A singles shadows mix from Maybelline

The twenty-four hour color Tattoo cream shadows formed the bulk of this week’s eyeshadows.

This week I decided that instead of using an eyeshadow palette I was going to dig into my singles eyeshadow collection.  The first thing that came to my hand was one of the Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows.  I remember picking one up to try it, falling in love with it and then returning to the store to pick up several more.

While at one point I had a lot more, I currently have five in my collection.  I dug them all out and then I realized I had two more Maybelline shadows.  One is a regular powder shadow and the other is a color strike.  I figured that if I was going to go ahead and take out the Color tattoos I might as well go for a clean Maybelline sweep and take the other two as well.

The one traditional shadow single I have is from the Expert Wear line.  It is in the shade #200 Dusty rose.  On me this shadow is a no makeup look. It is a pink shade that has just a slight bit of sheen to it.  On my lids by itself it is a light barely there look. As My friend Nancy says, ‘It’s not enough to be flash, but it’s enough to show you put yourself together.’ On me, this is that color.  It is also a color that works well as a transition tone for me. 

Dusty Rose (with a streak of something else on the side)

It can blend softly into very little or give you a nice slightly pearly base on which to build other looks.  I have also used it to top off completely matte looks.  It isn’t technically a shimmer, but it really isn’t a matte either. It’s like a matte with aspirations. I’ve had this shade for a while.  It originally came with a little foam applicator but I ditched it as I don’t like them and I always end up dropping it.  The one big drawback it that if you try to blend it with others it disappears and even with a lid primer and setting spray, you are only getting about six hours of wear with it.  It is just a good basic to keep around.  Is it spectacular?  No, but it is good to have around. I think that if I were to go out and repurchase this, I would pick up one of the quads instead of the single shadow. I picked it up to see how it worked but I would like some other colors to see how it blends with other products from the same line.

I had hoped that I could use the Color Strike formula in#55 Flare, to darken the corners and do a simple illusion of a smoky eye.  But alas it was not to be.  This cream to powder formula is not worth taking the time to bother with.  The brown shade that came out would have been a nice shade to pair with the dusty rose, but it was so hard to work with. 

strike swatch after a lot of work

I could get a little out with the wand but it would only be a small smudge of color.  I never really got enough product out to do much with and when I tried to blend what did come out, it didn’t want to budge.  I ended up with little dots placed where the wand touched the eyelid.  I tried playing connect the dots, but to do so I felt like I was going to poke my own eye out just to get the product onto the lid. Once it was there though it lasted forever. It had some staying power to it. It was just getting it out that was the issue.

I don’t know if I got a defective one or if this color in particular was just not one that turned out well, but if they are all like this, but I would give these color strike shadows a wide pass and just go straight for the single shadows. I did notice when I was linking to the site that they have this in a pen form as well as the foam ended applicator. I don’t know if the pen perfromes better but I would probably try for that applicator in the hopes that it would. I may in the future try picking up a different shade (in the pen style) to see if it performs better but for now, this one isn’t for me

As a sharp contrast, I love the color tattoo formula.  I love putting on Knockout (the maroon shade) Darkening it with Risk Maker (the black shade) and then using either Inked in pink (the lighter pink) or Golden Girl in the inner corners to brighten it up. The blue shade Trailblazer, I don’t use a lot.  I bought it for a costume party and rarely use it.  When I do it is a backdrop to the black. Or a hint of color. 

L to R: Trailblazer, Risk Maker, Golden Girl, Knockout, Inked in pink (they perform way better than they swatched)

All of these creams are highly pigmented and claim to hold up on the eye for twenty four hours.  I have not had to wear makeup for a full twenty four hours in a really long time, but I can tell you that once in place they don’t budge without a makeup remover.  I use either a small brush or my finger to apply.  Even when I start off with a small brush though, I invariably move to my fingers to blend. 

They blend well, you just have to remember to clean of your fingers often when you do that.  For me, I apply a color, blend it out how I want it, wipe my fingers on the makeup eraser, apply the next color and repeat.  Give the cream a second to settle in and the are no problems.  In addition, they also work really well as eyeliners if you are looking for a color match. 

