oops!

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I missed this one because I thought I had no similar peachy shades in my collection. However, I just happened to have MAC’s All That Glitters sitting here next to me, and I thought I’d compare the two just for the hell of it.

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I sure am glad I did! Though these are exact dupes, they’re close enough for me – and I love All That Glitters so much, that I’d never choose Snatch over it. I was going to keep it by default since I didn’t have a close match, but now that it clearly does – one more down! Yeehaw!

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OK! Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows III swatch-a-thon – COMPLETE. Let’s do a recap thus far: of the 16 shades in the palette, I am keeping a mere 6 (Suspect, Smog, Radium, Haight, Psychedelic Sister, and Rockstar). I’ve also made great headway with the Kat Von D palette, so far eliminating 7 shades (Bukowski, Babe, Gunner, Dark Throne, Precious, Instaglam, and Holy Bible) and keeping 5 (Fallen, Wonderland, 8 Bit, Stupid Autocorrect, and Galore). Only 12 more to go!

I am TOTALLY buying a few of the shadows on my wish list after all this is done! :)

Do you have any goals set for an ‘appropriate’ number of particular beauty products (eg. only 20 lipsticks, 40 eyeshadows, etc.)?

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Operation Reduce: Eyeshadows, Part II

Hooray for getting on the ball again! After being re-inspired by Maggie and her recommended viewing material (Tati’s Makeup Graveyards), I got back into the swing of things and started going through my eyeshadows and meticulously swatching each to see which should stay and which should go. I was on a TEAR yesterday, you guys! Highly recommended watching these kinds of videos while culling your stash – it made me more ruthless than ever! Continuing on my ‘palette cleanse’ (hehe), I finished weeding through the shades from the Urban Decay Book of Shadows III and started attacking the Kat Von D Spellbinding palette. Exciting!

Check out part I of Operation Reduce.

Without further ado, let’s see what made the cut (and what didn’t)!

Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister & Kat Von D Babe

IMG_3374Clockwise from bottom left: Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister, MAC Paint in Infamous, and Kat Von D Babe

I’m not generally a fan of violet eyeshadow, truth be told. I love deep dark shades like eggplant or plum, but more vibrant shades like these tend to look a bit garish on my skin (at least I think so). I rarely wear any of the shadows above, so it was time to make an ultimate decision – to stay or go?

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The MAC Paint is incredibly old and the shade long since discontinued. I keep hanging on to it for sentimental reasons, which I don’t do very often, but it’s like a relic now! And it’s not dried up and crusty, nor does it separate or smell bad, so I’ve been unable to part with it thus far. Perhaps it’s time has come?

MAC vs Urban Decay vs Kat Von D shadow swatchesLeft to right: MAC Infamous Paint (d), Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister, Kat Von D Babe

Upon swatching these, it was immediately clear to me that Babe has got to go. It’s too light for my skin tone, and since I don’t do complicated eye looks EVER, I know I’ll never use it as an accent shade or anything of the like. Psychedelic Sister is somehow both bold yet a touch sheer, a combination I don’t particularly like on my skin tone. I do like having a variety of shades however, so I initially put it in the ‘maybe’ pile. I was gearing up to also let Infamous go, as it does apply a bit patchy, when I decided to experiment by putting that on the eye first and then layering PS over it. BOOM! It paired beautifully with PS and gave it more depth of pigment – win win win! I’m actually excited to wear this combination now :)

One down!

Urban Decay Radium

IMG_3426Left to right: MAC Paint in Blue Boy, Urban Decay Radium

There wasn’t any real doubt in my mind about keeping Radium – for a bright eye it’s one of my favourite shades to wear (it’s what I’m wearing in my ‘About Me’ photo, so yea – I kinda like it!). In this case, I was more trying to find a reason NOT to keep my other ancient MAC Paint, Blue Boy – a fun shade to be sure, but one I never ever wear.

IMG_3422Left to right: MAC Blue Boy Paint, Urban Decay Radium

In comparing the two, initially I was disappointed to see that they aren’t the same shade – Blue Boy is more blue, while Radium takes on an almost teal look next to it. However, Blue Boy has really had it’s day – when I tried the same layering trick with it and Radium, it applied WAY too patchy (much more than Infamous) and it doesn’t enrich Radium but makes it somehow less wearable.

I feel no sadness in letting this one go – it’s time has come, and I’m ok with that :) Out it goes!

Urban Decay Kush & Kat Von D Gunner

IMG_3462Clockwise from left: MAC Jealousy Wakes, Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 8E, Kat Von D Gunner, Urban Decay Kush

Clearly, none of these greens are really very similar, but it’s a another shade I find I don’t wear very well, so I put them all into one pot to see which one would come out on top. The rest – sayonara!

