Beauty Baseline Hard Candy Prize Opening!

Hard Candy Cosmetics Prize Pack!

Hard Candy Cosmetics Prize Pack!

I was recently the lucky winner of this Hard Candy Prize Pack from Tara over at BeautyBaseline! This was especially fun for me as Hard Candy cosmetics aren’t available to me in my area. Included in the pack is a Glossaholic lip gloss in Icing,  two Shadowholic 12 hour Waterproof Eye Crayons, in Blondie and Camel Back, a nail polish in Bite of Black and a hand written card! Tara has stationery to match her blog theme, how cute is that?

Hard Candy 12 Hour Waterproof Eye Crayon (7.2g/0.25oz) in Blondie is a pale, warm golden champagne beige with a slight shimmery satin finish.

Hard Candy Shadowholic 12 Hour Waterproof Eye Crayon in Blondie

Hard Candy Shadowholic 12 Hour Waterproof Eye Crayon in Blondie

Hard Candy 12 Hour Waterproof Eye Crayon in Camel Back (2.6g/0.09oz – I don’t know why their weight is different but I love these names) is a fawny light brown taupe, also with a slightly shimmery satin finish.

Hard Candy Shadowholic 12 Hour Waterproof Eye Crayon in Camel Back

Hard Candy Shadowholic 12 Hour Waterproof Eye Crayon in Camel Back

These do have a drier texture, but after a quick sharpen with the handy included sharpener I had no issue with application. I tested these on the back of my hand as soon as I got them, and noticed when they set, they are SET. Through several hand washings and even a lotion application, the little test swatches held up, so the waterproof claim is accurate! If you want to do any blending once it’s on your eye, do it fast! I’m still wear testing these on eye but it’s been hours and no signs of budging yet. What I think these will be particularly good for is for lining under my eye as I seem to have issues with things sliding around, smudging and wearing off in that area. Some swatches with a flash and in sun. The Glossaholic in Icing is on top, followed by Camel Back then Blondie.

Hard_Candy_Swatches

 

Hard Candy Glossoholic in Icing (10.8g/0.38oz) is a sheer peachy nude with multi-coloured micro glitter. It has a toasted sugary vanilla scent which is potent enough to kill a sugar craving (but I like that!) This stayed on my lips for hours, was moisturizing and non sticky and will be great for everyday use. The brush is a HUGE doe foot applicator, almost the size of my thumbnail. You would be able to easily cover even larger lips with one dip of this.

Hard_Candy_Glossaholic_Brush

Hard Candy nail polish in Bite of Black (7.8ml/0.26oz) is a sheer black base full to the brim with silver, fuchsia and teal micro glitter. It layered up beautifully in 3 thin coats, as shown in the pictures below. This kind of dark and sparkly nail shade is exactly my type! This is stunning and I love it. In the future I will preserve the sparkly goodness by painting it on over a base of plain black. First pic below is 3 thin coats no top coat indoors, second pic is a day later, with topcoat, in sun. This is wearing really well, no chips so far!

Hard Candy Bite of Black

Hard Candy Bite of Black

Hard Candy Bite of Black

Hard Candy Bite of Black

Hard Candy doesn’t test their finished products on animals and are made in the US. Thank you again to Tara at BeautyBaseline for this fun prize pack! She has a huge giveaway going on as well now, only to residents of the US if you want to check it out.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette Swatch, Review & Look!

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette

Before I found this pretty palette, I thought Pacifica only made simple, but beautiful, perfumes and candles. I did a review on some of their lighter, summery scents not too long ago. When I saw this stunning collection of colours together in this palette, and knowing my success with other Pacifica products, I decided to snap it up considering both the sale price and the fact that Pacifica products are incredibly difficult to find in my area. I checked reviews first, and there isn’t too many of them (seems it’s hard to find everywhere) but they were generally glowing, and I agree! From the box to the palette to the product itself, everything about this product is delightful.

Pacifica_Eye_Brightening_Shadow_Top

Close up of top flap

Above is a close up from the top, and below is a  picture showing the pretty front, side and back of the beautiful box. The full name of this palette as shown on the box is Pacifica Natural Minerals Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette, coconut infused mineral eye shadows. The side says “velvety coconut infused natural mineral eyeshadows” and the back has a list of the shadows in the pan, each individually named, and a full ingredient listing, which does indeed contain coconut. Remember you can click the pictures to enlarge.

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette Box

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette Box

A breakdown of the shades as listed on the back, according to Pacifica:

Skinny Dip: a matte nude base cover or lash liner. A universal highlighter.

