Friday, January 23, 2009

Shu Uemura at Lancome CCO

I love a good deal whenever I can get one, so recently I have been visiting the Lancome and Estee Lauder outlets every so often to check out what they have. This week, the Lancome outlets were having a special sale on their lipsticks and lipglosses where lipsticks were 2 for $15 and lipglosses were 2 for $10. I picked up two Shu Uemura lipsticks in Serene Pink and Pink Bloom, Limited Edition shades from last spring's collection, a Shu Uemura Sweet Gloss in Peach, and a Lancome Color fever gloss in Heatstroke (more on that one in a different post later).

Both lippies are lightweight and go on sheerly with a bit of a glossy finish. Pink Bloom is a nice, bright warm toned medium pink that I can picture myself wearing a lot in the spring and summer months. It's similar in color to Dior Ultra Gloss Reflect in Pink Liberty, which was also released last spring (Pink Liberty has a bit more orange in it). Serene Pink, unlike it's name, is not Pink in any way at all, but a nice nude beige. It's good for those days you want to play up your eyes but not your lips, but personally, I would have wanted it to have more pink in it as I find it a bit close to my skin tone. (which is a good thing it's sheer). I basically picked this one up because it was cheaper for me to buy two lippies instead of just one and I didn't think it was necessary to own two of the same lipstick.

The Shu Uemura Sweet Lip glosses are sheer glosses that smell exactly as they are named, and are probably the stickiest glosses I have ever come across. The one I picked up, Peach, is a somewhat bright orange in the tube, but goes on sheer, leaving a peachy tint on my lips. It has pretty decent staying power, probably due to its stickiness. I'm not too fond of the gloss itself, but I love the way it smells and it's not drying for me, so I'm still debating about whether or not I should keep it.

Wet 'n' Wild

So Rite Aid was having a sale on Wet'n'Wild stuff where anything usually $2.99 and under was on sale for $0.99. Being bored as I am, I headed down to my local Rite Aid and picked up a few things. I got eyeshadow trios in Egyptian Sands, Mojave Mauves, an eyeshadow single in Naked, and Blushes in All over Shimmer, Naive, Mellow Wine, and Heather Silk.
The eyeshadow trios are of surprisingly good quality; they're soft, blendable, and decently pigmented. The single, although a great taupey color, was not as soft or pigmented, but still nice. I swatched these below over some UDPP.
The SilkFinish blushes were all very soft and very pigmented. These require me to use a light hand or a skunk brush to apply. The lasting power on these is surprisingly good for such a cheap product (I wore it for a good 6 hurs yesterday before washing it off) and I was really pleased with these.
I got:
All Over Shimmer: a nice, light creamy beige highlighter. The shimmer on this isn't super fine, but it gives my matte blushes a nice shimmer without being too frosty. The swatch of it below didn't show up very well
Naive: a bright, matte apricot blush.
Mellow Wine: a matte pinky brown
Heather Silk: a matte rasberry color

Dior Spring 2009--Elegante quint

From the Dior 2009 Spring Collection, I purchased the Elegante quint, a great quint of nude eyeshadows, sight unseen, from Sephora. which retails at $54 pretax. Sephora describes the shades as camel, golden ivory, pale gold, deep bronze, and peachy beige, which to me describes the shades perfectly. The eyeshadows are of Dior's usual soft, easy to blend formula and are much less shimmery than their usual quints. The shimmer in this quint is very polished and subtle and is just enough so that the colors are not flat and boring. (Though I'm sure that some people find nude eyeshadows boring, but that's a matter of opinion) To me, this quint is a perfect choice for colored eyeliners or stronger lip colors and I can definitely picture myself wearing this a lot. I have labeled the colors with numbers on my photo of it in order to distinguish them from each other as they aren't named individually.