This week I just used the black – Risk Maker – as my eyeliner instead of adding one to the makeup bag.  It worked excellently well. An because it is a cream product I have to say, I have not really had a problem with drying out.  I keep them capped when I am not using them and occasionally I have to warm them up with my finger for the older ones, but they have never dried out to the point where they were unusable (unless I accidentally leave the cap off for an extended period of time). The color range you can find at my local store isn’t that great and they tend to sell out of the neutrals very fast (which is why I don’t have any) but they are well worth picking up to keep around. In fact, I am seriously considering ordering some of the shades I don’t have. especially as I am wearing more one and done looks these days and these creams are perfect for those.

In cat I am very much rethinking my single shadows due to the fact that I usually only wear one or two at a time and the singles take up less space than the palettes. For a long time I ignored them in favor of the palettes because grabbing a simple palette was easier when I was running in the morning. Mornings have become a lot less frantic recently and my eyeshadow has simplified. That combo means I am less adverse to looking over the selection of singles and choosing my options. It is certainly something I will be thinking about as I move into the new year. I’m not getting rid of all of my palettes, but there may be a rethink this holiday season.

So in the end, Color Strike is a no, Expert wear shadow is a decent enough basic, but not spectacular, and the 24 hr Color Tattoo Cream formula is really nice and worth keeping around.

Klorane USA

Dominique Cosmetics Sweater Weather Eyeshadow Palette

Have you ever looked at an eyeshadow palette and thought one thing and then tried it and thought, maybe I was wrong?  That is sort of how I felt about this palette.  When I opened it, I immediately thought ‘spring’  I decided to go ahead and try it out now and I am really glad I did. 

There are only six shades. Well, clearly as you can see from the above photo. They are all mattes and no shimmers, which was interesting. I don’t mind that actually as they all had the same formula, making it very predictable to use. Every shade worked more or less like the other shades there was no difference in application between them. I didn’t have to adjust from shade to shade (except to change the color combo I was trying that day – but not form formula alterations. which was a relief after alse week where each shad seemed to have a mind of it’s own.)

I’ll cover the worst first just to get it over with. Shade one is called Sweater Weather. It is the first pan and the far left swatch. I did not like this shade.  It applied well (as did all of the shades for the most part), but it looked gray and just awful with my skin tone. If I was trying to create a zombie mold look on my eyes, this is the color i would reach for, otherwise, I have no use for it.

Fuzzy is an excellent inner corner color or used to lighten up the look while Toasty is very close to my skin color and made an excellent base for me.  Cuddly was the shade I reached for the most this week.  I tended to put it all over my lid and then add Fuzzy to the inner eye.  It is a very subtle look for a low makeup kind of day. Chill was a very good blue-y/purple-y shade.  While not my favorite, it did work well as an accent color (I’m just not a fan of blue shades.  I keep trying them because they look good in the pan, I just don’t like how they look on me.)

Messy Bun I had the most trouble with.  It had the most fall out and had the tendency to need to be swept off of the nose and under eye area.  When I used it, I had to add a little extra powder to sweep it away.  Also there was a slight bit of patchiness with this that wasn’t in any of the other shades.  I don’t know if it is just the darker tone, but it was more powdery and slightly patchy.  However after last week’s shadow palette, the patchiness was barely noticeable and the powdery completely manageable. (this is the benefit of following a difficult to work with eyeshadow palette I suppose).  

It just required a little more work than the others, but seriously, it only required that little bit of extra work because it was so dark a shade and you need to be more careful when applying them so you don’t look like you have a black eye. That’s just the nature of the shade.  But a the others went on like a dream, blended well and stayed on all day, the slight issues of Messy Bun were easily overcome.  

While you could use Messy Bun to create a very soft smokey eye (it is not a true black but more of a darker brown when applied) This is very much a palette you can use when you want to go subtle with your look. It is not a bold glitzy palette but it is very easy to work with.

Do I think it is a quality eyeshadow palette?  Yes. Do I think that a six pan palette should cost $29? No. I think it is over priced. The colors I like, I have in other palettes and in good formulas. So even though it is good quality, it isn’t unique enough to justify the price in my mind.

I am happy with it and I will get a lot of use out of it, but if I had to go out and buy it again. I would wait until it was on sale.  Especially since two of the colors (Sweater Weather and Chill) aren’t ones I would consistently use. But I am very glad to have this in my collection and since I have it, I will use it.


