Deck of Scarlet Palette 02 and 03 Review

I recently subscribed to Deck of Scarlet, a company that creates a palette for its members every other month which is supposed to be a full look in a package. Each palette has three eyeshadows, two cheek colors and two lip colors all in one mirrored palette. They typically include one or two liners as well. I love the concept, but how does it perform? Is it worth $30?

My first palette was the Edition 02, which was available for May-June 2017. I was a late subscriber, so my palette came in late June as part of a second batch. It looked pretty, but the quality wasn’t there. I know they had a large increase in subscribers, so I’m not sure if it was a rushed second batch or what, but there were serious texture problems.

Deck of Scarlet Palette 02

Deck of Scarlet Palette 02 Swatches

The lip crayon was kind of greasy and smudgy, and the lipsticks were very thick and sticky textured. The blush wasn’t bad, but the highlighter was AWFUL. It felt gritty and chunky and there was surprisingly little pigment when applied.

Then there were the eyeshadows. The vibrant purple pigment was actually really good, but the peach color was dusty and under pigmented and the mauve was pretty hard to blend and work with. I did create the following look with it, but it took a lot of effort and priming and reapplication.

Deck of Scarlet Palette 02 Review

I’ll admit, the purple shadow was great. Everything else was pretty weak, though. Just try to find the mauve shadow in my crease. You won’t, because I worked it into oblivion when I tried to blend out its harshness. ūüė¶

Even so, I was willing to give them a second chance. My Edition 03 palette arrived yesterday for July/August 2017 any fortunately it’s a big improvement. This time the package included a liquid liner pen with a brush tip, along with the standard palette.

IMG_20170712_200148_654IMG_20170712_134136_848

The liner was excellent. Very precise, didn’t dry out during application and extremely dark and long lasting. I also love brush tip applicators, so that’s a bonus. The blush is good and the highlighter is very, VERY good. It’s soooo creamy and finely milled, the exact opposite of last month’s highlighter.

One of the lipsticks was the same kind of thick, tacky mess as last month, but the pink shade is an incredible matte stain, similar to the ColourPop blotted lips, or Glossier Generation G. It’s really great and I absolutely love it. Finally, two of the eyeshadows are good- the peach shade is dusty but pigmented and the matte greenish brown color was smooth and unique – ¬†but the sparkly pink is a little garish and has a sheer, crumbly texture.

I did another look using the latest palette, although I did go a little crazy with the liner because I was FEELING IT.

IMG_20170712_200148_653IMG_20170712_200148_651

All in all, there were a few misses this month, but overall a worthwhile kit. I’m excited to see how this company continues to grow and improve!

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Review

I recently purchased a Z Palette (still en route) and realized that in addition to the crazy depotting experiments that will be going into the palette, it would be the perfect time to buy some single shadows from Makeup Geek to put in it. I’ve read rave reviews about MUG eyeshadows and I really love their creator, Marlena, so I was also excited to support the brand. Of course the MUG shadows showed up before the palette itself, but that’s ok. I can still share some thoughts with y’all while I wait for a place to actually store these things.

makeup geek shipping
(It’s here! Yay!)

First of all, the shipping was (clearly) fast. I placed my order Wednesday night and it showed up on Friday. This might be the quickest I’ve ever received anything other than from Amazon, which is pretty amazing considering Makeup Geek is a small business and Amazon is a huge mega-corporation. You do pay for your shipping with MUG, however it was only $1.99 to ship my 5 eyeshadows, so I don’t feel bad about it at all. The box¬†was extremely well packed to ensure nothing broke in transit, which I appreciate.

OK, so eyeshadows. I got one matte shade, one with light shimmer, one full shimmer, and two of the foiled shadows. In other words, I got the sampler platter of finishes.