My take: not matte. This is a satin finish peach leaning pale shell pink. I could see someone using it as a light powder base under a full shadow look, but I don’t understand why people do that. That just washes out the other shadows in my experience. As a lash liner, I couldn’t see that working, maybe a bit along the lower lash line? Not sure where they were going with that. This wouldn’t work as a “universal” highlighter, this would look odd and ashy as that on darker skin shades. Anyone medium or paler might like it as that though.

Coral Sand: a satin coral lid base or highlighter.

My take: satin finish, yes. Lid base, yes I might use this on the lid, lightly, otherwise it might look too orange on me. I can’t see this being good as a highlighter unless you resemble a pumpkin. The shade on its own is gorgeous however. Of any coppery shadows I have, I think this is the most wearable. This would make blue or green eyes look incredibly bright.

Golden: perfect gold with just the right amount of shimmer. Use on lids and/or for highlighting.

My take: strongly metallic orangey based gold. It is *really* warm. This is a bit too orange for me, the pictures make that stand out even more so. I still might wear it as a lid shade from time to time, perhaps sheered out by Skinny Dip for less impact. On its own as a lid shade, this would look stunning on tanned or darker skin shades, or as a night club or evening look. As a highlighter, I don’t know, maybe it if was applied very sheerly.

Urchin: iridescent jeweled purple with gold tones. Perfect for lining and crease.

My take: this isn’t iridescent in the sense that it colour shifts. It absolutely does have a bit of a metallic sheen to it and it is the most beautiful purple shadow I own by a wide margin. All of my purples lean blue, other than this one. This one leans red. I am always enamoured with the deep burgundyish purples, and of course they always make it look like I’ve been punched in the eye due to the red base. This one, however, has the perfect amount of red to seem rich and brown to keep it a bit more neutral. Urchin is a perfect alternative in an ocean of too red freshly bruised burgundy and too blue candy coated grape shadows.

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening shadows have a lovely texture. Very soft and smooth, creamy to apply and blend. I fond the pigmentation to be wonderful as well. I haven’t done a full on endurance test of these shadows yet but judging by their application and texture they would wear as well as or better than a higher end drugstore shadow. I actually find they apply similarly to my Urban Decay shadows from the Naked 2 palette (which I find to be good but not at all worth the hype or cost), but not as well as my Wet n’ Wild shadows, say from Comfort Zone (which I intend to do a post on eventually) or Silent Treatment.

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette  Swatches

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette Swatches

I did a look with all four of these shadows but with the purple Urchin as the focus. I used Skinny Dip on the brow and in the inner corner, Coral Sand through the crease, Urchin all over the lid, and just a small amount of Golden in the inner tear duct area, which I think might have been too much but I really wanted to see what all four looked like together. The package claims that these shadows brighten the eyes and I would say they lived up to that claim.

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette on Eye

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette on Eye

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette on Eye

Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadow Palette on Eye

Something about these shadows used together reminds me of an exotic vacation! I’ve never had makeup give me that impression before. Classic, romantic, dramatic, basic, natural, sure, but never have I had makeup scream “VACATION!” like this one did. If you’re planning an exotic holiday, try this palette, you could easily do day and night looks with it! EDIT: Urchin is a perfect match for Maybelline Eye Studio gel liner in Eggplant!

Pacifica products are 100% Vegan, cruelty free, contain no phthalates , talc, parabens, or petroleum.  A portion of proceeds of Pacifica products support clean water, although it does not go into detail as to how. These eyeshadows were made in the US and the palette is a huge 0.25oz or 7g. So that would be 1.75g per shadow pot. For comparison, a MAC eye shadow is smaller at 1.5g. A Wet n’ Wild single pan is slightly smaller at 1.7g. Single eye shadows within an Urban Decay Naked palette are only 1.3g. This Pacifica palette is an all around fantastic deal! If you can manage to find these anywhere, try them, you won’t be disappointed!

You are so pretty!

You are so pretty!

Enjoy your weekend!

Stila Gold Glow, a Shimmery Summer Eyeshadow/Bronzer, Swatches & Eye Look!

Stila Gold Glow

Stila Gold Glow

I’ve had this eyeshadow pan for ages but I only seem to think to use it when warmer weather hits. This Stila Gold Glow is a refill baked on a terracotta disk, intended to go inside a round case with a clear twist off lid that apparently sells for an atrocious $37. If I remember correctly, I managed to nab this, along with a Bronze Glow refill buddy (I’ll do that one later), for $12 including shipping from ebay a few years ago. Much more manageable!

Stila Gold Glow is a trio of shades including a beautiful metallic gold, a warm satiny golden brown, and a shimmery ivory shade. The ivory part has a bit too much sparkle in it for me to want to use as a brow bone highlight, but I do like it in the inner corner, and alone on the lid with a strong berry lip. Some swatches in indoor lighting, shade from sun, and flash.