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This week’s Palette: Peach Bellini by Makeup Geek

Eyeshadow Palette: Peach Bellini by Makeup Geek

This is one of those eye shadow palettes I received in an IPSY box several months back.  While I have tried and liked Makeup Geek shadows before, when I got this palette, I wasn’t exactly feeling it.  I think when I got it, the weather was cold and nasty and this just wasn’t the color scheme I was wanting to reach for. 

After a week of use.

This week when I picked it up out of the drawer, I kind of liked it a bit better. To be honest I had a lot of fun with this palette.  It has been a crazy week and to be honest, I didn’t have a lot of time to spare.  My eyeshadow looks this week ended up mostly being me choosing one color, dabbing it a little on the outer edge of my eye where I wanted the pigment a little darker and then using a second clean brush to blow out the color across the lids.  The colors work excellently well for this.  The trick is to remember they are HIGHLY pigmented. 

Seriously a little dab will do you.

top row swatches

In the first row we have Peaches, Prosecco, Bellini and Nectar (L to R).  Prosecco is the one shimmer shade in this row and it is butter soft.  It can be used to accent any of the other colors.  I generally found that after I blew out the color across the lids, I could lighten the inner corner with Prosecco and just be done.  The mattes, especially Bellini, tend to be a little on the powdery side if you use too much.  I recommend lightly dipping in with a flat brush, placing the color where you want it darkest and then switching to a fluffy blending brush.

The second row

The second row of colors: Cheers, Juicy, Cocktail and Venice (L to R) are again three mattes and a shimmer shade.  The shimmer is Cheers and it is a gorgeous copper. I know I have a weakness for coppers. Again, the shimmer is butter soft while the mattes are a little powdery. In fact with this palette it is better to remember that the darker the color, the more powder kick up there will be. Remembering that will help a lot, especially if you are reaching for the shade Venice. Because it is a Peach palette all of the colors except Cocktail and Venice have peachy undertones. For me this made it a very good summer palette.

While I think the lower row could be used for a more fall look (and to be honest I didn’t reach for them a lot this week as I was doing a lot more lighter looks), for me this palette just reads summer more than anything else. I don’t mind that actually.  I naturally tend to gravitate towards more fall colors so in the summer, I generally find myself struggling to figure out what kind of shadows I want to wear. This palette fills a definite gap in my collection.  The colors are nice and relatively easy to work with, once you get used to how pigmented they are, and I am happy to keep this around in my collection and possibly look at picking up more Make Up Geek Shadows in the future. As I’ve had some not so great palettes lately, I am especially glad to find this one. When dealing with my palette collection, my palate needed a bit of a cleansing. and this provided it. Thanks Makeup Geek.


Tarteist Pro Eyeshadow Palette: A Review

This week my makeup bag contained the Tarteist Pro Eyeshadow Palette from Tarte. I have to say I was giddy with excitement at the thought of using this.  There are twenty shadows (four shimmers, the rest mattes) and the entire lid of the palette is filled with a really large mirror.

As you can tell from the above picture, the black outer packaging picks up dust rather quickly. I’ll wipe it before I put t back in the drawer but I suspect it is going to be one of those palettes that always looks dirty on the outside.

In general I enjoy Tarte Shadows but this is one of those palettes that I always thought about buying but never got around to purchasing.  In June it was in the Boxycharm box so it was finally mine.

So was it worth getting giggly over?

I think so.

Top row Swatch

For swatches I swatched the rows of four mattes across and then did a fifth row of just the shimmers. 

Second row Swatch

While it worked out well for swatches, it really isn’t the way I used the shadows.

Each row works really well for a single look.  You can easily just pick a row and work across for the look you want for the day. 

It is very well laid out and easy to use.  You can also mix and match around the palette as the shades complement each other really well, but I like the fact that if you are in a rush you can just pick a row and go.  

Third Row Swatches

I also found this week that if I wanted a super light summerly look, I could go vertically down the left side of the pan and just use the lightest shades only for a barely there look.  With BB cream lip gloss and mascara that row worked really well for me this week. 

Fourth row shimmers

I like that it was well thought out. 

The colors are all soft to the touch and swatched really well.  They are slightly powdery so be sure to tap off the excess from your brush before applying or you can very easily make a mess on the side of your nose. 

The shimmers swatched (the round pans to the right hand side)

These colors, for all that many of them are muted tones, are highly pigmented.  So you really don’t need a lot of product on the brush. 

