I feel like when it comes to Smashbox, I've always kinda looked over their products. Not intentionally, I knew they had good products, I just never got into them so much. They are consistent. They are professional grade. They're a huge brand. In short they're almost intimidating. Not in a bad way though. I feel like for their price point, they're professional packaging that has no bells and whistles because it doesn't need it, and because they're aren't named as much as say Make Up For Ever or NARS within the beauty influencer and youtuber world, that's what makes them intimidating in a way. Basically, you know its probably gonna be good but are you sure you know what to do with it?? Cause let's face it unless we've seen 4,000 youtubers talk about 3 times a piece and use it, then we aren't sure if we're gonna use it correctly. (That part was a joke, relax) None the less, some of their products you don't hear much about.
Now some products you do. Their PhotoFinish primer the clear one, that's a cult favorite. Personally I like the Pore Minimizing (purple one) better. They have a whole range of those and they're all really good. The BB Cream is also a cult favorite. For yearssssss. At one point I'm pretty sure everyone in the world had tried it. Maybe not everyone but a lot. More recently they have had a lot of popular success with their Be Legendary liquid lipsticks which I must say are very good. I really enjoy them. Around Christmas they released several palettes for $29 a piece, which is very inexpensive for this brand, they have 6 colors in them and from what I can tell very consistent in quality. Although I've not seen as many influencers or youtubers talk about them, they seemed to be very popular with regular customers. I must say I find them beautiful, especially Smokey and Ablaze.
Moving onto the products I would like to talk about, these are newer and not much has been said as of yet about them that I have seen. I actually have only seen one talked about so far and it was only on Wane Goss' instagram post. So what I have here is:
⦁ Photo Finish Radiance Primer with Hylauronic Acid
⦁ Studio Skin 15 hr Wear Hydrating Foundation
⦁ Photo Op Under Eye Brightener
Pretty sure all of these are new I know the primer and the foundation are, can't be sure about the under eye brightener though, I don't think it really is. It looks like they've released a highlighting pen style called the Halo Wand with different shades that seems to be similar but much bigger than the under eye brightener, and it's actually a highlighter pen. The reason I make mention of this is because I don't care for the under eye brightener and to me with highlighting pens they're so subtle that many people use them under their eyes so perhaps that would work more so than this. Either way I wouldn't get the under eye brightener. I just wouldn't, it's too watery, it doesn't brighten and all I can see is that is has a bit of glitter. However that is my only fail product from them here and it wasn't a major loss.
What I want to talk to you about the most is the Radiance Primer. This is not something I really suggest for very oily skin because of the fact that it is a moisturizing primer, thanks to the Hyaluronic Acid. Now, if you are determined to try it then perhaps use it in place of your moisturizer although I don't really recommend you do that if you're going to lose out of some skin benefits (aside from hydration) that a moisturizer provides you with, that this does not. Don't compromise your skin care for a subtle, yet beautiful glow. You can accomplish a glow with other things if you're skin is more oily and can't handle this primer. For those of you that are going to give it a go I have a few thoughts on it. First of all, as of right now this can only be purchased on Smashbox.com. It is not in Sephora or Ulta stores or on their websites as of yet. I do think it will be eventually. So don't go scouring for it, it's only on Smashbox website. This is a peachy/bronze tinted primer but don't let that scare you if you are lighter in skin tone. I'm very pale and I still use this and enjoy it immensely. This is a golden bronzey color because it mimic "golden hour lighting". Which is essentially the one part of the day where the lighting is absolutely perfect for photos because the skin looks radiant and glowy against the golden and amber colors of the sun, but it is also gone super quickly. It's usually the first hour or the last hour of sunlight in a day, more commonly associated with the closest the sun gets to the horizon, so either sun rise or sunset. You'll hear in professional photography, or photography tips in general that time of day is super important. So what this product does is mimic the glow the actual "golden hour" would give your skin. So that it glows that way all the time. That glow comes from "Micro-fine amber & bronze pearls that create a warm glow" which in turn gives you the subtle golden tint of the product. Along with Hyaluronic Acid this also is packed with Shea Butter for all day moisture. Also it has "4K, high-definition spheres blur imperfections". If you're wondering what 4K means, it's basically better than HD. There are now cameras out that film in 4K to give you the most high definition of an image possible. As far as the claims of this product. I feel like they're true. I've used this everyday since I've got it, I apply it with a sponge everywhere except my t-zone area where I tend to get shiny at the end of the day. In which I use a mattifying primer in that area actually. This can be worn alone for a glow to the skin, under foundation as a back light effect or glow from within look, and on top of foundation on the cheek bones for extra luminosity because it is very luminous. It's not like a strobing cream or anything but you can't have crushed pearls and it not be luminous, you know? This is $39 for 1 oz. I personally feel like it's worth it. Especially if you have more dry skin. I believe the blurring claims are true. You don't need a lot of product either so I think they did a fantastic job with this. I don't feel like my skin has a golden or amber tint by any means it just has a nice glow to it that looks natural.
