Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette, Rogue Matte Lipstick, and a Giveaway

Greetings, dear readers! I hope this post finds you well and your week has been off to a fabulous start! For today's blog post, I wanted to share with you the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture palette and new Matte Lipstick in the shade Rogue. I bought these products without a second thought at the launch on the ABH website, fighting the internet crowds and the crashing website alongside many others. I had really loved the ABH products I had tried up to this point, and I even picked up a second palette to give away on my blog. When the sh*t hit the fan shortly afterwards with the negative reviews, I actually had a difficult time deciding whether or not I wanted to even post a review, let alone a giveaway, before I had my own palette in my hot manicured hands. After a lot of thought and testing, here I am writing this post and continuing with my giveaway as planned. If you want to see my eye looks and check out my thoughts on the palette, along with entering my giveaway to win one for yourself, please read on!


Phew! I don't know that I've ever had to put so much thought into a blog intro before! Since I'm jumping in on this post, let's go ahead and dive into Subculture first. Photos of the Subculture palette were leaked on the Makeup Addiction subreddit three months ago by someone claiming to be a friend of an (assumed ex-)employee of ABH, so if we really want to be honest, this palette has been surrounded by drama since fans first knew of its existence. Besides the obvious "you're going to get your friend fired" type of response, the internet was aflutter with polarizing opinions by fans. Before it was released or even sent to the first reviewer, fans either loved or hated the colours in this palette. I personally loved the shades and couldn't wait to play with them upon the release. Please note all comments on this blog post are my opinion based on my experience with my specific palette.


In the highly unlikely chance you haven't seen the Subculture Palette, this is what the inside looks like. There are 14 shades composed of grungy mattes and a handful of sparkling metallic hues. The Subculture Palette is reported to complement the Modern Renaissance Palette, a wildly popular palette released by Anastasia Beverly Hills last summer. Pictured below are my finger swatches of the shades in this palette along with a description of each as described by ABH.


Cube: Duo chrome pink pearl
Dawn: Ultra-matte sand
Destiny: Ultra-matte sage green
Adorn: Metallic bronze
All Star: Ultra-matte vintage wine
Mercury: Ultra-matte slate grey
Axis: Ultra-matte blue-green

Key features to note:
Cube appears in the pan as white with pink shimmer, but in application, it is more of a transparent powder with pink shimmer. This finger swatch included several passes into the pan in order to have a sufficient amount of colour show on my arm.

Mercury may be described as a slate grey, but I personally found it to be more of a grungy purple-learning taupe.

Dawn, Destiny, and Mercury feel soft and "cushy". Adorn feels even more cushy and almost wet even though it is not. All Star feels a little powdery to the touch from the get go and Axis feels even more powdery still.

Axis is super incredibly ridiculously pigmented. If you've watched any of the YouTube videos by others that have used Axis in their eye looks, this is a very key feature of this particular shade.


Roxy: Ultra matte muted coral
Electric: Duo chrome lime-gold
Fudge: Ultra-matte warm bronze
New Wave: Ultra-matte citron orange
Untamed: Ultra-matte tarnished green
Edge: Ultra-matte gold mustard
Rowdy: Ultra-matte blacked purple

Key features to note:
Electric isn't quite as pigmented as the pan leads you to believe although it does have nice colour. It is very firmly pressed into the pan, notably more so than the other shades in this palette. This feature makes is a little more difficult to pick up this particular shade for use although it can be built up easily.

Roxy, Fudge, New Wave, Edge, and Rowdy all have a nice cushiness whenever I touch their respective pans. Untamed feels a little more powdery than the other shades in this row, but it isn't as noticeable as Axis or even All Star from the top row.

I played around with this palette and have three different looks I created with it for this post. I hope you enjoy them!


Shades used:
Dawn
Mercury
Fudge
Destiny
Electric
Cube

Key features to note:

Eye glitter glue may be one of your besties if you choose to use Cube or Electric. I dabbed a little on my eyelid to help Electric pop rather than building it up with multiple layers. I also carefully placed some on the inner corner of my eyes to help Cube show better without needing multiple passes. I also placed Cube on my brow bone without glitter glue so the pink shimmer is even more subtle.


I completed my design by adding Olive When Pencil Met Gel eyeliner by Julep. I paired this eye look with a French Toast lipstick by Gerard Cosmetics. It is one of my favorite neutral lipstick shades so I just had to mention it in this post!

This particular look is obviously a lighter and less intense use of the Subculture Palette, but some days I just want to look a little more bright-eyed and not as colourful. With so many vivid shades in the palette, I was happy to discover I could keep it looking more simple for the days I wanted just that.


Shades used:
Edge
New Wave
Roxy
All Star
Adorn
Electric
Axis

Key features to note:

Axis is hella pigmented. Yes, I am aware I mentioned this previously, but if you don't take away anything else from this post (but I hope you do, of course!), Axis requires a very light hand if you don't want to have your entire eye look taken over by blue-green. I actually had not planned to use so much Axis beyond a little under my eyes, but even a slight tap into the pan yielded so much pigment I just ran with it as my eyeliner. I do love the colour and plan to use it again. Whenever I want to use it again in small amounts in the future, I will actually be wiping my brush off on a clean hand towel to remove excess colour as I don't know if it's possible for me to touch the pan light enough to not end up with too much pigment.

Again, I pulled out my glitter glue to make Electric pop in my design, this time at the inner corners of my eyes.


I completed this look by adding a bright lip using Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Spicy.

This is my favorite look from this blog post. It's colourful and fun, and in the end, I just felt beautiful! 

Shades used:
Dawn
Mercury
Adorn
New Wave
Untamed
Rowdy
All Star

Key features to note:

Patience is key. The lighter shades are a little more forgiving, but the darker hues are not. It is best to very lightly tap your brush into the shadow pans once for application and repeat to build up to a deeper shade if desired. The colour really sticks to the areas first touched by your eye brushes and doesn't blend out easily. Constant blending in areas can actually result in balder patches with little to no colour remaining on your lids. You can see some of this balding in the photo below on the left (technically my right eye, but your left looking at your screen).


The bald spot is located on my eyelid just above my lashes where New Wave and Untamed are supposed to meet.

I paired this eye look with ABH Matte Lipstick in the new shade Rogue (more on this below).

This particular eye look gave me some trouble, and while I could have (and did after snapping this photo) touched up the bald area with a fresh dab of colour, I did want to show the balding effect. You can also see where All Star didn't want to blend into the rest of my eye look when I used a heavier application. In spite of some of the added difficulties, I still had a lot of fun with this eye look.


My budget only had room to allow the purchase of one of the new Matte Lipstick shades (well, not really, but it somehow happened anyway), and I selected Rogue. I really like muted reddish-brown shades, and since I drive a (Nissan) Rogue, it was meant for me. Too much of a stretch? Perhaps, but that still didn't stop me ordering it when it launched!


Here is a closer view of Rogue on my lips. This is actually my first ABH Matte Lipstick, so I wasn't too sure what to expect going in with this item. The first thing I noticed was just how firm the lipstick bullet was! I don't know if this is typical of the brand, but I found myself having to push harder on the bullet against my lips than I normally would have liked in order to transfer the shade onto my lips. That being said, the colour is perfection and I was impressed how long it lasted on my lips before needing a touch up. I was able to wear this lipstick for about five hours before I needed to touch up. This was through my cup of coffee and a light meal; I suspect chomping into a burger would have required a touchup much sooner! Even with a firmer bullet than I normally prefer, I really like this colour and have worn it numerous times since purchasing it.


