Top 10 Most Popular Makeup Posts of 2012

To finally summarize the year, I thought I would finish up with links to my top 10 most popular makeup posts of the year by pageviews. I think it's quite interesting that two out of the three most popular ones were actually posts I made in 2011.

10. Sugarpill Limited Edition @#$%! Eyeshadow Swatch, Review, and Comparison 


top 10 most popular makeup posts


top 10 most popular makeup posts


top 10 most popular makeup posts


top 10 most popular makeup posts

6. Urban Decay Naked Palette Swatches and Review

top 10 most popular makeup posts

top 10 most popular makeup posts

For a post that I had only written in June, it ended up being the most popular for year. It's not too surprising though since Sugarpill is a brand that gets a lot of buzz on the blog.

I just want to say thank you to everyone for reading, commenting, following, tweeting, and supporting the blog! I really appreciate you guys as readers and I hope to continue evolving and writing a blog that you guys continue to read and enjoy. I hope 2013 is an even better year!

Top 12 Eyeshadows of 2012

To continue my compilation to sum up the end of the year, I wanted to talk about my twelve favorite eyeshadows of 2012. I was much more into eyeshadows than lip colors this year so that's why I was able to come up with a top 12. Like with the lipsticks, these are all equally my favorite and aren't in any particular order. Pretty much all of them are loose eyeshadows; I found I didn't really favor as many pressed eyeshadows this year but that might change (especially since I was introduced to the Bare Minerals READY Eyeshadows. Unfortunately a few of the eyeshadows aren't available anymore but you can still enjoy the look of them.

All the eyeshadows were swatched dry over primer and pictures were taken in natural daylight. All the links take you to my previous reviews on them!
top 12 eyeshadows of 2012

Aromaleigh Alohomora: "Gilded bronzy copper with matching sparkle" Unfortunately this isn't available anymore, it was an eyeshadow I got from Aromaleigh when they were clearing out their old stock. It just reminds me of antiques and watching Antique Roadshow which is why I love it.

Aromaleigh Tunnel Vision: "Deep silver based taupe" More silver than taupe really, it's another one of those eyeshadows that was clearanced from Aromaleigh. I'm always seeking a silvery taupe and this is almost the perfect one for me.

Darling Girl Jeweled Taupe: "Metallic bronzy taupe with multi-colored shimmer" Ever since Jeweled Taupe was released, it's pretty much been one of the top sellers for the brand and it's not difficult to see why. I love the purple and red glitter shining through the bronze base. Love it!

Darling Girl Persuasion: "Medium lavender base with gold shift and turquoise sparkles" Persuasion is a color that works best when applied with a glitter fixative but it's worth it. The  green shift shining through the lavender base is a unique but gorgeous combination.


top 12 eyeshadows of 2012


Fyrinnae Newcastle: "Sparkly deep antique bronze-gold" The brown base with the gold sparkles to it, a perfect color for a smokey eye.

Fyrinnae Sacred: "Not gold, a light gleaming truly metallic taupe." I remember I couldn't find the shade on the Fyrinnae site anymore and

L'oreal Blinged and Brilliant: Metallic high shine peach toned beige nude"

MAC Coco: "Neutral taupe with frost" You ever have one of those colors that you love almost as much because of the hype and the fact that you can't get a hold of it otherwise? This is one of those colors.


top 12 eyeshadows of 2012

MAC Goldenaire: "Rosy with a gold pearl" See above re: MAC Coco

Silk Naturals Flash: "Shimmery complex gold color with a hint of silver and diamond pearl" I know just looking at it, especially compared to the other shades it seems a little out of place. Something about it though, the mother of pearl-esque color just appeals to me.

Sugarpill Goldilux*: "Brilliant, highly-reflective metallic gold with breathtaking shine" Goooooold. Gooooooold I can't handle this it's shiny and reflective and metallic gold all in my face. 

Venomous Versicolor: "Maroon with green sheen" I know, I only just reviewed it a week ago so it almost seems like a premature addition to my favorites but I do love the maroon base with the green sheen peeking through.

Disclaimer: I purchased all these eyeshadows. All opinions are my own. The link marked with an asterisk contains an affiliate link which gives me a commission based off your use of the link and helps support the blog! Feel free to use a non-affiliate link.


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Can you guys tell me what your top eyeshadows of 2012 have been?

Top 6 Lip Colors of 2012

As part of an end of the year compilation, I wanted to talk about my top six lip colors of 2012. I wasn't as into lip products as much as eyeshadows this year which is why I could only come up with my six favorites (my next post will be on my top twelve favorite eyeshadows) These are all equally my favorite and aren't in any particular order. Nearly all of these lip products are essentially permutations of a red lip with one lone exception.
top 6 lips collage


All the links go to my reviews on the lip product.

