The Queen has arrived, at least in shadow form

The Queen Eyeshadow Palette from Eloise

I’ll admit, I had never heard of the brand when The Queen Palette from Eloise arrived in one of my Boxycharm boxes and to be fair, I wasn’t too enthused with the colors. As you may have guessed, I am not much for a lot of the brighter colors. But this week I decided, why not and took the plunge.

I have to say I am really glad I did. It was very much a departure for me and the brightness meant everything else was rather toned down for the entire week. It drastically affected my lipstick game. I so wanted to use the Red sigma lipstick this week, but this was not the palette to try it out with.

Row 1 swatches Lto R: Empire, Sheba, Kingdom, MyLady, Curtsy

First, the mattes. They were highly pigmented and there was very little fall out from even the most intense of the colors. It was quite refreshing actually. The colors applied well when used singly or as one matte with a shimmer, but blending just sort of muddied them. Everything sort of came out as a red tinged purple-y color if I tried to mix them. Perhaps I simply do not have the skill to get them to blend well, but I find them hard to blend. I found the mattes very nice for a one and done look and they were nice paired singly with a shimmer (matte on the outer corner and shimmer on the inner).

Row 2 Swatches L to Right: Throne, Powerful,Jewels, Rani, Empress

The colors of the mattes, I’ll be honest are not entirely to my taste. They are a good mix of colors though however I found myself wanting either a black or a really dark brown to go with them. The darker tones of Kingdom (top row swatch 3) and Amina (4th row swatch 3) just weren’t dark enough for me. It may just be that I think of these mattes as the colors that are used for accents with a smokey eye of sorts instead of colorful looks on their own, but that was how i felt using this. That it was missing a black or a dark brown.

Row 3 swatches L to R: Majesty, Queen, YourHighness, Elizabeth, Crown

The shimmer shades are an entirely different story. They applied well with a dry brush, which I found to be a surprise in itself. They required a little more work than the mattes, but they still applied well with a dry brush and there was not a lot of fall out. I did not end up with glitter tracing the sides of my nose by the end of the day.

Row 4 swatches L to R: Monarch, Honorable, Amina, Regal, Sovereign

Te shimmers did pop more when they were applied with a brush sprayed with setting spray or with a fingertip. To be completely honest, I loved the shimmers in this palette. And that is the reason I will keep it in my collection. while the mattes applied well on their own and muddied when mixed, they are also not in colors I would really use unless for a small accent. I think these colors work better on someone who either has much darker skin than mine, or much lighter skin than mine. I have remnants of my summer tan still and a slight olive tone to my skin. These are not colors that sit well on my skin tone. At my darkest I am not dark enough to make them look good and at my lightest I feel I would have the same issue, because I just don’t get pale enough to make these colors pop.

I will however definitely use these shimmers. As there are far more shimmers in this palette, I am actually happy with the mix. This is a palette I will reach for, just for those shimmers. They applied really well and stayed in place all day with little transfer and virtually no fall out. At least i didn’t have any this week. As it has been a while since I’ve been able to say that with a shimmer shadow, it feels really nice to say it now. I would never have picked up this palette on my own, but for the shimmer shades, I am glad that i have it in my collection.

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The Hip Dot Zion Eyeshadow Palette

This week the eyeshadow palette I chose to work with was the Zion palette from Hip Dot. It came in a BoxyCharm box and I have to say I am a sucker for the marbling on the outside of the package. The palette itself feels substantial and has a nice mirror in it. With this company I have never tried any of their shadows however I did purchase the Spongebob Palette they sell for someone else (they really like it but I’m not sure how much of that is spongebob and how much is the product).

This palette as you can see is a very purple themed palette. Even the reds have purple tones to them. I don’t mind purple. The only real purple I’ve got is my Ciate London Jessica Rabbit Palette, which lets face it I bought because it is Jessica Rabbit. (and yes at some point I will be picking up the compact that goes with it, but as nice as many of Ciate London’s Products are that purchase again will have little to do with the actual product).Purple is not a tone I naturally gravitate towards. I don’t mind it or have bad associations, it just isn’t my go to like some other colors.

