Gabrielle Faust Eyeshadow – First Impressions

These eye shadows are the first collection inspired by (and created for) vampire story author Gabrielle Faust by Overall Beauty. They are mineral pigments/eye shadows. Vegan makeup junkies will be excited to know that none of these shades contain carmine, and they are completely vegan. There are eight shades, and Overall Beauty says this is just the first of many product endeavors by Ms. Faust.

Color descriptions are as follows:

Hourglass Sand – golden cream
Sanctified Snow – opalescent white
Vampire’s Kiss – sangria red
Love Lost – deep rose
Aftermath – burnt umber brown
Misanthrope – ashen violet
Indiscretion – charcoal grey
Karmic Knight – dark eggplant purple

All of the shades except Sanctified Snow are matte. Check out my swatches! (Click for full size)

They’re swatched top to bottom in the same order my color descriptions above. :)
They are nice colors in general, but I have a couple of qualms. The first being that Karmic Knight and Misanthrope look exactly the same on my skin. These swatches are done on NW10 skin with no base. If I stare and scrutinize I can see that Karmic Knight is a bit cooler/ashier than Misanthrope, but the difference to my eye on my skin is so slight they might as well be the same color. Vampire’s Kiss is similar to those two as well, but has definite pronounced red undertones that the other two lack. The color Indiscretion is a tiny bit chalky just upon first swatch, but working with a brush will probably help me build up the color better. 
The quality of the colors themselves is very high. Matte shadows in general are often very hard to work with, but these are very smooth and easy to blend. I also appreciate that the shimmer in Sanctified Snow is not overly glittery or frosty. It could definitely be used as a brow highlight without looking ridiculous, even on women of a “certain age” who don’t like to wear shimmer. ;) 
My favorites are Love Lost, Vampire’s Kiss, and Aftermath, which is weird since I’m normally a purples person and figured I’d be drawn to them. Love Lost is going to look terrible on my eyes I’m sure (I cannot wear colors like this) but I can’t wait to try it as a blush. It’s SUCH a gorgeous rosey mauve shade. Vampire’s Kiss is a reddened violet shade and so smooth. I have other colors like this in my stash but this one has the most pigment and smoothest texture. Those of you who love experimenting with pigments should totally try mixing Vampire’s Kiss or Love Lost with lipgloss to make custom lipcolors! They’d look great. Aftermath is my third favorite because it is just such a rich, gorgeous brown. It doesn’t have too much red in it, and doesn’t go on ashy or chalky. Just smooth, chocolatey brown. This could also be used as a brow color.
I’m looking forward to playing around with these, as well as trying them over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, which works magic for any eyeshadow.
Gabrielle Faust eyeshadows are available as singles for $8.99 each or as a set for $72 from Overall Beauty. Use code VAMP2112 to get $2 off your order over $25.
Product provided by PR for review.

Purely Cosmetics Anniversary Promo

One of my favorite mineral etailers, Purely Cosmetics, is having their anniversary sale promo tomorrow! This promotion is good 9/18 only! It’s a kind of “choose your own adventure” sale. Choose between 15% off your entire order, or free shipping!

Free Shipping – $15 minimum purchase required. Code: ANNIVSHIPFREE.
15% off your order – no minimum purchase necessary. Code: ANNIV15OFF.

These codes will be good until midnight CST. Happy Shopping!

Be sure to check out my posts on Purely Cosmetics Foundation and Diamond Perfect Finish Powder for some ideas on what to grab!

Fyrinnae Fall 2010 Dia de Los Muertos

This guest post comes from the awesome and amazing Il Diavolo Bello (@diavolobello).

Fyrinnae’s upcoming fall collection is inspired by the colorful decorations of the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos, or, Day of the Dead. The purpose of the holiday is to honor those who have passed on and celebrate their lives and the memories they have left behind. During the days leading up to the main day, on November 2nd, family graves are visited and home alters are decorated with the ofrenda (“offering”) which consists of gifts of food such as pan de muerto (lit. “bread of the dead”), drink, candy, toys, candles, and other things meant for the enjoyment of relatives who have passed away. Merchants line the city streets selling goods depicting calaveras (“skulls”), catrinas, and other cheerful depictions of death. It is not a time of mourning, but one of celebration and reverence.

 The shades in this collection mirror the uplifting tone of the celebration, eschewing somber blacks and greys in favor of vivid violets and warm pinks. I’ve also included a swatch of the lip lustre Candy Decadence, which is unrelated to the collection and was released a while ago. Sugar Skulls is also already available.

