Pupa Spring 2015 Sporty Chic Collection - Graphic Eyeshadow Palette and Velvet Matt Cream Eyeshadow

Purchased items.

SPRING IS HERE.

No?

Well, eff it, let's pretend.

I'm diving deep into all the pastels I can find. I ran across the Pupa Spring display at Jean Coutu a few weeks back, and all those beautiful lilacs and apple greens called to my soul. I had to get a few bits from the Sporty Chic Collection - especially an incredible-looking cream shadow in a shade I've actually never seen before (and crossed my fingers it would show up as vibrant on the eye as it does in the jar).

Pupa Sping 2015 Sporty Chic Collection - Graphic Eyeshadow Palette and Velvet Matt Cream Eyeshadow

Pupa Sping 2015 Sporty Chic Collection - Graphic Eyeshadow Palette and Velvet Matt Cream Eyeshadow

The vibe here is giving me a flashback to the 4th grade (mid 80s, to save you the math), which is admittedly not a time period I'm usually inclined to revisit. And yet...I'm having the sweetest wave of nostalgia right now (bolstered by these kind of articles). Preteen me would have given this palette a place of honour on her dresser, right next to her bottles of Exclamation and Electric Youth.

Pupa Sping 2015 Sporty Chic Collection - Graphic Eyeshadow Palette and Velvet Matt Cream Eyeshadow

The actual colour palette reads a little less obviously 80s, though. A little Twiggy, maybe?

Pupa Sping 2015 Sporty Chic Collection - Graphic Eyeshadow Palette and Velvet Matt Cream Eyeshadow

Either way, it's beautiful. All of the eyeshadows have the same ultra-fine, smooth texture, creamy but thin in the way of the Maybelline Color Plush eyeshadows. The pigmentation is semi-sheer, but intentionally so, not due to chalkiness. To me, these are fantastic layering shades, as they all have some degree of opalescent shimmer that sits so well on top of a deeper base, though they can still be used by themselves. Wear-time was surprisingly good for chiffon-light shades like this, about 8 hours without significant wear and tear, though some fading.

I think veils of colour like this feel very modern right now, especially for spring. I'm kind of tired of the very contoured/defined/transition shade/3-point eye looks that are Instagram staples right now.

Pupa Sping 2015 Sporty Chic Collection - Graphic Eyeshadow Palette and Velvet Matt Cream Eyeshadow

If you're going to get something from this collection though, it HAS to be the Velvet Matt cream eyeshadow in #003. This is truly incredible. Purples are notoriously difficult to get right in terms of texture and payoff, but a pastel-hued version in a matte cream formula? That truly is a marvel.

And it really, really is.

Pupa Sping 2015 Sporty Chic Collection - Graphic Eyeshadow Palette and Velvet Matt Cream Eyeshadow

This applies perfectly true from jar to skin, and can be used fully opaque without creasing or bunching, and can be buffed out without going patchy.

And the colour...LOOKIT.

I really don't think I've seen anything quite like it, especially not in such a top-notch formulation. I didn't need to use a primer under it, and it lasted 8 plus hours without budging, cracking or fading.

Pupa Sping 2015 Sporty Chic Collection - Graphic Eyeshadow Palette and Velvet Matt Cream Eyeshadow

I did a quick look using thee guys, drawing from both the Twiggy/60s/Mod side and the current Korean-inspired Spring makeup trends. 

I used the Velvet Matt as a base on the mobile lid and lightly buffed into the crease, and then layered the lilac shadow on the lid, with the pale pink in the centre of the lid. I used the apricot through my crease. I then worked a Sephora Contour Eye Pencil in the shade #37 Caipirinha Dreaming' into the lower lash line, and then buffed the chartreuse shade over that. The pale lemon yellow went into the inner corner. I finished off the eyes with little wing courtesy of the Le Métier de Beauté pen liner, and a couple coats of Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash mascara.

Pupa Sping 2015 Sporty Chic Collection - Graphic Eyeshadow Palette and Velvet Matt Cream Eyeshadow

To keep on-trend with the radiant, "just had a facial" skin currently popular in Korea, I applied a crapload of moisturizer, used the Make Up For Ever Smoothing Primer, and then applied the Clarins Everlasting Foundation using a buffing brush that was dampened with a glycerin-heavy toner from Nuxe. A bit of bright Delizioso Pink blush from Milani on the cheeks, and then loads of balm and a swipe of Quince from Bite Beauty on the lips, faded out to the lipline for a juicy effect.

I'm digging it.

I know Pupa is hard to get in Canada - I can only find it here in Jean Coutu stores. Have you guys seen it anywhere else?

(I purchased all the items. This post is not sponsored or otherwise compensated.)

Clarins Spring 2015 - Garden Escape Palette 6-Color Eye Palette

Press sample.

As tired as I am of winter, I'm almost more tired of complaining about it. So let's focus on spring, yes?

And nothing says "HELLO THERE SPRING" quite like the verdant, pastel confection that is the Clarins Garden Escape Palette. (Well, maybe not in shouty caps, since that wouldn't be the classy Clarins way.)

Clarins Spring 2015 - Garden Escape Palette 6-Color Eye Palette

Clarins Spring 2015 - Garden Escape Palette 6-Color Eye Palette


Clarins Spring 2015 - Garden Escape Palette 6-Color Eye Palette

How freaking gorgeous is that??

I'm not a jaded makeup consumer. I still gasp with delight over the new, pretty, and shiny - but it takes a lot to truly stop me in my tracks. This palette. THIS PALETTE. I was mesmerized upon opening it, and very nearly petted it lovingly before realizing I needed to take un-besmirched pictures.

(Side note - this is also the palette that inspired me to change up my picture backgrounds from the plain white. Let me know if you like that.)

The outside is simple and classic, but the inside is pure magic. The colors themselves are stunning, and so perfectly spring-like that all the other collections can basically pack up and go home. The imprinted sun and botanical design just notches everything up to 11. I really don't know if I could have asked for a more perfect springtime palette.

Clarins Spring 2015 - Garden Escape Palette 6-Color Eye Palette

Clarins Spring 2015 - Garden Escape Palette 6-Color Eye Palette
In this light, the shimmer is more obvious.

Clarins Spring 2015 - Garden Escape Palette 6-Color Eye Palette
In more direct light, the result is more flat and satin, which closer to how they appear on the eye.
Which is why I was a little disappointed in the formula.

To the touch, it feels absolutely amazing. Ultra-smooth, creamy, soft. I was excited, because it reminded me of the texture of the older, discontinued Clarins mono eyeshadows, which I love, and which are nothing like the new wet-dry formulation.

And indeed, it swatches beautifully. Applied to the eye, however, that intensity is lost. The softness of the powder translates into a hazy, watercolour application. The colors are more muted, as if viewed through a soft-focused filter - delicate and pretty, but not what I was expecting from the look of the palette, hence my disappointment. Used dry, it's also very difficult to build up any intensity simply by packing on more powder.

Applied wet, however, the effect is much stronger, closer to to the depth of the swatches here, and with more visible shimmer. I achieved an even better result applying them over a concealer rather than bare lids or a regular eye primer.

Overall, the shade with the best payoff (wet and dry) and the smoothest application is the taupe. Dry, it's the perfect crease color. Wet, it's a stunner on the lid, picking up the light in the way only taupe shadows can. The two pinks are nearly interchangeable once applied, even if they look more distinct in the swatch. The greens are probably the most different when applied wet or dry - hazy shadows and dappled green light when applied dry, more lush and verdant when used wet.

I know several bloggers have loved this palette, and generally I'm not one to pick on an eyeshadow  for going on softer (I deeply dislike the OMG PIGMENTATION IS EVERYTHING standard, as not everyone is looking for eyelids that precede them into a room). This is particularly true of a formula like this, that is specifically designed and marketed to be used dry for a lighter look, and wet for more drama. I appreciate that the claims are pretty clear about that, and that as a consumer you have the options.

