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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?
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Makeup Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Singles – More Shades Reviewed + Swatched

August 4, 2016

I’ve been adding more Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows to my collection. Ever since the full color line launched at Sephora and Ulta I’ve been exploring the brand more and have been really pleased with everything I’ve tried so far. As a lover of natural makeup looks I am happy to report that although the makeup from Anastasia Beverly Hills can indeed create dramatic looks, there are a lot of options for natural beauty lovers and that even though the textures are very pigmented – shimmers can be blended for a more diffused natural look. I reviewed three quads I made a few months ago. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows come in single pan format so you can pick and choose what colors you want. There is a magnetized 4 pan palette that is available for purchase or you can put these in your own compacts as well. Individual shadows are priced at $12 each or if you buy four at a time plus the compact they’re priced at $40.

Some of you spotted some new quads in my travel bags here, here and here and have asked for swatches. I have sixteen more shades to share swatches. Based on the reviews I’ve read online some are a miss, most seem to be hits. There are quite a few shades that are online only – it took me a long time to research shades, swatches and other reviews to decide which ones to order. I feel lucky that all with the exception of one shade are all hits.
I found that the palettes were great for travel. I brought 3 quads with me but really could have gotten away with just one. I normally bring the Urban Decay Naked Palettes (all the eye palettes swatched in this post here) with me but decided to change it up on my last trip.

Four quads I put together – I don’t keep the shades in the same palettes all the time, but for the most part they stay in these combinations. The colors are really versatile, well pigmented, easy to blend and layer, have minimal fallout after application, stay put – what more could I ask for? I find they work well with or without a base. I feel like a broken record when I say this, but my two go-to bases are either the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base or Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold (both swatched in this post here).

Top left quad: Lace, Victorian, Pose, Truffle Glitter
Top right quad: Gleam, Birkin, Intense Gaze, Topaz
Bottom left quad: Touch of Lilac, Belize, Macaroon, Brownie
Bottom right quad: Amber, Glisten, Comfort, Dark Chocolate Shimmer

A closer look at my picks. There are several different finishes which include glitter, matte, metallic, satin and shimmer. I think the quality is great across all formulas based on what I’ve tried. Sephora separates the formulas by finish – although I find some of the shimmers to be more glittery/sparkly. The swatches below will help you see the degree of shimmer in each shade.
Descriptions as I see them:
  • Lace is the only one I found slightly disappointing, it’s a sheer ivory champagne, it’s a good blending shade, but pigment was on the sheer side
  • Victorian is an light antique patina olive shimmer
  • Touch of Lilac is a soft light shimmer with a hint of lilac
  • Belize is a medium warm peachy brown skin-toned shimmer
  • Pose is a deep purple shimmer
  • Truffle Glitter is a highly metallic sparkle brown with gold flecks
  • Macaroon is a sparkly metallic lavendar purple
  • Brownie is a sparkling gold-flecked brown
  • Amber is a pretty shimmering warm gold amber
  • Glisten is a peachy bronze shimmer
  • Gleam is a metallic champagne peach
  • Birkin is a matte warm brown
  • Comfort is a warm shimmering auburn
  • Dark Chocolate Shimmer is a dark matte black with gold flecks
  • Intense Gaze is a shimmery pink red
  • Topaz is a warm golden tan shimmer

A closer look:

Swatches:

Another thumbs up from me. I still have not tried any of the Anastasia pre-made palettes although a number of you have urged me to. There are a lot of items coming out for fall though and since I already have a lot to play with from her line shadow-wise, I think I’m set for a while. I have to set aside my budget for other items to test and feature so I probably will not be reviewing the palettes she has out now. Plus I splurged on her new Sweets Glow Kit (which I definitely did not need). Out of all the ones she has launched, Sundipped Glow Kit (reviewed here) is hands down my favorite just in case you were wondering.

I’m sure there are a number of dupes for the shadows I picked out in other lines but I’m overall really pleased with the pigment, level of shimmer and ease of blendability with all except for Lace which turned out to be too sheer for what I wanted. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, I just didn’t like it as much as the others. I found other colors to be more special. If you do order these I do recommend ordering 4 at a time + the compact for the $40 price (versus buying them in one-offs at the $12 price per shadow).

