Review: Juvia’s Place Eyeshadow Palettes

Hi friends!

You may remember I first posted about indie brand Juvia’s Place a few weeks back when they became available in Ulta stores. Well right before that post, my mom and I did a joint order from the Juvia’s Place website since they were having a sale on a few of their eyeshadow palettes at the time. We picked up three palettes in total: The Nubian, The Saharan, & The Warrior. So I’ve been playing with them ever since and now I’m ready to bring my thoughts to the blog!

This is going to be a bit different in form from my previous reviews since this is the first time I’ll be talking about several products in one review. So for each palette I’ll show you swatches, give you my pros & cons, and then my quick final thoughts. Lastly, I’ll show you one look I did per palette.

One note: the ‘Shop now’ links I included below direct you to Ulta. If you’re outside the U.S. or Canada, click the second link in the above paragraph. Juvia’s Place does ship internationally from their warehouse.

Now let’s get into it!

THE NUBIAN PALETTE – Shop here

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Row 1, swatched left to right.
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Row 2, swatched left to right.
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Row 3, swatched left to right
  • $20.00 for 12 shades
  • 1 duo-chrome, 2 metallics, 4 mattes, 5 satins,

Pros

  • Intense pigmentation
  • Smooth application
  • Has longevity (I wore these shadows for around 10 hours with little to no fading)
  • Great price
  • Ulta accessability
  • Lightweight packaging

Cons

  • Tons of fall-out during application
  • Crumbly texture on metallics

Final Thoughts

I really love this palette and would recommend it. If you like neutral-to-warm golds, bronzes & peaches this is the palette for you. I wouldn’t say it’s perhaps the most ‘everyday makeup’ friendly palette out there since it leans more towards shimmers & metallics, but you can certainly get some very wearable daytime looks depending on the shades you choose. I would recommend using your finger to apply the metallic shades (the two shades in the upper right corner of the photo above), or a wet brush; they can be crumbly and a bit messy otherwise. But once they are pushed onto the eye over a primer they cling very well and are gorgeous.

THE SAHARAN PALETTE – Shop here

saharanpaletteinterior

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Row 1, from bottom to top: Sokoto, Wodaabe, Bororo, Kia.
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Row 2, from bottom to top: Zoya, Iman, Jamila, Senegal
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Row 3, from bottom to top: Chad, Katsina, Lulu, Fula.
  • $20.00 for 12 shades
  • 3 satins, 4 mattes, 5 shimmers

Pros

  • Intense pigmentation
  • Smooth application
  • Has longevity (I wore these shadows for around 10 hours with little to no fading)
  • Great price
  • Ulta accessability
  • Lightweight packaging

Cons

  • Tons of fall-out during application
  • 1 slightly underperforming shade (Kia)

Final Thoughts

I had my eye on this palette for months and I have to say I was the most excited to start using this one out of the three. And I’m happy to report that I love it! I love the bright pops of color that make this palette so unique. (If you’re not into experimenting with color, I’d give this one a pass.) Best of all? The mattes perform just as well as the satins & shimmers. Even though Jamila (the bright orangey matte) swatched poorly on my hand, it applied evenly and smoothly on my lid. As stated above, the only slightly underperforming shade of this whole bunch is Kia, the beautiful greenish shade in the upper right corner. It was a bit crumbly and didn’t layer over mattes well (I tried using it as a liner first). It performs best when you push it over the eye with a brush.

THE WARRIOR PALETTE – Shop here

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Row 1, from top to bottom: Amina, Idia, Mino.
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Row 2, from top to bottom: Ahosi, Moremi, Kano.
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Row 3, from top to bottom: Dahomey, Bakwa, Benin
  • $20.00 for 9 shades
  • 3 mattes, 6 shimmers

Pros

  • Intense pigmentation
  • Smooth application
  • Has longevity (I wore these shadows for about 10 hours with little to no fading)
  • Great price
  • Ulta accessability
  • Lightweight packaging

Cons

  • Tons of fall-out during application
  • Crumbly texture on some shimmers

Final Thoughts

Wow, this palette has some intense color payoff! Out of all the palettes from this post, I remember exclaiming ‘wow!’ a few times during application. Again, I would recommend to use your finger or a wet brush to apply the shimmers onto your eye. They are incredibly soft to the touch and don’t seem to cling to dry brushes very well. Juvia’s Place actually recommends using wet synthetic brushes to apply their satin & shimmer textures, but sorry, I just never do that. So I use my finger instead. Regardless, I love this one too. It’s just so beautiful, the colors and the textures. The mattes perform superbly which for me is always the ultimate test.

THE NUBIAN PALETTE LOOK

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I used the orangey-cranberry shade (second row, third from left) all over my top lid, and the goldy-bronze shade (second row, second from left) smudged under my lower lash line.

THE SAHARAN PALETTE LOOK

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I used Jamila blended all over my lid and into my crease. Look at that pigment! It stayed super bright all day long too.

THE WARRIOR PALETTE LOOK

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I used Amina all over my lid and Moremi on my inner corner for highlight.

Have you tried any of these eyeshadow palettes yet? Or any other Juvia’s Place products? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

PIN IT!

Check out my review on The Nubian, The Saharan & The Warrior Palettes from Juvia’s Place!

 

Review: Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette

You could say that anytime Urban Decay launches a palette, it’s big news in the beauty world. If Urban Decay knows anything, they know palettes. The release of the original Naked Palette in 2010 was a watershed moment in the beauty community created in part by the burgeoning social media scene of the time when new platforms and influencers were gaining popularity. While we were all shocked by the recent news regarding this iconic product (UD decided to discontinue the palette), we can assuage our grief by diving into exciting newer releases.

The Born to Run Palette is just this kind of release. It recently launched this summer and had all those in the beauty community talking. I was really wowed by the color range when I first saw the press images: lots of bright tones alongside some neutral, everyday shades. The theme of the palette is travel and jet-setting; having all the necessary shades you need in one place plus some fun pops of color. UD’s shadows tend to be very high-performing, so I wasn’t surprised when nearly all the reviews were glowing. I hauled this palette a while back, which I’ll link to here, but it took two trips to Ulta to finally get my mitts on this (it was sold out in one location).

Let’s jump straight into the review.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION 

21 eyeshadow shades for $49.00 (0.42 oz total; 0.02 oz per shadow)

Cruelty-free formula 

Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette offers endless escapes in one travel-ready package. With 21 shades and a full-size mirror, it lets you choose your own adventure.

If you find yourself packing multiple kits for one look, our Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette is your globe-trotting go-to.

When it’s time to grab your carry-on and dash off to the next big adventure, you’ll want to pack light. Enter Born To Run, an all-in-one eyeshadow palette that has everything you need to create neutral looks, add in pops of color and play with brights, no matter where you’re going. With 21 of-the-moment shades—from jewel tones and modern neutrals to more colorful shadows—you’ve got every possible eye look covered in one sleek kit. Made from our mind-blowing formula that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich color and blendability, Born To Run’s Eyeshadow shades hold tightly onto pigment that stays put.

Got a conference in Dallas where you need to look like a boss? Create subtle definition with creamy, light neutrals like Breakaway and Weekender en route (using the palette’s full-size mirror, of course). Or, blend Baja, a burnt orange matte, into the lids and smudge Accelerate, a reddish copper metallic, into the crease for a sunset-hued smoky eye that mirrors the view on your road trip through the Mojave Desert. If you’re dancing until daybreak in Prague, put a twist on the traditional cat-eye look and smudge Guilt Trip, a smoky purple shimmer, into the lash line to create an imperfect wing.

Can’t decide which awe-inspiring shade to swipe on next? No matter which shades you try, we designed them all to be universally flattering for any skin tone and any lifestyle. Whether you’re a total road warrior, a weekend escapist or a staycationer—this one palette has everything you need when you’re Born To Run.

Source: urbandecay.com

SHADES & SWATCHES

  • BREAKAWAY (warm ivory shimmer)
  • STRANDED (pale rose gold with tonal micro-shimmer)
  • BLAZE (light metallic peach with pink shift)
  • WEEKENDER (light neutral beige matte)
  • STILL SHOT (bright peach matte)
  • RIFF (brown-nude matte with floating micro-sparkle)
  • GOOD AS GONE (deep brown satin with iridescent micro-shimmer)
  • HELL RIDE (deep fuchsia matte)
  • BAJA (burnt orange matte)
  • ACCELERATE (reddish copper metallic)
  • GUILT TRIP (smoky purple shimmer)
  • IGNITE (rose gold metallic)
  • SMOG (deep coppery bronze shimmer)
  • WANDERLUST (forest green with gold micro-shimmer)
  • WILDHEART (bright fuchsia satin)
  • PUNK (red-brown matte)
  • DOUBLE LIFE (metallic rust)
  • JET (black satin with deep shimmering purple shift)
  • DRIFT (charcoal satin with tonal micro-sparkle)
  • RADIO (deep emerald satin)
  • BIG SKY (frosted green shimmer with iridescent micro-sparkle)

Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

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Top to bottom: Breakaway, Stranded, Blaze, Weekender, Still Shot, Riff, Good as Gone.
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From top to bottom: Hell Ride, Baja, Accelerate, Guilt Trip, Ignite, Smog, Wanderlust.
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Top to bottom: Wildheart, Punk, Double Life, Jet, Drift, Radio, Big Sky.

HOW I APPLY MY EYESHADOW

I’ve written extensively on how to apply eyeshadow in an earlier post, which includes tips and photos/information on the brushes I typically use. I always use a tacky eye primer (my favorite is MAC Paint Pot in either Painterly or Camel Coat) as a base first so the powders have something to grab onto. I recommend using a primer especially if you have oily eyelids, or if you don’t want your shadows to crease or fade throughout the day. I typically use generous, fluffy brushes (e.g. MAC 217) to apply my shadows since I prefer blown-out and softly defined looks on me. Smaller, detailed brushes (e.g. MAC 219) are specifically for upper/lower lash definition only. I usually don’t switch brushes when I use different finishes, like matte or shimmer, as others might.

MY THOUGHTS ON…

Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

Packaging: As you can see from the photo above, the packaging design is a collage of travel snapshots from different locations around the world, which I think is super cool-looking. The palette itself is quite sturdy without being too bulky or overweight. There’s also a nice, generous mirror inside which you would expect for a travel palette. However just keep in mind it’s not the smallest palette around. Certainly the UD Naked Basics Palettes are much more compact and in my opinion more travel-friendly than Born to Run, at least from UD’s line. It really all depends what you want out of your travel palette. If you want neutrals in a small format, go with something like the Naked Basics. If you want variety both in color & finish, Born to Run is perfect. I didn’t buy this palette with the intent of traveling with it, so the format doesn’t matter to me either way.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Color range: This is what drove me to buy this palette in the first place. I love the color story here; the brights and metallics alongside the more neutral shades. You can go in a variety of different directions in terms of looks and I love that. The pitfall with some more neutral palettes is that you can end up creating the same look over and over again. This won’t happen here, so I applaud UD for that. There are 6 mattes, 6 shimmers, 3 metallics, and 6 satins. According to Blushy Darling’s review, the only shades that are not original to this palette are Smog and Punk. My favorite shades are Stranded (shimmer), Blaze (shimmer), Still Shot (matte), Riff (matte), Accelerate (metallic), Ignite (metallic), Wanderlust (shimmer), Radio (satin) and Big Sky (shimmer). Fun fact: Blaze is like a warmer version of MAC’s Patina shadow.

I still have one gripe though. While I love the colors in this palette, I do think it’s missing perhaps one more neutral, mid-tone matte shade. I found I kept having to go back to Riff for my crease shade. Weekender was too light and both Good As Gone and Punk were way too intense for that purpose. So in my opinion UD went a little too dark and provided a few too many liner shades for my liking.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Application: I used every shadow in this palette in some form throughout the last few weeks and I can say that almost every color applies smoothly and evenly on the eyes with the exception of a couple. I thought I’d break it down my texture below.

  • Shimmers & Metallics: they are extremely creamy to the touch and they apply and blend out the absolute best on the eyes.
  • Satins: they are semi-creamy to the touch and apply/blend quite smoothly and evenly.
  • Mattes: they take a bit more work applying and blending on the eyes to get an even finish. They are definitely more dry to the touch. The worst performing shade of the entire palette is Hell Ride, the beautiful deep plum-berry matte from the second row. I LOVE the color, but try putting it in your crease and you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s choppy as all hell and grabs at certain places, doesn’t want to blend in others, and is generally quite difficult to work with. It’s best packed onto the lid with a flat brush. The second shade I had trouble with is Still Shot, one of my faves. It was a bit patchy so I had to use my finger to pack color onto my lid, but honestly it wasn’t nearly as problematic as Hell Ride and in the end I still got it to work.

Rating: 3.8/5 ⭐️

Pigmentation: Without a doubt, the pigmentation on every shade in this palette is top-notch. I hope you can see that from the swatch photos above. The dark shades are dark from first swipe, the brights are bright from first swipe, etc. You don’t need to keep digging in again and again to get full color payoff, which is what we’ve come to expect from UD shadows.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: Overall these shadows perform very well and keep their pigmentation over time. I did notice two issues after about 10 hours of wear. First, a little creasing with the matte shades and second, some fading of any of the purple shades (Wildheart, Hell Ride, & Guilt Trip) but only if I applied them to the lower lash line. I wouldn’t consider either one of these a major problem though considering the length of wear time.

Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️

Price: This palette is $49.00 for 21 shadows, or about $2.33/shadow. The total product weight is 0.42 oz. or 0.02 oz./shadow, which to be honest seems quite low. However when you compare it against the Naked 3 Palette where you get considerably less shades (12), but more product per shadow (0.05 oz.) for more money ($54.00), it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Or the Lorac Pro Palette where you pay less money ($44) but get less shades (16) for the same amount of product per shadow as Born to Run (0.02 oz.), again it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. You’re getting a lot of shades after all, the vast majority of which are perfectly workable, lovely textures that you can create beautiful looks with (with the exception of Hell Ride). Therefore I think the price is perfectly fine.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

SOME LOOKS I CREATED WITH THE PALETTE

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Look # 1: I used Guilt Trip on the top lid and into the crease, and smudged Hell Ride underneath my lower lash line. Super simple. Loved it!
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Look #2: I blended Stranded onto my top lid and into my crease, and smudged Big Sky underneath my lower lash line. Again, super simple. I particularly loved this look, but the photo doesn’t do the colors justice, especially Big Sky which is gorgeous.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall I think this is a beautiful palette that I would recommend to those who really love eyeshadow and who love experimenting with different looks. I think it wouldn’t be the right fit for someone who craves the same kind of look everyday (nothing wrong with that of course). The pigmentation and longevity are definitely there, but just keep in mind that application can be tricky with some of the mattes, and when I say that I’m referring predominantly to Hell Ride. If UD would replace that shade with one mid-tone crease color, the palette would be absolutely divine! But at the end of the day you’re getting a lot of good quality shades for a reasonable price point.

Have you tried the Born to Run Palette yet? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

Snatch or skip? Drugstore eye palettes

This post contains affiliate links (denoted with an asterisk), which means I earn a small commission if/when you click through to purchase. Regardless, these are my honest opinions. I do not recommend products I do not love or use myself.

Time for another edition of ‘Snatch or Skip’! I spoke about some of the best and the not-so-great mascaras from L’Oreal a few posts ago, which you can read here. This time I’m delving into drugstore eyeshadow palettes.

Drugstore shadows have come such a long way in terms of quality. When my mom was discovering makeup in the 70’s the quality of lower-cost brands, like say Wet n’ Wild, were absolute crap. Affordable makeup was almost laughable for a long time. Even when I was in high school I feel it was nowhere near as good as it is now. Can we say drugstore makeup is at its peak now? I don’t know, but it does seem like most of the palettes coming out of CVS, Walgreens, Target, Rite Aid and other low-cost retailers around the world are pretty darn awesome. And the bar just keeps getting higher and higher. So here are my most favorite palettes in terms of quality and price, and a few that I think are either overpriced or just poor quality.

(One note I’d like to make here first in an effort not to sound like a broken record. All palettes mentioned here with exception of the e.l.f. Mad for Mattes are very powdery. Make sure to tap the excess pigment off your brush very well before applying to your eye.)

WHAT TO SNATCH!

*Milani Everyday Eyes Palette in Bare Necessities

$10.79 @ CVS.com;

$11.00 @ milanicosmetics.com

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This one is so lovely. The pigmentation, blendability, longevity, everything is nearly perfect. These Milani palettes come in 8 different colorways but I only have Bare Necessities. This one definitely leans warmer but they do have more neutral, cooler and even more colorful versions in the line; I’ve heard they’re all awesome.

In this palette you have 2 mattes, 1 shimmer, 2 metallics and 1 light-shimmer (for lack of a better description). All of the shadows are top-notch in my opinion with the exception of the light-shimmer, which is the cream shade pictured on the right-hand side of the first photo & the bottom swatch of the second photo. This shade seems to be a totally different texture to the other shimmers & metallics, and can be a bit chunky and flakey. Other than that, this palette is a must-have!

e.l.f. Cosmetics Mad for Matte Palettes in Nude Mood & Summer Breeze

$10.00 @ elfcosmetics.com, target.com & ultabeauty.com

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Nude Mood
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Swatches of Nude Mood
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Summer Breeze
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Swatches of Summer Breeze

It used to be difficult to find good quality matte shadows at a drugstore price level. Everything was shimmer, shimmer, shimmer. So when e.l.f. came out with the Mad for Matte line I knew those days were behind us. They immediately got rave reviews online and in social media, but for some reason I held off on trying them until earlier this year. I can’t imagine not having them in my collection now. Across the board from texture, application, and color payoff, these palettes get high marks. The application of these shadows is really the most impressive element. We all know how stubborn some matte shadows can be. But these don’t skip or become patchy or have too much fallout. And you get 10 quality shades for only $10.00. Bravo e.l.f.!

