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Eye Makeup Highlighters Holiday Gift Guide Tom Ford Beauty

Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes and Lip Foil Picks – Holiday 2016

November 12, 2016
Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 - The Beauty Look Book

The Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil collection has been on my radar for weeks now and I finally caved and splurged on the Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes in Warm and Cool ($155 each for 0.45 oz / 12.8 g) and four of the Lip Foils ($53 each for 0.1 oz / 3 g). I’m getting this post up quickly for those who are Sephora VIBs in case you want swatches to help you decide on purchasing decisions for the sale so I haven’t been able to do extensive testing. This is going to be more of a first impressions post but having used Tom Ford beauty products for years I can pretty much tell how they will perform right away. Everything is cased in the white and gold packaging with a glowy shimmery feel for holiday. 

Up first are the Lip Foils which are ultra shimmery lipsticks. They have ultra fine mica to give them a reflective look and feel making them almost like foil. If you don’t like frost I’d recommend you try to see if you can swatch before buying sight unseen as these are pricey. I find adding a clear gloss or balm on top helps soften the foiled look (I do it with a lot of MAC Frost Lipsticks). I swatched these at the counter and wanted all six of the colors but limited myself to four.

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 - The Beauty Look Book

Private Life is stunning warm gold foil, Spanish Flame is a peachy metallic, Venus Rising is a cool pink frost, Seadragon is the most stunning metallic plum I’ve ever seen. Pigment is excellent and smooth with easy to build color. Texture is smooth but since these are very metallic they look frosty on the lips. They have a comforting smooth feel on the lips and while they aren’t hydrating they don’t dry out the lips. My heart belongs to Venus Rising and Seadragon but as I know shimmer might not be your thing these won’t be everyone.

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 Lip Foils - The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 - The Beauty Look Book

All four shown on my bare lips, for foundation I’m wearing the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation in Bisque reviewed and swatched in this post here.

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 Lip Foils - The Beauty Look Book

Two sets of comparisons, note that the Lips and Boys I have were from previous years so some of the shades you might not be available anymore.

Set 1:
Dior Diorific Matte Lipstick in Golden (review here)
Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Rory (from 2014, review here)
Tom Ford Lip Foil in Private Life
Tom Ford Lip Color in Guilty Pleasure (review here)
Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer in Skinnydip (review here)
Tom Ford Lip Color in Spanish Pink
Tom Ford Lip Color Matte in First Time (review here)

Set 2:
Tom Ford Lip Color Shine in Quiver (on lips here)
Tom Ford Lip Foil Venus Rising
Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Ansel, Jake, Jude, Drake, Daniel (from 2015, on lips here)
MAC Frost Lipstick in Plum Dandy
MAC Frost Lipstick in “O”

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 - The Beauty Look Book

Up next are the Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes which I completely love – 100%! It’s hard to pick a favorite as both are very good. The texture of the blush and highlighters are silky smooth and buttery soft. The blushes have a lovely natural looking glow on the complexion while I find the highlighters to be more shimmery. The pigment is soft but impressive. Eyeshadows have a mix of shimmer and glitters and are also incredibly soft and well pigmented. They apply on the lids effortlessly for a lovely glow. Both are on the glowy shimmery side.

Both are cased in white and gold rectangular compacts that have an almost clutch-like look to them. They are well made even though they are plastic and have a magnetic closure – for some reason I really like the way the compacts close.

The Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette in Cool has a cool pink blush, cool light pink highlighter, glitter light pink, glitter light lilac, shimmery violet grey, deep plum shimmer. If I were forced to pick just one I would pick this one which surprised me as I usually prefer warmer tones.

Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palette Cool - The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palette Cool - The Beauty Look Book

The Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette in Warm is simply stunning. It only has 1 glitter eyeshadow color. Shades in this are a yellow gold, warm tan gold glitter, soft sandy champagne tan, satiny brown and a soft champagne highlighter.

Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palette Warm - The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palette Warm - The Beauty Look Book

Palettes next to each other so you can see the undertone difference:
Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palettes - The Beauty Look Book

As many of you might be wondering how the shadows in these holiday palettes might compare to existing Tom Ford Eye Color Quads I pulled three to compare including Orchid Haze, Seductive Rose and Nude Dip.