I do want to give you the ingredient deck. I'm trying to do that in my reviews more because it's useful to know so this is from the product page on their website:
"Water\Aqua\Eau, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Potassium Aluminum Silicate, Nylon-12, Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Silica, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tin Oxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491)] <ILNILN43325>
Please be aware that ingredient lists may change or vary from time to time. Please refer to the ingredient list on the product package you receive for the most up to date list of ingredients."
Moving on to the StudioSkin 15 hr Wear Hydrating Foundation. I thought I would hate this. I actually swatched it in store at Ulta, and was like "no" because it didn't dry down as quickly as other foundations so thus I thought it would stay "tacky" feeling for a while and I didn't like that. My friend then purchased it who has oily skin and told me that she loved it. So when she said that I was super intrigued because this is a hydrating foundation and most oily skin types steer clear from that. So I bought it online without swatching it again because I didn't want that to make my decision. When I got it I put it on the back of my hand and really looked at it. It was very luminous and then after about maybe 1 minute or less it had dried down to a satin/matte finish. I was absolutely shocked. It didn't oxidize. The color was dead on and you honestly couldn't tell I had foundation on my hand, my skin looked photo-shopped people! So I was super stoked for that. I tried it the next day with the Radiance Primer and I've loved it ever since. It's not heavy but I feel comfortable saying it's right at full coverage and even buildable on that. It's definitely more than a medium coverage, I think, although it isn't going to mask a tattoo or anything. As far as hiding blemishes and discoloration, I feel like it does that very well. I have minor redness and very few blemishes, if any at times, so I'm easy to please with the coverage aspect of foundations. I feel like this could be a foundation for every skin type though and I think that's truly amazing. I've never seen anything like it. It is super hydrating when it first goes on and then it dries to a beautiful satiny/matte/ but natural finish that looks like perfect skin. I full blown believe in this product kids! It's not as full coverage as Milani Conceal and Perfect but also doesn't look as cakey or show texture as that, nor is it as heavy. It's not as matte as Marc Jacobs ReMarcable foundation but again it doesn't show texture or dry patches like that one either. It's not a dewy foundation once it's dried down. I feel like it's a dream in a bottle and I full out bought this so I'm not sponsored. Pretty sure Smashbox hasn't ever read my blog or anything. I just really really love it and I don't know why more people haven't tried it or realized how good it is and I'm afraid it's because they're not giving it a legit try. This is $42 for 1 fl oz and they have 22 shades. As with most of their Photo themed products this is tested under different lights and photography labs. They are the "only brand with a Flashbox Photography Lab" where they can test the consistency of their shades in different lighting. Not just photography flashes but different natural light as well since light changes as the hours go on throughout the day. This is available at Sephora and Ulta as well as the Smashbox website.
Here is the ingredient deck and there is a seperate one for Canada apparently:
"All Shades Contain:
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Butylene Glycol, Trimethyl Pentaphenyl Trisiloxane, Silica, Phenyl Trimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Tribehenin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Methicone, Tetramethyl Hexaphenyl Tetrasiloxane, Phenyl Methicone, Dimethicone, Laureth-7, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cellulose Gum, Propylene Carbonate, Alumina, Xanthan Gum, Dimethicone Silylate, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin. May contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Butylene Glycol, Trimethyl Pentaphenyl Trisiloxane, Silica, Phenyl Trimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Tribehenin, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Methicone, Tetramethyl Hexaphenyl Tetrasiloxane, Phenyl Methicone, Dimethicone, Laureth-7, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cellulose Gum, Propylene Carbonate, Alumina, Xanthan Gum, Dimethicone Silylate, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)."
