Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Shade Extensions for Summer 2017: 102 Fair Porcelain & 105 Fair Ivory

Let me start today's review with a rave for Maybelline.  They've added additional shades in their Fit Me Matte & Poreless line, and by far it's the most comprehensive at the drugstore. The shade lineup now clocks in at a truly impressive 32 shades- and they're really working at covering all skintones from the palest of the pale to the deep ebony. So bravo, Maybelline!

Initially, I planned to pass this release because this isn't a formula that particularly wears well on me. Still, the addition of two new pale shades lured me back in, and I'm glad I kept two other bottles (at one point I had five) in my stash for reference.

The basics:
Full Product Name: Fit Me Foundation Matte & Poreless
Targeted: Oily to Normal Skin
Number of shades: 32
Price: $5.99/1oz (Walmart), $7.99 (,, $8.49 (CVS)
Packaging: Glass bottle, no pump

There are two new pale shades- 102 Fair Porcelain and 105 Fair Ivory. Here they are swatched:

Before I get into the full comparison, let's talk about why I'm not a huge fan of this foundation. I've tried it with so many different primers because it's such a popular line, but it's such a long-term fail for me.

Here's a huge smile line after 5 hours:

And look at my chin after that same 5 hours:


The color match is on point, though. It's 102 Fair Porcelain. This is a foundation that looks great for 3-4 hours tops, and then breaks down on me.

I have the lightest 4 shades in my collection right now:

OK, let's swatch. Although the formula just doesn't do it for me, it is the most pale-girl friendly line in US drugstores at the moment.

Let's talk about the shades for a moment. I think 102 is a great match for me. In the past, I found 110 to be way too yellow but 112 to be too dark. So, I'd blend, use mixers, and tweak. I can wear 102 straight up and like it a lot, shade-wise. 105 is still a little too dark but I bet it'll work well when I'm self-tanned (yeah, I know. Self-tanned and needing a lightest shade extension.). I think 102 is more neutral than 110.

Bottom Line: I think this is a great foundation in terms of shade offerings, and I pray other drugstore brands follow Maybelline's lead in embracing all complexions. I'm going to keep playing with it, but the formula isn't long-wearing for me. I wanted to show my support for lighter foundation shades and share them with you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, Alkaline 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil & Torch 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Admittedly, I'm not much of a Naked girl. I always buy the new release, play with it for a week or two, and then it gathers dust in my expansive collection. But something was different when I spotted the first promo images of the new Naked Heat palette.

This palette launches June 30 on Urban Decay's website, July 10th on Ulta and Sephora websites, and July 13 in-store. I purchased mine during a one-day preview that Ulta offered last week. I stopped playing with everything else to put this to its paces.

Let's take a moment to talk packaging. It looks like a matchbox!

Very cool. I also love that the matches are a gradient to represent the deepening shades. Nice touch, Urban Decay!

Now, let's look at the palette itself. It's sturdier than prior versions.

It reminds me of the Naked Smoky, so let's check out the size comparison.

So Naked Heat is thicker. I can't explain how much sturdier the packaging feels.

Let's compare it to one of the metal Naked Palettes:

Clearly larger.

So, the packaging is a win for me. But what does the palette look like?

OOOHHHH. Color me hot, bothered, and impressed.

Urban Decay Naked Heat will retail for $54 and offers 12 new shades that weigh in at 1.3g each. Unlike prior Naked releases, this one is mostly mattes, and totally on trend with its fiery shades.

Let's look at the shades a bit closer.

Ounce is a shimmery highlight shade that I like on the brow bone.
Chaser is cool-toned perfect matte transition shade.
Sauced is a warmer, darker matte that gives a ton of fallout. This picture is pulling a bit light.
Low Blow is a warm nearly chestnut matte.

Lumbre is a coral shimmer with gold reflect. It reminds me of other shadows I've been loving recently.
He Devil is a chestnut red brown matte that does produce fallout.
Dirty Talk is a mid-toned red shimmer.
Scorched is a deep red shimmer with a metallic edge.

All of these shades look lighter than in the palette- blame the lighting.

Cayenne is a deep red matte.
En Fuego is a Burgundy matte.
Ashes is a deep purple matte.
Ember is a blackened Burgundy metallic shade and my favorite in the palette.

One of the major criticisms of prior UD Naked palettes was the Matte:Shimmer ratio. It seems that they've listened- and the formula's better than ever before.

Now, the important part. Here are my swatches, all done with a dry MAC 242 brush, cleaned between shades in a Color Switch.

In ambient light:

With flash on:

I know that there has been a lot of controversy surrounding swatches of this palette. I didn't manipulate this in any way or try to make the swatches look better than they are. I think it's a great palette, and actually better texture than the prior Naked palettes.