Stila Gold Glow Swatches

Stila Gold Glow Swatches

The texture of these is similar to most baked eyeshadows in that they are somewhat dry but silky and blendable. The advertise them to be used both dry and wet, however you can use any eyeshadow like that. I use these without an eyeshadow primer as I find that actually makes wear worse for me, my regular foundation does just fine as a base. Shown on my eye here with the gold on the lid, the brown in crease, and the highlighter in inner corner with a tiny bit on brow bone. The photo below includes the rest of the products used for this look, including Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara (sample size, black) and Milani Liquif’eye liner in brown.

Stila Gold Glow on eye

Stila Gold Glow on eye

Stila Gold Glow, Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara, Milani Liquif'Eye Liner

Stila Gold Glow, Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara, Milani Liquif’Eye Liner

I find these last fairly well all day, even in the heat. They do fade in intensity a small amount, but the effect is still nice as it sort of melds with your skin somewhat for a nice glowy summer look. I do like these, but I would never pay their regular retail price for them. Although they are nice, I find these to be more in line with a better quality drugstore eyeshadow, which is around the price I paid. The amount of product you get is huge as well, so this will (and has) last me a long time. They also say you can use this as a bronzer, but I think that would be too shimmery for me. I will stick to using this as eyeshadow!

Do you have a favourite summer eye look?

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadows in Sage & Lavender, Swatches!

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow

These Almay single shadows came out years ago, but weren’t ever launched in my area in Canada. I saw reviews and swatches for them on US sites ages ago and have wanted them ever since. I gave up when I learned they were long discontinued. And then, in a strange twist, I found them in my local discounter. I’m not sure where this place gets their salvage stock, but I am so grateful. I’ve managed to find things I would never normally, at almost negligible prices! These were $2.50!

The entire line of these are soft, muted shades that wouldn’t be too unusual to find in nature. In fact the whole line’s marketing is based on trying to look pure and natural. They boast that the product is 98.2% natural which in effect means squat (it’s not regulated). It also is labeled to be hypoallergenic which is equally as meaningless (also not regulated). Thats aside, I do like the packaging, stiff cardboard covered in paper. There is a window of plastic over the center so you can see the shades, and it has a magnetic closure. Being flat, light, and perfectly square, these would store tidily. Click for larger pictures.

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow, Back

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow, Back

Sage is a pale, muted sage green with shimmer. Thankfully it remains mostly neutral instead of leaning too warm. It also has a bit of a metallic golden flash to it, very interesting and unexpected from this tiny single shadow. Somehow looks almost mint green on my eye in some lights.

Lavender is again muted, a pale shimmery lavender. It looks pinkish in some lights and has a silvery pale metallic look. It also leans a bit taupe and is again thankfully neutral. Some swatches of both under flash and sun.

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow Swatches, Sage, Lavender

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow Swatches, Sage, Lavender

The texture of both of these are soft and buttery smooth, and they apply like a dream. The texture reminds me of a light application of the good Wet n’ Wild eyeshadows. Reading old reviews about these shadows, they complain of lack of pigment. Look at those swatches above. That was one swipe down my arm with no base, just bare skin. Do they look unpigmented to you? They don’t to me. These are pale, natural looking, neutral shades, which is pretty much what they advertised. I’m not sure what those who were complaining about lack of pigment were expecting. I see some beautifully smooth pale neutral shades. I can’t wait to pair these with some matte brown definition in the crease.

I’ve worn these all day today, a hot summer day. They haven’t budged and are wearing comfortably. These are a generous 2.25g/0.09oz (almost twice as much as MAC’s eyeshadows, for comparison). Sad these are discontinued, but glad to have finally tried them at such a low price! Better late than never I guess!

Dior Cherie Bow Edition Rose Charmeuse Eyeshadow!

Dior Rose Charmeuse & Charnelle

Dior Rose Charmeuse & Charnelle

I received these Dior beauties from the thoughtful and generous Polly Fragrant, whose name you might recognize from my recent reblog of her recent post about her adventurous foray into the cosmetics world. A few months ago, my high end makeup collection consisted of gift with purchases (from other peoples purchases). Although I did enjoy using them,  I could never really rationalize the cost, considering how industriously I try seek out the best of the drugstore low end products, often with some success. But now, between Polly’s lovely gift, and the sephora gift card won from Lastcontrast‘s giveaway in May (used on a long wanted Urban Decay palette) I have what feels like a luxurious amount of fancy pretty things to play with! I never really thought I’d have anything like these! The sephora order from that prize be seen here, if you’re curious.

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Included in Polly Fragrant’s mailing was a 5 pan Dior eye shadow palette from their Cherie Bow collection, named Rose Charmeuse 854, and a Rouge Dior Nude lipstick in Charnelle 459. Today’s post will be just the eye shadow as it is fairly lengthy, and the lipstick will be presented with swatches on separate post that can now be found here.

Dior Rose Charmeuse Back

Dior Rose Charmeuse Back

Dior Couture Colour Eyeshadow Palette in Rose Charmeuse is a 5 pan palette with a range of shades I’ve never seen together in a palette before! Swatched on my arm below, from top to bottom are:

-A peachy shade, a matte base which is then full of glitter (thankfully not much sticks to the final result, so you don’t end up glittery, hard to see this on my arm.)

-A satiny, shimmery palest pink ivory tone, almost an ivory with a pale pink duo-chrome flash effect. Blends out as sheerly as you like, so you don’t look frosty.

-A satiny, shimmery pale ballerina pink with matching micro shimmer inside that give it a pretty luminosity.

-A smooth, intensely bright pink with a paler pink flash, leans warm.

-A deep, matte, pigmented, perfect charcoal black that actually reminds me of artist’s charcoal. Soft, little to no fallout, I wish I had something like this back in my dimly lit bartending days when I always wore black eyeshadow (my deep set eyes could pull it off without looking gothy.)

Dior Rose Charmeuse Swatched

Dior Rose Charmeuse Swatched

As this palette has not individually named the shades, for the experimental eye looks I’ve tried below I will be listing them as 1 through 5 as shown below! This is the same order they have been described above, as well.

Dior Rose Charmeuse, Numbered

Dior Rose Charmeuse, Numbered

With a shade selection this varied, a multitude of looks can be achieved! I wanted to start off with three different looks to get a feel for how this product performs. I tried out a feminine smoky look, a more wearable simple every day look (although this might be still too much for some), and a deep, dark dramatic look. Here we go!

Look#1, a pretty pink and grey smoky eye:

I applied a light base of 1, used 2 on my brow bone and inner corner, used 3 all over my lid, and 5 lightly buffed through my crease, as well as applied to darken the outer V corner. Numbers 3 and 5 were applied and blended on my lower lash line.

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Dior Rose Charmeuse

 

Look #2 a pale grey basic daytime smoky eye:

I applied another light base of 1, then placed 2 all over my lid. I added 3 sheerly, on my brow bone and a bit in the inner corner. I then layered a light touch of 5 over my lid base of 1, blending to make it grey. Added a bit more 5 in the crease to darken, and lined under eye with it as well.

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Dior Rose Charmeuse

 

Look #3, a dark and dramatic eye:

Added a small amount of 1 in the crease to make future blending easier. I blended together 2 and 3 for light application to highlight the brow bone. I liberally applied 5 to my lid (although it didn’t take much) and blended out any harsh lines heading into the crease area, to leave a nice blank area to add a bright pop of 4 blended through the crease. After more blending, I added a mixture of 4 and 5 to line my lower lash line.

Dior Rose Charmeuse

Dior Rose Charmeuse

 

Each shadow was pigmented and mercifully blendable, which is hard to come by in shadows as pigmented as 4 and 5. I haven’t yet picked a favourite! But then of course I haven’t yet tried all my options! This was so much fun to play with. Many thanks again to Polly Fragrant.

Rouge Dior Nude Charnelle lipstick post coming soon!

Enjoy your weekend!

Essence Party All Night & Get Ready Eyeshadow Swatch & Review!

Essence Eyeshadows

Essence Eyeshadows

I saw a decent review of these recently, citing that they were dupes for some things, and thought I should check them out next time I was near a Shoppers Drug Mart. I found these on for $2.50 apiece and thought I’d try out two of the more neutral ones. These eyeshadows must have really wanted me to have them, as they rang up for $1.24 for one, then $0.62 for the next! Both the checkout lady and I were confused as there was no sale, nor clearance marked anywhere. I was too surprised to think to grab more at the time, I wish I had! If you’re in Canada, and near a Shoppers (I’m not sure where it’s sold outside of Canada, sorry) check it out, you never know.

Essence Party All Night, Get Ready

Essence Party All Night, Get Ready

Essence Party All Night, Get Ready

Essence Party All Night, Get Ready

I picked up Essence Party All Night 35 (a shimmery metallic taupe) and Get Ready 09 (a more satin finish cocoa brown). These have just the tiniest, super faint rose scent. It’s barely perceptible. You would have to be super sensitive to scent to smell it (I am). I am in no way saying this is fragranced to the point it would bother anyone. I can only smell it in the compact, not on my face. And I can barely smell it in the compact! But it’s there.

Starting with Essence Party All Night! The names are obviously geared to young teenagers, I hope they don’t mind I’ve bought up all their makeup. This shade is marked as a metallic, which it is, but not harshly so. On the lid it blends out to a lovely shimmery taupe. I find it blends into my skin tone well and enhances it in a pretty but subtle way. The texture is soft, smooth, incredibly blendable. I wore this all day (with Get Ready in the crease) and it lasted. All day. And this was a hot day, full of shopping and running around. I don’t wear eyeshadow primer, so far it hasn’t worked for me well, so that was just this eyeshadow, over my regular foundation. For this price, I am super impressed. If you are looking for an awesome, everyday, shimmery neutral taupe that would look great with everything, try this. You won’t be disappointed.

Essence Party All Night

Essence Party All Night

Essence Get Ready is a cooler leaning cocoa brown shade. I like that it isn’t too warm a shade. This one is marked as a shimmer, but on swatches and on the lid it is more of a satin, nearing a matte. I like using this in the crease so far, but might try it alone as a simple brown smoky eye some time now that I know the lasting power is pretty good. It is also soft and blends out nicely, however not quite as well as Party All Night. It has slightly less pigment. This is probably for the best as this might apply far too much colour too quickly and as a result be hard to blend out if it was as pigmented as Party All Night. I do like this especially as it is a cooler toned cocoa brown. I would probably rebuy, especially if I could grab it as cheap as I did this time!

Essence Get Ready

Essence Get Ready

 

Here they are swatched, in shade and flash. NC 20/25 skin. Party All Night on top, Get Ready beneath.

Essence Party All Night, Get Ready Swatched

Essence Party All Night, Get Ready Swatched

And here is a super simple eye looking using only these two eyeshadows and mascara. Party All Night on lid, Get Ready in the crease. Both were run under the eye and blended to line. A beautiful, easy, fast, perfect for everyday look.

Essence Party All Night, Get Ready on eye

Essence Party All Night, Get Ready on eye

Overall, yes I’d recommend these. Cost is great, wear time is great, texture and shades are great! I don’t mind the packaging, it’s sturdy enough for my needs. They are unlikely to break if dropped on my carpet but I can see how someone might have issues dropping them on hardwood or tile. I’m planning a future post to compare these to other shadows for dupes, both higher and lower end.

Worth mentioning, the overspray on Party All Night makes it look far more glittery than it actually is. Here is a shot to show the contrast between the unused portion with glitter overspray, and the used under portion. You’ll see it’s quite different. Don’t be fooled by the super shiny presentation! It’s far more pretty and subtle, I promise!

Essence Party All Night, Under Overspray

Essence Party All Night, Under Overspray

Essence single eyeshadows are a huge 0.08oz/2.5g and are available for $2.50 (or less!)

Sephora Order/Prize Opening! (and a word of caution)

Sephora_Order_BoxLast month I was the lucky prize winner of a giveaway from the wonderfully generous Rebecca at lastcontrast! The prize was a $50 US gift certificate for Sephora which I gladly put towards this order. I am relieved I was able to use it for this order, as Sephora sure did give me a hard time about it. If you want to get straight to the goods, please skip ahead to the picture below. If you want to be aware of the behaviour of companies you may be buying from and are selective about where your beauty products are sourced, please read on.

I had a write up ready to go regarding their refusal to honor this gift certificate as I was in Canada. I will summarize here. I had it from them in writing that they were keeping the cash for it and not providing any goods or refund to the original buyer. Obviously, this refusal to provide a solution was completely unacceptable.  Over the course of my numerous carefully worded, polite emails, I did the work for them with suggestions and workarounds (six in total) that I know companies should be capable of from my 20 years in customer service myself. I begged for my concerns to be brought to management (on multiple occasions) or at least to someone with the authority to assist me. All I got in response were canned answers from whoever had the misfortune of getting to reply to my email, and by their replies I could tell no one was reading my concerns. As I had given up, and they clearly didn’t even bother trying to actually assist me, I allowed myself to be upset. I sent them an email stating as such and that my write up regarding their blatant refusal to assist after taking someone’s cash would be made available to them via links on any social media I could find including my blog and their Facebook pages for public review.

And what do you know. Unexpectedly, I got a call. A CALL, and they left me a message. Not an email. Someone, only after my upset email, decided to help me. Evidently they decided to honor my gift certificate as a refund to my card after my order had shipped (presumably so I couldn’t back out at that point). This workaround was similar to one of my suggested solutions. Incidentally, I’m still waiting for this refund but they swear it’s gone through on their end. I’ll believe it when I see it, and if I don’t I will issue a chargeback, as I do have it (in writing again) that they were to apply said refund. I am disappointed that my polite calls and emails were brushed off and ignored, but the snarky, upset one that promised to share their willingness to swindle customers with the public got their attention. I think it says a lot about the difference between Canadian and US culture. The only thing that kept them from blatant theft was the threat of me telling everyone about it. Keep that in mind when you’re dealing with Sephora in the future, if you’re particular about where your beauty dollars are spent.

 

ON TO THE GOODIES!

