“Eye” Candy – The Sequel! What Eye Shadow Palettes Did I Choose?

Its funny how sometimes you get stuck in a rut. Whether its in fashion, in life or also in makeup. And I think I was stuck in one of these ruts! I was doing the same basic kind of makeup day-in an day-out. You find a sort-of groove, and you’re happy with it, its simple, but it starts getting monotonous, you know?

For me I was sticking to a natural look that I was happy with. But after a couple months of this – I’ve definitely been getting bored with that look. I was doing black eyeliner over my top lid, mascara, blush and cherry red lipstick. Simple, natural, but I needed to change it up – and its funny how a little trip to the mall with a couple of gift cards in hand could change that! And now, even the colors I have in my stash, I see myself using in new and fun ways~!

We went to the mall on Sunday, the whole family for a fun little outing. My hubby took our boys to see a movie they’d been wanting to see, while I took to the mall and got to browse uninterrupted for a couple of hours of bliss~! Armed with gift cards in hand, an Iced Peppermint Mocha, I was ready for some great alone time coupled with retail therapy! Worked out well for everyone, since they wouldn’t have been happy being dragged into all of my “girly” stores.

I had one gift card to Nordstrom and one gift card for Sephora. So I knew I’d pick up a palette from each store, and while they’re were several contenders at Sephora, Nordstrom was more “slim pickings”. I first went to Sephora, where I walked the store from end to end with a friendly gentleman who was helping me find just what I was looking for. I told him I was interested in a “fun, springy” colored palette – not neutrals, but maybe some soft pinks and amethysts. I will say they sure had SO many to choose from – truly something for everyone’s tastes! But knowing that I have an extensive collection, and the majority of my shadows are neutrals and/or shimmery shadows; I wanted to step outside that, and go for a matte or even a satin finish.

I was torn between 3 palettes that I saw: The Too Faced Matte Palette, Kat Von D’s True Romance Palette in Saint, and a Sephora 5 Color Palette in Amethyst (don’t quote me on that…lol…can’t quite remember its name). So after much consideration, a lot of eyeshadow testing – I made the decision.

It had to be the Too Faced Matte Eye Shadow Palette. ( <–Link  )

Not totally surprising. But I felt good about the decision, because it was one I’d been eye’ing for quite some time now. And if I didn’t get it, I would have probably would have wanted to go back for it! Plus it had some colors that I didn’t already have in my stash, so it was a win-win!

One gift card down, one more to go.

Off to Nordstrom I went. I was pretty sure I was going to buy the new Mac Palette “Call Me Bubbles” ; but again I went with an open mind and went to each makeup counter to mill over other brand’s selections. What I discovered really affirmed my love of Mac Cosmetics. At Nordstrom, you have the Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Estee Lauder, Shiseido, Lancome and Laura Mercier Makeup Counters, in addition to the Mac counter. At each counter I was honestly disappointed with the color selection (and suffering a little bit of sticker shock! 5 Color Palettes that averaged $50! Eeek!). The palettes felt very uninspiring, many shades I already had – really nothing new for me. So I felt quite good going back to the Mac Counter. But the “Call Me Bubbles” palette was a tad too much on the “orangey” side for my tastes; I was hoping for more pink shades.

So I had a dilemma – a first for me. Armed with gift card in hand, ready to pick up a palette – yet I didn’t want a single one! How could this be? So of course, I was thinking, I’ll just save my gift card for another day. Wait until the next collection comes in, and hope I’ll find something that will tickle my fancy.

 

UNTIL, the Mac makeup artist, after hearing the colors I was interested in, showed me the Mac Mineralize Eye Shadow Duo in Pretty and Prim and a single Eye shadow in Sketch. ( <—Link  )

It was perfect! A true, soft, satiny pink with a pretty cranberry shade to compliment it. After “swatching” it on my hand – I knew that was exactly what I was looking for. And with a few dollars extra, she helped me pick out a single shade eyeshadow that would compliment the 2 colors in the mineralize duo. And it actually turned out to be a color I”d been meaning to get for quite some time now; But would always get side-tracked with other colors. I bought “Sketch”! The makeup artist at Mac also gave me some fun, new tips on how to use my new shadows; ways that were new to me! YAY! I love new tips and tricks!

