GoodBuy 2018

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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.)

  1. Platinize is a pale cream with shimmer.
  2. Smoke & Mirrors is a dark mauve with a nice sheen.
  3. Telepathic Taupe is a neutral taupe with pale gold shimmer.
  4. Deep Velvet is a matte dark plum.
  5. Ritualistic is a pale, muted gray-purple with a sheen.
  6. 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.  

  1. Gilt Trip is a pale champagne.
  2. Bronze Struck is a warm bronze.
  3. Copperized is a bright orangey-pink copper.
  4. Illicit is a deep, dark cool brown with gold shimmer.
  5. Throwing Shade is a medium dark warm matte brown.
  6. 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. 

  1. Entice is a pale, golden pink shimmer.
  2. Deep Space is a medium dark, matte gray.
  3. Enraptured is a bright yellow gold.
  4. Dark Matter is matte black.
  5. Metropolis is a dark burgundy with pink shimmer.
  6. 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.

  1. Celestial is a pale shimmery gold.
  2. Burning Desire is a warm, clay medium matte brown.
  3. Supernova is a medium dark emerald shimmery green.
  4. Dark Paradise is a warm, dark chocolate matte brown.
  5. Corruption is warm shimmery red with an orange to pink shift.
  6. 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.  

  1. Metallurgy is a pale metallic gold.
  2. Copper is a pink, coppery metallic shade.
  3. Sterling is a bold metallic silver.
  4. Smoked Amethyst is a blackened purple with pink sparkle.
  5. Bronze is a metallic yellow-orange.
  6. 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.

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  1. Skinshow Divine Glow is a pale gold that can be used wet or dry.
  2. Entrapment is a medium pinky matte brown.
  3. Bronze Blaze is an orangey copper that can be used with a brush or pressed on with a finger.
  4. Rose Gold 005 is a metallic rose gold.
  5. VR Fire Opal is a hybrid duochrome green with pink shift.
  6. Xtreme Aubergine is a matte smoky, dark purple.
  7. Gilty Pleasure is a golden taupe and is suggested to be used with a finger.
  8. Disobedient mahogany
  9. Blitz Flame is a metallic crimson.
  10. Astral Luna Gold is a hybrid, shimmery gold that is suggested to be used with a finger.

 Lisa Eldridge – Plush Matte Velvet Lip Colour

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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.

Lisa E LS swatch

  1. 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.
  2. Velvet Ribbon is a bright true red. It is described as a vibrant, universal, classic neutral/blue red.
  3. 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.

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GoodBuy 2017

My GoodBuy posts talks about products I picked up this year that I really liked, but didn’t get blogged about. That is not saying much since I had very little time to post this year. This trend is going to continue into 2018 since I’ve gone back to school and my make up purchases are going to slow down… a lot.

Pat McGrath Lipsticks

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Pat McGrath deserves her own post. This beautiful sista hails from the UK and is the most sought-after makeup artist in the world. You can read more about her twenty-year career spanning runways, advertising campaigns and editorials here. She launched her luxury makeup line that is awesome, but pricey. I only purchased her lipsticks, which are fabulous. When it comes to makeup, there is nothing better than a great product in fantastic packaging. Pat first launched her matte lipstick line first. Admittedly, when I saw pictures of the lipstick bullet, it looked dry so I shied away. I’m not a huge fan of matte lipsticks, but I have enjoyed them as long as they aren’t drying. My resolve was weakened by the packaging and picked up a trio. I can confirm the mattes are not drying. They are intensely pigmented and very comfortable to wear as well as the Luxetrance (satin finish). They have great staying power and can survive a couple of meals.

The packaging is simply lovely, including the box they come in. The lipstick case has a good heft to it. The liptstick bullet is aligned with the gold lips, so when applying, they always face out. There is a satisfying “click” when closing the top. (I can’t be the only one who loves to hear a good, firm “click” when closing a makeup product.)

They retail for $38 and can be purchased on her site or at Sephora.

1 – Major Red #419 (Luxetrance) Cool Red
2 – Strangé #420 (Luxetrance) Brick Red
3 – Exxotica #430 (Luxetrance) Violet-based burgundy
4 – McMenamy #200 (Mattetrance) Deep burgundy
5 – Antidote #207 (Mattetrance) Magenta violet
6 – Deep Void #210 (Mattetrance) Deep blackened purple

MZ Wallace Large Savoy Cosmetic Bag

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My time to apply makeup in the morning got a lot shorter as my little one got older and became more mobile. This required that I take more makeup with me to apply on my commuter train. I was taking a couple of small makeup bags, but that system got old and I needed to be more organized. It took a while to search and find the right bag for me and the MZ Wallace Large Savoy is it. I love it. It has enough pockets to help me stay organized and enough room in the main compartment to hold what I need with space to spare. I’ve never understood why the majority of makeup bags on the market are one big well off empty space. Your products stay in an unorganized pile where you’re constantly digging to search for things and the packaging gets scratched and dusty. This bag allows for separate compartments for my lipsticks, makeup brush case (more on that later), multiple small palettes, my mirror and pencils. The large main compartment is long enough to hold long palettes like Urban Decay’s Heat palette.  The zippers are nice and sturdy. The material is easy to clean. Depending on the material, this bag can run from $65 to $85.

