Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finger Paints Winter Dreams Collection Winter/Holiday 2010

Another lovely Christmas polish collection for your viewing (and perhaps purchasing) pleasure...

This time it's Finger Paints' Holiday set and it's a good one. Finger Paints' winter collections always kick ass. Such an overlooked brand (possibly because you can only buy it in one place), but they really do make great colors.

Holiday Winter Wishes. This is a three-way tie for my favorite polish of the collection. I can't pick just one favorite. This is a really unique glitter, too. At first you might think it looks like Zoya Luna or China Glaze The Ten Man (ten man... ten man... still hate typing that name) but it's really quite different. It's a silver glitter mixed with some very soft gold and champagne glitter in a semi-sheer just barely gold tinted silvery-white base. It has an overall soft, sparkling snowy champagne look. Not pure silver, not strong gold. Lovely. (Irrelevant yet funny: Mine was labelled "Mulberry Madness" and I was all, "this doesn't look mulberry to me!")
EDIT: Heather, you're right, this is Winter Wishes! Mine had the wrong label and I don't know where I got Holiday from XD

Holly Good Times. This is the second one tied for favorite. It's amazing. I know this is supposed to be a Christmas-themed collection, but this one totally screams Thanksgiving. It's a simple combination of gold and red glitter in a clear base, but it looks much more fancy and complex than it actually is. I don't have another glitter like this. To make it even better, it's sheer enough (but just barely) for layering- looks really nice over brown.

Just Plum Fun. A very dark red-toned purple shimmer. Very pretty, not terribly original or exciting, though. Love the color but I was hoping it would be a bit more sparkly!

Merry Mittens. My only disappointment in the collection. It looks amazing in the bottle but it comes out very lumpy/bumpy on the nail. It's a cranberry frost base with tiny gold microglitter, that should have been a dead giveaway that it would end up lumpy. The base is so thick and frosty that the glitter can't shine through. On the upside, it's so thick that it's completely opaque in one coat.

Mistletoe Mischief. This is also tied for favorite! Obviously. Dark green jelly, sparkling green microglitter? It practically has my name written all over it. It does not disappoint. While it is the sheerest color in the collection, the sheerness actually makes this polish better, adding depth to what could have been just a plain green glitter. I love jelly glitters.

Mulberry Madness. Madness, I tell you! MADNESS! Or... something like that? It's not exactly mad, but it is sparkly. It's a little darker than my picture shows. It's a mulberry-red tinted base with pink/red and subtle silver glitter. I was expecting yet another Ruby Pumps clone, but it's actually not! It's different! It's darker, more wine toned. Reminds me of Thanksgiving again. Cranberry sauce. Hm.

The formula on these was varied but good. Mulberry Madness, Holiday Wishes and Merry Mittens were thick, the other three were average. Opacity was great, most needed only two coats, Merry Mittens needed just one. I did three of all and the only one that looked better with three was Holly Good Times. Drying time was a little slower than average. The glitters do dry rather rough, so you may want to double up on topcoat. Actually, try putting a coat of Gelous on before your topcoat, lately I've been finding that to work very well for smoothing lumpy glitters.

Awesome collection. I love to see a good old-fashioned red and green glitter holiday collection. It isn't all red and green, either. It has silvery champagne (would that be platinum? White gold?), gold/red glitter and even a purple. Good balance of 'fun' and 'traditional.' Two thumbs up from me!

(These were sent to me for review.)

Nubar Holiday Jewel Basket Set for Winter/Holiday 2010

I'm glad the Finest Silks collection didn't end up being the actual Holiday collection.... A holiday collection just isn't right without a little glitter!

Nubar is now offering the Holiday Jewel Basket gift set for holiday- it consists of all re-promoted colors, but they are being offered at a discount.

Here's what it has:

Competition Red. A medium red creme. Lately I really love red cremes, but this one isn't doing it for me- it's too 'medium'. It's not crisp looking, it's a little softer. It's not really bright or saturated, it seems faded. Maybe it's just my skintone, but this red is just very soft and mild. Applies really smoothly, though!

Gold Glitter. Is this a photogenic color or what? So gorgeous. This is just a plain gold glitter in a clear base. Very opaque, covers completely in two coats. One of the best gold glitters in my collection. On top of having great coverage, it also dries smoother than a lot of other glitters.

Grass Green Glitter. Oh no... I think this has been reformulated! It doesn't look like I remember it. It's more blue-toned now, the particles are a little bigger and now there are flecks of gold glitter mixed in. It's still pretty, but it doesn't look like this anymore:

(I know, I know, horrible picture! The lighting is all wrong and what on earth am I doing with my fingers? But look at how small and green the glitter is.)

Pixie Dust (two coats over black). This is a very, very delicate and subtle glitter for layering. The particles are tiny, thin and shiny- they're pretty much clear- but they add a nice sparkle. Think Zoya Sparkle Gloss topcoat- but this seems less dense. I couldn't capture it alone- I had to layer to get it to show up on camera. Very pretty and snowy, definitely not a flashy type of glitter. Reminds me of ice crystals on a window.

Silver Glitter. Pure silver, nothing else. I dig it. I do have a fondness for silver glitters... The color may not be unique but the formula is really nice. Totally opaque in two coats, dries quickly and seems uncannily smooth for a glitter. Extremely sparkly and shiny.

Ruby Red Glitz. Yes, it is a Ruby Pumps clone, but there's nothing wrong with that. Ruby Pumps is freakin' gorgeous and so is this. I've actually been wearing this for a few days and I'm really in love with it. It only needs two coats, it dries super fast and is extraordinarily smooth for a polish with so much glitter. The red jelly base combined with the red-gold glitter is just such a captivating combination... looks like it's on fire.

2010 (index and middle finger in first photo, on the right in the second photo). Hm... I thought I had a picture of 2010 all by itself, but apparently I don't! 2010 has become one of Nubar's most popular shades in a very short period of time- it's only been out for a few months but already almost everyone I know has it! It is similar to Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure (as seen above) and also GOSH Rainbow (which I have just recently acquired- thanks Helen!). It's an opal flake in a clear base- it reflects red, gold, green, orange and sometimes a little pink and blue depending on the angle. It is excellent for layering and looks good over pretty much any color.

The Holiday Jewel Basket set also comes with a bottle of Foundation basecoat and a bottle of Diamont topcoat. I have to warn you- something bad happened to Diamont. I had been hearing that it was reformulated and wasn't the same as before, but I hadn't tried the new formula until now. You all were right- it's horrible. It never dries and it's so thin and watery! Why on earth would they reformulate such a perfect topcoat?! I loved Diamont so much- it never, ever shrank on me no matter how many layers I used. It wasn't the fastest drying topcoat but it was definitely the most durable. I sincerely hope that Nubar brings back the old formula cause I'm pretty sad about this terrible new one.

The formula on these was great. I had zero application problems. All the glitters were smooth and opaque (except Pixie Dust, which is for layering). Everything was as it should be, application-wise.

So, overall, nothing new here (except the new Diamont formula) but it's still a nice collection of festive glitters with excellent formula. I don't believe that anything in this set is limited edition and all of the colors are sold individually so you don't have to buy the whole set if you already have some of these. It's available now on Nubar's website for $49.95- it claims to be the most "deeply discounted" set they have, but it's the same price as all the other sets (it does contain one more bottle than the rest of the sets, though). However, today is the last day to use the NOV3030 code for 30% off orders of $30 or more, so you can get a little extra discount!

(These were sent to me for review.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

NARS Vintage Collection Fall 2010

I've been holding off on posting this until I could photograph all the colors next to the originals, but I can't seem to find my Full Metal Jacket and can't get my hands on King Kong and I just need to post these before they become irrelevant. Argh! So much for plans.

Anyway, this year NARS was awesome enough to bring back a few of their old discontinued shades including the mythical ZULU. I'm insanely happy about this and it really makes me view NARS much more positively. Many of us have been begging for a Zulu re-release since the day it disappeared- and apparently they listened!

Here are the shades:

King Kong. Rusty brown shimmer. I never recall this being a super popular shade as far as NARS polishes are concerned, but it's actually really pretty. Reminds me of fall for sure. Very smooth and velvety looking on the nail.

