Trying out the Venus Immortals Palette From Lime Crime

For the past week or so I have been playing around with the Venus Immortals Palette from Lime Crime. I’ll admit I sort of stalked this palette on line for a while before deciding to purchase it. I have the Venus Exposed Palette and it is one of my favorite go to palettes if i want something quick and easy to work with. The colors are nice and it can give me great everyday looks or lean into drama with very little effort.

I know this Immortals Palette wasn’t going to be the same thing. I knew looking at it that this was not going to be an everyday palette. But I liked the color story and to be honest I was awash with a sea of neutrals palettes and this just appealed to me. Then in my stalking phase I saw they had a sale and I purchased it.

This was an interesting palette to work with actually. But because of the color story, it is not a quick and easy palette to work with, at least not for me. Let’s talk about the mattes first. There are four: Unseen, Unveil, Ash and Cameo. While Cameo looks a little beige in the pan, it applies white on the skin. Ash is a very light gray. Both of these lighter mattes blend really well. All of the shadows (matte and shimmer) are a bit powdery on the brush but if you tap off the brush there is no fall out during application.

Ash and Cameo can be blended out for a soft and subtle look. Unseen and Unveil are not subtle. They are very pigmented and even though Unveil swatches as a dark reddish brown on the lid it looks almost black. It just looks like a slightly less deep black than the black of Unseen.

When applied, Unseen can be a little patchy but it does blend well and settles in. There is a slight fading throughout the day, but at the end of a work day I still had eyeshadow on. It didn’t disappear.

Technically there are four shimmers, but the white of marble behaves a little differently so I really want to put that in a different category. I’m just not sure what category to put it into. But we’ll get to that in a minute, first the other three shimmers. They feel soft to the touch and like the mattes, the brush needs to be tapped off to get rid of some of the loose powder.

The Silver of Hail is stunning on the lid and is a stand out. It shimmers like foil when it is on the lid. The darker gold of Echo is actually one of my favorites and paired with the darker colors it is metallic but a bit more subtle than Hail. The darker tones of the old gold really work well with the darker shades.

Moth is more of an everyday work day shimmer. It pairs well with Unveil, but is almost too subtle to be with this palette. It really feels like it should be paired with some softer mattes. The other shadows in this palette are very bold and direct, but Moth is softer and tends to get a bit lost.

And then there is marble. It is the most powdery of the shades, but again tapping off the excess works well. It applies bright whit and glittery, but when you blend it the white fades down a bit and you can actually pull a light sheen of glitter over the lid.

This isn’t the boldest of looks but you can see how Marble was used to tone down the other shades and add a little sparkle over the top of them. The base shadows are Ash overlaid with Unseen at the outer edge and Cameo in the inner corner. then marble was blended over the top.

Over all I really enjoyed using this palette however it is not a quick palette to use. I didn’t pick it up and instinctively go for a certain shadow. I had to actually think about what i wanted and where I wanted the shadows. It is also not a palette I would use as an everyday work palette. The shadows will last on the lid all day, but because I had to think about the application it took a little longer to apply and for me the color story is a bit too bold for the office. It is a palette I will enjoy sitting down with and taking my time to play with. All of the shades are lovely and to be honest I will reach for this Marble shade to put over other eye looks. This Venus Immortals Palette form Lime Crime isn’t one I will pick up when I need to get out of the door in a hurry, however it is one I am happy to have in my collection and one i will look forward to playing with.



A Week of OFRA’s Signature Symphony Palette

L to R: Sublime, Charm, Blissful, Tempo and Godiva

Recently I have been using the OFRA Signature Palette – Symphony. It came in a Boxycharm Premium and retails on OFRA’s Website for $32.There are five pans. There is one shimmer (Sublime), One satin (Tempo), two mattes (Charm and Godiva) and an eyeshadow that is essentially an OFRA Highlighter (Blissful). I love OFRA Highlighters and I think that is smart actually. It works really well as both a stunning shadow and as a highlight.

And to be honest, OFRA’s highlighters are so big it takes forever to actually get through one of them, so I don’t mind having the smaller highlight. These are not the first eyeshadows that I have tried from OFRA. I really love the formula. They are very saturated colors. While the darker shades can scatter powder around the eye, if you tap the brush off before using it is generally not a problem.

The quality of the shadows is there.