I was extremely happy and very content knowing I’d strayed from my usual patterns of buying either neutral or shimmery colors. All the colors I purchased were either Matte or Satin finish and all were new shades! YAY! Definitely a successful shopping trip!

So, do you guys want to see the swatches? Well here they are:

 

 

Too Faced Matte Palette (From left to right: Tufted Suede, Chinchilla,Coffee Bean, Velveteen Bunny, Pebbles, London Fog, Fresh Linen, Vintage Violet, and Midnight)

 

 

 

From Bottom: Mac Sketch Eyeshadow, Mac Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo in Pretty and Prim

 

So, what do you think? Do you guys think I made the right choices? I’ll be honest, it was hard not “allowing” myself to buy neutral colors! I found a couple palettes that were definitely “calling” my name! But I’m SO glad I stuck to my guns and came home with NEW colors! Mission accomplished! Now I just can’t wait to play with all my new colors, and now – I’m even looking forward to using my old colors in NEW ways!

Till next time Chicas, step outside your comfort zone, try new colors and get creative with your makeup~! That’s the FUN part of “making” ourselves up – the part where we get to be our own makeup artists~! xoxo

Behold, Some “Eye” Candy for You!

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Hola Senoritas~! How goes your day? Its been a very busy one for me – but thankfully I got everything accomplished on my “to-do” list! I love it when I have those days, where everything I set out to do, gets done! Its a rarity – so when it actually happens, its a victory in my books! ;)

Eeeek, I’m SO excited! Tomorrow I’m going shopping for some new, fun eyeshadow palettes at Sephora.   I have a couple of gift cards to use  – and I’m WAY overdue for some new palettes~! I know, going to the mall DOES excite me. What can I say?   I don’t live near a mall, and with all the distractions of family life, getting to the mall happens maybe once a month (on a good month haha) Although with blogging now, think I’m going to have make regular treks to the mall, just for you, my beautiful blog readers~! Right??? … Oh yes, I will make that sacrifice for you ladies~! ;)

Although I am definitely partial to a couple of palettes from Too Faced,  I intend to take full advantage of the “shopping” experience and try out a BUNCH~! That’s the fun part when shopping at the beauty section in the  department stores – being able to “play” with all the newest beauty products! And its really nice when you’re able to see how certain colors look on you and also feel the different textures and finishes that they all have~!

When I’m at Mac, Bobbi Brown, Sephora etc, I always engage the makeup artists to see what their recommendations for me are. They each have their own style, and I love to see what colors they’d use on me and what techniques as well. This is a great way to pick up “free” tips and “tricks of the trade” from the Pro’s! Don’t be bashful – always ask questions, they are more than willing to help. And from my experience, they quite enjoy it too~! Doing this each time you have a moment to spare at the mall, will increase your skill and have people asking YOU for tips!!!

So these are the two palettes that have grabbed my attention right now….Too Faced Matte Palette on the left, and Too Faced Natural at Night Palette on the right.

 

 

AND here are some more palettes that have grabbed my attention….

 

1.  2. 3.

1. Stila in the Light Natural Eyeshadow Palette
2. Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette
3. Pop Beauty Lid Lesson in Lid Amethyst

4. 5. 6.

4. Nars Spring Color Collection Trio
5. Mac Call Me Bubbles
6. Lorac UnZipped Palette

7. 8. 9.

7. Lorac Ooh La Lace Baked Shimmer and Matte Palette
8. Laura Mercier Book of Nudes
9. Kat Von D True Romance Palette in Saint

10. 11. 12.

