Sunday, December 10, 2017

Weekend Looks: MAC and Urban Decay

I mentioned this in yesterday's post, but it was snowing outside, and it put me in quite a funk. I'm not a fan of the winter, or of snow, and I'm especially not a fan of gray skies, so it ended up being a challenging day for me.

But today is very different. The sun is out, and there is not a cloud in the sky. It's still a little cold, but I'll take cold and sun over gray any day. And it's not surprising that I reached for one of my brightest and most colorful palettes today.

Here are two looks I did this weekend.

Look 1: MAC Rose pigment and Desert Dusk

MAC Rose pigment on the lid (applied wet with Fix+), Inglot peach and purple shades blended in the crease as transition shades, Lime Crime Venus Rebirth blended in the crease, and Colourpop 143 and Ardency Inn Violet lightly padded onto the outer corner. Ardency Inn Violet on the lower lash line.

Look 2: Urban Decay Electric 

Freak on the inner half of the lid, Chaos on the outer half of the lid, Savage blended into the crease as a transition shade, and Urban blended into the crease. Thrash on the inner corner. 

Look 1: MAC Rose pigment and Desert Dusk

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I'm sure everyone is going to get sick of this kind of a look because I seem to create it multiple times a week. But I just can't care. I love it so much. MAC Rose is new to me, and I adore it. I had been in search of it for months, and it was finally back in stock so I grabbed it. It is my absolute favorite kind of color. I have a few shades in my collection that are similar, but nothing quite like this, and I couldn't be happier with it. I paired it with shades from my "Desert Dusk" palette as well as a vibrant purple from Ardency Inn. I really love how this turned out, and it was a bright spot in the snowy, awful day.

Look 2: Urban Decay Electric 

It disappoints me that this palette has been discontinued and that another one has not come out to replace it. I have been vocal on my blog that I really hate Urban Decay shadows in palettes, with this as the one exception. The reason for this is likely that the Electric palette is a pressed pigment palette instead of an eyeshadow palette. This palette terrified me for years, and I honestly could not even comprehend why someone would own it. I was a neutral girl to my core, and I had never looked at colorful eye looks as something that could be worn in everyday life. I was first starting to fall for color when I heard that Electric was being discontinued, and I made the decision to purchase it while I still could. At this point, I have many colorful palettes (including Sephora Pro Editorial and Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix), but there is still a place in my collection for Electric. The colors blend together so seamlessly and pack such a punch of pigment. It's a shame this palette is no longer available, but hopefully Urban Decay will put out something similar in the near future.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Weekly Looks: City Colors, Kat Von D, Colourpop, Viseart, and more

It's snowing right now as I write this, and it is the first snow of the year. For most people, this is a really beautiful, magical time. They look forward to it and get excited. Growing up and watching Gilmore Girls, I remember Lorelai's infamous "I smell snow" episode where she walked through her impossibly quaint and beautifully lit Stars Hollow as the first snow of the season fell.

I am the opposite of all of this.

The first snow of the season is challenging for me. Frankly any snow is challenging for me, but the first one always hurts the most. While everyone else thinks about curling up with a blanket and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and watching as the delicate snow falls, I think about slushy sidewalks, dirty slush puddles at street corners, and subways steps covered in salt. I have always found it difficult to live in New York City, but living here during the winter, especially when it snows, is that much harder.

Everyone always talks about how snow is nice to look at but terrible to be in, and I guess I would agree with that. The thing about living in NYC, though, is that you always kind of have to be out in it just to get anywhere. If snow just fell and never stuck, I think I could be a bit more on board with it.

Oddly, looking at my makeup looks from the past week has brightened my spirits, and I think it's because of all the colors I used. I know I've mentioned this before, but when the weather is gray and I feel a little down, that's when I really amp up the color on my eyes. I've found that applying a shimmery bronzer during the winter also helps get me out of the funk. It might sound strange, but when I look at my face and it seems like it has a summer glow, it tricks my mind into thinking it's warm and sunny.

You'll see a lot of pink in my looks from the past week, and you'll probably see a lot of pink in my looks indefinitely because I just can't seem to stop reaching for it.