The mix of shadows in general works well the Lighter matte (Charm) is almost exactly my skin color when applied so it doesn’t show up well and is okay-ish as a transition. The shimmer (Sublime) is stunning and the brownish shade (Godiva) is pigmented with a reddish tinge to it. It is also a bit more powdery than the other shadows and takes a little bit more time to blend out. It actually works a lot better if you use an eyeshadow Primer.

The highlight/shadow, Blissful, is stunning. There is the cranberry colored satin shade (Tempo) that is the biggest pop of color in the palette. And boy does it pop. As with all of these shadows, one dip in the pan is enough o cover the eye. The problem is that if you use that shade it will dominate. It is very difficult to tread softly with Tempo and using it with any other shadow obliterates the other shadow.

Except for the highlighter, Blissful. It can hold it’s own with the shade Tempo.

For me this makes this a rather limited use palette. I can create a look with the cranberry shade, either with or without the highlighter. I can use the brown with the shimmer or the highlighter or even on it’s own. I have tried varying the looks over the past two weeks, but the truth is they all tend to come out fairly similar.

Which doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I do actually. I just think it is a palette I would pull out for a day of use, not one I would use for a week or so. It certainly isn’t one I would travel with, which is a bit of a shame. It is the perfect size for traveling.

the removable pans from other palettes

While I like this palette, what bothers me is that all of the other OFRA Palettes I have from blush to face, have removable pans. I really like this, especially in these plastic hard case palettes. It means that when a shade runs out I can replace the shade and just put the new one in an exiting palette without wasting the plastic palette. It also means I can customize the palette. If there is a shade that doesn’t work for me I can swap it out.

It is one of the things I especially like about OFRA Palettes, that removability/reusability.

This palette has the hard plastic case but unlike the other palettes, the shadows can’t be removed. They don’t have that little divot to the side that lets you take the pan out of the palette. I know it is from their signature collection which might be why the shadows can’t be removed, but even if they didn’t want them swapped with other shades it would be nice to have the option to replace a shadow once it ran out if I liked it enough to use it to pan.

I find it wasteful especially since their other palettes have this feature. Other than that they are beautiful shadows that stay in place all day. I just could never control the cranberry shade. I like it and it pairs well with the silver of blissful. I will actually probably reach for it a lot in the fall and winter. I just can’t make it play well with others. because of this and the inability to remove pans, I find this OFRA Signature Symphony Palette a nice, but limited use palette.

Eyeshadow Palette Review: Nude Prism by Lunar Beauty

This eyeshadow palette, Nude Prism by Lunar Beauty was an interesting one to review. when I first received this in a Boxycharm I was thrilled. It looks beautiful on the outside and when you open it, the palette looked exactly like the every day kind of shades I liked with the bonus of a row of golden bronze-y shimmers that just called out to me. It looked like the sort of palette that I could get a lot of use out of and I couldn’t wait to try it out.

This is however a tale of two palettes. The Shimmers behaved very differently to the mattes. Normally I would swatch row 1, then 2 then three, but as all of the shimmers are in the middle row I am going to start with a posting of that row’s swatches. I apologize if getting them out of order bothers anyone, but the shimmers are the second row.

Second Row Shimmers swatched left to right

To be honest, I had no problems with the shimmers. They applied well, felt soft, had little fall out and blended beautifully. Laura (3rd from left) and Expose (fifth from left) tended to look nearly identical so that felt a bit like a missed opportunity, but over all I really enjoyed the shimmers. They worked well with absolutely no problems.

The same can not be said about the mattes. (Hence the reason I covered the shimmers first).

top row swatched left to right

The top row of mattes are the lighter shades. I think these are the shades designed to be the everyday nudes while the third row bumps up the pigmentation. And they are lovely every day shades. There is nothing really surprising about them. i have every single one of them in different palettes, but it is nice to see them collected into one. The color selection is nice.

As you might be able to see with the swatches, these shades are a bit powdery. A quick tap before application knocked off the excess powder and it was fine. Because they were lighter shades any excess powder was easy to wipe off and easy to ignore. while they had the same problems as the darker shades, they didn’t seem as big because these were lighter shades.

bottom row swatched left to right

The darker shades also had the powdery-ness to them. And it becomes much more apparent that they are a bit patchy in the swatches. All of the shadows really had that patchiness when applying them. I did find that adding in an eyeshadow primer to the lids helped with the application.

no primer on the left and lid primer applied on the right

While they are different shadows, you can see the eyeshadow primer really did help with the smoothness of the application. There is still a great deal of patchiness from the darker shades but the application was more effective with the lid primer.