10. Bobbi Brown Party Eye Palette
11. Anastasia All Eye Want Palette
12. Dior 5 Color Palette

 

The ones I’m definitely leaning towards (aside from the Too Faced ones of course) are definitely the Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette, Mac Call Me Bubbles, and Lorac Ooh La Lace Baked Palette. Although all of the above palettes look amazing, I want to be more discriminating since I have quite an extensive (read very LARGE) collection of shadows/palettes already. So I am going to try to steer clear of colors I already have, say from other brands and go for new and more “Springy” colors~! I’m definitely feeling like going for more soft, romantic pretty colors; as opposed to the darker, richer winter colors.

I always seem to gravitate towards the neutral/natural eyeshadow palettes, so as you can imagine my inventory is very large in that department! I’m kind of feeling like I want some softer pinks or amethysts this time! Oh and if you Chicas have any of the above palettes, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on them! Do you like them? Do you use them often, etc?

Naturally I’ll test out these amazing little beauties at the store, ask the makeup artists for their help, advice and wisdom – and hopefully come home with a fresh, new and fun palette~! I always feel successful if I’ve stepped outside of my proverbial “box” and chosen NEW colors. So that’s the goal. And if you, my beauties, have any advice – its MORE than welcome~! So tune in next time – when I reveal the palettes I did buy, and I’ll show ya some swatches! Till next time Ladies – keep it fresh and always keep it NEW~! xoxo

Top 10 Splurge and Steal Eyeshadow Palettes

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After just finishing my Sequence of a Smokey Eye Post,  I thought it would be fitting to do a top 10 Eyeshadow Palette Review~! I should first let you know that I am a former “eyeshadow snob”. I never used to buy eyeshadow in the drugstore, because of the lack of pigment and color selection. But a couple of years ago, after trying a couple of brands at the drugstore I felt like I’d discovered treasure ~! Yes, I was shocked! Highly pigmented, unique colors at a bargain price??? Who knew???

So I’ll just let you know, when I’m reviewing these palettes, I look for a couple of things. First and foremost – how pigmented is the palette? I’m not interested in eyeshadows that you have to apply so much to your lids to get the color shown in the palette. Or the shadows that never really look as bright on your lids as they do in the palette, no matter how much you apply.

Secondly, I look for range and unique colors. You want them to stand up to your department store counterparts – not produce the same colors every line comes out with. When you go to the MAC counter at Nordstrom – you see every color of the rainbow times 100!!! And although, you won’t find as many colors in the drugstore – you should still be able to pick up some fun and unique colors that emphasize your eyes~!

And they are ranked in order from 1st to 5th for both Drugstore and Department store. So here ya go, fellow beauty junkies ~ read on…..

 

STEAL:

 

  

1. Wet and Wild ColorIcon Palettes: I know, shocker right? (haha, not~!) Yup, these are number one for a reason – amazing colors and highly pigmented! One of the few undiscovered treasures at the drugstore. And add to it, that these are the palettes that converted this former department store snob into a drugstore glamourista~!

 

2. NYX Palettes: These little beauties come packaged in a sleek “professional” looking black case. Each one comes with beautiful, highly pigmented colors. They have everything from natural looking to vibrant ones~! Gorgeous~!

 

 

3. Maybelline Eye Studio Palettes: These quads have amazing texture and pigment. And with the clear lids – makes it easy to find the colors you want when you’re getting all “glammed up”.

 

4. Ulta Eye Shadow Palettes: Ulta has come out with a great range of colors, pigments and textures for their eyeshadows.

 

5. Revlon Eye Shadow Palettes: Revlon has a nice selection and wide variety of eye shadow palettes. I haven’t tried the new Colorstay 16 hour eye shadow quads yet, but those look amazing. Hopefully will have to try them soon and review them~!

 

 

SPLURGE

 

   

1. Too Faced Eye Shadow Palettes: Can’t say enough amazing things about these little palettes. Not only do they come with beautifully pigmented eyeshadows in a great selection of colors; BUT they also come with 3 handy dandy cards that show you different looks and just how to apply them! These palettes are a “no-fail” guide to amazing eyes~!

