Over the years, I’ve slowly discovered that as much as I love my makeup, I can also be rather lazy about it.  An example of this is my love for palettes.  I like knowing that someone has taken the work out of choosing which shades goes with which to ensure that I don’t end up looking more Coco the Clown than Coco Chanel.

There are a few single eyeshadows that you’d have to prise out of my cold, dead hands before I’d relinquish my grip but for the most part, I’m pretty commited to having the hard work done for me.

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IMG_6136

Estee Lauder’s latest palette launch features a new line of Sculpting Eyeshadows that are firmly grounded in the neutral camp.  Offering a total of 12-different palettes across the range with shades that are designed to add definition, shadow and highlight to the eye area – these haven’t been created to break ground on new trends… you’ll have seen these shade combinations a hundred times over but they have been designed to make mornings easier.

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In my posession, I have 04 Rebel Metal – a collection of golden, metallic hues.  Each shade is a shimmer, there are no mattes at all.  I prefer balanced palettes that offer a matte, I’m too old and wrinkly to wear shimmery shades in my eye socket!  Having said that, the five shades do deliver some pretty, subtle nuances between them and are nicely colour-balanced to ombre across the metallic spectrum.  The palette definitely leans to the warm side but should suit most skintones well.

Pigmentation is good and the texture from each pan is pleasing, I’ve found some Estee Lauder shadows to be a little firmly-textured in the past… particularly the paler shades.  This palette, though not quite “buttery”, is easy to apply and wears nicely when applied both wet and dry.  As you might imagine, wearing these metallic shades wet creates a far more impactful and intense look, it’s nice to have the option.

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Despite eschewing a primer, I found these to be fairly crease-resistant, they didn’t move about on the eyelid but instead, faded gently as the day wore on.  In all honesty, I can’t say I’m hugely excited by this release but at the same time, there’s nothing I can moan about either.  There’s nothing wrong with them per se… they just don’t get my makeup-loving heart a-beating.

Perhaps I’ve been exposed to too many palettes of golden neutrals over the years *cough* Naked *cough* but for the £40 price tag, I’d gently suggest that your money could stretch further, whilst getting the same quality… from a purchase elsewhere.

I’ll still be checking out some of the other colour-combinations on counter though, you never know where that perfect taupe is lurking!

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting EyeShadow 5-Color Palette in Rebel Metal is priced at £40 and is available to buy on-counter and online from esteelauder.co.uk, johnlewis.com, and debenhams.com

*press sample

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Deal Alert: Anna Sui Lip & Eye Color Palettes!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 21 - 2014

Back in my early twenties, Anna Sui was one of the first brands to ignite my passion for make-up.  I remember my first Anna Sui lipstick clearly, a deep burgundy/wine shade that, if I’m honest, I loved more for the packaging than the colour.  You see, Anna has always known how to enchant beauty lovers with her exquisitely-presented products.  Rich colours, a theme of roses, and an eye for beautiful design captures both the heart and the wallet in an indisputable “I simply MUST HAVE IT” kind of way.

Over the years, the brand’s cosmetic “branch” has been in and out of production but each time the line has been reintroduced, a new generation of beauty geeks have fallen in love with its unrivaled femininity.

With that in mind, I’m not entirely sure that these two palettes* – currently on sale at Escentual – need much in the way of further introduction.  Look at them, they’re bloomin’ gorgeous!

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (3)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (2)

The Anna Sui Eye Color Palette features ten 1.5g pans of colour that range from the glitzy to the more demure.  The shades develop in intensity as you work your way through the palette starting with a frosty white and culminating in a super-sparkly black.

The texture on most of these is quite soft, easily blendable and prone to a little dustiness when loading a brush from the palette.  The pigmentation varies across the ten pans, I’ve tried to keep the swatches below as accurate as possible in terms of colour payoff from a single swipe with a fingertip.

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (4)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (5)

With a primer, the shades wear well but without a sticky base, the sheerer shades do fade quite quickly.  If I had to pick one thing, my favourite aspect of this palette is the delicate smattering of sparkle found in a few of the colours – it’s understated, grown-up glitz that remains nicely on the lid, without any fall-out when combined with the aforementioned eye primer.

Now, onto my personal favourite… the Anna Sui Lip Color Palette!

I mean, who doesn’t need ten different shades of lip colours in one portable package?

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (6)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (7)

Anna Sui Lip and Eye Color Palette (8)

The ten shades punch well above their weight with a glossy, almost balm-like formula.  Don’t mistake these for a traditional lipstick texture, I’ve included the photo above to display the “softness” of the formula, which leans more toward a solid lipgloss texture than a liquid lipstick texture.  That last sentence makes more sense in my head than it does on the screen, sorry!

Either way, the colour applied on the lips is fully recognisable from the shade in the palette – it transfers well with the kind of opacity that you’d expect from a well-pigmented gloss and lasts easily to mid-morning.

The Anna Sui Lip & Eye Color Palettes are currently on sale at escentual.com, priced at £14 each instead of the usual £28!  At this price, they represent a true bargain.

* press sample

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Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 26 - 2014

Smashbox’s answer to the Urban Decay Naked franchise is finally here, and for anyone who can’t get enough of these nude eyeshadow compendiums, prepare to have your head turned by another claimant to the throne.

The Smashbox Full Exposure Palette features a full set of complementary shimmer and matte shades.  Complementary in the sense that they pair up beautifully… you’re not really looking at a full palette of fourteen-different shades, it’s less convoluted than that.  Consider it more like a palette of seven daily-use shades that give you a choice between two textures.

The housing is pretty substantial in a I’m-not-very-portable kinda way.  If you don’t mind the chunkiness of the UD palettes, then this won’t bother you but if you prefer something a little more streamlined, take a look at the recent Clinique offering as an alternative.  The front of the Smashbox palette features some too-gorgeous-for-words holographic lettering that made me go a little weak at the knees.  I’m not ashamed to admit that my head gets turned by such frivolity… it’s beautiful.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 04

Once inside, there’s a large mirror, the fourteen eyeshadow pans, and a high quality, double-ended brush.  The brush is worth a particular mention as it’s been designed to work in partnership with the textures in this palette.  One end should be used for applying the matte shades and one for the shimmers.  It’s a nice touch.  There’s also a mini mascara included.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 06

Onto the shades themselves, this is, afterall… the heart of the palette.

I would have prefered to see the mattes along the top row here… they are, after all, the workhorse part of the palette.  The mattes are beautiful, non-chalky and rich in colour.  They apply with great pigmentation and blend smoothly… a reason in themselves to pick up this palette.  The seven shades offer the full-spectrum from palest to darkest along the neutral line and I can’t really fault them.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 05

I can’t say the same for the shimmers.

The top row of the palette will confound you.  How can the mattes be so uncomplicated and these beautiful shimmers so… high-maintenance?  The easiest way to give you an idea of how they apply is to remind you of the “notorious” glitters from Urban Decay, the likes of Midnight Cowboy… such a beautiful shade but so finickity.  With the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette, you’re basically getting a set of seven of these along the top row.

Are they unworkable?  No.  Are they useless?  No.  But you have to learn to love them if you don’t want to cast the whole thing out the window.  The learning curve for this isn’t steep but for many, it will be an ask too far.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 07

Smashbox-Full-Exposure-Palette-Swatches

The base of the shimmers is only lightly pigmented, meaning that you’re going to need a primer for these shades to display anything more than a pretty scattering of glitter across your lids.  This isn’t a problem and I recommend using something like the Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy which still works better for adhering glitters to your eyelids than anything else I’ve tried.

Alternatively, you can just go with it and ride this palette bareback.  Embrace a dusting of complementary light (and lack of colour) across the matte base that you’ve applied from lower portion of the palette.  That is after all, I’m assuming… the reason why these shades work so nicely paired as you look at them from top-to-bottom in the pans.  Just be sure to do your eye-makeup before your foundation routine to work around any fall-out issues.

Basically, this palette, beautiful though it is… has its pitfalls.  There’s room for post-purchase disappointment if you don’t know what you’re getting from it… so do go and check it out on the counter with an open but cautious mind about whether it would fit in with your beauty routine.

A final special mention goes to the rather nifty eye-shape chart that the brand have included.  It features mini-tutorials on how to use the palette to suit a variety of eye-shapes from almond to round, downturned to monolid, and even includes some tips and techniques for hooded eyes.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette 03

Have you tried this palette?  What are your thoughts?

The Smashbox Full Exposure Eyeshadow Palette is priced at £36.00 and is available to buy instore and online from boots.com or smashbox.co.uk

* press sample

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Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection (photo heavy)

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 21 - 2014

If you ever had reason to think that beige is boring, think again.  Clinique have recently released a lovely, understated collection of nail polishes that range from the palest skin-suiting shade right up to the darkest.  In addition to these eight new limited-edition nail polishes, there’s also an eye shadow palette featuring another eight complimentary neutrals.

Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection

Focusing first on the eyeshadow palette, the limited edition All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette (£32.00/€39.00) includes an essential wardrobe of work-friendly neutrals, from the softest sparkling white right through to the smokiest dark brown.  The textures are soft and blendable with a creaminess that belies their powder form.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2

The first five shades in the palette (from left-to-right) contain a very subtle shimmer that reflects a luminosity rather than a glitter but the final three, darker shades, are the ones that will carry your look from day into night, featuring a (slightly) more prominent sparkle.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Close

The palette contains a large mirror and applicator with a sponge tip on one end and a blending brush on the other.  As much as I take issue with sponge tips, I won’t deny that the addition of a brush on the other end does ensure that you can get a decent application without carrying your own arsenal of tools around with you.

One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet is the size of the palette.  As much as I love my Urban Decay Naked Palettes, I find them far too big to offer any kind of portability.  This one is small enough to pop in a handbag with ease.  Most interestingly, despite its minute size, each pan contains more product (gram for gram) than the Naked Palette, although the Naked palette offers a total of twelve pans to Clinique’s eight.

Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 Palette Swatches

Now, onto the new, limited edition A Different Nail Enamel (£12.00/€16.00) shades…

I’ve got two of the eight shades to show you, so naturally, I swatched one shade on each hand!  The colours that I received are almost similar enough in shade depth to get away without anyone noticing I’m sporting completely different polishes on each hand!

Clinique Nude Nail Polish Beige

First up is the lighter of the two: Peek A Boo, I See You which is described as a nude peach.  I’m not sure I’d agree with that description… in my experience, peaches tend to be a lot warmer in tone and this one isn’t quite warm enough to qualify in my opinion.  Having said that, for me, this is no bad thing as it complements my pale skin-tone beautifully.  It gives a soft, clean finish that’s effortlessly chic and lengthens my fingers.

Clinique Peek A Boo Nail Polish

Following this is the next tone darker in the collection: Birthday Suit.  It’s a slightly deeper version of the above with just the tiniest hint of a mocha hue.  Both polishes took three coats for a smooth application, but each covered easily without pooling in the cuticles or any other application issues.

Clinique Birthday Suit Nail Polish

What do you think?  Does the collection offer enough interest for you to be tempted or are you of the opinion that beige really is boring?

The Clinique 16 Shades of Beige Collection is available to buy online from clinique.co.uk now.  Alternatively, the collection will roll out across Clinique counters nationwide from the 7th February.  I imagine the eyeshadow palette might sell out pretty quickly though!

* press sample

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A Friday FOTD with Boots No7 Purple Haze Eyeshadow Quad

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 14 - 2013

Pow pow purple! Coming from Boots No7, I didn’t expect *quite* so much pigment in these little pans. The No7 Stay Perfect Quad Eyeshadow Palette (£10.50) delivers a real punch of colour from all four of its shades which blend effortlessly across the eyelid thanks to a soft, almost creamy texture.

Boots No7 Purple Haze Eyeshadow Quad

Boots No7 Purple Haze Eyeshadow Quad2

If anything, the vibrant purple in the palette* does overshadow the more subtle shades contained, and on my hooded lids turned the taupe (that I’d placed in the crease) a lot more violet than I’d intended once I’d worn it in for an hour… but as a huge purple fan, I can live with this.  In the inner-corners, I used the pinky-violet shade and on the upper lashline, the deep purple powder (as an eyeliner).

I suppose if I take away my love for that single purple shade… the palette as a whole probably doesn’t work too well.  I’m here describing my placement of all four shades in the palette but the subtleties of them are completely bowled over by the gorgeous bottom left pan.  You need to find a way to either quieten that one shade down (I think I’d perhaps use it only along the lower lash line next time) or give it up to an all-out purple fest.

Boots-No7-Purple-Haze-Eyeshadow-Quad3

I completed the look with a sweep of Dainty Doll powder blush in 002 My Girl, and Urban Decay Iconic Lipstick in Naked (one of my favourite ever nudes, now sadly discontinued).

What’s your favourite purple eyeshadow?

* press sample

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 12 - 2013

I remember the first time I visited the Bare Escentuals store in Covent Garden. It hadn’t been open very long and at the time, I think I referred to it as “the candy shop”.  You see, for a makeup lover, there’s something about being surrounded by so many mini pots of jewel-toned pigments that makes it quite easy to lose your sense of decorum.  I emerged from the store, so completely covered in swatches, it looked like I’d had my own private Holi festival.

Obviously, pigments and powders is where it all started with Bare Escentuals and when the brand announced a range of pressed-powder products, I was excited for the convenience that this brings, but also wary that the same kind of vibrancy and pigment quality wouldn’t, nay perhaps couldn’t translate itself so well from the confines of a pressed pan.

Well, I worried needlessly.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

My first experience of the new(ish) BareMinerals READY Eyeshadows comes in the form of one of their quads: A List*.  On paper, it’s got my name written all over it, I’m a sucker for a purple-toned palette.  I’d heard about the “incredible” texture of the new READY eyeshadows and I had the highest of expectations as a result.

First thing to note about this particular eyeshadow quad is indeed, the texture which is truly buttery.  You can tell that this product comes from a brand who know their way around a pigment or two because the powders are so softly textured, they feel almost creamy.  There’s a hint of roughness to the purple shade (Swanky) but you have to expect that from the glitter particles.

You’d expect a buttery-textured eyeshadow would blend with ease, and in my opinion, they do.  Infact, above all else, I’d put weight on this being their best selling-point.  It’s not always easy to blend smooth gradients from shadow to shadow, getting that perfectly refined edge to soften to the point of invisibility is a well-honed skill, and anything that makes lighter work of it is a marvel.  On this score, the BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List, is, a marvel.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

Where I think some of these palettes could do with a little work is with their combination of colours.  I feel that A List doesn’t quite give me the eye palette that I want to work with.  The highlighting shade (Icebreaker) is very pale, very shimmery, and very…. highlighter-y.  Unfortunately, I feel that the next shade up in the quad, the pink (Fashionably Late), is also playing the same role… albeit in a more vibrant way.

For definition, I need a solid crease colour, and unless I go black, my only option is the glittery Swanky.  The jump between Fashionably Late (on the lid) and Swanky (in the crease) is quite large and on my skintone at least, the palette is not quite there in terms of shade combining.  I would have liked to have seen these pink/violet hues without both extreme ends of the spectrum (white/black) incorporated in the 4-pan palette.  Perhaps something like The Dream Sequence is closer to what I’m looking for.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

I had one other, minor, issue with the palette.  In the photo below, I’ve highlighted where one of the pans is raised above the level of the palette.  It’s not quite enough to cause any problems with the closure mechanism but… and perhaps I’m being a touch fussy… it’s not something I expect from a £29 (on counter) eyeshadow palette.  It looks untidy but is hopefully a one-off.  Really not interesting in a sponge-tipped applicator when I’m paying nearly £30 either.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

These grumbles aside, I really can’t fault the colour payoff and texture of the included shades.  Black Tie Optional makes a great liner close to the lashline, or smoked out at the edges to deepen and intensify the overall look.  Both Icebreaker and Fashionably Late offer something a little more frosty but both will work as highlighters, although FL is a little saturated to blend too high up the browbone.  Swanky is a really nice purple that’s blue-enough not to deliver the bruised/consumptive look, the added sparkle is a nice touch.

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List

BareMinerals READY Eyeshadow Quad in A List is available to buy online from beautybay.com, priced at a very reasonable £23.49

* press sample

** come back later today for a FOTD with the above palette

Gettin’ Flirty with Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 13 - 2012

Well known for their bold colours, high pigmentation and shimmering shadows, Urban Decay have gone for a softer look this time around with the limited edition Feminine Palette*. If you’ve already read my review on The Fun Palette, you’ll be familliar with the zipped-up case that doubles up as a little clutch bag should you wish to mix makeup and fashion in this way. The packaging is cute as hell, with a metallic purple outer featuring a delicate lace design.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Just as with the other palettes in this limited edition range, the housing is sturdy enough to cope with general wear and tear from daily use. It’s a great portable option for a pared-down selection of eyeshadows. The palette contains six shades that lean towards the softer tones in the spectrum, they’re slightly greyed in comparison to some of Urban Decay’s bolder colours making them a great choice for this style of palette.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

All six shades are shimmery and smooth-textured, I could do with a matte in there (as a personal preference) but have been enjoying using these as soft lid shades, more as a wash than building them up to any kind of intensity. Though, as you can appreciate (being from UD), these will build up to full pigmentation very easily if required. Both AC/DC and Hijack in particular employ some extra depth with some pretty irridescence that adds some real sparkle without adding any glitter. I imagine that these two shades in particular would look amazing over a sticky black base for a high-voltage look.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Those of us who have been around a while will remember Urban Decay’s previous Feminine Palette which was released a couple of years ago. While this (re)incarnation contains different actual shades, the feel is very similar with the inclusion of a teal and a purple among the staple neutrals. If you missed out last time, this is definitely worth a look. The palette also comes complete with a lipgloss in Wallflower – a creamy neutral that keeps everything looking pared down and soft.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

For a quick demonstration, I recreated a simple look that I’ve been wearing with this palette. I played up to its name and went for a really sheer, see-through interpretation… for which, I needed no primer. I used the shades more as a wash of colour, and find that they blend easily together without muddying. In the image below, I’m wearing Bordello on the lid, AC/DC on the lower lashline, and Hijack along the crease. I skipped lining my upper lashline but took the mascara right into the roots instead to ensure that I gave my lashes as much depth as possible.

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette

Urban Decay The Feminine Palette is priced at £25 and avaialble for a limited time from BeautyBay.com, Debenhams (£22.50 at the time of writing), and House of Fraser.

* press sample

Beauty Zipped Up: Urban Decay The Fun Palette

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 12 - 2012

Urban Decay have released three palettes, in the clutch-style format you might remember from The Midnight Emergency Kit.  The three palettes each contain six eyeshadows and a complementing mini Lip Junkie lip gloss.

The palettes are well-constructed and tote-worthy enough to be able to throw them in your handbag in advance of a night out.  Don’t tend to reapply your eyeshadow halfway through an evening, me neither… so did you know that you can remove the platform on which the eyeshadows sit and transform the packaging into a proper evening clutch?  Yeah!

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

The Fun palette is my favourite from the new trio on looks alone (I’ll be showing you the others soon)… I mean, turquoise glitter encrusted packaging?  It’s flippin’ gorgeous.

Enough about the clutch, it’s clear I’m smitten… how about the actual contents?

Urban Decay’s The Fun Palette claims to offer shades that are perfect for those who like to experiment with colour.  I like colour, and I like experimenting with it… but I don’t tend to actually leave the house in huge amounts of colour, mostly because I’m a big wimp.  Let’s take a look at them…

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Of the six shades included, only one of them is a brand new shade… meaning that if you’re Urban Decay’s #1 fan, you may already have these shades at your disposal from within other palettes.  The shades included are:

Maui Wowie – Metallic golden beige with silver glitter
Deep End* – Bright teal shimmer
Sellout – Pinky champagne
Fishnet – Bright pink with purple shift
Stray Dog – Cool metallic ash brown
Freakshow – Deep royal purple pearl

* new shade (not new shade, Bicky recognised it from the 15th Anniversary palette)

The fact is that there’s enough neutrality going on here to suit scaredy cats like me (sellout, maui wowie and stray dog make a beautiful natural eye on their own) whilst injecting enough colour to tempt me into showing a little bravery on occasion.

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Swatched with no primer.

And a quick FOTD using Fishnet on the lids, Freakshow dragged outward from the corners, Deep End as an accent under the eye, and Sellout as a highlighter.  I’m also wearing the Lip Junkie lipgloss included, which is Midnight Cowboy, a sheer nude sparkle.  It’s very sticky and not my cup of tea at all.

Urban Decay The Fun Palette Review, Swatches and FOTD

Urban Decay’s The Fun Palette is a sweet offering from the brand that is sure to tempt many new UD-ites into occasionally swapping out their beloved Naked Palettes for something a little brighter.  For old-skool UD junkies, there may not be enough here to warrant another purchase, but it’s a good reminder of the brand’s founding ethos towards colour and expermentation.

The Fun Palette is priced at £25 (€ 34) and available from Debenhams and House of Fraser stores or online at debenhams.com, houseoffraser.com and beautybay.com.

* press sample

M&S Limited Collection – That Owl-Inspired Eye Shadow Set!

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 4 - 2012

I don’t have quite the owl fascination that I know many people share but I can’t fail to appreciate a pretty design when I see one and this owl-inspired eyeshadow set is sure to get many of you hooting (groan – sorry).

The eyeshadow palette from the M&S Limited Collection features five neutral shades, and one flash of bold colour in the form of a jewel-toned blue.  All shades are shimmery, but is it a case of style over content when it comes to usability and value for money?  Or should you be owl over it before it flies from the shelves? (sorry, SORRY!)

The packaging is lovely, a substantial cardboard design reminiscent of many popular palettes featuring some extremely cute owl motifs on the front.  There’s no obvious mention of M&S as a brand, the packaging alludes simply to the Limited Collection rather than the shop where you buy your comfiest knickers.

Under the lid sits a generous, distortion-free mirror and six eyeshadow pans, each featuring a cut-out owl design.  These cutouts prove to be a little tricky when it comes to accessing the eyeshadow and I imagine that the sharp edges will begin to look fairly worn shortly after the initial use.  The palette comes complete with a sponge applicator… an actual brush wouldn’t have gone amiss when you have six shades to work from.

The textures are quite hard and sadly, I achieved little to no pigment from the top left shade, which on paper, was easily my favourite.  Taupe anyone?  The other shades deliver better results, some only marginally.  Swatches coming right up…

As previously stated, the top left shade is no bueno – don’t buy the palette because you think you’ve fallen in love with a new pretty taupe, you’ll be disappointed.  The remaining two shades on the top row are also a bit of a let-down.  They’re patchy and unpigmented for such strong colours (the swatch shows two swipes for each) – workable, but they make you graft to get a result.

The bottom row, however, tells a different tale.  All three shadows sitting across the lower half of the palette are quite delightful.  Rich in colour, smooth to apply and softly shimmering without any chunks of glitter.  The highlighter on the bottom right in particular is a very pretty warm champagne which will open up the eye area beautifully.

Ultimately?  Unless you absolutely must have it because you’re batshit crazy about owls, you don’t need this palette.  The shades are infinitely dupable in better formulas on the high street and because of the underwhelming performance of those top three shades, it just doesn’t offer value for money.

If you are a bit of an owl-obsessive, who cares what the shadows are like because let’s face it – you’re probably just going to stroke the box anyway.

M&S Limited Collection Shadow is available to buy instore and online at M&S, priced at £7.50

* press sample

So, I bought some cheap eBay palettes…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 5 - 2012

(long before my no-buy, don’t worry) and I’ve started to dismantle them. It’s not the most interesting post in the world but I thought it might help someone out there who’s considering doing the same thing.

You see, I like freestyle palettes. Those of Z-Palette, Yaby, and MUFE fame. I don’t like their price tags though, at least… not in the quantity that I want to buy.  And so instead, I dropped about £6 (including postage) on these three simple alternatives on eBay.  I decided that I’d have a play with them and see how they fared in my mission to depot my stash, thus getting more use out of some of the lovely things I’ve bought over the years.  The palettes come from China (what doesn’t?) and they’re horrifically cheap-looking. The stuff of nightmares.

That being said, they’re pretty well-constructed and if you can stand the aesthetics (or be arsed to somehow disguise it), you could be on to a winner.

The ones I bought come with 15 pans included, the pans are non-magnetic and bend when I blow on them.  I can’t see myself using these for pigment pressing, they’re just so flimsy.  Upon opening the lid, I was pleased to discover that the material which separates the individual pans, was not plastic… but glued foam.  This meant that I could remove and discard the innards without any fuss at all just by pulling it off carefully.

I’ve also bought some magnetic sheets and will cut them to size next weekend in preparation for phase 2.  If you’re thinking of following along in my quest to transform el-shitty palettes into makeup cases of beauty and wonderment (I’m exaggerating), don’t buy thin magnetic sheets… take it from someone who’s already wasted a fiver.  You need something with more strength – I ended up with 0.9mm sheets which, so far, seem to be heavy duty enough.

I bought my palettes from here, and my sheets from here.

Wanna play palettes?

Stila In the Light Eyeshadow Palette review, swatches and a FOTD!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 9 - 2012

All-in-one neutral palettes have never been more popular, they’re a quick solution to the eternal morning dilemma of eyeshadow selection when all you really want is an extra five-minutes in bed.  Stepping firmly on the bandwagon with their latest palette release is U.S. brand, Stila in the form of their In the Light eye shadow palette*.

A cardboard palette, lightweight and without a mirror makes this a slightly more portable (if flimsy) choice than the Urban Decay Naked franchise.  The palette contains 10 pans of colour, both a mix of shimmer and matte shades.  Each pan provides 1.4g of product, around the same quantity per pan as the Urban Decay offering, but two less pans in total.  The stock images that you will see online of the palette don’t reflect the true shades within, both bliss and sunset do not swatch pink as described in the official colours and shown in the stock photo.  All shades can be used both wet and dry.

The ten shades vary in pigmentation and texture, some feel quite soft and creamy whilst others are more firmly-textured and require building up to achieve rich colour.  None feel chalky and they all share excellent blendability.  There are four matte shades in total: Bare, Bliss, Sandstone and Ebony allowing you to create a fully matte look with a range of neutral shades if you so wish.

I like this option a lot… it allows me to create a fully matte eye look as my base before adding in a ‘pop’ of something more shimmery without going into disco territory.

 

The shades are mostly warm-toned with the exception of Night Sky and Luster.  Also included in the palette is a 0.28g black, retractable eye pencil (smudge stick) which provides rich colour with a smudgable but long-lasting formula.

A quick FOTD showing Bare, Bliss and Sandstone with a pop of the inimitable Kitten on the inner corner to brighten the eye area.  Kitten has long been one of Stila’s most cult shades, and I can see why, it’s a very pretty champagne highlight that opens up and lifts the eye area when used as a highlight.

The Stila In the Light eyeshadow palette is available to buy instore at SpaceNK, online at BeautyBay and Escentual.  It’s also available at Stila’s freshly-launched website: stila.co.uk – priced at £25.00

* press sample

Boots No7 Floral Brights Spring 2012 Collection Swatches and FOTD

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 13 - 2012

Can you feel it coming?  The birds are beginning to sing a slightly more cheerful tune, the flowers are peeking their tiny heads out from beneath the frozen ground and the dark evenings are gradually fading into longer twilights.  Sure, it ain’t exactly warming up yet… but I’m optimistic that we’re over the worst of it.  Maybe.

The fact that I took delivery of the Boots No7 Floral Brights Spring 2012 Collection* this morning may have had something to do with the new-found spring in my step (pardon the pun).  Look at that packaging, I love it and I usually quite dislike white cosmetic packaging.  Mind you, I used to hate white gadgets too… *hides all Apple technology*.

The new Lisa Eldridge-created collection consists of: one eye palette, one complexion highlighter, two cream blushers and two lipsticks.  No nail polishes this time.  Boo.

Want a closer look?

This prettily packaged eye palette reminds me of the Avon Marimekko ones from a few years back, does anyone remember those?  Anyway, the No7 Vital Brighetning Eye Palette offers five warm-toned shades with four neutrals and a pop of golden-yellow.  Nothing too dark here, this is all about bringing some light to the face and brightening the eye area.  I tend to prefer cooler tones on my eyes but I do like the satin-finish of these, they’re not too metallic and showy.  Texture is a touch soft but they blend nicely and last very well on primed eyelids.

Next up is the No7 Vital Enlightening Highlighter, a smooth champagne highlighting powder that applies with more sophistication and refinement than I expected.  It imparts a non-metallic glow when used with a light hand and is neutral enough not to look too warm, or too pink on my skintone.  No7 generally do highlighting powders very, very well and if you’re in the market for a new one, this is worth a look.

A real standout in the collection are their two new blushers.  The No7 Vital Brights Cream Blushers in Blooming Pink (fuchsia) and Blossoming Pink (guava) are a cream-to-powder formulation that pack a real punch of vibrancy whilst still being able to blend down to a wearable flush without streaking.  The formula is *so* spot on with these… I own cream blushers that cost twice as much and apply literally, half as well as these do.  Highly recommend checking these out while they’re still available.

My other favourite from the collection are the two new No7 Vital Brights Lipstick shades that allude to the popular lightweight formula the beauty world can’t get enough off, whilst boasting more buildable pigmentation levels than most gel-style lipsticks.  They’re knockout shades too… Blooming Pink is the killer, cool-toned fuchsia which looks great with a slick of black liner and will carry you confidently through to Summer.  Blossoming Pink is a slightly cool-toned nude which will please women who prefer a safer lip-shade.  It’s nude without being too pale, more of a perfecting lip shade than a colour statement.  How this one turns out will really depend on your natural lip colouring.

Without wanting to sound like a major fangirl, there’s not a dud in the collection.  If you twisted my arm, I’d say that you could probably leave the eye palette on the shelf.  It’s a little bit soft and doesn’t tick my must-have requirements in the same way as some of the other pieces.  Do not let this limited edition collection pass you by without going in for a closer look at the lipsticks and blushes though.  That’s an order.

If you can bring yourself to, please excuse the bottom right cam-whoring.  I couldn’t – in all seriousness – where such a horrifically clashing lip shade and not ham it up a bit.  In all photos I’m wearing the eye palette, blossoming pink cream blush and highlighter.  It’s hopefully clear enough in which photos I’m wearing which lipstick.  Does that make sense?

No7 Vital Brighetning Eye Palette – 4g (£13.00)
No7 Vital Enlightening Highlighter – 10g (£13.00)
No7 Vital Brights Cream Blushers in Blooming Pink or Blossoming Pink – 2g (£10.00)
No7 Vital Brights Lipsticks in Blooming Pink or Blossoming Pink – 3.5g (£10.00)

Have you got your eye on any pieces from the new Spring Collection?  Already bought something – let me know!

The No7 Floral Brights Spring 2012 Collection is available exclusively in Boots stores now and online at Boots.com until the 6th March 2012.  It’s worth pointing out that No7 products are also currently on 3for2.

* press samples

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