Thursday, December 29, 2016

What I'm Not Buying: Urban Decay Afterdark

Urban Decay recently released their newest palette, Afterdark, which looks like it is slated to replace the Electric Palette. 

And I won't be buying. 

And I have to tell you, I really wanted to buy this palette. The colors are completely up my alley with what I've been loving in terms of playing with color, and I like the generally dark esthetic. In all honesty, this was a hard item to say no to. 

In an effort to try and be more economical with my purchases and not buy something just because it's new and shiny and pretty, I tried to talk myself out of this purchase because I hate Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes. That fact alone has kept me from buying many recent Urban Decay releases and is a reason that is always important to keep in mind. Typically, Urban Decay shadows are dry, stiff, and produce a lot of fallout. I am always disappointed whenever I try Urban Decay palettes, and despite how enticing a color scheme may be, I have been able to avoid their palettes because I know the quality will be poor. 

But then I heard that Urban Decay came out with a new formula that is very similar to the Make Up For Ever artist shadows, and my go-to tactic to talk myself out of Urban Decay palettes went up in flames. The Make Up For Ever formula is arguably my favorite for shimmer shadows because I love the pigmentation that it packs. This shadow formula is also really similar to my Tarte Rainforest of the Sea palette as well as the Anastasia Beverly Hills single shadows. Hearing that Urban Decay has adopted this shadow formula made me impulsively think that I needed to buy this palette. 

And folks, I'm happy to say that I've officially resisted temptation. Here's why:

I own every single shade in this palette already. 

Let's look at the palette shade by shade:

Photo: Temptalia 

I am using swatches on Temptalia's blog as a reference. 

Alter is a white gold. From my own collection, it looks like Make Up For Ever Golden Beige:

Photo: Temptalia

Scene is a golden pink. From my own collection, it looks like Make Up Geek Mai Tai:

Supersonic is a cranberry copper. From my own collection, it looks like Zoeva Warm Notes:

Photo: Temptalia 

Sinful is a dirty gold. From my own collection, it looks like Juvia's Place Nairobi:

Off Duty is a dark brown with red undertones. From my own collection, it looks like Zoeva Subtle Blend:

Photo: Temptalia 

Druggie is a violet purple. From my own collection, it looks like Melt Cosmetics Promiscuous:

Backfire is a dark plum. From my own collection, it looks like Coloured Rain Queen Mother (except this shade kicks Backfire's ass):

Photo: Temptalia 

Lounge is that typical red-brown-blue-green. I actually don't have any shadows like this anymore because I don't like this kind of color. But I have previously owned and decluttered MAC's Club:

Fringe is a dark teal. From my own collection, it looks like Juvia's Place Dalia:

Paralyzed is a navy blue. From my own collection is looks like Viseart Bijoux Royal #8:

Photo: Temptalia 

I don't normally take the time to map out every single eyeshadow in a palette and compare it to my own collection. But as you can see, I literally own every single shade in the Afterdark palette. And still because I don't have all of these colors together in one palette, my brain still tricked me into thinking that this palette could be unique to my collection. And because the formula of the Urban Decay palette is updated and similar to my favorite formula, again my brain tricked me into thinking this was something unique. 

So, I took the time to recreate this palette with existing shadows in my collection for myself, mostly, so that I could undeniably see that I don't need Afterdark. And what's even better is that I love the formulas of all of these shadows, so it's not like they "need" to be upgraded. I'm also posting this because this is a good exercise for anyone to do when contemplating a palette they know they don't need. This palette, in all honesty, is probably unique to most people's collection. I am well aware that my collection is superfluous and outstretches that of what is normal or even usable. But, I think it's worth keeping this exercise in mind to see how many duplicates shades are in your collections. 