Swatches for the top row, L to R: Sandstone, Virgin, Canyon, maze and surreal

But that was another reason i chose this palette this week. I knew that I would probably not naturally pick this palette up. As you can probably tell from the above photograph, these are very powdery shades. The shimmers feel softer and more buttery than the mattes, but over all powdery is the term that comes to mind when thinking of this palette.when applying these shades you have to remember to tap your brush off when dipping into the pan or you will end up with a mess. If you ae the sort who applies eyeshadow before the rest of your face makeup, this is your time to revel in your good judgement. For me personally, I have never been able to do that. I always get everything put together except for the eyes and lips and then I concentrate on the eyes and finish with the lips. Everytime I try it in a different line up I completely wreck the eye look.


Even being careful, you will have some fall out as you apply so If you add extra setting powder and then brush it away after doing your eyes, then you will save yourself some trouble. even being careful I ended up with some of the color Virgin sparkling down my face after application.

Swatches middle row, L to R: Wanderlust, Grounded, Angel’s Landing, Wild River, and Whisper

Also be aware that tapping the brush off produces a lot of dust. My bathroom sink looks like a multicolored dust storm swept in after a week of using this palette. I usually clean it on Saturday, so that I can also get any mask spatter out as well and it will really need it’s Saturday clean. that being said, the colors do perform nicely. They are pigmented but buildable. The darker the color in the pan the more pigmented it becomes and the lighter you want to dip into the pan. not only is there more fall out as you dip, but the darker colors can be a bit overpowering.

Swatches Bottom Row L to R: Sublime, Narrows, Majesty, Mystery, and Vibration

The third row of the palette actually works well for a one and done look. When i used them I tapped into the pan, touched the brush to the outer edge of my eye and then used a clean brush to blend it inward. That row works best when used like that as they don’t tend to play well with the other shadows. If you try layering them they more or less just obliterate anything that came before them. They are still very beautiful to work with, they are just more stand alone kinds of shadows.

I don’t know if you can see this well but even being careful I ended up with a glittery cheek if I didn’t add extra powder to my under eye area to catch the fall out. You might have to zoom in to see. I will say though that once the eye shadow is on, it remains in place. There may be fall out when applying it, but it doesn’t migrate. I created whatever look I was going for and then used my HA Spray as my setting spray and that was that. At the end of the day my lipstick was gone but the eyeshadow remained. I did not get a lot of creasing (the line you see is the natural fold in my eyelid) and there was not a lot of transfer. The shimmers ended up migrating a little further up by the end of the day but that is mostly do to my slightly hooded eyes. It happens with pretty much every shimmer. Most of it remained where I put it but throughout the day is was pushed around a bit.The mattes didn’t budge. They faded a little, but as I expected to have purple under eyes from fall out throughout the day I was pleasantly surprised.

So the end of every eyeshadow palette: Is it a keeper or does it get cleaned and passed on and will I buy from this company again?

I think i will keep this palette in my collection. I don’t have a lot of shades like them and I did like how they performed. I would probably not have picked this up on my own as it is very purple themed and I am not. But I am glad it came to me in a subscription box. I probably won’t reach for it often, but I know I will reach for it when I am wanting purple. hich does happen occasionally. I think I will be looking at other palettes by Hip Dot in the future. I would probably choose a palette that was in a more consistent color scheme for me, but I would buy it. I would just remember the fall out and be prepared for a week of a very messy sink.

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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

Hello Charmers Palette Review

maybe a black background wasn’t the best idea for the pic

This was my makeup bag palette pick for the week. Not only did this palette come in a Boxy Charm box, but I believe it was the first palette Boxycharm did on it’s own instead of as a collaboration with someone else.  Hence the name Hello, Charmer!

All of the shade names are ones relating to some aspect of Boxy Charm.  As the last few palettes I’ve talked about didn’t have shade names, I’m just relieved these do.  It’s much easier to talk about a specific shade, such as Cup’of Joe rather than the brown shade on the far right of the second row.

It is a really good mix of mattes, shimmers and glitters, which I like.  They all have their pros and cons.

