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Eye spy: Smashbox Wish for the Perfect Pencils Set

Hello! It’s been a while since my last post and I apologise. Blogging for me is one of those things that I can only do when the urge hits me and the creative juices are flowing because otherwise you end up reading a half hearted attempt at a post with really lame pictures. Anyway, I thought I’d kick off my December posts with a great gift idea, the Smashbox Wish for the Perfect Pencils set.

This set by Smashbox contains 4 of their travel sized Limitless Eye Liners in Onyx (black), Orchid (dark blue/purple), Graphite (dark grey) and 14K (champagne gold) and costs $16 US. For any Aussies or people out of the US that are interested, I purchased mine from for that price. Kit Cosmetics in Australia is selling it for $39.95 AUD but they seem to be sold out at the moment.

First off, here is a picture showing the pencils so you can get a rough idea of how big they are. They’re definitely travel sized but I think that they’re big enough that you would get a good amount of uses from each one. I personally prefer buying more travel sized pencils than purhcasing one or two full sized ones because I don’t often use pencil liners. Plus I think it’s a great way to test out colours before deciding if you want to invest in a full sized one.

Here are the swatches of the colours in the order (from left to right) Orchid, Graphite, Onyx and 14k.

The swatches pictured are relatively true to colour except that the first shade Orchid has slightly more of a purple tinge to it and the last shade pictured (14K) has just a tiny bit more yellow to it.

My first thoughts on these pencils are that they’re pretty good quality and the pigmentation was really good on all of them except for the shade 14K which goes on a bit patchy as you might be able to tell. This was a shame because the 14k colour was the reason I bought the set in the first place because I really wanted a good gold eyeliner to use around my tear duct. Unfortunately this shade was more cream coloured than gold so it didn’t really meet my expectations. It would probably look good on a lighter skin tone but the fact that it doesn’t go on very smoothly would still be an issue.

The darker shades are all very intense and I found that they work really well on my waterline and along my lower lashline. I tried lining my top lashline with them but they’re not soft enough to line my lids without tugging and skipping and leaving a wobbly line. The only pencil eyeliner that I’ve found that lines my top lashline properly and smoothly is the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on eye pencils. The Smashbox pencils are definitely not as soft and creamy as the Urban Decay ones but they last just as long.

Here’s a picture showing what the pencils looked like after I’d rubbed the swatches quite vigorously with a cotton ball dipped in makeup remover:

These pencils definitely don’t budge without some work or a good oil based cleanser so they’re great for use in hot and humid climates such as the type of Aussie summer we’ve been having. They’re also great for those who might have issues with eyeliner’s usually fading or migrating through out the course of the day.

Smashbox is one of those brands that make really great products that people tend to overlook. I think that this set is pretty good value for money, especially if you’re a fan of the smokey eye look or dark rimmed eyes. I think it also makes for a really good little christmas gift as you can’t go wrong with eyeliners in such wearable shades. The 14k shade aside, this set definitely gets my tick of approval!


So enchanting! : Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland palette

I’ve been wanting to post on this palette ever since I received it because it is amazing! The packaging alone made me want to buy it so it works out well that the products themselves are actually useable and of great quality. The palette is called the Enchanted Glamourland palette by Too Faced and it’s part of their Holiday 2010 collection. I should warn you that this post is very long and picture heavy so you better get comfortable.

Here’s the front of the palette and it’s already so cute and very Too Faced like.

But open it up and here’s the best part….

It’s really worth clicking the picture to view it bigger because there’s so much attention to detail. I am in love with it! The little pop out scene that you can see is centered around what Too Faced calls their Pin Up Pixies and they are adorable! Each one has it’s own little colour scheme and personality. Here’s pictures of them close up:

This one is the Forest Nymph:

This is the Violet Femme:

And this is my favourite the Flirty Fairy

The palette has this little pocket that holds three cards which show you what colours to use to get the makeup look of each of the pixies.

They’re not the most helpful cards as they don’t really discuss colour placement or give you much direction but it’s a cute idea.