So that's that. Those are my thoughts. We had one miss but that's okay because the other two products more than made up for it. I truly underestimated Smashbox with these products and didn't believe they were going to live up to the claims or perform as well as they did and they blew me away so, I'm sorry Smashbox for underestimating you. lol
In both pictures below I'm wearing the primer under the foundation. The under eye brightener I just mixed in with my concealer to brighten it up. The 2nd picture I had been wearing the primer and foundation for about 6 hours or so.
Over the years, I've come to really enjoy sheet masks. They're my favorite. I love skincare, obviously, and I like all masks in general but sheet masks are my favorite because you typically don't have to deal with all the washing off like you do with mud masks. That can be even more time consuming. So I find when it's time for me to do a mask, I normally reach for a sheet mask. I like to do them at least twice a week but usually once a week. Normally after I've done micro dermabrasion with my PMD Microderm. So I thought maybe it would be cool if I started like a Saturday Night Sheet Mask post. I'll be honest I don't typically go out on the weekend. At least not much at night, except for the occasional movie or special date with my husband so normally we are home at night. So I thought for the rest of you that may have some low key weekends you might like this.
Also sheet masks, tend to have this unspoken gneeralization that they're all kinda the same. It's cloth soaked in product and basically that's just a good form of hydration for you skin. I will say that I find most all sheet masks happen to do exactly that but sometimes they do live up to their claims. The sheet masks I usually buy are: Calming/Soothing, Brightening, Firming, or Intense Hydration. I have gotten several pore minimizing ones before I can't say I've ever really seen one do that. I don't really want to buy purifying ones because I feel like mud masks do a much better job in that department. So I stick to basics with sheet masks. Plus I rarely need a purifying or clarifying mask and I don't really think much of anything has a long term effect on the size of your pores.
So tonight's sheet mask is new at Ulta from Leaders it was $6 (and excluded from coupons surprisingly enough). Called Caribbean Coconut Calming Mask and it's a one time use of course. I did my microderm last night and I don't feel well today so I figured that was the best choice. First let me say this think is kinda huge. The packet is quite big. When you pull out the mask it's also quite big. I won't lie I totally did this wrong at first. I didn't realize you had two sides of cloth to pull away. I thought you just separated one and it left like a silicone/gel base sheet and on the other side it was different so it was a very easy way to know what side went on you face. Well doing that makes it even bigger on your face and too heavy so it slides everywhere. Then I realized the other side comes off to and just the silicone/gel type sheet molds to your face and that part fit much better.
I left this on for about 20 minutes. Sometimes they get on my nerves because no sheet mask ever fits correctly. So long story short here's what I like: I love the silicone/gel mask I think that works best as a sheet mask and it doesn't absorb the serums and such into itself. I liked how there wasn't way too much product on my face to be rubbed in afterwards. Usually I have to wipe my hands off and go back in trying to rub it in this was just enough and it dried quickly while keeping my skin feeling very hydrated but not greasy, heavy or smothered from too much product. I also love that it definitely is soothing and is quite cooling on the skin and my skin is noticeably softer. The few things I didn't care for were: it had "fragrance" as a listed ingredient and it was kinda in the middle of the ingredient deck so that means usually that there is more of that ingredient in the product the higher up it is listed. The fragrance was quite strong and I don't like strong fragrance in anything at all really. Really those were my only qualms with this mask. I wish fragrance wasn't in it at all but still it is a good mask. I'm going to show you my fail and then how the actual mask looked once I figured it out. Forgive me though because it was only a screenshot while I was snap chatting with my friend. So I have an odd look.
This is the first pic where I didn't read the directions and the other wasn't taken off. You can see how huge it looked initially. Which actually the silicone part isn't as big and over sized, I don't feel.
Here the snapchat screen shot. Sorry for my face lol. I was in the middle of talking. You can see it molds easily to the face and that's why I love it. Of course there is excess of it that is kinda pushed together or not adjusted properly. Again my fault, I was talking and not paying attention too much.