Top row of swatches

First the Mattes. The Matte shades are Boxy, Spoiler, Unboxing, Premium and Cup of Joe.  As far as colors go, it is essentially three neutrals, one white and one red. Premium and Spoiler are both transition shades (depending on your skin tone with Cup of Joe being a nice brownish shade that is excellent for deepening the crease. It doesn’t swatch terribly well but it is quite pigmented on the eyes.  The shades are all highly pigmented and layer well.  They are also super powdery.  This is a messy pan to work with and you will definitely need to tap off your brush before applying and be prepared for some fall out during application. 

Second row of swatches

Once placed though, they stay in place throughout the day.  Just be aware that application is messy.

The shimmer shades are, to be honest more metallic looking than shimmery in many cases. They too are highly pigmented and blend really well.  They aren’t as powdery as the mattes.  They feel very creamy and they stay in place well.  They are not subtle.  Just no that. While you can create everyday looks with the mattes, the metallic shimmers are a pretty intense pop. If you work in a conservative office, you might be able to get away with using sneak peek and exclusive, but the others are definitely after hours shades.

There is one glitter shade and I don’t know if you can see, but my pan of Swipe Up already has a dip in it.  It is the smoothest glitter I have ever applied.  While it does go on without any glitter glue, I would advise using a somewhat sticky eye primer with this one.  (Or don’t let the concealer you use in place of an eye primer set too much so it is still wet.  It can use a little something to hold it in place.  It doesn’t need glue though and stays in place well.  I ended up with a little glitter in strange places on my face by the end of the day, but for the most part after a full day of wear it was still where I put it.

The mattes like spoiler are quite powdery

This was a really fun palette to play around with this week.  And it is surprisingly more versatile than I expected it to be.  I thought I would just have wild eyes all week, but if I stuck to the mattes I could go for a neutral look.  If I wanted sparkly, well, I could get that too.  While the mattes are good, they aren’t my favorite formula with that fall out.  I have the same shades in different palettes so they aren’t unique but the shimmer s and glitters more than make up for it.  And you can see that they were chose mostly to be a back drop for the more spectacular shades.  If it weren’t for the powdery bits I’d give it a ten, with the powder it’s still an eight and a half, and that’s not bad.  Clearly this palette is staying in my collection for a while.

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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: La Vie by Chella

The Chella La Vie four pan palette was in my March IPSY Ultimate box and I have to say I was a bit surprised by it.  I took a look at the four colors: Femme a pearl shade, Instincts, a peachy pink shade, Dynamic a brown tone and Vitality a gold shimmer shade and thought ‘This looks a little boring.’

Truthfully the colors aren’t something I haven’t seen before. I have them all in various palettes however, once I received the palette and got to inspect it more fully, I was more impressed with it. First let’s see what the product page for the palette says so we know what it is officially.

The La Vie Neutral Eyeshadow Palette embraces warm neutrals, sure to inspire you to live every day to your fullest.

With 2 pearl (Femme + Vitality) and 2 matte water-resistant shades (Instincts + Dynamic) and a dual-ended eyeshadow brush for effortless application, this interchangeable and refillable palette is designed with the modern + multi-tasking woman in mind. Buildable, blendable and long-wearing, our easy to use all-in-one palette will be an essential part of your everyday beauty routine.

The palette itself is heavy and well made.  The front catch is actually a button push that you use to open it, which I really like. The mirror is nice and the palette sits well on the dressing table when open.  The brush included has one brush end which is okay and then one foam end which I absolutely hate.  I suspect it won’t take terribly long before I end up losing the brush somewhere.

The shadows have magnetic backing and are easy to remove should you want to replace them. The shadows are listed as cruelty free, paraben free, gluten free and Vegan. The palette itself retails for $45.  I looked everywhere but I could not find any replacement shadows for sale.  I couldn’t find them in the colors already included in the palette for a straight up replacement and I couldn’t find any other shades either.  I have to say I am somewhat disappointed by that face.  The refillable palette is a good idea and this is a palette that I would use especially for travel, f I could find additional shades for it, or even replacements for these.  It is a very sturdy package and I would feel confident putting it into my traveling make up bag and knowing the shadows wouldn’t break.

