Glossier just launched their limited-edition Black Tie Set ($50) for holiday and it comes packaged in the cutest white box with a satin black ribbon. Inside you get four full-sized beauty products including a clear lip gloss, No. 1 Eye Pencil in Graphite, Nail Polish in #glossierpink and Haloscope Highlighter in Moonstone. The packaging is so perfect: cute, feminine, glam all in one and I just couldn’t resist ordering one out of curiosity and I’m glad I did.
The set is designed to give you a “Glossier party look.” To me all the items have an understated, subtle barely-there kind of glow rather than a party vibe unless you’re the kind of girl who likes to party without much makeup. When I think about each item individually: I really didn’t need another clear lip gloss, I have a number of highlighters that I already love and use, the graphite liner is something I wouldn’t really pick out on my own as I tend to gravitate towards bronze shades, and the pink nail polish seemed a bit basic. In spite of all these feelings I still really love this set and love the youthful fun vibe it gives. Thoughts on each of the items:
The Glossier Lip Gloss is clear but comes with a pink tint giving it a special girly kind of feel. It’s thick and slightly sticky but not tacky.
The Moonstone cheek highlighter is very sheer and dewy with a youthful feel. It has an emollient feel with a dewy finish reminding me of the RMS Living Luminizer but in packaged in a twist up tube.
The #glossierpink nail polish exceeded my expectations in formula and the brush is really good. Almost a Dior kind of good. The color appears to be your basic kind of pink but on the fingers with two coats it has extremely good smooth coverage and gives a feminine dainty kind of feel. It lasted on my hands for a good 7 days without any tip wear but you do need to use a good base coat to make it stick/adhere to the nails. I used Formula X The System Originals base and top coat when testing.
The No. 1 Pencil in Graphite is a shimmery gunmetal, it has just the right amount of shimmer without being glittery, texture is smooth
A closer look at each item, first swatches of the whole set:
The Lip Gloss:
The Eyeliner in Graphite and Haloscope Highlighter in Moonstone:
One last look below of the nail polish, it’s applied with two coats:
Overall I love the set even if it doesn’t really give me a party look. I did expect to like it as much as I do especially since I think Glossier items more for the super minimalist no-makeup kind of girl. The items are still well made and fun. There’s a very youthful vibe to this set which I think is what appeals to me. The packaging is just too cute. I love that the clear gloss has a pinkish tint to the formula.
The set is limited-edition and retails for $50, available exclusively online at Glossier. You can save 20% off your first order by clicking this referral link. I think this was worth the price and am really happy with everything. If you’ve tried this set or other Glossier items let me know in the comments!
Quick note – I’ve had some site updates and changes and it appears some of you haven’t been able to post comments. I’m working to get this fixed, in the meantime thank you for your patience!
Edward Bess has launched quite a few new things including some classic additions in eye makeup along with three new perfumes. Today I’m reviewing the eye makeup – all true to Edward Bess style where makeup is classic to enhance your features in a natural way but make them look better. I got a sneak preview back in September at Neiman Marcus while visiting his counter. He swatched his new Perfect Line Every Time Liner on the back of his hand and once it sets it does not budge. If you are able to visit any of his counters while he’s in store (all locations listed here) I highly recommend you do – you will be in for a treat.
Up first is my favorite item the Earth Tones Naturally Enhancing Eyeshadow Palette. It has five natural shades that are very natural but not invisible. The colors look like they run neutral-cool in the palette but on my skin they have a mix of neutral, cool and warm. Colors have the most beautiful finely milled kind of shimmer and texture is buttery soft for smooth natural application. If you like bold full pigment kinds of shades you may find this too natural. But for the person who wants a very natural look for the eyes and a palette that is easy to wear for everyday this one is a great one.
Colors are a pale cool white shimmer, satiny light pink mauve, medium warm plum shimmer, shimmering grey taupe mauve, deeper cool-toned purple. Swatched below:
Quick eye look with all colors on the eyes:
I couldn’t find anything quite like the colors in this palette from what I own. I pulled the Dior Eye Reviver Palette reviewed here which has a similar effect in the natural finish but runs cooler and has a sheerer finish with some of the shades.
Next are the Perfect Line Every Time Liner in Deep Deep Black and Wish Granted Magic in a Bottle Mascara in Onyx. The Perfect Line liner is a deep true black with a twist up style applicator and smudge brush at the end. It does indeed last a very long time (all day on me) with out smudging or budging once you apply and let it set. It glides on easily without any tugging and gives a rich deep black color. It does set quickly so if you need to smudge or blend with an applicator I recommend you do so quickly.
The Wish Granted Mascara is a true black mascara. It’s described as a long lasting clump free mascara to add volume. I am extremely picky with mascara as I have straight lashes that require curling. Most mascaras smudge, don’t hold the curl, or flake. This one from Edward Bess did not smudge and there was no clumping so on those points it’s a winner. For me I have a serious need for volume and this one can be built in two layers for volume but I found it didn’t give me as much drama as some other formulas.
Perfect Line in action at Edward’s counter:
Last but not least are three brow products called Big Wow Full Brow Pomade . It comes in three colors, Light Taupe, Medium Taupe and Rich. I can use either Medium Taupe or Rich for my coloring and it’s really really good. It is an easy to blend natural looking brow product. It has a whipped formula that is lightweight and has the ability to coat hairs or fill in sparse areas. As one who finds I can’t wear any brow products with red, I really like these color options. He has a Dual Ended Brow Brush for these, but I find you can use any angled brush. I tried with the MAC 266 and Wayne Goss Brush 21 and both worked really well.
These look natural and are easy to use. Thumbs up.
One last quick look from my visit to his counter at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills. Many of you often ask what my natural lip color looks like, here’s a photo of me without anything on the lips – it was after lunch and everything had worn off. To the right is his Big Kiss Lipstick.
Bottom line some solid additions to Edward Bess’s line. I really love his Earth Tones Eyeshadow Palette and the new Brow Pomades and as a natural-neutral makeup lover these are just perfect. I’ll have a dedicated post on his fragrances soon. One briefly reviewed in my Fall Fragrance Loves for Him and Her post if you want a quick peek.
Every once in a while I’ll try a product and wonder what took me so long to try it. Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadows fall into that category (along with some of the blushes reviewed here). For the longest time I’ve avoided many items from the Kevyn Aucoin beauty line simply because of the price points. So many of his products have been widely raved about, and rightly so due to their good quality and solid performance. Kevyn Aucoin recently launched a set exclusive to Space NK called The Making Eyes Kit ($125, a $160 value if you purchase items separately). This kit includes:
The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 (0.04 oz)
The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette (0.03 oz)
The Expert Mascara Black (0.4 oz)
The Eyelash Curler
The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black (0.04 oz)
Space NK kindly sent the set for me to try and part of me was really excited to try things I’ve always been curious about. The other part of me wondered if this would live up to the hype as the items look incredibly basic. I love beauty basics and classics but sometimes there are products that just simply seem a bit too basic to justify the splurge when less expensive options will work just as well. I was really impressed with the Eye Shadow Palette, Brow Pencil and Eye Pencil. More thoughts on each item below.
Quick look at the box. The set comes cased in a large black box with a mirror. I like that everything has it’s own individually molded compartment so if you have this shipped to you, items stay in place. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the box at the moment. I suppose I could use it for travel by taking out the insert. The larger mirror is nice to have when you’re on the go. However the box is made of cardboard so I don’t know how well it will hold up traveling.
First a look at the items swatched:
For me the winner of this set is The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 which has a mix of cool tones. The set comes with a little instruction card on how to apply the colors but I took one look and decided to apply them my own way. I have no crease in the lids so most of the time I need to apply shadows differently from most other women anyways in a gradient. Since I have no fold or crease I don’t usually do the outer corner or v-shape blending.
Colors in this palette include a shimmering soft but pigmented black, lavender purple shimmer, beige satin, white frost, bone satin. All of the colors have some degree of shimmer but it is very soft on the skin. If you’re a no-shimmer kind of person for eyeshadows I think this will still work for you as the finish is VERY very soft.
