First Impression and Swatches | MAC Brooke Shields Gravitas Eyeshadow Palette

I am so pleased I was able to get my hands on the MAC Brooke Shields Gravitas eyeshadow palette. The collection was released on Thursday 2nd October in the UK and my palette arrived today –  thumbs up to MAC for super quick shipping. I had seen swatches of this palette from American beauty bloggers and I knew I had to have it.

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Lets start with the packaging. Firstly, I love that the packaging is grey as opposed to the traditional black MAC packaging. I also like that you can see all of the eyeshadow colours, except the very centre one, without opening the palette. This makes it easier to find the colour you want – especially if you have way too many eye shadows like me! When you open the magnetic lid there is a plastic insert to protect the shadows, it has little indents that sit into the eyeshadow pans. I am going to keep this instead of throwing it away like I usually would, because I am hoping it will help protect the shadows when I travel with the palette.

Now on to the eyeshadows themselves. As you can see there is a good variety of light to dark shadows and a good range of colours. There is not one colour in the palette I wouldn’t use. Which is great, as with larger palettes such as this, there is usually one or two shades that I do not get much use of.

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Top Row L-R: Pretty, Soft brown, Expensive Pink, Clove, Satin Taupe.  Middle Row L-R: Canter, Luscious, Antiqued, Psyche, Carbon. Bottom Row L-R: Shroom, Persuade, Plummed, Lofty, Pepper

The colours in this palette are perfect for autumn and winter. Especially the earthy and berry tones shadows like Plummed, Antiqued and Psyche. I like that they have included warm and cool toned shadows as this makes for a more well rounded look. The palette includes six permanent and nine new shades. I already own three of the permanent shades (Antiqued, Carbon and Satin Taupe) but I love these colours so I was not worried about having two of them.

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Top Row L-R: Pretty, Soft brown, Expensive Pink, Clove, Satin Taupe.  Middle Row L-R: Canter, Luscious, Antiqued, Psyche, Carbon. Bottom Row L-R: Shroom, Persuade, Plummed, Lofty, Pepper

Lets look at the shadows in more detail:

Pretty is a light beige satin shade. You will see from the swatch on my arm below that it almost blends into my skin tone, so for me it will make a nice subtle highlight or lid colour.

Soft Brown is a medium warm toned matte brown. This was one of the shades I was most excited about. Even though it is a permanent shade, it is not available in the UK. I see this used in so many tutorials and I get so frustrated that it is not available here –  come on MAC, bring this shade to the UK. This is going to be an ideal transition shade for me as it is a few shades darker than my skin tone.

Expensive Pink is a warm toned peachy pink shade with a veluxe pearl finish. This is another permanent shade, and one I have been eying up for a while.

Clove is a medium-deep brown with a satin finish. This shadow leans towards the warmer side and is more matte than satin so could be used easily in the crease if you do not like using sheeny shadows there.

Satin Taupe is another permanent shade. As the name suggests it is a taupe shade and it has a warm tone with a silvery frost finish.

Canter is a light yellow gold shade with a frost finish. This is different from any other gold toned shade I have in my collection, it will look nice in the inner corner of the eye to brighten.

Luscious is a light coppery bronze with a frost finish. The pigmentation of this shaded isn’t great, but I think if it is used over a sticky base (like a paint pot) it will look pretty.

Antiqued is a medium reddish bronze with a veluxe pearl finish. It is a permanent shadow and one of my favourites to use at this time of year. It is great for bringing out blue/green eyes.

Psyche is an olive brown with golden frost. I am looking forward to using this colour as I do not use greens very often and I think this will look beautiful in an autumnal look, or maybe even a Christmas inspired look.

Carbon is a matte black shade. It is from MAC’s permanent line. It is not the most pigmented black I own, but works well to smoke out a look or line the upper or lower lash line.

Shroom is the final permanent shade in the palette. It is a very light beige with a satin finish. I have seen this shade used as an inner corner and brow bone highlight in lots of tutorials so I am looking forward to incorporating it into some looks.

Persuade is a medium dark taupe matte brown. This will be handy for smoking out looks when a black would be too much.

Plummed is my favourite colour in the palette. It is a medium pinky purple berry shade – great description! It has veluxe pearl finish and the pigmentation is great. I can see me wearing this colour lots in the next couple of weeks.

Lofty is a medium cool toned brown with a satin finish. Like Clove this shade is more matte than satin so work well in the crease

Pepper is a deep taupe brown with purple undertones. It has a velvet finish and the pigmentation is very good. I think this will look nice smudge along the lash line and in the outer corner with satin taupe over the lid.