Tom Ford Orchid Haze, Soleil Eye/Cheek Cool, Seductive Rose, Soleil Warm, Nude Dip

All of these made a significant dent in my wallet but I’m thrilled with everything. If I had to narrow down my picks I would skip two of the lip foils in Private Life and Spanish Flame simply because I have similar shimmery colors in my current stash.

I think both palettes are must haves but I am a die hard Tom Ford Beauty fan and love all things glowy that come in pretty packages. These fulfill all of my makeup dreams in terms of palettes and while I do think they should be priced at lower price points, given the price tag of their quads I think it does make sense. I think my readers are split in how they feel about shimmer. I do think everything in this collection is more on the shimmery and glowy side, but I really love the palettes and the lip foils can be toned down easily with clear gloss.

There are a few more items in the Winter Soleil Collection including 2 more Lip Foils in Creme Conque (gorgeous light pink) and Aperture (stunning bronze), Soleil Blanc Dry Oil Spray, Face Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 50 and a Soleil Brush Kit. All are very spendy and as I already have the Soleil Blanc perfume I decided to stick with it (although I haven’t tried the spray, I forgot to check at the counter).

The Winter Soleil collection is limited-edition. You can find all items at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Net-A-Porter, Sephora, Selfridges and other Tom Ford Beauty locations. If you’re a Sephora VIB don’t forget you can save 20% off your orders with code 20VIB through 11/14.

These have been out for a few weeks now, did you check out anything yet?

Eye Makeup NARS

NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Picks: Give In Take, Indes Galantes, Impudique and Isadora

November 7, 2016
NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Picks: Give In Take, Indes Galantes, Impudique and Isadora

NARS partnered with French fashion photographer Sarah Moon to create his holiday 2016 collection. There are a lot of beautiful limited-edition palettes and sets. I bought four of the items:

Up first are the Sarah Moon Collection items. There are individual colors for eyes, lips and cheeks. The lips are all in the Matte Lipstick Formula so I passed. Indes Galantes Eyeshadow Duo is a shimmering gunmetal and matte cranberry plum shade. Together they make for an interesting smoky eye but I can’t wear them alone. I need an additional color like a light neutral such as NARS Himalia or any of the lighter neutral duos to help blend and create a full eye look. Pigment and texture wise both shades are excellent.

For the Sarah Moon Blushes I bought them as an impulse buy at the counter. I have an extensive blush stash and probably did not need either of these but I was really impressed with the lovely soft rose almost mauve tone of Isadora. It’s rare for me to find pink mauve blushes with that kind of sheen/shimmer. It has some warmth in the shimmers so it doesn’t pull muddy on my complexion. Impudique is a brighter warm raspberry shimmer which I tried at the counter and fell in love with as well. Both are smooth and have a natural sheen and are not overly shimmery. Pigment is rich but easy to blend and apply on the skin.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Picks

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Picks

The Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette is a Sephora exclusive. It has six Dual-Intensity Shadows and three Dual-Intensity Cheek products. All the colors are exclusive to the palette and are different from the existing full size color options. This is a beautiful soft and smoky kind of palette but it turned out to be completely different from what I expected. I ordered this sight unseen online (as of last week I still haven’t seen it at my Sephora stores). I expected full pigment rich colors and shimmers as I experience with most of the dual-intensity products. The colors in this palette are a lot softer with a more muted finish that isn’t really intense as the product name implies. The blushes are extremely sheer – I can build them for a soft natural glow but on my medium olive skin it’s very very soft.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take
I had to swatch with a very heavy hand to get the colors to show up on my arm. I hope this shows how you can build and layer the colors. These were applied with a dry brush, to get more intense color apply with a dense damp brush.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take swatches

For the eyes you have a soft grey ivory shimmer, a dove grey satin, a gunmetal shimmer, white opal, soft grey taupe satin, warm black satin.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take

For the cheeks you have a shimmery ivory, a super soft peach and a soft baby pink shimmer.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take

Here’s a look with the Dual Intensity Eyeshadows used from the top row, Indes Galantes Duo, all three  Dual-Intensity palette blushes swirled and applied on cheeks. Lips are Louboutin Altareva (reviewed here). Foundation is NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland and concealer is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Macadamia.

