Review: Tartelette Palette

After a short break from the wee ol’ blog here (life got in the way!) I’m back!

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A few weeks ago I picked up the new Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette from Sephora. And I’m happy to report back that I absolutely love it!

I’ll be honest though – when it was first released I wasn’t interested in it at all. I had picked up a holiday set from Tarte last year and ended up being pretty disappointed with the eye shadows. They were very dry and patchy & they didn’t go on my eyelids smoothly. Overall they were pretty much duds! Sad, right?

Back to this new release, I had no intention of buying it, but secretly admitted that shadows looked lovely and I really liked that it was an all matte palette. I use matte shadows for my crease in almost all my looks, so the palette would come in handy, but again, I still felt a bit burned by the holiday palette I bought.

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Well I was in Sephora picking up a few other items and I decided to give the palette a little swatch and get a feel for the shadows in person. And oh my! They felt lovely and swatched great. Color me intrigued! I tucked that baby in my Sephora bag right that second.

(Side note: I always prefer to check out eyeshadows in person versus ordering blindly online, you just never know what you’re gonna get when you only have a picture online to make a decision.)

I’ve been happily using this palette almost every day since I bought it. The first row of shadows are perfect brow bone highlight shades, and the second row is perfect for building up my crease. The third and fourth row are going to be super fun when I want a more dramatic look! I don’t do those very often though. I would have to say that my favorite shades are Natural Beauty and Best Friend.

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I think my favorite part of the palette is the fact that it’s really reasonably priced! It’s $44 for 12 matte shades that all work really well together. And the setup of the shadows within the palette make it really easy to create simple but beautiful eye looks. This palette will be very loved in 2015, I just know it!

Swatches below the cut!

Have you tried this palette? Do you love it as much as I do?

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Mac Haul for a Mac Newbie

I have to admit that I’m fairly new to Mac cosmetics – I know, I know. Crazy, right? I went shopping a few weekends ago specifically to pick up some new items. I only own one Mac lipstick (Plumful!), the 217 blending brush, some of their holiday pigments, and their Fix+ spray.

I really wanted to introduce myself to their eyeshadows. So I swatched quite a few and then settled on the four below! I have plans to pick out more soon as I’m really happy with them so far.

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(Left to right: Coppering, Mythology, Satin Taupe, and All That Glitters)

I also decided that I wanted to try one of their paint pots in Soft Ochre since it matches my skin tone perfectly and I think it’ll work great as an eyeshadow base (and a week into using it and so far, so good!)

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I did buy some Mac pigments in their holiday sets back in November, the pinky, rose tones; and I was really happy with those so I decided to buy Mac’s Blue/Brown pigment which I had seen swatches of online and I thought they were stunning.

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All in all I’m really happy with my purchases and you better believe I’ll be back for some more Mac.

What are some of your all-time favorite Mac shadows? I’d love some more suggestions on what to pick up next!

Swatches of the eyeshadows and pigment below the cut!

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Mid-Week Mani

It’s been a very dreary and snow filled week in Chicago (more than 20 inches of snow) so I was feeling that my nails needed a little TLC and a bright new color.

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Ahh, all the tools I used!  Here’s how I went about my mid-week manicure.

Step 1: Remove old nail polish.

I’m a fan of this Target brand nail polish remover by Up & Up – the pink version works really well for me. (The purple version sucks, don’t buy it!) I also prefer using the exfoliating cotton rounds because they remove nail polish much easier than the regular cotton rounds available at Target.

Step 2: Use sugar scrub to exfoliate and soften hands.

I use this sugar scrub that I picked up while ago from Sally Beauty Supply. You could also probably make your own sugar scrub at home with sugar & coconut oil. I’m almost out of my sugar scrub, so I may try some DIY scrubs next!

Step 3: Use hand cream to hydrate and soften skin.

I use First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream for this step. I usually have a 2oz bottle stashed away in my purse because I suffer from extremely dry hands & cuticles. It has a nice thick consistency, but doesn’t leave my hands feel greasy. It sinks in to my skin in seconds!

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Step 4: Use Sally Hansen Hard As Nails as a base coat. (Note: I use this as base & top coat as it leaves a beautiful glossy finish.)

Step 5: Paint nails with bright and fun color! In my case, I picked the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in the shade Blue My Mind.

Step 6: As mentioned above, I again use the Sally Hansen Hard As Nails as my top coat – leaving a lovely shine.

Step 7: After waiting for my nails to completely dry, I drop on Orly’s Argan Oil Cuticle Drops and let them soak into my cuticles. Gotta take care of those super dry cuticles of mine!

And here’s my end result! Not perfect but it will do the job. That’s what at-home manicures are for, right?

DSCN0442Do you have any shades of polish you’re loving at the moment? What are your favorite nail polish brands to use? 

 

 

Favorite Winter (Budget Friendly) Lip Balm

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I use a lot of lip balm – which means I try a lot of lip balm. But I always go back to my favorite during the dry winter months. Smith’s Rosebud Salve ($6 for .8oz) is simply the best at keeping my lip moisturized and soft. It’s also pretty budget friendly, unlike the much talked about Dior Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm that rings in at $28 for .25oz of product, so I like to have multiples that I tuck away in my purse, my desk at work, and my nightstand.

I personally think that the Rosebud Salve is just as good (if not better) than the Dior Creme de Rose. Bold statement, I know! (If you’re feeling spendy though, I wouldn’t say no to picking up the Creme de Rose. It’s a great product.)

I also like to use this salve in the summer on sunburned lips. It’s cooling, smooth and hydrating in all the right ways. It has a soft scent of roses which I absolutely love, it’s not for everyone but it’s subtle enough that it wouldn’t bother most people.

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Have you ever tried Smith’s Rosebud Salve? Do you have any other must-have lip balms that I should try?

Miracle Worker & An Ulta Deal

Last month I received a sample of Philosophy’s Miracle Worker Overnight cream and I happened to be in the market for a new evening moisturizer that would be a bit more hydrating and intensive. I really enjoy waking up to silky-soft skin, and my current moisturizer that I used for both day and night wasn’t quite as potent as I had wanted.

I used the Miracle Worker Overnight cream for one night – only one! And I was SOLD. I immediately got online to check Sephora and Ulta. I decided to purchase it from Ulta, for reasons unknown, and as it was sitting in my basket I was clicking around for a few other items, I noticed that there was an Online Only deal for both the Miracle Worker and Miracle Worker Overnight (2oz in each) for $77.

Here’s where I point out that for just the Miracle Worker Overnight (2oz) it’s $68, so for less than $10 more I would get both moisturizers and a deluxe sample of their eye repair cream.

Um, SIGN ME UP. I couldn’t make that order any faster.

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I’ve been using the products for almost a week now and I’m super happy with them. In the morning my skin feels ultra hydrated from the overnight cream, and the day moisturizer sinks into my skin fast so I can get to putting on my makeup. I don’t like moisturizers that just sit on the skin during the day because I can’t delay getting ready for work.

Psst, they’re also offering the pair of moisturizers (1oz each) and eye repair cream for only $55, if you want to give it a try.

Marc Jacobs’ Little Black Box

A few months ago I picked up the Marc Jacobs The Sky-Liner Seven Piece Petite Highliner Collection ($45available at Sephora) because I had received a deluxe sample of the liner in Brown(out) and I was quite impressed with it. I had been on the hunt for an eyeliner that I could use on my tight line without smudging or transferring and the sample was working out really well for me!

As I was searching for the full size in both brown and black I found the petite set. I was excited about that because I don’t usually go through my eyeliner very quickly, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to try out some other colors. Gotta love those pops of color, right?

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The packaging is to die for! But that’s to be expected from Marc Jacobs. Sleek, modern and timeless.

So how did the liners fair in the long run? The liners come in a Gel-like formula, very creamy and pigmented — super easy to smudge out, if that’s the look you want. But once the product sets, it is set! I think that makes the eyeliners so versatile.  With the exception of the black, they all come with a bit of a metallic sheen to them. Some may not like that but it’s something that I really like.

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I still love Brown(out) the most for tight lining. I found that Blacquer was a bit too creamy at times but workable. I use it the most at the base of my lashes and then smudge it out a little. The other colors are just really fun to play with! I really like Sunset (golden bronze shimmer) when I’m working with warm toned shadows.

One downside? The black was almost a bit too creamy and I had difficulty with the product wanting to break off of the packaging. I have to use a gentle hand when applying. However, I did not have this issue with any of the other colors.

Have you tried the Marc Jacobs Highliners? If not, what are some of your favorite liners? 

Swatches below!

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Perfect Palette: Work Edition

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Do you work 40 hours a week at an office job like me? Do you struggle in the morning looking at all your eyeshadow options, perhaps it’s overwhelming? (It certainly is for me. I have quite the collection, and I can really only see it growing.) Or maybe you’re someone that prefers to have only a handful of go-to beauty products to keep things simplified. Well, regardless of your situation, the Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette is a must for any makeup lover.

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Seriously. As you can see from my well-loved palette above, I use this sucker almost everyday. I just find it so work appropriate and you can do so much with it. A neutral matte eye, a more rosy colored satin eye shadow look, or you can gold it up and really smoke out each trio for an evening look on the go.

I would say on first application to just use a light hand. These shadows really go a long way and last a long time. As you can see with my palette, I use it almost every day  and there’s barely a dent in the shadows.

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I cannot say enough good things about this palette. The price is right (just $36!) and the shadows themselves are perfection – soft, great pigmentation, and smooth upon application. They also blend so easily that it’s rather hard to mess up! Might I also say that this palette is perfect for travel? It’s compact and the matte shadows can double up as a way to fill in your brows.

Swatches below!

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