Full Metal Jacket. A silver-grey frost. This is one of the few frosts that I actually like. It's a little streaky but not obnoxiously so, it does dry a lot smoother than it applies. It's very shiny and metallic looking, but not quite chrome-like. It's sleek and sexy.

MASH. I think I'm just as happy about the re-release of MASH as I am about Zulu! This is an incredibly beautiful dark olive green with gold shimmer. One of NARS' best old shades, if you ask me.

Midnight Express. This one can change appearance a bit depending on how it's applied. This is two rather thick coats, but I think it looks better with three thin coats. It's a jelly, so the more even you apply the coats, the better. Really brings out the jelly effect. This is a super dark blue which looks especially nice in a jelly finish. Illamasqua Propaganda is similar in color and finish, but this was easier for me to apply and had a more jelly look.

Zulu. I apologize for the strange pictures. Zulu is really hard to capture and I wanted to show the green-ness of it. If you're not familiar with Zulu, it's a super dark blackened green jelly. One of the most unique and gorgeous polishes ever released. I know some would disagree with the 'unique' label, but I've really never worn, seen or frankened an exact match for this. The closest I've used is George Evergreen. Somehow none of the Zulu-clones have that dark jelly depth and squishiness that the original Zulu has. Unfortunately, the new Zulu also lacks a lot of the jelly effect of the original. Still awesome, though.

The best thing about the re-released polishes has to be the formula. It's three-free and greatly improved. The old ones were a little on the sheer and slightly runny-goopy side (I think they were three-free before, weren't they?) and took a while to dry. These are now thicker and more opaque which means they're easier to apply and need fewer coats. They also dry quickly. NARS' brush is not my favorite- too thin- but that's the only complaint I have about the bottles and formula.

I do wish they had re-released Platoon along with these to make a full six. But, they re-released Zulu, MASH and Midnight Express so I really can't complain! Really cool of NARS to bring back the old shades. If only some other brands would do the same- like Urban Decay or Revlon!

(These were sent to me for review.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cake Beauty You Deserve This Set - Milk Made hand creme and Cake Walk foot creme review

Anyone who knows me will know how much this line has my name written all over it. A line of bath and body products that smell like CAKE. I've always been a huge fan of the foody/gourmand/edible scented genre of fragrance and bath products. If it says 'vanilla' on it, I'll more than likely buy it. Probably explains why I have vanilla toothpaste, vanilla-lavender furniture polish and vanilla scented garbage bags...

Despite a theme that suits my fragrance preferences perfectly, I still had never tried Cake Beauty. Partially because no one seemed to carry it. Recently Sephora started to stock the brand online, so this summer I ordered the "You Deserve This" set for my first taste of Cake (Beauty).

The set contains a Milk Made hand creme and a Cake Walk foot creme. Description and photo from Sephora.com:

"You Deserve This Set ($32 Value)
What it is:

A high-value duo designed to indulge the hands and feet.

What it does:

Nourish overworked and underpaid hands with this rich, vitamin-packed hand crème. The lightly scented formula is luxurious and silky, and absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving your hands feeling soothed and smooth, never greasy. For the feet, try this trusted recipe that works to ease tension and swelling with extracts of spearmint, peppermint, and pure menthol. Nourishing and hydrating oils and butters lock in moisture to instantly give feet (and legs) a lasting soft feeling.

This set contains:
- 3.4 oz Milk Made™ Velveteen Hand Crème
- 3.4 oz Cake Walk™ Triplemint Foot Crème

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

What else you need to know:

Milk Made is infused with scents of warm vanilla and a hint of fresh raspberry. Cake Walk features the scent of energizing spearmint with a pinch of peppermint."

The bottles are really attractive. They're white squeeze tubes with a flat flip-top cap which is nice because the tube can stand up and it's also neater than a screw-top cap. The color schemes are cute- pink and white and pink, white and green. The tubes are a generous size but not too big to easily carry in your purse or to keep in your desk.

