Review: Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Palette

Hi friends!

I’m very excited to bring you a review today on the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Palette, which is available at Ulta now. This is one part of the larger Vault palette release (which I believe was either 4 or 6 palettes) that debuted last year. The release got completely shrouded in controversy pretty quickly both online and on social media, with reports of chalky, poor-performing shadows and tons of customer returns.

Needless to say, I was very intrigued to try one of them out for myself when I passed the Morphe counter at my local Ulta recently. And the Dark Magic Palette, with its smokey greens, blues & pewters, really spoke to me.

Now, I don’t care a fig for Jaclyn Hill personally. I don’t watch her videos nor do I follow her on social media, so her celebrity in no way factored into my decision to buy this palette. I just wanted to see what all the hype and controversy was about. So now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the review!

Shop the Dark Magic Palette at Ulta here.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Show your dark side with the 10 creamiest, sultriest eyeshadows to burst onto the midnight scene. Jaclyn Hill is giving you the code to a killer vault where she’s stashed some of her top-secret shades with this badass Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Eyeshadow Palette. JACpot!

Ulta.com

SHADES / SWATCHES

Poof (matte cream)
Power Cut (metallic silver)
Shhh (matte dusty taupe)
Trickery (sparkling emerald)
Diversion (shimmering gunmetal)
Potion (matte avocado green)
Busted (matte ocean blue)
Inside Job (matte dark jade)
Mojo (matte smoked hickory)
Temptress (glinting pitch black)

Ulta.com
Swatches of first row of Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Palette
From top to bottom: Poof, Power Cut, Shhh, Trickery, & Diversion
Swatches of second row of Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Palette
From top to bottom: Potion, Busted, Inside Job, Mojo, & Temptress.

My THOUGHTS ON PACKAGING

Nothing special here, to be honest, but nothing too offensively cheap either. But I will say it’s quite small, sleek & lightweight, so perfect for travel if that means anything to you.

RATING: 4 / 5 ⭐️

MY THOUGHTS ON APPLICATION

While testing this palette for review, I dipped into every single shadow to use on my eyes in some capacity. And I have to say, nearly all of them applied & blended very well. The only shade I had a little bit of trouble with was the matte army green called Potion. It got a little patchy on my lid when using a fluffy brush, so I had to go back in and pack some color on with my finger. Other than that, I virtually had no issues.

RATING: 4.5 / 5 ⭐️

Read this: Review: Juvia’s Place Eyeshadow Palettes

MY THOUGHTS ON COLOR RANGE

Interior of the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Dark Magic Vault Palette

(Quick disclaimer: It was really hard to get all the color tones to show up in this photo. I realize it all just looks dark, but I can assure you the bottom row is not just a row of black shadows!)

There’s no way around it, this is a smokey, sultry color story. Most of your looks are probably going to end up dark. But you kinda should know that going into it considering the name is Dark Magic. I love how this palette favors more matte textures over shimmer & metallics. But that being said, I would have loved one more mid-tone transition shade in the first row. Shhh applies darker than you would think, and Poof is too light to be a transition.

If you’re interested to know, my favorite colors in the palette are Diversion (the shimmering pewtery color), Potion (the matte army green), and Busted (the matte blue).

RATING: 4 / 5 ⭐️

MY THOUGHTS ON PIGMENTATION

Pigmentation is awesome in this palette! All the shades, even Poof, show up pretty true to color without very little effort. The only thing I will say is that Trickery, the shimmery dark green, loses it’s punchiness as you sheer it out. So after blending, it kinda just looks like a grey or charcoal color, not a green.

RATING: 4.5 / 5 ⭐️

MY THOUGHTS ON LONGEVITY

I didn’t notice any fading on any of the colors throughout the day. One exception is, again, Potion. The color didn’t fade, but it did slightly crease on me within just a few hours of wearing it. (For reference, I always wear a eye primer before laying down powder shadows.) But truthfully I love that color so much that I’m willing to forgive it!

RATING: 4 / 5 ⭐️

MY THOUGHTS ON PRICE

This palette is just $15.00 for 10 shadows. I think that’s a very fair price for the quality you’re getting here. Just think of it as a slightly more expensive drugstore palette.

RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️

Read this: Review: Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette

FINAL THOUGHTS

Pushing last year’s controversies aside, I really had a great time experimenting with this palette. I found it quite easy to put different looks together, and overall the shadows were very user-friendly. I guess whatever issues Morphe had on the production side have been solved at this point. Not sure. I did notice that Morphe is no longer selling the Vault palettes on their site. So if you’re in the U.S. and are interested in this palette, you’ll have to go to Ulta.

THE LOOKS*

*These are not the only looks I’ve created with this palette.

I used Power Cut all over the top lid, into and above the crease. Then I blended Trickery on the outer corner and slightly into my crease; I also took that shade along my lower lash line and really smudged it out. Lastly, I smudged just a bit of Mojo along my top lash line, but just at the outer corner.

I used Poof all over my top lid, and then blended a mixture of Shhh & Potion very lightly into my crease. I then smudged Mojo along both my top & bottom lash lines, at the outer corners.

I applied Diversion all over my top lid, into & above my crease. I also blended it all along my lower lash line too. I then smudged Temptress along my top & bottom lash lines (in the outer corners).

I applied Potion all over my top lid, into & above my crease. I then smudged Shhh along my lower lash line.

Have you tried any of the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Vault palettes? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Check out my in-depth review of one of the infamous Morphe Jaclyn Hill Vault Palettes: the Dark Magic Palette!
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My beauty anti-wishlist, February 2019

Hi friends!

It’s time for my beauty anti-wishlist, February edition! As has become the standard, I’ve picked five products (or collections in this case) that have either recently launched or will launch soon that I will not be picking up anytime soon. This is based purely on personal preference only; no disrespect intended. I included bits from Tarte, Too Faced, Tom Ford Beauty, Bobbi Brown & ColourPop this month, so let’s get into it!

But first, catch up on my previous anti-wishlists for Sept. / Oct. / Nov. / Dec. / Jan.

TARTE ROSE IS BAE LIP GLOSS & BRUSH SET

Image source: Tarte Instagram

Tarte just recently released two lip gloss/brush kits with a wine or celebration theme; this is just one of them, but I could have picked either one to feature here to be honest.

I think this could be a cool gift for someone but it’s not something I’d ever, ever buy for myself. Although the theme seems fun, the products themselves just seem really impratical. I mean, look at the brush – how would you store that?? It would be interesting to see in person the scale of these products; it’s so hard to tell from these ad images. Either way though, I’ll take a pass Tarte.

(Also, doesn’t it seem like a strange time to bring out celebration-themed products like these? It would probably make more sense around holiday time, but that’s just my two cents.)

More info on this product here.

TOO FACED X ERIKA JAYNE PRETTY MESS COLLECTION

Image source: Too Faced Instagram

I have no idea who Erika Jayne is, but a little Google search told me that she’s currently one of The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills and is also an on-stage singer & performer. (I used to watch the entire Housewives franchise, but I got bored of that whole sh*tshow.) That aside, none of this OTT, gaudy collection appeals to me.

From what I spied online, all the products debut on Too Faced’s website on Feb. 12th and in Sephora stores on Feb. 17th. The collection contains an eyeshadow palette, two lip kits, a highlighter, a themed Lip Injection, and a body shimmer with a raunchy name (see above).

I don’t know about you, but very few of Too Faced’s recent releases or collections have been inspiring to me. I think the last time I was inspired to spend any of my cash on them was for the Sweet Peach launch (and that was a while ago).

More info on this collection here.

TOM FORD BEAUTY LIP LACQUER LUXE

Image source: Trendmood1

I first heard about these lippies on Trendmood’s Instagram account, and my immediate response was, nope! As I’ve mentioned on here before, my penchant for matte, dry-down, long-wearing liquid lipsticks has definitely been on the wane for a while now. But if I am going to buy another liquid lip, I’m certainly not going to spend $55.00 for one. Sorry Tom Ford, but no.