I first picked up Nude Mood, which is wonderful for everyday natural looks using either warmer or cooler tones. Although I wish they could have offered a few more contrasting shades towards the deeper end of the palette (some of those browns are very, very similar), I do think it’s a palette that anyone can use quite easily. I then got Summer Breeze because I was attracted to all those beautiful plums & rose tones. This is probably my favorite out of the two since I find each color to be quite unique.

*Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

$4.99 @ ultabeauty.com & wetnwildbeaty.com

Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette

I just did a whole in-depth review on this palette which I’ll link to here, so I won’t stay on this too long. (If you’d like to see swatches from the palette please go to my earlier post.) But as the most affordable palette from this whole list, the quality really blows me away on both the mattes and the shimmers. Soft, smooth textures that apply easily with little hassle. Bright, bold colors that last on the eyes for hours and hours. When Wet n’ Wild delivers such solid product on such little coin, it makes it difficult to reconcile spending more money on more pricey drugstore palettes. My mom recently bought Rose in the Air, which gives everyone in the beauty community Anastasia Modern Renaissance vibes. She loves it, which means I’ll have to try it soon too 😉.

Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutrals #2 Matte Palette 

$14.39 as a bundle with the #3 Shimmer Palette on overstock.com

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RIP Sonia Kashuk makeup, I really loved you. It looks like only her brushes, makeup bags and other accessories are now available at Target. However I did a little snooping online and it appears Overstock has some inventory on this palette. I included the link above so if you’re interested, hop on it! Or if you’re looking for a “shop my stash” moment, crack this one out. I used to own several Sonia Kashuk eye palettes actually: the quads, the Eye On Neutrals #3 Shimmer Palette, and of course the Eye On Neutrals #2 Matte Palette. I loved each and every one of them dearly. The quality is totally there. The shades are smooth as all hell, apply perfectly and stay on the eye all day. And this goes for both the shimmers and mattes.

I really don’t remember how much I originally paid for this palette, but I do remember that Sonia Kashuk was on the higher-end of drugstore in terms of price. I still pull the #2 Matte Palette out quite frequently since I love it so much. Actually I used this palette on the day of my graduation from business school in May. If you cannot get your hands on this guy, go with the e.l.f. Mad for Matte in Nude Mood; the colors are quite similar.

WHAT TO SKIP!

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1

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So this one is difficult. I actually love the colors and the tones. The mattes are quite lovely too, pigmented and easy to apply. But the shimmers are extremely lackluster and fade rather quickly. Keep in mind the shimmers to mattes ratio is 7:3. And the palette is $20.00 (!). Really L’Oreal? It’s completely overpriced for the quality you’re getting. The swatches don’t look half bad but you never know the full story until you apply to the eye. While I can get very pretty looks using this palette, I just can’t fully get behind it. No thanks.

Maybelline The Nudes Eye Shadow Palette & The Blushed Nudes Eye Shadow Palette

26520B14-79C9-47AD-A66C-886ECA35BA5F
Image source: Walmart
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Image source: Walmart

To be honest, I have yet to find any Maybelline eye palettes that I can get behind. (However, I haven’t tried any of their newer releases yet like those City Mini Palettes. Are those good? Feel free to send any recommendations my way cause I’m always looking to be enabled!) I don’t have these Nudes Palettes anymore in my collection since they were so inconsistent and generally poor quality. Out of 12 shades I found maybe 5 or 6 of them would actually be usable.

What are your favorite and least favorite drugstore eye palettes? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

Review: Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette

You may recall that I hauled the new and improved Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette a few weeks ago in this post. I spoke a bit about the backstory on the palette and my first impressions of a couple of the shadows in that post. I have since put the rest of the colors to the test so I’m here to present you with a more informed review of this product. I know that this isn’t a new launch by any means, but hopefully this will be helpful to those of you looking to buy an affordable drugstore palette, or to those that have never tried Wet n’ Wild shadows before. So let’s get into it!

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

10 eyeshadow shades for $4.99 (0.35 oz)

Cruelty-free & Vegan

Powerfully pigmented, buttery-soft, glides on like a dream. That’s what we dreamed up with our reformulated Color Icon eyeshadows. Our reformulated Color Icon hues come in a mix of coveted colors, from shimmery daytime hues to sultry shades for cocktail hours—including new matte transitional shades for impeccable blending.

Source: Wet n’ Wild official website

HOW I APPLY MY EYESHADOW

I’ve written extensively on how to apply eyeshadow in an earlier post, which includes tips and photos/information on the brushes I typically use. I always use a tacky eye primer (my favorite is MAC Paint Pot in either Painterly or Camel Coat) as a base first so the powders have something to grab onto. I recommend using a primer especially if you have oily eyelids, or if you don’t want your shadows to crease or fade throughout the day. I typically use generous, fluffy brushes (e.g. MAC 217) to apply my shadows since I prefer blown-out and softly defined looks on me. Smaller, detailed brushes (e.g. MAC 219) are specifically for upper/lower lash definition only. I usually don’t switch brushes when I use different finishes, like matte or shimmer, as others might.

SHADES & SWATCHES

A closer look at the full palette: 8 shimmer shades, plus 2 matte shades labeled TRANSITION. None of the shades have particular names, so the row starting with the light cream shimmery shade is ‘Shimmer row 1’ for the sake of this post, and the row starting with the green shimmery shade is ‘Shimmer row 2.’ Check the photo captions for shade descriptions.

*I photographed one of the looks I did using this palette, which is up on my IG now (@weareglamerus). If you’d like to see it please head over there and show it some love. (My IG roll is also on my blog on the right sidebar.)