I think it comes down to which you'd rather do - sheer down and blend out a more intense formula, or work up a softer one. I don't think there's an objectively better way, as it depends on what you tend to wear on a daily basis. Personally, I think the former method is usually easier/simpler, which is partly why I was left a little bereft.

The Garden Escape Palette is priced at 44$ CAD, and is currently available at Clarins counters.

(Product was provided by the brand to be considered for review. This post is not sponsored or otherwise compensated.)

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

Press sample. Contains affiliate link.

Sometimes a product doesn't quite work as intended, but still manages to be all kinds of awesome. Such is the case with the Urban Decay Naked On The Run travel palette.

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

This boxy, beautiful palette contains a wonderfully functional array of products for creating a natural-to-night-out look: a medium toned bronzer, a vivid pink blush that leans a bit blue, five neutral shadows in a mix of finishes, a shimmer powder that can work as both a face highlight and another eyeshadow, a deep brown eyeliner, a muted rose lipgloss and a mascara. Add in your favourite face products, and maybe a lipstick or liner, and all your bases are covered.

The packaging is, as most things UD, gorgeous to look at, and cumbersome to store and carry - and that goes double when the marketing calls this a travel palette. Though smaller than the egregiously overstuffed Book of Shadows of yore, it's still far from streamlined. I don't know how anyone would look at this and think: "why yes, this is exactly what I need to tuck into my carry-on bag". (Then again, I'm a super-light packer, so if your travel motto is There's Always Another Suitcase, then this might not be an issue.) Personally, if I really wanted to tote these items along on a trip, I would take the loose items out into my makeup bag, and depot the actual pans. Which sort of defeats the purpose of the pretty packaging. The only part that is travel-friendly for me is the nice-sized mirror, and the fact that it stays open by itself.

That being said, I do think this is a GREAT option to get yourself or to give someone as a sampler of Urban Decay products. The quality of the products is very representative, and they're almost all full-sized or generously proportioned items - only the eyeliner and mascara are mini versions. For 64$ CAD, you get a lot of good, varied product for the money, and everything works well together.

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette


Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

The eyeshadows skew on the cooler side in the pan, though they are warmer on the skin, and offer a  solid neutral range for light to medium skin.

Dive - a metallic rose gold with micro shimmer, this looks like it could be chunky in the pan, but actually applies smoothly, with minimal fallout. I can be packed on for a dense, shimmery look, but I prefer it applied lightly as a wash, with a damp brush, for a sunlight-shimmer-on-water effect.

Fix - a medium taupe matte, this has a silky-smooth texture and the perfect tone for a softly applied lid color or transition shade. Depending on your colouring, it can also work as a contour or even brow shade, making it the most flexible shade out of the palette. I almost wish it was a larger pan, as I know it's the one that will be most used.

Resist - a metallic taupe with the kind of creamy, rich texture that is definitively "UD". It looks more grey in the pan than it does on the lid, and I find myself using it a lot for defining the lower lash line. Something about the shimmer and tone works wonders.

Dare - a neutral medium brown matte. Swatched, it seems a little choppy, but I had no issues using it on the eye. Like most truly neutral shades, it's a bit of a yawner in the pan, but perfectly useful in reality. The silky-smooth - but not buttery - texture makes it perfect for contour work (eye or face, depending on your skin tone) and as a brow powder. It builds up nicely as well.

Stun - a metallic bronze with gold micro-shimmer. Another one that looks like it might be chunky glitter bomb in the pan, and feels drier and more powdery than I'm used to from UD. There's a bit of fall-out during application, but it blended out smoothly on the eye. Also the warmest of the eyeshdows here.

All five of these eyeshadows are 0.04 oz, which is just a bit under the 0.05 oz size of the single eyeshadows. (Which works out to 4 x 19.20$, so a 76.80$ value.)

The second powder row features a bronzer, a blush and an eyeshadow that also works as a face highlighter.

