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Kat Von D


Kat Von D Beauty: Lolita Lip Duo and Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Synergy

November 5, 2015

I’ve been hauling a few things here and there from Sephora and recently picked up some items from Kat Von D Beauty. The Metal Crush Eyeshadow ($21 for 2.8 g) in Synergy has been on my wishlist for a long time but it’s something I always forget to pick up in store so I ordered it online. It’s a glorious copper bronze with the most amazing texture and shimmer. The Lolita Lip Duo ($19.50 for 2 x 0.10 oz) is a new limited-edition pack of two mini liquid lipsticks in the classic Lolita shade (dark chestnut rose) and a new Lolita II (dark terracotta). The Lolita Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is something that appears to have reached cult status. By the time I decided I wanted to try it, most of the shades in the formula were sold out (and many still are). As soon as the Lolita Lip Duo popped up online I decided this was the time to try it out (although Lolita is also in the Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip Set too).

Up first is a review on the Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Synergy which is a super pigmented bronze shimmer eyeshadow. It’s so soft and velvety it’s almost like a pressed pigment. I have nothing but good things to say about this one. One swipe with a brush and it glides onto the lids beautifully. I would say the texture is similar to that of Urban Decay shimmer eyeshadows but the Kat Von D Beauty Metal Crush is softer. The color is high in shimmer but it’s not over the top and wears beautifully as a smokey bronze. On my face it pulls warm. On the hand it pulls more neutral at least on me. Your mileage may vary depending on how warm or cool your complexion is. Being the neutral lover that I am I wish this formula came in more neutral shades like a soft peach, tan gold, or champagne. Most of the colors in this formula are edgy and very bold. 

You can apply these with a dry or damp brush.  The pigment is so good you really don’t need a damp brush to intensify the color. Even blended out you can see there’s still a lot of color that shows up. Lasting power is very good with this one – it stayed put all day from early morning until late evening without smudging or fading. Since the texture is soft and powdery there is some fallout when you apply it, but once it’s on the skin it doesn’t move unless you rub your eyes.

Here are a few swatched comparisons:

NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Telesto (c/o, review here)
MAC Pigment in Chocolate Brown (discontinued)
MAC Eyeshadow in Sable

Up next is the Lolita Lip Duo. I had very high hopes for this as there are over 3,000 reviews on the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick formula online at Sephora, most have extremely high ratings with tons of raves. I think I overhyped this in my head and the fact that Lolita was near impossible to find made me have high expectations. The formula is on point for a liquid lipstick. The texture is super pigmented so you only need a little bit to cover the entire lip. The lasting power is also quite impressive. Even with the matte finish formula the product doesn’t feel dry on the lips. I will say this is half love, and half luke-warm. The regular Lolita is a dark chestnut brown pink which swatches beautifully on the hands but on my lips it turns very dark and cool. If it were 1-2 shades lighter and a bit warmer I think it would be 100% love. On my medium olive complexion I feel like it looks like dark death. Lolita II on the other hand is pure love. It’s a terracotta orange pink shade that I expected to look like an orange brick brown color on the lips but I find the warmth makes it more wearable for my olive complexion. It does darken on my lips after it dries but I still really like it.

After doing some searching on Google it appears Lolita has gone through a few variations. Some show the original one to be lighter and more neutral which is something I think I would have loved. The current one appears to be darker and more cool-toned by 2-3 shades.

Note your mileage may vary depending on your skintone, for some reason these darken on my lips and look different than they do in the tubes and when swatched on the hands/arms:

Swatch comparisons below:
Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme in Mahogany (c/o, review here)
Tom Ford Lip Color in Negligee (swatches here)
Buxom Lip Foundation in Revealed (c/o)
MAC Lipstick in Velvet Teddy
Tom Ford Lip Color in Twist of Fate (review here)
Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Creme in J’Adore (c/o, review here)
Buxom Lip Foundation in Bare (c/o)

One last shot below:
Overall, two hits and one miss for me which isn’t bad considering I ordered the lip duo sight unseen. I’m not sure if it’s just a combination of my skin tone and lip tone which both seem to turn Lolita dark on my face. Synergy Eyeshadow is pure love. It’s such a pretty warm bronzey color that seems perfect for year round. I hope they expand the color range in the eyeshadow formula because it’s just so so good.

