Eyes, eyes, and more eyes from Pixi!

The more I use Pixi Beauty the more I love it and today I have nothing but EYE love from this fabulously affordable and super fun line! They sell my favorite mascara – the Lengthy Fiber Mascara ($16) – but that isn’t even what I’m writing about today.  Today is all about eye liner and eyeshadow.

samples, affiliate links

Before I get into the eyeshadow palettes, I want to give a quick hello to these two pencil eyeliners – the Endless Silky Eye Pens ($12), one in MatteNude and the other in RoseGlow. They are sooo creamy and they really do glide on and the best part is that they just don’t budge. I can work out, sweat, cry, really cry, rub my eyes, it doesn’t matter – unless I am taking my eyeliner off with makeup remover, this eyeliner stays true! Plus, they are perfect for the waterline. This is holy grail stuff, my friends.

Pixi Beauty Endless Silky Eye Pens

• Gives the concentrated colour of a liquid liner in a silky, easy to apply pencil
• Stays looking flawless all day
• Hypoallergenic
• No mineral oils
• No preservatives
• No parabens
• Not tested on animals

MatteNude is perfect for the waterline. It’s a peachy shade that finishes the waterline and really opens up the eye making it look doe-eye huge. One word of caution – if this liner gets too warm it can deposit too much product, so be careful. Otherwise, perfection.

Pixi Beauty Endless Silky Eye Pens swatches in RoseGlow and MatteNude

RoseGlow is just gorgeous – a shimmery golden bronze that is so flattering, especially if you have hazel eyes. Application is truly delightful with lots of play time before it sets and I adore this shade but if it’s not your cup of tea there are 21 shades available so I’m sure you can find something that suits you perfectly.

Pixi Beauty Mesmerizing Mineral Eyeshadow Palette

Ok, now for some eyeshadow palettes. There are nine different Mesmerizing Mineral Palettes ($12) available, and we have reviewed several of them. Each palette has six shades of eyeshadow and a dual-sided sponge applicator. The eyeshadows are mineral shadows that have great pigmentation and all the palettes feature gemstone-inspired shades. My palette is Desert SunsetI didn’t think I would like this nearly as much as I do – the red shade scared me, but it’s really pretty! And you would be surprised how versatile orange really is. The other shades include a medium matte brown, a deep brown with tiny golden shimmer, a dark golden shimmery brown, and a medium shimmery brown. They are all very pretty, rich shades with a great color pay off that make this palette a great buy, especially since it often goes on sale for half off!  

On the larger palette side, the Eye Reflection Shadow Palette Mixed Metals ($24) is gorgeous! It’s a lovely combination of lighter and darker shades, some that give a creamy glow, some that give a three-dimensional metallic finish, and some with a matte finish. The twelve colors range from a light golden cream to a dark brown. I find all of the shades to be very interesting with a nice texture; beautifully blendable and heavily pigmented.

Overall, I think the Endless Silky Eye Pens are must haves – they are really perfect eyeliner pencils that apply so beautifully and easily and they come in an array of gorgeous shades. The Mesmerizing Mineral Palettes is a great buy if it’s on sale – the Desert Sunset collection is nice but it isn’t essential by any means; however, if it’s on sale for $6 it’s totally worth it. The  Eye Reflection Shadow Palette Mixed Metals is most definitely a great buy and if you are looking for some beautiful metallic shades to liven up your eyeshadow wardrobe without breaking the bank, this is a truly fantastic option! You can find Pixi by Petra at Target stores nationwide.  – Lisa

Favorite Worth the Hype Beauty

Makeup Wars picked a topic that a lot of us are having trouble with so not as many bloggers participated. What are the hyped products that you’re interested in? It’s so different for us all because of where our interests lie. Are you a skincare junkie? Do you crave eyeshadows? Are lipsticks your thing? And if you do pick lipstick what formula? See what I mean? I’ve chosen a few items that I think are worth the hype. I wonder if you agree.