Besame Classic Color Lipstick in Besame Red: "True red, cool base, not warm. Like a navy red, bright and vibrant". A basic red but it's anything but a boring red. $22.00 for 3.5 grams

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Tannin: "Poppy Red" If you're looking for more of a berry red, Tannin is perfect for that. A hint of wine adds depth to the color. $24.00 for 3.74 grams for

Darling Girl Cosmetics Hologloss in Mai : "Cherry red with golden green flakie" Why yes I am a narcissist at heart so the fact that this color is named after me is all the more reason to have it. 3mL for $5.25

Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Siren: "Metallic red" The gorgeous metallic and copper red is unconventional but enough of a reason to get it. $28.00 for 5 grams

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Radiate"True neon red" This is a bold watermelon red that works great to brighten up the winter days. $16.00 for 10mL

Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Flirt: "Pink mocha" When I want an everyday lip color, I go for this lip gloss. It's a my lips but better color. There's a bit of a tingle but nothing too painful. $19.00 for .12 oz.

Disclaimer: I purchased all the lipsticks. All opinions are my own.


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Can you guys tell me what your top lip colors of 2012 have been?

Dupe Alert for Sugarpill @#$%! Eyeshadow

I'm usually hesitant to provide dupes for indie eyeshadows because for some reason I feel like it goes against indie solidarity. I especially look down on dupes that have been advertised as intentional dupes of a fellow indie product (which this isn't by the way). For example, as much as I'd love a Lynnderella polish, I'm not really willing to purchase one of the numerous indie nail polish dupes out there. 

I'm making an exception for this because @#$%! is a Limited Edition shade and not something that everyone can get their hands on readily at this time by itself. Phyrra reminded me that you can get it on Beautylish as a set with the Heartbreaker palette but since you can't get it by itself, it is a limiting for someone who may also already own the Heartbreaker palette (like I do). The dupe I found is close, not 100% spot-on but enough to maybe tide you over

I swatched both dry over Too Faced Shadow Insurance and the pictures were taken in natural daylight.

One of these eyeshadows is @#$%! by Sugarpill and the other is Red Ryder by Darling Girl Cosmetics. Can you tell the difference? Which do you think is which?


Dupe alert for @#$%!

Red Ryder is on the left and @#$%! is on the right. The differences are quite subtle but Red Ryder has more silver sparkles, is a little lighter, less bright and berry than @#$%!, and a loose eyeshadow versus pressed. If you crave @#$%! and want to find something close that is readily available, then you may like Red Ryder. You just have to wait the turn around time. I love both equally by the way, I mean you guys know how much of a fan I am of both companies!

You can get Red Ryder at Darling Girl Cosmetics (starting January 7th when they reopen) which is part of the A Darling Girl Christmas Story collection and unfortunately @#$%! is a Limited Edition shade and currently only available when you purchase it with the Heartbreaker Palette on Beautylish. Red Ryder is $2.50 for 1/4 tsp and $5.90 for 3/4 tsp. @#$%! previously was available for $12.00 for four grams but you can get it with the Heartbreaker Palette on Beautylish, both for only $34.00 until supplies last.

What do you think? Is Red Ryder enough to tamp down your desire for @#$%! or temporarily wane it?

A Darling Girl Christmas Story & More Eyeshadow Swatches, Comparison, and Review

Christmas may technically be over, but that doesn't mean you can't still indulge in some holiday products. Today I have three eyeshadows from Darling Girl's A Darling Girl Christmas Story collection (themed after A Christmas Story of course) plus three other colors to swatch and review. 

Where to purchase: Darling Girl Cosmetics. They are closed until January 7th however as the owner Susan is going on a much needed family vacation!

Price: $2.50 for a petit jar with 1/4 tsp and $5.90 for a full size with 3/4 tsp

Cruelty Free? They are cruelty free as they do not test on animals.

Packaging: The petit jars are 3 gram jars with a sifter and the full size jars are 5 gram jars with a sifter.

Onto the swatches! These were swatched dry over Too Faced Shadow Insurance and pictures were taken under natural daylight with no flash.

A Darling Girl Christmas Story Eyeshadows

Aridoarikato: "Nude beige with a pink sheen" This was the included GWP color. It's similar to my skintone and not too shimmery so it'll work as a browbone highlight color.

Red Ryder: "Bold red pearl with silver shimmers." Whoa boy this is amazing. It's a bright in your face red with a hint of berry with tons of silver sparkle. 

