First Impressions and Swatches | Morphe Brushes Jaclyn Hill Favorites Palette

DSC_0055

DSC_0056

As I have mentioned before, one of my favourite makeup artists on YouTube has to be Jaclyn Hill. She was one of the first people I started watching when I wanted to learn more about makeup. and I still love watching her today. She is down to earth and a great roll model for hard working business women all over the world, no matter what industry they are working in. Her tutorials are always easy to follow and she uses a range of high end and low end products, I always trust her recommendations. When she announced she was creating an eyeshadow palette with Morphe Brushes I knew it would contain great quality shadows in shades I would love. I had never tried any products from Morphe Brushes but I had seen great reviews from Jaclyn and other bloggers. I kind of forgot about the release of this product and when I was perusing Instagram I came across lots of comments on Jaclyn’s page from people struggling to order the palette. I went onto the Morphe Brushes website and managed to order the palette with no problems – I guess I was just lucky. Enough chatting, lets get on with the first impressions and swatches.

DSC_0058

1st Row: ES4, ES54, ES6, ES76, ES64, ES14, ES75; 2nd Row: ES67, ES13, ES62, ES63, ES20, ES47, ES66; 3rd Row: ES33, ES68, ES16, ES15, ES61, ES24, ES74; 4th Row: ES11, ES59, ES38, ES53, ES48, ES71, ES19

The palette contains 28 eyeshadows and just screams Jaclyn Hill. They are mainly warm toned neutrals but there are also pops of orange, pink, purple and green if you want to get a bit more creative with your makeup. On first glance the only two shades I think the palette is missing and they are a matte cream and matte black. But I have those shades duplicated in lots of other palettes so I put that to the back of my mind and tried to decide which colours I would use first. I went for a warmish toned neutral eye using ES13 and ES61 in the crease and ES76 and ES74 on the lid. The colours are beautifully pigmented and blend together seamlessly. They lasted all day on my oily eye lids (with my usual primer) and at the end of the day my eye makeup looked like I had just applied it. Here is a closer look at the colours:

1st Row: ES4, ES54, ES6, ES76, ES64, ES14, ES75

1st Row: ES4, ES54, ES6, ES76, ES64, ES14, ES75

2nd Row: ES67, ES13, ES62, ES63, ES20, ES47, ES66

2nd Row: ES67, ES13, ES62, ES63, ES20, ES47, ES66

3rd Row: ES33, ES68, ES16, ES15, ES61, ES24, ES74

3rd Row: ES33, ES68, ES16, ES15, ES61, ES24, ES74

4th Row: ES11, ES59, ES38, ES53, ES48, ES71, ES19

4th Row: ES11, ES59, ES38, ES53, ES48, ES71, ES19

I think this palette is incredible value for money. The quality of the shadows are amazing for the price and I think you can create pretty much any eye makeup look using just this palette.

With shipping to the UK and customs charges (including Royal Mail’s extortionate £8 handling fee) it still works out at just over £1 an eyeshadow – you can’t turn your nose up at that can you!

The Morphe Brushes Jaclyn Hill Favorites Palette retails for $27.99 and will be available to order again sometime in March or April here.

First Impressions and Swatches | NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

DSC_0036

DSC_0033

The NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette has finally launched in the UK and I managed to get my hands on it when it was released early on the website a few days ago. I mentioned I wanted this palette in my January Wish List post and when it arrived in the post today I just couldn’t wait to swatch it and do a first impressions post.

DSC_0030

L-R Top: Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, Subra; Bottom: Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax

The palette consists of eight of NARS’ newer dual-intensity eyeshadows (seven permanent and one exclusive to the palette) and a mini #49 wet-dry eyeshadow brush. The eyeshadows are smaller than their individual counter parts, which is to be expected in a palette, but you are still getting a lot of product for your money. This formula has been designed so it can be used dry for sheerer wash of colour and wet for a more intense high impact finish. I have not tried any dual-intensity eyeshadows before so I was excited to see how they swatched wet and dry.

Europa is a pinky peach shade with a subtle frost finish.

Himalia is a medium golden brown with a frost finish.

Ursa Major (exclusive to palette) is a medium dark chocolate brown than leans slightly warm in tone and has a satin finish.

Subra is a burgundy purple with a satin finish.

Andromeda is a creamy white with a subtle shimmer finish.

Lysithea is a silvery pewter with a frost finish.

