Review: Naked Heat Palette (Urban Decay)

It is FINALLY feeling like fall here in Chicago, so it’s the perfect time to review my newest eyeshadow palette purchase: Urban Decay’s Naked Heat.  It screams fall.  It should come with a complimentary pair of tall boots and plaid shirt. When you open the case, you should hear the sound of leaves crunching.  You get the picture.

tl;dr – UD’s Naked line always delivers and Heat is no exception.

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This palette is all about warm colors (duh) and these are some suuuuuper pigmented shadows.  I’ve had to play around with this one much more than any other Naked palette to make sure I’m not using too heavy of a hand when applying, but once I got the hang of it, I’m loving the results.

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Photo credit: allure.com

There’s a great mix of matte, shimmer and satin finish shadows and the accompanying brush is fantastic for packing on shadow (flat end) and buffing out the crease (fluffy end).

Here’s a somewhat ~dRaMaTiC~ look I created using the middle orange-red-copper tones:

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One of the many reasons I was excited for this palette?  The colors make blue eyes pop something fierce.  But never fear, these colors also look great on green and brown eyes as well.

(And yes, I’m still obsessed with my eyelash extensions and I will probably never stop getting them and yes they are expensive and no I don’t care and who needs gas in their car anyway?)

Here’s a more work-friendly look using Lumbre on the lids (shimmery copper-pink) and a mix of Ashes and Ember in the crease, outer corner and lower lash line for a purple-brown effect:

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No filter because, very rarely, I can show self-restraint

As with other Urban Decay palettes, Naked Heat isn’t exactly cheap, but I think overall it’s worth the price tag of $54.  There’s a solid mix of colors and shadow finishes and Naked palettes always seem to last for years and years.  I also had a $10 coupon which made the decision to buy easier….but let’s be honest, I was going to buy it either way.

Need some inspiration?  I gotchu.

 

Do you have the Naked Heat palette?  What are your favorite shades?  Let me know!

 

Current Beauty Favorites

Guess who’s back, back again.  It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted but I’m here now with a (long) list of my current beauty favorites.  I’ve been collecting this random assortment of products for months and using them all religiously, so I promise they are well worth the money.  At least that’s what I tell my boyfriend when he says “You bought MORE stuff?!” Whoops.  Anyway, let’s get to it:

 

 

Face & Skin

Freeman’s Dead Sea Minerals Anti-Stress Mask

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God do I love me a face mask.  Freeman is an OG in the mask department and the dead sea minerals mask is my new favorite.  I loooove the turquoise blue color of the product, I love the fresh scent and I especially love how my skin feels after washing it off.  This mask dries semi-hard, not as hard as a clay mask, and comes off easily with warm water.  It leaves my skin bright, refreshed and overall feeling better.  And I think that in this political climate, we all need as much anti-stress products as humanly possible.  Pro Tip: This face mask pairs wonderfully with a Pinot Noir and any episode of The Real Housewives.

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

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I don’t know about you, but my seasonal allergies this year were HORRIFIC.  My nose ran constantly and I wanted to claw my eyes out of my skull they itched so badly.  When my allergies are really on one, I get eczema flare ups on my upper and lower eyelids and they turn into a puffy, scaly, red itchy mess.  Is this turning you on?

So to keep myself from scaring small children when I walk through the streets, I picked up this Aveeno eczema cream at CVS.  It has been a life saver.  This lotion is unscented, super light weight and sinks into my pissed off eczema skin quickly.  It feels so soothing and helps relive the itching and puffiness almost immediately.  I put this all around my eyes and it has never bothered my contacts or, most importantly, made my eyelash extensions fall off.  If you also deal with the scourge that is eczema – you need this stuff.

Origins High-Potency Night-a-Mins Mineral Enriched Renewal Cream

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Okay, I’ll get this out of the way immediately – this shit is expensive.  And it comes in a tiny jar.  BUT – It’s fabulous.  I love a good bougie night cream and this is my current favorite.  I’ve been using it for the past 6 months or so and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.  This cream is packed with vitamins and minerals and goes on with a velvety smooth finish.  I wake up with glowy, refreshed skin even after using a tiny amount (I try to ration it out so that I’m still able to pay my electric bill each month).

