Swamp Queen Palette


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?

Banana Bread + Sweet Peach Palette

Mostly I did two things last weekend– made Smitten Kitchen’s double chocolate banana bread recipe & purchased/tried out Too Faced’s limited edition Sweet Peach Palette.  I was super happy with both.  There was also running shoe-buying and Pokémon shirt-wearing.  Check it out!

Farewell February

I’m not going to lie, I’m super happy this month is over.  February was a lot of indoor living, slush and sadness.

This month has buried Boston in snow and everyone’s seasonal depression has gotten worse. I feel like I’ve been super productive lately, but all of my progress is overshadowed by the little annoyances that have crept in… I’m ready for some changes, and a new month sounds like a good way to start!


(1) Cheering the Patriots to victory in the suburbs with a blanket of snow already on the ground. (2) And then the storms came. Here’s Juno! (3) Cupcakes + coffee, super healthy breakfast on a snow day. (4) …Did I mention we got a lot of snow in Boston? (5) Got my hair done and vowed to be blonde forever. (6) I spent Valentine’s Day watching the Pokémon VCG regionals in St. Louis! (7) Majora’s Mask 3D came out!  This is one of my favorite games ever, so it’s great to have it portable. (8) I ate all of these macarons in one day, oops!  I’d love to try to bake some soon. (9) After 5 PM and it’s still almost light?  This is progress.

Are you looking forward to March as much as I am?

Tell me something good that you just can’t wait for!

Top Chef Boston: You’re A Cheese Chef

Last night was part 2 of the 3 part Top Chef Boston finale in Mexico!  Mei, Gregory, and Dougie, the final three, are all hyper-focused and ready to compete for that title.  A Quickfire and an Elimination Challenge stand in their way.

Mei, Gregory, and Dougie show up at a beautiful organic farm for their last Quickfire of the season.  They are greeted by Padma and executive chef Enrique Farjeat.  For this Quickfire, they are cooking with a Mexican staple: chocolate!  Each must create two dishes: one savory and one sweet.  The winner gets first pick of sous chef for the Elimination Challenge.

Here’s what they make:

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There’s no doubt Dougie struggled with the sweet ingredient.  When Mei asked what his dessert was, he simply replied, “Chocolate.”  Gregory ends up the winner!

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs must work together to create a six course progressive dinner.  Each course is to feature a prominent Mexican ingredient.  Each chef is responsible for 2 courses.

Greg, who’s won first choice of sous chef picks George.  Mei picks Melissa, who is exactly who she wanted.  Doug picks Katsuji again, who served him well last time.  He jokes that he only picked him because he speaks Spanish.

The six ingredients are:

  • Guava
  • Avocado
  • Poblanos
  • Cheese
  • Huitlacoche (a fungus that grows on corn and makes me nervous)
  • Escamoles (ant eggs)

It’s kind of a free-for-all when the chefs see what ingredients they have to feature.  Gregory and Mei make their choices quickly, selecting guava and poblanos, and avocado and huitlacoche respectively.  Dougie gets stuck with escamoles and cheese.  Gregory’s guava course will be first, followed by Mei’s avocado feature, then Doug’s escamoles.  Mei will then present huitlacoche, followed by Greg’s pablanos, and finishing with Doug’s cheese course.

The chefs serve to a table of Mexican chefs, Padma, Tom, and Richard Blais who wears awesome purple glasses and puts his face so close to the food its hilarious.  They serve:

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After the meal, Gregory is a solid yes from the judges to go into the finale.  They vie between Mei and Doug to face off against him.  Mei’s guacamole came off as too simple, and Doug’s escamole dish did not allow the flavor through at all.  They make a decision, and call the three to the judges’ table.

Gregory is told his good news, and tears run down Mei’s face as she awaits her fate.  Padma asks Doug to pack his knives.

It must be a big blow for poor Dougie, but I am by no means surprised to see Gregory and Mei as the top 2!  I knew these two were going to be here from the beginning, but who is going to take the title of Top Chef?!

We’ll find out next week!