I was most looking forward to the scent of Milk Made, and at first I loved it. When it first comes out of the tube is has this strong burnt-sugar creme brulee baked goods type of scent. There's not much of a raspberry smell straight from the tube. Sadly, the scent turned really bad on me. The "raspberry" scent came out when I started to rub in the lotion and the whole thing morphed into this sharp, artificial burned sugar chemical type of scent. The kind of scent that makes the bridge of my nose hurt and gives me a headache. The scent is long-lasting, which would be awesome if I liked the scent. It really lingers with you all day.

The Cake Walk foot creme turned out to be my favorite. The scent can easily be described as "mouthwash." I don't normally like mint scents- they end up smelling like gum or toothpaste and that grosses me out. This one, while it does smell like an oral hygiene product, is quite pleasant once it dries down a bit. It's not super strong, it's more of a soft, sweet peppermint and spearmint scent. It is definitely pleasant and even a bit relaxing. It says it contains menthol for a cooling effect, but the cooling effect on me is very minimal. It may be worth mentioning that I seem to be immune to almost every type of cooling/menthol product- I can't even feel Icy Hot- so it may be stronger on someone else. Though, Bath and Body Works Twisted Peppermint lotion still makes me freezing cold and tingly for almost an hour after I apply it. Maybe it's the type of oil or amount of menthol used? Straight mint oil versus oil plus menthol? Who knows.

The formula on both of these was excellent. The hand creme is light and quickly absorbed- not greasy at all. It's not super moisturizing like a heavier hand cream (Neuotrogena or L'Occitane come to mind) but it is still quite moisturizing. The foot creme is even better. It's so light and fresh and leaves such a wonderful feeling on my feet (and hands!) and it leaves my skin smooth for quite a long time. Another thing I really liked about the Cake Walk foot creme is that it also isn't greasy- it's not one of those foot cremes you apply and then try to stand up and end up sliding across the room on greasy feet... It absorbs/dries quickly and doesn't leave a layer of greasiness. It's best applied after a shower, but I like to apply it before bed.

So... my first experience with Cake Beauty. How do I feel? I wish I had liked the Milk Made scent more because I really like the formula of the lotion and the style of the tube. I would definitely buy another hand or foot creme from them if it came in a different scent. I'd really like to try more of their products and scents- the lemon vanilla one has me especially curious because that's one of my favorite combinations (still mourning the loss of Bath and Body Works Hello Sugar). I ordered the Holiday Hand Creme trio that contains It's A Slice, Vanilla Snow and Desserted Island. I was going to get it during Friends and Family but the set mysteriously disappeared completely from the site and didn't reappear until yesterday morning. I was baffled when it was removed from my shopping list and I searched high and low for it. Very mysterious...

On a related note, I've just learned that Cake Beauty is doing a Black Friday special! Starting Friday, if you place an order of $40 or more on their website they'll automatically include a mini Satin Sugar Hair and Body Refreshing Powder. I was looking at that last night, I'm very curious about it... it's a dry shampoo scented with lemon vanilla but it comes in a darker shade that might not be so obvious and white on my dark hair. I kinda want to try it...

Sephora Exclusive Limited Edition Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland Palette Winter/Holiday 2010

I didn't get much from the Sephora Friends and Family sale this year, but the few things I picked up were definitely winners!

I'd been rationing my last few drops of Too Faced Shadow Insurance while waiting for the sale so I could get a little discount. In the meantime I had tried a couple other primers I had samples of and none of them even compared to Shadow Insurance. As soon as I saw this palette I knew I had to get it. It contained a full sized Shadow Insurance, a full sized Glamour Gloss, and a bunch of shadows (including Label Whore which I'd been dying to try) and blushes for only $49 so onto my wishlist it went!

I can easily say this has been one of my best makeup purchases. I'll tell you why after the pics:

Here's the front of the palette. The whole palette is about the same size and thickness as a paperback novel, not too huge, but definitely not flimsy. Really cute design- tacky, yes, but in a totally awesome way. It's covered in opalescent glitter, flowers, fairies, pink pine trees and all sorts of other whimsical bullshit.

