For one day only Nordstrom is having their Mascara Event where you can buy two mascaras and get the third one free. If you add any three mascaras to your cart they will deduct the cost of the lowest priced option at checkout, no promo code required. Some exclusions apply: excludes lash primers, serums, enhancers and mascara sets. I’ve done many mascara round ups before but thought I’d do another of my current top high-end mascara picks. (On the nails in the top photo is Smith and Cult Forever Fades Fast.)
Sisley So Intense Fortifying Mascara ($67) favorite for defining and holding the curl, the tiny wand is one of the few that will actually get to the base of the lashes without touching the skin and also works on lower lashes for me
Stila Huge Lash Mascara (mini shown because I’ve run out of the full size, regular size runs at $23) one of the more affordable higher end mascaras that really does make the lashes look huge without clumping
Since I need long-wear or waterproof formulas I find the biggest challenge is removing them at the end of the day. Most bi-phase makeup removers will work but for me it takes quite a bit of soaking and removing with lots of repeat steps required. I’ve gone through a wide range of formulas and had a lot of favorites in the past but I feel like mascara formulas have been developed to be even more long lasting so many no longer work well.
I’m doing this week’s giveaway in this post. One person will be selected to win a selection of Travel Goodies shown in the widget below including the Away Mini Travel Case in Pink, mini of Glossier You, mini Chanel Gabrielle, mini Chanel Le Volume Mascara, Glossier Mascara Full Size, Glossier Lip Gloss Full Size, Sephora Favorites On the Fly Set, mini Ouai Wave Spray, mini Oribe Gold Lust packet duo. Simply enter through the widget below and follow the instructions. Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older. Winner will be selected within 72 hours after giveaway ends. Prizes ship within a week. Not sponsored or affiliated.
Marc Jacobs Beauty has launched a new Coconut Fantasy Collection this year to continue the coconut theme. There are three new items and one repromote, everything is selling out quickly. A few restocks have occurred online at Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty but if you have your eye on anything and see it, I recommend grabbing it fast. The Coconut Bronzer was hard to find last year as it went quickly, this year it also seemed to go fast. I’m hoping it will restock as it’s such a great bronzer (last year’s review here). Today I have a review of the three new items that launched. You can find these at Marc Jacobs Beauty, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Net-A-Porter.
Above: Fantasy vs Dew You? Sunglasses from Nordstrom
My favorite item is the Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter in Fantasy and the good thing is that this is the one item that is still relatively easy to find. Fantasy is a rose gold shimmer, it looks bronzey in the frosted bottle but once I blend on my skin I see more rose tones. If you missed last year’s champagne gold shimmer in Dew You? you can still find it available. Formula remains the same – shimmer finish with a gel texture that is easy to build, dries down to semi-matte finish but retains the shimmer. The dry down makes this highlighter last a long time on the skin, once it sets it is pretty much budge-proof. It has the most wonderful coconut scent. 100% worth the purchase.
Next is the Finish-Line Perfecting Coconut Setting Powder which also has an amazing coconut scent. This is a setting powder that sets foundation or tinted moisturizer to matte finish. It has a mesh interior to help dispense just the right amount of product to the brush. I found this to give a very matte finish, but in a soft and natural way. It’s translucent and even on my tan skin has no white cast. If you have super dry skin or prefer matte finish foundations you may want to give your face a quick mist with something like MAC Prep+Prime Fix+ first. I found that this over a very matte finish foundation made my face look too matte. It did work on all my other bases that have a soft finish or slightly dewy finish. It does last a long time keeping the makeup on my face from morning to late afternoon. If you’re a coconut fan I’d recommend layering the MAC Prep and Prime Fix+ Scented in Coconut for extra coconut goodness 🙂
Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette
Last but not least is the Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Fantascene (sold out most places, but still available at Marc Jacobs Beauty). The shadows in this palette have a super soft pigmented texture. There is a mix of mattes, sparkles and shimmers which layer together beautifully. For me they apply well with or without a base. The colors overall are very warm with a soft cream matte, soft warn grey matte, soft rose matte, shimmering pink, sparkly copper, matte plum brown and coral satin. I love shades like these in the pan, on my complexion the overall feel is a little too warm for my coloring. I find Scandalust more wearable for me. Still Fantascene is a gorgeous palette, just one I’ll need to cool-down with a bit of mixing with other neutrals.
