Makeup Wars: our favorite Holiday Metallics are ready to shine

This week our group of Makeup Wars bloggers are excited to share with you METALLICS! What a perfect time of the year to bring out the bling. Between the winter holidays and New Year’s Eve we all want to shine in one way or the other. As soon as I found out what our assignment was I ran to my shelves and pulled out my sparkly Chanel Illusion d’Ombre Luminous shadows, my Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadows, my new Lancôme ‘Color Design’ Infinite Luminous Eyeshadows and my L’Oreal Infallible shadows. Those are mostly metallics and mostly all gorgeous. Then I realized that I had something new to delight you that might make you sit up and take notice.

Sephora+Pantone Universal Precious Metals Shadow Palette

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The Sephora+Pantone Universal Precious Metallic Palette is my choice for favorite holiday metallics. The funny thing is that while I was expecting some eyeshadows I could only wear at night, it turns out that this is probably called the Metallic Palette because of its case. The palette itself doesn’t really have many metallic eyeshadows.

Precious Metals Shadow Palette with the number overlay

Now why am I choosing something not quite metallic for this challenge? First I think you are going to see a lot of sparkle in this topic and not everyone really wants sparkle. Second it’s a terrific palette that will bring you enough looks for the holidays and beyond. You can wear this palette day and night. You can create a neutral everyday look, a slightly darker going out for dinner face, a smokey eye, or a full out holiday look. It’s so versatile!

Sephora+Pantone Universal Precious Metals Shadow Palette

What you’ll find are 35 colors that were inspired by Pantone’s 2013 Plus Series Metallic Book. There’s a variety of finishes from matte to shimmer to pearlescent and finally to some metallic finishes. What I love about this palette is that it is so incredibly easy to use. The 7 rows of shadows are like 7 different palettes in one. Take a row and work from top to bottom and you’ve got a complete look. You’ve got 5 colors in each row so you can play around with just that row and have a perfectly blended combination with one color flowing into the other. Or you can use any of the 35 shadows to create your own look.

Precious Metals Shadow Palette back of the box

I didn’t swatch these all because most of the colors are light and don’t show up well in my pictures. That’s not a criticism though. It’s just a fact. These eyeshadows are not overly pigmented until you get to the bottom. The bottom of each row has deep colors that are great for eyelining or a mysterious eye. I’ve used the bottom shade with each of the 6 looks I’ve done so far as my liner, I put a drop of a mixing medium like Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel in my Mineral’s Mate mixing palette and use that to wet the shadow. I use just a small corner so that I can still use the shadow as a shadow. One thing to note about these shadows is that even though the pigmentation on many of the shadows is very light, they are long lasting. I have been thrilled with the length of time these look good on without needing any touch up at all.

I’ll be happy to do an in-depth review of the shades in the Sephora+Pantone Universal Precious Metals Shadow Palette if you want, just let me know in the comments. I was lucky enough to buy mine during the VIB sale but I’d happily pay the full $48 price. If you are searching for a way to be part of the Metallic crowd then consider this gem of a palette.

Be sure you use the arrows or icons to visit my fellow Makeup Warriors. I’m excited to see what they’ve chosen and which ones I’m going to need to buy myself. — Marcia

Makeup Wars returns with favorite red lips

Aaah the Makeup Wars I’ve been dreading. Red lips. I’ve never really warmed to the idea of red lipstick so finding one to call my favorite is really odd. But a challenge has been issued by the lovely bloggers of the Makeup Wars team and I’m going to do my best.

Here are the reasons I don’t like red lips on me:
1) There’s no way I can get away without a lipliner when wearing red. It looks unfinished to me. I have dozens of lipliners yet I rarely wear one. I’d have to go to the trouble of matching one and spending more money.

2) Red lips show every flaw of my lipline. I don’t have a prominent lipline nor do I have an even one. If there’s ever going to be fine lines that lipstick can bleed into, it’s with red lips.

3) I feel the color turns my lips into tiny slits advertising to the world “hey everyone, look at those small lips on that big face!”

4) I think it makes me look old. Not older, just old. I have the coloring that should carry off a cool toned red but I look in the mirror and see someone who’s too old to be me.

Do I like red lipstick ? Actually I think it’s gorgeous on the right person. I see colors I’d love to be able to wear, I see red lipstick I admire. Just not on me.

Le Metier de Beaute Red Velvet Lip Creme vs Sephora + Pantone Universe Lip Luster in Cayenne

So after this long preamble, what did I pick?  I narrowed it down to two choices: the absolutely stunning Le Métier de Beaute Red Velvet Lip Crème and Sephora + Pantone Universe Lip Luster Lipstick in Cayenne.

I adore the look of the Le Métier de Beaute Red Velvet Lip Creme if I’m only looking at my lips. I could stare in a (magnifying) mirror forever and look at the lush glossy shade of a true cool red. The finish is so full. It’s a cross between a gloss and a lipstick. More of a liquid lipstick and it actually lasts really well. It’s a show stopper …but not on me. I’m not comfortable enough in this beauty but if you love this kind of red than it’s worth tracking it down. I received it as a GWP but it’s a very similar look to Bombay Core Lipstick with Brilliant Gloss in their regular collection. If you’ve never bought a Le Metier de Beaute Lip Crème you should consider it, they are creamy and have beautiful shine.

Le Metier de Beaute Red Velvet

Le Metier de Beaute Red Velvet

The winner though is Sephora + Pantone Universe Lip Luster Lipstick in Cayenne since I will wear this out of the house. It’s not so “in your face”. I actually bought this online thinking it was a dark pink. But it’s as red as I can comfortably get. The lipstick itself is interesting since it’s actually a core of color inside of a clear balm. The outer section is more of a hard gloss finish with the color inside. I think the color is flattering and I’m happy that it doesn’t emphasize the 4 negatives mentioned. As pretty as it is though, it’s got glitter embedded in it and I wish it didn’t. It would be perfect without it.

Sephora + Pantone Universe Cayenne

Sephora + Pantone Universe Cayenne

Le Metier de Beaute Red Velvet vs Sephora + Pantone Universe Cayenne

wearing Sephora + Pantone Universe Lip Luster lipstick in Cayenne

So did I accomplish the mission? Did I show that there’s a red for even someone that’s afraid of red or should I keep on trying?

Follow my fellow (probably less long winded) members of the Makeup Wars team by clicking on the Previous/Next arrows or their icons to see how I compared. — Marcia

Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Lipgloss Set: review and swatches

So much talk about Tangerine, the Pantone Color of the Year!!  It’s generating tons of buzz, and for good reason – tangerine is actually a very flattering, wearable color.

Even I can wear tangerine!

Sephora has a special lip gloss set out that celebrates tangerine and all its different possibilities.  It’s the Pantone Universe Color of the Year Lip Gloss Set ($20 for a set that is a $60 value).

Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Gloss Set

Inside are four different variations of tangerine colored lip glosses.

Four lovely lip glosses!

The four colors are Tangerine Tango Glaze, Tangerine Tango Luminous, Tangerine Tango Vivid, and Tangerine Tango Opal.  The colors are similar but have different finishes.

First up is Tangerine Tango Glaze, which is tangerine with golden shimmer.

Tangerine Tango Glaze

The formulas are nicely moisturizing and last about as long as most lip glosses do.

Tangerine Tango Glaze applicator

Love the doe foot applicator, which is my favorite.  It’s stiff enough to apply well, soft enough to be comfortable.

Tangerine Tango Glaze swatch

Such a pretty color, I love the golden shimmer with tangerine.  My biggest gripe is that the shimmers do travel.  After a few hours I noticed I had shimmers on my cheeks, chin, and nose.  Nothing major, but if you are in bright light it is noticeable.  And if you kiss your guy…well, he better look good in shimmer.

Next is Tangerine Tango Luminous, tangerine with shimmer.

Tangerine Tango Luminous

The shimmer in this isn’t golden, I guess it’s silver – or ‘regular’ shimmer, whatever that might be.

Tangerine Tango Luminous applicator

Tangerine Tango Luminous swatch

This is very pretty too, although I think I like the golden shimmer a little better.

Third, Tangerine Tango Vivid, straight up tangerine.

Tangerine Tango Vivid

This is a matte, more opaque color than the other three lip glosses.

Tangerine Tango Vivid applicator

I like to put this one on first, then apply one of the shimmer colors to the middle of my lips to make them look bigger.

Tangerine Tango Vivid swatch

This one is more like a lip stain than the others, which are more sheer and shiny.

And finally, Tangerine Tango Opal, tangerine pink with golden shimmers.

Tangerine Tango Opal

This one has golden shimmer in it, but with the addition of pink it becomes rather opalescent.

Tangerine Tango Opal applicator

I think this is the prettiest of them all, it really gives a gorgeous sheen to the lips.

Tangerine Tango Opal swatch

Ahhhh, just look at the gorgeousness of that swatch.  Such a beautiful summery color!!

My Tangerine Tango lips...

Any lip gloss set with four full size tubes that costs $20 is a bargain, and when you are getting the hottest color of the season it’s really a must-have.  I am so glad that I ordered this (really just to get the free shipping, lol!) and now I am totally stocked for lip gloss for the summer.  – Lisa

Sephora Prisma Chrome eyeshadows review and swatches –

Sephora got what they wanted when I bought the Prisma Chrome eyeshadows - they got me to buy them because of their pretty design. They drew my attention to the details without my wondering if these eyeshadows had anything special about them. Coming on the tail of the unusual Estee Lauder Pure Color Cyber Eyes  shadows these grabbed my attention.

Just look at this beautiful eyeshadow-

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Here’s what Sephora had to say about them: “The new wave in eyeshadow, Prisma Chrome brings together the best features of baked, powder and cream shadows. Its revolutionary effect captures light perfectly, delivering a prismatic effect with an unbelievably smooth and true color finish.”

Wouldn’t that convince you? The design, those words! What about these words from Sephora?  “An innovative blend of ingredients ensures comfortable wear. Pure pigments deliver the truest color imaginable and a highly polished finish. Its unique mica technology provides intense luminosity and a velvety texture that glides over the skin.”

So I bought two online and when they came I let out an OOOH and an AAAH.

Sephora Bronze Brilliance

Sephora Moon Glow

But alas they are no match for the Estee Lauder. They are eyeshadows plain and simple gussied up like Lady Gaga but performing like an audition on American Idol. They sparkle and shine but they are the runner up.

side view

I bought Bronze Brilliance and Moon Glow. Bronze Brilliance is copper (why didn’t they name it Copper Brilliance??) while Moon Glow is a gray/silver shade (oops I just noticed it’s not available anymore). Of the two, Moon Glow is a better choice for me. Bronze Brilliance is too yellow for my personal taste.

heavily swatched

My problem with them is that they just don’t have the pigmentation I like and I’m used to. They go on smoothly but later when I look in the mirror I see almost empty spots. Like the shadow just poofed away, especially near my lashline. Now I own several different eyeshadow primers so I tried them with different ones; same problem. I tried them wet since the Estee Lauder shadows are so beautiful when used wet but I don’t notice an improvement. They swatched well on my fingers but I used a lot of pressure.

comparison between Sephora Bronze Brilliance and Estee Lauder Cyber Copper

comparison between Sephora Bronze Brilliance and Estee Lauder Cyber Copper

These are a limited edition product. There are  8 shades on Sephora’s website but two are out of stock and don’t have that “email me” notification (now down to 6 on Sephora).  At $15 the price isn’t bad but I have a feeling that if you are attracted to them, you might want to wait until they end up in a Sephora sale. Are they the worst shadows I’ve bought? No, not at all. Would I buy them again? No, I wouldn’t. There are so many better choices out there so they are voted off and didn’t make it to Hollywood week! — Marcia

Treats Under Ten – Sephora Collection Waterproof Smoky Cream Liner

I have a passion for gel eyeliners. They make my day. It’s very hard for me to resist new ones that come along. I know I should wait until I used some up before buying new ones but patience is a virtue that I haven’t quite acquired yet. Plus I never use things up especially now that I blog. These last sentences are written as my justification for why I’m reviewing Sephora Collection Waterproof Smoky Cream Liner. Two of these little guys snuck into my last Sephora order but I pretended that they were free since I had $20 off a $50 order. (See what justification can do for you!!)

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There are 10 shades in all, $10 each.

Bewitch Me (metallic deep violet)

Cafe (matte neutral dark brown)

Electric Teal (bright turquoise with silver shimmer)

Grass Is Greener (olive with gold shimmer)

Made In Manhattan (smoky sapphire with blue shimmer)

Must Have (matte black)

Rags to Riches (metallic yellow gold)

Statue Bronze (burnished brown with gold shimmer)

The Deep End (matte bright cobalt)

Water Park (metallic bright sea green)

I bought Grass is Greener for my new khaki obsession and Statue Bronze because I always love a brown eyeliner. When they came and I opened Grass is Greener I was thrilled because it really did look like a great khaki but when I wear it, it appears more green on my eyes. I like it, it just isn’t the shade I’ve been searching for. Statue Bronze is what I’d call brown but the bronze undertone livens it up. Both of mine say they have shimmer in them but the shimmer is very slight so if you are looking for a shimmer liner, I wouldn’t count on these.

Sephora Grass is Greener

Sephora Statue Bronze eyeliner

The texture of these is very soft and creamy. They are more cream-like than gel-like actually. But the difference between these and other cream liners is that these last exceptionally well. They say they are waterproof but what they really are is smudge proof. If you want to smudge them you need to work fast.

Statue Bronze and Grass is Greener

Since they are so soft and creamy I’ll use a MAC 242 brush (you can use any taklon brush) and apply them as an eyeshadow base. But I have to work fast. These dry in a minute so I either work super fast or just do a small section at a time. I like them both as eyeliners and as bases. Here’s two looks I did:

1)      Grass is Greener as an eyeshadow base. Then I used Bare Escentuals The Scenic Route ((golden snowflake/ brilliant sage) over it. The sage became almost metallic over the eyeliner. I then used Statue Bronze as my eyeliner.

swatches for bronze and green

BE The Scenic Route from

2)      I used Statue Bronze as the eyeshadow base on my lower lid. Over it I used a Rouge Bunny Rouge shade in a cream shade. It was a great combination with the brown as the eyeliner.

Sephora says these will last from day to night. While I do find they last long, if my eye gets runny then it will fade away, but in general they last me all day. Sephora also says “this moisturizing formula provides antioxidant benefits.” I’ve included the ingredient list at the bottom.

These are great little treats and a great price. I have a feeling that Made in Manhattan may one day call my vanity home. I’m sure I can justify it! — Marcia


Active Ingredients:

-Bisabolol and Ascorbyl Palmitate: Provide strong antioxidant protection.
-Dimethicone: Provides a soft, velvety feel.
-Ethyl Panthenol (derived from Panthenyl): Helps to retain moisture.

Grass Is Greener:
Isododecane, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Polyester-6, Polybutene, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Microcrystalline Wax, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica, Simethicone, Ethylene Brassylate, Bisabolol, Propylene Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Palmitic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Tin Oxide, (+/-): CI 77019 (Mica), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 42090:2 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 19140:1 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Green), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide).