Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Shopping Plans

Hi!
**nothing purchased

Does anybody else feel like you have absolutely no time for yourself lately?  I still have a bunch more stuff I need to do tonight yet, but I wanted to hop on here.  As usual, I've been crazy busy with the puppy; he's now officially in training, which means that besides practicing the "games" I'm cleaning/wiping out the back seat of my car once a week now since he gets car sick.  I've also been trying to spend a bit more time with my parents and help them out, as well as my grandmother who recently broke her wrist.  Plus we've had some home repair issues come up in the last week or so that have taken a lot of my time.  I know I've said this a lot but I really am hoping I can get back to regularly posting soon.
As far as Black Friday shopping goes, we don't have kids and the entire extended family no longer exchanges gifts so it's more about finding deals on something that's more pricey and have just put off purchasing for whatever reason.  I might end up back at Petsmart, yet again, since I have a couple of coupons that expire on the first.  Kozmo still needs a name tag for his collar and I saw a tag that flashes at night which I think would be good since he's more dark than light and it's nearly dark at 5:30 in the evening.

I've spent part of today checking out the Black Friday ads, and so far I haven't seen a whole lot that's catching my eye.  The Mister and I are both in the habit of purchasing what we want basically whenever we want it, which means that I rarely have a "list" and something really has to be a good deal to incentivize me to go out to some of the stores.  BUT there are a couple of kitchen items that have caught my eye - either a hard-anodized dutch oven or chili pot (which I've been wanting a dutch oven for quite a while but don't want the weight of cast iron) and a set of lidded metal mixing bowls.  I'll probably end up looking at some sweaters as well as seeing if I can find the Mister a new winter coat at a decent price.

As far as beauty products for Black Friday, I can see myself at Ulta (Ulta Black Friday ad here) and picking up the 2 Lorac mini palettes - Sultry Starlet Shimmer and Vintage Vixen Matte.  I was thinking about getting the Lorac The Royal Pro Eye Collection, but I saw earlier today that one shade is in the original Pro palette and a second shade is from the Pro 2, leaving only 1 "original" shade (which I'm guessing is similar to something in the Mega Pro) so I'll be passing on that set.  I'm not sure about anything else yet.  I also can see myself at the mall checking out what sets Macy's and Dillards have from various beauty counter brands (Elizabeth Arden, Lancome, Clinique, etc...).  Last year I was disappointed with the Macy's Beauty Doorbusters since I was hoping to get at least one and the location I shop didn't get a lot of the options in...I'm assuming it's because of the shopping market rank this one has.  I'll probably also end up at the local beauty supply store to see if they've any specials or not.

Drugstores:  I might stop at Rite Aid and see if I spot the matte Maybelline lipsticks and pick up a shade or 2 while the brand is 40% off.  I did get quite a few Rite Aid coupons when I filled a prescription today.  Last year I bought the huge Fergie makeup set from Walgreens but this year I'll be skipping it since there's so many creme shadows, and it's very bulky looking.  I haven't seen anything at CVS that caught my eye.

Michael's has the Recollections "melmer" storage cube drawers on 60% off sale.  I think I'm going to pass on them this time since my makeup area has no more room for storage units.  As far as polish storage, the section of wall I delegated for drawers is full.  Any more and they'd be in the way of the window a.c. unit when it goes in for the summer.

Online:  I've got a couple of items in my shopping cart at Macy's website, I just need to pull the trigger and order before they go out of stock.  Since Sephora is in another city, it would also be an online order unless I would go later in the day since we can't leave the puppy alone all day yet (4 hours is about his limit).  On the other hand, I usually reserve Sephora shopping for around my birthday and Valentine's Day so...we'll see.  If I do order anything, I'm contemplating trying out some Make Up For Ever shadows.

Do you have anything fun on your shopping list?  Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving holiday and/or weekend!!

**nothing purchased
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NYC Crystal Couture Collection - My Picks, Reviews & How I Wore Them

Hi!
**purchased

I lost track of time again today..surprised?  That tends to happen a lot.  I feel like I've hardly gotten anything done today other than cleaning the inside of the car, again.  Kozmo, the puppy, gets major car sick even on short trips to the vet which is less than 10 minutes away.  His vet trips are done until it's time to get him fixed, but it is time to enroll him in puppy training so my days of cleaning the car out are far from over.  I hope he grows out of this stage...

Anyway, I though I'd share a few NYC polishes I picked up rather recently.  I do still see displays at Rite Aid and KMart, and I've read that CVS might have them too.  I'm talking about the Crystal Couture Collection.  It came out in the Fall, but the colors and finishes feel like they'll work right on through the New Year.  I thought I had a display picture but as of right now, I can't find it.  My pictures on the computer are a complete disaster that will take me a good chunk of time to sort through and organize again.  So since I can't find that picture, let's jump right to bottle shots!
 Crystal Couture polishes in NY Princess, Rule the City, Ruby Queen
My swatches are a little different as in, these are actual manis that I've worn in the last week as I was playing around with these and the Zoya Matte Velvet polishes.  Nearly everything is 2 coats; just Ruby Queen is 3.
NY Princess on my ring finger (Zoya Savita on index & middle, Dovima on pinkie)
Rule the City on my ring finger (Zoya Posh on my pinkie & over Loredana, Loredana on index)
Ruby Queen - 3 coats - on ring & middle fingers (Zoya Harlow on pinkie, Dovima on index - I've no idea why neither Zoya photographed correctly?)
  • NY Princess is a purple jelly base with bright medium purple, a lighter purple and some fine blue glitters.
  • Rule the City is leans more towards a dull metallic charcoal/graphite finish and has red fine glitters.
  • Ruby Queen is a jelly base that's a bit more sheer than NY Princess.  It's a red jelly with super metallic red fine glitter with some red-purple glitters thrown in.

Rule the City was the fastest drying of the three, followed by NY Princess and Ruby Queen.  Ruby Queen was the slowest, but it also ended up with an extra coat.  Removal wasn't too bad for being a glitter, but it wasn't super quick like a creme, either.

2 of these manis I really like, one I'm not crazy about.  It's not that I don't like the polishes, I just don't think I like them together.  If you're wondering which one I'm not loving the final combo of, it's the last one.  I need to either wear Ruby Queen by itself or find a better combo.

I believe there are 3 other glitter polishes, as well as several creme polishes in the collection.  I purchased these when they were on sale - 40% off to be specific - and I'm pretty happy with all 3.  I felt out of the entire display these were the most interesting/unique and what I would be most likely to wear.  I'm trying to not buy entire collections as much unless I think I'll use all the colors.

Do any of the Crystal Couture polishes call to you?  Do they remind you of anything from other brands?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette - Swatches & First Impressions

Hi!
**purchased

I thought today I'd share a recent palette that I bought in October while I had a 20% off Ulta coupon that included prestige items.  I had swatched this in store around the end of September but hadn't purchased it yet; I'm glad that I waited as I was able to get a bit of a discount.  So what am I talking about?  The Urban Decay Vice 3 palette.  In prior years I snapped the Vice palettes up from U.D.'s website but for some reason this year I never got around to ordering it.  Maybe it was because I was reading/hearing that the quality was different (according to the pros) so I wanted to play with it in store first.