Overall perfect for summer! I think the Fantasy Dew Drops is a must, it has a pretty soft shimmering rose gold gleam that isn’t overly frosty. I think the Setting Powder is going to be perfect for hot summer days when you need a long-lasting matte powder that won’t caked. The palette isn’t for me color-wise but I can make it work with some blending. If you’re like me and can’t wear warm shades easily, I’d recommend you opt for Marc Jacobs Scandalust, NARSissist Wanted or NARSissist Loaded instead.
Charlotte Tilbury has a new Beauty Filter Collection with her Bigger Brighter Eyes launch. In this collection she has two new limited-edition eyeshadow palettes called Exaggereyes and Transformeyes ($53 each for 5.2 g/0.18 oz) and a new mascara called Legendary Lashes Volume 2 in Black Vinyl ($32 for 8 ml/0.27 fl oz). The items launched early online at Charlotte Tilbury but are now available at Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman. I ordered everything sight unseen and when I opened the boxes my heart sank a little. Even though I’m a neutral shadow lover, the colors looked very boring and fairly basic to me, but I’m happy to report that upon swatching and testing – the palettes turned out to be a lot prettier on the eyes than I had anticipated!
The two eyeshadow quads are part of her Beauty Filters collection because the palettes have been designed to create the illusion of wider and brighter looking eyes. I was skeptical that the shades could be that good but they do just that. At first glance the colors look really dupeable. I think they can be, but the undertone, texture and pigment have the perfect amount of neutral + warmth to naturally enhance the eyes. It’s rare that a quad has all colors covered for me – I usually need to add at least one shade to warm up the look or add depth. These do everything I need for an eye look with the exception of liner + mascara.
Exaggereyes is the more neutral rose gold option. It swatched a lot warmer than I thought it would based on what I saw in the pan. It’s warm but not too warm. Colors include a pale warm champagne, shimmering tan rose, sheer sparkling silver mauve and warm tan rose brown.
Transformeyes has a warm gold shimmer, warm copper, matte warm red brown and matte deep brown. I thought this would be way too warm for my complexion but it’s a lot more wearable than it looks in the pan.
Overall lots of love. Lasting power is excellent, pigment is smooth and easy to build, colors are perfect for everyday wear. They’re also versatile enough to wear with any lip/cheek combination! You may want to shop your stash if you already own a lot of neutrals. The colors are similar to other brands out there. Still I find them excellent just as they are. No tweaking required for me. I rarely do backups anymore, but both of these are so perfect for me I just ordered backups.
You can find the collection available now online at Charlotte Tilbury, Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman. Everything is limited-edition. There is also supposed to be a Part 2 of her Beauty Filters Collection focused on lips and cheeks coming out later in the spring. Will keep you posted as I find out more!
Are these on your radar? What’s your current go-to neutral everyday eyeshadow palette?
Happy Friday! Quick roundup today of three warm-toned eyeshadow palettes that some of you have been curious about. I’m more of a neutral lover when it comes to shadows although I do love warm bronze and golds and soft peachy shades too. The warm eyeshadow trend has been super popular for a few years now and I’ve learned to embrace it. There was a day I though I’d never wear an orange or warm brown shadow but I’ve found with some layering they can make some really nice eye looks.
A quick look at them all in direct sunlight where you can see the shimmer a bit better:
Up first is the Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Palette in Scandalust. I’ve had this one for a while since the new palettes launched. My go-to is still the neutral option Glambition (review and swatched here) for a perfect everyday kind of look. Scandalust is a lot warmer but still very wearable for me. I like to mix the shades from both palettes sometimes. Scandalust has ultra smooth rich pigment that feels like velvet. Pigment is really good and easy to layer.
