I have to admit that I take a keen interest in neutral or natural eyeshadow palettes. The super bright shades rarely interest me, but I’m always interested when a new palette of browns, golds and similar hues is released. You’d think by now I’d own every shade known to man- but it seems like every now and then a palette comes out that really takes neutrals to another dimension entirely. Which is exactly what the Kat Von D Monarch Palette did.

KatVonD Monarch Palette


The palette consists of warms, cools, mattes and shimmers. The first unique thing is that all of the shades are winners; there isn’t a dud in the bunch. The other thing that makes it different is the color selection. Just when you thought neutrals couldn’t be done any other way!

KatVonD Monarch Palette Swatches

Swatches L-R: Deadhead, Shadowbox, Disintegration, Vanish, Delaney, Killing Jar, Summerfly, Papilio, Wrath, Tiny Death, Telepathy, Entomology

My favorite shades are Telepathy, Vanish, Delaney and Disintegration. All of the shades are pigmented and look the same on the skin as they do in the pan.

You can get this 12 shade palette at Sephora for $46. It has a sturdy cardboard packaging that is nicely decorated and there is a large mirror on the inside.

If you love neutral shades but are looking for something that isn’t run-of-the-mill I think this is a good option at a great price.

Mally beauty used to be a brand exclusive to the shopping network QVC. Over time I have seen her expand to Beauty.com and more recently at ULTA- read: the brand is much more accessible these days.

And why not? The Makeup Artist extraordinaire has an infectious personality and her products rarely disappoint. If you’ve never tried the Poreless Face Defender, you’re missing out! It’s a summertime staple for me.

One of my most used items from her line is the Evercolor Shadow Stick. It’s everything you want a shadow stick to be- long wearing, crease-proof, loaded with pigment and easy to blend.

Mally Evercolor Shadow Sticks

I currently own ten shades (and is it wrong that I still want MOAR?!) of the amazing and pigmented pencil.

To give you perspective on how this matches up to other popular formulas I did the math for you: Mally’s Evercolor Shadow Sticks retail for $25 for .06oz. By Terry’s Ombre Blackstar sticks retail for a whopping $43 for .057 oz and Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks are $26 for .05 oz. I own two of the By Terry pencils and although they are nice- they are NOT $43 nice in my opinion. The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks are great and I own several shades- but they are more expensive and less product than Mally’s version. Mally also has the largest selection of colors- currently offering 24 shades while Laura Mercier offers 18 shades and By Terry offering only 12.

Mally Shadow Stick Swatches

Swatches L-R: Nautical, Deep Plum, Saddle Shimmer, Dusk, Rosy Taupe, Copper Rose, Sunlight, Angel Shimmer, Champagne, Platinum

My most used shade is definitely Champagne. It’s the perfect base color or everyday shade to give your lids a bit of lift and shine. I never experience fallout from the more shimmery shades and they DO NOT BUDGE once I put them on. They stay put with or without primer. My two most recent shades are Copper Rose and Sunlight. I saw a swatch of Copper Rose recently and knew I had to pick it up. Sunlight is a new shade (I think) and I added that to my cart with little hesitation. It’s less shimmery and more glowy- a perfect everyday color for those who don’t want shimmer but appreciate glowy lids.

I encourage you to give one (or 5) of these a try. QVC and ULTA sometimes have really nice and budget-friendly sets that allow you to try several shades for less than the price of two (like, here) <— not an affiliate link- I’m not getting paid for telling you this! ;)

Do I need more shades? Probably not. Will more shades end up appearing mysteriously in my drawer? Most likely.

It was hard to narrow this down, but I feel like these shades are really too good to pass up!






Any time Tarte releases a new shade of their famous Amazonian Clay Blush line I get excited. The formula is perfect for me- plenty of pigment, great staying power and oh-so-smooth on the skin.

I was quietly browsing my local Sephora store and came upon a new shade I hadn’t heard of before.

Tarte Captivating Blush

The shade is called Captivating and so it was. It came home with me right away.

Captivating is described as ‘warm peach’ and I’d say that’s right on the money. It’s bright, but not garish. It’s easy to apply and, despite being very pigmented, is actually hard to overdo. It looks natural on me and it’s nice for the summer as it pairs well with a good bronzer.

I knew right away I would have to compare it to the other Amazonian Clay blushes I owned…

Tarte Captivating Blush Comparisons Dupes

Clockwise From Bottom Left: Tarte Blissful, Tarte Tipsy, Tarte Captivating, Tarte Achiote

Captivating is definitely less pink than Blissful and Achiote, and more peach than Tipsy.

Tarte Captivating Blush Swatches

Swatches L-R: Tipsy, Captivating, Blissful, Achiote

If you love the Amazonian Clay line already, this blush will be a great addition to your collection. If you’ve not tried it and just love peach blushes I have a feeling you will get a lot of use from this one.

Tarte blushes are cruelty-free and formulated without parabens, sulfates or synthetic fragrances so if you have sensitive skin I would highly recommend checking the line out. The blush retails for $26. I bought mine from Sephora, but you can also find them on Tarte’s website and QVC.


It’s all-too-often that beauty products get released from various brands that try to copy err, recreate an already existing shade almost down to the exact detail. For example, MAC’s very famous eyeshadow Club. So many brands have come out with their version of the shade with very few distinctions between themselves and the original. While it’s all fine and good to have alternatives or possibly even a cheaper option, it’s the lack of creativity that sometimes frustrates beauty lovers. Give us something new, innovative, unique!

That’s where NARS hit it out of the park with the newly released single eyeshadow in Malacca.

NARS Malacca Eyeshadow

When I first heard about this shadow I really paid no attention to it (shame on me). I honestly thought it was “just another version of MAC Club…. that I don’t need.” It wasn’t until seeing it in person that I realized just how wrong I was.

MAC’s Club (and the other iterations of it) and I haven’t gotten along too well. The undertones of the shade pull too red on me and make me look tired or sick. Not something I aim to do, so it’s not really a shade I reach for. Many years I have listened to beauty lovers extoll the virtues of MAC Club only to be left on the sidelines because it doesn’t play well with my skin tone. But no longer!

NARS Malacca in formulation is perfection. It is smooth, pigmented and silky to the touch. It blends well in application and I don’t experience any heavy fall out. NARS describes this shade as iridescent peacock. I guess that’s as good a description as any I could muster. Sometimes it’s a cool brown, other times it flashes a teal-green shimmer and others it’s a mid-toned taupe. It is so many things at once that I can hardly contain myself.

The true test, though, would be how it compared to other “similar” shades I already owned:

NARS Malacca Eyeshadow Comparisons

Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette, Ellis Faas E305, MAC Blue-Brown Pigment, MAC Club, NARS Malacca, Too Faced Label Whore

NARS Malacca Eyeshadow Swatches

Swatches L-R: MAC Blue-Brown Pigment, Too Faced Label Whore, Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette, MAC Club, NARS Malacca, Ellis Faas E305

As you can see from the swatches above, NARS Malacca is unlike the other colors that came before it. It’s definitely more wearable on my skin tone, and the flashes of teal work so nicely alongside the taupe color it blends into.

You can see me wearing Malacca in my most recent video here.

Malacca is a must have for me. It’s what I have always wanted MAC Club to look like on my skintone! Have you checked this shade out or were you like me in thinking you totally didn’t need it?