You can find the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and Anastasia Beverly Hills. Have you tried these yet? Which are your favorite colors?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Makeup Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Review

June 8, 2016

I was over the moon when I found out Anastasia Beverly Hills expanded their product line to Sephora and immediately picked up a few eyeshadows. In store the first weeks they launched I saw a lot of testers but there were empty spots for product as stock was trickling in. I picked out a few shades in batches and the process of narrowing down picks was overwhelming because there are so many options! Shades went in and out of my online cart and I finally decided on 12. You can buy the Eyeshadow Singles for $12 each and the 4-Pan Empty Well Palette for $1. There are different textures ranging from matte, metallic, shimmer, satin and glitter. I picked out a mix of finishes to give them a test.

The colors I picked out vary in weight depending on finish. All the pans are the same size but some are more densely packed while the shimmers have lighter weight particles mixed in. I’ll list the weights per shade in case you’re interested. Pigment is very impressive across all the ones I bought. Perhaps I was lucky in selecting good shades – most I ordered sight unseen. Based on online swatches I was a bit concerned some of the colors such as Rose or Pink Champagne would be extremely glittery or frosted. You can apply some of them with a damp brush for an extremely pigmented almost foiled-looking finish for more intense coverage. With a dry brush over an eyeshadow base the finish is more natural looking. 

Finish is smooth and easy to blend. All the colors applied on the lids flawlessly – they have a soft texture that is very easy to layer. Some of the shimmer colors will have fall out when you apply them – but once on the lids they did stay put all day long without budging. I have hundreds of eyeshadows from other brands and do not need any more but being a beauty blogger am always curious about testing new formulas, brands and textures. I did not know what to expect from these – I thought there might be a good chance these were overhyped, but after putting these to the test I can say that these are definitely impressive. The pigment is very good, textures easy to blend and color selection seems to be diverse to suit a wide range of preferences.

Shades that I picked out:
  • Rose (1.7 g) is a neutral-warm mauve pink rose with silvery sparkles
  • Pink Champagne (1.6 g) is a cool-toned mauve pink shimmer, a cooler-version of rose
  • Gem (1.7 g) is a medium peach champagne shimmer
  • Chocolate Crumble (1.5 g) is a cool-toned brown shimmer
  • Nude (1.7 g) is a matte beige pink
  • Suede (1.7 g) is a soft pale yellow gold shimmer
  • Stone (1.7 g) is a light to medium neutral-cool brown
  • Smoke (1.7 g) is a matte neutral brown
  • Sateen (1.3 g) is a shimmery pale champagne frost
  • Chiffon (1.5 g) is an olive khaki kind of shimmer
  • Warm Taupe (1.7 g) is a medium warm taupe shade matte
  • Chocolate (1.6 g) is a shimmery medium chocolate brown
Close ups and swatches:

Some look extremely frosted when swatched on the arms or back of the hand. Once on the lids though the finish of the shimmer is more subtle and definitely very wearable for everyday.

While the price per shadow is reasonable – completing a palette does add up costing $49 for a complete palette. By comparison MAC has reduced the price of their Pro-Palette refills at MAC stores to $6 per pan with the price of the compact at $8 totaling $32. Of course the formulas are different and amount of product you get is different (weight varies depending on formula). Just a few things to consider if you are price/value conscious. MAC just launched new palette sizes and inserts that allow you to mix and match products. I really love the concept and I’ve been a long time fan of MAC products. A more detailed review to follow on the MAC pro palettes (so much to do and not enough time) but here’s a quick look at a few of the different options. As you can see below the pans of the Anastasia eyeshadows are the same size as the MAC eyeshadows. The only one shown below that is pre-filled and non-customizable is the MAC x9 palette. You can find all the MAC Pro Palette Options on their website here and at MAC Stores.
So you might want to know how do the Anastasia eyeshadows compare to MAC. If you’ve played with MAC before you know there are a lot of different formulas and finishes. Pigment, shimmer factor, color payoff and density depends on the formula. In general here are a few thoughts:
  • the MAC mattes have a softer more natural finish but harder texture compared to the Anastasia mattes, color payoff of Anastasia is more pigmented
  • the MAC Veluxe Pearl shadows have that almost buttery soft velvety finish that is similar to that of the Anastasia shimmer eyeshadows, color payoff is excellent for both
  • some of the Anastasia eyeshadows like Rose, Pink Champagne, Chocolate Crumble, Chiffon have a more metallic finish compared to MAC shimmers
  • overall texture of the Anastasia eyeshadows is softer and more velvety while the MAC eyeshadows tend to have a slightly stiffer or harder texture
  • is one better than the other? I would say sometimes yes, sometimes no. MAC Shroom is one of those classic all over wash kind of shades that has the perfect semi-sheer texture to blend out colors, Anastasia Sateen by comparison is similar in color but a lot more pigmented and a lot more frosted which gives more contrast on the lids if you are medium to tan to deep. In this case it really depends on what kind of look you want, how much shimmer and how much pigment. Sheerer finishes aren’t necessarily bad – I love sheer washes for a lot of reasons.

