So Pretty, or is it? Trying out Formula Z’s So Pretty palette

I was very excited to choose this Formula Z So Pretty palette for my January IPSY box. Okay, I saw the bronze glitter, started drooling and clicked add to choice items. I knew it was a palette with other colors in it, I just lost my head when it came to the bronze glitter. And surprisingly enough, the bronze glitter did not disappoint. It’s the other shadows that had issues.

So let’s take a look. As you can see there are six pans in this palette. I don’t know why but lately I have really been digging the smaller palettes. the issue here is that with the exception of the two glitters, all of the other colors, both mattes and shades are shadows i have in other palettes. Some of which are really good palettes. Both in those colors and as in the palette as a whole. This palette has two mattes, two shimmers and two glitters. Each row has one of each, so lets look at the rows.

L to R: Opulent, Empire, Regal

The top row has the shimmer on the left (Opulent), Glitter in the middle (Empire) and matte on the right (Regal).Opulent swatched well and was okay on the lids. It is a bronzy gold shimmer, which I like. It feels soft in the pan, but was a little powdery applying and tended to blend away into nothing but a slight shine.

Empire was this row’s glitter and it was really hard to work with. It didn’t want to leave the dry brush when I tried applying so it was very patchy. Spraying the brush with setting spray really helped. It also helped to use a lid primer and to apply it when the primer was still tacky. and then to spray it with setting spry to keep it in place. It was a lovely color on the eyes and in general it will stay in place for about three hours before it begins it’s slow descent down your face. Be aware that when you remove it, if you are using a reusable makeup wipe, like a Makeup Eraser, then once you have finished removing your makeup then that cloth needs to go directly into the washing machine otherwise you will end up putting glitter on your face the next day. If there is one product you keep the occasional disposable makeup removing cloth around for, this would be it.

You will still find glitter in random places three days later.

Which is very different to the matte shadows. The third shadow in this row is the matte, Regal. It blends into my skin tone so it is really hard to see. It is also powdery, patchy and prone to blending away into nothing. I used it in conjunction with the one other matte from this palette (Legend). They seemed to work well together but it was an effort and as they are both shades of brown it looked like Regal lightened up Legend somewhat but the two just sort of muddied together. The big benefit was that one matte covered up the patchiness of the other matte.

L to R: Legend, Icon, Star

The matte, Legend is the first shadow in the second row. It swatched better than it applied. It was patchy, and powdery. It only worked well because I used the other brown matte to cover up the patchiness or slid the bronze glitter of Icon over it so that it was no more than an accent. A matte punctuation at the end of a glitter sentence.

Icon was the bronze glitter and the reason I chose the palette in the first place. I was hoping that the matte shades would be everyday usable, but I’m not a fan of them. Using the bronze of Icon, I forget all about the other pans. I love this glitter shade. Usually golden shades are too brassy for me and tend to look odd with my skin tone. This is the exact right shade of bronze for me. It has some of the same issues as Empire, the other glitter shade, but it does apply slightly better. It has a slightly smoother formula which makes application easier. You still need the lid primer and the setting spray, but it does stay in place a little better. You are still looking at only about four hours before fall out begins, but quite frankly, I love it.

The final shade is Star. It is a decent shimmer. It doesn’t blend away as much as the other shimmer shade, Opulent, but it can blend down a lot. It is one of those shades I would use if i had the palette open so that I didn’t have to go hunting for another shadow, but not one I would actually pull this palette out for. It works, but I have this exact same shade in several other palettes, many with better formulas.

I’ll be honest, this is a palette I am keeping for the glitters. Primarily the Bronze of Icon, but I do like the sparkle of Empire as well. When I get this palette out, I will get out another palette and use the mattes from it. I will probably use other shimmers as well. Normally this is where I would ask myself if I would buy this palette again. As and IPSY choice, I am happy with my choice. This palette however retails for $25. It is not a $25 palette. Even if I really liked the mattes and shimmers I don’t think it would be a $25 palette. It seems more like a $15 palette.

I don’t know very much about Formula Z. While I loved the bronze I also chose them because I had not heard of the brand before. If they sell individual shadows, their glitter shades would be worth picking up. As both of these shades did well, I am sure any other shades they have would probably do as well. I would not buy the palette and if they have singles, I would pick up the glitters and leave the rest behind. I may be happy to have the glitters, but many other companies also make glitters and I would not rebuy this palette just for those glitters. I will however use it until those two glitters are gone.

Find Your Strength; Know Your Strength

A walk in the Moonlight with LA Splash

I know what you are thinking. This LA Splash Face Palette didn’t get the full week to a week and a half testing. What gives? I’ll tell you. I couldn’t take this palette for a week and a half. I made sure to use all of these shades repeatedly and I just found it annoying. But let’s get into details.

