Balm Voyage is leaving home without me

Balm Voyage from theBalm

Balm Voyage from theBalm

Whenever theBalm comes out with something new you know it’s going to be cutesy. They specialize in cutesy themes. Luckily, for the most part, they get it right. When Balm Voyage was introduced I was interested in it for a few reasons. 1) I like their eyeshadows a lot. 2) I’d wanted to try their lip & cheek stains and 3) it was new and a good price. Yet I waited until it showed up on Hautelook before buying since most theBalm items eventually end up there. I’m glad I waited since I’m really not crazy about this palette at all. It’s my first disappointment in this line.

Balm Voyage top 8 eyeshadows

Balm Voyage top 8 eyeshadows

Balm Voyage bottom 8 eyeshadows

Balm Voyage bottom 8 eyeshadows

I don’t have the time to physically go shopping very often and even if I did I haven’t see theBalm locally in a long time. I wonder though if seeing it in person would have stopped me from buying. Balm Voyage sells for $42.50 which is reasonable compared to so many of the palettes you’ll find especially because you not only get 16 eyeshadows but also 3 lip & cheek stains. That works out to $2.21 per square. Since I bought it on Hautelook it was about half price plus shipping so that really made it a bargain. One of the nicest things about this palette is the wide variety of colors and textures. Everyone (and their mother) has come out with neutral palettes so it’s a little redundant even though we find ourselves buying them. Balm Voyage breaks that mold by adding a sea green, a matte dark teal, a hunters green, and a purple. There are quite a few light shades too which can be a rarity in a palette.

Balm Voyage passport

Balm Voyage passport

The cuteness of the palette is that it’s supposed to be your passport. It has vital statistics (for example the Passport is owned by “Anita Vacation”. The airplane aka palette is labelled by seat number (A4, B4, A3 etc.), the blush/lip are the people piloting the plane. Cute idea but….

Things I like:

  • There are two compartments to keep the cream products separate from the powder. Major plus.
  • Some of the eyeshadows are fabulous – B4, D4, D3, A2, A1 are my tops with the three base shades B1, C1, and D1 also great to have.
  • The variety of texture is nice to have and most important nothing is truly glittery.
  • You can roll over the colors on the website to see better images of them.
    D3 (glittery gold) and D4 (dark green with brown undertones)

    D3 (glittery gold) and D4 (dark green with brown undertones)

    A2 (frosty purple) and A1 (pinky mauve)

    A2 (frosty purple) and A1 (pinky mauve)

    A4 (charcoal) and A3 (bright silver)

    A4 (charcoal) and A3 (bright silver)

    B2 (sea foam) and C2 (dark teal)

    B2 (sea foam) and C2 (dark teal)

    Things I’m not so crazy about:

  • I wouldn’t take this to travel because I don’t think it’s sturdy enough. The palette is heavy duty cardboard but I don’t know if it’s airplane friendly in spite of the Passport they show. If you do travel with it, don’t throw out the cardboard wrapper since without it the top of the palette splays open. As a matter of fact, keep the cardboard wrapper with it all the time since it seems to have warped more as time has gone on.
  • Several eyeshadows are very powdery which makes application tricky on those.
  • With some shadows I liked the texture but not the color. With some I like the color and not the texture. (What’s a girl to do??)
  • Swatches on my fingers are better than those same shades on my eyes.
  • The lip stains don’t really work on my lips since they are drying.
  • The palette doesn’t stay closed. It’s like flying with the window partly open.

According to theBalm you should “Take your look in whichever direction you desire with this season’s passport to instant glamour. Balm Voyage is a travel-friendly palette that contains 16 jet-setting shadows paired with 3 lip and cheek creams that stow away conveniently in your carry on. These luxuriously pigmented shadows have high visibility and can be used wet for an extended stay.” Ideally taking this along with a great neutral palette like Nude Attitude would be great for a vacation. You’d have color, you’d have neutrals, you’d have cheek creams that can be worn on the lips too.

But in reality this palette failed me. I rarely wore this that I thought I looked good. There was just something off about it for me. Of course your mileage may vary, after all it is a destination palette, but I have trouble wanting to use it at home so I know that I’d be sorry if I traveled with it.