I know that there's a bunch of swatches and reviews already out there, but since this one's still pretty easily available, I figured I would add my input.  This palette retails for $60, which makes it one of the most expensive holiday palettes currently available.  Like I mentioned up above, I utilized a 20% off coupon.  I really appreciate the fact that when Urban Decay does limited edition, they make a very large supply so that hopefully everyone that wants one and has the money for one can get it rather easily.
First things first, when I took the palette out of the cloth case, I noticed that it has a couple deep scratches in the mirror-ish finish.  The worst one is not super clear in my picture, but it's straight up from the "c" of Vice.  Bummer.  It does have a magnetic closure, but I think that I prefer the closure from previous years...I like pushing the "button" to open it.  Fortunately, the hinge does keep the lid positioned to where ever you put it.  The mirror is huge, as are the previous Vice palette mirrors.  Also like the previous Vice palettes, the name is a raised "jewel" but this year it's lime green.  The included dual-ended brush...ehh, it feels stiff, very stiff.  I'm not sure if I'll like the brush, I don't really use the previous brushes either.
 Inside:
Swatch time!  No primer, I just moisturized first...and then between each set of swatches I used makeup remover.  Each one is just one swipe, yes one!
left: Truth, Undone, Downfall, DTF
right: Dragon, Freeze, Heroine, Brokedown
left: Vanity, Lucky, Reign, Bobby Dazzle
right: Alien, Alchemy, Bondage, Sonic 
Last Sin, Angel, Defy, Revolver

The bag?  Cute!  There's a tiny bit of extra room in the bag compared to the size of the palette so if I take this for traveling I could throw in my eye shadow brushes and mascara.
I haven't played with the palette yet for any eye looks, but just based on the swatches I think it'll be good.  I like that there's a nice mix of neutrals as well as jewel tones.  The neutral shades do lean slightly more to the cool side, I feel, which is fine with me since my skin leans neutral-pink.  There's 4 matte shades: Truth, Downfall, Heroine, Defy.  Undone, DTF and Revolver are matte with a tiny hint of shimmer, but I don't anticipate seeing the shimmers as really being noticeable on the eye.  Sonic and Lucky are metallic.  Bobby Dazzle looks a bit frosty.  The rest are more of a satin finish.  None have any chunky glitter like some past palettes, yay!  You might think some of the shades are dupes to a few of the shades in Smashbox's Cherry Smoke palette that I reviewed the other day.  A few of the colors are in the same family but there are no dupes.

I'm off to go find something nice and moisturizing for my face since all of a sudden I can see dry flaky patches flaring up in various spots on my face.  No, it's too soon for that!!  Bring on the extra serums and argon oil!!

Did you pick up the Vice 3 palette?  Do you have either of the previous Vice palettes?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Zoya Matte Velvets - Dovima & Savita Revisited

Hi!
**purchased

It's been a mad rush around here trying to wrap up outside projects before the weather takes it's final turn into late-fall/early winter weather.  Yeah...this afternoon it was somewhere between 65-70 degrees and tonight it'll be around 35...and not much warmer than the low for tomorrow's "high."  That's Ohio for you - you can literally go from wearing a normal t-shirt one day to needing your winter coat the next (or even later the same day...).  I'm still in denial that snow is on the forecast for the weekend.

Anyway...  On to today's post.  I'm still playing around with the Zoya Matte Velvet collection so I've got a mani post.  By the way, I took my pictures this afternoon (before finishing outside projects) so I do have some tip wear since I put it on late Saturday.

This is 2 coats of Dovima on my pinkie and thumb nails while 2 coats of Savita is on my middle and index fingers.  (2 coats of NYC Crystal Couture in NY Princess is my ring finger accent - post upcoming.)  I did have down a layer of Seche Recondition under my polishes, my poor dry nails.
As you can see by my labels, I've had these 2 for a while, but they are available again - YAY!  They both apply easily, with little to no clean up needed.  I love the Zoya brushes!  Dry time wasn't too bad, but I made sure not to rush getting ready for and into bed after doing my nails.  I think I waited a half-hour or so then was good to go.

Both have a pretty almost hidden shimmer that I spied when I was out in some fleeting sun today but I didn't have my phone with me to get a quick picture.  Savita's shimmer is on the magenta side.  Dovima has silver/blue shimmer if my mind is remembering correctly.
I put this on Saturday night and just took it off an hour ago.  While it didn't look like the above pictures before removal, I did have a couple nails that weren't chipped but most were.  That's pretty good wear time for a matte polish with no top coat.  I think it was the quick last-minute planting of Spring bulbs that did it in (maybe they'll grow? It's kinda late in the season...).