A quick look with the quad I put together with Sateen, Chiffon, Warm Taupe and Chocolate Crumble blended together on the lids:

Products worn:
The eyeshadows exceeded my expectations and I think every color I tested is top notch in terms of color, pigment, blendability and everything else I would want in an eyeshadow. I’ve forever been searching for an antique olive kind of shimmer eyeshadow that I can wear and Chiffon is IT! Most have a tiny bit too much green which clashes with my olive/yellow skin. The colors Rose and Pink Champagne are wearable pinks – huge for me since so many pinks can give me that unflattering pink-eye kind of look. Bottom line is I can’t wait to explore more of the colors. If you have any loves please let me know!
You can find the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and on the Anastasia Beverly Hills website. I have not yet tried any of the palettes as many of them have had bold colors I did not think I would wear, but they did look interesting. As always would love to hear about your loves or thoughts on these. If you’ve been looking into them I hope these swatches are helpful!

P.S. I’m very behind on responding to comments – but will try to catch up soon!

Eye Makeup Sephora

Viseart Theory Palettes: Minx, Chroma and Cashmere

April 25, 2016

Viseart launched three new eyeshadow palettes called Theory Palettes ($45 each for 0.42 oz, available at Muse Beauty Pro and Sephora). I was able to get a preview of these at The Makeup Show back in March. I had high hopes that I could purchase them at the show but they only had testers to play with so I pre-ordered them and was excited when they finally arrived for me to play with. There are three color options and I ordered all three. Each option comes in a compact cardboard flip top packaging with a magnetic closure. Each palette has 6 colors (3 matte finish, 3 shimmers) with removable magnetic pans. Shown below from left to right:
  • Chroma is the cool-toned option with a pale sheer white, medium-dark charcoal, deep matte black, shimmering cool silver-taupe, shimmering cool steel, shimmering gunmetal
  • Cashmere is the neutral palette with a light-medium cream beige, medium coffee brown, deep matte brown, shimmering champagne, shimmering soft neutral-cool tan, shimmering medium cool-taupe
  • Minx is the warmest option with a matte camel, warm sienna brown, warm deep reddish brown matte, shimmering golden sand, shimmering orange, shimmering plum red

All three have extremely good pigment. Finishes and textures are similar to that of the shadows in the 12 Pan Palettes (Neutral Matte and Sultry Muse reviewed here). The mattes are on the hard side but apply smoothly and blend easily. The shimmers are buttery soft and powdery but blend with incredible ease. All the colors are easy to work with and layer together – you can mix shades between palettes or for convenience stick with the shades in a single palette.

A quick look at the packaging – at the show, Viseart founder Anastasia Van Dusen demonstrated how the packaging is designed with certain folds and closures so you can hold them in your hand like an artists palette (as shown in the top photograph) which I found quite clever. Below the new Theory Palettes next to the 12 Pan Palettes.

A closer look at the palettes plus a few comparison swatches. First a look at the palettes in different lighting, first is without flash but in direct sunlight:

 In natural indoor light:

Chroma is the cool-toned option perfect for that traditional gunmetal smokey eye look.

Swatched below next to Tom Ford Titanium Smoke which I find similar in color. I’ve found Titanium Smoke to be a staple as far as traditional smokey eye palettes go. For my coloring I find it hard to wear cool-toned whites, greys and silvers all over the eye because they end up looking ashy on my skin. Viseart Chroma has a more conservative feel while the shades in Tom Ford’s have more glitz (two of the shades are very sparkly/almost glitters).

Chroma works on my skin as long as I use the two lightest shades with a light hand. I prefer a warmer base for the lighter colors and like to work the darker cool-tones on top. Chroma performs really well – I just can’t wear cool-tones easily. Out of the two, I can’t pick a favorite.

Cashmere is the neutral option, but on my skintone it actually pulls more cool-toned. Many neutral palettes look simply that – neutral on most skintones, but when I apply them on mine they pull cool. Out of the three this is my favorite option.

