Category Archives: Higher End

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

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TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

Today I want to show you the new(ish) Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette from theBalm.  Ipsy had the palette available for half off, so I went ahead and grabbed it.  I own the Meet Matt(e) Nude Palette, but I think that this new matte palette is better.  Though it is definitely not going to be a palette for everyone, the Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette is a great addition to my collection.  TheBalm describes it as “The special occasion palette. Featuring nine versatile shades, these matt(e)s are ‘suit’able for any occasion. With a velvety smooth texture, triple-milled formula and true-to-pan payoff, your look will live on happily ever after. Always easy on the eyes, Meet Matt(e) Trimony transitions from business casual to black tie in no time.” Take a look.

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette

The Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette is a good palette for those who like neutrals and purple tones. It contains nine romantic shades that are great for a date night or a wedding, but neutral enough to fit in at the office.  The pans are huge and easy to get a brush into.  The formula is not creamy like Lorac and Urban Decay, but that could be a good thing for those who find soft shadows crumbly and hard to work with.  TheBalm shadows are easy to blend and have great pigmentation, but don’t have the same fall-out issues that softer shadows do.  I think it’s a good formula that applies evenly, blends smoothly, and looks great.

The shades in the Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette lean toward the purples, so if you avoid those colors normally, then you should skip this palette.  If you like purples though, Meet Matt(e) Trimony is laid out really well.  There are several medium crease or transition shades.  There is a lovely bold cranberry shade and a deep purple for your pops of color.  A matte cream, dark brown, and soft black round out your basic neutrals, making this a solid palette.  With my skin tone, I can create several whole looks with this palette, without needing to bring out any supplementary shades.  The brown and black make good liner shades.  This is sort of a simple, unassuming palette, but I think it is really good and worth picking up.

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette Swatches

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette Swatches

The Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette is available on thebalm.com for $42.  Like I said, I did not pay full price for this palette, and I’m not sure that I would do so (the Nude ‘Tude palettes are only $36).  However, it is definitely worth it if you can find it on sale.  TheBalm is often featured on Hautelook, and they have sitewide flash sales once or twice a year.  You can get 20% off theBalm right now (for a limited time) by using the code Ipsy20.  That brings the palette down to around $34, which is much more reasonable and I think a fair price for the Meet Matt(e) Trimony Palette.  I think that it is definitely worth checking out.

Lorac Pro 3 Review and Swatches

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Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

I am so excited about today’s post where I get to show you the brand new Lorac Pro 3 palette.  It’s no secret that I love Lorac shadows.  I have both the previous Lorac Pro palettes and the Mega Pro 2.  In fact, the Lorac Pro 2 is my all time favorite eyeshadow palette.  So, when I saw that Lorac had released another Pro palette, I had to get my hands on it.  The Lorac Pro 3 will be available online on Sunday 6/12 at ulta.com and in stores on 6/26.  Ulta did a pre-release for Platinum members, so I got my palette in the mail last Saturday.  I’ve been playing with it all week and have done several looks with it, so I am ready for a review.

Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

The Lorac Pro 3 comes in similar packaging to the previous two Lorac Pro palettes.  I am not a fan of the fleshy greige color this time around, to be honest.  The black and the gray packaging was much more attractive than this one, in my opinion.  But, the palette is still sleek and easy to store, and comes with a full mirror.  All of the Lorac Pro palettes come with that NARS-like rubberized exterior, so they do tend to collect fingerprints and powder.  They wipe down easily enough, though, so if that bothers you it is an easy fix.

Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

If you have the previous Lorac Pro palettes, then you know the drill here with the Lorac Pro 3.  There are 16 shadows total, the top row are all matte and the bottom row is all shimmer.  I really like the Lorac Pro formula.  The shadows are buttery and smooth, have great pigmentation, and blend like a dream.  The soft shadows do kick up a lot of powder, and that is a big complaint for some, but I don’t mind it.  As long as you don’t dig in with your brush and you tap off the excess you should have no problem.  I think the shadows in the Lorac Pro 3 live up to the quality that I expect from the brand with one huge disappointment.  The third shadow in on the bottom, Medallion, is a terrible shadow.  It is gritty with chunky glitter that gets everywhere.  When I tried to apply it the first time I could feel the fall out dropping on my cheek and I had glitter all over my face.  I don’t know what happened with that shadow, because I’ve never had that issue with any of the other Lorac Pro palettes, but it is a major dud.  Otherwise, if you loved the formula of previous Lorac Pro palettes, then you will love the Lorac Pro 3.  All of the Pro palettes are neutral, and the Lorac Pro 3 is the most neutral and natural palette of the bunch.  The first two Lorac Pro palettes had pops of color, but all 16 shades are neutral in the Pro 3.  The shades are lighter than the previous two, so if you thought that the original Pro and the Pro 2 were just too dark for you, then the Pro 3 will be perfect.  The shades are lovely, with a good mix of warm and cool tones.

Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

  • Blanc– Off-white matte with slightly yellow tones.
  • Canvas– Light cool-toned beige, and a perfect shade to dust over the whole eye to give you a blank canvas.
  • Cool Taupe– Medium-dark taupe brown.
  • Pink Nude– Light beige with strong pink tones.
  • Lt. Gold– Very light peachy gold with a pearl finish.
  • Almond Pearl– Shimmery champagne with a touch of mauve undertones.
  • Medallion– Warm bronze with chunky glitter.  As I said above, Medallion is gritty, and the worst shadow in the palette.
  • Lt. Pewter– Light-medium shimmery taupe.
Lorac Pro 3

Lorac Pro 3

  • Clay– Light mauvey-brown with red undertones.  This is a great transition shade.
  • Terracotta– Medium brown with very strong orange tones.  This is a great transition shade if you have neutral or warm skin.
  • Dk. Brown– Dark brown with neutral tones.
  • Jet Black– Matte black.  This shade is in every Pro palette.
  • Amethyst– Deep plum with a satin finish, a really beautiful shade.
  • Rose Bronze– Aptly named rose toned medium bronze.
  • Dk. Mocha– Deep, rich shimmery brown.
  • Truffle– Deep blackened plum with subtle micro-glitter.

And there you have it.  The Lorac Pro 3 is $44 and comes with a mini of the Behind the Scenes Eye Primer.  It may not be the most unique or inventive palette, but it is solid and can be used by almost anyone.  Do you already have these shades?  Possibly.  But it is a lovely palette and I am glad that I own it.  It has been compared to the UD Naked 3 and the Lorac Unzipped palettes.  I don’t have Unzipped, so I can’t really compare, but I do have Naked 3 and can say that they are not similar.  Though there are a couple rosy shades, Lorac Pro 3 is not a rose toned palette.  If you like lighter neutral shades that are appropriate for any occasion, then you will love this palette.  And of course, if you are a Lorac fan, you will probably feel the need to buy this palette to complete the set.  (Gotta catch ’em all!)  You can find the palette at Ulta later this month.  The Lorac Pro 3 is not limited edition, so don’t feel like you need to stalk the internet to be the first to get it.  They hype over LE palettes selling out has been crazy lately, but rest assured that Lorac Pro 3 is part of the permanent collection, so you can take your time.

Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos

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Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos

Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos

I picked up a few of these Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos from Sephora for the Holidays, and I wanted to swatch them for you in case you were interested in them too.  I have been impressed with the limited exposure that I have had to Bite Beauty products.  I find that these Luminous Crème Lipstick duos are very comfortable on the lips, and beautifully pigmented.  I do have one full sized Luminous Crème Lipstick in Shiraz that was a gift, but the line runs a little expensive for my taste.  That’s why I jumped on these Mix and Mingle Duos.  I can explore more shades in the line for a fraction of the cost.

Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos

Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos

There are six Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos available this year, and I chose three of them.  The three duos that I chose are in the shades:

  • Latte/Cortado: This coffee themed duo features Latte, a warm nude, and Cortado, a nude pink.
  • Holly/Tannin: Holly is a bright, warm red while Tannin is a deeper, more Christmas red.
  • Mulberry/Scarlet: Mulberry is a deep berry shade and Scarlet is a dark red wine shade that is just a touch sheer.
Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duo Swatches

Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duo Swatches

The swatches are from left to right: Latte, Cortado, Holly, Tannin, Mulberry, and Scarlet.  These duos are small, .05 oz on each side, two-thirds of a full size Luminous Crème Lipstick.  However, they are also only $14 instead of the $24 that a full size will set you back. I am someone who likes to experiment, so I never get through an entire tube of lipstick anyway.  The Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Duos are perfect for me, and I am so glad that I got them.  These duos are just here for the Holidays, and they are going fast.  If you see that a duo you wanted is sold out online, don’t despair.  It may still be available in your local store.  I definitely recommend giving them a try.

LORAC Mega Pro 2 Review and Swatches

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LORAC Mega Pro 2

LORAC Mega Pro 2

I finally broke down and bought the LORAC Mega Pro 2 Palette and have it to show you today.  I really went back and forth when it came to deciding whether or not to buy this palette.  I’ll discuss my reservations later, but ultimately the LORAC Pro formula and some truly beautiful shades finally won me over.  Luckily, unlike the first Mega Pro palette, the Mega Pro 2 was made in a much bigger batch, so people could actually easily get their hands on it.  The palette is exclusive to Ulta, but it is still definitely available.  I was bummed to have missed out on the first Mega Pro palette.  I personally love the LORAC Pro shadow formula.  I think that they are pigmented, silky, and blend like a dream.  As I have mentioned several times on this blog, the LORAC Pro 2 palette is probably my favorite of all the palettes that I own.  I finally decided that I would regret it if I missed out on this one as well.  So let’s take a look.

LORAC Mega Pro 2

LORAC Mega Pro 2

The LORAC Mega Pro 2 is twice the size of the regular Pro palettes.  It comes in the same type of sturdy cardboard packaging as previous Pro palettes, and it has that rubberized NARS-like coating on the outside.  There is a large mirror on the inside flap, and it is good quality so you could definitely use it to do your makeup.  LORAC chose dark blue theming for their Holiday 2015 collection, and the Mega Pro 2 is no exception.  I think LORAC made a mistake making the inside packaging blue.  It does the shadows a real disservice and makes the palette look much more cool toned than it actually is.  I think the color was off-putting for a lot of people, and I think they would have been more inspired if the shadows were set against a black background instead.  The palette has 16 matte shades and 16 shimmer shades.  As far as I know, there are no repeat shades from previous Pro palettes with the exception of Black (which is in all of them).

LORAC Mega Pro 2

LORAC Mega Pro 2

LORAC really knows how to do matte shadows, and the 16 matte shadows in this palette are fantastic.  They are silky smooth and very finley milled.  LORAC is known for their super soft shadows kicking up a lot of powder.  You do have to use a gentle hand and not dig into the shadows.  If you are rough with your palettes, you may want to steer clear of this formula.  I don’t usually have an issue with it though, because I find the shadows so pigmented that I can use a light hand to still achieve an intense look.  The shimmer shades range from satin shimmer to full-on metallic, with two micro-glitter shades.  There are two shades that needed some building up, Cabernet and Gold Leaf.  Otherwise, the shadows are fantastic.  The real issue that I had with this palette, and the reason it took me so long to decide to buy it, is that there are so many light shades.  The shimmery highlight shades are especially redundant.  At least three of the light shades could have been scrapped for something else and no one would have missed them.  I would have loved to see a matte cobalt blue shade, as well as shimmery emerald and cranberry shades to round off what we did get.  That being said, I am in love with a good portion of the shades in this palette.  Take a look.

Porcelain, Custard, Tawny and Burlap

Porcelain, Custard, Tawny and Burlap

  • Porcelain- Matte, very light skin tone shade
  • Custard- Creamy matte shade with yellow undertones
  • Tawny- Warm orangey brown matte shade
  • Burlap- Matte, warm, light camel color, comes off lighter than it looks in the pan
Melon, Tangerine, Saddle, and Forest

Melon, Tangerine, Saddle, and Forest

  • Melon- Peachy orange matte shade
  • Tangerine- Warm, burnt orange matte shade
  • Saddle- Cool-toned matte brown
  • Forest- Matte blackened green shade, comes off darker than it looks in the pan
Bisque, Lavender, Purple, and Sorbet

Bisque, Lavender, Purple, and Sorbet

  • Bisque- Matte, very light creamy pink shade
  • Lavender- Matte cool-toned lavender
  • Purple- Matte, mid-tone smoky purple
  • Sorbet- Light pink-toned mauve

Gogi, Cabernet, Ash, and Black

  • Goji- Medium pink/berry-toned mauve.  This shade has more of a matte/satin finish.
  • Cabernet- Dark plum with brown undertones.  This shade needed to be built up.
  • Ash- Deep charcoal gray
  • Black- Matte black
Sugar, Chiffon, Prosecco, and Soft Plum

Sugar, Chiffon, Prosecco, and Soft PlumSugar, Chiffon, Prosecco, and Soft Plum

  • Sugar- Shimmery cream shade
  • Chiffon- Light shimmery pink
  • Prosecco- Metallic champagne shade with silver undertones
  • Soft Plum- Metallic taupey-mauve shade with plum undertones
Cinnamon, Sandstone, Gunmetal, and Blue Quartz

Cinnamon, Sandstone, Gunmetal, and Blue Quartz

  • Cinnamon- Metallic copper shade
  • Sandstone- Warm, metallic taupe
  • Gunmetal- Medium metallic gray
  • Blue Quartz- Shimmery electric blue
Moonlight, Seashell, Peony, and Dk. Sienna

Moonlight, Seashell, Peony, and Dk. Sienna

  • Moonlight- Shimmery cream shade with subtle yellow undertones
  • Seashell- Shimmery blush shade
  • Peony- Warm, metallic peachy pink
  • Dk. Sienna- Very deep, warm-toned brown satin finish with very subtle micro-glitter
 Penny, Olivine, Gold Leaf, and Black Ivy

Penny, Olivine, Gold Leaf, and Black Ivy

  • Penny- Metallic bronze
  • Olivin- Metallic taupe with subtle olive undertones
  • Gold Leaf- Shimmery yellow gold.  This shade needed to be built up.
  • Black Ivy- Blackened green? (looks black) satin finish with very subtle gold micro-glitter

There are some gorgeous shades in this palette.  It is a good mix of cool and warm toned shades and is quite versatile.  There are more light shades than I would like, but there are only three or four shades in the whole palette of 32 that I can’t really see myself using.  That’s not bad.  I should point out here that I did not pay full price for the LORAC Mega Pro 2.  I got a 20% off coupon from Ulta right before I left for vacation and I had $9 worth of Rewards Points to redeem.  I ended up saving around $20, so the palette cost me $38 instead of $59.  I am not sure if I would have still gotten the palette if I had to pay full price.  I do really love it and I am so glad that I decided to buy it, but the far left side of the palette leaves a lot to be desired.  What are your thoughts?  Did you buy the LORAC Mega Pro 2?  Are you enjoying it?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

October 2015 Monthly Favorites

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October Favorites

October Favorites

I am finally back from my vacation and somewhat settled in.  I came down with a pretty bad head cold the last day of my trip that has moved into my chest, so I took a couple extra days to rest up.  I’m feeling better now, though, so it is time to get back to blogging.  Today I have my Monthly Favorites post for October.  For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me, and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  This is the second month in a row that didn’t have any fails (go me), so I am going to get right into my favorites because there are a lot of them.

Revlon Nearly Naked Powder & Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation

Revlon Nearly Naked Powder & Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation

It’s been a year, but I am bringing back my favorite foundation/powder combo, the Revlon Nearly Naked Powder & Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation.  I was obsessed with both of these products toward the end of 2013 and all through 2014.  I used both products up completely (two of the foundation, actually) and decided to move on to other things over the last year.  With my Walt Disney World trip, however, I wanted to go back to this combo.  The Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous is really great and unique because it works equally well for those with oily or dry skin.  Very few products truly are for all skin types, but this foundation really is.  The foundation is mattifying, without drying out your skin or making it look dull or mask-like.  It has solid medium coverage, but is still lightweight and not cakey.  The best part is that it lasts all day long, even in the worst heat and humidity (hello Florida).  I definitely think that it is one of the best drugstore options for foundation and I really needed it during my Disney trip.  Revlon Nearly Naked is such a good pressed powder.  I love how lightweight it is, and the soft focus effect it gives to my skin is lovely.  It blurs the imperfections and makes me look younger.  Revlon Nearly Naked is (for me) the absolute best powder in the drugstore and I am so happy to have it again.  Florida was hot and sticky, and I felt like I was melting every single time I stepped out the door.  I got rained on and completely soaked on Splash Mountain, I was super sweaty the entire time, and I needed my makeup to survive extremely long days.  This combo lasted an impressively long time in a variety of challenging circumstances.  I have experimented with a lot of foundations and powders, and though I have liked some of them quite a bit, this combo is still what works best for me.

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana

I’ve been meaning to mention this next product for a while because I have been using it off and on for the last several months. But October is when I really dug into my Ben Nye Banana Powder.  This is a cult favorite in the beauty community, and many of you have probably heard of it, if you don’t already own it yourself.  I really like the yellow tones in this powder to help combat my redness.  My skin tone is mostly neutral with some warm yellow undertones, so the banana powder works very well for me.  It is very finely milled and the powder gives me a smooth and brightened look that I enjoy.  Loose powder is not my favorite thing because it is such a mess, so this will never be my go-to setting powder, but I have been enjoying it.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette

My go-to blush product all month has been the Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice.  There will be a full review for this product coming, so don’t worry.  In the meantime, I did swatch some of my favorite shades from the palette.  This was wonderful in Florida because I needed to be economical with my packing.  The palette is compact, but gave me the variety I wanted.  The blushes are pigmented, smooth, and last well on my skin.  For $10, you get six blush shades in varying finishes and two shimmer shades.  There is a similar palette in Hot Spice available, and I have enjoyed this one so much that I may have to pick up the other one too.  Seriously, get to Ulta and check this out.  I’ll try to get the review up soon.

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case

For eyes I have been loving my new Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case.  I did a full swatch fest, so click over to this post to see everything included in the case and swatches of all the products.  I don’t know what it is about this palette, but I am so inspired by these shadows.  I have been especially loving the navy blue and chrome shadows in that last column for a look that I don’t normally go for.  The shadows are great, and I definitely recommend the case, especially if you are Sephora VIB or VIB Rouge and can take advantage of the sale going on now.

Physicians Forumula Sexy Boost Cat Eyes Mascara

Physicians Formula Sexy Boost Cat Eyes Mascara

I will admit that I bought the Physicians Formula Sexy Boost Cat Eyes Mascara during Ulta’s 40% off sale because of the packaging.  Could this get any freaking cuter?  The red “lace” flocking and that shoe charm!  I mean, come on.  As it turns out, I really like the mascara.  I took a risk because I have not loved Physicians Formula mascaras in the past, but the Sexy Boost Cat Eyes Mascara gives me long flirty lashes.  It’s not the most volumizing, but it does give my wimpy lashes a nice boost and I am happy with it.

Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara

Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara

Speaking of mascara, I have been enjoying the Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara.  I got this sample from Sephora at some point and finally pulled it out.  This was great in Florida.  It is really long-wearing and didn’t smudge on me, despite what I put it through.  Perhaps a little too long-wearing because it was a pain to remove at the end of the day, which is the only negative thing I have to say about it.  It gave me a ton of volume and I really like the formula.  I usually buy my mascaras at the drugstore, but if you go more on the higher end side for your lashes, the Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara is a good choice.

Coastal Scents 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette

Coastal Scents 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette

The final Favorite product that I have to mention is, in some ways, something that I use everyday.  This is a Coastal Scents 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette that I created a while ago when I needed a new brow shadow.  I like the Coastal Scents Hot Pot in Timeless Taupe for my brow shade.  You can plug any of their Hot Pots into this magnetic palette, so I chose two brow shades (because I wasn’t sure which one I needed) and two pretty shades.  It’s these two bottom shades that I really want to talk about.  I used the heck out of them while I was at Disney World.  They were so handy for a pretty, but also very easy eye look.  The shades are: Gypsy Green– An opaque wash of verdant beauty with a slight satiny finish and Cherry Moss A reddish-brown hue with green iridescent shimmer.  They were perfect when I got lazy with my makeup, and I wore both shades so many times in October that I can’t even count them.  Coastal Scents Hot Pots are really inexpensive, but I think the formula is great.  They are a good size too.  Coastal Scents is an old favorite of mine.  If you haven’t tried them, you definitely should.

That’s it for my October Favorites.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  What were some of your favorite items for October?  Let me know in the comments below.  My vacation was wonderful.  I had a blast, and I am so glad that we got the chance to go.  That being said, I am happy to be home.  The Holiday Season has hit early this year, and I am all for it.  I love the Holidays, so I am so excited.  There are so many great collections out for the Holidays.  I am going to have to really work on practicing restraint because at this point I want All-The-Things.  What Holiday products are you planning to pick up?  Are you hitting up the Sephora VIB sale?  Let me know what is on your wish list in the comments.

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case Swatches

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Tarte Light Of The Party Collector's Makeup Case

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case

Today I have something very exciting to show you, the Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case.  I am a big fan of Tarte’s Holiday palettes, and this year the Sephora exclusive Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case caught my attention.  I haven’t had the palette for very long and have only used it a couple times, so this isn’t really a proper review.  But I know that the Sephora VIB sale is right around the corner, so I wanted to at least show it to you and swatch it for you so that you could get a sense of whether or not you want to add it to your Sephora Loves list to pounce on when the sale opens up.  So let’s take a look.

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector's Makeup Case

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case

Here is what Sephora has to say about the Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case: “Be the center of the room with this festive, limited-edition collection, feautring tarte’s beauty favorites, designed to create smoldering makeup looks for any celebration. Create an eye-catching statement wherever you go with the travel-size takeaway palette, featuring shadow, cheek and contouring shades. The trendy collector’s case features a full-size, built-in eye shadow palette with 30 shades, including 24 brilliant, never before seen shades in mixed mattes and shimmers. With a travel-friendly eye shadow brush and deluxe-size mascara, this set is perfect for achieving seamless, on-the-go touch-ups for alluring, party-perfect looks.”  I love that there is a travel face and eye palette withing this Holiday palette.  It’s like getting a two for one deal, and I think it really raises the value of the overall palette.  The travel brush is not my favorite thing, but it will do in a pinch and is a good size for traveling.  Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara is a long-time favorite and it is always welcome as far as I am concerned.

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector's Makeup Case

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case

When you remove the gold travel palette you can see that the Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case has a large mirror.  The lid is too heavy to stand up on its own, but if you can lean it against something the mirror is very useful for application.  The palette itself is heavy cardboard with a rose gold finish, so I think it is quite durable.  It does not lift out of the case.  The case zips up for extra security.  The lid is covered in sequins that remind me of an Aztec or Santa Fe style design.  The photograph doesn’t do it justice.  In real life the mixed metals look is really beautiful.

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector's Makeup Case Travel Palette

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case Travel Palette

The travel palette comes with a bronzer in Social Butterfly, a blush in Amazed, and a Highlight in Pink Champagne.  It also comes with six eyeshadows.  You can absolutely do a full face with this travel palette.  The bronzer is a nice color for those with light skin, though it may pull a little to warm with certain undertones.  The blush is an everyday warm pink that will flatter almost anyone.  Pink Champagne is a little more highlight that I usually go for, so I have to use a very light hand when I use it.  To be fair, though, I am very conservative with my highlight.  Most people will probably love it.

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector's Makeup Case Travel Palette Face

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case Travel Palette Face

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector's Makeup Case Travel Palette Eye

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case Travel Palette Eye

The six eyeshadows in the travel palette have a good range of neutral tones.  You will find a good mix of matte and shimmer in taupe, brown, and plum shades.  Popcorn Strand is a great matte browbone shade, while Yule be Surprised and Mulberry and Bright make great liners.  The two metallic shimmer shades are absolutely gorgeous.  I am very pleased with the travel palette, and like I said before, I think it adds a lot of value to the case.