But perhaps this is a new thing and they haven’t gotten around to manufacturing  them yet.  I really hope they do, because as it turns out, I really like these shadows.  The two mattes are especially lovely.  The peachy Instincts is a great transition shade and the brown Dynamic is excellent for darkening the crease.  Those two alone make this a quick and easy palette to grab in the morning when you just want a very neutral look. If you are looking for a little shimmer then I would suggest going for the pearl-y Femme, especially for a day time look.  While the coppery Vitality is very pretty, it is rather intensely gold on the eyes.  If you go overboard then it just looks like you have golden eyes.  Which is not a bad thing, but not really a neutral office look, admittedly when I worked in an office daily it was a very conservative office.. So be careful with it, a little goes a long way.

All of the colors blend out really well.  They are soft and buttery and stay on the eye all day.  I was very impressed with them.  Just remember the copper shade can be intense and you will be fine.  I will say it is still a little on the boring side, but it is not really trying to be a super exciting palette.  It is going for an everyday vibe.  It very much achieves this.  The bit disappointment is that it is a refillable palette where refills are not actually available.  The shape reminds me of the Buxom single shadows though.  They look to be about the same size. If replacements don’t become available for this palette, for one reason or another, I think that if I do need a replacement, I might actually try to fit the Buxom in. I love their shadows as well and it would be a shame to let this reusable palette go to waste.  And as it is such an easy color scheme to work with, I can see myself reaching for it often enough to wear out the matte shades.   Given the intense pigmentation, the bronzy gold might last a bit longer. Regardless, I am very pleased to add this palette to my collection.

Palette of the Week: Celestial Thunder

Celestial Thunder by Dominique Cosmetics was one of those eyeshadow palettes that came to me via subscription box.  I believe this one was a Boxy Charm (November maybe). I’ll admit, the palette came in and I swatched it, oohed and ahhed over the colors and then set it aside.  I don’t think I actually used it when it came in.  I may have, but it probably wasn’t more than once and I really don’t remember it. 

So when I pulled this palette out of the drawer this past week, it was a completely more or less, new experience.  I will say the colors are vibrant.  They are highly pigmented and they go on the eye well, blending easily. I will also say that the colors don’t tend to last the day.  The bright pinks and oranges fade and muddy, and the sparkly purple-ly black color (Black Matter), which was my favorite in the lot, tends to migrate down and in to the nose and under eye area making me at least look like I might have taken a bit of a punch to the face sometime earlier. 

It was not an attractive look. 

I think one of the reasons that this palette didn’t get immediate use from me though is that despite it being a very pretty palette, these aren’t colors I gravitate towards.  Or if they do appeal, I have the colors in a different palette and in a formula that doesn’t disappear before I’m done with my day. 

I am just never going to reach for that Lucid Dream Pink or that Mystic Ice Teal. They are pretty colors but I know I won’t use them.  I gave the palette a shot to try it out, but in truth after the first day of wearing them, I decided I wasn’t going to keep the palette. Knowing this I decided not to abuse it any more and keep it as clean as possible (I’ll cleanse it before I pass it on, but I want it to look its best instead of well used).  I have a friend who adores the colors in the palette and I will be wiping it down and passing it to her.  Hopefully she will get more use out of it.  This is one palette that is not staying in my shadow drawer.

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Kevyn Aucoin Beauty

Palette of the Week: Soph x from Revolution

I have to say, I was very relieved when I pulled out this palette last week. Recently It seems that all the palettes that I have been pulling out of my shadow drawer have either been complete neutrals palettes or they have been small size pan travel palettes. There might be some exaggeration but that is the way it feels.

I think it might be because I was attending a lot of meetings and traveling over the holidays so those palettes were on the top of the drawer to begin with. Or I could just have a lot of neutrals palettes,. Finding out is one of the reasons I’m doing this palette of the week thing. It forces me to not grab the same palette every day and actually use all the ones I have. and if I can’t use them for the week, then maybe they don’t deserve space in my limited makeup drawer.

