Charlotte Tilbury Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighters and More

This review is technically eight months in the making since the bronzer, Pillow Talk Highlighter, and mascara were supposed to be part of last year’s “May Purchases Reviewed” post that I still have yet to complete. In fact, so much time has passed that I fully used up and decluttered the travel size mini of the mascara, and had to rely on a sample size version to complete this review. The advantage of this situation is that I have very solidified options on most of the products we’ll be diving into today. But, let’s start with the newest product that I’m the most excited to talk about first!

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter in Sunset Glow and Bronze Glow

Even though Sunset Glow is my better shade match, the blended out swatch shows that it’s close to my skin tone. If it was the tiniest bit darker, I might not have liked it as much as I do.

This was supposed to be an early 2023 release, but 6 of the 7 shades were available via Selfridges for $38 on December 30, 2022. I knew Sunset Glow was the shade I really wanted the most, but it started off as a CT website exclusive for a week or so before it came to Selfridges, and I had already ordered Bronze Glow. As of this moment, Sunset Glow is still not available at Sephora, SpaceNK, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, or Beautylish. I spotted it on the Feelunique website, so it seems the best chance to get this particular shade (if you live in the US) is from UK based places that have a US site too.

One of the first things I noticed when I got the product in my hands was how much it rattled when I held it and used it, to the point where the pan starts spinning in the compact when I try to do swatches. It’s not loose and it doesn’t fall out when held upside down. It’s just a matter of it being magnetic and not glued down. I don’t know if the ridges/raised elements on the bottom of the pan is the cause for the actual sound from it not laying evenly or if it’s due to having a weaker magnet inside the compact. It’s a minor flaw that I don’t mind because it makes it that much easier to transfer this pan into a different compact if Charlotte Tilbury comes out with something in the future with a pretty design on it. I like this outer packaging design more than the basic logo, but it’s not as cute as some of the past lunar new year compacts for instance, so I’d love to transfer this into prettier packaging some day because I really like this highlighter!

I created a chart using the images from the Charlotte Tilbury website to make it easier to see the color recommendations. Since Sunset Glow is the harder to find shade, I put that one in the middle, though it’s supposed to be in the 5th position.

According to the brand, these shades are “flawless on everyone,” but certain colors look especially pretty on certain skin tones. Bronze Glow is supposed to be the deepest color, but the shimmer looked light enough to work for me based on the brand’s swatches and examples on models. I was right in that regard, but the darker tone does keep it from looking as nice on me as it could. The point of a highlighter is to draw attention to a particular area of the face and bring that forward. Bronze Glow looks flatter and duller compared to Sunset Glow because the base isn’t light enough to create that lifted illusion. It still draws attention due to the sparkle color, but it’s not as pretty as when it’s both shimmery and lighter in depth, but not so light as to leave a pale stripe on the face. For this reason, I recommend taking the depth of one’s skin tone into account when choosing a shade despite the brand’s insistence on a universal aspect to them. As I learned, certain models are demonstrating one specific highlighter color for a reason and I found that choosing the shade closest to the model that looked like me resulted in the highlighter looking its smoothest. The “wrong” one drew a little more attention to texture.

Judging this based on Sunset Glow alone, these highlighters are super smooth. It feels slightly damp to the touch, but it is dry on the face. Part of what’s supposed to make this line of highlighters different from the rest is that it’s supposed to have a finish that looks like it’s melting into the skin like liquid highlighters would, while benefiting from the ease of use as a powder product. It looks beautiful all day and doesn’t lose its reflectivity like some lower quality shimmer in highlighters can do. This is by far my favorite highlighter from the brand and I believe it could be in the top ten ranking among all the ones I own.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Highlighter in Dream Light

This may come as a surprise, but I wasn’t impressed with this product initially. It’s possible that I just had a sour taste in my mouth from my first one arriving broken. When this one arrived, I was disappointed to see the random larger glitter specks particularly within the dark reddish bronze strip (#2) and champagne colored strip (#4). Part of the theoretical benefit I saw to owning this highlighter was the ability to have four different highlighter colors within one product and be able to customize the shades by mixing two or more together, but the ones on the left and right sides of the pan are so small and thin that a select few brushes allow me to pick up the single color I choose. It turns out that the only shade I feel I can pull off wearing by itself is the deep golden one (#3). For getting just that, I tend to use my discontinued Wayne Goss #15 fan brush.

When I want a stronger intensity level of highlighter, I add the tiniest bit of the light gold (#1) on the very highest point/spot on my cheekbones. Besides the random larger sparkles, my biggest reasons for not preferring Stripe #2 is that it’s too red and dark, and Stripe #4 because it’s too light. Mixing all four shades creates a beautiful middle-ground color that I like, but I don’t wear it that way because of the increased number of random larger glitter specks. Of course, the more I use this and the more the shades kick up into one another, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to not get larger particle size shimmer in #1 and #3. So, it’s something I’m just trying to embrace.

Because this is another relatively smooth highlighter, I do like it. However, if I had to choose between the Pillow Talk highlighter and the new Glow Glide Face Architect ones, I prefer the latter because of the extra smoothness and glow it provides without looking so powdery. They are the same price, and the Pillow Talk highlighter gives more variety, but four pretty highlighter colors don’t compare to one near-perfect shade.

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer in 3 Tan

I love this bronzer, but it had me going crazy for a bit! I included multiple photos because no matter what background or lighting I use, the color doesn’t look consistent. To my own eyes, when I wear this on my face, it sometimes looks more olive, or neutral, or warm-yellow, or warm-orange. I still can’t give a definitive answer as to what undertone this bronzer in Tan has! When I first started using it, there were times I thought the shade was strange and then other times it was absolute perfection! I’ve been using it on and off since June 2022 and I haven’t figured out the witchcraft that makes it look so different sometimes, but it’s one of my top three favorite cream bronzers now. It blends effortlessly on my face and sets without needing to powder it. The longevity is fantastic. One of the things I’m super impressed by is the fact that the texture has remained creamy for all these months without a film or discolored layer forming on the surface, and hasn’t partly dried out, like some other cream products of mine have done. It’s a pleasure to use every time!
Factoring my powder bronzers into the equation, this product has a ton of competition for claiming a spot in my top five favorites, but this might just be number one among the cream bronzers. I have three others that come to mind, but I haven’t spent enough time with them to say for sure yet which is the best of the best. Perhaps 2023 will be the year I finally do a yearly favorites post again to declare the winner.

In order to enjoy the pretty swirl pattern for longer, I mostly put my brush in the same spot (top right of the compact). It looks barely used, for that reason, from the top down perspective, but I’ve created a decent dip into the pan when taking into account how little product is needed.

Below, I’ve included a photo (taken in June) of another bronzer I bought that same month and love: the Nars Laguna Bronzing Cream in Laguna 04. It’s darker and more red toned than the Charlotte Tilbury cream bronzer, which is why I prefer Charlotte’s over it. Plus, the Nars bronzer is heavily scented.

There are so many reviews of this product by now, so perhaps it doesn’t need to be said, but the cream products are darker than the powder counterparts. For example, the powder version of Tan is lighter than this cream version of Tan. The powder version of Deep is lighter than the cream version of Deep. So, despite there only being four shade options, this helps to round out Charlotte’s overall bronzer line if you don’t mind using cream versus powder. I always wanted a “Dark Tan” or “3.5” bronzer shade in the powder line, but cream Tan is filling that void for me.

The price of this is ridiculously expensive, but it was worth it to me. It’s like if the Danessa Myricks Power Bronzer Cream and Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Bronzer had a baby and that baby acquired magical powers.

Charlotte Tilbury Hypnotising Pop Shots in Sunlit Diamond and Cosmic Rocks

I rarely reach for single eyeshadow products, unless they’re in a custom magnetic palette, so I try not to purchase things like this. However, that packaging was pretty, and having a multichrome eyeshadow in a beautiful compact that I could reuse (if I wanted to re-press a different eyeshadow into there) was extremely appealing. So, I purchased Cosmic Rocks. The only reason I ended up with Sunlit Diamond is because the brand sent me that on accident instead of the Sunset Glow highlighter. So, they allowed me to keep it and sent me a second package with my correct item inside. Sunlit Diamond is a beautiful color, so I’m happy to have it, even though I wouldn’t have bought it myself. It’s not due to the product being bad. These eyeshadows are pigmented and sparkly and stay pretty well bound together when picked up, which means I can avoid making a mess when applying them and I don’t have to dampen them to apply them either. However, I did apply the inner halves wet in the eye looks below to see if there would be a dramatic difference and there was not.
I don’t get much fallout during application, but I can get a bit of it as the day goes on. I still haven’t tried these with glitter glue, but perhaps that could prevent some of that fallout throughout the day.

Also, I get the tiniest bit of movement where the shadow doesn’t want to stay in the deepest line of my crease, but it could be the primer I’ve used with this. It’s such a minor amount for me, but I thought I would mention that anyway for those who might have deeper lines on the eyes than mine. Admittedly, since I’m not much of a single shadow wearer, I’ve tested this product the least of everything else (only four times).

As far as multichromes go, Cosmic Rocks certainly can’t compete with Clionadh in terms of intensity, but I’m not certain if that was even the brand’s goal considering their typical clientele. It doesn’t have nearly as dark of a base as the others, so I’m guessing Cosmic Rocks is meant to be a more approachable way to wear a colorful shadow and a multichrome without intimidating neutral lovers too much.

Even without being as deep as Clionadh’s Jewelled multichromes, Cosmic Rocks is still pretty dramatic on my eyes, so I’m still pleased with it. However, considering the full $34 price of the Pop Shots (I bought Cosmic Rocks from Selfridges for $25), I wouldn’t recommend if for those who love really full on multichromes. Granted, it does come in a lovely lightweight compact, so perhaps the upcharge is understandable considering it houses a multichrome eyeshadow. As much as I like Sunlit Diamond, I personally find the full price to be astronomical for a more traditional eyeshadow.

Charlotte Tilbury Push Up Lashes Mini Mascara

Right off the bat, I have to say that my experience with the sample was different from the travel size. I’m not sure if that has to do with the travel size having more product in the tube and being able to fully coat the brush or if there’s a slight difference between the two applicator brushes. All I know is that I liked the travel size enough to where I considered buying a full size, but I would never have been interested in this mascara if it was based on the sample alone, because with the sample I couldn’t build as much volume as I wanted without doing at least two coats. Unfortunately, I used up the travel size many months ago, so I cannot remember which eye looks I’ve taken in the past that I was wearing this mascara. I only have photos of this mascara using the sample size (which is in the pop shots section above).

Based on the travel size, I like that I can create a defined fanned out look with the wand. I get a decent amount of length and volume, although my lashes don’t get quite as long or full as my favorite mascaras can provide. I like that the brush is fairly skinny, so I have an easier time coating my lower lashes. I don’t get any clumping, smudging, or flaking with this either.

I considered repurchasing the travel size again specifically for my lower lashes, but after using the MAC Extended Play Lash, I decided against it because I prefer the applicator on that one and it’s slightly cheaper than the Push Up Mascara from Charlotte Tilbury. Plus, my top favorite mascaras do a good enough job with both top and bottom lashes and I just have to be a little more careful and deliberate when applying mascara to my lower lashes.

