Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Palette First Impressions

Guys!!! It’s been over a year, but I decided to come back and do a quick review for those who still read this page. Love you, missed you. On a personal note, since my last post I passed the Illinois bar exam, took a new job in my home state of Georgia, got a divorce, moved twice, bought a car, worked on paying off a ton of debt and met a very nice new boy. It’s been a crazy year with a lot of ups and downs (but mostly ups). I also bought a LOTTTT of makeup and I need to start telling y’all about it again. ūüôā

So on to the review! I’ll keep it quick because I haven’t had much time to play with the palette, but I want to get some thoughts out there before the next restock for those still on the fence.

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Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Palette

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The Jaclyn Hill Palette by Morphe Brushes

The shades in these pictures are pretty true to life (I’ve gotten way better at pictures since I took a break from posting, you guys).

So let’s do a quick breakdown.

This palette is more expensive than any other Morphe palette, but I am here for it. Here’s why- the shadows are so much more consistent. While there are some shadows here that are better than others, they were all good, workable shadows. Sometimes the classic Morphe palettes were like a minefield, because you’d dip your brush into a bad shade by mistake and muddy your whole look. See my previous Morphe palette review HERE to see what I’m talking about. Morphe palletes are always a good value, so the old palettes are good for the price (which was lower), and this one is also a very good quality for what you’re paying. The price is higher, but so is the quality. It’s still barely more than $1 per shadow, so I’m all in.

The biggest con I’ve found is one glaringly obvious omission. There is no matte browbone shade for fair skinned ladies like myself.¬†This is a shock to me considering how inclusive this palette is otherwise. It works for all kinds of looks and all kinds of skintones, but there couldn’t be a single matte off-white or cream shade? There are number of matte transition shades for a variety of skintones, plus foiled shades that are very pigmented and would work great on any tone and dark shades for smoking out or for lining the eye. It’s an all-in-one palette except for the browbone. I don’t like a lot of shimmer in that area because (at least for me) it has more texture and I think too much shimmer there makes the shadow look more caked on, and also because I like to keep the shimmer on my lids only because it helps it to really pop more.

Other than that, I’m extremely happy with the palette. I played with several shades in different finishes and found them all to be pigmented and blendable. They felt good to apply and they lasted a long time. There’s also a very versatile mix of shades (other than my matte cream shade which I’m still sad about). The black was not the darkest black I’ve ever seen, but was still surprisingly good for a palette in this price point and looked great as a liner. It might need a dark base for an all over lid shade, but it was quite intense when I lined my eyes with it. I’ve heard mixed reviews about two of the “pop of color” shades (the sparkly blue and the matte turquoise), but I thought they were still very vibrant, usable shades. So far I haven’t come across a single shade that I couldn’t use.

Bottom line: this is an extremely versatile palette that is great for all skin tones and a huge variety of looks. The price is higher than typical Morphe, but so is the quality and $38 for this palette is a very good value. If you’re at all interested in this one, I would recommend it.

By the way, if you aren’t already, please follow me on Instagram! My account is @lexis_look and I’ve been slightly more active on there than on here. ūüôā

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!

Smudgy Brown Shadow Look Using the Nude ‘Tude Palette

Sorry for the hiatus, I was dealing with finals and then I was travelling. ¬†I’m settled (for now) and have time for a few new posts.

This look from last week was inspired by the nonchalant glamour of Italian girls. ¬†I’m really influenced by Italian bombshells from the 60’s (I think of my style as equal parts goth, 90’s girl and Sophia Loren).

smudgy italian eyeliner the balm nude tude palette

smudgy italian eyeshadow

I used several shadows from¬†TheBalm Nude ‘Tude¬†Palette¬†($36) to create the eye. ¬†Stand-Offish is in the inner corners, Selfish on the lid, ¬†Sophisticated in the crease, Sleek in the outer corners and Sultry is along the lower lashline. ¬†I used two coats of¬†Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara¬†($20) and I used¬†Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes¬†0L ($18) along the¬†waterline and tucked into the upper lashes. ¬†For the finishing touch, I added¬†TheBalm¬†Mary-Lou Manizer ($24) all over to highlight and Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve ($5.59) on lips.

smoky italian eyeshadow the balm nude tude palette

Ciao bella!

Dramatic Purple Smoky Eye for Day and Night

Earlier this week I wore a bright, fun purple and brown shadow look using the Kat Von D True Romance Palette in Poetica ($36).  I used Skiba on the lid, You Alone on inner corners and brownbone, Babe on lower lid and Tijauna in the crease.

I made my standard cat eye with the NYX Collection Noir Black Liquid Liner ($5.99) and Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara ($20). I used Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes 0L ($18) along the waterline and NYX Mosaic Powder Blush in Spice ($8) on cheeks.

kat von d purple and orange eyeshadow  purple and plum sunset eyeshadow brown and lavendar smoky eye

Earlier in the day I had worn this without the liquid liner and intense brown in the crease (I used Wonderland instead) for a more daytime-friendly look.  It seemed appropriately frosty for the winter weather.

kat von d purple smoky eyeshadow

soft plum smoky eye shadow

Hot Pink Matte Lipstick

Today I went for a light, fun look primarily using NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Addis Ababa ($5.99), a super bright fuchsia color, on my lips.

I left everything else super simple, all I’m wearing on my eyes is Tequila, and Downtown from the Kat Von D True Romance Palette in Ludwig ($34) plus Orbi from the same palette patted into the lashline as an eyeliner. ¬†I’m also wearing my standard¬†¬†Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara¬†($20) and¬†¬†NYX Cream Blush¬†in Boho Chic ($6.99) on apples of cheeks.

Kat Von D champagne shimmer eye.

One thing that’s cool about the Matte Lip Cream is that it can go from matte to creamy looking just by adding lip balm. ¬†The cream is extremely long wearing and the balm actually extends the life of the lipcolor. ¬†The closeups below show the difference in finish with the balm or with the product alone on lips. ¬†I really like it in either finish. More on the lip cream here.

I really love this color, super fun!

Bare Minerals Buxom Haul and Review

I got a fresh shipment from Sephora yesterday and was so excited about my new stuff that I just had to talk about it online. ¬†I always forget how good Bare Minerals/Bare Escentuals (what’s the difference?) products are and their Buxom line really is to die for. ¬†I tend to get really into a specific brand for a while and then forget about it when I start using something else a lot, but I’m pretty sure this kit ensures that my BE phase is coming back for a while.

Now I’m a bargain hunter (read: cheapskate) and I hate buying individual makeup items if they aren’t from a drugstore brand. ¬†Why spend $15 on a lip gloss when you know the brand will inevitably include one in a multipack where you can also get a nice eyeshadow or mascara or something for a few extra bucks? ¬†The higher end brands ALWAYS do these multipacks and I ALWAYS buy them. ¬†It’s basically the only way I shop for the more expensive stuff, although if there’s a high-end product that I’m willing to buy individually (UD 24/7 pencil in Zero is a good example), then you know it’s a pretty fabulous product. ¬†The main draw for me with this kit is that all of the products are full-sized. ¬†I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been burned by a kit that had a tiny “deluxe sample” size of a product that I really wanted that only lasts two uses.

buxom more to love kit

So anyway, I just bought the¬†Buxom More to Love kit ($42) and I’m super excited about it. ¬†I’ve been dying to try the Buxom Stay-There¬†cream shadow ($17), but wasn’t willing to spend $17 on an individual shadow when I knew it would be included in some kit in the near future. ¬†More to Love includes Stay-There in Collie, which is a generic champagne shimmer¬†√†¬†la Stilla’s Kitten or UD’s Midnight Cowboy. ¬†This kind of shadow is always the star in every makeup brand’s lineup and for good reason. ¬†Even though I now have about 75 shadows like this (one of the downfalls of always buying kits), they’re so useful. ¬†Use them as a lid color, a highlight for the inner corners of the eyes, browbone color or facial highlighter. ¬†One of my favorite tricks is to swipe a tiny bit of this color just over my upper lip to create the illusion of fuller lips.

While the color is a repeat for me, I’ll probably end up using this shadow all the time (and buying more shades, maybe even individually and NOT in a value pack) because of the texture. ¬†Usually cream eyeshadows are a little heavy and build up on your finger or brush like a wax when you swipe it from the pot. ¬†Your typical cream shadow is much like a cream liner – they’re really great but require a light hand or you’ll end up with a caked-on, creasy look. ¬†This shadow has a spongy mousse texture that picks up more like a damp powder shadow and the resulting finish looks so much nicer for it. ¬†It’s a light, buildable shimmer just like most cream shadows, but somehow it looks more integrated into your skin instead of just sitting on top of it (like the difference between a standard drugstore shadow and a really finely milled higher end shadow). ¬†I love it. ¬†I want to eat it for breakfast it’s so good.

Stay There Cream Shadow in Collie Buxom Lip Tarnish in Scandal

The Insider Eyeliner in Onyx ($14) is a good, standard eyeliner. ¬†It’s supposed to be extra skinny to fit better in you waterline. ¬†It’s a little thinner than most liners, although not by a huge margin. ¬†Even so, it was easy to line my waterline, and I liked that the liner was nice and smooth for minimal pulling on my skin. ¬†The color is decently black. ¬†Overall a really good liner that I’ll use all the time, although it’s not terribly different from other similarly priced liners. ¬†Still, you can never have too many black eyeliners (at least I can’t) and I was glad it came with the kit.

The Buxom Lash mascara ($19) is a good standby mascara. ¬†It lengthens and volumizes, although I’d probably use a more specialized mascara if I were going for *extreme* volume or length. ¬†It’s not too often you’ll find a mascara that does both to any extreme, but there are plenty that do one or the other really well. ¬†The thing that surprised me is how HUGE the brush is. ¬†We’re talking length and girth, people. ¬†Seriously, I was able to coat just about all of my lashes from the inner corner to the outer with one swipe. ¬†Jeez. ¬†Again, you can never have too many black mascaras, so this is another one that will be going into heavy rotation.

I’ve always liked the the rich, golden shimmer that¬†Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish¬†($19) have, although the intense menthol tingle can be a bit much if you aren’t used to the sensation. ¬†The first time I ever used one it actually kind of burned (full disclosure: I put on a LOT), although I guess I’m acclimated to it because it doesn’t bother me at all now. ¬†As for the plumping, I wouldn’t say it plumps your lips beyond their normal size; what it does is plump them to their natural fullest point, which is really nice. ¬†I know I always wake up with gorgeous full(ish) lips in the morning and they slowly shrink down over the course of the day. ¬†This stuff keeps that morning perkiness alive for the rest of the day. ¬†I feel like this review has a lot more innuendo than normal. ¬†Moving on.

The final product in my extra super value meal makeup box is the Buxom Lip Tarnish¬†in Scandal ($19), which is not what I expected. ¬†I thought it would be a soft, glossy pencil that I would have to sharpen 1,000 times, but it’s actually a harder, sheer lipstick. ¬†It’s basically a non-automatic version of Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick¬†($18). ¬†This is¬†a good thing because I like both products a lot. ¬†I like my jumbo lip pencils a little sheerer because the super opaque, dark ones can look really sloppy unless you’re super meticulous. ¬†The Lip Tarnish has a built-in sharpener so no worries about buying yet another stupid sharpener because every makeup¬†company want to make their pencils a different size. ¬†The color is pretty and has the same tingle and slight plumping properties of the gloss. ¬†When paired with the gloss, the plumping seems a bit more pronounced.

Bottom Line: ¬†5 full size, good quality products with a few standout products. ¬†Everything is full-sized and it’s under $50. ¬†Definitely worth it.