 

 

2. Urban Decay Naked Palette: Of course, right??? This palette probably made famous last year by its extreme popularity, and how fast it sold out of all stores and online – and took quite a few months before stores saw their stock replenished! The colors are amazing~! A definite must have~! They have since come out with the Naked Palette 2 – which looks like another winner~!

 

 

 

3. Lorac Palettes: Lorac produces amazing colors that are rich with pigment. The above two are the Private Affair Palette and one of their Croc Palettes. You definitely can’t go wrong with Lorac~!

 

 

4. Mac Palettes: Mac comes out with several different palettes throughout the year and still continues to be at the top of the industry for their wide variety of colors and textures. They truly DO have something for everyone~!

 

 

5. TIE~~!!! Between Stila (the two palettes on the left) and SEPHORA (the two palettes on the right) : Stila is, and always have been, amazing with colors and pigments. And Sephora has produced some amazing eyeshadow palettes as well~! Beautiful~!

 

I hope you enjoyed this Eyeshadow Edition of Splurge and Steal Beauty! I love palettes, because aside from being extremely economical – you get beautiful and complimentary colors with no effort on your part. Several times I’ve discovered new and unique shades I would have never purchased individually – but given the chance, they’ve quickly become some of my fave colors~! Palettes seem to INSPIRE experimentation with color – which I love to do~! Well my beauties, that’s it for me! Remember keep it glam, keep it colorful, and never stop experimenting~!

Sequence of a Smokey Eye

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Hola peeps~! Thought it would be fun to do a “step by step” Smokey Eye post! Always a fun and glam way to emphasize one of the most important features on our face~!

On a daily basis, I usually just use a matte black eyeliner and mascara. But for a night out, its nice to draw attention to the eyes and Smokey Eyes is a great way to acheive this~!  For this GLAMALICIOUS look I’m using the….

 

Wet and Wild ColorIcon Palette in Vanity.

I’m using the three colors on the left – going for a subtle, smokey eye this time. ;) Here’s a link to the Wet and Wild Website –  They have gorgeous palettes and many other great products – very highly pigmented!

Here I am with no eye makeup

…(Please excuse the photography – my camera is “old school” lol)

 

1. Applying the Base and Crease Color.

First apply the middle Taupe shade to your whole lid.  Then apply the darker shade to the outer corners and under your eye.

 

2. Adding the Highlight.

Now, apply the lightest shade to the inner corners of the top and bottom of your eyes. Adds a nice highlight and draws the eyes to the center of your face, while brightening your eyes.

 

3. Lining the Eyes.

Next line the upper lids with a matte black shadow.

 

4. Don’t Forget the Lashes!

And now its time for Mascara~! Really finishes off the look – and makes those eyes stand out~!

 

5. Completed Look~!

Here’s the Smokey Eye Look showing both eyes~! The look is complete and now ready for a night out~!

 

In future articles, I’ll change up the looks with different colors and different palettes. And also be on the look out for my next article which will feature the best eye palettes – with both splurge and steal categories~! What are your favorite eye products when you want to look glam? Till next time Chicas, keep it glam and keep it SMOKEY~! ;)

Great Deals for Beauty Products?

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What do you get when you combine a manufacturer’s coupon, with a store sale and in-store coupons??? An AMAZING, if not FREE, deal!!! Yes that’s right folks – coupons really DO save you money. LOTS of money! I’ve been couponing back before it was “hip” to do so ;) …before the TLC show “Extreme Couponing”, before there were coupon classes, coupon websites and all the other amazing resources we couponers have available to us now.

