2014 Holiday Beauty Gift Picks – Palettes

With the holidays coming up, and many sales underway and upcoming, it’s time for a holiday gift guide! Not sure what to grab? Overwhelmed by the choices? Or trying to find the perfect gift…? Here are my palette picks for holiday gifting– or for treating yourself, of course.


#1. Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes (1, 2, and 3) – honestly any of these palettes is a solid bet. The first one leans warm, the second leans a little cooler, and the third is rosy. Of the three, Naked 3 is probably the most unique. However, all three are worth owning and would make any neutral shadow lover very happy! The Urban Decay Naked, Naked 2, and Naked 3 palettes are each $54, available at Beauty.com.

#2. Clinique A Black Honey Affair Palette – I haven’t seen a whole lot of buzz about this palette, but I think it’s a great holiday gift option. It contains 8 shadows in neutral and cool complementary shades, all inspired by Clinique’s black honey lipstick. Clinique’s shadows have been reformulated and are smooth like buttah. – $39, Sephora.

#3. Make Up For Ever Artist Palette – MUFE’s gel-powder formula shadows are smooth and pigmented, and this palette is a true stunner. It contains 8 gorgeous shades ranging in neutrals to jewel tones, along with a steely deep grey to create smoky looks as well. This little palette also skips those ridiculous foam applicators and includes a couple of mini brushes instead. You’re welcome. – $42, Sephora & Frends Beauty. (Note, as of the time I’m writing this post the palette is sold out at Sephora, but you can call or email Frends and order it from them. Hooray!)

#4. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette – The Chocolate Bar palette has 16 beautiful shades (and I love when palettes have the highlight/blending shades bigger than the rest…so practical). As a bonus, the Chocolate Bar palette not only looks like a chocolate bar on the outside, it smells like one on the inside. That’s because the shadows actually contain real cocoa! – $49, Beauty.com.

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Mascara First Impressions

Let’s talk about a mascara. Particularly, Too Faced Better Than False Lashes mascara. Okay, right there in the name that’s a pretty lofty claim. And just LOOK at the ridiculous picture on the box. There is no early way a mascara did that to someone’s lashes. There just isn’t. But whatever. The reviews on this so far that I’ve seen have been positive, so I had pretty high hopes.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking first. Here are my bare lashes:

I wouldn’t say my lashes are bad or anything, but I prefer a bit more length, separation, darkness, etc. Just a bit more. My lashes on steroids is kind of the look I’d prefer. Here’s my lashes, but the eye on (your) left has 1 application of this system (which consists of a base coat of mascara, a coat of fibers, and a top coat of mascara).

Hello! I saw much darker lashes, significantly more length, and volume. Here’s the mascara on both eyes:

HELLO. In mega close-up world, my lashes look a little spidery. But from normal person distance they look pretty spectacular. So I am somewhat impressed. But here are all my initial first impressions, good and bad:


– Great length.
– Not as messy as it sounds having to coat the fibers on top of the mascara and then mascara again on top of fibers.
– Mascara is a glossy dark shade of black (which might sound silly, aren’t all blacks dark? but some moreso than others).
– Did I mention LENGTH? Holy shit.


– You can feel it on your lashes. I’m not a regular fiber mascara user (they kinda scare me) so I don’t know if this is typical, but I can feel it on my lashes as I blink and go about my day with the mascara on. I don’t particularly like being “aware” of my mascara all day.
– The mascara itself is kind of wet so the opportunity for smudges is pretty big.
– The occasional fiber + mascara will brush off as you’re applying the 2nd coat of mascara, and that kind of makes a mess.
– It’s 35 fucking dollars.  For a mascara. Yes it’s a fancy mascara, but you have to toss mascara every 3 to 6 months! STEEP. It’s not the most expensive mascara I’ve ever seen (that honor goes to Cle de Peau) but it’s pretty close.

I’m still trying it out, as this is just a “first impressions” review. I think in the future things that will help this mascara look even better are combing my lashes before and after I apply it, and more practice.

Have you tried this mascara? What did you think?

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner

First impression time! I just got this Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Perfect Peacock to try. 

I love that TF products always come packed in pink confetti. The box it was mailed in is pink too. They used to send even cuter boxes in a hot pink and white damask print. I actually used one to wrap a gift once… huge hit with my mom! See, we recycle in this house. ;)
Here’s the liner itself. Again, adorable packaging without being annoying or hindering function. The pencil is dual-ended. The bottom has a really cool foam (?) smudger. They call it the FlexiFirm smudger. Whatever it is, it’s awesome. Here’s a closer look:
It looks kind of like a pencil eraser, but it’s a lot smoother and softer to the touch. If you’ve ever used a pen with a “comfort grip” it kinda feels like that.
There’s the liner itself. It’s your standard pencil. I’m kind of sad that the cute gold detailing will eventually get sharpened away.
Here it is swatched on my super duper pale cool-toned skin. One swatch is just drawn on, and the other is smudged w/ the smudgey nubbin. The color is beautiful. It’s a peacock blue with just enough green to be teal (ever so slightly greener than in the photo, but my skin is pink so I’m not gonna fight it…). There’s shimmer but no glitter. The texture is dreamily creamy, and extremely pigmented. I barely had to touch the pencil tip to my hand to swatch it.
And finally, the waterproof test. I licked a finger and rubbed it on the swatches. I know that’s not terribly scientific (especially since that’s actually testing if it’s saliva-proof, lol), but whatever. Here’s what happened:
The smudged swatch is very faded and a little smeared. The original swatch though is only slightly changed, and didn’t smear. After this test, I had to go help wash some dishes. As I held my hand under the running water, it didn’t seem to have much effect on the swatches. However, as soon as I rubbed them under the water, I easily wiped them away without soap. 
So… are these waterproof? Yes and no. I think they would probably be fine for normal eyeliner wear. Meaning they won’t smudge and smear all over if you have oily eyelids or maybe if you tear up at a wedding. However, if you’re looking for an eyeliner to go swimming in I wouldn’t wear this one.
Overall, a solid B. I knocked it down a letter grade for calling itself waterproof when in reality I’d say it’s more like “water-resistant”. It is priced pretty reasonably at $18, and comes in six colors including Perfect Peacock. There are two shades of purple (a true purple and a blackened one) that I would love to get my paws on. 
Available at Sephora, TooFaced, and Ulta.
Thinking of picking this up to try for yourself? Ulta has free shipping on all orders $25+ through this Saturday (10/8) with code 53495. And don’t forget ebates!

Product sample provided for consideration,