Champagne Still Pouring

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Hey lovelies! My last post discussed Jaclyn Hill’s Champagne Pop Palette from Becca, and there’s one more product from that launch that I want to quickly talk about before moving on to bigger and better (and newer) beauty!

 

The much-awaited Champagne expansion collection also included, very briefly, a Champagne pop eyeshadow palette. This product was pretty controversial because, according to Jaclyn’s snapchat and to media statements released by Becca, it was produced in a different factory than the one in which Becca’s normal buttery formula is made. The factory apparently claimed to be able to replicate the formula, and unfortunately, it was discovered after the launch that the palettes’ quality was very inconsistent. Some were amazing, some were awful, and some were a little in-between. This kind of inconsistency, though, is a nightmare for the consumer, and so Becca heeded Jaclyn’s wishes for the palette to be pulled from shelves.

 

However – one of the best perks about working for a beauty retailer is gaining easy access to product, and I was able to purchase one before they were officially sent back to the brand!

So, how did I fare in the eyeshadow lottery? Let’s see!

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Peering Through the Looking Glass

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You guys. I have a confession to make –

I haven’t even seen Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass yet! The namesake cosmetic collection came out May 1st on Urban Decay’s website, and the movie was released on May 27th, but with all the wedding craziness, I kind of ignored them both until very recently. Side note though: when researching the release dates, Google let me know that this movie is still showing at my local dollar theater! Maybe I’ll make it to a showing after all.

 

Even though these debuted in May, as of today, the collection is still available on the Sephora, Macy’s, and Nordstrom websites! Don’t worry, you haven’t missed out yet.

 

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A Colorful Spectrum

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Ah. The Urban Decay Spectrum Palette.

 

I reviewed this one back in October after it briefly popped up online for the holidays. Unfortunately, even I wasn’t fast enough to grab it from Sephora, so I ended up purchasing it for a large mark-up off of eBay.. and now my tears of regret can be your tears of joy!

 

The good news for you guys is that Spectrum is coming back for Spring, AND it will be in stores this time! I don’t know of a launch date, but it should be very soon. That’s why I thought we could revisit it for a minute, and I’ve added swatches as well!

I’m actually really excited that this is re-launching, because it’s very pretty and deserves some more attention.

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Pretty in Pastels with Make Up For Ever Artist Palette 3

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Pastels and florals for Spring – SO overdone, right!?

 

Just kidding! Like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” during the holidays, I never get tired of these staple fresh Spring collections. Everything is in bloom, the weather warms up (seriously, our highs are in the 70’s here in Texas this week) and macaron-colored cardigans replace our black peacoats.

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MAC Warm Neutrals x15

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Last night, I reviewed MAC’s Cool Neutral 15 pan palette, so today I want to share the warm version with you!

 

I’ll say right off the bat that I like this version better. I feel like the pigment is stronger and provides better color payoff, and overall texture is just way smoother.

 

Because of the color quality and warmth of the shades, I think this is a much better addition to a professional kit. The colors work for a much broader skin tone range, especially for clients with deeper skin that may not be partial to the cool palette. It also makes a fantastic pairing with blue eyes, since orange and blue are complimentary colors.

 

A couple of the finer points about these palettes in general is that they’re an excellent value, and provide a great way to add a lot of MAC to your collection at once if you’re newer to the brand.

 

Don’t worry – I won’t judge you if you buy both ☺️

 

 

MAC Cool Neutrals x15

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As you may have noticed, I already failed at my New Year’s Resolution. I didn’t post anything last night – but I swear I have a good reason! I was tired.. ? After putting my son to bed, I passed out on the couch before 8 pm. So much for keeping up with my skincare regimen too!

 

I also resolved to be easier on myself this year, so I’ll just make up for it with another post this week (and maybe calm my skin with an extra face mask), and let it average itself out ?.

 

I’m still very excited to talk about the Cool Neutral 15-pan shadow palette from MAC. What a fantastic deal! At $85, you’re paying just over $5/shadow for very generously sized pans. I’ll admit that as a long-time fan of Urban Decay shadows, I’ve never really purchased many from MAC. When I have, I’ve also found the formula to be very hit-and-miss, but this palette made me pretty happy!

 

The lighter matte shades are a very thoughtful inclusion (there are 6 mattes overall), and much smoother than I anticipated. That being said, they’re going to look like straight up chalk on deeper skin tones, so they may not be the best investment if you’re a professional looking for a versatile palette for your kit, or you just happen to look best in darker, richer tones.

 

Color payoff from the satin shades is pretty good, but they’re not what I would reach for if I wanted a defined or bold look with neutral colors. These shadows work best for someone who wants a light wash of color for every day, that doesn’t require too much fuss or blending.

 

If you’re looking for an economical way to introduce yourself to MAC or beef up your collection, you’ve found the right palette! If you want sone thing like this, but with warm colors.. Well that exists too. Both are available from department stores like Macy’s, Dillard’s and MAC, and -spoiler alert- I’ll be reviewing the warm collection next!

 

 

Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in Rouge Noir

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I LOVE cream shadows. I’ll scream it from a mountaintop one day! I think they’re so fast and easy, and perfect to put on top of a normal shadow look for some extra glitz.

 

If you read yesterday’s post, then you’ll know that this is only my second foray into the world of Chanel cosmetics. Again I stand impressed!

 

Rouge Noir is a beautiful blackened red with pinky-red glitter. On my pale visage, it translates more plum, but I can’t say I’m mad at it. The specks of sparkle in here are what really does it for me – non-scratchy and super refined. It’s glitter for grown-ups! And there’s nothing that makes a tired mom feel more glamorous than some refined shimmer from a luxe brand.

 

Because of the depth of this color, I was a little worried about the way it would blend. It feels very creamy (as opposed to the powder/gel texture of Dior’s cream shadows) but applies lighter-than-air. I get the best results by applying it on the center of the lid with my finger in a patting motion. This is a perfect complement to a boring smoky eye.

 

It is limited edition though, so act quick if you need it in your collection! I have a feeling I’ll be trying more of these in the future ?

 

 

Sleek & Chic by Laura Mercier

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By now, perhaps you can tell that I own several too many eye shadow palettes. Is there room for one more? Always! Especially if it’s this one.

 

Laura Mercier’s Sleek and Chic Eye Colour Palette is really just that. The tortoise shell packaging and wearable color selection (that isn’t just shades of brown) make this great for a professional environment or a night out.

 

Have you seen African Violet? It’s the shade 3rd from the left on the bottom row- yes, that gorgeous golden lavender. It’s my favorite Laura Mercier color, and just like Nars’ Orgasm or Stila’s Kitten, it’s included in almost every collection, and for good reason! It pops on every skin tone, and is just such a unique eyeshadow. Cashmere, a matte neutral pink, is a surprising star here. It blends like a dream (like the rest of Laura’s mattes) and makes for an interesting transition shade.

 

Laura is a champion at making vibrant jewel tones that are easy for a beginner to use. They’re buildable enough that you can work up to a great color depth, without being so pigmented that you worry about getting too much initial color and struggling to blend it out.

 

Noir is a matte black that isn’t deep and inky, but deep enough to add color in the crease without looking like you gave yourself a black eye.

 

If you’re someone who wants to transition from wearing only neutrals, but needs a little practice, or a person who’s looking for a great selection of colors for the office, run out and grab this palette! Unless you prefer online ordering – then click away, my friends.

 

 

Gwen X Urban Decay

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Who else is SO excited about this collaboration? Raise your hands!

 

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of this palette ever since Wende and Gwen started releasing details. They really are a dream team – punk, alternative, and color-outside-the lines fun. Now, finally, here it is! The palette is heavier and more substantial than I imagined it’d be. The packaging itself is a modern piece of pop art, with black polka dots on a white face, surrounded by golden accents.

 

The color selection inside really surprised me, I have to say. I love a healthy mix of matte and shimmer finishes, so no complaints here about that. What I did find strange (along with pretty much everyone else) is the abundance of neutrals. Gwen Stefani is not exactly known for being muted! For the most part, they’re also really light neutrals.. Great for me, but not so much for anyone that has real life pigment in their skin. I respect Gwen for choosing colors that actually work for her, but come on – it’s easy for us to blend down a dark shade, but how is someone with medium-deep skin supposed to make these brighter?

 

That being said, there are a couple colors here I’m already obsessed with. Serious is SO pretty! I LOVE a cool grey with some glitter. Steady, Baby, and Pop are all right up my alley, too. Anything I can sweep on my lids to get out the door (without too much blending) is really always a go-to. But as much as I craved more color from this palette, I have to say that I don’t see Harajuku or 1987 getting much love from me in the future. They’re too crayola-bright, and lack the depth that make vibrant jewel-toned shades like Danger so wearable. However, 2/15 colors is nothing to cry about, and I’m sure the other colors will keep me reaching for this beauty quite often.

 

Another minor touch I loved was the inclusion of a card in the packaging. It included 4 samples of upcoming lip shades that will be released soon as part of Gwen and Urban’s continued collaboration. I thought it was a brilliant touch to ensure the continued success of the collection. There’s No Doubt that this partnership is a perfect pairing!

 

 

Make Up For Ever Holiday 2015

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I’ve reviewed two other palettes from Make Up For Ever so far, so I think by now we all know that I LOVE their shadow formula! To recap, it’s unlike any other brand – a gel/powder hybrid that glides on smoothly and practically blends itself. The colors are bold, intense, and have beautiful depth.

 

I also cross referenced the shades from the two artist palettes released in spring, and I think the only shade here that is a repeat is the black (S-102). But really, who can complain about having an extra one of these? The black is one of my all-time favorites, alongside Urban Decay’s Blackout. Both are true, deep blacks that create smoldering smoky eyes and sharp cut creases with ease.

 

The value here is just crazy too; 15 shadows for $59, compared to one single at $22. The slim packaging is also convenient to keep in a drawer or kit, where as last holiday’s collection was cute, but impractical and not at all portable. I would rather have seen a black cover with the logo than glitter orange, but this odd choice is really nothing to lament with such a versatile palette at hand.

 

Go out and grab one before they’re gone!