Maybelline The Nudes Palette Review

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Maybelline’s The Nudes palette is a 12-pan eye shadow palette chock full of beautiful neutrals. It’s thoughtfully configured into duos, trios, and quads, and even has suggestions on the back of the palette for how you might use the shade in an eye look.

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The Pros

  • Nice array of colors and finishes.
  • Great value – 12 shades for $10-$15 depending where you buy.
  • Tons of different ways to use each shade.
  • Included suggestions on how to use the colors.
  • Simple, lightweight packaging that is easy to open/close and store.

The Cons

  • There’s some inconsistencies between the shades – not all the shades are really pigmented.
  • Texture-wise, they’re not the worst shadows I’ve ever used, but  I had some difficulty blending, and they were not quite as smooth as I would like.
  • Some of the more shimmery shades have a LOT of fallout. Do your eyes first, then foundation!

 

I tried Maybelline’s The Nudes palette with a few different eye primers, and by itself. I got the best results when I wore it with NARS Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base or Urban Decay Primer Potion. I would suggest using a primer that gives a smooth canvas for easier blending rather than a sticky base like a MAC Paint Pot or NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil. Wear time for me usually isn’t an issue since I have dry skin, but without any primer at all I did notice some slight fading at the end of the day. I was still impressed because ‘end of the day’ means I’ve had my shadows on for a good 12 hours.

The price of this palette varies depending on where you get it. I’ve heard as low as $9.99 at places like Ulta and Target but I’ve also heard closer to $14.99 at CVS. I would suggest waiting til one of those 40% off sales or using coupons to get this even cheaper if you’re interested. Ulta currently has it for $9.99 and eligible for their BOGO 1/2 off sale.

Since there are so many great neutral palettes out there (both high and low end), I can’t say this one is a must-have. It’s certainly a nice addition to my collection though since I’m a neutral nut.

 

Top 10 MAC Products You Should Try (At Least Once!)

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Often I am asked questions like “what’s good from _insert brand here_?” or “is _brand name_ the best?”. I always tell them there’s good and bad products from every brand. But then the follow-up question is what are the good things to try? With those questions in mind, here are my top 10 MAC products you should try.

1. Cremesheen Lipstick in Modesty

Modesty is one of those super easy to wear, never fail colors. It’s a my lips but better nude (MAC says “muted neutral pink”). Great for job interviews or to pair with a smoky eye.

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2. Brush #217

The #217 brush is a white goat filbert brush and absolutely one of my most-used makeup brushes. It’s just the perfect size and shape for sweeping color over the lids. I love it so much I have 2. It is a total bitch to keep clean, though!

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3. Fix+

Fix+ is a product beloved by the masses and misunderstood by about as many. It’s a mist charged up with caffeine, glycerin, cucumber, and other skin-friendly ingredients. It works well to refresh your skin throughout the day. I also like to use it to “super charge” my moisturizer – spritz it on and massage the moisturizer in on top of it while your skin is still wet for an extra boost. It can also be used to spray down powder to make it meld with the skin better and faster.

4. Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul

The combination of the semi-translucent mineralize blush formula and its buildable nature with the perfectly toned beige of this blush make for the perfect nude cheek. It has a warm gold pearl that goes on soft and pretty– not garish or overly shiny! I’ve yet to see this blush fail anyone.

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5. Pigments

Pigments are just that – loose concentrated pigments. They have a ton of different uses. Vanilla makes a great highlight (for eyes, cheeks, anywhere really). There are tons of great eye color shades. Others can be mixed with lip colors for really cool effects, too. Melon looks great on the cheeks, eyes, or lips. Tan or Naked pigment can even be mixed in with a body lotion for a gleaming, glowy effect on your skin.

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6. Cleanse-Off Oil

Don’t be scurred to put this oil on your face; it’s one of the good guys! Start with dry skin and hands, and massage a couple pumps of this oil cleanser into your skin. The cleansing oil will dissolve the makeup and melt it off as you watch. Then rinse with water to let it emulsify and rinse clean. It’s 100% free of any mineral oil. There’s no residue, either. Yay! Bonus: there’s also Cleanse-Off Oil Tranquil for especially dry or sensitive skin. I want to try that one when I finish my bottle.

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7. Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator

I swear the first time I used the first release of volcanic ash exfoliator, a choir of angels sang at me in the shower. Okay maybe not, but I friggin love this scrub. If you’re having a breakout anywhere on your face or body, it does a great job of scrubbing away while drying up any over zealous oil production and nipping that nasty zit in the bud. But not just for acne sufferers, I use the VAE even when I’m not having skin problems. It’s just a darn good exfoliator too. It gets any yuck outta your pores and leaves your skin baby-butt smooth.

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8. 209 Eyeliner Brush

If you want to draw an uber-fine line with a teensy brush that not only has a fine tip, but holds its shape, you’ll fall in love with the 209. It’s SUPER tiny, but doesn’t splay out or fatten up after you use it. It stays sleek and teensy tiny. If you have smaller eyes and/or just want to be able to do a very thin line, you’ll fall in love.

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9. Fast Response Eye Cream

If you need to de-puff and wake up your eye area in a hurry, Fast Response lives up to its name. It has caffeine for an extra perk-up. If you need an extra boost of moisture to your lips, try Fast Response to plump up lines and moisten lips, too.

10. Eyeshadow in Patina

I hear more buzz about colors like All That Glitters, or Naked Lunch, or a plethora of other colors. But trust me, the one everyone needs to try is Patina. MAC describes Patina as “taupe brown with gold pearl”. TAUPE. PEARL. Duh. You need to try it at least once.

Have you tried any of these MAC products? What’s on your “must-try” list?

April Favorites

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Sure it’s a week in to May already, but I’m telling you my April favorites dammit. And you’re gonna like it. Maybe. Or something?

Not a ton of color things this month because I’ve been all about skin care recently! As you may or may not have read, I’m obsessed with Urban Decay’s B6 Spray (see my review here). That’s definitely been a favorite. I use it every single day before I apply my makeup, and sometimes in between as a little boost, or afterwards to calm my skin down even more. ($33, Urban Decay)

I’ve also been really enjoying the Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream. I still feel weird calling it a cream, because it’s totally not. But it’s still a great moisturizer even if you have sensitive skin like mine. I like the refreshing scent too. It’s very “spa” to me. In case you missed it, my review is here(~$10, Drugstores)

If you’re in the market for a fan-friggin-tastic spot treatment, do check out Murad’s Acne Spot Treatment. The active ingredient is sulphur, which I find way more effective than salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. It’s also much more gentle on my skin than spot treatments made with those ingredients. It works beautifully, even though it smells kinda funky. A little goes a long way, so the tube will last you a while. Just keep in mind the expiration date (usually about a year is par for the course for these types of products). ($17, Ulta)

Two other secret weapons I’ve been relying on for the past month are Proactiv’s Refining Mask and Origins’ Clear Improvement charcoal mask. I’ve been tag-teaming my skin with these two masks to try and keep my pores as clear as possible. Both masks also make my skin soft and smooth. The charcoal mask from Origins is better for dry skin, gently removing impurities from pores. The ProActiv mask has an active ingredient of 6% sulphur and contains kaolin clay to absorb oil. (Origins Clear Improvement mask is $24 from Sephora, Proactiv Refining Mask is available from proactiv.com and Proactiv boutique kiosques).

I’ve been using and enjoying Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Beauty Balm, too! It functions as a primer with a bit of coverage too. It’s weird, even though it only gives you a little coverage, the “optical blurring” effects truly make it look like you have more coverage than you actually do. Does that make sense? I don’t know. But it’s pretty magical. See my full review here($34, Urban Decay) Whether I’m just wearing the UD BB cream or doing a full face, I have been setting my makeup with Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder. The first time I felt this powder I literally said “holy shit” out loud. It’s sooooo silky smooth. Just a little bitty bit is needed to set your makeup and give it a smooth finish. ($34, Urban Decay)

Color-wise, my Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey has been a constant staple in my purse. How many favorites posts have I mentioned it in?? I wear it a few times a week. I can’t stress enough how much I love this lip. Mine doesn’t even have any lettering on the pencil anymore because I’ve used it so many times the lettering has worn off! These are so comfortable to wear, and the colors last forever. The particular shade Honey goes with a ton of different looks. If you like colors like MAC’s Viva Glam V, you should definitely check this chubby pencil out. You won’t be sorry. Plus, it’s super cheap. ($8, Drugstores)

A few days ago, I finished up my second Senna Sketch-a-Brow pencil. I’m sad because it’s gone, but happy because it happened. Does that sound like an InstaQuote? I’ve tried a lot of brow pencils that I like and enjoy, but I’ve never used up two of any one kind except Senna’s. On the one hand, I want to go out and buy more immediately. On the other, I’m hesitant because I apparently go through brow pencils super fast. I mean I just bought that thing the first week of March! It’s hard to decide. Bloggers have such weird problems. ;) ($18, Senna Cosmetics)

After finishing my last tube of my beloved Maybelline The Rocket mascara, I received a sample of Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam to try. Great news – I really like this mascara! It agrees with my eyes well (certain mascaras irritate the crap out of my eyes). It’s buildable, it’s really black, it doesn’t clump. Every once and a while if it’s really hot conditions it will smudge slightly, but it’s over all really solid. I would definitely purchase it again sometime. ($7, Drugstores)

And there you go! Those were my favorites during the month of April. What were you loving on in April?

March Beauty Favorites

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Those of you following me on Twitter/Instagram know that I am on the brink of moving house. In fact, I am moving this coming Friday! Because of that, almost all of my stuff is packed already. Including my makeup. I’ve been living out of my makeup bag recently.

First, what bag do I use? It’s the super awesome set bag by The Kim Greene Line. The 2nd edition Essential Bag, in pink. It holds a TON of stuff. This bag is my life right now. :) It holds more than the items I’ve been using/am blogging about this month, believe it or not! Sometime I’ll do a “what’s in my makeup bag” post, but these are the creme de la creme. ;)

Complexion

My usual foundation if I am going to wear any is Urban Decay Naked Skin. This stuff is so flawless. I love it. It actually comes light enough for my pale ass self (I wear shade .5!), and it feels weightless once it’s on. My bottle is almost empty, and I’ve already made sure I have a second one to start using as soon as I unpack it. It’s a little on the pricey side, but one bottle will last quite a while since a little goes a long way! ($39, Sephora)

Along with the UD foundation I have been wearing Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Skin concealer in shade Y0. It’s perfect for spots as it blends naturally and wears like iron. Win! ($20, Sephora)

Cheeks

This month’s cheek looks can pretty much always be attributed to The Makeup Show LA and NARS. Both of my favorites are NARS products and I got both of them at The Makeup Show. I’ve been using the new Contour Blush in Paloma ($42, NARS), the lightest shade for contour & highlight. For a color, I am in love with the new blush shade “Love” ($30, NARS). It’s like a non-shimmery Deep Throat. Let’s be honest though, I’ve never met a NARS blush I didn’t like. As per usual, the gals at the NARS booth at TMSLA were very supportive of my crazy NARS addiction very helpful in helping me make my purchases.

Eyes

Since I still get up at the crack of dawn (just a few more days of that! yay!), my eye makeup has been pretty simple. I like the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette because it’s completely idiot-proof, no-brainer eye makeup. I go over the lid with Naked 2, the crease and/or outer V with Faint, and highlight with Walk of Shame. Boom. Done. Sometimes if I wanna get fancy I will do the crease with Faint and the outer V with a mix of Faint and Creep (mostly Faint, little tiny bit of Creep). I can line my eyes with Creep or Faint, so then all I have to do is add mascara and I have a complete eye look with one little palette. Seriously, it might be basics, but they’re AWESOME basics. ($28, Sephora)

I’ve also been sort of addicted to the Make Up For Ever Aqua Color  in 20E. It’s a pinky taupey basic BROWNISH shade with shine/shimmer finish. It’s one of those shades you can just pop over the lid, blend out, and be DONE with it if you want to. And I have, many times. Or other times I’ve incorporated it into a Naked Basics look to add a little ‘oomf’ to the mattes in that palette. ($20, Sephora)

You all know from my review that I am madly in love with the Kevyn Aucoin lash curler. I’ve been using it every day. Want more info? Read my review. ;) ($21, Nordstrom)

Also getting lots of love and previously reviewed? Maybelline The Rocket mascara. LOVE LOVE. Still love. I haven’t loved a mascara this much since I tried that ungodly-expensive Hourglass Film Noir. And Maybelline is MUCH friendlier on the wallet! Check out my review. ($6.99 at Drugstore.com)

Also at The Makeup Show LA, I picked up another Senna Sketch-a-Brow. Brows you can literally throw on in 5 seconds? Yes please. This time I’m actually wearing the shade “Blonde”, which is not too light. It’s just more ashy than the Brunette shade. I’m always really impressed with how these pencils wear, too. They wear like iron! A very important quality in an eyebrow pencil, I say.

Lips

I have been living in 3 shades of Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain virtually non-stop all month. They’re really hydrating, and the color does leave a light stain. Moreso for the brighter colors, but even for the lighter more neutral colors too. The three I’ve had in rotation are Sweetheart, Honey, and Precious. Sweetheart is a bright bright pink. This one is the most staining of the three. Honey is a rosy pink. Precious is a pinkish beige nude. ($7-$9 depending on the drugstore you go to, $8.99 at Drugstore.com)

So those are my favorites… what are yours?

Best of Brand – Urban Decay

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Since Urban Decay’s Friends & Family sale ends at midnight tonight, I’m offering up my top picks from the brand! If you haven’t decided about hauling, perhaps something here will catch your eye. ;) Just as a reminder, the code is FFHOLIDAY13 for 20% off everything at Urban Decay!

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Stila Artist Signature Set for Holiday 2013

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The centerpiece of the Stila 2013 holiday collection is without a doubt the Artist Signature Set. This beautifully packaged gift set is a Stila girl’s dream come true. I can see this being a treasured gift to a makeup lover that they will look back on as one of their most beloved gifts!

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This stunning gift set contains a plethora of beloved Stila products including 15 Lip Glazes, 8 Smudgestick Pencils, 3 deluxe sized Smudge Crayons, a dozen eye shadows, 4 blushes, and 3 makeup brushes. Also included is a booklet of how-to tricks and tips from Stila Pro artist Sarah Lucero!

Here’s a closer look at the products inside:

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The Stila Artist Signature Set retails for $185, which might sound hefty but for what you’re getting I think we can all agree it’s a steal. There’s over $150 in lip gloss alone! If you’re looking to get your paws on this set, it hits stores on October 17th.

An Eyeliner That Lasts On The Waterline – Really

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When I first became an Avon representative, I knew one of the first products I had to try – Avon Supershock Gel Eyeliner Pencil. I freely admit I was attracted to it because I always saw the Pixiwoo girls using it in their videos!

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September Favorites

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Following in my tradition of posting random awesome pictures on my monthly favorites posts, this month features Obama riding on a unicorn shooting rainbows out of his hands. Seemed pretty legit. Thanks, internet!

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Sephora Bobbi To Go Palette

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I’m taking a break from the Monday Mashup this week because I got SO excited when I saw this new Beauty Insider perk from Sephora! I typically do not cash in my points, but this new “Bobbi To Go” 500-point perk grabbed my attention so much that I made an order for cotton rounds ($4) in order to cash in my points and get this perk. Don’t judge me. I actually did need the cotton rounds, and with the Flash shipping it was worth it. ;)

The kit includes a mini palette, a sample of mascara, and a sample of eye cream. I haven’t tried the eye cream or mascara yet, but I had to dig into the palette the very next morning after it arrived!

Let me preface my thoughts & swatches with reminding you this is a Bobbi Brown palette. Bobbi Brown is not known for having bright, vivacious colors. I typically do my makeup pretty naturally, and I like Bobbi Brown. If you are more into Sugarpill, Urban Decay, etc. you probably wouldn’t be interested, but I really like my Bobbi! I have several of her other palettes.

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Here she is. It’s definitely a mini – roughly the size of a credit card.

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The palette contains 1 blush, 4 shadows, and 1 mini brush. The brush is kind of floppy and would be useful for blending but not placing shadow or forming shapes, in my opinion.

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The blush color included is called Pale Pink. It’s from the regular core line and can be purchased in a full size for $25. Unlike the name would imply, it’s pretty bright!

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The 4 shadows. They’re pretty tiny, but great neutral colors. Clockwise from the top right they are Heather Mauve Shimmerwash, SaddleMahogany, and Bone. All of them are available in the core line for $21 each, however Saddle is not yet available on Sephora’s website.

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Here are the colors swatched. The Pale Pink blush is quite pigmented. Bone does have pigmentation but it pretty much matches my skin so you can barely see it right below Pale Pink. Heather Mauve shimmerwash is a shimmery taupe. Mahogany is a dark ashy brown. Saddle is a dark matte brown that also leans toward ashy rather than warm.

I’ll admit the mattes do not swatch well at all. They are kind of annoying in that way. However when working with them on the eye I kind of appreciate that you have to build the color up rather than it showing up full-throttle at first swipe. It gives you more control. Because of that though if you have a deeper skintone you probably would find these annoying. They’d take a lot of building and layering to show up with enough contrast. For pale-skinned me, however, it’s a plus.

Overall, I like this perk and I’m glad I got it. This is definitely a palette for someone who is already a Bobbi girl and knows what she is getting formula-wise. I look forward to trying the eye cream and mascara, and will certainly post reviews of those too.

Get The Look: Jennifer Aniston Toronto International Film Festival Makeup

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The stunning Jennifer Aniston was at the Toronto International Film Festival wearing a beautiful Vivienne Westwood gown. Equally beautiful was the makeup look created by Leslie Lopez for NARS.

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