Monday, October 31, 2011

Smashbox Be Discovered Palette - Holiday 2011

Be Discovered($60) is a limited edition mega holiday palette from Smashbox that includes 45 eye shadows, 9 cream eye liners, 3 blush shades, 1 bronzer, 2 soft lights, 6 lip glosses, 4 mini brushes! This palette packs a lot of beautiful shades that work on a variety of skin tones.

The kit also comes with a manual on how to create three trend-setting looks—Indie Glam, Pop Icon and Mod Chic. From what I see, the eye shadows don't have a name or number associated which makes it slightly difficult to create looks as per the instructions. You could still play around a lot with the shades and create a variety of looks since there's a good balance of neutrals and colorful shades.

Eye Shadows

The eye shadows are very smooth and blendable but the metallic ones seem more pigmented than the matte finishes. The matte finishes are a little sheer & chalky. The browns, golds and greys with a metallic sheen are very beautiful! The kit also has 4 brushes which are decent. I like the angled brush and the fluffy eye shadow brush is convenient for someone with a very small lid space. Eye Shadows are swatched from topmost left corner, without primer.

Cream Eye Liners

The Cream Liners double up as great cream shadows & shadow bases. They don't crease and the gold shade especially looks great as a lid color on medium-dark skin tones.

Lip Glosses

The Lip Glosses are quite sticky and come in six colors of bright & nude shades. The lightest shade is almost a clear gloss. 


The blushes come with a corresponding soft lights, a shimmery highlighter. There's also a bronzer that looks great on all skin tones & has very finely milled shimmer. Like all Smashbox Blushes, these are really smooth & pigmented. I'm happy that the quality of the blushes have not been compromised in the palette.

However, I do feel naming the products would have been helpful especially if certain shades are available in bigger sizes, making it easier to pick them out for someone who likes just a product or two. Overall, the palette makes for a great gift for makeup lovers and is a great one to have if you love trying out different looks without having to use a ton of individual products. I wish the matte eye shadows were just a bit more pigmented like the metallic ones which need just a swipe or two under primer. My favorite picks from the palette are the blushes, bronzer and cream eyeliners! I'll do some EOTDs and looks with the palette soon.

What are your thoughts on Smashbox Be Discovered Palette?

This kit an Ulta exclusive kit and will be available soon at all Ulta stores, and

Disclosure: The product in this article was provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Ransom & Essence Metallic Eye Pencil in Lilectric : A Comparison

When I reviewed the Essence Metallic Eye Pencils earlier, I thought Lilectric was a good alternative to Urban Decay's Ransom. Ransom is a very unique purple/blue duo chrome that adds a nice pop of color along the lower lashline.

As far as the pigmentation goes, both go on a little sheer but the intensity is buildable. Both are very creamy and go on smooth.However, Lilectric is so soft that it has a tendency to break off which can be a little inconvenient. Shade wise, I would not say they are dead on dupes but they are very similar! Along the lower lash line, the difference is very subtle and almost difficult to spot. Lilectric is just a tad more violet than Ransom.

And of course, there's the formula. Ransom is waterproof and stays on longer than Lilectric. Lilectric does not smudge but, fades after a good 3 hours.
Overall, shade wise, the Essence Metallic Eye Pencil is a very close dupe(not dead on) and a super affordable alternative priced at $1.49, compared to Urban Decay at $18. If this is not a color you'd wear often and think the staying power & subtle color difference are not a major concern, Lilectric does a fab job. If you don't prefer touch ups throughout the day and like long wearing pencils, Ransom is a good choice.

What do you think of these? Are they dupes? Which one do you prefer?

* Essence Metallic Eyeliner was a press sample

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Illamasqua Masquara in Raven - Review & Photos

Masquara($23) is Illamasqua's mascara released as part of the Theatre of the Nameless collection. "Raven" is the only shade available & claims to lengthen, define & dramatize lashes to extremes. The brush looks very promising and the jet black pigment is something I look for in every mascara.

The good:

  • Raven has rich, black pigment that looks super glossy.
  • It does a great job of lengthening my stubby lashes with great definition. Does a decent job of separating lashes too.
  • Even after a good 3 coats, it does not feel heavy or weigh down my lashes so much.
  • The formula does not flake and there's very minimal smudging after 4-5 hours. So, I don't have to worry about mascara flecks on my cheeks.
  • Removal is easy since it is not waterproof. 

The Bad:

  • If you have sparse lashes like me, you need 2-3 coats to achieve good volume.  
  • It does have a tendency to clump after the first coat so be sure to remove excess from the wand before applying.
  • Since the brush is quite big, a lot of precision is required while applying else, you may end up getting a little on the upper lash line. 