Makeup Wars favorite hyped products

Eyeshadows are my jam. I’d rather buy eyeshadows than anything ever. As you can see by my newest “hyped” choices I like the same colors over and over and I’m really into satin and metallic shades. All 4 of these palettes were bought in the last month. Now I have to stop myself!!

Eyeshadow palettes from Marc Jacobs, Urban Decay, ColourPop, Huda Beauty

URBAN DECAY HEAVY METALS and Urban Decay Distortion palettes are the two that have been on the tongues and minds of most beauty bloggers. I said no to both of these……….. but then I caved for Heavy Metals. It has its negatives but the colors are so pretty and the formula is excellent. I seriously thought about Distortion but I have the Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette so I have talked myself down and used that instead with my darker eyeshadows.

Urban Decay Heavy Metals Eyeshadow Palette

Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette

The nice thing about UD’s Heavy Metals is that I still get all my neutrals but then I have brights that I may or may not use too often. The only negative about the palette is the size and configuration. I don’t have a drawer big enough for it at the moment.

HUDA BEAUTY has definitely been among the most hyped brands and I wanted in. At only $27 the small Obsessions eyeshadow palettes were an easy pick. Only Smokey Obsessions had colors that I knew would look good on me even though I was tempted by Warm Brown and Mauve.

Huda Beauty Smokey Obsessions eyeshadow palette

Huda Beauty Smokey Obsessions—Master the ultimate smoky eye or staple nude look with this range of four mattes and five metallic shimmers—including an intense black, warm shades of dark brown, champagne, gold, and silver.

Even though it’s not the most sturdy palette I love the size and will most likely take it on my long trip. The textures are divine.

MARC JACOBS BEAUTY already takes up a lot of real estate on my vanity but I was so tempted by their new formula and had to buy an Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette. I know I didn’t need it but I couldn’t help myself. It was a necessity that I try the new formula. Don’t you agree? (Please say yes). Of course I stuck with the most traditional one and bought Glambition with its nudes and bronzes. Marc Jacobs isn’t as hyped as it used to be when it was new but it’s a brand that should get a little more attention.

Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic palette in Glambition

Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic palette in Glambition

COLOURPOP is hyped to the sky and back. You can’t beat their prices and you can’t beat the amount of products that they have. I’ve bought a lot of ColourPop and when Sephora started carrying it I was back looking for it again. My choice this time was the Semi Precious Shadow Palette ($26). I wanted to try their pressed shadows and this has some lighter shades I wanted. I know I won’t use them all since red/cranberry and my eyes don’t go together but the lavender and greenish gold are fabulous.

ColourPop Semi-Precious pressed eyeshadow palette

The one lipstick brand of all the ones being talked about lately that has tempted me is PAT MCGRATH. She has two formulas out but LuxeTrance is the one I wanted since it’s a cream formula and not a matte. The pictures on Sephora aren’t representative of the shades at all but through research I narrowed it down to Sextrology described as a neutral pink. It’s not a light pink but it’s not dark either. It feels good on my lips which is uber important and there’s no fragrance! Go Pat. There 25 shades in LuxeTrance and 9 in MatteTrance. This is the first Pat McGrath that I’ve felt deserved the hype. And the package wasn’t filled with sequins that get all over the place.

Pat McGrath TranceLuxe lipstick

Pat McGrath TranceLuxe lipstick in Sextrology

Pat McGrath TranceLuxe lipstick in Sextrology

Now onto skincare. When Lisa and I started this blog she was the one that emphasized skincare. I used a limited selection but that’s changed dramatically and now I’m the one emphasizing it along with her. I have 3 items from IT COSMETICS that I use daily. Two are new so there’s more hype about them and one is a staple that I’ve purchased 4 times after receiving my first one.

IT Cosmetics Miracle Water, Secret Sauce, Bye Bye Serum

IT COSMETICS BYE BYE LINES SERUM Advanced Anti-Aging Wrinkle-Smoothing Miracle Concentrate is my absolute favorite serum ever. I love serums and consider them to be a vital part of my regimen. Bye Bye Lines Serum is great for me day and night. It never interferes with cosmetics. It smell delicious with a hint of orange. It fills in fine lines. I always go back to it if I’m testing other brands.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Serum

This revolutionary, antiaging miracle concentrate was developed with plastic surgeons to deliver 10 powerful clinical results to your skin in as little as 10 days. Infused with proprietary Drops of Light Optical Blurring Technology™ and skin-loving ingredients—including peptides, caviar extract, hydrolyzed collagen and algae—the weightless wonder serum visibly erases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while improving the look of tone, texture, firmness, suppleness, and elasticity. It also supports the natural skin barrier, hydrates, and gives skin a look of youthful vitality and radiance.

IT COSMETICS SECRET SAUCE Clinically Advanced Miraculous Anti-Aging Moisturizer is a new product from IT that I’m loving. While I’ve only been using it for about 3-4 weeks it’s one that I’ll purchase when the time comes. At Sephora right now you can use the code ITSECRET to get 10 free samples of this with your Sephora purchase. I’m going to do that to take traveling with me.

IT Cosmetics Secret Sauce

The skin-loving, powerfully potent secret lies in the Secret Sauce fermented complex: seven clinically advanced, penetration-enhancing fermented ingredients that work to increase absorbency and maximize the anti-aging benefits. It features anti-aging collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and licorice root to reduce discoloration, lines, and wrinkles. Combined with proprietary Drops of Light Technology™ concentrate and diamond powder, the revolutionary formula delivers a youthful-looking, lit-from-within glow.

This adds a slight glow to my well moisturized skin. There’s a reason that IT brought this out and why so many bloggers are recommending it – it works and it’s wonderful!

IT COSMETICS MIRACLE WATER 3-in-1 Glow Tonic is a Micellar Water unlike any that you’ve tried before. While this cleanses like a typical Micellar Water it also maximizes the efficacy of your other skincare. It contains the Secret Sauce fermented complex so you are getting more than just the benefits of a micellar product. I personally don’t use this on my eyes but I use it at least once a day on my face and will purchase it again.

IT Cosmetics Miracle Water

Now that you’ve seen some hypes what do you think? Do you have more items to add? I know that Fenty Beauty is the most hyped at the moment but I can’t comment on it since I haven’t seen a product that I feel would work for me. What’s your favorite hyped product?  —  Marcia

affiliate links some samples from IT Cosmetics


Holiday Beauty Buys for the Eyeshadow lover

When Makeup Wars decided to write about Holiday Beauty Buys I knew that I’d be writing about eyeshadows since that’s my thing. I can’t get enough eyeshadow palettes. I’m enamored with them. What I’m sharing is what I bought and what I want to buy.



This well priced palette is a find for me. The 12 shades of neutrals make me so happy. I love the brightness of the shimmers (they aren’t glitters!!!) and the smoothness of the mattes. All apply beautifully even without an eyeshadow primer which amazes me. It’s not the same old neutrals since there’s much more variety and pizazz. And neutral lovers can never get enough of these easy to wear shades.

Persona Identity Eyeshadow Palette

Persona Identity Eyeshadow Palette

  • Humble (nudish pink matte)
  • Sassy (pearl shimmer)
  • Goal Digger (true gold shimmer)
  • Seductive (rose gold shimmer)
  • Charming (caramel brown matte)
  • Maverick (taupe matte)
  • Bombshell (metallic pewter shimmer)
  • Goddess (true bronze shimmer)
  • Audacious (burnt brick matte)
  • Chic (plum matte)
  • Bossy (burgundy shimmer)
  • Fearless (dark chocolate matte)