Sephora_Order_Numbered

 

I will quickly go over the haul as numbered. I will do more thorough reviews as the products are used, would be far too much to go into here!

1) Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – the reason I placed the order in the first place. I have wanted this for a very long time but wouldn’t ever allow myself to spend that ($64 Can) on a beauty product. The gift card prize was the only way this could have ever happened. I haven’t used them all yet but so far “Pistol” is my favourite! This no longer comes with a lip gloss, which is a pity.

2) Tocca Florence Travel Fragrance Duo – contains a hand creme and a roller ball fragrance. A light fresh white floral that leans green.

3) Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample – 10 shades, 5 shimmer, 5 matte. Single use sample portions.

4) Sephora’s Niche Fragrance Sampler – includes Maison Martin Beach Walk, Tocca Simone, Tokyo Milk Dark Tainted Love,  Nest Midnight Fleur, Clean Skin, and Atelier Orange Sanguine (the topmost left in the waxed paper wrap there is a post card and a sample vial. Most beautifully presented sampler I have ever seen.) There is also a Juicy Couture La La sample but this was not included with the niche sampler, but for this list purpose, and for my later review they will be grouped together.

5) Tarte Flush Cheek Stain – a deluxe sample, from redeemed points Sephora gave me for my “inconvenience” while they were still declining to honor the gift certificate. An impressive amount for a sample. This could last for a few weeks worth of daily uses at least!

6) Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep matte bronzer. Smells of chocolate, lovely. Also a points redemption as above. Also an impressive amount for a sample, this is the size of a large single pan eye shadow.

7) Make Up For Ever HD Powder sample – a tiny amount of powder on a card.

8) Urban Decay Primer Potion samples (x2 as one was with the palette) – 4 different types of their Primer Potion line, says there is to be a weeks worth of each within the packet. I’m particularly interested in the “anti-aging” one as I’d not heard of it before. I’m still not completely sold on the idea of needing one product to make another work as it should without assistance.

9) Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet – another points redemption as a deluxe sized sample. I admit to liking this far more than I thought I would. It’s simple but lovely.

10) Make Up For Ever “Happy Birthday” deluxe sample pack – contains a mini lipstick in N9 and a mini mascara in Smoky Extravagant. Added this to my order as it was available for free as my birthday is this month.

I would like to once again thank Rebecca at lastcontrast for her generous prize. I would have never had the opportunity to try these high end products otherwise. The out of pocket expense for the large list above was only $25 Canadian (I had to make it $75 for the free shipping as I’d rather the amount go towards product than ship costs)! Pretty good haul I think! 🙂

There was something missing from this order. I had selected that it be accompanied with the magnetic closure Sephora “gift box”, I was looking forward to using it for more attractive photographic purposes for this and all upcoming blog posts regarding the contents of this order. I sent them off another email to ask them about it. I found my order confirmation email where the words “gift box” were right there in black and white for their easy reference, and used it for my reply. I got an email back, immediately. They had the nerve to state that I had not included it on my order. Yes, even though it was stated right there. On the same page. On the order confirmation. Just a few inches down. I replied to them stating the obvious, that it is right there on the same page, but I don’t expect a reply at this point. I don’t understand why they didn’t send it, would have been a ton of free advertising as it would have been used in many of the photos for each of the upcoming reviews on all these products. What a missed opportunity for them, shame! EDIT: they sent back another email (was even from the same rep) saying they added 25 points to my account. Seeing as you need at least 100 to get anything I don’t know how this is satisfactory, but again the loss is really theirs – me as a customer and the free advertising they would have received.)

Although I will thoroughly enjoy using and trying out these products, and I am more than grateful for the prize, I am not sure I would ever order from Sephora again. They refuse to let their e-gift certificates to be used in Canada (why? That’s a huge market they’re just shutting out!) and their customer service is at best farcical and at worst dismissive and grossly incompetent. In the future, if I find the need for a high end beauty product, I will see if it is available from *any* other Canadian retailer first, such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Murale, London Drugs, any department store or even order directly from the product’s company website if need be. I don’t think I would ever put myself through ordering online with Sephora again. I am not close enough to a brick and mortar Sephora store for it to be much of a concern as to whether or not I’d go in to buy there.

EDIT: Unbelievably, I have even more disastrous service stories regarding this same order, they failed to refund me as promised and refused to explain why! Full story at the bottom of the post, here.

I did a quick search and there are some seriously horrifying Sephora customer service stories out there! Anyone else have one? I’d be interested to hear it! Also if anyone has any favourite looks with the Naked 2 palette they would like to share I’d be very interested in that as well!

 

Enjoy your week!

Maybelline Golden Halo Swatch & Review!

