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I dare you to find a beauty collection that’s happier-looking than this latest shu uemura x Tadashi Murakami collaboration for Holiday 2016. The brand has partnered once again with the iconic pop artist to release a grouping of products that’s knocking it into the stratosphere with the most whimsical packaging EVER to go along with an impressive array of products — such as the Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palettes in Cosmikawaii and Cosmicool (both limited edition) featured in today’s post.
Each palette bears four eyeshadows in a mix of shimmer, pearlized, and matte finishes (the four larger pans at the top), 3 eyeshadows in glitter finishes (top two at right, bottom left), and one blush. Apart from all the shades being generously sized so that you can easily pick up the hue you want without fear of cross-contamination, the palette also includes 2 small applicators: one has a fluffy brush on one end and a more compact brush on the other, while the second is a dual-sponge tipped applicator.
I’ve had some misses with shu uemura eyeshadows in the past, but the shades of both Cosmikawaii and Cosmicool are all quite pigmented and provide good colour payoff along with a very smooth application and effortless blendability. The glittery hues are not really meant to be worn opaque; think of them more as “accents” to be used either strategically (under the brows, inner eye corner) or even layered over other eyeshadows to provide a touch of sparkle — plus they can easily double as highlighters, albeit on the more visible side but since we’re in holiday mode, that works too. The blushes may look rather intense in the pan, but in reality they fall much lighter upon the skin and can be easily diffused for a softer look or even amped up for a stronger effect.
Flower Ball (3D), 2002 Acrylic on canvas mounted on board ∼ Takashi Murakami
Cosmikawaii Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palette (CAN $85.00) | The warmer leaning of the two, here is the shade breakdown:
- cosmic red – cranberry shimmer
- orange – orange shimmer
- mauve purple – lavender pearl
- midnight purple – eggplant matte
- yellow gold – pale gold with glitter
- powder blue – icy blue with silvery glitter
- rose pink – baby pink with silvery glitter
- coral with gold glitters – tangerine based coral with ultra fine gold glitter
Cosmicool Cosmic Blossom Eye & Cheek Palette (CAN $85.00) | The obviously cooler-leaning of the two palettes, although I find the shades can easily be worn by warmer complexions as well — it’s all about mixing and layering. The shade breakdown:
- cosmic blue – more like dirty light purple with a light iridescence
- purple gray – lavender with shimmer
- gray – browned grey with iridescence
- midnight navy – blackened navy matte
- lavender with iridescent glitters – icy lavender with silver glitter
- deep gold – yellow gold with glitter
- silver – starlight silver with glitter
- pink with silver glitters – true rose with ultrafine silvery glitter
Even if it weren’t for the outer packaging that makes me want to almost frame these lovelies, and forgetting for a second that my comfort zone is with neutrals, there’s just something about both Cosmikawaii and Cosmicool that just works. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with more colour (baby steps, though) and I really appreciate that both palettes have this fun yet sophisticated vibrancy that’s totally in line with the Japanese aesthetic, but not so intense that the average woman couldn’t pull off as well. But I do confess that those smiley flower faces so totally have my number …
PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own
For Holiday 2016, Charlotte Tilbury has released several gift sets at varying price points; one such item is The Legendary Muse Eyeshadow Palette that is not only filled with four party-ready shades, but comes adorned with a festive star pattern on the lid. A new discovery for me is this Black Diamonds Colour Chameleon, a combination of smokey, sexy, sophisticated, and glam all housed in once pencil. Sounds almost too good to be true, right? It’s not.
To see all previous reviews on this brand, click on this Charlotte Tilbury link
The Legendary Muse Luxury Palette, limited edition (CAN $64.00) | Four eyeshadow shades bearing varying degrees of shimmer (and one with glitter), housed in the brand’s signature deep burgundy & rose gold compact but prettied up for the holidays with a star pattern on the lid. The shade breakdown:
- top left – rose gold, shimmer
- top right – champagne gold, satin shimmer
- bottom left – gold with ultra fine glitter
- bottom right – peach/rose/gold, satin shimmer
Right on point with the rose gold trend that’s still going strong in both fashion and cosmetics, this palette is perfect for those who want a little bit of glamour to their look but still want it to be utterly wearable. All four hues apply smoothly and blend flawlessly with no fall down, although it should be noted that the gold shade is not as opaque as the rest due to its ultrafine glitter, but is made even lovelier because of that since you can almost ‘control’ the bling factor better — or even layer it over other shades to add a touch of sparkle. Staying power (over primer) is excellent, staying true until removed.
Black Diamonds Colour Chameleon (CAN $32.00) | An eyeliner pencil in a chubby stick format in a deep charcoal hue filled with finely ground silvery/gold glitter. The texture is incredibly creamy, which means it will apply easily and without any harsh tugging along the sensitive skin of your eyes. Once applied, you do have about a minute or so to smudge/blend it out; after that, it’s basically set in stone. What makes this standout for me, is the good ratio of glitter in the mix that gives a lift to what would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill blackened liner. NOTE: not to be applied to the waterline.
Shimmer aside, this palette didn’t initially feel very ‘holiday’ to me at first glance, but after swatching and playing around with some looks — then going in and adding Black Diamonds for definition and depth, I’m actually really loving the more subtle take on holiday bling The Legendary Muse provides. And while it may lean a little warm, the shades are not so scary pigmented that those with fair complexions can’t pull them off – it’s all a matter of application proportions. After all, makeup should be about fun & experimentation and there’s no better time than the holidays to do both! It’s almost law, in fact …
Charlotte Tilbury products are available at select retailers and online
PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own
I’ve only recently begun exploring the Bare Minerals range, and if the skincare products I’ve tried to date have impressed me (more on that coming in future posts), this palette was an unexpected — and totally pleasant — surprise. The Be Beautiful Ready™ Face and Eye Palette holds pretty much everything you’ll need for a completed look (barring foundation & mascara) and what makes it even more unique? Everything has a matte texture, but not the flat light-absorbing kind; think more radiant-matte and you’ll get a better idea.
Be Beautiful Ready™ face and Eye Palette (CAN $58.00/value of $162.00) | This all-matte limited edition palette features products for both face and eyes in a travel friendly compact. The case is made of a rigid plastic that closely mimics metal and has an oversized mirror on the inner lid, along with a secure snap closure.
The shades for the face are all well sized and spaced apart enough that they’re easy to get to with a variety of brushes. The blushes all boast an 8-hour buildable colour along with skin-nourishing properties, and while the Finishing Powder appears somewhat yellow leaning in the pan, it applies fairly sheerly — just don’t be thrown by its chalky texture, since it can still be easily buffed into the skin for an nice setting touch.
The four neutral-leaning eyeshadows all have intense saturation and an almost creamy texture, with pigment-packed colour that’s stated to last up to 12 hours; that said, I still recommend applying primer first for the best wear (especially if you have oily lids like I do).
- Presence – parchment (actually this is an eyeshadow shade, but can double as a matte highlighter as well)
- Promise – palest mauve/white
- Finishing Powder – neutral flesh tone
- Golden Gate Matte – dusky rose
- Inner Beauty – ballerina pink
- Faux Tan Matte – soft mid-sheer tan
- Graceful – dirty lavender
- Exhale – taupe
- Beautiful – dusty rose
- Confident – deepest aubergine
I love shimmer, I really do … but matte shades are my sweet spot. For starters, I find that as I’ve gotten older, matte is much more flattering for me to wear, although I won’t say no to a little pop of shine here and there. The blushes in this palette apply sheerer than what’s seen in the pan — not an issue since the colour can easily be deepened. The pigmentation and effortless blendability of the eyeshadows makes them all winners, not to mention how flattering they’ll be on a wide range of skin tones. Final verdict? An excellent value palette and definitely worth looking into (or picking up as a Christmas gift, perhaps?)
Available at Sephora
PR Sample/As always, all opinions are my own
MAKE UP FOR EVER recently launched the 9 Artist Shadow Palette Volume 4, a collection of 9 matte jewel-rich tones that will brighten the hearts of both shimmer-phobic types and matte aficionados alike. The slim profile compact is nicely portable, making it a great option to have around in the event a last minute holiday invite, while the personally selected colours from founder Dany Sanz, will definitely suit a broad range of complexions — as well as personal tastes. Finally: a matte palette that doesn’t rely strictly on neutrals #thankyoumakeupforever
9 Artist Shadow Palette Volume 4 (CAN $52.00) | The fourth generation palette in this series from MAKE UP FOR EVER – and quite possibly my favourite thus far, it’s comprised of 9 matte shades in the brand’s Artist Shadow advanced gel-powder formula, all housed in a rigid cardboard compact that has a large mirror on the inner lid and a magnetic closure for added security. Arranged in three vertical trios for ease of use, the shades have all been chosen to specifically compliment each other, but obviously you’re free to create your own combinations. The texture on all is sublime: richly pigmented, a buttery smooth application, and excellent staying power (when worn over primer). There’s such a nice diversity of tones that you won’t even miss having a shimmer to play with.