This palette has plenty of shades I like and I really do enjoy the shimmers. It is not the easiest palette to work with and some of the shades are deceiving. The deep purple shade looks like a slightly reddish brown in the pan for example. While a makeup artist may find this a fun palette to play with and work with, I am not an expert. I had a difficult time getting a handle on this palette. I used it for a few days, then set it aside so I could watch you tube tutorials on using it because I felt certain I was just not working with it correctly.

The tutorials actually became a bit frustrating in places actually as they seemed to blend the shadows with an ease that simply didn’t translate into reality for me. The shadows were powdery and tended to get a bit muddy when blended. I covered most of the muddy look up with shimmers to be honest. The darker shades also had fall out that made my nose look bruised from purple and black. It was in every sense difficult for me to work with.

If the shadows were unusual shades that i didn’t have or excellent parings, or even if I managed one stunning look out of this palette, I might feel more positive towards it. But I didn’t. I have better versions of these shades elsewhere and even when I came out with something I liked it was harder than it had to be and the look was just okay. While I love the shimmers, I am not a fan of this palette.

BdelliumTools.com

Let’s Talk Natasha Denona

Three Palettes from Natasha Denona: Cranberry on top, Cupid in the middle, Ayana on the bottom

Recently I received two Natasha Denona Mini Eyeshadow Palettes in subscription boxes. One came in Boxy Charm and the other in IPSY. As I have one of the mini palettes I now have a small collection of three. Each of these palettes retails on the Natasha Denona website for $27. They consist of five large pans of shadow in a durable plastic palette.

Quite honestly, I think they are realistically and reasonably priced. These palettes feel like something I would be willing to pay $27 for. I know that is surprising because if you go onto the Natasha Denona website you can find a fifteen pan palette (the Gold Eyeshadow palette) for $129 which is not a reasonable price. In fact most of the brand’s products fall into my personal ‘That’s just too much for what that is’ range. Which is why it surprised me that these palettes were only $27.

Cranberry Palette Swatches

Oddly enough, while there is an entire selection on Mini palettes, indeed the palettes having their own page, only the Cranberry palette is listed. For some reason though it is listed at $48. It is also placed on the regular palettes page rather than the minis page. While I am willing to say these palettes are worth $27 and I would pay that for them, I feel like $48 is a bit over priced for a five pan eyeshadow palette.

But lets talk about the shadows. The mattes are deeply pigmented. One dip into the pan is all you need to create a deep impact on the eye. One thing I learned very quickly is that you need to dip into the pan with one brush, tap off the excess and do one sweep to apply it on the eyelid. Then take a different clean brush to blend it out. Using the same brush you first applied it with will only deepen the entire thing not blend. I also found that if you wanted to blend more matte shades you need to blend out as you go. Apply your first shadow, blend it with a clean brush, then apply your next matte and blend with another clean brush.

Cupid Swatches

Done this way they blend well and don’t become muddied. Because they are so highly pigmented they really don’t layer very well unless you blend between shades.

The shimmers are smooth and buttery soft. They don’t have any chunky bits in them and they apply well with a dry brush and a little brighter with a wet brush. I found myself blending them more with a cotton swab or my finger than I did with a brush as it worked better. The brush didn’t want to move the shimmers around too much once they were applied.

I do tap my shadow rushes before applying them. It is a habit. In doing this one tap I had no fall out. As I prefer to put on my face products before working on my eyeshadow, I like that there is no fall out. In addition the products stayed in place all day with a minimal fading. The deep cranberry shade in the Cranberry palette did stain my lids a little bit so they were pink the next day, but other than that one shade I had no problems.

Ayana Swatches

The Ayana Palette is a good selection of neutrals with a pop of silver for after hours fun. The Cupid Palette makes me thing autumnal wear more than valentines day actually and the Cranberry one feels more celebrational. I think that is because it has three shimmers and two mattes while the other two palettes have three mattes and two shimmers.

I found these palettes to be well selected in their color story and it was easy to pick one up and put together a look. There was enough variation that I could change things up and each of the mattes was pigmented enough that it could be used on it’s own as a one and done look. The palettes are compact and sturdy enough to travel well.

