REVIEW: shu uemura × Super Mario Bros – Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

Hello everyone!

Before the internet became a household fixture, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was a huge phenomenon which provided hours of enjoyment for children cooped up in the house all day (like myself). Through the NES, users were introduced to a whole new world of video games. The “Jump Man” in Donkey Kong in particular received so much attention that it was eventually made into its own game called Super Mario Bros. Today, the character is undeniably one of the things that is synonymous with the ’90s.

This year, the Italian plumber – who recently turns 32 – gets his big break in the beauty world when he was invited to collaborate on a holiday makeup collection by shu uemura. Released on 1 October in the U.S., this 25-piece Super Mario Bros-themed collection offers lipsticks, palettes, cushion cases, cleansing oil and many others presented in packaging that will hit you gamer girls right in the childhood.

Having grown up with Super Mario Bros, saying that I was excited for this launch would be an understatement. I was literally counting down the days until this collection finally makes its appearance at the local shu uemura counters on 15 November!

But sounds like Christmas came early this year as shu uemura Singapore had kindly sent me a few products to blabber about here 😍 In this first instalment of my two-part review on this collection, the spotlight will be solely on the Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette (which has sold out in the U.S., by the way 😨).

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette (S$128)

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette (S$128)

Goomba motif on the inside of the box!

Goomba motif on the inside of the box!

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette

Inspired by Princess Peach (a character in the Mario franchise), the limited-edition eye and cheek palette includes a dual-ended brush, six eye shadows and two glow ons (shu uemura’s version of blush that enhances the natural glow of cheeks) embossed with some distinctive elements of the game. The shades, organised in quads of purple and brown hues, are specially curated to create two highly-achievable monochromatic looks and are exclusive to the palette.

Made with acrylic plastic with a glossy surface, the palette is pink on the outside with pixel art of some notable characters and items of Super Mario, and white on the inside. It is thin yet sturdy and doesn’t take up much storage space. Upon opening the lid, you will be greeted with a removable transparent sheet of plastic with the names (or rather purpose) of each product placed on top of the pans to guide application and perhaps, to prevent the inbuilt mirror from getting dirtied by powder residue.

From top row, left to right: IR pink, S mauve, P plum, G gold light, ME orange, ME bronze eye shadows (1.0 g x 6 / 0.03 oz) // bottom: dreamy peach, brave orange glow ons (3.5 g x 2 / 0.12 oz)

From top row, left to right: IR pink, S mauve, P plum, G gold light, ME orange, ME bronze eye shadows (1.0 g x 6 / 0.03 oz) // bottom: dreamy peach, brave orange glow ons (3.5 g x 2 / 0.12 oz)

☆ Eye Shadows ☆

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette eye shadows

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette eye shadows

The base shade on the first half of the palette is described as a pink with an iridescent finish which, according to shu uemura, “offer(s) glimmering reflections of changing colors”. It is a light wash of cool pink with finely milled shimmers which have a gritty texture to it. Sheer in coverage, it acts as a lightening and smoothing agent for the shade applied atop it. It can also be used on its own for a dewy look. This feels smidgen dusty and is prone to sheer out when applied dry. Hence, you would get better results (i.e. colour intensifies and a more pronounced shine) when used with a wet brush. Otherwise, if you don’t want to leave a water stain on the eye shadow, perhaps using a dense brush would help the colour show better on the lid.

Compare Base with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

Compare Base with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

The styling shade is described as a mauve with a shimmery finish. It appears more of a violet to me with warm undertones and has a slight metallic sheen to it. This shade is safely one of those eye shadows that appears dull when applied, but comes alive when light hits it. It applies sheer at first but is buildable to a semi-opaque coverage. It isn’t too soft or firm in the pan which gives it a smooth and blendable texture. The edges also diffuse rather well without losing much intensity. I experienced a negligible amount of kickback in the pan when I dabbed it with my brush but there wasn’t much fallout on me.

Compare Styling with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

Compare Styling with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

The defining shade is described as a plum with a pearl finish which, as defined by shu uemura, lends a “silky shimmer of light for luminous radiance”. This deep violet contains chunkier purple glitter and has a drier and somewhat uneven texture so undoubtedly there would be fallout during application. Moderately dense and generally patchy in consistency, it sheers out quickly when blended but can be built to an opaque coverage if used with a dense brush. The metallic sheen becomes rather glaring as the eye shadow is piled on. Similarly, this applies noticeably better with a dampened brush. Occasionally, I would use this shade alongside the browns to give my eyes a smokier look.

Compare Define with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

Compare Define with other similar shades from the Kat Von D Shade + Light (Plum) and Urban Decay Naked 3 palettes

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Apply the base colour all over lids with the shader side of the dual-ended brush

Apply the base colour all over lids with the shader side of the dual-ended brush

With the same end of the brush, apply the styling shade above the base

With the same end of the brush, apply the styling shade above the base

Define the eyes while still using the shader brush

Define the eyes while still using the shader brush

Apply styling colour along the lower lash line with the precision end of the brush

Apply styling colour along the lower lash line with the precision end of the brush

Using the same brush, add definition along the outer corner of the eye and do a little bit of crease-cutting on the upper lid. Blend out harsh edges with shader brush.

Using the same brush, add definition along the outer corner of the eye and do a little bit of crease-cutting on the upper lid. Blend out harsh edges with shader brush.

From plain to glamourous!

From plain to glamourous!

The base shade on the next half of the palette is described as a gold light with glittery finish which adds “abundant sparkles for glistening glamour”. It is a cool-toned pale gold with a powdery smooth texture. The glitter in this eye shadow is more sparkly in appearance. Although it also seems more scattered, it was fortunately not messy to work with. It may offer sheer coverage but as a base colour, this packs a punch of glow even on the first layer and piling on the product will only build up the shine. I find that this shade applies more smoothly and evenly with the finger tip. On top of that, it can also be used as a lid topper to enhance the sparkle of the main eye shadow colour.

Compare Base with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE 'tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palettes

Compare Base with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE ‘tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 palettes

The styling shade for the second look is described as an orange with a metallic finish which is supposedly “smooth like liquid with a metallic glow”. It is an orange with brown undertones and has micro-glitter distributed uniformly to give a nice, frosted sheen. This shade applies evenly and goes on semi-opaque on the first swipe when used with a finger or dense brush (dry or dampened – it doesn’t really matter). Buildable to a completely opaque coverage, it is lightweight and blends fairly well on the lid. It may feel a bit gritty in the pan but there is hardly any kickback and fallout. If I have to pick a favourite in this palette, this will be it!

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE 'tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palettes

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE ‘tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 palettes

Lastly, add some definition to the eye with a metallic bronze. This warm-toned brown has faint multicoloured micro-glitter that seems more loosely incorporated into the product. The eye shadow has a powdery smooth consistency with rich pigmentation. It is best applied with a dampened brush for maximum coverage and colour intensity. However, it would require a firmer hand to completely diffuse the edges.

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE 'tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia's Place Nubian 2 palettes

Compare Styling with other similar shades from TheBalm NUDE ‘tude, Urban Decay Naked Heat and Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 palettes

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Apply base colour all over the lid with the shader brush

Apply base colour all over the lid with the shader brush

Using the same brush, pack on some colours with the styling shade

Using the same brush, pack on some colours with the styling shade

Define the eye by adding a darker shade on the outer corner

Define the eye by adding a darker shade on the outer corner

Cut them crease with the darkest shade on the palette!

Cut them crease with the darkest shade on the palette!

Be extra - apply defining shade on the inner corner to add emphasis to the center of the lid

Be extra – apply defining shade on the inner corner to add emphasis to the center of the lid

Line the lower lash line with the styling shade

Line the lower lash line with the styling shade

Followed by the defining shade on the outer corner

Followed by the defining shade on the outer corner

Don't forget to blend out the edges!

Don’t forget to blend out the edges!

From girl-next-door to femme fatale 🤗

From girl-next-door to femme fatale 🤗

When glam meets edgy

When glam meets edgy

☆ Glow Ons ☆

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach's Eye & Cheek Palette blush

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros Peach’s Eye & Cheek Palette blush

Dreamy Peach is a warm pink with flecks of gold shimmers even though it appears to have more orange undertones in the pan. This Super Star and Super Mushroom-embossed blush has sheer pigmentation and can be built to a semi-sheer at most. It blends quite easily owing to its soft texture but has the tendency to sheer out on normal or drier skin (I had swatch it on my wrist a couple of times and it fades away quickly every time). It doesn’t cause any kickback in the pan nor leave any noticeable dents even after multiple uses and that is great if you, like me, don’t want to ruin the cute embossing on the glow ons 😁

Darling Princess (3-4 swipes)

Darling Princess (3-4 swipes)

Darling Princess Darling Princess (3-4 swipes, blended out)

Darling Princess Darling Princess (3-4 swipes, blended out)

Brave Orange is a pale neon orange with yellow undertones topped with accents of gold shimmers. It comes with Fire Flower and the iconic Question Mark Block embossed on it. Soft and lightly powdery in texture, this blush feels luxuriously smooth to the touch and is buildable to a semi-sheer coverage. I actually find this more pigmented than Dreamy Peach and surprisingly, does not camouflage into my Chinese skin tone nor look too yellowish on me. It can be doubled as a bronzer for lighter skin tones to give a subtle contour. However, it does have the tendency to cling onto the drier areas of the skin which could be why it applied slightly uneven on me and needed some effort to buff out the unsightly streak.

Adventure Princess (1 swipe)

Adventure Princess (1 swipe)

Adventure Princess (3-4 swipes)

Adventure Princess (3-4 swipes)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour™ Brush)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour™ Brush)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour™ Brush)

Adventure Princess for contouring (using Sigma F04 Extreme Structure Contour™ Brush)

Two looks (without the lipstick, yet!) side by side. Which one do you prefer?

Two looks (without the lipstick, yet!) side by side. Which one do you prefer?

As a Japanese brand serving international markets, shu uemura has managed to strike a balance between bold and delicate with this palette to cater to people on either ends of the preference spectrum. While it delivers a relatively lighter wash of colour with a touch of glitter when used as-is, these attributes can also be easily amped up on the lid with your finger tip or a dampened brush. That said, the choice of shades (especially the glow ons) seems to gear towards lighter skin tones in general.

And in case you didn’t catch the price earlier, this would set you back a whooping S$128 so unless you are obsessed with Super Mario or don’t mind splurging a few hundred dollars on a high-end product (made with top grade ingredients and presumably state-of-the-art technology, no less), I honestly don’t think this is worth burning a hole in your pocket for in terms of the price per ounce for each product in this palette.

What are your thoughts on this adorable palette? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll!

 

Totally unrelated to this palette but what are some of your favourite NES games? Apart from Super Mario Bros, I was hooked on playing Antarctic AdventureIce Climber, Circus, Duck Hunt, Bubble Bobble, Popeye and Bomberman 😆 There should be more but I can’t remember their names at the moment. Just listening to the 8-bit music of these games brings back so many childhood memories!

Anyhoo, thanks for reading and stay tuned for part two of this collection 🙂

shu uemura × Super Mario Bros is now available on the Sephora Singapore (online), at TANGS and shu uemura boutiques islandwide.
The product featured in this review was editorially selected. All opinions, as always, are genuine and uninfluenced.

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REVIEW: M·A·C × Rossy de Palma Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow, Lipsticks in Rossy & Phenomenal Woman

Hello everyone!

Before the Snow Ball collection took center stage with it stunning marketing visuals, there was another contender that had attracted a great deal of attention for its equally innovative packaging design.

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma for Fall 2017

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma for Fall 2017

Born Rosa Elena García Echave in Spain, Rossy de Palma is a former fashion model, an actress and a charity spokesperson for the Ghanian Charity OrphanAid Africa which among other causes, advocates for the closure of illegal orphanages. Often dubbed a walking Picasso painting, de Palma doesn’t fit the stereotypical definition of a high-profile actress – she doesn’t have doe eyes, sharp nose nor a perfectly proportioned mouth. But it’s this extraordinary (like, literally!) look of hers that had earned her the right to walk the runways for Mugler, Gaultier, and Givenchy and become the face of luxury ad campaigns. What a role model she is!

In this day and age of nip and tuck where most people won’t even bat an eyelid to modify their appearance with cosmetic surgery (and end up looking like they were all stamped out of the same cookie cutter), her unique aesthetic comes across as striking yet authentic at the same time, like a breath of fresh air. In fact, don’t you think she looks like a Picasso-esque version of Lady Gaga?

The display (FYI the one with the nose image is the contour kit - kinda like that one too)

The display (FYI the one with the nose image is the contour kit – kinda like that one too)

My haul!

My haul!

And what better way to embrace your (im)perfections than partnering with M·A·C on a collection centered around them? This collection takes inspiration from Cubism – an early-20th-century art movement created by Picasso – with gold as the primary colour and Rossy’s artistic signature plastered on all the products. For a more Cubist approach, a lenticular image of her (zoomed in, no less) unconventional facial attributes are featured on the packaging of a selected range as seen in the promotional picture above. It may not be the intention, but I like how Rossy de Palma and M·A·C are delivering a subtle screw you to bigots who have criticised her looks with this collaboration.

“Hate my fractured nose and my asymmetrical eyelids, you say? Here’s every part of me you dislike on your makeup. HA, take that!”

All jokes aside, I don’t usually venture out into buying anything else apart from lipsticks from any M·A·C collection. But the packaging is just too brilliant to resist 😆

#1 Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow (US$32 / S$72)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow (US$32 / S$72)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow - the lenticular effect!

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow – the lenticular effect!

Other details

Other details

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow - the shades

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow – the shades

SWATCHES & REVIEW

Close-up of the 6 shades, all in pans of different sizes

Close-up of the 6 shades, all in pans of different sizes

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow swatches

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfinish Shadow swatches

Pinky is described a bright pink with Veluxe Pearl finish. It is a warm-toned medium pink glistened with very fine fuchsia shimmers and is filled in the smallest pan of the palette (the same with Money) which can be a little hard for a fluffy brush to reach without touching the shade next to it.

Semi-opaque in coverage, this shade works great as a base colour. Probably due to its soft and smooth texture, it causes quite a bit of kick-up in the pan (chunks of product would come off) when picked up with a brush. Despite its flaky consistency (which is rather noticeable on the lid), it blends well on the lid without having much fallout and leaves an evenly silky finish. Also, it doesn’t have the tendency to stain like most pink eye shadows and can be easily removed.

Swatch comparison for Pinky

Swatch comparison for Pinky

Smokes is described as a soft lilac with Veluxe Pearl finish. It is a cool-toned purple with fine blue shimmers (albeit more subtle than the others). Powdery in texture, this shade applies unevenly on the lid with both dry and dampened brushes and has sheer colour payoff with very limited buildability. When blended out, it loses its intensity to the extent of almost fading to nothing. I had to use small patting and dabbing motions for the colour to show reasonably but it still creases and fades away the moment my lids show signs of oiliness. Therefore, I won’t recommend this to be used on its own as a single shade.

Swatch comparison for Smokes

Swatch comparison for Smokes

Charcoal is described as a black with multi-colour pearl. It has a Veluxe Pearl finish mostly made of white, sparsely-scattered, in-your-face sparkles with an overall chunkier texture and powdery consistency. When hit with a brush, it leaves a negligible amount of kickback in the pan. But when applied on the lid, some product came dusting off into my eyes. Although it has fairly good pigmentation with semi-sheer (but buildable) coverage on the lid, it does not blend very well, unfortunately.

Considering that this shade would most likely be the least used of all since it is less versatile and more difficult to work with, it is pure bewilderment that it is allotted the largest pan size on this palette. Makes me wonder what the thought process behind the apportion of the pan sizes to the shades is like 🤔

Deep which is described as a dark blackened navy with Veluxe Pearl finish. This captivating shimmery cool-toned deep blue is as close as it gets to a metallic blue because of the densely packed sparkles. Deep goes on semi-opaque when first applied but can be built on to achieve full coverage. It is fairly blendable with a cream-like texture, therefore making it a joy to work with. It is definitely one of the better performers in this palette with a payoff on par with or a tad better than Pinky which wore well on me.

Swatch comparison for Charcoal and Deep

Swatch comparison for Charcoal and Deep

In the bottommost pan on the palette is Money, a soft green with Veluxe Pearl finish as described by M·A·C. This turquoise with fine green shimmers has a flaky texture like Pinky which tends to ball up in the pan. When applied, it gives a sheer to semi-opaque coverage (don’t be deceived by the swatch – the pigment is nothing of the sort on my lid) that would take a few coats to build the colour intensity up. A point to note, though, is that Money is rather loosely pressed as compared to the rest of the shades. Hence, although digging the brush into the pan may be necessary to get a decent payoff on the lid, it is not advisable lest you break it apart.

Nevertheless, this shade is a disappointment. Not only is it flighty on my naturally oily lid, it creases even over primer. I also had some trouble blending and diffusing this shade because it budges with the slightest contact. Even if I managed to get it work on my lid, it is only fleetingly as it started to look splotchy after two hours of wear.

Swatch comparison for Money

Swatch comparison for Money

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

The products I will be using

The products I will be using

Using Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion to prime the lids

Using Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion to prime the lids

Pinky as base colour

Pinky as base colour

Money to make the eyes pop

Money to make the eyes pop

Smokes as a transition colour

Smokes as a transition colour

Deep to add depth (no pun intended)

Deep to add depth (no pun intended)

Smokes again to define (you can clearly see the colour rubbing off here)

Smokes again to define (you can clearly see the colour rubbing off here)

Mirroring the colours on the lower lid

Mirroring the colours on the lower lid

Charcoal for even more depth

Charcoal for even more depth (actually, I just wanted to wear all the shades on my lids)

Mirroring, again..

Mirroring, again..

And again..

And again..

How the shades in the pan translate onto my lids

How the shades in the pan translate onto my lids

The final look!

The final look!

#2 Lipstick – Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick packaging

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick packaging

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Rossy

Rossy is described as a dirty mauve purple with Matte finish. Creamy in texture, this warm-toned purple glides on like butter and imparts a hint of lustre to keep the lips looking (and feeling) moisturised. The texture is slightly oily for a matte which makes it susceptible to transfer and shorter wear time. On top of that, I notice that this shade also tends to settle into my lip lines. It applies evenly and has pretty good pigmentation but requires several swipes to be reasonably opaque.

Swatch comparison for Rossy

Swatch comparison for Rossy

#3 Lipstick – Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman (US$17.50 / S$33)

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Lipstick in Phenomenal Woman

Phenomenal Woman is an online-exclusive described as a dark plum with Matte finish and is the only lipstick in this collection to sell out online. This cool-toned burgundy has a richer sheen to it which is not something I would expect from a matte formula. In fact, I think it looks more satin than matte. This shade tugs and pulls lightly at the lips during application, giving a streaky and uneven payoff which is mostly caused by the product seeping into the lip lines and clinging onto the dry patches on the lips. It has a thin and tacky texture that is neither hydrating nor drying on me.

Swatch comparison for Phenomenal Woman

Swatch comparison for Phenomenal Woman

I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised that, despite the fanciful packaging and unchanged pricing, the quality in the products (maybe save that few shades in the eye shadow compact that didn’t apply very well. Shame!) did not really take a beating. Has M·A·C finally come to the realisation that in the eyes of consumers, quality is king? If that’s the case, I can’t wait to see what more M·A·C has to offer for the coming year!

What do you think about M·A·C × Rossy De Palma? Let me know your comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C × Rossy de Palma is now available on MACCosmetics.com and in all local M.A.C outlets.

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REVIEW: ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

Hello everyone!

So far, this whole decade feels like a throwback to the ’80s and ’90s with the reboot and revival of many of our childhood favourites such as The Smurfs, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Trolls, just to name a few. In case you didn’t know, My Little Pony has, too, made a comeback in recent years and is now even shown on the silver screen! But this year being 2017, working in the showbiz isn’t enough – you have to penetrate into the beauty industry as well to stay relevant because hey, not everyone (especially the millennials whose big part of their childhood revolves around these shows) watches TV these days, right? 😏

Perhaps that’s why Hasbro has been granting their licensing rights for My Little Pony to a handful of makeup companies like PUR Cosmetics, Thailand-based Mille Beauté and most recently, ColourPop which released a 14-piece limited edition My Little Pony collection last month.

An overview of my ColourPop × My Little Pony haul - do watch this space for my review on the highlighters and liquid lipsticks!

An overview of my ColourPop × My Little Pony haul – do watch this space for my review on the highlighters and liquid lipsticks!

As you can see, there’s quite a bit to talk about for this collection, so I will split my review into two parts for easy digestion. The first shall be on the eye shadow palette.

Inspired by the colourful personalities and magical cutie marks of the retro ponies, the My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette features a range of nostalgia-evoking shades from “shimmery glitters and wearable mattes, to bright pops of colour and surprising iridescents”.

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (US$16)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette (US$16)

The back of the ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

The back of the ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette

The My Little Pony palette measures just 10 cm × 13 cm, essentially making it easy to carry around due to its slim and compact size. It is placed into a box adorned with purple-hued pony motifs and “My Little Pony” embossed in purple-foil lettering in the middle, followed by the My Little Pony rainbow and ColourPop logos at the bottom.

The design of the palette itself looks a bit more tacky and juvenile (like it was designed with PowerPoint) with six holographic ponies arcing across (yet another) rainbow plastered on the cover. The lid has a magnetic closure and it does not come with a mirror. The eye shadows – each weighing 0.85 g (0.03 oz) – are set against a purple background with white pony motifs. The names of the shades are printed on the back of the box and palette, which posed some inconvenience for me as I was constructing my review. Maybe someone can enlighten me, but what’s so difficult about having the names printed below the shades? There is sufficient space for that, am I right?

SWATCHES & REVIEW

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette - all shades and their names, for your convenience

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette – all shades and their names, for your convenience

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette - swatches of all the shades applied with finger (2-3 swipes)

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette – swatches of all the shades applied with finger (2-3 swipes)

On first impression, the mattes appeared to be underwhelming and require more swipes than the shimmery ones for a more uniform and pigmented application. For the undiscerning eye, there also seems to be a repetition of shades. For instance, Snuzzle, Firefly and Bluebell as well as Minty and Applejack are pretty similar with the same finish and thus won’t offer much colour contrast on the lid when put together.

Let’s now get down to the individual swatches and review! Being a proud owner of a plethora of eye shadow palettes, it wouldn’t be practical for me to compare the My Little Pony palette to every single similar shade I can think of (and not forgetting that it is also more time consuming than swatching lipsticks). Hence, to be more time-efficient, I am just going to compare this with the shades from two selected palettes in my stash which, in this case, would be the ColourPop Yes, Please! palette (for the warms) and LORAC Mega PRO 3 (for the cooler hues). Comparison swatches will be done using my finger only.

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette - swatches of first 6 shades applied with both finger and my Sigma E55 Eyeshadow Shading Brush

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette – swatches of first 6 shades applied with both finger and my Sigma E55 Eyeshadow Shading Brush

Butterscotch is described as a white with subtle pink violet opalescent sheen. It is a matte pale lilac with barely noticeable fine shimmers, so much so that you would need to scrutinise the product to realise they are there. The eye shadow is pigmented and mostly opaque with a chalky but smooth texture. Blendable, it is has no fallout during application and adheres well to bare skin.

Blossom is described as a metallic peach with pink and gold duochrome finish. It is a mid-tone rosy nude with warm undertones and gold microshimmers which are distributed fairly evenly when applied. Although I did not have to go heavy-handed with it to achieve reasonable opacity, it does provide fuller coverage with added pressure to my lid. The texture of the eye shadow is also slightly dry and on the stiffer side so it can be rather challenging to diffuse the edges.

Starshine is described as a metallic golden tangerine. Totally living up to its name, it is a gorgeous warm yellow with strong metallic gold sheen. It has an insanely opaque colour payoff in a single layer although some fallout can occur during application. It goes on smooth and even with a dense consistency which requires a bit of effort to blend out the edges – but it is all worth it. When worn in the middle of the lid, it helps to make the eyes appear bigger and brighter. This shade is pretty long-wearing as it lasted five hours (the duration I spent outdoors) on my oily lids.

Swatch comparison for the warms against the ColourPop Yes, Please! Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette

Swatch comparison for the warms against the ColourPop Yes, Please! Pressed Powder Eyeshadow Palette

Bluebell is described as a satin golden ivory. It is a cool-toned white with pearly sheen from the microshimmers distributed equally across the product. It applies smoothly on the lid while offering sheer to medium coverage. The texture, however, becomes chalkier with every additional layer. Even though it is somewhat easy to diffuse the edges, it loses its intensity as soon as it is blended out. This shade can alternatively be used as a highlight for the brow bone too because of its muted colour payoff.

Applejack is described as a matte dusty red violet. It is a mid-tone plum with pink undertones. This shade has a smooth, almost mousse-like (hence does not cause much kickback in the pan nor fallout during application) and blendable texture but tends to sheer out when applied to bare skin. It has to be used with a soft-bristled brush or the consistency would become uneven and lightly dusty.

Skydancer is described as a metallic bright icy lavender. It is a muted violet with loose purple shimmers. That said, this shade requires a dense brush to apply it with because the texture is stiff from being packed too tightly in the pan (to the extent that the surface of the eye shadow actually smooths out after use instead of leaving a slight dip). I had to dig my brush into the pan to pick up enough product and even so, I would need to exert a lot of pressure on my lid to get a decent colour payoff. Furthermore, it loses its, dare I say, non-existent intensity when blended out. This payoff is honestly so bad, it kinda renders this shade unusable.

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette - swatches of last 6 shades applied with both finger and my Sigma E55 Eyeshadow Shading Brush

ColourPop × My Little Pony Pressed Powder Shadow Palette – swatches of last 6 shades applied with both finger and my Sigma E55 Eyeshadow Shading Brush

Minty is accurately described as a matte cool-toned fuchsia except for the fact that it has inconsiderable amount of shimmer to it (or perhaps, my eyes were playing tricks on me 🤔). The payoff is quite similar to that of Butterscotch but this applies softer with a velvety consistency. It adheres well to the skin but has to be piled on to get an opaque coverage. Furthermore, the edges are fairly easy to diffuse without affecting the intensity of the eye shadow.

Flutterbye is described as a matte true pastel peach. It is a matte coral with warm undertones and has a really soft and silky texture as well as a thicker consistency than the rest of the eye shadows in this palette. This shade gives an opaque colour payoff in a single layer and blends perfectly well on the lid while still retaining its pigmentation. It is also extremely long-wearing even without primer.

Twilight is described as a satin deep blackened violet with blue and purple fine shimmers. Undoubtedly, this is the darkest shade in this palette but it isn’t as pigmented as it seems – it takes about five layers for it to achieve a reasonably opaque coverage. Apart from the fact that it applies rather unevenly and patchy, it also does not blend very well on the lid. It has a looser texture too so some kickback in the pan and fallout may be experienced during application.

Swatch comparison for the warms against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

Swatch comparison for the warms against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

Firefly is described as a metallic silvery baby blue. It is a cool-toned grey with a metallic sheen from its finely milled and evenly spread shimmers. It has blue undertones which become more apparent as more product is piled on. Soft and buttery in texture, this shade has an excellent pigmentation in a single layer and is easy to use and blend out.

Snuzzle is described as a metallic icy white with opalescent blue duochrome. An absolute beauty that changes colour when seen from different angles, it looks like a plain shimmery white eye shadow in the pan but when applied on the skin, the iridescent blue sheen becomes very noticeable. This fairly blendable shade applies smooth and silky with a mostly opaque colour payoff but has a chalky consistency.

Princess Sparkle is described as a metallic rich smokey turquoise. Although it goes on slightly sheer on the first swipe, it is buildable to a fully opaque coverage with just an additional two or three layers. This shade has very good pigmentation and adheres to the skin very well. On top of that, the formula has an incredibly smooth and silky texture even when applied with a light hand and it also does not budge when I tried to blend out the edges.

Swatch comparison for the cools against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

Swatch comparison for the cools against Lorac Mega PRO 3 Palette

APPLICATION & LOOKS

I’m no beauty guru especially when it comes to eye shadows, so here’s my humble take on the looks you can achieve with the My Little Pony palette. Also, how would this US$16 eye shadow palette fare on my primed lids? Let’s find out!

Apply Butterscotch as the base colour

Apply Butterscotch as the base colour

Butterscotch (using Sigma E60 Large Shader Brush from the Mrs Bunny kit)

Butterscotch (using Sigma E60 Large Shader Brush from the Mrs Bunny kit)

Butterscotch

Butterscotch

Starshine and Blossom for a pop of colour

Starshine and Blossom for a pop of colour

Cut crease with Princess Sparkle (using Sigma E47 Shader Crease Brush), followed by Skydancer on the outer corners for a more seamless transition from the blue to the pink

Cut crease with Princess Sparkle (using Sigma E47 Shader Crease Brush), followed by Skydancer on the outer corners for a more seamless transition from the blue to the pink

More Starshine (using Sephora Multitasker Shadow Brush #63) along the lower lash because, why not?

More Starshine (using Sephora Multitasker Shadow Brush #63) along the lower lash because, why not?

Add a shimmery highlight (Butterscotch) to the inner corners of your eyes for a brighter look

Add a shimmery highlight (Butterscotch) to the inner corners of your eyes for a brighter look

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

Final look (without eyeliner)

Final look (without eyeliner)

The meh choice of shades aside (I actually prefer the shades on the PUR Cosmetics palette), I must say that you are getting a huge bang for your buck out of this palette. For the price of US$16, I certainly did not expect the eye shadows to be this pigmented and blendable. They are pressed rather perfectly which is probably one of the reasons for the minimal to no kickback in the pans after usage. And yet, you could still get decent colour payoff out of most of them.

Needless to say, I am impressed with the quality and won’t mind dedicating space for more eye shadow palettes by ColourPop 😁  In fact, I just placed an order for 4 of their newest palettes 😆 #sorrynotsorry

Paired with my M·A·C lipstick in Gabriel Zamora

Paired with my M·A·C lipstick in Gabriel Zamora

What are your thoughts about the palette? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Do stay tuned for the second part of my ColourPop × My Little Pony collection review where I will talk about two of the highlighters and Ultra Matte Lips.

Thanks for reading!

The ColourPop × My Little Pony collection is now available on ColourPop.com. Get the featured Sigma eye shadow brushes at 10% off here with code “FIONASEAH” upon checkout.

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REVIEW: Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Hello everyone!

The best-selling Sigma palette is back by popular demand – and this time, with an improved packaging. First launched in September 2013, the rebooted Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette includes all original 16 vibrant macaron-inspired pigments in a “smooth, blendable formula”. Each of these Sigma-exclusive shades has a matte finish with extreme, long-lasting color payoff and can be used all-over the face (as some shades are not recommended to be used as eye shadows).

This palette debuted at US$32 but is now retailing for US$39. Considering that the cost of raw materials could have increased substantially over the past four years, the slight price hike is understandable. Nevertheless, you can shave a few bucks off the current retail price (10% discount, to be exact) if you checkout with my code “FIONASEAH“. Sigma ships all orders within the U.S. at a flat rate of US$4.95 while free shipping is offered to U.S. and international orders above US$50 and US$150 respectively.

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (box)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (box)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (back)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette (back)

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette

The palette retains its squarish shape but certainly has a more upscale appearance than the packaging before due to the water marble design and glossy plastic gold lettering (neat, sans-serif typeface unlike the tacky, cursive one before) on the cover that feels velvety-matte to the touch. Furthermore, the lid now has a magnetic closure as opposed to having to remove the lid entirely previously. This palette comes with a mirror (none before) and a thin protective plastic sheet above the pans and has a shelf life of 24 months.

I am usually put off by bright eye shadows, but there’s just something about this palette that made me want to lay my hands on it. It could be the way the shades are systematically arranged. Analogous colours are placed next to one another in this palette which makes it a dreamscape for the OCD in me.

But wait, what is that blue doing at the bottom row?

But wait, what is that blue doing at the bottom row?

The names of the shades are the same as before, and you can easily tell how they are derived unlike those of most eye shadow palettes in the market which felt like they were picked using a lottery spinner.

Swatches, three to four swipes for every shade (applied with Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush and M·A·C Prep + Prime Fix+. Brush is cleaned with semi-damp makeup wipe and dried with tissue paper each time)

Swatches, three to four swipes for every shade (applied with Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush and M·A·C Prep + Prime Fix+. Brush is cleaned with semi-damp makeup wipe and dried with tissue paper each time)

For a more structured review, the shades will be segregated into colour schemes and swatches will be done using my index finger to show the full potential of the colour intensity. Then, I will compare them to similar colours from other palettes (Urban Decay × Jean Michel Basquiat Tenant Palette, LORAC I ❤ Brunch PRO Palette, Juvia’s Place The Zulu and Masquerade Palettes) in my stash.

PINKS

The pinks of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The pinks of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Redberry Rose is described as a brilliant, true hot pink. It is a cool-toned fuchsia with a matte finish. It has an intense pigmentation in a single layer with a buildable opacity to provide a full coverage. Non-powdery, it has a soft and blendable texture which makes it easy to work with. This shade is determined to be unsafe for eye area since it has the tendency to stain (even with primer) but I had worn it for a couple of hours without any detrimental effect to my sensitive eye. That said, do use this with caution.

Apricot Flower is described as a perfectly-warm, mod peach. It is a light coral with warm undertones and a matte finish. It applies fairly well and has a semi-opaque pigmentation which ultimately becomes a hue deeper when piled on. However, I won’t recommend adding too many layers as I ended up having difficulty diffusing and blending out the edges.

Passion Fruit is described as a crisp, neutral pink. It is a medium coral-brown with cool undertones and a matte finish. It applies and blends well, giving a nearly-opaque pigmentation without having to apply much pressure to the lid. The texture was, however, slightly loose so there was considerable amount of kickback in the pan. There was also a bit of a fallout during application.

Cherry Blossom is described as a cool, bold pastel pink. It is a washed-out pink with cool undertones and a matte finish. Soft in texture, this shade applies smoothly and evenly on the lids while offering sheer coverage. It is hardly pigmented (enabling it to be removed very easily) and does not seem to build up even though it blends relatively well. This shade works best as a base colour or to tone down any heavy-handedness that may occur.

Swatch comparison for the pinks on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Swatch comparison for the pinks on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

WARMS

The warms of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The warms of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Meyer Lemon is described as a zesty, buttery yellow. It is a washed-out pastel yellow with cool undertones and a matte finish. It has a rather soft but chalky and powdery texture, so fallout is inevitable during application. In addition, the first layer lends a patchy consistency and the colour somehow fades even more as I try to blend it out. I eventually found myself dipping my brush into the pan more often than I had expected just to achieve a reasonably even and opaque payoff.

Ginger Pumpkin is described as a muted-orange spice. It is a neon orange with warm undertones and a matte finish. Although thicker and slightly powdery in texture, this shade applies smooth and soft without creasing and blended fairly well. It has great colour payoff and is vibrantly pigmented with an opaque coverage in a single layer, which also causes it to stain (and therefore deeming it unsafe for the eye area).

Café au Lait is described as a classic, warm coffee brown. It is a medium brown with warm undertones and a creamy matte finish. It has a moderately powdery texture with a soft and smooth consistency. This shade is able to give an even and opaque colour payoff on the first application using either dry or damp brushes. The excess powder adheres to the lid during application and therefore, did not cause much fallout problems. The edges blend pretty well, too.

Swatch comparison for the warms on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Kickbacks occurring mostly in Apricot Flower and Passion Fruit

Kickbacks occurring mostly in Apricot Flower and Passion Fruit

PURPLES

The purples of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The purples of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Violet Whip is described as a milky, cool lavender. It is a pale, washed-out lilac with a matte finish. Soft and smooth to the touch, it has a slightly chalky and uneven texture on the first application which can simply be straightened out with a wee bit more product layered on top. Easily blendable on the lids, this shade is also ideal for ombré eye makeup looks.

Lavender Honey is described as a pink-violet pop. It is a muted warm-toned purple with a matte finish. It has a rich, semi-opaque colour payoff which can easily be built up to full coverage. It applies moderately well with no fallout during application. Due to its overall drier texture, there would be some difficulties in blending out the edges. As with most purple or pink pigments, Lavender Honey stains and is therefore unsuitable to use as an eye shadow (even though it posed minimal to no issues to me).

Cassis is described as a striking, royal purple. It is a cool-toned purple with a matte finish and an intense colour payoff. This shade applies smooth but somewhat uneven, resulting to a slightly chalky texture that did not blend very well on the lid. And when it does to a little extent, the eye shadow loses its intensity. It is almost impossible to diffuse it without turning it into a patchy fuchsia. Likewise, this can and will stain – it took me a couple of separate washes to remove this entirely from my lid!

Elderberry is accurately described as a deep, smokey purple with a matte finish. Contrary to what is seen in the pan, this shade goes on sheer in one layer. Furthermore, despite its smooth texture, it applies noticeably unevenly and patchy. To get somewhat of a decent pigmentation and coverage, you would need to go back and forth between digging your brush into the pan (there won’t be much kickback, thankfully) and filling the lids with this not-so-blendable eye shadow.

Swatch comparison for the purples on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Swatch comparison for the purples on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

BLUES

The blues of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The blues of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Blueberry Cream is described as a nearly-neon, pastel sky blue. It is a muted blue with warm undertones and a matte finish. Smooth in application, this shade blends fairly well on the lids and leaves no fallout behind. Although the payoff is uneven and sheer in a single layer, it is buildable to a semi-opaque and medium intensity.

Blue Chocolat is described as a pale, calming aqua. It is a pale blue with cool undertones and a matte finish. It has a smooth consistency and a mostly sheer but buildable coverage. The edges also blend moderately well on the lids with no fallout during application.

To the untrained eye, these two blue shades may look identical (perhaps that’s why the pans are placed away from each other on the palette to avoid giving the impression of being repetitive) but if you look closely, Blue Chocolat not only appears to be more pigmented, but it also has a stronger white base to it than Blueberry Cream. Having said that, I still don’t reckon the contrast to be great enough to warrant the inclusion of two similar-looking blues in the palette (they do look the same from afar). As a matter of fact, I feel that it should be replaced with a darker shade of blue for the relaunch of the palette.

GREENS

The greens of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

The greens of Sigma Creme de Couture Pressed Shadow Palette

Almond Pear is described as a captivating, sea green. It is a pale cool-toned cyan with a creamy matte finish. It has a buttery smooth texture and an excellent colour payoff with semi-opaque to full coverage. Highly blendable, it is easy to work on the lids as it doesn’t require much effort to soften any harsh edges. However, it tends to lose its vibrancy (i.e. becomes a lot more muted) as I try to blend it out.

Crème de Menthe is described as a slightly-grey, blue green. It is a muted warm-toned teal with a matte finish. It can be a little messy to use owing to its chalky and slightly powdery texture. But its great pigmentation and near-opaque consistency make up for these shortcomings. Similarly, this shade loses its intensity when blended out.

Citron Pistachio is described as a vivid, citrus green. It is a muted lime green with a velvety soft matte finish. It has a thicker texture coupled with a vibrantly pigmented payoff. The edges blend moderately well without the colour fading much and turning patchy in the process.

Swatch comparison for the blues and greens on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Swatch comparison for the blues and greens on the Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Having tried the palette myself, I am fully convinced that there are practically no limit to the amount of unique looks you can come up with with it and I have some examples to prove this. As an afterthought, I thought it would also be uber-fun to state what local food these looks might have taken inspiration from to tie in with the theme of this palette 😆 The eye shadows were applied atop a layer of Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion on my lids with the following brushes: Sigma E60 Large Shader, Sigma E25 Blending, Sigma E30 Pencil and Sephora Multitasker Shadow #63.

LOOK 1: PADDLE POP

Look #1

Look #1

Look #1

Look #1

*cues Paddle Pop theme song*

As a tribute to the ice-cream that made our childhood, I painted my lids paddle pop-coloured rainbow using at least one shade from every colour scheme (apart from the warms which I had inadvertently forgotten about): Passion Fruit, Redberry Rose, Lavender Honey, Elderberry, Blue Chocolat, Almond Pear and Citron Pistachio.

LOOK 2: KATONG LAKSA

Look #2

Look #2

Look #2

Look #2

What local delicacy comes to mind when you think of yellow and orange hues? For me, it has got to be our highly acclaimed laksa. This look recreates the unmistakable bold orange colour of the popular spicy noodle soup found in Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia (well, it can also take after the colours of Indian curry because we preach racial harmony and embrace diversity, y’all) using mainly the warms: Meyer Lemon, Ginger Pumpkin and Cafe Au Lait. Admittedly, this look seems half-finished without the reds (since there isn’t any reds in the palette), like how a bowl of laksa isn’t complete without the chili paste.

LOOK 3: PURPLE AGAR-AGAR

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Look #3

Inspired by my favourite local jelly-like dessert (the middle one, obviously), this look was created using mainly the purples, as well as a hint of blue and green, in the palette namely: Violet Whip, Lavender Honey, Cassis, Elderberry, Blue Chocolat and Almond Pear. With hindsight, I could also use the greens to recreate the colours of honeydew-flavoured Agar-Agar on my lids 😆

All in all, this is a rather fun palette with a good range of decently pigmented pastel colours at a pretty affordable price though it isn’t practical for everyday use. The eye shadows are neither firm nor stiff in the pan so it was easy for the brush to pick up the product. My only gripe, however, was the the size of the pan – they’re a tad too small for my liking (and my shader brush).

At first glance, the pastel colours may seem intimidating in the pan, but they are actually more forgiving than dark neutrals, which more often than not lead to a smokey mess. As long as you know your colour wheel (or if all else fails, simply go with monochromatic looks like how I did above) and know a thing or two about blending, you can hardly go wrong with pastels. So if you’re game enough to experiment with unconventional shades, don’t hesitate to get this palette!

And yes, for the record, this palette was paid with my own money 😁

What are your thoughts about the Creme de Couture palette? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

The Sigma Beauty Creme de Couture Pressed Color Palette is now available on SigmaBeauty.com. Use code “FIONASEAH” for 10% off all Sigma Beauty orders!

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REVIEW: Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette

Hey everyone!

The Vice sequel that everyone has been eagerly waiting for has finally hit stores today! As an avid collector of Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes, I was so thrilled that I had actually placed my order on Sephora.com even before it was launched in Singapore. But due to having too much on my plate recently (woes of being a final-year undergrad), I wasn’t able to post a review until now.

Unless you’ve already made up your mind about getting it, you may want to read on to find out more about the palette before you put your money on it!

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette

Loaded with 20 never-seen-before eyeshadow shades, Vice 4 delivers darkly gorgeous colours inspired by the hues of an oil slick into a palette filled with rich, deep jewel tones. It comes with an extra slim case that doubles as a cosmetics pouch like Vice 3 and similar to all its predecessor, a large mirror that fits nicely against the lid as well as a double-ended Shadow and Crease brush are included along with this palette.

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette (US$60 / S$88)

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette (back)

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette (back)

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette (case)

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette (case)

The design of the palette gets better with each upgrade (although I’d very much prefer the lid to open on its own with just a push of a button à la Vice 1 and 2). Described as a dimensional web of broken-down facets layered over a matte black lid, the palette is an art on its own as it reflects the bold and edgy personality of the brand. The pop-up purple-ombré jagged lines that fronted the palette is made of rather flimsy plastic so be careful not to place anything heavy on it, or risk damaging the delicate overlay.

Urban Decay Vice 4 shades

Urban Decay Vice 4 shades

Urban Decay Vice 4 Swatch (click image to view in landscape mode)

Urban Decay Vice 4 Swatch (click image to view in landscape mode). And oops, please ignore the typo error for Crowbar!

Shades included in Vice 4 are:

Bones (oyster satin w/pearl), Grip (taupe matte w/iridescent micro-glitter), Deadbeat (black satin w/iridescent micro-glitter), Beat Down (deep metallic violet w/blue micro-glitter), Pandemonium (metallic plum w/iridescent micro-glitter), Framed (light neutral matte-satin), Fast-Ball (metallic peachy pink w/pink micro-glitter), 1985 (metallic fuchsia w/fuchsia micro-glitter), Underhand (burgundy-brown satin), Harlot (metallic lavender), Discreet (soft dusty mauve matte), Grasshopper (metallic emerald w/green micro-glitter), C-Note (frosted green w/micro-glitter), Arctic (bright teal w/tonal sparkle), Robbery (deep metallic brown-gunmetal), Bitter (reddish brown matte), Flame (bright orange w/gold micro-glitter), Low (brown matte w/iridescent micro-glitter), Crowbar (black w/golden metallic pearl and micro-glitter) and Delete (deep chestnut brown matte-satin).

Every shade here features the Pigment Infusion System™, which according to Urban Decay, is a proprietary blend of ingredients for rich, velvety, blendable color that lasts and guarantees little to minimal sparkle fallout. Indeed, they blend like a dream but I wouldn’t say the same for the sparkles. Low and Crowbar, for instance, have the tendency to fall out during application and it can be a real pain removing them without destroying the rest of my makeup! So if I had to use these two shades, I’d definitely do my eye makeup before everything else.

On my lids: Framed, Bitter, Delete, Underhand and Beat Down

More light is reflected on the left // On my lids: Framed, Bitter, Delete, Underhand and Beat Down

As with other Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes, Vice 4 has a vast majority of shimmery shades. In fact, only 4 of them (Framed, Discreet, Bitter & Delete) are full-matte with no glitter nonsense. With the exception of Framed which failed to show up well against my arm (and hence making it a great choice for the base colour), all of them have pretty decent colour payoff with a buttery yet slightly airy consistency. But as much as I favour mattes over shimmers, the latter have definitely performed better this time around in terms of application for they had mostly silky texture and fantastic pigmentation.

A quick side-by-side comparison with its predecessors

A quick side-by-side comparison with its predecessors

This is probably the most amateur-friendly Vice palette because clearly, there are more neutral than bold colours to work with here. Blue hues are evidently lacking in this latest Vice as more pans were given up for the greens.

Already own a Vice palette but not sure if you should get this one? Here are some swatch comparisons with similar shades from Vice 1, 2 and 3 to aid in your decision making!

Light Neutrals

Light Neutrals

Iridescent dark neutrals

Iridescent dark neutrals

Shimmery browns and greens

Shimmery browns and greens

Browns

Browns

Iridescent purples

Iridescent purples

Purples

Purples

Shades with a golden hue

Shades with a golden hue

Iridescent pinks

Iridescent pinks

Blues

Blues

Greens

Greens

Still on the fence? I’d say go for it! Apart from the fact that these colours are not really dupeable, there is also a good mix of vibrant and dark colours in this palette.

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette

So ladies, what do you think of this Vice palette? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Urban Decay Vice 4 Eyeshadow Palette is now available on URBANDECAY.COM and in all local Sephora stores.

REVIEW: Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

Hello everyone!

urban-decay-naked-smoky-17

As a beauty junkie, I experiment with my looks from time to time using several makeup brands and it’s through these experiences that I discovered the cosmetics lines that would be the mainstay in my beauty regime. For instance, I rely on MAC lipsticks to give my lips colour but when it comes to eye makeup, I switch to none other than Urban Decay to give my peepers some depth (though Tarte and Too Faced are creeping up my list, that’s a different story for another post 😀 *hint*).

I remember owning my first eyeshadow palette 3 years ago when I started out on (proper) makeup.  It wasn’t a full colour palette because I didn’t know how to work with bold shades. I wanted colours that were more neutral and easier to blend with (as I think I suck pretty much at colour combination). Therefore, I eventually decided on Naked 2 which was the latest palette from UD then.

Fast forward to 2015, I have more than 10 eyeshadow palettes from various brands in my possession. But those of UD are still my ultimate holy grail because of their great pigmentation and good mix of matte and shimmery shades. Plus, UD is known to be cruelty-free and vegan, including their complimentary brushes that come with their full palettes! So what’s not to love about UD? 🙂

Of course, the highlight of this post isn’t my vast collection of eyeshadows, but the latest Naked eyeshadow palette rolled out by UD this summer! Nope, it isn’t Naked 4 (it’s ok, that’s what I thought too). It’s the Smoky palette!

Smoky? *scratches head* Doesn’t UD already have it long ago?

No, dearies, it’s not the Smoked palette. I know, I know. It is a little confusing but trust me, you will catch on because these two products are worlds apart! I will go into that later. But first..

The familiar font of NAKED that immediately catches your attention

The familiar font of NAKED on the packaging that immediately catches your attention

Back

Back

Unveiling what's inside the box

Unveiling what’s inside the box (minus the faux flowers of course hehehe)

This palette comes with a lookbook with detailed steps on achieving a pair of sultry and smoky eyes in 4 ways!

Palette

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette (US$53/ S$83)

Along with the truckload of samples I got from Sephora.com!

Along with the truckload of samples I got from Sephora.com! Key in code “HOTHAIR” upon checkout to get them 🙂

This purchase made me so happy because of all the freebies! But I could have gotten a bag of many mini branded fragrances instead if not for the fact that alcohol-based products are prohibited for air shipment -_- Dammit, why don’t the Sephora outlets in Singapore shower their customers with as many samples as their US counterpart? 😕 *greedy*

Back of the palette

Back of the palette

Side of the palette

Side of the palette

The transparent case is made of hard, uniform plastic material featuring floating smoke effect to exude a sense of mystery.  On the surface are the words “Naked Smoky” printed in gunmetal foil. It also has a magnetic closure for convenience .

Eyeshadows

Eyeshadows and full-size mirror

The Naked Smoky palette consists of High (champagne shimmer with micro-glitter), Dirtysweet (medium bronze), Radar (metallic taupe with iridescent micro-glitter), Armor (metallic silver-taupe with tonal sparkle), Slanted (light metallic gray), Dagger (medium charcoal with micro-shimmer), Black Market (jet-black satin), Smolder (deep plum-taupe), Password (cool taupe matte), Whiskey (rich brown matte), Combust (soft pink-taupe) and Thirteen (light beige satin).

Swatch

Swatch

My favourites are Dirtysweet, Radar, Dagger, Smolder, Password, Whiskey and Combat. Great neutrals, don’t you think?

With High (brow bone), Thirteen (base), Bittersweet (corners), Combust, Radar, Daggar and Whiskey

With High (brow bone), Thirteen (base), Bittersweet (corners), Combust, Radar, Daggar and Whiskey, primed with Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion.

All my Naked palettes prior to this purchase have been extremely satisfactory but for the Smoky palette? Not quite. The colour payoff for the mattes (e.g. Smolder and Password) are mostly weak and sheer although they are generally darker than those in Naked 1, 2 and 3. I had to apply at least 3 layers to make the colours show. But having said that, you may enjoy this palette if you have issues working with eyeshadows that appear too pigmented.

The shimmery ones, on the other hand, have impressive consistency and the glitters are very micro and evenly distributed. The metallic finish for Bittersweet and Armor are too frosty for my liking but the rest are rather muted. Never thought I would say this but I really prefer the shimmery to the matte ones for this palette!

One thing about the eyeshadows that stood out was the fallout. I mean, the very minimal fallout, perhaps because of the thinner texture of the eyeshadows. I usually have my eyes done so that I can cover the fallout with my foundation thereafter but nope, nothing much to conceal! I guess UD finally hit the nail on the head this time!

Palette comparison with Smoked palette

Palette comparison with Smoked palette

Swatch comparison with Smoked

Swatch comparison against Smoked with just 1-2 swipes

The Smoked shades are a lot more pigmented and heavy (even the lightest matte ones!) as you can see.

Moving on to the complimentary dual-ended eyeshadow brush, the bristles are similar to what you have in the first 3 Naked palettes – smooth to the touch of a finger but slightly prickly on the lids because they are too sturdy. I don’t really use the provided brush anyway so I’m not bothered by it.

Naked Smoky Dual-ended Brush

Naked Smoky Dual-ended Brush

Naked Smoky Dual-ended Brush

Naked Smoky Dual-ended Brush with smoke effect

Smoky Smudger Brush on one end

Smoky Smudger Brush on one end

Tapered Crease Brush on the other

Tapered Crease Brush on the other

On the whole, this palette is a good investment if you’re looking for a set of not-too-heavy shades to do your smoked eyes. The colours are relatively easy to work with (except that the mattes could be a bit more pigmented) and I’m always very tempted to blend all of them on my lids (HAHA, Singaporean kiasu mentality, I guess. Anyone else does the same??). It’s definitely way better than the Smoked palette which I felt were too dense to the extent that it gave me panda eyes on many occasions and I ended up having wipe some off (and ruining my makeup in the process).

Is there ever going to be an end to this Naked series? I mean, since we already have bronze-hued, taupe-hued, rose-gold and now smoky-toned palettes, I wonder what’s going to come next! What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading, lovelies!

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette is now available on Sephora.com and Urbandecay.com. It will be released in Singapore on 20 August 2015.

FAVOURITES: 13 Red Lipsticks

Hello ladies!

Sorry for the lack of updates! I am into my second week of internship and my schedule has been pretty packed with work, events and other activities, leaving me with no time for leisure. Only managed to squeeze in time to blog today since my Mom made me dinner at home.

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It has been 4 months since my last FAVOURITES entry and I’m pleasantly surprised that the series has reached out to so many lipstick fanatics like myself! *waves* Thanks for the support, guys! And yes, I know I promised a continuation somewhere in my MLBB post. Well, this is it! It took a long while to be up because of my decreased presence at home, which had only allowed me to do shorter reviews like new M.A.C launches. To make up for the wait, I’ll be featuring 13 of my favourite red (any shade of red) lipsticks instead of the usual 10! Yay to more lip goodness! 🙂

Love dark lipsticks? Check out what top my list here! Or here if you’re into nude lipsticks 🙂

(Actually I just couldn’t choose lol)

If you’re still searching for a perfect red lipstick, look no further! For all you know, you could just find one right here 🙂 Even if you’re not a huge red lipstick person (like me), I feel that you should invest in at least one for special occasions like proms, weddings and your company’s Dinner & Dance!

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Overview. Do you own any of these?

If you’re surprised to see so many M.A.C lipsticks topping my list, you must be new here. I’m an absolute devotee of M.A.C so naturally more than 70% of my lipstick stash are from the said brand.

I’m gonna kick off the list with some recently-launched and reviewed-before M.A.C lipsticks just to create suspense.

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The first 3 (from left): MAC in Strange Journey, Oblivion and Stunner.

1. M.A.C in STRANGE JOURNEY

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Strange Journey is a yellowish brick red with Matte finish.

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The Halloween collection in 2014 did offer some of the best reds I’ve ever seen from MAC and one of them was Strange Journey. It wasn’t the most popular choice from that collection (sold out nonetheless) because according to some people, it’s too orangey? But look, it doesn’t appear like that on my lips right? 😀

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C’mon, it’s really not that orangey!

Read more about it here.

2. M.A.C in OBLIVION

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Oblivion is a vivid blushred with Amplified finish.

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As you can tell from my lips, Oblivion is slightly hydrating and opaque, a bit like lip tint. It’s my favourite red lippy at the moment.

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In fact, all the lipsticks from The Rocky Horror Picture Show collection are drop-dead gorgeous!

Read more about it here.

3. M.A.C in STUNNER

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Stunner is a clean red with Matte finish.

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One-third of the MAC x Nasty Girl collection and the least popular of the lot, it is no doubt a very dupe-able shade. MAC has a couple of colours similar to this. Hence, it took quite a long while to sell out (when the other two shades were already gone by the end of the launch week). But still, it’s still a very pretty shade of red, isn’t it? 🙂

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I find it to be very flattering on my skin tone!

Read more about it here.

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The next 4 (from left): MAC in Ruby Woo, Lady Danger, Russian Red and M.A.C Red.

4. M.A.C in RUBY WOO

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Ruby Woo is a very matte vivid blue-red with a Retro Matte finish.

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Like the other Retro Matte lipsticks I own, Ruby Woo tends to be a bit more drying, so multiple applications are needed to completely fill the lips. And while you’re at it, you’d feel like you’re colouring your lips with a red crayon (the dryness and inconsistency). It takes a little more effort to be removed.

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But it’s very long-lasting and it gives the perfect matte texture! This explains why it’s one of MAC’s best sellers.

5. M.A.C in LADY DANGER

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Lady Danger is a vivid bright coral-red with Matte finish.

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Highly raved and recommended by lipstick users and on beauty magazines around the world, Lady Danger has proven to be one of the best orange-red lipsticks in the market. Perfect for fall, it can be a little drying though (I think this is a common problem for the older MAC Matte lipsticks) but it’s not as bad as Ruby Woo.

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Looks better on fairer skin.

6. M.A.C in RUSSIAN RED

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Russian Red is an intense bluish-red with Matte finish

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Russian Red to me is like a cousin of Ruby Woo – both are the ultimate timeless red lipsticks that lovers of sultry lips would know for sure.

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But it’s better than Ruby Woo because it glides more smoothly and it definitely didn’t make me feel like my lips are peeling from the rough application.

7. M.A.C in M.A.C RED

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M.A.C Red is a vivid bright bluish-red with Satin finish.

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Another lipstick with a gorgeous sheen that leaves behind a lip tint-like stain after a few hours of wearing.

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It’s smooth and doesn’t feather despite it being creamy.

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The next 3 (from left): MAC in Chili and Viva Glam Rihanna, Chanel Rouge Allure in 99 Pirate.

8. M.A.C in CHILI

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Chili is a brownish orange-red with Matte finish.

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Swatched it on my hand before purchase and fell in love with it instantly (plus, MAC was having a collaborative sale with Sephora ION at that time!) It’s not your typical red – it’s a sophisticated red that doesn’t appear too “intimidating” like the others.

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Love it but don’t think I pull off the look. I’m sure it’d be very flattering on warmer skin tone 🙂

9. M.A.C in VIVA GLAM RIHANNA

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Viva Glam Rihanna is a blue-red with Frost finish.

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Rihanna is no stranger to the MAC community. Having worked with MAC twice (or thrice?), she has produced countless of incredibly gorgeous lipsticks (hate myself for not getting anything from her 2013 Holiday collection). This one I’m holding right here is no different. The frost finish leaves your lips looking moisturised and healthy.

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Andddd I love that it is not in the standard packaging too. *thumbs up*

Moving on from M.A.C…

10. Chanel Rouge Allure in 99 PIRATE

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99 Pirate is a blue-red with a beautiful sheen.

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Originally released in 2012, it was recently repromoted in the new Allure Rouge range with an improved formula that helps keep lips supple and protected. I saw it once on BoA (one of the pioneers in K-Pop) and thought it really looked pretty on her. Heh.

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The new formula also made it more pigmented!

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High-end brands differentiate themselves with their unique packaging. Chanel uses the push-to-open mechanism for easy handling.

Of course, being an ardent fan of Urban Decay, how can it not be on my list, right? 😉

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The final 3 (from left): Urban Decay in 69, F-Bomb and Bang. (yes, all the sexual connotations)

11. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in 69

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69 is a bright red with pink undertone.

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My favourite red from Urban Decay, it’s very pigmented, moisturising and has a very nice cool undertone.

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It’s prettily bold and extremely emollient. LOVE IT TO BITS! (In case you’re wondering, Catfight is way darker and pinker, hence it does not qualify to be on this list)

12. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-BOMB

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F-Bomb is a classic red.

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Extremely creamy with a not-so-strong blue undertone, this is even redder than the reddest MAC lipstick in my stash. It’s probably called F-Bomb because it transforms the user into a bombshell with this insanely pigmented red. A mini version of F-Bomb is also included in the Full Frontal Lipstick Stash.

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Forget about red undergarments. This red lipstick is sure to bring you lots of luck and fortune at the gambling table this Chinese New Year 😀

13. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in BANG

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Bang is a bright orange-red.

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The “Lady Danger” of Urban Decay, it actually bears a stark similarity to the popular orange-red MAC lipstick but this is a tone darker. It is also more buttery and saturated.

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This bold colour will turn heads on the streets!

And finally, some swatches to conclude this post:

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Swatch of all the featured shades! Whoops, my poor planning led to the mess towards the end hehe. But yes, some of them are really dupes of each other!

And there you go, different variations of reds to choose from for a more glamourous look. 😉

What do you guys think? Feel free to share with me some of your favourite red lipsticks in the comments below! I believe there are some mention-worthy red lipsticks, or cheaper dupes which you can get from drugstores at half the price of those featured here.

That’s all for this post! Thanks for reading 🙂

Read also:
FAVOURITES: Top 10 Dark Lipsticks
FAVOURITES: Top 10 MLBB Lipsticks