So recently it's come to light that there is a wider audience looking for empty makeup palettes. Your resident beauty blogger is here to help. I don't know if I've went in depth before about the ones I use now, and have used for the last 2 years or so but my choice is always Make Up For Ever Metal palettes. There are different sizes, and they are actually really inexpensive compared to others on the market.
MUFE palettes are hard to catch in stock a lot but I get mine from Frends Beauty mostly. You might have to be a part of their free membership program in order to get to the Make Up For Ever page and if so you'll save 10% on your purchases so it's like a win/win. I've seen these on Sephora's website a lot, granted they are always sold out on there. They're available on the Make Up For Ever website as well. They offer these in X-Large, Large, Medium, and Small. The price range is from $10 to $14. The small is $10 and the XL is $14. As you can tell it's a good deal. The XL will hold 45 standard size (ABH, MUG, MAC etc) shadows. I also use it for my ABH Glow Kits and bigger powders like that. The Large will hold 32 standard size shadows (I'm speaking of the normal circle shadow, I can't speak for square shadows). I have all of my JD Glow shadows in a Large palette. Which are quite a bit bigger than a standard shadow so they're closer to the size of a standard blush from like MAC for example, not as big but close and it fits 18 of those shadows. The Medium size will hold 20 standard size shadows and the Small will hold 9 shadows.
Moving on from the MUFE palettes, some other options are Coastal Scents. The have Custom Palettes. Which are even more inexpensive than the MUFE ones. These have shadow dividers in them though. So if you prefer not to have that, I'm not sure if it can be removed. There are plenty of sizes and some have clear lids so that you can see what's inside your palette. I have the 12 shadow clear lid palette and it's only around $6. They're worth checking out in my opinion. They hold standard size shadows because their individual shadows are standard size.
Etsy has some really cool options for magnetic palettes. Some are incredibly expensive but some are actually really cute with very cute designs for a more affordable price. I don't have any so I can't tell you what the quality is on those or how strong the magnet is in them. Juvia's Place also offers a magnetic palette for $15 (and remember there's always a code for Juvia's Place). Makeup Geek offers the Travel Size Vault palette which only holds 9 shadows but it's really nice and on sale for $9 right now.
So magnetic palettes aren't hard to find, more and more companies are putting them out which I love seeing. My first choice will always be Make Up For Ever until I'm convinced otherwise, but I'm very interested in Juvia's Place and I also have had very good luck with Coastal Scents custom palettes. So I hope this was helpful if you're looking into getting some or branching out and happy shopping!
**The picture above is from the Kiss website**
Here we are on another episode of "Why Isn't Anyone Talking About This?". Where I like to bring you things that I think are awesome but I'm not hearing much buzz about. So I'm not gonna waste time we're just gonna get straight into this.
You know I love false lashes. I absolutely love them from inexpensive to expensive, if they look bomb but feel even better then I'm a fan. For a while I was a mink lash fan and still am to some degree. However, faux mink became so huge in the last two years and looked just as good as the expensive mink lashes on the market. I was first turned onto the "synthetic mink" styles by Violet Voss I think they do the best and ever since then I give all "faux mink" lines a second look. I'm also a big fan of Kiss Lashes in general. If you were to text me and say "I'm at Walgreens and I want to try lashes, what lashes do I get?", I would tell you Kiss Lashes every time from the regular line or the new line either one.
They have recently (I guess) released Kiss Lash Couture Faux Mink Collection. I have Gala and Boudoir. I will be getting some other styles. Hands down Boudoir is my every day favorite. Gala is perfect for when you want just a bit more drama but it's not incredibly intense. These lashes fit amazingly well they're band is actually kinda short so they fit my eyes great. If you like the House of Lashes "Mini" line, then I think you'd like these. I can't speak to the other styles except these two for right now. I absolutely love them. I got mine off Amazon because I didn't want to go and search for them and they costed $8 for one pair. If you go on the Kiss website they are actually $6. So I will be ordering from there next unless I do see them in my local drugstore. I did note that you can order multiple packs on Amazon, I think I seen 2 for $13. So it's all in what you're comfortable with. Violet Voss lashes are about $10 a pair I believe, House of Lashes is around $9 I think, so for the quality and the price I can't believe more people aren't talking about these. They are an ABSOLUTE find! If you love lashes, or especially if you have a hard time with band length on your lashes, go check these out. This isn't sponsored in any way. I've never talked to Kiss Products before, pretty sure they don't know who I am, so from one makeup to another you won't be sorry!
In the picture above I'm wearing Boudoir lashes.
These are the Gala lashes. I actually wore them on Valentine's Day to celebrate with my husband. I thought I had a close up picture but apparently not. I will get one and update this post though as soon as I do. From this shot though you can see that they do give a little bit of a more dramatic and sexier look to the makeup.
It's a new year, so Derma-E got you covered. The deal with these are that its purifying. So if you look at it that way new year, new skin. (Hence the title). The line includes more than just these two products we're talking about today. This line is also fragrance free, which you know I love, and these products are gentle enough for sensitive skin. They really have all their bases covered.
I feel like when people here that it's "good for sensitive skin" people think it won't work well enough on them if they don't have sensitive skin. Not the case all the time, if they have good ingredients and helpful ingredients they're gonna help your skin, plain and simple. Harsh chemicals and ingredients aren't always great for your skin. A lot think that harsh chemicals will get the job done, like power clean your skin. Sometimes it's doing more harm than good, just stripping your skin of it's natural oil and making the skin more vulnerable to the pollutants in the environment and UV rays.
So what we have here are the Purifying Daily Detox Scrub with Actuvated Charcoal. Charcoal is super popular right now. Why? It's like natures most potent weapon. It draws out impurities and toxins more than most everything on the market today. It draws it out and absorbs it into the charcoal, skin can not absorb charcoal cause it isn't metabolized. Which is why it's so great to use in skin care, because your skin can't absorb the actual charcoal but activated charcoal draws out so much bacteria and bad stuff into it's own mass. It can absorb it's own mass by over 200-1000 times, depending on who you ask. *Fun fact: It can also be used to treat wounds, bites, etc. It was also used in WW1 in gas masks to prevent soldiers from being harmed from chemical exposure.* Activated Charcoal is also referred to as Active Carbon as well. Activated Charcoal is only different from regular charcoal because it was created for medicinal uses. This particular scrub has the right amount of grit to feel like you're actually exfoliating. It has a ery light scent to it, it's hardly noticeable. The skin feels really soft afterwards as well. So I'm really likeing that. Now it's not packed with gritty pieces to exfoliate with. Some people like that some people don't. I like this one because it's quite abrasive and feels like you're really using a scrub. These products are always clinically tested so that's never something you have to worry about. They aren't incredibly expensive either. The scrub is $15.50, if you decide for it to be autoshipped it's free shipping and $13.95 and you get 4 oz. This is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, GMO-free.
Next we have the Purifying 2 in 1 Charcoal Mask. This is also gritty which surprised me. It has basically no scent. It is $19.50, or if you auto deliver its $17.55 and free shipping as well. It's 1.7 oz. Here's what's cool about this to me. You put it on and it has your little exfoliants in there that you can feel as you're put on the mask. So as you leave it on, the charcoal takes affect at deep cleaning your pores, like a vaccum. Then when it's time to come off, you have the exfoliants that bascially scrub away any impurities or dead skin left over. This is also something that requires a little more effort to take off so that just means you're scrubbing longer and harder which exfoliates your skin much more. You're then left with amazingly soft skin. The exfoliant in this and the Daily Detox scrub is Apricot Seed Powder. This would be awesome for oily skin and it's also allergy tested as well (as is the Detox Scrub above). It's to be used once or twice a week and I wouldn't use it more than that because it is quite abrasive, so you don't want to damage your skin by exfoliating too much.
This is my favorite line from Derma E. It's powerful, it's fragrance free, minimal ingredients, it gets the job done. There are more products in this line as well. So there are more to choose from than just these two. They are transitioning into new packaging so if you see this in a different package don't freak out, it's the same thing. I also seen when you go to the page of Derma-E you can sign up for emails/newsletter you get 10% off sent to you.