Now I realize that there are two different finishes, as shown in the image above, but it doesn’t really matter; I’m still not interested! I do have two Tom Ford lipsticks that I love in my collection, but to be honest they were both gifts for Christmas or my birthday. I’ve never bought a Tom Ford makeup product with my own cash, and the Lip Lacquer Luxe certainly won’t be it!

More info on this product here.

BOBBI BROWN EXTRA LIP TINTs

Image source: Bobbi Brown Instagram

Let me preface this by saying I’m a big, big fan of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in general. I have several of their products in my collection that I totally cherish, like the Tinted Moisturizing Balm and the Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks. But $34.00 for a lightly tinted lip balm? I’ll pass, thanks! They just recently added three or four new colors to the line-up so they’ve been re-promoting these a lot on their Instagram. The most I’m willing to pay for a tinted lip balm is the $18.00 or so it costs for one of my beloved Clinique Chubby Sticks. Any more than that, just forget it.

More info on this product here.

Read this: The best tinted moisturizer for summer?

COLOURPOP X KATHLEEN LIGHTS The zodiac LOOSE PIGMENTS COLLECTION

Image source: ColourPop Instagram

I seriously have lost track of how many collabs Kathleen Lights has done with ColourPop at this point. Anyways, this is the most recent one (just launched on Jan. 31st) and it’s an extension of her larger Zodiac collection from 2018. I don’t use loose pigments…like ever, so I would get zero use from something like this. I bought one years ago from MAC’s mini line called Naked. It was a beautiful color that I used a few times, but ultimately I found the format just too fussy for me. And from looking at ColourPop’s website, I believe you have to order all 12 loose pigments as a set. Even more reason this is a pass for me.

More info on this product here.

What’s on your anti-wishlist this month? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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It’s time for my beauty anti-wishlist, February edition! Wanna know which five products from newly released or soon-to-be-released launches that I’m passing on? Read this!

What is the CVS Beauty Mark all about?

Hi friends!

Today we’re shifting away from products and talking a bit more about bigger picture stuff. Not sure about you, but as a beauty lover I (try to) follow news & trends as much as I can. CVS is one of my favorite places to shop beauty, so whenever they are in the headlines my interest is piqued immediately. And they are currently making some bold statements in the industry with their Beauty Mark initiative.

I first mentioned this initiative in a post last year after CVS announced their plans to significantly expand their beauty offerings both online and in-store in early 2018.

Read this: Has CVS brought us the future of drugstore beauty?

THE CVS BEAUTY MARK INITIATIVE

In a nutshell, CVS promises that by the end of 2020 all of their marketing imagery (including print, in-store, digital, & social media) will be completely untouched by Photoshop or any other editing software. From their perspective, this is a major strive towards total transparency, and a move away from unrealistic beauty standards.

Boom.

The Beauty Mark is our pledge to pass a healthy self-image on to the next generation.

CVS.com
CVS Beauty Mark tagline
CVS Beauty Instagram

Read this: Major Drugstore Beauty Brands Are Helping CVS Reach Its Goal of Eliminating Photoshopped Imagery

To avoid any potential confusion on the consumer’s part, the Beauty Mark will appear on every unaltered image. You then have 100% certainty that the marketing image you’re seeing is in its purest form, so to speak. As it stands now, CVS estimates that about 70% of their imagery is now Beauty Mark-compliant.

See the difference below.

THE Response from BRAND PARTNERS

Several big drugstore beauty brands and their celeb ambassadors, like Kerry Washington, Ashley Graham & Ayesha Curry, are fully in support of the CVS Beauty Mark initiative. Neutrogena, CoverGirl, Revlon, & Olay are just a few of the legacy brands taking a major role in helping CVS reach its 2020 goal. A plethora of other beauty brands are set to join in the initiative in 2019 including Physician’s Formula, Aveeno, Rimmel & Burt’s Bees.

CVS Instagram statement on Beauty Mark initiative

MY THOUGHTS

I think CVS is making a pretty powerful statement in taking this initiative. Over-manipulated beauty images have been a long-held industry standard, and it’s only amplified even more since the dawn of social media.

There’s definitely an opening now to start a conversation about unaltered beauty, especially as more emphasis is put on body positivity and mental wellness. When I take selfies, either for this blog or for my Instagram, they are never manipulated in any way. I think it’s important to show what I really look like; my skin tone, my freckles, my blemishes, everything. Not some face-tuned version of myself.

We all have a responsibility for what we put out on the internet, especially when so many younger, more impressionable people are interacting online.

Do I think this means that all the companies, all the advertisers, all the marketers will now stop using Photoshop because of the CVS Beauty Mark initiative? Hell no. It’s just one step in a positive direction.

You can read more about the Beauty Mark initiative here.

What do YOU think about the CVS Beauty Mark? Let me know in the comments below!

Xo, Erica

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Learn about the CVS Beauty Mark initiative, and how one of the biggest beauty retailers is tackling the industry’s fixation on unrealisitic standards.

MAC Uninterrupted eyeshadow, a rediscovery!

Hi friends!

I had a true “shop my stash” moment recently that I just needed to tell you all about. Years ago I got really into muddy browns, mustard yellows & sepia tones on my eyes; I think it happened around the time I became a redhead. I found that warm colors on my eyes looked great against the warmth of my new hair color. So when I saw MAC Uninterrupted eyeshadow (a new product around 2013 / 2014) featured in a Pixiwoo YouTube tutorial, I jumped all over it!

Originally it came out as a Pro Longwear eyeshadow (the ones that are sold in the larger pans). I loved it sooo much! It was like all my sepia-colored dreams came true. But in famous MAC fashion, it got discontinued somewhere over the years. So I felt I could never talk about it much; what’s worse than hearing someone rave about a product you can’t get? Also, I lost sight of it in my collection as newer items came in throughout the years.

MAC Uninterrupted Eyeshadow (as Pro Longwear shadow - discontinued)

THE REDISCOVERY

A few weeks back, I was going through my collection, doing a bit of a declutter, and happened upon my “lost” but beloved Uninterrupted eyeshadow. It was like a revelation, how could I have forgetton such a little gem?! I immediately started using it again, and oh wow, what a beaut! And bonus of all bonuses, last year MAC brought Uninterrupted back as a single eyeshadow. I don’t have to feel bad about professing my love anymore!

Read this: MAC is re-releasing it’s popular eyeshadow Uninterrupted

THE COLOR & Texture

Uninterrupted is a beautiful warm brown with a strong orange/yellow undertone. It’s a matte texture that applies quite evenly across the eye using a large fluffy brush; it can tug a tiny bit and be ever so slightly patchy but nothing too offensive in my eyes (ha, I hate puns). The pigment here is really strong so it takes nearly no time at all to get a really beautiful smokey eye. It’s important to conceal any red or pink on your face when using a color like this, as it can really amplify those tones and make you appear a bit sickly.

You can shop Uninterrupted on MAC’s website here.

Swatch of MAC Uninterrupted eyeshadow

THE LOOK

I love to create a big, smudgey smokey eye with this color. It’s insanely easy & quick. I just apply it all over my lid, up into my crease and even above it, making sure to blend out the edges really well. Then I just smudge the color along the lower lash line and blend it down ever so slightly lower than I normally would. (Again, don’t skip concealer with a look like this! Unless you want that kind of ‘hollow’ look.) That’s it! No liner or extra shadows needed.

I just love the grunginess of this color; cool grunginess of course! I feel like it brings out my brown eyes, but it would look particularly amazing if you have lighter eyes or blue eyes.

MAC Uninterrupted eyeshadow applied on eyes
MAC Uninterrupted eyeshadow applies on eyes

Do you own MAC Uninterrupted eyeshadow? Do you love or hate sepia tones? Tell me in the comments!

Catch up on my previous posts!

Spotlight feature on The Beauty Influencers

Bougee Review! $70 Chantecaille Mascara

Glowy primers for makeup – my picks!

Xo, Erica

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Who doesn’t love a good “shop your stash” moment? I recently rediscovered MAC Uninterrupted eyeshadow and I’m obsessed again!

My beauty anti-wishlist, January 2019

Hi friends!

It’s a new month so that can only mean it’s time for another beauty anti-wishlist! There are tons of new launches coming out this month (what else is new?), but unfortunately not all of them are exciting me. So I present to you a fresh list of 5 beauty items that I am passing on based on personal preferences and other reasons. As always, no disrespect is intended with this post; these are just my personal feelings.

Catch up on my previous anti-wishlists, if you’d like!

My beauty anti-wishlist, September 2018

My beauty anti-wishlist, October 2018

My beauty anti-wishlist, November 2018

My beauty anti-wishlist, December 2018

MORPHE BRUSHES FLUIDITY FOUNDATION

Morphe Brushes Fluidity Foundation
Image source: Trendmood1

This is Morphe’s next big launch coming on January 17th and I believe their first foray into complexion products. And it’s going to have…wait for it…60 foundation shades to choose from. Boom. They are also releasing concealers & setting powders on the same day, so this is a huge release for them and a big PR moment, no doubt. But I’m just over here yawning 😆. I’m pretty happy with my current collection of base products, and I’m really not into matte, full-coverage foundations because of my dry skin. I don’t mind full-cover concealers, but certainly not foundations. I’m sure the launch will be amazing for them, but no thanks Morphe.

More info on this product here.

PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA BUTTER COLLECTION X CASEY HOLMES PALETTE

Physician’s Formula Butter Collection x Casey Holmes Palette
Image source: Physician’s Formula Instagram

This is the first influencer collab for Physician’s Formula, but unfortunately I won’t be picking this up anytime soon. The packaging looks a bit bulky (a pet peeve of mine) and when I look at it, I just don’t get excited at all. It’s a palette featuring all of Physician’s Formula Butter products that have been curated by YouTuber Casey Holmes. It includes a bronzer, blush, highlighter, 4 eyeshadows, a lip cream & a perfume. I already have the much-beloved Butter Bronzer, which I do like (read my full review here) but I’m not completely gaga over it like some other people are. I just don’t need any of what this palette offers right now.

More info on this product here.

BH COSMETICS MINI ZODIAC CAPRICORN PALETTE

BH Cosmetics Mini Zodiac Capricorn Palette
Image source: BH Cosmetics Instagram

I know the shadows from BH Cosmetics are awesome quality, and oh so affordable, but this palette just looks really basic, ya know? And I’m a Capricorn too, I should love this palette! I can only speak for myself of course, and I already have so many brown shadows (both warm & cool) in my collection. I love earthy tones a lot, but this just isn’t doing it for me, sorry BH! The highlighter looks gorgeous but I would never buy this just for one item.

More info on this product here.

MILANI COSMETICS CONCEAL + PERFECT Longwear CONCEALER

Milani Conceal + Perfect Concealer
Image source: Trendmood1

Milani’s new concealer offering goes on sale on January 8th, and honestly if I hadn’t just bought two drugstore concealers last fall (Revlon PhotoReady Candid & Joah Beauty Truly Yours Full Cover), I might get this! I love me a drugstore concealer, but I’m just too stocked up right now. I’ve been curious to try Milani’s complexion products in the past but the shades always seemed to be too dark for me. But the new Conceal + Perfect has 18 shades, so I may have an easier time finding the right shade. According to Trendmood, this has medium-to-full coverage which I do like the sound of, but like I said before, I just have too many concealers to justify another purchase right now.

Read my review on the Revlon PhotoReady Candid Concealer.

Read my review on the Joah Beauty Truly Yours Full Cover Concealer.

BENEFIT ROLLER LINER LIQUID eyeLINER

Benefit Roller Liner The Matte Liquid Liner
Image source: Benefit Instagram

I believe this just became available a few days ago. I’ve been a long-time fan of Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara, but I’m just not a liquid liner kinda girl. I’m quite horrible at eyeliner to be fair, so I either use a soft pencil or a dark shadow and just smudge it along my lash line to get rid of any imperfections. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a liquid liner in my life now that I think about it, so I’m certainly not about to start now. However if you do love your liquid liner, this does sound like a good one. Supposely the formula is waterproof and therefore quite long-wearing. My mom would probably love this actually.

More info on this product here.

What products are on your anti-wishlist this month? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Find out the newer launches that won’t be making it into my cart this month!