Archive - Palettes

10 Things You Should Know About the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, Urban Decay

urban decay naked smoky

Wearing the new Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette ($54)

10 Things You Should Know About the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

  1. It’s smokier than the time my brother showed up late to a hip-hop dance show smelling like he spent the last 20 minutes hot-boxing in the car. Translation: it’s incredibly freaking smokey! — and you can do a lot of different things with it, like a smokey bronze eye, smokey gray, smokey brownish black, a smokey black panda eye, a smokey plum, a smokey taupe… Lots of smokey possibilities.
  2. It’s completely clothing optional (It’s called Naked Smoky, after all, which reminds me… I spell it “smokey,” but UD spells it “smoky”), although I do recommend wearing clothes if you’re going out wearing this makeup.
  3. On that note, I may or may not be wearing clothes in these pics. Take a guess! :) And then say “CLOTHES: YES” or “CLOTHES: NO” in the comments. LOL!
  4. The name may cause confusion if you discuss it with your Filipino mother.

    MOM: What are you doing?
    ME: Oh, checking out this thing called Naked Smoky.
    MOM: What do you mean you’re naked!? I didn’t raise you to be naked on the Internet!
    ME: No. Mom, no, I’m not naked…
    MOM: And you’re smoking now too? Smoking is bad. Don’t smoke!

  5. If you go to DSW wearing Naked Smoky on your lids, you’ll be the most glamorous person there. (True story! I just got back from looking at shoes… Didn’t buy anything, boo.)
  6. It will not help you make friends with the neighborhood kitties…but it can be used to create smokey eyes like the eyes of your favorite smokey-eyed kitty.
  7. Speaking of cats, if you happen to run into Tabs while wearing the grays and browns in this palette and he rubs his face all over your face (as he’s apt to do when he’s looking for love), you will not be able to see the cat hairs he leaves on you since most of these colors match his fur. Again, true story.
  8. If you get it, you’ll have another brush to add to your “Emergency”/”Just in Case”/”Things I Probably Won’t Use Every Day” pile, because the dual-ended brush that comes with it is meh. I’ll give it props for not being scratchy, but I think the brush heads are too dense and stiff to do any real-deal hard-core smokey blending. They just end up pushing stuff all over the place, so I’d grab a fluffy tapered brush and a domed blending brush instead. Fluffy blending brushes all the way, son!
  9. While playing with it, you may become so wrapped up that you forget to eat lunch. Yes…you guessed it. TRUE. STORY.
  10. It hurts like a mo’ fo’ when it falls on your foot. So try to avoid dropping it on your foot. :)

urban decay naked smoky

Urban Decay Naked Smoky ($54)

urban decay naked smoky

Urban Decay Naked Smoky

urban decay naked smoky

Urban Decay Naked Smoky

urban decay naked smoky

Urban Decay Naked Smoky ($54)

urban decay naked smoky

Wearing 1) Black Market on my lids and buffed slightly into the crease, 2) Whiskey blended into the lower crease, 3) Whiskey mixed with Combust (to create a lighter brown) blended into the upper crease, 4) Armor mixed with Slanted (to create a dark navy gray) and patted on top of Black Market on my lids, 5) Dagger mixed with Black Market and applied to the outer corners, 6) Thirteen applied to my brow bone, 7) High applied to the inner corners and 8) Whiskey and Black Market mixed and applied to my lower lash lines.

The 411 on the Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette

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Dior Summer 2015 Contraste Horizon (556) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette: A Traditional Summer Eye Palette With a Twist

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

dior contraste horizon

Dior Summer 2015 Limited Edition 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 556 Contraste Horizon ($62)

I see torrents of teal, bunches of brown, gobs of gold and a deluge of Dior on the horizon!