Dab lightly into the pan and knock off the excess and you’ll be fine. It is easy for that darkest row to get out of hand as it is so highly pigmented, especially that black.  Go lightly and build slowly.

They layer well and blend like a dream, just try to avoid too much product at once. I ended up over doing the black one morning and blending just made me look like I got punched in both eyes at the same time.  I’m not sure who double punches someone in the eyes. Maybe a boxing Kangaroo from a cartoon, but that is sort of what it looked like.

I just had to completely wash my face and start over.  But as long as I was delicate, things worked out well.  I had no problems with creasing and even the lighter shades stayed all day long on my eyes.  I was very much looking forward to using this palette and I have to say, I was not disappointed.  I look forward to using this palette for a long time to come.


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The Balm Autobalm Palette review

The Balm’s Autobalm Palette

I have to admit this palette was the source of great angst this week. I know, it’s just eye shadow you say. I know.

Still, great angst.

Let’s start with the biggest source of the angst. The packaging.

It is undeniably adorable.  All of The Balm’s packaging is.  And I know there is a little ribbon on the side for fingers to grasp while the metal container is opened.  I gripped the little ribbon. It is just a little too short to be helpful.  In addition by the time I reach my eyeshadow I have already applied moisturizer sunscreen, primer and foundation.  I have rinsed my hands. 

I have gotten really good at washing my hands lately. 

However my hands are still a little slick from being washed.  This palette was very hard to open.  There were some mornings I decided I didn’t need eyeshadow and grabbed the Blush palette and eyeliner instead and just let the shadow be because I was tired of fumbling with the metal. There needs to be a slightly larger indent or something to aid in the opening of this palette. If there was a lot of my angst would disappear.

This was even more frustrating, because in general I like the formula of The Balms eyeshadows.  They are usually really good.  I have the Meet Matt(e )trimony palette and several single shadows, all of which I adore.  This palette was no different.  I really liked all of the shadows.

The top row of metallics

The row of metallics worked excellently well, the two mattes were pigmented and lovely to wear.  I even liked the neutral cream primer in the palette.  I really liked all of the products in the palette. They didn’t swatch really well but they applied well.

The two mattes, yes there are two, one is just really a good match for my skin tone.

The selection of colors wasn’t exactly my favorite.  I liked all of them, but the only really light shade is Rodeo drive.  I found myself using the neutral St. Charles Matte, picking one of the colors as an accent shade (which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t) and then accenting with Rodeo Drive.  Most of the shades, while nice, are dark enough that I wanted it towards my outer eye. They are buildable and easy to work with and I think they are all meant to stand alone instead of really being paired with other shadows. It’s like they were never really designed to work together.  They just happened to be put in the same box.

There is very little fall out and as a product, they are individually good. They aren’t as good as some of the other Balm eyeshadows I’ve tried. The others stay in place all day. These do tend to disappear towards the end of the day, even with a fixing spray, but for a few hours, your look is great. I have no idea why this formula is a little different than their other shadows, it might just be the metallics because the mattes appear to be fine.

It was a lot of metallic for the week for me. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I thought I picked up a black eyeliner and it turned out to be a gunmetal shade. I felt very shiny this week. (They call me Old IronEyes. At least when wearing the silver shade with the gunmetal liner.)

And not shiney in the Firefly Series way.  I think if I were going out I might like it better, but this was kind of a quiet week, without even a grocery visit to spice things up. Outside of my walks the farthest I went was to the mail box. 

Instead of using the metallics, I found myself just using St. Charles with Pennsylvania to darken the crease.  It was a nice look ad one I didn’t mind using repeatedly.  However, I think I would just buy the individual shades to use as two shades, which sort of defeats the palette.

Although truthfully with all of the issues I had getting it open, I’d have a hard time recommending this palette anyway.  I love the mattes, am fond of but not in love with the metallics, but not in this mix and not in this container.

I find this very frustrating because it just feels like the palette wasn’t thought through. St. Charles was the stand out winner of the palette and definitely a single shadow I will add to my The Balm collection of single shadows.  And honestly I may actually see if they sell the neutral cream primer as well.  It worked better than my usual concealer and I really enjoyed it. 

