Inventory: Single eyeshadows

Posted on August 01, 2017 under Inventory

I did my eyeshadow palettes big and small a few months back, so now it’s time to wrap up the eyeshadow inventory.

Cream Eyeshadows

I don’t know if ColourPop eyeshadows really are cream or not, but they dry up in like thirty-five seconds so I’m going to go with yes. Anyway, I have five colours: Paradox, a deep burgundy; Animal, a neon orange; Stereo, a dark purple with gold and pink glitter; Boy Band, a metallic copper; and Beverly, a dark berry.

Of these, I get the most use out of Boy Band (a one and done shade that I can smear all over my eyelid when I’m in a rush) and Paradox, which looks badass. Animal looks hideous on me, but I still have fun with it. Stereo looks totally different in the pan than it does on the ColourPop website and I never use it, and Beverly is dry as a bone now.

Here’s Animal on its own:

And here it is with Realgar from the Modern Renaissance palette blended above it and Buxom Covert Affair on the lips:

And iPhone selfies of how I wore it to see Laura Marling in May, with NYX Sapphire eyeliner and NARS Brigitte on the lips:

Paradox looks great on its own, and I have discovered that when you layer a blue-brown duochrome shade on top of it you get the most amazing look. Sadly I have no photographic evidence that I have ever worn Paradox, alone or otherwise, but one day I will try to get some and update this post.

Moving past ColourPop! I currently only have three Maybelline Color Tattoos (except for Tough As Taupe, which I use on my brows exclusively): Pink Gold (UK version of Inked in Pink), Electric Blue (… which is navy, not electric blue), and Tenacious Teal (featured in my “Life On Mars?” look). Inked in Pink is the only one that’s still available in Canada. I rarely reach for these anymore, although I loved them enough back in the day to have fifteen at one point. Powder eyeshadow wears better on me than any cream as long as I use a base, so that’s what I reach for.

Finally, I have one of the glorious new-ish Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Retro, which is PERFECT. It’s so shiny and metallic and beautiful, and it never creases.

Here are some swatches for your viewing pleasure!

L-R: Stila Rose Gold Retro, ColourPop Animal, ColourPop Boy Band, ColourPop Paradox, ColourPop Stereo, ColourPop Beverly, Maybelline Pink Gold, Maybelline Electric Blue, Maybelline Tenacious Teal.

Powder Eyeshadows

Lancôme single shadows are nice, but probably not $24 nice. Luckily, I paid for neither. Vue, a neutral rose gold, has sentimental value for me, as it’s the first eyeshadow I ever used. My mom may have given this to me or I may have stolen it from her makeup bag, but either way I have very fond memories of applying it all over my eyelid with a Q-tip when I was seventeen and the youngest person working at Urban Outfitters and wanting to look fancy and put-together. I don’t use it very often now, but it’s just one of those products that I can’t part with.

Infinitely Indigo is a shade which Aisling sent me in a big box of goodies when she was moving to England and I was first getting into makeup. Aisling is definitely a neutral kind of gal, and I believe she picked this up in Vegas, which is exactly where you would decide to buy blue eyeshadow. This product has stuck with me through approximately six moves because I like owning expensive shit. Its place in the future of my collection is unclear.

I don’t know how I can say that $24 for a single eyeshadow is overpriced but then rave about ones that cost $36, but here I am. I just really like the NARS Dual Intensity shadows, though of course I buy them at Murale, with Optimum Points. These shadows give an utterly glorious metallic sheen even when used dry. Callisto is the first one I acquired and definitely my favourite of the two: it’s the most stunning silvery pink. (It looks amazing applied all over the led with Buon Fresco from ABH in the crease!) Desdemona is a rich burgundy purple. I’ve found that these work the best patted onto the lid with a finger; the pigment doesn’t seem to stick very well to a brush.

L-R: Lancôme Vue, Lancôme Infinitely Indigo, NARS Callisto, NARS Desdemona

And that is it for my single eyeshadow collection! Next up will be eyeliner, and to finish out the series we’ll do lips. (That will be an undertaking – I haven’t photographed it yet!)

Review: Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette

Posted on March 30, 2017 under Reviews

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette header

I almost hate to add my voice into the fray when it comes to the Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette, aka the most-hyped release of 2016, aka an undisputed inclusion in every YouTuber’s best of 2016 video, aka you have all heard this palette talked about to death. But, well, after six months of lusting after it, chasing after it at different Sephora, and finally pulling the trigger when I saw that it was in stock online and I was armed with a gift card, I love it so much that I had to write about it. I mean, I don’t want it to be a shock when I include in my best of 2017 roundup, you know? I want you guys to be like, “Duh, Clem loves that palette, of course she would be here, saying it was one of her favourites of the year only a year later than everyone else.”

Okay. Deep breath. Let’s back up.

I tend to ignore new palette releases. They just don’t interest me much. In 2016 I purchased one palette, Kat Von D Shade and Light, which was my birthday gift to myself only because Modern Renaissance was out of stock. Shade and Light is also a very functional palette, one which I can use on its own and which fills basically every gap any other eyeshadow palette leaves. It’s lovely, and was one of my favourites of 2016, but it’s not really exciting. Just very functional. Before that, the last palette I bought was… I don’t know! Because once you have a few neutral palettes, you have every neutral palette. Oh, these brands try to fool you by switching up the order of the eyeshadows or including a blue or purple here and there, but if you look at most new palette releases shade by shade you probably have almost everything in it already, and are you really going to use that shitty purple shade that Too Faced includes in every palette anyway? (No, not every palette released in 2016 was neutral, but I know that I’m definitely not going to use the UD Moondust palette ever in my life, so that didn’t catch my attention either.)

When the Modern Renaissance palette was first released, I ignored it as I do with most new palette releases. But when I saw emilynoel83’s glowing review of it, I was sold. And then I became obsessed with it for the next six months until I finally owned it.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette

To me, this palette toes the perfect line. It has a bunch of shades that are interesting and which I don’t already have in my collection, and the more basic shades are perfect and functional and allow me to be a lazy person and use the palette for a complete eye look without having to reach for anything else. I suppose that I don’t really need another matte medium brown, a matte dark brown, or a light shimmery champagne shade, but dammit I appreciate having them there. I’ll delve into this more in a bit.

Obviously, I love the more intense shadows – Love Letter, Venetian Red, Red Ochre, and Realgar. They’re absolutely stunning and I love the looks I’ve managed to get with them. They can be used for quite bold looks or be used more subtly. But I want to give a shoutout to some of the shades that are in the middle – not those workhorse, every-palette-should-have-them shades and not the standout reds and oranges. Buon Fresco is one of my absolute favourites: it’s a great transition shade on my skintone and, while neutral, it’s a little bit special and like nothing else I own. I really like Raw Sienna and Burnt Umber, which are both gorgeous, neutral yet interesting matte shades. I guess shades like those two aren’t super hard to come by with the current warm smokey eye trend, but I personally have nothing even close to them in my collection.

Everything you’ve heard about these shadows is true: they’re super soft and they pretty much blend themselves. I think I find them easier to work with than LORAC Pro shadows, which I love. I definitely like both the shimmers and mattes better than Urban Decay shimmers and mattes. (Are we still using UD as the gold standard for eyeshadow, or…?) These shadows do kick up a lot of powder and thus are prone to fallout if you don’t tap off your brush thoroughly, but as long as I do that I don’t have any issues. All of the shades are soft and smooth, but I’m especially impressed with the matte shadows, since those tend to be chalkier and stiffer in general. I can’t believe how soft they feel to the touch.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette brush

The brush that comes with the palette is okay – the flat side is pretty good for packing on shadow or creating the shape of the outer V. I don’t love the fluffy side, but it’s useable. Personally I’d always prefer that brands omit the brush and lower the price of the palette by a few bucks. I have a decent amount of brushes and I prefer to just use my own, which I’ve picked out, than to have a brand decide what brushes I need.

Now I do want to talk about duping this palette. Clearly, hordes of people are buying it for the intense colours, but there are a lot of shades in this palette which are pretty similar to ones that you probably own. I wanted to be really thorough here, so I busted out all my of my eyeshadow palettes to find dupes:

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette

And here is what my lengthy investigation uncovered!

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Tempera Comparisons

L-R: Anastasia Tempera, Urban Decay WOS (Naked Basics), Kat Von D Latimus (Shade and Light), Urban Decay Strange (Naked 3), LORAC Cream (Pro).