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector's Makeup Case

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case

The main palette of the Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case contains 24 shades.  Tarte is not Urban Decay or Kat Von D, so all the shades in this palette are going to be easy, wearable colors that a person can wear to the office as well as a night out.  I love looking at those rainbow palettes and my inner unicorn wants to snatch them up, but as I get older I find that I get a lot more use out of brands like Tarte and Lorac that give me these beautiful user friendly shades.  That being said, this isn’t any old neutrals palette.  The shadows are gorgeous, the shade names are adorable, and I get a lot of inspiration for different looks from this palette.  I think that it is a smart palette.  Tarte chose well when it came to which shades to make shimmer and which ones to make matte.  It’s a great mix of mid tones and dark tones, plenty of highlights, and the shades are pretty evenly spit between warm and cool undertones.  I swatched the shadows in columns moving from left to right.

Top-Bottom: Sugar Cookie, Miracle of Light, Under the Mistle-Taupe, Sleigh Watch

Top-Bottom: Sugar Cookie, Miracle of Light, Under the Mistle-Taupe, Sleigh Watch

  • Sugar Cookie
  • Miracle of Light
  • Under the Mistle-Taupe
  • Sleigh Watch
Top-Bottom: In a Flurry, Rum Pum Plum, Ring-a-ling, Mulled Wine

Top-Bottom: In a Flurry, Rum Pum Plum, Ring-a-ling, Mulled Wine

  • In a Flurry
  • Rum Pum Plum
  • Ring-a-ling
  • Mulled Wine
Top-Bottom: Fizz the Season, Tartetini, Fireside Chat, Cocoa What Fun

Top-Bottom: Fizz the Season, Tartetini, Fireside Chat, Cocoa What Fun

  • Fizz the Season
  • Tartetini
  • Fireside Chat
  • Cocoa What Fun
Top-Bottom: It's Snow Time, baby it's Gold Outside, Party Favored, Black Velvet

Top-Bottom: It’s Snow Time, Baby it’s Gold Outside, Party Favored, Black Velvet

  • It’s Snow Time
  • Baby it’s Gold Outside
  • Party Favored
  • Black Velvet
Top-Bottom: Eggnog, Peach on Earth, Gingerbread Mansion, Haute Chocolate

Top-Bottom: Eggnog, Peach on Earth, Gingerbread Mansion, Haute Chocolate

  • Eggnog
  • Peach on Earth
  • Gingerbread Mansion
  • Haute Chocolate
Top-Bottom: What a Wonderful Pearl, Come What Grey, Chrome for the Holidays, Midnight Kiss

Top-Bottom: What a Wonderful Pearl, Come What Grey, Chrome for the Holidays, Midnight Kiss

  • What a Wonderful Pearl
  • Come What Grey
  • Chrome for the Holidays
  • Midnight Kiss

There are some truly lovely shades in this palette, and I can not recommend it enough.  The Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case is a Holiday palette that anyone could get good use of.  The shades are universally flattering across all ages and skin tones.  This would make an amazing gift for both an establishes makeup lover or a beauty beginner.  The Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case is $59 for the 30 shadows, 3 face products, brush and mascara, and that lovely sequined case.  It may not be the most inexpensive Holiday palette out there, but I think that it is a pretty good deal for what you actually get.  I like Tarte’s shadow formula, and you can’t beat their Amazonian Clay formula for their face products.  Again it is a Sephora exclusive.  Like all Holiday palettes, it is Limited Edition.  If you can snag it during the VIB sale, then I definitely would.  Just don’t wait too long because you don’t want it to sell out before you can get your hands on it.

Monthly Favorites for September 2015

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Monthly Favorites September 2015

Monthly Favorites September 2015

It is time for my Monthly Favorites post for September.  I don’t know what it is, but I really love Favorites posts.  For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me, and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  I’ve been drawn to deep berry and gold shades all month long, and I’ve been trying to mix in some of my older products as well as trying new ones.  Lucky for me, September didn’t have any fails, so I am going to get right into my favorites.

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

I’ve been trying a new primer in September, and my choice was the Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer.  My favorite primer is still the Smashbox Photofinish, but I have been enjoying Primed & Poreless.  It makes my skin feel so smooth, and foundation lays very evenly over it.  It doesn’t fill in my pores as well as Smashbox Photofinish, but I like the way my makeup looks over Primed & Poreless.  It’s a good option.

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation

The foundation that I have been reaching for has been the new Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation.  I don’t think that the skin bettering ingredients are enough to really make a difference in skin quality, but I like the formula of the foundation and they way it makes my skin look.  It has a light-weight formula that blends easily over the skin.  It builds to medium coverage that looks natural and healthy.  I don’t think that it would do a great job controlling oil, but it feels great on normal-dry skin.  I wouldn’t count on it for real anti-aging or skin improvement, but it has SPF 15 and is a good drugstore foundation.  Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation comes in 12 shades.

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

My go-to blush for September has been Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic.  Poetic is a warm, nude peach with a satin finish that looks good for any occasion.  I have raved about the Forever Blush formula before, so I won’t go into too much detail.  It applies smoothly, and the blushes have great pigmentation and staying power. You can read my full review to see swatches and get more details on the Forever Blushes.  Poetic is such a universally flattering shade, that I strongly recommend it.

Lorac Pro Palette 2

Lorac Pro Palette 2

I pulled out my Lorac Pro Pelette 2 during September and it was hard for me to want to use anything else.  For me, the Lorac Pro 2 has such a perfect mix of shades that I can easily come up with dozens of looks that are beautiful and distinct without having to think too much about it.  I love that, unlike the Naked palettes, there are plenty of matte shades as well as the shimmers for looks that have more complexity and that wear better on aging eyes.  The neutral everyday shades are appropriate for any situation, and the few colorful shades add some whimsy and set the Lorac Pro 2 apart from most other neutral palettes.  The mix of warm and cool tones makes the palette universally flattering and a good choice for anyone.  All the shades have great pigmentation and blend very well with each other without getting muddy.  I personally don’t need primer when I use LORAC shadows to get crease-free wear that lasts all day.  I can not recommend this palette enough, and it is one of my all-time favorite palettes. Feel free to read my full review of the Lorac Pro 2 for swatches.

Sleek Blush by 3 in Sugar

Sleek Blush by 3 in Sugar

When I wasn’t wearing Lorac Pro 2, I pulled out the Sleek Blush by 3 in Sugar and used that middle shade, Muscovado, for a golden berry eye look.  You guys, this shade!  It is amazing on the eyes.  Don’t get me wrong, I like wearing the three blushes in the Sugar palette in the Fall.  They are beautiful, extremely pigmented and long-wearing.  But using Muscovado as an eyeshadow was a stroke of brilliance.  I can’t get enough of the gorgeous rich berry shade with that lovely golden sheen.  It makes me so happy.

L’Oreal Glossy Balm Crayon in Petite Plum

L’Oreal Glossy Balm Crayon in Petite Plum

My final favorite of September is the L’Oreal Glossy Balm Crayon in Petite Plum.  The Glossy Balms are really comfortable on the lips.  They glide on as smooth as silk, and leave lips feeling hydrated.  They are definitely more moisturizing and have more slip than the Revlon Balm Stains.  They feel more like the Maybelline Color Whispers on the lips, but even more hydrating than those.  They really do feel like lip balm, so much so that I forget that I’m wearing lip color.  Petite Plum is a brown based plum shade with a lot of pigmentation.  It’s a great lip color for Fall.

That is all for my September Favorites.  I hope you saw something that you might want to check out for yourself.  There were several oldies but goodies mixed in with the new.  If you have used any of these products, I’d love to know what you thought of them in the comments below.  I am so excited that October is here.  I will be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary!  I have so many fun things planned and at the end of the month I will be at Walt Disney World for 10 days.  It is going to be a wonderful month and I can not wait for the adventure to begin.