As I alluded to with the Z palette comment, the shadows come in pans without any outer casing. This is very efficient and saves a lot of space, which I love, but also means that the shadows are floating around loose and unprotected until my palette gets in. As soon as I get my Z Palette (an empty magnetic palette where you can mix and match all of your favorite makeup to create your own ultimate makeup collection) I’ll show you how they fit. The shadows arrive to you in cute little art deco-inspired envelopes (gold accents for the foiled shadows and white for the regular line). The foiled shadows are $9.99 each and the regular line are $5.99 each. All totaled, this mini-haul cost me $39.94 for 5 shadows plus shipping and the shadows promise to be high-end quality. So far so good!

makeup geek eyeshadow packaging

Here are the individual shadow pans themselves and the website’s shade descriptions:

Flame Thrower ($9.99) “True brightened warm copper with a foiled finish.”
makeup geek flame thrower foiled eyeshadow

Starry Eyed ($9.99) “Light champagne beige with slight pink undertones and a foiled finish. Pinky-beige champagne.”
makeup geek starry eyed foiled eyeshadow

Cosmopolitan ($5.99) “Rose Gold with gold flecks and a shimmery finish.”
makeup geek cosmopolitan foiled eyeshadow
(FYI the ding in this shadow is my own fault- I scratched it when I was opening the pouch it came in. These shadows all arrived in perfect condition.)

Hipster ($5.99) “Dark sand and light taupe tan with slight shimmer.”
makeup geek hipster eyeshadow

Bitten ($5.99) “Matte deep maroon red”
makeup geek bitten eyeshadow

Swatch time!
L-R: Starry Eyed, Flame Thrower, Cosmopolitan, Hipster, Bitten.
makeup geek eyeshadow swatches starry eyed flame thrower cosmopolitan hipster bitten

Initial reaction:

So I’ve heard rave reviews about the foiled shadows. I agree that they are very¬†nice, but I think they have been overhyped a bit. In my opinion they aren’t some magical pixie dust the world has never seen the way some people have described, but they are still high quality, very pigmented metallic eyeshadows. I would compare them to the look of a loose powder pigment, but in an easier to use pressed format. I thought Flame Thrower was more intensely metallic than Starry Eyed, and Flame Thrower did have a slightly more slippy, silky feel than a traditional eye shadow where Starry Eyed’s texture was a little more commonplace. Starry Eyed wasn’t that different from most other champagne metallic shadows for me (very similar to Stila’s famous Kitten shadow). Again, that doesn’t mean they’re bad (at all!). I do¬†think they are comparable in both color and quality to shadows that cost a lot more (Starry Eyed is similar to Stila Kitten, and Flame Thrower makes me think of MAC’s Amber Lights- both of which used to be fixtures in my makeup kit).

As for the other OG shades, Cosmopolitan and Hipster both blew me away with their initial swatches, but Bitten seemed a little under-pigmented and streaky. Part of the reason for that is that these are finger swatches. Ironically, finger swatches often look better than what you can produce with a brush (your finger’s surface picks up more concentrated color than a brush because a brush is meant to diffuse the harsh lines a bit), but I found that Bitten picked up far better with a brush and looked amazing when applied! I’m really glad, because that was the shade I was most exited about.

I tried swatching again this morning over primer to see what would happen and the difference was startling. You can see how Bitten wasn’t doing so well on its own, but comes to life over the primer. The other regular shadows benefited slightly from the primer and the foiled ones looked the same either way. This is all fine by me because I always use a primer anyway.

Swatched with no primer on top and a strip of primer on the bottom:
MUG swatches bitten starry eyed hipster cosmopolitan flame thrower over primer

Enough about swatches, let’s see these bad boys in action.