First off the palette contains two blushes, Midnight Rose and Blushing Luna. In the pan one looks bright pink and the other looks neutral. On the cheeks they both show up as bright pink and extremely pigmented. a delicate dip into the pan, produced a lot of color on the cheeks. The neutral blush looking only a shade less pink than the bright pink shade.

L to R: Midnight Rose, Blushing Luna, Bronze Goddess and Ethereal Highlight

Now I am not opposed to high pigmentation as long as it blends really well. This one blended, but as soon as you started blending, the blush more or less disappeared. So I was left with either very pink clown like cheeks or looking like I applied no blush at all. There was no happy middle ground with either of these two blushes.

And then we had the bronzer. It is called Bronze Goddess. In the swatch above I had to do a double swatch just to get the bronzer to appear on my arm. And that is sort of how it performed on the cheeks. It was a very pale bronzer with very low pigmentation. It could be built up, but it took time.

A lot of time.

And I found the pigmentation level compared to the blushes rather shocking. Perhaps the low pigmentation wouldn’t have seemed so bad if it was just a pan on it’s own, but its low pigmentation was just brought out by the super strong blushes. It did blend well and it didn’t disappear when it was blended, but it was a bronzer that you had to work for.

The Ethereal Highlight was fine. I adore bronze highlights so this should have been right in my wheel house. The color is fine, but as a product it is more or less forgettable. It has a light shimmer on the skin and if it were on it’s own I might find it more appealing. But as this palette is more or less a bust for me in the other products, the highlighter isn’t enough to save it.

One of the reasons that i am not going to continue using this is because I have a very pale friend (strawberry blonde with skin to match) who is always complaining about bronzers being too deep for her. I’m going to pass this along and see if the issues with the bronzer are just because of my skin tone. Perhaps with lighter skin this palette would be fantastic. For me, the Moonlight Glow Palette from LA Splash is just not worth keeping around.

A walk into the Desert Sunset with Athr Beauty

I have been testing out the Desert Sunset Palette from Athr Beauty. I was very interested to get my hands on this palette when it arrived in a Boxy Charm. The first reason is that I have danced around Athr Beauty for a while. I have seen them in subscription boxes, but they were never an item in my box. It’s like they were teasing me. then of course I heard some conflicting reviews. Some people loved them, others weren’t so sure. Which of course made me want to find out for myself.

Finally there was the color selection of the palette. I really like a lot of the bronze shadows, and I wear a lot of brown shadow so this looked like it would be right up my alley. I have to admit, I was even intrigued by the pop of color in the bright pink pan.

As you can see the shadow names are written on the back. what I like about this is they thought to color the squares so right away you know exactly where you are in the palette. It makes referencing colors fairly easy. Because of the palette set up, when swatching the shadows I decided to go for the mattes first and then switch to the shimmer shades. So first let’s look at the mattes.

Left to Right: Desert Sand, Sedona, Desert Coral and Mesquite

I found these shades to be interesting. I expected that they would all have the same texture and consistency, but they do not. the two brown shades, Desert Sand and Sedona are great shades. They are soft to the touch, they apply with no patchy spots and they blend well with all of the shadows. They were slightly on the powdery side. while you could get away with applying either of these shades on their own after you’ve don’t your face makeup without too much fall out, the same can not be said for the others.

Desert Coral is a great pop of color but it feels dry to the touch and is very powdery. While it blends well and works beautifully with the other shades in this palette, it needs to be applied before you put on your face makeup or you will have fall out. The same can be said for Mesquite. Mesquite is the darkest shade in the palette and it is also the most patchy when applied. As a single shade it simply didn’t work. If you put a base of the Desert coral and then darkened the outer corner with Mesquite it worked well, especially if you used something like Sedona to help blend out the patchy parts. It was a little of a disappointment though as while Sedona is dark enough to work as a blending shadow, it also has a reddish tinge to it so your look was always going to be in the red/pink range.

L to R: Twilight, Golden Hour, Sunrise, After Glow, Sunset, Eternal

Ah the shimmers. There are a lot of them. In a ten pan palette six of them are shimmers. While I like shimmers, to be honest, there isn’t a lot of difference between these. Twilight is a nice lighter color that works well on the inner corner of the eye, but the rest are varying shades of bronze. I get that it is a desert theme, and I like bronze shadows. In fact i have been known to keep palettes just because of the beautiful bronze shimmer. But all of the varying tones in one palette are a little bit of overkill. I et that it is a desert themed palette, but swapping out some of the bronze shimmers with other shades or even adding a few more mattes wouldn’t have one amiss. It would have made the palette more versatile and more fun to use. I think you could still keep with the desert theme while still branching out a little.