Balm Voyage cheek and lip colors

Balm Voyage cheek and lip colors

Second Officer, First Officer, Captain - lip/cheek

Second Officer, First Officer, Captain – lip/cheek

The 3 creams that can be used on lips and cheeks are safely nestled in a separate compartment that’s magnetized so that’s good. It’s the textures though that I don’t care for. Second Officer is a cool red that has a blue undertone to it. First Officer looks pretty in the palette with its red orange satiny finish but it wasn’t flattering on my skin. Captain is the one that’s the most flattering on me; it’s a very dark pink with some cool red to it. The problem is that they don’t spread easily on my cheeks. I feel like I’m putting lipstick on my cheeks. And when I go to put them on my lips, they just feel drying. All the colors are darker than I prefer but what turns me off to them is the texture, not the colors.

The palette isn’t a waste and I’m sure on the right person it would be great. I just don’t happen to be the right person and Balm Voyage isn’t going anywhere but in my bottom drawer or maybe in my giveaway pile. It’s a shame that what looks so pretty in the palette didn’t work for me but, like I said, your mileage may vary.

Have you bought this or other theBalm palettes? Any opinions you can share about them?? — Marcia

 

Dublin Khaki Shade Play palette from em Cosmetics review

em Cosmetics eyeshadow palette

em Cosmetics eyeshadow palette

It’s easy to get carried away on Black Friday. I do everything to avoid the stores but I get roped in by my blogger friends who start talking about the deals that are piling up. I had absolutely no intention of buying em Cosmetics products. But then they started … “Did you see the BOGO going on at em?” “Have you tried those Waterliners? They are amazing.” “I am absolutely loving some of the em Cosmetics I bought.”

What’s a girl to do but go shopping! So I went, I saw, I ordered and now I’m having fun.

em Madagascar Taupe and Dublin Khaki

em Madagascar Taupe and Dublin Khaki

At the sale you had to buy 2 of the same type item to get one free. Part of my order was 2 Shade Play eyeshadow palettes: Madagascar Taupe and Dublin Khaki. Each palette is $38 and contains 6 shadows of various sizes. There are 15 choices and they all appear very nice yet in my opinion overpriced.

Em Cosmetics is an offshoot of L’Oreal. It’s designed by Michelle Phan who became famous as a YouTube vlogger with over 5 million subscribers. She’s also the age of my children so ideally this shouldn’t be a line that I’d like. But I don’t follow rules when it comes to makeup. I like a little shimmer and not much matte when doing my eyes.

Dublin Khaki has a little bit of shimmer, one matte shadow and two glittery eyeshadows. I like part of the palette but not all of it. But the part I like is enough for me.

Back of em Cosmetics Shade Play

Back of em Cosmetics Shade Play

My favorites: #2 is a beautiful lightly shimmered milk chocolate with a golden touch; #5 is the only true khaki in the palette (which surprised me considering the name); #4 is a very shimmery cream that looks gold.

#4 shimmery cream

#4 shimmery cream

#5 kahki

#5 khaki

#2 golden milk chocolate

#2 golden milk chocolate

em Cosmetics Dublin Khaki #2, 4, 5

em Cosmetics Dublin Khaki #2, 4, 5

The other shades in the palette are dark and I’m still figuring out exactly how I want to use them. #1 and 3 are very similar with #1 being a dark green with glitter (oops it didn’t show on my finger) and #3 having more of a black green with glitter. #6 is a matte brown.

#1 and 3

#1 and 3

#4

#4

#6, 1, 3

#6, 3, 1

I also bought em Cosmetics Eye Primer ($15). It’s a great eye primer (review coming) and adds a brightness to these shadows. I’ve tried them with TFSI too and with both primers they last amazingly well.

Here’s my personal pros and cons:

*silky shadows in Dublin Khaki that are well pigmented

*colors last exceptionally well with an eyeshadow primer

- those two little applicators are a waste of space. I can’t imagine using them.

- $38 is a lot for a palette like this. I’d watch for specials on the em cosmetics website since they do have them.

- in Dublin Khaki there needs to be one more light color and one less dark shade; two of the shades look so similar on the eyes that they are duplicates. A silky lighter shade would help tremendously.

- why is it called Dublin Khaki if there’s only one true khaki in the palette?

Here’s the biggest PRO though

Wearing em Cosmetics Dublin Khaki palette

Wearing em Cosmetics Dublin Khaki palette

I love how #2, 4 and 5 look on me and that’s what counts.

Have you bought any em Cosmetics yet? — Marcia

 

Makeup Wars shares holiday eye looks

makeup-wars.jpg~originalThe parties continue for Christmas, year end and New Year’s Eve so Makeup Wars has decided to show you some holiday eye looks.

One of my very favorite holiday palettes this year is the Tarte Gorgeous Getaways Set*.The colors in it are perfect for day and can be jazzed up for night. My holidays are pretty low key so the beautiful shimmers probably won’t be worn but this is what I wore for my first holiday eye this year and will surely wear again.

eye wearing the top left palette in Tarte Gorgeous Getaways

eye wearing the top left palette in Tarte Gorgeous Getaways

I used the top right palette that contains Santorini Bikini: peach satin.  Great Sphynx: milk chocolate with light shimmer.  Belgian Chocolate: this is a darker chocolate with a purple undertone.  Pacific Sunset: a coppery gold with some shimmer.  Spontaneous blush: a pinky peach satin.

tarte gorgeous getaways top right

tarte gorgeous getaways top right

tarte gorgeous getaways top right

tarte gorgeous getaways top right

I like dramatic eyes so I apply these heavily to get the most pigmentation out of the shades as possible. To do this eye I started with Pacific Sunset (coppery gold) applied lightly on the lid. On the inner and into the crease I used Santorini Bikini (peach). On the outer crease I started with Great Sphynx (milk chocolate) but then blended Belgian Chocolate into that so that it would be more dramatic. On my browbone I used Serengeti Sand which is a light beige in another one of the individual palettes in the set. I also wore the Spontaneous Blush from this set. I felt comfortable yet special in it.

Tarte Gorgeous Getaways eyes and cheek

Tarte Gorgeous Getaways eyes and cheek

This set was an exclusive at Ulta; it’s my favorite kit out of all the ones I’ve tried from Tarte. If you have a local Ulta you should see if they have this still in stock since you’ll get a winter’s worth of wear out of this (and more).

Here are some other choices I’d pick for New Year’s Eve.

1) Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette – I bought this last year at Sephora and it’s my go to when I want a smokey eye. The variety of shades in this palette are perfect for night. Even though I have Mushroom in other palettes, it’s such a great basic color. (picture from beauty.com)

Urban Decay Smoked

Urban Decay Smoked

2) Marc Jacobs Beauty in The Starlet is probably the palette I’ve been most excited about this year. This is a simple eye with it but it’s so easy to combine the colors in this palette to make some standout shades.

Marc Jacobs Beauty in The Starlet

Marc Jacobs Beauty in The Starlet

Marc Jacobs Beauty - The Starlet - wearing the 4th shade

Marc Jacobs Beauty – The Starlet – wearing the 3rd and 4th shades

3. Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliners* are perfect holiday eyeliners if you like a touch of glitter or metallics. I have two of them and they wear beautifully. They give your eye just enough sparkle to light them up. They are also waterproof so they’ll last through the night.  Spark of Envy is a metallic peacock-green while Locket Book is a medium brown infused with gold glitter.

Tarina Tarantino Hyperlink eyeliner in Locket Book

Tarina Tarantino Hyperlink eyeliner in Locket Book

Tarina Tarantino Hyperlink Eyeliner in Spark of Envy

Tarina Tarantino Hyperlink Eyeliner in Spark of Envy

TT Spark of Envy (blush.com)

TT Spark of Envy (blush.com)

What are your eye plans for the holidays? Do you have anything special picked out? Are you ready for 2014?– Marcia

Now that you’ve seen the beauties that I’m excited about for the holidays please click on the icons so you can see what the other Makeup Warriors have chosen.

[inlinkz_linkup id=353363]

* items were samples

Make Up For Ever will make you glitter and glow with their Midnight Glow palette

Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow look

Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow look

Make Up For Ever has a stunning Midnight Glow look for the winter holidays. Above you’ll see the photo they took of me for their promotion. Oops, they must have deleted mine for this stunning blonde instead. The entire look is made up of the Midnight Glow palette (sent for review), a gorgeous Aqua Rouge Waterproof Liquid Lip Color in Satin Soft Pink, N15 Midnight Glow Glitter and Midnight Glow Strass gems. In addition to these products add in Smoky Extravagant Mascara, a dark eyeliner like MUFE’s Kohl black, and black Aqua Liner #14 for top and bottom lash lines. Did I get this look? Of course not, but I did have some fun creating combinations with the Midnight Glow Eye Shadow Palette.

Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow palette

Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow palette

Make Up For Ever’s Midnight Glow palette is unlike any product I’ve used from the MUFE line. It has an ethereal quality to it that I’ve yet to find from them. When I think of Make Up For Ever I think of bright, bold cosmetics that last incredibly long. Midnight Glow breaks that mold and brings a soft, angelic look to its wearers.

Midnight Glow ($42) is an eyeshadow palette of 8 shades, 6 of which are new and exclusive to this limited edition piece of “art”. The shadows have a diamond finish which make it right for the holiday season especially. It’s not a palette that I personally can wear during the day as 6 of the shades sparkle. But for a holiday party or an evening out, this is what you’d want to pick.

Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow

Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow

The shades are

  • Snow White
  • Gun Metal
  • Icy Blue
  • Icy Pink
  • Black matte
  • Gold Pink
  • Midnight Purple
  • Metallic Taupe (satiny)

 

Midnight Glow: snow white, gunmetal, icy blue, icy pink

Midnight Glow: snow white, gunmetal, icy blue, icy pink

Midnight Glow: snow white, gunmetal, icy blue, icy pink

Midnight Glow: snow white, gunmetal, icy blue, icy pink

I’ve worn a variety of the shades a few times so far. I always use an eyeshadow primer and I like to use Make Up For Ever Eye Prime with this palette but unfortunately I didn’t use the primer to swatch.

Midnight Glow: black matte, gold pink, midnight purple, metallic taupe

Midnight Glow: black matte, gold pink, midnight purple, metallic taupe

Midnight Glow: black matte, gold pink, midnight purple, metallic taupe

Midnight Glow: black matte, gold pink, midnight purple, metallic taupe

My favorite look was starting with Aqua Cream 15 as a base on my lid. #15 is a golden brown (described on Sephora as a taupe brown shimmer). I knew that I needed something that the diamond finish would adhere to so this was the answer. Over that I used the Gold Pink (the 6th shade) from lashline to crease. At the outer crease I wore Midnight Purple which was patted on with a flat brush. I dabbed a little of the Icy Pink closer to the lashline and finished my browbone area with Snow White applied very lightly. Because of the texture of these eyeshadows there was definitely sparkle fall out, there was no way to avoid that. But the two products I used to prime (MUFE Eye Prime and Aqua Cream 15) held on to more of the glitter than just the Eye Prime would have.

MUFE Midnight Glow

MUFE Midnight Glow

The first 4 shades in the palette are very light and that’s what makes me describe these as having that ethereal glow. Just applying them over primer gives mostly a hint of color with a lot of glow.

Here are a few things I’ve found with this palette:

1) Start your eyes before you put on any face makeup or moisturizers. You are going to have glitter fallout, there’s no getting around it.

2) Use a good eye primer all over but then apply a cream shadow that won’t crease (AKA Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream) on your lids to hold onto the shadows.

3) Use a stiff flat brush to apply and pat the shadows on. Don’t brush the more glittery shadows on or the glitter will migrate onto your face.