This set won’t be available until 11/18/17 but it’s a beauty and from a brand that most people aren’t aware of. I’ve been remiss about reviewing what I’ve bought from Bravon Beauty but it’s a brand I highly recommend. Just look at this beauty! Irresistibly Gorgeous 10-Piece Eye & Lip Color Collection – Exclusive Offer $72.00 / Retail Value $130.00

Bravon Beauty Irresistibly Gorgeous 10-Piece Eye & Lip Color Collection

-Magnetic Mirrored Artist Palette (holds up to 18 solo shadows)
-Velvet Matte Lip Paint-Blush Satin
-Magnetic Eyes Shadow Solo/Satin-White Star
-Magnetic Eyes Shadow Solo/Satin-Lilac Pearl
-Magnetic Eyes Shadow Solo/Satin-Platinum
-Magnetic Eyes Shadow Solo/Satin-Brownstone
-Magnetic Eyes Shadow Solo/Satin-Evergreen
-Magnetic Eyes Shadow Solo/Satin-Champagne Frost
-Magnetic Eyes Shadow Solo/Satin-Golden Olive
-Magnetic Eyes Shadow Solo/Satin-Tuscan Rose



Urban Decay Heavy Metals Metallic Eyeshadow Palette

I bought this using my 20% off Sephora code but haven’t worked up the nerve to wear it yet. I just couldn’t resist the beauty of this. While I may end up wearing just the neutral side I’m excited to have the brights for those special nights when I want more of a vibe. I know I won’t be wearing every one of these but I’ve never worn every shadow in a palette. I’m sure this will bring many oohs and aahs to your holiday looks.

This set contains:
– 20 Metallic Eyeshadows in Ground (black w/iridescent shimmer), Spandex (deep blue with purple shift and blue micro-sparkle), Metalhead (deep purple), Mullet (deep green), Twisted (gold), Aluminum (warm gray-taupe with iridescent micro-sparkle), Dive (medium blue), Punk Rock (fuchsia), Amp (bright teal), Glamrock (silver), Bass (bronze), Demo (bronze-rose), Afterparty (red), Roadie (burgundy), Scream (mauve), Glory (golden bronze), Starfire (bright copper), Angelfire (pale pink), Maiden (beige), and Acoustic (nude)



Ciate London Beauty Haul, Volume 2

I had to add in a kit that would be more than just eyeshadow and this new Ciate’ London Beauty Haul set has 20 eyeshadows, a mini Wonderwand mascara, Fierce Flicks Liquid Eyeliner, and a mini Liquid Velvet lip in Sydney.

The eyeshadows are a combination of matte and soft shimmers with plenty of pigment. They are a little powdery but that’s easily taken care of by applying them over a primer or liquid eyeshadow and doing your eyes first so you can wipe away the excess. There’s so much variety in the shades that you can find just about anything you’d want.



Urban Decay Most Wanted Eyeshadow Brush Set

I have more brushes than you can imagine but that didn’t stop me from ordering this set. I’m planning on using it for travel so I can save space. The few Urban Decay e/s brushes I have are great so I have faith in this too. This set contains:
– Smoky Smudger Brush/Tapered Crease Brush
– Detailed Tightline Brush/Shadow Brush
– Blending Brush/Large Blending Brush



It Cosmetics Your Beautiful Basics Airbrush set

This is for the person in your life that needs a brush collection. Since it contains 5 brushes to get them started it’s an impressive gift with some of the softest and elegant brushes around.

Airbrush Powder: Versatile use, dome-shaped head

Airbrush Foundation: Fluffy, rounded brush great for applying foundation

Airbrush Concealer: Fluffy, rounded brush head

Airbrush Shadow: Small, soft rounded head designed for the delicate eye area

Airbrush Crease: Narrow, tapered head designed to fit into the crease of the eye area


BEAUTY JUNKEES MINI KABUKI SET aka 5 piece Precision Brush Set *($16.97)

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set (Eye Makeup Brushes: 5 pc Precision Brush Set)

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set


Of all the Beauty Junkees brush sets I’ve used, this is the one that I can’t get enough of. It’s on sale now for just $16.97 and comes prepared to gift. These really aren’t precision brushes for my small eyes but they are amazing blending brushes that I also use for my face. In this set you’ll have blending brushes, concealing, contouring, and a tapered brush. This is a steal and one you want in your life!