I’m really sorry for how tired my eyes look in the first set of pictures. I look so tired because I was really, really tired. I took this set last night and it was way past my bedtime. I was just that excited about these shadows that I HAD to play with them before I could sleep. In these, I’m wearing a wash of Starry Eyed on the inner 2/3 of my lid with Flame Thrower blended from the outer third. Since it was late I just slapped this one with my fingers without primer or anything, but I still thought they blended really nicely (and as mentioned above, the foiled shadows do very well without primer).makeup geek starry eyed and flamethrower foiled eyeshadow look makeup geek starry eyed and flame thrower foiled eyeshadow

Ok, here’s today’s look where I was actually awake. I did kind of a grungey, ’90s inspired mostly matte eye without much else going on.
I’m wearing Bitten all over the lid with Hipster just barely blended into the crease as a transition shade and Starry Eyed in the inner corners again.

makeup geek bitten eyeshadow (2)
Dat pigmentation tho.

makeup geek venus palette dupe
I think I’ve told you guys before that I LOVE red tinged eyeshadow.


grunge inspired 90s makeup
Comin’ at you straight up out the ’90s.

I failed to include a look with Cosmopolitan, but that will be coming in a post soon, so I’ll be sure to link when I put it up (update: here it is!).
As for my final thoughts, I want to confirm the hype (for the most part, since I mentioned earlier that some people have gone a little overboard). These eyeshadows were all great to work with, blended super well and had great pigmentation. MUG provides a variety of finish levels as well as really well thought out colors. They are all a great value, but in my opinion the regular old non-foiled shadows are actually the winner. They are phenomenal to work with (even though some require primer), they are pigmented, and they are only six bucks. All of the shadows are high end quality, but the regular line will give you the most bang for your buck. I’m definitely going to be placing a second order in the near future. Thanks for creating such an awesome product line, Marlena!

Nylon 16th Anniversary It Girl Palette Review

Memebox sent me the Nylon x Memebox XO¬†#ItGirlPalette¬†($29) to review. This palette was created by Nylon Magazine in honor of their 16th anniversary and it’s definitely party girl oriented. It’s very sleek and minimal, and much like the Soothing Sista palette, it was smaller than I expected, but it makes the most of its diminutive size. It includes a decent sized blush and highlighter, six eyeshadows, a pretty big mirror and a double-sided brush/spongetip applicator with a surprisingly soft brush.

nylon x xo memebox packaging nylon x xo memebox palette size nylon xo memebox sweet 16 palette

The shade names are kind of hilarious. Each one is based off a different celebrity scene queen, and all of the colors make sense for their namesake¬†personality, especially the matte white “LiLo” shadow (see what they did there?).

Shade names, L-R:
The Moment highlighter, LiLo, Mary-Kate, Mischa, Sweet 16 blush, Lana, Paris, Nicole.
nylon xo memebox face palette shades

There is also a really intense hot pink blush and a really sparkly highlighter. I was pretty scared of both of them (although they actually worked out just fine with a light touch).

I was a little disapointed with the initial swatches. These are not swatched over primer, but the color payoff was ok but kind of dull for most of them.
nylon xo memebox sweet 16 swatches

Luckily, they fared a lot better once I applied them to my eyes over primer! I had a lot of fun playing with these shades and they work well separately or together. I have prepared two looks for you using all of the shades.

First we have the “good girl” look in gold. I used the Lana and Mary-Kate¬†shades on the lid, Nicole in the crease and Lilo on browbones. I also used a small amount of the blush and highlighter on my cheeks and was pleased with how wearable they actually were.
nylon xo memebox face palette gold look golden bronze eyeshadow look

Next is the “bad girl” look in red. I have Paris on the lid, Mischa blended heavily from the outer corner and lower lashline, The Moment highlighter in the inner corner, Sweet 16 blush blended into the crease for a halo effect and LiLo on the browbone.
nylon xo memebox sweet 16 eyeshadow look red and pink eyeshadow red fuschia eye makeup look

All in all, I was very pleased with the palette and since it is so tiny, I think it would be great for travel or for stashing at your desk. When packed with an eye primer, mascara and a blush brush, this kit has everything else you need for a weekend trip!

Memebox Review

I was provided a complimentary Memebox¬†to review¬†this month. Memebox is a Korean beauty subscription service, and I was very excited to try the service because I’ve heard really good things about Korean beauty products (especially their skincare), but didn’t know where to begin. Memebox also sells many of the boxed products directly from their site if you want a specific item, but I didn’t know any of the brands and prefered getting the curated selection regardless.

memebox korean makeup subscription box
The box itself is very cute!
memebox packaging

In case you were wondering, the company’s name is pronounced mi-mi after a traditional doll that many Korean children play with (and not meme like the viral pictures you see on reddit!).

There are four different types of Memeboxes, and prices vary depending on which you choose. The options on the website are a little daunting, but based on their description, I believe this is how the boxes break down:

Memebox:
4 – 8 full-size products and deluxe samples of hair, body, skin-care and makeup products (but each box is uniform and everyone receives the same box).

Memebox Special Edition:
4-8 full-size products and deluxe samples that follow a theme (trend, season, etc).

Superbox:
Superbox is more targeted and focuses on a specific need or is a collaboration with a specific brand.

Luckybox:
4 – 8 full sized products and deluxe samples that are randomly selected, but curated with a focus on variety.


So this must have been a special edition box, it’s the Colorbox #2 and it focuses on ORANGE. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I absolutely love orange makeup, so I was happy about this!

orange makeup pale skin

ORANGE CRUSH!

memebox colorbox 2 orange edition july 2014

The box contained 4 full sized products, here are the swatches, with more detail to follow:

memebox swatches dearberry flirt lipstick tosowoong eyeliner locean eyeshadow


Dearberry Flirt Lipstick in Million Dollar Orange ($12).
dearberry flirt lip stick in million dollar orange   korean cosmetics dearberry flirt lipstickdearberry flirt lipstick in million dollar orange dearberry flirt lipstick million dollar orangedearberry flirt korean lipstick million dollar orange

Don’t be afraid of this bold color, I think it’s actually very easy to wear! This is a color that just makes me happy when I wear it. This lipstick is fabulous, it’s very rich and moisturizing, and the color is smooth and opaque. The case is very cute, too!¬†I can’t find a link to buy this anywhere, which makes me sad because I really like it and would love to buy this in more shades! Hopefully it will be added to the Memebox shop soon. ¬†UPDATE! There’s a new Dearberry lipstick on the site for $8. I would highly reccomend this for a cheap, high quality lipstick that none of your friends will have.


Dearberry Today Nail Laquer ($3).
korean makeup pale tangerine orange dearberry today nail polish

This was a nice color, but the formula was a little streaky. I needed three coats for full coverage, and I still thought it could have been more even. For $3 it’s not bad, but it wasn’t my favorite product in the box.


L’OCEAN Eye Shadow L-29 Pastel Orange ($10).

locean pastel orange korean eyeshadow memebox l'ocean pastel orange korean eyeshadow single

This is a very nice eyeshadow. The texture wasn’t hard or buttery, somewhere in the middle, but it applied well and blended nicely and you can see that the color is very vivid, even though I did not apply a primer! This is a very wearable matte orange shade.


Tosowoong Bronze Sectrum Waterproof Gel Pencil Liner #11 Sunshine ($10).

makeon sunshine orange waterproof eyeliner

This eyeliner is SO GOOD. It’s extremely vibrant, it’s smooth and glides right on and it lasts. Look at the swatch on my arm after rubbing it very thoroughly with water and a tissue. It’s still there!

makeon sunshine waterproof eyeliner memebox swatch

In fact, as I am typing this (hours later), I still see it just as bright as it was in the picture. In some places this is referered to as Tosowoong brand, but the pencil says Makeon, so look for either name. This liner is fantastic, I would strongly recommend it.

And here are a couple views of everything together:

memebox colorbox number 2 orange makeup summer 2014 memebox color box 2 orange edition july 2014

I also like the lip stain the Dearberry lipstick leaves behind. Look at how flattering that pretty warm pink tint is:

dearberry flirt lipstick stain

One thing I noticed was that my Memebox shipped EXTREMELY quickly. On Tuesday they told me they would be shipping it this week and it came directly from Korea by Friday! Amazing!

