Saturday, November 3, 2012

Urban Decay Smoked Palette

I don't often sport a dark smokey eye. In fact, up until the last couple of years, I mainly just wore shades of brown, with the odd purple-y color throw in there. I was all about natural looking makeup, buying and wearing mostly makeup that made it look like I wasn't wearing a lot of makeup (unfortunately for my face, it most often looked like I wasn't wearing any makeup at all).

Fast forward to now - I still don't wear a lot of dark eyeliner or shadow, but I love playing with it and am more willing to try it out for a special event. Let's face it - this stay at home momma of three kids under 3 doesn't find a lot of opportunity for a super smokey eye. But, I still had to have this palette. I think it is perfect for those seeking a palette for gorgeous smokey eye looks - and I think it's even perfect for those who don't.

As always, Urban Decay has produced a high quality palette with super buttery, pigmented and very blend-able shades. Barlust is probably my favorite, followed by Mushroom....but I love the Loaded (green) and Rockstar (purple) shades as well. For those of us not creating a smokey eye look...the dark brown and black are great for adding depth in the crease, outer corner and for lining...the lighter shades serve as good blending colors and highlights, but if you want something light and shimmery, you'll have to look elsewhere in your collection...and the colorful shades would be a fun way to add a pop of color along the upper and/or lower lash line. There you have it. I justified your purchase of this palette for you. You're welcome. Obviously if you like dark eyeshadow looks and wearing smokey eyes, you don't need my justification. This palette is for you!

Since the palette has been out a while, you probably already know the details. Here they are anyway: 

The smoked palette features black zip around packaging housing 10 shades and includes a full size 24/7 Glide on Liner in Perversion - a super rich, matte black. It also has a great booklet showing different smokey eye looks to try. And don't forget - they even include a travel size of the Eyeshadow Primer Potion.

All photos are swatched in the same order as the palette, on bare skin: Kinky, Freestyle, Mushroom, Backdoor, Blackout, Barlust, Rockstar, Evidence, Loaded, Asphalt. In the second and third photo, I have also swatched Perversion down the middle of the two rows.
Swatches from the Urban Decay Smoked Palette - outside in full sun.
Swatches from the Urban Decay Smoked Palette - outside, shade.
Swatches from the Urban Decay Smoked Palette - inside, natural light.
Is it worth $49? I'd say so. You can create a range of different looks, from neutral, daytime friendly to over the top, nighttime sexy. 

Do you own this palette? What is your favorite way to wear these shades?

Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight!

Friday, September 28, 2012

MAC Fluidline: Rich Ground

After posting about one of my favorite fluidlines yesterday, I decided that, since Rich Ground is also being promoted with the Styleseeker collection, I might as well do a separate post for it. I find this shade to be very wearable, even though it is on the metallic side.

Online, MAC describes this as a "Reddened coco with frost." I would call Rich Ground more of a coppery-bronze shade. I have worn it alone and also as a thicker line, adding a thinner, liquid black liner on top, closest to the lash line. It is nice to be able to use this instead of the normal brown or black liner, and still be in the neutral realm.

Rich Ground is a permanent shade in the fluidline range.
This, like my other fuidlines, applies very easily. It is smooth in texture and opaque without having to build up the color. Of the bronze liners in my collection, the only one I had that came somewhat close was Tanzania from Sue Devitt. I would say it is similar in tone, but a little darker and not as frosty.

What is your favorite shade of fluidline? Do you think they are worth the $15 price tag?

According to my three munchkins, it's time for a snack - Becca

Thursday, September 27, 2012

MAC Fluidline: Dark Diversion

I made a trip to the CCO closest to me (which I didn't even know these existed until about 6 months ago!) to exchange a few items. As I was perusing the store (with my huge triple stroller, mind you), one of the sales associates pulled out a fluidline from behind the counter that wasn't on display. Dark Diversion. I wasn't even allowed to swatch it, but I could tell from the color in the pot that I was going to like it - I immediately told her that I would be purchasing this, and I am so happy I did!

MAC describes the color as a blackened plum but, I would say Dark Diversion is more of a dark burgundy-brown shade with a slight sheen (you can just see a hint of sparkle in the swatch). I love it! It is definitely not metallic, and I think it leans more on the red side than purple, but don't let that description deter you. It is dark enough, and brown-ish enough, that I don't think it would appear red on your eyes. Like the other fluidlines I own, this applies beautifully: smooth, creamy and opaque. 

Dark Diversion is currently being re-promoted and is available as part of the MAC Styleseeker collection. When I checked, it was still in stock online, but you'll have to check stores for availability.

Do you have this shade? What is your favorite way to wear it?

Let's chat - Becca

Friday, August 31, 2012

EOTD: I think I've found my "Happy Place"...

Ummmm, yes. I have definitely found "The Happy Place." Stop being nasty - I'm talking about one of the new limited edition quads being promoted in the Super Natural Trend Collection from bareMinerals. 

This collection is gorgeous and features, along with several other products, two limited edition Ready 4.0 quads with new shades: The Happy Place and The Rare Find. I love them both! Check out my other post for my mini review, swatches, and comparison. Here is how I used The Happy Place:

  1. I primed my eyelid with the tarte clean slate 360 creaseless 12-hour smoothing eye primer.
  2. I swept the lightest shade all over my eye, from lash line to brow bone, with a Sigma E25.
  3. I used a Sigma E55 to pat the rose gold shade all over the lid.
  4. Next, I deepened the crease with the taupe shade, using an E25.
  5. With an E45, I blended the eggplant color just onto the outer corner.
  6. I used the same shade to line my upper lash line and placed it on the outer third of my lower lash line with an E30.
  7. Using the E30 again, I blended the rose gold shade on the middle third of the lower lash line.
  8. Next, I lined my upper and lower water line with the Maybelline Master Drama Cream Pencil in Midnight Master.
  9. Last, I applied gifted Amazonian clay smart mascara from tarte (loving this!).

Other products used: tarte clean slate poreless 12-hr perfecting primer, tarte maracuja miracle foundation in fair, Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles in Light, the Balm time balm concealer in lighter than light, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Plus, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder, tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed, Maybelline Define-A-Brow in Light Brown, Rimmel Stay Glossy Lip Gloss in All Night Long.  

 I can't do the serious face pictures without giggling :)

What do you think? Do you have this quad? Any suggestions on how to use these shades?

Here's to you finding "The Happy Place" - Becca

bareMinerals and Stila: Mini Review and Swatches

My husband knows he's married to a makeup junkie...and I think he accepts it. Heck, I would go so far as to consider him an enabler, but I am absolutely not complaining about that. Honey, if you're reading this, thank you for my new "toys."

Stila Eye Shadow Trio Set in Amsterdam

Dune, Sun, Twig
Stila Eye Shadow Trio Set - Amsterdam

Included: a refillable 3-pan eyeshadow palette and a pan each of dune, sun and twig eyeshadows.

Dune, Sune, Twig

Dune, Sun, Twig
L-R Dune, Sun and Twig
These shadows are of the same great quality as the other Stila eyeshadows I own. Twig actually feels quite dry, but still delivers a beautiful color, albeit not quite as pigmented as I would hope. I think these are great shades for the summer, and for transitioning into the fall as well.

Dune, Sun, Twig
Direct sunlight - Dune, Sun, Twig
Dune, Sun, Twig
Indoors, natural light - Dune, Sun, Twig
I picked this little beauty up at Sephora for $16.00. You read that right. Such a great deal! There are several other options available, but I either wasn't interested in the color combination, or I already had one or two of the shades in the trio. I highly recommend these little sets - you can't go wrong!  

bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 4.0 - Quads from The Super Natural Trend Collection

All of the bareMinerals Ready shadows I own have been superior in quality, and these quads are no exception. They are so buttery smooth and richly pigmented, they sometimes seem unreal. The only issue I've encountered is that the matte shades sometimes don't apply and blend as easily as shades with different finishes. However, I think it may just be because the shadow is sticking to the primer. I've solved this minor issue by using a lighter shade as an all over base, layered over the primer, and then continuing with my eyeshadow application as usual. The skipping does not keep me from using and enjoying these shadows, and it will not keep me from adding more of these to my collection in the future. 

These bareMinerals Ready 4.0 quads retail for $30.00 and are available online at, Sephora, QVC and Ulta. Since they are part of a limited edition collection, they may not be available at all retail stores and you should check availability before heading out to purchase. If you want to compare value, 4 refill pans from MAC would total $48.00 ($60 if purchased in the casing) for 6g of product. With bareMinerals, you are paying $30.00 for 5g, which, when compared is $8/g for MAC and $6/g for bM.

Check out swatches below, along with comparisons to other shades from my collection.

bareMinerals The Happy Place

Peace, Imagine, Exhale, Euphoria

This is my kind of palette! I have hazel eyes that can lean green when paired with the right shades. I like the way this quad brings out the green in my eyes, and I just plain like these colors. Check out my EOTD featuring this quad (to be posted soon! posted!).

Peace, Imagine, Exhale, Euphoria

Peace, Imagine, Exhale, Euphoria
Direct sunlight - L-R: Peace, Imagine, Exhale, Euphoria
Peace, Imagine, Exhale, Euphoria
Indoors, natural light - L-R: Peace, Imagine, Exhale, Euphoria

bareMinerals The Rare Find

Lost for Words, Surreal, Eureka, Frisson

I think this quad screams fall - such beautiful shades. The green shade was probably what attracted me most, that and it's limited edition. 

Lost for Words, Surreal, Eureka, Frisson

Lost for Words, Surreal, Eureka, Frisson
Direct sunlight, L-R: Lost for Words, Surreal, Eureka, Frisson
Lost for Words, Surreal, Eureka, Frisson
Natural light, L-R: Lost for Words, Surreal, Eureka, Frisson

Comparison Swatches

Let's start with The Happy Place....

Expensive Pink, Imagine, Pinot Noir, Brighton Peach, Imagine, Emerald Boudoir, Inglot 407, Variations, MelonI think I went a little crazy pulling out every shade I thought might be similar...oh well. Of the shades I swatched, I think MAC's Expensive Pink was probably the closest, followed by bareMinerals Pinot Noir and Inglot 407.

In both photos, the order is as follows: (1) Expensive Pink (MAC), (2) Imagine, (3)Pinot Noir (bM), (4) Brighton Peach (NYC duo), (5) Imagine, (6) Emerald Boudoir (highlight shade, Lancome), (7) Inglot 407, (8) Variations (peach shade, Chanel), (9) Melon pigment (MAC).
Expensive Pink, Imagine, Pinot Noir, Brighton Peach, Imagine, Emerald Boudoir, Inglot 407, Variations, Melon
I know the photos look almost identical, but it's a slightly different angle.

Tease, Exhale, CopperplateThe only shades I had that were similar were Urban Decay's Tease and MAC's Copperplate. Neither are very close, but I'd go with Copperplate for a similar look.

Moving on to the eggplant shade of Euphoria...ahhh, it's so pretty. Here we go: (1) Kaska Beige (dk purple shade, Chanel), (2) Euphoria, (3) Day to Night (purple shade, ELF), (4) Sketch (MAC), (5) Euphoria, (6) 423 (Inglot), (7) Private Affair (deep wine shade, Lorac), (8) Encore (purple shade, Smashbox), (9) Black Ruby (bM). 
Kaska Beige, Euphoria, Day to Night, Sketch, Euphoria, Inglot 423, Private Affair, Encore, Black Ruby
Comparison swatches for Euphoria
Although none of these shades are ones I would consider a dupe, there are a few that are similar. I'd say Sketch and Inglot 423 are similar, and even Black Ruby - although if you buff Black Ruby too much, it just starts to look black. After taking these photos, I about hit myself in the head. Why didn't I include Twinks in the mix? Don't worry, I finally came to my senses (look down there somewhere). 

Next, I have a comparison photo below of four MAC shades I would consider to be the most similar (of shades that I currently own).

MAC - All That Glitters, Expensive Pink, Copperplate and Sketch
L: The Happy Place
R: MAC's All That Glitters, Expensive Pink, Copperplate and Sketch 
Peace-All That Glitters, Imagine-Expensive Pink, Exhale-Copperplate, Euphoria-SketchPeace-All That Glitters, Imagine-Expensive Pink, Exhale-Copperplate, Euphoria-Sketch
The photos above are taken at a little bit different angles so that you can see the sheen of the shades. In each pair of swatches, The Happy Place shade is on the left.
Comparison of Peace and All That Glitters, and Imagine and Expensive Pink
Close up of Peace-All That Glitters and Imagine-Expensive Pink
Of the MAC shades I have, All That Glitters was the closest I had to compare to Peace. I'm fairly certain there has to be another MAC shade that would be more similar, or at least with the same finish, but I can only work with what I have.

Now, Expensive Pink is extremely close to being an exact dupe, but it is not 100% exact. The peachy/golden sheen in both shades is pretty dead on, however, the color is not quite the same.
Comparison of Exhale and Copperplate, and Euphoria and Sketch
Close up of Exhale-Copperplate and Euphoria-Sketch
Copperplate is obviously more gray than Exhale, but it may provide a very similar look when applied to the eye. Euphoria also has much more of a sheen than Sketch does, although it does have a similar color.

Finally, I decided to swatch Twinks next to Euphoria. I think I originally did, but there were swatches all over my hands and arms, and when it came to do the swatches for the photo, I somehow decided it was too brown to include. Twinks has a very similar finish, but the color is more brown than Euphoria. I think it would be worth it to try a look using Sketch and one using Twinks to see what performs more like The Happy Place on the eye.
Comparison of Euphoria, Sketch and Twinks
Top-Euphoria and Sketch, Bottom-Twinks (MAC)

Let's check out similar shades for The Rare Find...

Comparison of Spectacular, Eureka, La Douce and Meadow
L-R: Spectacular (bM), Eureka, La Douce (Stila), Meadow (Stila)

Now, I already own the Ready 2.0 in Scenic Route, and I was concerned (more like wondering) if the green shade in that duo would be too much like Eureka. While the color is similar, the sheen is not. Both are shimmery, but I'd say that Spectacular is more on the frosty side and has a much more prominent golden sheen. 

This color was much harder for me to find any shades that were similar enough to even include in a comparison. The closest shade I found was a bareMinerals eye and cheek color in Soft Focus Savvy.

Comparison of Frisson and Soft Focus Savvy
L-R: Frisson and Soft Focus Savvy
Hope the photos are helpful in either convincing you that you need these limited edition quads, or maybe that you don't need them. Did I mention that they are limited edition? These are wearable shades that can both be worn during the day and also intensified to be worn more dramatically at night.

Peace, Imagine, Exhale, EuphoriaLost for Words, Surreal, Eureka, Frisson

Let's not forget about the Stila trio in Amsterdam - such a great deal for some remarkable shadows.

So, what's the verdict? Are you going to make any of these yours?

Love, from one makeup junkie to another - Becca

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DripKnots - Why You Need Them in Your Life

I received a set of DripKnots from my mother-in-law a few months ago. Oh. My. Gah. I opened them up and read the little description and thought they seemed like a pretty cool gift - until I actually put them to use. These are a life changer. Yes. Don't argue with me. They are. Get some. That's all.

You know exactly what I'm talking about - you're standing at your sink, washing your face, and when you're done, your sleeves/arms are all wet. There are drops of water on the ground, water on the counter, two random strands of hair stuck to your forehead, and as hard as you try to keep your arms level so that the water/cleanser won't run down onto your forearms, you just can't do it. Until now. I can hear the angels sing, "Hallelujah!" Ok, maybe that was a bit dramatic, but really, it is a pretty dang cool product that I highly recommend. But who am I? And why should you take my word for it? Because you should. I'm 31. I've washed my face a lot.

What you get: 2 DripKnots and 1 HairKnot. The set from Lovely Dorothy retails for $19.95 and you can need to check them out here. They are super soft, and super absorbent and are white with a cute colored accent material. You may be able to find these from other online retailers or inside an actual brick and mortar store (I'm pretty positive my MIL found them at a department store).

How you use them: Place one DripKnot on each forearm and the HairKnot on your head. Any water that drips down your forearms will be absorbed and your hair won't get wet either. Simple, but genius.

What do you think? Would you like a set of DripKnots?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Two Looks Using the NEW Maybelline 24HR Color Tattoo Eye Shadows

For these two looks, I used a mix of both my fingers and brushes for application. I mainly used my Sigma E25 for blending out edges and I used my bareMinerals full tapered shadow brush and fingers to apply the product from the pot. To line my eyes, I used a smashbox precision brush, unless otherwise stated. I used no primer and these shadows stuck around all day...not that I was surprised. I'm still loving these new shades, and I'm looking forward to using them as a colored eye shadow base next.

Look #1:

I tapped Gold Shimmer all over the lid and blended Mossy Green into the crease and outer corner. Next, I applied Rich Mahogany lightly to the outer corner and blended into the crease. I also ran Rich Mahogany on the outer third of the lash line, both top and bottom. I applied Mossy Green to the middle of the lower lash line and Gold Shimmer to the inner third. Using Barely Beige, I placed it onto the inner corner of my eye, and blended it onto the brow bone for a highlight. I lined my upper lash line with L'OREAL Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner in Bronze, as well as the upper and lower water line, just using the brush that came with it.

Look #2:

I blended a wash of Barely Beige over the entire lid, from lash line to the brow bone. Next, I placed Gold Shimmer in the crease and deepened with Rich Mahogany, concentrating on the outer corner. I lined my upper lash line with Mossy Green. Once again, I lined my water line with the L'OREAL Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner in Bronze.

I typically include a matte shade in my eye shadow looks, but I wanted to use only these new shades. Is it shimmery? Yes. Is it too much shimmer? You decide. I don't think I'd feel self conscious leaving the house with these looks, but I also think it might be nice to incorporate some sort of matte shade for a more toned down appearance. However, when blended out, both Rich Mahogany and Mossy Green give more dimension than just a straight up shimmer eyeshadow normally would.

How would you wear these shades? Let me know what your suggestions are below!

 <3 Becca