Well I enjoyed it when I could get the palette open to use it. I think a depotting is in this palette’s near future. I would use the metallics with the sticky Pretty Vulgar lid primer and I would use them as the finishing touch to a look created with other shadows.  I probably wouldn’t buy them individually. The Mattes, I would still use on their own and pick up individual replacements. Maybe I can use the metal box to store seeds in this autumn once I depot the shadows. It’s a sure bet they won’t spill out.


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BeautyCareChoices.com

Reviewing the Doucce Freematic Eyeshadow Pro Palette

This week I chose the Doucce Freematic Limited Edition Smokey Pro Eyeshadow palette that came in my IPSY Ultimate Glam Bag for my weekly Make-up bag. The palette is a magnetic reusable palette with all of the shadows and the highlighter that came in the set easily swapped out.  Included in the kit are one highlighter, four matte shades, and four metallic. The limited edition part seems to be the selection of shadows in the palette.

Since it is a reusable palette, I want to cover my thoughts on it first.  The reusable plastic case is quite sturdy and feels substantial in the hand.  Some might think it is a bit heavy, and it is heavier than I expected, but it also feels durable.  It feels like something I could chuck into a travel bag and not worry about. I really like that aspect.  It is also not a terribly lengthy palette. It is kind of a chubby rectangle so it is easier to fit into a make-up bag than some of the longer palettes.  I also like that it is one compartment inside rather than broken up so if I want to replace these shadows with magnetic shadows (or blush, powder or any other type of magnetic pan) from Doucce or another brand I can.

While I couldn’t find the full palette for sale on the Doucce website, I did find the empty palette available for $14.  I think that is a very reasonable price for the physical palette and its quality.

But you didn’t come here to read about packaging did you? Or maybe you did.  Either way, those are my thoughts. Now, on to the shadows.

The top row mattes

While the pans are magnetic and therefore movable, I left them in the order the were placed when they came to me.  The top row is comprised of four matte shades. I know it is a smoky palette, but the shades read very fall to me.  Now those do tend to be the colors I am drawn to naturally, so it isn’t a problem, but I also have a lot of them.

So I swatched the matte shades and they were hit or miss as to the depth of color in the swatch. In fact they were very patchy. The shadow names are all women’s names From left to right we start with the bright white which is Amanda, then Kinsley, followed by Hannah and Hillary. None of the shadows are highly pigmented.  They are all buildable though. 

I found myself doing a very nice everyday look with Kinsley (the tan) layered with a bit of Hannah to darken the crease.  It is to be honest, super neutral and not terribly exciting as looks go, even for a neutral one. To be honest I didn’t really reach for the black or white shades that much.  The black is buildable, but patchy at first.  It takes a bit of work. It is also quite powdery. Often I felt like I had more on my nose than my eyes.

If I wanted to use a white shade I reached for the white metallic in the second row rather than the matte white.  If I was doing an all matte look I could see using the white, but you would really need to do a cut crease to use it because it takes so much effort to build it up and if you don’t start it on a blank canvas then you will have no chance. To be honest the two middle shades (Kinsley and Hannah are the only mattes worth bothering to use in this palette and even then, they aren’t all that fabulous.

The second row metallics

For the metalics, the white is named Mila, the bronze is Courtney, the maroon shade is Gigi and the dark brown is Tenley. The metalics have more pigment on them, but you really need to use a flat brush to apply it.  If you use anything fluffy then the shadow will cling to the bristles and not really to the eye.  It is better when you apply a primer (the slightly sticky Pretty Vulgar primer was very good for that actually) but still, use a flat brush.

It shouldn’t be surprising that I used the bronze shade more than the others.  While I like the bronze, it was also the least fall of the shades (save white which is just white a nice pearly white though) I do have much better bronzes in my collection though.  I love the maroon metallic and the brown metallic.  I actually don’t think I have anything like them and I will get a lot of use out of them in the fall, but they just weren’t colors I reach for at this time of year.The metallic shades were much better than the mattes. They were less patchy and had surprisingly less fall out.  They also make me glad this is a magnetic palette, because I think some of these shades are definitely being taken out and replaced with better pans.

the highlight (both literally and figuratively)

There is however one more element to this palette and that is the highlighter.  I like that it comes with it’s own plastic lid.  The lid however is hard to get on and off when it is in the palette.  I almost dug my nail into the shadows trying to remove it, so finally I just took it off and set it to the side. For storage purposes, it is a nice cover. It is not a blinding highlight, but it is quite silver.  It applies well and it blends in to a soft glow. I was actually quite impressed with it.  It was a nice surprise and I enjoyed using the highlighter this week. It was actually the highlight of the palette (yes, groans are appropriate here.)

