Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: SOHO Disney Villains Brush Sets for Fall 2015 (Walgreens Exclusive)

Last week, I posted that I had found all 3 brush sets by SOHO for their Fall 2015 Disney Villains collection. For first impressions and more basic info, please check out that post.

***Scroll to the bottom of the page to read an overall summary of the review and skip the fine detail.
Each brush set is targeted for a different set of make-up needs. Ursula is the only one that came with 4 brushes, as both Maleficent and the Evil Queen only had 3 brushes; I'm thinking the reasoning behind that is that Ursula's brushes are smaller. 

As you can see in the picture above, the brushes in the Maleficent set and the Evil Queen set look skewed inside and that's because they are.
[Ursula brushes]

To make matters worse, the brushes weren't just out of sync with the packaging, but they were actually stuck to their inside cardboard piece like that. Let me just say, that the picture above shows how the ends of the brushes look when they are out of the package. Those little circle on the ends of them are glue and that's what keeps them contained inside the box. They are not easy to take out and the glue stays on the bottom. The glue cannot simply be taken off either and they'll need to be washed to get it removed.

So, with packaging issues aside, I'm going to breakdown the brush sets and I feel these are fairly nice. They all have soft bristles that are made of "nylon fibers", in other words they're synthetic fibers. I have had no problems with shedding of the bristles when applying make-up. There was slight shedding with some of the bigger brushes when washing, but nothing too bad. There was no color fading when I washed the brushes either. The handles on these brushes are a little shorter than the average handles of a typical make-up brush which makes them great for traveling, but not necessarily the best for every day use if you prefer longer handles.
[SOHO Evil Queen brush set]

The Evil Queen brush set was focused on the basics of the face. The brushes in this set are all super soft and feel nice on the face. 

[descriptions by SOHO]
  • All Over Face Brush - use to apply powders to the face
  • Curved Foundation Brush - use to apply liquid/cream foundation; wide base easily covers large areas; pointed tip easily covers hard-to-reach areas
  • Angled Brow Brush - use to shape brows; pointed end accurately draws on shape; wide base fills in the brows
The All Over Face Brush is a nice brush, but a bit small for my liking when it comes to applying setting powder. The full description does suggest using it for all powders and that includes bronzers, blushes, and loose/powder foundations. This brush applies bronzers and blushes well, but if full coverage is desired for foundation I would not recommend this brush as it's small and only dense on the tip. It's a nice brush for buffing out contour as well.

The Curved Foundation Brush does apply liquid foundations, but it's a bit too small for my liking. Since the brush is a bit small it takes longer than necessary to apply foundation. However, this brush works well at applying creams or liquids to smaller areas of the face or in a concentrated amount. Again, depending on the type of production you're using, this brush would work well for contouring too.

The Angled Brow Brush has the opposite problem of the other two, because I find this brush a bit too big. I personally prefer that eyebrow brushes be on the slimmer side, because it makes it easier to shape the brows. I feel this brush isn't horrible for shaping brows, but I'd suggest using another brush if you have it. I feel this brush works best at applying powders to the eye area.
[SOHO Maleficent brush set]

Maleficent's brush set was focused on the accents of make-up application. Her brushes are all about the contour and finishing touches. This fits well with the theme of how Maleficent is being portrayed today after Angelina Jolie portrayed her in the live action "Sleeping Beauty" movie. However, before then, I don't really recall Maleficent being the face of contour. Anyway, I felt the brushes in this set were nice, but not for the purposes intended.

[descriptions by SOHO]

  • Stippling Brush - use to apply contour powder
  • Angled Blush Brush - use to blend out harsh contour lines
  • Concealer Brush - use to apply concealer to the face
The Stippling Brush is a decent size for contour, but I've never been a huge fan of using stippling brushes for contour, because I usually use powder. I feel that stippling brushes are best used for liquids and creams. Even with all that said, I still would prefer an angled brush for contouring. I would recommend this brush for liquid foundations and for applying liquid products in small targeted areas of the face.

The Angled Blush Brush can indeed be used to blend out harsh contour lines, but I feel it works better for applying blush or the contour powder itself.

The Concealer Brush is okay for concealer, but I prefer to use it to apply shadow to the inner corner of my eyes and on areas of the eye or around the eye that need little detail. I personally feel this brush is too thick at the tip and the bristles are not long enough for concealer. 
[SOHO Ursula brush set]

Ursula's brush set was all about the eyes and it suits her. Ursula's character is based off of the drag queen known as Divine and drag queens are all about over-the-top eye looks! This is the only set that had 4 brushes instead of 3, but like I said earlier, I believe it is because each brush in this set is smaller and uses less fibers than the face brushes.

[descriptions by SOHO]
  • Eyeshadow Brush - use to apply base eyeshadows
  • Crease Brush - use to apply depth and dimension to the eyes
  • Pointed Eyeliner Brush - use to apply liquid or cream eyeliner
  • Angled Smudge Brush - use to blend eyeshadow or soften lines
The Eyeshadow Brush is a bit big, but it does well to apply all over color or a base, as the description says. Those with smaller lids may not find much use for it outside of that. I also think it does a nice job at blending out colors.

The Crease Brush works fine for the crease and the outer-v of the eye, but it should not be confused with a blending brush. This is a narrow brush that works well at applying concentrated color directly into the crease or on the outside of the lid/eye. It works well for applying shadow to the eye, also.

The Pointed Eyeliner Brush is not an eyeliner brush. It's more of a very skinny blending brush. It's way too thick and big to be an eyeliner brush. I would use this brush to blend out color on small areas of the eye or to smudge color since it is dense.

The Angled Smudge Brush is more of an angled blending brush and works well for that. It can also be used to apply shadow to the eye in a sheer/light form.

Final Verdict
These brushes are good, but not great. They work well for traveling since the handles are shorter than the average brush handle and would make them easier to pack, but if you prefer longer handles for daily use then they might get annoying. Most of the brushes are good for multiple uses, so again they would come in handy for traveling and would even be helpful for daily use. The bristles are all soft and there's no shedding when applying make-up. I have experienced slight shedding with the a few of the face brushes when washing, but only a few bristles each and nothing too bad. There was no color fading when washing the brushes. However, these brushes are a bit overpriced to me. They're sold for $9.99 and if compared to what's on the market in both the drugstores and the high end spectrum, these feel a bit cheap to me. The handles feel like cheap plastic and the ferrules are also not very thick. If they knocked off a few dollars for each set I would say they would be right in line with the current market. If you're a collector, you'll definitely want to pick these up. If you're looking for multi-tasking or traveling brushes, these may be for you as well. However, for the more experienced, I'd suggest saving your money as it can be better spent. I'd recommend buying these brushes on clearance if you can catch them at that price.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SOHO Disney Villains Brush Sets - Fall 2015 (Walgreens Exclusive)

I just found the SOHO Disney Villains Brush Sets for 2015! I've actually had the Ursula set for a while, but held off on posting about it in hopes that I would fine the other 2 sets and I did
These brush sets are a Walgreens exclusive and were released for Fall 2015. They are $9.99 each. Every year Walgreens releases Disney collaborations and the products and companies vary. Usually, in the fall and around Halloween is when they release a Villains collection. I could be wrong, but I believe this is the first time they have brushes for the Villains and this is from the brand, SOHO. They have quite a lot products in the line up this year, but all I was interested in were the brushes and now I finally have them all!
This years Villains are- Ursula from The Little Mermaid, the Evil Queen from Snow White, and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.
The packaging is quite and quite detailed, especially for a drugstore release. I was quite impressed when looking them over. The only thing I was not impressed with was the fact that the Evil Queen and Maleficent sets had their brushes stuck on top of the cardboard stand they come in, instead of in the slots they were suppose to be in. However, none of the seals were broken and the brushes are all in good shape.
Each brush set focuses on a different area of the face. I imagine if they actually came all together as a set then they would look something like the picture above. Individual reviews of the brush sets are coming soon!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca" Palette - The Yellows & Oranges

I took a break from reviewing the Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca Palette", because I really wanted to get the Sonia Kashuk brush review up since it's on clearance! I also have been really busy at work, so my posts have been a little sparse. My company is going through many changes and we constantly have inspections. I work in retail, so November and December may be bleak for me around here, but I'm going to try my hardest!

Anyway! I'm moving onto reviewing the Yellow and Orange shades in the palette. I have tackled the blues, reds, and an overall review with swatches. The Mi Vida Loca palette can be picked up exclusively at Sephora stores and their website for $59. It is currently still available.

***Feel free to scroll down to the very bottom for an overall summary and to skip the fine detail.

[wearing: Legend, Fran, Analogue, Noble, Moulder]

The look I created is a pretty common look for those who wear bright colors. Typically known as a "sunset" and with this colorful palette it is very easy to create!

  • Legend - inner eye corner
  • Fran - inner part of the eyelid, extending to the middle of the eyelid
  • Analogue - from the middle part of the eyelid, extending to the outer part of the lid
  • Noble - crease
  • Moulder - brow line
I used primer before applying all of these. So far, these are definitely the best for application. I did not have any problems with fallout and they apply very nicely. 

At first I was a bit scared that Fran was not pigmented, but really it's just a yellow shade that needs a few layers and it blends into my skin tone. 

Legend applied beautifully and looks great! Absolutely no complaints here from this shade and as I've said before- the shimmers are the best performing shades in the palette.

Analogue does need taping off of the excess before applying, but if that is done then there will be no fallout on the face. It is very pigmented and a couple of applications will give beautiful color!

I've talked about Noble before. It is a great color for me, as it blends into my skin tone and it really helped me smooth out any issues with my eyeshadow. It's an easy shade to work with.

Moulder worked well for highlighting the brow line and it blended down into Noble well. No complaints. It is a typical neutral shade.

I wore these for about 6 hours and experienced no fading or creasing, but I did use a primer. 

Final Verdict
I'm really surprised at how all of these shades performed! They are amazingly pigmented and blend well. They wear well, also. A little tapping of the excess is needed before applying to the face for the brighter shades, but they still give great color payoff!

I'm about half way done with reviewing the shades from the palette! If you're enjoying these Mi Vida Loca reviews, please let me know! Any comments or questions can be left below!

Other Products Used:

  • It Cosmetics "Celebration Foundation" - foundation
  • Too Faced "Shadow Insurance" - eye primer
  • It Cosmetics "Hello Lashes" - mascara
  • Tarte "Tarlette Palette" - brows
  • Tarte "Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush" - blush
  • MAC "Margherita" - lipstick
  • Tarte "Lights, Camera, Lashes Closeup Lash Liner" - bottom eyeliner
  • Buxom "Lash Liner" - eyeliner
  • Monday, October 19, 2015

    Review & Deal Alert: Sonia Kashuk Color Crazed Brush Set

    Thanks to Nouveau Cheap, I knew that the Sonia Kashuk Color Crazed 10 Piece Brush Set went on clearance at Target recently. I had passed by this brush set when it first came out and I was tempted to get it. I have been tempted to buy a Sonia Kashuk brush set for a couple of years now. What stopped me? The original price of her brush sets are usually around $30-$40 on average depending on how many brushes come in the set and what kind of brushes are included, and that's a lot of money for me when I have very little experience with the brushes from this company. Up until now, I have owned 2 brushes from the Sonia Kashuk line and both were bought about 6 years ago. I bought a smudger brush I used once and threw out (it did nothing for me) and then I had an angled liner brush that I used for a few years until it cracked down the handle. Both brushes came from the "Core Line", which is the lower end of the brand. Sonia Kashuk also has a "pro line", similar to how ELF Cosmetics has an "essential line" and a "studio line" of brushes. Most of the brushes that Sonia Kashuk releases would fall under the "pro" category, but I still have never been willing to spend $40 on an iffy set. I have read many reviews about this line of brushes and the reviews are always so mixed; some people claim they are horrible and cheap, while others claim they are a steal and they use them all the time. I have read that collectors like to buy them just for the look of the brushes on their vanity. Still, no matter the review rating, these brush sets tend to sell out and when they go on clearance they go extremely fast! I can never catch them when they're on clearance. If you miss them, the only other option is eBay or independent sellers that usually double the price of the original selling price or sometimes more than double! Well, since I had known that these were already on sale I made sure to look out for them on my recent trip to Target, which is the only place that Sonia Kashuk is sold, and they had a full shelf of the brush sets and they were only $18.48. I felt that for less than $20 it was worth giving them a try.

    ***Feel free to scroll down to the very bottom for an overall summary and skip the fine detail.
    The packaging is nice, but not special. It comes in a sturdy box with a clear cover so the brushes are visible and the brushes are separated from each other in a plastic base inside the box. There is no cover that goes over the box. The brushes in the Color Crazed set sport navy blue handles with gold bottoms and gold ferrules. The actual brush hairs are a deep teal green that fade into a light teal green.
    The plastic cover of the set is just taped on. Once the tape is off, the plastic cover can be removed and the plastic containing the brushes can be lifted out of the box.

    This set includes (left to right):
    • Domed Powder Brush
    • Flat Blusher Brush
    • Synthetic Buffing Brush
    • Angled Contour Brush
    • Synthetic Foundation Brush
    • Large Eye Shadow Brush
    • Crease Brush
    • Synthetic Pointer/Lip Brush
    • Bent Eyeliner Brush
    • Lash & Brow Groomer
    For those who are concerned- Only certain brushes contain the word "synthetic" in their title. The rest of the brushes are natural hair brushes and use goat hair. All information can be found on Target's website.
    [Synthetic Pointer/Lip Brush, Bent Eyeliner Brush, Crease Brush, Large Eyeshadow Brush]

    The eye brushes are all solid performers. I didn't have any problems with shedding or with them scratching my eyelid. 

    The Synthetic Pointer/Lip Brush has a similar problem; It is too thick for a lip brush. It does work nicely to apply shadow or product in smaller areas or areas that need a more compact brush. It also works well for smaller areas that need concealer. It is synthetic, so it's not going to soak up the product, which can be helpful.

    The Bent Eyeliner Brush works well and holds up nicely. I actually enjoy the bend in the brush handle and if you're a beginner with eyeliner or you have troubles with it, I suggest getting a similar brush. My only issue with this brush is that I feel it's a little too thick. I like thinner liner brushes, because I like my wings to be thin. It works well for a standard eyeliner look or a cat eye though. 

    The Crease Brush is not the best for applying overall color to the crease or smoothing and blending colors out, because the hairs of the brush are very dense. It's better to have a fluffy brush or at least a brush with looser hairs to apply color in crease and smooth out any rough patches, and a dense brush like this just cannot do that. It's not a bad brush if you're looking to apply concentrated color to an area. 

    The Large Eyeshadow Brush works well, but it is large. I prefer a small or medium eyeshadow brush for daily use, but a large one has it's place and time. Since I don't have many of these, it was nice to get this one.
    [Domed Powder Brush, Flat Blusher Brush, Synthetic Buffing Brush]

    The face brushes are all soft too. Not the softest I've ever felt, but I had no problems with them scratching my face and so far when I use them to apply product there is no shedding.

    The Domed Powder Brush is the softest in the whole set and is really nice to apply powders to the face. I really like this brush!

    The Flat Blusher Brush is oddly named. It's not flat. It is not domed shaped, but it's definitely not flat. It's a good brush to apply blush or highlight.

    The Synthetic Buffing Brush is an odd brush. It's not big enough to really apply or buff on foundation; I tried. The brush feels nice, but it's not one that most of us will use often. It's best for buffing out contour or powders after already applying them or to apply product in a concentrated area.
    [Angled Contour Brush & Synthetic Foundation Brush]

    I'm not sure how well this views on other screens, but the Angled Contour Brush worried me when I saw it in the package and even more so when I first took it out of the package. The hairs on the outer part of the brush seemed pretty beat up, but I used it before washing it and it applied powder to the face fine. I enjoy this brush and enjoyed it even more after I cleaned it.

    The Synthetic Foundation Brush is a good brush for foundation and concealer. There is not much to write about this brush. It is a typical synthetic foundation brush, so take that how you will.
    [Lash & Brow Groomer]

    Last, is this "brush" right here. I've stated in previous brush reviews about how annoying it is to continuously receive brushes like this (as well as spoolies), but almost all brush sets come with them. I don't hate this brush, but it's rare that I'll use it. My only issue is that the bristles on the brush part are clearly just plastic and they're a bit scratchy. I don't recommend this for people with sensitive skin.
    [after washing]

    Part of the negative comments on the reviews of Sonia Kashuk brushes were the running and fading of the colors when washing them. The back of the box does state to wash the brushes in mild soap and not detergents (sodium laureth sulfate) and to use cold water to keep the color from fading, so the company itself is not hiding the fact that the brushes bleed their color. 

    After using all of the brushes at least once, I washed them. I did actually use Dawn dish soap and warm water to wash these; because I have acne prone skin I have to use products and warm water to kill bacteria and prevent it from being spread around my face. Most of the brushes had some color bleeding, but not all. The bigger brushes were the worst culprits. In the picture above is what the brushes look like after washing and drying them, and I don't personally feel they look much different. The only brush that was a bit noticeable was the Flat Blusher Brush. I will update after future cleanings if there is anymore fading or damage, but all the brushes held up well during and after the wash.
    [after using Brush Guards]

    Again, not sure how well these pictures will appear on others screens, but these 3 brushes in the picture above were the worst looking when I first bought them. They hairs were really roughed up and I was concerned that they would not perform or hold up well. I did use them before washing them and they applied products fine, but they performed even better after cleaning them. I also used The Brush Guard guards on these to help reshape them and I really feel that helped as well.

    Final Verdict
    I am quite happy with my Sonia Kashuk brush set purchase. For $18.48, it is indeed a bargain! At the full price of $36, I would say it's not quite a bargain, but it's still a good deal. Nice brush sets on today's market tend to be an average of about $60-$200 depending on the brand, materials used, and number of brushes in the the set. Most of these brushes are natural hair, which always costs more; the rest of the brushes are good-decent quality synthetic material. I had no real problems when applying product with them and there was no shedding. All the brushes are good or great quality. There is color fading after washing, but afterwards only 1 brush had any noticeable fading of color. The brushes are well made and sturdy. I was very impressed by how sturdy the handles are and the fact that they're not too big, but also they're not tiny and easy to hold onto. Though some of the brushes looked a little beat-up when I bought them, that was quickly fixed when I washed them and used brush guards. The only real negative part of the set was the Lash & Brow Groomer, because the bristles are plastic and rough. I would recommend this brush set and personally would purchase a Sonia Kashuk brushes in the future, because of the good experience I've had with this one. This brush set would be good for anyone who has at least some experience with make-up and application. This set would be great for pros and experts as well. I just wouldn't recommend a set like this for a beginner or someone with little experience in brushes, because not all the brushes are practical for everyday use.

    Saturday, October 10, 2015

    Review: Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca" Palette - The Blues

    Today, I'm going to review the blue shades in the Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca" palette. I have already reviewed the red shades in my previous post. I also have already completed a swatch review. These current posts and future posts are reviewing the application and wear of these shadows.

    Info: The Mi Vida Loca palette is by Kat Von D and is exclusively at Sephora stores and on their website. It costs $59 US and is said to be valued at $210. It includes 24 shades that are brand new and is limited edition for the holidays. It currently is still in stock on the website, but Sephora is on their first restock on the palette. No telling if they will get anymore after this. Call your local Sephora to find out if they are still in stock there.
    [wearing: Synth, Hyperballad, Dark Wave, Lyric, Strutter]

    I tested the blue shades next, because it matched the shirt I decided to wear for the day. Yup. It was that simple.

    Run down:
    • Synth - all over the lid
    • Hyperballad - in the crease & outer corner of the eye
    • Dark Wave - lower lash line
    • Lyric - inner eye corner
    • Strutter - space between brows and crease, and blended into the crease
    I use a primer before applying these shadows. There were slightly more problems with these shadows then with the red ones. Even with tapping the excess off the brush before applying, I still had some difficulties. The good news is that the pigmentation in these colors happen to be great and they really show when applying them. These shadows did not fail in providing color.

    Synth was applied all over the lid first. I did not have any fallout problem with this shade, but I warn that anyone going to use this one should make sure to tap off the access first. The pigmentation is great and there was no fading when applying the colors.

    Hyperballad was where I had the issues of fallout. Even after tapping off the excess shadow, I still had fallout. In the end, I had to clean up teal shadow all under my eyes. The pigmentation is great. The color is a little stiff to work with and not the best at blending, but it's not impossible to work with and if one needs that a color like that there is no reason not to use it.

    Dark Wave was applied only on the lower lash line and it worked well for that. It is a bit patchy and I imagine that if it were used all over the lid it would need a lot of layers.

    Lyric and Strutter worked well for accenting the eye look. I had no issues with these as far as application. Strutter is a little more chalky than Noble and so basically it applies a little more dusty. It also turned out that Strutter is not as great of a blending color for me as Noble was when I actually went to use it, so I suppose I should take back what I original said during the swatch test and say that there is a good reason to have both colors in the palette.

    I wore these shadows for about 5 hours. I did not experience any fading or creasing. All performed well and no real issues. Other than the fallout with Hyperballad, I feel these are all well performing shades and quite worth it, especially for someone who wants to experiment with color.

    I'm not sure what colors I'll be doing next, but stay tuned! If you're enjoying these Mi Vida Loca blog posts, please let me know!

    Other Products Used:
    • Too Faced "Shadow Insurance" - eye primer
    • It Cosmetics "No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer" - face primer
    • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation - foundation
    • Buxom "Lash Liner" - eyeliner
    • Tarte "Lights, Camera, Lashes Closeup Lash Liner" - bottom eyeliner
    • MAC "Zoom Fast Black Lash" - mascara
    • Benefit Cosmetics "They're Real" - mascara
    • Tarte "Tarlette Palette" - brows
    • MAC "Oxblood" - lipstick
    • Tarte Amazonian Clay "12-Hour Blush" - blush

    Friday, October 9, 2015

    Review: Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca" Palette - The Reds

    As stated in my swatch review of the "Mi Vida Loca" palette by Kat Von D, I did actually use the shadows in the palette and played around with it a bit. I tested these eyeshadows out personally to see if they hold up when actually wearing them. 

    ***If you'd like to see a more detailed review and swatches of the palette, then please check out the swatch review. This post only contains certain shades and information about the application and wear of the featured shadows. 

    Info: The Mi Vida Loca palette is by Kat Von D and is exclusively at Sephora stores and on their website. It costs $59 US and is said to be valued at $210. It includes 24 shades that are brand new and is limited edition for the holidays. It currently is still in stock on the website, but Sephora is on their first restock on the palette. No telling if they will get anymore after this. Call your local Sephora to find out if they are still in stock there.
    [wearing: Swoon, Destroyer, Rewind, Live, Noble]

    First, I tested out the red shades. Not sure why.......maybe it's the emergence of fall. Anyway, a quick rundown:
    • Live - inner eye corner
    • Swoon - all over lid
    • Destroyer - outer corner of lid and into the outer corner of the crease
    • Rewind - crease color
    • Noble - space between brows and crease, and blended into the crease
    I applied primer on my lids first before applying any of these shadows. I did not experience fallout on my face from any of these shadows, but I made sure to tap off my brush before applying. Destroyer and Swoon were the biggest culprits with fallout, but just make sure to tap off the brush before applying to the eyelid and I don't feel there will be any problems. The pigmentation is there, because tapping of the access did not take away from the pigment or color being applied.

    Live was very easy to apply. Went on smooth and I felt it looked great from the first swipe of the brush. Just in in swatch review, it is a nice shadow.

    Swoon was nicely pigmented. It did take a few times of going back into the color with the brush to get opaque coverage, but it was not as bad as when I swatched it. I did not experience patchiness. It definitely applied much better than expected.

    Destroyer was exactly how the swatch review stated; it was patchy when applying and took a bit of work to get even coverage and look nice. Even after I was done applying it, I still felt like there was a spot that was not that well covered, but I could only tell if I looked at my lid really closely.

    Rewind was another surprising color. It applied nicely and I did not experience the patchiness I felt I had with the swatch review. It was much more pigmented and smoother and it definitely deepened the over look on my phone. It actually helped even out Destroyer a bit.

    Noble is a neutral shade and blends into my skin tone. It is really not noticeable that I'm wearing it when I put it on, which is why I use it just to even out my overall eye look. It really helped blend the colors together and smooth out any sharp or ridged lines. I had no issues with it, but I did not use it as an overall color or to make it solid.

    After the shadows set, Destroyer did not look bad at all. I wore these shadows for approximately 7 hours. For the most part, they held up well. After about 5 hours, I noticed that Live was a little faded and not as bright as it once was. At the end of the 7 hours I felt the shadows still looked nice, but Destroyer was disappearing. The eye look didn't look too bad, since it was blended into the other shadows though. I do have really oily skin, so the fading is also due impart to having the oil fade the make-up.

    Final Verdict
    All the shadows were nice to work with and looked great, except Destroyer. If you have a shade that is similar to Destroyer and performs better, I would see no reason to ever use this shadow. Destroyer is nice for someone who doesn't mind putting in some work and who may not use this color often. Overall, I'm very happy with the application, performance, and wear of these shadows. 

    Stay tuned for the next set of colors! Any questions or comment, leave them below! I would love to see if any of you out there have created any looks with these shadows, so leave your link below!

    Other Make-Up Used
    • Too Faced "Shadow Insurance" - eye primer
    • It Cosmetics "No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer" - face primer
    • It Cosmetics "Celebration Foundation" - foundation
    • Julep "Fluid Eye Glider" - upper eyeliner 
    • Tarte "Lights, Camera, Lashes Closeup Lash Liner" - bottom eyeliner
    • Tarte "Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara" - mascara
    • Tarte "Tarlette Palette" - brows
    • MAC "Forbidden Sunrise" - lipstick

    Thursday, October 8, 2015

    Swatches: Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca" Palette - Holiday 2015

    [Kat Von D - Mi Vida Loca Palette]

    I recently was gifted the Kat Von D "Mi Vida Loca" palette! I have been waiting, wanting, and hoping to get this palette since the previews released this summer! I suppose I should be thankful for an early release and that I didn't have to wait for it any longer, but it still feels a bit early to consider this a holiday palette. -With that being said, let's take a look at this palette! I haven't actually tested out the shadows by wearing them, so all my reviews of the colors are simply from the swatches.

    For an overall review and to skip the fine detail, scroll all the way to the bottom of this post!
    Info: Mi Vida Loca is only available at Sephora, as Kat Von D beauty is exclusive to Sephora and limited edition. It is $59 US and is said to be valued at $210. As of right now the palette is still available on the site and in stores. However, the website did sell out of it's initial stock and has since been restocked. No telling if they'll receive anymore once it sells out again. Many stores still have them, but stores often do not get restocked on limited edition items.

    The palette came in a sturdy plastic cover. It was not anything fancy, so need to show this; it was clear and plastic........ The palette slides out of the cover like a record and reveals a wheel of colors. Aside from this palette being released way before the holidays, it doesn't give a very holiday feel and perhaps that's just another reason why it might as well have an early release. The palette is entitled, "Mi Vida Loca", which is Spanish for "My Crazy Life" and the colors remind me of the MAC counter with all the bright colors and hues -not that it's a bad thing though. It all around screams the colorful vibrations of the Hispanic culture in Kat Von D's edgy style. Like I said before, the palette slides out like a vinyl record and it's almost as big as one! The palette itself is quite large and this will a problem for those who want to travel with it. Not only is it not travel friendly, but I have read other reviews in which people say it is extremely hard to depot these shadows and it takes a lot of effort to do so. The packaging is still beautiful and eye catching though and deserves an A+ for that. It's been a while since I have bought or just simply saw a palette that had packaging this artistic. It probably helps that Kat Von D is an artist.
    [the back of the Mi Vida Loca palette]

    Even the back of the palette follows the theme and is beautiful! It's obvious that Kat Von D really put a lot of thought into every detail of this palette!

    The palette was released on October-3 and I immediately wanted to buy it. However, I have never owned a Kat Von D eyeshadow or eye palette in my life and I decided to wait for more reviews. My personal feelings would be that Kat Von D's cosmetic line has a group of followers and they're die hard for the products, but sometimes fanaticism can be blinding. The reviews I read were mostly favorable, but I saw a lot of complaints about the colors not being as vibrant as they appear on the palette and the performance not living up to the hype. Of course, there was also the unfriendly travel complaint too. However, as I said at the beginning of all of this, I was gifted this palette! So, now all that is left is for me to share my views and opinions!

    Moving onto the swatches! Keep in mind: All swatches are without a primer! Although I do always use a primer on my eyes with my eyeshadow, I wanted to see how well these shadows did on their own after reading the complaints. Also, remember that I have not tested these on my eyelids yet! That will come later. All swatches are in natural light. I have medium skin color and it's a bit tan from the California sun.
    [Left to Right: Synth, Dark Wave, Echo, Muse, Anthem, Live]
    • Synth - It's a bright turquoise matte blue. It's swatched 2x's on my arm. I experienced a lot of fallout with Synth, but it is pigmented and that's a big plus! When I originally saw the palette my eye went straight to this color and I'm glad to see that it's pigmentation seems to hold up to the vibrancy on the palette.
    • Dark Wave - This is a dark jean blue satin. It's swatched 3x's on my arm. It does not have the best pigmentation, but it is buildable. I imagine this would best be used in conjunction with other colors, particularly darker colors that could help deepen its depth. I did have a little fallout with this one too.
    • Echo - This shadow is barely visible on my arm, but it is there! Because of the natural light it is hard see the sparkle too, but there's plenty of it. This is swatched 3x's and it is a dark purple with pink and blue glitter in it. The glitter is quite chunky for a shadow. It is very sheer, as it barely shows up on my arm, but I experienced no fallout and that's a plus for a glittery shadow! I feel this shadow would best be used as an glittery topper to an eye look or just to add some deep sparkle. It's obviously not a shadow to be used on it's own.
    • Muse - This is a matte muted lilac and swatched 2x's. There was very little fallout with it and it is sheer. I feel this color would best be used as a highlight color or to brighten other colors.
    • Anthem - This is an orchid purple and it's swatched x3's. It's chalky and there was a lot of fallout. It's also quite sheer. This is definitely a disappointing shadow from my testing experience. My advice would be to use it as a base color for other shadows or for a sheer wash of color.
    • Live - This is a shimmery reddish pastel pink. I swatched it 2x's. There was very little fallout. I was quite pleased with this shadow and it applied nicely. 
    [Left to Right: Hyperballad, Lemmy, Misfit, Vinyl, Legend, Fran]
    • Hyperballad - This is a darkened teal matte. It's swatched 2x's on my arm. I found this shade to be very pigmented and only a tiny bit of fallout. I feel like this will perform very well on the eyes.
    • Lemmy - This shade really surprised me. On the palette is appears to be a shimmery green that leans towards the mossy side, but once swatched it is more of a olive green with blue undertones and a lot of shimmer! It's not sparkly, but there is a lot of shimmer to it. I only had to swatch it 2x's and I had no fallout. It is very pigmented. It feels very nice and was easy to swatch with a smooth performance.
    • Misfit - A grassy green that's matte and swatched 2x's on my arm. It is actually quite pigmented and very buildable. I had only a little fallout. This shade really shut down the complaints that I saw about the colors being chalky and unusable, because Misfit is a matte that is a bit stiff, but the color and performance are there!
    • Vinyl - A neon green satin. I swatched it 3x's. It's sheer, but I had no fallout and it is buildable. I feel this shade would do well over other shadows that could help empower it or as a highlight color.
    • Legend - A buttery yellow shimmer. I swatched it 2x's. It's sheer, but buildable. I hardly noticed the fallout. I don't personally feel this is a disappointing color though. It would work great as a highlight color or over other colors to brighten them up and/or add shimmer.
    • Fran - This is an orange-ish yellow that reminds me of pollen. I swatched it 3x's here. There was fallout with this shadow and at first it was very patchy. It is buildable and does smooth itself out. With a primer or something to help it adhere, I feel this color could be successful.
    [Left to Right: Black Metal, Swoon, Destroyer, Rewind, Harpsichord, Analogue]
    • Black Metal - What you see is what you get with this shade; it is a matte black. I swatched it 3x's. There's fallout and this shadow is chalky. It is a bit sheer, but was buildable. I feel this shadow would be great for a smokey eye, rather than an all over the lid shade. I feel it would take a bit to get this shadow opaque over the entire lid.
    • Swoon - A reddish pink satin color. Swatched 3x's on my arm . It's a buildable color, but a little patchy and a little chalky. Not the best performing shade in the palette. I would definitely recommend using this with other shadows and primer.
    • Destroyer -  A red satin. I had to swatch this 4x's! There was fallout and it was a bit chalky. It's sheer, but buildable. This is another shade that I feel is meant to be used in conjunction with other shadows. It would help out other shadows and be a good overlay, but I can't see using this alone.
    • Rewind - This is a reddish burgundy shimmer. Swatched 3x's here. There was fallout and it was patchy, but it is buildable and smooths itself out. 
    • Harpsichord - This is an orange copper shimmer. I only had to swatch it 2x's and there was no fallout! It is very smooth and silky! I can't wait to work more with this color!
    • Analogue - This is an orange satin with pink undertones. The pigmentation in this shadow is good and I only swatched it 2x's. However, there was a lot of fallout and it was a little chalky.
    [Left to Right: Skulls, Lyric, Moulder, Strutter, Noble, Vox]

    The last 6 swatches are the neutrals from the inner part of the palette. Neutrals are always the trickiest shades, because they usually appear vastly different on each skin tone. A reminder- my skin is a medium tone and is tanned from the sun.
    • Skulls - This is a pinkish cream color with a shimmery finish. I swatched it 3x's. The shimmer is very noticeable and it's a buildable color. I had no fallout with this shade. I feel this will perform well on the eyes and work great as a highlight color.
    • Lyric - A peach cream color with a shimmery finish. I swatched this 2x's. There was very little fallout, but it's a bit sheer. I feel this color was meant to be made sheer though. It will blend will with light to medium skin tones, so it'll work well to brighten up the eye area.
    • Moulder - This is a light tan matte shade that looks a lot lighter on my tan skin than it will for those who have fairer skin. I swatched this 3x's. It's a bit powdery, but only had a tiny bit of fallout. It is a little chalky too, but not unworkable.
    • Strutter - This is a light cafe brown satin. It almost blends into my natural skin, or the untanned part of my skin. So for me, this will be a good blending color. I swatched it x2's. There was fallout and it's chalky, but still usable.
    • Noble - A light peach colored brown with a satin finish. This is another shade that blends pretty well into my natural skin tone. There is not too much difference between this shade and Strutter, so it almost seems redundant in the the palette. I swatched it 3x's. There was fallout and it's a little chalky, but it's a buildable color.
    • Vox - A deep brown shade with a matte finish. I had to swatch this 4x's, as it was a sheer color for a shade that looks pigmented on the palette. It is buildable, but there was fallout. This shade performed similar to Black Metal and will probably work great for a smokey eye, but would take a lot of work to get a solid brown lid; both look very pigmented at first sight, but perform more sheer.
    Final Verdict
    This is a nice palette. It's not the most solid performing palette out there, but it's far from the worst. There's a nice mix of brights, neutrals, and dark shades. It is also a good mix of mattes, satins, and shimmers. I feel this palette would be great for those who want to use unique colors once in a while, but do not want to pay for them individually since that would be expensive and of course there would be the neutrals that one could use all the time. There is fallout with most colors and a little more then I would like. The shadows are not stiff, but some of them are chalky. The shimmer shadows seem to be the best performing shades and while there are a few disappointments, the pigmented colors do seem to live up to their hype with the exception of the neutral dark colors. The palette is not travel friendly and the shadows will be a challenge to depot, but it is beautiful and the details of the packaging are definitely eye catching! If you're a Kat Von D beauty fan or a make-up collector, this is a must! If you're not a fan of bright colors or shimmers, save your money, because you can purchase neutral palettes or lighter colors without having to spend $59 on a palette full of other colors you'll never touch. I would not recommend this palette to a beginner or someone who does not have a lot of experience with different types of eyeshadow formulas. Remember that not every eyeshadow made in the world is meant to be an opaque solid color and that's why I feel people need to give these shadows in this palette a break. However, there are a few shadows in this palette that will require work and the knowledge on how to get them to perform well. 