The pigment is medium but buildable. Texture is very soft and looks natural on the eyes. As one who does not really like cool tones (especially white frosts) because they often look sharp or contrast with my olive skin I was surprised to find this one worked really well with my skintone for a cool-toned smoky eye with a hint of purple. The black looks like it could be chalky if you swatch it on the hand or arm. With a brush it’s intense and very pigmented but not too sharp. It’s a very good one to apply along the lash line and easy to blend and smoke out. Below shows all the items in the kit applied including the mascara, liner and brow pencil.
Next are The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette and The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black. The Precision Brow Pencil is very easy to use and Brunette is a good neutral to cool toned brown that works for my dark hair. For me I like that there is no red undertone which I find some brow pencils have, yet there’s not too much grey which can sometimes cause my brows to look ashy. I like that if you twist product up you can also twist it back down.
The Eye Pencil in Basic Black is one of the deepest black pencils I’ve tried. It has a smooth and super creamy texture. In terms of lasting power it stayed put on my eyes all day without any smudging or budging. I used it along upper lashes and waterline. That being said, I will usually also see how it holds up on the arm. When I test liners, let it sit for about 30 minutes on the arm, then take my finger and swipe it across the arm swatch to see how much it smudges. On the arm it smudged while some other liners set and don’t budge. That being said I tried this on a few different days and on my eyes it lasted all day without any budging so for me it’s a winner.
Last but not least are The Expert Mascara Black and The Eyelash Curler. Both of these have been raved about by many people. To date I have only tried the mascara in mini forms that usually come with the Space NK gwps and had not really been that impressed. The full size does perform better but my heart still belongs to the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascaras for volume, curl-holding and lasting power. The one from Kevyn Aucoin is a deep black, doesn’t clump or smudge. It does a good job at coating each lash but for me it simply does not hold the curl and doesn’t give me the volume the other two do. Do note that I have incredibly skimpy straight lashes so I need a miracle mascara to make it look like I have any.
The eyelash curler works well too. I was relieved to find there was no pinching (for me the Shiseido one everyone raves about just doesn’t work for me at all). It has a very lightweight feel which makes it easy to use but I prefer something with a bit more weight to it. That being said it performs well and I am happy to own it.
Bottom line a solid set of good eye basics. I am already plotting another eyeshadow palette purchase because this one is just so good. If you have any recommendations for the palettes or duos let me know! You can find all the items in this set individually if you prefer to pick and choose items on your own. However the Kevyn Aucoin The Making Eyes Kit as a set is a Space NK exclusive.
Have you tried any of these yet? What did you think?
The Making Eyes Kit was provided courtesy of Space NK for review.
If I were stuck on a desert island and could only have one makeup palette with me, it would be any of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. I’ve been such a huge fan of Urban Decay for years and out of all the makeup I’ve bought, tried and tested, the Naked2 and Naked3 Eyeshadow Palettes are hands down my favorites – ever. I’ve done quite a few reviews on each palette in the past but I don’t think I’ve ever rounded them all up in one post. Today I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share my favorites from the line along with swatches and thoughts on their latest launch the UD x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette.
The Naked, Naked2, Naked3 and Naked Smoky Palettes all have a mix of beautiful neutrals. Each palette offers a diverse range of colors and textures ranging from matte, shimmer, frost, glitter and satin. The texture of the shadows are amazingly smooth, rich and super easy to blend. They last all day on my lids – although some of the glitter shades will have some fallout. I would say Naked has the most diverse range of neutrals from light, medium to dark. It has a split mix of warm and cool shades. Naked2 is the most neutral option with colors that will make any taupe lover go crazy. It has 2 of my favorite colors in YDK and Suspect (also available individually). Naked3 is the rosy pink neutral option, as one who rarely wears pink eye shadow, it was a huge surprise to me at how wearable the colors in this one are. The colors are absolutely perfect. The latest Naked palette is the Naked Smoky which I adore but is hit or miss for many. It’s the darkest and most dramatic mix of neutrals – the texture of the shadows is slightly harder than the other palettes, but I find pigment to still be excellent and easy to blend.