I’m still relatively new to the Kat Von D Beauty line. I do adore and love her Ink Liner which is among the best that I’ve tried. I’ve used up one and repurchased it. If you have any other favorites please let me know what you think I should check out.

The Kat Von D Beauty line can be found exclusively at Sephora. The Lolita Lip Duo is limited-edition while Synergy Eyeshadow is part of the permanent lineup. (P.S. Sephora’s VIB Rouge Sale starts tomorrow 11/6 with code ROUGE20 online, stay tuned for recs and my wishlist!)


Loving Right Now + Weekend Reads

September 20, 2014

I hope everyone had a great week. I spent the last couple days in Los Angeles to visit with family, preview the new Hourglass store in Venice Beach and meet up with Edward Bess at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills. I’m a bit behind on reviews but am working all weekend editing and photographing for posts to be published this week. Right now I’m in love with (left to right):

  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is one of my holy grail powder highlighter palettes with three shades of their Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light, Incandescent Light (exclusive to palette) and Radiant Light, it is something I find perfect for travel and it works for both eyes and cheeks
  • Charlotte Tilbury Blondie Lip Lustre is the perfect soft pale pink that doesn’t wash out the complexion, lasts for hours and is also lovely as a layering color
  • NARS Anita Audacious Lipstick has been in frequent rotation as a good neutral rose pink
  • NARS Himalia and Subra Dual Intensity Eyeshadows are my go-to shades when I want something easy to wear that goes with just about any color of lip/cheek or clothing (if you just get one, Himalia is a must-check-out)
  • Tatcha Travel-Sized Beauty is my latest obsession, their minis of Beauty Oil and Classic Rice Enzyme Powder Cleansers are what I bring with me on weekend getaways (the packaging of the travel sizes are just as good in design and quality as the full size, huge plus for me)
  • Guerlain Waterproof Mascara has been a must-have all summer for volumizing and holding the curl, I just bought my second tube of it
  • Kat Von D Ink Liner is my everything for liquid liners right now
  • L’Artisan Mure et Musc is my favorite scent of the moment, I just purchased my second bottle after my last one accidentally broke (I knocked it off my desk and it shattered)
  • Edward Bess All Over Seduction is my holy grail cream highlighter, some asked me for a recommendation on a liquid/cream version that doesn’t interfere with foundation if you put it on top, this one is THE one to try (Sunlight shown above, but I also adore Afterglow the darker peachy bronze version)
  • Formula X Remarkable Translucent Nail Polish is the perfect pale sheer (swatches soon)

Some weekend reads and videos I think are worth a look:

What are you loving this weekend? P.S. I’m behind on responding to comments and e-mails, I’ll be responding as soon!

Monthly Beauty Favorites

August 31, 2014

I discovered quite a few new favorites in August it was difficult to narrow down my list to under 20 items. My Sony NEX-6L/B
just broke right after photographed my monthly favorites along with some new items from Tom Ford Fall and Edward Bess. It will take 2-3 weeks for me to get it back after it goes to the repair center. As a blogger and photographer, I really should have more than one camera for times just like this. I called up my brother to ask for a camera recommendation. I wanted something that was super easy to use, easy to hold, affordable and compact. He said hands down buy something from the Canon G Series – after doing a few hours of research and watching several videos, I ordered a Canon PowerShot G16 as my second camera. I took my first photos with it for the Tom Ford Black Cherry post and am so impressed with the image quality and functions. Many of you have asked me for more info on my cameras, as soon as the Sony gets back from repair, I’ll do a post on both to compare. If you have any camera favorites I’d love to hear what you love. I hope to upgrade to an SLR by the end of the year.