Below compared to Urban Decay Naked Basics (one of my top 2 matte palettes, the other being Naked2 Basics) and Tom Ford Nude Dip (one of my top picks for neutral shimmers). My heart still belongs to both the UD and TF ones – they work perfectly with my coloring and as you can see they really pull more neutral on my skintone while the Viseart Cashmere pulls a bit more cool-toned in the swatches.

Although Cashmere may seem like a repeat of other shades, I do think if there’s any out of the three I would call a must, Cashmere would be it. It offers the best of both worlds in terms of mattes and shimmers. It has enough color to show up on the lids and there is enough difference in the colors that they won’t all look the same if you apply all 6 on the eyes.

Minx is the most stunning option out of the three – the colors are absolutely breathtaking. I’m learning to wear orange shadows so this one has taken me a bit of work to learn how to use. I really like it so far though.

Below compared to Tom Ford Honeymoon and Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita. By comparing all three, there are 2 shades in Viseart Minx that are almost identical to Tom Ford Honeymoon. I think Viseart Minx is very different from the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita but the overall color theme seems to have a similar vibe.

One final look at the palette packaging:

I think all three are solid performers. The colors are well coordinated for an easy look depending on your color preferences, cool, neutral or warm. I like that they each offer a wide range from light to medium to deep colors and especially like the fact they each have 3 mattes and 3 shimmers. It makes it very convenient to create a wide range of looks without being overwhelming like palettes with more than 6 shades can be. Out of all the Viseart Palettes I’ve tried (which is 5 to date), I still think Sultry Muse has the most special place in my heart. As mentioned in my previous review, if you have been wanting to try Viseart Palettes but get overwhelmed with eyeshadow palettes that have more than 6 shades, these are the perfect way to start.
I’ve been playing with the shades in each of the palettes – sticking to combinations within each palette. I’ve found that they work best when layered over a creamy base like Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks or Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base. They work well with a dry or slightly damp brush on the eyes. Lasting power is excellent – they last all day without fall out or fading. As with most powder shadows there will be a tiny bit of fall out when you apply them – but it’s easy to clean up.

As shown above in the comparison swatches you may find similar shades in your collection (even if you don’t have the palettes shown) so you may want to shop your stash. I hope the swatches and reviews help you make your ordering decisions since at this time I think you can only find these online. Even though I have dupes I have no regrets buying any. If I had to do it over again, I would have skipped Chroma, but I knew after swatching it at The Makeup Show there would be a really good chance it would pull very cool-toned on my skin.

You can find the Viseart Theory Palettes online now exclusively at Muse Beauty Pro and Sephora. I hope they will be available at more locations soon.

Have you tried these yet? If so what did you think?

Eye Makeup Sephora

Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes in Neutral Matte and Sultry Muse

April 12, 2016
I’ve been curious about Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes ($80 each for 24 g/0.84 oz, made in France) for quite some time (probably for a few years now) and finally splurged on my first in Sultry Muse and Neutral Matte two last month at The Makeup Show from the Muse Beauty Pro booth (haul + recap of the 2016 show in this post here). I purchased mine at a discount (most booths offer some kind of discount at these shows) and have been thrilled with both. Each palette has 12 eyeshadows which are extremely pigmented and smooth in finish. For quick reference you can find these palettes at a number of retailers online, the main ones I’ve shopped from include Beautylish, Sephora and Muse Beauty.Pro.

It took me a long time to splurge on these because of a few factors. I didn’t have in person access to these and although there are a number of excellent reviews online I wanted to test in person before splurging. I played with them for the first time at IMATS earlier this year but decided to wait and think about them. To date my favorite eyeshadow palettes are the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palettes for color, pigment and convenience – they have my favorite easy to wear neutrals and I feel they are priced reasonably. The Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes by comparison are a lot more expensive and the color palettes seem to be more for professional use for the pro makeup artist rather than for an everyday consumer like myself. The colors are beautiful but there are a few of the warmer tones I was hesitant about wearing. I decided to give these a chance and have no regrets. They are really quite amazing.