The best matte eyeshadow palettes on the market are the Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics. I passed on the Naked Basics one for the longest time because I thought the colors would be too light for my skintone. Thanks to the extra push from my readers, I bought it and have been really happy. I don’t usually like matte shadows because I find they are either too sheer or too intense. Sheer ones just don’t show up on my skin, intense ones are too powdery or creamy and make my lids look wrinkled. The ones from Urban Decay are the perfect texture to just melt into the skin but at the same time the pigment shows up really well. The colors are easy to blend with each other. I like using these alone or mixed with shimmer colors. If I had to pick one, I would say Naked2 Basics is my favorite for my medium olive-toned skin, but both are really good.
The 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencils come in a wide range of colors. I of course prefer the neutrals (there are tons of options in this range), but there are lots of bold brights and shimmers that are really fun. I always have Bourbon on hand, I have a few actually. One is a mini from a holiday set, and I also have the full size. It’s a shimmering dark chocolate brown. Rockstar is a classic deep plum. I like that it’s deep but not so dark that it looks black. The Naked Double-Ended Pencils are nice to have for travel because you get 2 shades in one stick.
If you’ve used Urban Decay for a long time, you are probably aware of the lipstick changes over the years. The formulas have changed numerous times (they used to have their glosses in a squeeze tube, anyone remember Midnight Cowboy?). Right now three current lip formulas I like include the Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss, Revolution Hi-Color Lipgloss and Revolution Lipstick.
The Ultra Nourishing Lipglosses are cushiony shiny glosses. They are on the sheer side, so many of them end up looking very similar once on the lips with slight variations. My favorite is Naked because it has the prettiest sheen and shimmer that makes the lips look full but not too full.
The Revolution High-Color Lipgloss is a rich pigment gloss that is almost like a liquid lipstick. The two neutrals in the line are Kinky and Liar, I almost bought both but they are really similar. Liar is deeper and more pink, while Kinky is more beige and peachy.
For the lipsticks, I’ve only bought one formula. There are three formulas of lipstick. The Revolution Lipstick is the classic version which offers creamy pigmented coverage with a bit of a sheen. Lasting power is really good. There is also the Revolution Sheer Lipstick and Revolution Matte Lipstick as well which I haven’t tested on my lips, but when swatching them in store, the sheers are just that – sheer. The mattes are full coverage velvets.
For the face, the Naked Skin products have often received high ratings and raves. I have tried two items and really like them. The Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation is a smooth powder that gives natural medium to full coverage. I use the shade Medium Light Warm. I like to use it to set liquid foundation or for mid-day touch ups on the T-zone. As a foundation it lasts pretty long and looks very natural. I like that it doesn’t cake even if you use the sponge. The Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer is a great concealer for both under eye and spot coverage. It’s full coverage without looking cakey. My match is Medium Neutral and I like how it really covers but blends well into the skin so it looks like your skin.
Swatches of all the concealer shades:
Last but not least, the latest from Urban Decay is a celebrity collaboration. They just launched the UD x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette (limited-edition). Being a fan of both, I knew had to buy it even though at first glance there were 2 shades I thought might be questionable. Here’s a quick snapshot below to show you the size/scale of the packaging compared to the other palettes. It has 15 eyeshadows in a large mirrored compact (Naked palettes have 6 to 12 shades). I love the little detailing on the mirror.
The 15 shades are mostly neutral with 3 colors that offer a bit of pop. There is a good mix of matte, shimmer and satin with one glittery shade and two colors that are on the sparkly side. I’ve been playing with this for only a few days but initial thoughts are thumbs up.
