The Zoeva Caramel Melange

I know some of you are thinking, wait a sec Mimsy, you always start thursdays with the foundation and then go to eyeshadow, what gives? Well my very astute reader, there were foundation issues this week. I had a sample sized foundation I wanted to try out this week and I did try it out. I applied it and wore it. And as I wore it I got very itchy and red. At first I didn’t tie it to the foundation as other things were going on that day. I washed my face, skipped a day of makeup and found my skin was back to normal. Tried the foundation again and the same thing happened. I am not certain if I am allergic to something in the foundation or if my foundation sample was from a bad batch or if it was just old. It was one I was surprised to see in the drawer so I don’t remember when or where I picked it up. To give the foundation the benefit of the doubt I will be looking into its ingredients list (in depth) and if nothing jumps out as reaction causing for me, I will try to pick upo a fresh sample for a second try and see if it turns out differently.

So instead I used my Pretty Vulgar Lava Water Foundation this week.Which I had no problem reusing. The link will take you to the full review of it that I did previously. I really like the foundation, but in all honesty it is also the easiest to grab since the bottle insures that it sits out on my dressing table rather than going in a drawer. So it is also the first one I see. But it is a good foundation so no complaints.

And speaking of no complaints, I really have none with the Zoeva Caramel Melange Eyeshadow Palette either. Well there is a tiny little wistful critique but no real complaints.

The outer box looks to me like a box of chocolates. I don’t know if it is the gold foil look or the diamond pattered but every time I saw it this week I thought ‘high end chocolates, nope eyeshadow’. I think part of that is the box of chocolates one of my great aunts used to keep as ‘adult candy’ when I was a child. I (and all the other kids) wasn’t allowed to touch it so it became the mysterious candy.

That was where my memories took me.

Which given the names of the shadows is pretty much where Zoeva meant me to go. well maybe not to Aunt Marie’s house specifically, but to a chocolate box.

It was a little hard to photograph the outside though as that goal bounced all sorts of reflections. Luckily the inside was much easier to photograph. Except for the shadow names. Wouldn’t you know it? After several weeks of palettes with no shadow names I finally get one with names, but the lettering (gold on dark brown) makes it really hard to read. Sigh. I’ll list them with the swatches for you so you don’t have to strain your eyes.

Top row swatched L to R: Wax Paper, Universal Delight, Aftertaste, 182 Degrees C, Liquid Center

The mattes are soft and buttery. They do kick up a bit of powder when you dip into them, but if you tap your brush off before applying you won’t end up with a lot of fall out as you apply. As with most shadows there is a little more fall out with the darker shades than the lighter. But seriously, even that wasn’t much. If I remembered to tap my brush I rarely had to brush off any excess from my nose or under my eyes.

The mattes are fairly pigmented but they blend really well. I found if I touched down on the outer corner of my eye with a shadow filled brush and then used a clean brush I could blow out the color across the lid with no problem for a one and done look. How heavy or soft depended on how much I blended it out. The colors also layered very well together. I will say it is very much a brown toned palette, which is perfectly fine with me. It is neutral without being boring. I know some folks want like one more exciting pop of color but that salmony colored Aftertaste (middle of the first row) did pack quite a color punch. And despite the over all neutral and brown theme, I could create different looks in the same family without wearing the same shadow look all week.

Second row swatched L to R: Alchemy, Start Soft, Finish Sensual, Almost Burnt, Edible Gem

The shimmers worked well for me as well this week. As anyone who reads this regularly knows, I am a sucker for copper tones and this was right up my alley. 182 degrees C and Liquid Center were my golden bronze go to’s this week. And I won’t lie, I loved using them. I don’t know what it is about bronze shades but they just make me feel both classy and fabulous.I have no answer as to why. I don’t think there is a hierarchy in the world of shadow colors.

It’s not like bronze tootles around in a Bentley while the good solid brown reduces carbon emissions in a Ford Fusion, and matte white insists on riding his bicycle everywhere, even on roads that were never intended for bicycles and are far too dangerous for them.

But still.


I will say that I was very pleased with the way the shimmers applied. because of the texture they applied well with a brush. They are a little softer than the mattes but not by too much. There are no bits in them so there isn’t a lot of fall out with them either. I didn’t need to wet the brush to apply them and while they were more intense when I applied them with my finger, I didn’t really have to. which is nice.

I do have one minor critique. In the second row there is a dark brown (Finish Sensual) and a really dark shimmer (Edible Gem). There isn’t a lot of shimmer in Edible Gem, but it is noticeable.I would have prefered to have the darkest shade be a matte shade. Or if they really wanted it to be a shimmer, add more shimmer to it and then make Finish Sensual a richer brown. And yes what I am saying is that I want the mostly brown palette to have one more darker brown. The Edible Gem without the sparkle would be the perfect super rich shade in this palette. The shimmer in it is enough to notice but not enough to pop. It’s sort of a neither fish nor fowl scenario.

It’s almost like a matte that spent a little too much time hanging out with the glitters and became slightly contaminated from cross over rather than a true shimmer on it’s own. This kept me from using it all that much. The dark brown Finish Sensual can be built up, which is what I did so there really is no harm. It was just my one real issue with this palette. Otherwise I absolutely loved the Caramel Melange Palette from Zoeva. Which is a nice feeling. I feel like I have complained a lot about eyeshadow palettes in the past few months as I had a run of those I didn’t really care for cross my dressing table. It is nice to have one that I really enjoy so much. Incidentally, that link will take you to the Zoeva site. I’m not affiliated with them nor is this post sponsored but when copying the link so readers could find the palette if they were interested I noticed that even though the palette is normally $28, it is currently on sale for $20. Clicking the link will take you to the Zoeva site. I have no idea how long the sale will last but for those interested, there it is.

Algenist: Enjoy a free AA Barrier Serum Mini (8ml) with your full-size purchase. Limited time. Shop Now

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.

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette Review

This week I used the Cocoa Contour palette from two faced and I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  First off, the packaging is beautiful .  I found myself wanting to use this palette.  The metal is raised and the brown has a soft feel to it that made me want to run my fingers over it.  The clasp is a cute little heart.  It is just a good looking palette.

And then you open it.  And true to its name, it smells like cocoa powder.


The top row contains three highlighters while the second row has three contours.  With the highlighters I found they all blended really well into my skin and weren’t blinding highlights. 

They are named Light Medium and Deep. I know the Highlights are more suitable for contouring the face, but I really don’t do a lot of contouring. They worked well as highlighters though, to kind of lighten the cheekbones without adding shimmer.

I had several video conference calls this week and I found it nice to use as I dislike the glittery highlights on professional calls. This gave me the ‘highlight’ on my highpoints without the sparkle.

Light worked extremely well on me, while medium was slightly too yellow, but still workable.  Deep was a little too dark to work as a highlighter on my skin tone. 

swatches from the highlight row (L to R)

Interestingly enough, I found the opposite was true of the bronzers.  Light wasn’t my shade and felt a little too cool toned on my skin and Medium wasn’t really my shade either, but I could make it work.  Deep however suited me perfectly. I think in the winter I might fall back to Medium in the contour.  I am not sure about the highlight though.  It does have a bit of a yellowish tone to it that doesn’t look right on my skin.

swatches from the bronzers (L to R)

Now if you look at the swatches, you may get the idea that these products are not highly pigmented.

You’d be wrong. While the finger swatches were disappointing, when applied to the face with a brush, these products, especially the bronzer are highly pigmented.  Despite that, they really blend out well. It is super easy to go too dark with the product, but I think that is true with every really good bronzer.  Dip lightly into the pan rather than using a heavy hand and the pigments will work beautifully. 

I really enjoyed this palette.  I suspect I will get more out of the bronzers than I do out of the highlights, but that’s only because I only really favored one of the highlighters.  That one, I will use a lot, especially as the number of video calls I end up participating in escalates.  These shades showed up really well on camera without looking too fussy.  Pairing it with my Tarteist Pro palette this week really gave me the professional look I needed this week. But the eyeshadows have their own review.  So before I steal their thunder I will just say that this was a good contour palette for me.  Four out of the six pans are products I will use, and that is not bad.

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?

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: Palm Springs Dreams

How pretty is this palette from Too Faced? Seriously, I loved seeing this out on my dressing table this week and to be honest, I am somewhat sad to see it go back into the drawer. There just isn’t enough space to display palettes on my dressing table so I only keep the one I’m currently using out while the rest wait their turn in the spotlight on the dressing table. It also keeps me from using the same palette over and over again while I ignore the rest.

Which let’s face it, I have been known to do.

This is one of those palettes where such an action would be really easy to do. While the outside is pretty, the inside is equally stunning. The shadows are smooth and buttery, very easy to blend and layer and there is very little fall out. The colors are highly pigmented as well. The shimmer shades do better with a wet application than a dry so for more effect, spray the brush with setting spray and there will be no problems.

I think one of the things I really like about this palette is that it can be used to create both a toned down day look as well as something more sparkly. Looking at it when I first got it, I wasn’t sure everyday looks were a possibility. My favorite everyday look from this palette involved the BYOB (dark brown) shade to darken my crease, Saucy and Bossy to transition and then Last Call to add just a little bit of shine without going overboard. while it didn’t swatch all that well on my arm, Last Call is my hands down favorite shade in this palette. It has a shine that isn’t too glittery but still feels special.

It was difficult for me to not use the shade everyday as I really wanted to. I did rotate through all of the shadows, blue included. Last call still remains my favorite. In fact I am wearing it in the photo here. I know my hair looks crazy in the pic. This was taken after wearing the shadows for about twelve hours. I would also like to point out it was a very windy day, hence the crazy hair. The shadows lasted really well. and in case you are wondering I am also wearing the ELF Tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 (I’ll be posting a review and wear test soon) and on my lips one of my favorite nudes, Buxom’s Russian to You. I love the way it tingles.

Most of the matte shades can be used as a single shadow for a simple and quick look. I have to say my favorite for that was the BYOB shade. I found if I dipped my brush into the pan, dabbed it on the corner of my outer lid and then used a clean brush to blend it in towards my inner eye, it blended well and created enough variation that I could use just the one shade. The other matte shades also worked well for me on that. Saucy and Bossy was a little too close to my own skin tone when applied to be very effective in that application, but on a different skin tone I can see it working well.

While this palette is definitely a keeper, for now I must bid a fond adieu and place it in the drawer. it is time to choose another palette for it’s time on the top of the dressing table. I wonder which one it will be this time. I can’t wait to find out. Tune in next week to see how the next palette fares.

Buxom Cosmetics

Palette of the Week: In the Balm of Your Hand

The Palette plus a couple of friends

I won’t lie, I was a little nervous when I pulled the Balm’s In the Balm of Your Hand (retail $32) out for my weekly palette. It has only four official eyeshadow shades inside. In addition there is one pan of Mary-Lou Manizer, a bronzer in Bahama Mama and three blush pans.

I was worried it would be extremely limiting and that I would get bored before the week was out.  Luckily I remembered that I had two single shadows from the balm, one in The rundown (from the What’s the tea? Palette) which is a darker purple color and Bootylicious (from the Nude Beach Vol 2) which is a lovely coppery shade that I was pleased to have the excuse to keep out.  I have the tendency to forget about my single shadows and I have to say this copper shade was one of my favorites.

So with the shadows bulked up a bit for the week I decided that to balance out adding a couple of shadows, I would use the rest of the palette as my bronzer, blush and highlighter for the week as well. I really liked having most of my face products in one spot. It made getting ready a lot quicker as I didn’t have to trade out products which was a definite bonus.

With the shadows, it was an interesting week.  I found myself dipping into single shadows more often than i created layered looks and I have to say these are the shadows to do that with.  There is a little fall out from the darker shades, but not all that much, or at least I didn’t have that much. I just had to tap the brush before applying and I was good.

I ended up dipping into the shade Alice Cooper a lot starting on the outer corner and then blending it in towards the inner corner. I have somewhat lidded eyes so the dark on the outer edge and lighter towards the center look helps me. I make a mess when i try to do Halo eyes although I do keep practicing.

I also found myself mentally singing “No More Mr. Nice Guy” but that really can’t be blamed on The Balm.  At least I don’t think it can. When I needed to brighten up the interior corner of my eyes I ended up using Mary-Lou. I found all of the shades worked well treated this way.  I did the same with the single shadows as well. It gave me a surprising range for the week.  In addition, I could do a few layered looks.  I used Matt Reed as a crease shade,lightened it up with The Rundown and then added Mary-Lou for one look and then another I worked Matte Russo with Bootylicious for a shimmery coppery look which I liked a lot.

With The blushes, I wasn’t all that enthused with any of the shades particularly, but Frat boy worked well enough for me this week.  The other two blushes worked better as eyeshadows on me than blushes, which is how I used them. My issue with it was the size of the palette.I ended up switching out brushes a lot to use smaller ones so I could get the product on the brushes.  I had a similar issues with the bronzer Bahama Mama, although I really liked the shade a lot.

In the end the limited shade range caused me to just be a little more creative when I wanted variation.  I can say that I didn’t get bored with it, frustrated a bit with the pan size, but not bored. I really liked the shadows themselves and found they were very pigmented and lasted all day. 

I have to say that as I know the Matte Reed shade is included in the Matt(e) Trimony palette, I am a bit more excited since I know this palette is included in my IPSY box this month.  I am also contemplating picking up the Rockstar Palette once I’ve gone through my palette and cleared out a little space as I really liked Alice Cooper and the other shades in the palette looked interesting as well when I looked them up. 

Since I only tried individual shades from the Balm prior to getting this palette, I like that the palette took shades from other palettes so I could try their formulas. In itself it is a decent palette as well. I think that on my next trip this will be in the running for packing as it does have a decent range of colors to keep me interested for a week, as well as bronzer, highlighter and a blush I can use, thus saving space for my ever expanding skin care products. I just have to accept that with it’s prominent placement, I will always be singing old Alice Cooper songs as I put on my makeup.

Personally, I can live with that.

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