Is it hot chocolate weather where you live yet?  I've been craving one but keep putting it off.  Are you planning on getting any of the Matte Velvets?  If so, get yourself to Ulta, or order them from Zoya's site.  What's your favorite cuticle oil or cream?  My nails & cuticles are desperate!

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Zoya Matte Velvet Collection - Swatches + Review

Hi!
**purchased

I managed to distract myself this evening rearranging part of my makeup stash and then the Smurf movie almost sucked me in when I was done organizing.  Oops.  The organizing needed done...not the movie watching (at least I left the room before too long had elapsed).  Anyway...I thought today I'd share my swatches of the Zoya Matte Velvet collection, which is actually not a new release.  It's been out apparently 2 times before, once before I was into polish, and last year.  Last year's re-release was a partial release, and that was when I purchased 4 of these.  I got the remaining 2 this year from Ulta and decided to redeem some of my points so I ended up spending less than $1.
Everybody reunited at home (lol...don't mind, I've been in an odd mood today):
Dovima, Veruschka, Posh, Savita, Loredana, Harlow

Swatch time! Same order as above.  All but Loredana are 2 coats; Loredana is 3.
 Loredana and Harlow are the 2 "new" polishes for this re-release.
On my nails, it's 2 coats of each.  On the bottom middle finger, I did a free-hand chevron tip using a top coat for half.  The bottom picture was what I wore out running around today.
Dovima, Veruschka, Savita, Harlow
Posh, (NYC Rule the City), Loredana with Posh over, Loredana

Since I've had most of these for about a year, I can review them a bit as I've used a couple in the past. Application is nice and easy.  I love the Zoya brush since I normally have little to no clean-up needed, unless I'm just being rushed/messy.  Dry time was pretty good, essentially fully set up after less than 10 minutes, although I haven't tried to do anything other than type since I put a set of swatches on.  Based on the last time I wore one as a full manicure, I did not have the best wear-time which is unfortunate.  But since I'm normally changing polish every day or 2, it's no big deal to me.  I didn't have on today's nail combo, which was the bottom picture, long enough for any kind of comparison wear test - I literally took it off when I got home to swatch the rest of the collection.  Side note for packaging - love the look of the frosted bottles and rubbery lids BUT I noticed that the bottom labels that have the name are printed much finer than they used to be, and also not as dark.

Do you have any of the Zoya Matte Velvet polishes in your stash?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Friday, November 7, 2014

Too Faced Country and Rock N Roll Palettes - Haul, Swatches, 1st Impressions

Hi!
**purchased

Today it's back to more of the eye shadows I've picked up over the last couple of months.  Side note right now - my computer has a glitch in my editing program right now so I'm currently not happy.  I've tried restarting the program, the entire computer, disconnecting and reconnecting my mouse, etc. and nothing has worked so far.  Computer issues aside, I'm happy to finally get my "haul" and swatches of my last Too Faced product purchases.  I bought these back at the end of July (yes, again, really late with the post) and got an excellent deal.  I had a 20% off coupon that worked on prestige items, plus I made a $20 return in the same transaction.  Score!  Both are still listed on Ulta's site (claims they are exclusive) but they are also on the Too Faced site, so I'm not sure if these are actually limited edition or permanent.  I do know that they are not on Sephora's site.

So let's get to some quick swatches!  I believe I moisturized my hands prior to swatching, but no actual primer was used in the making of these swatches.
Cowboy Take Me Away, Y'all, Dolly
Famous in a Small Town, Paper Roses, Rhinestone
All American Girl, Nashville, Bluebird

Rockabilly, Rap, Ska
New Wave, Pop, Heavy Metal
New Romantic, Glam Rock
Originally I was going to pass on the Rock N Roll palette as some of the shades are similar to the Urban Decay Smoked palette.  But when I was in the store that day, I swatched them both next to each other and decided that the Rock N Roll was different enough to go ahead and purchase, especially since I had that coupon in hand and a $20 return. 

