palette

Makeup Gift Guide 2016

So, I’ve had a few friends and friends-of-friends ask me about buying makeup for themselves or a loved one. I guess I am THAT makeup person in my circle, which I’m totally okay with. It got me thinking that this could be a really good blog post! So here’s some goodies for that special someone OR if you just want to treat yourself this holiday season. ;) One thing I would stay away from, is trying to guess someone else’s foundation and concealer colors. If they’re wanting a good foundation, just get them a gift certificate.

 

FOR THE MAKEUP NEWBIES

If they’re interested in makeup, but aren’t aficionados yet, start here.

A beauty blender. These are magical. After wetting it before use, you dab your foundation/makeup onto your skin, then tap the beauty blender on your skin to blend. It works for all kinds of face make up, but I prefer mine for my foundation and concealer. This helps create that flawless, streak-free look. I’ve tried some of the other-brand blenders, but they just aren’t quite as good as this one.

Urban Decay’s Naked eye shadow palette. The Naked palettes are so popular, because they’re universally flattering, great quality, and extremely versatile. There are other versions (Naked 2, Naked 3, Naked Smokey, Naked Basics 1 + 2, and Naked Ultimate Basics), so even if she has one, you can always add to this collection.

Too Faced Let It Glow Highlight & Blush Kit. Mini versions of their popular blush, bronzer, and highlighter. This is a great set to start off with.

tarte’s Tartelette Tease eye shadow palette. This is a great neutral eye shadow palette for every day looks. It’s got both matte and shimmer shades to suit your taste.

A brush set. A nice brush set that features some eye and face brushes would be great for someone just dipping their toes into makeup. The one linked isn’t the one you necessarily have to get, but any beauty store will have some value sets to choose from.

 

FOR THE MAKEUP LOVERS

See if you can double check that they don’t already have something mentioned below, cause they might! But if they don’t, I’d definitely look into some of these. Many of them have a “cult following” and a great reputation.

Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Modern Renaissance eye shadow palette. This is actually one of my most recent purchases. I held off on buying this for a long time, but finally gave in. And now I’m mad I didn’t sooner! These colors are gorgeous and the formula is truly outstanding.

Becca x Jaclyn Hill’s Champagne Pop highlighter. This is supposed to be amazing and it’s actually on my wishlist! I just cant bring myself to spend $38 on it, but I’d LOVE it as a gift.

Nars Blush in Orgasm. This shade you guys. There’s a reason so many people love this shade. It’s buildable and universally flattering. Seriously, it looks good on everybody. Highly, highly recommend.

Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita. Liquid Lips are all the rage right now and this chestnut-rose shade in particular is quite popular. It looks different from person to person, but it always looks good. It’s long-lasting and kiss proof, a must for liquid lips!

NARS Audacious Lipstick. These lipsticks get amazing reviews and come in a plethora of shades. You’ll delight your makeup lover with this choice, no doubt.

 

FOR THE MAKEUP OBSESSED

You’re going to have to think a little outside the box for your makeup obsessed loved one. This might mean getting an unusual item or dropping some serious dough on something luxurious.

Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick Stockpile. Why not go all out and get UD’s 30 most popular lipstick shades all at once? It’s limited edition and saves you about $200 than if you bought each shade individually.

Kat Von D’s Shade + Light Face Contour Refillable Palette. This palette features 3 contour and 3 highlighter colors, all matte finish. And it’s refillable!

Viseart Eyeshadow Palette. These eyeshadow palettes are pricey, but get amazing reviews. There are plenty of different palettes to choose from, from bright and bold to neutrals and sultry dark colors.

Hourglass’ Ambient® Lighting Edit – Surreal Light. This is a limited-edition palette of gorgeous powder, bronzer, blushes, and a highlighter. The Hourglass brand is amazing, I love my finishing powder by them. I can only imagine a whole face using this brand!

Bitch Slap! Cosmetics pressed highlighters and eye shadows. Bitch Slap! cracks me up! They have so many options of pressed powders that are done in small batches. Warning: there are a lot of penis and vagina powders, if you’re faint of heart. I, for one, would die laughing and LOVE any of their powders. They also have some Prince, David Bowie, skull, and even Pokemon powders. Oh, and they have penis-shaped lipsticks which I’m dying to get for a bachelorette party gift.

Jouer’s Lip Toppers. These shimmery lip toppers go over your lipstick to transform the shade. This is on my personal wishlist, for sure!

 

This isn’t all-encompassing by any means, but I hope this gives you some ideas! If you have some more recommendations, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Lime Crime’s Venus + Venus II Eyeshadow Palettes [REVIEW + SWATCHES]

r/MakeupAddiction has been such a blessing and a curse. I first heard about these eyeshadow palettes on that subreddit and constantly found myself drawn to looks posted with them. I didn’t have anything in my collection like the colors in the Venus palette, especially. I decided that the Venus palette would create the perfect look that I had in mind for the night, so I finally got it! And while I was at it, I figured I should just get the bundle and get the Venus II, too! Separately, each palette is $32 and the bundle is $45. That’s roughly $2.80 per shadow if you’re getting the bundle.

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Here are both palettes side-by-side. The Venus palette is a warm palette with lots of peach and red eyeshadows. The Venus II has a less cohesive collection, but still unique and versatile colors. Let’s look at each of them closer.

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The colors included in the Venus palette are:

Venus – the color of bruised fruit aka marsala (matte)
Shell – opalescent shell-pink (shimer)
Aura – pearlescent ivory (shimmer)
Creation – rust brown (matte)
Icon – dark brown (matte)
Rebirth – the color of an over-ripe nectarine (matte)
Divine – dusty stone (matte)
Muse – deep burgundy red (matte)

I love all the colors, honestly. They’re all very smooth, pigmented, and easily blended. I think Venus and Muse are my favorites, though. I’ve seen a lot of amazing grungy looking creations with this palette, so I’m very excited. Here are the shadows swatched on my arm.

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The Venus II palette is much darker and features 8 shades that complimented a lot of eyeshadows I already owned. Mustard, Jam, Fly, and Mud go very well with the original Venus palette, especially.

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The colors included in the Venus II palette are:

Pigeon – brown/green shift (shimmer)
Filter – cornflower blue (matte)
Marsh – mossy grey-green (matte)
Mustard – yellow corduroy (matte)
Fly – ivory/green shift (shimmer)
Jam – pumpkin (matte)
Mud – rich burgandy-brown (matte)
Boot – black with multi-color sparkle (shimmer)

Like I said, this palette doesn’t feel as cohesive in the way that the colors in this palette all go together for looks. Obviously, they can, but they don’t match as easily as Venus. I think of this palette as one to use with others, instead of by itself. Love the quality and unique colors, though. Pigeon, Marsh, and Mud are my favorites from this palette. Fly is a great highlighting shade for under the brow bone and inner corner. Filter is definitely a color that I don’t have anything similar and wouldn’t naturally gravitate towards, but it’s been fun finding ways to incorporate it. Here are the shadows swatched on my arm:

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Overall, I’m super happy with the quality and colors of these palettes. They are unlike anything I previously had in my collection and I’m excited to continue experimenting with new looks.

Pixi Beauty Books – Blush and Contour [ REVIEW + SWATCHES]

The Pixi Book of Beauty line has intrigued me for a while now, so when I got a coupon code in their enewsletter, I couldn’t pass it up! Each Book of Beauty is $24. I decided to get the blushes and contour palettes. They also have a highlight, minimal makeup, brows, and bronzer beauty book, as well. Each book contains at least 6 circular shades (some are split in two) that you can see even with the product closed.

Let’s start with the blush. There is a mixture of both shimmery and matte shades in this palette. A shimmery dark orange-ish brown, a shimmery peach, a matte tangerine, a matte dark orange-ish brown, a shimmery bright pink, and a matte baby pink. You can wear each color alone or mix them to customize your look. I like the variety in this palette and I think it’ll be great throughout the seasons and my moods. Below is the blush palette, first with flash and then without.

BLUSH:

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Next up is the contour palette. There are three highlight shades at the top and three contour shades at the bottom. All the colors have a slight shimmer to them, with the exception of the lightest color, which is matte. These blend well for me. The two darker contour shades are a little dark on me right now. I can blend them out, but I stick with the lightest contour shade at the moment. Below is the contour palette, first with flash and then without.

CONTOUR:
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Overall, I’d give these palettes an 8/10. At $4 a shade, you can’t really go wrong here. There’s variety in a convenient, pretty package. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have these or any of the other Books of Beauty!

Vera Mona Lotus Color Switch Palette [Review + Swatches]

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I had not heard of Vera Mona before my March ipsy bag. I was looking at the brand offers (which I tend to do) and noticed this brand. They are known for their instant brush cleaning. Instead of using 9 eyeshadow brushes to create one look, you can simply clean your brushes with their unique sponge and it removes the current color. Neat, right?! As I got on their website, I saw they had their own palette-sponge combo.

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I have to admit I am a neutral and purple shadow addict. I was instantly drawn to the Lotus Color Switch Palette for both the colors and the overall concept. This palette was only $33 + $5.50 shipping. The sponge itself starts off at $17, so I thought getting a sponge, 8 eyeshadow shades, and a double-ended brush was worth it. Best of all, they had an ipsy code for 25% off AND a free double-ended eyeshadow brush. So, the palette was $25.75 instead. I was sold. I ordered mine and anxiously awaited its arrival.

I’ve had the palette now for a couple weeks and have used it to create different looks. My favorites are Lotus, Hibiscus, and Hydrangea. I think this palette would compliment many skin tones and eye colors, but I adore how the purple looks against dark eyes. The packaging is purple cardboard and shuts magnetically. The mirror is nice and big.

The eyeshadows L-R are:

Caper – matte cream color
Hydrangea – shimmery light tan color
Clover – shimmery peach color
Hibiscus – shimmery brown color
Narcissus – shimmery orange color
Celosia – matte brown color
Lotus – shimmery purple color, leaning slightly more blue
Hollyhock – matte black

As usual, they last longer and look better when you use a primer. I wish the colors were a bit more pigmented, but they are very buildable and blend easily. I think my least favorite shade is Caper, because it doesn’t really show up on me. I tend to use it as a base and put the other colors on top of it. My go-to combo has been Hydrangea on the lid, Hibiscus in the crease, and then layer a bit of Lotus in the crease, as well.

WITHOUT FLASH:

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Below is the extra brush that I got with my ipsy coupon. You can’t have too many eyeshadow brushes, can you? I don’t think so. It’s purple and black, so I like it already. The brush has soft bristles and I’ve found it useful for all my eyeshadows, not just with this palette.

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Overall, I’d give this palette an 7.5/10. I like the colors and the brush cleaner built right into the palette. This would be a great palette to travel with and you’d truly only need maybe 1 other brush besides the one that came with you in the palette.

Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette Review

I decided to treat myself for my birthday with Urban Decay’s Naked 2 eye shadow palette. It was a hard choice deciding which palette to go with! I ruled out 3 since it was mostly rose-colored hues. My skin has yellow undertones and I thought that’d be the least flattering and versatile for me. After looking at the palettes in person and reading some reviews online, I went with the Naked 2!

I’m super pleased with my purchase. It’s been very versatile in creating lots of different looks. The case is metal and it comes with a two ended brush. There are 12 beautiful shades to fit any look you’re wanting for the day or evening.

My favorite daytime shades are: Bootycall, Suspect, Tease, and Pistol are all fantastic “no makeup” looks.

My favorite night time shades are: Snakebite, Busted, and Blackout. I usually add those colors to my crease to really amp up my look for the night. You can really use any color on your lid, depending on your mood.

Great highlighter shades: Foxy and Bootycall are fantastic under your eyebrow or in the inner corner of your eye.

These shades are all very wearable, mostly shimmery and overall flattering. I think these could work on many, many different skin tones. I’m super happy and give it a 10/10 and cannot wait to get my hands on the original Naked palette in the future.