The new $62 Dior Summer 2015 Limited Edition 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 556 Contraste Horizon, one of two limited edition powder eyeshadow palettes in the recently released Dior Summer 2015 Tie Dye Collection, is available now online and at Dior counters, where it patiently awaits makeup lovers hoping to take it home. :)

Dior Contraste Horizon contains a shimmery medium warm brown, a shimmery deep teal, a shimmery warm yellow gold, a shimmery mint and an iridescent pale violet, and yes, it’s $62.

YIKES!

Dior is a high-end brand, after all, and with their prices, it seems they aren’t afraid to show it.

dior contraste horizon

Swatches of the Dior 5 Couleurs Summer 2015 Eyeshadow Palette in 556 Contraste Horizon (for skin tone reference, I wear Diorskin Nude Air Serum in 040)

This is what I’d call a traditional summer eye palette…with a twist. If you live for classic summer eye colors, you may freak out over the shimmery gold, brown and teal shades in this palette.

Granted, the whole brown/teal/gold combo idea isn’t exactly revolutionary — I mean, it’s no Ryan Gosling body pillow — but because Dior is freaking Dior, these shadows do everything they’re supposed to do, and they do it well.

Take the teal, brown and gold eyeshadows in this eye look I’m wearing. Seriously, it only took one layer with these to reach maximum color. The highly pigmented powders are downright indulgent, and yay! — no fallout. Plus, an eight-hour wear time.

dior contraste horizon

Wearing the Dior 5 Couleurs Summer 2015 Eyeshadow Palette in 556 Contraste Horizon on my eyes


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MAC Unsung Heroes: Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow in Brownluxe

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Palettes, Unsung Heroes

mac brownluxe palette

MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow in Brownluxe ($40, available now in the MAC permanent collection)

One of the downsides of deep-cleaning one’s office (yes, Operation Get My Sh*t Together is still ongoing) is finding a huge mound of stale cat treats behind a box of eye palettes and realizing, “Holy freaking crap! I’m the woman who had a pile of stale cat treats in her office and has no idea how long they were there!”

It could have been days, weeks or even years, and frankly I’m surprised that Tabs didn’t find them, because I’m sure he would have “removed” them for me.

T-Money insists on being hand fed when it's snack time

Hey girl, haaaay!

Before you click away thinking, “This woman is crazy,” I do have a point, and it is this: one of the upsides of deep-cleaning one’s office is rediscovering long-loved and lost gems like MAC Brownluxe Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow.

If you like wearing eyeshadow but feel like your blending skills are lacking, and/or you’re often in a hurry to get out the door, and/or you can’t bear the thought of buffing out three layers of Soft Brown with your 217, YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE.

“Five complementary shades that glide on and blend beautifully for infinite day-to-night looks: egg shell, frosty orange gold, light yellow chocolate, deep bronze, blackened plum with pearl. Matte to highly pearlized finish.”

maccosmetics.com

MAC Brownluxe

MAC Brownluxe

MAC Brownluxe belongs to the Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow family, a group of powder shadow palettes in the MAC permanent line. It’s one of eight Veluxe Pearlfusion palettes available now for $40 each.

MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadows

A few of the MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadows…

The MAC Veluxe Pearlfusions have a different formula than the regular MAC powder shadows that come in the round pans. Softer and silkier, they feel almost creamy to the touch.

Each Veluxe Pearlfusion palette (Plumluxe, Copperluxe, Peachluxe, etc.) has its own distinct color theme, and within each palette, you get five Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadows hand-selected to work together in that particular theme.

Browluxe, one of my favorites in the Veluxe Pearlfusion fam, has a soft, shimmery eggshell beige; a satiny, medium golden tan; a glittery, orangey gold; a shimmery chocolate; and a shimmery, deep plummy brown — all colors that I could happily wear daily for the rest of my life based on how I’ve been feeling lately, ’cause I’ve been all about #datneutrallife.

mac brownluxe palette

Swatches of MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow in Brownluxe on my NC42 skin

But it’s not just the Brownluxe colors that I like. The Veluxe Pearlfusion formula is also just plain fab. It’s really, really easy to blend. Even if you’re completely new to eyeshadow, I think you could do a look incorporating two or three (or maybe even all five!) of these colors, and have it turn out looking like you know exactly what you’re doing.

I don’t know what kind of cosmetic witchery is at work, but it’s probably related to the creamy formula. Erasing edges between the colors and creating diffused gradients that seamlessly transition from light to dark, which are telltale signs of someone who’s been blending for a while, is easy with these shadows.

Brownluxe is the best if you’re always running late (story of my life). I wore it yesterday to a meeting in the city with some beauty folks, and I only had 20 minutes to do a full face of makeup from start to finish. Brownluxe helped me quickly do a neutral cat eye, which I paired with a bright hot pink lip (MAC Pink Pigeon), and I think it turned out looking like I spent 45 minutes instead of 20.

mac brownluxe palette

Wearing MAC Brownluxe on my eyes


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Does $20 L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1 Give $54 Urban Decay Naked a Run for Its Money?

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Eyes, Loreal, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews

loreal la palette nude 1

Wearing L’Oréal’s $20 La Palette Nude 1

Knowing that L’Oréal owns Urban Decay, I wondered just how closely L’Oréal’s much less expensive $19.99 10-pan La Palette Nude 1 palette of neutral powder shadows would imitate its $54 Naked superstar cousin. Would La Palette’s three mattes be as easy to blend as UD Naked’s matte shadows, and what about pigment, shimmer and fallout? How would they compare? And what would I miss with only 10, instead of 12 shades?

I decided to find out.

The $19.99 L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1 vs. the $54 Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette

Briefly, what’s the idea behind L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1?
Well, it’s basically the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette with 10 neutral powder shadows instead of 12. Seven of them are shimmers — a warm beige, a peach, gold, bronze, chocolate brown, silvery taupe and a cool-toned white — and three are matte browns — a medium taupe-brown, medium tan brown and a dark neutral brown. La Palette Nude 1 is one of two eyeshadow palettes that were added to the L’Oréal permanent line this spring, and it comes with a dual-ended brush with a sponge-tip applicator on one end and a small flat eyeshadow brush on the other. There are also four simple how-to tutorials for four different eye looks on the bottom/back. It’s available now online and at drugstores and Ulta.

loreal la palette nude 1

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1 on my eyes

What makes it interesting?
First, for me, the price. It’s $34 less than Urban Decay Naked.

The 10 shadows work out to $2 each, versus Naked with its 12 shadows, which work out to $4.50 each. So it’s less than half the price.

Yes, I can see your big saucer eyes from across the keyboard, ’cause that’s tempting stuff. :) Seriously, I’m the last person in the world who needs another neutral palette of brown and beige shades, but when I saw La Palette Nude 1 at Ulta last week, I had to go there. I couldn’t stop myself.

What is this compulsion I have to try all of the brown eyeshadows…? It must come from the same place that makes me want all of teh kittehs. The struggle is real, my friend.

loreal la palette nude 1

L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1

So, is La Palette Nude 1 as good as Urban Decay Naked?
In some ways, yes, I think it is. Like Naked, it has a good variety of matte transition shades (which are also highly pigmented! *thumbs up*), and a perfect balance between warm and cool color-temp shades.

The shadows also feel silky and soft like Urban Decay’s, which I guess isn’t a big surprise, considering that L’Oréal owns Urban Decay. Maybe there’s some crossover between the formulas, or maybe not and it just worked out that way. La Palette’s shadows also last seven to eight hours for me.

The original Urban Decay Naked Palette

loreal la palette nude 1

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1

But there a couple of ways in which I think UD Naked trumps L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1…

Nude 1’s mattes, while fabulously pigmented, take longer to blend.
This first time I wore the Nude 1 palette, I used my trusty NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. I layered the shadows on top of it, and I felt like I had to work pretty hard to buff out the edges and transition shades into each other. The overall look turned out a little choppy. Then I tried the mattes on top of a creamier base (MAC’s Paint Pot in Soft Ochre), which I hoped would give the shadows a more slippery surface. It seemed to help a bit, but things were still a tad choppy. It required more passes with my fluffy blending brush to get my gradients worked out than I could count, so if you’re going to invest in this palette and plan to give these mattes a daily workout, I highly recommend also having a cream shadow on hand to use as a base, along with a healthy dose of patience.

Nude 1’s shimmers aren’t all that shiny.
Compared to the shimmery shadows in UD Naked, Nude 1’s pearlescent shadows don’t shimmer as brightly, so I get more of a soft shine than a mirror. The shimmer also doesn’t seem anywhere near as pigmented or refined. In fact, I feel like it looks pretty chunky on my lids. It reminds me of the shimmers in the Maybelline Blushed Nudes palette.

I don’t know if it’s something that companies do on purpose to cater to the drugstore makeup crowd, or if it’s just a consequence of a lower price, but it is still possible to reach the point where Nude 1’s shimmery eyeshadows shine bright like diamonds. You may just have to wet your brush first and do a lot of layering.

It’ll take some effort, not gonna lie.
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Eye Shadow x 9: MAC Amber Times Nine Eye Shadow Palette

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Palettes

Gah!

Why?

Why, makeup gods, WHY?!

I don’t understand… The Eye Shadow x 9: MAC Amber Times Nine eyeshadow palette, one of four $40 MAC Times Nine palettes available now in the permanent collection and released with the Eyes on MAC collection, is soooooo my style. On paper, it has everything I usually want in a neutral eyeshadow palette. It has some matte brown transition shades; it has a sprinkling of sparkle and shimmer, thanks to the inclusion of a few shadows with Frost and Lustre finishes; and it has not one, but two of my favorite MAC eyeshadows of all time in Cork and Ricepaper.

Plus…IT HAS A SHADE CALLED KITTIES!

All this for $40, which I considered a steal based on all of the looks I saw myself doing with it.

Then I delved in…

Mac Amber Times Nine Palette

Eye Shadow x 9: MAC Amber Times Nine. Top row from the left: Don’t Tell, Ricepaper and Cozy Grey; middle row from the left: Aromatic, Creative Copper and Kitties; bottom row from the left: Pepper Please, Cork and Georgia Peach

Wearing the Mac Amber Times Nine Palette

Here I’m wearing Ricepaper, Don’t Tell, Cork, Aromatic and Pepper Please on my lids

When the four $40 MAC Eye Shadow x 9: Times Nine palettes launched a while back, it was with the more expensive $85 MAC Cool Neutral and Warm Neutral 15-pan palettes.

In addition to Amber Times Nine, there’s also a Purple Times Nine palette, Navy Times Nine and a Burgundy Times Nine, but yesterday I played with Amber.

The pans in these Times Nine palettes are smaller than regular full-size MAC eyeshadow pans (they’re about the size of my thumb, LOL!) and hold 0.02 ounces of powder, compared to 0.05 ounces in a standard $10 Pro Palette refill pan.

Eye Shadow x 9: MAC Amber Times Nine gave me trouble…

This was my first time using one of MAC’s Times Nines, and while I was hoping to achieve neutral shadow nirvana with Amber, I didn’t. Seriously, what a letdown… I had so much trouble working with this palette.

The hard-packed shadows feel like concrete in their pans, and I have a tough time picking them up with either a brush or my fingers. Even the darker shades, which I expected to be more pigmented, apply disappointingly sheer. I have to layer and layer and layer some more to see them on my lids.

And the colors I know so well and love, like Cork and Ricepaper, are unlike the Cork and Ricepaper I’ve grown to love. I swear they’re sheerer here, and harder, and require more passes with my 217 to blend.

Mac Amber Times Nine Palette

Swatches from the left (for reference, I’m an NC42): MAC Cozy Grey, Kitties, Georgia Peach, Ricepaper and Creative Copper


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