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Tempera Comparisons

L-R: Anastasia Tempera, Urban Decay Foxy (Naked Basics), Marc Jacobs, Stila Bare (In the Light), Stila Chinois (Eyes are the Window – Spirit), Kat Von D Laetus (Shade and Light)

Tempera is one of the least special colours in the palette. It’s a satin finish peachy beige, and I have a lot of similar shades in my collection, though most of them lean more yellow or pink than peach. I use shades like this a lot to set my eye primer and make the shadows I put on top blend more easily, but I rarely use them on their own, so I don’t really care if this type of shade is unique.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Vermeer Comparisons

L-R: Anastasia Vermeer, Urban Decay Dust (Naked 3), LORAC Nude (Pro), LORAC Champagne (Pro)

Vermeer is a pink-leaning champagne; ABH describes it as an “iridescent shell”, which I think is fairly accurate. I have some shimmery pink shades, but nothing exactly like it. It’s not standout in its uniqueness, but it’s very versatile and it’s one of the shades that makes this palette very useable for me.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Buon Fresco Comparisons

L-R: Anastasia Buon Fresco, Urban Decay Limit (Naked 3), Urban Decay Nooner (Naked 3), LORAC Mauve (Pro)

Buon Fresco is a very cool, neutral taupe with quite a lot of lavender (it didn’t photograph very well in this swatch). Everything I have that’s at all similar is a lot warmer and more brown.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Antique Bronze Comparisons

L-R: Anastasia Antique Bronze, LORAC Garnet (Pro), Stila Sunset (In the Light), Stila Barefoot (Eyes are the Window – Spirit)

Antique Bronze is, well, a bronze. I have comparable shades in my collection, though nothing I’d call a dead-on dupe.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Cyprus Umber Comparisons

L-R: Anastasia Cyprus Umber, LORAC Espresso (Pro), LORAC Sable (Pro), Stila Sandstone (In the Light), Kat Von D Solas (Shade and Light), Kat Von D Saleos (Shade and Light)

Cyprus Umber is a deep neutral brown. I have plenty of colours that are similar, though they tend to lean a bit warmer.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Primavera Comparisons

L-R: Anastasia Primavera, MJ, Stila Kitten (In the Light; Eyes are the Window – Spirit), theBalm Iron Maid-in (theBalm Jovi), Stila Oasis (Eyes are the Window – Spirit), LORAC Light Bronze (Pro)

Primavera is a light gold champagne. It’s deeper than a lot of my champagne shades, though lighter than some of the light golds I have. It also is far more high-shine than anything else I have. The general effect of this shadow can be duplicated throughout my collection, but again, this colour is a workhorse for me and one that I’m glad to have in this palette.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Warm Taupe Comparisons

L-R: Anastasia Warm Taupe, LORAC Taupe (Pro), Stila Bliss (In the Light), Stila Puppy (Eyes are the Window – Spirit), Kat Von D Samael (Shade and Light), Urban Decay Naked 2 (Naked Basics), MJ, theBalm Allegro (theBalm Jovi)

Warm Taupe is a very descriptive name for this shade. As you can see, my eyeshadow collection is full of similar shades, for good reason: most palettes include a colour like this for the crease. Again, not terribly unique (and I believe this is a shade that ABH sells individually, so it’s not exclusive to this palette), but almost necessary for a fully-functional palette.

If you’re the type of person who likes palettes to be totally unique, or who depots all your shadows, you may find this one has too many redundant shades to justify the interesting ones. However, I find that a lot of the more neutral shades don’t have exact dupes in my collection and that I use all of the shades anyway. There’s not a single colour in this palette that I’d swap out: they all serve a function, and some of the more boring colours make this palette extremely functional as a self-contained unit. In the three months that I’ve had this palette I haven’t felt the need to pull in other shades. Personally I’m a palette-lover as opposed to a collector of singles; I like having everything I need in one place, even if it means a bit of redundancy throughout my collection. Because the overall colour story of this palette is completely unique in the context of my collection, I’m not at all bothered by having borderline dupes for some of the shades. I find that everyone has a different relationship with palettes, and if you’re the type of person who prefers picking out singles to avoid dupes, you may be put off my some of the more neutral shades in this palette. However, if you’re like me, and you like to be lazy and have someone pick out colours for you and put them all in one place, you might really like this particular palette for its versatility and simultaneous usefulness and uniqueness.

And here are some looks I’ve created with this palette; hopefully these will demonstrate how versatile this particular array of shadows can be.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

From the Modern Renaissance palette: Antique Bronze all over the eyelid, Cyprus Umber on the outer V and lower lashline; Warm Taupe and Raw Sienna in the crease. On my lips: Bite Amuse Bouche lipstick in Honeycomb over Bite Lip Pencil in 020.