Descriptions after the photos (click to view full size). The first set is swatched dry, the second over Fyrinnae’s Pixie Epoxy.

(Dry swatched on my housemate’s arm, he’s about a MAC NC35-NC37)
Sugar Skulls– The English translation of “calaveras de azucar”, which are colorful candy skulls both eaten and used in the ofrenda. Shimmering raspberry pink with golden orange duochrome. Sugar Skulls is warm and inviting, like watching the reflection of sunset over the ocean.  The sparkles are delicate, not gritty or piecey. If you’ve used Fyrinnae’s shimmer shades before, you know exactly what I mean when I say the powder is creamy: smooth, richly pigmented, and packs onto itself well. You can even use it with gloss or balm on your lips and on your cheeks as a shimmery blush.
Te Amo– Spanish for “I love you”. Brilliant golden pink shines over a base of mauve-taupe. Another creamy glimmer shade, I like how the base looks almost smoky in contrast. If MAC Trax and Star Violet had a child together, this is what the babymaking session would look like.
Sacred– There was a sad time in my life when I would say that taupes are boring, probably because of the dull, dusty versions put out by many of the major companies. Fyrinnae changed my perception of taupe forever with their shade Platinum, and I’ve loved it ever since. Sacred is no exception. It’s bright, metallic, gleaming, and rich in color. Too silver to be gold, too golden to be silver, it’s just right. I find taupes like this great if you love the look of silver but find many to be too cool-toned. Sacred is like a much improved version of Urban Decay’s Maui Wowie. The color is deeper and slightly more golden, the texture is shimmery rather than frosty, and it doesn’t have those awful glitter chunks that never stay put.
Danse Macabre– Er, yeah, those swatches are spelled wrong, even though I know better. French for “danza macabra”, which is Spanish for “dance of death”… no matter who we are in life, death is the one thing we all have in common. Verde limon con dorado (lime with gold). Yet another “cremoso” shadow, I love how well this one sheers out. Since Fyrinnae’s shadows are often complex and layered, their effects can sometimes be lost if blended out too much. Danse retains its brilliance even when blended out to just a hint of color, which gives a luminous frosted glass look when paired with a silver or a taupe like Sacred.
Eternal Innocence– Teal-leaning emerald green, this one also sheers out nicely without losing its effect. While Fyrinnae is great with contrasting shimmers and sparkles and other effects, but sometimes you just want a nice clean pop of color. I really like this one over black eyeliner or used wet as a liner itself. Que linda.
Calavera Cupcakes– Colorful depictions of calaveras decorate everything from jewelry to baked goods. Silvery lavender with violet-pink and silver sparkles. Many times light shades have the problem of being too sheer, but Calavera is opaque and almost metallic just lightly patted on dry. I like to use it in a smoky eye with Calavera on the inner 3rd and blended above the crease, with Catrina Cabaret on the rest of the lid and La Noche in the crease and to line the lower lashes. Finish with a shimmery white on the brow-bone and inner v, black eyeliner, and mascara.
Catrina Cabaret– Catrinas are depictions of elegant lady skeletons, commonly found as decorations during the holiday. This is teal with violet shimmer. I know, what? Teal? Yes, when the light hits it the two combine into a smoky indigo hue. I’ll be honest, when I first swatched it dry, I thought it was nice, but it wasn’t my favorite. I have fair skin, so it was maybe a little too dark and sheer for me, something best for those with deeper skintones. When I swatched it on a housemate’s hand, the color, especially the shimmering highlight, really popped against his medium-golden skin. Over Pixie Epoxy the color works great on both of us and totally changed my mind about it. The epoxy keeps all the layers together and really shows off the violet shimmer. This one was just made for smoky eyes. It also looks great used wet as eyeliner.
La Noche– “The night.” Like Eternal Innocence, this is another clear jewel tone, this time in the form of a deep, yet brilliant azul, el color del zafiro (blue, the color of sapphire). It’s shimmery without being sparkly, just enough luminescence to keep it from being too inky. It makes a great liner on its own or patted on top of black eyeliner. While I own several dark blue shades, none of them have the depth, pigmentation, and clarity of La Noche.
Madame&Eve’s– A play on their popular shade Adam& Steve. This is from their Arcane Magic line: a series of color changing shades that can reflect as many as 4 or 5 shades depending on how the night hits them. The base of this seems to go from blue violet to teal to silvery taupe to deep cranberry pink and it loaded with green sparkles. Un arco iris brillante. It’s hardly subtle, but not overwhelming. If you like the sparkle of the City Glams or shades like BoyToy, you’ll love it. Use it with Pixie Epoxy to keep the sparkles in place all day. It makes a surprisingly pretty eye-liner that even the most color-phobic can pull off, but I like bold looks so I wear it all over the lid and thickly on the bottom lashes to line. Since the color change depends on the lighting, you might see it as just green on your eyes, but others will see the color change as you move about.
Candy Decadence– Candied kiwi scented gel-like lip color. I want to make it clear that the Lustres are not lip glosses. They’re more buttery than a gel, and much more pigmented: just feather-light pure color. This is one of those colors that many people think it just too crazy only because they haven’t had the chance to play with it. The color is similar to Madame&Eve’s, a plum base that changes to cranberry pink and teal. You can wear it full force or blot it down to a plummy stain with a hint of green shimmer. If you’ve liked shades like MAC High Top and Date Night, you’ll love this one.
A few extra comparison swatches:

Purely Cosmetics Anniversary Sale

Keep your eyes out for Purely Cosmetics‘ Anniversary Sale on 9/18! It’s a “choose your own adventure” discount. ;) You can choose 15% off your entire order (no minimum) or free shipping on any order $15 or more. It will be available for 9/18 only. I’ll be reminding you all closer to the date, too.

Purely Cosmetics Foundations

Hello hello my lovelies!

As you know I was working at the Purely Cosmetics booth for IMATS this past weekend. The event was a huge success. Even though the weekend was exhausting, I had a great time! I also got to learn a whole bunch more about Purely Cosmetics. I was a fan before I volunteered to work the booth, but by no means an expert. I learned a ton about it that I hope will be helpful if you are considering trying them out. I also wanted to introduce those of you who might be new to the brand with some background info. This is part 1 of my overview, talking about foundations!

Purely Cosmetics is a line of mineral makeup based in Valencia, CA. I absolutely love the idea of supporting local businesses. The economy in CA is still crap right now, so I feel strongly about patronizing its small businesses. Purely Cosmetics is also in another category near and dear to my heart– it’s woman owned! Robyn Bloom, the hard-working founder of Purely Cosmetics, is a one woman show. To prepare for IMATS, she said it took 3 months of pulling down 18-hour days! Her dedication really shines through in her fantastic line of products.

Purely Cosmetics – The Foundations

There are 2 formulas of foundation in the line, Pure Mineral ($18) and Skin Smoothing ($19.99). Both can work for most skin types. The shade range is from light (Fair Maiden is the lightest shade) to medium-dark (Cornsilk is the darkest). Here is a brief description of each foundation shade:

Fair Maiden – Fair w/ pink undertone (This is what I wear)
Peaches & Cream – Fair w/ peach or neutral undertone (I can also get away with wearing this, great for neutralizing redness if you tend to be ruddy-faced)
Neutral Light – Light to medium with neutral to pink undertone
California Blonde – Light to medium with pink undertone
Olive Beige – Light to medium shade w/ mostly beige undertones but a slight yellow tinge
Neutral Medium – Darker than Neutral light but w/ beige undertone
Sunkissed – Medium shade w/ bronzy/red undertones
Maria – Medium shade with golden/olive undertones – perfect for Mediterranean or Latin ethnicities
Cornsilk – Medium shade that has yellow/red undertones (darker than Maria)

Pure Mineral Foundation is medium to full coverage depending on how much you apply. One of my biggest gripes about most mineral foundations is I just can’t get the coverage I want. Not so with this bad boy. You can swirl and buff your way to completely full coverage. Depending on what you’re trying to cover, you might not even need a separate concealer. There is no shimmer or shine to this formula at all. It’s completely matte, but not that dead corpse-like matte. It’s a “your skin but better” look. Pure Mineral Foundation performs very well for any skin type, even those who are very sensitive (like me!) or very oily (also like me– damn, I hit the lottery). The ingredients in this formula are very simple: Mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, ultramarine blue, zinc oxide. No bismuth to be seen. Hooray.

You can opt for an extra $3 to add pure silk powder to your Pure Mineral Foundation. This is a great option for those who have combo skin. If you aren’t familiar with silk powder, it pulls moisture from the air, hydrating your skin while mattifying it. It contains amino acids essential for the human body and helps reflect UV rays. Hooray for silk!

Skin Smoothing Foundation is light to medium-full coverage (I find it doesn’t give quite as much coverage as Pure Mineral Foundation), but contains more ingredients. This formula’s ingredients are: titanium dioxide, mica, zinc oxide, pure silk powder, boron, silica, iron oxides, jojoba oil, and magnesium myristate. May also contain ultramarine blue (depends on what color). Skin Smoothing Foundation’s added ingredients keep the skin nourished and hydrated. It also helps minimize the appearance of fine lines. It performs well on all skin types except those who are extremely oily.

If you weren’t sold already, Purely Cosmetics sells sample packs to try out colors before you commit to a full size. And if you can’t find your absolutely perfect match, Robyn also offers custom blend foundation. See the site for more details!

Samples of both foundation formulas were provided for consideration. Although I worked the booth at IMATS, I am not an employee. Just a fan!

Aromaleigh Shutters its Doors

Longtime mineral makeup etailer Aromaleigh is closing its doors. Kristen Leigh started Aromaleigh over 10 years ago, and this is very sad news to many. The quality of her products in my opinion was very very good. Here is what Kristen had to say…

Aromaleigh News, June 28th, 2010… The End.

Aromaleigh bids you adieu…

We’d like to thank everyone for the last 12 years of support and repeat business… it’s been an amazing ride, but it’s time.

Some of the happiest times of the last decade+ have been receiving emails from ecstatic women whose lives and outlook had changed from something as simple as makeup…

Aromaleigh never started off being about making a quick buck. I started the company with a dream of independence and creating my unique, natural line of Aromatherapy products and fragrances. We grew slowly… one customer at a time, and soon customers were requesting natural cosmetics.

Our first cosmetic product was a tinted lipbalm called “Color Wash”…. our Pure Powder, in 5 shades, followed soon after… and in the months that followed, frost and matte eyeshadows, and more…

I’ve given my heart and soul to this company, and the last 12 years of my life. But I am unable to continue, as I have to be honest… there’s nothing left inside of me to give. And what I do have is reserved for the most important person in my life.

I can’t and won’t provide a detailed explanation for this decision… those who know me well know that this has been a decision that has torn me in two for several months. Nothing I say or don’t say can matter at this point. All I will say is “You’ve won… I’m gone. You can stop now…”

It’s makeup. It’s supposed to be fun, and empowering and beautiful. But it’s all become ugly. More ugly than I ever imagined.

I’ll be offering the following “Goodbye” coupon for the next 2 weeks…


35% off the entire store, not applicable to previously placed, shipped or received orders… Aromaleigh reserves the right to refuse any suspect or incomplete orders for any reason, Large international orders, as per our international terms, are subject to additional ship fees.

First come, first served for inventory… most inventory is not real-time, and sold out product will be updated daily. Being able to order a product does not guarantee stock. Please allow 7-10 business days (possibly more, depending on volume) for your order to be processed.

With a very heavy heart, I thank you all for this journey… and I also look forward to a future that is serene and blessed… for all of you, as well…

Sincerely and with a bunch of tears as I type this,

Almost That Time Again: IMATS LA

Well everyone, it’s almost time for IMATS LA again! For those of you who don’t know, IMATS stands for International Makeup Artist Tradeshow, and the LA is because it’ll be in Los Angeles this coming June (the 26th and 27th). ;) There are other events in cities such as NYC, Vancouver, London, and more.

If you’re in the LA area and you want to buy tickets, they’re on sale for a discounted rate if you buy them early. You can do that here: and I highly suggest you do!

IMATS is open to the public, which means you do not have to have credentials such as a cosmetology license to attend. I think there’s also a discount rate for students? Check it out. I’m not a student, so I don’t know. :P

IMATS is in-freaking-credible if you have even just a passing interest in makeup and makeup artistry. Exhibitors from all different facets of the makeup industry show off their line, give sneak peeks at upcoming products, and offer special show discounts. It’s a great opportunity to learn about brands you have never heard of, meet people, and of course shop. But it doesn’t just stop at the exhibitors! IMATS also features demonstrations, seminars, classes, and student competitions! It’s fascinating, amazing, and unforgettable.

This year I will have a whole different unique experience at IMATS– as an exhibitor! I am going to be working the Purely Cosmetics booth along with Robyn (the Purely Cosmetics founder), Stephanie– the writer of Aquahearts Obsession, and Grace Chun (a local makeup artist). You may remember my past raves over Purely Cosmetics’ diamond finishing powder (buy this. it’s amazing.)…you should come by and check it out in person if you’re going to come to IMATS.

Now before anyone gets all up in arms about me working for a brand at IMATS, I’m a volunteer. I’m not getting paid to work at the booth. I’m doing this as a favor to Robyn because she is awesome and I love to support small business owners in California, especially in my favorite industry. Yes, that means I’ll get free admission. But you know what? I would have gotten in to IMATS anyway. It’s called a press pass. I would not volunteer to help a brand I thought sucked. The bottom line is Robyn’s line is really great and it’s a product I believe in. SO, with that out of the way, I don’t wanna see any whining about it, lol.