Here are six looks I did this week.

Look 1: City Colors Hint of Mint and Kat Von D Pastel Goth

Hint of Mint on the lid, Kat Von D Clementine and Meow blended into the crease, and BH Cosmetics Zodiac matte Gemini padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 2: Viseart Bijoux Royale

3 on the inner and outer lid, 2 in the center of the lid, and 6 blended into the crease.

Look 3: Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix

Destroyer on the lid. Anthem blended into the crease, and Hyperballad on the lower lash line. NYX Vivid Sapphire liquid liner. 

Look 4: Colourpop My Little Pony

Firefly on the inner lid and inner corner, Princess Sparkle on the outer lid, Flutterbye blended into the crease as a transition shade, Minty blended into the crease, Applejack blended to deepen the crease, and Butterscotch on the brow bone. 

Look 5: Kat Von D Saint and Sinner

Cathedral on the lid, BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe 8 blended into the crease as a transition shade, Rosary blended into the crease, Worship padded onto the outer corner, and Baptism on the brow bone. 

Look 6: Desert Dusk

Viseart Bijoux Royal 5 on the lid, Inglot peach and purple shades blended into the crease as transition shades, Lime Crime Venus Rebirth blended into the crease, Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts Empress blended above all crease colors, Lime Crime Venus Muse padded onto the outer corner, and Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts Crown on the inner corner and brow bone. 

Look 1: City Colors Hint of Mint and Kat Von D Pastel Goth

(Please see this post if you have questions about why I own Pastel Goth when I have written an anti-haul post on the product.)

This is a repeat look from several months ago, and it is one of my favorites. I don't know why I originally thought to pair Pastel Goth with this Minty shade, but I am so happy that I did because it is such a fun, bright, and pretty look. I love thinking about the "journey" I have taken with eyeshadow because in the span of a year, I have gone from a person who only liked variations of gold and bronze looks to someone whose favorite palettes are very colorful. And this look I feel is a good one for people trying to transition into using more colors. These are certainly "odd" or "bold" colors when compared to shades of beige and brown, but I think the look can still pull a little neutral. 

Look 2: Viseart Bijoux Royale
Status: Decluttered 

Ugh, this look. Typically, I wouldn't have included this, but I wanted to because I talked about this palette in last week's looks post. I mentioned that in most Viseart palettes, I've found that there is one killer shade and the rest are mediocre, and the pink shade (shade 5) was it for this palette. It had been a long time since I had properly used Bijoux Royale, so I decided to play around with it, and this "look" was what happened. If you notice, I'm not even wearing mascara, and that's because this look was so bad and so uninspiring that I just wiped it all off my face. But I wanted to take these pictures to illustrate my complaint with this palette. 

I don't know if my preferences have just changed or if I am in a place now where I can say "I don't like this hyped item that I spent a lot of money on" and not feel bad about it, but I have not been too impressed with Viseart lately. And I am decluttering Bijoux Royale. 

It took me over a year, but I've decluttered four Viseart palettes at this point, and all have been the shimmer palettes (Bijoux Royale, Boheme Dream, Paris Nudes, and Sultry Muse). I just am not a person who likes a light wash of color. I can certainly see the appeal of these shadows if that was my preference, but it's not. 

With this look, I packed shades 2 and 3 on my lid in so many layers, and it still looked like a sheer wash of color. Then I applied 6 in the crease, and I thought it just looked sloppy. I couldn't believe I spent $80 on this palette, when palettes that cost $16 perform much better. I was just going to declutter the entire palette, but then I thought about the shades that I do love, and I wanted them. So, I did a small depot. 

This was the palette before:

And this is the palette without the shades I like:

It's funny because when I look at this palette now, I really don't like it. I am not drawn to it in any way, and I certainly wouldn't purchase it. I think this is a good lesson for me to continue to learn and one that hopefully inspires you, because sometimes when you remove just a few shades from a palette, it is no longer all that appealing. 

The three shades I took out of this palette have now gone into my Desert Dusk duped palette (though at this point it's not so much of a dupe anymore), and I will show that in a bit.

Look 3: Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix

This wasn't my favorite look I've ever done, but I had fun with it. I was so put off from using the Viseart palette that I just wanted to throw all the color on my face, and I did. I probably won't replicate this look in the future, but sometimes it's fun to just experiment and go with what you get. Using Mi Vida Loca Remix is always a treat, even when the look isn't my favorite.

Look 4: Colourpop My Little Pony

There's a lot about this palette that I like, but I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually becomes one that I declutter. This was given to me as a gift, and I just feel like I have most of these colors in my collection already (which is why I wasn't going to purchase it). I like the overall look I came up with, but I was disappointed in Minty. In the pan it looks to be a rich burgundy, but when applied to the eyes, it comes off as hot pink. I had to add Applejack just to tone down the vibrancy of the pink, but it still wasn't the color I was after. I thought the green on the lid would have been gorgeous with a nice burgundy, but with the hot pink, I didn't like it as much.

Look 5: Kat Von D Saint and Sinner

(Please see this post if you have questions about why I own Saint and Sinner when I have written an anti-haul post on the product.)

This palette continues to be difficult for me to use (again, which is a point I made in my anti-haul post), but I went into this look determined to make something pretty with it, and this ended up being my favorite look of the week. I feel like I have a new appreciation for this palette after doing this look, and I am excited to delve into it further to see what I can come up with.

The two things that were different about using this palette were that I pulled in a matte transition shade from elsewhere in my collection and I put a shimmer in my crease. I've talked about putting shimmers in the crease before, but it is something that I really enjoy. When I was first taught how to apply makeup at MAC, the artist told me to only put matte colors in my crease, and I left that day with Soft Brown, which found its way into my crease every time I wore makeup for years. Last year when I was doing my one week, one palette project, I had to put shimmers in the crease sometimes in order to use every shade in a given palette, and I found that it was something I really enjoyed.

There are technically seven matte shades in Saint and Sinner. Two are brow bone highlight shades (for me), and there is a black, dark brown, lighter brown, and orange. It is not likely that I will touch the black or dark brown shades very often, and I will only use the two cream shades as brow bone highlights. That leaves the lighter brown (which is still pretty dark) and orange as the only mattes in the palette. There are also three shades that are matte with glitter, and those are a taupe brown, deep chocolate brown, and lime green.

My problem with this palette and the problem I think a lot of other people are having is that it is lacking certain lighter matte shades that we are used to seeing in a palette that complement existing shades in the palette. Again, this is a reason why I wasn't going to buy this palette. But now that I have it, it is clear that it will require me to reach for other shadows in my collection, which I don't mind.

Look 6: Desert Dusk

As I mentioned above, the current state of this palette now looks less like a dupe for the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette and more like my own creation. But I've gotta say—I really love it. I reach for this palette several times a week, and I am always happy to do so. But I've made some recent changes.

This was the palette last week:

And this is it now:

I removed Coloured Raine Heir, Coloured Raine Moments, Makeup Geek Phantom, the Inglot brown, and the BH Cosmetics mauve shade, and I added the three pink/red colors from Viseart Bijoux Royale as well as Rebirth and Muse from the Lime Crime Venus palette. 

The look I created this week is probably "boring" to you by this point since I do some variation of it a few times a week, but I can't help it. I just love it so much. I'm glad I made the choice to depot the Viseart shadows that I wanted and put them in here because I can already tell they are going to get a ton more use in this kind of a palette than they were in Bijoux Royale. I am much more inspired by this color scheme, and I'm happy the shadows I love will get used and be enjoyed. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Too Faced Chocolate Gold Palette

Another month has passed, and you know what that means—Too Faced has released yet another palette. This is the Chocolate Gold palette, a limited edition palette that looks a lot like their Chocolate Bar palettes but will not (as of now) be a part of the permanent range. 

And I won't be buying. 

I'm going to start this post off a little different today, and that is by talking about a positive aspect of this product. Too Faced has released so many new palettes and collections over the past couple years, and when I see whatever the new product looks like, the vast majority of the time I find it so boring. When I look at the Chocolate Gold palette, I don't like it enough to potentially want to buy it, but it doesn't look as bad as so many of their other palettes—at least at first glance, but we will get into that in a bit. 

Upon first look, there are some shades in this palette that I would really like if I didn't have a large eyeshadow collection. I'm immediately drawn to Classy & Sassy, because I've been really loving gold pinks, and I'm also really drawn to New Money (hot pink), Old Money (copper), and Chocolate Gold. 

If this palette was good quality and if I didn't already have a large collection, I could see myself using almost all of these colors. In fact, the only colors I don't think I would use a ton are Decadent (matte black) and Dippin' Diamonds (silver). That is something that I feel has been lacking from a lot of Too Faced releases lately, which is a (somewhat) exciting(ish) color scheme. 

But, here's the thing. While this color scheme seems a little "exciting" for Too Faced, it is not at all exciting when compared to what is currently on the market. And, as far as I can tell from reviews and swatches, this palette is just okay. Some shimmers have decent pigment, some don't. Some mattes look sheer, others look patchy. This isn't all that surprising to me or probably most people at this point, but for $49, you have got to be dreaming to think I will pay that for so-so quality. 

Again, it seems like Too Faced's priority with this palette was the packaging: 

Now, I will say that I actually really like this packaging. I love how shiny the gold is, and if I was a sucker for packaging, this one would be hard for me to resist. I think it's beautiful, and I think Too Faced did a good job with it, which makes it even more disappointing that the actual product is just okay. 

The packaging also serves another purpose, which is making a statement against the brand Makeup Revolution that has built an entire brand off of ripping off successful brands and products. Here is the packaging for their copied version of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar:

Makeup Revolution seems to be a divisive brand. Some people like it because they offer popular color schemes at fractions of the cost and they are sold in countries where the original brand is not. So for people who live outside the US and who don't have access to the same products, Makeup Revolution is a brand they like. 

Personally, I really hate brands like Makeup Revolution for ripping off someone else's creative work. There's a difference between having palettes with similar colors (like Natasha Denona Sunset, Colourpop Yes, Please!, and NYX Fire) and flat-out ripping someone off, copying their exact color scheme and layout, replicating the packaging, or even ripping off the name. 

The worst offender, I believe, is the Makeup Revolution "Light and Shade" palette:

Which is such an egregious ripoff, down the the name and shadow layout, of the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye palette:

I could never support a brand that makes money off of stealing from another brand in such a blatant, unapologetic, and obvious way, so I personally find it fun that Too Faced ripped off Makeup Revolution's packaging of a product they ripped off from Too Faced. 

But I am not someone who purchases an expensive product just for the packaging, and I am disappointed, as always, that Too Faced put more care and attention into that than into giving consumers a fantastic product. 

Let's look at swatches:

These swatches are so disappointing, especially when you consider that the swatches provided by the brand are going to look the best (and also unrealistic). There is no question that brands apply a hefty layer of primer on models' skin and then layer the product on top. It is also very likely that a lot of photo editing takes place afterward. That seems exceptionally obvious in this case because there is hardly any variation of the swatches between the different skin tones. 

And personally, I don't think these swatches look that great. In fact, I'm surprised that this is even the same palette as pictured above. The gold pink color that I was so drawn to in images of the palette does not exist in these swatches. The hot pink looks identical to the "Jelly" shadow in the Too Faced Peanut Butter and Jelly palette, and the rest of the swatches just look incredibly neutral and boring. 

If you take away the green shadow, the palette looks very neutral, and if you also take away the pink/violet shade, you've basically got the first Chocolate Bar:

So if you already have this palette, there is really no need to consider the Chocolate Gold palette. All you are missing is a green and pink/violet. 

On Too Faced's website, they showcase a few looks that can be achieved with the Chocolate Gold palette, and this is one of the looks:

I really couldn't believe when I saw photo. First, this does absolutely nothing in terms of advertising any quality of the product, and second, it barely looks like the model is wearing any eyeshadow. Obviously people have a wide array of preferences, and I know there are plenty of people who love a "no makeup" makeup look. I also know that many people just want to lightly define their crease or only wear neutral matte shadows. Those are not my personal preferences, but I know so many people who love a "natural" look. But when you look at images of the Chocolate Gold palette, it isn't one that jumps out at me to be for the person who loves a natural/minimal look. This photo just makes me think that the shadows in the palette don't perform very well. Furthermore, the "pigment" shown in the above swatches seems to be totally absent here.

When I first saw this palette, I immediately thought of the Too Faced Pretty Rebel palette:

This palette has been discontinued for many years, but I know it was beloved by those who owned it. 

The thing with Too Faced is that they built a fan base of consumers who loved the quality of their products. Then they started moving into the gimmicks (smelling like chocolate) and focusing on the packaging (looking like a bar of chocolate), and people went with them because gimmicks and packaging can be fun if the product is still good, which it was for a while. 

And then Too Faced started churning out products in preparation of selling to Estée Lauder, and since the sale of the company, the quality has only declined further. Even this palette, which looks to be quite a step up from the White Chocolate Bar palette, still can't hold up to a $16 palette from Colourpop. 

If you are drawn to this palette and have the original Chocolate Bar, there really is no reason to buy the Chocolate Gold. Not only do you have all of the tones already, but the Chocolate Bar (at least those sold a few years ago before the sale of the company) is of better quality. Buying the Chocolate Gold palette would give you duplicates of what you already have (but only worse), plus two shadows and different packaging. 

And, frankly, the color scheme of this palette is not unique enough even with the green and pink to justify adding it to an already full makeup collection. 

Other palettes that have similar tones include the Urban Decay Vice 3:

As well as the Urban Decay Vice LTD:

I recently saw a post from someone who had purchased the Chocolate Gold palette with the caption: "Please don't suck." For $49, I certainly expect more from a palette than the hope that it won't suck. When I purchased the BH Cosmetics Zodiac palette for $19, I had that same thought. "Please don't suck." I really wanted to love that palette, but I bought it before reviews had come out, and I knew I was taking a risk. And for $19, I was okay with that risk. But I shouldn't have to hope that a product from a more expensive brand won't suck. (Frankly, I shouldn't have to hope that with any brand, because companies should not be releasing mediocre or bad products.) 

But that is what I feel Too Faced has come to. "Please don't suck." This was once a brand that was on top of the beauty pyramid. I used to get so excited to see every new release, but that faded around the time of Chocolate Bon Bons. Now, with the flood of new products, I just roll my eyes. I mentioned this in my last post about Too Faced, but it feels like they are creating disposable makeup because of how frequently they release new products. And yet, prices have not gone down; pan/product sizes have not gone down. 

If you haven't seen Amber F's channel on YouTube, I recommend it. Each year she uses up an entire palette, and this year she is tackling the Chocolate Bar. She uses much more eyeshadow in her looks than I do, and she also multi-tasks several shadows as eyeliner, eyebrow powder, contour, bronzer, blush, and face highlighter. (I will link her playlist for the Chocolate Bar series here.) She has remarked several times throughout the year on how much product there is in the Chocolate Bar and how densely packed the shadows are, meaning that she doesn't go through the shadows as quickly as she does with other brands. Watching her use up this palette has really hit home for me how much product is in these palettes and how long it would actually take to use them up. If it takes her a year or more to use up the Chocolate Bar, while using the shadows for almost all aspects of her makeup look on a daily basis, I can't imagine how long it would take me. 

So for Too Faced to treat these products as disposable is truly baffling to me. Releasing a new palette every month doesn't allow anyone to actually use and enjoy their current products (and Too Faced's target audience are the people who buy everything new that the brand releases). And I really don't appreciate that this brands thinks that my income is this disposable. 

This same behavior is what drove me away from MAC, which was my all-time favorite brand for years. They kept coming out with a new special collection seemingly every few weeks, and as a result, all of them were of terrible quality. I was never big on getting the special collections, but I found it annoying that the sales associates were always trying to push these crappy products on me when I went into the store. And now, I barely have any MAC products in my collection. 

