Showing posts with label Palettes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palettes. Show all posts

Monday, September 28, 2015

NARS Pro Palettes

Earlier this month, NARS finally launched their first customizable palettes with inserts for eye and cheek products. They are called the NARS Pro Palettes and the palette themselves come in two sizes, Small ($14) and Large ($18). A select number of their colors are available for purchase as inserts in blush, highlighter, bronzer, contour duos, and eyeshadows (prices range from $18 to 30). I've been a long-time NARS fan and I've depotted some of my powders to put into other palettes. The rubberized casing sometimes gets ruined and sticky over time so the only way for me to keep using them is to depot. I've tried a number of methods and about half of the products became ruined (cracked, dented, burned, etc.) I am so so happy that NARS finally has launched these palettes. I have the small one to share today. Prices and options are as follows:
Both palettes come in a magnetic black case (not rubberized like the full-size packaging). The small one measures a little over 7 inches wide and a bit over 5.5 inches tall, depth is about 1/2 an inch.

Each insert comes in a clear sturdy plastic case:

Products are labeled on the back in case you mix them up, you will still be able to see what colors you use if you look on the back:

The base of the pan is magnetized so the pans adhere to the bottom. I tried several variations and found that there is plenty room around the pans which makes it easy to insert or remove without touching the edges. Since everything is magnetic - once they are set in the pan, the pans stay put.

A few variations I tried to show what fits where and in what combinations. Online at on the Build Your Own Pro Palette Section of you can customize your own palette by playing with the different colors to see what fits. The small one fits the powder blushes perfectly. The other items have a lot more room around them which I don't mind - it makes it easy to interchange the colors or move them around.

Swatches of the shades featured above: Miss Liberty, Angelika, Desire, Orgasm, Deep Throat, Torrid, Luster, Lovejoy and Laguna Bronzer

Eyeshadow duos in: All About Eve, Alhambra, Sugarland, Cordura, Kalahari

Here's a quick size comparison of the NARS Pro Palette in Small to that of a couple MAC Pro Palettes (Blush x6 customized by me and Nordstrom's Finest x15):

I'm overall beyond thrilled that NARS has released these palettes. Since they are designed for makeup artists, they're currently exclusive to NARS boutiques and The shade selection is limited but I really hope they will expand the color offerings soon. In the meantime I'm going to be ordering a few more base palettes and attempt to depot some of my current compacts as carefully as I can.

As a quick update, there was a mess-up with one of my NARS orders so I ended up with a few duplicates. Instead of returning them, I've decided to give them away! Entry details below in the widget (must be 18 years or older, USA or Canada residents only). I'm giving away 1 small palette with Orgasm, Torrid, Deep Throat, All About Eve, Kalahari, Alhambra and Cordura (all brand new), entries must be made via the widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you looked into the NARS Pro Palettes yet? Or do you already depot your current compacts?

The NARS Pro Palette was provided courtesy of NARS for review consideration.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette

Lancôme recently launched a 16-pan eyeshadow palette called Auda[city] in Paris ($68 for 16 shadows each x 1.3g/0.45 oz). This palette was designed by Lisa Eldridge and inspired by the streets of Paris. It's Lancôme's first multi-palette with light neutrals, taupes, purples, smokey greys and darker browns. It comes cased in a large mirrored compact and double-ended eyeshadow brush. The eyeshadows have different textures including matte, satin and metallic.

There are mixed reviews on this palette - I've been playing with this one for a few days now to put it to the test. Overall I would say it's a good neutral palette that has a wide range of colors to create a multitude of looks. I like that each color is distinct from each other so there aren't any repeats within the same palette. The look and feel of the shadows is very natural with a sheer to medium finish. Most of the colors are buildable in pigment - by using a denser brush or dampening it you will get more pigment. Texture is soft and sheer - the shimmers have a lot of powdery kickup and when applying on the eyes I experienced a lot of fall out onto the cheeks. It was easy to clean up though and I usually have some sort of fall out with powder shadows whenever I blend and swipe (creams excluded). Once on the lids - lasting power was pretty good. I tried with and without a base - a base definitely helps, my favorite is Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base or a cream shadow stick like NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks or Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks.

The finish of each color in this palette is either hit or miss. Some are sheerer than others. A couple of the darker shades are best applied with a detailed brush damp and then smoked out - if you use a fluffy brush for some of the deeper colors you will see uneven application. The nice thing about the darker shades being sheer though is that they are easy to build slowly. If you're a smokey eye novice and worried about overdoing it - this is a good starter palette.

  • Filigree is a light ivory gold shimmer, pigment is medium
  • Choquette is a matte cream peach, pigment is medium
  • Parfait is a light matte cool pink, pigment is sheer to meidum
  • Joie is a frosted champagne shimmer, pigment is medium-full
  • Voyage a warm matte terracotta tan, pigment is sheer to medium but easy to blend
  • Santé is a soft matte brown, sheer to medium pigment, this is a good blending shade to soften harsh edges and finish the eye look by adding warmth
  • Kitten Heel a metallic duo chrome pink gold copper, pigment is medium with a lot of fallout, but on the lids it stays put
  • Tenacity is a glorious metallic taupe, it's frosty but so so pretty on the lids

  • Exhibition is an orchid shimmer, finish is very sheer, this is my least favorite in the palette
  • Zip Me Up is a deeper orchid purple shimmer, also sheer in finish, my second least favorite
  • Volcano is a shimmery grey, finish is sheer to medium
  • Audacious is a satiny smokey brown shimmer, pigment is medium
  • Couture is a soft semi-sheer dark matte brow, color is really soft unless you apply with a damp detail brush or small smudge brush
  • It List is a satiny black with tiny bits of silver shimmer flecks, pigment is medium
  • Clock Strikes 12 is a metallic grey that is very sheer, but buildable if you pack it on
  • Nuit is a cool-toned metallic black gunmetal, pigment is medium

Quick eye swatch with a super natural look:

One last shot:

My overall take on the Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette is that it's a decent palette. If I were to rate this on a scale, I'd give this a B rating. I think it's a good wearable palette that will take you from day to night looks without any other shadows required. The variety makes it versatile and will allow for a number of different looks. If you're new to eyeshadow and want the convenience of a palette, this is a good starter palette. There are a number of women I know who don't wear much eyeshadow - if you want color but want a natural palette that's fun to experiment with this is a good option.

Compared to other palettes, I do think there are better options out there for richer more vibrant color/pigment. That being said the Lancome Palette does appear to be designed for a natural look versus bold rich color. I'm not a huge fan of the brush it comes with - one is a synthetic small brush that seems better suited for creams. The other side is a larger fluffy side which is good for pigmented shadows, since this palette is sheer to medium it doesn't pick up color well. It is a really good blending brush though.

In terms of larger palettes, the Urban Decay Naked series still rules them all as the best ones for the price of $54 each (at least in my opinion). Based on feedback I've received from previous reviews I've posted I know they aren't everyone's cup of tea. I like Urban Decay because of the soft textures, rich pigment, gorgeous shimmers, wearable metallics - for many the palettes are just too much in terms of frost/shimmer. For others, some can't get over the look of the packaging. The MAC x15 Naturals Palettes are also good if you're looking for variety but come at a much higher price tag of $85.

If you want a softer palette with shimmers but ones that have more subtle shimmers I'd recommend this Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette or the Dior Eye Reviver (reviewed here and here). Given how many eyeshadows I've tested and own, I can't call this one a must-have, although for the price it's nice to have - the quality is good and shadows blend/build nicely on the lids.

Overall a good wearable and versatile palette that's nice to have, or nice to start out with if you're building a makeup collection. The overall look and feel is extremely beautiful - it's a palette you can wear for a number of occasions. You can find the Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette available now at Lancôme counters. Online at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and all other Lancôme retailers.

Have you tried this palette yet? What's your favorite large eyeshadow palette?

This palette was provided courtesy of Lancôme for review consideration.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dior Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette - Nordy Girl

Dior has a new Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Palette for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale called Nordy Girl ($62 for 9.3 g/0.32 oz). This is a similar palette to the first version Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette 001 I reviewed back in March (swatches + review here). The overall effect, pigment level and finish of the shadows between the two is almost identical with the Nordstrom exclusive version being more pink and rosy.

The Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Palette provides a selection of five soft neutrals that will give the eye a super soft polished look. The texture of the shadows is very soft and the colors meld onto the skin smoothly and evenly. Each of the 4 shadows layers well with each other and there is a dark gel liner at the end which has good pigment. I found the liner to be budge proof but it is creamy so it will take a little time to set and dry. I prefer topping any pencil or gel liner with a bit of power shadow to help it set.

If you're looking for a super conservative eye look that you can do everyday these are the palettes for you. Either of the Eye Reviver Palettes are pretty much goof proof and impossible to overdo if you want a soft looking eyeshadow look.

The colors of the Dior Nordy Girl palette include:

Soft matte pale pink white
Shimmering pigmented light pink frost
Shimmering mauve plum
Shimmering pink mauve
Shimmering mauve
Matte plum-brown liner

For comparisons, I pulled both the 001 and Nordy Girl to swatch side by side.

Close ups:

I had mixed feelings about the original version (post + eye look here). These palettes are good staples but given the neutral nature of each, they are very easy to dupe and if you own a lot of eyeshadows or palettes it's likely that you probably own similar colors. That being said, Dior does make very good quality palettes - the shadows are smooth with soft medium buildable pigment that makes for a polished look no matter what colors they have. These Eye Reviver Palettes have soft texture shadows that fall in between a full matte and full shimmer. The shimmer is finely milled but super natural on the eye so if you hate frost eyeshadow or complete mattes, the shadows in these palettes fall somewhere in between. If you prefer all mattes, the Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics are hands down my top picks.

Since they both seem very similar, I don't think you need both. The pigment of the colors with Nordy Girl is better in the sense the colors are richer and more pigmented on the skin. The 2 lightest shades have really good pigment, however the next 3 medium shades are almost identical on my medium olive-toned skin. The pigment of the Original 001 is slightly sheerer but there is more contrast between the five shades which allows for more variation.

I own a lot of similar shadows so I can't call them must-haves for me. I am pleased with the quality, lasting power and overall color scheme. If I were to recommend a good starter palette to someone new to makeup, I would recommend these as goof-proof easy to use eyeshadows.

If I had to pick one of the two, I favor the Original Version because it has more contrast in the colors. The Nordy Girl is more visible on my skin and has a more dramatic feel because cool tones look sharper on my olive skintone. If you're deciding between the two, I would say base your decision on your preference for warm (opt for 001) or cool tones (pick Nordy Girl).

The Nordy Girl Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Illuminating Neutrals Eye Palette is a limited-edition product for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (retails for $62). I hope you found the review of both Eye Reviver Palettes helpful.

Did you check out the palette from Nordstrom? What did you think?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 in The Lolita and The Lover

I took advantage of the Sephora Beauty Insider sale going on this week and purchased two of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7 Plush Shadow Palettes ($59 each) in The Lolita #206 and The Lover #220. The Lolita has been on my wish list for over a year now. It's one I keep swatching in store but kept waiting on because of the one glittery shade. The Lover is new for summer and it's quite stunning. Online Sephora has helpful descriptions of each palette which I find pretty accurate:

  • The Lolita has eyeshadows in matte off-white cream, matte nude, matte dark coffee brown, metallic warm pink with iridescent glitter, iridescent champagne pink sheen, light peach sheen, rosy copper sheen
  • The Lover has eyeshadows in matte baby pink, sandy pink shimmer, light caramel sheen, matte apricot-rose, copper rose shimmer, seashell pink sheen, matte cappuccino

Both palettes contain a mix of textures and finishes but in neutral colors. I've been a huge fan of The Enigma (cooler tones) and The Dreamer (warmer tones) and as a neutral makeup lover, both The Lolita and The Lover do not disappoint.


First up is The Lolita. The first three shades are matte with very good pigment. You have a buttercream, a soft tan and a dusty brown. The middle shade is a glittery champagne which I find best applied as a topper patted on lightly over other colors. A patting motion helps the color stay on, otherwise if you apply it in the traditional way swiped or brushed over the lid, I found the glitter fell off the lids and onto my cheeks. The last three shades are stunning shimmers. You have an opalescent pink pearl, a shimmering champagne peach and a warm coppery rose shimmer. All the colors are extremely flattering and pretty on the lids (except for the glitter shade mainly because I am not a huge glitter fan). I was worried the colors would all look the same on my lids, but on my medium tone skin they look different.

Close ups:


Next up is The Lover which is a new palette for summer. It's listed as limited-edition online but I hope it remains permanent. For those who like a palette that has colors similar to each other for a soft gradient, The Lover offers some really gorgeous neutrals with a modern twist. In the mix you have some wearable soft pinks, lilac, tan and a peachy-copper shimmer. On the lids you can create a soft gradient and wash of color that is neutral but not your typical neutral-beiges. It's like The Dreamer but softer in overall feel with more pinks rather than the coppery-golds. The colors are well pigmented although the third and fourth shades are softer and are close to my natural skin tone so they aren't as dramatic as the other colors. They do layer on the eyes better than my arm.

Close ups:


One last shot side by side:

Side by side swatches:

I really adore both. If I had to pick only one, I would have to say that I have a slight preference for The Lover right now mainly because it's glitter-free, although The Lolita is pretty amazing for a neutral palette. That being said I do think it can be duplicated with a number of other colors from singles or other palettes. I love that The Lover is neutral and light without being too neutral that it's invisible on my eyes - the colors show up well and layer nicely together.

You can find the Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7 Palettes for $59 each at Marc Jacobs Beauty and Sephora. Right now the Sephora Beauty Insider sale is going on through the 21st. For VIB Rouge enter the code ROUGELOVE at checkout for 15% off, VIBs enter code VIBLOVE for 15% off, BI members will get access starting tomorrow with 10% off with code BILOVE. In store you will need to show the card you received in the mail or e-mail sent to you with the barcode.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Edward Bess Matte Artiste Eyeshadow Palette

Edward Bess launched a new eyeshadow palette called Matte Artiste which has eight shades of luxurious matte shadows. It comes cased in a large mirrored compact and a small brush. All eight shades are well pigmented and ultra soft making them super easy to blend and layer. There are a few places you can buy it right now, the palette retails for $75 at Neiman Marcus (there's a GWP going on this week online) and Bergdorf Goodman, but QVC has a special price online for $59.12.

The palette's eight colors include:
  • Beige is a cool-toned beige cream
  • Mystique is a medium warm camel
  • Allura is a warm deep brown
  • Hypnotique is a cool deep brown
  • Veil is a soft powder pink (this one is quite amazing)
  • Stone is a medium soft grey
  • Mojave is a greyed-black-brown
  • Smoke is a deep smokey black with a soft feel
The texture is extremely soft but the pigment is very good. The soft texture makes them a bit powdery in the compact. Using a brush will show a bit of powder kick-up much like those of the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes (Infinity reviewed here). However this doesn't translate to powdery fallout when you apply them on the eyes. As with any powder shadow, the colors might have a tiny bit of debris that falls to the cheeks, but I have yet to use a powder shadow that doesn't fall out even a little bit. On the lids, the colors are really very good. Even the lighter neutral mattes show up well but they don't make my medium olive skin look washed out.

I am usually not a fan of matte palettes because an all-matte palette tends to my lids look flat. I like to mix on mattes and shimmer together, I rarely will wear an all-matte eye with the exception of Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics. Edward's Matte Artiste has made the cut for me to be an all-matte palette that I can wear without additional tweaking or layering of other colors. Each color is completely matte but they don't appear flat on the eyes. The colors all work well together, there is a diverse range of options with the eight colors but some good in-between colors for those who prefer less contrast.

Lasting power is quite good. The pigment is ultra rich and they lasted on my lids all day from early morning until the evening. Having eight colors makes for a lot of options in terms of layering and combining. I have played with this one using 3-4 colors at any given time. All perform really well.

Close ups of the colors:

For those who want to know how the Edward Bess Matte Artiste compares to Urban Decay Naked / Naked2 Basics, here are the swatches side by side. I think it's different enough to justify owning in terms of matte shades. While I really adore the Naked2 Basics, Edward's offers a darker range of colors for more definition.

Above: Edward Bess Matte Artiste Palette shown with a selection of other Edward Bess favorites

Bottom line: a winner in my book. I'm a huge fan of all things Edward Bess and this one is no exception. If you're in the market for a good palette of mattes, this is one definitely worth looking into. However if you weren't a fan of the Hourglass Palettes because of the soft powdery texture, you probably won't like this either and may want to test this one in person first before purchasing. I personally really liked the Hourglass palette and I really like this one, but I think some people might prefer shadows that aren't quite as soft in texture. My experience is the shadows are very soft and you will see powder debris and kick up in the palette once you dip a brush in any of the pans, but that is where the powdery-ness ends. On the lids they glide on really nicely without a lot of fallout (there is a tiny bit, but that is to be expected with any kind of powder).

If you've tried this one please chime in with your thoughts in the comments below. I'd love to hear your thoughts, or if you have a holy-grail matte eyeshadow palette, please share! You can find the Edward Bess Matte Artiste now at QVC (where I bought mine), Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.


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