Perhaps I would feel better about the array of bronze tones if one of them had been spectacular. While soft and buttery to the touch, they were hard to work with as they weren’t the most pigmented and had the tendency to fall out dusting the under eye and sides of my nose with shimmer. None of them made me think,. ‘yes, this is why I will keep this palette’ as I have with some other bronze shadows I have tried. In fact it was very easy for me to use all of the shadows in this palette because none of them really called to me and tried to keep my attention.

Which sort of sums up this palette. It was okay and decent once you got the hang of using it, but in the end nothing really special. The Athr Beauty Desert Sunset Palette doesn’t make me want to pull it out of the drawer and use repeatedly. It was good enough that I will put it into my eyeshadow drawer, but I strongly suspect that in my next declutter, it will be sent on it’s way because I am just not reaching for it. Even more important is that it doesn’t really make me that excited to try more shadows from Athr Beauty either.

Kure Bazaar - available at Alyaka.com

Trying out Miami Nights with Shaina B

This Shaina B palette came to me in an IPSY box and I have to say it is somewhat interesting. Or at least I had an interesting time with it. Over all it is a fairly neutral red toned palette. The colors are warm and are typically what I am drawn to wearing. And then there is Queen of Diamonds Silver sparkling in the top row. Oh, the sparkle.

But we’ll get to that. This palette retails for $20 and contains eight shadows. There are four Mattes, three shimmers and that silver. The top row contains the shimmers and the silver.

Ice Palace is the shimmer I reached for the most. It was excellent in the inner corner of the eye and stayed in place all day long. Bae Harbor is a lovely coppery tone on the lids and Lincoln red is an almost metallic red that shows up well on the eyelids. All three of these shimmers are buttery soft to the touch, are well pigmented and easy to work with. They also stay where you put them.

And then we have the Queen of Diamonds. It too feels soft and buttery to the touch. Even though it sparkles like glitter it feels like velvet. Your finger tip comes away looking as though you wrapped it in tin foil rather than into a glitter shadow. On the lids it is stunning. Absolutely stunning. It applies as easily a if it was liquid.

But then the clock starts ticking. I tried lid primers and setting sprays, but the truth is, you have about two hours before the silver stages a hostile take over. It will first migrate across the lid obliterating any other color you applied. Then it will go both up and down simultaneously. Your eyebrows are the last line of defense for your forehead. Once it becomes blocked by the brows it ill migrate down your nose and spread out in a silver spangled array across your cheeks.

And it doesn’t” like to give any ground back. You will need every makeup remover in your arsenal to get it all off, and even then three days later you are still likely to find something silvery and sparkly on your cheek or chin. Also if you are using any reusable makeup removal products, take them directly to the laundry, don’t let them hang around or the silver will simply spread.

However if you apply it carefully and sparingly, for the first two hours of wear it is absolutely stunning.

The second row is less problematic.

The second row is where the mattes live. Are they spectacularly unique shades? No. But I would happily use this as an everyday palette. Space is one I could wear as a one and done easily. Blending Vino and Venetian Gray can create more dramatic but still acceptable for the office looks. And MIA Mauve is a great neutral transition shade. The shadows are soft and not very powdery. I did knock my brush off once before applying because that is just habit and some powder did fall off the brush. When I made an effort not to tap the brush off, I still didn’t have any issues with powder going anywhere except where I put it. With the exception of Vino which comes across strongly, the colors aren’t super saturated when they apply. They are buildable though and they blend nicely. They also lasted through the day with minimal fading. The mattes work really well with the shimmers, both in formula and shade. I think the palette was very well thought out actually. Everything works well with everything else. I suppose the silver could be considered the surprising pop of color in the otherwise neutral palette.

It is a very pink toned palette. I happen to like that but Venetian Gray and Queen of Diamonds are the only only non-pink tones in the palette. If you don’t wear warm pink tones, I would skip this palette. As for me, I really enjoyed using it, I will be sparing and strategic when I reach for the Queen of Hearts, but the other shadows in the Shaina B Miami Nights palette are ones I will reach for on a regular basis. And I have to say the formula makes me want to check out more of Shaina B’s eyeshadows.

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A Tale of Two Quads

Recently I have been going through a lot of my smaller eyeshadow palettes in an effort to look at the ones more suitable for travel. At least I think that is why I have found them so attractive as of late. There is the possibility that as my schedule has tightened up and I have less time to actually spend I have been drawn to the smaller eyeshadow quads because they are quick and easy.

while I like the smaller palettes, one of the things I like, beyond their compact size, is that you don’t have a lot of thought when using them. Typically they have a small range of application patterns so they are quick to grab and apply. Two eyeshadow quads recently came into my collection and on the surface they appear to be very similar. They are both brown neutral palettes with one matte and three shimmers. But let’s see how they compare.