IMG_3465Left to right: Kat Von D Gunner, Urban Decay Kush, MAC Jealousy Wakes, Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 8E

Maybe it’s just my bias, but I don’t really think any of these look very good! Gunner wouldn’t be too bad if it had better pigment (and lost the glitter), but if you recall from my original Spellbinding palette review it was one of the worst of the bunch. Kush isn’t terrible, but again I feel like it’s too light for my skin tone – where are the deeper jewel tone shades, huh? – and I’d rather turf it so I can buy a great deep green than hang on to it just because. Jealousy Wakes has a stiff, slightly gritty formula which I don’t like very much, but layered over a dark shadow it’s quite pretty, and I’ve decided that it’s the only green I’m going to keep for now until I find something better. MUFE’s 8E is my favourite SHADE of the bunch, but I’m tired of avoiding this formula because it’s so dry and hard to apply and smudge out.

Three of the four are getting the boot here! Yeehaw!

Urban Decay Money & Kat Von D 8 Bit

IMG_3473Left to right: Kat Von D 8 Bit, Urban Decay Money, Maybelline Shimmering Sea

Obviously, Shimmering Sea is only here for comparison purposes, as there is no way I’m giving this baby up – I love it too much! The other two look similar in the pans, but there are discernible differences (hard to tell in this light – my sun went away :() – are they enough for me to keep them both?

IMG_3478Left to right: Kat Von D 8 Bit, Urban Decay Money, Maybelline Shimmering Sea

8 Bit is definitely more of a teal-blue, while Money is more of a pale sky blue – Shimmering Sea just looks at the both of them and is like ‘Pfffft. That’s all you got? Where’s your GOLDEN SHIMMER DUOCHROME?’  O_o

…ANYWAY, while neither 8 Bit nor Money are the kind of shades I wear often, 8 Bit has such a lovely, smooth formula (while Money is smooth but has gritty glitter in it), and I CAN wear this as a pretty wash of colour easily. And it would probably layer over Shimmering Sea very nicely! So, in this round – Money = 0, 8 Bit = 1.

Urban Decay Last Call & Kat Von D Stupid Autocorrect

IMG_3490Left to right: Urban Decay Last Call, Kat Von D Stupid Autocorrect

I really love the way Last Call looks in the pan – all rich burgundy gorgeousness – while Stupid Autocorrect (what a name!) looks muted and dull by comparison. Nevertheless, I swatched the two just to be sure.


IMG_3498Left to right: Urban Decay Last Call, Kat Von D Stupid Autocorrect

…which didn’t help me much at all! The two are incredibly similar, with Last Call being slightly darker but overall similar in tone. I decided I’d need to try them on my eyes to really see what was up. Surprizingly, I found Last Call to be just a hint too purpley-red and metallic on my eye, and gave me kind of a sickly look, while SA’s more muted tones worked well in it’s favour. I debated on the two for ages, but in the end knowing that I tend to wear more simple eye looks, I went with Kat Von D’s version because I knew it would get more use.

So there you have it! I think that Part II went swimmingly – I’m making real headway with condensing my eyeshadow collection, and I’m even more pleased that I’m taking those bulky palettes and reducing them to just a handful of shades I’ll actually wear. Get ready for Part III, which will focus on the last of those two palettes – I hope to post on that later today.

I’m feeling lighter already!

Are you doing any kind of inventory of your own makeup? What is your ideal size for a makeup collection?

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Operation Reduce: Eyeshadows, Part I

You may have noticed that there have been less makeup reviews on Beauty Obsessed over the past few months. Aside from our big push to save money for a substantial down payment on a new home, I’ve also been in the mood to pare down my makeup (and polish) collections, and adding new items to it at this stage would be a bit counterproductive. While I have made small strides toward this goal, this weekend I finally sat down and really started to do some serious clearing  out. The first up on my hit list were 100+ eyeshadows.

IMG_3311My shadow collection, give or take a few.

As I’ve mentioned time and again, I have fallen a bit out of love with eyeshadow – while I still love all the pretty colours, I tend to favour a minimal eye look day to day, focusing more on bold lips to be the star of the show. I suspect over time my preferences will change, as things go, so rather than get rid of previously loved shades (which I’m sure I’ll love again at some point), I’m turning my eye toward removing any duplicates to decrease the number of shadows I have.

urban decay book 4I don’t even have a pic of my own palette, because as soon as I depotted the shades I turfed it, TOOT SWEET.

I am not a lover of palettes, nor will I ever likely be – all that choice, all those colours in one bulky place! Nah, too stressful for this here gal. And so it was that I began my weed-through there, starting with my oldest palette – Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows III.

