Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Kat Von D Vegan Love Eyeshadow Palette

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The Kat Von D Vegan Love Palette is the latest from Kat Von D Beauty. This is an all-shimmer, no matte palette with a mix of neutrals and bright pops of color.
The mirror on the inside is a fun heart shape. A sticker comes on the inside that alerts you that the shadows are best applied with your fingers.
There are 10 shades in the palette and, as I mentioned, none of them are matte. That's not a total deal breaker for me, as I don't mind grabbing a single shadow or another palette to work with, but I very rarely do an all-shimmer look (or an all-matte look for that matter). 
Compassion is a light gold.
Activist is a bright yellow.
Sentient is an orangey copper.
Species is a medium brown.
Liberation is a black with gold glitter.
Earthling is a bright green.
Empathy is a pearlescent purple with blue duochrome.
Sanctuary is a cornflower blue.
Equality is a golden peachy champagne.
Mercy is a pinkish-red.

When they say to apply it with your fingers for best results, that's definitely right. But I have found that with some trial and error, some brushes definitely work well with the colors. Flat shader brushes will not work well at all - they just don't pick up the pigment. These shadows have both fractionated coconut oil AND dimethicone in them (both binding agents), which makes them super compressed in the pan. I tend to use my finger to apply my lid shade, but I will use a fluffy shader brush to put one of the brighter colors on the outer half of my lids. That seems to work really well, and I have actually been using this palette quite a bit. I noticed that it has pretty bad reviews on Sephora's site, but I'm wondering if that's mainly coming from people not giving it a chance and playing around with it. The shades are definitely pigmented, and I'm happier with this palette than I've been with a Kat Von D palette in a while!!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Maple Holistics Silk 18 Shampoo

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Today I will be reviewing the Maple Holistics Silk 18 Shampoo ($12.95 for 10 oz or $17.95 for 16 oz). I have tried several of their hair care products before and enjoyed them, so I was excited when they asked if I would review this new product!
I received the 10 oz bottle and I quite like the packaging. It has a nice wide flip-top cap, which makes it easy to handle in the shower because there's no twist-on/twist off caps for you to drop.
This shampoo claims to make your hair stronger and more luscious, with a blend of 18 silk amino acids to help fortify your hair follicles and protect hair from dryness, breakage, damage, split ends, and hair fall. It gently cleanses dandruff, excess sebum and impurities and is enriched with argan and jojoba oil to add softness and shine. It is also paraben and sulfate free, great for all hair types, and suitable for sensitive skin types.

The formula is very creamy and makes a nice lather. It doesn't have a scent to it, which isn't a huge deal for me because I tend to need to use a lot of products for my curls afterwards anyway, so I get nicely scented hair from those. I have used this several times so far, and I can say it definitely makes my hair feel softer. I have very thick, coarse, curly hair so it's easy to tell a difference. I've found that even when I use a hair gel afterwards, my hair feels soft and bouncy and not "crispy" like it does when you use a lot of gel products on wet hair.

I normally get dandruff in the winter (I live in Massachusetts and it has been very dry and cold here), so it's pretty unavoidable for me. I will say that it has kept my dandruff at bay and I'm thankful for that, since I have colored hair and it is hard to find products that help with dandruff but also won't completely strip your color out.

All in all, this has been a pretty solid shampoo so far! I will keep you guys updated on my thoughts in a future post, but I am definitely loving it. You can purchase here: https://www.mapleholistics.com/products/hair-care/silk18-shampoo/

*Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Lime Crime Venus XL II Eyeshadow Palette

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The latest offering from Lime Crime, the Venus XL II palette, is a beauty! The colors are all very muted and "grungy" and I am just all about it!
It has a decent sized mirror inside - doesn't take up the whole inside of the cover, but it is a decent one.
There are 18 new shades in here. I was originally really excited for the chunky looking glitter ones, but quickly found out that those leave a lot to be desired. I was hoping they would be like the ones in the Huda New Nudes palette, but these are not super pigmented and I have a hard time picking them up on a brush. Let's get into the swatches and I will talk about the colors some more.

In Bloom - matte rosy pink
Crown - sparkly champagne
Sage - matte pale olive
Thorn - metallic light brown with blue sparkles
Ripe - matte camel brown
Forbidden - metallic copper

Stella - satin champagne
Myth - pale gray with gold shift
Eve - sparkly rose
Laurel - metallic pale gold
Radiant - iridescent pale pink
Ivy - metallic pale olive with pink shimmers

West - metallic warm brown with pink sparkles
Obscure - pale iridescent green
Mystic - pale rose with green sparkles
Phoenix - vibrant metallic rusty orange
Locust - light brown with green shift
Classical - matte deep brown

As you can see from the swatches, Crown, Thorn and Eve are those chunky sparkle shades that I was hoping would be amazing, but they definitely fall short. HOWEVER, the rest of the palette is amazing. The mattes blend great, the shimmers are pretty unique (that ivy shade is BEAUTIFUL), and everything other than those chunkies is very pigmented. This palette has already gotten a lot of use from me, because I really love the lighter shades lately. I think it's going to be a perfect winter-into-spring transition palette!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ranking the Best Music Cities in America

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Image Credit: PxHere

Ranking the Best Music Cities in America


A city’s music scene is an integral part of its culture. If you’re a music enthusiast who hopes to experience some of America’s best, you can’t go wrong by visiting any of these cities.

8. Boston


Just a few of the great recording artists birthed in Boston include Aerosmith, Pixies, The Cars, James Taylor, Boston and Dropkick Murphys. The city is famous for its ever-changing, cutting-edge music scene where you can find local bands playing at intimate venues like Harpers Ferry and the House of Blues, or pop icons at TD Banknorth Garden, New England’s largest arena. Classical music is still an important part of the city’s cultural heritage, thanks to institutions like the Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory. No matter you’re your style, on any given night of the week you’ll discover an exciting experience among the live music scene here. In fact, you might like it so much that you find yourself searching through the Boston homes for sale.

7. New Orleans


Louisiana’s most fabled city is not only renowned for the Mardi Gras carnival, but it’s a cultural birthing place. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it witnessed the dawn of jazz, with Louis Armstrong, considered the world’s best jazz trumpeter, born here in 1901. He sang on street corners here before honing his craft on the Mississippi River, playing aboard a paddle steamer, as the Smithsonian magazine notes.
Greats like Fats Domino and more recent legends like Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. have continued to shape music in this region. Whether you go bar hopping in the French Quarter, attend Mardi Gras, the New World Rhythms or New Orleans Jazz festivals, the music scene here will never disappoint.

6. Detroit


The Motor City is the birthplace of Motown and hosts the Motown Museum where you can listen to the sounds and check out artifacts from the likes of the Temptations, Supremes and Marvin Gaye. Kiss dubbed it “Detroit Rock City,” and many other artists have called it home, including Alice Cooper, the White Stripes and Eminem. Some of the top venues here today include the historic St. Andrews Hall, landmark The Filmore Detroit and Magic Stick.

5. Seattle


Considered the birthplace of the grunge music scene, spawned in the early 1990s, Seattle still embraces the genre with a permanent exhibit honoring Nirvana at the EMP Museum. The iconic record label Sub Pop Records, credited with launching the movement, is still based here in the Emerald City and continues to birth popular indie artists like The Shins as well as hip-hop stars like Macklemore. Sample some of the best of the city’s music scene in places like the Columbia City Theater and The Showbox.

4. Austin, Texas

The “Live Music Capital of the World,” as Austin bills itself, boasts more live music venues per capita than even the most famous music spots like Nashville, New York City and Los Angeles. It all started with the TV show “Austin City Limits,” followed by the annual festival South by Southwest. Some of the must-experience venues here today include the Continental Club and Broken Spoke, but your options are practically endless.

3. Nashville, Tennessee


Nashville is famous for its Grand Ole Opry and country music, but it’s a great place for all genres. It has a thriving rock scene that can be experienced at multiple venues like The Basement, an intimate venue that hosts everything from acoustic and metal shows with occasional pop-ins like Metallica. Of course, visitors can enjoy plenty of traditional tunes in a wide range of honky tonks and even attend live recordings at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

2. New York City, New York


The scene in the Big Apple is so diverse it’s challenging to summarize in only a few sentences. New York City is credited as the birthplace of hip-hop and punk and has been the launching spot for countless musicians. You’ll find just about any genre you’re looking for playing in everything from underground clubs to mainstream venues, like Lincoln Center, Knitting Factory and Beacon Theatre.

1. Los Angeles, California


The hub for all types of entertainment and every music style, L.A. was famous for big names that played along Sunset Strip like The Doors and Led Zeppelin who frequently graced stages at the Roxy and Whiskey a Go Go in the 1960s. In the ‘80s it was all metal and rock with hair bands like Van Halen, while the ‘90s birthed rappers like Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre as well as Sublime and No Doubt. Today you can still enjoy live music at some of the country’s most iconic venues, including the Hollywood Bowl and Troubadour.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Year of the Pig

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I first want to say Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday.

To go with the fact that this is my first post of 2019, I wanted to review the Year of the Pig Shimmering Skin Perfector from BECCA! If you know me, you know how much I love piggies - this was a no brainer for me! As soon as I got the email from Beautylish saying it had launched, I ordered it right away.
Right off the bat, the box is gold holographic and super eye catching. It has the little pig emblem in the upper right corner. The compact itself is gold as well.
The color is a beautiful peachy champagne, very subtle, but just enough to give you a natural glow. It has the same pig emblem from the box stamped into the product (which is really making me be careful when I use it because I don't want that little guy to disappear!) I love the formula of the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfectors because they are so lightweight and smooth, and they blend out like a dream. You can definitely build this one up but I don't find it to be as intense as some of their others that I own.

Here is a swatch with flash:
And without flash:

As you can see, it's a pretty subtle highlight and definitely suitable for everyday wear! I think at $38 their highlighters are pricey, but then again the ones I have I do tend to use quite often and they've lasted me quite a while. I definitely put them in my top 3 as far as highlighter formulas go!


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Kat Von D Lolita Palette

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 The Kat Von D Lolita Palette is going to be one you either love or hate. For one it's all mattes, and it's also all pink/mauve shades. I do love the colors but I wish there were a couple shimmery/metallic shades in here just because I'm not one to do an all-matte eye look, ever. So to use this palette I end up having to bring single shadows and other palettes into play. Not a complete deal breaker, but it's not a one-stop palette for me.
 The packaging is her cardboard packaging, and it's an 8 pan palette meaning it's my favorite setup - it's sleek, easy to travel with, and easy to store. I honestly wish all her palettes were this size!
 Now for my thoughts on the shadows: these are exponentially better than the mattes in her Fetish palette. I was SO DISAPPOINTED in those! These are all the creamy, blendable formula that we are used to in a KVD eyeshadow. That Fetish palette was just so hard to blend and work with.
 Promesa - matte pale pinky lavender
Besitos - matte pale mauve
Recuerdos - matte plum
Hermosura - matte dusty rose
Con Amor - matte reddish brown
Lolita - matte terracotta
Corazon - matte dark purple
Eterno - matte blackened purple

Like I said, I am super happy that these mattes are back to how her mattes usually are. They're creamy, pigmented and blendable. I haven't had issues with any of these shades yet. I do like the colors, it's just definitely not a one stop shop palette for me. As long as I can bring in other shadows though, it's a keeper!

ColourPop Chasing Rainbows Palette

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 The ColourPop Chasing Rainbows Palette came out with their holiday collection. At first glance it reminds me an awful lot of the Too Faced Festival Palette - the holographic reflectiveness of the inside, the colors - it is very similar when you look at them side by side. But, if you missed out on the Life's a Festival Palette this one is a far better steal - at $20 for 15 shades, it's less than half the price!
 There are a few matte shades in this palette, but it's mostly shimmers/metallic. The top row is pretty neutral, but the rest are fun colors.


 From left to right we have:
Wiggles - matte pale peach
Blurred Lines - sparkly white gold
So Meta - metallic golden orange
Feeling It - burnt orange with orange sparkles
Realness - matte reddish brown
 Woke - matte hot salmon
Wish List - matte coral
Manifest It - bright pink with pink sparkles
Keep Cool - matte plum
Not Playing - purply pink with pink sparkles
Lucid - Reddish purply brown with a teal shift
Bring It - matte teal
On One - sparkly dark teal
Eclipse - metallic golden taupe
Prism - matte blackened purple

As usual, the quality of the shadows is amazing. I really love Eclipse and Woke. I don't find that any of these shadows give me an issue. The Feeling It shade is a matte base with glitter in it, so the glitter doesn't show up as great as I wish it would, but it still performs decently when used over a sticky base. This is definitely a great little palette, and with all the sales ColourPop and Ulta have been having lately, it's a good time to pick it up!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

ColourPop Rendezvous and Sweet Nothings Palettes

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The ColourPop Rendezvous Palette is one of two Ulta exclusives for the holiday season. I spotted them as soon as I walked into the store the other day, and had to snatch them up!
12 shades, $16. I say it all the time but you can't beat that! I always rave about the quality of ColourPop eyeshadows and of course this one is on par with all of the others.
There's not much to say that I haven't said already in previous ColourPop reviews, so let's just get into the swatches!

My Treat - shimmery super pale pink
Our Secret - metallic pink berry
Style & Grace - matte medium pink
Want You Back - matte mauvey brown

Shake It Off - matte cranberry (a little dry/patchy)
Catch - metallic pumpkin orange
Release - glittery teal
Fling - golden champagne

Two Birds - metallic gold
Textual - matte deep reddish berry
Never Never - metallic purply brown with gold sparkles
Let's Do It - matte black

The standout color to me in this palette is definitely Catch. It is the prettiest, boldest orange I have seen so far in one of their palettes. Absolutely love that one! Shake It Off is the only one that gives me a little bit of a patchiness issue, but that's probably because it's got that drier-than-usual feel to it.

The other palette, Sweet Nothings, is a little less bold and more neutral.
It also has 12 shades and is $16. Above is a photo with flash, below is one with no flash.

Outta Luck - matte cream
11:11 - metallic peach
Canele' - shimmery lilac with a gold sheen
Pretty Cruel - matte mauve with gold glitter

Come and Get It - metallic rose gold
On the Rise - shimmery purple
20 Something - metallic peachy gold
Upon a Star - metallic rose

Sparks Fly - matte deep brown
Popular Demand - matte caramel
Tuile - matte dusty plum
Mousse - matte blackened purple

This is an all-around solid palette. Very pigmented, all the mattes are great! That rose gold Come and Get is shade is so ridiculously pretty, I've been using that as an all over lid color and it is just so glowy and gorgeous!

Both of these palettes are available online at Ulta and in Ulta stores!






Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Jeffree Star Alien Palette

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The Jeffree Star Alien Palette was a must for me. I used to be obsessed with alien stuff when I was a kid (as most 90s kids probably were) and the colors in this one are so gorgeous. I've got to say, Jeffree's palettes are all very different from one another color story-wise, and I really respect that. We're not seeing the same batch of colors regurgitated into different palettes. I snagged mine from Beautylish!
The box that it came in is pretty cool - it's a metallic purple galaxy print. The palette itself kind of gets my OCD going because it's hard to store. The shape of it is awkward, and the eyeballs are 3D so it doesn't lay flat against anything. I do think it's neat looking, I just hate that it's difficult to store with the rest of my palettes.
There is a decent sized mirror on the inside, and the lid folds all the way back in case you want to flip it underneath the palette and not use the mirror while you do your makeup.
There are 18 shades, very cool toned, a mix of mattes and metallics. It's definitely got a lot of neutral options, but has bold pops of color in there as well. The formula is amazing, and probably my favorite out of all of his palettes so far. He mentioned that they're the same as Blood Sugar's formula, but I think these are even more creamy and blendable. Let's check out some swatches!
Pluto - shimmery iridescent peachy pink
Titan - matte pale cream
Alien - metallic lime
Interstellar - gray duo-chrome shade that has a bit of gold/green shift to it
Abduction - matte neon yellow green
UFO - metallic deep gold
Gravitea - matte beige
Martian Soil - matte mustard yellow

Flying Saucer - matte true green
Phone Home - matte mauve
Moon Rock - metallic olive
X-Files - matte medium brown
Ghost OG - matte blackened olive
Area 51 - matte bold purple
Space Cowboy - metallic reddish brown
Probe - reddish brown base with a strong turquoise shift
Tall Grey - matte grey
Black Hole - matte black

The entire palette performs amazingly. That Flying Saucer shade is the only one that needs some building up, but even then it performs pretty well. I definitely love the colors in here, love that it's not something you see too often, and love that the mattes are so creamy!! This one is definitely worth checking out if you've been eyeing it!