Shop the look below:


One last look:
The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016
Overall some lovely items for holiday that are nice but not must-haves. If I were to narrow down my pick to 1 item it would most likely be just the Isadora Blush. All the colors are made extremely well with high quality and with good color payoff. The palette is a very good one – it was just different from what I expected. If you like soft looking glowy makeup and find most shimmers too shimmery you will absolutely love this one. I like the looks it can create – I just expected something more intense and dramatic for holiday.

You can find the Sarah Moon collection items now at all NARS counters. The items are limited-editino. Online at NARS Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Don’t forget today 11/7 is the last day for Sephora VIB Rouge Members to receive 20% off purchases with code 20ROUGE at checkout.

If you hauled anything let me know in the comments!
Eye Makeup Marc Jacobs Beauty

Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette

November 1, 2016
The Beauty Look Book - Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette

Marc Jacobs Beauty launched their About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette ($99 for 20 x 0.03 oz/ 0.85 g) earlier this past fall. I ordered mine back in August and this review has been on my to-do list for ages. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out I recommend you do and that you put it on your wishlist or Sephora shopping list because it is amazing. It’s a huge palette that contains 20 eyeshadows, all with amazing textures, smooth finish, rich easy to layer pigment, no fall out even when you apply on the eyes, long lasting power and basically endless combinations. I was really blown away by the quality and colors. There is only 1 shade I’m not crazy about which is the yellow gold shimmer, but the rest of the colors are top notch and ones I can actually wear.

The Beauty Look Book - Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette

I ordered sight unseen and had no idea how large it would be even though Marc Jacobs Beauty launched a Style Eye Con No 20 last year. When I ordered it I also had no idea that it was $99. I’m usually pretty good at assessing prices when I shop, but it was one of those busy weeks. I added to my cart and purchased. I didn’t realize until it arrived and I looked at my receipt and my jaw dropped. There’s no question it is an expensive purchase but it’s 100% worth every penny (even that one yellow color I didn’t think I’d wear). A quick size comparison and look at how large the palette is:

The Beauty Look Book - Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette

The Style Eye Con No. 7 in The Lolita reviewed here
The #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Duo reviewed here

A closer look at the palette and swatches. Each of the shades have names but they aren’t labeled on the palette so I’ve split it into the top half and bottom half. The shimmers are absolutely stunning and buttery soft. There are a few mattes with sparkle flecks – they perform really well with no fall out. The mattes are among the best mattes I’ve tried. Often times super pigmented mattes can either be chalky unless you apply with a detail brush. These mattes apply well with a loose fluffy brush or dense brush equally well and it’s a huge plus that I experienced no fall out.

Top half has:
Matte ivory
Satin warm tan brown
Matte cream
Matte baby pink
Shimmering ivory
Shimmering yellow gold
Shimmering peachy tan
White cool snow shimmer
Shimmering tan taupe
Matte pink mauve with sparkle flecks

The Beauty Look Book - Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette

The Beauty Look Book - Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette

Bottom half has:
Shimmering warm gold
Matte brown with gold flecks
Shimmery violet purple
Matte grey
Shimmering purple
Deep matte eggplant
Satiny cool brown
Satiny gunmetal black grey
Deep cool black with silver flecks
Matte brown with plum red tones

The Beauty Look Book - Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette

The Beauty Look Book - Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette

If you need something simpler and with a lower price point, I’d recommend either the Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye Con No. 7 in Social Butterfly or either of the Dior 5 Couleurs Splendor Eyeshadow Palettes for holiday. Both can give you a similar effect depending on your color preferences and are just as good in quality.

The Beauty Look Book - Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette

Bottom line is I don’t know how else to describe this except as “amazing.” As soon as I realized what the price point was, I thought to myself there was no way I could love it at that price. I was wrong. Every single color has an A+ texture, finish and pigment. However as always I’d only recommend you buy an eyeshadow palette if you think you’ll use most of the colors. My take is that it’s a great buy and well worth the splurge. If I could only have one new eyeshadow palette for the holiday this would be it. It’s one I think I could travel with and have everything I need for the eyes in a single palette – base, highlight, color, blending colors and liner shades.

If you’re a Sephora VIB Rouge Member, the 20% off sale starts online and in stores on Thursday the 4th. By now you should have received a card in the mail with a coupon that you can use. Online the code will be 20ROUGE from 11/4 to 11/7 so if you’ve reached that tier I recommend waiting for the sale if you have this on your list. 

Have you checked out this palette yet? If not do you have any other Marc Jacobs Beauty eyeshadow palettes that you liked? I’ve reviewed several which I’ll link below.

A few others from Marc Jacobs:

You can find the Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Style Eye Con No 20 Eyeshadow Palette exclusively at Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty. It is limited-edition.
Base Makeup Eye Makeup

Natasha Denona Star Palette, Eye Light Highlighting Concealer, Eye Shadow Base and Mascarade Mascara Launches

October 28, 2016
Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona’s Star Palette ($169) launches today at Sephora and Beautylish and it’s a stunning beauty with 18 eyeshadows. The shadows are cased in a magnetic flat palette similar to the Eyeshadow 28 Palette (Green Brown reviewed and swatched here). The overall color theme of the Star Palette is warm, bold and glitzy. She’s launched some other basics for eyes over the past few months and today I have a roundup to share with you today.

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

In today’s review includes:

Up first is the Star Palette which is just breathtaking at first glance. I’ll say up front it probably will most likely not be for everyone just
based on the color options, especially if you’re on the conservative
side for makeup. I rarely ever wear glitter shadow (except for ones by
Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury) as it’s not something I feel comfortable
wearing. I also don’t wear reds or wine colors on my eyes. Still this palette has a mix of colors and textures that is mesmerizing. In general I really like Natasha Denona’s mattes and shimmers – they are really great in quality, smooth in texture and have the prettiest finishes. Her glitters come in a mix of really fine shimmer/glitter and then chunky. Out of all the colors in this palette I would say there are 2 glitters I won’t wear and 2 of the reds that I don’t think I would wear on my eyes.

The left side of the palette has:

  • Spectrum is an antique gold sparkle with tiny micro glitters
  • Earth is a dark chocolate matte brown
  • Bellatrix is a metallic peachy champagne
  • Flesh is a matte warm peach flesh
  • Orion is a duo-chrome blue brown shimmer
  • Gemma is a soft satiny brown plum gold
  • Atria is a sparkling copper orangey shade with tiny micro sparkles
  • Titania is a matte warm brown
  • Cosmo is a sparkling brassy gold

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

For the right side of the palette:

  • Diadem is a matte dusty grey-mauve
  • Vega is a matte pink peach rose
  • Galaxia is a sparkling glitter icy white with a chunky finish
  • Phoenix is a bright red satin shimmer
  • Supernova is a silver taupe shimmer
  • Electra is a red magenta satin
  • Polaris is a glitzy pale gold
  • Atik is a matte brown sand color
  • Rhea is a gorgeous peach red copper with shimmer

Natasha Denona Star Palette - The Beauty Look Book

Natasha Denona Star Palette Swatches

The colors are all very soft in texture. The glitters and crystal shimmer colors are a bit chunky and prone to have more fallout when you apply so it’s best to use with a damp brush or over a super creamy base in a patting motion rather than brushing. Quality-wise her shadows are excellent. When it comes to palettes if there are 2-3 shades I don’t think I will use I try to restrain myself from purchasing so in this case if I had applied my rule I would have probably skipped it (this was kindly gifted by Natasha).

Next are here Eye Light Highlighting Concealer and Eye Shadow Base. I’ll say up front I give both a thumbs up.

Natasha Denona Eye Light and Eye Shadow Base

Natasha Denona Eye Light and Eye Shadow Base

For the Eye Light there are four shades, my best match is Shade #2. These come in a twist up click pen applicator with a brush. #1 for some reason was a dud for me as there was a lot of separation that happened inside the tube and the product came out very watery. The other three shades had no issues. These have what Natasha calls “spherical powders” inside which means they don’t need to be set with powder after application. I always set concealer and foundation with powder, but the formula really is one that sets well and doesn’t need power. Swatch comparisons for reference to NARS Radiant Creamy Concealers, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Concealer (review here) and MAC Pro Long Wear Concealer in NC35.
I use these under the eye and they cover my moderately dark circles really well and brighten the area. It goes on smooth, there’s no creasing and they blend to a flawless finish. Many look dry under my eyes (the NARS, MAC and MUFE are among the few I can wear) and the Natasha Denona one joins the club of Beauty Look Book approved undereye concealers. It doesn’t darken which is a huge plus for me in terms of color matching.