You would have seen this look in my review of the Bite Lip Pencils. One of my go-to looks is a bronzey or coppery eye, so I get a lot of use out of Antique Bronze. Here I deepened it up with Cyprus Umber and used Raw Sienna to add some warmth.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

From the Modern Renaissance palette: Vermeer all over the eyelid, Buon Fresco in the crease, Cyprus Umber on the outer V. On my lips: Maybelline Creamy Matte lipstick in Lust For Blush.

You can see the lavender tones in Buon Fresco a lot better here. I absolutely love this shadow in the crease paired with a light pinkish shadow all over the lid; here I’ve paired it with Vermeer, but it also looks great with NARS Callisto, which is a high shine silvery pink. To ground this particular look I added a tiny bit of Cyprus Umber for depth. This look is neutral and wearable, but I think Buon Fresco makes it a bit interesting.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

From the Modern Renaissance palette: Primavera all over the eyelid; Realgar in the crease, inner corners; Burnt Orange to blend out the edges. On my lips: Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Hush Hush.

This is a more dramatic cut-crease type look. Normally I avoid anything orange on myself, but I thought it looked really cool with my red hair. For extra drama I brought it down into my inner corners. I decided to leave my lower lashline bare so that it was a stark, more editorial look. My boss said she loved this look on me, and I did too!

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

From the Modern Renaissance palette: Tempera all over the eyelid; Warm Taupe in the crease; Love Letter across the lashline, in the outer V, and in the crease. Eyeliner: Lancôme Grandiôse in Fuchsia. On my lips: YSL Rouge Volupté in 17 over Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Enchantment.

My favourite way to wear Love Letter is in this type of shape. I did something similar a few months ago, though this time I made the eyeshadow more of a focus than the eyeliner. This shadow also looks great all over the eyelid and blended out at the edges. Obviously, it’s a dramatic look, but I’m into it.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette Look

From the Modern Renaissance palette: Primavera all over the eyelid; Warm Taupe in the crease; Red Ochre on the outer V, inner corners, in the crease, and on the lower lashline. On my lips: NARS Audacious lipstick in Audrey.

Red Ochre is the perfect balance between neutral and dramatic, and I think it makes for an excellent focal point in a halo eye. Usually I put shadow on the outer third to half of my lower lashline, but I thought for this look it looked best all the way along. My boss loved this one on me too!

I find the Modern Renaissance palette absolutely delightful. It forcefully brought me out of an eyeshadow rut and is the first eyeshadow-related launch that’s excited me pretty much since the beginning of time (or my makeup-wearing days, anyway). I think the formula is top-notch and the shadows are thoughtfully-selected. It’s the perfect balance between familiar and novel. I get a lot of use out of this palette and I’m so glad I finally own it.

P.S. For further reading, I highly recommend Auxiliary Beauty’s thoroughly interesting post, “How Renaissance is the ABH Modern Renaissance Palette“?

P.P.S. I am blonde again because this is me and I will never be happy unless I’m blonde. Yes, my hair is staging a violent rebellion which only Olaplex can put down.

Inventory: Small eyeshadow palettes

Posted on March 17, 2017 under Inventory

Today I’m inventorying my smaller palettes for you. As a general rule, I tend to reach for large palettes more often because I remember I have them and because they usually give me everything I need all in one place. I tend to neglect my singles and even my smaller palettes. I could probably pare down this collection, but that would be a post for another day. Also, I think I could have included some of the palettes from this post in the last one, but I divided them up based on gut feeling and we’re all just going to have to deal with the consequences.

Wet N Wild The Silent Treatment Trio

Pretty much since the moment I bought this trio back in the summer of 2013, I’ve been telling myself that one day I will get an empty palette and depot the eyelid shade of this trio so I can toss the other two. I have not touched either the crease or browbone colour in at least three years, but the taupe-y purple shimmer of the eyelid shade is one of my favourite eyeshadows ever. It’s divine. I keep this crappily-packaged trio around solely for that colour. It’s one of my most-used eyeshadows of all time.

Sleek I-Divine Mattes V2

You know those palettes that you keep around because they have a lot of really interesting colours that you might want to use one day even though you never actually do want to use them? Yeah. I actually did love a few of the shades in this palette many eons ago, but I haven’t touched it in years. Yet I cannot yet part with it! I wouldn’t say these eyeshadows are amazing, but they’re totally workable and the price is right. I’m going to see if I can get some use out of it now that I’ve remembered that I have it.

