In December 2011, I was 40-something dollars away from becoming a VIB. I received an email from Sephora advising me of this. I was racking my brain and couldn't think of anything that I wanted to buy at Sephora. Then I received a gift card from my Mr. Lova Lova for Christmas, at which time I thought, "Hmm...perhaps I'll find something now." Hehe...!
So, off I went into the land of destroyed cosmetic samples. I came up with a brilliant idea: Mattes! I have accumulated so many shimmery eyeshadows that I could really use some matte shades to complement/tone-down the shimmers. I came across this:
Well, actually, this was what caught my eye:
(And this was what caught my eye when I opened up the one I purchased...)As always, I digress. It was Tarte NeutralEYES Volume II Natural Eye Palette ($57 CAD). My eyes latched on to the gorgeous neutrals and could not let go. The top five shades are all matte and the bottom five shades are shimmery (but not glittery. I kind of hate glitter. Like a lot.)
Now, be prepared to gasp in horror: I don't have the Naked Palette. I don't have the Naked 2 Palette. In fact, I don't have anything Urban Decay. I remember some moment in time last year, during which I spotted a few Naked Palettes when it was not yet readily available as it is nowadays. I was shopping with M and I considered getting it just because it was so coveted and inaccessible. For once, my greed did not overcome my superego, and I left it.
Anyhow, the palette to which this post is dedicated is $58 CAD, so the price is quite comparable to Naked. However, check out what NeutralEYES comes with.
It is also green-themed, as evidenced by this wonderfully leafy leaflet.I swatched. I was sold. Here are some close-ups of the shadows themselves:
Velvety smooth and nicely pigmented, albeit significantly less pigmented than those that are so loved by the Naked Palette cult. However, this was precisely the level of colour payoff that I was looking for. Easily buildable, but very forgiving if you accidentally use a heavy hand. For a brand that's touted as 'natural' and what not (although looking at that ingredient list, one has to wonder...), they are not chalky, they apply evenly, and they blend quite easily. I haven't used an eye primer for quite a while, so I can't speak on its effect on the eyeshadows' performance. I have to admit that there is a fair bit of fallout, more than what I am used to. (I normally have little to none with my go-to's, namely Chanel's Ombres Contraste Duo in #20 Taupe-Delicat, Chantecaille's Sea Turtle Palette, or even Wet 'n Wild's Comfort Zone and Silent Treatment.) That is the one downside to the soft texture of these eyeshadows. Nevertheless, I have no regrets for this purchase because it comes in very handy. I like to use the first, leftmost matte shadow ("matte soft beige") to highlight my brow bone, a 3:1 mix of the fourth and last matte shadows ("matte pebble" and "matte espresso") to fill in my brows. Of course, any of the shimmery shadows would work well as an all-over wash on the lids.
I suck at eyelining. I've watched countless how-to videos but can't seem to do it properly. So, when I say that I have difficulty using this eyeliner, it could very well be the fact that I am a huge eyeliner fail. With that in mind, it has a very malleable texture in pencil-form but once applied on the skin, it doesn't budge. Like Mr. Lova Lova watching sports. Can't move the man. When you glide the eyeliner across your skin, there is a cool (as in cold) sensation, living up to its "aqua-gel" title.
Haven't gotten around to using it, sorry. I've been using and enjoying my Nordstrom Brush Set. However, for a brush that comes with a palette, and a double-ended one no less, the shader-end feels soft and apt for blending and the pencil-end feels dense and sturdy. It retails for $24 USD on their website, so it's not just a dinky oh-let's-throw-in-this-shitstick-and-pretend-it's-a-brush type deal.
Haven't gotten around to using this one either. It's supposed to be quite similar to UD's Primer Potion, as it is skin-coloured (as opposed to translucent or white). However, this primer purports to have firming qualities ("51% decrease in the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles," it says.) Will keep you posted when I use it.
Terribly sorry that this does not include swatches, but if any were to be included they would be garbage anyway because of my non-existent photography/lighting skills. In fact, I will justify this shortfall by encouraging you to check this palette out in stores for yourself because fancy blog swatches always make the shadows look exceptional, perhaps more exceptional than they would look in normal, everyday lighting. SO THERE! HA!