Up first is Viseart Neutral Matte. This has all matte neutrals with the exception of one burnt orange shade. I’m not one to wear anything orange makeup-wise but this particular color does amazing things when layered. I’ve learned from using a few of the Le Metier de Beaute Kaleidoscopes that the colors I consider odd look really amazing when layered over other shades. The shadows in the Netural Matte palette have a slightly harder texture than most other shadows I use but the pigment is excellent and they apply smoothly on the skin and blend flawlessly. By comparison the Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics are a lot softer in texture and are more on the neutral-cool side while the Viseart Neutral Matte. A look at the palette in two different light settings:

In direct sun, no flash:

Indoor natural light:

Descriptions by row, Top Row:

Medium caramel beige
Medium vanilla cream
Light beige with a slight pink tone
Pale white

Middle Row:

Cool bark brown
Burnt sienna orange
Medium warm brown
Neutral cool brown

Bottom Row:

Matte cool toned black
Dove blue grey
Cool grey
Cool-toned taupe

Swatches:

Texture and blendability are excellent – there are a lot of colors to choose from. I’ve been playing with this using 4-5 shades max at any given time. Long time readers know I’m not a fan of matte eyeshadows in general but these perform really well. I’ve found they work well over the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks (I love Rose Gold) or Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base. They aren’t the kind I can use on a bare eye – there has to be some kind of prep or dewy primer to help the colors adhere but that is usually the case with any matte eyeshadow for me. Lasting power is excellent – they stay put from morning to late evening without fading or fall out.

Next up is Sultry Muse. This one has all shimmer eyeshadows – some are a tiny bit glittery while others are more of a frost. There were a few plum and warm pink tones I didn’t think I could pull off but when they are are layered with the other cooler tones the result is really quite pretty. Layering can create a wide range of looks. A look at the palette + descriptions and a quick eye look.

In direct sun + flash you can see the sparkle and glow:

Indoor natural light, no flash you can see the base and undertone better:

Top Row:
Shimmering white pearl
Shimmering medium tan beige
Pale champagne beige with tiny silver glitters
Sandy gold champagne with gold flecks
Middle Row:
Warm pink shimmer
Bronze shimmer
Shimmering orange
Warm plum rose shimmer
Bottom Row:
Sparkling cool silver
Shimmering soft rose
Gunmetal black shimmer
Shimmering soft yellow gold

Since some of these these have complex shimmers – colors can look different depending on how the light reflects. This palette looks different in so many different review posts – I think this shows how incredibly versatile it is because it works with a wide range of skintones to create truly unique looks. I have swatches with flash and without to show the complexity.

With flash:

No flash, natural light:

Quick eye look, no flash, in natural light. Shades used include the four shades in the middle row and the two middle shades from the top row to blend:

I give both of these a thumbs up and even though they have that professional makeup artist feel they are still wearable for everyday. That being said if you find 12 colors in a palette overwhelming or find any of the combinations have a few colors you might not wear at all, you might want to consider trying out the new Viseart Theory Palettes ($45 each) instead (online now at Muse Beauty.Pro, coming soon to Sephora). They have 6-pans each with 3 mattes and 3 shimmers, they come in a slightly different packaging, and the color themes make them more wearable for everyday. I just received mine that I pre-ordered at The Makeup Show and will have a review in the next week or so, but the texture is phenomenal, colors are on point, and they perform really well – but if you want to know right now if I prefer the 6 pan or the 12 pans, I will say right now that I prefer the packaging style of the 12 pans, but for the color selection if I had to pick, I prefer the 6 pans. I still think Sultry Muse is excellent though.
For application I tested a number of brushes and found natural hair brushes work the best, at least for me. Synthetics work on the shimmers if you dip the brush and pat on the lids, but if you apply in sweeping motions the natural hair brushes pick up pigment the best. Ones I really like include the MAC 239, Wayne Goss 18, Wayne Goss 6 and Wayne Goss 30.
Both the Sultry Muse and Neutral Matte offer a good mix of colors to create a wide variety of wearable looks for day or night. If you’re looking for a palette of eyeshadows that aren’t too neutral but at the same time aren’t too bold, these offer a good in-between option. Each offers a good mix of warm and cool shades which I think makes these extremely versatile to wear with a number of lip and cheek combinations. If I had to pick one I would say since I prefer shimmer eyeshadows Sultry Muse wins as my favorite.
You can find the Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes for $80 each at a number of retailers online, including Beautylish, Sephora and Muse Beauty.Pro. Have you tried Viseart Eyeshadow Palettes before? If so which ones have you tried and what did you think?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighters Sephora

Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits in That Glow and Gleam

April 6, 2016

I picked up the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits ($40 each) earlier this year and have been completely obsessed with these for months. After playing with both kits for some time I will say that they are on the high shimmer side and give the cheeks or eyes a luminous glow. The colors are very smooth and easy to blend. Shimmer is on the more dramatic side similar to that of MAC Mineralize Skin Finishes but are very wearable for everyday as long as you blend these well or use a loose fluffy brush. For shimmer/frost reference the most frosted highlighters I think I’ve ever tried are the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits are not as frosted as the Bobbi Brown ones in my opinion, but are definitely more shimmery than say the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. The Glow Kits are designed to be face highlighters but I also like to use them on the eyes as eyeshadows.