Now its easier than ever to make coupons work for you – saving money off of your grocery bill each time you go to the store and not just for groceries folks! But I’ll explain more about the grocery couponing in a later blog post.  (Disclaimer: even tho I’m a die-hard couponer, doesn’t mean I’m a hoarder or any other similarity to those on the TLC show.) :) There are LOTS of coupons for beauty, skincare and haircare products,  and they are quite often substantial amounts off each product. So, I’ll lay out the key factors to helping you save money on all of your beauty purchases.

 

1. Flexibility


First thing is being flexible and willing to try new products. Most often when companies release the limited time products and or colors, they will frequently put out coupons in the Sunday Papers, In-store coupons and in Magazines. The flexibility comes into play more often in getting products for “free” – because usually companies don’t offer HUGE discounts for the top selling/regular products – its always the ones they are just putting out. You can still save a bundle on your regularly used “core” products, but if they’ve been around for awhile – chances are that the coupons available on those are not sufficient enough to get them for free. Although – keep your eyes peeled on blogs and websites, because once in a blue moon you might be able to find one of those for free too!

And although I definitely have my “core” beauty products (ie my foundation, mascara and certain color of lipstick), beyond that I’m always willing to try something new especially when its for free or at a greatly reduced price. That’s how I’ve discovered so many great products – because the great ones aren’t always necessarily the most advertised ones. That’s definitely something to remember. Because as you’ve read from my Beauty VIP Products blog post – one of my faves is Wet and Wild Eyeshadow and Blush. And when was the last time you’ve seen a Wet and Wild Commercial??? For me – don’t think I ever have. And that’s another reason they’re able to keep the prices so low, not because it isn’t a quality product! (Gee, they should be sending me free products for all this free advertising I’m giving them, right? haha just kidding!)

And with certain stores (Rite Aid, Ulta, Walgreens) offering money-back guarantees if you don’t like your product, its a win/win situation! (By the way – products usually must be returned within 30 days with a store receipt) That more than makes up for the fact that they often lack testers for their products – YOU get to be the tester at THEIR risk! :)

 

2. Sunday Papers


I also buy a couple Sunday papers each week (well, actually 4 ). But I figure, since I have a family of four, that’s more than reasonable. Although I will tell you I buy the Sunday papers, not because of beauty (manufacturer) coupons but largely for the grocery coupons. The beauty coupons are just icing on the coupon cake! So while organizing my coupons – I’ll have a special “beauty” section that I will keep separate from my grocery coupons – so I have these coupons at the ready for any “impulse” buying. ;) Cause you just never know when you are going to be out looking for something else – and find your fave lipstick or mascara on sale or clearance – gotta be ready to double up the sale with some manufacturer coupons!

Also in the Sunday Papers, aside from the manufacturer coupon inserts, are the weekly ads for your local stores (ie Fred Meyer,Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc) – and each week they’ll have special deals on certain brands of beauty products. The stores I’ve scored the BEST deals on beauty would definitely be Walgreens, Rite Aid and ULTA – because with each of these stores they’ll offer their sales, PLUS store coupons and often store rebates! And you’re able to use ALL three in a single transaction on a single item (note – only 1 manufacturer item per product per purchase – sometimes with a max of 4 in a single day. Check the terms and conditions on the coupons and store policies for specifics – cause in no way am I trying to promote breaking of/or abusing of the rules pertaining to using coupons.)

 

3. Magazines/Websites/Blogs

There are a few blogs that I check frequently, and you can actually subscribe to the ones you enjoy so it will just show up in your email everytime there is a new post. One that I love is http://www.frugallivingnw.com/ – this one is pertaining mostly to my area, so you might want to google coupons sites for your specific area and find one that appeals to you.  With these blogs – they do most of the work for you! They tell you which coupons you need and where to get them, to get any specific product for a certain price/free. Definitely a lot easier than when I first started couponing! :)

And it never hurts to keep abreast of certain magazines that will offer great coupons on beauty products – some of the ones I’ve seen that offer great beauty coupons on a regular basis are In Style, People StyleWatch, Allure, Glamour, and last but NOT least – “All You” Magazine (which is exclusive to Wal-Mart only).  I have a few subscriptions – so I’m definitely cutting out any coupons that are available in those magazines. And if you find yourself buying a couple of issues of any specific magazine throughout the year – you might want to weigh the price of a subscription against buying say 3 in any given year at the store. You’d be surprised how cheap the subscriptions are offered at vs store price. So definitely do your homework – on your blogs/magazines etc….