What I find interesting is that because I am not a huge blue and green eyeshadow person, looking at the palettes (both regular and Mini) I would add the Mini Zenon palette and then pretty much had all of the shades I would use. I might feel the need to add a shimmery green for Christmas, but with the fabulous bronze of the Cupid palette i might not. with those four palettes I could get any look I wanted to create.

These Mini palettes are not only a good way to try out the brand, but because they are grouped in color ranges, it is a good way to get the shades you will use. Even if you disregard the price of the larger palettes and just look at the shades included, each palette has a lot of shades that i know I would never touch or at best only try once. With these mini palettes I can honestly say I would use every shade. They are great to use on their own and together they form a collection of just the shades I want. Which means I will use them and not waste a lot of excess product. Sometimes going mini is the best option.

Reviewing the Iconic London Sunset to Sunrise Eyeshadow Palette

I know what you are thinking. Don’t you usually review makeup items on Thursdays? Why yes, yes I do. However two things happened. First of all, I did not wear a perfume this week, so I skipped the perfume review and second, I reached my end with this Iconic London Sunset to Sunrise eyeshadow palette.

The box is covering a full sized mirror

This was a strange one to review actually. I have tried several Iconic products in the past. I love their setting spray and I really enjoy their liquid highlighters. But I had never tried their eyeshadow. And I was very much looking forward to it.

row 1 L to R

When I went on the website I had a hard time finding this exact palette. I found it on several other sites (Amazon and Walmart most notably, so it is still available) but it wasn’t listed on the Iconic London’s Website page for their eyeshadow palettes. I don’t know if this particular palette was discontinued or if it is just temporarily sold out. I know some brands simply remove items from the page when they are currently out of stock and not simply because they were discontinued. I know both Viseart and Ciate London both have the tendency to do this. Since I couldn’t find any information, I’m guessing it was just sold out due to it being in a subscription box.

Second row L to R ( adore the bronze of Summer Glow)

I very much enjoyed the formula of these shadows. The mattes look a little powdery on the brush but if you tap the brush off once before applying then there is no fall out from the application. I personally like this because it means that I can apply my eyeshadow after I put on the rest of my face. I know a lot of folks start with the eyes and then do the rest. I have done this and I don’t mind it, but it is habit for me to apply my face and then do the eyeshadow.

The reason I do this is because I like to think about what eyeshadow palette I want to use while I am applying my other makeup. Sometimes I’ll sit down and start a low makeup look and decide halfway through that today is a glitter shadow day. Sometimes I will reach for a neutral lip but be unable to resist a bright red or deep berry and need to adjust. If I am not testing a palette out, I like to think about what palette or single shadow i want to use before I get to the eyes. It is almost always the last makeup choice I make.

third row L to R

Plus sometimes I’ll run out of time and adjust shadow to what is easiest to use in a hurry.

And this palette was easy to use. The mattes were pigmented and buildable and they blended like a dream. The shimmers were stunning and offered a wide array of looks. The issue was that a lot of the mattes aren’t ones I’d use or that I like. of the 20 shadows, seven are matte. The lighter pink of Summer Lovin’ and white of Aloha worked well on the inner corners of my eyes.

Sunkissed disappeared on my lids, Tan lines mostly disappeared, Tequila sunrise looked really orange with my skin tone and the yellow of Mimosa made me look jaundiced. I am however in love with Afterparty and All Nighter. Those two shades I would use repeatedly. I would then use one of the lighter shades in the inner corner and any of the shimmer shades.

row 4 L to R

The shimmer shades were fantastic and I would use all of them.

The thing is, with only two real matte shades that I enjoyed wearing, I became really bored with this palette really quickly. I would circle back to this palette to use those two shades (and any and all of the shimmer shades) but it is not a palette i am going to dip into to play around with often. I am going to think ‘I want a purple tones look, let me go to the Iconic palette today’ not ‘oh lets play around with this palette this week.

row 5 L to r

If I had Afterparty in a single shadow it would probably be my go to one and done eyeshadow that i would keep on hand and always add to my travel bag.

