Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tom Ford Eye Quad in Cocoa Mirage

The next up in the Tom Ford overview is the Eye Color Quad in Cocoa Mirage.  This palette is part of the permanent line and is the only one of the Tom Ford palettes I own that doesn't contain any of the shimmer (glitter) shades.  This quad has two complete matte shades, one mostly-matte shade and one satin finish.

The top two shades are completely matte.  My experience with the Tom Ford mattes so far has been phenomenal.  The mattes are buttery soft with fantastic pigmentation (though I understand that in some of his other palettes, that isn't the case). 

Cocoa Mirage is fairly neutral in my opinion.  It leans ever so slightly warm, but I don't feel like it's so warm that someone cool toned couldn't wear it.

 As you can see from the swatches, the lightest shade is a very close match to my natural skintone.  The second matte shade is a mid tone slightly warm brown.  The third shade is a warm medium-dark brown and the only satin finish in the palette.  It has lovely pigmentation and texture.  The last shade is a dark brown that leans warm.  It is mostly matte, but there is the tiniest amount of gold glitter.

I swear I'm not a total Tom Ford fangirl.  There have been two palettes which I acquired (swapped for on MakeupAlley) and then promptly swapped away because I was not happy with them.  So when I say that Cocoa Mirage is a fantastic palette, I really mean it.

Overall:  10/10

And in case you have any interest in the video review, it's here:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recent Korean Beauty Haul from RubyRubyShop

I just wanted to share a little Korean beauty haul that I did recently from the RubyRubyShop on ebay.

I picked up:
  • SKINFOOD Avocado Rich Essence 1, $13.04
  • TONYMOLY Hello Bunny Perfume Bar, #3 Dodo Rose, $9.44
  • TONYMOLY Mini Berry Lip Balm SPF15 PA+ #01 Cherry, $8.39
  • TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bar, #3 Juicy Apple, #2 Juicy Grape, #7 Neon Orange $5.30 each
  • THE FACE SHOP Lovely ME:EX Mini Pet Perfume Hand Cream in Baby Powder, $4.45
  • It's SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Serum - 40ml, $16.19
  • INNISFREE Green Tea Mineral Mist (Mist Spray) 120ml, $17.09
  • TONYMOLY Clean Dew Apple Mint Cleansing Oil - 150ml, $12.59
  • ETUDE HOUSE Ice Cream Nails, Blue Mint, Peach, Strawberry, $5.84 each
Most of the items were supposed to be stocking stuffers for my daughter, but unfortunately, they did not arrive in time.  I placed my order on Dec., 2013 and the items arrived on Jan. 3, 2014.  They arrived registered mail (my previous order didn't ship registered mail and arrived in 4 business days.)

If you want to see reviews on any of the items, let me know.  I absolutely love the Green Tea Mist and the Hyaluronic serum and have already ordered more.  And seriously, as for the non-skincare items, Korea has the cutest and most fun packaging you can find on this planet.  It's awesome.  Did you see the little ice cream cone nail polishes or the cherry lipbalm?

As far as my experience ordering from RubyRubyShop, it was good.  I did order at the height of the holiday rush so I really wasn't shocked that my item took a long time to arrive.  RubyRubyShop quotes 10 - 35 business days for shipping to the US.  I'm pretty sure they mean calendar days based on the shipping estimates I received.  

There is a consistent issue with the English not being particularly intelligible on the site.  Sometimes it's pure gibberish and at best it's awkward and ambiguous.  There is something on the site about standard shipping rates and how shipping cannot be discounted, even if you purchase multiple items.  I've ordered from them three times now and I have never paid any shipping on any of the items, even when the items shipped via registered mail.

All in all, I'm thrilled with RubyRubyShop.  It's extremely affordable (generally cheaper than SaSa).  Items arrived well packaged and they include some really nice extras.  The first time I ordered it arrived super quick, the second time it took a month, but it was in the middle of the holiday rush.  The only downside to the shop for me is that they don't currently carry Skin79 or My Beauty Diary (I still have to get those from
    Here is a copy of the current disclaimer on all of their products on ebay, though it is obviously subject to change.  It's pure fiction, but amusing.

    Do you guys buy Korean beauty products?  If so, can you find them locally or do you have an etailer you like?  Let me know.


    MAC Extra Dimension Blush in Autoerotique

    I am a huge fan of the MAC Extra Dimension blush formula and when they debuted last Spring, I picked up all of them.  The Magnetic Nude collection that launched around the first of the year had two new blushes, Autoerotique and Pleasure Model.  I decided to pass on Pleasure Model, but I picked up Autoerotique.

    Autoerotique is described by MAC as "dirty coral rose", which I guess works.  It's a medium warm pinky-tan that leans ever so slightly orange.  The blush has a satin finish and contains just a bit of shimmer by way of fine gold glitter.

    The blush applies evenly and smoothly and sheers out easily.  I didn't think the glitter was particularly noticeable on the skin and I got great wear time out of it.  The formula on autoerotique is noticeably different from At Dusk.  I feel like At Dusk sort of melts into my skin and that isn't really what I get from Autoerotique.

    Autoerotique contains 6.5 grams of product and is limited edition, but as of the writing of this review is still available from MAC and several other retailers who carry the line.  I purchased mine from Nordstrom for $25.

    Overall:  8/10

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    30% Off at Terrafirma Cosmetics through Valentine's Day

    I'm not affiliated, but I am incredibly fond of the line, so if you're in the market for any mineral blushes or foundations, please check out Terrafirma Cosmetics' Valentine's Day sale.

    Terrafirma Cosmetics (not affiliated)

    Also, check out Dustin Hunter's reviews on the line:

    Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No.7 Plush Shadow in 204 Starlet

    I received a couple of Sephora gift cards over the holidays, so I decided to pick up one of the Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No.7 Plush Shadow palettes (OMG, that name *le sigh*).  Looking at the palettes in the store, the Lolita palette was definitely the most up my alley in terms of colors.  However, I've seen quite a few YouTube reviews of the Lolita palette and the reviews seemed really mixed.

    After swatching the other palettes in the line, I decided to pick up the Starlet palette.  This palette is a bit outside my comfort zone, but the payoff of the shadows is absolutely phenomenal.  The three shadows on the left and then the far right shadow are definitely going to get a lot of love from me.  I can't say that the bright peach, or the straight up gold or silver shades are going to get much use, though I suppose only time will tell.

    The far left purple-taupe shadow is actually what sold me on the palette.  It's just gorgeous.  I actually included swatches of it in my Rouge Bunny Rouge Delicate Hummingbird purple-taupe comparison swatches.

    All of the shadows do have a metallic finish.  They are buttery soft with great color payoff.  They applied evenly and wore fantastically well, even on my hooded lids.

    The Style Eye-Con No. 7 palettes contain 7 shades and 7 grams of product, so one gram of each product which is not a lot of product.  The wells are fairly small.  That may be a huge plus or a minus depending on what you're looking for.  On the whole, I tend to like quads with bigger wells and fewer colors.  But if you're looking out to try a lot of different colors, this is definitely a good bet.

    The packaging isn't my favorite.  I feel like it's just an awkward shape.  It's a very slim, long plastic reflective packaging.  It feels fairly sturdy and snaps closed.  There is a spring in the mirror so that when you unsnap the palette, it does stay open.  Again, only time will tell, but I feel like this packaging could be a problem if either the snap closure or the spring break.  The palette also comes with a little canvas dustcover.

    The Marc Jacobs Style Eye-Con No. 7 Plush Shadow palette in 204 Starlet is available exclusively at Sephora and retails for $59.

    Overall:  8/10

    Monday, January 27, 2014

    Tom Ford Eye Color Quad 01 Golden Mink

    Yes, so this is the third, count 'em, the third time I've reviewed this quad.  And not to beat a dead horse, but the review quality is steadily getting better.  I'm trying new lighting and I think these pictures come much closest I've managed to capturing how the product looks in real life.  Also, I've started posting YouTube videos again and this blog post was created to accompany the video.

    The Tom Ford quad in Golden Mink contains 2 glitter shades and 2 satin shades.  

    The two glitters are a pale non-metallic gold and a peach.  The glitters are more like a pressed pigment.  There is definitely some type of binding agent in the glitter that keeps it from ending up all over my face.  These are the most fantastic glitters I've ever seen.  They're beautiful and sparkly without being over the top.  You can see that they do have a good bit of color to them, they're not just shimmer.

    The satin shades are incredibly pigmented and buttery soft.  They apply like a dream and are easy to blend.  I don't ever have any issue with them fading or with my hooded eyes "eating" the shadows.  They last a solid ten hours without problems.

     The first satin shade is a pretty neutral taupe with lots of dimension.  It is hands down one of my most loved eyeshadows and you can see the obvious dip in the picture below.  The second satin shade is a rich dark brown that complements the taupe shade perfectly.  

    The quad is lovely, with high gloss brown and gold packaging.  It's sturdy and feels substantial.  The mirror is sizeable and the little sponge tip applicators are actually really useful in applying the glitter shades.  The compact has a magnetic closure that keeps it securely closed and it has a little pouch for storage.

    The Tom Ford Eye Quads contain 10 grams of product and currently retail for $78 (though they were $75 when I picked mine up.)  Golden Mink is part of the permanent Tom Ford line and is available anywhere that carries the Tom Ford Cosmetics line.  I got mine at Neiman Marcus.