Giove is a navy blue with a subtle frost finish.

Sycorax is a black with a satin finish.

The first set of swatches below shows the eyeshadows dry and the second set of swatches shows the eyeshadows applied wet using the brush in the palette.

DSC_0039

L-R: Andromeda, Europa, Himalia, Lysithea, Ursa Major, Giove, Subra, Sycorax

DSC_0041

L-R: Andromeda, Europa, Himalia, Lysithea, Ursa Major, Giove, Subra, Sycorax

I found it difficult to get Andromeda and Europa to show up when applied wet, this may be different when I am applying them to my lid but on my arm they applied even sheerer then when I swatched them dry. I found that Lysithea swatched a lot more intense when wet, as did Giove and Subra. I think the majority of the time I will be using these eyeshadows dry unless I am looking to create a more pigmented and intense look.

Once I have had the chance to try these out properly on my lids I will let you know how they wear, how well they blend etc. But for now I am so pleased I purchased this palette as I think the new formula from NARS is certainly different from any I have tried before and I cannot wait to create some looks with this palette.

NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palettes retails for £45 and is available here.

First Impressions and Swatches | New Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette

DSC_0057

DSC_0058

I mentioned in my review of the original Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette that there were rumours of a second palette being released and I guess you can tell from the title and content of this post that they were true. This palette has not been released in the UK yet but it was available for Sephora VIB and VIB Rouge members to purchase early before it was released for everyone else, so of course I snapped it up. I have already mentioned how much I love the original palette in my November Favourites, so I have high hopes for this palette.

DSC_0060

The Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette is supposedly the warmer of the two palettes and while it does contain warm shades I do not feel there is much difference in tone between the two palettes.

Once again the packaging is a metal tin with a magnetic closure and small mirror in the lid – the tin is also a lighter brown so it is easy to tell the two apart with a quick glance. One of the differences between the two palettes I like most is they have done away with the plastic insert – hurrah – and the colour names are now printed on the actual tin. The names still follow with the chocolate and dessert themes and the shadows themselves still smell of chocolate. Unfortunately they have not made the two larger shadows transition/crease type colours, they have stuck with having two large highlight shades (one matte and one satin), which is a shame but it will not affect my over all opinion of the palette.

First I will show you the colours in this palette and then do a quick comparison with the original palette.

DSC_0073

Licorice is a medium matte black.

Coconut Crème is a matte yellow toned beige that is quite similar to White Chocolate in the original palette.

Cocoa Chili is a medium dark warmed toner brown with what looks like multi colour glitters that do not really transfer when swatched.

Pink Sugar is a light baby pink with pinky/purple glitters. You will see below that the base colour does not transfer when swatched, just the glitters do. This is probably the most disappointing shade in the palette.

Puddin’ is a matte cool toned medium dark brown that looks slightly grey when swatched.

Rum Raisin is a medium taupe brown with a satin finish. This is one of my favourite colours in this palette.

Mousse is a matte light medium warm toned brown.

Caramel is a gold with a hint of copper in a satin finish.

DSC_0074

Nougat is a muted dusty peach with a matte finish.

Truffled is a medium warm toned brown with a matte finish.

Hot Fudge is a dark brown with a hint of grey and mostly a satin finish, though there are a few glitters in there, these do not appear to transfer when swatched.

Blueberry Swirl is a medium dark blue with blue glitters and a satin finish.

Peanut Butter is a rich warm toned brown with red undertones and a matte finish.

Frosting is a bronzed brown with a satin finish.

Bon Bon is a muted coppery brown with a satin finish. This is another of my favourites in the palette.

Butter Pecan is a light gold shade with a satin/frost finish.

DSC_0075

R-L: Licorice, Coconut Crème, Nougat, Truffled, Hot Fudge, Cocoa Chili, Pink Sugar, Puddin’, Blueberry Swirl, Peanut Butter, Frosting, Rum Raisin, Mousse, Caramel, Bon Bon, Butter Pecan

Here are swatches of the original palette – the lighting is slightly different as I now have studio lights:

DSC_0065

R-L: Gilded Ganache, White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Black Forest Truffle, Triple Fudge, Salted Caramel, Marzipan, Semi-Sweet, Strawberry Bon Bon, Candied Violet, Amaretto, Hazelnut, Crème Brûlée, Haute Chocolate, Cherry Cordial, Champagne Truffle

As you can see there is a great range of mattes, glitters and satin shadows in each palette and there is also a good range of light to dark shadows in both. Whilst there are some comparable shades, for me, it is different enough to justify having both – that is what I am telling myself anyway. Do I think you need both? Probably not. However, if you are a neutral eyeshadow junkie like me then I would say yes you need to get this palette. The shadows have the same good pigmentation as the original palette and feel lovely and smooth when they are swatched.

Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette retails for $49 and is available here. I believe it is due to be released on 19th January in the UK and will be available from Debenhams.

First Impressions and Swatches | NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret

DSC_0020

When I saw Alix from I Covet Thee talk about the NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret in her Autumn Beauty Haul I knew I had to get my hands on it as NARS limited edition products usually sell out super quick. I was surprised to find it was still available on the Space NK website (and still is) and I had a £5 off voucher to use so I added it to my basket and waited patiently – or not – for it to arrive. Space NK are also offering complimentary gift wrapping at the moment so I decided to take up that offer making my naughty purchase feel even more special. Cue lots of pictures of the gorgeous packaging.

DSC_0022

DSC_0026

DSC_0031

DSC_0029

DSC_0028

Not only is the packaging beautiful but the lip pencils inside are too. There are five mini lip pencils, two velvet matte and three satin. I think there is a great selection of colours in this set from a glossy nude to a gorgeous matte red.

DSC_0033

L-R: Descanso, Torres Del Paine, Yu, Iberico, Cruella

Nars Lip Coffet

Top: Descanso, Torres Del Paine; Middle: Yu, Iberico; Bottom: Cruella

Descanso is a pinky nude with a satin finish

Torres Del Paine is a peachy nude with a satin finish

Yu is a bright fuchsia pink with a satin finish

Iberico is a bright orange red with a matte finish

Cruella is a deep blue based red with a matte finish

So far I have worn Cruella and Descanso and I am really impressed with the formula. Both the matte and satin lip pencils are long lasting yet comfortable to wear. I think this would make an excellent Christmas present as I think you get a lot for your money and a great selection of colours.

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret retails for £32 and is available here.

First Impressions and Swatches | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

DSC_0140

When I saw this post on Temptalia I knew I had to have the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. I am already a huge fan of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette and I already had a single Ambient Lighting Blush (Diffused Heat) which I love, so ordering this was a no brainer. As soon as it went on Space NK’s website I immediately pre ordered it – cue weeks of obsessively checking my emails for a dispatch notification. I love the idea of having three of these blushes in a compact palette. I don’t think I have ever used a whole blush up, so this means I can have three different colours in a smaller size that I may actually finish – although I don’t want to, they are so pretty!

DSC_0143

Lets start with the packaging shall we. How beautiful does it look. The blushes come house in a gold mirror like palette, it is so reflective it was hard to get a good photo of it. It is nice and compact and there is hardly any wasted space as you will see from the photos below. There is just enough room for all three blushes and a decent mirror in the lid.The three colours in this palette are Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra and Mood Exposure.

DSC_0148

Luminous Flush is a pinky peach blush mixed with a champagne/gold highlight.

DSC_0146

Incandescent Electra is more of a peachy coral in colour with a cool toned champagne highlight. This is exclusive to the palette so if you like the look of this blush I would grab it quick before it sells out.

DSC_0147

Mood Exposure is a plummy mauve blush with more of a subtle cool toned highlight.

DSC_0149

Mood Exposure has to be my favourite of the three as it is the kind of colour I like to wear when I am wearing either a bold lip or a smokey eye. It is that perfect mauve/tan flush that looks very natural. The blush looks quite muddy and is a strange colour in the pan, but it is gorgeous when swatched and on the cheeks.

L- R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Modd Exposure

L- R: Luminous Flush, Incandescent Electra, Mood Exposure

Now lets look at the cost of the palette. A full size Ambient Lighting Blush is £28 and contains 0.15oz of product. The Ambient Lighting Blush Palette is £56 and contains three blushes weighing 0.11oz each (0.33oz total). That works out to be approximately £62 worth of blush, so for the price of two full size blushes you might as well get the palette and have three colours instead – but that’s just my opinion.

Overall I am so pleased I managed to get my hands on this palette. Like the Ambient Lighting Palette, this will become a staple in my makeup bag as it contains all the colours I use on a regular basis and it is nice and small.

Did you pick up this palette? If so I would love to know your thoughts on it, let me know in the comments below.