Monday, August 22, 2011

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette

After Book of Shadows II and Naked Palette, I thought I'm done with Urban Decay. Even when photos, swatches and reviews of the Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette started popping up in each and every blog and youtube channel I'm subscribed to, I was determined to skip this. I don't see the need of adding more to my eye shadow collection as I tend to gravitate towards the same colors over and over again.  With the fiasco on Naked Palette and the pace new products come to Canada, I thought the probability of me caving in to get this palette is very slim.  Well, that's what I thought!

Last month, we went on a shopping spree in the U.S. I wasn't expecting to get anything make-up related as the main purpose of the trip was to get presents for our family.  I did list the nearest Ulta location from Warden Galleria though, just in case we pass by (I haven't been to Ulta prior to our last trip).  And so, we did spot Ulta and went shopping.  I had my mind set on Real Techniques brushes but didn't expect I would lay my eyes on the UD 15th Anniversary Palette... take note: the last item on the rack.  Just imagine the angel and demon debating on my mind that time. Anyhow, the angel lost and so this baby came home with me... *evil grin*

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette

I normally don't fuss over product packaging but the intricate detail of this eye shadow case is just too pretty! It makes the product so much more luxurious than it already is!

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette

This palette comes with 15 new shades that are very crazy pigmented... even more pigmented than pure pigments.  It comes with a variety of neutral colors and a few brights. The finishes are all metallic... UD could have thrown a few matte shades to make it even more versatile.  

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette

The swatches above were all done with one swipe of each shade, starting from the column on the left towards the right.  See how intense the shadows are on the last column?  My God!

Texture wise, these shadows glides so smoothly... they are even more buttery than the Naked Palette. However, I do find them quite loosely pressed as grabbing the product using a brush causes some powder mess on the palette.  I was expecting fall outs due to this, but it applies amazingly well on the lid.

For those who haven't tried any of the Urban Decay palettes, this is a must have. But for those who already got Naked Palette or any of the Book of Shadows, there are some shades in this palette that look similar to the older palettes.  I got it just because... just because :)

Overall, this palette is really worth the purchase and is such a steal at 55USD. I'm glad I got it in the U.S. so I save a few more bucks on conversion to Canadian.  

- texture is very buttery and applies well on the lids
- extremely pigmented
- this palette contains all new shades
- nice mix of neutrals and brights
- very good value

- pressed very loosely
- less versatile as all shades have metallic/shimmery finish
- I wonder why it didn't come with any shadow primer? oh, am I asking too much? :D

Rating (1-5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥

EOTD using UD 15th Anniv Palette

Now for the actually look, I decided to give my usual neutrals a pop of color.  For this look, I applied Deep End on the center of the lid, Chase on the crease, M.I.A. on the outer V, Flow on the inner corner, and Vanilla on the brow bone.  I've never tried teal eye shadows and this look, although not too bold, really pushes me away from my comfort zone.  Even wore this to work!  I usually don't put any color on my lower lash line or line my lower water line as I find it to be overpowering for a day look.  But for night outs and parties, this can be intensified further and will make a nice smokey look!

So, are you hauling the Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette now?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nails of the week - Nail Stamping

GCOCL nail stamp

First experience using GCOCL nail stamp machine I got through ebay.  I would love to get Konad but this is so much cheaper!  I will do a full review of the GCOCL machine to show the items that comes with the kit. 

Started with OPI's base coat and then used Orly's Country Club Khaki as a base.  For the flower stamps, I used Sally Hansen's Insa-Dri in Whirlwind White and Xtreme Wear in Celeb City.  Everything's topped off by Seche Vite top coat.  

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Peaceful

I got my first Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy not so long ago and instantly fell in love with the product. So upon receiving the Tarte QVC set, I was more than excited to try out Peaceful.

12 Hour Wear Amazonian Clay Blush in Peaceful

12 Hour Wear Amazonian Clay Blush in Peaceful

I have to say, I love Tarte's Amazonian Clay blushes for it's texture and lasting power. Pigmentation is superb so a stippling brush might be need for light application. This, I would say, is even more pigmented than Nars blushes. On my cheeks, it lasts the entire work day without need for touch ups.  The product is very finely milled but pressed very firmly. Swirling the brush on the product doesn't loosen the powder so I don't end up with scattered mess on my vanity table.

As much as I love Tarte's Amazonian Clay blushes, I'm not particularly fond of Peaceful in terms of shade. I was expecting a light baby pink shade but it shows up pretty orange on my cheeks. I would say it looks pretty much like MAC's Warm Soul on me... probably less orange, but definitely not light pink. It's got some fine shimmers which isn't overpowering. Well, it's still a good blush, just not what I was expecting base on the product photos.

I'm still a little bit luke-warm to this blush, but who knows, I might like it one day if I'm up for something warmer.

- very long lasting (I can see traces of blush after 12 hours of wear)
- very finely milled
- no gritty shimmers
- compact and comes with a mirror which is great for touch ups (if you ever need it)

- Peaceful appears orange on my cheeks

Rating (1-5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥

Note: I deducted 1 star purely because of the shade. Otherwise, the product is definitely top notch. I need to do a separate review for Tipsy, to be fair.

Tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous - Swatches

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tarte EmphasEYES Waterproof Cream Shadow Pot in Shimmering Taupe

With the heat of summer, I've been reaching for cream eye shadows a lot lately.  They are quick and easy to apply, does not crease (well, depends on the product), and stays longer than powdered eye shadow. I don't have much cream shadows in my collection, but my favorite by far is Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit - one of my go-to product for summer.

I saw a few blog articles feature the new Tarte's new EmphasEYES waterproof cream shadows and I made a note to myself to try these babies out when they come out in stores. When I learned that this product is included in the Tarte QVC set, in goes the set into my shopping cart LOL

EmphasEYES Waterproof Cream Shadow Pot in Shimmering Taupe

With my love for taupes, Tarte EmphasEYES Waterproof Cream Shadow Pot in Shimmering Taupe is definitely up to my alley. And I'm glad to report that this baby really is what I expected it to be - nice neutral shade, not frosty, long lasting, crease-free!

The texture, I would say is semi-creamy, like MAC Paint pots. It doesn't have the slip like the Benefit Creaseless Cream shadows so application using fingers is a little bit challenging. The size of the jar makes it difficult to get the product on the finger too. I guess that's the reason why this product comes with a synthetic eye shadow brush. It gives more precision as to where I want to apply the color.

Lasting power? Tarte's Amazonian Clay products really live up to its promises. EmphasEYES lasts forever on my lid. I've worn it for 12 hours and there were no signs of creasing or fading at the end of the day. Definitely the most long lasting cream shadow I've tried to date.

Overall, this is truly an amazing product. I would love to try out other colors once they are available in stores.

Tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous - Swatches

- long lasting
- crease free
- buildable opacity
- can be used as a base/primer to keep powder shadows in place

- Price. I believe this is priced 25 USD.
- Size. I'm pretty sure the product that comes in the QVC set is a full size. And it's equivalent to Benefit's mini creasless cream shadow. Imagine?
- Difficult to apply using fingers.

Rating (1-5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥

Final note: As much as I love the product, I have to deduct 1 star for the cons. The main issue for me is the texture. I wish it could be creamier and silkier, like the Benefit counterpart, so that it's easier to apply using fingers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tarte SmolderEYES waterproof eyeliner in Fig

It's been a while since my last post.  I've been very occupied these days catching up on Taiwanese TV dramas, hence blog neglected. I'm on series break now so I figure it's time to continue posting reviews on the Tarte QVC set I got a while back.  I'm reviewing another favorite item in the set which is the SmolderEYES waterproff eyeliner in Fig.

SmolderEYES waterproof eyeliner in shade Fig

As mentioned in my Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer review, I have a major problem with eyeliner transferring on my under eye area. I've tried tons of waterproof eye pencils, including Make-up Forever Aqua Eyes and Urban Decay 24/7 liners, but they just don't work for me. I morph into a panda in less than an hour.  Eye pencil + creamy concealer combo is even worse.  The color transfers instantly as soon as I wink.  I have long converted myself to a liquid liner gal and given up using pencil liners altogether!

Since the start of the 2011, I've been itching to try pencil liners again. I’m so happy to find 2 drugstore gems – Prestige Total Intense liner and Milani Liquif’eye (will do a separate review on these babies). I only notice slight transferring at the end of the day and that, ladies, is a big deal for me.

Now comes the Tarte SmolderEYES waterproof liner included in the QVC set. Again, I wasn’t expecting much from this liner as the 2 drugstore liners have worked amazingly well for me. I thought SmolderEYES is just another version of the NYX jumbo pencils which creases on me instantly.  But this product totally caught me by surprise.  I didn't find any smearing even after 12 hours of wear!!! It’s so unexpected for soft pencils to have such good staying power. It glides so easily just like the Urban Decay 24/7 liners and takes a few seconds to set. Once set, it just won't budge!  I also like the plum shade as it gives such a sophisticated look and not as harse as your normal black eyeliner.

Overall, this product is another winner in my books. Available in Bronze, Brown, Charcoal, Fig, Golden Black, Navy, Olive, and Plum shades. Will definitely hit the stores and get more of these in different shades.

Tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous - Swatches

- Glides easily
- Applies well on waterline
- Felt tip on the other end of the liner allows smudging for a softer look
- Shade in Fig is not as harsh as other black eyeliner and gives a more natural look
- Can be applied all over the lid as an eyeshadow base
- Despite being a jumbo pencil, tightlining is easy peasy…
- Stays for more than 12 hours without transferring, even when paired with creamy concealer.

- Price. I believe this is priced at 25USD, which is double the cost of Prestige and Milani Liquif’eye.

Rating (1-5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥♥