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. 😦

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.

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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.

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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!

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Anastasia Self Made Palette Review

Hi friends! I’m behind, as usual. I have so many fun products that have been in regular rotation lately and I feel bad for not reviewing them sooner.

First up is my current favorite, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Self Made Palette ($35). This has sort of been my ride-or-die palette lately. I’m really sad that this is limited edition (it’s already sold out at Sephora) because I think this one is an incredible value. The shades are really diverse but they work together well, the shadows are great quality and it’s only $35 (compared to an Urban Decay Naked palette that will run more than $50). These shadow s are on the soft, powdery side, but they still apply really well and still maintain excellent pigmentation. The included brush is decent, and the pallete itself feels sturdy, plus it has a mirror. Almost every shade is great, although the eponymous Self-Made shade is ironically sort of mediocre. Pink Champagne, Sherbert and Blush are my current favorites, but all of the shades are nice and lend themselves to interesting combinations.

anastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow palette packaginganastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow palette review

One weird thing I noticed is that the expiration date for these shadows is only 6 months (that’s what the open jar icon in the image below stands for). maybe it’s because these are particularly soft? I’m not sure, but most pressed shadow lasts at least a year, so I can’t believe this has such a short shelf life. I’ll probably keep using it past that date because it really seems unreasonable.

anastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow expiration

But seriously, check out these swatches. How much fun is this pallete?

anastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow palette swatchedanastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow palette swatches

And here they are in practice. This is a sampling of the looks I’ve put together over the past month with this palette. I’m getting my money’s worth for sure!

anastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow palette looksanastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow islaanastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow palette pink champagne sherbert hot chocolateanastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow palette pink champagne metallic plumanastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow palette warm lookanastasia beverly hills self made eyeshadow palette deep purple

Morphe Brushes Eyeshadow Review

I’m really excited about today’s review! This post has been in the draft stage for far too long, but I want to finally put in my two cents about Morphe Cosmetics. I had been stalking Morphe Brushes’ site for a while a couple months ago since they get rave reviews from beauty bloggers, but I kept stalling because I don’t need any more eyeshadow. While that is still true, I eventually caved because the eyeshadow palettes are only $20, so I somehow justified it to myself.

So first of all, these palettes look suspiciously similar to the kind of palettes you can get from sites like bh cosmetics, crown brush and coastal scents, among others. While all of those companies have branched out into creating more of their own unique products, their original focus used to be importing those Chinese 120 color palettes that were once only available through eBay. I’ve reviewed the 120 palettes before and I really like them, but they’re generally best for extremely bright looks. The reason being that while those eyeshadows are typically pretty vibrant, they also have a somewhat dusty, chalky texture. I love them because they have a great range of pigmented brights and they’re very affordable which is good since I don’t use colors like that often, but they don’t feel as good to work with. For neutral colors that I use a lot, I prefer to go with higher end shadows that are nicer to work with and easier to blend.

These palettes are NOT the same as the eBay palettes. They are made in America and the eyeshadows are (mostly) smoother and better quality. This is also a female-owned small business, so I feel good supporting them. I ended up with the 35W palette for $19.99. Weirdly, it has the exact same shades as the 35N palette, except that pallette is all matte while this had some shimmers mixed in. I actually wish I had waited to buy this because they just released some new 35 pan palettes that look amazing (the 35P plum palette, 35K smoky neutral palette and 35O orange-toned palette), but whatever. For $20 I can always buy another. Let’s talk about the one I have for now.

Let’s start with pictures of the palette itself!

In bright daylight (quarter shown for scale):
MORPHE BRUSHES 35W eyeshadow palette

Artificial light.
MORPHE BRUSHES 35 color warm palette

The second image in artificial light looks closer to what the shades look like in real life, but I thought it was helpful to show both pictures to give a better idea of which shades have shimmer and which don’t.

I also swatched every single shade, so here they are, shown in the same order they appear in the palette. Each swatch is done over a strip of primer, so you can see how each one performs with and without it.

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 1

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 2

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 3

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 4

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette swatches row 5

Based on my swatches, I made this chart indicating the best and worst performers. The shadows with the stars are really nice, smooth, buttery, and high-end feeling. The ones without any marks are decent, like higher quality drugstore shadows (think NYX or L’Oreal) and the X’s are for weak shadows that work like low quality cheap shadows.

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette eyeshadow quality

Only 4 real duds here. That’s not bad for the money I spent, right? I have had had a little trouble blending some of the shades, but overall I found the palette versatile and good to work with. The only problem I had was keeping track of which shadows I preferred working with over others. The really good ones are so smooth to work with, but sometimes I’d accidentally grab a muddier one and end up having to start my eye look over.

Here are a couple of looks to give you an idea of how they work in practice.

MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette warm look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette warm eyeshadow look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette reviews MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette silver look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette eye look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W palette cool look MORPHE BRUSHES 35W look

Quick Review- Jordana Modern Matte Lipstick

Hi friends! I’ve been so busy but I have so many things I still want to share with you! Today I’m trying something different, I’m doing an out-of-pocket review from my desk since I’m never at my home computer anymore. The lighting here is so unflattering, but I really wanted to tell you guys about this lipstick regardless of how sallow I may look.

Other than nearly-lethal servings of coffee, my primary work stress reliever is to go makeup shopping during lunch (how surprising) and my biggest vice is collecting drugstore lipsticks. My desk seriously has SO MANY hiding in it right now. This was getting expensive quickly, so I was really pleased to find Jordana’s Modern Matte Lipsticks. These are not fully matte, they have more of a satin finish, but the color is really intense, they’re comfortable to wear and they’re only $2.49. I also love how they look very light-textured, like a stain, instead of thick and heavy on the lips. There’s no real need to layer these, but if you do they stay very thin and comfortable. The color is bold no matter what!

Right now I have Matte Bare, a nice nude shade that works well for pale girls and Style, a fantastic blue-based red for anyone and everyone. Today I’m wearing Style:

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This color looks pretty bright in the office lighting but can be a bit darker in lower light. The
shade actually reminds me of the MAC Marilyn Monroe lipstick I tried out a while ago, but the texture is much more comfortable! You can’t beat that. I will definitely be picking up more of these lipsticks.

Update!
The next day I wore the bare shade and thought I’d share that, too. It’s a very pretty pink-brown color that I am just loving. The finish is a little more satin-y than Style but is still mate-ish. Very comfortable to wear.
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90s-Inspired Rusty Plum Venus Palette Dupe Look

You guys already know that 90s beauty is EVERYTHING to me. It’s probably because I was coming of age in that era, so that was my first exposure to caring at all about makeup and it’s always going to have a special place in my heart. As a result I’ve been kind of obsessed with the colors in Lime Crime’s Venus palette ($48). The palette was like something I would have put together myself, but I was a little concerned about the widespread allegations of unprofessional behavior and quality control from the company, plus I only really cared about half the shades since I already have several of them. Instead, I ended up just getting dupes of the shades I didn’t have and making my own version of the palette. That’s what my Makeup Geek order from a while back was all about. 🙂

The warm peach and brown tones in the palette were nice, but the berry shades are the real standouts for me (hello Makeup Geek Bitten!). It’s a shame it’s so hard to find good berry shades; a lot of people worry they’ll look sickly in them but (at least in my opinion) they look gorgeously dramatically and flatter every eye color so beautifully. They make brown eyes look complex and mysterious, green eyes super vibrant and intense and blue eyes pale and ethereal. Whay aren’t more people wearing these colors?