The first up is the Oryza Beauty Nude Shimmer and Contour Eyeshadow. It has one matte brown and three shimmers.

When applying it, I found the matte is not all that pigmented and tends to be a bit on the patchy side. while one matte is not enough to fully judge an entire line of eyeshadows, I can’t say it impressed me enough to want to try out other shades. The shimmers applied more easily and in fact did help the matte out a bit when blending. The matte shade had almost no powder fall out, which was nice, but did tend to fade out more over the course of the day. As it wasn’t very pigmented to start with, this didn’t make it a favorite. The brighter copper shade (lower left hand corner) tended to migrate down and I ended up with some copper flecks on my cheeks by the end of the day. It was only visible when the light hit and made me shimmer, but I wasn’t expecting it in the shimmer.

The second Quad I used was the Chella Manifest Bronze eyeshadow Palette.

It too had one brown matte and three shimmers. The shadows did feel buttery to the touch and softer than the Oryza shadows. They were also more pigmented and applied smoother. with the matte, I did not have the patchiness. The brown applied well, but has a bit more of a reddish undertone than I expected. It stayed in place longer and while it still faded over the course of a day, it stayed in place relatively well. I also had less fall out from the shimmers. I really like that this quad had one bright shimmer that went well into the inner corners of my eyes. I felt this was lacking a little in the other quad. And as always I adore copper shadows and the darker copper (upper right hand corner) is exactly what I love in a copper shade. Over all it was a pretty good quad.

Here is the thing though. When looking up the Oryza Palette I found it for sale on Amazon for $10.99. (I know usually i go for the brand website but I couldn’t find the price listed in US currency and it wouldn’t convert. The actual site is here.) When looking up the Chella site, I found this quad sells for $20. (I received both as part of subscription boxes – Chella with Glossy Box and Oryza with IPSY).

The truth is that when using them I was comparing them to a similar quad with one brown shade and three shimmers. This was the ELF Bite Sized Palette in Cream and Sugar. Even before I checked the prices, the ELF had them both beat with performance. When you add in that the ELF palette is only $3 (and that’s $3 with no sales going on. They do have a sale going on now and I’ll link it below), it really sort of seals the deal with ELF. I liked the ELF bite sized quad and have used it for a while. Recently the dark brown shade smashed (user malfunction. I dropped a brush and the handle smacked into the center of the pan cracking it.) so I was thinking I might replace it. then I thought ‘wait I have these other two similar quads, let’s try them first’.

In the end while the Chella performed better than the Oryza, I will be replacing the ELF and will end up reaching for it more. This is one case where the less expensive option, is actually the best.

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Reviewing the No 7 Eyeshadow Trio Pink Blossom

As the time for travel draws near, I am testing out smaller palettes in an effort to find something compact that i can quickly slip into my travel makeup bag without overstuffing the bag and without risking damage to the palette in transit. I never like traveling with a large palette, yet I do like having some room to play around with colors while I am traveling.

The main issue when traveling and staying with family, or at least my family, is the small shared bathroom that I will be using while i am there. Items don’t get left in the bathroom unless they are shared use items. essentially the rule is that if it is in the shared bathroom then it is there for everyone to use.

while a good general policy, it has provoked arguments in the past, mostly about hair products left in the shower. But that is not what this post is about. One of the things I find helpful, especially on short trips, is to take one or two eyeshadow quads or trios along. If each small palette is solid for one or two looks then I can rotate between the two easily, just taking the one I want to use in to the bathroom mirror when I want to use it. Recently I have been trying out the No 7. Pink Blossom Trio.

while I have the No 7 Perfect Light pressed powder on repeat purchase (and have for years) going through countless compacts and I have recently fallen head over heels in love with their serum foundation. I have never tried any of the No 7 Brand’s eyeshadows. I thought a trio was a great way to start. I will say though, it small trios are not your thing, but you do like these shades, these three are also part of a larger eight pan Smoky Palette.

Also at the moment No 7 has a sale going on. Buy 2 save 20%. It is site wide and not just for their eyeshadows.

But on to the trio.

not the most dramatic swatching

First the case. It is a hard plastic oblong that is quite sturdy. I could see the front clear window getting scratched up with repeated travel and under duress possibly getting a crack, but I think it is the sort of plastic that would almost spiderweb across the top instead of breaking through and destroying the shadow inside. I’m not testing that with a hammer of course, but I have every confidence that it would survive my journeys in tact. The lid also fastens down securely. It is not going to fly open at the least little touch.