Another bonus?  It smells amazing.  To me it smells exactly like the orange Flintstones Push Up ice cream popsicle things from back in the day.  God those were amazing, I probably ate thousands of them as a kid.  But I digress.  If you’re looking for a high quality night cream and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, grab this one.

Hair

Garnier Flat Iron Perfector Straightening Mist

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I’ve been straightening my naturally wavy hair for years but never really realized how important it is to use a heat protector.  Thankfully, I’ve seen the light and error of my ways. This Garnier mist is inexpensive, protects hair from heat, and brings smoothness and shine with added Moroccan argon oil.  It even keeps my hair straight and smooth on humid summer days and that is a goddamn miracle.  It’s super inexpensive and available everywhere so get you some.

Makeup

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation

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It seems like I’ve been on a never-ending quest to find the perfect foundation for years.  Unsurprisingly, I never found one that truly worked for me and I’ve finally figured out why – I was always trying liquid foundation.  As I’ve mentioned a billion times before, I have incredibly oily skin, and liquid foundation would just kind of…sit on top of my skin and eventually slide off.  How chic!  How sexy!  Not really.

Finally my brain had the brilliant thought of “Hey, maybe try some powder foundation, you clown?” Enter the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation.  This stuff is LEGIT. It helps suck up the oil while still providing enough coverage to even out skin tone.  I was a bit skeptical that a powder could really provide full coverage but it does (beautifully!) and it doesn’t ever look cakey or settle into fine lines and wrinkles.  It’s a bit pricey – as foundations usually are – but one of these little jars last forever.  The powder is easy to spread around and buff into the skin with the kabuki brush that comes with it (pictured above) so a little goes a long way.  I can’t recommend this foundation enough for my fellow oily skinned people!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

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Anyone who is even remotely interested in makeup has heard of the Brow Wiz.  I was a bit late to the brow game – I only started shaping and filling my brows in about 3 years ago.  I know, I’m ashamed too.  I began dipping my toe into the brow world by using powders with tiny brushes and basically hoping for the best.  While that worked out fine, the powder and brush never mimicked the look of actual brow hairs and that’s really the look I wanted.

Finally, I got my hands on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and my brow life was instantly changed. The Brow Wiz has a very fine-tipped point pencil that is smudge-proof, long wearing and incredibly easy to work with.  Add in the fact that the other end gives you a brush to shape and groom your brows and it is honestly the only brow product you will ever need.  My favorite shades are Soft Brown and Taupe, in case you’re dying to know.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blushed

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Now it’s time for a drugstore favorite! When I’m putting my face on, I tend to spend a lot of time on my base/foundation and eyes and typically lips are my last step.  So I love when I can find a go-to shade that looks good with any eyeshadow color or clothes color, and I can just slap it on and be done.  Blushed is that perfect shade – the ultimate “My lips but better” color.  The formula gives a tiny bit of sheen without being too glossy, and the it never looks dry on the lips. I know that liquid lipsticks are all the rage currently but they look a bit harsh on me so I gravitate toward a semi-glossy finish.  This color is perfect for work, school, anything.  I keep a tube in my purse and in my makeup stash at all times.

L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Concealer in Fair/Light

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Keeping it in the drugstore family with this awesome concealer.  I’ve tried my fair share of under eye concealers but this has been my favorite for the past year.  The name is accurate – this stuff is super blendable. I like to put a few dots under my eye and just use my finger to tap and blend in the product and it works perfectly every time.  It never looks cakey or heavy and stays all day when I dust a bit of translucent powder on top.  It’s not the greatest for covering dark, red-colored blemishes but it can be layered to help tone them down.  This is another product where a little goes a long way and one of these lil baby tubes will last a long time.

The Balm – Meet Matt(e) Ador Eyeshadow Palette

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Ah yes, my favorite makeup item to buy – eyeshadow palettes! The latest addition to the collection is the Meet Matt(e) Ador palette by The Balm.  I’m a sucker for dusty pink and coral shades, they look fantastic on blue eyes, and I also love the addition of dark colors in this palette to use as liners or for a smokey eye look.  The Balm always delivers high quality and these shadows are no exception – super matte and easy to blend with great color payoff.  Plus, the packaging comes with a giant mirror which is always a plus when traveling or doing your makeup on the fly.  This palette isn’t cheap but I justify that by reaching for it almost every day to put together quick looks for the office.

