Makeup splurges for better or worse

What constitutes a makeup splurge? Is it money? Is it the lack of resistance? Is it weakness? I say it all depends on the situation. A splurge can be something that’s $5 or something that’s $100. It’s all what you believe you want rather than just need. Today I’m featuring 7 products that I feel I splurged on. Some are worth every cent, some are regrets. Please check out my choices to see if you agree.  —  Marcia

NATASHA DENONA EYESHADOW PALETTE 10 ($95)

Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 10

This is my most expensive splurge and one I’m on the fence about. $95 is a lot to spend on a palette but it does have 10 gorgeous shades that are outside of my comfort zone to some degree. The shades are #56p Pearl (champagne toned shimmer), #06p Anthrazit (charcoal black with a subtle silver shimmer), #47p Dark Sepia (dark chocolate brown with a slight gold shimmer), #02m Blue Space (rich royal blue with a shimmer finish), #27m Slate (vivid purple shimmer), #19m Deep Teal (intense teal shimmer), #25m Aura (cream white with a gold iridescent finish), #13m Raw Gold (deep gold with a bronze undertone), #87m Light Coral (peach shadow with a subtle gold shimmer), #07m Graphite (dark grey with silver shimmer).

Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 10

As you can see these are all shimmer shades but the extent of the shimmer is unique to each shade. It’s really not the most practical palette because of all the shimmer. The problem for me isn’t the cost though but the quality of the shades isn’t uniform. Some apply easily while others want to fight with me.

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE?  Depends, it got me over my Natasha Denona craving and I didn’t buy the more expensive palettes. I like this but I can’t say I love it. (Swatches from Sephora, mine don’t look like this though)

PRETTY VULGAR NIGHTINGALE EYESHADOW PALETTE ($35)

After falling in love with Pretty Vulgar Early Bird Eyeshadow palette I was anxious for more. But I’m a pretty staid individual colorwise so I went with the tried and true. Considering I have 357962 nude and brown palettes did I need this? That’s why it’s a splurge, I don’t need it.

Pretty Vulgar Nightingale Eyeshadow Palette

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? I’m the wishy washy queen right now because I haven’t decided. I’ve had it for a few weeks and haven’t touched it. Some of the Early Bird shadows are disappointing and I’m worried that I’ll find that here too. What to do?

Pretty Vulgar Nightingale Eyeshadow Palette

DIOR METALIZER – METAL CREME SHADOW ($25)

Once I saw the Dior Metalizers reviewed I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Metallics are hot for fall and I’ve always loved metallics in accessories and cosmetics. I chose Bronze Tension – mistake! It’s too dark and doesn’t blend well on me.

Dior Metalizer Cream Shadow in Bronze Tension

I want to like this so badly that I can taste it. I love to start with a cream shadow and use it as a base or to highlight powders. But I picked the wrong shade. I don’t see any metallic on my eyes with this very dark shade. (inject crying emoji here)

Dior Metalizer Cream Shadow in Bronze Tension

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? Obviously not which saddens me.

STILA HUGE EXTREME LASH MASCARA ($23)

There’s a story behind buying this mascara. I received a sample size in one of my subscriptions and put it aside for a while. When cleaning to move I find it and tried it. I totally fell in love with it. Wearing Stila Huge was like being granted false eyelashes. You know I couldn’t wait to buy this in spite of having umpteen unopened mascaras.

Stila Huge Extreme Mascara

Stila Huge Extreme Mascara

Well … the tube I bought is a dud. Some days my lashes look totally amazing, other days they are a mushy mess. I’ve determined that the problem is that the opening for the wand is too large which makes too much mascara coming out. There’s none of that satisfying sound you hear when opening a tube. Even cleaning it off doesn’t guarantee that I’ll love my lashes that day.

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? With mascara you just never know what you’re going to get. One tube can make angels sing, the next tube can make them cry. This makes my lashes cry 50% of the time.

ARTIS PALM BRUSH ($65)

The Artis Palm Brush is absolutely incredible. My words can not describe how much I love this brush and the Artis Oval 10 brush. Yes expensive, yes worth every cent to me. Here’s a description that explains the Palm Brush: “A brush with a generously sized, rounded oval of fibers to provide coverage to a larger areas of the face and body. It features more than 250,000 fibers. Artis brushes are made exclusively with CosmeFibre, a revolutionary engineered fiber made for applying cosmetic and makeup products.”