The little packets in the box were actually a cleanse from Amazing Grass Green Superfood Detox & Digest, to add to water and drink. So it was like detox your skin, detox your body. Which I used, and I won't lie it didn't taste amazing but it's packed with pro biotics and 24 cleansing ingredients. It tastes a bit like green tea, but very powdery. I mixed mine with 16 ounces of water. You can mix it with 8 though.
Check these out at http://www.dermae.com/
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Several months back I done a blog post about concealers, "The Good, The Bad, and The Eh". I didn't think much about the title until I was looking at recent eye palettes that I'd gotten, because it seems like every brand launches the same thing all at once. Right now it's lip palettes. You see what I'm saying. So like I said I was looking at recent eye palette purchases and thinking that some were good, some were crap, and some were just okay. So I thought why not do another "The Good, The Bad and The Eh", but this time for eye palettes.
Let's start good and we'll end with bad.
*the picture above is from Coloured Raine's twitter*
First up is the Queen of Hearts palette by Coloured Raine. I'm sure this is sold out by the time this goes up and I hope they restock because everyone needs this palette. If you love red berry, orange, and foiled shadows you will love this palette. It's quite a big palette too in size. The shadows are lovely. I wasn't going to get it because it was the same color scheme or similar to ABH Modern Renaissance but the foiled shadows are what got me. "Ladyship" feels a bit rough texture wise but it works great with a brush so I don't hold that against it. This doesn't really have any matte brow bone highlight shades so bear that in mind and it doesn't have a black shade either. It has a beautiful shimmer ivory highlight with a touch of duo chrome to it which actually looks great as a cheekbone highlight as well. I really can't say much else, this speaks for itself. Each shade you seen is as intense on the eye as it is in the pan.
*the picture above is from Juvia's Place website*
Next is Juvias Place The Saharan Palette. This just recently released. It's absolutely gorgeous and unique. Juvia's Place is super affordable. All their palettes have consistent, super pigmented formulas. This is no different. It's a bit out of the ordinary. You can look at some of the shades and wonder why they're even in there because it looks like the color scheme wouldn't flow together. That's why I love it though. You get shades you don't normally see. A healthy mix of super pigmented mattes and foiled type shadows and two shimmers. You can do a lot of cool looks with this. It has the blackest black I've ever seen in my life and a really nice tan transition shade. Once again no matte highlight but you do have a shimmer one. There are some super bold matte shades that are so fun to use in the crease and the foiled shades are awesome as always. You get 12 shades all together and I believe it's around $30. You need at least one of their palettes in your life because they are amazing. Also, there is always codes out there to save you at least 10%. I used "Trendmood" for mine.
Moving onto the Eh.
*The picture above is from the Karity website*
The Karity Smokey palette is in the "Eh" category for me. I believe it's because it was super hyped by ads and so on, it just pulled me in. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad palette it's just not as great as everyone says it is, if I'm being honest. It has some in consistencies and I've seen better. It's as simple as that, I've seen better. Overall you get 21 shadows for $28.50 (pretty sure you can get $10 off as well), and out of those 21 shadows a lot of them are okay and can be worked with. Some however just aren't. So like I said it's not terrible, it's just not great.
*The picture above is from Sephora.com*
Buxom Stone Cold palette from the Stone Cold Babe set, which is now in the Sale section in Sephora and Ulta, is another palette that's ok but not great. First, mine came damaged so lets get that out of the way. However, once pieced back together I find that most of the shades don't really create a good dimensional look, it just all becomes one color. I don't like that. If I'm going to put in the work for a crease shade and shimmer on my lid and darken up my outer corner, I don't want it to all just melt together into one taupe type shade. The colors in these are so similar that it's very hard to create different looks with this, they'll just about always look the same. Which again is something I don't care for. However, the formula is not bad it performs well and blends nice (obviously) so I just don't like the layout or colors chosen for this palette. I don't mind the theme, I just wish there was several shade ranges in the palette even if they stay with the same color scheme. It looks like there is online in the picture but in person and certainly when using it you see that the shades are very similar to each other.
*The picture above is from Sephora.com*
Now to the bad.
I hate to do this. I really do. I love Urban Decay but the AfterDark palette is just a fail for me. It looks gorgeous and if you have the time you can make it work but I find the shades hard not creamy which makes them difficult to work or build up. Some shades just don't seem to build up much at all. I do have a favorite color in there which is Fringe, these are all very bold shimmery shades. They're meant to be intense I think and have some duo chrome to a few but it's just not there for me. I don't like it, I wouldn't recommend it. There's my thoughts. This is even sold out online on Sephora, so maybe I'm the only one who doesn't like it but I just don't care for it.
I'm going to include some looks below that I've used each palette with. So you can at least see them on the eyes and how they look over all blended out and so on.
This look is from the Queen of Hearts palette. It's bold, it's intense, it's dark but still burgundy. It has a pop of warmth in it and I live for that inner corner highlight. I'm not even wearing lashes in this picture which I'm super impressed by.
This look is from the Saharan Palette. It actually had such a different look in person and was not captured that way in the picture but none the less this photo and the one below will hopefully show how diverse you can get with your looks, with this palette.
This look is Saharan Palette in the crease and some on the lid but the teal blue shade is Fringe from the AfterDark palette which is my favorite shade form that palette.
This look was using the Karity palette. As you can see it built up well. I used the shades that were good in the palette and stayed away from the ones that didn't have much pigment. I did have to work with this a bit longer than other palettes or shadows, especially the blue. It's not my favorite look to be honest but it's the only one I have.
This look I was using the Buxom Stone Cold Babe palette. As you can see it's just a very basic eye look. It's doesn't draw attention and it's very subtle. Which isn't always a bad thing which is why I'm gonna keep it around but I like for my eye looks to have some kind of "pop" to them most of the time.
This is using the purple shades in the AfterDark palette from Urban Decay. I had to dip my brush in Mehron Mixing Liquid to get the intensity you see in the pan. Like I said it's just hard to work with. You can make them work if you put in the time but other shadows are easier and less expensive.
The pics below are more shots of looks with the palettes. I didn't have any more for the Stone Cold Babe palette so it's not in the gallery below.
Valentines Day is next week. I love Valentines Day. Always have. I just think it's a celebration of love and I've always liked it. I don't think it's exclusive to couples though. I love to give Valentines Day gifts to my friends, I always get Valentines gifts for my mom and I just think it's a good time to show people you love them or that you're thinking of them.
So if you want to for go the standard Valentines Day gifts like flowers (I love flowers though), candy (love that too), and fancy date nights (I prefer my sweat pants in all honesty). I thought I'd give you a list of some good gifts that your loved ones may like. It's not going to be all beauty related either. Nope I'm gonna go the extra mile for you here.
I don't recommend buying perfumes for people unless you know they already love that particular perfume. So I won't be recommending any certain perfume or cologne. However, it is a nice gift if you know that they already like it. It's also an easy gift.
Honestly, my go to gift idea is a "gift basket" type situation. You can ask my husband, my friends, my family, I always give multiple gifts instead of one big item. I just like that. I like recieving stuff like that and I like giving gifts like that because you're bound to have more hits than misses in there. Now I will say the first rule is pay attention to what this person likes and doesn't but you should know to do that already.
So here's my gift basket contents:
Other good gift Ideas I think are:
Flowers that last for a year. These are by Venus Et Fleur. If they love flowers, then these are worth the investment. I myself would LOVE these. You can curtail it to your budget as well. They can be super pricey or you can get less expensive options. I love how they're displayed. They aren't in vases, I think they're so chic and beautiful. You can even chose rainbow roses. I love that.
Edible Arrangements are also very very good. If you're close to one, or can pick them up. I sent some to my friend last year for Valentines Day. They always look cool and they taste amazing. There is also a coupon code going on right now on their site. $10 of $39+ CODE: "SAVE3966"
A spa day would be nice where they could do a massage, mani, pedi and so on. Especially if it could be a "girls day". That's always fun.
So those are my thoughts on good gifts. I'm going to leave so options below of some cool sets that are out right now, some neat jewelry I've seen and so on that I think would be lovely to have. Happy Valentines Day!
These are some pieces of jewelry from the Kate Spade Surprise Sale which is up to 75% off. They aren't super expensive, but I always love their stuff. It holds up really well and it's not crazy expensive.
I also think Alex and Ani bracelets are super cute. They can be layered and they are simple.
I love "value sets". I added in some less expensive options for the gift basket idea, as well as some kinda pricey items if you'd rather get one nicer gift.
From time to time I like to give you a run down of some products that I'm really liking. I need to do these more often. They're like a "favorites" round up, with mini reviews. No need to waste time blabbing, so let's get to it. I linked the products that can't be found at Ulta or Sephora, so that you could find them just as easily.
⦁ Becca Matte Primer. I love this! Especially paired with luminous foundation. I know that sounds dumb, but I like the look of luminous skin without the oily effect that comes 2-4 hours later. I tend to have normal to combo skin. I pair this with Buxom Show Me Some Skin foundation.
⦁ My Makeup Brush Set Rose Gold Oval Set. I wasn't into the whole "oval" brush thing but this company sent me these and I actually really like them and the price is super affordable. I prefer the bigger brushes from them as opposed to the smaller ones but they really do a great job.
⦁ Gold Elements D'Or Facial Cream. I recieved this, yes it's expensive, but guys when you put this on your skin. It's an immidiete softening effect. Like instantly. I will be doing an entire review on it and one more product from this line very soon. I'm still testing the other product.
⦁ Drunk Elephant Firma C Serum. I use this in the mornings and I've started using my Hydropeptide Luma Pro-C at night. This serum makes your skin instantly brighter. At least on my skin that is. You can literally see it. It works so well, and so fast. It's my preferred Vitamin C Serum of choice in the mornings.
⦁ Vice Liquid Lipstick in Amulet. So far I've only tried 3 Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lips and Amulet is by far my favorite. I don't recommend the "metallic" finish at all unless you have super plump lips. Like no lines or nothing. However, this is a "comfort matte" and I love it, and I love the color as well.
⦁ Wunder Brow. I seen that Tati Glam Life Guru really loved this so I gave it a go and now I have two shades in it. It works really well, it's not overpowering and it's easy to brush through and clean up any mistakes. It's easy to sculpt with this just as easy as it is to fill in with this. I prefer to use an angled brush with it instead of the applicator but it's amazing.
⦁ Sassy Nails Foiled Glass Nails. I love press on nails. The glass nails mean that the nail is clear but there are foiled pieces on there as well. I got these from Sassy Nails Studio on Etsy. They shipped super fast. They are a great fit. You need to buy glue seperately, but I love this shop and I love these nails. I'm fixing to order more actually.
So for my next installment of "Why Isn't Anyone Talking About This?" it's: J Cat Beauty Shimmery Powder. I don't hear a lot about J Cat Beauty that much. I seen where Ulta started carrying it, so I wanted to try some things and I stumbled across their pigments or Shimmery Powders. These are $3.95 and they are amazing. I only got 3. I think there is 6.
I got shades Sienna, Auburn Red, and Lavender Pink. I use all pretty much all my pigments with a damp brush for a more intense effect. I prefer to use Mehron Mixing Liquid, which should be a whole post on it's own. Seriously if you don't have Mehron Mixing Liquid, get it. It changes the game so much. Anywho, you can use MAC Fix + or basically anytype of liquid to dampen your brush. Setting sprays or the Mehron Liquid work better I feel because pigments tend to stick to the brush better and then stick to the lid better as well because of the Glycerin in it. It acts like a bonding agent. Glycerin also acts like an oil where it absorbs quickly, but it's not an oil so thus that is where you get the "foiled" look with your pigments, shadows, or whatever, because the Glycerin keeps it looking wet without creasing.
Now that I've informed you about Glycerin and it's benefits, lets talk about these pigments. The only draw back is that these don't have a sifter so they are quite messy when you open them up. I'll happily over look that though. These look impressive on their own dry but using them wet makes a huge difference. I'm super impressed by these. I wish there were more colors actually. They're just as good if not better than MAC pigments, MUG pigments, any pigment. They're finely milled so when applied wet they don't look "crusty" or like thick layers on the lid. They great basically, and if you like pigments you should give them a try.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to start blogging and do these things I love because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity. Thanks for stopping by and visiting with me!