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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Exploring my Sleek palettes collection, Day 4: The Original

Alas, we've reached the end of our short journey through my Sleek palettes collection! I'm so sad, really. There are so many lovely Sleek palettes that have been released over the past year or so, and I do have some regrets about missing out on one in particular (the Sleek Safari palette, which of course had a ton of browns and greens - yum!). For my last entry, I'll be showing you The Original palette. Yes, that's its name. Creative, hm?

(in cool light, no flash)

I'm going to assume (and hope) that The Original palette is named so because it is, in fact, Sleek's original palette. It's not the most cohesive palette in terms of color choices, but the wide range of colors and tones that the palette offers does allow its user to create a myriad of (brightly colored) looks. Out of the four Sleek palettes I own, this one is probably my least favorite just because I can't really use the palette on its own to create a look. Like I said, the color choices aren't cohesive. In case this statement isn't clear, let me show and describe the eyeshadows:

(in warm light, no flash)

Here is a description of the colors in the top row, from L to R:

(in cool light, no flash)
  • The standard Sleek matte black color. I've really come to appreciate that each palette has such an incredible black shadow. Honestly, it's the best black I've come across, and it works well as liner or to smoke up any eye.
  • A cool-toned lilac-y purple color.
  • A cool-toned metallic blackened blue color, with the slightest hint of green. There's not enough green to make this a teal, but it's definitely an ever-so-slightly warmed-up blue.
  • A very bright, cool sky blue color.
  • A pretty shimmery teal color.
  • A warm grassy green color.
See what I mean about the lack of cohesiveness?


(in warm light, no flash)

Here is a description of the colors in the bottom row, from L to R:
  • An almost slightly chunky (it's too shimmery) butter color. Again, I wish this color would have been matte. Oy.
  • A very shimmery, almost metallic golden pink color.
  • A very shimmery, almost metallic warm golden-orange-sand color.
  • An orangey-rust color.
  • A burnished bronze color, very lovely!
  • A golden-green color.
Yup, there's a bizarre mix of colors in this palette. If you're one for very bright and colorful eyes, I think'd you enjoy The Original palette a lot, but if you're like most people and you usually do not do rainbow eyes, then it is just something fun to have. It's definitely not necessary, but it's a cheap way to experiment with shades you might not necessarily want to shell out the big bucks for.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Exploring my Sleek palettes collection, Day 3: Sunset

Today's installment of my Sleek overview brings a palette that's near and dear to my heart: the Sunset palette.


(in cool light, no flash)

A non-arguable truth about me: I love red and red-toned eyeshadows.

Another non-arguable truth about me: I just love bright, colorful eyeshadows in general (which is funny, because a few years ago you couldn't get colors anywhere near my eyes)!

It's no surprise, then, that I just adore the Sleek Sunset palette (and I adore the person who gifted it to me - hi Marley, you're the best and at some point soon you need to return to NYC and redo my wardrobe...). The Sunset palette is ripe with...well, colors that are reminiscent of a fiery sunset.

(in warm light, no flash)

Just a Joey rant: FYI Sleek, purple is a pretty predominant sunset color, not blue - there should have been a purple in this palette instead of the bright blue!

Anyway, the Sunset palette has a predominantly red- and orange-based collection of colors. There's also a bright canary yellow, and a completely out of place bright blue (very bright blue!). In other words, this isn't a palette for the faint of heart. It takes an adventurous soul to walk around in red eyeshadow, and I can understand if this palette doesn't appeal to most people. I, for one, freakin' love it - but I'm a weirdo, and we all already know this.

(in cool light, no flash)

Here is a description of the top row of colors, from L to R:
  • The staple dark matte black color that's in every Sleek palette.
  • This delicious deep, vampy super shimmery red color. This is, of course, my favorite color in the palette.
  • A mid-tone shimmery orange-red color.
  • A surprisingly enjoyable bright orange color.
  • A very sheer, lightly shimmery canary yellow color.
  • That out of place bright sky blue color, which is also somewhat sheer.
(in warm light, no flash)

Here is a description of the bottom row of colors, from L to R:
  • A burgundy-red color, with a brownish undertone.
  • A more maroon version of the third color on the top row. Honestly, if you're looking at the palette, this color is definitely redder than the top row's orange-red, but in my swatches they look pretty similar.
  • A warm, somewhat browned orange color. Definitely more muted than the orange on the top row.
  • A sheer, orange-tinged gold color.
  • A sheer, golden champagne color.
  • A happy, very well-pigmented pink-gold color.
I'd be lying if I said this palette was a necessary purchase. In fact, I think this is the one Sleek palette I own that is limited edition, so you might have to hunt for it - and if you're not necessarily into brights, it just wouldn't be worth your time. If you're into crazy, punchy colors, then this would be a great and cheap investment.

Edit: I lied, yo. This one's permanent, and the Graphite palette is the LE one! Thanks to Small Town Gal who was kind enough to correct me! =)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Exploring my Sleek palettes collection, Day 2: Storm

Generally, when people on Twitter or MakeupAlley ask which Sleek palette they should try first, the answer is usually a resounding "STORM!"

(in cool light, no flash)

The Storm palette is Sleek's answer to the perfect, every occasion eyeshadow wardrobe. Honestly, if you were stranded on a desert island with the Storm palette and a couple of brushes, you'd be set forever. Really, this palette is that versatile. You can do a smokey eye, a neutral eye, a contoured eye, a basic eye, etc. I can keep going and going.

(in warm light, no flash)

Basically: everyone needs this palette. It's permanent in the Sleek line, so you have no excuse.

Anyway, on to the colors/swatches...

(in cool light, no flash)

Here is a description of the colors in the top row, from L to R:
  • A lightly shimmery, sandy taupe color.
  • A very shimmery white gold color.
  • A matte, mid-tone taupe color.
  • A shimmery light gold color.
  • A shimmery light warm pink color.
  • A shimmery coppery-orangey-pink color. This color is hard to describe, so I guess I can say it looks a lot like MAC Expensive Pink. There you go!
(in warm light, no flash)

Here is a description of the colors in the bottom row, from L to R:
  • A deep, warm, coppery-brown color. Kind of reminiscent of NARS Fez.
  • A deep gunmetal grey color. Much warmer than any of the colors in the Graphite palette. It also has the slightest hint of green. Not sure if this is my skin tone playing with the color, though.
  • A dark, smokey hunter green color. Yum, I love greens like this.
  • A darker matte taupe color. This is about two shades up in intensity from the matte taupe in the top row.
  • The standard matte deep sooty black color.
Just a random, tiny rant about this palette: again, I wish one of the highlight shades was matte!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Exploring my Sleek palettes collection, Day 1: Graphite

The next four days are going to be a journey into Sleek heaven. I don't own many of the covetable UK treats, but the four I do own get much love. From what I understand, Sleek is a drugstore line targeted towards women of color; all of the items are highly, highly pigmented. The eyeshadow palettes are themselves collectors' items, since many of them are limited edition. Of the four I own, I don't think any of them were limited edition (except maybe the Sunset palette, but I will need someone to verify that for me).

Today's focus is on the Graphite palette. This was a gift from my ladyboss, and it is my favorite of my four Sleek palettes.

(in cool lighting, no flash)

The Graphite palette contains every color anyone would ever need for a dramatic (meaning shimmery and dark) smokey eye. You can do a silver smokey eye, a grey/gunmetal smokey eye, a black smokey eye, a dark blue smokey eye, or a purple smokey eye. Now, at first glance, most of the colors appear to be almost identical to each other. This, however, is the genius of the palette - you can do a real gradient smokey effect because of the difference in the under- and overtones of the colors.

(in warm lighting, no flash - hey, look it's Spongebob and Patrick in the back!)