Shades include from left to right:
Hot Pants is a soft shimmery cream
At the Office is a medium mauve-nude matte
Cause a Fuss is my kind of shimmering peach with champagne shimmer
That’s Why is a matte brown
They Call Her is a shimmering copper orange
Little Miss is a matte plum brown
Scandalous is a wine pink red matte
Next is the Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat. I’ve always thought that the Urban Decay matte shadows in their Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics Palettes have been among the best. The Naked Petite Heat also has excellent texture and pigment although some of the shades aren’t quite as pigmented as the other two. The color payoff is still really really good with smooth application. Alone it’s a bit too warm for me but I like to mix in a little from Naked Basics to neutral things out a little. The soft mattes are perfect layering and blending shades for days where you feel your eye color might be too neutral or cool. The warmth adds depth and life to the look.
Inhale pale ivory shimmer
Vibrate light-medium beige
Hot Spell soft warm brown
Wild Thing matte orange
Heist matte warm brown
Strike deep cocoa matte
Finally the Natasha Denona Mini Sunset Palette which is probably he cutest eyeshadow palette I have ever seen! It’s miniature size with tiny pans. This one has excellent color payoff on all the shades. It has a mix of mattes and shimmers with no glitters (yay!). It is very warm and alone too warm for me to wear. I do like it for layering with other palettes though. To some I know this may be too complicated but I find for the most part I’m layering shadows anyways so I don’t mind pulling from a couple palettes.
Colors from left to right:
175CM Guava is a matte soft brown
176M Apollo is a metallic deep red
177 CM Dirty Mars is a matte warm brown
178M Sun Beam is a metallic warm gold
179M Halo is a sparkling ivory champagne shimmer
Overall thoughts are that the quality, pigment, color payoff, blendability and lasting power on these palettes are all excellent. That being said, Scandalust is the only one I can wear on it’s own. The other two I need to layer with others but for me the Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat is just what I need to warm up an eye look.
This two-part series has been months in the works. I initially drafted one roundup of my most-used brow products then all of a sudden more came on my radar and I decided to split this into two parts. I’m not an expert when it comes to brows, I actually often neglect them. The process of applying pencil or powder had been so intimidating to me for years! After reading through several comments and numerous reader e-mails I’ve been thrilled to find many of you are just like me. One of things I love most about this blog is finding other beauty lovers who get me, you too want a groomed but natural looking brow.
The three biggest challenges I’ve had with brow products include: my brow shape, finding a good color and also finding a formula that isn’t too dramatic. At first glance it looks like I have black hair but also woven in is a natural red and brown undertone. Traditional black or deep browns often either look to harsh or too red. Also my brow shape is just odd. The hairs aren’t really evenly distributed and the lengths are different. My husband has amazing brows and lashes, it kills me that he doesn’t even care about them and I wish I had ones like he did, lol!
Part 1 covers brow gels. If you’re a brow novice or just want something to groom the brows a little, a tinted brow gel is the best way to start. Clear brow gels are great too, my favorite has been the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel. But sometimes with powder and foundation application – the brows can get a little washed out if your brush goes over them. These days there so many amazing brow gel formulas that have fibers blended in to help fill them in more than just tinting.
First three include ones from By Terry, Tom Ford and Dior. I use different variations of taupe and brown. Sometimes taupe shades can look like in the tube but they will dry down to a darker finish. This gives a more natural looking brow compared to a deeper shade.
Thoughts on these three, also some places you can purchase for reference:
By Terry Eyebrow Mascara in Dark Brown ($38, available at Barneys, Beautylish, Nordstrom and Space NK) – this is actually the first By Terry product I tried. I wandered up to the counter at Barneys and was instantly drawn to their shadow sticks but when I discovered the price almost fainted. The girl asked if I had tried anything from the line before, I said no. She said her favorite thing in the entire line was the Eyebrow Mascara. A quick demo had me impressed and so I bought it. I’ve loved it ever since. Out of all the brow gels I’ve tried this is the easiest to wear and also one of the most natural ones.
Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel in Espresso ($49, I buy mine from Nordstrom) is in my top picks. I reviewed this a while ago here. It has easily become a regular staple for me especially when I travel. I’ve repurchased it twice. It adds volume, defines and Espresso is the perfect shade for me. It’s darker but not too dark.