I could go on and on and on but I have to cut it off somewhere. These are all favorites of mine (or soon to be favorites) that I think will make great gifts for you and your gift list. —  Marcia

Affiliate links/*sample


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

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)


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Splurge vs Steal with Urban Decay, Covergirl, NYC Lovatics, Makeup Revolution USA

close up of usa dollar money and piggy bank

It’s time for a new Makeup Wars and I’m excited about this one. I can’t wait to read what the other bloggers have chosen as their SPLURGE vs STEAL items. For my edition I decided to stick with neutral palettes since they are so popular. Urban Decay Naked palettes started the craze with Too Faced Chocolate Bar and Chocolate Bon Bons following. At $54 and $49 respectively it’s hard to own all the ones you are interested in…. so here comes the steals.

I read this type of article often in magazines and the first thing that comes to my mind is the question of Quality. Yes, two items may look similar, but is the steal something you’d want to wear/use? I have made sure that my steals are ones that I can recommend without question.

URBAN DECAY is the brand that I believe has led the way into the neutral revolution. They have excellent marketing and know how to get the word out with some cutting edge products. Just look at how they’ve promoted the Gwen Steffani items! People are going nuts over them. Also their Naked palettes don’t go out of favor. When I was pulling this together I realized that I can’t find my Naked Basics and Naked 2. Just because they are older doesn’t make them any less relevant and now I’m thinking about purchasing them. I looked to see how to compare my ‘steals’ to my Urban Decay and Too Faced. I hope I’ve succeeded.

NYC Lovatics by Demi

NYC Lovatics by Demi

NYC Cosmetics has a new collection in collaboration with Demi Lovato. I received several items that I’ll be reviewing in full and I’m loving them. This $6.99 palette LOVATICS BY DEMI is incredible and a perfect match for the original URBAN DECAY NAKED PALETTE. $6.99. vs $54. Now that’s what I call a Splurge vs Steal. When you find this at Walmart, Target or wherever NYC is sold, grab it before it’s too late.

NYC Lovatics by Demi (Natural) on top of Urban Decay Naked (original)

NYC Lovatics by Demi (Natural) on top of Urban Decay Naked (original)


These two are so close that I can blindly reach for either to achieve the same looks. This is a $54 vs $20 Splurge vs Steal except that Ulta’s palette is always on sale and you can use their coupons. This particular week all ULTA products are buy 2 get 2 free, last week this palette was $12.

Urban Decay Naked3 vs Ulta Rose Gold

Urban Decay Naked3 vs Ulta Rose Gold


There are 32 eyeshadows in MAKEUP REVOLUTION’S AFFIRMATION PALETTE. This Ulta exclusive is $15 with BOGO 1/2 currently going on. It’s also available with the $3.50 coupon that Ulta advertises. I had to seek out two palettes to match up with the AFFIRMATION palette because it has so many versatile shades.

Makeup Revolution Affirmation palette

Makeup Revolution Affirmation palette

Urban Decay Naked Smoky contains these shades: champagne shimmer micro-glitter, medium bronze, metallic taupe iridescent micr-glitter, metallic silver taupe tonal sparkle, light metallic gray, medium charcoal micro glitter, jet black satin, deep plum taupe, cool taupe matte, rich brown matte, soft pink taupe and light beige satin. Look at the above picture – recognize those shades?

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons contains these shades: matte mauve, cool greige, matte suede, matte plum brown, gilded rose, electric fuchsia pearl, cherry cola shimmer, satin nude, smokey sapphire, deep metallic amethyst, gilded cocoa, metallic taupe, metallic cocoa bronze, and matte warm cream. You can find duplicates of all these shades in the Makeup Revolution Affirmation palette too.

top Urban Decay Smoky, left Makeup Revolution Affirmation, right Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons

top Urban Decay Smoky, left Makeup Revolution Affirmation USA, right Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons

While I love my Urban Decay palettes I shudder thinking about how much money they’ve cost me. Makeup Revolution USA Affirmation isn’t as pigmented as UD and TF but I end up with the same colors and looks. I’m the only one that knows that the Affirmation palette costs a fraction of the other too.


Covergirl trunaked Nudes

Covergirl trunaked Nudes

Last is the Covergirl trunaked Nudes palette which is a beautiful rendition of a nude palette. The colors are exactly what you need to create daily looks as well as smoky eyes. The palette sells for approximately $12.99 but you can find sales on it. Currently at Ulta it’s $11.98 with a BOGO 1/2 on Covergirl products. I have been blown away by the color and quality of this palette.

I think these steals are pretty fabulous and the true definition of Splurge vs Steal without compromising quality. What’s your favorite steal?  –  Marcia


*NYC, Covergirl, Makeup Revolution received for editorial consideration, others are self purchased

Makeup Wars splurged!!! Here are my OMGs…

Makeup Wars splurging with Viseart and Tom Ford

Makeup Wars splurging with Viseart and Tom Ford

Welcome to Makeup Wars or as I call it this week, Spending Wars. I splurged over the holidays and many new products ended up at my home. I’d be taking pictures forever and a day if I showed you everything so instead I’ve chosen two brands, Viseart and Tom Ford Beauty, that I’m most excited about. I did go overboard but I “needed” these. Didn’t I??


Last year Tom Ford came out with a limited edition Boys & Men collection. I admit I bought even more last year than I did this year but I couldn’t resist. These are small lipsticks and probably not worth the $35 each but I just had to have them. I prefer wearing lipstick and Tom Ford lipsticks are my favorite ever. They have a slight vanilla fragrance that I don’t really notice at all. They are moisturizing and I feel like a million bucks when I wear my TF lips.

“Tom Ford Lip Color is filled with rare and exotic ingredients including soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil to create an ultra-creamy texture with an incredibly smooth application. Specially treated color pigments are blended to deliver pure color with just the right balance of luminosity.”

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Austin, Flynn, Jude, Justin

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Austin, Flynn, Jude, Justin


Tom Ford Austin

Tom Ford Austin

Austin is a light coral with a slight metallic finish. This is a combination of peach & pink and I find it very versatile.


Tom Ford Lips & Boys Flynn

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Flynn

This is actually my second Flynn. I bought it last year, fell in love with it, wore it a LOT but was afraid to wear it more. Once it was brought back I had to buy another. Now one is constantly with me while my newest one can live at my vanity. On me Flynn is a light pink that’s neutral. There is a little touch of peach so that it’s not a bubble gum pink. Different lip liners can change this up so it can look perfect no matter which blush I’ve chosen for the day.


Tom Ford Lips & Boys Jude

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Jude

Jude is my pink of the group. This is a cool, blue based pink. It’s not too light and it’s not too dark so it must be just right!


Tom Ford Lips & Boys Justin

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Justin

Justin is different than any of my other Tom Ford lipsticks. It has more depth to it than I usually choose. It’s a purple based pink that I’ve seen described as fuchsia but it doesn’t turn bright on me.

Tom Ford Lips & Boys in Austin, Flynn, Jude, Justin

Tom Ford Lips & Boys in Austin, Flynn, Jude, Justin

If you want to see swatches of all the Lips & Boys Lip Colors visit my friend Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog for her great description and awesome photos and swatches.


Viseart eyeshadow palettes

Viseart eyeshadow palettes

There were some great sales on Viseart palettes but even without a sale these palettes are the cream of the crop. They are a splurge at $80 each but the quality is unsurpassed. I prefer their satin palettes to their mattes but I still indulged in two matte palettes since I know how outstanding these are.  At some point I’ll have to give in and leave my beloved satins behind so when that time comes, I’m ready.


Viseart Sultry Muse

Viseart Sultry Muse

I have (and reviewed) a similar palette to Sultry Muse, it was a gift from Lisa and my first experience with Viseart. It stopped me in my tracks. The shades in Sultry Muse are mostly neutrals with a few shades that pop. The brown tones are my favorites, especially the top row. But there’s also a rose gold, silver, and charcoal w/blue undertones that make this quite unique. Viseart shadows practically apply themselves, that’s how smooth they are.


Viseart Bridal Satin

Viseart Bridal Satin

Of all the Viseart palettes this is the one that truly shines. I question the name “bridal” only because most makeup artists that I’m friends with use a very subtle eye look on their brides; this is far from subtle. I’d call this “Rehearsal Dinner Satin”. Some of the shades look similar to Sultry Muse but they are just variations. Bridal Satin is brighter, more vibrant and is a palette to wear any time you want to look your best. The shades are both warm and cool making it quite adaptable. Satin eyeshadows from Viseart have a small amount of shimmer to them. If you pat them on you won’t get glitter, you’ll get shine.


Viseart Neutral Matte

Viseart Neutral Matte

Neutral Matte is the palette I’d use on a bride. It amazes me that these are mattes in the way they perform. They are silky soft and glide on without any patchiness. The hues are in the warm range with shades of beige, bone, brown, taupe plus an orange, black and charcoal. The only shade I can’t personally wear is the orange one in the second row.


Viseart Dark Matte palette

Viseart Dark Matte palette

Dark Matte is darker than my picture shows, my lighting isn’t the best, although the photo with all 4 palettes is more accurate. The shades are livelier than Neutral Mattes and is a great companion piece. Dark Matte is more a a cool neutral palette. The oranges in the middle row are much easier for me to wear as they are softer. If I had to pick only one of these two matte palettes I’d get the Dark Matte since it works better for my coloring and preferences.

What do you think of my splurges? Would you use your hidden money to buy any of these? What about your own splurges? Will you share?  — Marcia

Please join my friends in Makeup Wars to find out what these bloggers have taken the plunge and bought!

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Favorite fall eyeshadow palettes

Favorite eyeshadow palettes for fall

Favorite eyeshadow palettes for fall

While this is supposed to be Top 10 Tuesday for me it’s Top 7 Tuesday. I decided to just choose eyeshadow palettes I own and rely on rather than make a wishlist. I’m excited about my choices and recommend all of these highly. Some were received for review, others were bought, and all are loved and recommended.

my favorite fall palettes from Lancome, Tom Ford, butter London, Makeup Revolution, Buxom, Sleek, Make Up For Ever

my favorite fall palettes from Lancome, Tom Ford, butter London, Makeup Revolution, Buxom, Sleek, Make Up For Ever




This is the first Lancome palette I’ve bought in years. There are 16 shades in 4 finishes. They are set up almost like four individual palettes. The colors are Filigree (light gold shimmer), Choquette (peach matte), Parfait (light pink matte), Kitten Heel (gold copper shimmer) , Joie (golden brown shimmer), Voyage (muted purple matte), Sante (brown matte), Éclair (purple metallic), Exhibition (orchid shimmer), Zip Me Up (deep purple shimmer), Volcano (silvery gray shimmer),  Clock Strikes 12 (gray metallic), Audacious (smokey brown shimmer), Couture (dark brown matte), It List (black matte), Nuit (deep charcoal metallic).  This palette was designed by Lisa Eldridge who was inspired by the streets of Paris. It’s the kind of palette that takes you from day to night, from running errands or going to work to a soiree. After seeing so much hype about the palette I instantly bought it during a Lancome GWP and I’m glad that I did.


Tom Ford Nude Dip

Tom Ford Nude Dip

Tom Ford Nude Dip

Tom Ford Nude Dip

I reviewed this much loved palette (here) so you can see fresh pictures of it. This contains a light gold, a light rose gold, a medium taupe and a chocolate brown. It’s my one and only TF palette and if they were all like this without glitter but lots of sheen, I’d own them all.


butter LONDON Natural Charm Shadow Clutch

butter LONDON Natural Charm Shadow Clutch

butter London Natural Charm

butter London Natural Charm

butter LONDON now has eyeshadows called Shadow Clutches and I’m loving it. There are two ShadowClutch palettes – Natural Charm and Pretty Proper.  The shades in Natural Charm are Linen (Matte Vanilla), Quartz (Warm Beige Sheen), Camo (Dark Khaki Sheen), Camel (Matte Nude), Citrine (Coral Sheen), Leather (Matte Chocolate Brown. These are primer infused and the pigments are great. A full review is on the way.


Makeup Revolution in Mermaids Forever

Makeup Revolution in Mermaids Forever

This beautiful Ulta exclusive has 32 shades that will satisfy the needs of everyone. I know it’s early for Christmas presents but this would be a delight for any makeup lover to find in a pile of gifts. It’s affordable enough that you can buy it for gifts and one for yourself. While the theme is Mermaids with its beautiful blues, teals, and greens you’ll also find a bevy of neutrals. Makeup Revolution is a UK brand that only came to the US at Ulta stores in the summer. No swatches yet of this but they’ll be coming.


a Buxom Customizable Palette made by me

a Buxom Customizable Palette made by me

buxom customizable palette

buxom customizable palette

After using a buxom Customizable Palette and finding the pigmentation to be utterly amazing, I just had to put together one in the neutral family. Be sure you buy this in one bundle since separately the eyeshadows ($12 each) and empty palette would be $112. The colors in my palette are Champagne Buzz (shimmering pearl), Haute Couture (metallic java), Jetsetter (matte greige), Satin Seduction (Bisque Luster), Mix & Mingle (matte vanilla), Style Icon (Mettalic Taupe). I think you’ll have better luck finding these at Sephora since they are selling like hotcakes online.


Sleek Makeup Storm Palette

Sleek MakeUP Storm Palette

Sleek is another brand from the UK and is one of the most coveted brands from there. There are a lot of Sleek MakeUP iDivine palettes and I was lucky to get Storm which was one I’ve been eager to try. The shades are Sand Storm (golden brown, Snow Storm (lighter gold), Calm Before the Storm (matte beige, Thunder Storm (brassy gold), Perfect Storm (rose gold), Firestorm (bronze), Dust Storm (deeper bronze), Gathering Storm (dark pewter), Storm Cloud (teal pewter), Electric Storm (shimmery navy), Eye of the Storm (matte light brown), Blackout (matte black). What I love about this palette is that there’s a mix of matte and satin shades. Full review will follow.


Make Up For Ever 9 Shadow Artist Palette volume 1

Make Up For Ever 9 Shadow Artist Palette volume 1

Make Up For Ever’s 9 Shadow Artist Palette is the oldest one in this group. Did I need another neutral palette? Of course not and at first I was a little sorry I bought it. But once I started using it I realized there were some shades that I really liked. These shades are available individually but putting 9 in a palette makes it a better buy. The shades are (going down the rows) I-528 Pearl, S-556 Taupe Gray, S-102 Onyx, I-514 Pink Ivory, D-562 Taupe Platinum, I-544 Pink Granite, ME-512 Golden Beige, ME-644 Iced Brown, D-652 Celestial Earth so it runs the gamut of finishes. I get the most use out of Pearl, Pink Ivory, Pink Granite, Golden Beige and Iced Brown. The two shades marked D (diamond) are too glittery for me) and I don’t line with black so Onyx is pristine. But 6 out of this palette makes this a buy I no longer regret.

Do you own any of these? What’s your fave? — Marcia

Visit my friends to see what they have picked out as some favorites for fall.

*denotes palettes received for consideration