- M-100 – black
- M-620 – grey brown
- M-126 – chalk
- M-842 – wine
- M-806 – antique pink
- M-546 – dark purple taupe
- M-240 – Prussian blue
- M-536 – milk tea
- M-530 – eggshell
MUFE · Artist Shadows 4 vs Artist Shadows 3 (currently on sale) & Artist Shadows 1
Created with some of the highest level of pigments available, each shade in the Artist Shadow series is simply amazing to work with. Effortlessly blendable as well, the 9 hues in this palette are versatile enough to create the softest of looks, or take you all the way up to mega-smoky territory. All in all, this is an excellent investment from a brand that has taken eyeshadows to a whole new level of quality. Another advantage to this palette? With the rather large array of colours to choose from, it takes the stress out of having to pick 9 shades on your own. So thoughtful, no?
Available at Sephora and Sephora.ca
PR samples/As always, all opinions are my own
As someone who usually shops for individual products, I confess that gift sets seem to have this strange pull over me — plus they’re a great way of trying out a bunch of different items from a particular brand, and usually at a decent price too. What makes both the Object of Desire and Up All night gift sets (limited edition) from Marc Jacobs so interesting, is that they not only come filled with 100% wearable shades (and don’t even get me started on the top-tier quality), but housed in packaging that can easily double as the perfect party clutch. So basically, they’re like a beauty twofers.
Previously reviewed from Marc Jacobs Holiday 2016:
Object Of Desire Face and Eye Palette (CAN $93.00) | Housed in a metallic gold vegan patent leather pouch with a luxe silky tassel, this palette has: 1 Perfect Bronzer, 1 Blush, 1 Luminizer, and 6 Plush Eyeshadow shades — everything you need (with the exception of foundation & mascara) to create a variety of looks that will take you from the workplace to the after-party.
The quality of each product is spot-on superb, with excellent colour payoff combined with amazing blendability on all, and though there is some powdery kickback seen in the pan when swirling brushes across their surfaces, none of that translates to fall down upon the skin.
- Tantric – medium warm tan
- Exhibitionist – rose with peach undertones
- Make A Sheen – oyster with pearly reflects
- Lights On – champagne, shimmer
- Candlelight – ecru, metallic
- Dimmer – shadow tan, matte
- Violet Hour – pale mauve, matte
- Twilight – plum with gold shimmer
- In The Dark – blackened brown with shimmer
Up All Night Five-Piece Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection (CAN $66.00) | A collection of Le Marc Lip Crème mini lipsticks in five iconic shades (all permanent) in the brand’s 10-hour wear & triple-milled formula, offering concentrated colour payoff from the first swipe along with a long-lasting hydrating feel — all housed in a metallic hot pink vegan patent leather pouch with a luxe silky tassel.
Unscented, these lipsticks all really do apply in a very creamy way and feel highly comfortable throughout the wearing. Bonus points scored for nudes that don’t wash out your lips or settle into fine lines, while the deeper hues can also be applied as a light stain for those wanting tone things down. Considering there’s only 5 shades, I feel that there’s a good mix of colours offered in this set, enabling you to create a variety of lip looks.
- No Angel – beige nude
- Slow Burn – soft nude rose
- Miss Scarlet – brick red
- Oh Miley! – cherry red
- Scandal – aubergine
As someone who’s only recently started delving more into this brand, I’m quite impressed with what I’ve tried so far and that includes everything in both gift sets shown here. If you’ve yet to explore this range, I can’t recommend either of these enough as they each contain products that are all totally user-friendly (as opposed to eccentric hues created just for the holidays) and the pouches are honest-to-God gorgeous (not gimmicky) — and both are seriously perfect for gifting. Not sure you’ll be able to part with them, but there you have it.
Available at Sephora
PR Samples/As always, all opinions are my own