    Overall:  10/10

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

    Sonia Kashuk Monochrome Eye Quad in #11 Textured Cocoa

    Several months ago, I picked up the Sonia Kashuk Monochrome Eye Quad in Textured Cocoa after hearing several YouTubers rave about it.

    The quad contains four shadows.  One matte, one satin, one matte with glitter and one glitter.  All of the shades lean fairly warm, so if you're going for a warm chocolate or bronzy brown eye, this is a lovely palette.

    All four shades had good payoff, even the glitter shade, which in my other Sonia Kashuk quads, tends to be just some clear sparkle.  Here, the glitter has a definite brown tone.  I found all of the shades to be well pigmented and nicely blendable.  The matte shade with the glitter does tend to lose all the glitter as you blend it, which is sort of to be expected.

    If you're into bronzy brown eyes, this could definitely be the quad for you.  I find it a bit too one-note to be too usable for me.  I do really like the satin shade, but I have really similar shades in other quads that I find more well rounded.

    The Sonia Kashuk Monochrome Eye Quad in #11 Textured Cocoa contains 5.2 grams of product and retails for $13.60 exclusively at Target.

    Overall:  7/10

    Friday, January 17, 2014

    Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

    I figured that since I mentioned the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette the other day in my review of the Kat Von D Ladybird palette that I might as well go ahead and post a review.  I've had the Naked Basics palette since last winter and I never, ever use it.

    I think from the name, Naked Basics is a fantastic idea.  And the packaging is my favorite of all the Naked palettes.  It's super sleek and sturdy, all matte, doesn't collect dust or fingerprints.  The mirror is a really nice size.

    The execution of the shadows, however, leaves a whole lot to be desired.  I picked it up because I am a huge fan of matte neutrals and I wear them often.  Problem is that of the 6 shades in the palette, only 5 of them are actually matte.  (Venus has shimmer).

    The other big problem, as far as I'm concerned, is that out of 6 shades, 4 of them are incredibly light neutrals.  Just look at the swatches below.  Look.  The first 4 shades in the palette are barely discernible from my pasty pale skintone.  

    As far as the texture on the shadows, they're fine.  I'm not blown away by any of them, but they're okay, especially for mattes.  I definitely don't feel like Urban Decay's matte formula is any better than other mid-range brands.  Inglot's matte formula is heaps better.

    Overall, this Naked Basics palette is so incredibly basic, in the most derogatory sense of the word.  There is nothing special about this palette, there isn't even anything particularly useful (IMO) about his palette.  I know that lots of people love this palette as a complement to other palettes and I understand that, but I feel like a palette should be self contained.

    The Urban Decay Naked Basics palette is part of UD's permanent range.  It contains 7.8 grams of product and retails for $27.  It is available wherever Urban Decay is sold.  I picked mine up at Sephora.

    Overall:  5/10

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Perricone Blue Plasma

    In the last couple of years I have really spent a lot of time refining my skincare routine, trying to figure out what works well for me and what doesn't.  I definitely feel come added pressure because I have extremely fair, super dry skin.  It just isn't forgiving at all.  Despite regular moisturizing and religious application of sunscreen, I have significantly more sun damage and wrinkles than other people my age with darker and more combo/oily skin.

    Le sigh.

    Last year, several of the YouTubers that I watch were talking about the Perricone MD Blue Plasma and I was intrigued and decided to pick up a bottle on a whim.  

    Perricone bills Blue Plasma as:

    A unique, non-acidic daily peel designed to deliver all the benefits of a traditional peel without redness or irritation. This cutting edge liquid treatment works with Bio-specific Peeling to attack only dead skin cells, Micro-extraction to lift surface debris, unclogging and purifying the skin of build-up and finally Hydro-fusion to rebalance skin's hydration with enriched water. No rinsing needed. Apply and follow with your daily skincare regimen.

    The Paula's Choice website has a write up on the product available HERE, which is very interesting.  Mostly they don't like the price (they definitely have a point there), the gimmicky color, the packaging and the fact that it contains a lot of menthol.  The menthol is apparently there to give the product a "cooling" sensation, which, I have honestly never noticed, and I'm generally aware of menthol in my skincare products.  It drives me nuts when it's in cream cleansers. 

    Despite being described by Perricone as "non-acidic", there are a whole lot of ingredients in Blue Plasma that function like AHAs (which, as someone with dry skin, I love, btw).

    I have been using this product for nearly a year at this point and I think it's just okay.  In my skincare routine, I like to use it after cleansing.  It acidifies the surface of my skin and seems to make it easier for my other products to absorb into the skin.  However, I don't think it's unique in that respect.  I think any decent AHA or BHA exfoliator could accomplish that task.

    I do think that there are better exfoliants on the market that I would like to try.  However, I still have quite a bit of this left and I'm determined to use it up before I buy anything else.  When I say there are "better" exfoliants, what I mean is that there are other products with a much more budget friendly price tag that don't contain potentially skin irritating ingredients.

    Bottom line is that this product is okay.  It's gimmicky and I don't think it comes anywhere close to justifying its price tag.  I bought it on a whim and now I'm stuck with this bottle.  I think it's okay, but the price and the menthol are more than enough to make sure I'm not going to repurchase when it's gone.

    Blue Plasma by Perricone MD contains 2 oz of product and retails for $95.  It is available wherever Perricone MD products are sold.  I bought mine at Sephora.

    Overall:  5/10

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked

    Starting in Spring 2012, Urban Decay has made significant headway in reformulating most of their cosmetics line (for the better, from what I can tell).  Their eyeshadows were reformulated in Spring 2012 and in Summer 2013, they released their new line of Revolution lipsticks.  Urban Decay overhauled both the packaging and the formula of their lipsticks.

    I will admit to being fairly oblivious to Urban Decay's previous line of lipsticks.  I didn't own any and I wasn't even remotely curious about them.  I didn't tend to hear anything about them, good or bad.   But when the reformulated lipstick line launched, the reviews tended to be solidly favorable across the board.

    The packaging is nice, very slim and shiny.  The bullet is significantly taller than a MAC or drugstore bullet and the actual product is not very wide, which makes precise application easier.

    A couple of weeks ago, I decided to pick up the Revolution lipstick in Naked.  The color is described by Urban Decay as "nude-pink" and the revolution formula is supposed to be "insanely pigmented".  I don't know about that last part.  It took a couple of swipes to get opaque coverage, which really isn't a deal breaker for me.

    (indirect natural light)


    The lipstick definitely applied shiny at first, but after an hour or so, the shine was pretty much gone.  The lipstick wore for probably 3 - 4 hours before I needed to re-apply.  This color is very forgiving, so it wore off nicely. I can't speak to how the darker and more intense colors wear.  The formula is comfortable on the lips.  I don't know about Urban Decay's claims that it's nourishing.  It definitely didn't feel like a lip balm, but it wasn't drying either.

    The Urban Decay revolution lipsticks contain 2.55 grams of product, which is less than a standard drugstore lipstick, and retail for $22.  I don't feel like this formula is significantly better than what I could find at the drugstore, so I won't be buying anymore of these.  The Urban Decay revolution lipsticks are available directly from Urban Decay, at Ulta or Sephora.  I bought mine at Sephora.

    Overall:  7/10

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Ladybird

    The Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Ladybird is part of the permanent Kat Von D collection at Sephora.  It contains 8 matte eyeshadows that I'm finding perfect for winter.

    Sorry I don't have a better picture of the palette with the mirror, but the mirror is spring loaded and really wants to lay flat, which isn't terribly conducive to photographing.  The compact is sturdy with a generously sized mirror.  The compact is a hard plastic with a raised design.  It closes securely.

    The palette contains 8 full sized .05oz eyeshadows and a mini autograph liner pencil in Immortal Love which is a rich dark brown.  the palette contains 4 cool toned shadows and 4 warm toned shadows.  All of the shadows are matte with nice texture and color payoff.

    (daylight CFL)

    (Indirect Natural Light)

    These aren't the greatest matte formulation I've ever seen, but they're good.  I think this has a really nice mix of warm and cool shades.  Really, I think the only thing that's missing for me is a really dark gray, dark brown or black.  As far as a go-to matte shadow palette, this is pretty much it for me.  I know that people like to talk about the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette as a great matte palette (which it isn't), but I find this palette much more well rounded.

    The Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Ladybird contains .4oz of eyeshadows and .028oz of pencil eyeliner.  It retails for $36 and is available exclusively at Sephora.

    Overall:  8/10

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Milani Color Statement Lipstick in #17 Plumrose

    Yet again, I saw another Milani lipstick in one of Cora from Vintage or Tacky's videos and I had to have it.  And yet again, the Milani lipstick did not disappoint.  This time it was Milani's #17, Plumrose, from their Color Statement line.

    Plumrose is a deep warm pink with a cream finish.  This is a lovely lipstick.  It's a lovely formula that applies evenly and opaquely.  It is moisturizing and super easy to wear.  Honestly, the finish on this lipstick really reminds me of a Tom Ford lipstick, though at 1/10th of the cost.

    I wear Plumrose both as a full on lipstick, or just gently patted in as a stain.  It wears fantastically well in both applications.

    Milani describes the Color Statement line as "The lightweight creamy formula contains Vitamins A, C, & E to moisturize and nourish lips."  I don't know that I'd call it lightweight, but it is lovely.  It is also paraben free.  It contains 3.97 grams and retails for $5.49 wherever Milani is sold.

    Overall:  10/10