There are two kit options: That Glow has warmer golden tones and Gleam has cooler pink tones. On my medium olive skin I think the warmer gold option is more naturally flattering while the cooler pink one is more dramatic but still very wearable. Both kits come in a magnetized cardboard box and the pans in each kit are removeable. I’m not the biggest fan of the packaging but it is very sturdy so for me it’s not a deal breaker. I bought mine at IMATS Los Angeles earlier this year where they had a slight discount (they basically did not charge sales tax) but you can find them now at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Macy’s.

A look at both kits without flash, in indirect natural light, you can see the colors still glow:

Swatched on my medium-olive skin most of the shades are clearly highlighters. If you have lighter skin these will show more color as you can see in The Non-Blonde and A Little Bit Etc. If you have deeper or darker skin these will most likely look lighter and more contrasted on your skin. Anastasia Beverly Hills has both kits swatched on 3 skintones here and here.

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That Glow has warm gold tones with the following shades:
Sunburst is a pale yellow gold shimmer
Golden Bronze is a warm coppery golden bronze shimmer
Bubbly is a shimmering soft champagne
Dripping in Gold is a shimmering champagne gold

Each shade shown below with photographed close ups:

Note these are swatched with a heavy hand to show the pigment and color. You can blend easily for a more subtle and less frosted look.

Some swatch comparisons below to:
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Shimpagne (discontinued)
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Strobe Light (review here)
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (review here)
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in So Ceylon (discontinued)

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Gleam has cool and neutral shimmers:
Hard Candy looks like a peachy coral in the pan, but it goes on an almost duo-chrome cool pink pearl
Mimosa is a shimmering light peach
Starburst is a shimmering pale frosted pink
Crushed Pearl is a shimmering pale champagne that almost looks white on my skin

Swatch comparisons to:
Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand (review here)
Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Starlight (review here)
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Stereo Rose (discontinued)
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Euphoric Strobe Light (review here)
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent Strobe Light (review here)

I’m one who loves to have glowing skin and these are both pure love for me. I found these went on the face smoothly and did not emphasize pores or fine lines. The pigment is medium but blendable. Because these are so pigmented I do think these can be easy to overdo so for me the key to application is to apply with a light hand. Any regular blush brush works to apply or a skunk brush too. I’ve been using the Chanel Blush Brush or MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush to apply these. Lasting power is excellent – they stay put and do not budge from morning to night.

For me these get a thumbs up. If I had to pick just one it would be a tough call for me. Gleam has colors I find more unique compared to other highlighters I own, but That Glow is more natural on my skintone and I prefer the warmer tones for my complexion.
You can find the Anastasia Glow Kits for $40 each at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Macy’s.
Base Makeup Sephora

Color Correcting for Beginners

March 17, 2016

Last week I stopped by Sephora at South Coast Plaza for a Correct and Conceal Mini Makeover to learn more about the color correcting trend happening right now. I was curious to see if there was anything that could cover dark spots and redness better than a full coverage concealer or foundation. I had a session with artist Dre who was one of the most knowledgeable artists I’ve ever worked with. She was very thorough in explaining color correcting, going through all the options and application techniques, gave me awesome skin prep recommendations and I could not have had a more fun experience. If you’re like me you and consider yourself a novice or beginner when it comes to color correction you might be intimidated by the whole concept. I’ll share my makeover experience, what was used, what I bought and some thoughts on the product testing process. I hope this will help give you some tips and ideas of what to try on yourself. If you have a Sephora near you I highly recommend you call them to schedule a mini-makeover. They can be as quick as 15 minutes and I think you will be impressed with how much you learn – I learned a lot. Scheduling one in advance is probably best to make sure they have someone on site to sit down with you although they can accommodate walk ins sometimes and they are free of charge!

First a quick run through of the mini-makeover I had at Sephora. She started by assessing my skin type and skin concerns. I mentioned I had super sensitive skin and told her about a few products I had allergic reactions to. Personal concerns for my skin were to improve texture, cover dark spots from scars that were healing, under-eye darkness and redness in general. I also mentioned that I liked a streamlined easy approach to applying base face makeup so she picked out her four favorite color correcting products for my skin type that would be easy to use and incorporate along with some skincare items for me to try for calming and radiance.