And that’s it for now!  What products are you loving?  Let me know 🙂

Products I’m Loving Lately

Today I have a random assortment of makeup, hair and skin products I’ve been using and lovely lately.  There is no rhyme or reason to this mix of products – some I’ve purchased myself and some are samples from Birchbox.  There are few things I love more than beauty products AND receiving packages in the mail so Birchbox has been very up my alley and a great introduction to brands and products I might have never tried.  So, let’s get to it:

Eyes

Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Photo Credit: samanthalalaa.wordpress.com, amazon.com 

The name is certainly…memorable, and it should be, because this mascara is excellent (and I have tried an embarrassing number of mascaras).  While it is great, it can be a bit tricky to work with and quickly turn clumpy.  Go slowly when applying and keep an eye on (pun, sorry) how your lashes are progressing and you’ll be just fine.  This mascara will give you long, full lashes that border on looking like falsies.  If that’s your thing, I highly recommend picking up a sample size at Ulta to see if you like it because it can be pricey. I’m always looking out for you.

Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner

Photo Credit: birchbox.com

I received this liner in a Birchbox and at first glance I thought it would be hard to work with, but it is surprisingly easy to use.  Well, as easy as applying liquid eyeliner can be.  Another huge plus is the color payoff – very black, very matte and long-wearing.  I had typically used brush and/or long, fine tipped liners but Eyeko has convinced me that the marker shape is by far the easiest to use and it will be my go-to from here on out.  

Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Contour Palette

Some day you might turn on Hoarders and see me, surrounded by mountains of eyeshadow palettes instead of garbage and cats, with my finger hovering over the “Add to Cart” button on Sephora.  What I mean is – I have no self control and bought yet another eye shadow palette. The first step is admitting it.

But in my defense, I did my research and bought the absolute best and most useful palette I could find.  Shade & Light has all matte shadows, warm and cool toned neutral colors, with fantastic pigmentation and blendability.  This palette is perfect for everyday looks, smokey eyes, mature/hooded eyes….really anyone with eyes.  

Here are a few of my favorite Shade & Light tutorials I’ve tried out and loved:

 

Lips

POP Beauty Matte Velvet Lipstix in Satin Rose

Photo Credit: popbeauty.com

Another gift from the Birchbox gods, this is a great everyday soft pink lipstick.  This color looks good with everything and I imagine every skin tone.  The formula isn’t too sticky or too glossy and it has pretty great staying power.  Satin Rose is definitely my favorite new “my lips but better” product.

Hair

Redken All Soft Conditioner

Photo Credit: amazon.com

My hair is naturally curly and very fine.  I also bleach and dye my hair monthly to be blonde which leads to the perfect storm of damage and overall terribleness.  Thankfully, there are a ton of products out there to make hair like mine more manageable.  One of my new favorites is the Redken All Soft conditioner.

Redken products are  a bit more expensive than my regular drugstore staples so to stretch it and make my money last, I mix a small amount of this conditioner with the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner.  Leaving that combination on for 5-10 minutes a couple times a week makes a huge difference in the softness of my poor abused hair.

Skin

Soap & Paper Factory Green Tea & Shea Hand Cream

Photo Credit: theoliviashop.com

This stuff smells AMAZING and the older I get, the more I seem to get into hand creams.  It’s the circle of life.

All hand creams basically do the same thing, hydrate your skin, so really the only reason this cream is so great is the heavenly smell (and the cute packaging).  

What products are you loving?  Let me know!

Super Bowl 50 Makeup

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Three things I dearly love:

  1. Makeup
  2. Sports
  3. A theme

In honor of Super Bowl 50, I’ve combined all three loves in 2 different eye looks using the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers team colors.  Yes, I do have too much time on my hands.

But really, who wants to live in a world where people eat copious amounts of junk food, drink beer and watch grown men knock each other down without matching their eye makeup to the team they’re cheering for? Certainly not me.

Whether you’re Team Cam or Team Peyton (or Team Brady like me and extremely bitter), we can all agree that makeup is the real MVP. In case you’ve also always wanted to match your makeup to a jersey, here are two Super Bowl 50 inspired eye looks:

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I really need to buy an actual camera and learn to pose but you get the idea

Look 1: Denver Broncos
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– Lid: Roulette (Makeup Geek)

– Outer corner: Lucius (Kat Von D Shade & Light palette)

– Crease: Laetus (Kat Von D Shade & Light palette)

– Liner: Navy (Tarte gel liner)IMG_1165Look 2: Carolina Panthers

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All shadows from the Urban Decay Vice 2 palette

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– Lid: Madness

– Inner corner: Shellshock

– Outer corner: Prank

– Crease: Dope + Habit

– Liner: Eyeko Fat Liquid Liner in Black

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Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer – Soft Brown
Lashes: Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – Black

 

Hope you enjoy trying out these looks and let’s all root for the one thing we can all agree on – good commercials.

Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadows

There’s one makeup product I hoard more than the rest.  And by hoard, I mean that I have at least 10 of these awesome little pots of color in my makeup bag at any given time.  Excessive? Probably. Do I care? You know I don’t.

The reason I have so many Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadows is because they are flat-out amazing.  They’re inexpensive ($5), come in a huge range of colors, and they’re the perfect base for any eye look.  Color Tattoos provide pigment and a nice, sticky base for powder shadows to cling to and stay in place for hours and hours.

My absolute favorite shade, and the one I reach for almost every day, is Bad to the Bronze:

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Photo Credit: ulta.com

This warm bronze is a great base for daytime and nighttime looks.  Use your finger for more sheer coverage; use a wet brush to pack on the color and shine. Bad to the Bronze pairs beautifully with any eye color so if you don’t have it yet, get yourself to CVS ASAP.

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Photo Credit: ivoryavenue.com

For those of you #blessed with hooded eyes like me, Color Tattoos are a must to keep powder shadows from getting lost in the abyss that is our crease.  This is especially true for brightly colored looks.  I’m a huge fan of the Painted Purple Color Tattoo because it makes my blue eyes look mega, crazy blue:

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Photo Credit: Maybelline.com.au

Here’s Painted Purple with powder shadow on top, in case you’d also like to channel your inner 90s neon workout Barbie:

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Other shades I’d highly recommend:

  • Barely Branded: Creamy, champagne color for neutral looks

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Photo Credit: Maybelline.com

  • Pomegranate Punk: Deep, burgundy color that pairs very well with the shadows in the Naked 3 palette

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Photo Credit: amazon.com

  • Audacious Asphalt: Charcoal grey a.k.a. the only smoky eye base you’ll ever need

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Photo credit: amazon.com

Color Tattoos are inexpensive, available at every drugstore and online and one pot will last FOREVER.  Literal years.  They do dry out a bit as they age but I find that using my warm finger (that sounds gross but you know what I mean) to apply the shadow “melts” the formula and gives me smooth, even coverage.

I highly recommend you pick up one or 15 Color Tattoos on your next drugstore run.  Enjoy!

Top 5 Eyeshadow Palettes

When it comes to makeup in general, I try to use a mix of mostly drugstore products with a few high end products. When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, I tend to drop some cash and get the good stuff.  Why?  Because a great palette is worth it.  A great palette is versatile enough for a variety of day and night looks, it’s perfect for travel and having multiple shadow colors in one product/case saves you from wasting time digging through your makeup stash looking for individual shadows.

So without further ado, here are my top 5 eyeshadow palettes:

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Naked Palette – Urban Decay

The first palette I ever purchased and the OG of the Naked line, the original Naked palette is basically perfect.  You have your standard matte blending and lid colors, shimmery highlight shades, and a plethora of darker shades.  There is no limit to the amount of work-appropriate AND night combinations you can create with these colors.  If you’re looking for a place to start with eyeshadow and don’t have this palette in your arsenal, what are you doing with your life?