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L-R: Pretty, Soft brown, Expensive Pink, Clove, Satin Taupe, Canter, Luscious, Antiqued, Psyche, Carbon, Shroom, Persuade, Plummed, Lofty, Pepper

Overall I am very impressed with the quality of this palette. It was pricey at £70 but when you think that MAC eyeshadow pans are usually £10 and a palette including inserts is £16.50, this palette is actually very good value for money. Unfortunately it is sold out on the MAC website but you could try contacting your local counter to se if they have any in stock if you are interested in buying this palette.

Did you get your hands on anything in this collection? Let me know in the comments below.

First Impression | My Little Box

I have been subscribed to various beauty boxes over the past couple of years and I always get excited when a new one comes on to the market. I heard about My Little Box on Fleur De Force’s blog (you can read her post here). I thought it looked different from other boxes as it not only includes beauty items, it also includes fashion, stationary and lifestyle items. So I decided to sign up.

My first box arrived today. It is the My Little Parisienne Box.

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The first thing I noticed was how simple but pretty the box is. It is about the same size as a Glossybox and is nice a sturdy to protect the items inside. When you first open the box, all of the items are kept together with a white ribbon with ‘My Little Box’ printed over it. On the top is a little card that reads ‘Why Paris? Paris needs no reason. Paris is its own reason.” – very true.

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Then there are some little Paris themed stickers that they suggest you can stick on your fridge, computer, phone, notebook or window. I am not sure what I am going to do with these but I am sure I will find some use for them.

The first item I received in the box is a notebook. At the front of the notebook there are a few pages explaining the story of My Little Box. The rest of the pages in the notebook are plain so I think I might use this to plan blog post and YouTube videos. It will look cute sat on my desk.DSC_0158

The second item is a laptop sleeve. It is the perfect size for my 13″ MacBook Pro. I am really glad I received this because I have a laptop bag, but not something I can use to protect my laptop if I want to carry it in a different bag.DSC_0150

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Now on to the beauty samples. They all came in a cotton drawstring pouch with ‘My Little Box’ and bows printed on it. The first is the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer. I have previously received a sample of the radiance primer and enjoyed using it so I am intrigued to see if the original formula is as good. DSC_0153

The second beauty sample is the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. This is a dry multipurpose oil that can be used on hair, body or face. I already have a sample of this but I have not tried it yet. I have heard good things about this oil so I will make it my mission this month to try it.

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The third and final beauty item is a product from the My Little Beauty range. It is the Stylo Lumiére, a highlighting pen similar to the YSL Touche Éclat. I am excited to try this as the YSL pen has gone up in price and I am not sure if I can justify the price anymore, unless I can get it discounted somewhere. Maybe I will do a comparison of the two products.

The My Little Box is £11 (plus £3.95) a month and overall I feel this is definitely worth the money and I will continue with my subscription. You can find out more about the box and sign up here.

Have you received any boxes from My Little Box? If so, I would love to hear what you received in the comments below.

First Impressions and Swatches: Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

I am just going to warn you now, this is going to be a picture heavy post!
I finally decided to purchase some of the Makeup Geek eyeshadows as I have heard so much about them in the beauty community. I have heard they are even better than MAC eyeshadows and for $5.99 (approximately £3.67) per shadow, I knew I had to try them – even though as mentioned in my previous post, I have enough eyeshadows to last a life time.
 
I watched lots of YouTube videos and looked at lots of swatches on the Makeup Geek site and other blogs before I decided which colours I would purchase. I finally settled on 15 shadows that I knew I would get a lot of use out of. Unfortunately some of them were out of stock when I placed my order, including some of the ones I wanted the most – I’m looking at you Crème Brûlée. Therefore I ended up buying 9 shadows and a medium Z Palette to keep them in. 

Ready for lots of photos?

 

 How beautiful is the packaging!
L – R: Shimma Shimma, Beaches & Cream, Peach Smoothie, Purely Naked, Frappè, Latte, Cocoa Bear, Taupe Notch, Mango Tango

Now for a close up of each shadow. Some of them photoed a little dark individually but the photo above and the swatches below show them true to colour:




Shimma Shimma is a a shimmery pink champagne shade that will make a beautiful inner corner highlight.
 
Beaches & Cream is a matte light beige colour that is just a shadow or two darker than my natural skin tone. This will be a great transition or blending colour that does not add too much darkness to the look.





 
 
 
Peach Smoothie is a light peachy shade as the name suggests. It photographed a little dark but is much lighter in person. Again this is a matte shade and will do a similar job to Beaches & Cream.
 
 
 
 
Purely Naked is a shimmery light tan. The shimmers are very fine and are quite subtle. This will make a great lid colour for an everyday eyeshadow look. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Frappè is a medium warm matte brown.  This would be a great transition colour for darker skin tones or for lighter skin tones it will be good for deepening up a look.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Latte is a medium matte brown that leans slightly cooler than Frappè. Again this would be great for deepening a look.
 
 
 
Cocoa Bear is a warm medium matte brown with red undertones. I love these kinds of colours on me as they really bring out the blue in my eyes. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Taupe Notch is a warm toned taupe with a satin finish. It is quite different to any other taupe shades in my collection so I look forward to experimenting with this.
 