For a bit of background on Color Correcting it’s not a new trend but it has been very popular right now. The concept of color correcting is that you can use certain colors to counter or diffuse others. Green will correct red, peach will help with dark spots and undereye circles, pink and purple will counter dullness and brighten the skintone. I initially thought using a full coverage concealer or foundation would be sufficient but I often find it leaves the face looking a bit flat and sometimes those dark spots still show through. This is where color correcting can help. Here’s a look at the Sephora Beauty Studio in store – it varies per store but most have a station with mirrors, makeup remover and tools for artists to apply product on your face.

A run through of all the products she used on me from start to finish:

Step 1: Prep the skin

She started by having me remove my makeup with the Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths which are super gentle and non-irritating for my sensitive skin. This one cleans, balances and hydrates in one step which is convenient for on-the-go makeup removal. Next she used the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads to help with surface texture. She followed with the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum and Ole Henriksen Nurture Me since I mentioned my face was prone to irritation and flare ups. Skin felt smooth, nicely hydrated and calmed down.

Step 2: Base

Dre’s theory of using color correcting was to use apply in steps and use it with your current foundation routine. She started by applying the Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops in Blue to help brighten the overall skintone as a base which did indeed brighten the skin without looking scary blue. Blue helps to neutralize sallow skin. She followed with the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick in 128 mentioning one’s foundation will do a lot of the color correcting as a starting point to neutralize uneven skintone or dark spots.

Step 3: Color Correct

At this point even with a fuller coverage foundation on my skin you can still see dark circles under the eyes and dark spots from acne scars that are healing still show through. Rather than layer on the foundation color correcting helps add coverage without caking on product. I was skeptical but was really impressed with how literally all the dark spots disappeared with a green color corrector and undereye circles disappeared with a peach/melon corrector. She applied the Sephora Collection Bright Futures Color Correctors in Green and Melon. The key here was to apply and let set so that colors don’t get muddied when you blend them wet. For the green she dotted on spots and then blended with a detailed concealer brush in a cross hatch method to help blend and cover naturally. For the melon she applied directly under my eyes in a downward swiping motion and blended with the sponge tip applicator.

Step 4: Conceal, Set and Finish

Once the color correctors have properly set (takes maybe 3 minutes at most, as long as you don’t pile on the creams) finish by taking concealer or foundation and pat it on top. She used the Sephora Collection Pro Foundation Brush #47 which is a more affordable similar version of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Sculpting Foundation Brush to roll and dab on the foundation over the corrected spots gently and then blend everything out gently with a beautyblender. You don’t want to take a sponge or brush and press too hard on the face or else it will drag and mix colors to make it look muddy. The final step she used was to set with a loose powder. She showed me the difference between the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder and also the Besame Brightening Face Powder in Violet (both applied with a puff). She said the Laura Mercier is her favorite (it’s one of mine too) but if I wanted to try something new she recommended the Violet to brighten the skin, for fairer skins she recommended the Pink (which I already own).

Step 5: Add color and makeup

She added a bit of blush and bronzer on my skin so my face wouldn’t look flat from all the base makeup, but I asked her to keep it minimal so I could see how the correctors and foundations performed through the afternoon. We skipped everything else and I was impressed that my makeup lasted well into the late evening without any touchups needed. Her skincare recommendations and application made it so nothing budged or creased or faded. Once I use up some of my moisturizers I will need to buy some of the items she used on me.

I have never been so impressed with a makeup session as I have been with my visit to Sephora. Dre taught me so many things – I really appreciated her taking the time to go through application tips and recommending products specific to my needs. My brother tagged along to help me take photos and afterwards I asked him if he thought my face looked ok. He said yes, it looked natural and he couldn’t tell that there were any weird colors. So it passed the brother test ๐Ÿ™‚ In discussing the different color corrector options, I asked her why she recommended the Sephora Collection Color Correctors over the ones from Urban Decay Correcting Fluids or YSL Touche Eclat Neutralizers or even the ones that come in cream compacts. She said it was a matter of preference – the cream palettes can definitely multi-task with all the options for color correction and concealer, but to keep things simple she said the Sephora Collection correctors were her favorite for consistency, texture and coverage. (I bought one each of the Urban Decay and YSL to test against the Sephora Collection and I’ll say right now she was right.)