As far as the color scheme, the palettes that most remind me of Afterdark are the Make Up For Ever holiday 2016 palette:

Photo: Temptalia 

Juvia's Place Masquerade:

And Juvia's Place Nubian 2:

Let's talk about the positives of Afterdark. The palette costs $49 for 10 shadows at 0.06 ounces each. The Naked palette, in comparison, costs $54 for 12 shades at 0.05 ounces each. The Naked palette, in my opinion, has low quality shadows (at least the palettes in recent production; original palettes had superior quality) that produce a ton of fallout, so I actually think Afterdark is a much better value than the Naked palette. Afterdark will also look incredible on people with medium to deep skin tones, and it is always thrilling to see a product that will work well on all skin tones, not just light ones.

The biggest "negative" that I can think of is that this is not a complete palette for most people and does not include any matte shades. As I have previously mentioned, the creamier formula doesn't translate as easily to matte shadows, so it's not surprising that all of these shadows have shimmer and metallic finishes. My assumption is that most people will need to bring in matte shadows to complement this palette, and while that is not something that really bothers me, I know it's a negative factor for a lot of people. 

Something I think is important to keep in mind is how often you will get use out of something. Before starting my one week, one palette project, I would have gotten use out of six or seven shades maximum. And before I started shopping more shrewdly, that would have been worth it for me. Now, I would get use out of every shade, and because of that, I see that getting use out of only part of a palette is pretty wasteful. If you would only use a handful of these colors, it would be better to just buy a few select singles. Frankly, the neutral shadows in this palette aren't that unique, and they probably already exist elsewhere in your collection.  

See, the collection of colors in this palette seems unique, but the individual colors are not.

And the reason is because we don't typically see these colors paired together. Because this is a palette that will truly work on all skin tones and isn't specifically designed for light skin. I think it's really telling that the two palettes I could think of that most resembled Afterdark are from a black-owned makeup brand, designed for people of color. 

Because of this, I'm of two minds about Afterdark. On the one hand, I find this palette to be completely redundant to my collection and think for many people it will be as well. On the other hand, I think it's about damn time that a major brand releases a neutral palette that works for medium and deep skin tones. The fact that this palette is of fantastic quality is even better. However, it's unfortunate that this is a limited edition palette. I don't think it sends the right message that light skin–friendly Urban Decay palettes are permanent and this darker skin–friendly palette is not. Regardless, I already have all of these colors in my collection and absolutely do not need to add another palette. I'm sure Afterdark will be incredibly hyped, and because of that, I hope more brands make palettes that work for a myriad of skin tones. While I would love to try Urban Decay's new formula, I just do not need this palette and won't be buying. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

One Week, One Palette: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

The twelfth week of my one week, one palette project presented an interesting obstacle for me: this was my first week at a new job in a relatively conservative office. It happened to work out that the palette I had in rotation last week—Tarte Rainforest of the Sea—is my most neutral/light/work-appropriate palette, which was definitely appreciated. 

I have to say, though, this wasn't my favorite week by a long shot in terms of looks I created. And I don't think that is the palette's fault; I think I just really don't like conservative and work-appropriate looks. I found myself constantly worrying if I put on too much eyeshadow, and tried to tone down my looks as much as possible while still trying to utilize the palette and show a variation of looks. 

Clockwise from top, Seashell, Wave, Abyss, Reef, Starfish, Cove, Sand, and Mermaid

Since there are only two matte shades in this palette (Cove and Sand), I also incorporated some shadows from the MAC C'Est Chic palette:

I've been debating decluttering this palette for a while, and decided to use it for two weeks to really make a decision. 

Below are six looks I did last week. Look 1 was not on a work day, but the rest of the looks were worn to work.

Look 1:

Reef on the lid, MAC Soft Brown and MAC Corduroy blended into the crease, Abyss padded onto the outer corner, and Sand on the brow bone. Reef on the lower lash line. 

Look 2:

Seashell on the lid, MAC Demitasse blended into the crease, MAC All's Rosy padded onto the outer corner and blended into the crease, and Sand on the brow bone. MAC All's Rosy on the lower lash line. 

Look 3:

Mermaid on the lid, Cove blended into the crease, Starfish padded onto the outer corner, and Sand on the brown bone. Mermaid on the lower lash line. 

Look 4:

Starfish on the lid, Cove blended into the crease, Abyss padded onto the outer corner, and Sand on the brown bone. Starfish on the lower lash line. 