This palette had some highs and lows. To be honest, mostly lows.  I like that the components are sold separately on the site.  If I were going to repurchase items from the site, I would pick up the palette as the hard case is nice, has a really nice mirror and is a good compact size for travel.  I would purchase the highlighter.  I would also pick up the metallic shade Mila. I would not purchase the entire set as it is in the current palette arrangement. But I would keep those pans around and choice does seem to be the reason this entire Freematic system was devised. Well, I think it was designed for color choice, but removing the shadows that just don’t work is an option too. And that’s kind of the one I would take.


Avene USA

Elf Bite Sized Eyeshadow Palette in Cream and Sugar Review with a KVD single shadow assist

Elf Bite Sized Eyeshadow Palette in Cream and Sugar, KVD single Shadow in Lolita and Metal Crush Highlighter used as shadow

I have to say I was a bit nervous about using just this palette all week.  It is why to my make up bag I added two additional shades in single shadow form.  Well one single shadow and one highlighter that I really only use as a shadow rather than a highlighter.  I’ll talk about them at the end of this post, but first the ELF palette.

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In general I like Elf Shadows.  Sometimes they aren’t the most pigmented, but they are always buildable. The bite sized palette comes with only four shades (two mattes and two shimmers) and costs $3 at Target.

While I was nervous committing to a four shadow palette for the week, I have to say, these four shadows were very well chosen.  Sometimes I get palettes and stare at them wondering what on earth I am going to actually do with the colors presented.  That was not a problem with this palette.  All of the shades worked well together.  Looking for just a light wash of color, go with the matte pink on the far left.  Want a little pop?  Top it with the lighter shimmer.  Brown smoky eye? Easily done.  Office wear? Yup.  Classic night out look?  Done and dusted.

simple every day look

Don’t get me wrong, there are only four shadows so it is a limited color spectrum you are working with, but as soon as you decide what sort of look you want, the colors click into place.  The fact that they are so well thought out means that it is super quick to use this palette.  If you are looking to speed up your morning routine, this might work for you.  I know Elf makes several different Bite sized palettes.  If they are all as well thought out as this one then I might have to look into picking more up. 

Now this week in my makeup bag I added two KVD products.  One was the shadow in the shade Lolita and the other was a metal Crush highlighter.  The shadow is the mauve sort of reddish that blended well with this palette while allowing me the choice of adding more color. 

KVD Swatches, Lolita on left metal crush on right

It is a very pigmented color, but doesn’t have a lot of fall out.  If you tap the brush lightly in the pan, then tap off the excess there isn’t a lot of trouble with it.  The Metal Crush highlighter was a highlighter I bought a while ago, tried and went ‘no, I can’t wear this as a highlighter.  It works surprisingly well as a shimmer shade for this palette as well, bringing something a lot less neutral and a bit lighter to the mix.

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I enjoyed having both of them around with this palette and will use the KVD shades again. I think Metal crush is destined to remain and eyeshadow in a really big pan for me. I also think that next time I pick a very neutral palette to use for the week I will automatically add at least one single shadow to the bag as well. Not only does that plan give me a little more play with the colors, but it uses my often forgotten single shadows.

I think that because the ELF cream and sugar palette is so neutral, if I were to travel with it (and the palette seems designed for travel) I would toss one or two single eyeshadows in brighter, complementary colors to take along just in case I decided I wanted a pop of color that day. (Because let’s face it, my weekly makeup bag is sort of travel bag practice when you get right down to it.)  Or I could add a second bite sized palette with more color in it.  Either way, I enjoyed using it this week and look forward to reaching for it in the future.


e.l.f. cosmetics

Huda Beauty Topaz Obsessions Palette Review

This week the eyeshadow palette I chose to work with was the Huda Beauty Topaz Obsessions Palette.  It is a square nine pan palette.  Five of the shadows are matte and four are shimmers. 

It was a very interesting palette to work with for a week.  All of the mattes are highly pigmented.  I found if I dipped in and knocked the excess off the brush then I could apply the shadow with one brush and then use a separate clean brush to blend it out for a simple one shadow look. 