Diorshow Bold Brow Mascara ($27, available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sephora) is one I had high hopes for since I really love the Diorshow Brow Styler pencil. The shades in this lineup are very limited. This one works nicely to groom and tint the brows while filling them in. I will use it to the end but most likely will not repurchase.
Next is the Glossier Boy Brow ($16). It comes in clear and three tinted shades Blond, Brown and Black. This has been such a popular brow product and I find Brown is the shade for me. It has the tiniest end to really get a detailed application. I think this one is good but it’s not my favorite. It grooms and thickens nicely and lasts all day, but it doesn’t hold my stubborn brows in place and the brush is so tiny I often get product on my face. I do think it’s decently priced to justify trying. It is a really good product, it’s great that it’s compact and goof-proof. I use it often, I just have others I prefer.
My love for Sisley continues. I tried their Phyto-Sourcils Fix Thickening and Setting Brow Gel ($52) in Miami during the store opening. My husband watched as the artist applied it and said, “WOW you have brows now. You definitely need to get that.” These also have very tiny brushes which takes a bit of a learning curve to apply. The product is loaded with tiny nylon fibers though so they fill in the sparse areas. Use tiny strokes to fill in the brow. The colors are limited to two options and surprisingly #2 darkens enough to work well for my hair color. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see how it looks applied. Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Beautylish, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sisley.
Hourglass Cosmetics launched their Arch Brow Collection with pencils and a Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel ($28). It comes in six shades shown below. My matches are either Warm Brunette or Soft Brunette. Dark Brunette matches my hair exactly but for me it’s a little too bold and dramatic. Having a bit of brown softens the look more. There is also a Clear Version. This formula is in my top picks for brow gels. The brush is styled in a way that has both short and long bristles so you can control application. I like the longer side and apply in a sweeping motion. There are micro fibers to fill in brows and the formula is strong enough to hold them in place.
Last but not least is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel ($22, available at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Nordstrom, Anastasia Beverly Hills). These are so unique to me because of the wide range of shades and also due to the fact that these have shimmer in them. It doesn’t show up like shimmer on the brows but you do get more dimension. My best shade is Espresso. Chocolate is the one that dries the darkest. It appears also they have since changed the brushes to be more along the lines of the style Hourglass has. Two of mine have the newer brush while the rest have the traditional one shown below. I actually like the older style better, but both work well.
The best thing about Anastasia’s line is her color range. She probably has the widest range out of all the beauty brands. At Ulta in stores there is usually a chart somewhere to help you find the best color match. You can see it online here. I found it immensely helpful as when you’re looking at dozens of brown pencils, they all kinda look the same!
My bare brows and then three shown below including:
That rounds up the best natural Tinted Brow products I’ve tried and found! My top four include: By Terry (easiest to use), Tom Ford (best all around for volume, definition and filling in), Hourglass (for the brush and color range) and Sisley-Paris (best fibers). Part 2 to follow next week with my favorite pencils, powders and tools. I hope this helps give you an idea of what to look at if you’re in the market for a new brow gel. In terms of lasting power, all of them last all day on me and hold brows in place (with the exception of the Glossier).
P.S. A lot of you have asked about the Charlotte Tilbury Brow Gel. I did a review a long time ago on The Supermodel Brow Lift Kit here. Her products are amazing and I’m a huge fan. I used mine up and was happy with it. Over the years I’ve found I like different combinations a lot better, and my brows prefer the Tom Ford and other brands.