Normally, packaging is a pleasant distraction, but I find when traveling, it can also be the key to a good travel piece and whether or not i take it with me. This packaging is a bonus to travel and not a detriment. It is also aesthetically pleasing and I like that I can see the shadows through the clear glass so I know what shades I am picking up, making it easier to grab and go. As all of the eyeshadow trios have the same shape, this would be especially helpful should I decide I like the shadows enough to pick up more pans. The clear window simply lets me see what I am picking up.

But will I be picking up more?

Let’s talk about the shadows themselves. As it is a trio, there are of course three. One matte and two shimmers. One of the shimmers, the lighter pink is very low shimmer and close to being a matte. The darker pink has more shimmer to it. It means that the lighter pink can be used for the inner corners of the eye without getting too over the top shimmery. In a simple three pan product, I find this quite useful.

with only three pans, there aren’t a ton of variety between looks, but there is some room to play. All of the shadows can be used alone. They will stay in place for about eight hours. The shimmers do fade a bit more towards the end of the day, but the one matte remained in place until I took my makeup off.

The shadows blended well together without becoming muddy. when applying them there was little fall out from the brush so I could, if I so choose, apply my face products before working on my eyes, which is actually my preferred method when possible.

These shadows are not highly pigmented. The dark matte applies more as smoke than as charcoal. It is buildable but it is never going to give you a saturated color. However what it does give you stays in place. It may not be a deep color, but one applied it remains. while I may touch up my makeup before dinner, I actually prefer makeup that I can put in place and then forget about. Especially when I am traveling. I don’t mind the occasional powder pat to reduce shine, but I don’t want to have to haul out my eyeshadow and it’s brushes.

Over all I was very pleased with the way this shadow performed. It applied well, even if it wasn’t highly pigmented. It stayed in place without fading to nothing. It blended well and I was able to create a couple of good basic looks with it. The trio has a limited range, but is a good travel item and I think I would look at picking up several more of these trios simply for grab and go types of mornings as well as travel. These No 7 Beauty Shadows require little thought to apply and I think a range of colors wouldn’t be a bad thing to have on hand.



Reviewing the Norvina Palette Vol 1 by Anastasia Beverly Hills

I admit freely that I am much more of a neutral palette kind of person. While I do like reds and pinks, I do tend to use them as a backdrop. They are just a hint of color behind the brown or possibly black, shadow. Part of that is the consequence of working so long in a very conservative office environment. Glitter was not appreciated.

Although i often snuck in a good bronze shimmer.

Even in a conservative arena, I can’t resist a good coppery/bronze shimmer.

row 1

Part of it is also that I adore deep dark lipstick, Reds and berry shades are kind of my favorite and you can be forgiven bright lips with tame eyeshadow. Admittedly several neutral lipsticks have grown on me as of late and perhaps as a consequence I have been drawn to brighter eyeshadow.

Ah the Yin and Yang of lipstick and eyeshadow.

This Norvina palette Volume 1 was a product that came to me via a Boxy Charm Box. It was a choice, There were several palettes and I looked at this one and thought, ‘I have very few of those shades in my collection.’ so I chose it.

row 2

I don’t know if I would have picked it up on my own. One of the reasons I don’t own a lot of purple shadows is that when I use them I tend to come out looking like Ursula the Sea Witch. While there is a time and a place for Disney imitation, it doesn’t come around often enough that i feel the need to keep purple shadows around.

Row 3

Half of using this palette was figuring out the application process. But first the specifics. There are five rows of shadows in the palette and five shadows in each row giving a total of twenty five shadows. Ah basic math, how I love you. Eight of these shadows are shimmer shades and the rest are matte.

Row 4

All of the matte shades are highly pigmented. In fact if you look on the palette information some of them are not recommended for use on the eyes because they tend to stain the skin. And stain they do. It is predominantly the purple shadows that stain. They leave an oddly red toned stain behind. In the picture below this is my eyelid after removing my makeup when I used A3 on my lids. The shadows aren’t named, but rather given number assignments. Row one is A and the colors are numbered one through five. Then there are rows B to E with each of the shadows again numbered one to five.

Row 5

The mattes applied well and they were long lasting. Some even lasting through makeup remover. They stayed put and didn’t crease. They were however very messy to apply. Unless you employ some sort of shield, this is a palette you want to work with before applying the rest of your makeup. Even with tapping the brush off before applying, the side of my nose and my under eye were often coated in shadow when I applied it. It is just a formula that sprays about a lot.

lid after shadow removal

I also found that I needed to be very precise in my application. Using this eyeshadow was a job for the smaller blending brushes in my collection. Using the larger fluffier brushes made me feel a bit out of control. It brought out the Sea Witch look. Once I switched to a smaller brush and was more precise with the application, the shadows worked well. They blend really well without becoming muddy and were long lasting.

Just remember to use a smaller brush to control the application and that you will have to dust off your nose and under eye area and the shadows are fine. In the mattes, i have to admit, I fell in love with the flat whit shade. C1 if you are counting. It sounds strange to say, but I think it was my favorite shadow.

I could apply the super bright colors and think it was a little too dark and then add the flat white to the inner corner. then I could blend the white out and soften some of the more intense colors. For me, this shade made the palette a lot more wearable.

And now we get to the shimmers. To be honest, I didn’t care for them all that much. They swatch much better than they apply. If applied with a dry brush they don’t apply well at all. If used with a wet brush they do become brighter and easier to apply. They also don’t dribble down the face. They tend to stay put all day.

The problem with the shimmers is that the other matte shades are so strong that the shimmers become somewhat irrelevant. The bright mattes are the star of this palette and they overpower the shimmers. If the shimmers are used with more neutral mattes, they are great. They stand out then. But at the same time, the shimmers aren’t that unusual. I have those exact shades in other formulas, some I like better than these others not as much. They aren’t bad shimmers, they just ride the middle line between not bad and not spectacular.

This is a palette that is all about the mattes and really all about the purples. The Norvina Volume 1 is bright and vibrant and contains a lot of colors that I don’t have elsewhere. It isn’t going to become an everyday palette for me, but it is one that I will reach for when I am in the mood for something bright.

BeautyCareChoices.com

The Billion Dollar Box

The Billion Dollar Box with pans

Recently Billion Dollar Beauty sent a package to me that included their Billion Dollar Box as well as several pans of product to go inside. This week I have been using both the box and the products. The products have worked well and to be honest, the brow cream is actually one of my favorites and one I will not only keep using but repurchase when it runs out.

However this post is not about the products in the box, but rather the box itself. The box retails for only $9.99 and on the website it is described as…

The Billion Dollar Box® is a customizable, sustainable and convenient solution to traditional makeup palettes. Create the palette that speaks to YOU and choose from over 35 different Billion Dollar Beauty® makeup pans including brows, eyes, lips and cheeks. Buy once, refill for life. BDB cosmetic pans are sold without excess packaging, unlike traditional makeup palettes.  The magnetic base holds each product in place keeping your makeup mess-free and organized inside one box.

  • Magnetic base holds makeup pans in place
  • Billion Dollar Beauty® makeup pans sold separately
  • Made with 30% PCR plastic
  • Includes mirror and kickstand for application on-the-go
  • Patent Pending
the kickstand

In case you were wondering, all of the pans from brows to eyeshadows and face products sell for $3.99. While BDB sent two eyeshadow pans in the package, I have actually ordered a couple of other shades to try out as well so I can get a feel for the darker shadows (hence why the review of those will be later). As I mentioned above, thus far all of the products have performed well.

The mirror on this box is a good size and it has a very sturdy kick stand for support. It is prone to collecting fingerprints as it is the box lid, but is easy to wipe off. On the sides of the box are two curved cut outs to lift the lid off of the box. I’ll be honest, the first time I took the lid off the box, I broke a nail getting it open. It is a very tight fit. However as I continued to open and close the box, the fit, while still tight, opened easier. It was just that initial factory fresh box that was a little hard to open up.

The entire back of the box is magnetic and is quite strong. I moved the palette around the house and even put it in my purse when going grocery shopping and none of the pans moved even a bit. I know it sounds strange to test the magnet, but even though the mirror is thick and sits on the ridge inside the palette, it still leaves quite a lot of space between the mirror back and the pans, so if one was knocked loose because of a less powerful magnet then it would bounce around a bit and make a mess of the other pans.

blush removed to show the fall out around it caused by the larger brush

Thankfully, this was not an issue. As the mirror has no cover, i would suggest putting it inside a bag when traveling with it to prevent the mirror from getting damaged. In this case, the drawstring bags from IPSY might actually come in handy.

Using the products in the pan I had a couple of concerns The first was if the depth at which the pans sit is deeper than most magnetic palettes due to the mirror sitting in the box, and I wondered if that would make a difference in application. I found myself picking up the pan to dip into it vertically more than I did with other palettes. It wasn’t a conscious choice just something that happened as I put my makeup on. Blush and highlighter I worked with the pan flat and then picked up the palette to apply shadow, brows and lips. I think this adjustment may have been due to the depth at which the pans sat, verses a usual palette, but it wasn’t really a difficulty and I didn’t really have to lift it up to use, I just found myself doing so. Once I realized I was doing it, i stopped and deliberately used it lying flat and it worked well.

