Friday, August 30, 2013

Late to the PRO Palette Party

AAAAHHHH!  Sorry for screaming in your ears, guys, but I'm soooo excited about this one!  I had seen pictures and swatches of this for the longest, but was not moved to purchase it because a lot of the colors looked like ones I already owned and it seemed like it had a lot of pales and whites in it, which I tend to shun since those shades all look the same on my skin.  But when I went home and saw my sister's in person, laid my own two eyes on the beautiful colors, was able to feel the texture of the shadows and actually use them on my niece for her H.S. graduation, I became a convert.  No, I became obsessed; I simply had to have it!  So, indulge me for a bit while this joanna-come-lately gushes about the awesomeness that is the LORAC PRO Palette.


The PRO Palette is a collection of sixteen shadows housed in a sleek, narrow case of simple design.  It has a soft, rubberized feel to it - similar to NARS' packaging.  Along with the palette comes a mini Behind the Scenes primer...

which is a creamy, beige eyeshadow primer that dries down to a color-free base and allows your shadows to be more vibrant and last longer on the lid.

But the extras don't end there: on the back of the palette is a QR code that you can scan with your smartphone to access makeup tutorials in case you're in need of a little guidance and/or inspiration.  Isn't that cool?

And then you finally open the palette...  Everything that you've ever heard about the PRO Palette is absolutely, positively true!  Sixteen velvety soft shadows - eight mattes/eight pearls - that are not only richly pigmented, but can be used wet or dry to create an endless variety of looks!


The first half of eight, or what I would call the "lighter half", is the side I was initially concerned with when looking at the swatches online.  I knew that most of these shadows would all look the same on my skin once applied.  However, after seeing and purchasing the palette, I now recognize the value in the whites and creams since I don't own that many and know they can be used to blend, highlight and even combine with other shades.  My fears have been allayed and my doubts duly erased.

First four, top row, L to R: White, Cream, Taupe, Lt. Pink

First four, bottom row, L to R: Nude, Champagne, Gold, Lt. Bronze

L to R: Lt. Bronze, Gold, Champagne, Nude, Lt. Pink, Taupe, Cream, White

Second four, top row: Black, Espresso, Sable, Mauve 

Top to bottom: Mauve, Sable, Espresso, Black

Second four, bottom row, L to R: Pewter, Garnett, Deep Purple, Slate

And just in case you couldn't quite make out the magnificence of Pewter, here's a closer view.

Top to bottom: Pewter, Garnett, Deep Purple, Slate

Did I say already that these shadows are awesome?  Did I already proclaim the potency of their pigmentation?  Well, did I talk about how buttery smooth they are and pretty to look at?  Oh, I did?  Well, what more do I need to say then?

I know that I'm extremely late to the PRO Palette party, but like I've said before - I'm just glad I got the invite!  And now that I've finally shown up, I'm gonna definitely "show out" and paint my face in these heavenly shades as often as possible.

Hmm... seems like I'm gonna have to do some editing and re-shuffling to my "Fab 5" list real soon...

LORAC PRO Palette is available at Sephora and, and retails for $42.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Cheap Thrill

It's really hard to ask a lot from a product that only costs about a dollar, but Wet 'n' Wild seems to be up for the challenge with its wide range of products that hover around 99¢.  Besides their Color Icon eyeliners and single shadows, they also offer a lipstick line that falls into this very category.  So, I snapped up one in a fetching shade of pink, shade 505A, and it ended up being a pretty decent lippy.  

505A is referred to as a "light berry".  It's a pop of pink that I would describe as an icy fuchsia.  It is from WnW's Silk Finish line of lipsticks and it has a frost finish.

The application and overall feel of the lipstick was smooth.  Opaque coverage was achieved in a few swipes and it lasted a good while with slight fading after some hours.  There was no discernible taste or smell to speak of, so I think that all in all it's a good serving of lip color for the price.

Trying this lippy has sorta whet my appetite for their other lip lines, namely their Mega Shield Lip Color SPF 15 lipsticks.  Shades of deep berries to beige-y nudes comprise the narrow range offered in the line, but I'm still curious to see how they'll perform.  And their Mega Last Lip Color lippies are on my radar as well to try out seeing that they have a wider range of colors and boast a semi-matte, creme finish infused with goodies like Vitamin A & E.  But for now, my 99¢ splurge has given me a mini thrill all for the low-low.  And I ain't complainin' one bit.

Wet 'n' Wild Silk Finish Lipstick 505A is available at most drug stores, including, and retails for a whopping 99¢.

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Fab 5: MAC Eyeshadows

I like MAC eyeshadows.  They were some of the very first items I bought when I started getting into makeup.  I see them as the perfect gateway "drug" to full-blown makeup obsession, but with one caveat.  With MAC shadows, it's either feast or famine: when they're good, they're really good, but when they're bad, they're absolutely terrible!  I haven't exactly been thrilled with the quality of their recent collections of limited edition palettes and shadows.  However, there are some already in my stash that I really, really adore.  I'd like to share with you my fave 5, but thought it only fair to stick to the "standards".   So without further ado, and in no particular order...

I've mentioned this one before and used it in my Violet Femme look.  My list would not be complete unless this MAC beauty were mentioned.  I totally adore Shadowy Lady.

Shadowy Lady is a gorgeous, dark, sooty eggplant color and it is a matte.  It is definitely one of MAC's best offerings in the finish in that it is far from dusty or chalky, but smooth and potently pigmented. 

I've mentioned this one previously as well in my Taupe Series.  It is not only ab fab in color, but also in texture and performance.  It's a neutral with some kick - Satin Taupe

Satin Taupe is a silver-gray taupe with strong purple undertones and it is mahvelous, dahling!  It is a buttery smooth frost that does not read "disco ball" on the eye in the slightest.  Rather, it serves as a great neutral that can be played up or down and easily suits a wide range of skin tones.

Next up is a golden gem that is a welcomed departure from the common yellow variety.  Instead, it is a beautiful, burnished antique gold aptly called Woodwinked.

Woodwinked is a densely pigmented Veluxe Pearl that is almost too wonderful to describe!  It is one of those special products that can be used virtually anywhere on the face; it's perfect as a lid color or highlight for the eye, but can also be used as a soft highlight on the cheeks and down the nose, if you were so inclined.  It's as versatile as it is lovely.

Speaking of highlights, this is my fave everyday go-to.  From neutral to dark and smoky, I reach for this pearl of a shadow often as it effortlessly complements a host of looks.  This one's called Arena.

Arena is a soft, golden peach color and it has a satin finish, which is just under pearl status as far as shimmer/shine is concerned.  It leaves an understated, but elegant presentation of color beneath the brow that I sincerely love.  So pretty.

Last, but not least, is a gorgeous shade that MAC describes as a "gold-plum with bronze pearl".  As you can see, my poor shadow met with some misfortune.  However, all was not lost as I still have enough of my beloved Sable to last me quite a while. 

Sable is a super pigmented, ultra soft shadow that has a Velvet finish, which I'm guessing is a pearl but with an even softer texture.  As soon as I saw it, I thought of Toasted by Urban Decay and, lo and behold, they are definitely sister shadows separated at birth.  But Sable is an absolutely awesome shadow to work with and just had to round out my list of fab 5s.

So, what do you think about MAC shadows?  Do you have a love/hate relationship with them or are you a true fan of all they make?  Do you have certain favorites from the brand?  If so, do tell!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Birthday Treat

I got a hold of a cute little sample the other day that I wanted to share.  It's a festive nail lacquer from a company that's quickly becoming one of my faves.  Happy Birthday is one of the newest additions to Deborah Lippmann's deep lineup of treatment-enriched nail polishes and I think it's pretty neat-o. 

Happy Birthday is an explosion of multi-colored, multi-sized glitter suspended in clear lacquer.   It, like all of Lippmann's lacquers, is infused with goodies like biotin and green tea extract while leaving chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene out of the mix.

The polish applied smoothly without any issues and left each nail fully loaded with glitter after only two coats.  There was no overwhelming chemical smell, the clear base is a beautiful high-gloss and it dried fairly quickly overall.  And the polish did not dare move or chip as it stayed on my nails for over a full week on my busy hands.  Impressive!

I know there are many that have thrown their proverbial hat into the 3-D polish ring, so another one may not seem all that special, high-end brand or not.  But I'm really liking what I'm seeing so far from DL.  And this one right here?  Well, it's full of fun and color and sparkle... like having a blast of confetti on your fingertips!

Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday is available at Sephora and retails for $19 (full-sized).