beauty

Rainforest of the Sea vol. II

I’m a big fan of Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea line– the water-based foundation is still my go-to!  The original Rainforest of the Sea palette called to me with it’s wearable, ocean-inspired shades.  I knew I’d have to pick up Rainforest of the Sea volume II  (And hi, I just saw vol. 3 in stores, but let’s focus here.)

Volume II blows volume I out of the water for me.  The shades are slightly warmer, which makes it more appealing to me.

The palette itself features a coral design in purples, blue, and gold– very similar color scheme to volume 1, while still being noticeably different.

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Inside, it’s gorgeous!

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It features shades:

  • pearl (white shimmer, perfect for the inner corner of your eye)
  • conch (a perfect beige base for your shadow look)
  • sunset (yellow gold, quite shimmery!)
  • marina (my favorite warm brown!)
  • seaside (a medium brown, great for the outer corner)
  • siren (dark brown, for a more dramatic look)
  • breezy (shimmer slate)
  • riptide (called “steel blue” by Tarte, but really it’s an off-black)

See it on me:

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L to R: riptide, breezy, siren, seaside, marina, sunset, conch, pearl

I used this palette in my last weekend vlog to create a pretty casual summer look, and I was SO HAPPY with the results.  I started with conch, worked marina through my crease, brushed sunset across my lids, did a little shading with seaside, and added pearl to the inner corners of my eyes.

I’m officially obsessed with this palette.  Have you tried it out yet?!

Lorac Pro Palette

“This is my favorite palette,” said the cashier at Ulta as I placed the Lorac Pro Palette on the counter, “Lorac makes the best eyeshadows!”  With that kind of endorsement, I was excited to get this new palette home!

Going to Ulta is always a treat for me because there’s just not one near me.  I go to Sephora all the time (4 conveniently located, 2 of which are walking distance!) but Lorac is only at Ulta.  (Maybe it was Sephora back when I was in college?  I’m not sure, but I remember owning a single vibrant Lorac shadow back then.)  Lorac makes three beautiful Pro Palettes, all of which I want to own.  I decided to start with the first mostly because it makes sense to start there, but also because of the shade “Garnet!”

Lorac Pro boasts 16 incredibly wearable shades, half of which are matte and half of which are shimmer.  Though I always thought I preferred matte shades, I’ve come to really need a bit of shimmer to complete a look.

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The matte colors across the top row are white, cream, taupe, light pink, mauve, sable, espresso, and black. The shimmer shades are the bottom row: nude, champagne, gold, light bronze, pewter, garnet, deep purple, and slate.

These shades combined are like the perfect library of neutrals with the power to make a very dramatic look as well!  As you might have guessed it’s the garnet shade that really speaks to me.  It was my inspiration to create this look!

I can’t wait to get my hands on the other Lorac palettes.  Which is your favorite?

Golden Hour

You know I love my eyeshadow palettes!  Because I travel as often as I do, I’m always looking for the perfect portable palette– one that has all the colors I look for on the daily!

Enter: Smashbox Cosmetics Cover Shot Eye Palettes!  Small enough to fit in your travel make-up bag with 8 colors to choose from.  There are seven different Cover Shot Palettes, but I was drawn to Golden Hour.

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I actually picked this one up so long ago– as soon as I saw it in stores, actually!  I just knew that this was going to work for me, since the warm neutrals are great for every day looks with blue eyes.  I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I first tried it out!

These shadows are pigmented, but buildable and blendable.  You can go bolder and create something bronzey and metallic, or more subtle to stick with the neutrals.  My favorite shade is turned on— the warm, pinkish shade that makes my blue eyes pop.

You can shop this & the other versions of this Smashbox travel-sized palettes!

GOLDEN HOUR | ABLAZE | SMOKY | MATTE | SOFTLIGHT | BOLD | METALLIC

Which is your favorite?!

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.

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?