And this did sort of bother me as well as give me hope. In the end I really liked the Iconic London shadow formula, I just didn’t like the mix of shades in this palette.

blends really well

Which is not, over all a bad thing to know. I had not tried Iconic’s eyeshadow formula before and now I know that I really like it. The mattes, if the brush is tapped off first, don’t have a lot of fall out and blend fantastically well and easily. The shimmers are excellent and apply lighter with a dry brush, stronger with a damp brush or a fingertip and both last all day long. For me this palette is only let down by the shade choice. In the end most of them simply weren’t to my taste. I will however be looking into other Iconic palettes and hoping that I will like other palette configurations better.

Using the Tresluce La Flor De Mexico Eyeshadow Palette

Okay before we get into the palette and its performance, just take a look at that cover. Is it not beautiful? And this palette has one of my favorite additions. The Mirror is held into the palette via magnets. It’s back is the same pattern as the front of the package. I think this is just a fantastic addition to the palette.

the mirror held in with magnets

For one, it gives you a large mirror to use when using the palette, and since sometimes it can be awkward to use the mirror in the palette while applying the shadow, letting you take the mirror out is actually quite helpful. Finally it helps with recycling. The mirror can be pulled out and continually used even after the palette has gone to the recycling bin. And with a cardboard palette it can.

So I am a big fan of the palette design.

I also like the color choice. There are enough neutral tones that it can lend itself to a neutral look and there are enough bright colors to keep it interesting.

But this palette does get interesting in its performance. There are three rows of shadows, each containing six pans for a total of eighteen shades. Ten are mattes and eight are shimmers. Over all I think that is a good variety.

with the mattes I found that they do apply deeper than they swatched. In the swatches all but the bottom row tended to swatch very lightly. While those shades are deeper, the other shadows did apply more pigmented when a brush was used on the lids.

It is a case where the swatch just doesn’t give you an accurate feel for the shadow.

Top row

While the mattes were a bit powdery on the brush, a quick tap before applying meant there was little fall out during the application. Here is the thing, each individual matte worked well. It went onto the lid and blended out beautifully on it’s own. It just didn’t like working with the other mattes. Whether I used an eyelid primer or not, if more than one matte shade was used, it didn’t blend well. It either remained two separate shadows or it became a somewhat muddy mix. Occasionally a darker shade could be layered over a lighter one and the lighter shade was just obliterated.

the mattes just didn’t want to play with each other.

middle row

When adding a shimmer over the matte, I generally found I had to blend out the matte shade to where I wanted it and then add the shimmer on top. I tried blurring the lines between the shimmer and mattes. Some of the shimmers would let you, others wouldn’t. Usually you could still see the line where shimmer stopped and matte started.

bottom row

However the shimmers were absolutely stunning. They applied well and stayed in place all day with little fall out. And the colors were amazing. I absolutely fell in love with the stunning green shimmer of Nopal. And even though it is probably mu favorite because I don’t really have that shimmery green, all of the shimmers were beautiful.

As with the mattes, the upper two rows were lighter and more delicate shimmers while the third row was the deeply pigmented shimmers. Even though there were some blending issues I really enjoyed this palette. It is a palette that I will reach for to use the shimmers and it is also a palette I will use when I want to use one of the mattes as a stand alone one and done look, or perhaps paired with the shimmers. I couldn’t get the mattes to blend all that well, but I like this palette enough to hope that it is my technique that is lacking and keep trying. For now, single mattes and shimmers. But I have my fingers crossed that someday I will find the magical blending technique.

LovelySkin

Testing out The Balm and The Beautiful Episode 1 Eyeshadow Palette

For the past two weeks or so I have been using The Balm and the Beautiful Episode 1 Eyeshadow Palette from The Balm. The Balm is a make up brand I have used for years. Their Bahama Mama Bronzer was my go to for a long time and I like the formulas for their eyeshadow. It is an interesting formula actually. But we’ll get to that in a minute. For me the trick with The Balm is getting the right palette. I have one palette that is all mattes. I have a face palette that includes a few eyeshadows.

For me, this was the right mix of mattes and shimmers and all in a new Clean and Green package. There is no mirror and the packaging can be completely recycled. Inside there are eight shadows, Four are mattes and four are shimmers. Over all it is a neutral palette, but there is quite a bit of interest about it.