Coloured Raine

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Coloured Rained is a cruelty-free brand I tried this year for the first time. What drew me to the brand was their red lipstick, Cherry Blossom. It is fabulous and quickly became on my favorite list. I tried a couple more shades, but they are not my favorite. My one gripe with the brand is the swatch colors on their site is a little off. The lip shades were lighter than expected for my skin tone. The quality is still nice. They are very pigmented. The company promotes these as having a satin finish, but on the lip, they look and feel more matte. The lipsticks are priced at $17.

I’m very impressed by their eyeshadow, at least with the three I purchased. They are very pigmented, blend well and have staying power (though I always wear primer). The color selection isn’t as vast as I would like, but if they remain true to quality, so be it. The shadows come in pan form and retail for $6.99.

Art Pencil Case

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As mentioned, I love staying organized. Since I’ve invested in good makeup brushes, the last thing I want to do is let them roam free in a makeup bag. I never like the idea of storing them in a soft bag that can’t protect the bristles or the handle. A hard-case art pencil container is perfect for makeup brushes while on the go. It is long enough to hold Mac brushes, which are pretty long, but anything longer will not fit. This case is wide enough to hold five brushes on each side. The hard shell keeps the brushes safe and my makeup bag clean. The case I have by Kuuqa is perfect and cheap ($8 on Amazon). Other brands make these types of cases as well and various sizes are available.

Fyrinnae Arcane Magic – Exquisites

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I had been quite busy for the past couple of months and I dropped the ball on keeping up with the latest with Fyrinnae shadows. By the time I saw their new Arcane Exquisites on their site, a few were sold out and I had to wait. So, I’m late, but I hope the pictures are helpful.

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Fyrinnae released five new shadows that are part of their Arcane Magic, Exquisites line, which is a variation of their Arcane’s and are supposed to have a stronger color change. This upgrade in performance for these shades resulted in an increase in price to $15 (3g) over the normal $8.40.

Fryinnae’s site states the type of lighting used to view these shades will impact the depth of the color change. I used different lighting to take the photos for this post. I’m able to catch a lot of the color variances, but I don’t see everything that is detailed in their shade descriptions. I didn’t swatch the shimmer shades on a sticky base as Fyrinnae suggests because that isn’t my practice in real life. I can’t recall the last time I used Fyrinnae’s Pixy Epoxy on my eye as the effect is too intense or glitter ball-ish for what I want.

The color shift on each of these shades is incredibly strong and distinct, which is great. They look different from each other while in the pot, but when applied, there were close similarities to the color shift (explained below). I found this disappointing given the higher price tag and the fact that there are only five shades in total with this formula. They should be distinctly different shadows to make each one special.

1 – Stained Glass, is described as a vivid deep emerald green turns teal then blue, then purple, then bright pink, then orange. It has a metallic finish with no sparkle. I see the green, teal, purple and blue, but I don’t see the pink or orange. This shade is similar to Lava in The Ocean.

2 – Through the Prism, is described as a sparkling bright pink turns copper then gold then chartreuse then Kelly green. It has a sparkling metallic finish. I see all of these shifts except for the Kelly green.  Fyrinnae’s site says this shade is similar to Symphonic but sparkly and green phase is not as deep.

3 – Ravishing, is described as a deep grey-blue (with hints of teal away from light), then turns violet, purple, magenta, warm pink, orange, gold, yellow-green, to a deep lime at a sharp angle. It has a shimmery metallic finish. I was excited to see this one as the description reads like a rainbow on your eye lid without trying. Unfortunately, my rainbow ends at magenta. I don’t see any pink, orange, gold or green.

4 – Lava in The Ocean, is described as a deep lime green on a slight blue tint that turns turquoise to silver then bright pink, and hints of the blue show through. It has a sparkling metallic finish. Though the color shift is strong, it is too similar to Stained Glass. I don’t see any hint of silver or bright pink (unless my definition of bright pink is different from Fyrinnae’s).

5 – Symphonic, is described as a deep magenta turns reddish pink, then orange, then gold, then chartreuse, then rich emerald. It has a metallic finish. I don’t see orange or emerald green. To me, the color shift between this shade and Through the Prism isn’t significant enough to warrant a separate shadow.

As a side note: Fyrinnae states its loose shadows are not free-flowing dry powder, but contain synthetic oil and other ingredients which cause them to appear clumpy or sometimes form tiny balls of shadow (easily used as-is or crushed).