Here is a description of the top row of colors, from L to R:
  • A very shimmery, almost silvered white.
  • An almost frosted opalescent pale pink-beige.
  • A metallic light to medium silver (it may just be a skin tone thing, but this color leans almost taupe-ish on me).
  • A shimmery gunmetal grey.
  • A darker gunmetal grey. Besides being a shade darker than the previous color, this color also leans warmer than its predecessor. This color is also more metallic than its predecessor.
  • A stormy deep blueish grey. This color is also warmer than its predecessor, and not as metallic.
(swatches done in cool lighting, no flash)

Here is a description of the bottom row of colors, from L to R:
  • A blackened blue-grey. This color is cooler and more metallic than the last color on the top row.
  • A very shimmery black.
  • A matte black (every Sleek palette has a matte black, and it's a glorious matte black).
  • A somewhat sheer and a bit chunky deep blue (it appears to be blue shimmer over a black base).
  • A blue-toned deep, dark purple.
  • A red-toned deep, dark purple.
(swatches done in warm lighting, no flash)

Isn't it cool how each shade is subtly different from the next? I feel like this would have been perfect had one of the top two highlight colors had been matte, but whatever. I use this palette quite often, since it's so easy to just pick and choose from the shades to create an instant smokey eye. Using a multitude of the shades together creates a "WOW" sort of a smokey eye, and is incredibly dramatic. This isn't necessarily the Sleek palette I'd recommend if you could only get one (that'd be the Storm palette), but it is definitely my favorite.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm nutty over Wet'n'Wild Nutty!

As any reader of Pink Sith knows, I am crazy over taupe eyeshadows. It's a veritable mental disorder at this point, actually. I can't help it: taupe is just such a perfect, complex color.

Anyway, I hadn't paid Wet'n'Wild any attention since the line was revamped earlier this year. The lovely Gianna at Nouveau Cheap has raved about the line recently, and had been telling me for months to pick up Nutty eyeshadow single. Even my beloved Amy at Cafe Makeup posted about Nutty a while back. When Amy talks, you better believe I listen...yet I still hadn't bought the damned eyeshadow, though. Can you believe that?!

This past weekend I needed a real pick-me-up, so while I was at Duane Reade I picked Nutty up finally, figuring that $1.99 was a very small price to pay for a good mood.

I seriously cannot believe I waited so long. Nutty is gorgeous! Just look at that cute little swirly compact of taupe happiness!

(with flash, cool-toned lighting)

(without flash, warmer light)

Nutty is a glowy warm-toned taupe. Despite its warm base, it seems almost to have a silver sheen on my skin. The color itself is light but pigmented enough to show up on my MAC NC40 skin. The texture is divine - soft, but not as soft as a LORAC or Stila eyeshadow. You could have told me this was a $20 eyeshadow, and I would have believed you.

(without flash, cooler light)

(without flash, warm light)

Nutty works well alone as a wash shade, but it also plays nicely with other taupes. I wore this the other day with Edward Bess Intimate in the crease, and I loved it. It just might be my new favorite taupe combination.

(LOOKIT, SO PRETTY! warm, but with a silver sheen. I die!)

I cannot recommend Nutty enough! For $1.99USD you absolutely cannot go wrong.

So, are there any other drugstore eyeshadows I should be checking out?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tali's Tag!

So the lovely Tali at The Gloss Goss posted a survey tag of "Would you rather..." on her blog and invited everyone to participate! So, here's my survey! =)


Would You Rather..
Never use mascara again or bronzer again?
Oh this is easy - I'd never, ever give up mascara! As much as I love bronzer, mascara is just way too important to give up.
Only be able to buy high end make-up or drugstore make-up again?
Hm, this is hard. I'm a high-end gal at heart, but drugstore makeup has really stepped up its game lately. However, at the end of the day all of my HGs are high-end so...high-end it is!
Be In Love or Be Loved?
Hm, I'd rather be loved than be IN LOVE. Being in love is too damn tricky, thank you!
Go out with chipped nail varnish or unshaven legs?
Oh hell no, my legs are NEVER unshaven. There you go. I rarely ever wear nail polish (I have on some chipped polish right now, haha), but my legs are my favorite feature so I always have them smooth and silky.
Go out with messy hair or no make-up?
No makeup. My hair is my trademark! It's always perfectly curled and frizz-free. The picture below is a good example:
I'm at work, totally makeup-less, but the hair looks cute as hell!
Leave the house with an orange tan or peroxide-gone-wrong ginger hair?
Oh, orange tan. I'm from the Bronx, where every girl looks like she could be on "Jersey Shore", so it'd be perfectly acceptable of me to walk around looking like a carrot.
It were Winter forever or Summer forever?
WINTER FOREVER AND EVER! I hate the heat! HATE IT!
Leave the house with dried toothpaste drool or crusty yellow sleep eyes?
Oh, dried toothpaste drool. I don't do the whole crusty-eyed thing. I always look wide awake even when I'm not. The picture I posted above? I was running on probably an hour or two of sleep. Do I look dead? Nope.
Give up all MAC or Illamasqua products?
I don't like Illamasqua. I don't like MAC much either. I can give both up.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

