eye shadow

Naked Smoky

I’m a self-confessed eyeshadow palette-addict.  I’m leaving for a wedding weekend trip tomorrow and am planning on packing at least three.  I’ve got so many new ones to share with you too!

This one is not-so-new.  Urban Decay Naked 2 was the first palette I got and I’ve been building my Naked collection ever since.  Smoky gave me pause, though.  I don’t often do very dramatic eyeshadow looks.  Naked has always provided super wearable shades, and frankly I was a bit intimidated by Naked Smoky.  I picked up Naked Smoky because it was on sale randomly at Sephora and I had a VIB Rouge discount.  It sat unused for a while because I never had an occasion to try it out.  Once I finally took the plunge, I found these shades to be incredibly wearable– even for day-looks!

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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?

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?

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?

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?

Wish List: More Make Up

It’s that time of year again!  My bonus is in the bank.  Unfortunately, it’s taxed to death (Yeah, yeah, Nicole– go throw some tea in the harbor) and I’m trying to save money this year, so I really shouldn’t be thinking of ways to spend it.  But I am.

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with make up and beauty products lately, so that’s what my wish list is all about this year!

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Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer [$34.00]

Blusher & bronzer are very much absent from my every day make up routine.  I like the idea of adding them in together, so as not to overwhelm my face.  What I love about this Too Faced compact is the names of the shades– Rose & Rachel and Carrie & Big.  Spoiler alert: If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know I’ve actually already picked this one up in Carrie & Big.  Though I prefer the other shade’s name, this one is much more suited for my coloring.  Check it out here!

Sleek Contour Kit [$9.99]

You can’t even call this item a splurge!  I’m not adept at contouring, but after a lot of research on products, this is the one I really want to try out.  The problem?  It’s not available in stores!  I just need to push myself to go ahead and order this one… which frightens me a bit since I haven’t seen the shades.  I’m thinking light is a pretty good bet for me.  Does anyone have this?  Advise!

Real Techniques Bold Metals

Weirdly, this is the most expensive line item on my list… but that’s because it’s 7 different brushes!  I don’t really have nice make up brushes.  I have some terrible Sephora ones that I never use, and a few select Bare Minerals ones that I abuse.  I’ve wanted to snag some Real Techniques brushes for a while now and the new bold metals collection is just so pretty!  I may have to do some picking and choosing out of these.

  • Arched Powder $25.99
  • Triangle Foundation $23.99
  • Oval Shadow $15.99
  • Pointed Crease $15.99
  • Angled Liner $15.99
  • Tapered Blush $23.99
  • Flat Concealer $25.99

Naked2 Basics [$29.00]

Again, if you follow me on instagram, (if you don’t, hurry up and do so!) you’ll know my Naked palette collection is almost complete save for this baby.  While I absolutely love the full-size palettes, the portability on these little basics sets can’t be beat.  Last time I stopped by Sephora, Naked2 Basics was out of stock, so it’s still on my list.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb [1 oz. $80.00]

The first time I ever caught the scent of this eau de parfum was in the pages of French Vogue on my first trip to Paris.  I feel in love with the ad and with the delicious floral scent.  I haven’t bought perfume for myself maybe ever… I have a couple sprays that I use regularly and all of my perfumes were gifts in my high school days.  I deserve a nice one!  This scent always makes me think of Paris.  I need that in my life.

Do you have any of the products on this list?  Tell me: which ones do I absolutely need?!

What beauty products have you been dying to try?