Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nudey Tuesday: Urban Decay Naked Palette Review, Swatches, Photos

Repurchase: Yes
Price: $44.00 (eyeshadows- 12 x 0.05 oz)
Product: 24/25
Packaging: 4.2/5
Value: 10/10
Overall Grade: A
I'm so excited to finally be reviewing Urban Decay's Naked Palette. This little beauty has been causing a wee bit of chaos -it's been in very high demand  for the last month or so. The minute it's available, it's quickly sold out again. It's currently being sold on Ebay for up to $70-80. In short, people are going gaga for it and for once, I feel the hype is actually well deserved.
The Packaging: I feel that the Naked Palette is packaged very differently from Urban Decay's other palettes. Urban Decay usually produces palettes with a whimsical, child-like feel (think all 4 Book of Shadows, Vegan Palette, Skull Shadow Box Palette, etc.)
Instead of the usual colorful artwork, the eyeshadows are packaged in a rich brown velour 8 x 2.5 inch palette with the word "NAKED" written in gold across the front. The palette opens to reveal a big mirror, 12 eyeshadows, and a slot for the Double-ended 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil. While I do somewhat like the typical artsy Urban Decay packaging, I do like that this has a more grown up feel.
Downside to the packaging? This is hardly a big deal but when I first got the palette, the gold in the "A" was already chipping away -and I hadn't even used the darn thing yet! Also, I don't like that velour can get dusty. Would it be weird to use a lint remover on my palette?!
The Product: The value alone is amazing. One 0.05 oz Urban Decay eyeshadow single costs $17. This palette contains a whopping twelve 0.05 oz eyeshadows which equals to $204 value (for the eyeshadows alone.) Included with the palette is also a Double-ended 24/7 Pencil (2 x 0.02 oz) and mini Primer Potion (0.13 oz.)
The palette includes 6 permanent shades, 1 repromoted shade, and 5 new shades. The eyeshadows in the palette are also amazing quality-wise. I can honestly say that 11 out of the 12 eyeshadows are smooth, long lasting, and have excellent color payoff. The only dud is Creep -which is a lot sheerer than the rest of the shades. However, it is still buildable and you can get decent color payoff from it.
This is by far my favorite Urban Decay palette. I often avoid Urban Decay palettes because they're usually too glittery or colorful for me so this nudey palette is perfect.
The Double-ended 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and mini Primer Potion are also a nice addition to the palette. Urban Decay's 24/7 pencils aren't my favorite because they don't stay on my waterline. However, they do work great on my lash line and stay for hours. (Makeup remover is required for removal.) As for the Primer Potion, I already use it on a regular basis so this is great for travel. If you've never tried Primer Potion before, it's a great eyeshadow primer that prevents your eyeshadow from creasing or fading. I can seriously go to sleep and wake up with my eyeshadow still looking good.
The Color:
  1. Virgin- Shimmery nude beige with a hint of pink (New)
  2. Sin- Frosty, shimmery champagne-rose (Permanent)
  3. Naked- Matte light beige-brown (reminds me of chocolate milk) (Permanent)
  4. Sidecar- Medium bronzey brown with lots of glitter (Repromote)
  5. Buck- Matte darker beige-brown (similar to Naked but darker) (New)
  6. Half Baked- Light copper-bronze with golden shimmer (Permanent)
  7. Smog- Darker medium bronze with the slightest olive edge and bronze shimmer (Permanent)
  8. Darkhorse- Dark "tree bark" brown with softer shimmer (New)
  9. Toasted- Shimmery medium slightly bronzed rose-brown (Permanent)
  10. Hustle- Shimmery dark plum brown (New)
  11. Creep- Sheer blue-black with silvery shimmer (New)
  12. Gunmetal- Blue-ish silver with frosty shimmer (Permanent)
Double-ended 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
  1. Zero- Deep black
  2. Whiskey- Deep chocolate brown


 Above (no flash) from left: Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar
 Above (no flash) from left: Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse
 Above (no flash) from left: Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal
Above (no flash) from left: 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in Zero, Whiskey

Overall: This is so worth the $44. Every single shade is useable. This is especially great for those "natural makeup" lovers and a great addition for even those who enjoy more colorful looks.
I beg you, please don't give in to greedy Ebay sellers and buy this for $70+. This is not limited edition (I've seen a few Ebay sellers listing it as LE) -it's just a very popular product. Once the hype dies down (probably in a month give or take), there will be plenty for you to buy at the regular $44 price.
Where To Buy: Sephora, Urban Decay, Macy's

Also, here is the full ingredient list for the Naked Palette (I felt it was too long to put it in the middle of the review.)
Gunmetal: Talc, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Stearate, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Methylparaben, Acrylates Copolymer, Propylparaben.
Sidecar: Polyethylene Terephthalate, Talc, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Stearate, Acrylates Copolymer, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
Half Baked: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Talc, Zinc Stearate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
Sin, Smog, Toasted: Talc, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Stearate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
Darkhorse, Hustle, Virgin: Talc, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehyroacetate, Sorbic Acid.
Buck: Talc, Zinc Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehyroacetate, Sorbic Acid.
Naked: Zinc Stearate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Magnesium Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehyroacetate, Sorbic Acid.
Creep: Talc, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehyroacetate, Sorbic Acid, Tin Oxide.
All shades may contain: CI 77019 (Mica), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491/CI 77492/CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77000 (Aluminum Powder), CI 77400 (Bronze Powder), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Yesterday's Makeup Haul & New Urban Decay Primer Potion Packaging?! (Plus amazing Wet 'n' Wild deals)

Sunday was all about Urban Decay and Wet 'n' Wild!
I'm so happy to say that I've finally got my hands on the Urban Decay NAKED Palette. I knew my boyfriend had gotten it for me, but I didn't know when he was going to actually give me the palette. I was sitting down and asked him to get me the "brown" blanket since it was freezing (it's pretty hot here but I get so cold easily!) Anyways, he said, "Ok" and went into the closet to get it. Instead, he came out with the Naked Palette! He placed it in my hands and all I could do was stare at it. I know it seems insane to be so happy about plain ol' makeup but I seriously couldn't speak! I was so ecstatic.
Here's a peak at the colors. I'm sure you've already seen it from YouTube and so many other blogs.
I'll be reviewing it tomorrow for Nudey Tuesday.
Later on at night, he took me to Rite Aid because I'd been wanting to get some Wet 'n' Wild stuff. This week, they have a BOGO (buy 1 get 1 free) sale going on so it was perfect. I also had a $5 off $10 Wet 'n' Wild coupon (I got it from October's issue of All You magazine) and another Rite Aid $1 off $10 cosmetics purchase coupon.
With all the coupons, I got 6 products for just $5.97 (before tax.) It really pays off to add up those coupons. Without coupons, the subtotal would've been $22.94 (before tax.)
P.S. I'm on a trial subscription of All You. Most magazines will send you 1 or 2 "trial issues" and if you don't like it, you just cancel. The magazine's pretty cool -the best part is the coupons on practically every other page, but I already get so many other magazine subscriptions plus the daily paper so I'm not sure if I want to subscribe yet.

And last but not least, I got an email from Sephora saying that Urban Decay's popular Primer Potion was now available (for a limited time) in the professional size. I really have no idea why they don't make this permanent -I don't think anyone likes the genie bottle packaging. For $29, it seems a little steep but you do get a lot of product (0.85 oz.) I want to buy it -but I already have enough Primer Potion to last me well over a year (plus I often switch it out with the Too Faced Shadow Insurance.) Hopefully they'll still have this later on at UrbanDecay.com. Click here to buy.

NARS 3-Piece Duo Lip Gloss Set Review, Swatches, Photos

Repurchase: Yes
Price: $49.00 (0.96 oz)
Product: 22.3/25
Packaging: 4.5/5
Value: 10/10
Overall Grade: A-
I've mentioned several times before that I absolutely adoreNARS lip glosses. I know some people hate them, but for those like me who love them, I'd highly recommend the NARS 3-Piece Duo Lip Gloss Set.
The Packaging: The set is packaged in a nice little box and wrapped with a ribbon -perfect and ready for gift giving. The tubes are like the "regular" NARS lip glosses tubes -except double sided. The rubbery, matte black "caps" are in the middle and have a doe foot applicator on each side (1 for each gloss.) I think the tubes are actually really convenient -they allow you to carry more gloss shades without the extra weight.
The Product: This is a great value. You get 0.96 oz for just $49.00! I think NARS may have discontinued all their duo lip glosses (they only have the lip gloss/lip stain duos on the site) but they used to be (I think) $28.00. The "regular" glosses are 0.28 oz for $24.00 each.  So no matter what, you're getting a really good deal.
NARS lip glosses tend to have a thinner texture. I've heard a lot of people describe NARS glosses as being sticky -but to me, they're more tacky. The tackiness helps the gloss stick to the lips but I don't find them to be sticky (like MAC glosses.) The gloss is also smooth and moisturizing and keeps my lips soft for hours (including the hours after the gloss has faded.) It lasts for about 4 hours on bare lips.
The only downside is the smell and taste -like waxy crayons. But once it's applied, it quickly goes away so it's really not too bad.
Above (from top): Giza, Chihuahua, Harlow
Above (from top): Boogie Nights, Rose Birman, Sweet Dreams

The Color: These all can be sheered out and layered for a more pigmented effect.
Rose Birman/Chihuahua Duo
1. Rose Birman- Sheer deep red with a touch of brown.
2. Chihuahua- Light pinkish guava.
Sweet Dreams/Harlow Duo
3. Sweet Dreams- Sheer light pink with lots of pink and golden shimmer.
4. Harlow- Light frosty mauve with silver shimmer.
Boogie Nights/Giza Duo
5. Boogie Nights- Deep but bright metallic-y rasberry fuchsia with fuchsia shimmer.
6. Giza- Light milky peach with a touch of pink.

Above (no flash) from left: NARS Lip Glosses in Rose Birman, Chihuahua, Harlow, Sweet Dreams, Boogie Nights, Giza
Above (no flash) from left: NARS Lip Glosses in Rose Birman, Chihuahua, Harlow, Sweet Dreams, Boogie Nights, Giza
Above (no flash): NARS Lip Gloss in Rose Birman
Above (no flash): NARS Lip Gloss in Chihuahua
Above (no flash): NARS Lip Gloss in Harlow
Above (no flash): NARS Lip Gloss in Sweet Dreams
Above (no flash): NARS Lip Gloss in Boogie Nights
Above (no flash): NARS Lip Gloss in Giza

Overall: I love this set. It also helps that I can actually use all the colors -even Boogie Nights and Rose Birman (I'm usually scared of darker shades.) For anyone who likes NARS glosses, definitely look into getting this set.

Where To Buy: NARS

Random Snapshots Vol. 6: LEGO Party!

We celebrated my brother's birthday about a month ago and I totally forgot that I wanted to share some of the pictures with you. It was a LEGO themed party and we went all out. There were LEGO themed snacks, games, party favors, and more and pretty much everything was hand-made because no stores had LEGO party supplies. It was definitely the hardest we ever worked on for one of the kids' parties and the most expensive. Why couldn't he just want a party at Chuck E. Cheese like a normal kid??

