Buxom Color Choreography Palette in Tango

I can’t stop. I held off on buying makeup for a few months, but my shopping addiction has returned with a vengeance as of late. I hope I can stop soon. I placed a few Black Friday orders, so mayyyyybe that will tide me over for the rest of winter? Fingers crossed.

Today’s review covers my new Buxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow Palette in Tango ($36). It isn’t a new product, but that’s ok. I get around to buying things when I get around to them.

Buxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow Palette in Tango

Here are the shades lightly swatched without primer (except for the red, which I layered to see how the color would build up):Buxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow Palette in Tango swatched fair pale skin

My feelings about the palette: Ironically, the burgundy shade that initially caught my eye most was the only disappointment. It’s sheerer than anticipated (I really had to layer it on for the swatch) and more of a reddish-brown than the bright oxblood/burgundy shade that I was expecting. It truer to pan shade when applied wet, so I’ll probably use it most frequently as a liner. While useable, it’s not the star of the show, so this shade’s value is really a matter of perception.

Beyond that, the gunmetal grey and the silvery-taupe are sooo creamy and dreamy and lovely. They’re pigmented and multi-dimensional with gold micro-glitter and they’re gorgeous and I would have bought the palette for them alone. There is slight fallout from the glitter, but nothing unreasonable. The matte grey-brown is an excellent color for definition and also very pigmented. The white highlighter is somewhat sheer (especially on my very fair skin), but I think that’s on purpose since a super pigmented matte white would be distracting and wouldn’t work well to highlight. While not the most exciting shade on the palette, I’m glad they included a matte highlight shade (I’ve mentioned before how important those are to me for both highlighting and blending edges).

I think it’s brilliant how versatile these four neutral shades are. Red shade notwithstanding, the palette features two light and two dark shades in both shimmery and matte finishes and they work well in any combination together. A kit that versatile is a great find.

Sample look using all five shades (the red color is both blended into crease as a halo and applied wet as a liner). I’m also wearing Nyx Powder Blush in Angel ($4.99),  Laura Mercier Stick Gloss in Courtisane ($22 individually or $48 for a set of four) and Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Fig ($15) on top (one of the only glosses that I can stand!).

Buxom taupe grey brown smoky eye black cherry burgundy oxblood eyeliner linerBuxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow Tango smoky eye
grey taupe smoky eye laura mercier stick gloss courtisane juice beauty reflective lip gloss fig

Bottom line, this is a great everyday set with a good sized mirror and a small, but useable brush. The shades are neutral enough for work, but moody enough for a night out. However, if you were looking for something really dramatic with a bold pop of color, this is not the right palette.

Sultry Parisian Smoky Plum Eyes

This is actually from last night, but that’s ok. I’ve been using my portable makeup kit a LOT lately (always on the go!) and wanted to share a sample look. After experimenting for a few weeks, I’ve updated the go bag with a few different products. I swapped the Revlon Quad for the more pigmented and better wearing  NYX Love in Paris Eye Shadow Palette in Je Ne Sais Quoi ($9.99) and switched out the Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Matte Gloss for a brighter blush (it’s been so chilly and I needed to warm my complexion up!). I used both of these new additions, plus the brow pencil, concealer and mascara from the original kit.

So here’s the look. I wish I had captured the original, work-appropriate look, but this is after I amped up the smokiness for nighttime. I’m also wearing  Laura Mercier Stick Gloss in Peony ($22 individually or $48 for a set of four), which has a subtle sheen and seems to change color depth in different lights. I really like the NYX palette because there’s a really good variety of dark and light colors in matte and shimmer textures. It’s compact and super versatile, I love it! There’s a closeup of the shades from the palette in my smoky cat eye post from last week. I know it’s just because the palette’s name is French, but using it always makes me feel very Parisian Chic. With that in mind, I layered the plum color over the brown shades for a look that makes me think of dimly lit foreign films.

Enough sparkle for bright light, enough depth for low light:

brown plum smoky eye nyx love in paris eyeshadow palette sheer laura mercier stickgloss peony brown plum smoky eye nyx love in paris Je Ne Sais Quoi sheer laura mercier stick gloss peony brown plum smoky eye nyx love in paris Je Ne Sais Quoi brown plum smoky eye nyx love in paris eye shadow palette Je Ne Sais Quoi

Matte Meets Metallic Manicure

This one was subtle but fun. I used Cult Cosmetics Nail Polish in Boneyards ($12), then layered Cult’s Modern Matte Topcoat ($12) over for a smooth, almost leather-like finish, then painted my ring fingers with my Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer in Caviar Cocktail ($13).

matte metallic grey manicure gray nail polish nailtini caviar cocktail cult cosmetics boneyard modern matte topcoat

Smoked out liner for simple, sexy cat eyes.

Tonight I wore an intense, black, smoky eye/cat eye hybrid. I applied a soft taupe over the entire eye, then used a line of matte black eyeshadow along the lashline and smudged it up and out for a softer version of my favorite cat eye liner. Even though it’s less harsh, it still has a lot of impact. Super easy, too!

I used NYX Love in Paris Eye Shadow Palette in Je Ne Sais Quoi ($9.99), a coat of Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara ($23) and Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Nylon Nude ($20).

smoky cat eye NYX Palette JE NE SAIS QUOI smashbox be legendary lipstick nylon nude  smoky cat eye nude lips NYX Love in Paris Eye Shadow Palette JE NE SAIS QUOI NYX Love in Paris Eyeshadow Palette JE NE SAIS QUOI smaskbox be legendary lipstick nylon nude smoky cat eye

Monthly box overload! Reviews of my other subscription services.

While I focus on beauty products in this blog, I also really like talking about subscription boxes (if my monthly Ipsy/Birchbox reviews weren’t enough of a tip off). So in case you’re a major monthly box addict like I am, I thought I’d review a few other that I subscribe to:

BarkBox ($19/month for 6 months). I wonder where they got the name idea? This might be the best deal of all my boxes. Each month you get 4-6 toys, treats or other dog-related products customized for your dog’s size. Everything I’ve gotten so far has been really high quality and made in America (so no worries about creepy chemicals!). If you’re a dog lover, check out the box that I got today and tell me that 3 full sized bags of all natural treats and a stuffing-free bouncy fleece toy isn’t worth $19/avoiding a trip to PetSmart.
Get $5 off your first box through this link:

november 2013 barkbox review

Stitch Fix ($20+ per fix). I’ve reviewed this service pretty in-depth in the past. They choose 5 items for you based on a survey you fill out, then you choose whether or not to keep them (although you get charged $20 if you don’t keep anything). It’s a lot of fun and a good way to try new things, although it’s the priciest of all of these services. I haven’t ordered a fix in a while because I’ve lost some weight and am trying not to buy clothes until I know what size I’ll stay.

FabKids ($39.95/month). Cute outfits for kids! Each month you can choose an outfit with three pieces for $39.95. You can skip a month any time you want, but the pieces are high quality and on-trend, so I usually pick one each time. Since $40 isn’t as cheap as my $10 Birchbox, I’m glad that they give you the option of picking the outfit you want. See my November order below (I think it’s very menswear blogger chic).
Get 50% off your first outfit through this link: 

fabkids november 2013 review

Citrus Lane ($12-$49/month depending on how many items). This is a box of kid toys/snacks/supplies catered to your child’s age (and gender if you choose). You get to choose the price point you want (I’m signed up for 5 products a month at $25) and the items are really nice. I always get my money’s worth, even if there’s an occasional dud. Once they even sent a bonus item for me- a $14 Julep nail polish! A great value if you have kids, my son loves getting the surprises each month. I don’t have any pictures because my son always tears into the box before I can take a picture. 🙂
Get $10 off through this link: Citrus Lane

November 2013 Ipsy Glam Bag vs Birchbox Review

Review time! Let’s start with Ipsy this month.

november 2013 ipsy glam bag review

I love the gold snakeskin bag with the wristlet strap! It’s obviously not high end, but it would be cute to take out for a night of drinks. This is the first wristlet I’ve gotten from Ipsy and I like how they’ve been experimenting with bag types (I have soooo many at this point).

Em Cosmetics lash gallery lengthening mascara in brown ($20)
I’ve been waiting and waiting for Michelle Phan to break down and finally include an Em product in an ipsy bag. This month she came through… and I got stuck with the only one that I didn’t want, mascara. However, it’s a very nice formula, and I actually really needed a brown mascara since I’ve been doing more natural looks. There are also 6 samples in this month’s bag instead of 5, so who am I to complain?
Em cosmetics: 30% off with code ipsy30 through 11/30/13.

Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot Damn ($14).
Nice, bright matte red that leans a little pink. I really like these solid stain products, they’re so easy to work with. The color is great and wears well, although it isn’t quite as opaque as a traditional lipstick. I still really like it and think it’s cool how the color almost integrates into your lips instead of just sitting on top of them.

Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot DamnBe a Bombshell Lip Crayon Hot Damn swatch pinkish red

Be a Bombshell: 40% off any purchase AND a free lip gloss with code ipsy40 through 12/15/13.

Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer in Caviar Cocktail ($13).
Yaaaaay, more Nailtini nail polish! I love them so much. This one is a really pretty metallic gunmetal, although it is basically identical to the the nail polish I got from Birchbox this month. See?

color club Cocktail Hour Collection dark and stormy Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Laquer Caviar Cocktail
Tini Beauty: 50% off a $25 purchase AND a free eyeliner with code ipsy4glam through 12/31/13. This is a super good deal!

Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched ($18).
A nice, subtle, matte bronzer. Very blendable, not overpowering, although I’m guessing this shade would only show up on really pale girls like me. This is great for contouring, and even better when paired with the highlighting crayon from this month’s Birchbox!
Pixi Beauty: 25% off with code bronzepixi through 12/15/13.

Starlooks Gem Eye Pencils ($14).
So far I’ve gotten a Starlooks lip pencil that was good, then a Starlooks black eyeliner that wasn’t so great, and today I got this lavender glitter liner and didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being great! Very smooth, very glittery but no fallout. It’s a very light purple color, so it doesn’t completely stand alone, but it’s an excellent accent color.

starlooks gem eye pencil amethyst purple glitter eyeliner

Starlooks: 40% off with code ipsy through 12/15/13.

HSI Professional Argan Oil ($29.99).
I can always use more Argan oil, although I have quite a lot at this point. If you don’t, then this discount code might be a good time to try it out.
HSI Professional: 50% off with code ipsy50ss through 12/20/13.

Additional codes from this month’s bag:
Cailyn Cosmetics: 30% off any purchase with code ipsy30 through 12/15/13.
BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Baked Eyeshadow Palette 20% off with code ipsy20 through 12/31/13.

And here’s November’s Birchbox:

november 2013 birchbox review

Color Club® Cocktail Hour Collection in Dark n’ Stormy ($8).
Yeah, so I love the color and I love Color Club’s formula, but how funny is it that it’s so close to my ipsy polish? Here they are swatched side by side. Nailtini Caviar Cocktail is on my thumb and Color Club Dark n’ Stormy is on my index finger. Dark n’ Stormy leans slightly bluer while Caviar Cocktail is a truer grey.

color club Cocktail Hour Collection dark and stormy swatch Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Laquer Caviar Cocktail

Chella Highlighter Pencil in Ivory Lace ($18).
More full sized stuff (and a frequent ipsy brand). This is super great, I’ve gotten more into highlighting, so this is nice for when I’m on the run and don’t want to pack a highlighting powder and brush. It’s matte, so it’s sort of like a concealer pencil. As such, I used it to line the outside of my lips to prevent feathering. Multi-tasker! This also comes in different colors to match different skintones, which I love.

It’s a 10® Miracle Leave-In Product ($11.69).
Miracle? I dunno about miraculous, but it does leave my hair smooth and soft. I do like it, and was happy to get a full size product from Birchbox.

Tiossan Body Cream ($38).
It’s a whipped lotion, although it has a pleasant, light scent. It definitely moisturizes and absorbs well, I just wouldn’t pay 40 bucks. I’m also super cheap.

Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bars in Pop Corn Pop ($6).
Ooooo, I’m on a super strict low carb diet (keto forever!) so I was going to give it to someone. Then again, I also feel like I deserve to break the diet from time to time. The last few days have been stressful and I really needed a special treat, so this was a good way to be bad, but not too bad. The chocolate was so tasty and it had pop rocks in it! Totally worth the sugar.

And now we have swatches. L-R we have blended Chella pencil, Unblended Chella, Starlooks Gem Liner, Be a Bomshell Hot Damn Chubby Lip Pencil and the Pixi pronzer, which you basically can’t see (it is subtle, but in person it works).

november 2013 ipsy glam bag birchbox swatches

My arm is actually even paler than my face, so these swatches are slightly skewed. Below you can see all of my November products in action:
ispy november 2013 review Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon Hot Damn

Ice Blue and Brown Duochrome Smoky Eye

I have been dying to play around with that Wet ‘n’ Wild duochrome shadow I posted about in last week’s WnW review.

Here I’m wearing the teal/blue/brown duochrome “definer” pan from the right side of Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow ”Comfort Zone” ($4.99). I layered it over the icy baby blue shade from the top right of Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow in “Blue Had Me at Hello” ($4.99), then lined the lower lashline with the bright teal shade from the same palette. This shifty green-brown-blue eyeshadow is fantastic, I am in love (and so glad that I didn’t shell out for the Kat Von D shadow since this is an exact dupe). It’s also supposed to be a dupe for MAC’s blue brown pigment.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow in Blue Had Me at Hello comfort zone smoky eye Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow in Blue Had Me at Hello comfort zone baby ice blue brown smoky eyeWet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow Blue Had Me at Hello comfort zone duochrome swatch 

Can you see all of the subtle changes from different angles? Pictures don’t do the pretty color shift justice. The duochrome is a lot more wearable than I thought it might be.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow blue brown duochrome eyeshadow