Color Up: Mauve Burgundy Tones

Today marks the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, and Muslims around the world are now celebrating Eid. So I thought why not share my Eid makeup look! Enjoy!


The Look


I managed to do a mauve-burgundy toned eyeshadow look with a mix of matte and shimmer.


The Tools & Colors


For this look I used the dark burgundy color from my custom Inglot Cosmetics Freedom System Eyeshadow palette, a couple of shadows from my MAC Burgundy Times Nine palette, and two single eyeshadows from Makeup Geek Cosmetics. The main brushes used were the Morphe 575, a blending brush with a slender, tapered top to allow for targeted placement and blending in the crease and the Morphe 166, a dense shadow brush to pack color on the lids. Below are details of the eyeshadows used:

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Top left: Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan (Confection) – neutral pink with a matte finish; Top right: MAC Burgundy Times Nine (Haux) – warm mauve with a matte finish; Bottom left: MAC Burgundy Times Nine (Embark) – warm brown with a matte finish; Bottom center: Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadow (452 Pearl) – medium-dark burgundy red with a pearl finish; Bottom right: Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Pan (Starry Eyed) – light champagne beige with a foiled finish.


The Application


I started with Makeup Geek Confection. Though it looks very pink in the picture, it is actually a very subtle pink with grey undertones. It didn’t translate too much on my eyes but I’m using it as a base, so that’s perfect. Using any buffing brush, apply this all over to set the primer.


Then using a tapered top blending brush (Morphe 575), I placed Haux from MAC Burgundy Times Nine into my crease and started blending. Since the brush is tapered, it helped maintain my blending position to only be within the crease area. I didn’t want the color to go up too high to the brow bone. If you do not have a tapered blending brush and only own a fluffy one, you have to be careful not to blend too high up unless you prefer to do so.


With my dense shadow brush (Morphe 166), I packed the color Embark (MAC Burgundy Times Nine) on my lids. If you choose to, you can go straight with the shimmery burgundy color on the lids. However, I prefer to lay down this matte color prior to applying the shimmer color to give it a darker base so the colors will look bolder.


Now I apply the shimmer burgundy color 452 Pearl (Inglot Freedom System Eyeshadow) with the same brush (Morphe 166) on top of where I’ve placed the previous color. If you have hooded eyes like myself, you can bring the color a little above the fold of your lids so that the color will be visible when you look straight ahead.


Without adding any color to your blending brush (Morphe 575), take your time to blend the colors placed earlier to diffuse any harsh lines and make the transition between colors more seamless.


Using a firm shader brush, I applied the color Embark (MAC Burgundy Times Nine) across my lower lashline.


Finally, I gave the inner corners some sparkle with Makeup Geek Starry Eyed using a detailer brush.

And this is the final result:

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Here, I softened the deep burgundy tones with a dusty, medium-pink mauve lip color. I’m using Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Vintage.

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For a bolder look, you can go with a warm brown-burgundy matte lipstick like the one I’m wearing here which is the shade Scandal from the BareMinerals GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lip Color.

That’s my Eid makeup this year. I hope you like this post and will re-create the look soon!

Basics Baby: How to Rock a Red Lip

Indeed makeup has no rules. You can pretty much use any colors wherever you want, using whatever technique you fancy and pull it off as art. But sometimes (and for me that means most of the time), you wanna be a little bit more grounded in your makeup. By that I mean knowing exactly what works for you and what complements your features best. And with certain looks, especially bold looks like a red lip, you wanna be sure you “get it right”.

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I’m a huge fan of red lip, but more of seeing it on others rather than on myself. To me, a red lip is a bold statement; how you pull it off and what you pair it with can totally change the vibe you’re bringing to the house. It’s not as forgiving as a neutral lip where, really, anything goes. Since a red lip is rather vivid and prominent, doing it “wrong” can make me feel uneasy. That is why I rarely wear a red lip. I feel it’s just too much work to think of how I wish to “perform” the statement. Now, I’m not imposing this inhibition on anyone – there are millions out there who are very easygoing when it comes to red lips and that is totally cool. I’m only speaking for myself here based on how I feel about red lips. 

