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Sephora Beauty Haul + Sephora VIB 20% Off Sale Info

November 11, 2016
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

I have my huge Sephora sale haul post for those who wanted to know what I bought during the VIB Rouge sale last week. For those who have VIB Member Status the 20% off Sephora Sale starts today 11/11 and runs through 11/14/2016 with code 20VIB if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com. You can use the code multiple times online and there are no product or brand exclusions. Up first are staples I stocked up on:

The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

Left to right:

  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is something I bought in the 1 oz travel size, I have the full size but it’s nice to have a mini on hand for travel or mini trips, original review here in case you want more details
  • First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish is one of the most gentle face scrubs I’ve used, in recent years I’ve stopped using most scrubs because I have very sensitive skin, this one is a good one!
  • Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut is pretty much the only brand of deodorant I use, I don’t sweat a lot so I can’t say how well this holds up for those who do sweat a lot, but it lasts all day, isn’t irritating, smells great and aluminum-free, sometimes on days I’m in a rush it’s all I wear and I get compliments from random strangers saying “you smell really good, what are you wearing?”
  • Sephora Collection The Cleanse Daily Brush Cleaner is one of my favorite quick-clean kind of sprays, it won’t clean brushes 100% but it’s great for powder shadow or blush brushes (anything powder like bronzer, highlighter etc.) – also available n a mini size
  • Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix is one of the best makeup setting sprays I’ve tried although I have to say that I have not tried that many, ones I have tried are just ok, but this one is great, it sets makeup, makes powder look less powdery without messing up your makeup, helps extend wear, has no scent, and is also availble in a mini size
  • Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt has been featured here before and a single tub will last a long time, I use it 1x per week to every other week now and am getting close to finishing another one so I stocked up, review here and here in case you’re curious
  • Sephora Collection Soft Touch Cotton Pads are great basic cotton pads that won’t leave fibers in your eyes, I stocked up on 3 packs because apparently my husband has been using mine although he doesn’t use toner or need/use makeup remover so I’m not sure what he’s using them for, either way they are inexpensive even without the discount and don’t disintegrate
  • YSL L’Homme Deodorant is a restock for my husband and it’s one of his favorite deodorants of all time, he has sensitive under arms but this one works for him – I bought it because the Sephora sales rep told me it was “the best” he tried and that I would not regret buying it, he was right! My husband loves the smell and I love the smell, it lasts all day on him and is non-irritating, he wants me to tell you that he thinks it will make a good stocking stuffer for guys, lol
Next are some sets that I found interesting and ordered online because of overwhelmingly positive customer reviews. One is being returned.
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul - Holiday 2016

Shown above:

  • Peter Thomas Roth masks have been raved about by so many I decided to finally try the Mask-A-Holic 5 Piece Kit ($75 for a $230 value), there is also the Mask Vault ($225 for a $352 value) but the 5 piece set seemed like a much better value/deal – if you’ve tried them let me know what you think or if you have favorites!
  • Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil 7 Piece Body Butter Collection is something I bought for stocking stuffers, I tried Gingerbread Vanilla and had a friend over and asked her to take a whiff to make sure it just wasn’t me, these are very strong in scent and very very sweet, if you like sweet or vanilla you’ll love these, me and my friend found them too strong so it’s going back, I don’t think my friends will like these
  • Elizabeth and James Find Your Nirvana Set has four 0.10 oz/ 3 mL Eau de Parfum mini rollerballs in Nirvana Black, Nirvana White, Nirvana Bourbon and Nirvana Rose, it’s a great way to try all four or keep one in a clutch
  • Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Trio has a lot of positive reviews, they are clay masks that are supposed to transform into a foaming cleanser when you add water, I haven’t tried it yet but have high hopes!
  • Skin Inc. Prep + Peel Set is something I bought to try the peel described as “non-abrasive” – will keep you posted as I try these, I may wait until after Thanksgiving to try these just in case I have an allergic reaction to anything
Elizabeth and James launched two candles in Nirvana Black and Nirvana White, both are online only (at least for the moment). They also have a couple sets with the candle like the House of Nirvana Black Gift Set. I haven’t burned it yet but it smells amazing from just opening the box. The Nirvana Black is my favorite and I think having this as a home scent will be incredible. The Find Your Nirvana Set minis shown next to candle for scale.
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul Elizabeth and James - Holiday 2016

Makeup picks where I went for minis and stocking stuffers:
The Beauty Look Book Sephora Sale Haul Minis - Holiday 2016

Shown above:

Last but not least, I did buy the Laura Mercier Iconics Holiday Box Set. I went back and forth debating whether to buy it as there are a number of other Advent Calendar/Box Beauty Sets that are tempting this year. At the $170 retail price the 12 items in the box average to about $14.17 per item. With the 20% off the set price is $136 which makes each item about $11.33 (not including sales tax). The presentation is gorgeous and even though the box appears to be cardboard it’s very well made. I said I would review this earlier but after looking at it and seeing as I have already tried 8 of the 12 items I am going to save this as a gift for a very special someone although I don’t want to say who because it’s supposed to be a surprise. Everything is individually wrapped but if you want to see real life photographs I can carefully open the box to photograph for this post. Here’s the stock image as a place holder for now.

Hope you enjoyed this haul post! To recap, if you have VIB Member Status you can save 20% off purchases starting today 11/11 and through 11/14/2016 at Sephora. Use code 20VIB at checkout if you’re shopping online at Sephora.com
P.S. I am expecting my Tom Ford Winter Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes to arrive today so I hope to photograph, test and swatch everything for my VIB readers before the sale ends even if it will be a first impressions kind of post.

Are you hauling anything during the sale this weekend? Or did you already shop last weekend for the VIB Rouge?
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.