If you have any favorites let me know in the comments! Would love to hear about what you use 🙂
Up first is a look at the Private Shadows which are individual shades of eye shadow. These come in the cutest mirrored compact with a snap lock closure versus the magnetic style the Eye Color Quads. There are five different finishes:
Ultra Suede – intensely pigmented matte shades formulated without pearl
Suede – matte shades formulated with subtle touches of pearl
Sateen – high shine shades with a pearl luster finish
Vinyl – pearlized shades with a metallic chrome finish
Paillette – pearlized shades with a sequin glitter finish
I’ve tested all formulas and find they are rich and smooth in pigment. I personally find the finish between the Suede, Sateen and Vinyl to be similar in the colors I tested. They have a smooth pearl quality that feels extremely soft to the touch. They glide on the lids flawlessly. The Paillette shades are glittery, but true to Tom Ford glitters in the sense that I don’t experience fall out once they are on the lids and they are semi-sheer in the base with more pigment in the glitter flecks. I received 7 shades as press samples and purchased 5. Out of all 12 shades there are only 2 I’m not crazy about. Vertigo is a fairly basic grey-taupe (too basic for the price) and Videotape was fairly stiff and hard in texture (color payoff wasn’t as good as the other shades).
I’ve split the shades by color family rather than formula:
A closer look at each row with descriptions:
Top Row, left to right:
Hush (suede) is a soft champagne neutral with a sheen
Breathless (paillette) is a sparkling glitter pale silver
Vertigo (ultrasuede) is a matte soft grey
Burnt Suede (suede) is a soft taupe shimmer
Middle Row, left to right:
Exposure (sateen) goes on lighter than what I see in the pan, it’s a light pink shimmer
Loveshade (suede) is a beautiful soft medium salmon pink shimmer
Body Double (vinyl) is my favorite, I live for shades like this! It’s the perfect all over lid color in a neutral shimmer beige
Warm Leatherette (vinyl) is another favorite, it’s a warm shimmering amber gold
Bottom Row, left to right:
Fire Sign (paillette) is a warm copper sparkle
Smoked Opaline (sateen) is a soft olive shimmer
Tempte Bleu (paillette) is a glittery blue, it’s surprisingly wearable and the only blue shadow I’ve tried that I feel like I could wear
Videotape (suede) is a deep maroon
Next are three new mascaras in Spike Lash, Shutter Lash and Fullscreen Lash and an Eye Gloss. I tried all three mascaras to see how they held up throughout several days. I could not bring myself to test the Eye Gloss on my eyes for more than five minutes. I swiped and swatched it on my hand, dabbed it on my eyes and immediately removed it. This is one product I don’t think I could ever bring myself to wear on the eyes. It has a smooth non-tacky texture but did not feel comfortable on my lids.
For the mascaras, my favorite is still the classic Waterproof Extreme. The new ones aren’t completely smudge-proof because my lashes simply don’t hold the curl well. My thoughts on each one:
Spike Lash is my favorite of the three for the most volume and least smudging. It has an almost wet look to it when you apply so make sure you give it a few seconds to dry before you blink. This has a rubbery looking applicator with tiny spikes. This gives volume in a dramatic way.
Shutter Lash has more dense applicator with bristles and it’s slightly flattened. This gets all the lashes from the base and gives a full coat to everything without clumping. Unfortunately this smudged on me.
Fullscreen Lash has a swirled applicator. It’s great at separating the lashes and lengthening. I didn’t have any smudges on this one.
My favorite is still the Waterproof Extreme in Florida heat it’s one of the few that won’t budge or smudge. All three new ones held the curl pretty well. Spike Lash did the best for intense looking lashes and Fullscreen Lash did the best in lengthening for me.
In summary I think the new eyeshadow singles are really good and worth the splurge. The quality, texture and pigment is excellent. I swatched some of the other matte shades in store and they’re quite smooth and soft. I was tempted to buy some but felt more compelled to go with the shades I felt had some shimmer because they looked more unique. I do wish they had made these like MAC Pro Palettes where you can make your own quad or palette because I find them more convenient than singles. I’m a huge fan of the Tom Ford Eye Color Quads (in particular Nude Dip, Honeymoon and Disco Dust) and almost always bring one with me when I travel because they’re so versatile. Still these don’t take up a lot of space and they’re compact enough to bring several along with you.
I’m really not sure what to do with the Eye Gloss as it’s just not my thing. If you wear eye gloss let me know how and when you wear it!
Mascaras are nice but I would have preferred to have waterproof options. I have lashes that usually don’t hold the curl with a lash curler unless the mascara is waterproof. Waterproof Extreme does everything I need in a mascara. That being said I really like the different applicators in the new formulas.
This year Le Metier de Beaute launched their third anniversary kaleidoscope in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. I featured their first one called the Stephanie Kaleidoscope a couple years ago here in 2015 but it occurred to me that I never reviewed last year’s Faces of Beauty from 2016 so I’ve included it in this year’s review. This year they have a new one called Flash Phenomenon Face & Body Kaleidoscope for 2017 which is just stunning for a beautiful glow – but I’ve used this one the eyes and it’s stunning. I have a third one to feature new this year as well, it’s one you won’t find online as it was created exclusively for Neiman Marcus Tampa Bay called Awareness. I spotted it while I was out shopping and it was love at first sight.
For those not familiar with Le Metier de Beaute kaleidoscopes, they are unique swivel and stacked compacts that typically contain 4 round pans of shadows or cream product. The top has a flip up mirror which is convenient for touch ups. They are often limited-edition and pretty pricey at $95 each but the quality, pigment and texture of their powder shadows are among the best. I used to review and collect almost every one that was released, but after a while I saw so many repeat shades I found I had a lot of duplicates. You can still find a number of palettes online, I usually shop the brand at Neiman Marcus. The powder shadows and blushes in these kits have exceptionally smooth textures with rich color. They are easy to layer with each other and blend nicely.
A quick look at all three and swatches side by side:
Up first is the Faces of Beauty Kaleidoscope from 2016 which has four eyeshadows in a pink seashell shimmer, a medium bronze, a deeper olive taupe shimmer and a matte black with silver glitter flecks. This has excellent pigment for the three shimmer shades but the matte black is prone to some extra powdery-ness and fall out. I find it best to apply the black shade with a damp detail brush and pat onto the eye as a liner and the powder fall out issue is solved. Lasting power is excellent with these with or without any primers.
Next is this year’s Flash Phenomenon Face and Body Kaleidoscope which is actually like my dream eyeshadow palette come true. It has four stunning shimmers for a perfect glow on the eyes. I actually haven’t tried it on the face as the colors are pretty intense but I love them layered on the eyes. I do find I need at least 2 more shades for more definition to complete an eye look, but it’s still beautiful and a must in my book. Colors are an ivory shimmer, peachy shimmer, soft copper pink shimmer and a bronze shimmer.
Last but not least is the Neiman Marcus Tampa Bay exclusive which is called Awareness. Those who have used Le Metier de Beaute know they often do counter and store exclusives which can be hard to track down and find as they’re usually not advertised online. I almost didn’t find it but noticed one in the display case that looked different and asked about it. I’m glad I did because I found out they had a store exclusive. The colors pull warmer on the skin than they look in the pan and texture is a bit stiffer/harder than most of the shadows I’ve tried from the brand. Quality is still on point and pigment is good, just texture is noticeably different. If you want to purchase this one you can call the counter and they will ship it to you. Colors in here include a shimmering silvery mauve, a slightly chalky matte mauve nude, a shimmering bronze and a shimmering plum.
Two eye looks, one with the Flash Phenomenon kit, one with the Tampa Bay exclusive. These are taken with a flash and lose up so they look extra shimmery in the photos. In real life the glow is a lot more natural.
Bottom line stunning. You can wear these with a dampened brush or dry. I find they adhere well to the lids even without a primer and lasting power is excellent. Of course finding a palette with shades you like 100% can be tricky – with most palettes there is usually at least one color I am luke-warm about. I love all the shades in each of these. I think Flash Phenomenon is my favorite of the bunch. I love last year’s Faces of Beauty but the matte black is a bit more challenging to work with. That being said I find most matte black shadows are hard to work with. The Awareness Neiman Marcus Tampa Bay exclusive kit is beautiful and I like that purchasing it helps a good cause. I do find the shadows a bit stiffer in texture although performance and pigment on the eyes is still very very good. For a more affordable option I do feel that Urban Decay Naked3 Palette can give you a similar effect.
You can find these Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscopes online and at select stores at Neiman Marcus. They are all listed as limited-edition.