(Top row: L to R: Cut, Green Screen, Autograph, Makeup Artist)

The first row has a matte shade on either end and two shimmers in the middle. Even though the rows are mixed I am going to talk about the mattes first and then the shimmers. The two mattes in this row are Cut and Makeup Artist. On my skin Makeup artist matches my skin well enough that it goes away completely. It can be used as a blending shade but not alone. On the other hand Cut is a shade I could easily wear on it’s own. Over all the mattes are well chosen. There is a white and and a much darker brown in the lower row (Chick Flick, and Cliff Hangar)Together the four mattes alone are a good mix of tones for creating several different neutral looks.

Second row L to R: Roll Credits, Red Carpet, Chick flick, Cliff hangar)

When you dip in, the mattes feel a bit powdery but if you tap off your brush before application there is no problem with fall out. While the top row is lighter and the second row darker, all of the shades apply lighter than you would think. They are buildable however. Personally i like this as it gives me more control. I am not a huge fan of high pigment right out of the gate. I really prefer to be able to choose how deep i want my colors. These shades blend really well also. I tended to apply the mattes and then reach for a clean brush to blend. then if I wanted to apply the shimmers I did so after blending the mattes.

In the second for the two shimmers are on the left and the mattes on the right. With the shimmers, they swatched really well. They applied tolerably well with a dry brush, better with a wet brush (sprayed with a little setting spray) and fabulously well with a finger tip. One in place they stayed in place with no glittery cheek dusting. If I tried blending them with the mattes then the shimmer got lost in the mattes. So what I ended up doing was applying the mattes, blending to where I wanted them, applied the shimmer and then with a separate clean brush blended them around the edges. I found this worked best for me. To be honest that was the only ‘difficult’ part of this palette.

I really enjoyed using it and suspect I will reach for it often. It has a good mix of shades in both mattes and shimmers. While it is neutral it is not a boring neutral. It has enough difference between the shades for it to be interesting to use over a longer period of time. It has shades I like wearing as a one and done and each shadow blends well with the others.

I know this is a rarity for me, but I honestly have nothing bad i can say about this palette. I thoroughly enjoyed using it, will enjoy using it again and love that the packaging is fully recyclable. With The balm and the Beautiful, The Balm has a hit.

Eyeshadow Palette Review: The Mirage by Sandbar

I have to say I was thrilled when this Mirage Palette from Sandbar Beauty palette came in a recent IPSY box. It looks like it would be a good neutral palette. It looks like it is a palette that can easily be picked up and used with little thought. I know that it not the most exciting description of a palette, but let’s face it, some mornings, that is what you need.

While I do like sitting down and taking some time with my eyeshadows, playing around with color and trying new things, weekday mornings, I generally go for simple and easy. Having a palette that I can reliably pickup and use quickly before I run out the door is often key to my morning getting ready process.

The image is a little off kilter because I was trying to play with the light so the names were visible in the photo. They are really hard to see in real life.

So let’s see how this palette performed. First the swatches. I started with the upper left (Mahogany Rose) and then worked my way around clockwise.

L to %R: Mahogany Rose, Marron, Shell, Clove, White Gold and Veil)

This was an interesting palette to swatch actually. I used the palette before swatching, not wanting to be influenced by the way things swatched. On the eyes the two brown mattes, Marron (the reddish brown) and Clove were intensely pigmented. They were powdery on the brush but when tapped off and applied to the eye they were highly pigmented with little fall out. You just have to remember to tap the brush first.

It was very easy to go over board with these two. I found I had to do a double brush application. One brush to apply and a second clean brush to blend out and tone down before applying a second shadow. If you don’t tone them down, no other shadow will appear. I found it was very easy to go over board with the shimmers too actually. I applied what I thought was a little with a brush and then blended with my finger and the shimmer took over. Restraint is the byword when applying these shadows.

They blended well together and while there was a little shimmer fall out from White Gold, everything else stayed in place all day. there was a little fading around the end of the day, but by the time I was ready to remove my makeup, it was still in place.

The swatches being so pale was surprising. it actually applies much darker on the lids than in a swatch. The thing is Marron and Clove swatch as very different shadows but on the lid they look virtually identical. While the pink tones of veil were a nice contrast for the inner corner, those are the only mattes. While there is some variety with the shimmers, there was really very little visual interest. All of the looks came out more or less the same.

Which is not a bad thing if you need a neutral look for your work day it is a great little palette to have around. It does get a little boring. With the shades so similar I would not have minded if they changed out one for a pop of color. Or even added on pop of color in the center where the gold sun icon is located.

