Sunday, January 29, 2017

One Week, One Palette: Tom Ford Nude Dip

For the seventeenth week of my one week, one palette challenge, I decided to put a halt on the project. I had grown a little tired of using just one palette for an entire week and ignoring everything else in my collection. But what most surprised me was that I returned to a quad four times in the week where I was letting myself play with anything I wanted. And the quad was Tom Ford's Nude Dip. 

Clockwise: 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

This is the third Tom Ford quad I have purchased and the only one still left in my collection. I've heard many people criticize this quad for being way too much money for what you get, but I honestly feel that's true with any Tom Ford quad. Tom Ford shimmers have such a beautiful shine to them that I don't see in other shadows, so my personal thought is that the brand's best shadows are the simpler ones. 

Since the quad is all shimmer shadows, I needed to pull in some matte colors. I used Pur Soul Mattes:

MAC C'Est Chic:

And Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige:

Photo: Musing of a Muse

Below are three looks I did last week.

Look 1:

4 on the lid, MAC Choc-ful blended into the crease, 3 padded onto the outer corner, 1 on the inner corner, and MAC Drawing a Blanc on the brow bone. 3 on the lower lash line. 

Look 2:

2 on the lid, Pur Better Half blended into the crease, Pur Alter Ego padded onto the outer corner, 1 on the inner corner, and Pur Sweetheart on the brow bone. Pur Alter Ego on the lower lash line. 

Look 3:

Maybelline Creamy Beige as a base on the lid, 1 and 4 blended together over Creamy Beige, MAC Choc-ful blended into the crease, 3 on the outer corner, 1 on the inner corner, and MAC Drawing a Blanc on the brow bone. 3 on the lower lash line. 

I really enjoyed using this quad and am glad that I have it. I find it curious that some people have criticized Nude Dip specifically over other Tom Ford quads. I think the current makeup culture is to have insane pigmentation, especially delivered through a finger swatch, and therefore shadows that are a little more subdued are considered poor quality. I think there is absolutely a difference between poor pigmentation and a soft, subtle shadow. What I loved most about wearing these shadows all week was that I never felt like I overdid it for work while also not feeling like I compromised on wearing something that I wanted. 

My favorite look was look 2 because I really love the pink/rosy shade, but I truly loved each look I did with this quad. I wasn't expecting to do a one week, one palette this week, and certainly not with this quad, but as soon as I used it, I wanted to keep using it throughout the week. 

All of the shades are truly beautiful, and I think they complement each other incredibly well. I used to own Tom Ford Golden Mink and really disliked it. There were two glitter topper shades that felt entirely wasteful and unnecessary, and if I didn't want to top my look with glitter, there really wasn't much of a point in wearing them. I also owned Cocoa Mirage, and while I didn't dislike it, I felt it was far too unspecial to warrant its huge price tag. The mattes were pretty, of course, but not prettier than the shadows in my Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye or Viseart palettes. But I do think there is a little something special about Nude Dip that I didn't see in the other two eye quads. 

Now, I don't think there is any need to rush out and buy this quad if you're interested in these tones. I think there are likely plenty of alternatives from other brands. For me, however, the specialness of these shadows is in the amount of shine they give without compromising on pigment or quality. I think they are really lovely shadows, and I'm happy that I have them. 

To end this post, I have a few thoughts on my one week, one palette project. It has been an incredibly fun project and I have learned a lot about myself. The biggest thing that I learned is that I LOVE color! And that's not anything I ever would have thought before starting this project. And because of that, I would buy the same palette with gold and bronze and copper shadows over and over and over again. And now, those shadows kind of bore me for the most part. But I would have never known that about myself had I not pushed to use every color in the Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palette very early in this project. Because of that, I now have a lot more color in my life. 

Another thing I learned is that I have a TON of eyeshadow palettes. As I've said many times, I routinely go through my entire collection and declutter products that I'm lukewarm about, haven't used in a while, or just am not crazy about. And right now, I really love everything in my collection. I don't necessarily love every shadow in every palette, but I am not a person who really wants to depot all of my shadows from various palettes and make one or two monster ones with the best shades from each. So, while I have really loved using my palettes and getting to know them so well, I simply have too many to do a realistic one week, one palette rotation on an ongoing basis. It has taken me four months just to get to the point where I can use my singles, and I didn't even use every palette in my collection! 

With that said, I think one week, one palette is a really great project for those who don't have a crazy number of palettes. It really helps you get to know your palettes, be creative, and discover new things that you didn't know about yourself and your preferences. Maybe you even find out that you don't love that palette as much as you thought you did. Or maybe you find out that even though you don't have the name or exact color configuration of a new palette, you already have all of the shadows inside it and you realize you don't need to buy anything new because you already have exactly what you love and need. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

What I Did Buy: Colourpop Pressed Powder Shadows

A little over a month ago, I made a post about why I no longer buy from Colourpop. And in that post, I said that no matter the hype, I would not buy from the brand again. 

My reasoning for not wanting to buy from the brand was because I didn't like cream products and felt the ones from Colourpop dried out exceptionally fast. I also truly loathed their ultra matte liquid lipsticks and didn't care for the regular lipsticks. With this selection of products, I had no desire to purchase from them again. 

But then Colourpop came out with pressed powder shadows, and I thought that was interesting. I had no intention of purchasing any until I saw swatches on Temptalia's blog. The swatches looked good, which was a little surprising to me. More than that, there were a few colors that were pretty and looked unique to my collection. 

So, I decided to buy four of them. 

From left: Come and Get it, Stay Golden, Silver Lining, and Making Moves

I really love this color combination. Come and Get it (which was the main shadow I wanted to buy) is one of the prettiest shadows I have seen. And that's saying a lot because I own a ton of shadow. 

Here is the eye look I created with all four shadows:

Come and Get It on the lid, Making Moves blended into the crease, Silver Lining blended above Making Moves, and Stay Golden padded onto the outer corner. Silver Lining and Stay Golden on the lower lash line. 

This eye look was one of the prettiest I've done in a long time. The shadows all applied incredibly well, had great pigment, and blended easily. However, these shadows faded somewhat, which is the first time I've noticed that happen with shadows. 

Because of the fading, I'm a bit torn on these shadows. I think they applied beautifully, but they didn't stay with that intensity throughout the day. I will certainly keep and continue to use these four, but I can't say that I would be clamoring to go out and buy more. For the basic shades in this collection, I would instead recommend Makeup Geek or MAC shadows. With that said, Colourpop releases new shades all the time, so I'm not fully closing the door on ever getting more. If they release some shades that I am very drawn to and don't have duplicates for in my collection (unlikely), I may consider buying more. 

As a side note, I really hate the quad/palette packaging that came free with the purchase of four shadows. It is so bulky and takes up a ton of space for just four shadows. I ended up doing a pretty big purge of my singles in various palettes and created a new Z-palette filled with the shadows I kept. The Colourpop shadows ended up in there. 

I wouldn't recommend these shadows for a day-long makeup look that goes into the night. But for $5 each, I could see a customer getting some of the more unique shades for night looks. Do I think they are up there with my favorite shadows in terms of quality? No. But they were quite a bit better than I expected them to be. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Lancome Blush La Rose

Lancome has released a "highlighter" that's in the shape of a rose and housed in a very thin, cheap cardboard.

And—shockingly—I won't be buying.

This "highlighter" is a whopping and unforgivable $60 for 1.6 grams. To put that into perspective, a Becca highlighter has 8 grams for $38.

I think Graveyardgirl on YouTube said it best in that this "highlighter" is a "suggestion of product."

I'm sorry, but this product is really, really dumb. And the fact that it seems to be sold out everywhere and is the hot product of the moment tells me how bad consumerism has gotten. Because, folks, this product may be the biggest ripoff I have seen in the makeup world.

This product is basically a cheap fake rose, like this:

Lightly dusted in shimmery powder, put in a cheap cardboard cup, and slapped with a $60 price tag. 

And if you're wondering how in the hell this is even a thing, it is because Lancome is desperately trying to be Les Merveilleuses de LadurĂ©e, a brand that sells the Rose Petal Blush:

This blush is about $140, and it is made up of silk petals infused with blush:

It is very clearly a "functional" vanity decoration, and, indeed, it is elegant and beautiful:

Is this a product that I want? No, but I can see how it might be fun and special for some people and completely worth the high price tag.

But this?


In Graveyardgirl's review, you can see just how cheap the product is made. And the thing is, unlike the Rose Petal Blush, nothing about the Blush La Rose looks special or pretty. 

It actually looks like the physical manifestation of a ripoff. 

If you want a highlighter, buy literally any other one and it will be a better value and higher quality than this. Hell, the packaging will even be higher quality. 

If you want a special pretty rose thing that kind of seems like makeup, splurge to get the Rose Petal Blush, or, even better, watch one of the several do-it-yourself videos that show how you can create something like this at home for around $5. 

This product is just Lancome seeing how far they can lower the bar while still raising hype. To say this product is a waste of money isn't even a strong enough way to convey that sentiment. This product is gross in every way, and I won't be buying. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

One Week, One Palette: Morphe 35OS

For the sixteenth week of my one week, one palette project, I decided to use my Frankenstein's monster Morphe 35OS palette. So, this is actually a combination of the Morphe 35OS, one Make Up For Ever shadow, and select shadows from the Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette. 

The 35OS palette originally looked like this:

And, frankly, that is just too much damn shadow for one palette. Not only is it ridiculous in terms of size, but there are so many shadows that are repetitive in shade and the quality is not equal across the board. 

I've shared my Morphe story before, but essentially, I bought the 35T palette and wasn't as disappointed in the quality as I thought I would be. I had only seen super sponsored and affiliate link–filled reviews of these palettes that promised quality that was out of this world. And obviously I knew that was a bunch of crap (and I still largely think that), but when I swatched the palette in-store (there is a retailer in NYC that sells Morphe), I was impressed with the shimmer shadows. The mattes, however, were complete garbage. I ended up throwing most of the 35T palette in the trash (though I did save some of the shadows), and swore I would never buy Morphe again. 

But then I found out that they took the 35O palette and made an entire shimmer version of it. Since I actually quite liked a lot of the Morphe shimmer shadows, I decided to buy the 35OS. But, as I found with the 35T, only about half of the palette was actually good. So I decided to take all the good shades and combine them with depotted shades from my Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette. 

Top, from left: 1 (Zoeva), 2 (Make Up For Ever Pink Ivory), 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7
Second: 8 (Zoeva), 9, 10, 11 (Zoeva) 12, 13, and 14 (Zoeva)
Third: 15 (Zoeva), 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 (Zoeva)
Bottom: 22 (Zoeva), 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27

I did not use every shadow in this palette last week as there were just too many. But I did use a good amount of them. 

Below are six look I did last week. 

Look 1:

9 on the lid, 8 blended into the crease, 19 padded onto the outer corner, 2 on the inner corner, and 1 on the brow bone. 19 on the lower lash line. 

Look 2:

16 on the lid, 14 blended into the crease, 8 blended above the crease, 17 and 23 padded onto the outer corner, 3 on the inner corner, and 1 on the brow bone. 17 on the lower lash line. 

Look 3:

4 on the inner and middle lid, 6 on the outer lid, 8 blended into the crease, 2 on the inner corner, and 1 on the brow bone. 14 on the lower lash line. 

Look 4:

7 on the lid, 6 blended into the crease, 2 on the inner corner, and 1 on the brow bone. 21 on the lower lash line. 

Look 5:

13 on the lid, 8 blended into the crease, 20 padded onto the outer corner, 2 on the inner corner, and 1 on the brow bone. 20 on the lower lash line. 

Look 6:

17 on the lid, 7 blended into the crease, 25 padded onto the outer corner, 3 on the inner corner, and 1 on the brow bone. 25 on the lower lash line. 

So, I actually really enjoyed this this palette last week in terms of pigmentation and performance, but I'm not really in an orange shadow mood at the moment, and I found myself wanting to use some of my other shadows. I'll get to that in a moment. 

As I mentioned above, I do really enjoy some of the Morphe shimmer shadows. The best are the foiled finishes, and I actually don't think I kept any shadows that didn't have that finish. I felt these shadows performed just as nicely as my Makeup Geek foiled shadows or even my Make Up For Ever artist shadows. It should be noted, however, that the Makeup Geek shadows have better ingredients.

Looks 4 and 5 were my favorite of the week, but I really enjoyed all the looks. The pictures of look 1 don't quite do it justice. It was a gold and bronze look that was really pretty. But as you can tell, even though I used different shadows, several of my looks came out looking very similar. And that is a huge negative about Morphe palettes. They boast that they have 35 shadows, but they are not 35 unique shadows. I selected the best shadows from the Morphe palette and made sure that none were completely identical, but it is pretty obvious that there are several shadows in my palette that look the same. 

Since there are no matte shades in the palette, I figured I would pair this palette with the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye, but when I decided to depot my Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette and put the shadows I decided to keep in this palette, I realized that I really had a perfect warm, orange-toned neutral palette. I've already written about the Zoeva palette, so I won't go into it again here, but I can say that the mattes certainly made my looks very easy to blend. Even so, for a few looks last week I put an orange shimmer in my crease, and I really loved the way the look turned out. 

I see people often asking if Morphe is worth it, and to that my response is: it depends. Do I think Morphe lives up to the hype reviewers who are affiliated with them give? Hell no. Do I think they are the biggest crap on the market? Definitely not. I think the palettes are filled with hit and miss shades, and I think there are usually (in all but the shimmer palettes) more misses than hits. If you are okay with the price knowing that you might trash some of the shadows like I did, then they may be worth a try. If you are looking to have a complete, wonderful, and high-quality palette, I would look elsewhere. 

I've mentioned for the past few weeks that I've been getting a little fatigued with this project. It's not that I don't love it—I do. It's just that my palette collection is so huge that I can't even return to palettes I loved months ago. I almost made it to the end of my collection—with one notable exception. I still haven't used my two Ciate London palettes for a solid week, but I travel with those palettes so frequently that I use them all the time. I even took one of them to Washington, DC, last weekend for the Women's March. But the one palette I haven't done—that is incredible—is the Coloured Raine Queen of Hearts palette. 