Artis Palm Brush

I use this and the Oval 10 for liquid foundation since I can’t believe the softness of the brushes and the airbrushed application.

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? Without a doubt. Even though I have the Oval 10 which is the same except that the Palm brush doesn’t have a handle, I wanted this and caved. Happy happy.

TARTE SHAPE TAPE aka DOUBLE DUTY BEAUTY SHAPE TAPE CONTOUR CONCEALER ($25)

So I found myself in Ulta without a plan to buy anything and I came across the infamous Tarte Shape Tape. When Shape Tape first came out you couldn’t find it anywhere not even Tarte’s website. That made the hunt more real. The last thing I needed was another concealer.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Fair Beige

This very fat tube and very fat wand are quite interesting. I’ve always liked the concealers that Tarte makes and this one intrigued me. There are 14 shades to choose from and several that are light enough for me. After much deliberation I chose Fair Beige which I now see is for fair skin with pink undertones. The color choice was right.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Fair Beige

Ulta explains how to use this as a contour and as a concealer. I mainly use it under my eyes. I rarely start a day with concealer but I do add it if I’m going somewhere later in the day or evening. “Powered by Amazonian clay and conditioning mango seed and shea butters, the nutrient-rich concealer helps promote skin elasticity and illumination with each crease-free application.”

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? At first I didn’t think so but it’s really grown on me. I have a ton of concealers and wondered why I bought another, but I’m glad I did. It doesn’t crease under my eyes and does a good job of covering everything up.

KJAER WEIS CREAM BLUSH – BLOSSOMING ($56)

Now this was a true splurge. I actually had no intention of buying this and then suddenly it was in my cart and on my CC. Hmm. I did no research into this other than knowing that Kjaer Weis was a luxury brand and that the reviews were amazing. But it’s a cream blush and I’m a nut for cream blush.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush

The first thing to know is that this is the heaviest cosmetic I own. It could be used as a weapon. The metal compact is beautiful on my vanity and slides open to display the creamiest of all cream blushes.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming

Blossoming is a beautiful light peachy pink shade that is subtle yet shows up perfectly on my fair skin. I’m totally in love with this color.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming

Kjaer Weiss blush is – Certified organic – Formulated with Rose Rubiginosa Seed Oil to fight signs of aging – Free from gluten, petroleum, parabens, artificial coloring and fragrance. This comes in 5 shades that all look totally amazing to me. Lovely is on my list for the next time I “need” to splurge.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming

This isn’t a cream to powder but it’s not sticky. I apply a light amount of setting powder to my cheeks first and then use my finger to blend the cream on. It melts onto my finger and applies like buttah! It’s infused with Castor Seed and Jojoba Oils to help strengthen and nourish the skin and has a Beeswax base that’s well-suited to all complexions.

WAS THIS A GOOD SPLURGE? Yes yes and yes again. I love it and when I can afford it I’ll purchase another.

Makeup Splurges

Affiliate disclosure

What’s the verdict on my makeup splurges? Would you buy any of these yourself? Do you have any of these? I’d love for you to share.  —  Marcia

Don’t forget to see what my friends have splurged on.


Makeup Wars – making up your undereyes

Makeup Wars - under eye products of the month

Makeup Wars – under eye products of the month

What products do you have use that are strictly for under your eyes? What products do you have that will multi-task so that you can use them under your eyes and elsewhere on your face? That’s what this week’s Makeup Wars is taking on. I went through my drawer that I keep most of my concealers in and pulled out what you see in the above picture. These are the items that are in current use but oh baby, there are more. Let’s take a look though to see what Marcia’s eyes are sporting these days.

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum and Sustainable Youth Anytime Lift Eye Treatment with alasta

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum and Sustainable Youth Anytime Lift Eye Treatment with alasta

I had to start with the eye serums that I’m using lately. I didn’t really realize until I took my pictures that I was using an eye serum day and night.In the morning I’m using SUSTAINABLE YOUTH ANYTIME LIFT EYE TREATMENT with ALASTA*. I’ve chosen that for mornings because it doesn’t interfere with makeup and it helps with puffiness and dark circles. At night I’m loving ATAL ADVANTAGE VELVET EYE SERUM* which will get a complete review soon.

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum and Sustainable Youth Anytime Lift Eye Treatment with alasta

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum and Sustainable Youth Anytime Lift Eye Treatment with alasta

ATAL Advantage Velvet Eye Serum is a cross between a serum and an eye cream. I took to this like a duck takes to water. I’m loving how the ingredients are helping to moisturize my undereye area and fighting my fine lines.

Next are my correctors. At the moment I’m going between two different ones. PIXI CORRECTION CONCENTRATE in BRIGHTENING PEACH* and BECCA UNDER EYE BRIGHTENING CORRECTOR.

Pixi Correction Concentrate and Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

Pixi Correction Concentrate and Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

PIXI Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach is a thicker product and needs an eye cream under it to make it go on smoothly. This really does a great job of cancelling out dark circles. I always use a foundation with this since it can look a little too peach otherwise on my fair complexion.

Pixi Correction Concentrate and Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

Pixi Correction Concentrate and Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector is a softer product. The texture is creamier so it glides on easily and the color is more brightening. The price difference is substantial ($12 and $29) so if you are on a budget go with Pixi.

I can’t seem to get enough concealers, it’s one of my weaknesses. While I chose 6 here there are more that I use and love. I use all of these concealers under my eyes and some I’ll use elsewhere on my face too. When we leave the house at night the first thing I do is grab a concealer and fix my face.

Concealers from IT Cosmetics, Nars, Dior, tarte, CoverFX

Concealers from IT Cosmetics, Nars, Dior, tarte, CoverFX

1.  IT COSMETICS CC+ EYE* … Originally this was only available in a TSV but IT got smart and it’s now available separately. I have 3 different IT Cosmetics undereye concealers but chose to show this one because it has SPF50+ and it’s got amazing coverage. This is the concealer that has a slanted metallic applicator though I seem to get too much out if I apply it with the applicator. This is a full coverage concealer which may be too heavy for some people in summer but I use a very small amount and blend well.

2.  COVER FX CAMOUFLAGE CONCEALER aka Conceal FX is one I use anywhere and everywhere. This is a terrific general concealer so you really can buy this and be done. When I saw that they manufactured this in X-Light I was instantly sold.

3.  TARTE SMOOTH OPERATOR AMAZON CLAY CONCEALER is one of two tarte concealers I love, the other being Maracuja Concealer in the tube. This is the only stick concealer that I use even though I have much more expensive ones. I love the portability, the ease of application and that it comes light enough for me in Fair.makeup wars undereyes concealers all4.  NARS RADIANT CREAMY CONCEALER in Light is one I didn’t take to right away. I bought it because of the raves but it took me a while to like it. It will never be my favorite but it’s the wand concealer I find myself using the most these days. It’s very creamy and long lasting.

5.  DIORSKIN NUDE CONCEALER has gone through a few changes. I bought this originally and within weeks they came out with a new improved version so I exchanged it. It’s a great undereye concealer and one I like to use a lot to touch up with at night.

6.  DIORSKIN STAR CONCEALER is an even newer version of concealer for Dior. I use this interchangeably with Dior’s Nude Concealer and don’t see much difference between the two.

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Dior Skinflash, YSL Touche Eclat

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher, Dior Skinflash, YSL Touche Eclat

Last are my highlighting concealers from Charlotte Tilbury, Dior and YSL. YVES ST LAURENT TOUCH ECLAT has been a favorite for years and years. I’ve gone through half a dozen of them. I like the original formula, Radiant Touch, because it brightens my undereyes and gives them a lift. I wear this any time I want to look and feel my best. CHARLOTTE TILBURY THE RETOUCHER is my newest one and I think I bought it because of the brand. I have it in #1 Fair and it’s a got good concealing properties along with a touch of brightening. DIOR SKINFLASH RADIANCE BOOSTER PEN is Dior’s answer to YSL. I bought this in #2 which has just a small touch of peach to it.

It takes a lot to be presentable these days!!  Which of these have your tried? Which of these do you want to try? Check out what the other Makeup Wars bloggers use so you can find a favorite. — Marcia


*starred items were sent for consideration, rest are personal purchases