Next up is a run through review of everything I bought and tried along with a mini tutorial of how I’ve been recreating the color correcting look to diffuse dark spots and dark circles. Here are the items she used on me during the makeover. I bought all the items she tried with the exception of the Violet powder because I already own the Pink although I’m seriously considering going back to the store to pick it up this weekend.

Left to right are:

  • Micro Mini Correct Four by beautyblender – there are some new beautyblender options, for the color correcting trend they launched a set of four in different colors, I really like these for blending under the eyes or in the creases of the nose, it’s nice to have different colors on hand to match the correctors so you don’t have to worry about mixing colors together 
  • Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops in Blue – you can use these alone or mixed in with foundation to help color correct the skin. I’ve been using this as a base, almost like a primer to help counter my sallow undertones with my olive yellow skin. It brightens the skin without looking too blue. You can even mix it in with moisturizer to blend all over to make it a bit more sheer. I really like the way this performs. 
  • Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation in 128 (looks dark but blends out to a slightly lighter finish, that being said I am getting lighter right now so I will probably have to purchase a different shade soon to mix) is one of the most amazing foundation sticks I have ever tried (it rivals Tom Ford’s) – I’ll have a separate review in the upcoming weeks once I’ve given it a thorough test drive but it offers medium to full buildable coverage that looks amazing
  • Sephora Collection Bright Future Color Correctors in Green and Melon – After testing this compared to YSL and Urban Decay, I have to say that my favorites for texture and consistency on my face are the Sephora Collection ones, they don’t crease or emphasize fine lines and they have enough coverage and pigment to truly neutralize my face issues, the Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Peach has a similar coverage to the Sephora ones and looks great on the skin but if I don’t have enough primer under my eyes it emphasizes all the fine lines that I don’t want to show up, the YSL by comparison is a lot more sheer in finish and I need more coverage
    • A quick side note, during my make over I mentioned my favorite under eye concealer of the moment was the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer and that I liked the ones with peachy tones (mainly R32) to warm up and brighten under eyes, Dre did mention that this was also one of her favorites to use, but she showed me the Sephora Collection in Melon for me to try something new
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Flawless Wear Concealer in Warm Light Medium – she used this to highlight my face and I was so impressed with the coverage and texture I had to try it out – it offers smooth flawless coverage and really does stay in place without caking or creasing through out the day
  • Besame Brightening Face Powder in Vanilla Rose (she used Violet on me in store)
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder – I already own this and have repurchased numerous times, it’s one of my favorite loose setting powders, if you haven’t tried it I will say you need to
A simple step by step mini tutorial showing before and after. I took the tips learned at my appointment to recreate a flawless base at home. I hoped to take an after show last week but the store lighting wasn’t ideal. In the first shot I did prep my skin with a thin layer of foundation, but as you can see dark spots and dark circles are still highly visible:

Below are the tools I recommend using, but you can shop your stash and find what works:

A look at packaging and different applicators for each kind of color corrector that I’ve been testing out ranging from droppers, sponge tips, squeeze tubes and click brush applicators:

Side by side swatches of the color correctors and some concealers:

A look at the Sephora Collection Bright Future Color Correctors, note there is also Orange/Deep and Lavender available online but when I was in store they didn’t have those colors yet:

In case you missed the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer post, here are all the shades swatched:

I hope you enjoyed this overview on color correcting! If you’re a novice like me I hope the rundown of my makeover, all the options I tried and swatches help make the color correcting concept seem less confusing or intimidating. I went into my appointment thinking that there wasn’t going to be much that could be done for my dark spots but I went in with an open mind and learned so much. Sometimes makeovers can be a daunting process especially if you get a pushy artist or one who just doesn’t listen to your needs or who doesn’t care preferences. I really recommend trying to book an appointment at your local Sephora – I am already planning on going back for a second appointment hopefully in the next couple of months because my experience was that good. If you’re in the area of South Coast Plaza try to book one with Dre – she’s awesome. If you can’t make it into the store, there is an online survey on the Sephora Color Correcting Makeup page to guide you and help narrow down the picks according your specific concerns and skin type.

Have you tried color correcting recently or is it something you’ve always done for your base makeup routine? Please let me know what you’ve tried and your thoughts. I always learn new tips and tricks from you and would love to hear about what you have been testing or if you have any favorites.
This post was created in partnership with Sephora. As always all opinions my own. Most products picked out and purchased by me, press samples include the Besame Powder and Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealers.