Review & Swatches: Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quads

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quads

While shopping my stash during a recent move, I stumbled across some eyeshadow quads that I have yet to mention, but always jump out at me when I come across them: Maybelline's Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quads. Their bright colors make them stand out among the standard neutrals often seen at the drugstore, but I haven't seen them mentioned very much in the blogging world. Perhaps it's for good reason...

I have three shadow quads to talk about today:
  • Luminous Lilacs: A palette that consists of shimmery pinks, a steely grey, and a deep, vibrant plum.
  • Electric Blue: A quad composed of both subtle and bright blue hues, and a deep matte black.
  • Sandstone Shimmer: A neutral palette that packs a pigmented cranberry color, alongside a warm gold, and an incredibly unique duo-chrome highlight shade.
While the pictures below will do most of the talking, it's safe to say that I was beyond disappointed with Electric Blue, and would have liked to see more pigmentation from Luminous Lilacs. While Sandstone Shimmer was easily the top performer of the 3, each palette had problems with fallout, and pigmentation issues that needed to be remedied by wearing them over a base.

In short, with so many other drugstore shadows that perform better, it's hard to recommend Luminous Lilac and Electric Blue. Sandstone Shimmer definitely needs a shadow primer to get the performance seen below, but it's definitely worth it for the unique highlight shade and deep cranberry. 

Have you tried Maybelline Expert Wear Shadow Quads? Which are your favorites?

Nautral and Artsy with MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadows

Looking for the perfect eyeshadow? Drop what you're doing and listen up! MAKE UP FOR EVER reformulated their eyeshadows to include a creamy gel-powder formula. Their new line of Artist Shadows contains unique 210 shades with 5 different finishes - iridescent, satin, matte, diamond, and metallic, as indicated by the letters that precede the shade number. They sent me a few shades to take for a test drive - check out the looks I created in the video above, and get up close and personal with each of the shadows below. 

Get the Neutral Look: 

  1. Artist Shadows in I 562, M 806, and D 104
  2. Aqua Smoky Extravagant Waterproof Mascara
  3. Mat Velvet+ Foundation in #30
  4. 5 Camouflage Crem Palette in No. 1
  5. Sculpting Kit in No. 1
  6. Aqua Lip in 2C

Get the Artsy Look: 

  1. Artist Shadows in I 585, ME 406, M 608, and D 104
  2. Aqua Smoky Extravagant Waterproof Mascara
  3. Mat Velvet+ Foundation in #30
  4. 5 Camouflage Crem Palette in No. 1
  5. Deeper foundation shade (I'm using a shade from the 11 Foundation Palette)
  6. Aqua Lip in 16C
Individually, these shadows retail for $22, but you can customize duo and trio palettes for $34 and $44 a piece at Sephora.

While I can easily say the Artist Shadow shades MAKE UP FOR EVER provided for each of these looks performs exactly as you might expect from a new and improved formula - no matter the finish, I personally purchased the limited edition 30 Artist Shadow Palette that launched at Sephora a few weeks ago and can confirm that the stellar quality is consistent throughout the rest of the shades I have. Stay tuned for another post coming up that delves more into those shades - you won't be dissapointed!

Have you tried any shades from the MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow line?

Review & Swatches: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish

After mentioning them in a recent favorites video, a few of you asked for a more extensive review of Sally Hansen's new Miracle Gel polishes. In a nutshell, the line is designed to have the longevity and high shine of gel polish, without the need of a lamp. As someone with nails that seem to repel everything, even the best non-gel polish only lasts around 2 days (at best) on me. I'm constantly on the lookout for a polish that can break the record, and these are the real deal!

Each of the 23 shades within the line retails for $7.99 and are formulated to work in conjunction with a top coat that puts the "miracle" in Miracle Gel. While different shades had different caveats (some needed more layers to achieve opacity, and others didn't achieve maximum lasting power), all of the shades lasted far longer than any other polish does on my nails - between 3-6 days. To top it all off, the dry time is no longer than 2-3 minutes - far less than comparable gel top coats, like that from Revlon!

Something else to note about the system is that commenters on the recent favorites video let me know that the top coat within this system also works on other polishes! So grab your essies and your OPI's because your wear time is about to go through the roof. On to the swatches...

BEWARE: Hardcore swatch lovers might cringe at the state of my cuticles. They are fresh off a move, and the cardboard boxes were not kind. You've been warned!

Billion Dollar Brows Best Seller Kit

Billion Dollar Brows Best Sellers

Brows can make or break a look. But despite seeming like one of the more simple processes in your daily makeup routine, there's a whole host of tools and products created specifically to tackle a region that takes up no more than 5% of your face. Billion Dollar Brows is simplifying the process with a kit that puts everything you need for daily brow maintenance in one convenient kit. Launching exclusively at Khols starting in October, this kit contains four of their best sellers, and they've given me a sneak peek! Read on to see what's inside the Best Sellers Kit, and learn how to use them.

Included in this kit is:

Universal Brow Pencil: A dual-ended pencil/spooly that comes in a somewhat universal brown-taupe shade that's easily layered to achieve natural, light strokes, or deeper pigment. The texture has a waxy consistency to help add body and lasting power to brows.
Brow Duo Pencil: A dual-ended concealer/highlighter used to add definitely to the perimeter of the brow, and highlight the brow bone.
Smudge Brush: A brush designed specifically for blending the Brow Duo Pencil with a straight edge that makes achieving crisp, clean brow borders easy.
Brow Gel: The last step to any brow routine so that hairs hold their shape throughout the day.

Typically these would retail for $68 together, but this set is priced at $34.99!

Scroll through the post to see a step-by-step tutorial of how I use this kit. Need help establishing your brow shape? I'm not a fan of cookie-cutter brow stencils, I prefer Billion Dollar Brows Brow Buddy - a tool that works with your facial proportions to determine your personal brow shape. Learn more about how I use it in the video at the bottom of the post!

Top Under $5: Fall Products

It's time for a seasonal makeup update! While there are some fantastic high-end finds for fall, you don't have to break the bank to totally transform your look. Here are 5 of my favorite products - and they're all under $5!

Products mentioned: 

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