If you’d like to see my take, here’s my Venus palette-esque look using Cosmopolitan ($5.99), Bitten ($5.99) and Starry Eyed ($9.99) from Makeup Geek.

rosy brown 90s grunge inspired makeupmakeup geek bitten and cosmo berry look  makeup geek bitten and cosmo with LA splash latte confession

I also ordered LA Splash’s Lip Couture liquid lipstick in Latte Confession ($14), which is supposed to be a dupe for LC’s Riot Velvetine Lipstick, but for $6 less. Matte liquid lipsticks are everywhere these days, and this is a good option. It does have a tendency to show every crack in your lips, so pre-moisturizing with a nice balm is a good idea (this can be said for all liquid lipsticks). This formula is really opaque, applies well, doesn’t separate into lines and lasts forever and ever. Seriously, my makeup remover wipes won’t take this stuff off at all, the only way I could get it off was to apply petroleum jelly over it and wipe off after 30 seconds. Beyond the formulation, I am just obsessed with this color. It’s an amazing dusty brown-red shade that looks unbelievable. Loooove.

la splash latte confession swatch lime crime riot dupe makeup geek venus palette dupe

Basically I’m wearing all of my favorite makeup colors in this look, so I kind of had to post too many pictures. Hope you like my budget conscious 90s homage!

lime crime venus look

CoverGirl intensify me eyeliner and super sizer mascara review

CoverGirl sent me their latest mascara and liquid eyeliner to review, and of course I was into it given my love of cat eye looks. I live and die by eyeliner and mascara.

covergirl intensify me eyeliner and super sizer mascara

It might be hard to tell from these pictures, but that mascara tube is massive.

Both of these products have unique applicators, so they’re more than meets the eye. The eyeliner is a felt tip with a flat paddle shape, almost like a duck bill, and it’s supposed to transition easily from thin to thick lines. and the Mascara has a number of very short bristle that sort of flare out at the edges.


Let’s discuss the Intensify Me! Eyeliner ($8.99) first.

The paddle shape did work for me, but I had a bit of trouble getting really sharp, precise lines with the rounded tip. I would have much preferred a pointed tip. The formula was good, though. It felt just like using a sharpie marker and it had a nice, intense black color that went on very smoothly. I found that I had to work quickly because when I took too long on one area a lot of product came out and the line ended up a bit thicker (and more uneven) than I was expecting. I worked more quickly on the second eye and had no problems. It had an ergodynamic indented rubber finger grippy part on the barrel that I got oddly excited about and it also lasted all day without smudging.

covergirl intensify me eyeliner swatchescovergirl intensify me liner paddle tip covergirl intensify me eyeliner  covergirl intensify me liquid eyeliner and super sizer mascara review


Next we have CoverGirl’s Super Sizer Mascara ($7.49).

The idea here is that you swipe this into the roots of your lashes, then twirl the wand up the length of the lashes to distribute the product. I like the idea, although I did have a tough time getting it to distribute evenly and had some clumps to deal with, especially at the roots. At least clumps at the roots aren’t as bad as clumps at the ends. I did manage to get them mostly clear and ended up with nicely defined lashes.

covergirl super sizer mascara covergirl super sizer mascara wand

Results!
Before on the right, after on the left:
covergirl super sizer mascara before and after

I don’t know if it’s a 400% volume increase like the package says, but I think my lashes look sufficiently dramatic. What really impressed me was the way this did not smudge on me at all for the whole day. That’s all I really care about in a mascara at this point since most formulas give me raccoon eyes. Yay, CoverGirl! Smudge free for under $8.


I also have a pretty major beauty crush on their campaign star, Katy Perry, so I decided to base my look on the one she wears in the ad.
katy perry covergirl ad (2)
covergirl intensify me liner look
I felt really silly holding my face in this slack jawed pose, but whatever. Authenticity.

I see now that I went way too light on the crease color for my eyes, but who cares. That dual-toned teal and black eyeliner is the star of the show and we all know it.

green liquid eyeliner emerald green eyeliner teal and black liquid liner black and green eyeliner
Yes? Yes. I love it. Next I need to get my hair that color and we’ll be in business.