Tapestry of Obscenities: "Intense beige-y bronze with an explosion of multi-colored color shifting glitter! This is Jeweled Taupe's sophisticated older sister." This is a light cocoa brown with multi colored glitter (that didn't show up well in the pictures). When applied over  I love Jeweled Taupe so I was really interested in trying this out. I also did a comparison below between Jeweled Taupe and Tapestry of Obscenities.

A Darling Girl Christmas Story Eyeshadows

Tell Me Now: " Fiery orange with gold and pink sparkles" This is more of a dusty orange with gold and pink sparkles. I was hoping for this to be brighter and more metallic like the website swatch but it isn't so much on me. 

Untamed: "Baby blue sheen on a light grey base" I didn't see this on the site so it may be an up and coming color. Ehhh I'm just okay about it. I'm not sure I like the baby blue sparkle on the base color. Not my cup of tea.

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out: "Brilliant jewel tone" Ohhhhhh my god this is droolworthy. Do you see the bombtastic blue with all the blue glitter/sparks? I'm just reminded of the type of dress you'd wear to a nice holiday party. I loved this.

Comparison time: Jeweled Taupe vs Tapestry of Obscenities. 

I decided to swatch these over Glitter Glue whereas the first swatch of Tapestry of Obscenities was swatched without. Jeweled Taupe has a lighter bronze base where Tapestry of Obscenities had a darker, more cocoa base. Tapestry of Obscenities is not as gritty since it lacks the PET glitter that Jeweled Taupe has but it still has that multicolored sparkle. If you don't want to deal with Jeweled Taupe and its glitter, indulge in Tapestry of Obscenities!

Darling Girl Jeweled Taupe versus Tapestry of Obscenities

I'm really liking Red Ryder and You'll Shoot Your Eye Out! I was already really excited for the colors based off the website swatches and they definitely did not disappoint. Are there any colors you're thinking about getting?


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I had a really great Christmas with my family and my boyfriend's family. I was a little nerdy and got a bunch of camera stuff (including a macro filters and an adapter) so I'm hoping to improve my photography skills! If you celebrated Christmas, how was it?

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Holiday Card

I hope you and yours have a great day today!

Darling Girl Cute de Grace Collection

Darling Girl Cosmetics has come out with an "End of the World" themed eyeshadow collection sold only in a set and exclusive to their new Storenvy site. This is a pre-order, meaning that orders will not ship out until January 7th. For $20.00, you get seven petit jars (1/4 tsp of eyeshadow in each jar). One collection per person please as there is a limited number of sets available.

Preorder here!

Darling Girl Cosmetics cute de grace eyeshadows

The names of the eyeshadows from top left and going counterclockwise are: Hope & Renewal, Rapture, Winter Solstice, Prophecy, The Countdown, Kaboom, and The End

and swatches of the eyeshadows. The swatches on the left correspond to the ones on the right, they're just in different lighting so you can see how they morph.



cute de grace new eyeshadows

From top to bottom:


Hope & Renewal - Peachy pink with a kind of pinky/red flash that shifts to more of a peachy gold.


Rapture - Lilac with gold pink flash that morphs into a golden flash.


Winter Solstice - Berry mauve with blue flash that transitions into more of a red violet and in some lighting almost a coppery red.


Prophecy - Shiny copper pearl that morphs into a bronze with green sheen.


The Countdown - In the jar this looks like a pinky red copper but move it closer to a light source and it morphs into a patina'd bronze.


Kaboom - Blackened red/violet that morphs into a deep blackened bronze with green sheen.


The End - Deep black base shifting from a blue violet, purple to golden flash.



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Are you thinking about picking up the set?

Venomous Cosmetics Loose Eyeshadows Part II: Swatches and Review

A little while ago, Venomous Cosmetics was having 30% off their main collection sale so I picked up a few loose and pressed eyeshadows that I was eyeing. I already reviewed the pressed eyeshadows (in this post) so here are the loose eyeshadows. I purchased samples of Across the Universe, Copperhead, Green Mamba, Inland Taipan, and Versicolor. I received Egyptian Fattail, Fire Ant, and Pegasus. Here are my thoughts on them!

Venomous Cosmetics Loose Eyeshadows

Where to purchase: Venomous Cosmetics

Price: Samples are 1/4 tsp for $1.00 and full size is a 5 gram jar for $6.50. 

Cruelty Free? They are cruelty-free.

Packaging: Samples are packaged in a plastic ziploc bag and full sizes are packaged in a 5 gram jar with a sifter.

Product Description: "Loose powder in a variety of finishes "

My Thoughts on the Formula/Wear Time:

With this set of eyeshadows, I wasn't disappointed in any of them when it came to application. I noticed that Across the Universe was a little dry but it applied well. I was especially impressed with Fire Ant as it can be difficult to find matte loose eyeshadows that aren't chalky. Green Mamba was a little sheer but built up to semi-opacity. I'm going to say it several times in this post but I promise you, get Versicolor.