Illamasqua Masquara in Raven
Two Coats of Masquara
    Overall, I see Masquara more as a lengthening mascara than a volumizing one. I really like the end result of long, separated lashes but since I have sparse lashes, I would also love more volume. The rich black pigment is a great bonus that I love.

    What are your thoughts on Illamasqua's Masquara in Raven?

    Disclosure: The product in this article was provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    5 Great Brown Eye Liners To Try!

    These are some brown pencil eyeliners that I reach out to most often. Browns are a great alternative for those of you who think black may be a little too stark. I love black eyeliners but sometimes, when I want to keep it soft, I like to switch up black with some of these! Since all these are matte with no shimmer or glitter,they are very work-safe too. I do have a few shimmery browns but, I'll do a separate post on that.
    L-R: Urban Decay 24/7, MAC Technakohl, Avon Kohl Eyeliner, Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner, Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner

     MAC Technakohl Eyeliner in Photogravure($15)

    This is a blackish brown almost deep enough to add some definition and keeps the look soft and polished at the same time. The twist up, retractable form is very convenient too. The formula works great on my waterline & lash line. You can read a full review of this eyeliner here.

    Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner in Java($19)*

    This is a tad more brown when compared to Phorogravure .The formula is amazing to be used on the waterline, lashline and also great for tightlining. It is waterproof & long lasting as well.

    Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Bold Brown($5.99)

    These eyeliners are a great drugstore dupe for the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On pencils. They have a nice, creamy formula, stay put for hours with very minimal smudging. They set pretty fast so be sure to smudge it out immediately if you are going for a soft smokey look.

    Jillian Dempsey for AVON Professional Kohl Eye Liner in Dark Brown($4, I think)

    This is a basic brown non-waterproof kohl liner that comes with a smudger on one end. It is not long lasting but very creamy and is a true brown. You will need to set it with an eyeshadow else it tends to smudge big time. Great for a soft, smudgy look along the lower lashline or waterline.

    Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Whiskey($18, Full Size)

    I got this in a palette from Urban Decay & love the color. I don't think it's a part of the core collection but, definitely keep your eyes peeled for this one as part of kits and holiday sets. It looks super natural especially along the upper lash line. The 24/7 Glide On Pencils in general have an amazing formula and they're well worth the price tag!
    Top to Bottom: Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner in Java, Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Bold Brown, Avon Kohl Eyeliner in Dark Brown, MAC Technakohl eyeliner in Photogravure, Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Whiskey

    Have you tried any of these eyeliners? What are your favorite brown eyeliners? Share your thoughts!

    *Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner was a press sample.

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    NOTD - Wet n Wild Mega Last Nail Color in Through The Grapevine

    "Through The Grapevine" is a medium fuchsia with a creme finish. Its a very girly color, perfect for fingers and toes. I'm really impressed with the formula of these polishes. Although, slightly on the thicker side, they are still super easy to work with. This shade especially is very smooth and completely opaque in two coats.

    They start chipping after 4-5 days with a good top coat. The brush is the perfect for my nails but, for someone with longer nails, it may be a little small.

    Overall, these polishes are an excellent bargain and the shade selection is also very impressive. The Mega Last colors have mostly creme finishes from what I've seen but all colors are very wearable.
    Wet n Wild nail polish in Through the GrapevineThe bottle says these polishes are Toluene & DBP free but, according to the Wet n Wild website, they are 3-free. For $1.99, they are definitely worth a pick up!

    What are your thoughts on Wet n Wild Mega Last Nail Color in "Through The Grapevine"?

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    L'Occitane Limited Edition Hibiscus Flower Hand Cream with Shea Butter

    Hibiscus Flower hand cream is part of the limited edition collection from L'Occitane that features lip balms($12), body creams($21) and the brand's best selling hand cream($10) in three exotic scents. The packaging, which supposedly is inspired by traditional fabrics of Africa and the country’s indigenous flowers is cute as hell! With 20% Shea Butter, this hand cream claims to nourish, moisturize and protect hands.
    The cream is very thick in consistency and you need just a dab for both hands. I also like how quickly it sinks in and does not leave any residue. I won't say it protects my nails & cuticles to a great extent but, it does soften my hands and keeps them moisturized for a very long time. If you read my blog, you know how much I love Crabtree & Evelyn hand creams for the texture, consistency and the amazing job they do. L'Occitane is a tad more moisturizing & also feels very luxurious. I also love fragrance in my hand creams and this one smells nothing short of amazing. This variant, Hibiscus Flower smells very floral in a classy and sophisticated way. It is not too strong, has the perfect soothing scent.

    If you use hand creams a lot throughout the day and go through a lot of tubes this may seem to be a little expensive. But the texture is thick and creamy so, a little goes a long way. And also since it is quite rich, you don't have to reapply as often!

    Scents like Hibiscus Flower, Cocoa Flower & Desert Rose are limited edition, so if you want to try them, grab them before they're gone. I'm going to get Cocoa Flower for myself since it is described as warm & comforting scent! Who doesn't like warm & comforting? 

    If you live in the US, L'Occitane is now having a promotion wherein you can like their facebook page within the next 4 days and get a voucher to pickup a free 30ml Shea Butter hand cream in-store. 

    Available at all L'Occitane Boutiques and online at l'

    What do you think of L'Occitane Limited Edition Hibiscus Flower Hand Cream ?

    Disclosure: The product in this article was provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Totally Toffee - Review, Photos & Swatches

    Totally Toffee is a creamy, light brown that almost falls into the nude lipstick category. It looks so pretty in the tube, like an everyday lipstick anyone can wear just about anywhere. Since I have pigmented lips, it works really well to even my lips with a nice wash of color. I like to wear this when I have quite a bit of eye makeup going on and want to keep my lips subtle.

    Totally Toffee does not have any pink undertones as far as I can see. It is a pale brown lipstick and has a tendency to wash me out when worn alone. But, when paired with the right colors, it looks very beautiful and totally natural. I also think it works best on medium skin tones. If you are anything above an NC40 in MAC, it may look a little ashy.
    Overall, Totally Toffee is a basic, brown lipstick that is really nice to have. I also think the color sensationals have a nice formula and last a good 3 hours on me. My only gripe is the fact that they come without a seal and it's so hard to find a piece that hasn't been swatched or already opened at the drugstore.

    What are your thoughts on Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick Totally Toffee?

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Essence Color & Go Quick Drying Nail Polishes

    Essence Color & Go Quick Drying Nail Polishes($0.99) are a lot of fun to use! I have very small nails & the tiny brush makes application a breeze. They also dry super fast and come in a variety of colors & finishes. The consistency varies for each polish. The brighter colors have the perfect consistency, the metallic ones are a little thick but still easy to work with and the pastels go on a little sheer. Most of them give great coverage with 2 coats!
    You Belong To Me, Lets Get Lost, Irreplaceable, Where Is The Party?, Mellow Yellow, Wake Up!, Date With The Night, Dress For A Moment

    You Belong To Me - Minty Green with a Creme finish.
    Lets Get Lost - Bright Blue with a Creme finish. This color is super opaque. You can easily get away with just one coat!
    Irreplaceable - This is a difficult color to describe. It has hints of taupe, a slight lavender tinge while seen outdoors with a ton of gold shimmer. Super pretty, must have shade.
    Where Is The Party? -  Blue & Purple duochrome with a metallic finish. It looks more purple on me though. The green peeks through sometimes.
    Mellow Yellow - Pale, pastel yellow. This was the only problem child. You need 3 coats for opacity and the drying time is a little more compared to the other polishes.
    Wake Up! - Bright Orange with a Creme finish. Just like "Lets Get Lost", this one also is completely opaque in just one coat. It looks amazing on toes & makes for a perfect summer polish.
    Date With The Night - A beautiful mix of rich chocolate brown & hints of metallic grey. Very fall appropriate and looks very glossy even without a top coat!
    Dress For A Moment - Pale Lavender with a Creme Finish. This is a very common color & perfect for spring just like "You Belong To Me" & "Mellow Yellow".
    Mellow Yellow, Dress For A Moment, You Belong To Me

     Where Is The Party?, Irreplaceable, Date With The Night

    Let's Get Lost, Wake Up! 

    Wake Up!

    Mellow Yellow, Dress For A Moment, You Belong To Me

     Let's Get Lost, Where Is The Party?, Irreplaceable

    Date With The Night
    All polish swatches are two coats with a topcoat. The creme finishes require a good topcoat to look glossy.

    Overall, these polishes are amazing for the price. They start chipping after 4 days with Zoya's Armor top coat. The bottle is tiny but, I've never ever finished any nail polish completely so, I don't mind the size. 

    All Essence Color & Go Nail Polishes are free of Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP.

    What are your thoughts on Essence Color & Go Quick Drying Nail Polishes?

    Disclosure: The products in this article were provided by PR for consideration. All opinions are my own. For more information please refer to my Disclosure Policy.