That was not the case with this one. This is one of my favorite palettes for a pop of color. Thee is very little fall out and while I wouldn’t describe the shadows as butter soft, they are incredibly blendable. The black, as all black shadows needs a little extra care to avoid going overboard, but it is great for creating a smokey eye. The pinks and mauves are all excellent for a one and done shadow look and the shimmers are shimmery enough for a little flash but not something that will cause a ruckus in the office.

At least not when used dry. They have more pop when they are applied with a damp brush. which is pretty consistent for all shimmers I think. over all this isn’t a splashy night out palette though. It is an good everyday palette for someone who wants the option of a little color. It is a good array of shades so there is no boredom and they blend and layer beautifully. This is one of those palettes that I love to use but that tends to get buried and forgotten. I am so glad I got the chance to pull it up to the light for a week.

My favorite everyday look? Danger (a mauve color), layered with Peaches (a lighter pink) and then popped up with the gold of Grow Old. In the day I can use this for meetings by applying with only dry brushes, then if going out later, touch up the gold with a damp brush. Once applied, the shadows last all day and so only the slight glam up is needed.

It is a fun, but not over the top, palette to work with and as i said before it was a huge relief to pull out a palette with some color after all those neutrals. Not that this palette doesn’t have its neutrals, but I have to admit, this week, I really only used them when I needed to tone down some of the brighter shades.

I will also say that when I pulled this palette out, I remembered I had several other Revolution products. While the foundation stick I picked up for my travel foundation test is sadly worn to an unusable nub (and colored for my summer tanned skin rather than my winter pale) I used a different foundation.

Don’t worry my darlings, I will be picking up more Revolution Foundation for my grand trial. After the wonderful performance of the stick foundation, there is no way it will be left off the list.

The primer was actually from Benefit it was the pearl primer (a long standing favorite and one I think that is better than their regular Pore professional). The highlighter was from the Revolution palette this week as well. I really like their highlighter palette because you get three shades and can decide exactly how bright or subtle you want the highlighter because they too blend well also.

The lips were a Becca lip gloss in champagne as I didn’t want to go too crazy when I used the black eyeshadow.

Revolution US 900 x 231

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Palette of the Week: Urban Decay Ultimate Basics

As it was a full matte palette, I added one shimmer shade from my singles shadows to play with.

This week I pulled the Urban Decay Ultimate Basics Palette out of my dressing table drawer. It is an older palette, but a good one.  When I worked in an office on a daily basis it was my go to palette.  In fact, I liked the palette so much that I wore it out and re-purchased it. It has however been a while since I used it. 

Pulling this palette out on a week where I was incredibly busy with friends and family was actually a good idea.  One of the reasons that I liked it so much when I had very limited get ready time was that it is a very easy palette to create simple everyday looks.

The Shades

This was definitely the week for quick and easy.

The formula of these shadows is a good one, it is soft and buttery and once applied it lasts all day. The only issue is the same issue that most Urban Decay shadows have in that the colors can occasionally get muddy over the course of the day.  I’ve found that it is better to not layer the shadows because of this. I skip the base layer and transition shade all together.  It is better to simply take one shadow for the darker crease and then one for the inner corners of the eye, blending them a bit towards the middle of the eye. If you just use two shadows and limit the amount of overlap then the shadows work well.  It is mixing the colors that causes the muddying. And using only the two colors makes the application quicker. 

My additional shimmer

I know not the most exciting look on the planet, but there is enough color variation in the palette so that you are not putting on the exact same shades each day throughout the week. On me most of the tones (8 of 12 can be used as the darker crease shade, depending on how dramatic I want the look. As this really is more of an office wear palette, I didn’t need to get all that dramatic with most of the looks.

The shadows in this palette are all matte shades and work well for me. I found myself wanting a shimmer shade though for when I .  As such I did dip into my single shadows to add a little shine to the matte look. added the LOC liquid eyeshadow shimmer in the shade Midnight to make the look a little more festive. It is a silvery champagne shade and I found if I used the black shade in the palette (Black Jack) with the LOC it created a great smoky eye suitable for christmas cheer.

Over all, I really liked bringing this palette out from the drawer, and I liked that I had the chance to use a few of my single shadows as well.  This was the first palette I pulled out completely at random from the drawer and I have to say I really liked the surprise of it as well as the palette.  Despite having used the palette many times before it was like finding it for the first time. It was a fun surprise for the week and one I am eager to repeat for the following week. I can’t wait to see what I pull out next.

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Palette Review: Violet Voss Essentials

The Palette exterior

I have been putting this review off for a while now because I really wanted to like this palette. It looks like it would be an excellent fall palette and has a shade range that can be worn in daily life with a few pops of color to jazz it up. It seems like something right up my alley.

But looks can be decieving.

So can finger swatches.

The Palette interior

At best this is a mixed review because each color had to be looked at on its own and to be honest, I think how you intend to use it will determine how much you like it. I’ll explain as I go.

First off, the shadows are very soft, but not overly powdery. And when applied, they stay in place all day. That is a big plus.It is an excellent formula that doesn’t crease or disappear. Which is why I kept wanting to like it far more than I did.

First the mattes.

The mattes are amazingly pigmented yet easily blendable. As I tried to work with this palette I found myself dipping into Dusty Rose as an all over shade for a one and done look. It is excellent for when you are in a hurry or doing a very low key look. Sand, while a little light on my skin tone is also one of those shades that can easily be used as a stand alone. Cinnamon is fantastically pigmented so a little goes a long way. Dip once, tap the brush and use a light hand. Terra cotta has the same impact, however it comes off as pumpkin-y orange on me. I was able to tone it down with the Cinnamon, but unless I was doing a Halloween look, it was way too orange to wear on its own The last of the mattes is the Black and it is exactly what its name implies. It is a straight up black. It too is highly pigmented and can be blended out beautifully whether you are using it to create a smokey eye or to tone down the terra cotta orange.

Then we get to the shimmers.

These are swatches from the Emerald shadow. The one on the left is a regular finger swatch. The second one is a swatch with a brush. The third is me really working with the brush to add pigment and the final swatch on the right is with a wet finger. Perfect for St. Patrick’s day, not so for the office.

And here is where finger swatches on the arm fail you.

With the exception of Plum Berry. Despite being a shimmer, I found it could be used as an all over the lid shade and was not prone to the issues of the other shades. I will actually be wearing that one and Dusty Rose more than anything else in this palette.

Because the other shimmers, oh the other shimmers.

So pretty in the pan, so stunning on an arm swatch, so absolutely nothing with a dry brush and then far too much with a wet one.

Green on the eye after working for a while. The color is muddy and not very pretty but when applied wet far too rainbow bright for an everyday look for me anyway.

Trying to work with them about drove me mad.

If you try to apply them with a dry brush, the shimmer pigments barely show up. You have to work with it and unless you cut your crease, something I rarely do when I am trying to get out of the door in the morning, the color pay off is very little.

If however you wet your brush and then apply, or wet your finger and then apply, the color is far too intense for an office look.

And I think that is the biggest problem with this palette. It is listed as a kind of updated neutrals palette. I look at a neutrals palette as something I could wear to the office. Something subtle where the shimmer shadows provide a little color, but nothing too ostentatious. When dry the color is not worth bothering to apply as it is far too light and when wet it is far too bold for most offices.

In my attempts to use this palette I actually looked up all sorts of tutorials. Most of those I found created bold rainbow looks that I can’t see anyone wearing in a professional office setting. They were stunning, but not neutral. I think this tries a little too hard to be an everyday palette and fails miserably. If using during the day, I would use Dusty Rose, Plum Berry and that delicious Black. Seriously, it is almost worth buying the palette just for that black. The other colors I would dip into when creating a look for a night out and I would use a damp brush or finger to apply the colors.

I will say that despite my color issues, I really like the actual formula of the shadows, I just don’t think this color story is for me. I will still use it, but I will be picky about when I reach for it and what I do once I pick it up. I will also be looking into different palettes from Violet Voss because I think that because of the excellent formula and its staying power, it is worth looking for a color story that is more suited to my tastes.