Make Up Forever's Midnight Glow eye shadow palette

Make Up Forever’s Midnight Glow eye shadow palette

I understand not everyone reading this is old and some may like the glittery look. It’s a bit much for me but my nieces look stunning when wearing eyes that twinkle like Midnight Glow will appear on them. I can picture this as being a great palette for them to use for holiday parties and especially New Year’s Eve. This beauty can be found at Sephora stores. I just worry that my nieces will come shopping at my house and steal this away! Are you going to have a glamorous holiday season? Would you wear eyeshadows that make your eyes glow like diamonds?? — Marcia

*sent for review

tarte Holiday 2013: Off the Cuff

My goodness, tarte sure has some out-of-this-world holiday sets this year! Flying off the shelves is Off the Cuff ($42), a Sephora exclusive that is a $110 value ($95 of which is cosmetics). Unfortunately it looks like Off the Cuff is sold out online right now. I sure do hope they get more in stock because this is a terrific holiday gift option.

Off the Cuff

Off the Cuff

the cuff

the cuff

Off the Cuff is a pretty blush palette that comes wrapped with a bracelet. The bracelet is a black faux-leather cuff with a gold bow. There are two different closure snaps on the back which is great for different wrist sizes.

the palette

the palette – four blushes and a bronzer

up close

left to right:  Crave, Dazzled, Darling, Dollface, Park Ave Princess

The black and gold palette houses four (almost) full size blushes and one (almost) full size bronzer. The shades include Crave, a matte warm pink/coral; Dazzled, a shimmery satin berry rose shade that is part of the permanent collection; Darling, a matte melon; Dollface, a matte cool pink that is part of the permanent collection; and Park Ave Princess bronzer, a satin warm gold brown that is also part of the permanent collection.

left to right:

left to right:  Crave, Dazzled, Darling, Dollface

Park Ave Princess swatch

Park Ave Princess swatch

I like that this has a few ‘new’ shades plus the permanent shades are some of my favorites. I adore tarte powder blushes and bronzers because they are so pigmented. It doesn’t take much to get great color that lasts all day.

Keep an eye out for this set – even if it’s sold out online, I am sure there are some still available at Sephora stores. How can you resist such gorgeous shades all wrapped up in some bling??  - Lisa

*pr sample

Kryolan Shades eyeshadow palettes bring the world to you

You’ve heard us speak about Kryolan before, it’s the theatrical line of cosmetics that is a favorite of ours on Beauty Info Zone. We’ve even taken a side trip to the Chicago store to see and learn (and purchase) the line. When they offered to send some products to review we couldn’t say yes fast enough.

Kryolan Dubai eyeshadow palette

Kryolan Dubai eyeshadow palette

Kryolan Dubai

Kryolan Dubai

Today I have a palette that isn’t the norm for me. It’s called Dubai and is a palette of extremely bright shades. I began using it in the summer and now with Halloween approaching it’s on my mind again. I even went to mrcostume.com to check out what would be a fun pairing with these colors and I’d definitely pick the fairy tale Snow White costume with all its bright shades for Dubai.fairy-tale-sexy-snow-white-costume-83616

As you can see by my picture, Kryolan Dubai contains hot shades of fuchsia, orange, yellow, teal and plum. These shades can be worn with whatever intensity you like. While it may look scary bright at first you can just as easily wear them as a soft wash of color. Because of this ability you can also create a tonal effect. Kryolan created their Shades palettes to be used as both eyeshadows and blushes.

Kryolan Dubai

Kryolan Dubai

Using these sponge tips to pick up the colors brought out the intensity of the shades if you want them that way. Using my fingers though to create my arm swatches shows you that you don’t have to wear them quite that hot.

Kryolan Dubai swatches

Kryolan Dubai swatches

The first shade is a very bright pink bordering on fuchsia. I can’t wear fuchsia on my eyes but I can wear pink so picking up the shadow with a soft brush like the MAC 217 will give it a diffused pink that is definitely pink. This makes a beautiful blush though which is how I prefer to use this shade. The second shade is orange (obviously). Most people are afraid of orange eyeshadow and I don’t blame them. It’s not an easy color to wear. I certainly wouldn’t wear it all over my eye but an accent of it (especially with the teal) is interesting. For summer teal and orange are a great combination, for other seasons I like a touch of orange with a blued purple.

Kryolan Dubai shades 1 and 2

Kryolan Dubai shades 1 and 2

The middle shade in the palette is a bright canary yellow; another shade that’s not for the meek. I’m sure you are getting the drift of why I thought of Halloween costumes. Shade 4 is teal which is fabulous. Teal was one of the hottest shades for the summer and continues into fall. It makes a wonderful eyeliner shade. Last is a shade that’s hard to describe; it appears to be a plum but when I put it on my eyes with a soft brush it’s a beautiful golden pink that makes a great base for other colors. I especially like it with gray and charcoal. It too is a great blush color that’s soft once on.

Kryolan Dubai shades 3 through 5

Kryolan Dubai shades 3 through 5

Kryolan has created 6 new palettes in the SHADES collection; there are 17 total palettes. Dubai is the most unusual and artistic of the bunch. But for those of you cringing as you see these amazing shades there’s also Florence (variations from pink to brown), Casablanca (neutrals), Cape Town (outdoor shades of browns and greens), Buenos Aires (shades of gray) and Muscat (warm neutrals).

What sets Kryolan apart is their formula. This theatrical brand is made of micronized pigments for vivid color emphasis. No matter the shade – bright like Dubai or subdued like one of the Casablanca shadows- you’ll find great pigmentation and colors that last on your face. To purchase Kryolan it’s best to call 1-800-KRYOLAN for stores. You can find some items on Amazon, Naimies Beauty Supply, or local costume and theatrical shops. We continue to find Kryolan a great brand whether it’s for everyday use or a special holiday like Halloween. — Marcia

*Dubai was provided for review consideration

Smashbox says Admire Me, I say I do!

smashbox love boxI don’t buy Smashbox very often anymore even though I used to be quite addicted to it. But when they brought out their latest Love Me collection they had me at Hello. The collection consists of two gorgeous eyeshadow palettes (Admire Me and Entice Me), a red & a coral lipstick, a poppy pink lipstick and a paint pen eyeliner. They used some great art on this collection as well as picking out some timely shades. Since I “need” more eyeshadows in my life I was attracted to the Love Me Eyeshadow Palettes ($24).

Smashbox Admire Me palette

Smashbox Admire Me palette

Admire Me, a set of nude shadows, somehow landed into my cart to fly home to me. If it had come a little bit earlier it might have made it into a Makeup Wars post. Instead it’s making it into a linked post with my fellow blogger Cindy of Prime Beauty. She bought Entice Me so we are trading links. After reading my review you’ll want to read hers to see which one you should buy.

smashbox love box backAnd buy is something you will want to do. The eyeshadows in my Admire Me palette have sensational pigmentation and are so buttery soft that you want to eat it rather than wear it. The colors in Admire me in Smashbox’s words are Champagne, Matte Nude, Soft Shimmering Coral, Bronze, Deep Golden Brown. In Marcia’s words the colors are dark champagne, a dark peach, matte light brown, shimmering copper and a dark chocolate with the tiniest touch of gold glitter.

The Love Me logo lifts to reveal the shadows

The Love Me logo lifts to reveal the shadows

Admire Me from Smashbox

Admire Me from Smashbox

The palette itself would make you stop in your tracks if you saw it in person. It was designed using the artist Curtis Kulig’s iconic “Love Me” logo. Lift the palette top and the logo lifts leaving the shadows in the shape of the logo. The largest shades are the coral/peach and the champagne. Unfortunately the copper is the smallest shade – it’s so pretty that it needs to be larger. Of course I’ve never used up a palette so I’ll forgive it for being small.

The eyeshadows in this palette are quite vivid. The colors stand out beautifully. When you look at the shadows you see satin, there’s no shimmer or true glitter. Blending these shades is a breeze. They combine well to make your own shades even.

champagne and peach

champagne and peach

dark brown, light brown and copper

dark brown, light brown and copper

 

Smashbox Admire Me swatches

Smashbox Admire Me swatches

Smashbox Admire Me swatches again

Smashbox Admire Me swatches again

When you are done reading the two reviews I’d love to hear which of the palettes you’d want in your collection. Smashbox calls these collectible and I have a sinking feeling that after reading Prime Beauty’s Entice Me review that I’m going to be enticed enough to own that too.—Marcia

From Smashbox: What else you need to know:
Studio Secret: scan the QR code on the back label for a must-see how-to, or simply peel back for step-by-step instructions.