Mascara Monday: Hard Candy Flat to Fab Lash Building mascara

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Soooo, I’m just a wee embarrassed at how few Hard Candy mascaras I’ve reviewed. There is really no excuse for this because not only do they have quite a bit to choose from but they are freakin’ cheap too. Ahhhh well. Better late than never, I suppose.

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Price: $7 at Walmart and Walmart.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 4 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Flat, lifeless lashes need a lift? Create dramatic volume and curl with Hard Candy Flat To Fab Lash Building Mascara. Lashes will immediately be taken from flat to flab with this long wear instant curling and volumizing mascara.” (source)

The Truth: I’ll tell you one thing…Hard  Candy knows how to make some eye popping mascara wands.

What I Loved About It: Yeah, I’m still head over heels in love with this packaging yo. And the lengthening is pretty nice.

What I Didn’t Like: It had the potential to be an awesome mascara but it fell short somewhere.

Overall: Well hellllloooo Hard Candy. I get so many emails to review their mascaras and I just forget to do so. I don’t do much shopping in Walmart and to my knowledge, that is about the only place where you can physically purchase their mascaras. But I’m on my A-game and got a few of their mascaras to review so I’m on it now! Let’s rap about the wand…

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Preggo brain (which has morphed into mommy brain) has me forgetting what popular mascara has a wand like this. I’ll give an e-star to anyone who can figure it out. We’ve definitely seen wands like this before and as funky and unique as they look, I don’t find that they are particularly useful with applying the mascara. Which isn’t a good or bad thing. Good news is you can still effectively go from root to tip with this wand without many problems. Surprisingly, the tip of the wand did a great job at getting those inner corners. Usually wands like this have big nasty globs of mascara at the end but nope, this one was great at only distributing a bit of mascara at the top of the wand. Woot!

Performance-wise, the mascara says that it’s going to give us curl and volume. Well, you know how I feel about mascaras that say they can help with curl. I believe the only way to see true curl in your lashes is to actually curl your lashes first. That is, if you aren’t one of those lucky kids who was already born with naturally curly lashes. So yeah, volume…the volume is just so so. Not good. Not bad. Not groundbreaking. Not horrible. This was a bit of a surprise because the formula was nice and thick. I applied 3 coats and by the 3rd coat, I still wasn’t impressed. I had a bit of lengthening and it was pretty impressive.

But what did impress me about this mascara was its ability to hold up throughout the day with zero flaking and smudging. Yasssss. That’ll win me every time. So yeah…so so volume and length but longevity rocks!

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Meh. I’ve seen better Hard Candy mascaras but if you’re big on lengthening mascaras, this one isn’t too bad.

Have you tried any Hard Candy mascaras?


Mascara Monday: MAC Cosmetics In Extreme Dimension Lash mascara

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I haven’t reviewed a MAC Cosmetics products in like…forever. Which is nuts because years ago, I only wore MAC everything. This is actually my 2nd purchase from them in all of 2012. Crazy, right? The brand hasn’t really had much that has impressed me and it wasn’t until a friend told me about this mascara until I realized I hadn’t reviewed one of theirs in foreveeeer. Oppsies.

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Price: $20 at MAC counters and at MACCosmetics.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 2 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Lashes take on unreal scale, structure and sweep-and now in a new Carbon shade, techno-chic black. The M•A•C patented brush design holds more mascara as rows of micro fibers weave in between lashes to separate, define and enhance on a dramatic lash-by-lash level.” (source)

The Truth: Oh no. This mascara…just no. No no no.

What I Loved About It: It’s got a nice consistency. I didn’t love it but it worked.

What I Didn’t Like: The wand and the huge hole just totally ruined the mascara for me.

Overall: Welp. It beez that way sometimes. People adore MAC Cosmetics and they are always expected the best of the best of the best of the best. But they aren’t perfect. No brand is and this mascara is an example of that. Everything about it makes it appear that it’ll be a great mascara though. The packaging is adorable and the claims got me all kinds of excited. A quick unscrew of the wand and I know this mascara just wasn’t going to work for me. First, let’s look at the wand…

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Meh. It tried but want to know why it really failed? Because of the huge hole without a stopper.

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Yep, even stellar brands like MAC have become a victim to this notorious problem in mascaras. It drives me up a wall and I will throw a party the day brands realize how frustrating this is. The wand has the potential to be great, of course, but when it is pulled out of the tube, it’s all gunky and nasty and it takes the user a few seconds to wipe off the excess mascara residue. Ugh. It’s frustrating and I immediately start hating a mascara every time I have to deal with this issue.

Now once you’ve wiped off the excess mascara, you’ll find that the wand itself isn’t half bad. The bristles are nice and stiff and the formula of the mascara makes it so that they coat your lashes nicely. Still, I would have likely gotten more out of the mascara if I didn’t have to spend the time removing mascara gunk.

The formula is nice and I was able to get a good 3 coats without any problems. I didn’t experience any smudging or flaking and while I got decent length, the volume was just so so. I believe a plusher wand would have resulted in more volumized lashes so I wasn’t surprised to see the lack of volume. Still, the mascara disappointed me to the n’th degree because of that wand.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Nope. MAC has better mascaras. This just isn’t one of them.

Any MAC lovers in the house? Have you tried this mascara yet?


More Wet ‘n Wild MegaLast polishes

Yep! I’m back with more super affordable polishes from Wet ‘n Wild. I’ve done formal reviews of these before (check out this post) so I’m just going to show off these pretty babies. Sound good?

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Coool…let’s go!

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2% Milk has the best name ever because it’s SO dead on with the description of the polish. Not that you could ever get me drink milk. *gags* But nail polish wise, this is such a nice and milky jelly. It would be perfect for American manicures. Not that you could get me to wear one of those. :razz: I actually like how this looks solo.

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Haze of Love could best be described as a plum-y cherry. It’s a burgundy that is nothing spectacular but I seriously think cream finishes make everything better.

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Tropicalia is a coral and I had the most difficult time trying to photograph it. It looks hot pink but in real life it’s a coral that leans more on the orange side.

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Private Viewing is a pale pecan cream and it’s another polish that would probably look good with a French or American manicure of some kind.

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On A Trip is a blurple lavender cream. And she’s quite the stunner.

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Sugar Coat is a pale pink cream and like its similar siblings, it’s nothing particular special. I will definitely be using this polish for some jelly sandwiches though.

I used 2 coats for each polishes and the sheer creams (2% Milk, Private Viewing and Sugar Coat) could probably go for 3 to get more of an opaque finish. It’s hard to get them to apply evenly but if you’ve got the time, you’ll love the final look. Like all Wet ‘n Wild MegaLast polishes, these have the wide brushes that people like me love. And by ‘people like me’, I mean those of us with super wide nail beds.

You can grab these at most drugstores for only $2.99 a pop.

Clinique Chubby Wubby Lip Colour Balms

Clinique does it again. They’ve managed to create an amazing lip product that I’m obsessed with. Their Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms have been around for quite some time but now Clinique has some reformulated ones that are more…intense. Yes, girl…yes! Intense color is definitely my preference when it comes to lip products. And um, let’s face it – when have you ever seen a super pigmented lip stick thingy like this? I haven’t!

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Soooo, I mean, what IS this stick of wonderfulness? According to Clinique, these lip balms are a blend between a moisturizing lip balm and a full coverage lip colour. And that definition is pretty dead on to me. I usually always apply a lip balm before applying any a lipgloss or lipstick but with these, I can just put it on and go.

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At $16 a pop, you get a good amount of product.

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And no, love…you don’t have to worry about having a massive sharpener for these. Simply twist that little silver knob at the bottom and you’re good to go.

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There are 5 gorgeous shades of these but I’m highlighting my favorites…

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Curviest Caramel is a soft pink that also leans more on the nude-y side. I didn’t think it would work well with my complexion but it’s pretty darn spectacular. I’ve been able to rock it confidently without a lipliner and all. Woot!

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Plushest Punch is a gentle magenta and this is my favooooorite. I find it to be a great everyday color. It also seems to be a bit more glossy than some of the other shades. Which is a nice little perk. :cool:

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Heftiest Hibiscus looks orange at first glance but but really it’s more of an orange-y coral. It works well for me and it’s such a nice shade to have in the bunch.

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Grandest Grapes almost looks like Plushest Punch but it has more purple in it. It’s darker and richer and I find it to be a gorgeous pop of color on days when I’m not doing too much with the eyes.

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Mighest Maraschino is a red and bay-bee, it is really red. It’s got some blue in it so I think it’ll work well for all complexions. It’s the perfect “intro to red” for those who aren’t ready to wear super glossy red lips.