Look 5:

Wave on the lid, Cove blended into the crease, Reef padded onto the outer corner, and Sand on the brow bone. Wave and Abyss on the lower lash line. 

Look 6:

Starfish on the lid, MAC Soft Brown and MAC All's Rosy blended into the crease, MAC Embark padded onto the outer corner, and Sand on the brow bone. Reef on the lower lash line. 

If there was ever a palette in my collection that I would keep for sentimental purposes or because I loved the packaging, it would be this one. Luckily, I also really love the quality of these shadows, and it is a palette that I enjoy. I think it's a perfect palette for people wanting to do looks appropriate for work and who are also looking to have a bit of diversity. 

I really enjoy the quality of these shadows. They remind me a lot of Make Up For Ever artist shadows, which are my favorite shadow formula. They are closer to a cream, in my opinion, than a powder, and are similar in nature to a foiled shadow. I have heard a lot of people complain about the shadows in this palette and say that they don't deposit product well onto a brush, but I strongly feel all of those complaints are due to user error. This is not an eyeshadow formula where one can lightly tap a brush into it and get significant pigment. Due to the creamy nature of it, the product has to be pushed a bit with the brush in an almost scraping/digging motion. 

Due to the nature of the formula, the shimmers are gorgeous and perform seamlessly while the mattes take a bit more effort. Typically when using a matte shadow, I lightly dip my brush into the pan and start building the color lightly on my lid. When I've tried that technique with the mattes in this palette, I have received little to no color payoff. Instead, I need to push/scrape the shadow and then pat the product that comes up into my brush. Once I figured that out, the mattes were easier to work with, but they are not as easy as traditional matte shadows from MAC, Makeup Geek, Kat Von D, Viseart, etc. 

I enjoyed using every color in this palette. Reef is my favorite shade because I love the richness to it, but I also really enjoy Starfish, and Cove is a surprisingly nice crease color for me. The rest of the colors are also pretty, they are just lighter shades and therefore not as interesting or fun for me to use, but work nicely in an office setting. 

It's probably not a surprise that my favorite look last week was look 1 because it was the only look that I did not wear to work. As far as work looks are concerned, I enjoyed looks 2 and 6 the most. Using this palette all week to work really opened my eyes about my palette/eyeshadow collection. I love the diversity of colors in my collection, but if I am only able to wear super neutral looks, I certainly don't need the vast majority of everything I have. And, frankly, that makes me a little sad. I know it sounds silly, but eyeshadow application is something I enjoy so much and has really become an artistic form of self-expression for me. Thinking that I'll need to do light washes of color for the majority of the week, every week, is a sad thought for me. 

What I don't understand about Tarte is why they have so many different eyeshadow formulas. This formula is different than Tarte's Tartelette palettes and is also different from the Tartiest Pro formula. I've read that the second Rainforest of the Sea palette has a formula that is similar or the same to this one, but I've also heard that the quality is not as strong as in the original. 

Tarte as a brand has rapidly become one that I am not really interested in supporting anymore. I think they are taking a few cues from Too Faced and are pumping out as many releases as possible and compromising on quality. I'm also not interested in a brand that seems so incredibly desperate to be seen as "cool" by people on YouTube. I watch YouTube reviews, but I am not a person who is impressed in any way by brand trips to exotic locations in exchange for people shilling products. And that seems to be Tarte's biggest marking tactic at the moment, which I find very off-putting. And the Rainforest of the Sea palette is just another example of my confusion with the brand. I think these shadows are of excellent quality and easily the best I've experienced ever from Tarte, so it would make sense that they adopt this formula as their main formula. But that hasn't happened and seems as though this formula is only for the Rainforest of the Sea palettes. It would be nice to see some consistency across the brand!

Truthfully, this was a purchase that I absolutely did not need to make. And this is absolutely not a palette that I need to keep in my collection. But as I've said, this is the only item in my collection that I would keep for sentimental reasons and packaging if I didn't like the product (which I do). I bought this palette when I was going through a rough time. My graduate program was incredibly challenging, and it created a lot of stress, anxiety, and general life problems. At the time, I combated those problems with buying makeup. I don't condone that behavior or advocate for it, but I think it's something important to talk about because a lot of people engage in emotional shopping behaviors. This palette purchase was a product of that time in my life, and part of the reason I purchased it was because I was going on a tropical vacation for spring break to a remote part of Puerto Rico. I knew I was buying it for reasons that ultimately didn't matter (like the theme and packaging in addition to the color scheme, which I have always liked), but I bought it anyway. And I brought it on the trip. And I would love to say that the trip was incredible and everything that I wanted it to be. But it wasn't. The beach was gorgeous, the weather was perfection, and I was so far away from New York City. But the trip was also not great because I wasn't doing well as a person at the time, and it didn't matter how much makeup I bought or tropical vacations I went on, I was having a hard time. Ultimately, the trip was incredible because I learned that. 

The palette reminds me of Puerto Rico. And, honestly, not all of those memories are good. And it also reminds me of this impossible time in my life. And most of those memories are not good. But it's important for me to remember that time and keep things in perspective. This palette was a frivolous purchase that helped get me through another day when, at the time, that was my only objective. I've gotten rid of most of the purchases I made during that time, but this one remains, and I think it's because it reminds me of Puerto Rico. Because if I was still troubled in paradise, there was something larger that needed to be addressed. 

This week was really the first time I've used this palette since the Puerto Rico trip. And everything in my life is different now, except that I still live in New York City. It was a pleasure using this palette under these new and better circumstances because I had the perspective of where I was the last time. The colors in the palette didn't inspire me to the lengths that some of the other palettes in this project have, but using it made me realize that the majority of my looks will now have to be work-appropriate. And I think that was an important experience.

Most importantly, however, using this palette made me feel beyond grateful that I have a job, full stop. I am in a privileged position at the moment, and having this palette as a reminder each morning that I am in a better place was humbling. And that's why I keep it even though I have all of these colors and the palette is functionally superfluous in my collection. I wish I could have let myself know when I bought this palette where I would be now because I still remember all too vividly how it felt when things were falling apart. And I think that during the holiday season and coming into the New Year, that awareness is an incredible gift, and I'm glad this palette helped me put things into perspective.

I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and happy holidays.   

Monday, December 19, 2016

Why I No Longer Buy From Colourpop

Photo: Temptalia 

Colourpop came out of no where in the past few years, created an unbelievably successful marketing campaign, and became a massive success, at least for people who know the online beauty industry. 

For the "normal" makeup consumer, they probably haven't heard of Colourpop, except when their makeup-obsessed friend mentions the brand. And they are most known for having "good" products at very reasonable prices, with most products priced at $5. 

I bought into the hype with Colourpop and purchased a quite a few of their products, ranging from matte and shimmer eyeshadow, lipstick, liquid lipstick, and highlighter. I feel like I have really given the brand a fair try. And I really didn't like their products. The thing with Colourpop is that I feel like there are only glowing reviews available, and there is so much hype. And while I believe that most of those glowing reviews are absolutely genuine, I feel it's also important to share my non-glowing review. 

The first products I tried were eyeshadow. I bought the KathleenLights Where the Light Is quad:

Photo: Temptalia

As well as the single in Shark Attack:

Photo: Temptalia 

And the brand's signature shade: I Heart This:

Photo: Temptalia 

The eyeshadows were definitely the best products I tried from Colourpop. The shimmer shadows had good pigmentation and wore well for many hours. They didn't last quite as long as other cream or powder shadows in my collection, but they lasted for the majority of the day. The mattes weren't that great. I felt the Where the Light Is quad color scheme tried to replicate what would be found in an average warm-towned quad. But as cream shadows, this really didn't work. Trying to blend the matte shadows when also using the shimmers didn't work, and the mattes on their own weren't that impressive. 

Personally (and this really is just personal preference), I don't like applying cream shadow (or any shadow for that matter) with my finger. I just don't like it. I don't like how shadow gets under my nail and that I have to wash my hands immediately after application or have shadow all over my face. I also found that the Colourpop eyeshadows dried up incredibly quickly. I followed all of Colourpop's instructions on how to properly secure and store the shadows, and still, I noticed that after about six months, they were really hard to work with because they were so dry. Eventually, I found the shadows just a little too high maintenance for an effect that wasn't really all that different or more special than what I could create with the powder shadows already in my collection, and I threw them all away. 

Then I tried the Lippie Stix (I hate the name) in Tootsie:

Ugh, this was a dumb purchase. This purchase was 100% fueled by hype. Everyone was hyping Lime Crime Cashmere and all "greige" lip colors, and I somehow convinced myself that this was a color that could flatter my warm olive undertones. I was wrong. I looked awful, and saying I looked like a corpses would be putting it lightly. 

Apart from the fact that I picked an incredibly unflattering color, I just didn't like the formula of the lipstick. It was fine, kind of like the eyeshadow, but it just wasn't great. For $5, I still don't think it's that great. There are plenty of really fantastic lipsticks at the drug store for $5 that felt better than Colourpop. 

Next I tried a highlighter in Monster:

I really, really disliked this product. I saw swatches of Monster, which is a holographic white that shifts into shades of blue, pink, and purple, and knew I wanted it on my face. I had fantasies of looking like a fairy and dancing around in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I couldn't wait to try it. I swatched it on the back of my hand and was in love. It was unlike anything I had seen before in terms of a face highlighter (at the time). 

But then I applied it to my face. I tried dabbing it onto my face with my finger. No color showed up. I tried using a stipple brush. No color showed up. I tried flat-out swiping it across my cheekbone as though I was swatching it onto the back on my hand. Finally, I had some color, but I looked awful. When I tried to blend it in a bit, all the color faded away. I kept thinking that it was user error and that I was doing something wrong, but then I realized it's just not a great cream highlighter. 

And finally, the absolute worst things I purchased: Ultra Matte Liquid Lipsticks. 

I purchased Creeper:


And Clueless:

To be completely honest, I shudder just thinking about wearing any of these liquid lipsticks. Before I go into how terrible it was to wear these, I should mention that Clueless was not as bad as the other two. I also loved the color of Clueless on my lips, but eventually decided that even the color wasn't worth it (and it wasn't even as bad as the others). 

I should start by saying that I got caught up in the liquid lipstick craze. A lipstick that looks beautiful; stays on all day through eating, drinking, and kissing; and is comfortable to wear? Sign me up! Unfortunately, that is not at all what wearing a liquid lipstick is like. 

Wearing a liquid lipstick (for me) is like applying paint on my lips, letting it dry and settle into all the crevices of my lips, and then walking around all day looking like I have "butthole lips." (I hate that term, by the way.) And yes, I exfoliated my lips. And yes, I have an incredible lip balm and regularly moisturize my lips. And yes, I also tried Revlon and Dose of Colors liquid lipsticks, and while they were both far more comfortable to wear than Colourpop, they still gave me the same "butthole lips" result. 

The Colourpop liquid lipsticks, however, were terrible. Within a minute of applying them, I could feel all the moisture rushing out of my lips. Within 30 minutes my lips felt dry and uncomfortable. Within an hour my lips felt horrifically chapped. And by three hours, I had to take the product off my lips and apply generous amounts of lip balm. They are terrible! And the really disappointing part is that I loved all three of the colors! They looked incredible on me (minus all the texture issues mentioned above), and I have been unable to find suitable shade replacements. 

I fully recommend watching Stephanie Nicole's review of a Colourpop Ultra Matte liquid lipstick. She was able to keep it on for eight hours, but her scathing review is one of the most accurate I've seen. 

So, after trying eleven products from Colourpop, not really liking some of them, and outright hating others, I decided to not buy from them again. For people who are just dying of curiosity to try Colourpop, I can see how the $5 price tag makes it a seemingly innocent purchase. But when you consider that you have to spend $30 to get free shipping and how easy it is to fill a cart with products you just want to try, at $5 each, it can get expensive fast. However, unless you plan on using the cream products immediately until you use them up, there's a good chance the product will dry out before you get a ton of use out of it. And if you plan on buying several shades, then you are almost guaranteed to not be able to finish them in time. 

I honestly feel the most alluring thing about Colourpop is the price. It's great to have less expensive items available, but I personally feel that the quality fits the price tag. And I have seen better products at the drugstore within the same price range, so I feel Colourpop mainly survives off of YouTube sponsorships and hype. I got caught up in the hype and learned my lesson the hard way. I ended up spending quite a bit of money on mediocre products I didn't even like. So, no matter the hype, I won't be buying from Colourpop in the future. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

One Week, One Palette: Anastasia Beverly Hills Singles and Melt Lovesick Stack

For the eleventh week of my one week, one palette project, I decided to go with my Black Friday/Cyber Monday purchases: Anastasia Beverly Hills singles and Melt Lovesick Stack. While this could be looked at as using two palettes, I wouldn't have really wanted to dedicate an entire week to just using either one of these palettes. So, I look at it as a collection of singles. 

These are two recent additions to my collection. I know that I write an anti-haul blog, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to buy anything ever again. I have curbed my spending tremendously and have not purchased a "hyped" product in months. Over the sales weekend, I purchased a few select items that have interested me for a while. They were items that I considered for a substantial amount of time, and I waited and intentionally purchased them during a sale to save money. 

I purchased the Anastasia Beverly Hills shadows to grow familiar with the formula and to try some colors I didn't have in my collection. My only exposure to ABH shadows was in Modern Renaissance, and as I've said before, that was not a successful purchase for me. 

I've been interested in the Melt stacks for a long time, but never actually purchased any because of the high price tag. I will say that the Lovesick Stack didn't feel like a complete palette to me, and so I also purchased the single Unseen from the Dark Matter Stack and added it to Lovesick. 

In case you're unfamiliar, Melt stacks are magnetic and come in a stack:

And can be splayed out while magnetized (as shown below) in several different ways. 

Melt Lovesick Stack:

From left: Love Sick, Unseen (purchased separately), Amelie, Fixated, and Promiscuous 

Anastasia Beverly Hills singles:

Top, from left: Buon Fresco, Dusty Rose, Blazing, and Fudge
Bottom: Macaroon, Rosette, Brownie, and Chocolate 

I tried to use all colors from both palettes last week, and I did, but some were not used in major ways. I also used Kat Von D Liberatus on the brow bone and Make Up For Ever Pearl on the inner corner every day. 

Below are six looks that I did last week.

Look 1:

ABH Macaroon on the lid, ABH Buon Fresco blended into the crease, and ABH Rosette padded onto the outer corner and on the lower lash line. 

Look 2:

Melt Promiscuous on the lid, Melt Unseen and Melt Love Sick blended into the crease, and Melt Fixated on the lower lash line. 

Look 3:

ABH Brownie on the lid, Melt Unseen and ABH Fudge blended into the crease, and ABH Brownie on the lower lash line. 

Look 4:

ABH Rosette on the lid, ABH Dusty Rose blended into the crease, and ABH Rosette on the lower lash line. 

Look 5:

Melt Amelie on the lid, Melt Unseen blended into the crease, and Melt Promiscuous padded onto the outer corner. Melt Unseen on the lower lash line. 

Look 6:

ABH Chocolate on the lid, ABH Blazing blended into the crease, and ABH Fudge on the lower lash line. 

This was a fun week, but it wasn't the most fun I've had since starting this project. The formulas from both brands were really lovely, but on the whole, the mattes from both brands were better, which is odd. The shimmers were nothing to sneer at; the mattes just performed a little better. This was especially interesting for me because I did not enjoy the matte formula on Modern Renaissance. I wonder if the formula in ABH singles differs from that in palettes. 