While I will use this palette, I probably wouldn’t purchase this palette again. I would however look into single shadows and other palettes from the brand. As this is my first use of any product from Sandbar Beauty, for me that is good to know. I like their formula and wouldn’t mind trying out more from them. It is a good little palette that introduced me to the brand and let me know that the shadow formulas are ones I like and that aren’t too difficult to work with. While the palette is not a bad one to have around it isn’t all that thrilling. It is reliably decent though. Just remember it has a high pigmentation on the mattes and it is a good set of office neutrals.

Let’s talk Defiance (by Karmela Cosmetics)

This Eyeshadow palette, Defiance from Karmela Cosmetics came in a recent IPSY bag. I actually chose this item because this sort of palette is in my everyday wheel house. It simply looks like an everyday palette that can be jazzed up a little with the various shimmers. I really like the color selection. Before we get into the performance, let’s take a brief look at the palette.

The exterior palette sleeve is covering up the mirror

It is a longer skinny palette with eight shadows. Five are mattes and three are shimmers. The Palette is cardboard with a mirror across the top. It does lay flat but the mirror won’t fold back. The palette retails for $39. This cost came as a surprise to me. Without trying it, I would say this would be more of a $25 palette. It only has eight pans. I should point out that this is the first item I have ever seen from the brand and the first time I’ve even heard of them Perhaps there is a reason the cost is so high, but before I even try the shadows, it does not feel like a $39 palette.

For $39 it means each pan is worth $4.87. (or there about) Which seems a little high to me. Perhaps it is justified somehow with ingredients or something that I am not seeing, but it isn’t in the packaging. But then I will admit i often find some products are over priced. And then again I will justify what might seem like an over priced item if it performs really well or conforms to a specific ethical and sustainability standard. I simply didn’t see that on the site. As for performance, let’s get into that shall we?

L to R: Intuition, Ethereal, Elevate, Desire, Mystique, Charisma, Empower, Infinity

Okay First the mattes. There is a white (Intuition) which applied fantastically well to the inner corners and I really enjoyed using. There was a soft pink (Desire) which applied in a soft pink on the lids. It was in no way buildable. It was how it applied. Mystique simple matched my skin tone so well that it disappeared. When blended with other shades though it became muddy. As pink with either brown or black are kind of one of the everyday looks i go for I was very excited that a dark brown (Empower) and a black shade (Infinity) were included in the palette. I was less thrilled when I applied them. They were a bit patchy to apply and blending didn’t so much as blend them in as blend them off. Empower especially had the tendency to disappear on me. The one thing I will say about infinity is that it was the one shade that I could actually build up to a deeper pigmentation. However it then swamped any other color applied and obliterated them.

With the Shimmers, you may notice that Ethereal barely showed up in a swatch. Applying all of them with a dry brush was the same thing. All of the shimmers disappeared into the depths of the brush if I tried to apply them that way. They did much better with a wet brush and they applied well with the finger. When I use my finger to apply shimmers though I can get a bit messy. It’s a bit like finger painting in my world.

I have to say this palette almost made me mad. Looking at it, this is almost exactly what I would have put into an everyday palette. I would have added a real bronzy color, because that is just me, but over all this could have been a real go to palette for me. Given the color selection this should have been one of those palettes I kept out on the dressing table so that if I needed to get ready quickly I could grab it and go.

Instead the shadows were finicky and even basic looks took extra time. They took something that should have been easy and simple and somehow made it difficult and time consuming. I think this also might be why the cost bothered me so much as well. $39 for an eight pan palette like this is always going to trouble some deep part of my thrifty soul. A $39 palette that makes getting ready a little more difficult? That really bothers me.

I think my hopes were really high based on the shades in the palette. It looks perfect, but perfect can be deceiving. There were two shades (Intuition and Desire) that gave me no troubles. (and amusingly enough in all of the pictures on the site, they are the ones most heavily used in the photos). But a white and a soft pink aren’t hard to find. I own several versions. And they are parts of palettes that I like better.

This Defiance Palette looked good, but in the end was rather disappointing.


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Trying out the Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde Palette

For the last week and a half I have been trying out the Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde palette. This palette retails on the Huda Beauty Site for $67. Currently it is on sale for $33.50. In general I like Huda Beauty’s eyeshadow formula. I have several of the brand’s palettes and really enjoy using them. Typically I find them highly pigmented and easy to blend. This however was an interesting palette to test.

Before we get into it, I will say that the packaging is really nice. The palette feels nice and heavy. It feels like an expensive palette. When you open it you realize that the mirror it the heavy part and the rest of the palette is kind of light. I don’t mind this because it means that when you open it the palette lays flat and is pretty stable. You can set it on the table and dip a brush into the shadows without the palette moving.

The mirror kind of holds it into place. It is a 20 pan palette. Of these pans nine are matte, one is a glitter and the rest are shimmers. It is not a bad mix as far as matte to shimmer ratios go. There are three rows of seven shadows each and we’ll start with the top row and work our way down. The shadows do have names so I will list them under the photos in case you can’t read them on the palette. (even in person they are hard to read on the palette). A word about the swatches. These shadows swatch far better than they actually apply on the lid.

L to R: Cosmic, Utopia, Ultraviolet, Nebula, Mercury and Haze

In this first row, Cosmic, Ultra Violet and Mercury are the shimmers, Nebula is the palette’s one glitter shade and Utopia and Haze are the mattes. Nebula is very much a glitter shade. It is blue and silver glitter and you will need something to help stick it down if you want it to stay in place more than an hour. An eyeshadow primer will give you more time, but I think it is a shade that needs some glitter glue. I am not a huge fan of glitters and this one isn’t my favorite so after tying it out, I tended to skip it.

With The mattes in this row Utopia tended to blend out into nothing without a lid primer and when it had a lid primer it was a bright peachy shade that didn’t want to blend into anything. Even though I don’t care for blues as a rule Haze worked well for me as a pop of color. Without a lid primer it was a soft blue that gave me Easter egg feels. It blended better than any of the other mattes in the palette actually and I found myself enjoying it.

For the Glitters in this row, Cosmic and ultraviolet worked really well. They were able to highlight the mattes and work well with them. Mercury on the other hand kept trying to take over. With Cosmic and Ultraviolet a brush will give you very little color or shimmer. If you damp down the brush you get more, however I found they work better if you just use your finger to blend them in.

L to R: Off Balance: Galaxy, Libra, Crash Momentum and Supermoon

In the second row, Off Balance, Libra Crash and Momentum are the mattes while Galaxy and Super moon are the shimmers. With the Shimmers, these two blend better with your fingers and worked pretty well. Supermoon has a bit of a dual chrome nature to it. it shifts between white and pink.

And then there are the mattes. Crash was close enough to the color of my skin that it disappeared. Momentum was good for the inner corner of the eye but tended to fade to nothing when blended. Libra looks lavender in the pan and applies more pink toned on the lids. Off balance looks like a soft pink in the pan but applies as more of a mauve. The mattes blended well but it generally gave a muted look until you use a lid primer. The primer brightened the tones as more pigment stuck to the lid, but then they didn’t blend.

L to R: Vortex, Hot Mess, Supernova, Karma, gold Glitch and Frazzled

And then there is the third row. The mattes are Vortex, Hot Mess and Karma. While they are the darkest mattes in the palette, they were also the most disappointing. Hot mess was the best of these three, but it still blended out to a lighter pink and to be honest had less pigment than off balance. Vortex just blended into nothing. It slightly darkened things a bit but otherwise was not much of a shadow.

The two shimmers, Supernova and Gold Glitch are the type of bronze shades I usually am over the moon about. They performed like the other shimmers in the palette. While I have palettes I have kepd simply because I adored the bronze shades, this isn’t one of them. The bronze shimmers were okay, but not the best.

Over all, this palette was a bit disappointing. It is the kind of palette I might reach for in creating a pastel look since i don’t have many shadows in that range. The shimmers were far better than the mattes and the mattes were a bit of a trial. All of the mattes have a pink undertone to them, and while they blended well they were a soft pastel that easily faded by the end of the day. With a lid primer they brightened in their pigmentation but they lost their blendability. In all honesty I am keeping this for the shimmers. I don’t keep a lot of shimmers so these are nice to have. However I will be pairing them with more strongly pigmented mattes from another palette. For me the palette is worth keeping for the shimmers since I don’t have a lot of them, but I don’t think I would pay full price. The discounted price for the sale they have going on now might tempt me to buy it, but I certainly wouldn’t pay the full price for this palette. It is worth $33.50. It is not worth $67.

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