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

Hi! I haven’t done an eyeshadow post in a long while, and although I should have some others coming up soon (pending delinquent Sephora order) I wanted to start with something golden and summery! I have a few golds, and ultimately I’d like to review them all then compare at the end.

Maybelline Golden Halo 270S is from their Expert Wear Modern Metallics line. I haven’t had the opportunity to try any other offerings from the line but I hear Chai Latte is pretty popular. I managed to grab this one for just over $1 when the store I was at had them on clearance, presumably to make room for the repackaged eyeshadows. I haven’t yet tried anything from the repackaged line so I am unable to say if they are of the same formula, so I will only speak for this one. The packaging version I have has narrower tapered ends, the newer ones are squared off all around.

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

The formula on this one really surprised me. I expected a drier, grainier finish. But what I got was super smooth, pigmented and blendable. The golden shade is somewhat brassy or coppery on me in some lighting, but appears more of a neutral gold with slight green leanings in others. I didn’t need to try very hard to get the intense pigment on these swatches! Here it is in a few different lightings.

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

I tried this on alone (no other eyeshadow) with a tiny bit of mascara. It looks like I had something else in the crease, but I didn’t. That’s just the same shadow blended lightly through the crease and my own deep set eye socket shadow showing up there, making it look dark. I just used the sponge applicator it came with as it seemed to do the job well as it was so buttery soft. It was far more well blended in person, the shimmer in it reflected the camera flash in a way that gave it a harder edge in photos.

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

Maybelline Golden Halo

This lasted all day on me with very minimal creasing and still looked fresh when it came time to take it off! If you’re looking for a golden shadow for summer on a budget, try this one out. Bear in mind it’s slight orangey leanings might make it more suited to warm toned skin. I’d like to try more of these singles out, but I don’t think I’ll catch a sale like that again!

Have a great weekend!

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment and Brulee, Swatch and Review!

Wet n WIld Silent Treatment & Brulee

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment & Brulee

I feel so late to the Wet n Wild bandwagon! It’s not available at any stores in my area. I am lucky that my Superstore is now stocking more of these products, and snapped up Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment eye shadows at all of $1.47 and $2.67 respectively! I also grabbed a Night Prowl nail polish at $1.47 which will be swatched at a later date, I’m still enjoying my black and white speckles over red from yesterday’s manicure!

First up, Wet n Wild Brulee. This is a smooth as silk, nicely pigmented, creamy matte nude shade. It is lovely. I can easily see myself using this daily as a brow or blending shade. It matches my skin nicely (NC20/25). Wet n Wild Brulee is also not a bad dupe for MAC Brule, either. Packaging is pretty basic. It’s compact, relatively sturdy, easy to open, provides a clear view of the product and contains 0.06oz/1.7g of shadow. Not too shabby for $1.47!

Wet n Wild Brulee

Wet n Wild Brulee

Wet n Wild Brulee, Back

Wet n Wild Brulee, Back

Next up, Wet n Wild Silent Treatment Coloricon trio. Same basic packaging, only this one is tougher to open. At least I’m assured it won’t be pigmenting the inside of my purse!

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, in Bright Sunlight

 

The browbone shade is a creamy, peachy pink leaning highlighter. I’d more likely use this on my lid for a lighter eyelook, as I don’t like frost on my browbone. This would still work well in the inner corner, however. This shade isn’t too far off from being a dupe for MAC Jest, seems it might be just a bit pinker.

The crease shade is a deep dark cooler tone brown, fairly strongly pigmented. It also contains beautiful copper micro glitter which you can see in the sun. It reminds me a bit of the crease shade on the right side of the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette, perhaps a bit warmer brown and slightly better pigment.

The eyelid shade is a pewtery taupe with a hint of brown. It is beautiful. I just tried this against all other similar taupes in my collection and none are as smooth, pigmented, and glowy as this. Cover Girl’s Tapestry Taupe comes close but doesn’t wear as well. Some taupey shades from the Physician’s Formula Nude palette weren’t bad on texture but not as pigmented. The Wet n Wild wins hands down. This eyelid shade may also be a dupe for MAC Satin Taupe, but it seems a bit cooler to me.

Each of these shades were smooth, creamy, buttery, super soft silky-satiny feeling and blended well. They wore comfortably for the day on my eye. Below are the shadows swatched, from top to bottom Wet n Wild Brulee, Wet n Wild Silent Treatment Browbone, Crease and Eyelid shades.

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, Flash

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, Flash

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, No Flash

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, No Flash

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, Sunlight

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment, Brulee, Sunlight

These were hard to capture properly in the sun but I wanted to show this one anyway as you’re able to see the lovely coppery micro glitter in the crease shade!

Below are the products on my eye. I did not use the browbone shade on my browbone as I can’t stand that area being frosty (and I have a lotta browbone – it’s just too much with frost!) I did however use the browbone shade on the inner coner, and would probably use it alone on the lid as well. I used Brulee on my browbone and the crease and lid shades as they were labeled. I also used a bit of the crease shade wet as a bit of eyeliner.

Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment

Wet n Wild Brulee and Silent Treatment

Four beautifully pigmented, easily blendable, highly wearable shades for less than $4.25 in total? Incredible! I wish these were available to me sooner!

shut-up-and-take-my-money-9299-2560x16001

With formulations this good at a cost so low, it makes me wonder what other, more well known, more widely available, higher priced brands have been doing with their time in the formulation lab. Perhaps all that extra cost to the consumer is mainly spent on advertising their sub par products, because they don’t sell themselves.

Wet n Wild isn’t advertised here from what I can tell, making it depend on word of mouth and blog posts like these. Well done, Wet n Wild. These eye shadows are fantastic, and they do sell themselves, please keep it up!

Rimmel Dark Signature Glam’Eyes Quad Eye Shadow Swatch and Review, Radiant Orchid Theme Continued!

Continuing on with my series of purple eye shadow swatch and reviews in honor of Pantone’s Color of the Year Radiant Orchid, today’s subject is Rimmel Glam’Eyes Quad Eye Shadow in 017 Dark Signature. The label on the back says it “Complements Green Eyes”, which I’m sure may be true but I just went ahead and ignored that advice.

 

Rimmel Dark Signature

Rimmel Dark Signature

Rimmel Dark Signature

Rimmel Dark Signature

 

The shades are quite pretty, and are listed 1 through 4 for application as shown on the back.

1) a pale greyish lavender. They want you to apply this in the middle of the lid. My favourite of the quad. Mostly matte.
2) the closest to the “Radiant Orchid” shade itself, a brightened medium purple shade, undertones leaning red. They want you to apply this on the inner and outer corner. Slight amount of microglitter.
3) a frosted white shimmery shade. They want you to apply this on your brow bone.
4) a deep dark brown based purple. They want you to apply this to your outer V/corner. Slight amount of microglitter.

Rimmel Dark Signature Swatch Outdoor Light

Rimmel Dark Signature Swatch Outdoor Light

Rimmel Dark Signature Swatch Indoor Light

Rimmel Dark Signature Swatch Indoor Light

I did apply as instructed on the back as I was curious as to how it would look. Pigmentation is slightly better than average for drugstore makeup, there was some fallout but it blended and brushed away easily.

I applied this near a window for better outdoor lighting. It looked very purple when going on, and I loved it. I did notice however when walking around the house and checking in regular indoor lighting that it quickly seemed to fade to shades of greys and browns. The texture still looked nice, the dimension was still there, but it certainly wasn’t purple under an incandescent bulb. When I checked over back in outdoor light, the purple was still visible but not quite as intense as it was upon application. What bothered me most about this was no longer being able to see shade 2, the brightened medium purple, on the inner and outer corner as they had advised for application, as it did look pretty interesting. Some swatches on eye in various lighting below. Also wearing Smashbox Photo Op Eye Brightening Mascara, Milani Liquif’Eye black liner on waterline and the black shade from Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Cream Liner for Hazel Eyes. I’ll probably go ahead and review that set on it’s own, it’s wonderful! (Edit: probably discontinued…sad).

 

Rimmel Dark SIgnature

Rimmel Dark SIgnature

Rimmel Dark Signature

Rimmel Dark Signature

Rimmel Dark Signature

Rimmel Dark Signature

Overall, good texture, pigment ok as long as you don’t mind it looking dulled in indoor light, or if you plan on being outside in the sun while wearing it. It blended well and didn’t seem to crease very quickly. If you don’t mind your colours looking different in different lighting, then this is a decent purchase. I find Rimmel to be very reasonably priced especially on sale. The medium and darker purple remind me a lot of 2 shades in a purple Annabelle trio that I plan on trying soon as well. I have higher hopes for the pigments in that one.

If I were to use this one again for a purple look, I’d eliminate the frosty white highlight shade on inner tear duct and brow bone and use a matte cream shade, something more like the one in the purple Almay palette reviewed earlier. Would probably also try an additional base over my foundation, I have a purple cream eyeliner from the same set as the Physician’s Formula cream liner mentioned above that might do the trick, smudged lightly over the lid to enhance the purple shades.

Rimmel is available at mass retailers (in Canada) and averages from $4-10 for items across the entire brand. This Rimmel Glam’Eyes Quad Eye Shadow is 0.148oz/4.2g and I probably paid around $5 for it. I’m definitely interested in trying a few more of these quads, probably some of the more neutral/lighter ones now that I know how the pigment behaves in different lighting. Perhaps Romantic Cool, Smokey Purple, English Breakfast!

 

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