I’ve sometimes experienced a difference between the full size tube and travel size of mascaras (if for instance one is wetter or one gets too much or too little product on the applicator), so I don’t know if I would notice yet another difference if I had the full-size. But, based on the travel size, this is a nice mascara, but I don’t see myself repurchasing it.

That concludes this Charlotte Tilbury update post!

Thank you for reading!

-Lili

Catching Up With Colourpop: Hocus Pocus 2 and More

Happy Halloween to all who celebrate it! Halloween used to be the holiday I was most excited about, and the original Hocus Pocus movie was one of my favorites. I still haven’t watched the sequel, but I was drawn to several items in the collection which I will review here today. In addition, I have two shades of Super Shock bronzers I’ll be reviewing along with two of the three Winnie the Pooh Super Shock highlighters.

One more thing to note before we discuss the products is that there are two items missing today. Colourpop surprised us all on October 28th by restocking the adorable Winnie the Pooh Hunny Pots. Since I was already placing an order, I added a Hocus Pocus 2 lip gloss to my cart. It takes at least two weeks for me to get my orders from Colourpop’s website, so there’s no way it would arrive in time for Halloween. Rather than delaying this post, I decided that it would be better for me to just update it in a few weeks with product photos and a demonstration of the lip gloss on my lips. I’ve reviewed Colourpop lip products in the past, and these are just new shades and scents, so I don’t expect there to be anything significant to say about them. If you’re interested in those two specifically, please revisit this post by the end of November at the latest (unless something goes wrong with the shipment).

UPDATE: Nov 10th, 2022 – The missing items are here! I’ve continued the trend of picking something from the Hocus Pocus 2 Collection that is completely out of character for me…a sparkly sheer black gloss! Boys Will Love Me in the So Glassy Lip Gloss formula feels great on the lips, is shiny, and gives me a “wearable rebel” vibe to my look! There’s no fragrance in it but it has a slight chemical smell.

The hunny pots with the plastic honey dipper applicators are the cutest things! I’m so happy I was able to snag these when they restocked. The lip mask smells deliciously of honey and they added a slightly sweet flavor to it. It feels so soft on the lips. I forgot how nice these lip masks from Fourth Ray/Colourpop are! The lip scrub has finely sized sugar particles, the kind that don’t do very much exfoliating for my lips, but I like that the formula it’s suspended in comes off my lips easily enough without leaving my lips feeling oily or sticky.

Back to the main review!

Hocus Pocus 2 (Partial) Collection

Sol Body Find the Book Shimmering Highlighter

I stopped purchasing highlighters in unnatural colors, but made an exception for this one. The texture of this “liquid-powder” is similar to the Super Shock formula, which is one of my favorites because of how smoothing they apply and look on the skin. This also got me in the nostalgia feels because it reminded me of the Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfecter in the shade Golden Mint, just with a more intense green tinge that nearly glows.

The highlighter has the typical Sol Body beachy/coconut type of scent that is pleasant enough, but I’d prefer if it wasn’t in the makeup at the very least. The smell is thankfully not as intense in this product as it is in their cream bronzers. It looks white in the pan head on, but the base color is actually an iridescent type of pale “opal” pink shade and at an angle it reveals the gold and green shimmer. It’s basically a duochrome highlighter, but I haven’t seen one before with such a glowing green shade. It’s so beautiful, I had to try it as an inner corner highlight and it was perfect for that! It was easy to apply there and stayed on. However, when I tried it as an all-over lid shade, it was far too creamy on my eyes. It wouldn’t stop moving and creasing, so I took it off once the photos were taken. Because of the scent and the ingredient PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene which is still a microplastic), I probably shouldn’t be using this in my eye area anyway.

Is this shade too light for me? Technically, yes. The pale opal-pink leaves a cast on my face that’s visible wherever the light isn’t illuminating the green shimmer. However, the cast is less noticeable if I pair it with a neutral pink blush (the lighter the better). Also, the fact that I’m wearing a duochrome highlighter means it’s intended to stand out. So, I think it’s fine that it’s not exactly one with my skin. I won’t be fooling anyone into thinking my cheekbones naturally glow green! If anything, I think the liquid-powder formula helps to make this kind of highlighter as natural as possible in the texture and blending department.

For times that aren’t Halloween, I learned that when I want something unique yet wearable, I just need to put on a deeper highlighter (like Colourpop’s Mind Over Matter) and add Find the Book on top of it. This combination does change the color a bit. Green is still present, but the bronze-orange tone in Mind Over Matter mixed with Find the Book really intensifies the gold. I decided to show that very example in the two photos below. They have been cropped to just show the cheekbone highlight because the day I took the pictures was intended to just be an eyeshadow palette testing day when I often just put makeup around my eyes and leave everything else alone. On this particular day, I skipped foundation and did not conceal the hyperpigmentation around my mouth, so I didn’t feel comfortable showing a full face.

Find the Book is intended for face and body use, but I have not tried to wear this anywhere else. I can’t stand wearing body makeup, so that will not be demonstrated today. As I mentioned earlier, it moves and stays too creamy on the eyes. On my cheekbones though, it does dry down but it’s not transfer-proof. I still get sparkles that come up on my finger when I touch my face.

Butcherson BFF Mascara

The shade of this mascara is “rich plum,” and typically burgundy and maroon type of colorful mascaras look nice on those with brown or green eyes, so I had high expectations. Color-wise, I was extremely happy with this mascara but that’s where it ends! According to Colourpop, this mascara is made to be buildable and “instantly volumizes, lifts and dramatically lengthens…with zero clumps or flakes.”
The first time I used this mascara, the only issues I had with it were minor flaking and that it took a bit of time to fully coat my lashes. The formula was a little dry, but I got the results I wanted in terms of color, though I noticed no length or volume. I don’t know if in that first use it took so long to apply that while the tube was open it dried out further, but the problems intensified right afterwards. The next time I went to use it, the performance was far beyond what can be considered “buildable” and it was a hassle to get the mascara off the bristles and stick to my lashes. Even when I was using the tip that had excess product on it to try and coat my lashes, it was like the formula was too waxy to want to stay in place and not just come back off once I combed it through with the brush. In the photo below, I demonstrated the differences when I applied this mascara on top of another one (a fiber one, so it’s to be expected that the lengths will be different) versus applying it to my bare lashes. It looks so much better applied on top of another mascara. On bare lashes, it didn’t give me much extra length than a basic mascara, but also it’s definitely not voluminous enough for my taste.

On top of a black mascara, it’s admittedly harder to see the plum color, but I prefer having that subtle touch to the look.

I would gladly continue using this product if it wasn’t for the intense flaking issue that occurred upon the second and last uses. The third time I used it, pictured below, I laid down on my bed and one of the mascara flakes/crumbles got in my eye. When I used my finger to take it out, the other side of my finger touched the upper lashes where parts of the mascara turned out to be still wet. So it smeared on my finger even though it had been thirty minutes since I first applied it. Then I noticed all the rest of the flakes under my eyes, even wider spread below my face not seen in the picture below. I tried to wipe a particularly large flake away and that smeared the plum color, so I grabbed a Makeup Eraser and my Bioderma solution to remove it all.

Other than that first application, this mascara is hard to apply, is completely lacking in length and volume, flakes terribly (some of the dots in the outer corner of the eye photo aren’t all moles they are flakes too), is “dry” but somehow doesn’t fully dry down if too much is applied even after thirty minutes and will therefore smudge. Once a product has the risk of getting in my eyes, it’s an absolute no for me. So, I won’t be using it anymore. This is quite the shame considering how much I really like the color and the packaging is cute as well. I’m debating between putting it on my retirement shelf (makeup not to be used but kept for collector purposes) or tossing it. The experience was so bad removing the mascara because of the smearing and trying to get more of it out of my eyes that I’m 90% sure I’m going to just toss it. I was so shocked by the positive reviews on Colourpop’s site that I thought maybe I just got a bad one or the time it took for me to build it up dried it out too much, but the reviews on Ulta’s site tell another story (linked here but they may eventually remove it from their website).

There are plenty more of the negative reviews on Ulta’s website and it’s currently sitting at 2 out of 5 stars for a reason out of 24 reviews. The only other positive thing I can say is that it did not clump for me, but that’s because I could barely even get the mascara to coat my lashes. Because plenty of other people are having issues too, I absolutely cannot recommend this. I’ve tried one other mascara from Colorpop and that didn’t go as poorly but there was no benefit either, so no more of them for me.

Give Him Fur Hair Clips

I’m not a cat person, but somehow over the last five years or so I’ve acquired the “Kitty” nickname which I’ve fully leaned into by now. I own cat headbands and clip on cat ears, so this product certainly appealed to me not just for Halloween.
I think they look great! The fur is soft and the cloth ears are soft as well. I feel obligated to point out some of the flaws though, as these aren’t the highest quality. For example, part of the fur lining came unglued from the handle, a tuft of hair came out already, the inner portion of the cat ear peeks out beyond the stitching, and because the handle end of the clip isn’t exposed and the fur strap goes past it, I have to be careful how I place my fingers to open the jaw of the clip so that I don’t potentially tear anything off. In addition, the clip is made of a very thin metal and whatever paint coating they used gives it a plastic feel.

I don’t believe these flaws would be noticeable to other people. As long as I continue to handle these carefully, I think I’ll be getting my money’s worth out of them. I foresee the fur strap coming more unglued to the claw over time, but at that point I can just glue it back down.

This entire Hocus Pocus 2 Collection inspired me to create a Fall-Halloween type of look and step out of my comfort zone, so there are no regrets. Even though the mascara didn’t work out for me, it was fun to give colored lashes a try again.

In the Halloween look above, I’m wearing the Butcherson mascara on the tips of the lashes, Find the Book highlighter (on the top of the cheekbones and inner corner of the eyes), and the kitty ears. The third photo on the bottom was taken with my cell phone to show the brightness of the highlighter that I struggled to capture with my regular camera.

Bronzers

Super Shock Bronzers in Dream Vacay and Paradise City

The original line of Super Shock bronzers were discontinued in 2017, but these 2022 versions are supposed to be an improved formula. I have no idea how the originals were received, but these new ones deserve to be hyped up! They are amazing! They are so smooth to the touch and look smooth on the skin. They blend effortlessly. They last all day. They look so natural on the skin. These are everything I could want from a cream (or cream-like) bronzer! These are way easier to use and are more pigmented than the Sol Body Cream Bronzers.

Packing on Dream Vacay produces a very subtle bronze on me, but it doesn’t take much effort if I use my dense Patrick Ta Contour Brush to apply it. If I use something a bit softer like the Sonia G Mini Base, it has to be built up in multiple layers. If I want a deeper bronze, I use Paradise City and blend it out with the Mini Base or use the tiniest amount with my Patrick Ta Contour Brush. Paradise City is deep enough on me to give a slight sculpting affect, but I will sometimes add Dream Vacay back on top to lighten it up if it gets too intense.

I’ve had these open for three months now and they haven’t dried up, formed a film on top, nor changed in consistency. There’s also no scent to them unlike the Sol Body Cream Bronzers, so I’m especially happy about that. Right now, these are among my top 5 favorite non-powder bronzer formulas.

Also, Kudos to Colourpop for having an even deeper shade available called Summer 4ever. We love an inclusive product range! There are also three bronzers lighter than Dream Vacay.

Highlighters

Winnie the Pooh Super Shock Highlighters in 100 Aker Wood and Mind Over Matter

I’ve reviewed Colourpop’s Super Shock Highlighters so many times on this blog. I love how smoothly they apply and melt into my cheeks. They don’t stay feeling slippery on the face and they can look subtle or intense depending on the application process. Some observations I noted that make these stand apart from the others I own is that more than just having a strong yellow base, I can see micro green and gold shimmer in 100 Aker Wood that stands out on my skin, in addition to Mind Over Matter having some larger bronze sparkles that make the skin look more textured than normal. The tone in 100 Aker Wood isn’t anything like Fenty’s Trophy wife, but it’s still slightly too yellow to match me despite me also having a yellow undertone to my skin. Depending on the foundation shade I’m wearing, it looks more natural if I pair it with a more yellow or olive foundation, but if I wear my summer foundations which are more of a golden-orange, then the yellow in the highlighter becomes more obvious. More often than not, I end up mixing 100 Aker Wood with one of my darker Super Shocks like Mind Over Matter or Champagne BB.
I applied a light amount of 100 Aker Wood below. As for Mind Over Matter, the tone matches me really well to the point that I had to build it up in the demonstration photo below in order for it to be seen on my cheeks. Adding more also emphasized the amount of glitter specks that can be seen. The extra sparkles aren’t so much to stop me from wanting to use this highlighter though. I have only worn these over natural and dewy foundations. I can attest to these melting better into my skin the dewier my face is.

I’m including a comparison of the current “natural” shades of Super Shocks in my collection. The photos were taken at night so the non-flash photo is washed out whereas the flash side is slightly intensified in color.

Flute Punch is too light for me but I bought it to mix with Champagne BB. Champagne BB on its own is slightly too dark for my face. Mind Over Matter is close to that one in depth, but just slightly lighter and closer to matching the brown tones in my face. Parasol and Got Glow are still the best ones I have for highlighting purposes, but Got Glow is better because it’s the tiniest bit more golden and darker. The shimmer particles in Parasol are lighter than Got Glow, so Parasol can look too light from the shimmer reflecting more harshly in contrast to my skin tone at certain times of the year. The downside to Got Glow is the mix of multiple colors in the pot that doesn’t always look as complimentary depending on how much of the darker or lighter colors get picked up and applied.

As much as I love the Super Shock highlighters, there has to be a stopping/satisfaction point and I think I’ve reached it. I will continue using all of them and mixing them if necessary to continue getting enjoyment out of these products.

That’s everything for today! Thank you for reading and Happy Halloween!

-Lili

Melt Cosmetics She’s in Parties Palette and the Short Lived Mystery Boxes

I got to this review much later than expected, but I promised The Olive Unicorn Beauty I would make more of an effort to bump it up on the list. I think this is good timing considering Melt has recently launched 4 new mini palettes as part of their upcoming Bad Side Zodiac Collection and I know others share my hesitation to purchase Melt’s eyeshadow palettes given their history. Perhaps my review today can help tip the interest in either direction for someone curious about that upcoming release.

This post will mainly focus on reviewing Melt’s She’s in Parties Palette, but I did not purchase it through traditional means. This palette was part of Melt’s Black Friday Mini Mystery Bundle that was released November 2021. There was a large box for $75 and the smaller one I bought was $25 (plus $10 shipping). I watched Amy Loves Makeup post a video ASAP and considering all the boxes were supposed to be the same (and were still in stock at the time), I figured it was totally worth finally being able to try out my first Melt palette and the Sexfoil liquid highlighter formula for less money than the eyeshadow palette alone would cost.

The photo above from panningcorner on IG shows the mystery items from the $25 box, although I don’t recall getting the pencils, single eyeshadow, nor sample in mine. The liquid lipstick I believe I gave away. So, what I ended up keeping was the palette, mascara, and liquid highlighter which I will briefly review the other two in this post as well.

Regarding the mystery boxes, the brand continued to put them out in December 2021, January, and February of this year, but I believe the February box (or perhaps one more in March) was the last one. I loved that they were doing these and it wasn’t just older palettes that were a possibility to receive. The newer Brunet palette was an option for one of them, and I think the Mary Jane as well. I’m hoping that this Black Friday, they bring the Mystery Boxes back or offer a fantastic deal, even potentially coinciding with the severely discounted Amor y Mariposas Collection that was a newer and quicker reviewed purchase of mine.

Melt Cosmetics She’s in Parties Palette

I started working on this post in Spring, but other eye-catching makeup took priority. One benefit to this delay is that I’ve had the She’s In Parties Palette open and exposed to the elements for over six months, which is typically the benchmark for when any formula issues start to crop up (if at all) with Melt’s palettes. I am happy to report that my palette hasn’t had any changes to it and is still nice and usable, as well as my Amor y Mariposas palette. What a relief!

So based on my experience with both of those palettes, I fully understand why people rave about Melt’s mattes. They really are great. The Amor y Mariposas palette had pressed pigment mattes which required a bit more effort, but the three mattes in this palette are stellar! They’re buildable, blendable, and very pigmented! Total Immortal is a great shade to blend out a shadow in the crease, though it’s a bit light to be alone in the crease without a deepening shade, for my taste. It also had a little trouble sticking to my eyelid, but I can get there in the end and I usually put shimmers on my lids anyway. Last Caress is a medium-dark mauve but it goes on the eyes way darker than I expected from how it looks in the pan! I wanted that as my crease shade for most looks, but it’s so dark that it makes every eye look I created appear as though I was using Meanstreak in the crease instead, even when I hadn’t. So, without a true medium shadow in this palette, nearly every look I create turns out dark and dramatic, even when I purposely intend to create something on the lighter and brighter side. This palette is very much for dark vampy looks! And yes, Meanstreak is a nice deep burgundy, though the texture is a bit drier and rougher than the other mattes which are soft to the touch. However, it still performed just as well.

I usually describe what I did for my eye looks, but I created these so long ago, I can’t recall for certain.

I was very much looking forward to trying Melt’s shimmers, but Strange Love is the only shade that has a lot of sparkle to it and it’s not the kind of shadow I typically use all over the lid. It’s the kind I’d use mostly in the center of the eye and/or the inner corner. Skeleton Kiss also has a nice amount of shimmer to it, but because the white base color is kind of transparent, it’s more of a topper kind of shade and just looks sparkly pink. It’s another one I would use in the exact same way as Strange Love. The remaining pigmented colorful shimmers in the palettes are more like satin shadows. They are smooth, with very refined and small size shimmer particles. They are also on the thin side but fully opaque and not powdery. They also don’t crease on me. I can use She’s In Parties, the deep red, and Sleepwalk, the dark plum, in the crease in place of mattes, but I prefer to stick to my safe zone and use them as lid shades even though that also guarantees my looks remain on the darker dramatic side. As for Lost Control, there are shimmer flecks in the shade, but it’s so subtle that I’m left with a mostly matte looking shadow. This is something I don’t mind, although I would have preferred if it was either entirely matte so I won’t have a random few twinkling specks in the outer corner, or if it was a full on shimmer that could add some bling to the looks.

Overall the quality is great, the shades are pretty, and there’s something sophisticated about this palette and color story. I think it’s quite textured-lids-friendly as well. I can use any primer with it, and it performs well. So, while I personally prefer sparkle and drama to my shimmers and would have liked a true medium tone matte shade, I do recommend this palette.

Melt Cosmetics SexFoil Digital Liquid Highlight in Fetish

Melt’s imagery for this product is so attractive that I haven’t stopped wanting to try more, even though liquid highlighters are my least used form of highlighters. I’ve established in every review of this kind that I never use them enough to be worth purchasing. Unlike the Auric Glow Lust, Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, and other liquid shimmer products that can be mixed with foundation to impart a glow or to be used in other creative ways, the SexFoil is more metallic and best suited for highlighting in the traditional manner. I’m able to pack it on to look extremely intense or, as is my preference, use it sparingly and blend it out so that it’s a little more on the subtle side. I was surprised that I ended up loving Fetish despite it being one of the two lightest shades in the line and a pink to boot! It looks stunning when coupled with a pink blush. I also like that it fully dries down, so I don’t have to deal with any stickiness or transfer other than perhaps a few shimmer particles.

I would have loved to take additional photos showing various intensity levels but this is the only picture I have wearing the product and as I’ve noted on the Home Page of my blog, I’ve had spine surgery again and am in a long recovery process which makes taking blog photos a lot more difficult and will continue to be an issue the rest of this year. So, I just had to work with the photos I took prior to my surgery.

This product makes me wish I could get more on board with liquid highlighters because I like this formula and I still wish I could get more, although I believe having a full ounce of this is excessive. I can’t even finish a foundation of the same size in time before it expires. Having this much product would be wasteful even if I did use it on a regular basis. “Minis” would have been more practical. In addition, the full price of $39 is more than I’m willing to pay, no matter how much I like it. I’d be all in at $25 and $30 would still be pushing it. But that’s just my opinion.

*UPDATE October 13, 2022 – It occurred to me that the majority of the time I’ve been using this product was on top of cream blushes, many of which are of a stiffer and opaque formula, so I did not notice it removing any product underneath. However, I recently had an issue of it removing product when applied over a powder blush and a bit in the area of my KVD Good Apple Concealer. This did not happen the time before when I used the exact same products. The only difference this time was that I also applied foundation in that area and a bit under my eyes in my dark circle zone whereas I usually reserve that spot for laying concealer down first and then having foundation on the edges. Meaning, I usually apply concealer first and add foundation after wherever it’s needed, rather than the more traditional process of putting foundation everywhere and spot concealing after. The EL Futurist Hydra Foundation is dewy and more emollient rather than being stiff and doesn’t completely dry down on its own, so perhaps that was the culprit for why I suddenly had a problem with it, but I wanted to at least include this information to be careful what products one is using with the SexFoils.

Also, I am obsessed with the shades of SexFoils and the metallic look, but it is a little more difficult to work with because of the amount of product that gets dispensed out. I am usually good about squeezing out the tiniest amount, but while I still have a little trouble with the fingertips of my dominant hand (lingering post-surgery complication with my right arm that I’m sure will be fully healed in a few more weeks), it occurred to me that others may be squeezing out too much as well. So, my thoughts on this product is that I still like it, but it’s not as user friendly when I started looking at it even more critically. And in terms of formula, (based on samples I’ve tried) the Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlights are metallic but can also be intensified or sheered out, fully dry down, are easier to control, are a more reasonable product size, and are significantly less expensive. So, as much as I’m still drawn to these from Melt, I recommend looking into the Rare Beauty ones as a potentially better version of the SexFoils.

Lastly for this update, I did end up purchasing (via Mercari) the shade Gold Ore and can share some additional photos today, but please excuse the skin tone differences between my old picture and this one. Although it was a seven month difference, I’m also pretty sure I was testing out a foundation that was a little dark for me at that time of the older photo. As for the new one, it was a cloudy day so I relied a lot on my indoor lighting, which meant the photos I took were washed out, despite me choosing the darkest of the bunch.