The front cover opens like a book revealing the blush and bronzer, some goofy pop-up pin-up fairies and a little slip with some instructional cards with examples of looks you can create with the palette. I don't know why this pop-up format is so popular lately, it's cute for about two minutes but then it just becomes useless and cumbersome *cough*UrbanDecayBookOfShadows*cough*. Unlike the Books of Shadows, the pop-up section in this palette actually serves some purpose. It has blushes and directions on how to create looks with the palette. It's not just pictures of silly butterfly ladies and roses... or skyscrapers...

Closeup of the blushes. It has a smaller sized version of the Snow Bunny bronzer (Too Faced's bronzers are great, but I prefer the less shimmery Sun Bunny, though Snow Bunny makes more sense in this palette I suppose) and a shimmery pink blush - Sephora's website lists it as La Vie En Rose. A little too pink and shimmery for me, but I haven't actually tried to wear it yet so I'll reserve judgment.

When you pull on the little ribbon, this comes out! I love that this is designed to pull out completely- it makes the palette so much easier to use. Definitely an improvement over the previous Book of Shadows pull-out design. I can't help but compare this to the Urban Decay books because they strike me as being so similar in concept. Anyway, this section has a full sized Shadow Insurance, a full sized Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk and 15 eyeshadows. They're small but they're not tiny.

Closeup of the shades: In The Buff, Unnamed exclusive light beige/bone shadow, George & Weezie, Velvet Revolver, Honey Pot, Teddy Bear, Unnamed exclusive purple shadow, Boy Toy, Peach Fuzz, Unnamed exclusive teal shimmer shadow, Label Whore, Glamazon, Unnamed exclusive brown with blue-violet shimmer shadow, Ooh & Aah, Stiletto.

I have one complaint about this palette. The first time I opened my Glamour Gloss, this is what I saw:

What the hell?! I haven't even used it yet and the brush is already mangled. Please do click on the images to enlarge and see just how effed up this brush is. I mean, it still applies the lipgloss just fine, but, seriously Too Faced?? Yeesh.

Now I'm going to rave about how much I love this palette.

The shadow selection is excellent. Perfection. It has just the right balance of mattes, neutrals and fun colors. You can create a variety of looks like a matte classic eye (to pair with winged black liner!), a smoky sexy bronze eye, a black and silver eye (one of my go-to combinations), a flattering yet understated wash of shimmery taupe or a full on green and purple duochrome look. It has two shades of matte nude that make perfect highlight shades, a light gold that's ace in the inner corner of the eye, a black that's dark enough to deepen a crease color or create a smoky, smudgy liner and a few bright shades to add some character and happiness to a look.

I had purchased a bunch of Too Faced shadow duos quite some time ago and I was never super impressed with them. The colors were okay, the pigmentation wasn't exactly up to my standards and they blended well enough if you were gentle. I preferred the quality of the shadows in the Quickie Chronicles and other various Too Faced palettes (like Peacock/Unicorn Naughty/Nice) to the quality of the duos, but never really considered Too Faced to be in my top eyeshadow brands.

I'm happy to say that the quality of these is a heck of a lot better than the old duos and even seems better than the Quickie Chronicles ones. They must have reformulated or something because these have much better pigment/payoff and are easier to blend. Now, the pigmentation isn't exactly stellar but it's definitely better than it was. Some of the shades are better than others in the payoff department but I've found that these turn really nice and creamy and opaque when used wet. The purple definitely benefits from a wet application.

Like I mentioned before, I'd really been wanting to try Label Whore ever since someone suggested it to me as a duplicate of MAC Club, which I like but I find to be a little too sheer. Label Whore is even better than Club if you ask me. It gives me much more duochrome effect and doesn't apply quite as sheer. It has that warm rusty brown base with the wicked green metallic shimmer like Club does but it stays duochrome after it's blended! I am pleased.

The metallic shades are great. They're the most pigmented and easiest to blend of all the shades and they combine well with all the other colors in the palette. I especially like Honey Pot with Label Whore and Stiletto with a little George and Weezie in the inner corner and dabbed on the center of the lid.

I really have nothing bad to say about the color selection or the formula of the shadows. I'm satisfied with the pigmentation and application on all the ones I've worn. The only thing I would have done to improve this palette is to include either a mini or full sized Lava Gloss liner, or maybe a mini Lava Gloss and a mini glitter liner- Too Faced's glitter liners are the best I've ever used and they have really great unique shades besides the standard gold and silver.

This is a palette I can travel with. It has all the colors a palette should have plus some nice extras, like a spot for a primer and a gloss. Oh, and the gloss? It's pretty nice. It's a lip plumper but not the stingy kind (which I like), it's more like a Bare Escentuals Buxom gloss- thick, sticky, minty/tingly/cooling. In fact, it smells a lot like a Buxom, too. The shade is a slightly pinkish beige nude- it applies a little to thick straight from the tube so you can get a little of that goopy milky look if you're not careful. I don't really notice any plumping effect, but other than that it's pretty good. Don't know if I'd buy one individually if they all came with that jacked-up brush, though.

I'm really happy with this palette. Totally worth the $49 to me. I've used it a ton since it arrived and I can see it becoming my go-to "I'm in a hurry, I don't want to think of what colors go together!" palette.

Just for reference, here's the description from Sephora.com:

Enchanted Glamourland ($145 Value)
What it is:
An exclusive super set of Too Faced favorites for the eyes, lips, and cheeks, including festive, limited-edition shades for the holidays.

What it does:
This enchanting collection includes 15 high-pigment shadows, an anti-crease shadow primer, and beautiful shades of gloss, blush, and bronzer to create a range of versatile looks fit for a fairy princess.

This set contains:
- 15 x 0.03 oz Eye Shadows in: In The Buff, Exclusive Nude, George & Weezie, Velvet Revolver, Honey Pot, Teddy Bear, Exclusive Purple, Boy Toy, Peach Fuzz, Exclusive Green, Label Whore, Glamazon, Exclusive Plum, Ooh & Aah, and Stiletto
- 0.35 oz Shadow Insurance primer
- 0.12 oz Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk
- 0.08 oz La Vie en Rose Blush
- 0.14 oz Snow Bunny Bronze
- Three Get-the-Look instruction cards

Things to note: this palette is limited edition (oh, how I both love and hate those words) and according to the website is a Sephora exclusive. And it's $1 short of getting free shipping. Somehow I feel it was priced that way on purpose...

I really, really like this palette. There, I'm done fawning over it. Had to get it out of my system. Seriously, though, this palette kicks ass. Okay, done for real this time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I love these Revlon glitters

Revlon Slipper over Chanel Rouge Noir

Revlon Star over Borghese Mezzanotte Blue

Revlon Galaxy over China Glaze Cowgirl Up

Revlon Galaxy over Borghese Mezzanotte Blue

I know I've posted two of those before, but they're so pretty they're worth posting again. Can't get over how much I love these Revlon glitters. I almost passed them up completely because they looked so plain and common, but now I'm super happy I decided to get them. They're unique in my eyes- while the concept isn't unique, the end result is like nothing else I have. The combination of the different colors and shapes of glitter enhanced by a really pronounced sparkle makes me super happy. The only thing I don't like about these is that it's hard to get enough of the holographic silver hexagon glitter in the nail... I love that stuff. Though, the randomly placed and spaced dispersion of the hex glitter does look rather charming.

I like that the glitter is really sparse so it doesn't cover up the base polish. These were intended to be layering polishes and they're sold with coordinating creme polishes but they all looked clone-able so I didn't get any of those.

I haven't photographed Belle yet. In fact, I don't think I've even worn Belle. Have I? I don't recall!

Keep it up, Revlon... one step closer to a full-on StreetWear revival....