Meow Cosmetics Coupon Extravaganza

One of my fave mineral etailers, Meow Cosmetics, has some pretty awesome coupons going right now!

Free Shipping – no minimum – USA only – 2010usa
Free Shipping – $50 min – international – 2010world
20% off any order over $50 – everywhere – CatsLuvCoupons
10% off any order – everywhere – 2010

These coupons are good through Jan 31st.

I highly recommend:

– Pampered Puss formula foundation
– LUSH Blush
– Firefly Blush
– Limited Edition Holiday eyeshadow colors

Eight Gorgeous Nights – NIGHT THREE

Happy 3rd night of Hanukkah to you, readers!

Tonight’s giveaway prize pack includes…

Maybelline Pulse Perfection waterproof mascara in Very Black
Garnier Skin Renew Awakening Face Massager
2 Jane Iredale Eye Gloss Liquid Eyeshadows in Champagne Silk and Brown Silk
Jane Iredale Liquid Eyeliner in Silver and Gold
Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
2 Fyrinnae Lip Lusters – Shangri-La and Lollipop-Pop
Fyrinnae Eyeshadow Samples in:
Naughty Elves, Sorceress, Rapunzel Had Extensions, Avian Shapeshifter, Immortality, Tapir, Sakura, Hypercool, Shinigami, Knickers in a Twist, and Sake & Sashimi.
If you’re unfamiliar with Fyrinnae, they are an indie makeup brand from WA. Great guys, amazing products. Please check them out!
Official Rules/Guidelines – Here

Tonight’s Task:
Beauty is a very zen-like experience for me, so to win tonight you need to get in touch with your inner zen. Write a haiku poem that is beauty-related. It can be funny if you like.
How-To Help:   Haiku
As always, convince me! Be creative, be silly, be genuine. Bonus points if you recite your poem in a video.
Winner will be contacted via email and has 24 hours to respond. Remember, this is open to anyone!
Special thank-you to the brands who sponsored this event: Garnier, Maybelline, Jane Iredale, and Fyrinnae!


I don’t think I really did a November favorites post. Oops. But I’ll just talk about some stuff that is my favorite right now. Because does the month part really matter? Nah.


My favorite lipstuff definitely changes a lot, but I can tell you for sure one thing I am loving for lips right now is Philosophy’s Kiss Me balm in pink. I got it in Sephora’s deal that they had online for like, a minute that had the balm with 2 mini bath items for $5. But if you want it, you’ll have to go to Philosophy’s website because I don’t see it on Sephora, and it will cost you $12. Philosophy says they created this with someone in mind who is looking for the ultimate lip balm. I think they did a bang-up job. It’s very VERY moisturizing, refreshingly minty (without being tingly-burny), not at all sticky, and long-lasting. The pink shade imparts a tiny hint of color for a perfectly natural look. Kiss Me is also available in clear and red. I’d love to try the red!

I’m also loving and adoring all of my Stila lip glazes! Admittedly I have a ton of these, but they’re kind of addicting. They have pretty colors, fun scents (foody scents! yum!) and I may get flack for this but I love the click pen packaging! Click pens get a lot of hate because apparently some people have problems using them, like that too much (or not enough) product comes out, they leak, whatever. I have never had those problems (knock on wood) with my dozens of click pens I’ve played with over the years. Maybe I am magical. Maybe I am a sort of Click Pen Whisperer or something and they just obey me. I don’t know.


I am currently having a torrid love affair. With an eyeshadow palette. The NARS Pleasures of Paris palette, actually. This little beauty is 6 shadows of pure love. They’re very easy to wear neutrals. I am literally wearing this palette every other day, it seems. It’s available on the NARS website. It’s limited edition, so hurry if you want it. The shades in the top row of the palette (L to R) are Nepal, Violetta, and Demon Lover. On the bottom row there are Fez, Abyssinia, and Cordura. I’m not a diehard NARS fan (I only have this palette and one other, the Best of NARS palette), but I recognize awesome eyeshadow when I see it and this is a great versatile palette.


Run, don’t walk (or just open another tab) over to Meow Cosmetics. I am obsessing over the LUSH Blushes! Specifically Warm & Fuzzy, the soft peachy shade. It’s simply gorgeous and natural on, and goes with pretty much anything. Meow offers baggie samples for just $1, so you should go give it a whirl. Try the other lush blushes too! There isn’t one I don’t like.

Well, that’s what I’m really loving right now. Have you tried any of these? Do you love ’em?