The reason I won't be doing that palette right away, and also why I am taking a bit of a break from this series, is because I wouldn't be able to wear that palette to work. Several of the looks I did with the 35OS palette were worn on the weekend since the eyeshadow would be too dramatic for my workplace. Today, one of my colleagues actually commented on my makeup and said she was so impressed that I had different "complex" eyeshadow on every day. And that has been from me toning it way down. The Queen of Hearts palette is so beautiful that it deceivers to be worn as dramatic as possible, and that's just not realistic for my life right now for a solid week. 

So, I'm just going to take a bit of a break from this series and enjoy my eyeshadow. But don't worry, some version of it will be back soon. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Viseart Warm Matte

Photo: Temptalia

Viseart recently released their latest all-matte palette, and to the excitement of everyone (other than me, apparently), it was warm-toned. 

And I won't be buying. 

I will preface this entire post by saying that I love Viseart shadows. I own more palettes from Viseart than I do any other brand, and at $80 each, that's saying something. I am specifically a fan of Viseart's matte shadows, and I love warm-toned peaches and browns, so it seems very much like this would be a winner for me, right?

I am just as surprised as you when I say: No. 

Here's the thing. I don't understand this palette. I don't understand what new thing it brings to the table for eyeshadow palettes, for Viseart, and even within itself as a palette. When I look at this palette, I see at least five shadows that probably won't look all that different when applied to the eye. And at first I figured maybe that was just me, or maybe the product's promotional pictures weren't that great or true to color. But then I saw swatches on Temptalia's blog. And when I read her (very positive) review, I noticed that a lot of dupes that she listed were for other shadows in the palette. I could be wrong, but I have never seen that before on her blog, where the best dupe for an eyeshadow is another shadow in the palette. 

And I know that Viseart palettes are meant for makeup artists and that I am being incredibly ridiculous and over the top wanting to use them on myself. And I recognize that a subtle difference in color can be significant for a makeup artist in trying to achieve the perfect look for a client. But largely, I think a light brown is a light brown is a light brown. And I think having so many of them in one palette is a waste. 

I don't know what this palette brings to the table in terms of an all-matte eyeshadow palette because, even though there are a few select shades that could be considered more "unique" than most, the majority of this palette is nothing outside the realm of the Shade and Light Eye palette:

Photo: Temptalia 

If anything, I would say that the Shade and Light Eye palette brings a lot more to the table than the Warm Matte palette. 

Finally, I don't know what Warm Matte brings to the table that is new for Viseart. This palette looks like a less interesting, less versatile version of the Neutral Matte palette:

Photo: Temptalia

And Dark Matte:

Photo: Temptalia

I already own both of these palettes (and the Shade and Light Eye for that matter) and yet I still found it difficult to say no to Warm Matte, even though I didn't think it was all that interesting and felt Viseart could have done so much more with it. I love Viseart quality, and I felt it just made sense that I would love the "warm" matte offering. 

But then I watched Tarababyz review and swatches video and saw her compare the Viseart palettes side by side.

Here's Warm Matte and Neutral Matte:

Photo: Screenshot from Tarababyz video

And here's Dark Matte and Warm Matte:

Photo: Screenshot from Tarababyz video

So. Pretty much all of the brown or "staple" neutral shades in Warm Matte are duplicated in Neutral Matte, and the really great "unique" shades are duplicated in Dark Matte. 

When I saw that comparison, my jaw dropped and I was immediately talked out of wanting Warm Matte. And on top of that, I felt so foolish for even needing to talk myself out of this purchase. The shadows are all the same! And, frankly, I feel like either Neutral Matte or Dark Matte is superior to Warm Matte. Neutral Matte is significantly more versatile for a neutral palette and provides more options for the money, and Dark Matte has all the parts that make Warm Matte interesting while also being ten times more interesting. 

Honestly, this palette is an incredible disappointment for me. I feel like these warm reddish and orange shades are so popular right now, and in an attempt to be "on trend," brands are rushing out and trying to replicate the color scheme at any cost. And the thing is, had Warm Matte been equally as interesting as Dark Matte, just with an intense warm theme, I probably would have purchased it even though I don't want to add any more eyeshadow to my collection. But Viseart didn't make an interesting palette. They made a palette with shadows they already had in other palettes and then duplicated the same shadow a few times over. It's great that it seems as though Viseart did not compromise on the quality, but I don't understand why this palette is getting any attention at all. It's an $80 palette with essentially five or so unique shades. It's not interesting, it's certainly nothing new, and I won't be buying.