Containing 16 shadows, the BoS III was probably the gateway product that turned me into a full-fledge makeup junkie. The buttery textures and variety of richly pigmented shades was impossible to resist. At first, I used it all the time….but over the years, it fell out of grace due to its bulky packaging. On embarking on my pare-down plan, I decided that depotting was the way to go with this beast, and away I went!

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Today I begin with the first five shades from the palette that went through a rigorous swatch- and comparison-fest: Smog (bronze), Haight (bright teal), Rockstar (deep eggplant), Suspect (golden taupe) and Loaded (blackened teal green).

SMOG & HAIGHT

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Smog is a gorgeous bronze shade that leans more brown than reddish or golden. On my skin tone its quite complimentary, and has enough depth and pigmentation to be a one-and-done shade for me. Haight is a bright tropical teal that always draws me in, yet requires a little bit more effort to look appropriate on my darker skin.

IMG_3207Left to right: Smog, Haight

Just for fun, I paired the two together in an eye look to see if Smog could ground Haight and make it more wearable:

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Sorry for the lack of shots capturing the whole picture – I was bound and determine to be a fuzzy-headed slob yesterday, and I didn’t want to subject you to that horror. Suffice to say, with a bit of liner and mascara, the whole look (Haight on the lid, Smog in the crease) came together really well, and I will definitely be repeating it on a day when I actually leave the house. It’s fun and summery without being too bold.

IMG_3231Clockwise from left: Clinique Rum Spice (d), G.Armani #6 Khaki Pulse, Kat Von D Fallen, UD Smog  

Now for the dupe hunt! Starting with Smog, I pulled all of my bronze-like shadows and swatched each one to see how they’d measure up.

IMG_3225Left to right: G.Armani #6 Khaki Pulse, Kat Von D Fallen, UD Smog, Clinique Rum Spice (d) 

While there are similarities between the shades, none of the above are dupes, and as I do tend to favour bronzy shadows, I am keeping all four.

Moving on to Haight, I only had one shadow in my arsenal that resembled the shade – Kat Von D’s Bukowski:

IMG_3234 IMG_3239Left to right: Kat Von D Bukowski, UD Haight

As you can see, these two are extremely similar – if you want to get nit-picky about it, Bukowski is a touch more teal with slightly less shimmer, while Haight is brighter and more blue. Tomato, to-ma-to, they’re close enough for me! As both shades have the same smooth, buttery texture and great pigmentation, I decided to keep Haight over Bukowski because it’s smaller in size (0.8oz as opposed to 1.4oz) since its not a shade I’d wear often. When the time comes (soon!) to depot the Kat Von D palette Bukowski is in (the Spellbinding one from Holiday 2013), it’ll be finding itself a new home somewhere else!

Two down, three to go!

ROCKSTAR, LOADED, AND SUSPECT

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Rockstar is a lovely deep eggplant shade that doesn’t veer too blue or too red, and hence is likely wearable by most skin tones. Loaded is a beautiful blackened teal that is a bit more muted applied, but still gorgeous. Suspect, well-loved as you can see, is a super-wearable light golden taupe-y shade that adds a touch of brightness to the eye area without being very obvious. All three of these shades are right up my alley…but the question was, did I have any similar colours kicking around?

IMG_3205Left to right: Suspect, Loaded, and Rockstar. 

Again, for fun, I did a quick eye look using all three of these shades to see how they played together (Fall prep, methinks!).

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You can see the neat flash of teal green that Loaded provides; paired with Suspect all over the lid and Rockstar in the crease, I think this ended up pretty decent as well. Subtle, but with interest. Next time I’ll be sure to use a primer, which I think will help the shades reach their full, fabulous potential.

I had several contenders for each of the shades above; let’s begin with the most dupable shade, Suspect.

IMG_3271Clockwise from bottom left: NARS Rajasthan duo (golden shade), Laura Mercier Bamboo, MAC All That Glitters, Urban Decay Suspect, Kat Von D Precious

On lighter skintones, I suspect (haha) that the nuances of most of these shades would be readily apparent. However, on my darker skin tone, I find that they lose their uniqueness quite quickly:

IMG_3261Left to right: LM Bamboo, NARS Rajasthan, UD Suspect, MAC All That Glitters, Kat Von D Precious, Kat Von D Galore (I threw that one in for my own comparison purposes but forgot to take pics first, oops!)

Though you can see the graduation from dark to light, there are a lot of similarities here, which happens to me a lot when dealing with sort of champagne-type shades. Ultimately though, only the NARS Rajasthan golden shade is close enough to Suspect, and for me it’s enough to feel likeI don’t need both.  Let’s take a closer look.