The palette has a little drawer on the right hand side which holds all the eyeshadows and the full sized (!) lip gloss and Shadow insurance. The blush and the bronzer are attached on the front where the little pixies are which actually seems a little messy to me but they provide you with a little plastic insert which covers them when you’re not using them.

Here are swatches of the blush and the bronzer. The blush is swatched on top and is in the colour La Vien en Rose which is a pretty rose colour. The bronzer is in the colour Snow Bunny and has four different strips of colour. I swatched all four colours swirled together first and underneath are the individual strips of colour. The colour is a very warm golden bronze.

I haven’t really been using the blush or the bronzer from this palette partly because I forget they’re there and partly because I don’t want to destroy the look of the palette. From the one time I did try it I thought that the blush was pretty but perhaps a little too muted for my liking on my skin tone and I thought the bronzer was good as a highlighter.

The included lipgloss is one of Too Faced’s Glamour Glosses and is in the colour Pillow Talk. It’s a pinky beige nude colour and the formula is a lip plumping one. This means that it feels very tingly on the lips but it’s not an unbearable type of tingling like some other lip plumping glosses.

The gloss tube has rhinestone on the top which I thought was so cute and tacky but in a good way!

Here’s a picture of my bare lips and then a picture with me wearing the gloss.

Now the part that I’m sure you’re all most interested in… the eyeshadows! You get 15 shadows in this palette and there’s a mixture of matt and shimmery finishes and a mixture of bright and neutral colours. The pallette includes 11 permanent shades and 4 shades which are just named ‘Exclusive’ and which are made for this palette.

I swatched the shadows row by row but unfortunately blogger keeps rotating my pictures the wrong way so I apologise but I’ll write on top what each colour is.

This is the first row and it’s a very neutral type row. The colours from top to bottom are Honey Pot, Velvet Revolver, George & Weezie, The first exclusive shade which is a matt pastel type pink and In the Buff

The second row consists more of the brighter type shades. The colours are from top to bottom another exclusive shade which is a teal green shimmer, Peach Fuzz, Boy Toy, another exclusive shade which is a bright violet and Teddy Bear

This last row consists of mainly the darker shades and they are from top to bottom Stiletto, Ooh & Aah, The last exclusive shade which is a dark brown with blue glitter, Glamazon and Label Whore.

All of the eyeshadows have very good pigmentation and the variety of colours are quite good. I would have liked a few more of the neutral shades to be a little bit darker so they would actually show up on darker skin tones but it is what it is.

The included Shadow Insurance is a full sized one which is awesome but so far I haven’t really used it. I honestly prefer the Urban Decay Primer Potion more than the Shadow Insurance because I find that the Shadow Insurance creases alot more on me. I also find that the oils in the product tend to seperate so when you squeeze the tube you usually get quite a bit of an oily type substance coming out when you first use it.

All in all I think this is a great palette and even though I may not use it that much, I’m glad to have it. I purchased it online from ASOS for $65 US but I know that Kit Cosmetics in Australia are selling it for $85AUD. When I went by last week the lady at Kit told me they had sold out but were re-stocking this week so go grab one quick if you’re interested. I think this is an awesome gift idea as well so if you’re stuck on what to get someone for Christmas then this could be a great option.

Wishlist: NARS Bento Box lip set

I love Japanese art and culture and I love NARS so the combination of both is something I hate to pass up. This is the reason why I’ve been buying all the NARS brushes from their Artisan brush range and also the reason why I really, really, really want the new NARS Bento Box lip set. This set which has been released for the holiday season truly transcends the makeup category and is really a work of art. It is so stunning and everything from the wooden box it comes in to the colour of the lip products just screams elegance, quality and beautiful workmanship.

The only problem is that this gorgeous set comes with an astronomical price tag. The set goes for $125 in the US (which I would actually gladly pay) but this set runs a ridiculous $240 in Australia and I just can’t justify spending that much money on it! If the US was charging the same price then maybe I could convince myself that was the value of the product but knowing that the product is almost 50% cheaper in the US makes it a no go in my books.

This set is stunning though and I have a feeling I’ll end up cracking and buying it on evil bay for a hopefully cheaper than $240 price. The set comes with two lipsticks that are in a new formula exclusive to NARS. The lipsticks are in the shades Maiko and Sakura which are a vibrant red and bright pink respectively and both shades look gorgeous. The set comes with a lip brush included and this brush is similar to the NARS Yachiyo brush in that its handle is covered in black wisteria.

The concept for this set seems to come from traditional geisha makeup which involves the extraction of the red pigment from safflower ( a variety of flower) which is then used to paint the inside of ceramic bowls. To use this pigment you have to dissolve it by using a wet brush and then paint it on. I haven’t seen the texture of the NARS version in person but it seems more similar to a typical lipstick than the true geisha makeup. The amount of product held in each bowl is apparently the same as is offered in a full size NARS lipstick bullet. Apparently you should be able to get about 150 uses from each bowl.

I seriously am in love with this set and I even adore the promo pictures featuring Francois Nars’ muse Daphne Guinness. She looks so ethereal and regal at the same time. It’s so visually stunning. There were only 3000 of these sets produced and 1000 of these will be sold in the US and 2000 will be for sale internationally. Exclusivity is the name of the game when it comes to this set. I know that MECCA in Australia is selling it so all of you Aussies who have money to burn better snap one up quick if you’re interested!

Fabulosity galore: Too Faced French and Fabulous Palette

I’ve been eyeing the Too Faced French and Fabulous palette for a while so I jumped at the first chance I had to purchase it. It’s a very pretty palette that includes 6 eyeshadows and 2 mini bronzers. Word of warning: this palette is super frosty! I mean we’re not talking about subtle shimmer here but full on glitz. Only two of the eyeshadows are minus this frost finish and that’s the black colour and the hot pink.

The palette comes in this really fabulously tacky packaging that is very reminiscent of Marie Antoinette and the decadence and excess that era signifies. It’s made of a sturdy cardboard and has a magnetic closure. The camera didn’t catch it very well but the front of the palette is accented with gold glitter which I love!

Here’s what it looks like inside.

And here are the swatches of the colours:

The main reason this palette has been calling my name is because of the hot pink shade which I really wanted to try in a look. I tried so hard to use only the shadows in the palette but I had to branch out. I used Mess in a Dress on the lid and Poodle Puff pink eyeshadow around the tear duct but I also added All that Glitters by MAC inbetween both these shades on the lid. I also used MAC Sketch eyeshadow in the crease and outer V and MAC Bamboo to blend out the edges and into the brow bone. I decided to stick with the bright theme so I also used my Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on eye pencil in rockstar (purple) along the bottom lashline and lined the top with my Shiseido The Makeup Fine eyeliner.

The included hot pink colour is really strange because it looks matte when I swatch it but when I use it on my lid it seems to have a bit of a blue/purple irridesence to it. This could be a consequence of the base I’m using but this shadow seems to turn on my skin and become a little bit unflattering and a bit too 80’s for my liking. I tried using the included black shade instead of Sketch in the crease but the pink and black mixed to make an unflattering plum shade so I went with Sketch instead. Just a word on the black, this isn’t a pure matte shade and has some glitter particles through it like MAC Black Tied eyeshadow.

The other included colours are ok but I find that the Totally Toasted Beige and Poodle Puff Pink are too light on my skin tone to use as anything other than inner corner highlight shades. I really like the Totally Toasted Brown colour though and like it as an all over wash of colour on my lid. Poodle Puff Raisin and me are just meh at the moment. I know lots of other reviewers loved this colour but so far I haven’t found the appeal.

As for the included bronzers, they’re pretty colours but to be honest I find them to be a little too shimmery so I’ve been using them as shadows more than anything else. The Sun Bunny Bronzer in particular is great as a lid colour. I tried using Mess in a Dress as a cheek colour too but the purple/blue irridesence that I talked about made it look unflattering on my cheeks.

All in all I do like this palette but I just wasn’t prepared for the abundance of shimmer shadows. I was hoping it could be a palette that I could use on its own to create an eye look but I’ve found that I really need to add other shadows. This might not be the case for you but I really don’t like using too many shimmer/frost finish shadows together and like to mix them with matte finishes aswell.