Thursday, January 31, 2013

Khroma Beauty 'Kourtney's Kardazzle' Palette (Review + Swatches)



Hey Everyone, 

I have no problems admitting that I am a big Khardashians fan. Not only do I think the three sisters, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney are absolutely hilarious (I seriously wish my sisters and I were that amusing), they always look stunning, and I love checking out their latest beauty and fashion picks. So, when I found out that they were releasing a their own line of cosmetics, called Khroma Beauty, I was more than a little excited. 

Originally, I planned on purchasing a number of items from the new line, however, after reading a number of 'not so great' reviews, I decided to only get one item, the 'Kourtney Kardazzle' complete face palette.


Khroma Beauty's 'Kourtney's Kardazzle' palette comes in a nude-toned, snake-skin print case with a top that opens to reveal eight eyeshadows, and a bottom that slides open to reveal two blushes and a highlighter. While the palette itself is very small, and incredibly lightweight, it does house a rather large mirror, making it perfect for both travel, and on-the-go daily touchups. Unfortunately, while nice and compact, the packaging feels surprisingly cheap, and I am worried the bottom tray will eventually snap off if I am not careful (anyone who knows me knows that I am never careful). Below is more information on all of the products featured in the 'Kourtney's Kardazzle' palette. 



There are four matte shadows featured in the 'Kourtney's Kardazzle' palette. While all are incredibly soft and smooth, they aren't as pigmented as one would hope, and therefore take some extra effort to apply. The matte shadows comes in the following four shades (top row, left to right): 


1) A light, matte beige with pink undertones.
2) A light peach with orange undertones (this makes an awesome crease colour). 
3) A light brown with yellow undertones. 
4) A deep rose with subtle brown undertones. 

There are also four shimmering shadows in this palette. Although each of the shadows have a lot of fallout, and can make for a messy application, all are extremely well pigmented, very smooth, last nicely throughout the day, and give the lids a gorgeous glow. The shimmer shadows come in the following four shades (bottom row, left to right):

1) A gorgeous, light, yellow-gold with iridescent gold shimmer. 
2) A beautiful light taupe with rose gold undertones and iridescent silver shimmer. 
3) A deep burgundy with both copper and plum undertones. 
4) A dark chocolate brown with finely milled iridescent green and silver glitter. 



Also included in the 'Kourtney's Kardazzle' palette are two blushes and a highlighter. All three are incredibly smooth, nicely pigmented, and very easy to apply, and blend. While I am extremely happy with the quality of all three, it makes me wonder why Khroma Beauty didn't take more time to ensure that their eyeshadows were of the same quality as the blushes and highlighter. The three face powders come in the following shades (left to right):

1) A light, rosy pink with slight peach undertones and very finely milled silver shimmer (which disappears once applied). 

2) A yellow-toned golden highlighter with iridescent green and gold shimmer, and a high sheen finish. 

2) A brown-toned pink with slight orange undertones and very finely milled silver shimmer (which disappears once applied). 



Overall, I though the palette was just 'okay'. While I was really impressed by the blushes and highlighter, I definitely think they could have made their matte shadows a lot more pigmented, and their shimmer shadows a little less messy. For $15.99 USD (I got mine on sale for $10 USD), I would have expected better quality packaging. While I do like the snake-skin print case, I thought fashion power houses, the Khardasian sisters, might have come out with something a little more fashionable (something 'blingy'!). Unfortunately, what they did produce is, in my opinion, somewhat cheap. 

If you are a huge Khardashian fan, and really want to try something from the Khroma Beauty line, this palette is supposed to be one of their best products, and does have a few nice quality items (the blushes and highlighter). If, however, you are looking for a low priced palette with good quality eyeshadows and blushes, you may want to look elsewhere. 







Have you tried anything from the new Khroma Beauty line? Do you want to? Do you think you will take a look at 'Kourtney's Kardazzle' palette? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

xx
Alicia


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wet n' Wild 'Centre Stage Collection' (Review + Swatches)



Hey Everyone,  

As I mentioned in a previous post, Amber, of Canadian Fashionista, and I recently took a trip to the US for some major makeup shopping. While there were a number of items I wanted to check out, one of the collections I was most looking forward to testing out was Fergie's new Wet n Wild 'Centre Stage Collection', a huge cosmetics collection featuring several eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, lipsticks and nail polishes. 

Unfortunately, when I got to the US, I saw that the overwhelming popularity of this new collection, meant that a lot of the items I had been wanting to buy were sold out. After trips to two different Walgreens (I am nothing if not dedicated), I managed to get my hands on five pieces from the new collection: an eyeshadow palette, a highlighter and three lipsticks. Below is more information on each of the items I picked up. 



Wet n' Wild 'Dutchess Lounge' Eyeshadow Palette ($5.50 USD): 
One of four eyeshadow palettes from the new Centre Stage Collection, 'Dutchess Lounge' features five purple, black and silver toned shadows perfect for creating a dark, smoky eyed look. 'Dutchess Lounge' includes the following shadows:


1) A silver shadow with finely milled iridescent silver glitter and a somewhat metallic finish. This eyeshadow is fairly well pigmented, although somewhat difficult to apply (you need to pack your brush in order to get the right amount of colour on your lid). 

2) An extremely deep (almost black) plummy-purple with finely milled iridescent purple glitter. This shadow is extremely well pigmented, buttery smooth and blends nicely on the lids without a lot of fallout. 

3) A matte, medium purple with blue undertones. While pretty in the pan, this shadow is not well pigmented and therefore incredibly difficult to apply. 

4) A matte charcoal-black with chunky, iridescent blue and purple glitter. This shadow is very well pigmented, super soft and easy to blend. With the glitter, however, there is a lot of fallout, which can create quite a big mess. 

5) An extremely dark, matte black with chunky, iridescent silver, green and purple glitter. This shadow is intensely pigmented and buttery smooth. Unfortunately, this shadow has a lot of fallout, which creates quite a mess. 

Overall, I would say this palette is 'just okay'. While it does work nicely for a dramatic eye look, it is definitely not a palette I would reach for every day. With such soft shadows, there is a lot of fallout, which is very messy (especially since most of the shadows are very dark). With two shades that aren't very well pigmented and are difficult to apply, my advice would be to skip Fergie's 'Dutchess Lounge'. 



Wet n' Wild 'Rose Champagne Glow' Reflect Shimmer Palette ($5.99 USD):
One of three reflect shimmer palettes, 'Rose Champagne Glow' is a shimmering golden-peach powder with deeper rose toned veins, that gives cheeks a stunning 'rose-gold glow'. Similar to MAC's infamous MSFs, 'Rose Champagne Glow' is nicely pigmented, very smooth and does not contain any chunky glitter (it does have some finely milled gold shimmer). 


Overall, I would recommend checking out Wet n Wild's new 'Rose Champagne Glow' Reflect Shimmer Palette This is definitely my favourite item from the new collection, and in my opinion, a complete steal at only $5.99 USD. 



Wet n' Wild Perfect Pout Lip Colour in 'Penthouse Sweet', 'Bebot Love' and 'Ferguson Crest Cabernet' ($3.49 USD/each):
With a new lipstick formulation and ten brand new shades, The Centre Stage Collection introduces Wet n' Wild's 'Perfect Pout Lip Colours'. With a super high pigmentation (what you see in the tube is what you get on the lips), these lipsticks are supposed to be more moisturizing than than Wet n' Wild's famous 'Megalast Lipsticks'. Unfortunately, my always dry lips don't find these lipsticks to be very moisturizing and, therefore, I definitely need to apply a lip balm before attempting to wear them. Here are the three colours I chose: 


1) Ferguson Crest Cabernet: A deep, vampy, plummy-purple lipstick  with both blue and red undertones. This insanely pigmented colour is not for the faint of heart, but looks great paired with a simple eye and glowing skin. This is definitely my favourite lipstick from the collection. 

2) Bebot Love: A light, brown-toned nude with subtle peach undertones. This colour was purchased on a whim and I was, therefore, worried I would regret buying it. Luckily, I really like the colour, and find it works nicely with a variety of makeup looks. 

3) Penthouse Sweet: A super bright, bubble gum pink with blue undertones. While too bright right out of the tube (at least for me), this lipstick does look nice when sheered down or applied to the lips with your finger, like a stain. 

Overall, the choice on whether to skip or purchase comes down to personal preference. If you have dry lips, and only want moisturizing lipsticks, skip these. If, however, you are okay with applying a balm before wear, and are looking for highly pigmented, drugstore priced lipsticks, definitely check these out. 

'Dutchess Lounge' (sun/shade)

'Rose Champagne Glow' (sun/shade)

'Bebot Love', 'Penthouse Sweet', 'Ferguson Crest Cabernet' (sun/shade)

Have you purchased anything from the new Wet n' Wild 'Centre Stage Collection'? If so, what did you think? Is there anything from this collection you have your eye on? Which of the items mentioned above would you most like to try? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

xx
Alicia

Monday, January 28, 2013

Urban Decay 'Naked Basics' Palette (Review + Swatches)



Hey Everyone, 

When I first saw that Urban Decay had released their 'Naked Basics' palette, a mini palette featuring six neutral eyeshadows, I decided that, while pretty, I was going to be a 'good girl' and skip it. Of course, after seeing the palette in person, and getting a chance to swatch and play with it, my mind was quickly changed, and I decided I just had to have it (who didn't see that one coming?!). 

I have been using this palette every day since picking it up a couple of weeks ago, and have been pleasantly surprised by the variety of eye looks I have been able to create, from a simple, natural-looking, 'glowing' eye to a darker, full-on smoky look. I am more than impressed with the quality of the eyeshadows in this palette, and wanted to share my initial thoughts on the new Urban Decay 'Naked Basics' palette with you. 




Urban Decay's 'Naked Basics' shadows come in a small, rubber-like (think NARS packaging) palette, that opens via a small plastic clip. Unfortunately, I have had an extremely hard time opening this palette and have had to resort to using a pair of tweezers, or my teeth, to get it open (not sure if this is the usual case or if I got a 'dud'). Once opened, the palette contains six full sized shadows (0.05oz) and a nice sized mirror that allows you to get a close up view of your eyes when applying your makeup. Urban Decay's 'Naked Basics' palette is lightweight, compact and fits easily into a small purse, making it perfect for both travel, and daily on-the-go touchups. 




While Urban Decay claims that all of the shadows in this palette are matte, in my opinion, one shadow (Venus) has more of a satin finish. Nevertheless, all of the shadows are buttery smooth, extremely well pigmented, easy to blend, and apply like a dream. Like most super creamy shadows, the 'Naked Basics' shadows do have a good amount of fallout, however, a light tap of the brush allows for a mess-free application.

The Urban Decay 'Naked Basics' palette contains the following six shadows: 




Venus: 
'Venus' is a frosted, yellow-toned beige shadow with extremely finely milled iridescent silver shimmer. This shadow is incredibly smooth, easy to blend, and looks great as both an all-over-lid colour and a brow bone or inner corner highlight. 


Foxy: 
'Foxy' is a light, yellow-toned beige shadow with a completely matte finish. This shadow works nicely to even out lids (especially if you have a more yellow undertone to your skin), making a great base for any eyeshadow look. To be honest, this is my least favourite shadow in the palette as it is a repeat colour that was already featured in Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette (which I own).


W.O.S: 
W.O.S is a light, pink-toned beige shadow with a completely matte finish. This shadow is perfect for 'brightening-up' any eye look, and works nicely as both an all-over-lid colour, and an inner corner or brow bone highlight. Personally I like to place this colour in the centre of my lid, surrounded on either side by one of the darker shadows in the palette. 


Naked 2: 
'Naked 2' is light brown shadow with both grey and yellow undertones, and a completely matte finish. This shadows makes a great crease colour for lighter skin tones, as it gives the eyes definition and depth. 


Faint: 
'Faint' is a deep, grey-toned brown shadow with slight yellow undertones, and a completely matte finish. This colour makes a nice crease colour for darker skintones, as well as an outer corner colour for a light, neutral, smoky-eyed look. 


Crave: 
'Crave' is a dark black shadow with brown (think espresso) undertones, and a matte finish. This colour looks great on the outer corner of the lid as well as smudged along the lash line for a dark, smoky-eyed look. 



The Urban Decay 'Naked Basics' palette retails for $32 CND/$27 USD (a price difference, though not as bad as usual), and can be found at both Sephora and the Urban Decay websites. 

Overall, I am really impressed with the quality of this palette. With the exception of Foxy, all of the shadows in this palette are brand new colours that work nicely in a variety of everyday neutral looks. All of the shadows in this palette have a smooth, buttery consistency, are highly pigmented, and are super easy to blend. If you have been looking for an everyday neutral palette that is great for travel or on the go touchups, be sure to check this one out. 


Venus, Foxy, W.O.S

Naked 2, Faint, Crave

Have you tried Urban Decay's new 'Naked Basics' palette? Do you want to? Which of the eyeshadows contained in this palette would you use first? What is your all time favourite neutral eyeshadow palette? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

xx
Alicia


SAG Awards Red Carpet: My Favourite and Least Favourite Looks



Hey Everyone, 

If you, like me, are a celebrity fashion junkie, you probably already know that last night marked the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. While I can't say I watched the awards show itself (actually I think a lot of people in Canada had trouble watching it), I did tune into the red carpet pre-show, looking to see what  many of today's biggest celebrities decided to wear. Below are my favourite, and least favourite looks from the night. 


MY FAVOURITE LOOKS

Giuliana Rancic 

January Jones 

Nina Dobrev 

Naomi Watts 

Jordin Sparks 

Kerry Washington 

Tina Fey 

 Amanda Seyfried

Amy Poehler 

Kelly Osborne 


MY LEAST FAVOURITE LOOKS

Julianna Margulies 

Claire Danes 

Rose Byrne 

Anne Hathaway 

Julianne Moore 

Marion Cotillard 

Kaley Cuoco 

Freida Pinto 

Angela Kinsey


What were your favourite looks from last night's SAG Awards red carpet? What were your least favourite looks? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below. 

xx
Alicia