Unnamed Lancôme Quad, Lancôme Blush Sweetness, Lancôme Lavender Grace

These are all GWP sizes that I’ve picked up from work over the years; if you want to shell out $55 you’ll get larger pans and slightly more substantial packaging. The first quad, which has no name, contains the colours (clockwise from top left) Kitten Heel, Honeymoon, Platform, and Madison Ave. I love the shade Kitten Heel, which is the most beautiful shimmery peach. The other colours are all generic but pair well with Kitten Heel, so this works perfectly as a self-contained, slim, easy-to-carry quad.

I love the soft, romantic hues of the Blush Sweetness palette. Not everybody likes soft pinks on the eyes, but I think this palette gives a really gorgeous effect, and the shadows are very soft and smooth.

I love having Lavender Grace on hand for days when I really just want to wear purple eyeshadow. I don’t have pure purples anywhere else in my collection, but I do like wearing them occasionally, so I hang onto this. It’s not one of my most-used palettes, but it fills a gap in my collection to be sure.

The Body Shop Smoky Plum Quad

I’m pretty sure this was a limited edition holiday product several years back. I’m a sucker for neutral, taupe-based purples and plums, so I really dig this palette. The shadows are a bit on the sheer side, but they’re fine to work with and all the colours go together well. You know how sometimes you get a quad where you just can’t work one of the shades into the look easily? This palette is the opposite of that.

Urban Decay Naked Basics

Clearly, I use this palette all the time. I have a go-to look that I could do in my sleep, or more accurately, when I’m half-awake and running late. It’s perfect for travel because it’s so tiny and the rubberized packaging makes it resistant to shattering, plus it closes very securely. The shade Naked 2 is the best crease colour I’ve found for my skintone and I really wish UD sold it separately. I didn’t think I’d use this palette much until I got it, and now I can’t imagine life without it. I use it several times a week. It’s very boring but very functional.

Guerlain Ecrin 4 Couleurs in Les Violines

Okay, so, we all know that $71 CAD for 4 eyeshadows is absolutely ridiculous, regardless of how soft they are. This is a fact which I feel that I must establish right off the bat. If you know me at all you’ll know that I purchased this palette with Optimum points, which is always what I do when I feel like indulging in something I would never in a million years use real money on. Though the price tag is absurd, I really do love this palette. These taupe-y purple shades are some of my favourite to wear (see above), and I really appreciate that all these shades are completely matte. Obviously, there’s not a lot of versatility in the looks you can get from this palette, but it’s really great if you like these types of colours.

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone

Again, I should probably depot the colours I actually use from this palette and toss the rest. Wet N Wild shadows are by and large actually great quality, but most of the shades in this palette are similar to things I already own elsewhere in my collection. However, the blue-brown duochrome and the olive green shade alone justify the five bucks I paid for it. I’ve swatched a few of the other shades, but I don’t know that I’ve actually put them on my eyes. I don’t think this palette works on its own either as all the shades are shimmery (as is par for the course with WnW palettes). One day I promise I will buy a small palette and depot those two shades and the taupe from the Silent Treatment palette and toss the rest!

Marc Jacobs Style Eye Con No 7 Plush Eyeshadow Palette in The Lolita

My friend Kristin got me this palette for Christmas because she wanted to get me something that I’d never get myself. And she is very right that I would never spend $71 actual dollars on an eyeshadow palette with seven shades, because that is absurd. (But I’d spend $71 fake Optimum point dollars on an eyeshadow palette with four shades, obviously…) This is sort of like the Naked Basics palette elevated: you get all your very basic shades and a few fun shimmery ones, though they’re all still neutral. I really like the looks I’ve managed to make with this palette, but that one ultra-shimmer shade in the middle SUCKS, guys. It’s fallout city with no actual colour payoff to make the fallout worth it. And, I don’t know, I just feel like if you’re going to charge $71 for seven eyeshadows you should make them all useable, at least. It’s too bad, because the texture of the other shadows is lovely, and there’s a super pretty iridescent pink colour that looks beautiful in the center of the eyelid. It’s just, you know, how can I be wholeheartedly enthusiastic about this palette when that one shade is so goddamn bad?

Between these guys and my large palettes, you guys are probably like, “THAT IS ENOUGH EYESHADOW CLEM.” But no! I still have some singles, which will come at you someday. I don’t know when yet, because I have a backlog of posts I need to finish up and publish before I get to another inventory post.