Buon Fresco was the only shade from Modern Renaissance that I truly loved and felt I didn't have a duplicate in my collection. I absolutely have several shades that are similar, but I was happy to purchase a full-sized single to have back in my collection. I read months (maybe even a year?) ago that Dusty Rose was a close duplicate for Urban Decay's Nooner from the Naked 3 palette. That was easily my most used shade in the palette, and I loved wearing it all over the lid. If Urban Decay sold it as a single, I would snatch it up immediately. From what I remember, Nooner was slightly more rose than Dusty Rose, but I may be misremembering. There was actually a seventh look I did last week that I didn't photograph, and it was ABH Dusty Rose on the lid with ABH Buon Fresco blended into the crease. I wasn't a fan of the look, which isn't that surprising since I don't like all-matte looks on me, but I used to like Nooner (which is matte) all over the lid, so either my tastes have changed, or the two shadows don't look the same on me. 

Macaroon was my favorite shadow from the ABH singles. (I should also mention that I own ABH Pink Champagne, but it is in my main custom palette with Makeup Geek, MAC, MUFE, and Morphe shadows.) Rosette was also really beautiful, and surprisingly unlike any of my other cranberry shadows. Most cranberry shadows in my collection have a strong red base, but Rosette had a strong berry base, which I really enjoyed. Brownie and Chocolate were both lovely. I was a little disappointed when I saw them because I figured I had countless duplicate shades in my collection, but to my surprise, they weren't quite like anything else that I had. Blazing and Fudge were gorgeous and great to work with. I thought Blazing was going to be more "tropical" peach, but on me it is a burnt orange. 

Overall, I think I might have preferred working with the Melt shadows more than ABH, but only because the colors were a little more fun. It's funny because I used to absolutely love a bronzed shadow on the lid with a light orange/peach brown in the crease. And now, while I still like those looks, I much prefer something a little more fun and colorful. The only Melt shadow I didn't really get a chance to use much was Fixated. I tried pairing it with ABH Chocolate, but it ended up just looking like a dark brown on top of dark brown, and I washed it off. I also thought about trying it paired with Amelie, but didn't get a chance to before the week was over. Promiscuous was my favorite shadow from the Melt stack, though I have to say that it and Amelie photographed terribly on my eye. In the photos, they look patchy, creased, and somewhat nonexistent, but that's not at all how they looked in person. They were really stunning. Promiscuous was a little challenging to work with, however, and it required more than one layer to give an even application. The only negative about the Lovesick Stack, in my opinion, is that it lacks a shade like Unseen. I'm glad that I purchased Unseen and added it to the stack for ease of use, but I certainly have plenty of mid-tone brown shades that I could have supplemented instead. Love Sick, like Unseen, performed beautifully. 

Looks 1 and 2 were my favorite looks, and I also really enjoyed looks 5 and 6. The other ones were fine and pretty, but they just weren't my favorites. I have to admit, though, that I experienced a little bit of fatigue with this project throughout the week. I suppose it makes sense given that I've done this for eleven weeks, but there are still many more palettes and weeks to go. It's not even that I was necessarily wanting to use another palette, I just felt tired. And maybe that's because these shadows were pretty neutral? And I didn't have a ton of fun colors to play around with? I'm not really sure, to be honest. I think it could also be that I didn't buy the ABH shadows to necessarily make a palette that I would want to use exclusively. I bought certain shades that I thought were missing from my collection. So while they kind of go together, the collection of shadows didn't hugely inspire me. A similar thing happened with the Melt stack. I really didn't know how to incorporate Fixated with the shadows I used, which was kind of frustrating, especially since I really like the color of that shadow. 

I'm also afraid that this same thing might happen to me this week since I'll need to wear more professional/toned down looks. And that brings me to something else. I wasn't going to mention this at all, but since my one week, one palette posts are usually only read my regular readers, I thought this would be a nice place to include a personal tidbit. I'm starting a job tomorrow, and this is the first I've worked since completing graduate school. This blog has been really incredible in a lot of ways, and I did not expect to love it as much as I do. I will absolutely continue blogging, but I have no idea yet how my work schedule will affect the blog. I just wanted to give you a heads-up in case I post infrequently next week. Thank you for reading and understanding.