Tartelette Tease Palette- A Review

“Why do we have this desire to tease the innocent? Is it envy?”- Graham Greene

Tarte tease palette

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Tarte Tartelette palette on dark skin NW45 swatch

From L-R, top to bottom: “whisper”, “crush”, “heartbreaker”, “wink”, “first kiss”, “BFF”

“Tease me tease me tease me tease me baby, till I lose control….” Aside from reminding me of this iconic Chaka Demus and Pliers tune from the halcyon days of my youth, Tarte have another winner on their hands with their Tartelette Tease palette.

The Tartelette Tease is a mini version of their Tartelette In Bloom palette, with just 6 shades in a palette about the size of a credit card. This is my second Tarte palette, after the original Tartelette palette, and I find the quality and performance of these shadows to be pretty consistent across all three “Tartelette” palettes.

The palette consists of 4 matte shades and 2 shimmers, and the layout is such that each row gives you a complete eye look. The mattes are buttery and pigmented but I find that they definitely need a primer underneath them. The staying power on my oily lids was disappointing without a primer but perfectly fine with my Urban Decay primer.

Of the two shimmery shades, one is of notably higher quality than the other. “Crush” can be a sparkly mess if not applied extremely carefully and I found that it worked best with a glitter glue. “First Kiss” is much less sparkly and thus didn’t give me any problem on application.

Whisper” and “wink,” the two lightest shades, appear a tad chalky in swatches but they can be easily sheered out for a good brow bone highlight on the eye. The best-performing shades were the two darkest shades- “heartbreaker” and “BFF.” These made great crease colours and I see them performing equally well in a smoky eye.

The price for what you get in the palette is a very affordable $21 (but bear in mind that each pan contains less product than the pans in the regular Tartelette palettes) and I think this is a great palette to take on the go.

If you are new to Tarte products, the brand claims to be natural, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly. If these things are important to you and you’re looking for a portable makeup palette, I highly recommend giving the Tarlette Tease palette a look!

You can find the palette at Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, and on the Tarte website. The palette is apparently limited edition so hurry if you want it!

Nana Adomah

 

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Anastasia Self-Made Palette

He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.” – Joseph Heller

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Self made palette dark skin swatch NW45 WOC NC50

From L-R Top: hot chocolate, spirit rock, Isla, sherbert, hot & cold, treasure, deep purple From L-R Bottom: buttery, blossom, blush, witchy, self-made, metallic plum, pink champagne

Anastasia self made palette dark skin swatch WOC NW45 NC50The Anastasia Beverly Hills “Self-Made” eyeshadow palette is my second Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) palette after last year’s Tamanna palette and I’m in love. Actually this technically my third Anastasia palette as I purchased the Artist Palette but quickly returned it after swatching. I was so unimpressed with most of the shades (particularly the mattes) and it put me off ABH for a while. This in addition to the general (and at times baffling) hype of most ABH products left me completely uninterested in the Self-Made palette… until I swatched it.

The Self-Made palette is in my opinion the best palette released by ABH. All the colours are so incredibly pigmented and buttery and there’s not a single dud in the palette. I’m a sucker for shimmers and I always gravitate towards them over matte shadows. This palette only has 2 1/2 mattes so that may be something to think about if you prefer matte shades.

I won’t detail every shade but my favourites are “pink champagne”, “self-made”, “hot & cold”, “deep purple” (almost an exact dupe for Urban Decay’s “urban” from the Electric palette), and “blush” (not to be confused with the “blush from the Tamanna palette). “Pink champagne” is described as “a rose gold with a titanium finish” and it looks absolutely stunning on my skin. It was the shade that first convinced me to even give this palette a look.

The packaging of the Self-Made palette feels sturdier than previous iterations and canvas/ plastic feel makes it feel much more durable than cardboard alone.

The palette has 14 shades rather than the usual 10 found in Anastasia palettes and the prize has increased accordingly. However, $35 for 14 shades is still a fantastic deal and you do also get a capable double-ended brush thrown in.

I really recommend the Anastasia Beverly Hills Self-Made palette for everybody as you get a wonderful mix of neutrals and colour that will be sure to spice up your make up collection. The palette can be found at all the usual Anastasia stockists and on their website. It is limited edition so grab it early if you’re interested.