Monday, November 22, 2010

CARGO Lumières du Monde Palette Winter/Holiday 2010

CARGO is still a fairly new brand to me- I've not used very many of their products so I was really excited to try this eyeshadow palette they've released for holiday 2010. Here's the product description:

"Lumières du Monde - ($29 regular retail value of $175)

This gorgeous holiday palette, meaning “lights of the world”, with original artwork contains eight professional-quality eye shadows and a blush/bronzer duo for an alluring holiday glow. With a retail value of $156 this kit will outlast the wintery weather and take you – or your Secret Santa – well into spring. A collection of matte and shimmering shadows offers an endless number of color combinations for any occasion, day or night. Shades include:

· Eye Shadow in Deep Teal Green

· Eye Shadow in Sparkling Bronze

· Eye Shadow in Periwinkle Purple

· Eye Shadow in Sparkling Electric Blue

· Eye Shadow in Sparkling Brown

· Eye Shadow in Matte Beige

· Eye Shadow in Matte Warm Grey

· Eye Shadow in Glittery Gold

· Blush in Rome paired with Medium Bronzer"

When it arrived in the mail, boy was I surprised! This thing is MASSIVE. Huge. Monstrous. The sheer size alone really makes you feel like you're getting a good deal.

Here's what it looks like inside:

Open palette- indoor and in sunlight. It has a cover that flips open like a book and it has a magnetic closure so it can't open accidentally. I don't know if you can tell from the picture because I haven't included anything for size reference, but these shadow pans are huge. They're the size of a Stila or Make Up For Ever shadow pan. The bronzer/blush combo is about the size of a MAC bronzer compact. If you divide the cost of the palette it comes out to about $3.20 per item.

Here are the colors swatched (indoors and in sunlight, no base):

Smoky teal, shimmery gold, glittery blue, duochrome purple, glittery brown, warm matte beige, matte white, shimmery khaki, bronzer, blush.

The pigmentation is really good on these. Usually when companies do big "value" palettes for holiday the quality ends up suffering (for example Tarte, Lorac.), but not in this case. These all applied smoothly with great payoff. Some of the shimmery colors are a bit flaky- the gold and khaki colors- but the rest are smooth and even.

The description lists a warm grey, but the palette doesn't actually have one. Unless they're referring to the nude beige color? I'm not sure in what universe nude beige equals grey, but can you do?

I haven't used all of the colors on my eyes yet, but judging from the ones I have used, I feel confident saying that the application on these colors is great. I've used the duochrome purple, the blue with glitter, the gold, the khaki and the matte beige and the pigmentation and blending were just right. I had no issues other than a mild amount of fallout, which is really a non-issue in my opinion. The blue with glitter is especially smooth and blendable, but the glitter doesn't really show up on the eye. I'd assume the same for the brown with glitter.

The bronzer turned a little orange on me, especially when I tried to mix it with the pink blush. I'm fair and cool and the bronzer is quite warm. The whole palette actually seems suited more for a warm skin tone than a cool one.

Overall, I really like this palette. It has fun colors and it's enormous. Good combination of mattes and shimmers and even a little glitter. It has a color light enough for a highlight that isn't super frosty (one of my palette pet peeves is including only super frosty highlight colors) and colors dark enough to define the crease. I don't believe I've ever used Cargo's eyeshadows before (except for the Eye Bronzer and a really old palette I used once) but now that I've tried them out and liked them I'm really tempted to try more.

I think this really would make a good gift. The pretty design on the front, inside and on the shadows and the almost comically large size of the palette are really special and the price is right.

(This was sent to me for review.)

BB Couture Spam featuring Saints of Ruin, Men's Formal and Cantina Nights

I'm really not happy with how some of these pics turned out. I've re-done a few of them a couple times and I still don't like how it came out... But, I already have the pictures taken, I may as well post. I think this is the last of the BB Coutures I have left to post! Well, except for that one collection from last fall but I haven't been able to bring myself to post it... It's just... so... yeah, let's just get on to the post.

Cantina Nights Collection - Summer 2010

Adios Mofo

Blue Bahama


Dirty Mother


Hangover Blues

Huckleberry Martini (not as blue in real life)


Kiwi Margarita

Pina Colada

Sex On The Beach

Tequila Sunrise

Men's Formal Collection - Spring 2010

Award Medal


Dinner Jacket

Dress Rehearsal


Tuxedo Night

Saints Of Ruin Collection - Summer 2010


Dark Tommy

Dying Time

Fairy Tale


Ruby Ruin

(These were sent to me for review.)