Swatches ahead! As always, these were done dry over a primer (Too Faced Shadow Insurance) and pictures were taken in natural daylight.


Venomous Cosmetics Across the Universe, Copperhead, Egyptian Fattail, Fire Ant

Across the Universe: "Green with purple shimmer". I don't see the purple shimmer but instead see pink sparkles. I wish I could have captured the tone of the eyeshadow better, the listing has a much more accurate picture showing how much more green it is. This is part of the Spaced Out Collection. 

Copperhead: "Brown with copper and gold shimmer" This is much more darker and brown than in the listing picture which appears lighter and orange. I do see the gold and copper shimmer in the eyeshadow.

Egyptian Fattail: "Light golden shimmer" It's not a super unique color but it's quite pretty. You can really see the golden tone at the top of the eyeshadow.

Fire Ant: "Bright red with red sparkles" I don't think this is red but a very bright orange. Look at that smooth application though, it's freaking amazing and very rare to get out of a matte loose eyeshadow.

Venomous Cosmetics Green Mamba, Inland Taipan, Pegasus, Versicolor

Green Mamba: "Light acid green satin" This is a great green shimmery color with green sparkles. It is slightly sheer but can be built up to semi-opaqueness.

Inland Taipan: "Light taupe satin" I keep wanting to write the name of it as Island Taipan and I don't know why. I see kind of pink and grey undertones in this taupe. As always, as long as it's not a purple based taupe, I'm in love.

Pegasus: "Pink based light satin" This is part of the Legendary Collection. This is spot on with the listing color, it almost reminds me of mother of pearl with just a hint of pink. 

Versicolor: "Maroon with green sheen" Get this eyeshadow, I mean it. Stop and buy this because while the red/brown with green duochrome eyeshadow isn't a unique concept, I absolutely think this eyeshadow does it the best. The red maroon base is amazing and I need more of this.

Final thoughts

Get Versicolor is all I'm saying. Venomous Cosmetics often has sales and as an indie brand, they're very nice to the wallet. If you missed it, check out my past review on their loose and pressed eyeshadows and their lip poisons.

Disclaimer: I purchased these loose eyeshadows myself and two of them were samples I received in my order. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for writing my review. The link in this post to their website is not an affiliate link!


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My final grades are finally in! I managed four A's and one B this semester which I'm quite happy with since I did five in-major courses this semester (and they typically recommend four max). A 3.8 is quite a respectable GPA. I don't have school until January 22nd and incidentally, I'm planning on going to IMATS LA the weekend before and then ISSE Long Beach (my first time!) the week after. It's going to be a very very busy weekend! I hope you guys have an amazing holiday season.

Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Palette: Swatches, Review, and Photos

With the onset of grad school applications and the subsequent fees, I've had to get rather creative when it comes to being on a no/extremely low-buy. Hoarded gift cards, manufacturer's coupons, and store coupons have made it so I pretty much haven't spent any money on recent makeup buys. When Sephora had their annual Beauty Insider gift card, I used it on this Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Palette that previously was one of their Black Friday promotion and combined with Ebates, I got awesome cashback on my purchase (if you're not signed up for Ebates, feel free to use my referral link).

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Palette

I really loved the outside packaging for the palette, the gold accents on the textured material feels much more luxe. The palette itself is a magnetized and there's a plastic sheet covering the lipsticks. I think it's so in theme to have the pans be shaped like B's.

BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Palette

Where to purchase: Sephora*

Price: $10.00 for .075 oz or 2.1 grams (.025 for each color). I know companies get to deicde the value of their product but I think it's a little difficult to reconcile where Sephora is getting that it's valued at $38.00 because the total amount of lipstick is approximately 57% of their full size lipstick (which is .13 oz), coming to about $13.84. Unless the brush is somehow worth $25.00, I don't see how it's worth $38.00. I do understand the labor involved in producing the palette, but I don't think the packaging (which is fairly basic) is enough to compensate for the fact that a palette with a lipstick content 43% less than a full size is somehow worth 56% more (including the brush).

Cruelty Free? I believe they are cruelty free.

Packaging: This is packaged in a sturdy textured beige box with gold accents. The palette  itself is made out of dark grey/almost black cardboard with a magnetic closure and mirror on the inside. It also includes a good mini paddle lip brush with synthetic fibers. There's also a piece of ribbon underneath the brush that makes it easier to pick up (a feature I love seeing in any palette!)

Product Description: "This trio of universally wearable shades delivers exceptionally smooth long-lasting colour and moisture-rich coverage. Organic fruit butters soften and nourish lips with every use, while antioxidant-rich resveratrol fights free radicals and conditions around the lip line"

My Thoughts on the Formula/Wear Time:

The lipsticks are creamy yet firm at the same time. I found Retsina to be a little drier than the rest of the lipsticks. I find that the lipsticks, especially Rose, have some slip to them so it can be difficult to build up an even full coverage using the brush. I preferred applying them with my finger; I also think you use much less product that way. The brush isn't bad though, better than other palette brushes I've tried. I didn't detect any smell or scent in the lipsticks and I was very happy about that, I wasn't sure if the resveratrol would create a wine scent in the product. I found it moisturizing on me during the four hours of wear that I got.


BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Palette


A close up of the brush. It doesn't feel like one of those cheap brushes you get in a palette. I like that it's very easy to clean, I can often just squish it through a makeup wipe and it'll be clean. It looks to be made of synthetic hair. I tend to use up more product with the brush as it seems to absorb a little too much product. You may like it with other lipsticks but I think the slight slip to the lipstick formula makes it more prone to be absorbed into the brush fibers. You also get a plastic cap to cover the brush.

BITE Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Palette

Swatches ahead! These were swatched using my fingers and pictures were taken in natural daylight.

Retsina


Bite Beauty Retsina

Retsina: A ballet pink with a hint of mauve. I wanted to like Retsina but I feel like it looks dry on my lips and the hint of mauve just ends up giving a grey tone to the lipstick on me

Rose


Bite Beauty Rose

Rose: "Peachy pink" There's a part of me that's reminded of MAC Strawberry Blonde lipstick (which has gone MIA in my stash so I don't have it to compare to) so I couldn't help but like it. It's creamy and smooth, with just a hint of brightness. I know we're heading into fall where bright lipsticks like this may be considered out of season but I love it anyway.

Tannin


Bite Beauty Tannin

Tannin: "Poppy red" I absolutely positively loved Tannin. It's one of those deceptively dark looking colors which appears like a deep wine in the pan but applies berry red on the lips. This isn't fully opaque in one swipe but instead builds up to a nice opacity. You can definitely wear this sheerer as a stain on your lips. A perfect red when you want something with a berry tone to it.

Final Thoughts

Weird value pricing aside, I think the palette is worth the $10.00 since it allows you to try a few different colors across the Luminous Creme Lipstick formula. I was a little disappointed in Retsina since it looks a little gray and dry on my lips but Rose and Tannin made up for that (especially Tannin). I'm definitely interested in trying the Luminous Lip Library (a palette similar to this on except with nine colors [two are Rose and Tannin which is fine with me], a lip prep, prime, and protector) which is on sale for $30.00.

Disclaimer: I purchased this product for review from the brand. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for the review. The link marked with a * is an affiliate link which gives me a commission based off your use of the link. Feel free to use a nonaffiliate link for your purchase.


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I hope you enjoy my Bite Beauty lipstick swatches and review! Do you own anything from Bite Beauty? That Luminous Lip Library is definitely calling my name!

Venomous Cosmetics Pressed Shadows: Swatches and Review

Pressed eyeshadows! They're something rarely done by indie companies and I am pretty sure Venomous Cosmetics was one of the first (or the first to my knowledge) indie brands to offer pressed indie eyeshadows. What's even better is that they offer pressed eyeshadow samples in weensy 15mm pans so you have the option of trying out the formula/color and seeing how you like it.


Venomous Cosmetics Pressed Eyeshadows

I received three pressed eyeshadow samples in Box Jelly, Phoenix, and Yellowjacket. I then purchased two more in Centipede and Midnight Crowd. Box Jelly, Centipede, and Yellowjacket are part of their main collection, Midnight Crowd is part of their Black Friday matte eyeshadow collection and  Phoenix is part of their Legendary Collection.

Packaging: Full size pans are 26mm wide and sample sizes are 15mm wide and sold without a compact. The full size pans have the names underneath but the sample pans are too small to fit the names so instead they're given a code consisting of the initial of the collection and then a number and the corresponding number is given on your invoice.

Price: $6.50 for a full size pan and $2.00 for sample pans. I was told that the samples have about 1/2 tsp of product and the full size pans have 1 tablespoon of product.

Where to purchase: Venomous Cosmetics

Cruelty Free? I believe they are cruelty free.

My Thoughts on the Formula/Wear Time:

I think I should preface my review by saying that I think indies selling pressed eyeshadows have to walk a fairly fine line balancing a soft shadow that picks up easily on the brush and swipes on well and a firm eyeshadow texture that will last through shipping. It's probably why so few indies sell pressed eyeshadows (or pressed products in general). 