So let’s see, these are…
-Moisturizing
-Long-lasting (I can get good wear for about 4-5 hours)
-Nicely pigmented
-Easy to find
-In a number of diverse shades

Cost: $16/ea
Where To Buy?: Clinique counters and Clinique.com

Have you gals tried these yet? Pretty impressive, uh?

Mascara Monday: Bobbi Brown Extreme Party mascara

Bobbi Brown Extreme Party mascara

Confession: I don’t really use many Bobbi Brown products. There’s no real reason other than I find the products to be pretty pricey and nothing really catches my eyes. And you know what? I can save up for pricey cosmetics but said cosmetics need to freaking turn my head with their packaging and performance, ya know? And I never felt that way about good ole’ BB. But it’s high time that I try one of her mascaras. I ordered this one during a Sephora sale and was all kinds of excited about trying it out.

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Price: $24 at Bobbi Brown counters, Sephora and at Sephora.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “This pliable formula stays flexible even after it dries, so each coat goes on as fresh as the first—immediately or hours later—with zero dragging, clumping, or flaking. The tapered brush grabs even the smallest, hard-to-reach lashes.” (source)

The Truth: Meh. It’s just meh.

What I Loved About It: It’s a long-lasting mascara. Whether you love the outcome or not, you can pretty much guarantee that the mascara itself won’t go anywhere until you’re ready to remove it.

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t give me much of anything.

Overall: Oh man. It kinda sucks that my first experience with a Bobbi Brown mascara is pretty so so. I was expecting fireworks and instead I barely love a flame. Oh boo. The first time I tried this mascara I was WOW’d in the least but I tried it daily for a week and by the end of the week I was just very much underwhelmed. It’s just such a mediocre mascara. And I don’t really blame the wand because even though it isn’t the greatest, it isn’t terrible either.

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Not my ideal choice for a mascara wand but it appears that it would be great for volumizing, right? Even if you’ve got baby lashes, this brush can sweep ‘em out and help elongate and plump the lashes with ease. But alas, I didn’t experience any of that greatness. And maybe it had something to do with the formula.

The formula almost seemed non-existent. I would have actually preferred a thick and obnoxious formula compared to nothing at all. It took a good 2 coats for me to really spot the mascara on my lashes. And even then, my lashes didn’t seem to do much of anything. By the 3rd coat, I gave up on trying to achieve much of anything and just assumed that the mascara wouldn’t be as “extreme” as it claimed. *sigh* I hate when this happens. But this is the mascara game yo. I’m used to it.

The good news is, if you aren’t looking for a super crazy mascara that will give you volume and length but want something long-lasting, this baby is it. I was impressed at how it didn’t flake or smudge throughout the day. Which, of course, is a total perk in my book. So yeah…so not extreme but ride or die? Yeah.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Nope. I plan on trying out more Bobbi Brown mascaras but this one so isn’t worth your $24.

Any Bobbi Brown lovers in the house? What do you think about this mascara?


Gorgeous Picks from Le Métier de Beauté

Remember that time I had that crazy awesome Le Métier de Beauté Cosmetics makeover? I am still head over heels in love with this higher end brand and as promised, I’ve got some of their newest goodies to show off. Now. Keep in mind, that Le Métier de Beauté is higher-end so their product prices aren’t for everyone. But for my girls who love luxe cosmetics, you’ll love everything about this brand. And y’all know…I don’t discriminate. I love drugstore and higher-end cosmetics equally. :cool: Word.

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Let’s rap on nail polishes first because that’s what most newcomers to the brand love the most. And it’s no surprise because everything from the color selection to the formula is just superb.

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I do have 2 complaints about the polishes though. Their bottles are just so so as far as appearance and the brushes seem to be a bit on the small side. Or maybe I just have huge hands. Could be the latter. But still – I love everything about these 2 shades.

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Made in the Jade is a wonderful dark green that is opaque with only 2 coats. It’s a smooth cream and has a gorgeous shine without a topcoat.

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Cloisin-Navy is just that…a richly pigmented navy nail polish that will have any blue nail polish lover going nutty. And for good reason. It’s just dynamic. And I love that it’s a navy blue that doesn’t look black. These polishes retail for $18 a pop.

On the eyeshadow front, check out how beautiful Fire Lily is…

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Gorgeous, right? This shade reminds me so much of MAC’s Cranberry except it has a tiny bit more shimmer to it. It is fantastic on the lid but I really like shades like this applied to my outer-V. Le Métier de Beauté’s eyeshadows are pretty pricey at $30 but man, this one makes the price tag seem okay.

Aaaaand in the lipstick world, I couldn’t stop bragging about Le Métier de Beauté’s glosses and this Orange Juiced ($32) is just niiiice.

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For one, it doesn’t feel like a typical gloss. It is insanely moisturizing (thanks to the Vitamin E) and doesn’t feel tacky on the lips. At the same time, you get a nice dose of shine and while the gloss is orange in color, it actually looks pretty clear on my lips with just a small bit of orange shimmer. Of course, if I were to wear an orange (or maybe red) lipstick, the orange in the gloss would really pop. It isn’t the glossiest lipgloss that I’ve come across but I would trade added moisture for glossiness any day. Can I get an Amen?

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And I saved the best for last because the packaging of Le Métier de Beauté’s Kaleidoscopes are just goooorgeous.

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Priced at $95, these are definitely the kind of product that you have to LOOOOOOVE to even consider buying. Admittedly so, I’ve never been a fan of lip color palettes and kits. I think they are best suited for makeup artsits and traveling but for everyday use, I much prefer using lipsticks and glosses. There is something insanely wonderful about the lip colors in this Lip Kit though. Each shade is nice and pigmented and all have nice wear time. They end up being about $25 each so yeah, I do think the price point is a bit hefty – even for a luxe brand.

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The shades:

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Cinema: a velvety, ultra-rich true red.
Existential: sparkling mauve with rose effervescence.
Beau: deep berry crimson with matte finish.
Celluloid: a glimmering, creamy flushed red.

Celluloid is stunning. I’m not into having to use a lip brush every time I want to apply a lip color (I know…I’m lazy) but I loooove this one.

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So yeah, I am loving me some Le Métier de Beauté. If you’re going to spend a good amount of money on a brand, you should want to be woo-ed and Le Métier de Beauté does that. You can scoop up their products at select Nordstrom counters and Nordstrom.com.

 

Any Le Métier de Beauté lovers in the house? How beautiful is that Kaleidoscope?

China Glaze Tranzitions nail polish collection

Well noooooow, this is quite the surprise. Good ole’ China Glaze is always on the up and up when it comes to knowing the latest and greatest in the nail polish world. They know that many of us have fallen victim to the nail art addiction and so they’ve released some polishes that can help make nail art…well, easier.

According to China Glaze, it goes like this: “This revolutionary new color-changing nail lacquer reacts when a clear top coat is applied”. Reacts in what way, you ask? With a stroke of clear top coat, the original polish color transforms into another nail polish groovy. Pretty groovy concept, uh? It’s easy to identify what color you’ll start with and what color a top coat will transform that color to because China Glaze have given us little labels on each of the Tranzitions bottles.

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China Glaze isn’t the first to do this but a mainstream brand hasn’t done this in a while so they do get some props in my book. I’ll show off the swatches first and then go into detail about how these polishes work and if they are worth your pennies.

Duplicityy is a mint green that shifts to vibrant teal. I actually really like this color without the top coat. Duplicityy seemed to dry better than most of the other polishes. The teal that arrives after the top coat is gorgeous too and almost has a bit of watercolor effect.

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Duplicityy with a bit of top coat…

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Duplicityy with top coat all over…

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Shape Shifter is a smokey violet that shifts to dark purple. That dark violet is very very subtle and actually looks more like a chrome-y navy blue on the nails. It’s a shade I’d wear solo but I love its transformed color (that vibrant purple) a lot more.

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Shape Shifter with a bit of top coat…

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Shape Shifter with top coat all over…

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Modify Me is a periwinkle blue that shifts to indigo blue. That perwinkle is some kind of awesome and don’t laugh at me, but I got a bit ambitious with my wanna-be nail art when it came to using the top coat. It is insanely tricky but you can use a dotting tool to make the other color pop up. I’m just not that good at it…yet.

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Modify Me with a bit of top coat…

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Modify Me with top coat all over…

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Metallic Metamorphosis is a silvery grey that shifts to bluish-charcoal grey and the truth about this shade is that it doesn’t LOOK all that differently when you apply a top coat over it. I’m not even kidding.

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Metallic Metamorphosis with a bit of top coat…

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Metallic Metamorphosis with top coat all over…

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Split Perso-NAIL-ity is a dusty pink that shifts to fuchsia and it’s a good shade to have in the bunch considering all of the other polishes don’t have any pink/red  variations to them. The cotton candy pink is nice and girly and I dig the fuchsia it turns into – although it does have application problems a la Modify Me.

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Split Perso-NAIL-ity with a bit of top coat…

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Split Perso-NAIL-ity with top coat all over…

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Altered Reality is a teal blue that shifts to turquoise and ohmiiiiigoodness, my camera sucked at trying to capture this color. While it looks gray, it really is more of a chrome-y teal. It’s not my favorite of the bunch though.

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Altered Reality with a bit of top coat…

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Pro’s

-Interesting concept to those who like nail art.
-I managed to get an opaque finish with each polish after only applying 1 coat.
-You really do get 2 polishes in 1 but for the price of 1 polish.
-Fun way to quickly change nail polish colors on a whim.
-All brands of top coat work effectively.

Con’s

-It’s hard to tell when the polish is “ready” for the top coat because even when they feel dry, applying a top coat can result in a streaky finish.
-The nail polish formula, while opaque, has such a weird consistency. It’s streaky and it’s tough to get it to apply evenly.
-Some of the polishes didn’t have much of a noticeable shift in color.

OVERALL:

Are these gimmicky? Well…yes. But nail polish fans may like them for the fun factor alone. Using them will take some trial and error but they aren’t impossible. Plus, I’m all for something “new” in the nail polish world so even though these aren’t perfect, I’m not exactly hating on them.

 

Purchase Information

Cost: 3.99/ea
Availability: Available in January 2013.
Where To Buy: Sally Beauty Supply, Ulta and on e-tailers like TransDesign.com.

Whatcha think, nail polish lovers? Are these the coolest polishes you’ve ever seen or a bit…strange?

Gettin’ down with Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette.

So ever since I did my post on Urban Decay’s Naked Basics palette, y’all screamed at me at how much of a loser I was for having not tried the other Naked palettes. And yeah, I kinda agree. What kind of blogger am I? :cry: You all deserve so much more and I just…I’ve failed.

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Yep, my dramaticals are all up in through 2013. Aren’t you excited about it? Ha! But seriously – I’m glad to finally be on the Naked palettes train. Naked 2 is absolutely fantastic and I should have been onboard mooons and moons ago.

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Details about this palette –

Cost: $50
Availability: Currently available.
Where to Buy: Sephora.com, UrbanDecay.com, Ulta.com, Sephora and Ulta stores nationwide.
Palette contains: 12 eye shadows, Good Karma Shadow/Crease Brush & 0.11 oz Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Naked.

And now let’s get some close-up’s and swatches of these shadows.

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(L-R)
Foxy, Half Baked, Bootycall, Chopper, Tease, Snakebite

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(L-R)
Suspect, Pistol, Verve, YDK, Busted, Blackout

The palette has a nice range of glittery shades, mattes and shimmers. I would have loved to see more mattes but then again, that’s why I am so head over heels in love with Urban Decay’s Naked Basics palette. It complements Naked 2 beautifully. If you’re familiar with UD’s shadows, then these won’t disappoint as I found them all to apply with ease with little to no fall-out. But come on…would you expect anything less from this brand? Also with the palette comes a nice and useful dual-ended shadow/crease brush.

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Urban Decay’s brushes are always phenomenal and you may expect this one to be of lesser quality since it’s coming in a palette but no, it’s pretty stellar. And then there’s the mini Lip Junkie.

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It’s a nice sized gloss – perfect for throwing in your purse. It doesn’t carry much pigmentation although it does have a enough sheen to satisfy my obsession of super glossy lippies. And I’m still playing around with looks but I love love loooove how Snakebite looks on the lid.

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So yeah, I don’t have much to complain about when it comes to the Naked 2 palette. I totally get the hype and I’m so glad that I am finally on board. This is the perfect palette to create daytime looks and that Blackout will be dynamic at creating day-to-night looks. I adore colorful eyeshadow, but I like neutrals more so um, yeah…Naked 2 is ruling my life right now.

 

Any Urban Decay Naked lovers in the house? Which one do you like best? The original Naked, Naked 2 or Naked Basics?