A continuation of the last few posts, another perfect gift item for the makeup lover in your life (or, errmm, you). Sephora comes out with a Glitz and Glam set every year. The very first one I bought was when I was in Las Vegas a few years ago and I fell in love with the idea of the kit.

It comes with pretty, sparkly things usually geared towards holiday functions or going out. This year’s version is no exception and when it comes to holiday sparkle, this set will have you covered.

*press sample*

Sephora Glitz and Glam Set

The set includes:

– Full Size Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy
– 0.11 oz Nars Lip Gloss in Gold Digger
– 0.17 oz Nails Inc™ Kensington Caviar Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat
– Full Size Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelèe
– 0.135 oz Lancôme Hypnôse Star in Noir Midnight
– 0.34 oz Stila Stay All Day 10-In-One HD Illuminating Beauty Balm with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
– 1 x Sephora Collection False Eye Lashes in Celebrity
– Full Size Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool

The set retails for $45 at Sephora. The price is amazing for what you are getting here. The liner and cheek color alone cost as much as the set! The bag is one of the best I’ve seen included in a set like this before.

I have not yet tried the gel top coat or the lashes but once I do I will update with my thoughts on those.

Josie Maran Pink Escape

Josie Maran Pink Escape

I already have one of the Josie Maran Watercolor Cheek Gelee’s so I knew I would like this. It’s a punchy-pink shade that adds a “came in from the cold” flush to cheeks. It’s a gel formula that is sheer or buildable depending on your preference.

Urban Decay Space Cowboy

Urban Decay Space Cowboy

Space Cowboy is a full-on creamy glitter shadow that I use over the top of another shadow look to glam it up for night wear. I pat this onto my eyelid with my fingertips to avoid excess fallout.

Sephora Glitz and Glam Swatches

Swatches L-R: Urban Decay Space Cowboy, Josie Maran Pink Escape, NARS Gold Digger, Too Faced Liner

I’ve been wanting to try the Too Faced liner for some time. It’s an interesting concept. It has 3 individual prongs that help get in between your lashes for a more complete liner look. It’s a deep black and holds up nicely throughout the day.

I love the original version of NARS lipgloss but had not yet purchased the Larger then Life version. It’s sticky, but not overwhelmingly so. Gold Digger is a great nude shade chock-full of gold shimmer.

I love Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara (have gone through several tubes) so it’s no surprise that I like the Hypnose Star mascara that’s included here. It is, however, not as a good as my trusty Drama version.

Marc Jacobs SHowstopper Look 4

(Wearing the Josie Maran Blush, Stila HD Beauty Balm and Lancome Mascara)

The surprise hit for me was the Stila Illuminating HD Beauty Balm. Wow. That stuff is amazing. I ordered a full size tube of it already. I like it *that* much. It provides a nice, smooth canvas for the rest of my makeup, evens out my skin tone and just gives a brightened look to my complexion. I had never heard of it before but I’m totally sold on it!

This set was a lot of fun and will add a nice touch of glam to any holiday look you’ll be sporting this season.

*The item(s) in this post were sent by PR for review. No compensation of affiliate links*

It seems like every holiday season there is one palette, just one that seems to stand out above the rest. One that I absolutely have to have. Previously I’ve succumbed to brands like Sephora, Kat Von D, Urban Decay and of course, Too Faced. Their Enchanted Glamourland palette a few years back was a favorite of mine in terms of packaging and presentation.

No surprises here then, that Too Faced has done it again and pulled me in with a ridiculously great deal and immensely cute packaging.

A Few of My Favorite Things ($56 USD at Sephora) is packed with enough value and adorable names to make any beauty lover on your list giddy.

Too Faced Favorite Things

It comes in a generously sized travel makeup bag (that I have already started using). It easily fits the palette and many other products without feeling overstuffed.

Too Faced Favorite Things Extras

It also includes a mini size of their Better Than Sex mascara and a full size Lip Injection Color Bomb in Bee Sting.

Too Faced Lip Injection Bee Sting

I refuse to put this on my lips because: 1- The reviews I’ve seen thus far have claimed it to burn like the fire of 1,000 scorching suns 2- I dislike 99% of all products that claim to be “plumping” for the aforementioned reason. So, needless to say I won’t be subjecting myself to voluntary torture today. Suffice it to say that if you do decide to use this, you do so at your own risk. Seriously. Too Faced….WHY?!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Better Than Sex mascara is actually better than I expected it to be. That is to say that I’ve got my favorites when it comes to mascara and I’m incredibly picky so if I like something and reach for it more than once, it has to be good. This gives volume and length and doesn’t flake.

Too Faced Favorite Things Palette 2

The palette itself has 4 face products. 2 nicely pigmented blushes and 2 equally lovely bronzers. It also had a guide on how to create different looks. I generally make up my own as I go, but for some it’s nice to have.

Too Faced Favorite Things Face Swatches

Swatches L-R: Sun Bunny, Chocolate Soleil, Melt Into Spring, Raindrops on Roses

First, the names. How OMGFRICKENCUTE is it that Too Faced based this off the classic Sound of Music song? It’s one of the things that first attracted me to the palette. Sun Bunny is a lighter bronzer and on some skintones will be a highlight. It contains shimmer. Chocolate Soleil is a nice matte bronzer that has a slight (faux) chocolate scent to it but is pigmented for days and the quality is actually better in this palette than my single compact of it. Who knew? The two blushes really impressed me. Raindrops on Roses is a classic bright pink with a slight sheen. Melt Into Spring is just one of the most pigmented blushes EVER. It’s coral-peach perfection.

Too Faced Favorite Things Palette 1

Too Faced My Favorite Things Palette

The names. My how product names really get to me. That in combination with the shade selection made it impossible for me to say no. Really, can you blame me?

Too Faced Favorite Things Swatches 2

L-R: Buche de Noel, Chocolate Milk, Bluff, Taffy, Honey Honey, Whiskers on Kittens, Tinsel, Coquet, Cream Colored Ponies, Snowflakes

A few things to note about the shadows. Whiskers on Kittens and Snowflakes will cause fall out due to the micro-glitters contained within. When I use this palette I do my eyes first so I don’t have to worry about it. Also worth noting is the similarity of Honey Honey to Honey Pot in the Too Faced Natural Eye Palette, Coquet is similar to Satin Sheets in the Boudoir Eyes Palette (though definitely NOT a dupe). You can check out swatches of all my Too Faced palettes here.

Too Faced Favorite Things Swatches 1

Swatches L-R: Pure Glam, Soiree, Blue Satin Sashes, Dark Chocolate, Party Time, Woolen Mittens, Evergreen, Moon on Their Wings, Ooh la Orchid, Crisp Apple Struedel

The problem shades here are Ooh la Orchid (lacks pigmentation) Soiree (poor color payoff) and Moon on Their Wings (fall out city). Woolen Mittens looks similar to Velvet Revolver from the Natural Eye palette. The others seem fairly unique to Too Faced, or at least to my Too Faced collection.

My favorite shades of the palette are: Tinsel (perfect old gold shade), Bluff (love that hidden blue shimmer!), Crisp Apple Struedel (golden taupe), Party Time (I can’t get over how pretty this shade is layered or on it’s own) and Woolen Mittens/Cream Colored Ponies (excellent blending shades and perfect matte formula). I still have to experiment more with Buche de Noel and Evergreen as those shades are very pretty but I’ve not yet worn them. If you have this palette, try using Bluff wet as a liner….tell me your eyes don’t pop!

Overall this palette packs a large punch. It has 20 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, 2 bronzers and comes with a mascara and lipstick and a bag to put it all in. For $56 I’d say that’s a steal. There are a few “duds” in the shadow department and I won’t use the lipstick so I’d dock points for that. The cuteness factor, the value and the overall quality makes this a perfect gift for the makeup lover on your list.

I really *really* try not to be a so-called makeup snob. But I’m not perfect. I admit I am guilty of passing right by the Sephora brand makeup area in favor of swatching the more “worthy” brands like Dior and and NARS. I have tried to break that habit as Sephora has been consistently improving their line and adding more and more awesome pieces to their collection. You can see some of their line of 12 Hour Jumbo Pencils here which I adore, and their Outrageous Prisma Chrome shadows which I posted on Instagram here back in the winter of 2012.

When I found out they had released a new line of eyeliners along the same vein as their jumbo pencils I was thrilled- and jumped at the first chance I had to swatch them in person. Of course…. a few of them came home with me.

Sephora 12 Hour Liner Pencils

At $9 each these liners are a bargain! They contain the same amount of product as Urban Decay’s 24-7 liners at half the price. They claim to be waterproof and boast 12 hour wear. The 12 hour wear definitely stands with me, with and without primer. Waterproof? I would say more water resistant. After showering I am still left with traces of this liner on my eyes and need makeup remover to remove it. Even my boyfriend was stunned at how much scrubbing it took to get the liners off my arm at Sephora.

Sephora 12 Hour Liner Swatches

Swatches L-R: 15 Flirting Game, 17 Snakeskin Dress, 16 Roof top Party, Blonde Ambition

I fell in love with the four shades above immediately. Blonde’s Ambition is perfect for adding a touch of glow to the inner corners of your eyes. All of them have a creamy texture and are incredibly pigmented.

I swatched many more shades in store but I tried to restrain myself. I could have easily walked out with a dozen. You can see the entire shade range online here. I think I will be adding 25 Galaxy Girl and 09 Girl’s Night Out next.

What do you think? Will you be off to Sephora to check these out? I highly recommend them!

 

17. 02. 2013

One of the things that really alerted me to the presence of beauty blogs a few years ago was my intense google search(ing) for swatches, and more importantly, comparisons. I have amassed several swatch comparison posts in my time as a blogger, many of which end up being quite labor intensive. It’s worth it, though, because I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten emails/tweets/comments thanking me for comparing X to Y and how helpful it was in deciding on a purchase. Not only that, but it benefits your truly as well. When I see things side-by-side my mind creates a little photo repository and the next time someone asks me or the general masses if A compares to B, I can generally recall how close they were or what major differences I saw.

Having said that, I have once again compiled a small archive of comparison swatches over the last few months which I probably would have done individual posts on but thought it might be more fun to just collage a few of them together for a neat little post. Enjoy!

Blue Aqua Liner Comparison Swatches

L-R: MAC Undercurrent, Urban Decay LSD, Stila Peacock, Sephora 12 Hour Peacock Blue Shimmer

Sephora had released a new shade of their 12 Hour Jumbo Pencils in Peacock Blue Shimmer some time last fall and I picked it up. I wanted to see how it compared to other shades I had in my collection. It ended up being fairly unique.

Remember that beautiful Lancome holiday shadow with the interlocking pattern (Fil d’Argent)?

Lancome Fil D'Argent

I never did a full post on it, but she is an incredibly gorgeous shadow. Comparisons below!

Lancome Fil D' Argent Swatch Comparisons

L-R: Chanel Fauve, Burberry Rosewood, Lancome Fil D’Argent, Le Metier de Beaute Corinthian

Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Blush Swatches Cooler

L-R: NARS Madly, MAC Gingerly, Tarte Exposed, Dolce & Gabbana Caramel, Burberry Russet

Of these I’d say Caramel is hands down my favorite! Thanks to two wonderful girls (Jessica of Don’t Call Me Jessie for introducing it to me and J. of Lil Lady’s Life for picking it up for me) this has happily been my most used blush of 2013 thus far. The lasting power is amazing…all freakin’ day!

MAC Betty Bright Lipstick

A long time Archie fan (I  still read the comics, Team Betty ftw) I had to indulge in some of the MAC Archie’s Girls collection. I picked up two blushes and two lipsticks, my favorite being Betty Bright. I knew it would be a popular color, as all coral/peach shades MAC releases tend to be. I also knew a comparison swatch fest would be in order….

MAC Betty Bright Comparison Swatches

L-R (all MAC): Watch Me Simmer^, Sunny Seoul, Vegas Volt, Costa Chic, Betty Bright^, Ever Hip^, Cut A Caper^, Fresh Salmon^, Flamingo^, Reel Sexy^, Pleasureseeker^, Ravishing

The lipsticks marked with ‘^’ are all sadly limited edition. I included because I know many of you may own one or more of those shades and would perhaps be curious as to how they compared. The closest is Flamingo but they are different formulas. Costa Chic is also somewhat close but unfortunately not an exact dupe.

IMG_1657

Taupe cream shadows and liners! I know Taupe is really a general term as it applies to colors that are both warm or cool, brown toned or purple toned, matte or shimmer…you get the idea. I have several that I picked that I believe fall into the “generic” taupe category (though I wouldn’t describe any of these shadows as ordinary)!

Taupe Cream Shadows Liners Comparisons

L-R: MAC Electric Cool in Superwatt, Loreal Bronzed Taupe, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #4, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #27, MAC Dangerous Cuvee, Buxom Pug, Bobbi Brown Galaxy, Loreal Liquid Diamond, Chanel Illusoire, Tarte SmolderEyes Gunmetal*, Sephora 12 Hour Dark Taupe Shimmer, Mally Dusk*, Mally Rosy Taupe*, Sephora 12 Hour Taupe, Lancome Taupe Brilliant, Annabelle Armour, Urban Decay Mushroom, Urban Decay Stray Dog

Of the above (I know… !!!!) the shade that comes to mine first when I hear the word taupe is Chanel Illusoire. Not this specific brand but just a shade type in general. It’s the perfect mix of purple-grey-brown, flecked with iridescent shimmer. There isn’t a shade in the bunch not worth owning.

IMG_1654

Enter the beige/champagne cream shadows. I should do regular eyeliners too  but I didn’t really think of those at the time, and frankly I didn’t have space on my arm for them all! This type of shadow is my most used. They are the one-swipe wonders of the beauty world. One swipe and you can instantly brighten your eyes and face. They are great as bases or to add a touch of shimmer to any look.

Champagne Shadow Comparison Swatches

L-R: MAC Electric Cool Pure Flash, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #8, Loreal Blinged and Brilliant, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #9, MAC Vintage Selection, Loreal Iced Latte, Maybelline Barely Beige, MAC Bare Study, Sephora 12 Hour Beige, Tarte SmolderEyes Champagne*, Tarte Clay Shadow Stick (unnamed)*, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy, Milani Champagne Toast, Mally Champagne*, Chanel Emerveille

Again, Champagne and Beige shadows take on different forms, some leaning cooler and others leaning warmer. Of the shades above, Giorgio Armani #9 is definitely my most used. I am also very happy to finally have MAC Vintage Selection in my collection. I missed out on it when it was first released in 2010 (I think) but MAC has recently brought it back in their permanent collection.

I hope you enjoyed the comparisons! If you have any comparison requests feel free to leave a suggestion below…I’m always looking for new ideas!

Items marked with a ‘*‘ were provided by PR for review purposes only
18. 06. 2012

Regardless of what kind of phase I’m in beauty wise, one thing that never changes is my interest in nail polish. It was the first thing I got into when I really starting loving makeup. I change my polish often- usually 2-3 times a week. If it’s a particularly amazing polish I might keep wearing it over and over again. I thought I’d share with you some of the newer colors I have for summer this year.

Chanel Delight- new for this summer and it’s an absolutely stunning. It catches the light so perfectly and it’s not quite bronze, not quite champagne and not quite gold; a nice mix of the three. The formula on this is significantly improved over Graphite from last fall as it lasts several days without chipping.

Sephora Myrtille – I spotted this shade when doing a google search for bright blue polish. I can’t even tell you how many compliments I get when I wear this. I actually wore it for over two weeks straight! It’s an excellent formula too, but I do wish the lasting power were better. For $4 I won’t complain though! As a side note the paint job looks a little streaky but that’s because I was in a hurry and repainted over just to cover tip wear. ;)

Essie Bikini So Teeny – A nice light blue with a touch of lavender. The formula was a bit off on this one. It seemed to have so much excess polish on the brush which is unusual for Essie. Two coats evened everything out nicely. There is some very, very fine micro-shimmer as well. This is one of the rare light blues that I actually enjoy on my skin tone.

Essie Mojito Madness- This suffers from the same formula problems as Bikini So Teeny, but I love the brightness of the shade. I don’t have anything like it!

Butter London Trout Pout- A gorgeous peachy pink. The formula was perfection and this color is so skin brightening. A+

Butter London Slapper- Ok there is a story behind this. It took me ages to get a shot that even remotely captured this color. It’s incredibly bright in person. It’s also more green. This was as close as I could get but you may notice my skin looks yellowed in some areas. That’s because I had to do some color correcting on it to even get it this good. Anyway, the formula is flawless and the color is amazing. Total love!

Some of the next shades on my wishlist include Illamasqua Swinger, Butter London Knackered (can’t decide if I love or hate this polish lol) and possibly some of the new Sephora by OPI shades (though I haven’t seen them in person yet so that could change). Any new polishes you have your eye on or recently purchased that I should be aware of? All of these get my stamp of approval. :)