That being said, these eyeshadows are quite firm, and the shimmery shades required a few swipes to pick up enough product on the brush but these build up to even, opaque coverage. 
As they are shipped as pans as opposed to in a compact (which does bring down the cost of the eyeshadows as a whole) the formula needs to be quite firm. I found that Box Jelly and Yellowjacket tended to be a little more crumbly than the other shimmery eyeshadows. Midnight Crowd as a matte wasn't powdery, didn't dislodge lots of powder when picked up by a brush, and worked best being patted onto the eyes. These shipped to me in perfect condition, wrapped several times in a plastic zip bag and then encased in bubble wrap.  

I am the type that prefers softer eyeshadows so I wish I didn't have to do a few swipes to pick up enough product but it's compensated by the fact that I get even coverage. I'm also surprised at how well Midnight Crowd applied, especially since it's a pressed matte. The rest of the Black Friday Collection eyeshadows are matte and I think they're worth checking out!



Venomous Cosmetics Box Jelly, Centipede, and Midnight Crowd

Box Jelly: "Dreamy white shimmer" Though this tended to be sheerer than the rest of the eyeshadows, I think that makes it easier to wear as an inner corner or browbone highlight. It makes it that much easier to blend with other colors.

Centipede: "Shimmery teal" Centipede tended to photograph more blue in the pan that it actually is in real life, the swatch is very accurate to the color. I absolutely loved it, it's kind of the teal I've been looking for.

Midnight Crowd: "Deep matte blue" The color appears much more neon blue in the pan but applies darker on yourself; the website swatch is actually pretty dead on. It is like a deeper cobalt blue. Venomous Cosmetics does sell an eyeshadow named "Cobalt blue" but that one is shimmery instead of matte. This is one of those eyeshadows that performs better on the eyes than in the swatch and best when patted on. This wasn't powdery at all and I had minimal fallout. I really want to try more of their mattes.

Venomous Cosmetics Phoenix and Yellowjacket

Phoenix: "Pink based red shimmer" This is part of the Legendary Collection. Phoenix looks quite bright in the pan but the pink shimmer helps subdue the color a bit.

Yellowjacket: "Medium golden yellow" I really liked the color but I felt like Yellowjacket was a little too crumbly in the pan so it was a little messy to apply. I also noticed that there were a few chunky bits in the pan that didn't smooth out onto my lids.

Final thoughts:

I was hoping for a slightly softer, more pigmented in one swipe eyeshadow and though the shimmery ones aren't my favorite, the matte most definitely was. The shimmery eyeshadows take a few more swipes but they luckily do build up to even coverage your eyes. I loved Centipede and Midnight Crowd and I really hope they expand their matte eyeshadow collection. I think they're worth trying out and getting samples, if you end up not liking them you're not out much money.

Disclaimer: I was sent three of the pressed eyeshadows for review and I purchased two of the pressed eyeshadows myself. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for writing my review. The link in this post to their website is not an affiliate link!


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PS. Do you guys like my new collage way of presenting swatches?  I thought that the single swatches was making my posts too long so I'd love to get your feedback on this and the new layout in general!

Blog Upkeep: Updated Layout

This is just going to be a quick post saying that I updated the blog's layout (hopefully they've gone well) and that I hope the changes are to your liking, feel free to give any feedback. I think G. of Nouveau Cheap said it best when she said that it almost feels a little shallow to blog about beauty in light of recent events. I'm sure many of you have heard of what happened in Newtown, Connecticut. The events of that day combined with a shooting the day after at a local mall (thankfully, no one was hurt) makes some things a little too trivial to talk about. Normal blog posting will resume tomorrow.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge in 8 Iconic Red: Swatch, Review, and Photos

This review is quite overdue for me, I think I started writing it two months ago and neglected to finish it! Around the holiday season it's high time for red lips and parties so you'll want something that'll last throughout eating, drinking, and mingling with your friends. Enter Make Up For Ever's Aqua Rouge long wearing lip color.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge

Product Description: "A liquid lip color that provides the intense and long-lasting hold of a lip stain with the eye-catching shine of a gloss. Its intensely pigmented formula provides immediate, opaque color with extreme shine, and its creamy, non-sticky texture glides effortlessly on the lips for comfortable wear."

Packaging: This is packaged in a dual-sided cylindrical tube. One side houses the lip color with a doe foot applicator and the other side with the gloss with a brush applicator. An interesting note is that the outside of the gloss tube has a black gradient to it.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge 

Where to purchase: Sephora*

Price: $24.00 for .08 oz of the gloss and .08 oz of the lip color.

Cruelty Free? They are not considered cruelty free because of their decision to sell in places that opt for animal testing but I don't believe the company itself tests on animals. 

My Thoughts on the Formula/Wear Time:

The color portion of the Aqua Rouge feels like a thin lip creme with great opacity, it is pretty much full coverage with one pass. I do wish though that the color portion came with a flat brush tip instead of a doefoot applicator because I think you can be much more precise with a brush than a doefoot. The gloss isn't thick or sticky but a little thin while still having some weight to it. 

The color portion dries down in about a minute and once dry, won't transfer to the gloss brush so you don't have to worry about having a stained brush. You'll know it's dry when it turns matte, if it's still glossy that means it's not dry yet. By the way, the color is pretty tacky after it's dry so I don't recommend wearing the color by itself, you definitely need the gloss for comfort. After the gloss was applied, my lips didn't feel dry, stretched, or uncomfortable by any means. The gloss lasted about six hours on me before I needed to reapply and the color lasted eight hours and beyond. I had to use an oil based makeup remover and a makeup wipe to remove the color.

The biggest drawback to the product though unfortunately is the scent of the color portion. The gloss doesn't smell like anything to me but the color smells like strong old lady perfume (I couldn't think of anything else to call it!) Luckily though, the scent is toned down once it's dry and the gloss is on top.

Iconic Red is a bright blue based red that definitely needs the gloss to make the color pop. 

Swatches ahead! I took all the swatches in natural daylight.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge 8 Iconic Red Swatch

I also thought I'd show you how the gloss really brings the color to life.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge 8 Iconic Red Swatch

Would I purchase more?

I love the rich red color and the longevity of both the gloss and color. I think the color but not the gloss will last through eating and drinking (with the exception of something oil-based). Red lips are pretty much synonymous with the holidays so I think you can wear this to a nice party without having to worry about touching up the color. I would get more but just have to hold my nose until it dries.

Disclaimer: I was sent these products for review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for writing my review. The link marked with an asterisk contains an affiliate link which gives me a commission based off your use of the link and helps support the blog!

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This week is finals week for me and I've got four (well technically five but the fifth just requires me to pick up a grade) finals I've gotta worry about. One today, possibly one tomorrow (I can take it tomorrow or Friday morning), then two more on Friday. Wish me luck!

Meow Cosmetics: Eyeshadow Swatches from the 12 Pains of Xmas, Holiday Wishes, Sugarplums, and Winter Spirits Collections

meow cosmetics

Months ago I bought this sample eyeshadow lot from the lovely Cait of Swatch Storm and a few Meow Cosmetics eyeshadows were in the mix. Meow Cosmetics has limited edition collections each holiday season so I decided to wait until now to post swatches. 


Right now they are having a 12 days of Meow where one winner from the day's orders gets a prized and all orders placed during the 12 days (From December 1st to 12th) are entered to win a $100 Meow Gift Certificate. They're having a 20% off with no minimum order with free shipping deal too with the code "HollyJolly"!

Today I have  swatches from a few eyeshadows from four collections, the 12 Pains of Xmas, Holiday Wishes, Sugarplums, and Winter Spirits. Meow Cosmetics eyeshadows remind me lot of Aromaleigh eyeshadows in the sense that they're so full of depth and sparkle. The price point on both are relatively similar and a little more expensive than other indies (whose eyeshadows typically retail for $5.00-6.00) but they hold sales often and have samples available for every color.

Where to purchase: Meow Cosmetics (I'll link to each collection under each section)

Price: Samples are 1/16 tsp for $1.00. Full size jars retail between $7.50 (for the 12 Pains of Xmas eyeshadows for 1.6 grams) and $8.00 for the Holiday Wishes (1.6 grams), Sugarplums (1.6 grams), and Winter Spirits Collection (1 gram). 

Cruelty Free? They are cruelty-free.

Packaging: Samples are packaged in a plastic ziploc bag and full sizes are packaged in a 5 gram jar with a sifter. 

Swatches ahead! All done dry over primer and pictures were taken in natural daylight.

From the 12 Pains of Xmas Collection

Collection description: "12 intensely bright, sure-to-cheer- you up hues, these specially formulated shades feature metallic highlights, gleaming multi-dimensional color intensity, and some glisten with interference sparkle!"

Cat in the tree
Meow Cosmetics Cat in the Tree

Cat in the tree: "Dark forest green with copper undertones and gold metallic iridescent shimmer". I didn't this reference until I was around my boyfriend's cats around Christmas time and then understood its meaning. Apparently, there's a mystical attraction cats seem to have to Christmas trees. I really liked this eyeshadow, it reminded me of a pine tree covered in gold tinsel strands.

Debt
Meow Cosmetics Debt

Debt: "Bright pink undertoned grape/purple" I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth this loose matte applied on, especially since it is a purple. The eyeshadow has some subtle gold sparkles but it is primarily a matte eyeshadow. Loose mattes can be difficult to do and I think this was done so well.

Dirty Snow
Meow Cosmetics Dirty Snow

Dirty Snow: "Off white pearlized" It almost looks like a bright white but I think there's a bit of grey in it that tones down the white. Surprisingly pigmented, it would work great as an inner corner highlight or as the first color in a gradient on the eyes.

From the Holiday Wishes Collection

Collection description: "This ultra lush collection of sophisticated shades is all glam. Available in 11 super soft, silk, feathery light iridescent metallic duochrome shades" For what it's worth, I didn't consider the colors to be very duochrome, but they were fairly metallic.

Holiday Spirit
Meow Cosmetics Holiday Spirit

Holiday Spirit: "Burnished golden cocoa" Oh man when I was swatching this color -without having looked at the color description- I described this as a burnished bronze so I thought it was quite the coincidence that the color description used the same word. This is utterly utterly gorgeous, a rich metallic with hints of a green sparkle.

Mirth
Meow Cosmetics Mirth

Mirth: "Rich cool pewter with satiny metallic sheen" I love this, it's like a smokey silvery counterpart to Holiday Wishes. More than just a silver or platinum.

Peace on Earth
Meow Cosmetics Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth: "Creamy warm french vanilla with a soft rosy glow" Ooh I really liked this, I think it's a beautiful white gold and a color that I could use as an inner corner highlight.

From the Sugarplums Collection 

Collection description: "As sweet as sugared plums and holiday fairies, these lovely shades sweep on a rush of holiday color" All three purples are gorgeous. Nutcracker was the only one that I thought needed a little layering but the rest were great.

Fairy
Meow Cosmetics Fairy

Fairy is a very red based purple with lots of blue sparkle. There's quite a wine undertone to the eyeshadow. I just loved how the red based was contrasted with the very prominent blue sparkle.
Nutcracker
Meow Cosmetics Vision

Nutcracker: "A neutral royal purple with hints of blue" I was hoping that this would be a little more pigmented

Vision
Meow Cosmetics Vision

Vision: "An super sparkly blue based purple, almost more blue than purple" This was extremely pigmented having flashes of red and blue sparkles. I really liked it!

From the Winter Spirits Collection

Cabernet
Meow Cosmetics Cabernet

Cabernet: "Radiant pearlized berry" I think I see a lot of brown in this color, its almost maybe a rusty red? It applied great but probably not my favorite color.

Pinot Noir
Meow Cosmetics Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir: "Vivid dark plum with flashes of berry infused fire" Forgive my misspelling on the swatch, I really know how to spell Pinot Noir I swear. There's something about the color that I don't like. I don't think I see a dark plum, it just seems brown to me. Applied well though.

Port
Meow Cosmetics Port

Port: "Mysterious smoky steel blue multi-dimensional color: shines plum!" I was disappointed in this, I thought it was really dry and difficult to put on. It took a lot of effort to get it to swatch well and I still think it's a little patchy. A pass for me. All I see if muddy purple grey.


Shiraz
Meow Cosmetics Shiraz

Shiraz: "Intense aubergine with grape overtones" Shiraz completely made up for Port. Do you see how even, bright, and in your face this color is? I loved it.

If I had to pick a favorite collection, it'd be the Holiday Wishes collection. The metallic colors with the soft neutral of the Peace on Earth, I loved it. I was surprised at how well Debt applied considering that loose mattes can be finicky to apply. 

Would I purchase more?

If I didn't already have so much eyeshadow, I'd purchase more. I'm sort of trying to reign in my eyeshadow spending habits but some of these colors are so pretty. Something I did want to say that I'm not entirely fond of how the eyeshadows are photographed on the website, I kind of would like to see larger photos to get a better idea of what the eyeshadows look like. They are more expensive compared to other indies but they make some of the best looking, sparkly, eyeshadows.

Do you own any Meow Cosmetics eyeshadows?


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Grad application programs are super expensive so unfortunately most of my funds have gone through saving up for that. I'm especially annoyed at one particular school that requires me to pay $100 just to use the program to submit my application to the school and $60 for the school to read it plus sending my GRE scores and transcripts. I will say though that I'm glad I'm not applying to med schools, my friend was telling me that it tends me to be $300 per school.

This has gotten me to become extremely creative when it comes to fueling my makeup desires without spending a cent. Hoarded gift cards, contests, and the like have meant I can get my fix without the guilt. I just purchased the Bite Beauty $10 Luminous Cream Lipstick Palette using the Beauty Insider gift card with another Wrapp gift card and Ebates meaning I'm basically getting paid to shop.