- Beauty Journalist & proud Montrealer with a passion for beauty in all its fabulous diversity. "Beauty begins the moment you choose to be yourself" - Coco Chanel
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Filed In: Eye Shadow
So what do the Cool Neutral Palette, Pro Beyond Twisted Lash Mascara and the Oval 6 Brush all have in common? Apart from the fact that they’re all from MAC, these products have become staples in my beauty repertoire. With the copious launches this brand puts out every few weeks, it’s easy to overlook standout pieces such as these that also happen to be part of the permanent lineup. How refreshing to not have the dreaded ‘limited edition’ designation to contend with, wouldn’t you agree?
You know it’s Spring when pastels make their much-welcomed appearance, and Lancôme’s La Palette La Rose is all about that soft, romantic elegance. Created by beauty guru and the brand’s Creative Director Lisa Eldridge, this palette holds a well-curated selection of shades that will work on everyone and in colours that may look dainty at first glance, but can pack a statement just the same … in an understated way, of course.
Always drawing inspiration by his many travels, the NARS Wildfire Collection for Spring 2017 is filled with shades that may initially appear soft, but somehow manage to pack quite an impact just the same. Trust François Nars to create a collection that’s made up of utterly wearable colour, masquerading as neutrals.
My first post of 2017 is going off-planet (#couldntresist) with the recently launched Liquid Moondust Eyeshadow shades from Urban Decay. These latest additions to the Moondust family are cream eyeshadows filled with microfine iridescence + crazy 3D metallics, with eight shades to have fun with that are just perfect for adding a touch of sparkle to your makeup look, regardless if it’s a special occasion or not (preferably NOT).
Liquid Moondust Eyeshadow (CAN $29.00/each) | Housed in transparent tubes which makes it easy to see the shade you’re reaching for, the applicator is a small and pointed brush that is relatively easy to use and especially useful when going for a more precise application (as eyeliner, perhaps). The formula flows well and even though the glitter in a few shades feels slightly “grittier”, it’s quite negligible really. The press release states that once applied, ‘you have about 30 seconds to blend them out … once dry, they won’t budge or crease’. Ummmm…..not quite.
As seen in the swatches below, you can apply a thick layer of each shade for more impact and depth of tone, or sheer them out for a watercolour-type effect. One warning: if your lids tend to get oily (like mine), do NOT skip primer as they will not only crease, but basically disappear right off. Worn with primer first and then applied over eye shadow, I absolutely love how they look and these are now hands down my new favourite shimmers when I’m looking for a truly out-of-this-world effect.
- Solstice – pink/red with green 3D sparkle & shift
- Zap – gold with tonal sparkle
- Zodiac – smoky black with blue/green shift & blue/green 3D sparkle
- Recharged – peach with pink shift & sparkle
- Vega – bright blue with iridescent sparkle
- Chem Trail – oyster with iridescent sparkle
- Spacetime – deep coppery bronze with iridescent sparkle
- Magnetic – purple with iridescent sparkle
Urban Decay · Liquid Moondust Eyeshadow swatches
As someone who usually prefers going with [matte] neutrals, I also happen to have a contradictory obsession with shimmer, and these Liquid Moondust Eyeshadows have that sparkle factor in abundance. I confess to being totally surprised by how quickly they melted right off my eyes without primer to keep them anchored, but happy to see that they were able to redeem themselves when paired with primer underneath. Personal faves: Chem Trail, Spacetime, Zap & Zodiac, with Magnetic & Solstice not far behind. Vega is pretty cool too, as is Recharged. So basically, I like them all (just not worn all at the same time, please).
PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own
Benefit, the brand that’s not only known for wanting to perfect your brows but will forever be linked with the most fun retro-kitschy packaging on the planet, also produces some pretty amazing beauty products. A while back, I was sent these two cases with each bearing a prelaunch version of 2 new & upcoming products for 2017: four they’re Real! Double the Lip shades and a trio of they’re Real! Duo Shadow Blender hues.
So what exactly are these things, you may be asking? Well in a nutshell, the lippies — which come housed in packaging that’s a slimmer version of the brand’s best-selling they’re Real! Mascara — are a combo lipstick & liner in one. The unique teardrop shape has the liner portion at the tip and is quite effective at “grabbing & defining” the lip line, filling in lips with colour and a complimentary liner at the same time. The eyeshadow duos come with a unique ball-shaped sponge applicator that is meant to be swiped along two shades at the same time and then deposited along the lids, effectively creating a “bigger, wide-eyed” look with the complimentary colours. Sounds simple enough, no?
EDIT: as I sat down to write this post, I actually received the most generous package from Benefit that came complete with all 8 shades of both the lip and eyeshadows! How’s that for timing?!
they’re Real! Big Sexy Lip Kit (CAN $38.00/A $52.00 value) | The unique teardrop shape of the bullet has in effect combined both a lip shade and a complimentary lip liner hue in one product, to help provide the appearance of an instantly fuller pout. The formula is said to give 8 hours of wear, but I’m guessing that claim will probably hold truer for the deeper tones, with the lighter shades most likely falling short of that. The texture is quite creamy and glides easily along the lips and while there’s a slight learning curve in manipulating the tip to effectively outline the lips, it’s actually pretty easy to use once you’ve got it down pat. The only issue is in keeping the tip sharp (if anyone knows how I can do this, let me know in the comments) but even that isn’t a deal-breaker for me, since I don’t mind having the two shades combined anyway.
- Flame Game – tangerine with a deeper orange tip
- Pink Thrills – hot pink with a deep rose tip
- Revved-Up Red – pink red with a deep rose/red tip
- Lusty Rose – dusky rose with dark pink tip
they’re Real! Big Sexy Eye Kit (CAN $47.00/A $94.00 value) | The three trios in this set can also be used as 6 individual shades, although the deal is to actually apply each duo simultaneously with the help of the unique spherical sponge applicator. Said to provide “12 hours of crease-resistant” wear, I still need to apply primer first as my lids lean on the oily side (ugh) – something to consider if you’re like me. As with the lippies, there’s a slight learning curve here too but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually not only easy, but fun.
All you have to do is hold the applicator firmly and in one even stroke — keeping even pressure the entire time — swipe it across your chosen duo. You should clearly see both shadow colours upon the applicator, which you then apply to your lid using the same even-stroke method … just ensure you do this by also following your eye shape’s unique contours.What you should wind up with is the two shades deposited at once, with one running along the lid and the other at crease-level. Of course, this isn’t set in stone; feel free to use whatever brushes you prefer and whichever shade you like to mix & match at will. Personally, I feel that who can really benefit (lol) from this system will be anyone who’s not that adept at applying multiple eyeshadows (this take the guesswork out of the equation) or anyone in a rush and just wants to slap something on quickly. Boom. Done.
- Beyond Nude – soft tan with champagne shimmer
- Naughty Neutral – mauve taupe with pink pearl shimmer
- Bombshell Brown – pale brown with oyster shimmer
What saves either of these products from being gimmicky, is the fact that the quality is spot-on, the shades are all lovely & wearable, and they more or less function as per the claims. As to convenience, I like the idea of the two lip shades in one but the texture is quite soft which means the tip will round out rather quickly. Again, I don’t mind because instead of a sharply lined look, you then get more of an ombré effect — something I like even better, in fact. As to the eyeshadow duos, I find the textures to be quite good and the colours very complimentary, but I’ll definitely stick to using my own brushes for application; keeps my inner control-freak happier that way.
Available at Sephora/individual shades will be available February, 2017
PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own