IMG_3292Left to right: UD Suspect, NARS Rajasthan

I can’t believe I never noticed how similar these two were! The shade from the Rajasthan duo up close has more nuances than Suspect, and is actually more pigmented as well, so it should be a no-brainer to decide which one to keep. HOWEVER, there are two factors at play here. 1) Suspect has hit pan, and therefore could conceivably be finished in the next few months with diligent use (and who doesn’t like a REAL LIVE MAKEUP EMPTY??) and 2) the other side of the Rajasthan duo is a blackened teal, much like Loaded up there, and so we’ll need to investigate that first before making any decisions.

On, on!

IMG_3278Clockwise from left: NARS Rajasthan duo (teal shade), theBalm Jealous Jordana (depotted), UD Loaded

Next up in the dupe war is Loaded and it’s dark teal goodness. Though I don’t wear it often, I love this kind of shade – so mysterious and sexy ;-)  However, I don’t really need THREE of them. Let’s see how they fare in swatches:

IMG_3295Left to right: NARS Rajasthan, UD Loaded, theBalm Jealous Jordana

All three are definitely in the same vein, with Loaded having the most teal flash of the three. Though the texture of the teal side of the Rajasthan duo leaves me a bit wanting (it’s a little stiff), there’s something to be said for the convenience of having the two shades together. To be sure, I did another set of swatches, this time with the teal Rajasthan shade swatched wet to see if it had more depth of pigment (which is ultimately what matters to me in this case).

IMG_3298Left to right: NARS Rajasthan (swatched wet), NARS Rajasthan (dry), UD Loaded, theBalm Jealous Jordana

Clearly, swatched wet, Rajasthan is a whole different ballgame, and thankfully made the decision easy for me. Bye bye, Loaded & Jealous Jordana! Nice knowing you (no really, it was – we had some good times)!

Urban Decay Rockstar shadow comparisonLeft to right: UD Rockstar, Hourglass Exhibition duo (violet side), Kat Von D Wonderland

Finally, we have Rockstar in all it’s plummy glory. In my head, the shades above were all close matches, but upon pairing them side by side, I can easily see that’s not going to be the case. Eh. Let’s go through the motions anyway to satisfy our curiosity!

IMG_3248Left to right: Hourglass Exhibition, UD Rockstar, Kat Von D Wonderland

Nope, no dupes here – not by a long shot. Rockstar lighter than both the other options and by far more frosty, not to mention much cooler than Wonderland. Looking at these three side by side however, DOES make me like Rockstar a little less – it seems almost gaudy by comparison. For the time being, I’ll hang on to it as it seems I don’t have anything like it…but time will tell if I decide to keep it around or eventually let it go.

O-KAY! So, after today’s endeavours, I’ve managed to decrease my shadow collection by three (counting Kat Von D’s Bukowski when I get around to depotting those shadows). Not too shabby. At the mo, my entire collection (palette shades and all) consists now of 106 shades. My goal is to get this down to at least under 100, and I may not even stop there. One thing about paring down is that you can eventually start making way for new stuff! An activity I am wholly looking forward to, I readily admit.

Are you doing any makeup house-keeping lately? How many eyeshadows do you own?

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How Convenient That Pantone’s Color of the Year Was Also PERFECT for St. Patty’s Day!

So.  Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day!  7 years ago (OMG how time flies…barf) I was in Dublin for Paddy’s Day (as they shorthand it in Ireland), and yea…it was as crazy as you’d imagine it to be!  Not so much a drunken mess, but just the sheer amount of people…yowza.  It was a fantabulous time, and I’ll never forget it!

As the years pass, it seems the crew of hardcore Paddy’s Day party-goers dwindles in my crowd – job responsibilities, babies, and aging in general all seem to keep everyone at home on one of the most fun days of the year ~tear~  Thankfully, I have an excellent partner-in-crime who I can always count on to celebrate with me!  This year it was just the two of us, so it was more low-key than usual, but I still made sure to dress the part – which includes green makeup (and nails), of course!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (5)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (7)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (4)

I usually do a lot more green on the eye, but since it wasn’t a rip-roaring party I went subdued and just wore a simple flash of green liner on the top lash line.  I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liner in Covet (an emerald green with silver microglitter) on top of MAC’s Blacktrack Fluidline – the black gave the green more depth and helped the line look more crisp.  I added MAC All That Glitters shadow all over the lid, as I find it gives the most beautiful shine to the eye without ever seeming like too much, and then a dab of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill shadow in #6 Khaki Pulse to the crease to add a little bit more depth.  *Side note – anyone notice that I’m trying to grow my eyebrows out?  It’s so frickin’ hard dude!  I want to pluck all the random stray hairs but I’m trying to be patient ~sigh~ They are coming along though :)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (2)

Since it was going to be a long day, I wore MUFE’s HD Blush in #12 First Kiss on bare cheeks, layered foundation on top, and then added a touch of MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Early Morning to make sure my blush had good staying power.  I quite liked the way it made my skin look kind of lit from within.  I don’t usually layer cream and powder blushers but I really need to get on that!  I topped off my cheekbones and other high points of the face with MAC’s Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl, which gives the best glow – I finally got my hands on the Year of the Snake version last week and I LOVE this product.  Review will be forthcoming!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (3)

I finished with a very simple lip using Benefit’s Ultra Plush gloss in Hoola.  I didn’t want anything competing with the green liner, so this gave the barest hint of shimmer and warmth, but that’s about it.

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013

Of course, the look isn’t finished – gotta get some flash on the nails too, right!?  Because I’m not a fan of green nail polish as a whole, I don’t actually own any that are going to give me serious pizazz.  But I have shades with a green tinge… haha.  I made it work, I think!  I just read about sideways manicures, so I tried it out – easiest nail art EVER.  And also my new favorite!!

St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (3) St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (2)

The shades I used were a-England Tess d’Urbervilles as a base, and Chanel Peridot on top.  This was probably more subtle than I should have gone with – the nature of Peridot with it’s duochrome nature just makes the a-England shade look like a shadow.  Nonetheless, I loved the effect, and loved how darn easy this one (no nail stickers required – freehand works perfectly!), so I’ll definitely be trying this again and again with other shades.  Fun!

I always have intentions to get these kinds of event posts up before the actual event, but who am I kidding?  That’s never going to happen – I’m too busy prepping for the occasion to actually have time to post!  LOL  Anyway, all the other bloggers have got this covered for me :D  And it’s not like I did anything particularly unique, and both the makeup and nails could be done any time of the year, right?

How did you celebrate Paddy’s Day??  Did you do any themed makeup and/or nails?

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Swatching Is Rough (AKA My Eyeshadow Collection)

Eyeshadow Collection (3)

I was going to leave my eyeshadow collection ’till last to swatch in my ‘find the gaps’ series of posts, but the superstorm (which…is kind of lackluster – yea, there’s lots of snow, but I want some action, darn it!) seemed like the perfect time to just get ‘er done – so I did!  Oh man…for those of you who have larger collections than mine, I feel sorry for you if you attempt to do this – it is a BIG EFFING ORDEAL.  I started last night and got just over halfway through before both (!) arms had had enough.  I continued today and after needing to re-swatch several shade categories to get them *just right*, my left arm is just burning (as you’ll notice in the photos – red spots galore!).  So: enough.  I’m ready to rock ‘n roll.  Now – let’s get into ‘er!

Note: All shades are permanent within their respective brands except where otherwise noted.

WHITE EYESHADOWWhite Eyeshadow Swatches - AVON, Urban Decay UziAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (satin white)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Uzi (shimmer w/glitter) (LE)
 
‘HIGHLIGHT’ EYESHADOWHighlight Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE 920, KATE BR-2, MAC VexMake Up For Ever Star Powder in #920 (iridescent)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (white gold pearl)
MAC Eyeshadow in Vex (frost)
 
NUDE EYESHADOWNude Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Next to Nothing, Laura Mercier Suspense, Burberry TrenchMAC Eyeshadow in Next to Nothing (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – frost) (LE)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte cool beige) (LE)
Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench (satin)
 
BEIGE, CHAMPAGNE & PEACH EYESHADOWPeach-Champagne Eyeshadow Swatches (9)Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (shimmer w/glitter)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #13 Warm Beige (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveille (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snatch (shimmer w/glitter)
Kate Real Create Eyeshadow BR-2 Palette (soft peachy shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Arena (satin)
 
GOLD EYESHADOWGold Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Melon, Laura Mercier Gilded Moonlight, Clinique Gold GlimmerMAC Pigment in Melon (frost)
Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Color in Gilded Moonlight (pearl) (LE)
Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes in Gold Glimmer (shimmer) (discontinued)
 
COPPER & ORANGE EYESHADOWOrange-Copper Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Amber Lights, Ardene 8BMAC Eyeshadow in Amber Lights (frost)
Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B (pearl)
 
BRONZE EYESHADOWBronze Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Cocomotion, UD Smog, MAC Tempting, Clinique Rum SpiceMAC Pigment in Cocomotion (frost) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Tempting (lustre)
Clinique Color Surge Super Shimmer Eyeshadow in Rum Spice (shimmer)
 
BROWN EYESHADOWBrown Eyeshadow Swatches - MAC Dark Edge, KATE BR-2, MUFE #17, Laura Mercier Suspense DuoMAC Eyeshadow in Dark Edge (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (deep brown shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #17 Espresso (matte)
Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte burgundy brown) (LE)
 
TAUPE-BROWN EYESHADOWS
Brown-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Suspect, NARS Rajasthan, KATE BR-2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (shimmer)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (beige-gold taupe) (shimmer) (LE)
KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (taupe shimmer)
 
TAUPE-PURPLE EYESHADOWS
Purple-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Grand Palais, LMdB Corinthian, MAC Shale, bareMinerals Meteorite, Hourglass ExhibitionNARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (silver-taupe shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (mauve shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Shale (satin)
bareMinerals High Shine Eye Color in Meteorite (frost)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Corinthian (shimmer)
 
RED & PINK EYESHADOWPink-Red Eyeshadow Swatches - L'Oreal Golden Mahogany, Chanel Abstraction, Avon Smokey EyesL’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany (frost)
Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction (shimmer)
Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (matte light pink)
 
MAUVE & ROSE EYESHADOW
Rose-Mauve Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Bordello, UD Last Call, NARS Grand PalaisUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Bordello (shimmer w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call (metallic)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (matte dusty rose)
 
PLUM EYESHADOW
Plum Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Habanera, UD Rockstar, Hourglass Exhibition
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (sparkling plum)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rockstar (shimmer)
Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (eggplant shimmer)
 
PURPLE EYESHADOW
Purple Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Psychedelic Sister, MAC InfamousUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister (shimmer)
MAC Paint in Infamous (metallic) (discontinued)
 
BLUE EYESHADOW
Blue Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Radium, MAC Blue Boy, MAC Blue EdgeMAC Paint in Blue Boy (metallic) (discontinued)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Blue Edge (matte w/shimmer) (discontinued)
 
AQUA & TEAL EYESHADOWS
Teal-Aqua Eyeshadow Swatches - NARS Rajasthan, theBalm Jealous Jordana, UD Loaded, MUFE #8E, Illamasqua Burst, UD Money, NARS Habanera, UD Haight
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (blackened teal shimmer) (LE)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Loaded (metallic)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Jealous Jordana (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 8E (matte)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Haight (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Money (shimmer w/micro-glitter) (LE)
NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (mint frost)
 
GREEN EYESHADOW
Green Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Kush, LMdB Jade, UD Mildew, MAC Sharp, Lise Watier Folie Pomme, MUFE #57Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Kush (shimmer w/micro-glitter)
Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Jade (shimmer)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mildew (shimmer)
MAC Eyeshadow in Sharp (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE)
Lise Watier Couleur Folle Eyeshadow in Folie Pomme (iridescent shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #57 Chartreuse (satin)
 
YELLOW EYESHADOW
Yellow Eyeshadow Swatches - MUFE #24, MAC Bright Future
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #24 Yellow (matte)
MAC Eyeshadow in Bright Future (
 
KHAKI EYESHADOW
Khaki Eyeshadow Swatches - Armani #24, Armani #6, Clinique Autumn Moss
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow in #24 Smokey Copper (shimmer)
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 Khaki Pulse (shimmer)
Clinique Color Surge Soft Shimmer Eyeshadow in Autumn Moss (satin)
 
TAUPE-SILVER EYESHADOWS
Silver-Taupe Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Maui Wowie, Bobbi Brown Pewter, theBalm Insane Jane, MUFE #2Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Maui Wowie (metallic w/glitter)
Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter (frost) (LE)
theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Insane Jane (shimmer)
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #2 Steel (shimmer)
 
GREY EYESHADOW
Grey Eyeshadow Swatches - Avon Smokey EyesAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (medium grey & dove grey) (shimmer)
 
BLACK EYESHADOWS
Black Eyeshadow Swatches - UD Perversion, MAC Dark SoulMAC Pigment in Dark Soul (frost w/glitter)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Perversion (matte)
 

….PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you make it??

Eyeshadow Collection (4)

…So.  To be honest, when I started swatching all my makeup, I was originally just trying to find a way to justify new purchases – if it could be considered a shade I didn’t already own, then I would feel free to go for it.  However, now I’ve discovered that being so fully aware of what I own, has made me really excited to play with my current collection, instead of seeking out new products.  I especially noticed this with this eyeshadow post – there are so truly fabulous shades in there!  While there are still of course colors I’d like to pick up to fill the gaps (namely – a lilac and a skintone [MY skintone, to clarify] shade, among a couple others), overall I’m WELL aware I have a ton of shades to rock out and don’t really *need* anything else at the moment.  I did notice I have a lot less color than I imagined, but that’s actually OK because I don’t tend to wear it a ton and try to avoid buying a lot of it only for it to go unused.  I think my stash is fairly representative of the kind of makeup I wear day to day!  So SCORE for being logical in my purchases :)

Eyeshadow Collection

I am kinda worn out from the work necessary to do this post, so I’m done now LOL.  But – I have questions for you!