Natasha Denona Eye Light Concealer, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, MUFE Ultra HD, MAC Prolongwear Concealer

Next are the eye bases which are creamy and dry to a soft smooth finish. I feel as though I’m one of the few who does not have oily lids – I usually need a base with some kind of emollient texture and to date the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base has been my favorite. Others like ones from NARS, Urban Decay, Too Faced, etc. dry out my lids and make my skin look wrinkled.

The Natasha Denona Eye Shadow Base is perfect for evening out the lids and has a creamy feel to help powder shadows adhere better, not just with her brand but also other powder shadows. I find it tied in terms of quality and finish with the Edward Bess one.

Natasha Denona Eye Shadow Base vs Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Shadow Base

Last but not least are the Eye Lash Curler and Blackest Black Mascara. I found both to be just ok, but not great. For some reason the Eye Lash Curler just would not curl my lashes, although the shape and size worked well for my eye shape. No pinching and my fingers fit inside the loops just fine. I just found the curling pad didn’t help create a curl like the MAC Eye Lash Curler or Chanel Eye Lash Curler (my two favorites).

The Mascara has an odd shape brush, almost pear-shaped and I had a difficult time getting my lashes coated with the brush. It did add depth and dimension. There was no smudging which many readers know is rare for me with most mascaras. I just need lots of volume and this was lacking in that department for me. For reference two that work for me right now are the Stila Huge Lash and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara.

Natasha Denona Star Palette, Eye Lights, Eye Shadow Base

I think the Star Palette has some amazing colors but palettes can be hard to love if you don’t love all the colors. There are only 4 out of the 18 I don’t see myself wearing on a regular basis and perhaps I’ll experiment more with the glitzy ones in the upcoming weeks. The Eye Light Concealer and Eye Base are both excellent – I hope the swatches help if you’re ordering sight unseen.

You can find select Natasha Denona products now at Sephora and Beautylish. Do note that the Sephora Rouge 20% off sale starts soon and will run from 11/4 to 11/7 so if you have this on your wishlist you may want to wait until the sale to buy this.

Many thanks to Natasha for sending a lovely package of items for me to try out.

Edward Bess Eye Makeup

Edward Bess Earth Tones Natural Eyeshadow Palette, Perfect Line Every Time, Big Wow Full Brow Pomade and Wish Granted Mascara

October 27, 2016
Edward Bess Earth Tones + New Eye Launches

Edward Bess has launched quite a few new things including some classic additions in eye makeup along with three new perfumes. Today I’m reviewing the eye makeup – all true to Edward Bess style where makeup is classic to enhance your features in a natural way but make them look better. I got a sneak preview back in September at Neiman Marcus while visiting his counter. He swatched his new Perfect Line Every Time Liner on the back of his hand and once it sets it does not budge. If you are able to visit any of his counters while he’s in store (all locations listed here) I highly recommend you do – you will be in for a treat.

In today’s review lineup:

All eye products are available at Net-A-Porter. The liner and mascara are also available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Eyeshadow, liner and mascara are available at QVC (some prices vary with sets).
Edward Bess Earth Tones Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills
Up first is my favorite item the Earth Tones Naturally Enhancing Eyeshadow Palette. It has five natural shades that are very natural but not invisible. The colors look like they run neutral-cool in the palette but on my skin they have a mix of neutral, cool and warm. Colors have the most beautiful finely milled kind of shimmer and texture is buttery soft for smooth natural application. If you like bold full pigment kinds of shades you may find this too natural. But for the person who wants a very natural look for the eyes and a palette that is easy to wear for everyday this one is a great one.
Edward Bess Earth Tones Eyeshadow Palette

Colors are a pale cool white shimmer, satiny light pink mauve, medium warm plum shimmer, shimmering grey taupe mauve, deeper cool-toned purple. Swatched below:

Quick eye look with all colors on the eyes:

Edward Bess Earth Tones swatched

I couldn’t find anything quite like the colors in this palette from what I own. I pulled the Dior Eye Reviver Palette reviewed here which has a similar effect in the natural finish but runs cooler and has a sheerer finish with some of the shades.

Edward Bess Earth Tones vs Dior Eye Reviver Palette
Edward Bess Earth Tones
Next are the Perfect Line Every Time Liner in Deep Deep Black and Wish Granted Magic in a Bottle Mascara in Onyx. The Perfect Line liner is a deep true black with a twist up style applicator and smudge brush at the end. It does indeed last a very long time (all day on me) with out smudging or budging once you apply and let it set. It glides on easily without any tugging and gives a rich deep black color. It does set quickly so if you need to smudge or blend with an applicator I recommend you do so quickly.
The Wish Granted Mascara is a true black mascara. It’s described as a long lasting clump free mascara to add volume. I am extremely picky with mascara as I have straight lashes that require curling. Most mascaras smudge, don’t hold the curl, or flake. This one from Edward Bess did not smudge and there was no clumping so on those points it’s a winner. For me I have a serious need for volume and this one can be built in two layers for volume but I found it didn’t give me as much drama as some other formulas. 
Edward Bess Perfect Line Every Time and Wish Granted Mascara

Perfect Line in action at Edward’s counter:

Edward Bess Perfect Line Every Time

Last but not least are three brow products called Big Wow Full Brow Pomade . It comes in three colors, Light Taupe, Medium Taupe and Rich. I can use either Medium Taupe or Rich for my coloring and it’s really really good. It is an easy to blend natural looking brow product. It has a whipped formula that is lightweight and has the ability to coat hairs or fill in sparse areas. As one who finds I can’t wear any brow products with red, I really like these color options. He has a Dual Ended Brow Brush for these, but I find you can use any angled brush. I tried with the MAC 266 and Wayne Goss Brush 21 and both worked really well.
These look natural and are easy to use. Thumbs up.

Edward Bess Big Wow Full Brow Pomade

Edward Bess Big Wow Full Brow Pomade
One last quick look from my visit to his counter at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills. Many of you often ask what my natural lip color looks like, here’s a photo of me without anything on the lips – it was after lunch and everything had worn off. To the right is his Big Kiss Lipstick.

Bottom line some solid additions to Edward Bess’s line. I really love his Earth Tones Eyeshadow Palette and the new Brow Pomades and as a natural-neutral makeup lover these are just perfect. I’ll have a dedicated post on his fragrances soon. One briefly reviewed in my Fall Fragrance Loves for Him and Her post if you want a quick peek.

All eye products are available at Net-A-Porter. The liner and mascara are also available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Eyeshadow, liner and mascara are available at QVC (some prices vary with sets). All items also available from his website Edward Bess.

Have you tried these yet? If yes what did you think?
Many thanks to Edward for keeping me stocked on his latest and greatest.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Base Makeup Eye Makeup Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario and Stick Foundation

October 13, 2016
Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario and Stick Foundation

My love for Anastasia Beverly Hills continues with two new launches in the Master Palette by Mario ($45 for .7g/0.2 oz x 12 shadows) and Stick Foundation in Warm Natural and Golden ($25 for 9 g/0.32 oz). I bought all three from Sephora – the palette is something I ordered sight unseen. For the foundation I spent some time in store swatching colors but they did not have all the testers or colors for sale. Luckily they had the colors that matched my skintone range so I was able to find something that matched. For a line that I feel is very much on the trendy side I’ve been fortunate to find some really great products that are still suitable for my conservative makeup taste. Pigment and formulas are versatile, rich in pigmented and shimmer, but still easy to blend out for a less sharp look. As much as I love new makeup trends I will not bake my face, strobe heavily, use the heavy contour method or have my highlighter “on fleek” as the young ones say these days. So for my fellow conservative makeup lovers – I think you might be able to find some really good products that are easy to wear even if you feel like you’re not the trendy type.

Up first is the Master Palette by Mario. This is the first eyeshadow palette I’ve bought from Anastasia Beverly Hills. After a few years of accumulating several palettes in my early days of makeup exploration I found many sat unused in my makeup drawers if I did not love all the colors. So I made myself a self-imposed rule that if there were 2-3 shades I did not like I told myself “don’t buy it.” I did try to stick with it and for quite a few years I was able to resist a lot of palettes. In recent years palettes have been more tempting and my resolve weakened. In this case there were 2 shades I didn’t really like which included the olive and navy teal – but seeing swatches online made me decide to cave and I’m glad I did.

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario review

This is one of the more trendy palettes I own. The shimmer is noticeable and on the scale of shimmer intensity I would say it’s pretty high but I can still wear all the colors. The pigment is medium but buildable to full coverage. There are a few matte shades which also have excellent coverage. The shades are easy to blend and layer. Texture is soft so there is some fallout when applying on the eyes but I have yet to find a powder shadow that doesn’t have some level of fall out. Once on the eyes the colors stay put – no smudging, fading or creeping. I like that they apply well with or without a base (at least for me).

Colors include:

  • Hollywood is a pale shimmery gold
  • NYC is a warm coppery bronze shimmer
    Kim is a warm tan shimmer with orange tones
  • Muse is a reddish pink shimmer
  • Marina is a shimmering champagne mauve
  • Claudia is a deep greyed navy shimmer
  • Lula is a matte cool brown
  • Isabel is a matte burnt orange
  • Violeta is a warm deep brown
  • 5th Ave is a shimmering pale frosted gold
  • Bronx is a shimmering olive
  • Paris is a shimmering bronze
In terms of how to wear this palette I often get overwhelmed with this many options – but I really like this one. I’ve tried every single color in combinations of 3-4 shades and every time the look is just really pretty. Unfortunately I don’t have any eye looks for you as I’m still trying to figure out how to photograph warm shades on the eyes.

The brush is easy to use and the shape is good for blending and lid application – quality isn’t the best as I feel it’s not as soft as I’m used to, but it’s functional and works.

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario review

A few more close ups:

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario review

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario Swatches

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario Swatches
Next up are the Stick Foundations. These offer medium-full to full coverage. Picking a color was a bit tricky in store as there is a wide range and they aren’t displayed in sequential order. There are handy face photos with models to help narrow down your shade. My exact match is Warm Natural but with full coverage foundations often times an exact match can make the face look a bit flat. I picked up Golden as well which matches my tanned body so I use two shades and blend.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation in Warm Natural and Golden - The Beauty Look Book

I would say the finish pulls more on the matte side and for me – I don’t like matte finish foundations because I find they emphasize fine lines and crevices. Especially around the mouth where lines form when you smile – full coverage mattes tend to creep into those lines and age my face. The one from Anastasia Beverly Hills does not emphasize lines but if you have dry skin or skin that tends to pull dry you will probably find it too drying for all over the face. I think it still can be used for extra coverage if you like to layer foundations. To date my favorite foundation stick is still the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation (review soon but you can see it in action on my face in this post here).

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation in Warm Natural and Golden swatched

Foundation Stick Swatches Lancome, Make Up For Ever, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Hourglass, Tom Ford
Shown above:
To find your match if you’re looking online or want to know where to start I recommend visiting their Stick Foundation Pinterest Page where they have lots of swatches, face charts and more. Here are a few that helped me. Based on these my best guess was Natural, Warm Natural and Golden and I think it was pretty accurate:

One last look:

The Beauty Look Book - Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario and Stick Foundation
Bottom line winners in my book and even though some of you have pointed out the line is overpriced as items are made in China, I still find quality and performance to be quite good. I’ve found them priced reasonably although many of you may be correct in your assessment that they are priced higher than they should be considering where the product is made. I still find what I’ve tried to be solid performers. Update: I took a closer look at the eyeshadow palette, shadows are made in USA and brush is made in PRC. Foundation sticks say made in PRC.

For other reviews you can always click the tag/label at the bottom of each post to find other features. I’ll link the ones I’ve done below for reference.

I bought the Master Palette by Mario and Stick Foundation at Sephora. You can also find the line at Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?
Eye Makeup

Kevyn Aucoin The Making Eyes Kit x Space NK

September 27, 2016
Kevyn Aucoin Making Eyes x Space NK Exclusive

Every once in a while I’ll try a product and wonder what took me so long to try it. Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadows fall into that category (along with some of the blushes reviewed here). For the longest time I’ve avoided many items from the Kevyn Aucoin beauty line simply because of the price points. So many of his products have been widely raved about, and rightly so due to their good quality and solid performance. Kevyn Aucoin recently launched a set exclusive to Space NK called The Making Eyes Kit ($125, a $160 value if you purchase items separately). This kit includes:
  • The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 (0.04 oz)
  • The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette (0.03 oz)
  • The Expert Mascara Black (0.4 oz)
  • The Eyelash Curler
  • The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black (0.04 oz) 
Space NK kindly sent the set for me to try and part of me was really excited to try things I’ve always been curious about. The other part of me wondered if this would live up to the hype as the items look incredibly basic. I love beauty basics and classics but sometimes there are products that just simply seem a bit too basic to justify the splurge when less expensive options will work just as well. I was really impressed with the Eye Shadow Palette, Brow Pencil and Eye Pencil. More thoughts on each item below.

Quick look at the box. The set comes cased in a large black box with a mirror. I like that everything has it’s own individually molded compartment so if you have this shipped to you, items stay in place. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the box at the moment. I suppose I could use it for travel by taking out the insert. The larger mirror is nice to have when you’re on the go. However the box is made of cardboard so I don’t  know how well it will hold up traveling.

Kevyn Aucoin Making Eyes x Space NK Exclusive
First a look at the items swatched:

For me the winner of this set is The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 which has a mix of cool tones. The set comes with a little instruction card on how to apply the colors but I took one look and decided to apply them my own way. I have no crease in the lids so most of the time I need to apply shadows differently from most other women anyways in a gradient. Since I have no fold or crease I don’t usually do the outer corner or v-shape blending.

Colors in this palette include a shimmering soft but pigmented black, lavender purple shimmer, beige satin, white frost, bone satin. All of the colors have some degree of shimmer but it is very soft on the skin. If you’re a no-shimmer kind of person for eyeshadows I think this will still work for you as the finish is VERY very soft.

The pigment is medium but buildable. Texture is very soft and looks natural on the eyes. As one who does not really like cool tones (especially white frosts) because they often look sharp or contrast with my olive skin I was surprised to find this one worked really well with my skintone for a cool-toned smoky eye with a hint of purple. The black looks like it could be chalky if you swatch it on the hand or arm. With a brush it’s intense and very pigmented but not too sharp. It’s a very good one to apply along the lash line and easy to blend and smoke out. Below shows all the items in the kit applied including the mascara, liner and brow pencil.

The only other added product was the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold all over the lids used as a base.

Next are The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette and The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black. The Precision Brow Pencil is very easy to use and Brunette is a good neutral to cool toned brown that works for my dark hair. For me I like that there is no red undertone which I find some brow pencils have, yet there’s not too much grey which can sometimes cause my brows to look ashy. I like that if you twist product up you can also twist it back down.

The Eye Pencil in Basic Black is one of the deepest black pencils I’ve tried. It has a smooth and super creamy texture. In terms of lasting power it stayed put on my eyes all day without any smudging or budging. I used it along upper lashes and waterline. That being said, I will usually also see how it holds up on the arm. When I test liners, let it sit for about 30 minutes on the arm, then take my finger and swipe it across the arm swatch to see how much it smudges. On the arm it smudged while some other liners set and don’t budge. That being said I tried this on a few different days and on my eyes it lasted all day without any budging so for me it’s a winner.

Last but not least are The Expert Mascara Black and The Eyelash Curler. Both of these have been raved about by many people. To date I have only tried the mascara in mini forms that usually come with the Space NK gwps and had not really been that impressed. The full size does perform better but my heart still belongs to the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascaras for volume, curl-holding and lasting power. The one from Kevyn Aucoin is a deep black, doesn’t clump or smudge. It does a good job at coating each lash but for me it simply does not hold the curl and doesn’t give me the volume the other two do. Do note that I have incredibly skimpy straight lashes so I need a miracle mascara to make it look like I have any.

The eyelash curler works well too. I was relieved to find there was no pinching (for me the Shiseido one everyone raves about just doesn’t work for me at all). It has a very lightweight feel which makes it easy to use but I prefer something with a bit more weight to it. That being said it performs well and I am happy to own it.
Bottom line a solid set of good eye basics. I am already plotting another eyeshadow palette purchase because this one is just so good. If you have any recommendations for the palettes or duos let me know! You can find all the items in this set individually if you prefer to pick and choose items on your own. However the Kevyn Aucoin The Making Eyes Kit as a set is a Space NK exclusive.

Have you tried any of these yet? What did you think?
The Making Eyes Kit was provided courtesy of Space NK for review.