Oh My Mattes- Matte Eyeshadow Palettes

Hello my makeup-loving dolls,

Eye shadow palettes are literally coming out of every brand’s ears at the moment. There are a plethora to choose from, and it can be confusing. I’m here to break it down for you.

As a makeup artist, I’m always keeping my eye out for good eyeshadow palettes for my kit. What I’m not looking for? Palettes that are filled with shimmer on top of frost, on top of sparkly shimmer eye shadows. Unfortunately, most of the eye palettes out now are just that. Women buy them, try to do a smoky eye with them, then don’t understand why all the colors have muddled together and smeared. It’s not because you don’t know how to put them on, it’s because they are ALL shimmer shadows, and blending them together is a recipe for disaster.

I’ll be going over my top picks for eyeshadow palettes that contain all or mostly matte shadows. Matte eyeshadows are gorgeous. They pay off well and don’t smear the way shimmery shadows do. They also wear longer.

Here we go:

Smashbox Full Exposure: $49

This palette comes with 7 matte shadows and 7 shimmers and includes a double ended high quality brush. It’s a great starter kit for anyone new to the eyeshadow game, and it’s also fantastic for the makeup artist who is just tired of dragging 27 palettes around. It’s got all your neutral and dark basics in two different textures for mixing and matching. Plus, if you buy this at Sephora this cute kit comes with a deluxe sample size of Smashbox’s mascara.

Smashbox

Too Faced Matte Eye Shadow Collection: $36

I actually just went ahead and purchased this one. It’s SO pretty! It comes in a small case that is easy to travel with or stash in your purse for those of you who get ready on the go. And how thoughtful was it of them to make the lighter “base” shadows bigger than the darker colors (since those are the first ones to go)? This palette has got something that will compliment any eye color. For Green or Hazel, use the pink, purple and grey. For Blue, use the cream and two browns. For Brown, use all of them (ha ha, we are lucky girls!) I can’t wait to leave all 18 of my eyeshadow palettes at home the next time I do a wedding. I’m bringing this and my Naked Basics, which you will see next.

Too Faced

Urban Decay Naked Basics: $28

This compact is the smallest of the bunch but packs a big, matte punch. I personally use this palette daily. The color payoff is impressive and the these smooth shades go with just about everything. You can go from a neutral eye to a smoky one with these six colors. The only shimmer is the first one, Venus, which is beautiful in the corners of the eye or on the brow bone. NAKED BASICS

Stila In The Know Eyeshadow Palette: $39

These 10 wearable matte shades can be worn wet or dry. What’s more, it comes with an eight-page look book and a handy dandy black eyeliner pencil. This is a great option for those of you who have basic mattes, and want some more fun colors to add to your collection. I’m really digging the orange on the bottom left!Stila

 

 

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June Beauty Products Haul

Hello my blog-reading beauties! With it being wedding season and all, I recently purchased some new things for my kit (and let’s face it, for myself) and wanted to share my finds with you.

I normally do video hauls, but to be honest, they haven’t been getting many views and since I have way more blog readers than Youtube viewers (3,000-6,000 of you visit my site a month, wow!)  I thought blogging about my finds would make more sense.

QUICK ANNOUNCEMENT

Because of low viewership, I won’t be doing any more makeup hauls on my Youtube channel. It just takes SO much time and effort to create a concept, film a tutorial, then edit it, so if no one’s going to watch them, it’s not worth it. I’ll still be doing makeup tutorial videos, and if there is a look you would like to see, please let me know in the comments below, I aim to please!

Ok, back to the fun stuff:

Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder

Ben Nye’s Banana Luxury Powder has been around for years and is a favorite among television and movie makeup artists. At my friend Ashleigh’s urging, I bought it at Naimie’s last week. Micro-milled for a silky texture, Luxury Powders are translucent with just a hint of color and have a superior matte finish. It feels velvety and gives the skin a soft-focus finish. This particular shade is wonderful for people with olive undertones (Asian and Latino decent) and those with dark to deep-dark skin (African descent, etc). I recommend dusting a small amount under the eyes and down the bridge of the nose with a fiber optic brush. The fiber optic brush allows you to pick up a small amount of the powder, which is all you need. Do NOT pack this stuff on if you plan on taking pictures, because it will flash back and make you look white. A light hand and fiber optic brush are your best bet! And at $9 for 1.5 ounces, it’s a steal.

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Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium-Deep Bronzer

This chocolate-scented, shimmer-free, matte bronzer is perfect for contouring and creating an all-over deep tan using real antioxidant-rich cocoa powder. To quote Too Faced’s creator, Jared Blandino, “It’s all the tan without the twinkle!” EVERY client I have used this bronzer on has sighed loudly over the chocolatey scent. The color payoff is amazing too. AND cruelty-free. Thank you, I’ll take 10 more.

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Illamasqua Skin Base

Illamasqua’s top seller and rightfully so. Having oily skin, I was concerned that this HD foundation would go greasy on me, as Makeup For Ever’s HD foundation sometimes does, but guess what: it’s gave me a natural finish (not dewy, not matte) with medium coverage and lasts all day. It’s truly suitable for all skin types! Its hydrating formula primes, controls shine, hydrates, and smooths your skin while providing natural, buildable coverage. The only downside? The hefty $42 price tag. But some things are worth the money, and finding the perfect cruelty-free foundation that you can buy over and over again is priceless.

illamasqua-skin-base-bottle

Purity Facial Cleansing Gel

I’m a huge fan of the original Purity cleanser by Philosophy. It’s creamy texture doesn’t lather up, but does do a good job of gently removing my makeup without drying my skin out. When I saw that Philosophy came out with a foaming gel version of it, my eyes lit up. Instead of replenishing my usual Purity cleanser, I went for the re-up. This stuff is EVEN BETTER than the original. The gel foams up and the bubbles leave your skin feeling squeaky-clean. Sometimes with the regular Purity, I still have to use makeup remover to get the remainder of my mascara and black liner. Not with the foaming gel, baby. I got out of the shower and saw that my face was completely clean and ready for bed.

My recommendation: if you have sensitive or dry skin, stick to the regular Purity. The cream texture will feed your skin and is a lot more mild. If you are normal-to-oily, time for you to try the Purity Foaming Gel.

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NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Antwerp

The beauty world has been abuzz about NYX’s moisturizing matte lip creams, so I finally got my hands on some at Ulta. This is a soft coral-pink color that looks flattering on everyone. It’s beautiful on its own, or topped off with a gloss. Cruelty-free and fabulous! I especially love this for my older clients- it has the ability to blur the fine lines you sometimes find on your lips.

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China Glaze Shocking Pink

You guys know I have an excessive amount of nail polish (about 100 bottles). This is one of the only polishes that I actually run out of and have to purchase over and over again. It’s a bright, blue-based pink with a neon matte finish (I usually put a shiny top coat over it) It’s PERFECT for all skin tones and has the magical power to make your hands and feet look tan and sexy. PROOF: a grown man walked into the MAC store I was freelancing at last week and told me I had “pretty feet.” No one has ever told me that before. And I’m willing to bet it’s all thanks to this gorgeous neon polish.

China-Glaze-Shocking-Pink-Review-Swatches

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Beauty-Obsessed

It’s about that time again, folks! Starbucks is playing acoustic Christmas tunes and every large man with a white beard is at your local mall taking photos with screaming children in a red suit. I thought I’d get a head start before Thanksgiving and bring you some of my favorite holiday sets that are available this season.

I scoured the nearby Sephoras, Ultas and Naimies and after careful consideration, chose two gift sets for each of these five categories: Eyes, Lips, Face, Nails and Brushes. Read below for the good stuff…

EYES

Lorac Pro Palette $45

As a makeup artist, I haven’t been very impressed with most of the eyeshadow kits that have been released, simply because almost every shade in them is a frosty shimmer. A good eyeshadow palette should consist of mattes and shimmers that you can use together without your eyes turning into a glittery, muddy mess. Lorac pulled through with this beautiful collection that comes with an eye primer.

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes $48

I love that the top row is all light shimmers and the bottom row is mostly dark mattes. This is how it should be! Don’t be fooled by other brands’ eye catching packaging, these two palettes may look simple but as the saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

LIPS

Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lips Gift Box $25

This is a thoughtful gift for a young woman who is just starting out in the makeup world. It gives her teen-friendly nudes and pinks (which happen to be Sephora’s best-sellers) that she can add to her budding collection. And at $25 it’s truly a steal.

Fresh Sugar Addiction Mini Lip Collection $48

True to its name, these Fresh Sugar lip balms are addicting. I rarely buy the same product over and over again, but I buy these like my life depends on them. I use the clear one at bed time, and the tinted ones under every lipstick. They feel amazing and really soften your lips. What’s great about these minis is their  size is perfect for traveling or just throwing in your purse. All ages will benefit from this band of lip balms.

FACE

Too Faced Holiday Face Kit $46

I adore this cruelty-free brand! Their makeup is moderately priced and the products are of great, non-animal-abuse quality. This particular set comes with everything you need for an everyday, girly look. What’s included: Shadow Insurance Eye Primer, Primed and Poreless Face Primer, a black waterproof eye liner, LashGasm Mascara, a face brush, six neutral eye shadows, two blushes (one peachy-pink and one bronzer-ish), two lip glosses and this baby blue plush velveteen bag that looks to be machine-washable. SIGN ME UP!

Makeup For Ever HD Complexion Kit $79

Here’s another product I keep going back to: Makeup For Ever’s HD line of face-wear has my heart, now and forever. This is a great way to give the makeup lover in your life a fresh start for the new year. This kit comes with their famous HD powder (nothing compares to this, I promise!), a cute kabuki-style fiber-optic brush for air-brushed-looking application, the HD primer and the love of my winter skin-life, the HD foundation. What’s cool about this kit is that it comes standard with the first three products, then you pick up your own shade of foundation and stick it in the box. Genius, right?

NAILS

Illamasqua Nail Duo $25

Spoil the nail art-obsessed person in your life with these fancy, limited edition nail varnishes by Illamasqua called Viridian and Glitterati. Chances are that your nail lover already has a ton of the drug store brand variety, so she’ll swoon over these.

Red Carpet Limited Edition Portable Starter Kit $59.99

What’s that you say? Your nail lover already has every color in the world? Then why not give her a gel manicure starter kit instead? Red Carpet’s version comes with everything she will need to get a salon-status gel manicure, including a portable UV light to effectively cure gel polish that will last up to two weeks. She’ll light up over the technology of it all. Sold exclusively at Ulta.

Sephora Collector’s Edition Premium I.T. Brush Set $68

Every girl needs fancy brushes. This luxurious seven-piece brush set is dipped in a sexy, gold finish. This set includes brushes for Powder, Foundation, Face Contour, Concealer, Shadow, Crease, and Angled Eyeliner. It also comes with a cute Lucite stand.

Sigma Travel Brush Kit in Make Me Classy $65

I adore Sigma brushes and I really loved the simplicity of these. This is great “starter brush set.” Includes all the basics: angle brush, shadow brush, crease brush, smudge brush, contour brush, powder brush and foundation brush. It also comes with an innovative container that turns into a holder for your new tools.

Check out my Pinterest board for more Holiday Gift set ideas HERE

Beauty Porn

Hi pretty ladies!

So I sneaked into an Ulta during a Target shopping trip in West Hollywood yesterday and spent over an hour perusing my favorite beauty lines. You know how a lot of people will say “I’m a visual person”? Well, I’m a touchy-feely person. Window-shopping often turns into grabbing and running/smearing products all over both arms up to the elbows in an effort to see how it works. Sure, product-packaging is pretty to look at but there’s nothing like actually feeling it on your skin and seeing how it melts and turns! Ahhh, #BeautyPorn. Here are some of the new products that made my heart sing:

Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil

Tarte has a whole line of Maracuja oil products, which I didn’t pay attention to until I tried the oil on my excema-stained finger. Boy, did it soften my skin and hydrate! Maracuja oil is found in Brazilian fruit that is harvested sustainably by Tarte . It’s packed with Vitamin C and is a natural skin brightener and anti-aging. It absorbs instantly and is great as a face serum!

Pure Maracuja Oil

Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tints 

I am so in love with matte lips and these just do the trick without drying out your mouth. They look like they are in pencil form but when you open the cap you will see a retractable “flat” top that fits for any lip shape. They are a sheer to medium build and great alone or with lip liner.

Benefit’s Pin Up Lashes

These double-layered lashes give the perfect flirty wink to every gal! And for $15 you can use them again and again.

Benefit’s Perk Up Artist

This concealer trio does triple the work with a yellow corrector to cancel out red spots and zits, a universal beige coverup to conceal circles and imperfections and a pink eye brightener to perk up tired eyes. Talk about #portable !

Too Faced came out with THE perfect nude lip liner by the name of… you guessed it, “Perfect Nude.” This retractable liner is super creamy and