I’m not being a good blogger by completing one post for the whole year. Work and family keeps everyone busy, but starting Business school last January took away all of the time and energy I would’ve used toward blogging. I’m preparing as many posts as I can during my winter break from school, which will be published over the next few weeks. The first being my annual round up.
As an FYI, I don’t buy makeup just to blog about. Everything I purchase I intend to use and hope to love. Unfortunately, my current stash has grown to be more than enough for two people. Going forward, I’ll have to think about the future of my blog and possibly change the focus of my posts. Until then, here are the makeup items I liked the best this year.
Pat McGrath Labs – Mothership Palettes
My 2017 GoodBuy post mentioned Pat McGrath’s lipsticks and how great they are. At the time, I had not invested in her eyeshadows because of the price. They are still expensive, but worth every penny.
In all of the Pat McGrath palettes I own, I haven’t tried a shade that didn’t perform well. The matte and shimmer shades are creamy and intensely pigmented. The mattes blend out very well. There are some high-shimmer (such as the domed hybrid) shades that apply better or more intensely with a finger or with a damp brush, but you can get decent payoff using a regular dry brush. The shade finishes vary depending on the palette. Some have a mix of matte, shimmers and metallics, some are all shimmer. There are a few shades that repeat with in her full range. You’ll see a variety of golds and coppers throughout her palettes, but the quality is what sets them apart. Some palettes are warm toned, some are cooler, but the palettes typically have a mix of both undertones. Another cool detail is that all of her products are cruelty free.
Pat McGrath palettes come in two sizes. The large “Mothership” palettes contain ten shadows, while her mini “Mthrshp” palettes have six shades. The other distinct difference between the two is the packaging. The Mothership palettes packaging are a thick, glossy plastic with nice heft and a full-size mirror. It comes inside a thick cardboard case that folds over with a tie closure. The packaging on the mini palettes are a very thick, sturdy cardboard with a full-size mirror. The sides fold over with an elastic closure and also has a mirror on the inside. I like the sturdiness of the cardboard for the mini palettes. It doesn’t feel cheap, but it is difficult to use as the sides continue to fold in as you’re trying to use the shades, which is my only gripe with the product. The shade names are inside the cardboard for the large palette and on a plastic overlay for the mini palettes. The large palettes are $125, while the mini palettes retails for $55. Both can be found on PatMcGrath.com or Sephora’s website.
Pat’s website contains swatches of all her shades on three different skintones and tips to obtain different eye looks for each palette. The tips are a nice idea, but the swatches, in my opinion, are done more intensely than what will be typically used on the eye.
Mthrshp Subliminal Platinum Bronze
This palette is a cool tone palette that is rather tame, comparatively to the other palettes. It is a mix of mattes, low and high shimmer shades. (The palette shade names are from left to right.)
- Platinize is a pale cream with shimmer.
- Smoke & Mirrors is a dark mauve with a nice sheen.
- Telepathic Taupe is a neutral taupe with pale gold shimmer.
- Deep Velvet is a matte dark plum.
- Ritualistic is a pale, muted gray-purple with a sheen.
- Sextrovert is a shimmery golden bronze.
Mthrshp Sublime Bronze Ambition
This is my favorite palette out of the group. It is warm toned with a nice mix of matte shades for the crease and deeper shades for the lash line or outer corner.
- Gilt Trip is a pale champagne.
- Bronze Struck is a warm bronze.
- Copperized is a bright orangey-pink copper.
- Illicit is a deep, dark cool brown with gold shimmer.
- Throwing Shade is a medium dark warm matte brown.
- Gold Rush is an intense yellow gold.
Opulence: The Collection
The following three limited edition palettes were released just before the holidays. If you’re a fan of eyeshadows as I am, it was hard to pick one.
Mthrshp Subliminal – Dark Star
Dark Star is a collection of mostly cool-toned shades that can create some fantastic smoky eye looks.
- Entice is a pale, golden pink shimmer.
- Deep Space is a medium dark, matte gray.
- Enraptured is a bright yellow gold.
- Dark Matter is matte black.
- Metropolis is a dark burgundy with pink shimmer.
- Interstellar is a shimmery blue with a purple shift and pale green sparkle.
Mthrshp Sublime – Bronze Temptation
Bronze Temptation is a warm toned palette that is anything but tame. It has a variety of finishes for a complete or nearly complete look.
- Celestial is a pale shimmery gold.
- Burning Desire is a warm, clay medium matte brown.
- Supernova is a medium dark emerald shimmery green.
- Dark Paradise is a warm, dark chocolate matte brown.
- Corruption is warm shimmery red with an orange to pink shift.
- Provacatrix is a peachy shimmery gold with a pink shift.
Mthrshp Subversive – Metalmorphosis
Metalmorphosis is a palette that can provide some variety to a collection as it is filled with metallic shades. You can create some interesting metallic eye looks with this palette, but you’ll need other palettes or shades to complete it.
- Metallurgy is a pale metallic gold.
- Copper is a pink, coppery metallic shade.
- Sterling is a bold metallic silver.
- Smoked Amethyst is a blackened purple with pink sparkle.
- Bronze is a metallic yellow-orange.
- Gold Standard is an intense metallic yellow gold.
Mothership V – Bronze Seduction
The price tag of a Mothership palette is high enough to scare anybody away, but if you make the decision, you won’t regret it. As a makeup fan and one who appreciates great packaging along with a great product, using this palette is like holding a piece of art. The size and heft of the palette doesn’t make it travel friendly, especially if you keep it inside the protective cardboard case.
- Skinshow Divine Glow is a pale gold that can be used wet or dry.
- Entrapment is a medium pinky matte brown.
- Bronze Blaze is an orangey copper that can be used with a brush or pressed on with a finger.
- Rose Gold 005 is a metallic rose gold.
- VR Fire Opal is a hybrid duochrome green with pink shift.
- Xtreme Aubergine is a matte smoky, dark purple.
- Gilty Pleasure is a golden taupe and is suggested to be used with a finger.
- Disobedient mahogany
- Blitz Flame is a metallic crimson.
- Astral Luna Gold is a hybrid, shimmery gold that is suggested to be used with a finger.
Lisa Eldridge – Plush Matte Velvet Lip Colour
I’ve been watching Lisa’s YouTube channel for years. Her makeup tutorials are great. She has used models with a wide age range and skin tone range. I’ve learned so much from her throughout the years. So, I did a double-take when I got the email that she released a trio of red toned lipsticks. My initial reaction was to click the “buy now” button, but I held off. It was around the fall Sephora sale that I took full advantage of and I need another red lipstick like I need another hole in my head. My hesitation lasted for about a week, then I caved and bought the set that came with the makeup bag. What’s interesting about this lipstick is that the sides of the lipstick bullet are patterned or designed to mimic the look of velvet. The casing and the look of the bullet adds to the experience of the lipstick, but all of that means nothing if the product itself is subpar.
Thankfully, Lisa’s lipsticks are great. They are all a matte finish with a slight sheen, apply very smoothly and feel comfortable on. It is a hydrating matte that doesn’t feel drying. The pigmentation is fantastic and you get full color with one swipe, but it doesn’t feel thick or heavy if multiple layers are applied. It feels like you don’t have anything on. Her website contains swatches for different skintones, from light to dark.
The metal case has a magnetic closure and doesn’t highlight fingerprints. The velvet bag that comes with the trio is sturdy and doesn’t feel or look cheap.
- Velvet Jazz is a dark red. It is described as a shade that ranges from an intense brown/red to a soft, brick red, depending on your skin tone and method of application. My naturally dark lip color makes this shade lean a brownish red.
- Velvet Ribbon is a bright true red. It is described as a vibrant, universal, classic neutral/blue red.
- Velvet Morning is a bright orangey red. It is described as a hot and fiery, bright orange/red. Oranges can be tricky for me. I’m not a fan of super bright orange shades, especially matte ones, but this hits a nice sweet spot as it has more red than yellow undertones. I typically dab it on, which allows me to control the intensity and still get great payoff.
The lipsticks can be purchased from Lisa’s website at lisaeldridge.com. With the exchange rate, the price is around $33 each, but buying the set is cheaper. I must say the products were wrapped with care for shipping. Each lipstick was wrapped in tissue paper before being place inside the individual box and the box was bubble wrapped.
Clinique – Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm
I remember hearing about this cleansing balm a while ago from a YouTube video by Lisa Eldridge, but it wasn’t something I wanted to try at the time. The balm part made me too nervous to try on my skin. In the meantime, I had been trying different makeup removers that quickly and completely removed my makeup and saved my ashes and brows. I still like micellar water, but it takes longer and I lose brow and lash hair from the rubbing with cotton pads. This summer, I took a chance and used Sephora points to buy a sample of the cleansing balm and was very impressed. So much so, I purchased the large jar. I love how this product melts the makeup off of my face and is safe and comfortable for me to use around my lids and lash line. It’s effortless. I place some of the balm in a couple of spots and use circular movements to push the product around my face to lift my makeup. The product rinses off completely without my skin feeling oily after. It’s my personal habit to use a cleanser after using this product. I trust this product to remove my makeup but I want a clean slate for my toner and moisturizer. I’ve been using this product for about five to six months and haven’t had any adverse skin reactions. It’s a product I enjoy using. The balm (3.8oz jar pictured) is available at Clinique counters for $29.50.