Colourpop is also coming out with new products and palettes at an alarming rate, but I find it less obnoxious since their entire business model is to provide trendy makeup with less product and at low prices. I'm not a person who cares about price per gram since I hardly ever even hit the pan on eyeshadows, so I am happy to pay an overall less price than to pay a crazy high price because it is lower in price per gram. 

I am not a fan of Anastasia Beverly Hill's palette formula, but I appreciate that they only come out with one or two palettes a year. And although Subculture was a bit of a disaster, you could tell that the brand had attempted to create shadows that had intense pigmentation. As a result, the shadows couldn't be pressed very hard in the manufacturing process, which led to all the of problems. I think ABH didn't handle that situation well, but it still seemed to me like the intention was to create a quality palette that consumers would love. Whereas it seems Too Faced just creates things to make money and doesn't put a ton of attention and care into giving consumers a quality product. 

This is also something I mentioned in my last post about Too Faced, but I really feel like the brand won't be able to sustain this kind of model for much longer in the changing beauty landscape. Colourpop is really changing the game, and although I wasn't a fan of the brand in its early days, now that they are more established, I'm really supportive of what they are doing. If I can get a great quality palette for $16 that also has a cool, interesting color scheme, why in the hell would I pay $49 for a crappy palette from Too Faced? Just so I can get some gold plastic covering some brown plastic on the packaging? No thanks. 

While I think the Chocolate Gold palette is better than other recent offerings from Too Faced, it is still more of the same from the brand and absolutely nothing to get too excited over. I don't need another expensive palette with basic colors and mediocre quality, so I won't be buying. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Recent Looks: Colourpop, Viseart, Morphe, BH Cosmetics, Kat Von D, and more

I know it has been a while since I posted weekly looks, and I know that my posting has been sparse for the past month. I wrote about this in a recent post, but I will mention again that the reasons for that are:

  1. I have been traveling. 
  2. I've needed a break. 
  3. I've been getting a little bored of the beauty community.

Now, to speak a bit on that last point, that is not at all about my interaction with my blog or readers. I'm getting bored of watching YouTube beauty videos, I feel like all of the content is stale and the same, and I am exhausted by members of the beauty community being enamored by all the drama surrounding influencers. And, as always, I'm tired of all the shilling.

I have also mentioned this in a post, but I have recently (within the past month and a half) been gifted a few palettes. Being gifted makeup has become a bit interesting for me. People in my life know that I love makeup and that I have a blog about makeup. And when thinking of a gift for me, it's usually makeup. But I write an anti-haul blog about why I don't need certain makeup items. And I have been gifted a couple palettes that I decided I was not going to buy and have written anti-haul posts about.

Now, I know that I don't need to explain myself or give disclaimers. (That's always a bit of an annoyance for me, when people give so many disclaimers just so that a few assholes won't write them mean comments.) But due to the nature of my blog, when I acquire an item that I have declared that I won't buy, I would like to at least let you know. And while I wasn't planning on buying these items for myself, they are special to me since they are gifts, and I will be using them. So, I have denoted these palettes with an asterisk.

What follows are several looks I've done in recent weeks that include some of these new palettes as well as old favorites.

Look 1: Peachy Mattes and Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette*

Morphe Sissy on the lid, Colourpop The News blended into the crease as a transition shade, Colourpop Making Moves and Stay Golden blended into the crease, Colourpop Cannonball blended above Making Moves and Stay Golden, and Colourpop 143 padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 2: Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette*

Obsessed on the inner lid, Diva on the outer lid, Silk Creme and M.F.E.O blended into the crease as transition shades, Butter and Buns blended into the crease, and Mocha and Enchanted blended to deepen the crease. Obsessed and Diva on the lower lash line.  

Look 3: Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette*

Hustle on the lid, Butter and Buns blended into the crease as transition shades, Jacz blended into the crease, and Cranapple padded onto the outer corner.

Look 4: Peachy Mattes and Viseart Bijoux Royale 

Viseart 5 on the lid, Colourpop The News blended into the crease as a transition shade, Colourpop Making Moves and Stay Golden blended into the crease, Colourpop Cannonball blended above Making Moves and Stay Golden, and Colourpop 143 padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 5: Kat Von D Saint and Sinner*

Worship on the lid, Costal Scents Oatmeal Tan blended into the crease as a transition shade, Martyr blended into the crease, Exorcism padded onto the outer corner and blended into the crease, and Exodus on the inner lid and inner corner. 

Look 6: NARS Isolde and Viseart Neutral Matte 

NARS Isolde (left) on the lid, Viseart peach shades blended into the crease as transition shades, Viseart orange shade blended into the crease, and NARS Isolde (right) padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 7: Fyrinnae Meerkat and Desert Dusk

Fyrinnae Meerkat on the lid (over Pixie Epoxy), Inglot pink and purple shades blended into the crease, and Coloured Raine Queen Mother padded onto the outer corner.

Look 8: NYX Air

12 on the lid, 3 blended into the crease as a transition shade, 9 blended into the crease, and 11 padded onto the outer corner and blended into the crease. 

Look 9: Natasha Denona 5-pan 09 and Viseart Neutral Matte 

Natasha Denona silver shade on the lid, Viseart light peach shades blended into the crease as transition shades, and Natasha Denona olive shade blended into the crease. 

Look 10: BH Cosmetics Zodiac

Pisces shimmer on the lid, Virgo matte blended into the crease as a transition shade, Cancer matte blended into the crease, and highlighter on the brow bone and inner corner.

Look 11: BH Cosmetics Zodiac 

Scorpio shimmer on the inner part of the lid, Sagittarius shimmer on the outer part of the lid, Aquarius matte blended into the crease as a transition shade, Sagittarius matte and Scorpio matte blended into the crease, and highlighter on the brow bone and inner corner. 

Look 12: Tom Ford Nude Dip and Viseart Neutral Matte

Tom Ford 2 on the lid, Viseart peach shades blended into the crease as transition shades, Viseart cool light brown blended into the crease, and Tom Ford 4 padded onto the outer corner. Marc Jacobs Whirl(pool) on the waterline. 

*These palettes were given to me as gifts. 

Look 1: Peachy Mattes and Morphe Jaclyn Hill

What can I say? I am still just completely enamored with my Peachy Mattes duped palette. I have been using this palette consistently for months at this point, and I still find myself wanting to use it every day. There are certain shades that I use every time I use the palette, which include Colourpop The News, Making Moves, Stay Golden, and 143. I added Morphe Sissy on the lid to complement the rest of the look, and I really love the end result. Sissy is easily my favorite shade from the Jaclyn Hill palette, and I really loved how this look turned out. 

Looks 2 and 3: Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette

This is not a palette that I ever anticipated owning. I have owned Morphe palettes in the past that were cheaply made, smelled terribly, and burned when applied to my skin. Added to that, I feel as though the price for this palette is too high considering other palettes of the same size from Morphe. The palette that I own is the one that was made for Ulta, so the packaging has been slightly upgraded to include a protective layer that enables one to clean it as well as the shade names printed on the back of the palette. 

My honest thoughts are these: The palette is definitely better quality than any other Morphe palette I have owned. It does not smell or burn when applied to my skin, it does not feel as cheaply made, and the colors perform better than the other Morphe shades I have tried. While the color scheme is not at all anything unique, I have found that there are many pretty shades in it. However, I still do not feel this palette is worth its price tag; I think all of these shades are easily duplicated in most collections; the shadows do not perform as well as shadows from brands like Colourpop, Coloured Raine, or Makeup Geek; and I don't feel like the color scheme is comprehensive. For as big as the palette is, there are so many duplicated shades that could have been replaced for shades that would have made the palette more comprehensive. For example, there are so many pinky/berry/red shimmery shadows, but there are not any mattes to complement them. I think this palette would have benefited from some cool-toned light and mid-tone browns as well as some pink/mauve mattes. It's a fine palette to travel with (I was gifted it while I was traveling and had it for the majority of my four-week trip), but I did find myself bringing in my Peachy Matte duped palette on a fairly regular basis. 

In terms of the two complete looks I did with it above, I really loved look 2 and was kind of "meh" about look 3. Sissy is my favorite shadow in the palette, but Diva is a close second. 

Look 4: Peachy Mattes and Viseart Bijoux Royale 

I don't have a ton to say about this look because it is a look that I create on a regular basis. Something I've noticed in all of the Viseart shimmer palettes that I have owned is that there is typically one shimmery shadow that is way better than all the others. And in Bijoux Royale, that's 5. I've thought about decluttering this palette many times because I've really discovered that I don't care for Viseart shimmers (and after trying less expensive matte shadows, I think their mattes are overpriced and overrated), but this one shade always stops me. And that's dumb because I clearly have similar shadows in my collection, but nothing quite like this one. I love this shadow and I loved this look. It feels like this kind of look is turning into my "signature" look, and I'm totally fine with that. 

Look 5: Kat Von D Saint and Sinner

Man, this palette. This is another palette that I was not planning to buy that I was gifted. And, to be honest, I don't know how much use I will get out of it. The colors are certainly beautiful, and they are prettier than what I saw in pictures and swatches, but I have a serious lack of inspiration when I look at it. I can't tell you how many times in the past few weeks I have picked up this palette to use only to put it back and reach for something else because I can't think of a look to do. That was one of the reasons I listed in my anti-haul post as to why I wasn't going to buy it, and owning it hasn't changed that opinion. 

As for the look I did, I liked it, but it was also one that seemed quite obvious to me. I keep wanting to use this palette, but I just can't find the inspiration. 

Look 6: NARS Isolde and Viseart Neutral Matte 

NARS Isolde is a fantastic duo, and I think it will always create a pretty look. I paired it with the Viseart Neutral Matte palette because that seemed pretty obvious, and, just as expected, the look came out pretty. I have to say, however, that since I have been playing with color, this kind of look feels so incredibly boring to me. I received compliments on my makeup when I wore this (I'm assuming because it intensifies my eye color), but I felt a little boring all day when I caught a glimpse of myself. 

Look 7: Fyrinnae Meerkat and Desert Dusk

I've written about this shadow before as well as a look similar to this one, so I will be brief in saying that I really liked this look a lot and thought it was pretty. Fyrinnae shadows are always amazing, and I thought it paired nicely with my duped Desert Dusk palette. 

Look 8: NYX Air

I've also written about this palette before (and probably have done this exact look), so I will say that I am still enjoying using this palette. Some shadows are certainly better than others, and the shades I used in this look I think are the best the palette has to offer. The other shades are a little lackluster. 

Look 9: Natasha Denona 5-pan 09 and Viseart Neutral Matte 

A long time ago, I used my Natasha Denona shadows as part of my one week, one palette series. What I loved so much about that series is that I pushed myself to use every single color in a palette and really experiment with color. I had never liked silver on me before, so I was really dreading using this color. But then I paired it with the olive shade and I completely fell for it. I've had a craving to do that look again since, and I finally did it. I don't have much more to add since I've already written about this look, but it is one of my favorites. 

Looks 10 and 11: BH Cosmetics Zodiac

This is a new palette to me as well, but this is one that I chose to purchase. I have only tried one BH Cosmetics palette (Carli Bybel), and I ended up depotting and decluttering most of it. I like to have an idea about the quality and performance of most brands so that I can compare and accurately talk about quality as it relates to me and my preferences, and I wanted to try BH's baked formula. I have only used this palette twice in these two looks, but I have to say that I really like the palette. I don't have a ton of experience with baked shadows, but these were quite impressive. I used them dry and not over any kind of glitter primer, and I felt like the shadows came off quite vibrant. I would like to use it more before I give any kind of final thoughts on it, but so far I am really enjoying it. 

Look 12: Tom Ford Nude Dip and Viseart Neutral Matte

Every time I use Tom Ford shadows, I am always reminded of how gorgeous and shiny they are. (To be fair, I only like the Nude Dip and Honeymoon shadows. The other Tom Ford quad shadows I don't feel perform nearly as well.) I thought I just wanted a simple and pretty look on the day I wore this, but then I threw Marc Jacobs Whirl(pool) on the lower lash line, and I loved the contrast between the simple and elegant lid and the bold color on the lower lash line. Although a little understated, this was also a favorite for me.