The second concern I had was the mix of powder and cream products in the same palette. I worried that there would be fall out from the powder into the cream products. In this case the blush was the product with the most fall out. I’m pretty sure this is because I used a larger brush to apply it. The the shadows, brows and lips were all dipped into with smaller brushes and I tend to apply highlighter with my fingertips so there were no real problems with any of them. As you can see there is some powder fall out from the blush.

To make sure it didn’t get into the cream products, I simply moved them lower in the palette and away from the powder. Even with the fall out, the powder spray was minimal. I think my blush brush is just slightly wider than the pan and that is what caused the corona of powder around the pan. It means I didn’t evenly space the pans as they do in the advertisements, but giving the blush a little extra room seemed to work. I had no contamination issues this entire week.

the clearly marked pan

Even though I really enjoy the products sent over, I do have other magnetic pans and when I tried them in this box, they worked just as well as the products designed for the box. So if you had one eyeshadow you wanted to add that BDB didn’t have in their dhade range you could. Or if there was a specific product you were trying to ue up. Or whatever, it could be added. It is a very versatile palette as there are no designated cut outs for specific pans. I will say though that I love the way these pans are labelled. Each pan, whether for lips, eyes or face has a full label on the back. There is no wondering which shade of eyeshadow you are using. For me the cream brow was my stand out favorite and one I will certainly be reordering. Because of their clear labels, when the pan reaches a stage where reordering is needed, I can easily flip it over and see the shade with no issue.

I know that sounds like a little thing, but I have several magnetic pans that have small numbers printed on the back of them and no other information. A couple of them I can’t even remember what brand they are. Reordering would require first a magnifying glass to find the numbers and then a search to find the brand. These pans are all clearly labeled and can easily be reordered. I personally really appreciate that.

While my palette was of the build your own variety, BDB has put together beauty bundles that you can purchase with the pans already picked out. The Rustic Vacation bundle is a little more earthy in tone, while the tropical vacation bundle is a bit brighter. So even if you are uncomfortable picking out each individual product, you could start with the bindles and then add one or two items of your own choosing as you grow more comfortable with the products. Or if you find you just want to try a brighter lipstick. it is extremely easy to personalize.

I really enjoyed this palette and I think that once I start traveling again (at Thanksgiving is the plan this year) it will go with me. When visiting family the mirrors are in the bathroom and bathroom space is limited. Given the house is always crowded at the holidays, time in the bathrooms are limited as well. Having a stand up mirror will be a huge help in getting ready without causing a traffic jam. Over all it is a well thought out box and one I will use often and purchase replacement products for. I think the plastic is sturdy enough to last a while and the magnet is strong enough to keep everything in it’s place. My only concern is finding a cover for the mirror during travel, but as that is easily accomplished with an IPSY bag or even a thick winter sock, it really isn’t much of a concern at all.





The Otherworldly Eyeshadow Palette from Fluide

I’ll be honest, I chose this Otherworldly Palette by Fluide as one of my choice items in my IPSY Plus Glam Bag because of one shade. (and because there weren’t any other interesting options in that choice category that month). I saw the green and realized I didn’t have any colors like it in my collection. I tend to go for more everyday looks as sort of my natural gravitation towards shadows.

I do have an affinity for jewel tones, but spent a long time working in a rather conservative office, which shaped a lot of my daily makeup habits. Recently though I have been playing around a bit with color (sometimes not very successfully) and I have been wanting to add a bit more of a range to the colors available.

I didn’t actually envision myself liking much of the other colors, but that green just looked fantastic. I know, it isn’t the first time I’ve picked up a palette for just one color, and it probably won’t be the last. Although I do try not to make it a habit. I also justified it because I had never tried any shadows from Fluide before. I do like their liquid lips though. They are a nice, non drying formula. So justifications in place I tried the palette

There are eight shades in this palette. It is a nice sturdy cardboard palette with a small mirror shaped wither like a cloud or a UFO, I can’t really tell. There are five mattes, two shimmers and one glitter.

L to R: Stellactic, Astral Halo, Quarkle, Andromedaze

The top row contains two mattes, the glitter and one of the shimmers. I promise there are four shades swatched on my arm. The second shadeAstral Halo is almost a perfect match for my skin tone and so doesn’t show up well in the swatch.

L to R: Galatea, Mercurial, Queersar, Blood Moon

The second row has the one green shimmer that drew me into the palette in the first place and three mattes. Let’s talk about the mattes first. They are soft and buttery and have very little fall out. While Astral Halo is only really useful as a base layer to give me a solid color to work with, the other colors are rather nice. The shade that looks light brown in the pan, Mercurial has a reddish tone, almost like a terra cotta, on the eye which I rather liked. I was not expecting to like the orange (either the matte or the shimmer) but I ended up really liking it. I think because the dark brown can tame down that orange It worked really well for me. I was actually quite pleased by the orange.