Meet Matte Nude – The Balm

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This is my go-to palette for work days.  If the name didn’t tip you off already, all shadows in this palette are matte.  If you’re not in your 20s anymore or have hooded eyes (I fall into both of those categories), matte shadows are your best friend because they don’t accentuate lines or wrinkles.  The actual shadows in this palette are HUGE (I’ve had mine for over a year and have barely made a dent in them) and the color range flatters any eye color.  If you don’t want to spend your hard earned dough for the entire palette, at least get your hands on the peach shade, Matt Singh – it is the perfect crease blending color, in my self-proclaimed expert opinion.

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Naked 3 Palette – Urban Decay

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Yep, another Naked palette.  The Naked 3 is all about the rose gold color family with lots of mauves, gold, purple and pink tones.  The colors in this palette make blue and green eyes look absolutely amazing so if you’re a light-eyed person, You Need This.  I tend to use this one almost exclusively in the fall and winter months (it pairs very well with a dark, red wine-colored lip) and usually layer it over the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk to give some extra staying power.  As with all Naked palettes, the shadows blend extremely well and have fantastic color payoff.

Naked Basics 1 or Naked Basics 2 – Urban Decay

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Can you tell that Urban Decay palettes are my favorite?  The Naked Basics 1 and 2 are small, no nonsense and great for travel because they take up so little space.  If you don’t want to mess with any shimmery or bright colors and just want to put together a quick everyday look, these palettes do the job and do it well.  Basics 1 focuses on warm toned colors while 2 is all about cool tones.

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Both palettes offer enough versatility to give you a neutral look for work or a smoky eye for night.  It’s all up to you.  I highly recommend picking up one of the Basics palettes if you don’t want to spend the $$ for a full Naked palette.

Vice 2 – Urban Decay

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Everyone needs at least one fun, weird palette.  I admittedly don’t use this palette nearly as often as the rest, but whenever I do, it’s always a good time.  This palette is great for experimentation and creativity with several dark colors for smokey eyes, bright 80s pinks and purples, edgy blue tones and warm bronze shimmery shades.  Nothing wrong with having an impractical, straight-up play around palette. It’s good for the soul.

Am I missing anything?  What are your favorite palettes?  Let me know!

Review: Naked Smoky Palette – Urban Decay

How I feel about Urban Decay’s Naked palettes can best be described in 3 words: Take. My. Money.

Since purchasing the original Naked palette years ago, I’ve amassed quite the collection of Naked and Naked Basics palettes.  These palettes are by far my favorite eyeshadows due to their fantastic color payoff, ease of blendability and never-ending color combination options.

So you better believe I got my hands on the new Naked Smoky palette with quickness upon its release in early July.  I’ve had a couple weeks to play around with the shadows and am loving it so far.  Here’s why:

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I’m not one of those people who really cares much about the packaging of products, I went to the Mr. Rogers’ school of thinking that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And what’s inside this is excellent.  But I will say that the palette is very sleek, sturdy, (magnetic closures are always thrilling because…magnets, how do they work?) and the smoke design is a cool touch.

full Can you hear that?  Those are angels singing.  Look at those colors. And that huge mirror.

Now, this palette is not cheap ($54) but you’re getting twelve, semi-large gorgeous shadows that should last you a long time. Similar to other Naked palettes, a double ended blending and pencil/smudging brush is included.

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I really like that this palette includes both brown and grey/blue toned matte blending shades, along with a matte cream  highlight color.  A little soft brown in the crease can really help ensure your smokey eye is well blended and not too severe. I’ve found that the more blue-purple toned shades do a great job of making my blue eyes look more, well, blue when used along the lashline.

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The other half of the palette is all about shimmer, dahling. I like using shimmer shades on my lid to catch the light and matte shades in the crease to blend everything out and give my hooded eyes some depth.  Wet your brush before applying the shimmer shadows to intensify the color and shine.

I haven’t done a full-on, dark smoky eye with this palette yet, but I have been loving it for everyday, daytime looks:

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(Forgive me, I’m still trying to figure out how to pose to show makeup.  I call this one “Seductively checking the time”)

Overall, I give this palette a solid A.  It’s versatile enough to justify the price tag.  If you can spare the cash, I highly recommend adding this one to your collection.