Swatches were done on NC30 neutral leaning warm(medium neutral) skin over UDPP (Urban Decay Primer Potion) in indoor lighting that is slightly warm. I tried to picture the colors as accurately as possible, but there will be variance depending on the color settings on your screen. For those who have lighter skin, and would like to know what these shades would look like, KarlaSugar has some great swatches on her blog (

I wasn't quite sure that this quint would show up with me, but I am definitely quite happy with it. It's very subtle on my eyes, but I definitely like this and would recommend that anyone with light-medium skin that likes nude colors. For those with darker skin, I probably would not recommend this, as I'm not sure this quint would show up.

Stila Lip Pots

Stila's lip pots are potted tinted lip balms that come in cute little glass jars with a floral print on them. There are 7 shades in total and they retail for $17 USD each or for $25 for a set of 5 of them. I have been intrigued by these since Stila's warehouse sale last month so I ordered the set from Stila's website; for $25 on Monday, which arrived today via UPS.

The set included the shades pecan, amande, baie, mandarine and cerise.

  • Pecan gives a nude tint to the lips
  • Amande gives a brownish nude tint to the lips
  • Baie gives a really pretty mauvey pink tint to the lips
  • Mandarin, which looks fairly orange in the pot, gives a slight peachy tint
  • Cerise, which looks red in the pot, gave me a corally pink tint

All of the potted balms go on sheerly, imparting just a hint of color to my lips with a glossy sheen. The texture is light, somewhat jelly-like and moisturizing without any stickiness, which I was quite pleased with.
They are comparable to MAC's tendertones, in my opinion, in terms of moisturizing ability, though they are of a much lighter texture and less sticky. They also don't last as long as MAC's tendertones because of this. On first try, just sitting around with one applied on my lips, it took just over an hour for the balm to dissappear completely. Because of this, I would say that I would buy these balms again because they look and feel really good, but I would never repurchase them at their full retail price, but I would repurchase them at the price of the set, or off of when it pops up on there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

theBalm Shady Lady Palette

Released in 2008, the Shady Lady palette contains 9 eyeshadows, with 6 of the shadows coming from theBalm's already existing line. The other 3 shadows are new and are exclusive to this palette. Each shadow is about 1" in diameter and is about the same size as a regular MAC eyeshadow. The eyeshadows are housed in a somewhat tacky looking cardboard palette with a mirror and retails at $38 at Sephora only. 6 eyeshadows and 3 shadow liners, All 9 colors have decent pigmentation, and the shadows are very soft and blendable...the liner shadows are less blendable than the regular shadows and heavier in pigmentation.

The colors are as follows, with their web descriptions in parentheses:
  • Caught in the Act Courtney (rich brown with gold sparkle)- is one of the liner shadows. It is a pigmented brown color with a lot of gold sparkle in the pan. however, when I applied it as a shadow, not much of the sparkle was transferred to my lids, which was a plus for me. As a liner however, the gold sparkle does transfer, making it nice sparkly liner.
  • Shameless Shana (tahitian bronze)- is a nice wearable bronze color that does not come out too orange on me
  • Luscious Lani (icy pink champagne)- a gorgeous light pink shade that is exactly like it's description, can be used as a nice wash or lid shade....probably my favorite out of the 9 colors
  • Jealous Jordana (rich shimmering green)- is the second liner shadow shade and is a super pretty green color in the pan. When applied however, it is closer to a black shadow with green sparkle. As a liner however, it is a gorgeous deep green color similar to that of Bobbi Brown's Ivy Shimmer Ink
  • Risque Renee (dark navy blue sheen) is a navy blue that is matte when applied as a shadow, and only takes on a sheen when applied as a liner.
  • Curvy Cami (plum shimmer with gold flecks)- almost exactly as described, though it is not quite as dark as it is in the pan when I swatch it on my arm. The gold flecks are subtle and not OTT, thought you could also argue that the gold flecks barely show as well.
  • Jet-Setting Jennifer (pale gold shimmer)- is exactly as described, though it leans very much towards a light shimmery yellowAll About Alex (olive shimmer)-gorgeous somewhat grayish green shade. A close second as a favorite color in the palette and seems to be exclusive to the palette for now.
  • Easy Wheezie (gunmetal gray shimmer). -gunmetal with blue undetones when swatched on skin...very pretty color, but I wish it were more gray.
Swatches were done on NC30 neutral skin in warm indoor lighting at night
I liked all the colors, but personally I feel like I would need a separate color as a base shade. Luscious Lani is probably passable as a base lid color but I would not want to use it as one all the time. Personally, I returned this palette as I don't wear a whole lot of color and found that I never reached for this palette, but it would make an excellent gift for someone who loves colorful eyeshadows. At any rate it's worth keeping/buying at the price of a little over $4 per shadow if you don't already have 300+ eyeshadows like I do.

Smashbox Rapture Collection -- Holiday 2008

For my first official blog post I have chosen to post about the Smashbox Rapture Collection and what I bought from it. It seemed fitting, as Smashbox was the first high end makeup brand I ever bought and for the longest time was the only high end brand I would buy. This collection renewed my love of this brand. The Rapture Collection, which was released for Holiday 2008, contained the following items:
  • Best of Smashbox Kit ($19.00)
  • Rapture Lip Gloss Set ($29.00)
  • Flawless Finish Primer set ($39.00)
  • Rapture Eye Shadow and Brush Set ($59.00)
  • Rapture Travel Brush Set ($49.00)
  • Ulta and online exclusive, the Ultimate Beauty Palette.

From this collection, I purchased only two things.

The first was the Flawless Finish Primer set, which contained a full sized (30 ml) Photo Finish Primer and a to-go sized Photo Finish Primer (15 ml) in the original clear formula. There isn't a whole lot to say about this set other than that it's a pretty good deal for those who like Smashbox's foundation primer like myself. Smashbox's Photo Finish primer is a silicone based primer that I use whenever I wear foundation and occasionally when I wear blush. I find that it smooths out my skin a bit and helps my foundation and blush "stick" a bit better. improving its wear.

The second thing I purchased was the Ultimate Beauty Palette from Ulta.

Despite it's massive appearance online, the palette, when closed, is a bit bigger than a DVD case. Inside, the palette has two layers. The top layer contains 70 eyeshadows.

All of these shades are very wearable and neutral and are perfect for everyday wear. The shadows are of Smashbox's usual good quality, with a buttery, easily blendable texture and somewhat sheer but buildable color. I have swatched them all below by column as labeled. All swatches were done on the inside of my arm over UDPP (Urban Decay Primer Potion) on NC 30 neutral skin in slightly cool natural lighting.

The second layer contains brow tech wax and powder, 8 cream liners, 12 lipglosses, a bronzer, a highlighter, and two blushes.

The cream eyeliners are all black based eyeliners, making them all very wearable colors. Unfortunately, they were already a bit dried out in this palette, which made them just a bit difficult to apply. This wasn't a big deal to me as I didn't buy this palette for the eyeliners, which I am not that fond of to begin with. Why? Well the eyeliners just don't stay put. Even over an eyeshadow base, the liners still manage to crease a bit and smudge or dissapear. The bronzer was a very nice peachy color, which was a bit odd as a bronzer, but luckily, it was a very nice peachy flush on me, making it a very nice blush for me. The blush next to the bronzer, labeled "blush #1", is a brownish pink with shimmer, and "blush #2" is a nice matte pink flush. The soft lights was probably my favorite of the cheek powders as it is a very gorgeous highlighter shade.

The 12 lipglosses that were included with the palette are also very nice wearable colors, with only one real flaw for me; they're flavored! Other than that, they're wonderful, somewhat sheer, glosses that are not overly sticky.

Overall, this is an amazing palette, and is the best "blockbuster" type palette I have ever seen. It is no longer available at Ulta, but you can still get one at It is an excellent deal at $59, although it's so pretty that you may find it hard to dig in at first!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hello and Welcome

There are so many lovely makeup blogs out there that I have decided to create my own, with my thoughts and swatches of the things I buy and own as I am currently extremely bored and I have the time to do it. I've never written a blog before, but I have written a bunch of reviews on MUA, so hopefully this will go smoothly, or hopefully I pick this up as I go along :]