Product Reviews

Benefit Holiday 2015 | First Impressions

Published in: Benefit, Kits and Sets, Makeup, Product Reviews, Video

benefit holiday 2015

Four of the six Best of Benefit holiday kits for holiday 2015

Why do I suddenly feel the urge to wear neon and listen to Wham!?

Oh, maybe it’s this: the Benefit holiday 2015 collection and its candy-colored, ’80s theme.

My goodness, girlfriend. It just occurred to me that, depending on your age, you may not have heard of Wham! — which is a thought that makes me want to take a long walk off a short pier (dramatic much?).

Seriously, though, they’re one of the quintessential ’80s party bands.

benefit holiday 2015 party poppers

The Benefit Holiday 2015 Party Poppers ($45) Best of Benefit kit, coming to all Benefit counters and stores

benefit holiday 2015 your bright to party party hoppin

The Benefit Holiday 2015 Your B.right! to Party Best of Benefit kit ($49, coming to all Benefit counters and stores) and Party Hoppin’ kit ($39, exclusive to Ulta)

Speaking of parties, this year’s Benefit holiday 2015 collection Best of Benefit kits sure look like they’re having a blast (look at those bright colors!). I’m getting distinct notes of out-of-control New Year’s Eve parties that can’t stop, and won’t stop, until well after dawn.

benefit holiday 2015 party poppers 2

Benefit Holiday 2015 Party Poppers ($45) Best of Benefit kit, coming to all Benefit counters and stores

(read more…)

The New Refillable NARS PRO Palettes

Published in: NARS, Product Reviews, Video

nars pro palettes

The small ($14) and large ($18) NARS PRO Palettes

Whatever you do, if you are prone to procrastination, or if you have a deadline you can’t move or somewhere you have to be at a specific time, under absolutely NO circumstances are you to start playing with the NARS Pro Palette builder tool on

I repeat, DON’T EVEN GO THERE! — because if you do, you will fall down a rabbit hole of endlessly arranging and rearranging your dream palette of eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers and powders, and before you know it, two hours will have passed, and your cat will be giving you the death stare because you haven’t taken him out for his walk yet.

Sure is fun though! :)

Earlier this month NARS did something very cool. They introduced two NARS branded empty palettes (a large one and a small one) that are fillable with whatever your makeup-loving heart desires.

Now, the idea of the empty palettes isn’t new. Other ones exist, like the Z palette, which you can get at Ulta for $20 (versus $14 and $18 for these two), but these have the NARS logo, and they’re also joined by a new line of NARS refill pans.

nars pro palettes in hand

The small and large NARS PRO Palettes in my paw…

nars large pro palette

The large NARS PRO Palette with an iPhone 6 Plus for scale

(read more…)

MAC Guo Pei Collection: Fall 2015

Published in: Collections, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

mac guo pei collection

Years from now, in the distant future, when historical beauty buffs/artistic archeologists look back on MAC’s 2015 limited edition releases, the award for Best Dressed Collection could easily go to MAC Guo Pei.

This one is a beauty! — and the packaging is also unusual for MAC. The compacts, lipsticks, brushes and glosses are all wearing fabric accents with floral flourishes (there’s even a cute little lady bug on the print) and have details like real stitching on the fabric sides.

mac guo pei night sky

MAC Guo Pei Eye Shadow X 4 in Night Sky

mac guo pei morning light

MAC Guo Pei Eye Shadow X 4 in Morning Light

mac guo pei zenith ethreal orchid brave red

MAC Guo Pei Lipsticks in Zenith, Ethereal Orchid and Brave Red

Unfortunately, the designer treatment also results in one of the more expensive MAC collections around. The two eyeshadow quads are — brace yourself for it — $70 each (!).

Yes, that’s crazypants.

Thankfully, the shadows are up to par for MAC. Unlike the shadows in some of MAC’s other limited edition quads and palettes, which for me are sometimes hit or miss (some feel harder than usual and aren’t as pigmented as their permanent collection counterparts), these are of comparable quality to the shadows in the permanent line.

Thank goodness for that.

All of the shadows in the two quads swatch beautifully, and I haven’t had any problems with blending, skipping, fallout or patchy/uneven application.
(read more…)


Tarte Fall 2015 Energy Noir

Published in: Collections, Eyes, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, Tarte, Video

tarte energy noir palette

Tarte Energy Noir Clay Palette ($38)

“Energy Noir” = “Energy Night” or “Night Energy.” That’s the name of Tarte’s fall 2015 collection, which has been out for a while now. Thank you, high school French. Or, rather, merci beaucoup, high school French.

Geez…I could have sworn that “noir” meant “night.” Well, someone clearly wasn’t paying attention during vocab in high school French class… Guess who that someone was. :)

Energy Noir! You may have strolled by Tarte’s fall 2015 Energy Noir collection recently at Sephora. If it aroused your curiosity, but you’re wondering if it’s worth your time, here’s a closer look at three of the 12 pieces, including the $38 Energy Noir Clay Palette (thumbs up!). I’d even go so far as to call this eyeshadow and cheek palette one of my fall faves.

tarte fall 2015 park ave princess

Tarte Park Ave Princes Contour Palette Vol II ($38)

tarte fall 2015 lash primer

Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer ($22)

It’s kind of funny that I’m wearing something in this video review called Energy Noir, because when I filmed it — this was a couple weeks ago at the height of Baby Girl’s first trimester antics — I had absolutely NO energy at all, and as for energy at night? Forget about it. My mom called me one night at 7:15, and I was like, “I gotta go to bed now!”

Haha! It’s so true though.

tarte fall 2015
(read more…)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette

Published in: Face, Hourglass, Makeup, Product Reviews, Video

hourglass ambient lighting edit palette

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80)

Geez, it’s September already!? Wow, we better get a move on. It’s time for another bad-@ss holiday palette from Hourglass.

Yup, Hourglass has released a new holiday palette in each of the past couple of years, and they’re doing it again. The new one arrives next month — well, technically, there are a whole bunch of complicated release date machinations, but I’ll get into that in the video.

The latest palette is also Strunk & White-approved!

Har-dee-har-har, kidding. :) Sort of. It’s called Edit. It’s the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette, and it’s the biggest one so far (it’s also $80, which isn’t a bad deal at all considering the quality and price level of Hourglass products). It has six pans, one of which is a brand new shade called Iridescent Strobe Light.

hourglass ambient lighting edit palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette ($80)

Three of the six pans are Hourglass’s awesome Ambient Lighting Powders (including the one brand new shade). The other three pans house two blushes and a bronzer.

All but one of the colors are re-promotes, so if you’ve been hoarding (LOL!) Hourglass for a while — hey, nobody can blame you — you probably already have them in your collection.

hourglass ambient lighting edit palette

A closeup of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette pans…

The Ambients are gorgeous, though, particularly if you like that “glowy” look, and I mean, who doesn’t?
(read more…)

Page 2 of 489