Both palettes swatches next to each, followed by my first impressions based on swatches.
Country palette on top and Rock n Roll on bottom

Overall, both palettes swatched well.  As usual, the lightest shades try to hide out on my skin since I'm so fair.  As normal, when I go to use these on the eye, I will use primer.  Nothing lasts on my eyes without proper prep work...hello oily lids!  I'm happy to say that both of these feel better formulated to the touch than the Pardon My French set.  They are more on par with the Chocolate Bar (current, core) and Pretty Rebel (past l.e.) palettes in my stash.  By the way, if you have these stacked on top of each other, the magnetic spot is strong enough to stick them together a little bit.

UPDATE (11/9/14):  I used a combination of both of these palettes for my makeup yesterday.  Even over a regular primer, I thought that they took a while to get to as pigmented as I was going for, plus they seemed to blend away easily.  Unfortunately, I think I'll have to use a colored base (Milani, Jordana, Rimmel, etc...shadow sticks or Maybelline's color tattoos between the primer and the shadows).  

For the Country palette, I was trying so hard to get the almost duo-chrome look of Famous in a Small Town, Paper Roses and Nashville to show up as best they could that the right row of colors don't show well.  Dolly has a pretty copper fine shimmer and Bluebird has a bright blue fine shimmer.  Rhinestone has a bit of a silver super fine shimmer.  Y'all looks like it might have a bit of glitter fall-out as the sparkles are bigger and the shadow itself is a touch flaky. Cowboy Take Me Away is the only matte in the palette.

I was so focused on trying to get the silver sparkles/glitters of New Wave (Rock N Roll) to show up in photographs that the shimmers in the other shades got lost.  In real life, Pop and Heavy Metal both have a pinkish-magenta fine sparkle, while Glam Rock and Punk have a gold fine sparkle.  Rockabilly is the only matte in this palette.

Now that things are slowly starting to get normal around here, maybe...hopefully, I'm doing my best to carve out time for me to put on makeup when I'm leaving the house.  That means I'll be able to play with these as much as I want, as well as all the other makeup I've purchased then sadly accidentally neglected due to time constraints.

Did you pick up either the Country or the Rock N Roll palettes?  How about the Cat Eyes palette (that one's a Sephora "exclusive")?  Any of the holiday palettes/kits?

EDIT**:  The Country palette is available on Too Faced's site here, while the Rock N Roll palette is here.  

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated - Too Faced emailed me and asked me to add the links after my review was posted

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Project "Finish This Stuff," part 33 - June & July 2014

Hi!
**purchased / Influenster sample /
requested sample / g.w.p.

I bet you thought I forgot about my Project "Finish This Stuff," didn't you?  Well, I didn't.  I just kept neglecting to get pictures taken and edited for way too long.  Plus, during the summer months I felt like I didn't really finish a whole lot each month.  So I thought today I would combine my June and July finishes, of course including mini reviews of each product and whether or not I'll purchase/repurchase.

Let's travel way back in time to June, shall we?
Ulta Smooth & Protect with Keratin Conditioner - travel size, g.w.p.  This was actually a pretty decent conditioner.  My hair felt nice and soft without feeling weighed down.  Might or might not purchase - I have other conditioners that leave my hair feeling similar.
Institute Swiss Brand Ginseng Body Lotion - hotel sample.  Nothing notable that I would try to search out a full bottle of.  Won't purchase.
Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara - received from Influenster for review.  For my full review, click here.  Very likely to purchase (once I get through my back-stock of mascaras).
EOS Medicated Lip Balm, Tangerine flavor - purchased from Rite Aid.  This was a nice lip balm; I mostly kept this on my bedside table for using before falling asleep.  Eventually I got tired of using it since I didn't feel it was as moisturizing as what I thought it was when I first opened it.  Then Tomo started playing with it and that was that.  Won't repurchase.
Origins Out of Trouble Mask - sample from Origins store.  I didn't notice much of anything with this mask.  Won't purchase.
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial, Step 1 - requested sample from counter.  This seemed to be a nice facial step...although I did find it odd that you were supposed to put it on over your makeup.  Since it was just a little sample, I wasn't able to see much, if any, changes in my skin.  I can say that I left it on a little longer than I should have and didn't notice any irritation.  Might purchase (or get another sample/have it done in store before making a final decision).
Lancome Bi-Facil eye makeup remover - sample size g.w.p.  Definitely not a fan of this eye makeup remover.  I find it struggles to take off some of my mascaras (Urban Decay, especially).  But my biggest issue is the rose scent!!  I find it irritating to my eyes.  Won't purchase; these g.w.p. bottles have been delegated to taking swatches off my hand when doing pictures.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream - deluxe sample from Sephora kit.  This was nice, but I wasn't using it when my hands were at their driest/most irritated to see how well it could really "repair"...like now or in the next few months.  Probably won't purchase.
Secret invisible solid Antiperspirant/Deodorant - purchased.  Only brand I can use (as far as I know) due to past allergies to other brands.  Always in stock, lasts a long time (especially when you have more than one open at a time...oops).  Will repurchase.
Pantene Color Preserve Shine Conditioner - purchased from Walmart.  My favorite! - just not for my hair.  I use Pantene hair conditioners as a "shaving cream."  I get absolutely no irritation when shaving my legs like I do with other true shaving creams/gels (even when for sensitive skin).  Will repurchase, eventually - I have another bottle that isn't the color preserve line already.  Also, these bottles last forever(!) for a great price!

These last 2 items are products that I "Trashed, But Not Finished."
Revlon New Complexion One Step Compact Makeup (Ivory Beige 01) - purchased from Rite Aid.  This used to be my favorite foundation, but then I got away from it in the way of using liquids and eventually BB creams.  Due to the age of this and especially how long it had been opened, I elected to throw this out without finishing it.  I do have at least one unopened in my backup drawer, but once I'm through my stock I won't repurchase.
Revlon ColorStay Smoky Shadow Stick (Volcanic) - purchased from Rite Aid.  This is the only Smoky Shadow Stick I purchased and I never did like it.  I thought it didn't blend well, even blending completely away, and it would crease.  I only used it a few times; in hindsight, I should have returned it right away but I kept it thinking I would use the whitish side as a browbone/inner corner highlight.  Won't repurchase - these might even be discontinued by now.

Now let's jump ahead to July, which was mostly skincare.
St. Ives Scrub-Free Exfoliating Pads - purchased from Walgreens.  I loved these pads!  This is the second container I went through.  I thought they had a bit of a maple scent to them, but it was light.  Loved it!  I have repurchased (had a heck of a time finding a new one); these seem to be nearly impossible to find in store.  I did just find them on drugstore.com site (link only for convenience).
Mario Badescu Whitening Mask - purchased from Ulta.  I did like this mask.  While it's geared towards "whitening" dark spots/scars, I felt like it also helped with breakouts some since it does contain a good amount of clay.  I went through this pretty quickly, using it once a week.  I just wish I had seen more of a whitening results since I'm really trying to fade post-acne marks as much as possible.  I might repurchase in the future, but I'm not rushing out to get a new one.
Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner - purchased from Walmart.  I liked using this toner, I just wish my bottle hadn't come with a tiny hole in the bottom.  I had to keep it upside down between uses.  I'm not sure how much it actually refines pores, but I enjoyed it enough to repurchase (being careful to get a good bottle).  I didn't feel that it dried me out, but as the weather is cooling down I can see having to take a break from it if my skin goes crazy dry like it did last winter.  It contains Alpha and Beta Hydroxy so using a good sunscreen during the day is a must.
Acure Argan Oil - purchased from Raisin Rack.  Love this Argan Oil!  I believe this was the second bottle I've gone through.  I find it really soothing and nourishing.  I really like to use it after removing masks to really add in antioxidants and improve results of other serums.  I also used this after the occasional accidental sunburn during the summer.  Already repurchased; I love that this is an inexpensive alternative to other brands.
Straight Sexy Hair Smooth & Protect - purchased from Ulta.  I love this heat-protectant!  It's not a pump-style bottle so I end up with just the right amount of product and it's well dispersed.  I have already repurchased, but I did notice that I couldn't find it at Ulta any more (I found it from the local supply store).  If I could not find this, I would get the Paul Mitchell Hot Off the Press, which is similarly priced and also smells really good.
Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub - purchased from Walmart.  I've gone through several of these body scrubs; I really do find that it helps with any body acne issues, as well as an overall skin softening due to including the salicylic acid (chemical exfoliant) as well as the little scrubbing particles.  Already repurchased, as well as the regular body clear body wash.
Benefit Fake Up Concealer - requested foil sample packet.  This was all right, but nothing special.  Won't purchase.
DermaDoctor DD Cream - requested sample.  I did like this; as long as I blended well enough it worked with my skintone, even though at first it looked too dark.  Might purchase (the real name is a lot longer).
Purity cleanser - sample.  Nothing special.  In fact, there was a scent to this that I thought was too strong and could be irritating with continued use.  Won't purchase.
Elizabeth Arden Eye Primer -  requested sample.  This is a decent eye primer that did blank out any skin discolorations.  As long as I got the amount applied just right, it did help to increase the staying power of my shadows.  It worked, but wasn't super outstanding.  Won't purchase.

Wow, 2 months in 1 post makes for a lot of products.  If you made it this far, yay!  I made a good dent in finishing products, both regular sizes and various sample size, out of my extensive stash.  I'm also happy I decided to just kick out a couple pieces that I knew I wouldn't be using for various reasons.  Be on the lookout soon (hopefully) for the next update.  I haven't looked in the bags for August, September and October yet to see how much was finished each month so I'm not sure if there will be another multiple-month update or if each will be it's own.

See anything you've tried?  Do you agree with my thoughts?

**all items purchased by me / gift with purchase / Influenster sample / requested sample
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wet 'n Wild All Access Beauty - Fall Eye Shadow Palettes

Hi!
**purchased

I told you yesterday that I've got more palettes coming up!  This time it's a 4-piece collection of Wet 'n Wild 5-pan eye shadow palettes from the Fall 2014 All Access Beauty collection.  These coordinate with the matte polish collection that I recently shared/reviewed here.  As with the polishes, I am still stumbling across the palettes here and there, but that of course all depends on where you live.  I took my display picture at KMart, but actually purchased them from Walgreens after seeing a review that the formula has improved from the initial 5-pan core release, plus I scored them on sale for $2 each (back around the end of August...wow is the post late!!).
While I went in numerical order, it actually corresponded with how these swatched - least well to most.  For all of my swatches I used the same order, attempting to match the placement of the pans.  Browbone is on the left, base is the top, definer is the short center left, eyelid is the short center right and the crease is the bottom-most swipe.
I circled the browbone and base shades for this palette since they are hard to see on my skin tone.  All of the shades took building to get them to show up in the pictures.  The definer shade has a bit of shimmer but it doesn't really show up once on the lid.

I actually used Smoke and Melrose for my makeup today and it worked much better with brushes than when I did my finger swatches.  They blend pretty nicely (over primer and a matte skintone powder shadow) but I can see where they would blend together and perhaps go muddy.  I really felt the need to reach for the black eyeliner so that I didn't look so tired/sick with these shades.
Melrose at Night has 2 matte shades - the browbone (circled so you know where it is) and definer shades.  The base and crease shades lean towards the frosty/metallic finish while the eyelid is a satin.  I needed to build the browbone shade quite a bit to get it to show as it did.  As with Smoke and Melrose, the shimmer in the definer shade disappeared even in the swatch.
The matte eyelid shade was a bit patchy for swatching and took 3 layers. The browbone is also matte but it's a bit better formula-wise than the eyelid.  The base shade is one quick swipe(!), but it is frosty.  The crease and definer shades have shimmer; the definer shade's shimmer didn't disappear in the finger swatch as much as the other definers in the collection.
The "browbone" shade photographed much more red than real life, which is more of a hot pink/magenta.
Angels in Aubergine is actually the best palette overall.  As I mentioned above, the matte browbone shade is much more hot pink/magenta than my swatch picture is showing.  The other matte shade is the eyelid - a decent matte black (2 layers to cover slight patchiness).  The definer shade is a gorgeous metallic burgundy with a little shimmer - the swatch is one swipe.  The base shade is a bit on the frosty side while the crease leans toward the satin end of finishes, but still with a touch of shimmer (at least in the pan).

I've only tried one of these on my eyes as of the time of writing this post.  It played much better on the eye, over primer and with brushes, than just using my finger for swatching on a dry/unprimed hand.

I have one more Wet 'n Wild Fall/Halloween eye shadow collection to share, as well as other brands' eye shadow palettes, in the upcoming days...and of course, lots of new polishes as well.

Did you pick up any of the palettes from the All Access Beauty Fall collection?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Smashbox Cherry Smoke Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette - Swatches + Review

Hi!
**purchased

I had intentions to get posts up for Sunday and Monday, but neither were very good days around here.  I've actually been working in my office most of the afternoon, evening and into the night with organizing and taking lots and lots of pictures in an effort to get my "studio" cleaned up and back on track.  I've got a bit more work to do before I can get all of my polishes into the drawers - a huge part of that is getting my polish "catalog" updated/restarted.

Anyway...on to the point of this post.  Back towards the end of September I was in need of a little makeup pick-me-up.  I originally went in for a little Too Faced set, but after swatching the tester, I decided I didn't want it (maybe the tester is old and the actual for-sale palettes are better?).  So then I debated on getting the Urban Decay Vice 3, Naked Basics 2, Lorac Pro 2, and the one I ultimately decided on.  I knew that there wasn't a big rush on getting the U.D. Naked Basics 2 or the Lorac Pro 2 since they are both permanent.  But the day I was in there, I wasn't really wanting to spend the $60 on the Vice 3 so this Smashox Cherry Smoke Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette really fit the bill at being just under $40 (not counting tax), limited edition and well pigmented.  I actually hadn't heard anything about this before swatching it in the store.
 I literally just peeled back the "Get the Look" sticker - there's shade names!
 That little black plastic flap?  That's the magnetic closure.
Bare, Shell, Topaz
         Rustic, Dark Cocoa
Unadorned, Oxidize, Ebony
  • Bare (above my watermark) is a good, basic skin tone shade (for me, at least)
  • Bare, Rustic, Dark Cocoa and Ebony are all matte shades that took a little building for the swatches but perform well with a brush on the eye over primer
  • Shell, Topaz, Unadorned and Oxidize are all gorgeous metallics that swatch easily on the first swipe and work just as well with a brush
I didn't really notice much in the way of fall-out when applying, but for a lot of the days when I first busted into this palette, I was in a rush and just used a finger to press on whichever main lid shade I wanted for the day then blended it out pretty easily with either Dark Cocoa or Rustic.  When I have used a brush, I still didn't notice any fallout, even when going in with the darkest shades.  This is very easy to make a smoky eye look; I have to pay attention if I want a lighter look to not go overboard by really tapping off the matte shades.

I've used this quite a bit since purchasing it and am still reaching for it when I need something quick since there's not so many colors that I get overwhelmed &/or just start playing and adding and adding and end up running late.  I haven't purchased much from the Smashbox line, but each thing I have purchased I have really enjoyed.

If this is something that catches your eye, hopefully it's still available at your local Ulta (it's not showing up on the site anymore, and I'm not sure if it was ever available at Sephora).  It is listed on Smashbox's site here, HSN here, and Nordstrom's site here - I've only ordered from Nordstrom's site before.  I do think that the shades are not super original.  All but Rustic have similar, but not dupes, shades in the Lorac Pro 1 palette (and probably would also have similarities in the Urban Decay line).  But I'm still happy with my purchase.

Do you have a favorite Smashbox item?

P.S.  I have lots more palettes to share!! I've gone a bit crazy lately between limited edition and Ulta's 20% off coupon I had gotten!!

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated