Beauty

Naked Ultimate Basics

Y’all know I’m an eye shadow palette-addict, and as much hype as Urban Decay’s Naked palettes get, I just didn’t find myself reaching for them all that much…

Enter, Naked Ultimate Basics.

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This baby has a lot of color variation– shades like those you’d find in all three of the Naked palettes, so it really bridges the collection.  Notice, I say “like” those you’d find in other Naked palettes, because all 12 of these colors are unique to Ultimate Basics.

This palette only contains matte shades, which is usually a drawback for me, but post-holiday season, I found myself looking for a more natural (read: less sparkly) look.  I’ve been reaching for this palette over and over again!  I’m extra obsessed with “Extra Bitter” right now.

The colors are:

  • Blow: light nude demi-matte, a great highlight shade
  • Nudie: soft pink-nude matte & the perfect base for my eyelids
  • Commando: light taupe-brown matte
  • Tempted: pale brown matte
  • Instinct: medium pink-taupe matte, love to blend with this one
  • Lethal: reddish brown matte
  • Pre-Game: pale yellow matte
  • Extra Bitter: burnth orange matte & the reason I love this palette
  • Faith: medium warm brown matte
  • Lockout: rich neutral brown matte
  • Magnet: smoky gray matte
  • Blackjack: warm black matte

Have you gotten your hands on Naked Ultimate Basics yet?

What palette are you loving lately?

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Anastasia Master Palette

My eye shadow skills have grown leaps and bounds over the last couple of years… and with them, my palette collection.  Enter: Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario.  One look at this limited edition beauty created with celebrity make-up artist Mario Dedivanovic and I knew it had to be mine.

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It’s not the neutral palette I usually go for, but it’s warm tones were a complete draw.  The more comfortable I get with my eye make-up, the more I’m willing to push the envelope with bolder shades.  ABH eye shadow is highly pigmented, but extremely blendable!

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This palette has a mixture of finishes from matte to metallic.  While I’ve gravitated toward matte shades in the past, thinking them more wearable, I’ve learned that you need a little shimmer to finish off most looks, especially around the holidays!  ‘Tis not the season to wear an everyday look!

If you’re looking for a stunning Christmas or New Year’s party look, grab this palette!  I get a little nervous with Limited Editions and it’s currently out of stock on Sephora.com, so get it when you see it!  It would also make a lovely gift for the make-up lover in your life.

Have you tried out this palette?  What are your favorite shades?

Too Faced: Grande Hotel Café

Too Faced has put out some beautiful limited edition Christmas sets and they’re just so hard to resist.  They make great gifts for make-up lovers, and the Grande Hotel Café has made a perfect edition to my holiday make-up rotation.

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The Grade Hotel Café opens to reveal three lightly scented palettes: Gingerbread Cookie, Peppermint Mocha, and Eggnog Latte.  Seeing these individually, I could never have decided between them, but you get all three for $49– they even throw in a mini Better Than Sex Mascara!

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I’ve had so much fun creating subtle eyeshadow looks for the season, and I can’t wait to amp it up for holiday parties.

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Each palette includes 6 eyeshadows and one cheek color, which I’ve loved being able to reach for as a finishing touch!

These limited edition holiday sets definitely tug at me when I see them in stores, but I’m so pleased with this purchase!  Which holiday sets have made it to your wish list?

Essie Gel Couture

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Lately, nothing compares to Essie Gel Couture.  I love this nail polish, guys.

Let me start by saying I’ve never gotten a gel manicure before in my life.  I own far too many bottles of nail polish to pay someone else to do them.  I have tried the at-home version before with a brand I thought I liked.  I bought the special polish and the special gel top coat but I actually found the quality to be worse than if I did regular polish & regular top coat.  I thought I’d never bother trying again.

Something about Essie swayed me though, and I picked up the Gel Couture color Pre-Show Jitters. It was the exact color I was looking for; though it’s technically white, there’s just a slight pink hue.  I picked up the Gel Couture top coat too, and instantly it felt different than my previous foray into at-home gel manicures.

I loved the color and rocked Gel Couture at a wedding I went to recently.  I didn’t notice a single chip or scratch, despite doing my nails 3 days before the event.  When I do my nails, I usually get a good week out of a manicure– usually 5 days and I push it to 7 with some chips and scratches.  With Gel Couture, I went a full 2 weeks without a chip.  They looked completely fresh for a good 10 days, with maybe some minor scratches by the time day 14 rolled around.

I’ve done my nails many times since then, but I keep thinking about that Gel Couture… and I can’t wait to add new colors to my collection!

Get yourself some Essie Gel Couture now and thank me later.

New Renaissance

At it again… a new palette perfect for the transition to fall!

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I picked up Anastasia Beverly Hills New Renaissance palette over the summer and didn’t get the chance to play around with it until late August.  I got obsessed with it, creating everyday neutral looks and bolder looks to highlight my blue eyes.  The berry tones are perfect for autumn-addicts, but I live in the golden orange tones.