Do you see any gaps that I could fill?  What shades make up the bulk of your eyeshadow collection?? Also – anyone bother to count how many shades I have?  I’m too tired now to bother LOL

Eyeshadow Collection (2)

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End of Summer Glow with Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzing Powder

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I struggle with bronzers – not necessarily how to wear them, but if they should be worn at all on my dark skin.  The main purpose of bronzer is to fake a ‘faux tan’ and, well…I kind of have that on the regular.  However, they ALSO are used to give one’s skin a healthy glow, and to this end that look is what I’m trying to achieve (I think).  Last year I thought I found ‘THE’ product in NARS’ Laguna Illuminator, however it contains sparkly bits that look unnatural in sunshine and are better left for evening events.  Earlier in the year I snagged MAC’s Refined Golden bronzer (which I think I’ve had before) via swap, but then I went away down South and was too tan for it to do much of anything.  I was hoping to get NARS’ Casino bronzer through another swap, but that fell through.  So all summer long I’ve been sans bronzer, which of course isn’t a big deal when you have 20+ blush to play with instead, but nevertheless, my hunt was not truly over.

A few weeks ago I engaged in a swap for a Too Faced Sun Bunny bronzer, and upon receiving it I was unsure how I’d feel about it.  While I’ve read great reviews about the Too Faced bronzers, they seemed so shimmery and unwearable when I swatched them in-store (hence why I swapped for it!).  I finally had a chance to try it on today, and I was very surprized to find that I really liked it!

ShadeSunFlash

The powder is smooth and finely milled, and feels soft on the skin.  Once on, it actually doesn’t look shimmery but rather imparts a great glow to the face.  I wore the bronze side mainly on the underside of my cheeks, with a light dusting around my temples, and then added a touch of the lighter side on my cheekbones for some extra illumination.  I kept taking photo after photo to see if I could ‘catch’ the shimmer in action, but all that appeared was a natural, warm radiance.

SunlightSunlight

I included an eye makeup shot because I was diggin’ it – UD’s Crash on the top lash line, smudged, and Lise Watier’s Gold Eye Shine underneath – simple and easy!

It’s been a terribly hot and humid summer, and today was no exception.  I applied this late in the morning and it’s still going strong sans primer 6 hours later, without making me look shiny or enhancing my pores.  It’s only slightly muted, and I’m still rockin’ the warm and glowy, without the greasy-shiny.  I’m definitely impressed!  This bronzer is described as a ‘year-round’ shade, and I can definitely see that working – for my skintone as well as others.  Blending the two shades together would create a lighter tone overall that perhaps even the fairest could use; however, it’s *just* deep enough for me, tanned, so it would be more of a highlight to anyone much darker than I (around NC42 for reference).

Flash

I have to admit, I don’t have much experience with Too Faced as a brand, but this bronzer far surpasses my expectations.  I guiltily am affected by packaging, and I find that the line leaves much to be desired – I know some find it whimsical, but I merely find it juvenile.  However, in this instance what you see is definitely not what you get.  The quality of this bronzer is quite lovely and the $36CAD (0.33oz) price tag is fairly easy to swallow, though of course I didn’t pay that price :P   I won’t go so far as to say I’ve found THE bronzer for me (I have commitment issues, OK?), but I’m definitely going to get use out of this product for the rest of the season and beyond!

What is your favorite bronzer?  Do you go for a matte, or a glow (or more obvious shimmer)?  What makeup do you wear to transition into fall?

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Summer Favorites (I Couldn’t Pick Just One!)

G’day to everyone!!  I have been MIA for a while, longer than usual anyway – I have a backlog of photos of products to post, but I can’t seem to get inspired to write anything about them!  Not that they aren’t all great in their different ways, but I guess I’m starting to feel like I’m just pumping out product reviews and not enough substance, you know?  I need some time to do some more FOTD’s with underused products – now THAT was fun :)

I’m also doing an overhaul of my makeup stash and letting go of even more products that I just don’t use.  I’ve been obsessing over my wishlist far too much and it’s getting to the point where I’m almost turned off the whole thing (as in, the buy buy buy! cycle).  I updated my swap list on MUA and have been engaged in several different exchanges, trying to acquire things that I’ve been lemming but are core color products of a brand – I want to save most of my purchases for seasonal items or ‘big-ticket’ purchases that aren’t so easily swapped for.  I’m thinking about doing a blog sale as well, though I don’t know how exciting some of the products may be…thoughts!?

In the meantime, I thought I’d do a ‘Summer Favorites’ rundown, versus my favorite of the month, because there hasn’t been just one thing I’ve been loving in July, but there have been a handful of things I keep returning to over and over!

Even though I love brights in the summer – vivid tropical hues that I never wear the rest of the year – I rarely have opportunities to wear them (I sometimes get ~crazy~ at work but overall I try to keep it appropriate).  Often, my palette includes more natural, glowing hues that highlight my tanned skin and healthy glow, rather than being in-your-face.  It’s one of the few times of the year where wearing less usually works to your advantage, and I like to capitalize on that!