Onto my favorites for the month of August:

  1. Truffle Privacy Clutch in Blush has become a favorite for a classic, sleek and compact clutch. It’s super sturdy and extremely well made. Use code LABORDAY for free US shipping through Monday. (Review and more photos here.)
  2. Clare Vivier Wallet Clutch is another new favorite, it’s the compact version (measures 8″ x 5″) of their regular Flat Clutch (measures 11.5″ x 7″) making it perfect as a change purse that will also hold a lipstick, business cards, and keys. 
  3. West Elm Acrylic Trays are a new discovery for me. I’ve been a huge fan of their Lacquer Trays (we have them all over the house). I’m thrilled West Elm made one that is high quality at an affordable price. Huge thumbs up (they come in the square and rectangle options).
  4. YSL Volupté Sheer Candy has been a go-to this summer, I almost always have one in my bag or purse with me. (Review on new shades here.)
  5. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is a favorite darker scent. It will be perfect as we transition to fall and suitable to wear through winter. (Full review here.)
  6. YSL Gris Deco has been the most commented-on polish I’ve worn all month. It was amazing how many people asked me “what nail polish are you wearing?” It has this unique mix of blue in it to make you wonder if it’s blue, grey or white. I love it for a super polished look that’s not too pale. (Swatches and review here.)
  7. Diptyque Figuier is one of my favorite Diptyque scents. I never tire of it no matter what the season is. I’m particularly fond of it in fall/winter. It’s a warming soothing scent that completely lifts one’s mood. It’s super relaxing and lush. (Cleaning and recycle tutorial here, find the 411 on size options here.)
  8. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Nude Dip sold out online within a few hours, I still haven’t seen it pop up on Nordstrom or Bloomingdales yet, there is a possibility some other retailers might re-stock. You will have to do a bit of calling around to locate one but it’s definitely worth the extra effort. I’d recommend calling Neiman Marcus Fashion Island or Beverly Hills to see if they have any left. (Review soon.)
  9. Guerlain Cils D’Enfer Waterproof Mascara is something I’ve been obsessed with for a few months now. I discovered this one thanks to The RaeViewer’s channel (if she loves it, I usually end up loving it too). It really stays put, doesn’t smudge, has a deep lush black finish and doesn’t make the lashes look crunchy. (My review here.)
  10. Garance Doré x Rifle Paper is one of the cutest collections I’ve seen for stationary. I love the chic designs, they have cards that are really fun. They make great gifts, I know my friends have loved the notepads and birthday cards. 
  11. L’Occitane Hand Cream Pouch has been selling out very quickly (it’s a steal!), I managed to buy three sets when they restocked a couple weeks ago, it looks like it just sold out again, but I recommend you keep checking, I expect they will restock again.
  12. Clé de Peau Beauté Almond Concealer is an exact match for me. I’m thrilled they expanded their color options. I hope they do the same for foundations as well, I just tested a couple and fell head over heels with two of the formulas (my wallet is crying now). (Swatches here.)
  13. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow has been a staple duo this month. The line will launch in a few days in the US. (I’m so excited!) I am still photographing the two sets I ordered from the UK. Reviews will be posted as soon as possible.
  14. Edward Bess Illuminating Eyeshadow Base is one of my holy grail eye bases. (My thoughts here and here.)
  15. Kat Von D Ink Liner has seriously made my life easier when it comes to liquid liner. (Review here.) You can’t beat the ease of use, color, pigment, and quality at an affordable price.
  16. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel is my new favorite nude pink. It’s literally everything I have ever wanted for that perfect nude pink lip color. I can’t always pull off nudes on the lips because they often look so pale. This one is absolutely perfect. It’s a good nude pink that doesn’t wash out the complexion. (Swatches here.)

What have been your favorites this past month?