There are also two new 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils with this collection. I've read varying reports that they're LE or permanent; I tend to think they're not LE.

Like all others, these two shades retail for $20 each. Urban Decay makes one of my favorite eyeliners, but the price point keeps me from going into "collect them all" mode.

I'll readily admit that Torch, a burnt orange, really captured my imagination. I knew it would be tougher to wear than Alkaline, a wine with purple berry undertones.

Here they are, swatched:

Nope, I don't have anything like either of these in my current collection. These are certainly great additions to my collection.

Now, it's time to put the collection to the test.

I will note that my initial first impression somehow morphed from a simple testing look to a self-imposed challenge to create a look using only Urban Decay products. I blame the summer flu I was battling and the fact I hadn't eaten for two days at that point.

Here's what I was looking at:

Now, I spent my time and really played with about half of the palette. And yes, I'm having a natural/feathery brow moment. I also just don't want to be bothered with Instagram brows in real life.

I have to be honest, I kinda really dig this look, especially given my blue eyes:

My eyes never look this blue. Love this palette for that!

Let's talk through this look because I took tons of notes for some reason.


1. Use Sephora Collection tape to create cat eye shape.
2. Use Urban Decay primer potion.
3. Red Flag #1: There's no shade for a light skin tone to set eye primer in the palette. The lightest shade Ounce is shimmery, and Chaser is darker than my skin (but I think it'll be great as a transition shade). So I had to grab WOS from the UD Naked Basics. It's a bit disappointing that this isn't a one-palette look for me. I used the included brush just to try it out. It worked ok.
4. Using the bending side of the included brush, took Chaser as a transition. I am in LUST with this shade.
5. I deepened the crease with Sauced. Definitely tap this one off, but it did blend nicely.
6. I put He Devil on the outer V.
7. I put Lumber in the inner 1/3 of the lid. It reminds me of a color I've seen in the Sunset palette but not nearly as bendable.
8. Scorched is on the outer 2/3 of the lid. Hella fallout city, and I'm glad I didn't do my base first. It's not that different. Hmmm.
9. I layered Ember on the outer part of the lid. Ahh, there's some gradient. I adore this shade.
10. Remove tape, clean up with a wipe.

Not as bad as the other Naked palettes. Most of that came from Sauced & Scorched.

I did my face, and then went back to my eyes.
11. Tried the liquid liner, failed. Smudged Black Velvet on my upper lash line (that's why it's so thick- it's a pencil)
12. Used new liner Torch on the lower water line.
13. Buffed Sauced on the lower lash line.

For trial #2, I changed up the shades a bit but did pick up Ember both times. I also put the other new liner Alkaline on my lower lash line.

I really like this palette, and it's really on trend. I think I'll use this more than any of the other Naked palettes.

Red Flag #2: Both of these looks are similar, but I'll keep playing with the palette to see what other distinctly different ones I can produce. That said, most looks I've seen are relatively similar.

Whenever this collection is released, I'll swatch the lipsticks to see if I own something similar.

Bottom Line: I'm in love with this collection. Urban Decay hit it out of the park with this palette and liners.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Kiko Milano Active Fluo Eyeshadow Palette

I wanted to do a quick little review of this small palette that I picked up about 10 days ago because it's part of a capsule collection (the Active Fluo Collection) and won't be available for an extended period of time.

I'm happy to introduce yet another new brand to the blog- Kiko Milano.

The brand is offering a series of capsule collections in celebration of the brand's 20th birthday. The Active Fluo Collection was created in collaboration with fashion designer Arthur Arbesser, and is loaded with neons.

I'm going to quote Kiko's website:

"Neon effect make-up with pop colours. A fun, high-performance make-up. Energy, dynamism and irony.
Introducing Active Fluo, the third KIKO MILANO capsule collection, created by fashion designer Arthur Arbesser. The designer has created a unique collection that combines bold graphic motifs, patterns and colours with clean, minimalist shapes.
The make-up is vibrant and the fluo colours brimming with energy, for looks that steal the show. The passion, energy and technical performance inherent in sports are revived in specific products designed to maximize make-up hold. Comfort is at all times a must."

I have the Active Fluo Eyeshadow Palette ($16, to share with you today. It's neon and ridiculous in its fabulosity. The six shadows are all matte, and to be honest- I couldn't stop thinking about this little guy.

This palette will certainly pop in your drawer, and it's a cute little package. This is similar in size to the Dose of Colors palettes (ooh, spoiler alert there for upcoming posts!). It is made in Italy, and has 6 1.5g shadows. I love that the packing itself is neon- it will make it easy to find this pop of color for sure.

It's much nicer for $16 than American counterparts at that price point, just saying. These shades scream summer to me, for sure.

Now, I've got swatches in two different lighting setups. These are a bit sheer but buildable- you'll see what I mean.

First, I cranked up the studio lights and look at what we got. Ick. However, this is closer to the blended out look you can get on the eye- hence why I'd bother to show this photo.

Let's turn down those lights and show something a bit more true to the human eye, ok?

Pretty. Again, they're more watercolor neons. For true pops of color, use primer (I didn't have any on my skin) and a white base. And layer.

For $16, I think this is a pretty awesome little palette.

It did remind me of two other (far more expensive) palettes in my collection, so let's take a look.

Let's start with Kat Von D's Pastel Goth- which is what I thought of after playing with this palette for a couple of days (my initial thought was the Urban Decay Electric palette).

I will say that I prefer Kat Von D's formula- but if you missed Pastel Goth, I think you can find some similar shades here.

OK, let's take a look at a few shades from the Urban Decay Electric Palette.

I know the lighting's a bit different, but I wanted to find the shots that best represented the shades. I'm still fooling with the best setup in my beauty room.

Bottom Line: I think this is an adorable collection, and I'm glad I got this palette. At $16, I find it to be a great value; I have better quality shadows but find Kiko to be reasonably priced and good quality. This isn't my favorite formula offered by the brand, but I'm enjoying this pop of color for summer.

QBB Hauls: Inside my Ulta 20% Haul

Just a quick first post today to share my Ulta 20% off haul with you and a funny pattern that I find myself following. Yes, First Post. A quick aside- I have a number of formulaic posts that I want to cover at the end of the month (favorites, empties, #ProjectUseThemALL, etc). Since I have so many products to review, these will be double post days. Same goes for this haul.

OK, back to the topic at hand. It's widely known that Ulta sends 20% off coupons to Platinum members 4ish times per year (I feel like it's more like every other month, to be honest) that include Prestige. Even though I'd just redeemed 4000 points ($250) and spent another $200 this past week (Over $100 of that was Naked Heat and 2 liners, with overnight shipping), I couldn't resist the coupon.

My haul reveals a lot about my normal behavior during these coupons- and the VIB sales.

  • Drybar Southern Belle Mousse: Oh thank you whatever deity you believe in. I've been struggling with a mousse I detest since February but have been too stubborn to purchase a fave instead. Since I had the coupon, I finally bought one of my two all-time faves.
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Neutral: This travel-sized concealer was a strategic purchase. When I was self-tanned earlier in the month, I found that my concealers were too light. I wanted to get a slightly darker concealer, in a small amount. Check. I also can't remember why I purchased and returned Fair over a year ago.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Grape Jelly: The fifth and final purchase from the new releases; look for a review on Friday/Saturday (I have it about 80% written/photographed but can't remember what day I'm posting it on).
  • Urban Decay Subversion Primer: I literally had this on my shopping list because it's time to say good-bye to my current tube. Perfectly timed coupon
  • Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Light: Yes, I now own 3 shades of this concealer (Fair, Fair Beige, and Light if you're counting). When I was self-tanned, I missed this so badly that I wanted to purchase a slightly darker shade. That's love.
  • Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Smoldering Satin: This is the next-to-last shade I needed to purchase. Look for me to feature all 15 on the site soon.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit in Fair: This is an item I was interested in, and wanted to put to test for the blog.
  • Tarte CC Undereye Concealer in Light/Medium: I've almost finished my second? third? one of these and it's a staple product for me. Easy purchase.

If the theme isn't prevalent, let me explain. Three of eight products were straight repurchase/restock. Only one of eight was an entirely new product to me, as I owned four of eight products in a different shade at some point.

This is what I do during these sales- repurchase items I'm almost out of or other shades of products I like. Does anyone else do this-skip on new items largely to restock?

What did you get, or what are you planning to get with your 20% off?

Everyday Makeup Drawer: 25 June- 1 July 2017

Originally, I hadn't planned to post this week about my drawer. I missed last week; I have no idea if these are even interesting or useful to any audience. However, I was far more productive in terms of giving myself a buffer, so I had time to write a quick post that will publish in a few hours from the time that I'm dashing this off on Sunday evening. Consider this a continuation of a period of time where there will be so. many. posts.

So, here's a short look at my drawer- and a preview of a few posts coming in the coming weeks (most of which are written! Yay me!).

The drawers, loaded and in action:

My shorthand:

(s) Sample or travel sized
(p) permanently dwelling in the drawer until it's used up
(t) item I'm currently testing

Primers and Correctors: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water (p), Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer- Pore Minimizing (s,p), CoverFX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment (s,p), Make Up For Ever Step 1- Redness Reducing Primer (s,p), Milk Makeup Blur Stick (s,p), Too Faced Hangover Rx 3 in 1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (s, t), L'Oreal Magic Perfecting Base (p), Tarte CC Undereye Corrector (p), Giorgio Armani Master Corrector (p), LA Girl Pro Conceal- Lavender Corrector (p), MAC Paint Pot- Painterly (p), Urban Decay Primer Potion (s)

Concealers: Tarte Shape Tape in Fair & Fair Beige (p), NARS Soft Matte Concealer in Chantilly, NARS Concealer in Chantilly (spotted in my backup drawer)

Foundation and Powders: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear in 90 & 100, La Mer The Foundation in Porcelain 01, Mac Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation in NW13 & NW18, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light, MAC Studio Fix in NW15 (p), L'Oreal Infallible Pro Glow Powder in 21 Classic Ivory, Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder, RCMA No-Color Powder

Liners, Brows, Lipliners, and Mascara:

Liners: L'Oreal Voluminous Liner Noir (p), NYX Slide On, Glide On Liners in Golden Bronze, Jewel, and Glitzy Gold, Anastasia Beverly Hills Darkside, Liquid Silver, and Liquid Gold Liners, Urban Decay 24/7 Liners in Torch and Alkaline, Chanel Style Yeux Waterproof in Terra Rossa, Hourglass Mechanical Gel Liner in Obsedian (p), Maybelline Master Precise Skinny in Sharp Brown,  Julep Gel Liner

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz in Dark Brown (p), Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Dark Brown (p)

Lip Liners: Urban Decay Naked Lipliner, Lipstick Queen Invisible Liner, MAC Naked Liner, Urban Decay Peyote Liner, NYX Suede Liner- Run the World, Sephora Nano Liner- Pinup Pink, Urban Decay Liner in Streak, Chanel Precision Lip Liner- Sonic Pink, Wet n Wild Gel Liner- Red the Scene,

Mascara: Urban Decay Subversion Primer (being tossed Saturday)(p), Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (s,p), L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise in Darkest Black & Waterproof (p)

Contour: Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit in Light to Medium

Bronzer: L'Oreal Glam Bronzer 01 Light

Blush: NARS Foreplay palette, Natasha Denona Blush Duo #19, Urban DecayAfterglow Blush- Indecent, Clinique Cheek Pop- Nude Pop

Highlight- Pixi + Aspyn Novard Glow-y Powder- London Lustre, Laura Geller Baked Highlighter- French Vanilla, Wet n Wild Coloricon Bronzer- Reserve Your Cabana

Eyeshadow: Tarte magnetic palette with Anastasia Beverly Hills shadows, Dose of Colors Baked Browns Palette, Dose of Colors Marvelous Mauves Palette, Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette, Viseart Neutral Matte palette (p)

Lip Glosses: bareMinerals gloss in Sugar, MAC Creamsheen glass in Cha-Cha-Cha, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses in: Maui, St. Tropez,  Caramel, Rio, Petal, Socialite, and Grape Jelly, Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss #119

Lipstick/Liquid Lips: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick- Peyote, bareMinerals Statement Matte lipstick in Juicy, bareMinerals GenNude Liquid Lip in Slay, MAC lipsticks in Shy Girl and Love at First Bite, Laura Mercier Velour Colours in Aroused

And here's the stand I keep on top of my desk where I sit and do my makeup:

Phew, that's it!  I kept it relatively simple this week.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Maybelline Master Fairy Highlight by Face Studio Illuminating Powder

Another day, another item that caught my eye and I couldn't wait to share it with you. I'll be featuring all 7 of the Maybelline City palettes (yes, there are seven) later this week, but I couldn't wait to share this instead.

While browsing the Ulta website recently for one of several large orders, I spotted two new highlighters that aren't the chrome/gold one getting all of the attention. I already know that one will be too dark for me, so this purple beauty really caught my imagination.

The Basics:
Full Product Name: Maybelline Master Fairy Highlight by FaceStudio Illuminating Powder- The Exclusive Purple
Price: $9.99
Size: 0.25oz/7g
Retailer:, I'm not sure if this will be coming in-store
Other colors in the line? Yes, a rainbow highlight (I have two, so I didn't pick it up)

Let's look at the packaging. It's plastic and feels solid.

Like many other drugstore products, it opens both from the top and bottom. There's a mirror and, inexplicably, a sponge under the pan on the bottom. Don't use a sponge with this!

Let's talk about the product itself. This is a true highlighter- it's too shimmery, in my opinion, to be used on the eyes. Let's look at that pan closely.

There are four shades- all a gradient of purple. The third shade (L-R) is the most glittery of the bunch.

Here is is, each color individually swatched:

And here's a blended swatch:

Please keep in mind that I'm swatching rather heavily; this is a lovely lilac when picked up with a fan brush and looks gorgeous against my pale complexion.

Bottom Line: I recommend checking this out- I suspect it's an Ulta exclusive due to the shade name. In a world becoming saturated with rainbow highlighters, it's cool to see a drugstore brand go for something out of the box like this.