    Personal eye looks coming soon! Let me know if you bought this palette and what your thoughts! Or tell me what you think from the review if you're not bought it! I would also love to read others reviews, so please leave your link below!

    Monday, October 5, 2015

    Sephora Beauty Shake-Up

    [photo credit: Sephora promotional email]

    Subscribers to the Sephora email list will receive an email that looks like this starting today! It is the Beauty Shake-Up. You simply click the link where it says "play now" and shake your phone for a prize! Beauty Insiders can win: 10% off, deluxe samples, extra points, or 3x's the points on a purchase of $25 or more. The great part is that this is a daily prize and you can play every day from now until October-22, 2015. The prizes do not expire until October-31, 2015.
    [photo credit: Sephora promotional email]

    Today my reward as a deluxe sample of Josie Maran's facial cleanser. Of course, in order to redeem the code they sent me I have to spend $25. Sephora does send an email after you "shake" with a reminder of your reward and the reward code, so there is no need to write down the code or anything since it will be emailed.

    ***You do not have to play on your phone! The game can be played on any laptop or PC. All you have to do is click the link and instead of "shaking" your device it will just have click a link. You also do not have to be a Beauty Insider to play; all you have to do is provide an email. However, in order to redeem the prize you must be a Beauty Insider! Being a Beauty Insider is free!

    Let me know if you play and what you get in the Beauty Shake-Up! Remember to play daily!

    Friday, October 2, 2015

    ColourPop Haul

    Today I bring you my first ever ColourPop haul! ColourPop Cosmetics have been around for about a year and half. This past May was their one year anniversary, so they're still a fairly new company. They are an indie brand (independent), because they are not made by or owned by a large corporation. They're based out of Los Angeles, California and formed by two girls. The company has quite a cult following and many people love them, because they're so affordable. Their eyeshadows, lippie pencils, and lippie stix are only $5 each, while their new liquid lipsticks are only $6; prices that are hard to find outside of cheap drugstore brands. While their pricing is in line with a lot of other indie cosmetic companies, their rise to popularity is more of a higher-end brand.

    I personally have always been curious of their line, but never had a reason to go purchase it until recently. All of the colors I am about to review run along the same color scheme, because they were choosen for a future cosplay that I'm working on. I was having a difficult time finding colors of eyeshadow that would work with my cosplay and it just so happened that ColourPop had a close enough selection. - Before purchasing ColourPop, I did some research. Again, mostly favorable reviews and a lot of fans of this company. I did read some complaints though. Some people said that for the price of their cosmetics you're not really getting that much product, so basically "you get what you pay for". There was also complaint of shadows drying up and some not liking the formula. -I'll cover all that later on.
    My items arrived well padded and secured! They were well protected and to top it off the company hand writes a letter with your name on it! How cool and unique is that?!?! (Sorry, I scratched off my name there, but I don't feel like having my personal name out there like that.) Shipping is a low rate of $5, but spend $30 or more and they offer free shipping.

    I'll start the review with the Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil that I purchased:
    I purchased the Lippie Stix in the color "Raw". 

    ColourPop describes Raw as follows: Raw is always better and this clean aqua blue shade with a satin finish is no different. SATIN FINISH Full coverage, long wearing lipstick glides on smoothly with a hydrating feel & has a modern satin finish.

    If you're unfamiliar with a "satin finish" in terms of lipstick, it usually means a demi-matte finish; so, it's not quite matte, but it's not going to be glossy or shiny either. It's that step right before "matte".
    I purchased the Lippie Pencil in the the matching color "Raw". The description of the color is the exact same as it's partner and promises that same "clean aqua blue".
    Here are swatches of the lipstick and the pencil side by side in natural light. The larger swatch is the Lippie Stix and the thinner swatch is the pencil. I'm not sure how it will look on your screen, but on the website the color looked more on the blue-ish/turquoise side on the website. However, when I received it, it was definitely more "aqua" and green-ish. I do not see as much blue here as I was hoping for, but in all fairness the site did state it was aqua-colored.

    As for performance, I was slightly disappointed in the Raw lipstick. It is not as easy to work with as I thought it would be. It performs much more like a matte lipstick, because any dry patches on the lips will be highlighted and make the lipstick look rather messy. Also, dry lips in general make it quite hard to apply and have an opaque finish. So, obviously I suggest a good lip scrub before applying this and moisturize those lips! Winter is quickly coming and I can't see this lipstick being my friend during the cold season since my skin is always much dryer in the winter.

    The Raw pencil performed great! It was easy to apply and very opaque! It's a smooth application with no tugging and matches the lipstick perfectly. I'm normally not a fan of filling in the entire lip area with the pencil, but I feel it does help in this case since the Raw lippie stix can be hard to make smooth if lips are not in the right condition. Another good option to help is a lip primer.
    Next up are the Super Shock Shadows. Yes, a couple of these look smudged and that's because I couldn't resist trying them out as soon as I opened up the package! I promise they all arrived in perfect condition initially. I also have to add that not all of these colors are available to purchase. I had no idea that shortly after I bought these that they were going to do a final sale and then discontinue them. It kind of makes sense, because some of these colors were released for their spring collection this year and so they are probably just getting rid of them to make way for the winter and holiday collections, but I know it also can be disappointing to read a review and then not be able to purchase them. I apologize, but know that much of this review is to also inform the audience about the brand itself and the overall performance of the products.

    The Super Shock Shadows are unique. They are a wet powder shadow. It's not the typical dry powder or compressed pigment. The feel is similar to the Maybelline Bouncy Blushes and I would best describe it as a cream-to-powder finish. With that being said, it does take a few seconds for these to set and if you're not use to a product that is not dry it may take a little bit of getting use to and figuring out how to apply these.
    First up, I'll start with the blue shades. Left to Right: "Beauty Call" and "Taco". As of right now, Beauty Call is no longer available for order anymore.

    Beauty Call is described as a "true powder blue with a matte finish". I would agree with Colourpop's description. Beauty Call was surprisingly thick and a little harder to apply then Taco. The issue with Beauty Call is that the formula is a bit thicker and takes longer to dry. Since it is a pastel shade, it takes a little bit of layering to get opaque for that true blue hue and so layering and dry time can take a bit. It's not an impossible shade to wear, but it does take some working with it to understand how to get it like the swatch appears.

    Taco is described as a "mid-tone aqua in a matte finish". I can't agree with that description. I do not see much aqua in Taco at all. To me this would be considered a dark turquoise at best and is more of a muted blue. The "matte" part is correct. Taco applies nicely and has beautiful coverage. The formula is lighter than Beauty Call and so it dries faster and applies smoother. It's a very nice and easy product to work with.
    In the picture above, I'm wearing the Raw lipstick and pencil. If you look closely towards the inside of my mouth you can see the dry patches and where the lipstick starts to separate. As the weather changes, my skin and body react pretty negatively, it's actually worse than in the winter. Changing of seasons is always rough for me. Anyway, the lipstick was not that well of a performer in the long run. I had about 2-4 hours with it before having to do touch-ups each time.

    On my eyes, I have Beauty Call on the inside of the eyes and Taco on the outside. Both are applied over a primer and I always use primer! Both wore well for me. I had them on for about 7 hours. 
    Rounding out the haul is the greens! Left to Right: Flux, Snap Dragon, Ibiza. Again, the two shadows on the left are only smeared because I had to swatch and feel these babies right away! They arrived in perfect condition.
    Flux is described as a "light mint green with a matte finish" and I would say this is more of a hint of green then it is really a mint, or at least that is how it looks when applied. It is indeed matte. Flux will appear differently, depending on your skin tone. For me, it's almost white on my tan skin, but when I use it with other green shadows the green that Flux is shows up well. My only issue with Flux is the same issue I had with Beauty Call; it is a thicker formula than the rest and thus takes longer to dry and that only makes it harder to get the opacity of the color that most will desire.

    Snap Dragon is described as "mid-tone sea foam green with a matte finish" and I would say that is a pretty accurate description. Snap Dragon performed much like Taco did, as it was easy to apply and set much faster than Flux did.

    Ibiza is described as "bright turquoise with a silver and gold duo chrome finish". Ibiza is more of a bright teal in my opinion, but it definitely has silver and gold reflects that give it a shimmery finish. It is not easy to see the reflects and shimmer in my image, but it's there. This is not a matte shadow and ColourPop lists Ibiza as a "pearlized finish", which it is. I enjoyed Ibizia a lot. It is a pearlized finish, so to make it opaque it takes a few layers, but it's any easy shadow to work with and the color will look great on any skin tone. 
    In the picture above I have Flux on the inner part of my eye; Snap Dragon on the outer part of the eye; and Ibiza is on the lower lash line.

    Final Verdict
    ColourPop as a brand definitely won me over! Everything from the well secured packaging to the hand written note! It all really showed that they care about their products and they care about their customers! I really like the eyeshadows and I enjoy the formula. My only issues were with Beauty Call and Flux, which were the 2 lighter shades. They're not the easiest to work with and I would probably use a base under them next time. I would most likely not repurchase those either, however they're both part of the Spring 2015 collection and Beauty Call is already permanently sold out and Flux is being phased out. All the other shadows are great! The Lippie Pencil is a solid will win also, but the Lippie Stix in "Raw" is not the easiest formula to work with unless the lips are primed and ready.
    The only other topics I'll address is from the beginning of this post. As far as the complaints people launched about the shadows drying out and not receiving enough product, I'd have to say that is just people trying hard to find something to complain about. As you can see, in the picture above with Flux and Snap Dragon, I have technically hit pan on both. The issue here is that the shadows are creamy and they're moist, so they move and slide around a lot, so it's easy to look like the product is used more than it really is. It is true that you do not receive as much product as the jars may appear to hold and that is one thing that was a little surprising to me, but honestly for only $5 a jar you're still getting quite a bit of product. There's also the fact that most of us beauty consumers out there do not use up any one shadow in a week. The majority of us will still have that same shadow a year from now, so again it's not much to complain about at the price. The performance of these shadows is well over $5. As for the "drying" aspect, the ColourPop website does warn you to close the lids tight between uses, even if you're just switching between colors. I have had these shadows for a couple of weeks now and have not experienced any drying of the shadows, they still feel the same as when I opened them. So, I don't personally feel like these "issues" are a problem.

    Feel free to share your ColourPop experiences and favorite products from there in the comments below! Any questions or other comments can be left below as well!