The mattes had little fall out and blended easily with each other. In addition, they are well paired. If you want a bright look, there are colors to play with and if you want a hint of color, you can tame the brights, and if you just want something quick for the office, you can do that too. It is surprisingly more versatile than I thought it would be.

The shimmers applied well also. I could get a decent shimmer with a dry brush. If I wanted something gleaming, then dampung down the brush intensified the shimmers. While I loved the green as much as I thought I would, that orange shimmer was something I did not expect to like. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

And then there is the glitter. Oh, the glitter.

It feels soft in the pan and on the eyes. When applied with a dry brush it is a little patch and if you have slightly hooded eyes like mine, it will wear off in a line where the hood is. In addition it has a tendency to migrate down the face and then show little glittery bits for the next two days despite washing your face and taking a shower. With a damp brush, it applies better.

While none of the other shadows really need a primer, if using the glitter shade, use an eyelid primer. It will keep the glitter in place long enough for your look to shone where you are going. without the primer, You have maybe an hour before the fall out starts. I personally like the Pretty Vulgar Lid Primer as it has a great deal of stick to it that really locks the glitter down.

Over all, I enjoyed this palette. i wasn’t really expecting to like this Otherworldly palette by Fluide as much as I did. I quite frankly saw the oranges and was a little scared off. But the colors work well together, the pans are well thought out and the shadows are a really nice formula. while this Palette was part of Fluide’s Pride collection, I will certainly have to look into oher shadows from them in the future.


Viseart Petit Pro Palette Deux

Viseart Professional makeup has been one of those brands I have always been interested in. A while back I received an all Matte Palette Viseart palette in a Boxy Charm and I really enjoyed the shadows. They were buttery soft and highly pigmented. Still even knowing that they were good shadows, the palettes seemed a bit expensive. The small folding palettes like this Petit Pro Deux seemed adorable, but even more over priced due to the size.

I decided that since I knew the formula of the mattes was good, I would just wait until the mini palettes went on sale and then splurge on a product. Lucky for me, this Viseart Petit Pro Deux was a choice selection in an IPSY Plus bag. This let me pick up one of the palettes, test out the shimmer formulas and if I decided to pick up more, I could feel confident in the formulas and simply worry about colors.

There are eight shadows in this palette, four mattes and four shimmers. The top row are the mattes and the bottom row are the shimmers. Pretty simple right?

L to R: Petal, Nectar, Honeysuckle, Foxglove

The mattes are well chosen for a simple traveling eyeshadow palette, which this one really is. This is the sort of palette, that you grab when you are going away for the weekend and want something compact and trustworthy. The shadow formula is relatively highly pigmented with little fall out and they blend well without becoming muddy. Foxglove on it’s own is a nice purple shade however layered over Honeysuckle it becomes almost black. Used separately Honeysuckle is a nice warm brown that can be deepened or lightened as needed. The bright pop of Nectar works well under both honey suckle and Foxglove as well as nicely on it’s own. Petal is great for lightening up the inner corners. I can’t wear Petal on its own as it disappears on my skin, but I imagine if you have darker skin it would be a nice brightening shade that could be used for a one and done look. All of the mattes pair well with the shimmers.

L to R: Primrose, Clove, Cosmos and Aster

The shimmers are interesting. They are butter soft and if applied with a dry brush they are very light and delicate, a mere subtle glimmer. If you damp down the brush before application or apply with a damp fingertip, the shimmers are stunning. They play well with all of the mattes and look great on their own.

Is this a revolutionary palette? No. The colors are not ones I haven’t seen elsewhere. They are however grouped logically so that when you look at the palette a couple of looks immediately spring to mind making it easy to use. This is not a palette you pick up and then have to study for a while before you can figure out what to do with it. It is very easy to use.

While the different colors work well together and can be blended to create different looks it has a limited amount of versatility. This is a palette you can pack in a bag and know that you will have reliable work looks that you can also make pop for after hours. In addition it’s folding design not only protects the shadows during travel, but it also keeps any potential spillage inside the palette and not all over your makeup bag.

I think this is a good palette. I think it is a bit overpriced, but I also think this is something I would splurge on because I am confident in how the formulas work. They apply well and stay on all day. I am very happy to have this in my collection and will seriously look at some of the others for potential additions. While these colors lean more towards neutral day looks, I am certain there are other brighter palettes in their collection. I am confident in their shadow formula and if the arrangement of colors in the other palettes is as good as they are in this one I would certainly consider making it a splurge purchase.


Ogee