Diamond in the Rough or Hidden Gem? The New Smashbox on the Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Luxe Palette Is Both!

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, Smashbox

Smashbox On the Rocks

Wearing the new Smashbox On the Rocks palette ($42)

Basically, if a beauty burglar raided a fortified diamond emporium that also stocked jewel-toned eyeshadows and then crammed her beauty booty into a single palette, that palette might look like the new 28-pan Smashbox On the Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Luxe.

Clearly designed to entice with endless eyeshadow possibilities and pics of holographic cushion- and emerald-cut bling, this limited edition palette is filled with a nice selection of surprisingly complex jewel-toned shades that are almost as dazzling as a diamond-encrusted tiara.

Smashbox On the Rocks

Smashbox On the Rocks

Smashbox On the Rocks

Smashbox On the Rocks

Smashbox On the Rocks

Smashbox has fun with finishes here, going from matte to sheen to shimmer to high-shine frost to glitter, then even adding undercurrents of pearl to some of the shades.

There’s a lot going on here, but Smashbox manages to keep it all together. It took more than a quick glance at the pans for me to grasp the complexity of these shadows. I had to get them on my skin to really see their potential and capabilities. What we have here is a sophisticated crop of colors .

Smashbox- the Rocks swatches

Thankfully (yay!), Smashbox included a few transitional neutral matte beige and brown shades to ground the jewels and make them more wearable, and this may or may not have made me twirl around with my arms out like Julie Andrews in the opening scenes of Sound of Music.
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The Latest From Nudestix for Holiday 2014: Makeup Pens and Pencils for Casual Convenience

Published in: Makeup, NUDESTIX

Nudestix Lip Pen in Bare Matte

Wearing the new Nudestix Lip Pen in Bare Matte ($24) and the #GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit ($49), available now at Sephora

Eaack! What was that?! Did you see it? I thought I saw something behind me…

Oh, well. Never mind. I guess it’s gone. :)

I was just about to tell you how much I like Nudestix, an upstart makeup line out of Toronto. I like how all of their stuff seems, I dunno, kind of unstructured and casual.

A quick swipe here, a little pat there and some blending with a fingertip, and voila! You’re done. But you still look like you put in some effort.

With these pieces on your lids and lips, no one will mistake you for something that just fell off a vegetable truck and rolled to the side of the road (an issue that plagues me often).

It’s makeup to wear while you’re lounging next to a fireplace, sipping hot cocoa in a button-up flannel, leggings and a cozy scarf, perhaps also with some fuzzy Yeti slipper-boots, which your cat will hate with a passion (of course). In other words, it’s casual makeup.

Nudestix Gilty Love Holiday Kit

#GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit, $49

For their first holiday collection ever, they’ve released a limited edition $49 set of three Magnetic Eye Colors called #GILTYLOVE. (Did you just say “hashtag” out loud? Because I totally did.)

The artwork on the tin, which houses three full-size creamy pencil eyeshadows in shimmery taupe Twilight, peachy gold Gilt and matte black Night, is by Canadian artist Jessica Gorlicky.

Nudestix Gilty Love Holiday Kit

From the left: Magnetic Eye Colors in Gilt, Twilight and Night

Gilt, Twilight and Night

I like to use these pencils as accents. Like here, for depth and nuance, I’ve applied Twilight (the taupe) on my lower lash lines, Night on my water lines and Gilt on my brow bones and in the inner corners. (Side note: I’m wearing Giorgio Armani Orient Excess palette on my lids, and that’s LORAC Front of the Line Pro Line Liquid Eyeliner in Navy on my lash lines.)

Nudestix Gilty Love Holiday Kit

Wearing Nudestix Lip Pen in Bare on my lips, Magnetic Eye Color in Night on my lower water line, Magnetic Eye Color in Twilight on my lower lash line and Gilt on my brow bone and the inner corner

The $49 tin (a $72 value) is available now exclusively at Sephora stores and online.
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Sailors With Brown, Green and Hazel Eyes May Want to Enlist in This Navy: LORAC Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliner in Navy

Published in: Eyes, LORAC, Makeup, Product Reviews

LORAC Front of the Line Pro Navy

Meow, cat eyeliner! Wearing the new LORAC Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliner in Navy, $23

If LORAC had a Navy (they do), and it was recruiting (they are), I’d tell the ladies in charge that this sailor is going to need a steady supply of Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliner if you want her to sign up.

Because I am not about to get stuck at sea without the proper tools to do cat eyes.


I’d also add that I absolutely, positively don’t do boats.

Sorry. Just one of my stipulations. :)

Ulgh, all the bobbing up and down… Makes me a little nauseous, which is kind of funny, seeing as how I come from Navy stock (my dad was in the service), and I love the ocean.


New LORAC Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliner in dark blue Navy ($23) is the latest shade in the brand’s fabulous line of liquid liners.

I’ve been a fan of the original black version for years. I like it because it’s relatively inexpensive, I can get really crisp lines with it, and the long, flexible tip makes it easy to draw those little flicks at the ends of my cat eyeliner.

LORAC Front of the Line Pro Navy swatch

A dark bluish black (no green in it), Navy has a gorgeous satiny finish that loves lash lines, and it’s strong as iron! It easily lasts all day.

I think it really does a lot for brown, green and hazel eyes (and other eye colors too).

The tube I’ve been using, though, might be a little wonky, and I’m actually hoping it’s a manufacturing error. For reasons unknown, this particular pen is nowhere near as easy to wield as the other Front of the Lines I’ve used, and I’ve gone through three or four of them over the past few years.

LORAC Front of the Line Pro Navy
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Next Stop: Kitties! The New Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette Clutch Is Almost Purr-Fect

Published in: Giorgio Armani, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews

Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette Clutch

Wearing the new Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette Clutch, $100

Tickets, please! Please have your tickets ready. Now boarding for the Giorgio Armani Orient Excess!

Good afternoon! My name is Karen, and I’ll be your conductor today.

This is a holiday train. Before we leave Novato station, all tray tables and seat backs must be in the upright position. Fasten your safety belt, and please keep your new Orient Excess Palette Clutch ($100) in sight at all times.

A two-piece holiday set, the $100 limited edition Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette Clutch includes a lush, velvet clutch and a two-tiered palette with an illuminating powder and three powder eyeshadows.

Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette Clutch

The set includes the blue clutch and two-tiered blue compact palette…

Be advised that pickpockets are known to target passengers on the train, and thefts have been on the rise ever since this two-piece set arrived on Giorgio Armani counters (it’s also available online).

Management believes that a local criminal syndicate of crazy cat ladies is responsible. The CCLs have been targeting the set’s blue compact for two reasons.

First, the thieves are unable to resist the sumptuous design on the illuminating face powder; second, the three powder eyeshadow colors remind them of kitties.

The three eyeshadows on the shadow tier of the round palette are classic Armani. No fallout whatsoever, and they’re smoother than a tomcat lothario.

CCLs report that the shades look kind of like cat fur colors. The dark brown on the far left reminds them of a Havana Brown, the middle shade a Russian Blue, and the golden taupe on the far left evokes a Siamese.

According to one CCL, “The shimmery finish doesn’t emphasize the fine lines on my lids, either.”

Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette Clutch

When asked about the compact’s illuminating powder, the CCL replied, “It’s not my favorite. It’s very sheer, and I can barely see any sheen or shine on my skin. I dig subtle finishes, but this one’s a little too quiet…”

She did, however, like the clutch. “Totally cute!” she said. “But it’s small and doesn’t fit a lot. Just a compact, a lipstick and maybe your ID. You can forget about your phone though.”

Speaking as a part-time CCL who only moonlights as a conductor, the blueish gray shadow in the center totally reminds me of a Russian Blue in my neighborhood.

I may or may not have exclaimed, “Ooh, kitties!” the first time I put these shadows on my lids.
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When You’re Suddenly Struck by an Urge for Pink Hair, There’s Redken Color Rebel Temporary Hair Makeup in Punked Up Pink

Published in: Hair, Product Reviews, Redken

Redken Color Rebel Punked Up Pink

Good morning!

This morning, shortly after my second cup of coffee but before I put on any makeup, this happened.

Yes, I’m rocking pajamas, and I have not yet filled in my brows (wassup, Raul?!), but I so overtaken by the pink power of Redken’s Color Rebel Hair Makeup in Punked Up Pink ($25) that I couldn’t wait to take pics.

Redken Color Rebel Punked Up Pink

With a low mess factor, it’s a super-easy-to-use temporary hair color. I did this in about 20 minutes.

This color, Punked Up Pink, leans a little more magenta than pink on my dark chocolate brown hair.

The thick, water-resistant formula starts out like a lotion but dries to a fine powder, which, I’m learning right now, lasts through blow drying and styling with a round brush. It’s also supposed to stand up to flat ironing, curling and other kinds of styling, but I haven’t tried those yet.

Twisting the applicator dispenses the product, which comes out through a sponge at the top.

You apply from the sponge directly to dry hair, comb it through, and either wait for it to air dry, or use a blow dryer to speed things along. Apply additional layers for more color intensity.

Redken Color Rebel Punked Up Pink

Redken says that after it sets, the color can last up to two shampoos, depending on how porous your hair is and how much of the product you use.

A couple things though…

  • Use gloves. The product doesn’t come with a pair, but I wish it did. I thought I’d be able use it and just walk away without pink fingers if I washed my hands between layers (I did two or three for each section of hair), but even with washing and trying to be careful, I have a couple of bright pink freckles on my fingers.
  • Wait until you’re done applying the color before you style your hair. The lotion-y formula starts wet, so any heat styling done before using it will go bye-bye.
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