Review & Swatches: LORAC Unzipped Gold Palette

LORAC Unzipped Gold Palette

LORAC Unzipped Gold Palette

I was pretty late to LORAC's Unzipped Palette party. Despite hearing rave reviews about the buttery smooth plum-toned shadows, I had held out up until a few weeks ago. Needless to say, it is totally worth the hype! Fortunately, I realized this just in the nick of time to catch the launch of their Unzipped Gold Palette. I wasn't about to make the same mistake as before!

LORAC's new palette retails for $42, while the original remains at $40. Much like the original palette, you get 10 shadows that include a nice range of shades, and a great mix of textures. One of my concerns when I purchased this palette was that the gold shades would be too warm to flatter neutral or cool-leaning skin tones. I'm happy to say that's not the case! One of the warmest shadows in the palette is Unlimited - a shimmery gold that isn't too much warmer than Urban Decay's fan favorite Half-Baked (see comparison picture below). All of the shadows - both matte and shimmer - are very smooth and apply evenly over the lid while maintaining their pigmentation.

While I think all of the shades are awesome, there are a few notable shadows I want to point out. Unpredictable is a fantastic gold with a hint of peachy-pink shift. There isn't enough pink such that some might worry it's unflattering - just enough to add some interest. Unlocked is an unbelievably beautiful shimmery cream with a strong gold iridescence. This is a shade I have come to love for both the inner corner, and as a facial highlight! The last absolute jaw-dropper is Unleashed. It has amazing color payoff, and a beautiful metallic finish - so faceted it would be great worn both within a look or alone on the lid.

For those that already own the original Unzipped Palette and are concerned about duplicating the shades - I was happy to find that there aren't any! Those that look similar in their pans are swatched below (there are also some swatches comparing shadows from the LORAC PRO Palette too).

Overall, two thumbs way up for LORAC's Unzipped Gold Palette! This is a must-have for any neutral-lover with a taste for gold. 

Review & Demo: Physicians Formula Eye Booster Lash Extensions Kit

Physicians Formula's new Eye Booster Lash Extensions Kit is the latest two-part false fiber mascara system to hit the shelves - but it's the first option to come from the drugstore! I tried Too Faced Better than False Lashes when it first came out, and was pretty impressed with the results. Naturally, I had to see if this was a way to get the look for less!

Physician's Formula Kit retails for $14.99, but I ordered mine from ULTA and received a $7 mail-in rebate! If it worked, this would prove to be the most affordable false-fiber extension system out there.
The process starts with a coat of mascara. The formula is right in the middle of wet and dry - perfect to ensure thorough coverage without clumping. The wand has a slight curve, so it's perfect for achieving a nice curl. Overall, I like the mascara worn alone! So far, so good.

Next up in the process are the fibers. With a wand that's shorter and wider than that from Too Faced, I find it's a little easier to maneuver through the lashes. It does, however, result in a ton of fallout (seen in the pictures below). And unlike the Too Faced fibers, these are black. The biggest tip I can provide with this mascara is that you apply it before the rest of your face makeup since the fibers are nearly impossible to remove once you'll applied your foundation and concealer.

Last step is another coat of mascara to seal the fibers to the lashes. Physicians Formula says you can repeat steps 2 and 3 until you reach the effect you want. Overall, I have to say that this process was best at adding volume to my lashes (which is by no means a downside as I'm always in search of a great volumizing mascara). But it definitely doesn't give the appearance of extensions.

They claim 24 hour wear with this formula - something I can confirm since I didn't experience any smudging or flaking over a full day of wear.

This is definitely a winning mascara in my book! While it might not add as much length as someone looking for an "extensions" mascara might hope, I think it makes lashes look amazing. At the very least, it's an affordable way to get the look of a high end extensions system without sacrificing quality. 

6 tips to wear marsala - 2015 Pantone Color of the Year Tutorial

I recently shared my favorite Marsala beauty picks in this week's Makeup Wars, and a few of you had questions about how to incorporate this color into a makeup look. The red undertones that make Marsala the perfect flush for lips and cheeks can also make you look sickly when worn around the eyes. Here are my tips for making this hue work for you:
  1. Pick your Marsala. Technically, "Marsala" is one color as defined by Pantone's color system - it's described as "a naturally robust and earthy wine red." But, like so many colors, it's not necessarily one-size-fits-all. Find a Marsala-esque shade with cooler berry undertones, or warm brick undertones, depending on whether your own skin leans cool or warm, and your more likely to love how it flatters your skin.  
  2. Make your Marsala. If you don't have, or don't want to go out in search of, a Marsala shade to add to your collection, make your own by combining a berry-toned wine shade with a mid-tone nude or brown. This will allow you to strike the perfect berry-brown balance for your skin tone. Check out the tutorial above to see how I did this to create my lip color!
  3. Start with the Lips. I find this shade least intimidating on the lips. Worn as a light tint, it comes off as a "your lips but better" shade, but it can also be built for some serious drama.  
  4. Work to the Cheeks. Because Marsala is a bold color in its own right, wearing a blush in the shade can be easily overdone. Once you choose your blush, start with a light hand and a fluffy brush to lightly dust over your cheeks. Building up blush is always easier than removing it. That being said, if you overdo it, don't worry! You can use excess product on your foundation brush or sponge to cover some of the excess pigment. 
  5. Brave the Eyes. My #1 trick for playing it safe with Marsala around the eyes is relying on a good liner. Whether it's black or brown, pick a neural shade to act as a buffer between the whites of your eyes and the Marsala on your lid. If you're not big on using a darker liner on your waterline, reach for a flesh-toned eyeliner to cover any pink pigment in your waterline that Marsala might emphasize. 
  6. Nail it. When in doubt, try Marsala on your nails! It's a great way to get used to seeing the shade next to your skin tone, and could be the gateway to trying it elsewhere. For some nail polish recommendations, check out link #10 at the bottom of the post!
Onto the tutorial - here's a complete list of the products mentioned in the tutorial at the top of the post, along with some reviews and links to where you can purchase each. 

Products Used:

My Marsala Picks

Makeup Wars: 2015 Marsala Product Picks

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Another year, another color pick from Pantone! The 2015 Color of the year is Marsala, and it's one I'm very excited about because it's such a versatile, flattering shade to all. Described as a "robust and earthy wine red," Marsala is proving to be a shade that can be used effortlessly as an eyeshadow, blush, and lip color.

On this week's Makeup Wars, we're sharing all things Marsala - whether it's our favorite product picks, tutorials, or something entirely different. I decided to talk about the products I pulled from my collection to rock the trend. No matter if you're shopping for Marsala for the first time, or shopping your own collection, there's a little bit of something in here for everyone.

My Marsala Picks (and reviews):

  • Sleek iDivine Sunset Palette - For a slew of wine-tinged marsala picks, this is the affordable palette for you!
  • Jesse's Girl Pure Pigment Eye Dust in Rouge Flambe - If you have plenty of makeup, and just want to pick up one shadow to rock the trend, this is what you need! This affordable pigment can be used as an eyeshadow, blush, mixed with lip gloss, and more. It's also strikingly similar to the next high-end pick...
  • Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette - Sonic - It was difficult to find a lone Marsala shadow, so I took to scouring my palettes. One that was right under my nose was Urban Decays latest Vice Palette - the shade Sonic is the perfect pick for a metallic Marsala shadow. 
  • Maybelline EyeStudio Eyeshadow Quad in Taupe Temptress - For those that aren't totally on board with the Marsala trend, or want to work the color into their looks more subtly, this is the pick for you! The deepest shade in Maybelline's Taupe Temptress quad contains Marsala-hued shimmer.
  • Black Radiance Artisan Color Baked Blush in Warm Berry - For a supremely pigmented matte blush that also doubles as an eyeshadow, this is a great, affordable pick!
  • Maybelline Master Hi-Light Highlighting Blush in Mauve - Those that want a more subtle, buildable blush that also includes a highlight will love this one from Maybelline.
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Contouring Lip Pencil in Wine - This lip liner leans a tad berry for a true Marsala pick, but it's beautiful nonetheless!
  • Wet n Wild Lipstick in Spiked With Rum - For those that prefer matt lipsticks, this is a great, pigmented pick (and happens to be the most affordable in the bunch)!
  • Covergirl Lipstick in Soulmate - If you prefer something a tad more sheer, this is a slightly more berry-toned pick.
  • Maybelline ColorSensation Lipstick in Rum Riche - This is the balm-finish counterpart to Wet n Wild's Spiked With Rum.
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in 11 -  For a deep, dramatic berry-toned Marsala, this is the lipstick for you!
Be sure to share your picks in the comments below, and don't forget to check out the links at the bottom of the post to see what other Makeup Wars participants are serving up! 

Review: L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

It's time to talk about another matte foundation to hit the drugstore: L'Oréal's Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation. Given my recent disappointment with Maybelline's Fit Me Matte + Poreless, I really hoped L'Oreal's foundation would hit the mark.

Unlike any other L'Oréal foundation, Pro-Matte has a checklist of qualities outlined on the back:
  • Finish: Demi-Matte
  • Wear Up to: 24HR
  • Coverage: Medium
  • Texture: Air-Light
It's often hard to know exactly what some drugstore foundations mean to accomplish, so I appreciated that L'Oréal laid absolutely everything out here. I would say the finish is pretty matte, with coverage that's easily buildable from medium to slightly more - so far they are 2 for 2 on these claims!

As far as L'Oréal foundations go, I would place their Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation in the "air-light" category, while Pro-Matte is slightly thicker. That's not to say it's heavy by any means - it's easily layered without becoming caky.

Onto the wear time. I don't need my foundation to last 24 hours, so I wasn't about to pull an all-nighter in the name of beauty. But I have to say I'm really impressed with the way it wore over a typical work day! The major wear and tear I saw was mostly self-inflicted. The area around my nose is pretty patchy due to constant allergy-triggered nose blowing, and there's patchiness in my undereye area from a new mascara I'm testing.

Overall, this foundation is a win for me! The only downside is the narrow shade range. I picked 103 Natural Buff, but it's a tad too dark, and much too warm for me. But the next shade lighter was too pink. Another deterrent for some might be the price. It's as high as $14.99 in some places, but I managed to snag it for $11 and some change at CVS. Of course, you can always look for BOGO 50% off discounts as well!

Have you tried L'Oréal's Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation?

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