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Shimmer row 1 top to bottom: light cream shimmer, light sandy-taupe shimmer, light to mid-tone peachy gold shimmer, black with golden shimmer.
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Shimmer row 2 top to bottom: light to mid-tone grassy-green shimmer, mid-tone golden bronze, mid-tone to dark warm brown with green-blue shimmer (duo-chrome), black with green shimmer.
03DBC1C0-3209-4264-A40F-D50AD81F27B9
Matte Transition shades from top to bottom: mid-tone orange, mid-tone to dark warm reddish brown (wine).

MY THOUGHTS ON…

Shade range: As you can probably tell, this palette definitely leans warm although the pops of green cool it down a bit. I think each shade brings something interesting and unique to the palette. There aren’t too many shades that look similar to one another once applied to the eye, although that being said I could do without one of the two black-based shimmer shades. In its place perhaps Wet n’ Wild could have included a dark matte brown or just an entirely matte black for a slightly more well-rounded shade range.

My favorite shades are probably both matte transition colors, plus the grassy-green shimmer, the duo-chrome green-blue and the mid-tone golden bronze. They have the most impact.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Packaging: This might be a bit unfair, but as we all know extremely affordable brands such as Wet n’ Wild are usually not known for their quality packaging. In plain terms, the packaging here is cheap. The plastic can easily be dented or shattered if dropped. But I wouldn’t feel this review were complete without some discussion on the matter. However, I very much appreciate Wet n’ Wild’s attention to detail when it comes to safety packaging. The palette is taped shut on three sides and my goodness, that tape is hard to peel off (you can probably see the residue it left behind on the cover photo to this blog). But I think in the drugstore this is particularly important since there are virtually no testers available to us. So you never know if the product you pick up has been opened, touched or swatched by someone else unless you see broken safety packaging.

Rating: 3/5 ⭐️ (kudos to that ironclad safety packaging)

Application: Overall I’m very impressed with the application on all these shades. For the most part they applied quite smoothly across the eye without much tugging or fussiness. I had a little trouble though with the warm reddish-brown (wine) matte transition shade when I went to put it all over my eyelid, as I wrote about back in my haul post. It got a little patchy when applied with a fluffy brush, but I rectified that by patting the color over top with my finger. Nothing horrible but just something to take note of. I did not notice any patchiness with the orange matte transition shade nor any of the shimmers.

Another thing to note is the softness of these shadows. While they feel extremely smooth to the touch, they also fall apart very easily when you swirl your brush in to pick up color. You must, must tap your brush out a few times before applying to your eyes. Most likely you’ll get some degree of fall-out on your cheeks after using these shadows. Therefore I recommend doing your eyes first before doing your base if you’re going to use this palette.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Pigmentation: The pigmentation is awesome on all these shadows. If I’m being super picky, the lightest cream shimmer shade can be a bit flakey but that really doesn’t bother me much; I’ve only used it as an inner-corner highlight anyway. For such an affordable price though, I was especially impressed with the brightness and punchiness of the matte transition shades. If you look at the swatch photo above, you’ll see what I mean. It can be really difficult to get well-pigmented matte shadows at a drugstore price, so Wet n’ Wild really killed it here. Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: I think the longevity of these shadows is quite good generally with one exception. I’ve worn every color now in a variety of looks and I noticed two instances of fading. In both instances I had layered one shimmer color over another. I layered the grassy-green shimmer over the peachy gold shimmer on the ball of my eye for a quasi-halo effect; by later that day the green color had all but disappeared. In a separate look, I layered the warm bronze over the grassy-green color on the outer corner of my eye but it also eventually disappeared. Contrarily, I noticed hardly any fading at all on any shadow, matte or shimmer, when simply applied over a primer. Perhaps if you wet your brush when layering the shadows it will make difference, but I never do that extra step.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Price: I’ll keep this short and snappy. This palette is only $4.99 for 10 shadows; $4.99 for 10 quality shadows. How can you beat that? Wet n’ Wild is probably one of if not the most affordable drugstore brand out there (at least here in the U.S.). The pigmentation and quality of the beautiful duo-chrome green-blue shade in this palette, for instance, rivals one of my favorite, more high-end duo-chrome shadows that’s $21.00 for a single (Peacock from Ardency Inn). I think this palette is an absolute steal.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

FINAL THOUGHTS

I would absolutely recommend this product to anyone, either if you are looking for a great drugstore palette or just looking for a great palette in general. Despite some minor issues with application and fading, I would still go as far as to say that this palette rivals some of my higher-end purchases. And historically I’ve had more pronounced issues with some high-end makeup than I’ve ever had with Wet n’ Wild. Just goes to show that you can absolutely get quality makeup at affordable prices.

Have you tried the Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

Ulta haul featuring Urban Decay & Flower Beauty

So I recently found myself in Ulta a few days ago as you do. I was primarily there for the Urban Decay Born to Run Palette. The last time I had gone looking for it at Ulta I was told it was sold out. This was quite soon after the palette launched, so I wasn’t surprised. My spirits were crushed, but I wasn’t surprised. No, I kid you. Like with any other Urban Decay palette launch, I usually wait a bit until the initial craze subsides so units can be restocked. Lo and behold this week my Ulta had several in stock. But of course while I’m there I couldn’t resist perusing the aisles to see if anything else jumped out at me. I was very restrained and grabbed just a few other items, so let’s get into it now.

URBAN DECAY BORN TO RUN EYESHADOW PALETTE – Shop here 

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Outer packaging
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Front of palette

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Wow, this one is really beautiful. From the packaging design, to the sturdiness of the component, to the varied color range, it’s a stunner. As you can see the majority of the shades lean warm, as almost every new palette does these days, but there are a few cooler tones in there towards the right side of the palette. I really appreciate that because you can get a variety of looks that shouldn’t end up looking all the same once applied to the eye. You get a whopping 21 shades, plus a full-size mirror, for $49.00.

I haven’t swatched or even touched all the colors yet, but I couldn’t resist trying a few of them out on my eye just yesterday. I used Weekender (matte) on my lid as a base and packed Smog on top (shimmer); then put a mixture of Still Shot & Riff (both mattes) in my crease and then I smudged Big Sky (shimmer) along my lower lash line. I loved the finished look. My first impression of the application: the mattes blended out very well. The shimmers need something slightly tacky to stick to, like a primer, otherwise they need more building up. I had to go in with my finger with Smog to really pack it on my lid.

I feel this one is begging for an in-depth review but I really need to experiment with all the shades and do some swatches. More TK.

URBAN DECAY 24/7 GLIDE ON EYE PENCIL IN ALKALINE – Shop here 

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You know of my deep love for 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils already, so I couldn’t resist adding another to my collection. I swatched a bunch in store and ultimately decided on Alkaline, a deep plum. Urban Decay describes it as ‘deep wine’ but you could also call it a berry as well. Supposedly this was part of the Naked Heat Collection along with the palette and Torch, another 24/7 Pencil (which I also have). Ulta has this listed as Limited Edition on their site, but I’m not so sure about that. If anyone has any info, pop it in the comments. Regardless, I’ve never had a liner in this color before so I was immediately drawn to it. It could be particularly lovely going into fall with all the plums, reds, and other rich colors associated with the season. I’m very eager to start using it.

FLOWER BEAUTY LASH WARRIOR MASCARA – Shop here 

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Like I needed another mascara in my life, but in my defense my Essence Volume Stylist Curl & Hold is getting towards the end of its lifespan so I wanted to have another new one on deck. I had seen some of the marketing on Flower’s IG about the Lash Warrior so when I passed by their kiosk I grabbed it. I love the dark, hunter-green packaging that fades into the gold on the lid. No doubt, this mascara makes some bold claims. From the outer packaging you can see that this promises everything from volume, to thickness, to length. I find it’s really difficult for one mascara to do everything perfectly, so I’m definitely intrigued to start testing those claims out. The brush has tiny plastic bristles that slope upwards from the base to the tip. Normally I don’t go for plastic bristles, but I’m always willing to be surprised!

Can I just say as an aside that I’m so happy the Flower Beauty is now carried in Ulta. The line has become a lot more accessible, which is awesome. I don’t have a Walmart around me, and I don’t do a whole lot of makeup shopping online so I never tried anything out until recently. I’ve also noticed that Drew Barrymore has made a greater push on social media recently so I think there’s a lot more buzz about the brand now than there ever was before.

Have you tried any of these products out yet? If so, what do you think? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

Mini drugstore haul featuring Wet n’ Wild & NYX

I was in a Harmon’s Discount over the weekend stocking up on travel mini’s for my vacation and of course I had to peruse the makeup aisle while I was there. After all it would be unheard of if I didn’t. Harmon’s is always a great place to shop for affordable makeup; they have the best displays and they often get new makeup in ahead of CVS or Walgreens. They’ve recently expanded their roster of brands to include J.Cat Beauty (which seemed to come and go very quickly from Ulta), and Essence Cosmetics. And their nail polish offerings are second to none as well.

But onto what I actually bought this trip. I restrained myself and purchased just two items (pats herself on the back): the new and improved Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette from Wet n’ Wild, and the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade Abu Dhabi.

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WET N’ WILD COMFORT ZONE PALETTE – Shop here

Historically I’ve loved the quality of Wet n’ Wild shadows. They recently reformulated all of their Color Icon Palettes and upgraded the packaging to the sleek design you see above. I had the older version of Comfort Zone years ago and enjoyed it back then so I’d been curious for a while to give the new version a try. When you look at the pantheon of drugstore makeup brands, you still really can’t beat the price of Wet n’ Wild products. Ten shadows for just $4.99? And they’re usually great quality. L’Oreal’s new Paradise Enchanted Scented Eyeshadow Palette offers 12 shades but for a much pricier $14.99. Just some perspective.

Now I really don’t remember shade for shade what is different or the same from the older Comfort Zone Palette to the new version since I don’t have the older one anymore. But a slew of YouTubers have done detailed comparison videos so if you’re interested in that kind of information head on over there. I can say that the pans are a lot smaller in this newer version, but I’m unsure of how that affects the amount of product.

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Swatches of the new Comfort Zone Palette from Wet n’ Wild.

You get 2 matte shadows labeled ‘TRANSITION’ on opposite ends of the palette with 8 shimmers in the middle. None of the colors have particular names. Personally I love the mix of warm and cool tones here; the greens with the bronzes, burgundys and the warmer transition shades. Putting a warm color in your crease next to a cool shade on the lid is just so beautiful to me. The shadows all swatched quite nicely with the exception of some of the really light shades that needed serious building up. All of the colors were extremely soft to the touch as well.

I did use 2 shades from this palette on my eyes yesterday. I applied the wine-colored matte transition shade (6th shade down in the swatches) all over my eyelid and into my crease, and the light champagne shimmery color (3rd shade down in the swatches) smudged underneath my lower lash line and into the inner corner of my eye. The matte shade needed some building up on the eye to reach full opacity and I experienced a bit of patchiness as I was applying it. So I had to go in with my finger to pat the color over the patchy areas, which worked perfectly. I’m curious to try this shade over another primer or over another matte shadow to see if it applies better; it could be an easy fix.

Another thing I noticed was the intense kick-back I got when I swirled my brush into the shadows. They are seriously powdery, so you definitely have to tap your brush a few times before applying to the eye. But they have great pigment and the shadows lasted throughout the day with hardly any fading and just the smallest bit of creasing. I need to try more colors though before I form my final opinion.

NYX SOFT MATTE LIP CREAM IN ABU DHABI – Shop here

I love this formula. It’s a liquid lipstick for those that don’t like liquid lipstick, in that they’re easy to apply, comfortable to wear and they don’t feel heavy or sticky on the lips. They have an almost mousse-like or whipped texture that you have to build up a bit to get the full effect. I wouldn’t call this the most opaque liquid lipstick out there, so you definitely trade a bit of opacity for comfort.

I bought the shade Stockholm last year and absolutely loved it, so when I was passing the NYX stand at Harmon’s I found my eyes scanning for more colors in this formula. I really only wear either nudes or medium pinks these days, so I settled on Abu Dhabi which is a beautiful browny-beige nude.

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Swatch of Abu Dhabi from NYX.
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Side by side swatch of Stockholm (left) and Abu Dhabi (right). Stockholm is much pinker/peachier while Abu Dhabi is much browner.

The longevity on these is definitely not the greatest; you will have to touch up throughout the day, but I personally don’t mind that. You will get that rim around the inner part of your lips as you eat and drink, so I’d imagine wearing a darker shade would be challenging with this formula. But if you wear a shade that is not a million miles away from your natural lip color, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

The packaging is quite small and lightweight so these are absolutely perfect to throw in your handbag. Stockholm has been living in my bag for months, and now Abu Dhabi will join it.

Have you tried any of these products yet? If so, what are your thoughts? Have you hauled anything interesting from the drugstore recently? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

Summer trend how-to: blue eyeshadow

Every summer heralds bright, bold colors into makeup from everything to lipsticks, to blushes and eyeshadows. Bright corals & pinks, and deep bronzes & oranges typically dominate the color schemes of spring and summer. This season one of the trendiest colors that seems to be popping up everywhere is bold blue eyeshadow. Every other big palette launch this season has some variation of blue, from deep shimmery tones to brighter royal blues to indigos. Good examples of this are the KKW Beauty x Mario Palette from earlier spring, the new Urban Decay Beached Palette, and Fenty Beauty’s Moroccan Spice Palette. So if you’re going to play with color, summer is a very inspiring time to do so. You’re spoiled for choice.

But how do those that are “color-adverse” experiment and play with such bold, bright colors? Is there a way to make blues more wearable? Blue can be notoriously hard to work with, both texturally and optically. For example darker navy shadows, particularly matte ones, can be difficult to blend across the eye without catching. Lighter blues or baby blues can sometimes look dated or retro on the eye, especially if you blend them all the way up to the brow (I don’t mean retro in a good way here).

But like any other makeup trend, it’s not what you apply that makes the difference so much as how you apply it.

So here is my practical guide to making the blue eyeshadow trend your own this season.

 


First, let’s start with a few easy application tips.

Application tip #1: Soften your edges

When applying blue eyeshadow, remember to keep blending as much as possible! As I mentioned earlier, blue can be difficult to pull off so you want to make sure you’re softening and blending the edges of your shadow to create a more wearable apperance. If you find your shadows are getting patchy, try blending a matte flesh-toned shadow over your eye primer first; it will take away the slight tackiness of the primer that some shadows can cling to. This happens particularly with mattes.

(If you need more help learning the basics of eyeshadow application, please refer back to my how-to post here first, which is perfect for beginners.)

Application tip #2: Don’t blend too high

I won’t stay here long since I mentioned this earlier, but blending blue too high up towards the brow can look dated and weird depending on the tone you’re using. Just avoid it.

Application tip #3: Concealer

After applying your blue shadow, make sure to apply a good correcting concealer under your eyes. This will help cancel out the blue/purple undertones that occur naturally around our eyes. If you skip concealer, all those blue tones between the shadow and the undereyes could make you appear a bit ill.

 


Now let’s move onto ways to wear the blue shadow. There are 3 main tactics that I use to make blue eyeshadow more wearable on myself, which I hope you’ll find helpful.

Tactic 1: Strategic placement

This is all about where on the eye you choose to place the bright color. The easiest and most fun thing to do is smudge it underneath your lower lash line. You can do this with either an eyeliner or a powder shadow, or layer both. Paired with a more basic or neutral color on your eyelid, the contrast between the upper and lower lid space will really stand out. If you don’t like the idea of putting such a bright color under your eye, you can certainly line your top lash line instead. It’ll still add a lovely point of interest without letting the bright color take over your look.

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Look #1 Lower Lash Line – I applied the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Chaos with a limited edition Chanel shadow layered on top. Contrasted with the sepia color on the eyelid, it’s like color theory in action.

Tactic 2: Neutral color pairings

This is about grounding the look with more wearable colors so that the brights stay in a more supporting role and don’t overtake your look. Neutrals like brown, gray and of course black work perfectly alongside most bright colors. In the look pictured below, I used a slightly darker blue than in the first look and paired it with a bronzey brown. This look is slightly more editorial in nature since I placed the blue towards the front of the eye, but paired with the neutral brown it becomes a lot softer. I wouldn’t recommend this look though if your eyes are naturally close together, as it will make them appear even closer. In that case, you could switch the placement of the brown and blue, so that the brown is towards the inner corner and the blue is on the outer third of your eye.

This look is a recreation of an old Pixiwoo video that you can watch here.

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Look #2 Neutral Color Pairing – I applied a mixture of Earl Grey from the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette with a limited edition navy-teal shade from Chanel to the inner corner of my eye. I paired it with a very wearable bronzey brown.
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Road Movie Quad from Chanel’s Fall 2017 Collection (discontinued), containing the teal blue shadow used in Look #1 (lower left side) and the darker navy-teal shadow used in Look #2 (lower right side). The bronze on the upper left side was also used in Look #2.

Tactic 3: Use more flattering tones 

Perhaps you’re not into these bright summer-trend colors at all, but you’re tired of just using the same tones look after look. The more the color is mixed with a neutral, the more wearable it will be. So think about using navy blues or gray-blues instead of bright royal blues, for example. You’ll still get the effect of the color but not all the attention or drama, so to speak. That’s what I did in the look pictured below. I used a gray with a pronounced blue undertone in the crease of my eye. The blueish color just peeks out above the crease, so the overall effect of the makeup is quite soft and very wearable.

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Look #3 Flattering Tones – I applied Dagger, a dark gray-blue from the Urban Decay Smoky Palette, in the crease of my eye and just above it for a soft peek of color. I smudged a matte gray underneath the eye for an overall more neutral look.
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Some examples of gray-blues from the Urban Decay Smoky Palette. Dagger is second from the top.

 


If you’re looking for some color inspiration, here are some swatches of both bright blues that can pep up your look, or more wearable blues to dress-down your look.

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Bright royal & teal blues. Top: Urban Decay Chaos Liner; Bottom: teal shade from Chanel Road Movie Quad.
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Darker, more wearable blues. Top: Dagger from Urban Decay Smoky Palette; Middle: Contrast from MAC; Bottom: navy-teal shade from Chanel Road Movie Quad.

A lot of bright blues come in palettes since pairing them with other shades is often necessary to complete a look. However, if you do not want to buy a whole palette just to get a blue you can easily go to MAC, ColourPop or Makeup Geek to buy a single shadow or create your own palette. I bought Contrast as a single and then put it in my MAC neutral palette. You can of course opt for a blue eyeliner if you’d rather not use a shadow. Your choice of products will all depend ultimately on what kind of look you want to achieve.

What do you think of bright blue eyeshadow? Would you wear it? Do you have any tips or particular looks you like to do with blue shadow? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

Review: Pat McGrath Labs Limited Edition Bronze Ambition Palette

Pat McGrath Labs (referred to in this post as “PMGL”) is a relatively new makeup brand created by world-renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath. If you’re up on beauty news or are connected to any major influencers on IG or YouTube, you’ll know that this brand carries a lot of clout and prestige in the beauty world. You’ll also be aware that all of the products from Pat’s line are incredibly luxurious and expensive. Her 10-pan Mothership Eyeshadow Palettes, the most iconic products thus far from the line, retail for $125 alone just to give you a sense of the elevated price.

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Eyeliner for beginners (or busy people or lazy people or anyone who’s over winged liner)

Since my last few posts have been longer and a bit more technical, I’m going to try my best to make this one short and snappy. Wish me luck.

Let’s talk about eyeliner today. Now I am definitely, definitely, definitely not polished or advanced with eyelining. I’ve tried my hand several times at winged liner, but I always found it so difficult to achieve a nice, crisp wing on my hooded eyes. The few times I kinda was able to do it, I didn’t particularly care for the drama it brought to my face. Perhaps it’s because I’m not into overly precise makeup in general, but I’m really not too fussed about winged liner anymore.

But I’ve always loved the effect that eyeliner gives you, so I utilize a certain method that completely works with my limited skill set. I call it “lazy” eyeliner (and I mean that in the best possible way), but it’s also great for those starting out with makeup or for those who are busy rushing out the door in the morning to work or school.

What I Do

The whole idea with my “lazy method” is that the liner doesn’t have to be applied evenly or perfectly at all. Why? Because you’re going to blend it into whatever you have on underneath, whether it be another eye shadow or a primer. The effect that this method gives you is depth and definition along the lash line, but with a subtle smokiness due to the blending. I think this is a particularly flattering way to wear eyeliner for most people. The blending is the key here, because it hides any mistakes you may have made during application.

Think about it. Applying eye liner is trying to draw a straight line on a surface that’s not straight. That’s challenging. Let’s take all the short-cuts we can!

So here is what I do. Just two simple steps.

Step 1 – I gently (I mean gently) pull the outer corner of my eye taut to smooth out the skin, and apply the eye liner in very small strokes right as close to my lash line as possible. I usually start in the middle of my eye and work towards the end of my eye, but you can work any way you want of course.

Step 2 – After the eyeliner has been laid down, I then take a little detailer brush or pencil brush and blend it over the liner to make it appear a little less like a line and a little more smudgey and smokey. Voila!

This method gives me the effect that I want from eyeliner (i.e. a darker lash line) but takes away all the difficulty and frustration that can accompany application.

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I used a dark powder eye shadow here to achieve this hazy liner effect. I don’t bother to wet the brush but you certainly could to get a more dramatic effect.
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A more close up view

If you’d like to see more photos of this method, go over to my previous post about eye shadow application here and scroll down to the three eye shadow looks.

What I Like to Use

I’m completely partial to either eyeliner pencils (retractable ones are the most ideal) or using a dark powder shadow on a small detailer brush and pushing it into the lash line. I lack the steady hand and skill associated with liquid liners, and my brief flirtation with gels ended years ago. For the most part these days I use powders.

But if I’m using a pencil, I prefer a formula that goes on creamy, gives me a little playtime and then sets in place for the day. My top favorites are pictured in the banner image to this post. I’ll quickly touch on each now, from left to right in the photo.

  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencils have been a staple in my collection for years. I have several colors and I can’t imagine not having them. The color pictured above is Torch.
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Pencil in Taupe has also been in my collection forever. This is slightly waxy formula that goes on smoothly but then sets.
  • Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio in Warm Nude Eyes. This set comes with a black, a chocolate brown (pictured above) and a copper liner. I absolutely love them all. They’re retractable (yes!) so extremely easy to use, and the formula is awesome.
  • MUA Professional Intense Color Gel Eye Liner in Emerald is so beautiful! Awesome color payoff, blends like a dream and doesn’t move (at least not on me). What else could you want?
  • Pixi Beauty Lid & Line in Smokey Mink has an entire lining/smudging system built into one product. One end has a waxy pencil to line, the other end has a little sponge to blend with, and then you unscrew the middle of the component to reveal a powder eye shadow for even more smokey effect. So cool!

What are your favorite eyeliners? Do you have any tips or tricks for application? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

How to apply eye shadow, plus 3 beginner-friendly looks

And we’re back to the Makeup Beginner’s series! Let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects in makeup, eyeshadow. As I’ve said in earlier posts, I wear some kind of shadow on my eyes every day whether it be a cream or powder texture. Most days though it’s a light to moderate wash of one color or perhaps two. I’m usually not wearing ‘big shadow’ looks unless going out at night or to an event (and even then my looks are never that dramatic). But I have a few easy, go-to looks that can be either dialed down for daytime or dialed up for nighttime depending on the colors you use or the amount of shadow(s) you apply. This post will focus specifically on tools and application tips that you can utilize to also achieve some beginner-friendly looks that only require a small amount of skill.

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