Row 1 swatches (some of the swatches just don’t show well on my skin)

With the exception of the central neutral shade all of the mattes worked well this way.  The only reason the neutral shade didn’t work is that it is too close to my skin tone to show up well. (The central neutral shade is the middle swatch in the image below (row 2 swatches, I swear I actually swatched it)

Row 2 swatches

That’s not really the fault of the shadow. I’m sure it would work well with someone else. It is very easy to apply too much of the mattes however so start out with a very light touch.  The dark brown in the left hand corner (first swatch of row 3 image) had a little more fall out than the others, but almost all dark browns seem to do the same. Again, a light touch worked well to keep it in check.

Row 3 swatches

While each of the colors can be worn alone, they do blend fairly well without muddying.   My only issue is that with the shade range most of the looks I created looked very similar.  If I used more of the orangey shade in the top left hand corner the eye look came out a bit brighter but it was still only a slight variation.  It is a good quick palette to use, but not a terribly exciting one. Again I think much of this is down to my skin tone.

With the shimmers, they also applied well but again were just varying shades of coppery gold. They all applied evenly and stayed in place.  The biggest difference was in the depth of the copper.  One was bright copper and another would be described more as old gold looking.

It is a very easy palette to use and one I enjoyed. I adore the coppers, but after a week with this palette, I think my palette next week will not feature brown and copper quite so heavily. I am ready for a different tonal scheme. I will definitely reach for this palette again whenever I feel the need for copper or a quick office look, but I might pair it with another palette for a different look.


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Palette Review: Maple Glazed by I Heart Revolution

Recently I have begun cleaning out and sorting through my dressing table.  It is amazing how jumbled the drawers can get just through daily use.  So I’ve been going through and removing dried up eyeliners, nail polishes that have polished their last nail and lipsticks that shall be worn no more.  I recently took out all of my eyeshadow palettes and decided to give the drawer a good cleaning (there was some spilled glitter and the fallout from a couple of broken shadows inside.  I’m pretty sure that the glitter will remain throughout the rest of eternity despite my best eradication attempts. It won the day). 

I figured while I had them out I would go through the palettes and do a bit of a declutter.

As I removed them, one small little eyeshadow palette rolled out from the back and took center stage in the mostly empty drawer.  That was the little yellow doughnut shaped palette from I Heart Revolution.  I’m sure you’ve seen them, for a while it seemed everyone had them. It was one of those palettes I liked, but completely forgot about because it is small and rolled to the back. I picked up the Maple Gazed version at Ulta when I was there for something completely unrelated.  It was a spur of the moment purchase and one I have never regretted. I thought the fluffy doughnut decoration would help keep the shadows from breaking when traveling and it seems to have worked as I traveled with it last summer. It was $8 I believe and my only regret is that I didn’t buy the entire doughnut set while I was there.  

When I went to look the palettes up on the Revolution website, I couldn’t find them.  The metallic Bunnies seem to have taken the place of the doughnuts.  But they were still on the Ulta website when I looked them up and when I was last in the store (before they closed for Corona) they were still available.  I suspect that there will be both more doughnuts and probably a few bunnies in my future (once I clear out a little space.)

The Maple Glazed Palette has five shades, four in a circle and one in the center. The two matte shades are a little powdery, but I found if I tapped my brush off after dipping into pan I didn’t have a lot of fall out issues.  The mattes fall more into the buildable than the highly pigmented camp.  I personally like that because it means I can determine exactly how dramatic I want to be that day instead of letting the shadow decide for me.  I was able to get a surprising number of good everyday looks with just the five shadows.

The two mattes worked well together for a very low key office look.  Adding just the central white shimmer to it, made the office look pop a little more but not stray into the inappropriate for an office arrena.  The shimmery bronze color could also be applied lightly with a dry brush for just a little shimmer, or a wet brush could be used for an extra metallic look after work look.  The gold was naturally more dramatic because it is a bit brighter.  Changing the application and the surrounding shadows, it could go from a more muted old gold sort of look to a bright gold coin look.

Also given the small size of the palette (and the fluffy padding of the doughnut) it could be slipped into a purse so a day time look could be worn throughout the day and then a quick trip to the ladies can adjust the look for the post work cocktail hour.

I used either a lid primer or (more often than not) concealer on my eyelids to give me a good base.  With that and a quick hit of setting spray once the look was complete I found that the shadows didn’t crease throughout the day and lasted the full day with no issues.  