Liquid Eye Liners | Chanel, Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford

August 26, 2014

I’ve never been a fan of liquid eyeliners on me. The traditional kind with a tiny brush at the end has always felt flimsy to me which has never let me control the line on the eyes. I don’t have the steadiest hands and prefer to line with a detail brush and a darker powder shadow or a pencil that I can blend easily. I’ve tested a few felt tip liquid liners in stores (on the hand) and found they either looked grey when they dried, had felt tips that looked mushed after use, or bled into crevices easily. I dismissed them for many years until I discovered Tom Ford’s Defining Eye Pen last year and it completely changed my outlook on liners. Since then I’ve been braver with the liquid liner application and have been able to test a few more. I don’t have a good tutorial on application but find it’s best when applied in short strokes (even if it’s messy) along the upper lash line and then built up for thickness and precision. I absolutely loved this Easy Winged Liner Technique video by MakeupbyTiffanyD which helped me tremendously as a liquid liner beginner.

Five liquid liners I’ve tried that I wanted to share (with a Sharpie and Post Card for size reference):

  • Chanel Écriture de Chanel Stylo Eye-Liner in Noir ($35) was the second liquid liner I purchased. The artists at the Chanel counter raved about it when it came out with the fall collection. Noir is a true black but when you compare it to the other five I have, it’s not the deepest and looks slightly greyish. It has a felt tip and the cap has a slight spring inside when you close it, the packaging seals it completely so it doesn’t dry out. My initial thoughts on this were that it was a good liquid liner, but after comparing it to others, it’s just not as good. It takes a long time to dry, the tip isn’t quite as precise and just looks grayish once it does dry.
  • Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper ($18) has made it into my top three picks. The Ink Liner comes with a felt tip while the Tattoo Liner comes with a brush tip. This one has a stiffer tip that is still slightly flexible. For me it creates a super precise line and is very easy to control. When testing which one would remove easily off my arm with a dual-phase eye makeup remover, this was the second longest lasting (next to Tom Ford). This one also has a spring insert in the cap which seals it completely once closed. I like that it’s very fluid and there’s no bleeding when you apply it.
  • Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen in Blacquer ($30) is one I had high hopes for based on the rave reviews. When I first tried it I did not like it. The felt tip was too soft for a precise line. After experimenting with it some more, I found it best when applied sideways or horizontally and then gliding it across the lids in short feathery strokes. It dries nicely to a true rich and glossy black but doesn’t smudge. It is a liner I find takes more time. When I’m in a rush, this one isn’t the best for me. 
  • Charlotte Tilbury The Feline Flick Quick Fine Line Shodõ Pen is something I purchased from the from the Rock Chic set on Charlotte Tilbury UK. Now available in the US at Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman and Beautylish. This one is quite amazing with a super precise line and glossy rich black finish. It stays put and sets quickly. I love that it is super easy to glide on for precise application. The stiffer tip makes it easier for me to apply versus one that bends easily. Huge thumbs up for this one.
  • Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen in Deeper 01 ($55) is hands down the best liquid eye liner I’ve tried. It comes with two tips, one is a thicker brush, the other is a smaller felt tip. This one is super easy to apply. It gives a super dark black line and is the easiest for me to use (which is important since I’m not the best at applying liquid liners). It’s lasted almost a year for me without drying out and the tips have remained sharp.

Comparisons to pencil liners: Houglass 1.5 Mechanical Pencil, Chanel Stylo Yeux in Gris and Edward Bess Defining Eyeliner in Deep Brown

To summarize my thoughts:

Top three picks
Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury and Kat Von D
Deepest black: Charlotte Tilbury
Longest lasting: Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford
Most precise: Tom Ford and Kat Von D
Easiest to control: Tom Ford

If I were pressed to pick just one, it would hands down be the Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen even though $55 for an eyeliner is quite ridiculous. It’s super easy to control for a lighter or deeper line. It also has two tip sizes for a fine or thick line. It glides on and doesn’t smudge and retains its lush dark glossy black color even when dried.

Are you a liquid liner fan? What are your favorites?

The Marc Jacobs and Kat Von D eyeliners were provided courtesy of Sephora for review consideration. The others were purchased by me. More information in my Disclosures.