 
 
 
Mango Tango is a pink with a hint of peach and gold shimmer. It actually reminds me a bit of Nars Orgasm blush. I am not quite sure how I am going to use this shade yet, but it is just so beautiful, I had to get it.
 
 
 
 
The final two photos are all of the shadows swatched on my arm with no primer and only one swipe. Look how pigmented they are.





Overall I am very impressed with the quality of these shadows for the price. Even including shipping to the UK and customs fees they still work out a lot cheaper than MAC eyeshadows and the quality is just as good, some of them are even better. I will definitely be placing another order soon.


N.B. After writing this I casually placed another order with Makeup Geek as Créme Brûlée Was back in stock! Woooo! Expect another swatch post soon.

 

 

 

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First Impression and Swatches: The Balm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette

I recently realised I had enough points on my Birchbox account to purchase something I had been eyeing up for ages. The Balm Nude ‘tude eyeshadow palette. Ever since I watched Estée from EssieButton use this palette in a get ready with me and I saw the swatches on her blog I knew I had to have it. Now that was over a year ago, so I have been holding out for a long time! I’m pretty impressed with that actually. Even though I already have more than enough neutral eyeshadows to last a life time I am really excited to play with the colours in this palette, especially Sexy and Silly which I think will be perfect for Autumn/Winter.

 
Now lets get on with my first impression and swatches.
 
 
When I unwrapped the palette from the bubble wrap it came in I was impressed with how light the palette is considering it contains 12 shadows and a double ended brush. The palette is made of cardboard and has a magnetic closure to keep it closed. It has an outer cardboard sleeve too which I think will be useful for travel so you can be extra sure it won’t open and your shadows will get smushed (yup thats the super technical way to describe broken eyeshadows!).
 
 
Inside is a pretty decent mirror, the 12 shadows and a brush. The shadows are beautifully pigmented and have a buttery texture. I was actually shocked with how pigmented the black shadow (Serious) is. It blows MAC’s Carbon out of the water. The brush is double ended and on both ends the bristles are angled. I am not sure I would use this brush everyday as it is quite small, however when I am travelling I am sure this will come in handy.
 
Sassy is a frosted white shade and is unlike anything else I have in my collection. I think this will be perfect for a bold inner corner highlight. 
 
Stubborn is a peachy pink satin. It will be a great lid shade for everyday as it is not too shimmery but it will still reflect light making the eyes look more awake.
 
Selfish is a taupe that leans more towards the brown side. It has a subtle frost finish and will made a great lid colour for a cooler smokey eye. 
 
Snobby is a yellow gold shimmery shade. I don’t believe I have a similar shade in my collection. It will really bring out the colour of blue eyes.
 
Stand-offish is a shimmery rose gold peach shade (great description there!). This will be excellent for those days when I look like I haven’t slept all night to brighten up my eyes.
 
Sultry is a medium warm brown matte which will be a great crease colour and transition shade when using the darker shades in the palette.
 
 
Sophisticated is a cool dark brown with gold shimmer. This shimmer is finely milled so there should not be a problem with fall out when applying this shade. 
 
Sexy is a gorgeous matte burgundy. I cannot wait to try this shade out for an Autumn inspired eye look. It is richly pigmented 
 
Serious is the most pigmented black I have ever come across. A light had will be needed with this I think. It will work well as a liner but also to deepen and smoke out looks.
 
Seductive is a a warm medium bronze shade with a cross between a satin and frost finish. 
 
Silly is a dark brown that leans towards the warm side with coppery gold shimmer running through it. This colour is probably the least pigmented in the palette as it is quite sheer when swatted, however over a base such as MAC Constructivist Paint Pot it may work better.
 
Sleek is a highly pigmented cool toned dark brown. Like Serious this will work well as a liner for a more natural look or could be used to deepen the crease and smoke out looks.
 
Without Flash L – R: Sassy, Stubborn, Selfish, Sophisticated, Sexy, Serious, Snobby, Stand-offish, Sultry, Seductive, Silly, Sleek
With Flash L – R: Sassy, Stubborn, Selfish, Sophisticated, Sexy, Serious, Snobby, Stand-offish, Sultry, Seductive, Silly, Sleek
Overall I am very impressed with the quality of the shadows in this palette. The palette weights 11.08g and costs £26.00 from Birchbox UK. That works out at £2.17 per shadow (not including the free brush) which is a great deal when you think that each shadow is approximately 0.9g and compare that to a MAC eyeshadow which is £13 for 1.5g. The pigmentation of these shadows on the whole is fantastic and the range of colours you get allow you to create lots of different looks, from natural everyday to deep and smokey.
 
This palette is available from Birchbox UK (£26) and Feel Unique (£26.50).