But I know that at the end of the day, girls and red lips are inseparable. No matter how I perceive it to not be the easiest to pull off, I still want to don a red lip. So, over the years I’ve been experimenting a bit more with red lips and seeing what works best for me and what I feel most comfortable in. And I think I managed to zero in on two specific looks that best complement the red lips for myself:

The Edgy & The Sophisticate

Again, I would like to say that these are not the only two looks you can pair with a red lip. There are tons of other looks out there. These are specifically the ones I love and I feel most comfortable in. So if you’re interested to know more about these looks, do read on.


The Edgy

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I usually regard high fashion covers to be antithetical to my own preferences for I find them to always be at the ends of the spectrum, never in the middle. The looks are either too bold or what I would define as “unwearable”. But as of late, I’ve been seeing ultra inspiring high fashion looks that now tend to be a hybrid of bold and wearable. In particular, I have been noticing this trend of warm, bold shadows on the eyes paired with a bold lip and I’ve gotta admit this bold on bold thing is kinda appealing to me. For one, the look, though bold, is minimalist. Let me illustrate that with The Edgy look.

The Edgy is a modern and chic look that rests on two things – using similarly toned bold colors for both eyes and lips and being minimalist for the rest of the look. Here I went in with warm reddish pink tones on my eyes and have the colors blown out to above my crease. The colors I used were Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange and Realgar from my Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette as my transition and crease colors, followed by Red Ochre (ABH Modern Renaissance), 464 Double Sparkle and 55 AMC (Inglot Cosmetics Freedom System Eyeshadow) on my lids. Blending is key to achieve that blown out look. Furthermore, the eye look focuses on the eyeshadows. Notice that no eyeliner of any sort is used. That’s one of the minimalist nature of this look.

As for the complexion, I tried to keep it pretty monochromatic – no obvious contour or blush. The only thing I did was a teeny tiny touch of a soft pink blush on my cheeks (almost like a natural flush of color) to match up with the pink vibes from the eye makeup. I personally love pairing this look with a much tanner skin therefore I applied a foundation that is about two shades darker than my original skin tone, and I made sure to bronze up around the parameters of the face since this look is contour-free. Since my eye makeup bears some pink hues, I chose a red lipstick with a subtle pink undertone. The decision to go for a cream/satin finish instead of a matte one is to give a softer look since the complexion is pretty monochromatic. Here I used a lipstick from SmashboxBe Legendary Cream Lipstick in the shade Legendary.


The Sophisticate

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The Sophisticate is a pretty common red lip look that most beauty gurus have done a tutorial on. It’s this classic, timeless glam that shines bold elegance and appeal, and probably one of the most go-to red lip makeup today, and for good reason. It is indeed a statement look – with a truly bold red lip and bold wing liner but also bears some hints of minimalism.

Unlike The Edgy where eyeshadow dominates the eye look, The Sophisticate goes easy on that. I’ve seen this look done without eyeshadow and still looks ultra flattering. If you wish to put on eyeshadow, just do so for contour or definition. Doing a cut crease or a halo eye would turn the glam up too much that the focus will veer away from that statement red lip (unless of course that’s the outcome you want). I stick to mattes for this eye look, using only the colors White, Cream and Taupe from my Lorac PRO eyeshadow palette to highlight the brow bone and inner corners and give a little bit of definition to my crease. The eyeshadows should be subtle and not overpowering for this look, for the master here is the wing liner. You’d wanna focus more on that than your shadows.

A bold wing liner always puts me on the edge of my seat. But what I find to be an almost foolproof technique for me is to map out the shape of the liner first using a fine tip brush and a gel or cream liner (I used the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner with the Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush) and then filling it in twice, first with the gel liner used earlier, then again with an ink or a liquid liner (I used the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner). Mapping the shape out with a brush gives you more control over the application, hence minimizing mistakes. Even if you make mistakes, gel liners are easier to remove than an ink or a liquid one. Filling in the liner twice, first with the gel liner and then again with a liquid liner helps to darken the liner and make it more outstanding and not to mention, long-lasting.

For the complexion, since you have a bold wing and a bold lip too, you gotta balance it out with a more defined face. Therefore, contour is needed. So, do your contour as you always do. It doesn’t have to be exceptionally sharp. Just add a little definition. I would avoid any blush color as that would bring this look from bold minimalist to scary clown. Just use the bronzer to warm up the skin. As for lips, I chose to go with a matte red lipstick to match the matte black eyeliner and to give a more dramatic overall effect. I used the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Outlaw.

So, that’s it for the two ways I rock a red lip. I’m sure there are 234523749875 other ways to do it. You just find what works for you and make you feel the best. Till the next one!

Judge Judy: Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint (Tbt)

Wow, I can’t believe it’s actually been a hot minute there since I last did a liquid lipstick review. But I’m back with another lip product! It’s one that I’ve owned for quite a while but never really got to using it much. But for the sake of this review, I did wear the lipstick over a few days to see how it performs under varying circumstances. So without further ado, let me introduce you to the product of the day, from Tarte Cosmetics – the Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in the shade Tbt.

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Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Tbt:

  • 20.00 USD for 0.20 fl oz
  • Lightweight, moussey texture with a non-drying finish
  • Provides a sophisticated, velvet matte finish
  • Full coverage, long-wearing liquid lipstick

Described as a mauve, this is how the shade Tbt looks on me:



Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Tbt:

  • Lightweight, moussey texture with a non-drying finish

When I first applied this lipstick, the moussey texture truly came through. It doesn’t feel liquidy like the Huda Beauty liquid lipstick, nor is it a creamy consistency like the Kat Von D one. It literally feels like mousse, almost whipped like; therefore it is airy and feels lightweight. After the product settles down, your lips don’t feel dry like how the Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick made mine feel. In fact, it has that kind of weightless property to it that makes lips feel comfortable.

  • Provides a sophisticated, velvet matte finish

I don’t know exactly what Tarte means when they use the adjective sophisticated to describe the finish, but if I were to guess, then I would associate it with the fact that the finish is consistent throughout your entire lips. It’s neither patchy nor streaky (I can’t say the same for other colors though unless I’ve tried them) and it does give off a velvet matte finish.

  • Full coverage, long-wearing liquid lipstick

I wouldn’t say that only one swipe is what it takes to attain full coverage. I had to dip in for at least a second time before the coverage became quite opaque. However if I were to compare the opacity with the Kat Von D liquid lipstick in Double Dare (cocoa blush color), I would say the latter is definitely much more full coverage. The latter really blurred the lines on my lips, but with the Tarte one, those lines are still quite visible as you can see in the photo above.

As to its claim of being long-wearing, the longest I had this on my lips was for eight hours. In that time, I had a meal twice, and touched up once after the first meal. The lipstick did fade a little after my first meal, but it was a consistent fade throughout the entire lips rather than only in the center or the edges. Re-applying the product wasn’t too bad as it still felt lightweight and looked decent. At the end of the day, the lipstick didn’t look the best though. It’s opacity diminished, and my original lip color was starting to peek through. But I guess you’d expect that after a long wear. However, if you’re one who doesn’t touch up your lipstick, and wants a product that really stays on your lips no matter what, then the Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Tbt isn’t your best bet.

Would I re-purchase this lipstick? I wouldn’t buy the shade Tbt again. I was actually pretty disappointed that the color described as a mauve looked more like a coffee rose or a chestnut rose on me. It wasn’t exactly the kind of mauve that I was expecting. But I wouldn’t be opposed to trying other colors from the range. It’s not a bad formula, but it isn’t the best either. So if you’re really interested, no harm giving it a try. You might end up loving it!

VERDICT: Recommended

Color Up: Bronzed for the Summer

Today is the official start of summer! Time to get all tanned and bronzed up, and that’s exactly my inspiration for the look today. Again, I’d like to thank all the support for my previous Color Up post, and to friends who re-created the look and sent me photos! I hope you will enjoy and try out this look too, so let’s roll shall we?


The Look


It’s a simple bronzed eye look with subtle golden hues and a flirty wing.


The Tools


Don’t kill me but I had to use three different palettes for this look because I wanted the exact bronzed colors I had in mind. But I only used about two colors or so from each palette. So the palettes used are the Lorac PRO and BH Cosmetics x Carli Bybel. I also used one single eyeshadow from my Anastasia Beverly Hills custom palette. The brushes I used for the look include my staple buffing brush (Morphe Y16) for buffing and blending transition colors, a petit crease brush (Zoeva 231) for more definition at the outer V, a flat shader brush to apply color on the lids (Zoeva 222) and a detailer brush for the inner corner highlights (Real Techniques Detailer Brush).


The Colors


From the Lorac PRO palette, I used the colors Taupe and Gold. Taupe is a warm-toned, medium brown with a matte finish. Gold is a rich, medium copper with a frosted, slightly metallic finish.


The shades in the BH Cosmetics x Carli Bybel palette do not have names, so I’ll just go by their row and position. The first lighter color I marked in the second row is a gold shimmer, the darker color I marked in that same row is a matte dark ash brown while the highlighter I marked in the last row, which I used as eyeshadow is a bronzed gold shimmer.


Finally, I used that first color I marked from my custom Anastasia Beverly Hills palette and the shade is called Caramel. Caramel is a warm brown with a matte finish.


The Application


As usual, I’m setting my eyeshadow primer with an off-white shade, in this case Cream from Lorac PRO, with any buffing brush.


Next, I used Caramel from Anastasia Beverly Hill as my transition color, applying it to the area above my crease and below my brow bone. Make sure to buff the color well with your buffing brush, Morphe Y16. The key to a well diffused transition color is the rainbow motion (also known as the windshield wiper motion), along with small circular motions.


Then I picked up Taupe from Lorac PRO with my pointed crease brush, Zoeva 231 and apply this color to the inner and outer thirds of my eyes. Pack the color first using a dabbing motion, then use gentle circular motion to blend it. Since we want the colors to remain only on the inner and outer thirds of the eyes, make sure to blend in position i.e. blend the color you placed on the inner third of your eye only within the inner third of your eye and blend the color you placed on the outer third only on the outer third region. Only have the colors meet at the crease area with what’s left over from the brush, to create a sort of continuity.


For the lids, I took the bronzed gold highlight color from the BH Cosmetics x Carli Bybel palette and used a dabbing motion with my Zoeva 222 to pack the color on my lids.


Since I wasn’t satisfied with how the gold is looking on my lids, I gave it an extra pop by applying Gold from Lorac PRO on top of the previous color, using the same technique and brush as the previous step.


Applying the shimmers on the lid may have disrupted the matte colors on the inner and outer third, so re-define them by repeating that third step i.e. placing Taupe from Lorac PRO in the inner and outer thirds using Zoeva 231.


Because I wanted to add a little more drama to this look, I decided to pop a darker color in my outer V. Using the matte dark ash brown shade from the BH Cosmetics x Carli Bybel palette, I used my Zoeva 231 and placed this color into my outer V, and gently blend it in position. Do not go too high above your crease, for you don’t want this deep shade to dominate. You only want it to elongate your eye shape, so keep the color as close to your crease as possible.


Clean up the look by buffing the transition color across the transition area to diffuse any harsh lines from the previous eyeshadow placements. For this I re-used Caramel from Anastasia Beverly Hills and buffed the transition area with my Morphe Y16.


Using a pointed brush, Zoeva 231, add Taupe from Lorac PRO to lower lashline to balance out the whole look. After applying your eyeliner, you might also wish to retouch the outer V by re-placing the matte dark ash brown color above the eyeliner where it can be seen, using a pointed crease brush.


Last but not least, a look is never complete without an inner corner highlight! So I’m placing the gold shimmer eyeshadow from the BH Cosmetics x Carli Bybel palette into my inner corners using the Real Techniques Detailer Brush.

And here’s the result:


A bright lip always elevates a bronzed look. So I decided to use a bright coral shade, a color I rarely put on. Here I used a semi-matte bright coral shade called Cheeky Coral from the Maybelline Color Sensational Bold Matte series.

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If bright lip isn’t your thing, pairing a bronzed look with a nude lip is never a bad idea. Here, I’m wearing the shade Jetsetter from Makeup Geek Plush Lip Creme, a soft peach brown with a matte finish.

So that’s the look and how I created it. I hope you will try this out for the summer, and remember to protect yourself from the sun! Sunscreen for the win!!! Till the next one.

Holy Grail Exclusive: My Favorite Eyeshadow Palettes

So I tend to discredit eyeshadow palettes a lot, and some of you are wondering whether there are any in existence that I fancy. The good news is, of course there are. My favorite eye shadows are usually featured in my makeup looks here. A couple of friends suggested I list my favorite eye shadow palettes so that they could choose from my selection. I have categorized my favorite eye shadows so that there is an eyeshadow palette for every need or occasion and included a link below every image to more extensive external reviews of each palette. So here goes, a list of my favorite eye shadows!

Most Versatile Eyeshadow Palette:

Lorac PRO Palette (44.00 USD)

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Lorac Pro is that eyeshadow palette you can use for almost every occasion. Night or day? Check. Neutral or smoky? Check. Matte or shimmer? Check. Soft or bold? Check. This has to be one of the most versatile eyeshadow palettes out there. And it is such a well conceived and well executed palette. The color range, finishes and pan placement all makes sense. I love how the mattes are in the top row while the shimmers/metallics are in the bottom row. The color spectrum is also arranged in a way that is easy for the user to work their way through. The formula? One of the best. The mattes in this palette are creamy and ultra-pigmented, as well as easy to blend. The color pay off for the shimmers/metallics are amazing. The packaging is real sleek, though the black rubbery surface (resembling that of NARS packaging) can retain prints and makeup residue. All in all, a great investment for myself as I reach out for this palette often.

Best Warm-Toned Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (42.00 USD)

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I love me some warm-toned colors, and the Modern Renaissance palette fulfills my every desire for that. It is such a beautiful palette, with a brilliant selection of colors and finishes. For a warm neutrals palette, the possibilities of eye looks from this palette are endless. I love how the palette contains gradients of orange and reddish hues, with some mauves, pinks, browns and gorgeous highlight colors to boot. The formula blends like a dream, it almost blends itself. Every use I got out of this palette was a joy. This is the only warm neutrals palette I’d ever need in my life.

Best Smoky Eyeshadow Palette:

Zoeva Smoky Eyeshadow Palette (26.50 USD)


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Smoky palettes aren’t always a hit. At least for me, they have been pretty disappointing (e.g. Urban Decay Naked Smoky). Smoky palettes I’ve seen thus far, such as the Urban Decay Naked Smoky always consists of multiple greys and browns that honestly, when placed on the eyes blend into one another to one color instead of a gradation of colors. They’re neither flattering nor sexy. Therefore when I first chanced upon the Zoeva Smoky palette, I was pleasantly surprised with the color selection. Firstly, all the colors are different. You have a grey, a pink, a red, a purple, a brown, a black, a green… The variety enables you to create different smoky looks, even non-smoky looks I would say. It’s definitely one of the more appealing and versatile smoky palettes out there, and with all Zoeva eyeshadows, the quality is buttery soft, pigmented, non-chalky and easy to blend.

Best Beginner Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette:

Bobbi Brown Telluride Eyeshadow Palette (52.00 USD)


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This has to be one of the oldest eyeshadow palettes I’ve owned, and for good reason. It was one of the first eyeshadow palettes I bought when I just started doing eye makeup. This palette I believe is very well suited for beginners. It really is a basic neutral palette, almost resembling some of the Urban Decay Naked Basics but with more shades and varying finishes. A beginner can use this palette to develop the skills of eyeshadow placement and blending. For one, the shadows are not ultra-pigmented. This means it is more forgiving for beginners especially when mistakes are made. The colors Woodrose and Antique Rose (second eyeshadows from the left and right) are great transition colors. The fact that these are the only transition colors makes it easy for beginners who may struggle if given a twelve or sixteen pan eyeshadow palette. The shimmer colors are flattering on any skin tone, and easy to blend. The brush that comes with the palette also works well – one side is for blending and the other for packing color. All in all, this is a very focused type of palette that is very beginner-friendly.

Best Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette:

Too Faced Natural Matte Neutral Eyeshadow Palette (36.00 USD)

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If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you’d know that I’m very skeptical of new eyeshadow palettes from Too Faced. I sense that they’re now more about cute packaging than product quality. However, their 9-pan tin palettes have always been my go-to in their collection. The Too Faced Natural Matte palette features a great selection of neutral, warm, and cool matte shades. I like how the color spectrum includes differing shades of browns – deeper brown, lighter milk chocolate brown, honey brown, even pink-based brown. The arrangement of the palette also makes it easy for users. I wouldn’t say that this is the most pigmented and buttery formula you’ll ever get in a full matte palette for I’ve seen and tested better. But I find this to be a very decent, fuss-free neutral palette that is very easy to work with, and one where you’ll have no qualms to reach out for when you just want a simple wash of color or some subtle definition around the eyes.

Best Drugstore Eyeshadow Palette:

BH Cosmetics x Carli Bybel 14-Color Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palette (14.50 USD)

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I have always been hesitant to purchase high street eyeshadow palettes. Based on previous experiences testing and purchasing drugstore eyeshadows, I don’t have a positive opinion of their quality. Therefore I kinda stopped buying drugstore eyeshadows when I was twenty, and that was more than a decade ago. I still visit the drugstore every now and then to swatch their new eyeshadow collections, but have never been impressed, specifically with brands like Loreal, Maybelline, Revlon etc. Recently though I’ve been testing and looking through reviews of other drugstore brands like BH Cosmetics. To be honest, the decision to purchase the BH Cosmetics x Carli Bybel palette was largely due to Carli herself, whom I really adore and the price point was kind of a no brainer for ten eyeshadows and four highlighters. I told myself to not expect so much from this palette. But boy oh boy, was I so pleasantly surprised by its quality. The shadows are pigmented and easy to blend, the highlighters are totally blinding, even giving my high end highlighters a run for their money. The mauve/plum, bronze/copper color spectrum is definitely to my liking as these are the colors I tend to gravitate towards on a daily basis. Overall, for the money you spend, you are definitely getting a bang for your buck with this palette. BH and Carli has recently launched a newer version of this palette – the deluxe edition which features twenty-two colors (eyeshadows and highlighters) for 22.50 USD. The color scheme on both palettes bear some resemblance, but with the newer palette having pops of coral colors and more matte brown transition shades. But I feel the original palette itself is enough, and big enough, and it’s still sold in Ulta and BH Cosmetics.

Best Travel Sized Eyeshadow Palette:

Tarte Tartelette Tease Eyeshadow Palette (23.00 USD)

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I decided to include this palette for those who travel quite a bit, and travel light. If you do, I’m sure you don’t want to be bringing a 16-pan eyeshadow palette with you. In that case, the Tarte Tartelette Tease palette is your perfect fit. Housing six eyeshadows in a cute compact, this palette is truly sufficient for any occasion eye makeup. The color scheme gravitates towards browns and mauves but the inclusion of deeper matte shades, lighter brow bone or highlight colors and pops of gorgeous shimmers make this palette a breeze to work with and to travel with. Did I also not tell you that this palette smells of cocoa? Yes, that’s the bonus.

So that’s it for my favorite eyeshadow palettes. There are actually a couple more that I do really like and wanted to include in this post but I think I’d just limit it to my real top favorites and also to ensure a variety of different types of palettes so that everyone can find something they like. I hope you find my opinion on each of the products helpful. Till the next one!

No Thanks Eyeshadow Palettes Edition

It’s time again for us to sieve out some products that don’t need to be in our collection, and this round, we’re doing eyeshadow palettes! There appears to be a flood of eyeshadow palettes this summer, so it’s impossible for me to cover everything that I’m not gonna buy. But let’s just say my bank account is seeing a spike in savings, thanks to my lack of eyeshadow palettes expenditure this summer. So I’m just gonna bring forth palettes which I feel are going to be extremely popular, and almost shook my conviction. Let’s roll!

The Balm Cosmetics Nude Beach Eyeshadow Palette (36.00 USD)

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Vol. 3 NUDE Beach Eyeshadow Palette is the third installment of The Balm Cosmetics’ nude eyeshadow palettes range. Vol. 1 NUDE’tude is a very neutral palette while Vol. 2 NUDE’ dude is a warmer version of its predecessor, both of which are permanent and available on their website. The newly released Vol. 3 looks very similar to Vol.2, but with additional warm reddish shades – the bright red, brick, and terra cotta. So it’s basically another warm neutrals palette, nothing special about it I must say. I too find the quality of the shadows a bit too powdery for my liking. And to be honest, I’m most bothered by the placement of the second row of shadows. Yes, it is indeed quirky but unfortunately activates my OCD big time, so I’ll PASS.

Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette (54.00 USD)

NAKED HEAT in color

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First, I will say on record that this is a gorgeous, well conceptualized palette. The color selection and placement are well thought out and very inviting, though the swatches reveal a couple of colors to look pretty similar to one another. But it’s after all another warm-toned neutral palette yet again. It’s clearly in the footsteps of ABH Modern Renaissance, Violet Voss Holy Grail, Viseart Warm Neutral Mattes, Smashbox Ablaze Cover Shot, Natasha Denona Sunset Palette and it’s not looking very different from The Balm Nude Beach palette, is it? Bottom line is, if you’ve already owned a warm neutrals palette especially if it’s from the list above, you DO NOT need this Urban Decay one. However, if you do not own any warm-toned neutrals, would love to try one and are really smitten by this palette, then you are excused.

Kat Von D Saint and Sinner Eyeshadow Palette (price TBC)

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Now, this is a highly anticipated palette and Kat has sprinkled snippets of its makings. Held as probably one of the most artistic palette design ever, it features a range of warm, cool and neutral shades with varying finishes. Well, maybe I’m just not a creative makeup artist, but I truly find the color selection and placement in this palette extremely disorienting. Neither do I understand why the left or right section is characterized as saint and sinner. It’s just too all over the place for me, unlike the Mi Vida Loca Remix palette which features a logical sequence of colors. I also don’t see myself constantly reaching out for this palette. It isn’t on the market yet and Kat and her team haven’t officially released any info on the price, but if her previous Matte Metals and Mi Vida Loca palettes are any indication, I’d ballpark the cost to be upwards of 60 USD. 60 USD for something I will probably only use once in a blue moon? NOPE!

Too Faced Glitter Bomb Eyeshadow Palette (45.00 USD)

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Yes, we all immediately cast our doubts once Too Faced released this palette. If it is in any way reminiscent of the Nikkietutorials x Too Faced collaboration, then we may be in for a huge letdown when the shadows we receive are nowhere near in quality and pigmentation to the ones Nikkie and a host of other big influencers swatched. Well, drama and inconsistency aside, even if the shadows in this palette are great, I personally don’t see why I should purchase a full glitter palette. This may appeal to those who use glitter all the time, but for someone like me who barely uses it, I won’t see much usage from this palette. If you’re obsessed with glitter and willing to take a chance with Too Faced, I wish you luck. As for me, I’m just gonna sit back and enjoy the review videos of this one.

Inglot Cosmetics Canada x Krystal Clear Makeup, Inglot x KCM Beauty Chameleon (139.00 CAD)

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Inglot Cosmetics produces one of my favorite single eye shadows – the Freedom System Eyeshadow. I adore the formula and pigmentation, crazy for the color selection and finishes, and of course LOVE the price point (7.00 USD per single shadow). Unfortunately, this collaboration between Inglot Canada and Krystal Clear Makeup is a huge disappointment for various reasons. First, the price point. 139 CAD for ten pans??? Wow, that is really expensive for a non-custom palette! I don’t know how Inglot jumps from its affordable pricing to one that resembles luxury high-end brands. Indeed Inglot’s eyeshadow pans hold significantly greater product than say Anastasia Beverly Hills shadow singles, and the empty 10-pan palette itself will set you back 16 USD. But still I wouldn’t spend that much on a palette, especially if I have no control over the shade selection. Second, this palette is marketed as a super versatile palette – its shades are not just for your eyes, they are also made to be used for contour, blush, highlight and even as a setting powder. While minimalists would appreciate such versatile palettes, someone who invests time and money to research and purchase the best contour, blush, highlight and setting powder out there wouldn’t maximize the versatility of this palette. I for one wouldn’t trade my favorite contour, blush, highlight and setting powder for the ones in this palette. Finally, assessing it as an eyeshadow palette per se, I’m not too thrilled by the color selection. I believe the shade options are restricted due to the fact that some of the shadows have to serve as contour, highlight and powder colors as well. I guess I’m no beauty chameleon after all.

Morphe Cosmetics x Jaclyn Hill, The Jacyln Hill Palette (38.00 USD)

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The most talked about palette for many months – the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette. Yes, it spent two years in the making, had its launch postponed a couple of times, and to top it all, had a date to reveal its launch date. Amidst the Morphe scandal and controversies, Jaclyn Hill came through with her palette, dedicated to her loving subscribers. I always chuckle to myself a little when YouTubers claim that their gift to their fans and subscribers is something that the latter have to spend money on. Giveaways are a gift to fans and subscribers. Products you expect us to buy? Hmm… I’d say not. Anyway, that aside, the Jaclyn Hill palette features 35 shades, as with the other Morphe 35 series palettes. The difference? First is the price point. While other Morphe 35 series palette costs 22.99 USD, the Jaclyn Hill palette is a whopping 38.00 USD. To be fair, yes it is considered affordable since you get 35 eyeshadows for 38 bucks, which means about a dollar per eyeshadow. But it’s clearly a huge shift from Morphe’s previous pricing. Jacyln mentioned though that she had full control of this palette, from the colors to the consistency, even to the level of press on each shadow. And if you take a look at the palette, it is indeed a gorgeous selection of colors suitable for many skin tones. Why wouldn’t I buy it? Because owning a 35-pan eyeshadow palette is too much for a non-makeup artist like myself. Buying this 35-pan palette will render my other eyeshadow palettes moot. If I had known this palette would exist, I wouldn’t have purchased any eyeshadow palettes and would just wait for this one and use only it. I mean 35 shadows??? Come on. Why would I need 35 shadows for? I know I don’t need it. About three quarter of the colors in this palette exist within my eyeshadow collection. Would I buy this entire palette just for that last quarter of colors? I don’t think so. I believe this palette is great for beginners who either have not owned any eyeshadow palettes, or have only one or two. It is also meant for eyeshadow collectors, makeup artists and fans of Jaclyn Hill. Though I like Jaclyn, I would save my 38 bucks.

I hope you are not too tempted by all the summer collection releases going on now. Before you add that to cart, find ten reasons why you shouldn’t purchase it. If you manage to get at least one reason, it’s a sign not to buy. Till the next one.


Basics Baby: Flawless Eyeshadow Technique

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Expensive high-end eyeshadows? Check. Gorgeous selection of colors? Check. Amazing pigmentation? Check. Correct color placement? Check. But wait, why does my eyeshadow application still not look as good and professional as Mario Dedivanovic’s work???

Well, for one, it is NOT easy to attain the standards of Mario Dedivanovic. That man’s brilliance is unparalleled, especially in comparison to us Jane Does out here. But what I can say after looking at a host of outstanding eyeshadow works is that professional makeup artists can make most eyeshadows work even if it’s from the drugstore, and this is because for them, techniques trump products.

In our consumerist world where cosmetic companies release eyeshadows (be it singles or palettes) incessantly, typical consumers like you and I have our eyes on those products and our minds on acquiring them that we tend to neglect the more important aspect of eyeshadow application – the technique. When we watch YouTube videos and Instagram photos of eye makeup, we are usually more concerned with the colors and the specific eyeshadows applied rather than the techniques used to achieve the look. That is why those less than 1 minute Instagram makeup videos thrive. In such a short duration, the only thing about those videos that linger in your minds are the products used, and not quite the way the person perfected the eyeshadow application.

As a beginner myself, I am clearly not aiming for a Mario-standard eye makeup at this point. That I believe takes a lot of practice, time, skill and patience, all to be developed in the coming years. What I realistically am going for at this moment is an eye makeup look that appears very smooth with no harsh lines. This is of course assuming the “correct” color placement. And I realize that in achieving this, there is one eyeshadow technique that I have not spent much time on but it is the key to a flawless eyeshadow application.


I wouldn’t say that I don’t blend my eyeshadows because I do. But I don’t think I have devoted sufficient time during my eye makeup to blending. Typically more concerned with the color placement, I am more than happy to continuously switch brushes and spend a little time on each brush thinking that this will give me the perfect look. But they always come up short. The looks need more blending!

Importance of blending eyeshadows

The goal of blending is to create a smooth gradient and transition between the colors. You want at all cost to avoid harsh lines. This applies to all forms of eyeshadow application, be it a one eyeshadow color makeup, two color gradient, a cut crease or whatever else. Blending is key to ensure a professional finish to your eye makeup.

If words won’t sway you, then pictures might. Here is a photo of one unblended side.


I’m sure you can tell that the right side is unblended. You can clearly see how the unblended side leaves a harsh line in the transition area. This is usually what gives an amateur away. The color placements are all good, but the fact that the transition area is not blended enough deprives this eye makeup of a smooth finish. In comparison, you can see how the left side appears to have a smooth gradient of colors, and lacks harsh lines. You want both your eyes looking like this:


Well-blended, smooth, and not amateur looking I would say. What I did was simply small circles and windshield wiper motion along my transition area, where the harsh line was. But I did that for quite some time. I took my time blending, and only stop when I feel that the colors are very well diffused. I used my trustee MAC 217 blending brush to really smooth out the edges of that red shadow. And finishing off with my Morphe Y16 fluffy buffing brush to smooth out the different colors in the transition area. I believe a densely packed blending brush, coupled with a fluffier buffing brush is the key to give any eye makeup a professional finish.

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So if you’re one who’s more often than not unhappy with the finish of your eye makeup even though you’ve used the exact eyeshadow brands and colors as your favorite YouTuber, you might now want to look into your technique and how much time you spend blending your eyeshadows.

Till the next one, happy blending!