I managed to snag Urban Decay’s ‘Lucky’ 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in a swap last year, and although I loved how it looked, I didn’t wear it too often.  However, this year in my effort to spread the love throughout my stash, I started playing with it more, and I think I’ve found my go-to makeup look: this, smudged over black eyeliner on both top and bottom lashes, enhances my eyes subtly but with a kind of bad-ass twist.  It’s been a staple in my summer routine many days now, and I absolutely LOVE it.  The metallic nature of this liner and the warm coppery hue, toned down a bit by the black, gives a depth to my makeup that is just perfect.

On days when I’m aiming to look even more natural, or to give a subtle glow to my look, I opt for MAC’s Melon Pigment, also another swap find (yay to being economical!), a peachy-gold metallic.  On fair-medium skin, I hear the peach tones help it look particularly striking, especially on blue-eyed gals.  On my skintone, it looks more golden than peach, and is fairly subtle – though it can be built up if need be, or applied wet.  With just this and a whole lot of black mascara, I can create a wide-open eye that catches the light just so.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I could even use this as a highlight on my cheekbones (though this probably only works for darker skinned gals).

The Milani Sunset Beach bronzer is one of the most inexpensive items in my stash, yet I wear this every day – the brownish tone is a slightly warm but overall neutral hue that works fabulously as a contour shade just under the cheekbone.  It’s not too orange or muddy, and it’s got a great pigmentation that’s not heavy but just right to work well in layers if needed.  If I’m in a hurry, buffing this on my temples, bridge of the nose, and just under the jawline as well gives me a great warmth and really makes me look polished with very little effort.

Obviously you’ve already heard all about my love of Chanel’s Inattendu polish – it’s just the perfect nude, especially for summer, when the warmer tones flatter skin so nicely.  And because I wear SO many brights this time of year, it acts as the perfect counter-point.  You really can’t go wrong!

MAC’s Lychee Luxe Lipglass is a glorious coral-pink shade with golden shimmer, and is so pretty on that I forgive it’s sticky texture.  I can wear this with a variety of looks, either bold eyes or more natural, with golds and brights and jewel-tones, and it works for each one of them.  On my somewhat pigmented lips and with my darker skin, it looks warm and juicy, giving my lips just enough color without ever being overwhelming or stealing the show.  While I have decided not to buy any more MAC Lipglasses because of the texture problem mentioned, I’ll be genuinely sad to see this one go – and it’s only got about 1/3 left!

While all of these shades work perfectly for day or night, I’ve generally been wearing only loose powder to lightly even out my skintone during the day.  When I’m headed to an event or out for the evening however, I like to look a bit more pulled together, and I’ve been using Make Up For Ever’s Face & Body foundation* in #18 ($40CAD) – a super lightweight foundation that covers imperfections without feeling heavy or like you’re wearing much of anything.  As it’s water-based, its quite thin and is perfect for the hot, makeup-melting days of summer.  It can also be built up to give extra coverage where needed – and can be used on the body as well (I love me some multi-purpose products!).  #18 (for medium skin with olive undertones) is a very good match for my summer-tanned skin, and is warm, not ashy, which is great.  I’m thinking about mixing a bit of this with my Hourglass Immaculate foundation when the cooler months arrive, as it leans a touch light and grey on me, and I think the two formulations will mix fairly well.

Here are some swatches of all the products above (left to right – MAC Lychee Luxe, MAC Melon, UD Lucky, Milani Sunset Beach, MUFE #18):

Artificial lightWith flash

Honourable mentions go to MAC’s Arena eyeshadow (I’m plugging that shade hard, aren’t I?) and some of my other fave polish shades – Essie’s Bikini So Teeny (can’t get enough), MAC’s Mischievous Mint (the bottle is half-empty – seriously!), China Glaze’s Pink Plumeria (look for an upcoming ‘combo’ post with this shade), and Deb Lippmann’s Daytripper (check it out below!).

Artificial lightWith flash

My mother keeps telling me I should be showcasing my polishes with color-contrasting objects, and I just happened to buy this especially pretty pale aqua throw pillows, sooo…

Pretty, huh?  Initially when picked this up, I was disappointed when I tried it on – it’s more of a jelly texture, which is great, but not what I was expecting.  And in artificial light, the shade fell a bit flat.  However, the next day, I totally turned the other cheek – I couldn’t get enough of how lovely it was!  It’s extremely shiny on it’s own, and so juicy – the jelly texture actually really makes it more than your regular coral polish, it just too this ol’ gal a little longer to see it ;P

What are some of your favorite summer items and looks??  Do share, I’d love to get some more ideas!

*Product provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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