I really enjoyed this box, and I think my favorite product was definitely the lipstick.

If you’re interested in trying Memebox, you can receive $5 off on any order at us.memebox.com with code AFFILIATE-0362-83QK6-AWLP¬†through August¬†30, 2014. Let me know if you try it!

Radiant Orchid Soft Smoky Eye

To go along with Spring 2014’s lavender trend (Radiant Orchid is Pantone’s color of the year for 2014, after all), I did a lavender eye and lip look. I skewed mine a little more into the smoky plum territory just because the former goth in me refuses to be silenced. Here’s how it looked:

smoky plum purple eye makeupradiant orchid smoky plum makeupradiant orchid purple smoky eye makeupradiant orchid soft plum smoky eye spring 2014

 

I’m wearing the shade “Sexy” from¬†TheBalm Nude ‚ÄėTude¬†Palette¬†($36) as a base,¬†with “Curvy Cami” from¬†TheBalm‚Äôs Shady Lady Vol. 1¬†Palette¬†($39.50) layered over, plus “Luscious Lani” to highlight and “Risque Renee” as a liner.

I’m also wearing¬†Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick¬†in Rapture ($22). By the way, this shade is nearly identical to OCC Lip Tar in Lydia.

radiant orchid lips - urban decay rapture

St. Patrick’s Day Green Eyeshadow!

I didn’t wear green makeup this year, but I did last year. Since I forgot to post then, here it is, a year late! It’s Throwback Monday, y’all. Sorry for the bad cell phone picture, I was in a rush to get going at the time. How fun is that green shadow, though? It’s from BH Cosmetics, although I can’t remember which palette at this point. ūüôā

st patricks day green makeup

March 2014 Ipsy bag and Birchbox reviews

Look at me being quick and posting my subscription reviews as soon as I get the boxes! And this month’s stuff was REALLY GOOD. I’m really happy with both Ipsy and Birchbox this month. Hooray!

This month’s ipsy¬†glam bag was themed “destination beauty,” although that feels optimistic given ¬†this never-ending winter. ANYWAY, here’s what I got. I really like the bag itself, too. The bags have been going up in quality since I signed up in 2012.

ipsy glam bag march 2014 review

bareMinerals¬†Marvelous Moxie‚ĄĘ Lipstick in Get Ready ($18).
This is very opaque and pigmented and felt nice on.¬†It has a slight shine to it and no sparkle.¬†It’s a good quality lipstick that feels pretty standard¬†for this price range, and I think this shade would work on just about anyone.
Deal: F
ree mascara sample + free shipping on barminerals.com through 4/30/14. This one has an individualized code, so I guess ipsy is getting wise to people like me who share the codes. I’m not using mine, so if you’re interested, here’s my code: P6US-QOEH-3L76-9VDB. This is a one-time code, so first come, first served!

bare minerals marvelous moxie lipstick in get ready bare minerals marvelous moxie lipstick get ready swatched

Nicole by OPI¬†Roughles in “On What Grounds?” ($7.99).
Pronounced like “ruffles,” this is a gritty, concrete-textured polish with little contrast color flecks. It’s a really pretty bright, sky blue. The contrast of the edgy texture and the pretty robin’s egg blue color is pretty fun. I like this a lot, although I’d probably like it just as much without the texture. No discount code.

nicole by opi roughles nail polish in on what groundsnicole by opi roughles nail polish on what grounds swatch

Pacifica Body Butter in Indian Coconut Nectar ($15).
This is water based, so it absorbs cleanly. Pacifica’s scents are usually pretty nice, too. I really liked the coconut scent, but I don’t think it’s for everyone. It smells more like coconut milk than the sweeter coconut scent of suntan oil. Basically, it’s worth buying if you like the scent of coconut.
Deal: 20% off at pacificabeauty.com with code ipsygirl through 4/15/14

Be a Bombshell Bora Bora Eyeshadow Quad ($16).
This was my favorite Be a Bombshell product yet. I wasn’t sure about these shadows at first glance. They don’t feel particularly soft or creamy upon pickup, but when applied they’re very pigmented, blend well and have a really nice pearly-metallic finish. These shades are all available individually on the site for $14 each, so it’s worth looking into their quads to get 3 extra colors for only $2 more. My only complaint is that this collection is very summery, which seems out of place when there’s still snow on the ground here in Chicago. That’s not the product’s fault, though, just an observation. I actually really love this color grouping and think the copper “Rock Bottom” shade is a passable dupe for MAC’s ever popular Amber Lights. And that teal blue! OMG.
Deal: 40% off + free fuchsia lip crayon at beabombshellcosmetics.com ipsy40 through 4/15/14.

be a bombshell eyeshadow quad bora bora
Swatched without primer:
be a bombshell eyeshadow quad bora bora swatches

On eyes with primer + Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($20) and Stila MAJOR Major Lash Mascara ($22):
be a bombshell eyeshadow quad bora bora swatch

Other March Ipsy offers:

chella.com 25% through 4/15/14 with code eyeliner.
nyxcosmetics.com 25% off nyx lip butter balm through 4/15/14 with code ipsybb.
pixibeauty.com 25% off through 4/15/14 with code flawlesspixi.

Now on to Birchbox.

birchbox march 2014 review

OmniPotent Duosity Hair Treatment ($25).
I haven’t tried this yet, but my frizzy hair always appreciates a new deep conditioner.

Air Repair Rescue Balm All-Purpose Skin Salve and Lip Balm ($12).
This stuff feels really good, it’s very smooth and melt-y, almost like a foundation primer. It has a really bad smell, though. It’s chemically and a little medicinal, like a gross mouthwash. The scent dissipates within 60 seconds and the moisturizer is pretty heavy duty, so this is something I’d use for super dry lip emergencies, but not for every day use.

Benefit Big Easy in shade 2: light ($38).
This was just a little foil sample, but that’s all I really needed to get an idea for the product. This is actually something I’ve been interested in trying and it lived up to my expectations! It’s smooth like a BB, but quickly dries to a soft, powder finish that looks and feels very natural. It has SPF 35 and medium coverage. I would absolutely buy this.

benefit big easy foundation 2 light  benefit big easy foundation shade 2 lightbenefit big easy foundation review

theBalm¬ģ cosmetics How ‚ÄėBout Them Apples?¬†($32)
I was so excited for this sample! I love The Balm and I love cream blush. These are meant to work on both lips and cheeks, and they actually do work for both purposes. Some products like that are too creamy to work on lips, but this has a much slicker, thinner consistency that really does multitask. It’s sheerer than nost cream blushes or convertible products, but very vibrant. I’ll probably buy this in full size, and this little guy is going to live in my purse from now on.

the balm how bout them apples pie blush sample
Left side: built-up color, Right side: sheered out as much as possible.
the balm how bout them apples pie swatch
In action on both lips and cheeks:
the balm how bout them apples review cream blush in pie

Michael Todd True Organics‚ĄĘ Citrus Cream Moisturizer ($29)
I liked the Michael Todd cleanser ipsy sent me a while ago, so I was pleased to see another product from this brand. This feels light and moisturizing, although the citrus smell is a little bit weird to me. It wears off quickly, at least. My skin definitely felt smooth and soft immediately after application.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Cherry Tango.
I have no shopping link for this, but you really can’t go wrong if you pick up any¬†Ghirardelli chocolate at the store. It’s also worth noting that¬†birchbox sent this as an “extra sample” and actually stayed true to their word- I got 6 things this month. Sometimes they send something “extra” with a note that it doesn’t replace any of my usual samples, and yet I still get the same number of samples. That’s just silly.

And of course, here’s the final look featuring all of the products from this month’s samples!

march 2014 ipsy and birchbox reviews
be a bombshell eyeshadow risky business starlet rock bottomipsy march 2014 review