Descriptions of the colors in the UD x Gwen Stefani Palette:
Blondie is a shimmering pale cool-toned cream
Bathwater is a frosted yellow champagne
Skimp is a satiny soft pale cream with pink tones
Steady is a shimmering beige pink
Punk is a matte warm brown
Baby is a shimmering neutral mauve pink taupe
Anaheim is a matte fawn beige
Stark is a matte warm beige
Zone is a matte tan
Serious is a satiny grey brown with shimmer, goes on more matte
Pop is a glitter champagne sparkle
Harajuku is a cool-toned blue based pink shimmer
Danger is a sparkling bright navy
1987 is a sparkling gold
Blackout is a matte black
Pigment on all the colors is really good. There is some fallout with a few of the shimmering sparkles like Harajuku, 1987 and Baby, but once on the lids they stay put. The only color I wasn’t thrilled with is Pop mainly because it has crazy fall out with the glittery chunks unless you pat on the lids with a finger (over cream shadow to help it stick). I thought Danger would be a mess but it actually stayed put and didn’t fall all over the face when I applied with a detail brush. I thought Harajuku would give me a pink-eye look but it’s actually a very wearable pink.
Quick eye look with six colors layered and blended. The camera flash washed out the colors but I included a snapshot of the colors lined up together I used to help show the mix:
That rounds up my favorites from Urban Decay. There are a lot of single shadows that fall in the shimmer neutral category that are staples in my weekly makeup routine but the palettes are so much more convenient to use. Many times I find palettes have a few shades that I don’t like but with the Naked ones, I like every color in every palette.
If you’re looking for a versatile palette, you can’t go wrong the Naked Palettes. My top 3 favorites are Naked2, Naked3 and Naked2 Basics – they are good for everyday, great for travel and have enough color to create a look for evening or special occasions. The colors are timeless and you can wear them any time of year.
Do you have any Urban Decay favorites? I’m curious about the Naked Skin Foundation, Loose Powder and Afterglow Blush – if you have any thoughts please let me know, I’d be interested to hear what you think.
Thanks to Nordstrom for teaming up to sponsor this post. As always, all opinions my own.
The Nocturnal Eyeshadows are shimmering luminous eyeshadows that have a multi-dimensional effect. A brush or finger will pick up a lot of pigment, but they apply medium-sheer in pigment on first swipe. What’s nice about these is that they are easy to build for a smokey eye. Over a base or applied wet the color intensifies. Dry, you get a softer shimmering effect on the lids. The shadows come in a small mirrored compact that is pretty sturdy for the size. The mirror is so so tiny though, it’s hard to see anything with it.
The Huntress is a bronzey taupe with a slight khaki sheen on my skin, there’s a bit of silver and gold flecks mixed in so you can see it’s pretty complex
Amber Moon is a deep metallic bronze eyeliner, but the shimmer is very fine and the color is deep
On The Prowl looks similar to The Huntress in the compact, but if the light hits it at the right angle you can see more of a plum base, below you can see the shimmer particles are different in color
Supernova is a bright but deep sparkling plum, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite as pretty
Each duo comes with a mini Rock ‘n’ Kohl Eye Pencil, both of which have a subtle luminosity and have seriously impressive lasting power. I really like the formula and plan on checking out the other shades that come in full sizes. Right now the colors in the duos are only available in the duos. I hope that changes and that Charlotte Tilbury will add them to the permanent lineup.
The two colors I picked with close ups, swatches and comparisons:
On the Prowl + Supernova: an antique Byzantium aubergine flecked with pearl and partnered with a smoky plum liner.
Swatches of the shadow three ways, first is dry (no base), second is over Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base in Suede (this is my holy grail eye base), third is applied wet. Because there is so much shimmer in these it’s a bit hard to tell in photos, but the intensity does increase dramatically when applied over a base or with a damp brush. Supernova Eyeliner is just stunning. It’s bright but deep at the same time.
I’m thrilled with both. I love dark smokey shimmers that aren’t the traditional black or grey color for a smokey eye look. If I had to pick a favorite, I would say I have a very slight preference towards the plum colors which surprises me. The combination is just so so pretty. If you are the kind to try before you buy, definitely visit your closest Charlotte Tilbury counter soon. These are both perfect to add a bit of glow and dimension to your beauty look for the upcoming holiday events but still neutral enough to wear for everyday.