It is a great neutral with a pop palette and I am sad that I forgot about it for so long.  I will be looking for a new home for it somewhere easily accessible so that it doesn’t get lost in the depths of the drawer with the other larger palettes.  It is fun, easy to work with and great for everyday use. I just can’t keep it out on the dressing table as just looking at it makes me want to go to my local doughnut shop. There is a family run place about five miles down the street from me.  It’s apparently been there since the 1930s.  Just looking at the palette makes me think ‘I should really support local business.’ But that is an argument between my waistline and my social consciousness.  Whichever wins, the eyeshadow palette is still good and isn’t leaving my dressing table any time soon, unless it is packed in a bag for travel.

Maybe the Bunnies will make me less hungry. They are only made of chocolate at Easter right?




The Enlighten Palette by IBY: A Review

The IBY Enlighten Palette

I have to start off by saying I am not a pastels sort of person.  In most things, I tend to prefer my colors saturated.  I know that sounds strange because I often lean into neutrals where eyeshadows are concerned, but I also favor bold lips so I try to balance.

For me pastels always remind me of Easter and the annual fight with my mother over the Easter church dress. She insisted it feature pastel colors, I protested.  She insisted it was one day out of the year, I wore it to church and refused to put it on again ever after. Luckily, she had a friend who owned a consignment shop so I was dressed for church, told to behave and then as soon as we returned from church the dress was removed, laundered and taken over to Annie.

It was a system that persisted for years.  

In the end, I accepted the once a year pastels and my mom delighted in the fact that one day out of the year she got to choose my outfit. I should point out, she is a big pastel loving person.

Swatches from the top two rows, moving left to right

While I am no longer as adamantly anti-pastel as I once was, yes I even have a light pink sweat shirt in my closet (gasp), they still aren’t something I gravitate towards. So I can’t say I was thrilled when this IBY palette appeared in my IPSY box this April.  Still, it was Easter, the time even I have to admit pastels dominate. I can’t recall trying any IBY shadows before so I was interested in doing so and that was what got me to try the palette in the first place.

Swatches from the bottom two rows left to right and starting with the interior row

I have to say I do like the formula of the shadows, it is soft and buttery and while I did have to tap off the brush after dipping into the pan (which is why some of the swatches look a little powdery), there was surprisingly little fall out once it was applied.  The colors are in general on the lighter side of things (um, pastels, right?) but they are fairly buildable considering pastels will only get to a certain color density in general. 

The only one I had problems with was the green glittery shade called Wealth.  It is in the far left hand corner of the palette, the names are written in dark silver on a lighter silver background so they can be a little hard to read.

Wealth did not want to stay in place.  I’m not certain if that is meant to be a social commentary, but it is the truth of the shadow at least. 

It applied well but even a few hours later I noticed my cheeks and nose were starting to sparkle. It was the only shade where I had issues with migration.  It is also the only real glitter shade.  Almost all of the shadows are shimmers.  The white and two browns in the top row (Moonstone, Mud Bath and Vortex) are matte shades.  I think the very pink shade at the bottom right (Dragon Fruit) is supposed to be matte, but I found it had a little bit of a shimmer to it when applied. 

While it was fun to play with, I generally found I wanted some more colored mattes to pair with them. I ended up using this palette in conjunction with the Cargo Tokyo in Bloom Palette.  It is my one spring like palette and I found their mattes really worked well with the IBY shimmers. I’m not sure if the Cargo palette is still available, but I’m betting you could pair these shimmers with any neutrally mattes and they would work well, they just need a background against which to shine.

The mattes from the Cargo Tokyo in Bloom palette really worked well with the IBY Enlighten

In general I found I enjoyed this palette far more than I thought I would.  There is enough variation in the shades to create different looks, the formula is soft and buttery and with one notable exception, the shadows stay put where you place them and they last all day. 

I didn’t have a problem with patchiness at all.  In the end it was fun to be forced out of my comfort zone and it is nice to have something bright in a non-festival kind of way, in my collection.  While it may not end up being an everyday palette for me, I will certainly be using it for the spring and then possibly using it to brighten some of my darker looks throughout the summer. I suspect it is going to be a palette I keep around specifically to supplement other palettes. 

Or if I end up needing to wear a pastel Easter dress again.


e.l.f. cosmetics