Since Gold Ore is so close to my skin tone, it is quite subtle, even when built up. It’s mostly just shimmer particles that are apparent and the base color is barely lighter than my skin, so the highlighting effect is low. For this reason, it’s unfortunately not my favorite. I think the shade Peaches and Cream might have shown up better because of the undertone being different and standing out, but I normally try to match my tone with highlighters and I don’t usually go for colorful ones, so I chose Gold Ore instead. Considering the newly recognized learning curve to the SexFoils, I won’t be buying another one to try out. The only liquid highlighter I will purchase again is from Rare Beauty.

*UPDATE October 18th, 2022 – It’s highly unusual for me to need to update a post so many times, but I made one final attempt to get more accurate photos of these worn on my cheeks. A better photo representation is below. I wore a different foundation this time and still had issues with my concealer coming off when the SexFoils were applied in that zone and required that I reapply a thicker layer to cover it up. My dark circles are particularly intense right now and in a wider area than usual, so I’m thinking this is just a temporary problem and when I get back on a normal sleeping routine and no longer anemic (another post-surgery complication), the dark circles will shrink back to their normal range and I won’t need to apply concealer that low onto my cheek area and therefore also not interacting with the Melt SexFoils. My foundation coming off wouldn’t be as big of a problem for me if it didn’t show nearly black underneath it because of my current dark circle problem.

Melt Cosmetics Supernatural Lash Mascara

I’ve only used this mascara a handful of times (it has only been open for a month), but I haven’t had any issues with it in terms of smudging or flaking or excessive clumping, though it wants to start clumping at two layers. It’s a wet formula. I like the depth of black color. I like the length it provides, although it’s tough to fan out my lashes in a way that I prefer. This formula has the tendency to want to make my lashes go straight and not really curl or curve. I don’t use mascara curlers because mascaras I like have that effect without it. This one, not as much. The length is right, but I prefer to have a little more volume along with it. I also don’t like using this mascara for my lower lashes because I always smudge it there due to the applicator’s size and shape, and have to clean it up with some concealer afterwards.

The photo on the left shows no mascara. It looks like I have hardly any upper lashes, but my concealer and eye primers usually get a little on my eyelashes and make them harder to see because it’s blending in with the primer color. In addition, my lashes naturally stick outward except at the very tips, so it’s hard to see how long they are without mascara to lift them upwards. The right photo shows what my lashes look like with two coats of the Supernatural mascara.

The first coat of this mascara gives me length. The second coat gives me no additional length, but adds slightly more volume. My favorite mascaras are the kind that I can build up in one go before it dries. This one starts to dry on my lashes before I’m satisfied with the volume level, hence needing to do an actual second coat. This isn’t a deal-breaker for me. I wouldn’t mind doing two coats of a mascara if the end result was fantastic. The end result of this one is okay enough for me to be willing to keep using it until it’s finished, but not enough to want to purchase again, even at a lower price, when my favorites take less effort and give me more of what I’m looking for on my eyes.

I continue to be intrigued by Melt Cosmetics. I like the brand and always want to try more products, though the full retail price usually pumps the brakes on me buying all the makeup from them that I want to, like their newest bronzer launch. For those wondering, I did end up ordering the Air palette from the Zodiac Collection and am waiting to see what other products are part of that lineup.

That concludes this week’s post! Thank you for reading!

*Note: Also, stay safe my fellow Floridians with Hurricane Ian approaching!

-Lili

One Size, Terra Moons, and Other April Purchases Reviewed

Welcome to my fourth low-buy check-in! This month’s three biggest hauls were due to Sephora’s Spring Savings Sale, me redeeming my points at Ulta for $125 worth of products, and the weakening of the YEN compared to USD enticing me to make several purchases from CDJapan and and Fude Japan. Most of these products were reviewed in posts prior to this one, and will be linked to open in a new browser tab, but there are still plenty to review for the first time here today.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Microsmooth Multi-Tasking Baked Face Palette in Captivate

This is allowed in the Low-Buy under the face product category. I am so glad I finally bought this because it makes for a fantastic travel palette! There are two versions available from Sephora and I heard wonderful things about the deeper palette called Captivate, but baked products can sometimes look lighter than they would appear on the skin, so I wasn’t certain this would work for me until I had help on this topic from Beauty Blogger, Nikki.

The bronzer is a fantastic shade for me in terms of both depth and undertone! Despite being a matte product, it leaves a beautiful natural finish and is very quick and easy to blend. I’m really impressed with it! The matte blush is one of my favorite type of red tones that reminds me of MAC’s Mineralize Blush in the shade Flirting With Danger. It can be built up to look intense, but I prefer to wear a very light application of it on my cheeks.

The shimmer blush is on the subtle side, but I still get a noticeable flush of color. It’s like a slightly lighter shimmer version of the matte shade in the palette. If I had to choose my favorite, it would be the matte one, but I still wear both. As for the highlighter, it’s not the most finely milled, but it’s still very pretty and if I chose to use this palette for the blushes or bronzers, I wouldn’t feel the need to reach for a separate single highlighter. I would just use the one in here.

The longest wear test I’ve had with this face palette is ten or eleven hours and only the shimmer shade started to fade at the end of the day, but I consider that to be a good result. The others remain looking nice until I’m ready to remove them.

While I was on a trip in April, I actually forgot to bring an eyeshadow palette, so I relied on Shade 3 for depth in the crease and Shade 1 was my lid shade. Considering I got this already relatively affordable palette for 30% off, I am very impressed and happy with the quality and have no issues recommending this palette.

SEPHORA COLLECTION 2-in-1 Brush-on Lash Adhesive – This was definitely supposed to be a No-Buy, but it had been on my list for a long time and when all Sephora Collection products were 30% off during the Sephora Spring Sale, I chose to buy it anyway.

I’m sorry that I don’t have an actual review for this item. For all these months, I have tried to get myself to test this out, but I just don’t want to. I haven’t been feeling like wearing false lashes in a long time and I really don’t want to open this product and start that timer ticking on how long it will last unless I’m ready to start wearing false lashes regularly again, or else this truly will be a wasted purchase. This was holding up my ability to get this post out, so I decided to just explain why there’s no review for this one and to publish it. When I eventually do, I will edit this post.

Patrick Ta Major Sculpt Contour Brush

It’s a bit ironic that in my post about “Synthetic Brushes I Bought in 2021,” I mentioned that despite liking some of the ones I bought, I didn’t plan on getting any additional ones, yet for the Sephora Spring Sale, I couldn’t help myself and got it after enjoying the Patrick Ta Blush Brush so much. This one is the perfect softness, head shape, and the bristles are packed at the right density to accomplish a fantastic sculpt that isn’t too sheer or too sharp. It’s the right balance of showing the product while also being nicely blended.

I love this brush so much for use with both my powder and cream bronzers and contours, that I was able to skip getting the Sonia G Lotus Base brush when that one was no longer tied to the full set. Being satisfied with a brush so much that I feel I can skip getting a similar Japanese version is a huge deal and shows just how highly I value this one from Patrick Ta.

Even though the Sonia G Mini Base is still my preference for cream bronzing and contouring, if the cream product is too sheer or too close to my skin tone and needs to be applied at maximum pigmentation, the Patrick Ta brush is my top choice. It’s also my favorite for powder formulas that need building up.

One/Size Cheek Clapper 3D Blush Trio Palette in Freaky Peach

I love this product so much! This is an all blush trio palette in three different finishes, but even though I can only use the shimmer one as a highlighter, I’m not counting it as a face palette. As a blush product, I was supposed to be limited on how many I buy this year, and I was also not supposed to purchase anything from new brands. This is my first ever One/Size purchase and it’s so great that I can’t regret it.

The peachy-coral cream blush, Rump Shake, is a very interesting texture. The closest I can compare it to in terms of formula is the LYS cream blushes. This reminds me more of a silicone balm than a traditional creamy emollient formula. It’s is very pigmented, blends easily on the cheeks no matter what type of tool I used to apply it with, it leaves a healthy sheen but it’s not dewy or sticky on the skin. Freaky is the name of the matte blush and it looks far too light for me in the pan, but One/Size face color powders deepen on the skin. So, it’s actually a medium toned shade of peach that is pigmented, yet buildable. I only need one dip in the pan though if I want to layer it on top of Rump Shake. I should also mention that tougher bristles can lead to a lot of kickup in the pan, so I use my softer natural hair brushes with the powder blush, and that also helps me to not overapply. I can’t emphasize enough that the cream and powder are quite pigmented, and me being able to use them both individually despite there being just one trio lighter than this one is proof of that. Whiplash is the shimmery golden peach blush topper/highlighter in this trio. It’s too shimmery for my taste as a blush topper, so I use it exclusively on top of my cheekbones. It’s a beautiful color, but unlike the other two products which give me zero issues with longevity, this one doesn’t want to stick to my skin for more than four hours. It lasts a few hours longer if I use it with a dewier foundation or wetter type of cream product, but six hours is around the time that the shine of the shimmer particles dulls down. So, for days I need my highlighter to last, I reach for something else. Considering I still have two other faultless products in this trio and the third is still usable, I’m very happy with this purchase and I do recommend giving this a try. For a long time, I was really tempted to buy additional shades, but I like the fact that each of these colors are distinctly different. Most of the other Cheek Clapper options are intended for monochromatic looks, and while I can still see the value in that, I feel like I’m getting more bang for my buck if I have different colors over different formulas. The cream blush isn’t the type I’d be afraid to wear in summer because it’s a little stiffer (as opposed to being super emollient) and the effect on my cheek isn’t that far from a matte look, which makes it not that much different of an effect as the powder blush. So, if I had the Rich Betch trio where the cream and powder look nearly identical, I would feel like I got a duplicate product. This is the only reason, other than my low-buy, that I haven’t purchased the two other Cheek Clappers that held my interest.

Tarte Sea Power Flex Concealer (Mini) in 53S Deep Sand

I bought this when Tina (The Fancy Face) raved about it in several of her YouTube videos. Even though concealers are allowed to be purchased in my low-buy, I didn’t want to take the chance of wasting a product if I didn’t like it, so I just bought the mini. That turned out to be a good decision because I hate this product. The shape of my tear troughs is such that products that are too creamy don’t stay put in the lines of my under eyes, so the concealer moves, creases, or does both even when set into place with powder. Because I have almost the opposite issue with Tarte’s Shape Tape, I didn’t expect their Power Flex to be a creamy intensely creasing product on me. The finish of it at least looks pretty and hydrated, but the negatives outweigh the positives.

The biggest issue I have with this product is that it offers medium buildable coverage, but I cannot get the maximum full opacity I need. The shade match is perfect, but my dark circles are still visible underneath even when I use 3 times the amount of my normal concealers. The Power Sea Flex is marketed as being full coverage, but the fact that it isn’t is reason enough to be unwearable for me. Unfortunately, I can’t even use it in other areas of my face because it doesn’t do a good enough job concealing my hyperpigmentation and scars.

This situation is very specific to me because many people don’t have the intensity of skin discoloration as I do, nor the amount of lines. So, those who have youthful and moderately blemished skin could find themselves loving this product.

Ellis Brooklyn Scent Diary Fragrance Discovery Set – It has been ages since I purchased anything perfume related! I’m unofficially on a no-buy with fragrances, but I can’t regret getting this since I rarely buy full-sizes anymore. I also hadn’t done a perfume post since 2015, so I decided to make one dedicated to this and other perfume samples that can be found HERE.

Sol de Janeiro Beija Flor Elasti-Cream with Collagen and Squalane (Travel Size)

After experiencing the terribly smelling Bom Dia Bright cream that the brand previously released (mine smelled like potent olives instead of plums), I was too skeptical to purchase a full size of the Beija Flor even though the product claims sounded fantastic. The smell of this is at least pleasant, but a bit strong. It’s not surprising that parfum is listed as the third ingredient. I don’t know how to describe the scent, but it has been hyped up a lot by people on social media saying it smells like Baccarat Rouge 540. I’ve never smelled that fragrance myself, so I cannot confirm or deny if this is true.

The texture of this is very thick, yet it doesn’t feel as moisturizing as my other skincare products. It’s at least occlusive, so I like that it prevents my skin from drying out further. I haven’t noticed any other benefits when used on my body, like the advertised skin firming and cell turnover, but I still intend to use this up. I prefer the moisturization level of the brand’s Coco Cabana Cream, so perhaps I can apply that first and this new one after to seal it in. I believe I left my Coco Cabana in Germany, so unfortunately I cannot test out that combination anytime soon.

Farmacy 10% Waterless Vitamin C Serum

I was pretty shocked when I found this serum for such a low price on Mercari literally days after it launched at Sephora. Then again, this is one of those products that were sent to quite a lot of people in exchange for a review, so someone was bound to not want theirs.
I’m on a skincare low-buy, but I’ve been on the hunt for a good Vitamin C serum with a stable formula that will last longer than six months after opening. I believe that this has an airless pump mechanism and there are two holes under the bottle that support my theory. If it is indeed an airless pump, combined with the waterless formula, I anticipated that this could limit the issue I have of Vitamin C serums oxidizing and losing their efficacy before I can finish them.

The consistency of this is very runny and feels greasy initially, but this is also an oil-free formula. The brand says that propanediol ingredient is the reason it feels this way, but it does dry down on the skin after a few minutes and is no longer greasy, but I am left with a tiny bit of residue on the face. If my skin is especially dry, I don’t feel anything at all. Ultimately, this doesn’t matter since I put a moisturizer and other products on top afterwards anyway.

When I apply it to my skin, it instantly has a warming sensation. The first time I used it, my face was approaching almost burning level, but that only lasted a few minutes. It has never been hot like that again, and just continues to have a mild to moderate amount of warmth in the first minute that I apply it.
General skincare advice for Vitamin C usage and other acids is to start small, like around 5% depending on what the active ingredient is, and gradually increasing it over time as needed. I hadn’t used a potent version of Vitamin C in a while, but it was still in my routine enough that I didn’t expect to get a burning sensation from just 10% of L-ascorbic acid. So, just as a reminder, this could potentially be too strong for someone new to using Vitamin C or with sensitive skin, and consider how often you may be using other acids in your routine as well.

This serum with its additional ingredients are intended to brighten and even the skin, combat dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and keep it hydrated. I use this in cycles, so it’s hard to tell how much this serum alone is contributing. The two other products I rotate through have been giving me slight gradual improvements over time and adding this one to that cycle has not given a noticeable boost above the norm. So, there are three possibilities I can think of:

  • The serum is as effective as my current products, not better or worse.
  • The serum isn’t contributing at all and the benefits to my skin are from the other products I’m using.
  • The serum could be more effective, but I don’t use it consistently enough.

I’m going to play the long game on this one and just continue to use it the way I have been and if I run out of the product and I notice its absence, I will consider repurchasing it at that time. However, based on past experience, I just don’t think Vitamin C is that effective for me. I get better results from AHA’s like the Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum. Even that hasn’t rid me completely of my hyperpigmentation, but it noticeably faded those areas and the smile line that gives me trouble isn’t quite as deep as before. I’ve been relying on AHAs and BHAs well over a year, and in a cycle, so it’s not a fast process. I had improvements right away within the first week, two weeks, and then month, but after that achieving anything further has been a very slow process as adhering to a consistent skincare routine has never been my strong suit.

Lastly, as shown in the photo at the top, this product “leaks” in the sense that it always has the tiniest of droplets around the pump when I open it, even if I wipe it down along with the cap after using it. The droplets are so minimal in size that it doesn’t bother me much and I don’t consider the amount enough to feel like I’m losing product. However, I’ve seen some photos online of other people having a more significant leaking problem than me. I always keep mine stored upright, so perhaps this is why I don’t have as much of an issue as others do. I recommend avoiding putting this in a bag, flat in a drawer, and don’t take this traveling.

Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette in 002 Glitz

I really should not have bought this, breaking my highlighter no-buy aside, because I heard these highlighters would be sparkly and I don’t like visible glitter specks in my highlighters. So, I can’t explain why I was so determined to buy it.

This was yet another Mercari purchase. I make it a point not to review products I’ve purchased from a third-party if I purchased them too long from the launch date to be assured of its authenticity, but I also wanted to show what I purchased in April for low-buy purposes. So, I guess take this particular section with a grain of salt. I do believe this is the real quad, especially with that typical Dior scent these have. Below is how the shades look on me.

The highlighter named Peach is the only one without glitter that I would call a true shimmer shade, but unfortunately it’s too light for me. Because Bronze is closest to my skin tone, the glitter isn’t as obvious as the others. I didn’t have any issues with wear time or fading, but this palette isn’t for me and I may eventually declutter it.

Florasis Floral Engraving Odey Makeup Palette (The Encounter)

I forgot this wasn’t even the Florasis palette I wanted (the Floral Engraving Phoenix). I was just so excited to be able to grab a completely unused and untouched one of their stunning looking palettes at a reduced cost off of Mercari. You know a brand is doing well when people want to make dupes, but I was still surprised to come across one such dupe on Amazon. In any case, I am happy with the results of this palette but I wish the blue shade wasn’t in this because it contains PET (plastic glitter) which isn’t safe to use in the eye area. I also don’t think anyone wants to see glass listed as an ingredient in their makeup.

The “glass” probably refers to “glass microspheres” which are apparently so tiny that they aren’t dangerous. However, there is still PET, so I have chosen not to use or even swatch that blue shade. Also, I can only guess that the numbers start from left to right and top to bottom. Not all countries have writing in that direction, but I assume this is the same as English.

Florasis is a Chinese brand, so I can’t help but compare them to Zeesea. This palette is made of cardboard, but Florasis typically has very luxurious packaging, similar to Zeesea. However, Zeesea doesn’t currently have eye shadow palettes with as intricate of pan embossings as the ones from Florasis. This price point of Florasis products are also much higher.

The website states that this palette is mutli-functional and the formula of the shadows certainly contributes to that. It’s listed as a powder formula, but they feel like a matte lipstick to the touch; like a stiff cream essentially. Applying with a brush was tricky because it wants to stick and dry to the bristles.

So far, I’ve stuck to my rate of two eyeshadow palettes per month so I adhered to my low-buy with this purchase (even though I said I wouldn’t buy from brands that are new to me this year). In addition, some of these eye shadows can be used for contouring, blush, and highlight, so it counts as a face palette too.

I haven’t touched this palette since I completed my initial wear tests. I could not even remember how I did the eye looks above because it was so long ago. Considering I never reach for this, the versatility aspect still didn’t make this a good purchase for me, but I just couldn’t let go of the idea of trying out at least one Florasis palette. My curiosity has been satisfied.

Terra Moons Cosmetics Chameleons in Terrestrial and Spring Equinox Multichromes in Galactic Blossom and Vela Supernova

If you’ve used Terra Moons chameleons and multichromes before, these work the way you’d expect. All three are super sparkly looking with large glitter particle size and the colors are intense. The formula is smooth to the touch, but when applied to the eye without a tacky base or being applied with a brush that has been sprayed to wet it, it can get messy. So, I do recommend something like the Nyx Glitter Primer to keep them applied precisely and minimize fall out.

Terrestrial was a pre-order item that didn’t begin shipping until May. I used my points saved from their reward program in order to essentially have the shipping paid and part of the item. BadtoTheBrow noticed it was similar to Bloodline, and I am obsessed with how Bloodline looks in photos and on everyone else, but the base color doesn’t show through on my eyes. So, rather than buying a second Bloodline to check if it was a fluke, I wanted to try the one from Terra Moons in the hopes it would be more of what I wanted from Clionadh’s multichrome.

Unfortunately, Bloodline and Terrestrial basically are the same shade. I can bring out a little more of a pink look if I pair it with another pink shadow around it and I can always pat a red multichrome on top to manually create the red-toned look I want, but I wish it was naturally the way it looks in swatches on me and didn’t require extra effort on my part. I didn’t bother to show comparison swatches between the two because the swatches looking slightly different on my arm doesn’t show the issue of them looking identical on my eyes. And for whatever reason, Terrestrial’s shifts are easier to detect on my camera than Bloodline, so comparing eye swatches wouldn’t be a fair representation for Bloodline either.

Galactic Blossom and Vela Supernova were pre-orders that were supposed to begin shipping in June, but I got lucky and had mine arrive in the middle of May. According to my Low-Buy rules, I’ve pledged to only purchase a few single indie eyeshadows per collection, so this was definitely allowed. My only regret is that I didn’t buy these two with my order of Terrestrial in order to save on shipping costs and time.

Photos showed Galactic Blossom as a strong pink-gold, and in some cases, shifting into literally a rainbow. I’d never seen a multichrome shift to so many colors, so I absolutely had to get it. Unfortunately, on my eyes it looks mainly yellow, and on camera it looks limey yellow-green with some pink. It’s not what I wanted, but I do like how it looks in person. On my arm, at sharp angles I can see that rainbow towards the edges, so it’s not false advertising. It really can shift that way, but it doesn’t look like that on my eyes and I want others to be aware of that possibility that it’s not going to look the same on everyone and how it looks depends largely on the curvature of the eyes and lighting.

As for Vela Supernova, the colors are what I expected, but ironically, I like it the least of the three. It’s not as unique of a purple shade as I anticipated. I admittedly can’t think of multichrome dupes myself (Temptalia says Roseline, Cerise, and Mosaic) but the shade of purple looks like what I have as some of my purple shadows without the shifting ability.

I don’t get fading, dullness, or any other longevity issues with these multichromes. Terra Moons really stepped up in their multichrome offerings to the point that I think they’ve tied with Devinah for the #2 spot of best indie multichromes (from North America at least). Clionadh is still holding that #1 spot in my eyes.

PAT McGRATH LABS x Bridgerton 2 Blushing Delights Blush + Highlighter Palette and PAT McGRATH LABS x Bridgerton 2 SatinAllure Lipstick in NÉGLIGÉE – The dedicated post to these products are HERE. Technically the Blushing Delights Palette is a face palette, and therefor allowed in my no-buy. The lipstick makes 5 out of 5 in my goal to end the year without purchasing anymore lip products.

Billie Eilish Eilish Eau de Parfum Travel Spray – The review for this is in the same post HERE as the Brooklyn Ellis perfumes. This was part of my Ulta points redemption, so I did not pay anything out of pocket.

MAC Wild Cherry Glow Play Blush Color Peaches ‘N’ Dreams and MAC Mini Macstack Mascara – These two were also part of my Ulta point redemption order and have already been reviewed HERE. I said I wasn’t going to get another Glow Play blush and I resisted for about a month or two, but my interest in peach blushes (especially in my favorite formula) got me again! As for the mascara, which I am on a year long no-buy for, I at least feel better that it wasn’t a full size purchase and that I’ve stuck to the mascara no-buy pretty well so far. However, I want to continue to stick to it and not purchase another in 2022.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Serum SPF 60+

Left are the active ingredients of the discontinued Neutrogena Ultra Sheer versus the active serum ingredients on the right.

This is the only Ulta point redemption item I have left to review! I did have one other purchase in my order, but they kept sending me the wrong shade so that product was returned. In any case, I was the biggest fan for 7-8 years of the Ultra Sheer Liquid SPF 70 Sunscreen until it was discontinued. The fact that this is supposed to have 60 SPF protection while also being in a thin formula intrigued me. I planned to either wear it alone or wear it to help boost the effectiveness of my current sunscreen, the Round Lab Moisturizing Sun Cream SPF 50++.
I don’t think double-sunning (I just made up that term…can we please make “double-sunning” a thing?) is that bad of an idea, because in one of Dr. Dray’s videos, she said the Round Lab is fantastic for a variety of reasons, but she views it more as a moisturizer that happens to have a very good sunscreen in it due to it not being waterproof (and therefore not as reliable in occasions where one will be sweaty). This serum isn’t waterproof either, but I feel like I’m doubling up, in theory, by having both this serum and moisturizer/sunscreen with high spf. This serum leaves no cast on me and although it’s slightly greasy looking as I start to apply it, that look doesn’t remain when it’s fully rubbed in. I do have dry skin though. This serum isn’t a fluid consistency like my previous holy grail sunscreen, but it’s very lightweight and easy to rub in, unlike the Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch that I despise. It’s like a good middle ground between the two.

I’m on a skincare low-buy, but sunscreen is an exception since it’s vital that I have a good one. The kind of acids I’ve been using make my skin more sensitive to the sun, in addition to living in Florida with an extremely high UV index the majority of the time. It’s imperative that I keep my skin protected.

I haven’t had any issues with pilling while wearing this serum, plus the Round Lab Sun Cream, plus makeup, so I’m happy with this product. I don’t know if it will be completely necessary for me to continue repurchasing it in the future if I find a waterproof sunscreen that I end up liking, but we will just have to see!

Nars High Profile Cheek Palette – This was a limited-edition holiday release in 2021 that I intended to purchase, but so many reviewers commented on how similar the blushes looked to each other. So, when I found one on Mercari that was barely more expensive than a single full size Nars blush, I decided it was worth getting at that point. By the time I bought it, I had already finished my Rediscovering Nars Blushes post, but I had to admit I was curious to try this gel powder formula to see if it would give me an additional finish from Nars that I could like besides their mattes. The review is HERE and as a palette with a highlighter along with the blushes, I think I’m going to allow myself to count this as being allowed in my low-buy.

SUQQU Melting Powder Blush in 07 YOIURUSHI – This and all my Suqqu purchases have been reviewed HERE. Suqqu was definitely not on my list of exemptions to the blush low-buy, but I was curious how this new formula stacked up to the usual powder formula.

MAC Surrounded by Stars Extra Dimension Skinfinish Palette – The review can be found HERE. MAC’s Magnificent Moon Collection is supposed to be in celebration of Ramadan and was released worldwide first before coming to the US. I purchased mine from Selfridges since it was there first, I was waiting for something to add to my cart to get the Suqqu blush, and I had free shipping via the annual global shipping program I signed up for with Selfridges. Since it’s a split highlighter and blush quad, it’s allowed in my low-buy.

CLIONADH HAUL – I decided that I would do a dedicated post to this haul, found HERE, but as a Thursday bonus instead of my usual Monday postings. I’ve mentioned endlessly how much I love Clionadh eye shadows and multichromes, so there isn’t much to say about the formulas and it’s just a matter of showing them off and possibly doing comparisons to other indie brand shadows.

FUDE JAPAN HAUL and CD JAPAN HAUL – I believe the brushes I purchased in April have already been reviewed HERE, with the exception of the Hakuhodo brushes which are still being tested.

That’s all for today! If you’d like to see previous posts in the low-buy series, as well as sneak peeks for the upcoming ones, I created a dedicated page to it HERE. If you’d like to see more content from me, be sure to click follow via email or to return back every Monday at 11:30 am EST! Thank you for reading!

-Lili

MAC Surrounded By Stars Palette, Peaches ‘N’ Dreams Blush, and Macstack Mascara Reviews

I buy products from MAC fairly often, but I like to review multiple purchases at once, rather than doing them individually. Today’s post is a review of all the latest additions to my ever growing collection of makeup from MAC Cosmetics.

MAC Extra Dimension X4: Surrounded By The Stars Skinfinish Palette

This item is part of MAC’s Magnificent Moon Collection that I purchased online from Selfridges containing an existing Extra Dimension Highlighter (Oh, Darling), two existing Extra Dimension Blushes (Hushed Tone and Hard to Get), and one new Extra Dimension Skinfinish Blush/Highlighter in the shade Surrounded By Stars, which is also the name of this face quad. This release was in celebration of Ramadan and EID, which I admittedly don’t know anything about aside from them being an important time in the Islamic religion. By this point, it seems this collection will not be released in the US. As a lover of celestial imagery and MAC’s Extra Dimension Skinfinish formulas, I couldn’t pass this up like I did with the MAC Mosaic Masterpiece Collection from 2020 that I hoped would come to the US, but it never did.

I already own Hushed Tone, but the other products are new to me. Hushed Tone was my favorite Extra Dimension Blush shade from MAC for a while, but it’s on the lighter side of medium which means it is harder to see on my skin. If I build it up too much, the shimmer particles become too apparent for my taste, which is why I usually reserve this blush for the winter time when I am at my lightest. Faux Sure replaced Hushed Tone as my favorite because it has just as pretty of a sheen but is on the medium-dark spectrum, so it shows better on me. Oh, Darling is a bit light for me and Surrounded by Stars only works for me as a highlighter, so I prefer to combine those two products. Surrounded by Stars can look a bit subtle because of the tone of it, so adding the tiniest amount of Oh Darling gives it that extra pop at the highest points of my face. As for Hard to Get, the only reason I don’t already have a single of that shade is because I knew it was darker than I like to wear for blush. It doesn’t look too dark in my photo since I applied such a sheer layer, but I can literally use it as a shimmery sculpting blush if I want. In fact, when I reach for this palette, I like to put Hard to Get just above where I would contour and have it be a deeper gradient going into Hushed Tone.

I forgot to mention that in the last photo above, Surround By Stars with Oh Darling are both on top of the Suqqu blush.

It was only around six months ago that MAC released a similar product as part of the MAC x Rosalia Aute Cuture collection. Those were more of the highlighter formula whereas these are the softer to the touch blush formula, which I prefer. I’m quite pleased with the fact that I can find a use for all these shades, though I am more lightly to reach for my single products over this full palette. This is especially because I have a difficult time using limited edition products and ruining the embossing on the pans. I am happy to have this anyway.

MAC Wild Cherry Glow Play Blush in Peaches ‘N’ Dreams

I reviewed the HD Cherry Tree Blush previously, but I used my points at Ulta to get this shade. It’s not very pigmented, so it takes a ton of building up to get it to show on my cheeks, though my camera still had a hard time picking it up. It looks quite orange in the compact, but it translates to a true peach on the cheeks. I do like this shade and just like all the other Glow Play blushes, the blend is beautiful and the blush lasts as long as I need it to on my cheeks.

I couldn’t decide which photo shows the blush better so I just put them both here. It may depend on the viewer’s device settings and screen brightness.

MAC Macstack Mascara (Mini with the Superstack Mega Brush)

I bought this with my Ulta Reward Points as well. I purchased the version with the Superstack Mega Brush which is supposed to be better suited for those with longer lashes naturally and/or for everyone to use on the upper lashes. There is also a Superstack Micro Brush for those with naturally shorter lashes or for those who just want a smaller brush to get at the lower lashes.

I applied a thick line for my eyeliner, which makes it difficult to see my eyelashes, but I do have decent length to them. It’s just not as visible without the lift that a good mascara provides. My lower lashes are quite fine though, so I typically have an issue applying mascara there (except with a select few favorites), but I still went for the mini size of the Mega brush mascara.

I cannot deny that I can achieve a false lash effect with this mascara. I don’t have issues with smudging and it’s also fairly easy to remove the mascara. However, the more layers are added the more it’s prone to clump despite being marketed as, “… a continuously buildable mascara that stacks on infinite layers of volume and length.” Even if I keep passing over the lashes repeatedly without dipping back into the tube (so still within the first coat) it will start to clump if I keep at it for too long. After using it a few times, I wondered if it was because it starts trying to dry. The formula is supposed to allow the user to build up multiple coats, even on fully dry lashes, so the dried lashes do soften back up, but then it just builds on top of the clumps rather than smoothing them out. So, the most clump-free tactic I have is to skip wiggling the applicator side to side like I usually do to build up volume with other mascaras. Instead, I try building up the first coat using straight upward strokes for about 30 seconds to a minute before dipping the wand back in the tube (even if there’s still product on the wand) just to get a fresh wet coat and continue building it up, just stopping short of it starting to get that first clump. I then use the tip end of the applicator to smooth that clump back off (since it’s easier to fix one spot rather than multiple spots in multiple sections of the lash) and then leave the mascara alone. Another method is to repeat that step of building up a layer in the first minute, stopping to let it dry, then building up a second later but only in a minimal amount of strokes (5 to 15) in order to stop before the clumping begins.

The only time I had an issue with flaking was in the beginning when I had drier layers and clumped layers. Considering how much I dislike spidery lashes or clumps because it makes my lashes look like they’re suffering from split ends, I’m a little torn on my feelings about this mascara. I love the effect it gives in the end when I get it right, but it’s a little more finicky than my tried and true favorites, so it’s not always worth the effort for how quickly I need to do my makeup sometimes. I do like it, but I will not be buying the full size at full price. I could possibly see myself buying it at half price after my mascara no-buy is over (which I technically already broke for this).

That’s everything for today! Thank you as always for taking the time to read… or if you’re new here, welcome!

-Lili

My Last 10 Colourpop Eyeshadow Palettes

I originally drafted a post called, “Colourpop Update from Nov 2020 Til Now,” which was intended to finally catch up on all the Colourpop purchases I was making. The issue I ran into was that I kept waiting for my orders to arrive, but I was continuously buying Colourpop products monthly. Essentially I never caught up and that’s how we got here today. I have seven palettes and three quads that I bought from Colourpop that have just been sitting in my collection this whole time waiting to be used and reviewed.

It’s a bit fascinating how Colourpop’s marketing completely sucked me in. Here I was making monthly orders without even using and enjoying any of it, yet still unable to stop myself from continuing to buy the next “Must Have” thing that appealed to my sense of nostalgia or my love of particular color stories. Colourpop’s shipping went from a week to deliver (years ago) to a minimum of three weeks for delivery now. So, by the time I received my products, the hype was already gone and I felt very little motivation to post about it via social media and even less for my blog. It was like constantly chasing the excitement of what’s new, having it fade by the time it arrived, and then seeking something else to replace that feeling. The cycle was quite unhealthy and I knew that in the back of my head, yet they still got me regularly. The craziest part is that I actually did resist a ton of collections, yet I still ended up with all these unused eyeshadow palettes (plus everything else from other categories).

Colourpop x Raw Beauty Kristi At Forest Sight Collection Palette

Although this palette is no longer listed on the Colourpop website, so I cannot double-check the ingredients, Amanita has the symbol for what I’m guessing is a warning about potential eye staining due to the dye(s) used.

I only used this palette two or three times prior to reviewing it again now. This should be a color story I’m crazy for, but for some reason I don’t like how most of the shades look on my eyes and in combination with one another. The exceptions to this are Evergreen, Fiddlehead, and Homegrown. I love the shade Emerald City, but it’s a very patchy shadow. PNW at least fills the role. It’s blue, but leans closer to green than a standard blue shade. Other than my dislike of the tones, the patchiness of Emerald City, and the fact that Old Growth doesn’t show as pink on me, I think the other shades are okay despite them overall feeling dry and not the easiest to work with. I think this palette being a few years old by now is why the performance has declined from that first initial impression I had. It’s not bad, but it’s not as easy as my newer Colourpop palettes.

I always discuss my stance on an Influencer who is part of the collab, so in the case of Raw Beauty Kristi, I am still following her on YouTube though I don’t watch her anymore. She’s more into lifestyle content now, especially post having a baby. Congratulations to her, but I definitely don’t have the same attachment to her now as I did when I first bought this palette. Also, this is the only collab palette of hers that I have purchased. I did not buy her palette with PUR.

The packaging for this collab is cute. I love the theme. This collection was restocked quite a few times since Nov 2020, but I don’t believe it will be available anymore, which saves me from needing to say whether I recommend it or not. Other than Evergreen, Colourpop has these shades many times over among all their palettes, so most people could put this color story together on their own out of what they already have.

Colourpop x Star Wars the Mandalorian Child Pressed Powder Palette

There are no eye safety warnings for this palette. The Force arrived broken, but I was able to re-press it.

I haven’t watched the Mandalorian TV show yet, but everyone knows about “Baby Yoda” (Grogu) and he looks absolutely adorable! I tried for a while to resist the packaging, but eventually I got it during a sale.

I love green eyeshadows and even though the depths of these greens are lighter than I typically go for, I really enjoyed the looks I’ve been able to create. However, the photos below show that I can make a similar look using entirely different eyeshadows from the palette. The matte shades aren’t redundant, but the swatches show two similar golds and two similar greens regardless of how they look in the pans.

The shadow quality is great. I think it is among Colourpop’s best in terms of performance. To those who like this color story, I could easily recommend this.

Colourpop Wild Child Palette

Sometimes Colourpop puts the warning asterisk next to the shade names on the inside of the palette, so I wrongly assumed this had no eye safety warnings. On the back of my palette, Grasslands was marked with the symbol of not being safe for use around the immediate eye area, but on Colourpop’s website it’s the shade Lashes that is listed as having PET glitter. More than that, it’s in an actual pressed glitter formula, so I will not be swatching or using that shade. This is quite unfortunate considering Lashes is the one that pretty much sold me on this palette. Since I cannot tell if my original packaging is correct and if Grasslands should also be considered not eye safe, I decided I won’t be using that shade on my eyes either. I dislike sequin/matte eyeshadows with shimmer in them anyway, and I don’t feel this particular color adds anything to the palette, so it’s an easy skip. I plan to depot them both after this review.

Fierce arrived shattered, so I pushed it back in, but it became a mess every time I used it. I somewhat resolved this by repressing it with some 90% isopropyl alcohol, but it still gives me fallout on the eyes if I don’t apply it wet.

The thought of getting rid of 2 out of 9 shades would normally make me question my decision to buy the palette, but the fact that I love all the other shades is why I don’t have regrets. If I’m reaching for a neutral shadow, I like a deep shimmery chocolate brown like Icon. I can build up enough depth to my liking with Feisty. Ground Crew makes for a nice transition shade and Close Up looks great in the crease. Herd to Get isn’t really my preference for the lid, but I do think it looks nice on me and it makes sense to have a shade like this in this palette. #Spotted I use for blending edges if needed since it doesn’t really show on me. Just like Herd to Get, I wouldn’t want to put Fierce all over my lids, but it’s a beautiful highlighting shade for the inner corner and center of the lid.

I like the looks I’ve created with this and I do want to continue using this palette. In the month of February, I made all the palettes listed in this post a part of my “shop my stash” and I repeatedly kept reaching for this one over the others. The quality is great and I easily recommend it. If there’s one thing Colourpop should nail, it’s a neutral palette considering how many of them they release and how chock full of neutrals most of their palettes are, including the more colorful ones.

Colourpop Lush Life Palette

Speaking of a colorful palette with neutrals, we have Lush Life which is one of the most recent CP palettes in my collection. There are no eye safety warnings. I think the quality of the shadows in this palette is very good. It’s definitely among the best Colourpop has ever produced. The neutrals are pretty, though Eden is less of a plum brown than I expected from product photos online. It also gives me just barely enough depth for my liking.

It’s Paradise and Palm Palm are similar. This palette also has several matching matte and shimmer counterparts (On the Prowl and Juicy, Noni and Hotness, as well as Eco and Wild Life), which sometimes I can appreciate. In this instance, I find it limiting, but I plan on depotting some of these shades to create a custom palette anyway.

I have to give props to Colourpop for that stunningly vibrant Monsoon shade, and for it being so smooth and even as well. It’s probably the best vibrant blue I’ve seen Colourpop do. That shade paired with the greens, oranges, and yellow certainly capture the tropical vibe they were going for, and I like it a lot. This is another one I could easily recommend, even though it’s not something I’d be likely to use much if I kept them within just this color story in this palette.

Colourpop High Tide Palette

There are no eye safety warnings for this palette. It was first released as an Ulta exclusive before arriving on the Colourpop website. It’s mind boggling how much I felt I needed this palette until I actually got it in my hands. I love the look of these colors, but these are not the kinds of shades I wear all together. I don’t like pale blues on me, which eliminates half the shades. As for dark teals, which always attract me, I actually got sick of by the time I got around to using this palette. It was the last of the ten I tried and I kept dragging my feet on using it because I dreaded having to come up with eye looks for it. A lot of these palettes contain a teal/greenish-blue/warm blue and I was tired of wearing them back to back each day. Then, on the flip side, the third column of the palette contains cool blues, which was a nice change of pace, but I’m not the biggest fan of cool shadows on me. So, it’s quite perplexing how I was so intensely drawn to this palette and then quickly flipped opinions. It revealed my tendency to buy palettes with shades I find alluring, without thinking of how I would actually wear the eyeshadows together to make a look. This wasn’t a very expensive lesson, but it was a lesson all the same.

Other than the colors, the actual quality of these shadows is nice enough. The mattes are a bit on the thinner side, but I can understand wanting to do this since shadows this saturated can be harder to blend and patchy depending on the ratio of pigment/dyes. Two dips with my finger in the pan (as seen in the swatch photo) show how evenly I can spread the color, but also how they’re not as opaque because of how thin the powder is. The mattes have to be built up a little. As for the shimmer formula, there’s a bit more slip in these than usual. While this can help with spreading the shadows, it’s so much that I can accidentally pick the shimmer back off my eye and either onto my finger or move it to gather on a different spot. It basically can create sparser areas devoid of shimmer that I have to build up and smooth over. This doesn’t happen in a large enough area to be a nuisance, but it noticeably adds time when creating a look. This may seem like bad quality, but it’s just a matter of someone’s preference because some people really like that dimethicone feel to shadows or like a shadow that takes little effort to blend, even if it does mean having to build it up though. I’m able to create very pigmented looks, so I applaud Colourpop for that. However, I’m planning on only keeping Mussel Beach, Must Sea, and Lunar, so I can’t really recommend this palette on the basis of this not adding much to the Colourpop line. I do love that Mussel Beach is a bit different for Colourpop as a brown-teal duochrome shadow. It’s a teal version of Clionadh’s Vortex, but without much shine. That’s the one aspect that would have been better with the Mussel Beach shade if the shimmer particles were brighter.

Colourpop x TinkerBell Palette

This palette is no longer listed on the Colourpop website, but there appears to be no eye safety warnings on my packaging. I’m slightly conflicted about my feelings on this palette because it always makes me think of the Child palette, but then I want to reach for that one instead of this because those two pale beige-pink eyeshadows are so off putting. It’s a pet peeve of mine to see redundant shades and multiple brow bone shades. This palette hits at both of those points with Second Star looking insanely ashy on me and Big Magic being less ashy, but also not showing up very much at all. Once again, we have a mattes with shimmer counterparts between Awake and Neverland as well as Sleep and Tink. And, again, I feel as though this limits my looks.

The upside to this palette is the really great quality. I had no issues blending the mattes. The shadows are pigmented. The shimmers are opaque and easy to apply. Place Between is sparkly and gorgeous on the lids. Neverland is this deep green-blue that I tend to like. The palette packaging is very cute, though I wish it didn’t have actual glitter on it. It’s the gritty kind that you can feel is raised when handling the palette, and the kind that will start sprinkling a few glitter particles here and there as time goes on.

The biggest struggle I had was trying to fit the brown-pink shade, Place Between, into my eye looks while trying to exclusively use this palette. It makes sense to use it with the pink mattes, except that those shades don’t give me any color. So, I am forced to pair it with greens and I’m not sure how much I like that. It’s certainly a different color combination for me, but I don’t know if it’s a “nice” kind of different.

Colourpop released another green palette with a pop of pink called Limelight. I’m curious to see the reviews and comparisons for that one.

Colourpop x Hocus Pocus Witching Hour Palette

Hello Billy has an eye safety warning on the Colourpop website, which I believe is due to the dyes/staining. The palette arrived a bit messy around the edges of the pans, but nothing was broken.

Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I grew up watching and loving Hocus Pocus. I didn’t get anything from the first collection between the IP and Colourpop, but this palette had such a “me” color story that I had to buy it. I’ve complained about this aspect before, so I won’t harp on it, but I still need to point out the matte and shimmer counterpart thing as well as the similarity of Summon Us and All Hallow’s Eve on my skin tone.

As has been seen in many of the other palettes reviewed today, I tend to pull 5-6 shadows in my eye looks. With this palette, I’m satisfied with my looks when I stick to 2-4, which saves me time. I like that I don’t have to think too hard about what I want to do with this palette. All the eye shadows perform nicely. I recommend this for those who don’t already have one of Colourpop’s many palettes containing teal-ish blue and purples like It’s a Mood, Play it Jewel, or So Jaded.

Colourpop Eyeshadow Quads in Creamsicle, Mocktail, and Secret Life of Scorpio

EYE SAFETY WARNINGS: For Creamsicle, Big Treat has PET glitter while On a Stick, I’m guessing, is dye/staining warnings. For Mocktail, Shaken has PET glitter. For Scorpio, Secrets Secrets might also have the warning for dye/staining. I should have been more careful and checked for PET before purchasing since I don’t like to use polyethylene terephthalate, even if it’s not in a pressed glitter formula. I am sad to say I will be decluttering Creamsicle and Mocktail from my collection since the pans in the quads are not removeable/replaceable. Plus, Iced from the Mocktail quad fell out of the pan on me already. I was able to press it back in, but I don’t want to have to worry about that happening again in the future.

Prior to working on this post, I only used Creamsicle and Mocktail twice each. The photo above showed the looks I created for Instagram. I was very much into these softer shades at the time that I bought them, which was when Colourpop first started making quads in this clear packaging. I love the concept of being able to have a curated look without needing to think about it, and having all the shades show up nice and pigmented on my eyes and not give me any issues to use. I also liked the level of sparkle, which I now know has the chance of being PET glitter, so I’m a bit unhappy about that.
Before I knew this, I had already purchased the Scorpio quad because I knew the quality was going to at least be decent. This was also the first time anything Scorpio related (my astrological sign) had a color story I liked, as well as being the prettiest of the twelve released! Secrets Secrets is one of Colourpop’s most repeated type of reddish purple/burgundy colors they like to do, and the performance is always the same: very pigmented but slightly patchy. I always find this kind of shade appealing though. The shimmers are quite beautiful, but soft. They need to be applied wet or on glitter glue in order to make an impact.

Scorpio is a nice cohesive quad, but part of what always draws me to Colourpop is their packaging. Other than the outer cardboard that this comes in, there’s no design on the front of it to distinguish it from all the other quads, which makes it less special to me. No one is going to know this is a special Scorpio quad except me when that lightly imprinted Scorpio symbol is rubbed off the Secrets Secrets shade. If I’m buying makeup with basic packaging, the quality inside has to be worth it for me to reach for it. This quality is good, but I don’t intend to buy anymore. In fact, as much as I like the Colourpop palettes I have, I never reach for them. It’s always the packaging, rather than the eyeshadow formula that draws me in. So, unless they collaborate with an IP that would be nearly impossible for me to skip like Harry Potter, Doctor Who, a first actually good Marvel collab, etc. I’m going to try my hardest to stop buying Colourpop eyeshadow palettes.

BONUS REVIEWS

I decided to go ahead and also show the other eye products I also bought from the brand since November 2020 until now.

Colourpop x Raw Beauty Kristi At Forest Sight Liners in Marigold and Spare Thyme

Spare Thyme sold out in my cart during the initial RBK launch. I was able to snag Marigold. I don’t have many colorful liners, and something about Colourpop ones (perhaps how matte and dry looking they can be) don’t look great on my waterline unless I border them with an additional black liner as a frame between the color line and my lower lashes (for example the first look in the At Forest Sight section). The fact that it took three or four restocks before I could successfully buy Spare Thyme before it sold out is why I ignored this fact with Marigold and decided that somehow Spare Thyme would work better. In this case, it actually does look better, but it’s more to do with it being a darker color. All the previous Colourpop liners I used were light shades. Because of my personal preferences, I can’t be objective in saying whether they are worth purchasing or not.

Colourpop Colour Stix in Free Time, Venus Slipper, and We’re Off

My issue with light shades of Colourpop liners are multiplied with the matte version of these Colour Stix. I don’t like the look of them on the lids from my experience with We’re Off and other videos I’ve seen online. Unlike this one, Free Time and Venus Slipper actually dry down and don’t rub away as easily. I’ve had Free Time for nearly a year longer than Venus Slipper, and that one is a bit stiffer. It’s not as easy to get smoothly onto the lid, so I’d keep that in mind for those wanting eye products to last longer than the recommended period after opening.

I’ve purchased a few of these for my sister, so I do like them (at least the shimmer/metallic formula), but shadow sticks generally aren’t my style, so I don’t think I’ll purchase more in the future.

Colourpop x Disney Princess Down in New Orleans Super Shock Shadow

This SuperShock is more of a topper kind of shade, so I haven’t attempted to wear it alone on the lids. It took several rubs to get that swatch to even build up to that. I definitely did not buy this shade for the color. I bought it because I’m quite the fan of Tiana. Her personality reminds me of my sister in so many ways, so it’s only natural she’d be my favorite Disney Princess.

I could barely see the seafoam green base in the shade on my arm. When used as a topper, all I see is silvery white, so those with dark skin should keep that in mind. This shade is even less pigmented than my other Super Shock Eyeshadows, but if CP was aiming for a topper, they certainly nailed it. If it wasn’t for the Princess and the Frog theme, I would never have picked up a shadow like this, but it does have its uses as a highlighting shadow. I know myself though and I never reach for eyeshadow singles, so this is just a collector item for me.

Colourpop Garden Variety Jelly Much Eyeshadows in Saguaro and She Grown

If those shades look dried out, it’s because they are. Saguaro was my “new” shade that I bought a little over a year ago and never used. When I finally opened the jar, as can be seen by the crust around the edges, I discovered it was dried out. The lid was partially open, so there was no hope of me being able to avoid that. Every so often in my Colourpop orders, products with lids aren’t screwed on all the way. I try to remember to check for that, but in this case I completely forgot to and just left it in the original packaging until it was time for this review.

I could still rub the surface of these shades. I was surprised to see that She Grown, the shade I’ve shown before in one of my last Colourpop reviews, swatched more smoothly than Saguaro even though it’s four months older than Saguaro and had been opened and reopened several times.

I’m going to toss these out, but they certainly were shiny and gorgeous. It’s a shame they went to waste because of my same issue with reaching for single eyeshadows. Because these eventually dry out, I can’t recommend them.

Colourpop Act Natural Defining Mascara

I’m wearing this mascara in the sections demonstrating the Colour Stix on the eyes and the RBK eyeliners. I got this for free in one of my orders. The bristles keep the lashes from clumping and turning spidery, but as much as I like long lashes, I still want some volume. This mascara formula is on the wet side. I’m not satisfied with how it looks after one coat, so I have to apply and then wait for it to dry before I go for an additional 1-2 coats. I’ll keep using this mascara, but I prefer mascaras that give me length and volume in one built up coat. Because this doesn’t meet my preferences, I recommend checking out Essence, Maybelline, L’Oreal, etc for some affordable mascaras that I prefer.

Alas! We have reached the end. Thank you for reading!

-Lili

Pat Mcgrath Highlighters and Mascaras

I posted several reviews of Pat Mcgrath’s eyeshadows, but today I wanted to showcase some of the other makeup items I own from the brand.

Pat Mcgrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Skin Highlighting Trio

I’ve had this trio for about a year, but I forgot to include it in my last PMG brand review. It’s not something I use very often because it includes two iridescent highlighters, which I do not wear outside of the home. Even though it’s not my style, I’m still happy to have it in the event that I want to add a surprise twist to my makeup look.

Iridescent Pink 003 has a strong red shift on my cheek, which looks surprisingly beautiful. I’ve found that when I mix that shade with Bronze Nectar 003, it turns into a peachier shade, which is even more wearable and looks great on my cheekbones.

Bronze Nectar on its own is is a traditional highlighter shade, but that doesn’t make it boring. It’s still a very pretty color. I thought I would like Fine Gold 003 more than Iridescent Pink, but the strong yellow shift doesn’t look as great on my skin as I had hoped. It’s still fairly nice, but just my least favorite of the three.

Pat Mcgrath Skin Fetish: Highlighter + Balm Duo

During PMG’s winter sale, I was able to get this for $29 on Black Friday (with an added promo code). The packaging is beautiful, but please note that if you buy this, it’s possible the highlighter portion may come broken/detached from the base and stuck into the cap.

I’ve had dual ended products before, so I knew to be careful not to twist when opening. This is a product/shipping defect and not user error. When I wrote to PMG about it, they sent me a replacement with the comment that, “Just keep in mind this can happen again, as sometimes with the temperature change this will occur.”
I was still hoping to get one intact, but the replacement duo arrived exactly the same way where it was stuck in the cap. On the bright side, I was able to get both out in a solid piece by gently moving one with the tips of my fingers, and the other by smacking the flat side of the cap. Since I doubt I will use up even one of these, I gave the other to my sister. Pushing it back into the base has held well so far.

There are three shades available. The one I have is just called Bronze and it’s a slightly darker color than the Bronze Nectar shade from the highlighting trio. I like that the shimmer is also smoother because when it comes to highlighters, the finer the particles the better!

Although the Balm side can be worn on its own to give a dewy look, I prefer to use it on bare skin because it can remove foundation or concealer underneath it. Perhaps it only removes matte foundations because I don’t recall it removing my Nars Sheer Glow, but it has with the Nars Soft Matte Foundation and MUFE Matte Velvet Skin. For this reason, if I’m going to use the Balm over foundation, I either use the Bronze side on top of that or a different powder highlighter as an intensifier.

Both the Balm and Shimmer sides require a little heating up in order to glide better across the skin. A second or two of rubbing with the finger is enough for the balm, but the Bronze stick requires more warmth. So, I either rub for 5-10 seconds before applying the stick directly to my cheek or I apply some to the back of my hand and try to warm it up there before applying it to my cheek with my finger.

Pat Mcgrath FetishEyes Mascara Mini

I only opened this mascara a month ago, but I think I had it sitting unused in my drawer for too long. It has a noticeable scent that I cannot tell if it’s perfume or has gone bad. The formula is also on the drier side, but I don’t know if that’s also an age issue. In good faith, I cannot say that my experience with this mascara is accurate to what is normally in a good tube. Two coats of this gives decent length but I think anyone can find better for cheaper. I do like the applicator and how it keeps lashes nice and separated.

Pat Mcgrath Dark Star Mascara Mini

I also opened this mascara a month ago, but I purchased it four months ago, so this analysis should be accurate. It smells like a mascara should. The formula is a bit wet. Two coats gives the same length as the FetishEyes mascara with additional volume, but two coats is where it tends to clump up. I don’t know if this is due to the difference in formula or because the applicator is an hourglass shape instead. I usually have great luck with hourglass mascara wands. Even if this was clump-free, it didn’t impress me enough to think the full size is worth buying without a deep discount.

Mask Majorness 001

I have better protection masks, but when I saw this on the PMG website, I had to buy it! It’s a 50/50 cotton polyester blend mask with that pretty Divine Rose pattern and adjustable ear loops. It pokes out strangely at the sides when I wear it alone, and it doesn’t look any worse when I wear it on top of a disposable mask.

Pat Mcgrath is one of those brands that I’m always interested in, but the prices keep me from trying everything I want. I could bet money that by the time this post is up and ready to go, there will be something else I want from the brand.

That’s all for this week! Thank you for taking the time to read!

Also, on a personal note, I completed the doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine last month. I hope everyone remains safe during this still very dangerous time in our lives. Much love!

-Lili