The packaging of this palette is what I’m not crazy about.  It’s a velvet-y blush pink– the feel of it reminds me of the original Urban Decay Naked Palette.  Inside is lovely, though– 14 shades of warmth & light!  ABH describes the colors as follows:

  • Tempera: velvety beige with an ultra-matte finish
  • Golden Ochre: earthy yellow with an ultra-matte finish
  • Vermeer: iridescent shell with a metallic finish
  • Buon Fresco: antique lavender with an ultra-matte finish
  • Antique Bronze: metallic sable with a satin finish
  • Love Letter: raspberry with an ultra-matte finish
  • Cyprus Umber: dark coffee with an ultra-matte finish
  • Realgar: brick with an ultra-matte finish
  • Warm Taupe: earthy gray with an ultra-matte finish
  • Venetian Red: crimson with an ultra-matte finish
  • Red Ochre: sienna with an ultra-matte finish
  • Primavera: shimmery gold dust with a metallic finish
  • Burnt Orange: deep orange with an ultra-matte finish
  • Raw Sienna: neutral amber with an ultra-matte finish

This is the first time I’ve tried ABH’s eye shadows, and I must say I’m impressed!  The colors that drew me to this palette remind me of Kat Von D’s Monarch palette.  While these shadows are certainly pigmented, they are slightly less so than those of KVD in a good way!  They are more blendable and easier to work with, which is valuable when you’re working in vibrant colors!  I used this palette to create the look I wore to this wedding.

Being the first permanent palette ABH offers, this really encompasses neutral territory but also adds a bit of a dramatic flair.  I’m loving it!  Have you picked this up or do you plan to?

Essie Fall 2016

I’ve been obsessed with Essie’s upcoming fall collection since I first spotted the nail colors via instagram in mid-August.  When I did a big of digging, I learned that these colors were inspired by Tokyo, Japan– my dream destination.

As stuck as I’ve been in my summer pastels, Essie’s fall collection is getting my hyped for rich, fall colors.

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  • playing koi is a rusty orange – don’t we all love orange in the fall?
  • maki mi happy is a berry color that will translate well from sunny days to winter holidays.
  • kimono-over is a dark plum – I love almost-blacks in the cool months as much as I love almost-whites in the warm ones.
  • now and zen is the grey-green I’ve been looking for forever.
  • udon know me is a “mysterious stony blue” and maybe the least “fall” in the collection, but definitely the most me!
  • go go geisha is an antique pink – the perfect mix of color and neutral.

I might just have to get this whole collections!  Which ones are drawing your eye?

Swamp Queen Palette

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Grav3yardgirl and Tarte’s Swamp Queen Palette has been out for a while– I actually had it marked on my calendar when it was supposed to hit Sephora, near two months ago.  Of course, I had a little trouble getting my hands on it.  I was able to pick it up on my recent trip to Las Vegas, and thanks to restocks, I’ve seen it in stores at home too.

Now that I’ve had it for a bit and had a chance to play around with it, I wanted to share my thoughts with you!

Though I initially didn’t feel wowed my the packaging, the faux wood is actually pretty nice– it’s textured and sturdy.  When you first open it, you’ll notice– it smells like chocolate!  Yum.  Inside holds 9 eyeshadow shades, a bronzer, blush, and highlight.  This makes the palette somewhat unique, but actually isn’t much of a selling point for me.

I love the eyeshadow shades– I knew I had to get the palette when I saw them.  I’m not a huge fan of Bunny, but I’ve watched here enough to get most of the names.  They are:

  • #SFS (rose gold*): more of a neutral with a slight pink hue and a shimmer
  • natural peaches (peachy nude): a matte, bronzey tone, more neutral than orange
  • dogman (burnt sienna): super shimmery orange-tone bronze
  • big baby (cream): a light matte neutral
  • sassy bun (copper peach): this is more rose gold/copper, more shimmer than #SFS
  • sippy sippy (glittery brown): chunky gold glitter in dark brown
  • haunting (lavender): a neutral bordering purple, almost gray, with shimmer
  • uncommon (purple slate) a darker, deeper purple version of the previous, shimmer
  • mancat (deep plum): matte deep purple, near plum

*Tarte’s color descriptions

The bronzer, sweet tea, is near as orange-tone as the dogman eyeshadow and almost as shimmery.  The blush, does this thing really work?,  is a raspberry pink, again, very shimmery.  The highlight takes the cake– gator wings has chunks of glitter in a very light shade.  It’s SUPER shimmery on; I’m talking crazy sparkle catching the light.  The chunk glitter isn’t apparent in wear.  Now, for me, I can’t put this much glitter on my face; my skin can’t handle it.  I could adapt any of these into an eyeshadow and be fine with them, though.

The eyeshadows themselves are a great array of neutral colors especially great for blue eyes.  There is a lot of glitz involved in this palette, but that’s kind of fun.  I’ve still been able to create some subtle, wearable, everyday looks with it and I’m so glad I got it.  My favorite shade is natural peaches!

Did you pick up this Grav3yardgirl x Tarte palette?  Are you hoping to?  What do you think?