Have you tried any Anastasia palettes before? Tempted by this one? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

(Look out for a FOTD featuring this palette very soon!)

Collective Haul ft. NARS, Make Up For Ever, MAC, Kat Von D, Cover FX, Smashbox and more!

“You’re either in it for the long haul or you’re not” – Crystal Gayle

I filmed a haul video over on YouTube and wanted to share. Look out for reviews on a lot of these products soon!

Nana Adomah

Best Makeup of 2014

IMG_19412014 was a great year for beauty. I discovered new brands, I fell in love with old ones and I become more discerning about the products I purchased. I tried to avoid unnecessary hype where I could and I also learned to “shop my stash”. I’ve been trying to compile this best of 2014 list for a few weeks now and I’ve been struggling to cut the list down to a manageable length. I love sharing beauty discoveries and I also love to read recommendations from other people so I’ve decided to split my list into makeup and skincare.

Without further ado, here are my favourite makeup products of 2014:

Foundation: I tried a LOT of foundations this year and I have to say that my number one pick has to be the BECCA ultimate coverage complexion creme. This one-pump-wonder has the most amazing pigmentation and coverage, stays put the whole day, and still looks like skin. I will definitely be doing a dedicated review very soon.

Honourable mentions: Cover FX natural finish oil-free foundation, Dior Star foundation, Lancôme nude miracle, Make Up For Ever HD foundation.

Concealer: This was my easiest pick out of my list and the honour goes to the NARS radiant creamy concealer. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this. It covers blemishes beautifully without looking cakey and it has great staying power. My only gripe is the price but this is definitely one product that lives up to the hype.

Honourable mentions: Amazing Concealer, MAC studio finish concealer, Smashbox BB for eyes

Eyebrows: I flirted with MANY brow products in 2014 but the one that rose to the top is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow. The tiniest amount of this gel fills in brows perfectly and it really doesn’t budge once it’s dry. Anastasia Beverly Hills’ dipbrow pomade got all the hype but this old faithful is a better product imho. It does everything dipbrow does but better. Anastasia’s brow wiz was another product I loved but I couldn’t give it the top spot because there’s far too little product in the pencil for the price.

Honourable mentions: Hourglass arch brow sculpting pencil, Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz, Tarte Amazonian Clay waterproof brow mousse

Eyeliner: For pencil eyeliners, my heart unequivocally belongs to the Marc Jacobs highliner gel eye crayon in “blacquer”. I’m a contact lens wearer so I don’t muck about when I’m looking for an eyeliner. This liner is deliciously creamy, intensely black and Does. Not. Budge. once it dries. I used to carry my eyeliner in my makeup bag so I could touch up during the day but that is now thankfully a thing of the past.

For gel/ liquid liners, I have to give the nod to Benefit’s They’re Real push up liner. I HATED this with a passion when I first got it but something told me to give it another chance I couldn’t be more pleased. Once I learned how to use it properly, it made doing a winged liner so easy and it truly does not budge until you want it to.

Honourable mentions: NARS larger than life long wear eyeliner in “via veneto”, Stila stay all day waterproof liquid eyeliner, MUFE Aqua black, Kat Von D ink liner,

Blush: I stuck with my beloved NARS and Sleek blushes this year and my most used shades were NARS’ “Liberté”, “Torrid”, and “Dolce Vita”, and Sleek’s “sunrise” and “coral”. BECCA’s blush in “songbird” muscled its way in towards the end of the year and it’s definitely a shade I believe everybody should own.

Honourable mentions: Kat Von D ” heartagram”, Make Up For Ever HD blush #515- tangerine

Mascara: I went mascara crazy this year. I began to appreciate why higher-end mascaras cost so much after I flirted with Dior, Lancome, YSL, and Givenchy. MUFE’s smoky lash and old favourites like Benefit’s They’re Real did not disappoint. This category is very hard but I have to give the edge to the Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 mascara over the Lancome Grandiose. It gave me length, it gave me volume, it gave me durability, and it gave me conditioned lashes. If only it was a little easier on the pocket….

Honourable mentions: YSL Babydoll, Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies, Dior New Look, Lancome Grandiose, Givenchy Noir Couture Volume

Eyeshadow: This was surprisingly easy for me as the eyeshadow I used the most was the old-stye Make Up For Ever eyeshadow in #162. I used it as a crease colour, as a transition colour, and as the star of my favourite brown smoky eye look.

Honourable mentions: ColourPop super shock eyeshadows in “cricket” and “so quiche”, MAC “woodwinked”, NARS “Persia”, NARS dual intensity shadow “callisto, UD “mugshot” and “blackout”

Lipstick: It’s extremely difficult to pick just one lipstick but I loved the hell out of my Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in “shame” (check out my review here) and my Hourglass opaque rouge liquid lipstick in “Icon”.

Honourable mentions: Bite “vento” lipstick, MAC “flat out fabulous”, NARS “damage” and “Dragon Girl” lipsticks.

Lipgloss: This has to be another tied category with the winners being the Dior Addict Fluid Stick in #575 “Wonderland” and the NARS “Priscilla” lipgloss. They both had great pigment and stayed really well on my lips without any stickiness (my pet peeve).

Honourable mention: They arrived too late to fully make it to the top but the Smashbox lip lacquers are fantastic. YSL gloss volupte #49, Buxom full-bodied lipgloss in “Dolly”.

So there you have it. This list was surprisingly difficult to put together but I have to say that I’m really loving my collection at the moment. I’m hoping to buy (FAR) less this year but I’m excited to see some truly innovative makeup. Let me know if you’d like an in-depth review of any of these products and keep an eye out for part 2 featuring my favourite skincare!

Nana Adomah

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette Review

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NARSissistNARS are really messing with my low-buy aim for 2015. When they first launched their dual-intensity eyeshadows last year, I decried their $29 price tag but I still went ahead and purchased two of them in addition to the one I was gifted. I remember wishing they came in a palette as I loved so many of their colours so imagine my joy when I saw this beauty on the NARS instagram page!

This 8-shadow palette includes smaller versions of the full-sized shadows in addition to a shorter version of the #49 wet/dry eyeshadow brush, which retails for $28.

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L-R: Europa (gossamer pink peach), Himalia (shimmering topaz), Andromeda (alabaster), Lysithea (shark grey)

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L-R: Europa wet and dry application, Andromeda wet and dry, Himalia wet and dry, Lysithea wet and dry.

These shadows are designed to be used as is, or with a wet brush to give a more intense finish. My (admittedly not fantastic swatches) show how they look both wet and dry.

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L-R: Ursa Major (chocolate glaze), Subra (black orchid), Giove (navy), Sycorax (black)

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L-R: Ursa Major wet and dry, Giove wet and dry, Subra wet and dry, Sycorax wet and dry.

I absolutely adore these shadows but they are not all created equal. “Europa”, “Andromeda”, and “Ursa Major” (a shade exclusive to this palette) definitely took more swipes to show up like I wanted compared to the other colours. “Subra”, “Himalia”, “Giove” and “Sycorax” are a joy to work with and they can be used in so many ways. I love to use “Subra” as a liner as can be seen here.

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The addition of the #49 brush is very welcome and I don’t see a difference in quality between this shorter version and the full-sized version. The brush’s nylon bristles allow you to control how much product you put on your eye.

A quick word on packaging: the palette is small. It is also made of hard plastic with a mirrored lid, which is a welcome change from the usual NARS rubbery packaging. It’s nice and sturdy but I don’t think it’d hold up to many drops.

As much as I love the palette I can’t call it a must-have. There is not much variety in texture and the price is going to be prohibitive for a lot of people. The $79 price tag is easier to swallow when you consider the inclusion of the brush and the variety of shadows. However, these shadows were too expensive to begin with imho and NARS’ prices just keep on creeping upwards.

I’ve never bought a NARS palette before because as much as I love their brand, I tend to be generally indifferent to their shadows. However, these dual-intensity shadows are generally excellent quality and if you like at least three of the shades, I’d highly recommend getting this palette instead.

The palette is limited edition and it can currently be found on the NARS website or you can wait until the beginning of February when Sephora will begin to carry it.

Are you tempted by this palette or will you pass? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

Adventures In De-potting: Z-Palette Review

 

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Urban Decay loves NY Book of Shadows, NARS Andy Warhol Flowers 2 palette, random Dior shadows

This is yet another review I’ve been meaning to do forever but I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for my Z-palettes lately so I had to get this out stat!

For those of you who don’t know, Z-palettes are empty, magnetic, cardboard and plastic containers that allow you to organise your makeup in a way that works for you. They’re great for compressing your makeup collection and they make items like eyeshadows and blushes far more portable. I bought my first Z-palette (a plain black one) almost 2 years ago and it was very much loved. It’s a bit grimy looking now so no pictures but I will show off these Sephora branded ones I got earlier this year.

Keep reading after the jump!

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It’s Electric!- Urban Decay Electric Palette Review

Urban Decay Electric Palette

FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real condition, I’m convinced. I snatched up this beauty about 3 weeks ago when I saw it on the shelves at Sephora and I’ve worn it almost everyday since. Yes the Naked palettes are nice and they have been stupendously successful for Urban Decay but I’m so glad that they’ve gone back to their roots with their new Electric palette. My very first quality eyeshadow palette was the original Deluxe Palette from Urban Decay about 7 years ago and I haven’t looked back since! Urban Decay were originally known for their crazy brights and bold pigments and they are back in full force with the Electric palette.

Urban Decay Electric Palette

Look at all of those glorious colours! I’m very impressed with this palette and the pigmentation is excellent. We are presented with 10 shades in the palette and they are:

revolt– a glittery silver, gonzo– a matte blue with a hint of turquoise, slowburn– an orange red matte with floating micro shimmer, savage– a hot pink matte, fringe– a metallic teal, chaos– a matte cobalt blue with floating micro shimmer (one of the standouts of the Vice palette), jilted– a slightly shimmery fuchsia with a blue shift, urban– a metallic medium purple, freak– a metallic neon green, and thrash– a chartreuse matte with floating micro shimmer (an exact dupe for NARS ‘rated R’).

Slowburnsavagejilted and urban stain the skin slightly and they required more effort to remove. Urban Decay included a little note about these colours in the box which indicates that they are not intended for the immediate eye area. As usual, people have kicked up a fuss about nothing and I’ve used all these colours with no ill effect so just use your own judgment is what I say. Here is the company’s official statement regarding this issue:

We created the Electric Pressed Pigment Palette with artistry in mind. Using pressed pigments was the only way for us to create heavily saturated brights with the intense pigment load we craved. Traditional eyeshadow formulas just wouldn’t cut it. To achieve shades like these, we started with our existing Eyeshadow formula and modified it to create a new Pressed Pigment formula.

Everywhere but the U.S., the Electric Palette is an eyeshadow palette. Because of a technicality, in the U.S. it’s considered a multi-use artistry palette. To get the most out of this palette, experiment and see what works for you. You can use the Electric Palette all over (and that’s where the creativity comes in!).

A few shades contain a colorant that has not yet been approved for the use around the immediate eye area. However, this restriction only applies in the U.S.; in every other country where Urban Decay is sold, these shades are approved for use around the eyes.

Bottom line? We didn’t want to limit the Electric Palette to eyeshadow. It’s an artistry palette with unlimited possibilities! How you use these shades is up to you. (And no matter where you use them, you’ll get insane color payout.)

So there you go.

Urban Decay electric palette dark skin swatch

The colours swatch easily on my skin, even the mattes which can tend to disappear on darker skin tones. I think the fact that most of the mattes have a slight floating micro-shimmer contribute to their creaminess. The micro particles don’t really show up on the skin but they do contribute to a happier blending experience. I own the original Vice palette and the chaos in this palette is better in my opinion. I have no idea if they reformulated the colour but I feel as though it’s slightly more pigmented here. Chaos is a beautiful colour but I do wish that they’d only had chaos OR gonzo. The palette has quite a few blueish shades and I think that gonzo is one blue too many. I wish they’d replaced it with a bright yellow and it would have been just about perfect. I was initially unsure about the purpose of revolt as well but I’ve seen a few people do some interesting things with the shade.

The palette also comes with a very decent double-ended brush and the smaller end works really well as a liner brush. Both ends have quite stiff bristles which is great for the nature of the eyeshadows as they lay down colour better.

The packaging is also a winner in my book as it’s non bulky and the case opens up to a large mirror. The hinge ensures that the mirror stays where you want it to and the magnetic closure is very secure.

Now on to how the colours look on my face!

Urban Decay Electric palette FOTD dark skin

“Urban” all over the lid, smoked out with a matte black shadow and “fringe” on my lower lash line. I also added Urban Decay’s moondust eyeshadow in “glitter rock” on the centre of my lid for some added sparkle. Lips: “Vento” lipstick (Bite Beauty) Foundation: Cover FX cream foundation in N100 Powder: Mineralize Skin Finish in “dark” and “dark deep” (MAC) Brows: Aqua Brow #30 (Make Up For Ever) Eye liner: “blacquer” liner (Marc Jacobs) Mascara: Diorshow New Look mascara in black (Dior)

Urban Decay FOTD ELECTRIC dark skin swatch

Are you as in love with the Electric palette as I am? If you’re undecided, the palette is a permanent addition so you have plenty of time to make up your mind. The palette retails for $49 and can be found at Sephora, Ulta, and on the Urban Decay website. Let me know your thoughts!

Nana Adomah

Divergent Cosmetics Review

I read the Divergent series of books by Veronica Roth sometime last year and I really enjoyed them (bar Allegiant; the ending was stupid) and with a huge big-budget film coming out in a few weeks, promotion has gone into over drive. Sephora have got in on the act and have released a nice collection of makeup and nail polish  inspired by the popular first book Divergent.

Divergent cosmetics packagingI had no intention of buying any new makeup for while as I have more eyeshadows than I know what to do with but I was swayed once I saw the collection in person. I’ll also freely admit that I was struck by an acute case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and bought it to prevent any future buyer’s remorse. I’m still kicking myself about that Hourglass ambient lighting palette…. Anyway, on to the review!

The set I purchased is the  multi-piece collector’s kit and it consists of three eyeshadow palettes, a cheek palette, four lip glosses, and a double-ended blush and crease brush.

Divergent Cosmetics palettes

First up is my favourite of the three palettes and it’s the Dauntless palette. The Dauntless are the risk-takers and fearless faction of the Divergent universe and the palette does a pretty good job of reflecting that. It’s a moody palette with darker, cooler, shades with a beautiful creamy highlight colour in serene vanilla. Dauntless ink is a true pure black matte eyeshadow, abnegation stone swatches on me as a cooler version of MAC’s “satin taupe” and the dark greyish taupe is a great every day colour. Erudite sapphire is a dark blue light shimmer with hints of purple but the standout shade has to be diverge. Each palette comes with a “transformer” shade which, according to the blurb, “impart[s] a diamond illusion, shimmery, mirror-like reflection that is transparent when applied dry, and translucent when applied wet, showcasing fluid, twinkling particles that look like they are suspended in air.” 

Divergent cosmetics dauntless eye palette

Diverge has a black base with dark olive-green shimmery particles in it and it’s utterly divine. It swatches like silk and it can easily be worn on its own or layered over another shadow.

Divergent Dauntless palette swatches

l-r dauntless ink, abnegation stone, erudite sapphire, serene vanilla and diverge swatched below.

Best of all, the “transformer” shade can easily be clicked out to carry alone or you can attach it to another palette. Bonus points for creativity!Clicks apart

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NARS eye paint in “Snake Eyes”

Let’s just ignore the fact that I haven’t blogged in 2 months and dive right into the review….

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NARS has long been one of my favorite brands (especially for blusher) and I was really excited to try one of their new-ish eye paints. These can be used as either a liner or a shadow and I was immediately drawn to beautiful colour of “snake eyes”. It’s a blackened green that glides on beautifully when used as a liner but also blends well for a cream eyeshadow.

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In natural light

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With flash

It dries down very quickly so you definitely have to work quickly with it. It also has excellent staying power and the following picture is of my (generally oily) eyelid after almost 12 hours of wear.

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After 12hrs+ of wear….

The bottom line:

  • This is a great versatile eye product and the colour is unique enough to add to your collection.
  • Great staying power.

This comes in 9 other colours and you can find it at NARS counters or at Sephora for $25

I’ll rate this 4.5/5!

Nana Adomah