NARS, NARS, NARS! Part Two: The Eyeshadow Singles

Here's the companion entry to my last post: my NARS eyeshadow singles.


I have 13 eyeshadow singles, and they're well-loved. NARS just does eyeshadows so right. I am especially partial to the more neutral colors in the line, yet my favorite single is the blood-red Grenadines. Here's a (terrible) picture of me wearing it - I was at a Slipknot concert back in 2009, and my faded red lips were courtesy of the $8 Bud Lights at Madison Square Garden:


All but one of these singles is a powder. The one cream single is Mykonos, and while I adore the color I do not adore its lasting power. Mykonos doesn't hold up too well on my lids, but that never stops me from wearing it (or from wearing it on my cheeks or lips!). Also, I threw in my Aigle Noir pencil just for consistency's sake.


The sad little shadow on the right with Aigle Noir on top of it is Cairo.
The top row from L to R: Strada, Fez, Mekong, Abyssinia, Bali, and New York.
The bottom row from L to R: Himalayas, Cyprus, Ashes to Ashes, Mykonos, Nepal, and Grenadines.

Close ups of the singles:

Strada, Fez, Mekong, Ashes to Ashes, Cyprus, Himalayas (clockwise from top left).

The flash blew out Himalayas because of the interesting shimmerfire in it. Himalayas appears to be pearly white but when swatched it has this incredible pinkish-red duochrome. It's unbelievable over a black base, FYI.


Abyssinia, Bali, New York, Cairo, Grenadines, Nepal, and Mykonos (clockwise from top left)

Abyssinia is an amazing highlight shade, just another FYI. And god, just LOOK at Grenadines. It's perfect, truly. Matte blood-red, it gets no better!

Swatches:


Grenadines, Nepal, Mekong, Strada, Fez, New York, and Abyssinia (from L to R).

Can we discuss the awesome rose-gold shimmer in Mekong and the pretty bright gold shimmer in Strada? Awesomeness. And Fez is just a knockout.


Mykonos, Ashes to Ashes, Cyprus, Himalayas, Cairo, and Bali (from L to R).

Cairo is more pigmented than it appears on my arm: it's a bizarre grey-taupe-mauve that's just lovely. Oh, look at Himalayas - isn't that pink-red duochrome just pure sex?

My favorites: Grenadines (which isn't really wearable for most people, but screw it, I love red eyeshadow), Nepal, Bali, and Mekong. Nepal, Bali, and Mekong are seriously must-haves: Nepal is the perfect brightening wash, Bali is a workhorse of a shade (great for brows, crease, outer V, or liner), and Mekong smokes up any eye instantly.

NARS, NARS, NARS! Part One: The Eyeshadow Duos

I know, I know - it's been a long time since I posted! I'm sorry. I write for too many blogs, and I completely forgot about my own little personal one. If it's any consolation to you, I'll be posting here a lot more: Momma Bunny bought me a new digital camera! Now, I can take quality EOTDs and stash pics.

Speaking of stash pics, today I bring you my somewhat small (or maybe it's just small to me) NARS eyeshadow collection.


While reading The Beauty Look Book today at work (I clicked Sabrina's NARS tag and read every entry that mentioned NARS), I was reminded of some eyeshadow singles and eyeshadow duos that I forgot I owned. Yes, I forget that I own things because my collection is not very well-organized.

In my quest to remind myself of what I owned, I decided to take pictures. This entry will feature my NARS duos, and my next entry will feature my NARS singles. I'm also swatching them, but please remember that I'm no Karla Sugar - my swatches are not amazing.

Just a note - the lines separating the duo swatches were created with my NARS Aigle Noir Soft Touch Shadow Pencil. I reviewed this back on Pink Sith when I purchased it. Also, all but one of these duos were purchased by me. The one that wasn't was a gift. Enjoy!


The lone duo all the way at the left is Tzarine.
The top row from L to R: Habanera, Cheyenne, Rajathastan, Kalahari, Brazil.
The bottom row from L to R: Brousse, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Bohemian Gold, Taiga.

Close ups of the duos:

Tzarine, Habanera, and Brousse,(clockwise from left)


Cheyenne, Rajasthan, Kuala Lumpur, and Tokyo (clockwise from top left)


Kalahari, Brazil, Taiga, and Bohemian Gold (clockwise from top left)

Swatches:


Bomenian Gold, Brazil, Kalahari, Rajasthan, and Tokyo (from L to R; also, all swatches are done with the shade from the right side of the palette first, then the shade from the left side)


Taiga, Cheyenne, Kuala Lumpur, Habanera, Brousse, and Tzarine (from L to R; also, all swatches are done with the shade from the right side of the palette first, then the shade from the left side)

Also notice how sheer the lighter sides of Taiga and Kuala Lumpur are - those are heavy swatches. I am a MAC NC40, and they are very light but still noticeable on my skin. The lighter side of Kuala Lumpur is more pigmented on my eyes; it's reminiscent of MAC Melon pigment. The lighter side of Taiga makes a good highlight/inner corner shade, but is too light for my eyelids. Compare these colors to the lighter sides of Rajasthan, Tokyo, and Tzarine: those you can actually see on my skin, and can be used as lid shades.

My favorites: Habanera, Brousse, Kalahari (in my honest opinion, Kalahari is an absolute must-have for any makeup aficionado).

Bohemian Gold is discontinued. Rajasthan is limited edition. The other palettes can be found still.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Only because everyone else is doing it, and I owe you all a new post...

So on Twitter, a lot of the lovely bloggers have been posting "Things I Learned from Beauty Blogging" posts and tweets. It's interesting to see what everyone has to say about this topic. When I got started on MakeupAlley almost four years ago, I never expected that I would eventually become a respected blogger and voice in the online beauty community. The fact that anyone reads what I write, buys what I recommend, likes the makeup I do on myself...it blows my mind every single day and truly humbles me. I am appreciative every single day for the friendships that my psychotic love of makeup has created, and the opportunities I have been given because of my silly writing.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and here's my list of what I learned from blogging:

  1. Whatever I thought was expensive four years ago, I think is cheap now. I remember that when I was a freshman in college (before I joined MakeupAlley) I thought that Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer was crazy expensive at $40. Now I'm in love with Le Metier de Beaute's $125 tinted moisturizer. What!?
  2. A bunny can never have enough taupe eyeshadows. My taupe collection is definitely somewhere in the triple digits. I am afraid to count.
  3. Expanding on #2, taupe is the most diverse color in existence. Oh, the taupe rainbow is a glorious, glorious thing. Grey-taupe, mauve-taupe, brown-taupe, purple-taupe...I WANT THEM ALL!
  4. There really is no such thing as a Holy Grail product when you're a blogger - you will always find something you love a little more. Sad, but so true.
  5. You will, though, become obsessed with a few makeup lines and it'll be hard to deviate from them. Mine?: Paul and Joe Beaute, NARS, Bobbi Brown, Edward Bess. Also, we can now add Le Metier de Beaute to that.
  6. MAC is not the end-all, be-all of makeup. I am glad I learned this early on.
  7. Blogging is a full-time job, whether we'd like to admit it or not (and regardless of whether we actually make any profit from it). I feel irresponsible if I haven't signed onto Twitter in a few hours, I hate that I rarely update this blog, etc. I write for three blogs, plus I'm on Twitter, and MakeupAlley still, and I have a Reading List on Blogger of 50+ blogs (and that doesn't include people who are on WordPress, etc.). Being a beauty blogger has become a lifestyle choice for me. It was a hobby when I started, but that was years ago. Now I feel a responsibility to myself, to everyone out there, to beauty companies, etc. to keep writing. I have no idea how long I'll be able to keep this up for, but I intend on doing it until I can't anymore.
  8. To expand on #7, the only (somewhat) unsavory side-effect of blogging is a loss of anonymity. Posting pictures of my face, and giving readers a general knowledge of my location, has lead to me being recognized while out more often than I'd care to admit. It happens at least once every time I go shopping. While I appreciate it immensely (OH MY GOD, YOU ALL READ MY CRAP?!), there's part of me that is slightly creeped out by it. I don't know - what do you think about this?
  9. Eventually, your makeup collection will outgrow its storage. And then it'll outgrow your room. Eventually, it will eat you.
  10. Nothing brightens my day like makeup. When I am down, all it takes for me is to put my face on, or buy a new product, and BAM! I feel instantly uplifted. Makeup reminds me to take time for myself, to remember that I am beautiful and unique and fluffy. On my darkest days, makeup and blogging keeps me afloat!
Please share what you've learned with me! I'd love to read your thoughts =)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

If I can marry an inanimate object, I'd marry my Inglot palette

I'm sure you've all heard of Inglot before. Inglot is a Polish (not Australian, oops!) makeup and nail polish line that is ridiculously, laughably affordable. There's only one location in the US so far, and it is located in Times Square - basically, if you're a New Yorker, you have to trudge through tourist hell to reach it. However, Inglot is worth it. I have never seen such gorgeous textures, colors, products...FOR SO CHEAP! The palette I'm going to show you in this post cost me $45.

Yes, $45. $45 for 10 eyeshadows that are the size of a MAC eyeshadow, in the palette! I die. I DIE! There is a multitude of different palette options, and the staff at Inglot is so patient and sweet. My dear friend Amy (of The Beauty Chick blog) and I took our time to pick out our palettes, and our lovely salesgirl didn't bat an eye at our crazy indecisive rants over which taupes we needed. I definitely need to make a return trip for the $15 liquid highlighters, which are reminiscent of the Armani Fluid Sheers. Seriously, everyone must try to make a trip to this store if at all possible.

The only downside about this palette is that it's incredibly hard to take out the eyeshadows once they are in; the magnets are strong! This means that I cannot take out the colors and tell you the numbers. I can describe the colors for you, though.

There are 7 shimmers, and 3 mattes. The majority of these colors are shades of taupe, clearly. There is a bronze-ish color, a greeny-pewter color, and a burgundy-red. Oh, and I threw in a shimmery beige-butter shade so that I could have a highlight.

The texture and pigmentation of these eyeshadows is astounding, given the price. They are silky, buttery, and deliver knockout color. They are also incredibly long-lasting. I have used
at least one shade from this palette every day since I purchased it. I am especially fond of the three mattes - neutral to cool matte taupes?! I AM SO IN!

Anyway, enjoy the pics! (oh, just an FYI: the color swatches on the Inglot website are extremely accurate, and I am down for doing CPs!!)

(these are swatches from the top row, L-R)
(these are swatches of the bottom row, L to R)

I apparently died, and forgot to update, so here's my attempt at making it up to you!

I've been in a weird place lately. Blogging has been hard for me. I'm vacillating between being too busy or too depressed to write. So, I'm going to just update with a ton of pretty eye pics I took for the blog, and forgot to post. I'll show the pics, and let you know what I used. If I can, I'll update with swatch pics! =) Thank you for being patient with me, I appreciate it.

This series of pics involves my new favorite eyeshadow, MUFE #75, the hot matte pink. It rocks. It rocks so damn hard. Yes, it stains my eyes something terrible, but it looks so awesome against my skin tone. Summer 2010 has really been all about the hot pinks for me. I layered the hot pink/rose color from the MAC crush metal stacks that came out back in January (it was Stacked #1; click the link for the MakeupAlley reviews). The effect was electric, and oh so sexy. My crease color is courtesy of Inglot (I owe you all pictures of my Inglot palette!), and the color is a gorgeous shimmery deep warm burgundy. What do you think?

Looking back on these pics, I feel as if my makeup is really scene. All I need is a tragic emo haircut and an "I hate the world" attitude. Also, can you tell that I really love lots of eyeliner and a dark brow?