And for me – when I’m “trolling” ;) the coupon websites etc its usually for grocery coupons – but I always have my “beauty product” radar on! ;) So that’s when I’ll discover greatly reduced/free offers. Several coupon websites, blogs and even Facebook offer printable coupons on many of the top beauty brands – so check their websites and their Facebook websites as well. Several stores I’ve signed up for email and text coupons – so when a new set of coupons come out – I get them directly to my email inbox or to my phone via texting! Talk about techie couponing~! (Currently a few that I have coming to my inbox are Target, JcPenney, Fashion Bug, Ulta, and LOTS more!)

 

3. Check your Clearance Sections


Sounds so simple – but how often are you in a store for a specific item, buy it and leave? Wander over to the clearance section in any store and see what’s offered – often products are being clearanced to make room for new products. And to get rid of them quickly retailers will offer them at a huge discount,  these products still qualify for your manufacturer coupons (and sometimes even store coupons – refer to store/coupon policies for specifics).

 

4. Do Your Homework


Armed with all of the above information – make sure you have the necessary coupons clipped, and your list neatly laid out and in hand so when you get to the store you know specifically which brands and products and sizes are the ones that match up with your coupons. Don’t rely on the store to always display their sale prices – I’ve been at the stores several times when these tags are missing, but if you have your list and your coupons it won’t matter.

 

5. Stay Current with the Sales and Coupons


As often the sales change weekly and even some coupons can – this is a key step. Another key factor if your seriously looking to score on these great deals on beauty products is to always be aware of the sales and coupons in your area. If you’re randomly checking sales once a month or say, when you run out of a product – chances are you will have to pay full price. What I always do is when checking the sales/coupons, if I find one of my core products a huge discount – I’ll pick up a couple and put them away till I run out of my current one. Ensuring I never have to pay full price. This also applies in the free product situations – if you are staying current with your sales/coupons – you’ll be able to score those free deals before they expire or even run out of stock. Which often does happen when a product is offered for free – you’ll see stock depleting fast in your store if you don’t jump on the deal as soon as possible.

In the event that you aren’t able to get it before they run out of stock,  sometimes certain stores will be able to offer you a rain check for the item at the sale price. Make sure and show them your manufacturer coupon at the time they issue the rain check – because certain stores will staple that coupon/coupons to the rain check and even if the manufacturer coupon is expired they’ll still honor it because they were out of stock. And for those of you with smart phones and app stores – I have a Coupon App for my phone (that I got for free) and it alerts me to all the deals and FREE stuff in my area – dining, coupons, shopping etc! Its a priceless resource!

 

6. Prestige Cosmetic/Department Store Brands


For those of you trying to score the top department store brands (Nars, Mac, Clinique etc) at lower prices, there are ways but you won’t find them as inexpensive as your drugstore brands. Often certain stores do offer clearances at the end of season on these top brands. Stores I’ve seen that offer great deals on these higher end cosmetics would be – Ulta, Sephora and even Cosmetic Outlet Stores. Also consult trusted online store (ie Amazon) and you just may find great deals on those higher end cosmetics and even cosmetics that have formerly been discontinued.  So keep your eyes peeled – you can score on these – but its a little more challenging and not as often.

Well that’s all for me gals. If I can think of anymore tips- I’ll definitely update this list. Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two and enjoy scoring some AMAZING beauty deals in your area! Feel free to share any great/free deals you’ve been able to score – I’d love to hear about it! And remember girls – we can always keep it glam while also keeping it inexpensive~! ;)