Final Thoughts

In spite of the trepidation I felt going into the testing process, I was really eager to give it as fair an assessment as possible. I had hoped to go into it blind, but I couldn't help but see a lot of the backlash this palette received on social media before mine even arrived. Yes, this palette is pigmented, even more than may actually be necessary. While some shades felt a little powdery to the touch, I did not experience the extreme fallout reported by many. As much as I would like to say my palette was more firmly pressed than others, based on the reviews I watched, I feel technique plays a huge role in this variance. To be clear, I am in NO way, shape, or form insulting the techniques of the YouTube beauty gurus; I certainly have a lot to learn from them myself! The biggest difference I observed is they would either swirl their brushes into the shadow pans or tap into each shade multiple times before transferring colour onto their eyes. Whenever I apply darker or bright shades of any brand, I gently tap into shadow pans once before applying to my eyes, building up from there as desired. Utilizing my normal method, I had very minimal pigment flyaway over the palette itself, and I did not have much fall out during application onto my eyelids. In fact, after the dozen or so uses my palette has seen thus far, there is no pan in sight and my palette still looks quite tidy and gently used. Will Subculture be going on my list of top products from the year? No. It's still a little too pigmented when it comes to some colours (throwing more shade at you, Axis) while Cube in particular just doesn't have the payout I would expect from a palette from a notable brand like Anastasia Beverly Hills. It does have some issues with blendability, although going in with a light hand does seem to make a big difference. Subculture also won't be going on my list of products I hate either. Yes, it takes extra effort and time, but at the end of the day, I felt beautiful with all the looks I created with this palette. That in itself helped to redeem this palette in my eyes. It is for this reason I have decided to not only keep my palette, but to give away a palette to one lucky reader as well. I think the Subculture palette has a lot of potential to create gorgeous eye looks as long as you use a gentle hand and very precise placement. This precise placement becomes especially important when it comes to working with shades on the opposite end of the colour wheel. Once you start to blend together yellow with purple, red with green, or orange with blue, you're going to see some "muddy" colours, especially since the shades in this palette are so pigmented. Your best bet with the Subculture Palette is to keep these complementary shades separate without blending them together if you wish to keep the shades as true as possible. I personally enjoy playing with muddy, or the more accurate terminology, de-saturated, hues from time to time, but there is definitely an art to it, and I am definitely still learning how to do it properly with this palette. I would have preferred for these to not be such an issue with a $42 palette, but with so much pigmentation, it is just inevitable. In the end, I can't really say "you must have this palette" or "run away and spend your money elsewhere" because this is a complex palette with many nuances that need to be taken into consideration. In the end, only you can decide if the Subculture Palette is work picking up based on your own application techniques, whether or not you may be willing to modify current techniques if needed, and how you want to put together the specific colours to create your eye looks. I may not be able to answer these questions for you, but I hope this blog post helps make it easier for you decide one way or another.

If you'd like to try your luck at winning this palette, please enter my giveaway below!



Open Internationally to participants age 18 years and older. Winner will be notified at the end of the giveaway with the provided email address and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Failure to claim prize within the designated time frame will result in forfeiture of the prize and a new winner selected. Prize will be shipped by myself within 10 days from being claimed. Giveaway prize has been purchase by myself, and this is not sponsored by any parties.


Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Literary Lacquers Birthday LE: Unspeakably Desirable

Press Sample

Good morning, dear readers! For today's blog post, I have a new Literary Lacquers shade to share with you. Amy, the creative genius behind the brand, is celebrating her birthday, and she is continuing the tradition of releasing a limited edition polish to commemorate the occasion. I had the pleasure of swatching this beautiful polish, and I hope you love it as much as I do! Let's check it out!


Named Unspeakably Desirable, this beauty was inspired by a quote from Mark Twain's published journals:

There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.

Amy describes this polish as a bright coral mega glitter holo with copper, gold, and rose microglitter.


I really enjoy softer reds, and Unspeakably Desirable is exquisite! I adore the extra flashes from the glitter scattered throughout the holographic base!


In true Literary Lacquers fashion, the formula of Unspeakably Desirable is perfection. Not too thick or thin, it applied easily with two effortless coats to opacity. I have also added top coat for extra shine for these photos. It is more densely packed with microglitters than I expected based on the smooth formula, and you may want to consider using a peel off base or use the foil method to help make removal quick and painless. I did have a little bit of staining of my nail beds through my base coat; I recommend using a good quality base coat and either painting on the base thickly or using a second coat to prevent staining. 


Unspeakably Desirable will be launching on the Literary Lacquers website this Thursday, August 24th at Noon Mountain Time. The bottles will be numbered.

Retail: $12

In addition to Unspeakably Desirable, Literary Lacquers will also be launching a new Limited Edition Book Club polish. Fans will also see the return of older Literary Lacquers shades to the shop. Shown below are these shades and the links to my original review of them.

Cyan-tifically Proven
Retail: $10

84, Charing Cross Road
Retail: $12

Shadow Between Us
Retail: $12

Je Reviens
Retail: $12

Rebecca, Always Rebecca
Retail: $12

Afterglow
Retail: $12

Tia Wanna
Retail: $10

Arousal
Retail: $10

Curious Yellow
Retail: $10

English Voodoo
(glitter topper shown over Curious Yellow)
Retail: $10

Will you be picking up the new Limited Edition Birthday polish? What returning shades are you happy to see coming back to the shop? What are you hoping to see relaunch in the future? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!


Helpful Links
Facebook Group Literary (&) Lacquers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/223352961152042/
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Win the Zoya Sophisticates Collection!

I'm running a little behind with blogging today, but hopefully this will help you forgive me for the delay. Let's make Fri-yay even better with a giveaway! I have a second set of the Zoya Sophisticates Collection, and I am giving it away to one lucky reader!


Win the full 12-piece Zoya Sophisticates Collection! Enter using the rafflecopter widget below. Best of luck to you!

Open internationally to participants age 18 years and older. Winner will be contacted by provided email address at the close of this giveaway and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Failure to claim prize within the designated time frame will result in forfeiture of prize and a new winner will be selected. Prize will be shipped by The Jedi Wife within 10 business days after prize is claimed.



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Thursday, August 17, 2017

CPNA Beauty: Battington Lashes

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers! I hope you are having a wonderful week thus far and have something fun planned for the weekend! For today's blog post, I'm continuing on with my reviews of products I brought home with me from Cosmoprof North America last night.


In a previous post, I mentioned Battington Lashes as one of my beauty finds from the show. I brought home a set of the brand's lovely lashes to test out, and I am loving them!

I received the 100% handmade silk strip lashes in the style Kennedy. These particular lashes are very natural looking: they're like your own lashes but better!


While I do wear false lashes with some frequency, I don't have a lot of experience with a range of brands. The first thing I noticed with these lashes was how sturdy the strip itself felt. These lashes do not feel flimsy and like they are only good for a small handful of uses. In fact, Battington Lashes claims these lashes can be worn for 25 times with proper care! While the idea admittedly seemed a little far fetched when I first heard it, after testing out these lashes for myself, I actually can believe the claim. They feel durable and easily conform to the shape of your eyelids.


I also really like how light-weight these lashes feel! They are so comfortable it's almost easy to forget you're even wearing false lashes! I've been skipping false lashes a lot lately since many brands start to irritate my eyes as the day progresses, but these Kennedy lashes from Battington are comfortable all day long! I'm really enjoying these and definitely plan to enjoy more from the brand!


The Kennedy strip lashes are available for purchase from the Battington Lashes website located here. They retail for $26; that breaks down to just over $1 per use as long as you take proper care of them! Simple remove from your lash line, clean off any glue residue, and store them in the sturdy case they arrive in while you are sleeping and until you pop them back on again. If you prefer quality products that last over cheaper options, these lashes are sure to appeal to you! I know I sure love them, and I don't know if I can ever go back to the cheaper brands I've used in the past! They are just that remarkable!

Do you enjoy wearing false eyelashes? Are you familiar with Battington Lashes? If so, what style is your favorite? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!


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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Born Pretty Store: Zoo-Inspired Stamping Plate

Press Sample

Happy hump day, dear readers! This week is dragging by at a painfully slow rate, and I'm sure a lot of it is because I am STILL sick and I'm solo parenting all week while the hubby is out of town for work. I can only rest so much when my youngest really wants me to play! I did manage to test out a new-to-me stamping plate from Born Pretty Store this week, so read on to check out my thoughts about it!


I don't believe this wildlife-inspired plate is particularly new to the shop although it is a new one for me. Whenever I review items from Born Pretty Store, it is often things I have personally selected myself, and I had picked out this plate with the plans of using it before a tentatively planned zoo trip this past weekend. I was far too sick for the trip to take place, but I was still happy to sport zebra-inspired nail art this week.


I decided to step outside the typical black and white colour scheme for the zebra look and instead started off with KBShimmer Pinking Of Paradise as my base. I then stamped on the zebra striping with Pueen Black Jack.


I was really happy with how well this stamped for me! I didn't have to play around with different stampers, scrapers, or polishes to find a suitable combination that would work for me. It made stamping a very quick and simple process, something I can definitely appreciate! Now my alignment and cleanup apparently needs a little extra attention, sadly something I didn't notice until editing photos last night for this post! At least that's user error and has nothing to do with this stamping plate!


This particular stamping plate, BP-16, can be purchased directly from Born Pretty Store here. It retails for an affordable $2.99, and at the time of this post, it is even cheaper as it is marked down to $1.59. Now that's a great price for several wildlife images for your next trip to the zoo or safari!


While you are visiting the Born Pretty Store site, but sure to check out all the site has to offer for your nail art needs. They offer a range of options so you'll likely find something to suit your taste!


Also, be sure to use discount code QWL91 to save 10% off any full-priced items in your shopping cart! Born Pretty Store is already quite affordable, but saving some cash is always a good thing!

Have you tried any stamping plates from Born Pretty Store? Are the images on this particular plate ones you would enjoy using? What other nail art supplies are of interest to you? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!


Helpful Links
Store: www.bornprettystore.com/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/bornprettystore/

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Born Pretty Store Holographic Polish #06

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers! I have a quick post to share with you today, but it is sure to catch your attention! I had the pleasure of testing out a gorgeous holographic polish from Born Pretty Store, and if you enjoy coppery shades on your fingertips, you're going to love this beauty! Let's check it out!


Born Pretty Store Holographic polish in shade 06 is a beautiful light coppery shade. It leans a little on the orange spectrum against my skin tone. If you are hunting for the perfect neutral shade, this one may be perfect for you!


The formula of this polish is ultra-smooth, and it applied easily for me with three flawless coats needed for opacity. It is sheer, so even if you tend to paint with a heavier hand, you'll likely still need to use the three coats. The number of coats is the only real negative I have about this polish, especially since each bottle only hold 6mL. That is a respectable amount of polish and will get you several manicures depending on application, but I personally would have liked this to be available in a larger sized bottle. I really enjoy this colour, so while I very rarely go through a full bottle of polish, this one likely won't last long for me. That being said, I do like the smaller size for traveling!


Born Pretty Holo Polish in shade 06 can be purchased from the Born Pretty Store website here. The list price is $15.88, which I personally feel is far too much for such little product. At the time of this post, it is currently marked down to a much more reasonable $5.99. It is a little more expensive per mL than some other brands even at this reduced rate, but if it's a colour you are contemplating trying out, or if you just don't use up all your polish and prefer smaller bottles, this is a gorgeous option to add to your collection!


While you are visiting the Born Pretty Store website, be sure to check out the site's offerings for all your nail art needs!


Be sure to use discount code QWL91 to save 10% off all full prices items in your cart!

Have you tried any of the polishes from Born Pretty Store? Do you like the smaller bottles? Is this a shade you might wear? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!

Helpful Links
Store: www.bornprettystore.com/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/bornprettystore/

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Monday, August 14, 2017

KBShimmer for Hella Holo Customs, August 2017

Press Sample

Greetings, dear readers, and happy Monday! I'm usually not an anti-Monday person, but I am really feeling that way today. I spent most of my weekend in bed resting and attempting to recover from my illness, but I sadly didn't have much luck on that front. I'm still about as sick as I was before the weekend came around. Boo hiss! At this time, I'm still reasonably sure it's just a nasty virus so there isn't anything I can do beyond resting. This week is likely to be a light week on the blog front for that reason, but we shall see as the week progresses. I did want to jump in and share this post with you so let's do this!

If you're not already a member of the Facebook Hella Holo Customs group, I have three very good reasons for you to join this month! KBShimmer is one of the guest makers for the month of August, and the brand has just introduced three beautiful polishes available for group members only. Let's check them out!

One Holo-of a Storm

A periwinkle leaning blue polish, this holographic shade sparkles with holo glitters. At the right angles, a pink shimmery flake with blue shifts pops through for a vibrant polish your tips and toes will love. If you like our Mega Flame finish, this shimmery cousin to that collection is perfect for you! Best in 2-3 coats.

Now this is one holo of a polish! I love everything about this particular polish- the colour, the finish, the flashes of pink; it truly is a spectacular shade! The formula is phenomenal as well, and it applied easily in two coats for opacity. I'm also wearing KBShimmer's Clearly On Top top coat for these photos. Although this is described as a 2-3 coater, I was impressed with how pigmented this polish was. While I needed two coats, I almost got away with a single coat; those that normally use thicker coats may find they only need one carefully applied coat for opacity.

Pinking of Paradise


A softly tinted pink polish features our holo glow flakes. These flakes have a unique holo glow to them in bright lights, while in softer lighting, a turquoise shimmer pops out to say hello. This polish is sheer enough in one coat to layer over your favorite pink cream, but is best in 2-3 coats alone.  If you loved our Polish Con exclusive, We Make Your Dreams Come Blue, you will not want to miss this sister shade!

Hello, gorgeous! While this isn't generally my ideal shade of pink if it wear a creme polish, there is so much awesomeness going on in this polish that it is truly glorious! The holo glow flakes certainly make it fun and more suitable to my taste, but it is the flash of turquoise shimmer that makes this polish amazing. I dare say that even those who don't like pink at all may even enjoy wearing this beauty on their nails! The formula was on point and very easily to apply onto my nails. This particular polish is a little sheerer than the others in this post as I needed three coats for opacity. I'm also wearing Clearly On Top top coat for these photos.

That Goes Without Cyan


An aqua leaning blue color, we accented this strong linear holo with bits of copper and gold for a sparkle even in low lighting.  Best in 2 coats.

I have a weakness for aqua-type blue shades, so it's not too surprising that I have a particular love of That Goes Without Cyan. The formula is ultra-smooth, and the application was sublime with two flawless coats. Like the rest of these photos, I also added Clearly On Top top coat for these swatch pictures.


The new KBShimmer polishes for the Hella Holo Customs Facebook group are now available for purchase. Please note these are exclusive for group members, but you are welcome to join and participate in the group fun here.

Are you a member of the HHC? Which shade(s) are you planning to pick up? All three by KBShimmer are lovely, and you really can't go wrong with any of them! Even I can't pick a favorite as it changes every time I try!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!

Helpful Links
Facebook Group (Hella Holo Customs): www.facebook.com/groups/HellaHoloCustoms
Facebook Group (HHC International Group Ordering): www.facebook.com/groups/786713078111281
Facebook Group (HHC Chat, ISO, & Re-Homing): www.facebook.com/groups/HellaHoloCustomsChat
Instagram: www.instagram.com/hellaholocustoms

Facebook Group (I Need KBShimmer In My Life): www.facebook.com/groups/256991577811155/
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