Becca Champagne Glow Palette

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I know what you’re thinking – you either already have this palette and love it, are bummed you missed out on it (and salty with me for re-opening that wound) or hate Becca highlighters and/or Jaclyn Hill and DGAF, in which case, why are you even here? ?

 

But honestly, I’m not trying to beat a dead horse by reviewing this palette. I know it’s no longer available, but now that Pearl (the lightest shade on the left) is going to be permanent for Spring, I thought I’d go ahead and talk about that shade and Blushed Copper (far right). I’ve already reviewed Champagne Pop here, so go check that out as well if you missed it! Also, it is still available as of now on Sephora’s website.

 

Pearl is my very own ideal highlighter. As a real-life Snow White, the only shade lighter than my complexion is literally paper white. Enter Pearl! This color is a completely neutral, shimmery white highlighter that actually highlights my bone structure because it is truly lighter than my skin. This may not be relatable for most of you guys, but finding a highlighter lighter than my complexion makes me want to fall to my knees and weep tears of joy. I’ve been described by friends as “translucent”, “glow-in-the-dark”, and perhaps most eloquently, “pale as f***!”, if that helps you to understand the real life need I had for someone to create a highlighter this light.

 

With that personal victory also comes hardship for others – I’ve had many people tell me they simply don’t know what to do with this shade. If you have the palette or are planning to purchase the individual full-size, and have a medium-to-deep skin tone, I do have a few suggestions for you.

 

Besides being worn on the cheekbones, Pearl pops as an inner-corner/tear duct highlight, as well as a beautiful brightener on the center of the eyelid. When applied strategically to the Cupid’s Bow, it also makes a great lip enhancer. For extra credit, you can even pat a little with your fingertip onto the center of your bottom lip to achieve maximum Kylie Jenner fullness! All of these methods will work with any skin tone, not just for the ultra-fair.

 

Blushed Copper has a very self-explanatory name, and is really going to have the opposite effect of Pearl. Super deep skin tones pull off this highlighter flawlessly, but anyone lighter than that on the skin tone spectrum looks pretty strange with this on their upper cheekbones.

 

Instead, it makes a gorgeous eyeshadow or blush, so there’s really no losing with this color either! While it also is available as an individual full-size product, it is a limited edition shade as well. If you’re planning on purchasing, it’s still available on Sephora’s website and in many stores.

 

As a side note, the pans in this palette look so small in every picture I’ve seen, but they’re actually a really generous size (though not full-sized, of course). All of the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed shades are $38, and worth every single penny!

 

 

Celebrating 2016 with Chanel

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Happy 2016 readers! I hope the New Year brings you all the happiness and success in the world. For myself, I couldn’t think of a better way to start the year than by lounging in the lap of luxury.

 

That’s why I played with a couple of pieces from the Chanel Holiday 2015 Vamp Attitude collection all day!

 

This blush was a beautiful gift I received at Christmas, and can I be real with you guys for a moment? I’ve been using and working with luxury cosmetics for nearly a decade.. And I’ve never used Chanel makeup! ? I know, it’s insanity. I’ve purchased polishes before, but for whatever reason, I’ve never ventured into the cosmetics. I think this is partially because every time I went to a counter to buy an LE highlighter, it was sold out. The other side of that is that before I ever worked for a counter, I was very intimidated by them.

 

Now I’ve finally got something to play with! Joues Contraste Lumiere in Coups de Minuit is a little bit of everything. I’ve always been partial to baked products, so this is right up my alley! A peachy beige, it can function as either a highlighter or blush. I’ve used it for both and like it either way, but I will say for anyone with a medium-deep skin tone, this will function much better as a highlight. It also layers well on top of another cream or powder blush to impart some extra radiance and glow.

 

I’m a little obsessed with the chic packaging, too! Like Marc Jacobs beauty, the lacquered black compact gives a very standout appearance. With the iconic interlock CC logo and a large mirror inside of the lid, you can truly tell that the product is held to a high standard of quality. The brush that comes with it is soft, but I’m unfairly in love with my brushes and never really use the travel ones I receive with product.

 

Run out to your nearest counter and see if you can still get your hands on this!

 

 

 

NARS x Steven Klein is Making me Blush!

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If you’ve read some of my older posts, you know that I’m obsessed with NARS dual intensity blushes!

 

This limited edition shade, called Vengeful, is no exception. With the same smooth, gel/powder formula, it performs beautifully all day. The color on the left is a warm beige highlighter, while the color on the right is a bright cherry red. They can be swirled together for an iridescent winter flush, or applied separately to give a glow on the cheekbones and a more intense color saturation on the apple of the cheek.

 

Don’t miss out on this one! It’s a great way to spend that gift card you received over the holidays.

 

 

Buying from Glambot

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If you’re a makeup junkie, chances are you’ve heard of Glambot. It’s essentially a big blog sale, and here’s how it works:

 

If you’ve got makeup just sitting on your vanity that you’re unhappy with and will never use, Glambot may want to purchase it from you. After requesting a shipping label from their website, you can send 20 + makeup items from their approved list of brands, and they’ll send back an offer for the accepted items. You can accept their offer via PayPal or in store credit, in which case they’ll give you an extra 30% to spend.

 

What do they do with cosmetics they’ve purchased? Sanitize them (using various methods, depending on the formula) and offer them for sale on their website for a discount! If you think this is “gross” all I can say is – have you ever tried on literally ANYTHING at a makeup store? And also, more for me!

 

This is a concept I LOVE! I used to be a swapper on makeupalley, and I like this operation even better. If you’ve got a super amazing limited edition product that you don’t use or like, why not give someone else the opportunity to cherish it? Vice versa, it’s also a great way to pick up a limited release that you may have missed out on when it was available from retailers.

 

Such was the case for lucky me, because I scored a product I absolutely PINED over upon its release. Dior Mitzah palette, I finally own you! The website indicated that there was about 80% of the product left, and even though only a small chip is missing at the bottom of the palette, I bought it for almost half its original price! There were only 1000 of these made at the time, I believe, and so this is a very special and exciting addition to my collection. These are the things in life that make me happiest!

 

Ordering is is a little scary, because most of the photos of product for sale are stock photos. That means that even though you have some idea of how much product is left and what basic condition the packaging is in, you can’t REALLY know until you receive it. I’m a very visual person, so this was terrifying for me, but I’m glad I took the plunge.

 

I also bought MAC’s Glissade Mineralize Skinfinish, and I’m very happy with that as well. The only complaint I can think of, is that shipping took a little too long for my taste. I ordered in on a Friday, and got my package in a week and a half later on a Tuesday. I realize this may be standard 5-7 business day shipping, but I just think that to compete with other retailers, it should happen in more like 3-5.

 

Maybe Amazon has just spoiled me! At any rate, I had an awesome experience and will definitely continue to purchase from them in the future. I’ll also be selling some cosmetics soon, so stay tuned for my review on the other half of the process!

 

 

NARS x Steven Klein

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Let’s get abstract for a minute:

 

Shade, light, color, perception vs reality – these components make up both the art and cosmetic worlds. They’ve got the same DNA! That’s why I love seeing collaborations like these, and I have to say that NARS does them best (Andy Warhol, anyone?).

 

The artist in me finds makeup counters and galleries equally appealing, but I’m no where near an art historian. After being entranced by the packaging of NARS’ holiday collection, I did some research on Steven Klein to check out more of his work. His photography is iconic! The muted tones and surreal images presented on the packaging of each product are beautiful and thought provoking. Who doesn’t want a cheek palette that doubles as a vanity art piece? There’s no need to shove this beauty in a drawer when it’s so easy to display on your counter.

 

As a NARS blush lover and collector, I already owned Dolce Vita, Luster, and Laguna before investing in this palette. Laguna is a classic brown bronzer that’s perfect for those that hate orange and want a little sun-kissed sheen. Dolce Vita is a neutral red blush that adds a perfect apple-y flush to cheeks. Luster is one of my all-time favorite neutral blushes, and here’s why – all NARS blushes, regardless of how warm they look, actually have a pink base. This makes them blend seamlessly on the skin and look extremely natural, and makes Luster in particular give your skin a beautiful healthy glow, as if you just went on a run. I love it when my makeup does the working out for me!

 

I was excited to see the inclusion of contour duo Paloma, as I’ve never tried this product before. Unfortunately, the matte highlighter didn’t do much to brighten my tired fair skin, and the contour shade looked much warmer (almost red) than I would prefer.

 

Blaphemy and Robotic are both exclusive shades, and I found them very smooth and pigmented. I was so glad that a warmer pink was included, as I find that many NARS pinks run very, very cool. Having both a cool and warm pink also gives the palette a little more variety that previous blush collections from the brand have lacked.

 

Speaking of which, die-hard NARS fans will also be excited to know that Orgasm is NOT included this year! Thank the heavens, I think we probably all have about 20 pans of it by now.

 

One thing I would’ve liked to see added to the selection here is a shimmery highlight, but overall this piece still is a great investment at $69. It’s limited edition and a Sephora exclusive, so grab it while you can!

 

 

Guerlain Meteorites Have Me Seeing Stars

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I seriously cannot stop drooling over these!

 

I collect Meteorites anyway, (casually, but I’m hoping to be able to get each limited edition release in the future) but these really take the cake.

 

The packaging is indescribably beautiful. It looks like a snow globe, which brings to mind instant holiday nostalgia. It also takes my makeup obsession full-circle – I collected snow globes as a child, too! When you remove the top, you’ll find a cute puff covering the pearls, with a convenient mirror in the top portion of the lid.

 

The star shaped meteorites here are just gorgeous, and have an ethereal, pearly iridescence. The other pearls seen are in shimmery shades of blush, copper, champagne and gold. As usual, they are delicately scented and versatile in application. The puff can be used for all-over complexion brightening, or you can use the meteorites brush to apply as a subtle highlighter.

 

But let’s be honest here- who is really going to touch these beauties? I’m off to put them on my vanity with their other Meteorite brothers and sisters now!

 

 

Add Ambiance to Your Complexion with Hourglass’ Holiday Offering

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As a beauty addict, I love to read other bloggers’ viewpoints on coveted makeup items. However, I never let them sway my own. This little beauty has received a lot of negative press- but we know that size doesn’t matter. A palette’s a palette, no matter how small!

 

I’ll admit that I was a little taken aback by the size of this one, too. But, being very well acquainted with Ambient products, and after a little bit of experimentation, I still think this is a good value (especially if you’re a first time Hourglass user).

 

I’m not made of money either, so let me explain! As plenty of people have pointed out in the reviews of this product on sephora.com, Dim Light alone in this size pan retails for $22, making the palette of 6 shades at $80 a total steal. Ambient powders also go a very long way, trust me. I’m heavy handed and product-happy, so cosmetics that last awhile for me have some real durability.

 

Now, what exactly is an Ambient powder? Think of them as Instagram filters for your face- blurring, perfecting, and very forgiving. They’re also talc free, which means that they’re non-drying and don’t settle into pores and fine lines.

 

Dim Light (my favorite!) is best suited for all over application on top of a liquid foundation. Diffused Light makes for a great concealer setter due to its white-gold tone. The only exclusive shade, Iridescent Light, is a pretty pinky gold highlighter, but can also be used to color-correct a foundation that reads too yellow on the skin.

 

The cheek enhancers here are Mood Exposure (a pretty neutral blush, ideal to balance out a bold eye or lip look) and Luminous Flush, a perfect pop of pink for the cheeks. Luminous Bronze Light is a very fair bronzer, but works well to create a soft warmth for fair-medium skin tones.

 

All in all, I say Haul! This palette is a great way to introduce yourself to the Ambient lines, or a travel-friendly way to tote around your old favorites. Let me know what you thought of the Ambient Palette!

 

 

Naked on the Run

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Sounds scandalous! The muted tones and extreme wearability of this palette tell a different story, though.

 

This collection from Urban Decay came out right before Christmas last year, but was definitely the least talked-about of all the Naked Family. Personally, I would call this an underrated hit with a couple of minor drawbacks. Apparently, I’m not the only one, as what was once labeled ‘limited-edition’ has now seemed to (hopefully) become a permanent piece!

 

Let’s go ahead and gloss over the Perversion mascara, as I think it deserves its own full review, but just note that it is a *WINNER*! The 24/7 liner pencil provides a smooth application, long wear, and is a very pretty, rich satiny brown. Both the liner and mascara are travel-sized, however a full sized Naked lipgloss is included in the shade Sesso. This gloss is definitely a hidden gem! It’s darker than I expected, but is a shimmery, complimentary garnet/berry color that works surprisingly well with the selection of eyeshadows. Speaking of which, the second shade from the left (called Fix) is the most perfect taupe-y grey matte shade I’ve ever used. I feel like I could blend out anything with this color! The other shades are soft and beautiful as well, but Fix is truly holy grail status. Such is always the case with limited editions – boo.

 

Now for the fails… I think what made this palette sort of a flop among consumers is the shockingly orange bronzer, paired with an in-your-face, bubble gummy, bright pink blush. In application, the soft consistency makes them easy to blend to achieve a warm radiance with a pop of color on the cheeks. These powders are very finely milled and sit on the skin just the way they should, but I think they’re aesthetically challenging and a major turn-off to many wearers. The luminizer is a gorgeous neutral pearl shade, but is so itty-bitty that I generally just find myself using a full-sized version of one of my favorites instead.

 

I’m one to travel with basically every cosmetic I own crammed into a train case and 46 makeup bags, but if you like to pack light, this is perfectly portable and gives a truly complete look- just add complexion! The beauty of the packaging makes it hard for me to take it anywhere, though. It comes with a hard, tortoise shell design that looks both chic and fragile, and is a bit bulky for every day, toss-it-in-your-makeup-bag use. Looking for a gorgeous, functional piece to leave atop your vanity? That’s the real ticket.

 

Be sure to check this out at Sephora or on urbandecay.com, and have a happy, productive Monday!

 

 

Adjustable Color with NARS Dual Intensity Blushes

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Most days, I wake up to get ready for work with the earnest intention of doing a great full face of makeup. Of those days, roughly 90% of the time I do my complexion, brows, and mascara before running out the door and leaving trillions of eye shadow palettes to rot away behind me. This is all not to mention the single shadows that I never touch – who has time for single shadows?! What I always make time for, though, are cheek products. If I’m out in public and noticeably not contoured, something is incredibly wrong!

 

That being said, NARS dual intensity blushes, a Spring 2015 release, are the Universe’s gift to blush lovers like me the world over. They’re smooth, glowy, pigmented, and so versatile it almost hurts. Each blush has 2 complimentary shades sitting side-by-side. You can really go crazy with these! Use one to highlight and one to blush, swirl them together for a beautiful flush, or if you REALLY want to pack a punch – spray a toner or setting spray on your brush to slightly dampen it before applying. This will lend an extra dimensional, almost foiled look to your finished product. The color selection is ridiculous (the good kind) too. They’re ALL my favorites! Even better, they’re all unique. You won’t find the same boring peach, pink, and plum that you see represented by each brand time and time again.