LEGO Sugar Cookies- These took the longest to make.. about 15 hours. I had to cut the dough by hand (no cookie cutters) using a ruler and knife, bake the cookies, ice them, and put the candy dots on top.
LEGO Rice Krispies Treats
LEGO Men Gummies (like gummy bears)
I love all the colors!
Chocolate LEGO bricks
This was what the "place setting" looked like. Each kid had a "LEGO Man" with his name on it on top of a plain LEGO mat where they got to build whatever they wanted.
LEGO party favor bags!
Guess how many LEGOs are in the jar?
This was one of the games. The kids were put into teams and had to memorize everything on the board. The team who memorized the most items won!
LEGO & Space themed birthday cake
Happy Birthday!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

NARS Bridal Palette Review, Swatches, Photos

Repurchase: No
Price: $60.00
Product: 21/25
Packaging: 3/5
Value: 8/10
Overall Grade: B
The last of the NARS palettes to review is the Bridal Palette. After hearing so many rave reviews, I was really excited for this -but it didn't live up to my expectations.
The Packaging: The products are packaged in traditional NARS packaging -a matte black, rubbery palette. I like the big mirror that's included -perfect for travel. However, I mentioned in the review for the Everlasting Love palette that I hate when powder and cream products are packaged together. All the powder from the eyeshadows and blushes get mixed into the lipsticks and lip lacquer -sort of "contaminating" them.
The Product:
1. Eyeshadows- The eyeshadows were pigmented, smooth, and long lasting. Of the 4, I felt that Nepal and Ondine had excellent color payoff. Night Fever and Edie only had average/good payoff. Night Fever is a little hard to work with. I've read from several reviews that it's just plain black when applied but you really have to layer it on to see the violet flecks. Also, I found it difficult to blend.
2. Blushes- Like the eyeshadows, both blushes were smooth, pigmented, and long wearing. Orgasm had better color payoff of the 2 but Albatross still had good payoff. Helpful Hint: With Albatross, use a light hand if you're tanner/darker. It appears white on my skin when I use too much.
3. Lip Products- Like the Everlasting Love palette, I felt that the lipsticks and lip lacquer were all on the sheer side. Each color only gave me a slight "tint" of color -not what I wanted. (Baby Doll Lip Lacquer doesn't show up on my lips at all!) I'm positive that this has to do with the fact that these are packaged in pan/palette form because I've swatched the lipsticks (in regular stick form) and they're all much more pigmented.
Other then that, the lipsticks and lacquers were comfortable to wear and were semi-moisturizing. The lipsticks, however, dry out my lips over time.
Above: NARS Bridal Palette
The Color:
1. Nepal- Muted, almost tanned, rose with pearly shimmer.
2. Ondine- Muted plum with a hint of taupe and gold shimmer.
3. Edie- Sheer cream with fine shimmer.
4. Night Fever- Smokey black-violet (more black than violet) with violet flecks of glitter. (This definitely could've been more pigmented and intense.)
1. Orgasm Blush- Medium peachy pink with a coral edge and golden shimmer.
2. Albatross Highlighter- Cream with golden shimmer. This gives a warm, luminous glow and has a really nice sheen to it.
Lip Products
1. Mitzi Lipstick- Sheer, rosey strawberry (think real red strawberries) pink with shimmer. (This is nearly the same color as my lips and only darkens them a bit.) If this actually came out like the swatch displayed on the NARS and Sephora sites, I'd be in love.
2. Baby Doll Lip Lacquer- Light, shimmery pink with a slight hint of peach. (Doesn't show up on my lips.)
3. Sexual Healing Lipstick- Metallic bronzed rose with a slight peach tint and silver shimmer.
4. Roman Holiday Lipstick- Sheer pastel pink. On the lips, the true color doesn't show much and gives a pinkish tint.

Above NARS Bridal Palette (from left): Nepal, Ondine, Edie, Night Fever, Orgasm Blush, Albatross Blush
Above NARS Bridal Palette (from left): Mitzi lipstick, Baby Doll Lip Lacquer, Sexual Healing lipstick, Roman Holiday lipstick

Overall: Along with the Everlasting Love and Wild At Heart Palettes, I've since sold this palette. I feel like the palette is pretty good overall -if you like all the shades. I really wish the lipsticks and lacquer were more pigmented but the eyeshadows and blushes were overall good/very good.
On the upside, this is a palette that will work with most skin tones as it's very subtle and natural. The palette is true to its name and would work very well for bridal looks (although I'd prefer other products for my own bridal look myself.)

Where To Buy: NARS