- 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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NARS has been on quite the roll lately, creating some of the best palettes we’ve seen in a while; case in point are the recent Banc de Sable Highlighting Palette and the Unfiltered Blush Palettes. And as if those weren’t enough, get ready for the Loaded Eyeshadow Palette: a selection of 12 never-before-seen shades from this brand that will in all likelihood blow you away. At least, that’s what it did to me, and one might say that I’ve seen more than my fair share of beauty.
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.
From the brand that’s made Orgasm (and even Super Orgasm, for that matter) part of our beauty lexicon, comes two covetable and limited edition blush collections, Unfiltered I and Unfiltered II Cheek Palettes. Each bears 6 shades, five of them brand new and 1 permanent (and no, Orgasm — while iconic — is happily absent here) with one palette leaning cool, while the other is red-hot. Creating exquisite blush is something NARS does very well indeed, and if sporting these lovelies makes me a NARSissist, then so be it.
For Holidays 2016, Tarte has released the limited edition Paint Box Collector’s Makeup Case, filled with 24 tarteist™ eyeshadows, 4 tarteist™ cheek products, a full-sized so fine micro liner in black, a deluxe-sized tarteist™ lash paint mascara in black, and a tarteist™ glossy lip paint in obvi — all housed in a pucci-esque fabric case with gold accents.
The holiday period usually sees more than its share of palettes being launched by practically everyone and while in the past I have tended to pass on anything too “all-in-one”, it appears like brands have really stepped up their game in this department by releasing well-curated collections that not only have visual appeal (I mean, just look at the outer packaging here) but that are good performers as well. Case in point is the palette showcased today — which would also make for a pretty impressive Christmas gift, by the way #hinthint
Pretty Paintbox Collector’s Makeup Case, limited edition (US $59.00)
Created with mineral pigments for an ultra-soft application and smooth feel along with Amazonian clay for long-lasting wear, these eyeshadows come in a broad mix of matte, lustre, satin, and metallic finishes with catchy art-inspired names. Upon opening the case, I confess to staring in admiration at the array presented, as all sit totally in my comfort zone of neutrals. Swatching these eyeshadows revealed another surprise: with the exception of a few, all show good pigmentation (obviously the deeper hues have a stronger colour payoff) and blend effortlessly. Despite some powdery kickback on certain shades, none result in fall-down and when worn over primer, they stay true until removed. I’ve opted to divide them by vertical rows (starting from the left) for the swatches below:
- glitter glue – pearly white with shimmer
- waterlilies – bone, matte
- pearl earring – oyster, satin shimmer
- fresco – nude, matte
- porcelain Dali – pink/nude, matte
- pastel – nude rose, matte
- nudes – champagne, matte
- van Gogh with it – milk chocolate, matte
- frameworthy – soft camel, matte
- hearts & crafts – light pink/tan, matte
- monochrome – pearlized light taupe
- I Louvre it – dusty mauve, matte
- bronze casting – light bronze, shimmer
- metal work – copper, shimmer
- first impressionism – blackened teal, shimmer
- selfie portrait – champagne taupe, shimmer
- hot MoMA – cranberry, shimmer
- get surreal – lilac, multi-tonal shimmer
- silhouette – black, matte
- charcoal sketch – deep brown, matte
- starry night – blackened navy, matte
- one too Manet – rich brown, shimmer
- stained glass – berry, matte
- still life – eggplant, matte
The covered compartment across from the eyeshadows holds a black liner, black mascara and a neutral lip gloss. The so fine micro liner in black has an ultra-fine tapered felt tip for precision work, although you can also create a thicker line by using it more along its width. The waterproof formula does dry relatively quickly, so I suggest working on one eye at a time. The tarteist™ lash paint mascara in black has a full head of bristles with a good sized width, making it easy to use on both upper & lower lashes. Not the most volumizing formula I’ve tried, but I do like how the brush grabs each lash to coat it well. As nude lippie shades are what I usually turn to, I’m really liking how this tarteist™ glossy lip paint in obvi has hints of rose in it to keep it from appearing flat, coupled with a good pigmentation which provide decent coverage — a feat not always easy to accomplish in a shade this light.
The cheek/face portion of this palette is really, really pretty — both visually, and applied. With one blush, two bronzers and a highlighter, all shades do lean more on the warm side but as the pigmentation isn’t too strong, they can still be made to work on those with fair/cooler complexions.
- moment – peach blush, satin finish
- authentic – champagne highlighter
- unique – warm tan bronzer, lustre finish
- provocative – taupe/tan bronzer, matte finish
I have to say that all the colours in this palette are totally up my alley, and that includes both the face and eye shades. To sum up, the eyeshadows performed well enough, although some definitely blew me away while others could have used a bit more work. Surprisingly the lip gloss had more pigmentation than I expected (a good thing), while the face products appear to fall much lighter than what’s seen in the pan, but can also easily be built up for more intensity. Overall, the Pretty Paintbox has a well thought-out colour selection and would make that budding beautista on your list very happy indeed. Bonus point scored for this awesome outer print (love anything Pucci-looking).
Available exclusively at Sephora
PR Sample/As always, all opinions are my own