Monday, January 11, 2016

Tired of the Winter Crackles on your Skin?

Photo credit:
During the winter months, you may notice that even combination to oily skin can become rather dry. I am one of the unfortunate individuals who has dry skin all year long - this problem becomes particularly exacerbated during the winter. 

If you're anything like me then harsh winds and cold temperatures (as well as ample indoor heating to stay... you know... alive) contribute to patchy, scaly areas on my skin. Typically this includes my face (specifically around my nostrils, chin and forehead), hands and, more recently, even my scalp! I notice that this problem is worst in the Winter because we try to heat up our homes by heating the air around us, which drains the moisture from it, and then we are left with a parched indoor environment - reflecting in the appearance of our skin.

I do enjoy using Coconut Oil as the most natural (read "health conscious") method. However, I often find that it leaves me undesirably greasy and I just don't have the patience to wait a few minutes for it to seep in. Maybe you're one of those people who can hanging out in a blissfully motionless state, but that ain't me! Truthfully, I often find myself flailing around, trying to take off in flight in my useless attempts to quick-dry Coconut or any other body oils.

Cetaphil sent out a sample through the Jingle Voxbox but I already had a giant tub of it on my vanity
If you have dull and dry skin, you may want to consider the benefits of a moisturizer. I have quite a few that work for me. I'm a huge fan of the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream which I constantly find myself going back to. However, an even more affordable option is  Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.

If you're not a fan of strong scents, then Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is for you, since it has no lingering scent and features almond oil in its composition. It also has the added bonus of being non-camedogenic which means that it won't block your pores, causing less acne breakouts and leaving your skin feeling clean.

Remember to drink lots of water, get your Vitamins C, D and E and get plenty of rest to get your skin in its best possible shape while we bear through extreme winds and cold.

Love and be good to yourselves,

Friday, December 11, 2015

Make Up For Ever - 15 Artist Shadow Palette (Holiday 2015)

If you've been following my blog or Instagram for any amount of time you probably already know what a huge fan I am of the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow formula. These are a permanent formula which is available at Sephora and the full range includes over 250 shades! 

The holiday release for this year is a compilation palette of some shades which are organized into trios to create looks from. The trios are positioned in rows. The cost of this palette at Sephora is $58 and I think it's well worth the money even if you're only thinking about getting one palette this holiday season.

Personally I'm a big fan of the color selection, the only improvement I can conceive of is the addition of either a true pink or a light violet shade. The color selection is varied and contains neutrals as well as pops of color, and even some deeper unique shades (D-830, S-228)

Here is the back of the palette which shows the exact shades (this is useful to see if you have any of the singles and are worries about repeats). I also own the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Palette 2 which contains vibrant colors and was released in Spring 2015 and there don't appear to be any duplicates. 

Swatches of the palette can be seen above. On the left are the most neutral shades with the more vibrant shades on the right. I love the rightmost shade as a highlighter, of course it appears much more blendable when applied with a brush! 

If you aren't familiar with the formula of these shadows, they are somewhat cool and gel-like to the touch but they blend like a smooth, creamy powder and immediately blend out like a finely milled powder. In my opinion, although many companies have tried to create this sort of eyeshadow, Make Up For Ever is the most successful! 

I love this palette and I received it as a gift but I was already sure I wanted it! ❤️

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Lorac Mega Pro 2 Palette Review & Swatches

Lorac Mega Pro 2 for Holiday 2015, Ulta Exclusive ($59)
For Holiday 2015, Lorac Cosmetics decided to give fans a second chance at purchasing a Mega Pro. No, they did not re-promote the same palette that was notoriously hard to purchase last year because of its very limited quantity - instead they compromised on making a second one. Behold, the Lorac Mega Pro 2 Palette is here! The good news is that it appears this palette has even more color range and is a nice mix of cool and warm-toned shades than last years. I give you the full scoop in my detailed review.

The palette costs $59 and is an ULTA exclusive. The packaging has that powdered cardboard feel (reminiscent of NARS, the powerhouse company that pioneered it) which is nice and sleek but can get dirty with fingerprints and stains. The palette has the same size as last year's (it's exactly twice the size of the Lorac Pro 1 or 2 palettes).

However, it is of note that Lorac reduced the quantity of eyeshadow housed in each pan to 2/3 of last year's palette! WOW that's a lot! You're getting 1/3rd less product for the same price ($59). The total net weight of product in the Mega Pro 1 palette was 0.62 OZ and for the Mega Pro 2 palette  it is 0.45 OZ. The pans must be more shallow because they *appear* to be the same size when placed side by side.

Now onto the shade selection:

Lorac Mega Pro 2 Shade Range

In good ol' Lorac fashion, we are getting half the palette as matte shades (16 eyeshadows) and the other half are a mixture of finishes including shimmer, metallic and some have just a slight sheen (16 eyeshadows).

The colors range from many versions of light colors (mostly yellow based and a couple of pinker tones), to a variety of transition shades (mostly browns), a couple of color accents (Purple, Tangerine, Goji). There are also a variety of smokier shades (namely Forest, Black Ivy, Ash, etc). You'll also find some very unique shades in this palette - such as Goji, Olivine, Prosecco, Forest, Ash which I can't easily find dupes for in my vast collection.
First Row L to R: Porcelain, Custard, Tawny, Burlap (double swatch!), Melon, Tangerine, Saddle, Forest
Second Row L to R: Bisque, Lavender, Purple, Sorbet, Goji, Cabernet, Ash, Black
Third Row L to R: Sugar, Chiffon, Prosecco, Soft Plum, Cinnamon, Sandstone, Gunmetal, Blue Quartz
Fourth Row L to R: Moonlight, Seashell, Peony, DK. Sienna, Penny, Olivine, Gold Leaf, Black Ivy
After swatching the colors, I was as usual very impressed with their smoothness and pigmentation. They pack a big punch and you only need to dab your brush in very lightly to pick  up plenty of product for your eye look. However, some have complained that they are crumbly - in my opinion this is more a review of Lorac Pro shadows in general rather than it being representative of just this palette. I have no problem working with any of the other Lorac Pro or Mega Pro palettes, and if you are the same, you won't have an issue with Lorac Mega Pro 2! I was almost afraid to purchase this due to the negative YouTube reviews on it - I'm here to tell you that it'll be just fine as long as you don't dig your brush into the colors or smash your palette around.

For reference, I've included some photos of the Lorac Mega Pro 1

Lorac Mega Pro 1 for Holiday 2014 (Amazon and Lorac exclusive)

Do you need this palette?

If you like some of the unique colors offered by the Lorac Mega Pro 2 and you know that you're already happy with the Lorac Pro eyeshadow formula, then I suggest you purchase it. If you're looking for something to create a wide variety of colorful looks, then this palette shouldn't even be a consideration because all of the shades will have a somewhat subdued look once applied and blended out on your eye. This is a very work-appropriate eyeshadow color range and you can give it some punch if you're going out for the night but it's not going to really do the trick for bold colors like Urban Decay or Kat Von D eyeshadow would.

If you have the Lorac Mega Pro 1 Palette from last year, like I do, then you should examine the shade range and decide if there is enough difference between the two palettes to justify the purchase. I personally did not find any dupes between the two Mega Pro palettes, although the lighter shades can be blended to look very similar.

I'm a collector of eyeshadow palettes but because I have so many, I pick and choose the ones which contain the formulas of eyeshadows I prefer working with. The Lorac Pro eyeshadows are ones I prefer over their regular formulation (as seen in the Unzipped palettes), I also gravitate towards Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadows (which have a similar powdery texture and lots of color payoff), and Kat Von D eyeshadows (again, similar texture). If you're like me and enjoy those products, then get this one as a holiday treat for yourself!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Upcoming Holiday 2015 Product Preview - Standouts!

Kat Von D - Mi Vida Loca Remix Palette - Sephora Exclusive ($59) available now

For me, this is the most exciting release of the whole year. Not for the faint of heart but definitely a hardcore makeup junkie's dream.

Arranged like a color wheel, this beautiful palette and accompanying sleeve are truly the work of a talented artist. I'm inspired just looking at the photo and it helps you keep in color theory in mind when pairing colored eyeshadows. For me this palette is an absolute must-have and I'm ordering it for myself! Kat Von D and Sephora have outdone themselves this time, especially during the holidays when almost every other company plays it safe with color selection.

With 17 vivid bright eyeshadow shades and 7 nudes & neutrals, you get 24 full-sized eyeshadow pans so this is a whopper of a palette. It's a great bang for your buck at just $2.46/eyeshadow. The quality has been reported thus far to be buttery-smooth with great color payoff.

Lorac - Mega Pro 2 - Ulta Exclusive ($59) available mid-October

Since last year, the world has been anticipating another Mega Pro Palette from Lorac and they did not disappoint. This year's Ulta exclusive palette promises to be in larger quantities than last so hopefully more makeup lovers can get their hands on it. Buyer beware, once these sell out, they're gone!

This year's Lorac Mega Pro 2 Palette boasts some cooler shadow selections than last year and is arranged in a similar fashion with 16 eyeshadows being matte (the top half of the palette) and 16 eyeshadows being satin or shimmery (the bottom half of the palette). The pan size has gotten significantly smaller than last year but it is not noticeable in the packaging (last year's contained 0.62 oz vs this year's 0.45 oz of product).

Like last year's palette and most Lorac Pro products, the shadows kick up a lot of powder and it is advised that you tap off your brush before applying the color directly to your eyes to avoid significant fallout. With that being said, Lorac eyeshadows are notoriously some of the best blending shades on the market so if you're a fan, it's definitely worth the money!

Too Faced - Le Grand Palais - Sephora Exclusive ($58) available now

This year's Too Faced palette contains 3 highlighting eyeshadow shades, 15 eyeshadows, 2 blushes (Stardust and Skyline), a Flush highlighter and a Sun Bunny bronzer. As extra goodies, Too Faced also included a deluxe-sized Melted Peony liquid lipstick, a deluxe mini Better Than Sex Mascara, and a deluxe sized Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer.

This set is a good value (the website claims it is a $378 value) but if you were to choose the products yourself you probably would not have come up with this exact configuration, so take those values with a grain of salt!

Preliminary reviews of this palette have claimed that there are some very chunky glittery shades prone to fallout and the eyeshadow formulation is not as good as is usually typical of Too Faced powders. Most, if not all, of the colors, are fairly easily dupe-able and even seem repeated in Too Faced's own holiday palettes - since I have the one from last year, I'll be skipping it this year.

Too Faced X Vegas Nay - Stardust Palette - $45 - Ulta Exclusive, Now Available 

 My holiday purchase choice from Too Faced for this year was the Too Faced X Vegas Nay Stardust Eyeshadow Palette.

This kit comes with 12 eyeshadows (with phenomenal formulation across the board, I have not been disappointed by these) in slim travel and vanity friendly packaging, Nude Glamour Dust sample, deluxe mini Better Than Sex mascara, deluxe mini Shadow Insurance eyeshadow primer.

There is a good but wearable variety of color in this palette and I was drawn to it because of the inclusion of mauve/violet shades and burgundies which are a little harder to come across in palettes of this size. This is overall a warm-toned palette lovers dream and I highly recommend it - the quality seems far superior to other Too Faced Holiday 2015 releases.

Tarte - Bling It On Amazonian Clay Blush Palette - $44 - Sephora Exclusive, Now Available

For the third year in a row, Tarte has come out with an Amazonian Clay Blush Palette which is available at Sephora.

If these colors appeal to you, it is a great value considering each Amazonian Clay Blush single costs $28 at 0.2oz of product and each blush in this palette is 3/4 of that size at 0.15oz but you get 5 of them!!! You're only paying $8.80 per blush shade even though you get 75% of product in each blush. I don't know about you but I've never finished an entire blush shade so these would last me literally forever. I may cave and get this palette this year because the colors are beautiful and the packaging is slim (that's really what held me back last year).

The colors of blushes included are: Fetching, Dollface (light pink), Prim, Smashing, Beaming 

Instagram & Update

Hi avid readers!

Sorry I haven't been around, some real life stuff got in the way of me posting but I have been very active on Instagram posting looks of the day and new holiday release previews! If you're not following me already, add @lethalglam.

All products used to create looks are listed underneath my posts.

I promise I'll do better and I'm getting some of the new holiday palettes so I promise I'll bring you swatches and in-depth reviews. There are some veeeery exciting releases coming out soon (some are already available at Ulta and Sephora and I'm itching to show them to you!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Make Up Forever Artist Shadows - Singles

The other day at Sephora, as usual, I was absolutely mesmerized by the artist shadows from Make Up For Ever so I decided to pick up 3 colors for $44 (they regularly sell for $22 each). I am on vacation right now so please excuse the poor quality iPhone photos!! 

Alas, I was too excited to show you D-200 (very light pale shimmery ice blue), D-868 (peachy pink finely glittered overshadow), and I-544 (amber brown with a maroon purple shift - perfect satin crease color).

Below I have taken a photo of the singles compared to my Artist Palette 2 which I also got a few weeks back from Make Up For Ever. 

The swatches and all photos were taken in indoor yellowish light. The true beauty of these needs to be experienced in person at your local Sephora. There are over 200 shades which can be purchased online - the selection in stores is not that big.

These shadows wear all day and look beautiful throughout wear time. They are highly pigmented but I feel as though the lighter shades are better applied with your finger or a very dense brush. 

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