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

Bronzer - a medium, slightly red-leaning bronze. I thought it would be too deep for me at first, but it's actually exactly right. It doesn't turn orange and it doesn't make me look sallow. If you have light, somewhat olive-toned skin, this is perfect. The texture is smooth and silky, and is easy to both apply lightly or build up, as there is no powdery-ness.

Blush - a bright pink with slight shimmer. Intense in the pan, but the perfect in-from-the-cold shade on the cheeks. Beautiful on lighter skin tones, but vivid enough for medium to deep skin as well. It has the same texture as the bronzer, with marginally more shimmer. More glow on the skin than anything else.

5050 - a slightly shimmery champagne beige. As an eyeshadow, it's on the sheerer side, but it provides a nice balance to the medium/deeper shades in the rest of the palette. It can be applied overtop to add some dimension, or in the corner of the eye for a straight-on highlight. With the sheerer texture and relatively subdued shimmer, it also works well as a face highlight. It has a creamier texture than the blush and bronzer, more like the UD eyeshadows, though not as dense.

The blush and bronzer are each 0.3 oz, and while there isn't a direct individual product equivalent in the UD line-up, the Naked Flushed palettes contain blush, bronzer and highlighter, and have 0.59 oz of product for 35$ CAD. Adding in the 5050 highlighter at 0.07 oz, the total value of that row comes out to 39.75$.

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

This is my first experience with the Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss. First, the tube is GORGEOUS. I mean, really, really well done, UD. It fits perfectly alongside the Revolution Lipsticks, kinda funky and modern but with a nice amount of heft and elegance. (As an aside, I really like the grown-up version of Urban Decay. As someone who was introduced to brand in my teens, when both it and I were heavily inspired by the grunge aesthetic, its evolution feels perfectly in tune with mine.)

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

Performance-wise, this is a lovely gloss. Nothing outrageously inventive, but it feels light, comfortable and hydrating on the lips (I've used it instead of balm once or twice, and it worked better than expected), and not sticky at all. There is a slight scent, which I can't place, and it's not noticeable after application. The shade here is in Sesso, which is a nude rose with a slight shimmer, and is also exclusive to this palette. It's right in line with the Naked theme, a MLBB color. These are sheerer glosses, by the way, so not for you if you like something with a lot of pigmentation, but optimal if you're the type of person who applies lipgloss on the fly.

This is a full-sized product, coming in 0.13 oz. (Individually, the glosses retail for 24$ CAD.)

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

The 24/7 eyeliner included in the kit is in the shade Stag, which I don't believe exists independently. It's a cool-toned, grungy dark brown, verging on grey, with a bit of shimmer. The shimmer doesn't really read on the eye, just gives it a bit of depth. I really like this shade - it's softer, smokier and easier to wear than black, without appearing noticeable brown either. Kind of that perfect daytime shade, but also intensifies for a nighttime look. It's actually been my go-to liner for the last few weeks.

Stag is 0.03 oz compared to the full-sized 0.04 oz, so a comparative 18$ value.

Urban Decay Naked On The Run Palette

The mascara is a deluxe sample version of the new(ish) Perversion. I love the look of my lashes with this mascara - sooty-black, fuller and longer, with good separation without any spikiness - but unfortunately it smudges and flakes on me within a few hours. 

The size is 0.13 oz, compared to 0.4 oz of the full-size. The sample size is sold on Sephora for 15$ CAD (compared to 26$ CAD). In terms of actual value, this is 8.45$.

One coat only on the top lashes, on the left.
It's a natural bristle brush, and the casing has a really pretty gunmetal finish. If you're going to replace it in the slot provided by the palette casing, you'll need to do so with another sample mascara - which is one of the other aspects to the packaging that can be less than practical. (Though if you are using it for travel purposes, it can certainly make sense to take a mini mascara.)

Final thoughts? I think this palette is a terrific value (167$ for the 64$ price tag), and works as a fabulous introduction to the brand. It definitely has all your bases covered, even if I do find the packaging too bulky and specific to work well as a travel palette. 

(This item was sent to me by the brand to be considered for review. This post is not sponsored, or otherwise compensated. Contains an affiliate link.)

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette and Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes and Cheeks

Purchased items.

I'll be doing a series of quick and dirty swatch-and-mini review posts for the holiday palettes, as there isn't a lot of time left to purchase or put things on wish lists for the holiday gift-giving season. (And I'll be back to both regularly scheduled programming and some new things come January.)

For today, I have two really, REALLY awesome palettes: The Make Up For Ever Artist Palette and the Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes and Cheeks. (And hey, I just realized the name similarity here. They both wanted to be sure you knew they were MUA-friendly brands, I guess?)

First up, the Make Up For Ever Artist palette. Price is 48$ CAD, available at Sephora.

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette

The new MUFE eyeshadow formula is both unique and a vast improvement over their original formula. It's one of those weird gel-powder hybrids, but without that surface dryness that kind of formula can have. These are creamy and a little dense, with a neat texture when you press your finger into the pan, almost like it has a bit of squishy-ness. The gel part of it, I assume? And unlike a lot powders that claim some kind of special privilege of being usable wet, these powders not only can be applied damp, they transform into an almost cream eyeshadow texture when applied wet. They can be painted on, blended, buffed out without losing potency or getting funky.

All the shades I've tried so far have wonderful pigmentation (especially the Metallic and Iridescent finishes), and more notably, are an absolute dream to build up, sheer out and generally blend. They're so incredibly malleable for a powder eyeshadow. I think the ones that might be the weakest in pigmentation are the Diamond shades, but it's a truly minor difference.

I've heard that these eyeshadows can develop a hard pan surface, which hasn't happened to mine, yet. (I think because of that gel-powder, squishy texture they compact down easily, maybe?)

Shades are, left to right:

M536 (Milk Tea - matte), 1524 (Pinky Beige - iridescent), I550 (Olive Grey - iridescent),
D652 (Celestial Earth - diamond), ME728 (Copper Red - metallic), ME230 (Peacock Blue - metallic, D926 (Blueberry - diamond), ME930 (Black Purple - metallic).

I think the Copper Red and Blueberry are perhaps the only ones where the name doesn't quite match the color, but otherwise they're pretty accurate descriptions.

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette

Make Up For Ever Artist Palette



Next up, the Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes and Cheeks. Price was originally 70$ CAD, now 59$ in the sale section at Sephora. Score!

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes and Cheeks

I have to say that the exterior of the palette is decidedly lacklustre. It's a functional flip top with a magnetic (sort of) closure, and a zebra-like cloth wrap. It's just totally "meh".

Inside, WAY better.

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes and Cheeks

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes and Cheeks

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes and Cheeks

I had a rough patch with the Laura Mercier palette. My first one had a misprint that turned Deep Night into something close enough to a racial slur that I debated with myself for a week before exchanging it. That bump aside, it's a lovely palette! The eyeshadows are up to par with what I expect from LM (compared to, say, the unreliable quality of Bobbi Brown palettes), with silky-smooth mattes, creamy-textured shimmers, and great payoff. I find the rosy tones on the left side especially useful for everyday wear, but the navy also makes a terrific eyeliner shade, and the stone taupe is a go-to contouring shade for both eyelid and cheeks.

The one thing that stands out a bit oddly is the blush/highlighter, as it is distinctly warmer-toned than the rest of the palette. It can be a bit odd pairing them in a cohesive look, but I actually like dusting it a bit over the centre of the lid to add a burnished tone and then applying it as a second, highlighter-y blush over a rosy or taupe blush to tie everything in. It's probably a little less value for the buck if you don't like the blush, since it contains half the amount of eyeshadows compared the palettes from previous years. If you do like it, though, then it's great quality for the price, especially now that it's discounted. (If you want to press your luck, you can also try waiting until the sale section discount thing Sephora usually does later in December/early January.)


Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes and Cheeks

Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes and Cheeks

Back soon with a few more!

(I purchased everything.)