Sleek Ultra Mattes V1 Brights palette..

I have always envied Youtubers & bloggers from Europe when they talk about a product one doesn’t find it the USA.. Sleek is one such brand that sells amazing products at drugstore/high street price.. I finally caved in and bought some Sleek makeup off of Amazon.. ūüôā

Here’s presenting Sleek Ultra mattes n BRIGHTS palette.. Costs about $13.99 from RM Cosmetics (Amazon)..

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The palette is packaged in a hard, plastic black case.. holds 12 eyeshadows, a dual ended sponge applicator and a large mirror.. The colors range from vivid orange, yellow, pink, blue to beige, off white, pale grey.. It is not a palette for every day use.. I personally love colors to add to neutral looks or for getting crazy for Halloween, etc..

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Time for some swatches:

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Top row: L to R – Chill, Pout, Sugarlite, Dragon fly, Pucker and Bammi

Bottom row: L to R РCricket, Bolt, Strike, Floss, Crete and Powi

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I am impressed with the pigmentation and the color payoff in Pout, Dragon Fly, Bammi, Cricket, Bolt and Strike.. Other colors seem to be ok.. Sugarlite was a complete dud.. didn’t do much.. I had to really struggle to get this swatch..

Overall, this is not my favorite palette for colors, but it is not bad considering the price you pay for it.. It may be a good palette to have if you are just starting with colors and are not sure if you’ll wear them frequently enough or if you want it for special effects / Halloween / costume party, etc..

Tarte LipSurgence lip tints..

If you are a fan of jumbo lip pencils/stains, you must already own these or have heard of these.. I am talking about the Tarte Lip¬†Surgence natural and matte lip tints.. The lip tints are available in a regular lip tint formula or a matte formula… Both cost $24 for 0.10oz of product.. They all have a minty cooling sensation when on the lips.. The natural lip tints have¬†almost a lip balm texture while the matte lip tints are well.. matte! ūüôā

All of these glide on smoothly and have a gorgeous minty flavor.. I love that about this product.. I personally prefer the matte formula and have three of them.. Exposed, Envy and Fiery..

Off of Tarte’s website ”¬†The proprietary formula effectively increases skin‚Äôs water content for a ‚Äėplumped up‚Äô appearance and a refreshing hint of mint. The result is naturally fuller, rich, matte lips without any irritation or stinging. The easy-to-use twist-up container eliminates the need for sharpeners.”

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L to R: Matte lip tints in Exposed, Envy and Fiery, Natural lip tint in Lust

SWATCHES:

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Left column: Top to Bottom –¬†Envy and¬†Exposed¬†¬† ¬†¬†

Right column: Top to Bottom –¬†Lust and¬†Fiery

Exposed is a nude shade belonging to the pink-peach family..

Envy is my absolute favorite and I am onto my second pencil.. It is the perfect mauve-y tone that looks great on tan skins.. I love it for an every day look..

Fiery is a gorgeous matte red.. Looks lovely.. (If you didn’t know, I have a thing for reds..)

Lust is also a red but is very sheer (as seen in the swatches).. It has a nice sheen to it..

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Left column: Top to Bottom –¬†Envy¬†and¬†Exposed¬†¬† ¬†¬†

Right column: Top to Bottom –¬†Lust and¬†Fiery

As with most Tarte products, these are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfates and gluten..

Sephora & Ulta Haul.. :-)

I have been splurging a lot recently!! All with the excuse of my upcoming wedding and doing my own makeup.. ūüėČ

Here are some products I picked up from Sephora and Ulta in the last two months..

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I will be doing separate reviews for these as we go along. But do let me know if there is any particular product you are interested in seeing a review about and I’ll try my best to get it up soon.. ūüôā

Drugstore/High street contour product..

If you are looking for a cheap (relatively) drugstore/high street contour product, this contour kit by Sleek might work for you..

I have the Sleek face contour kit in ‘Medium’ and it works great on tan-olive skintones… The kit comes with a contour shade and a highlighter shade.. It costs about $11.99 on amazon.. The shade ‘medium’ works well on NC40-NC42 skin tones.. I haven’t tried this on lighter or deeper skin tones.. The highlighter is quite mild.. not very shimmery/glittery. which is great..

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Swatches:

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In Indoor lighting.. Top – Highlighter, Bottom – Contour shade

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In Indoor lighting with flash.. Top – Highlighter, Bottom – Contour shade

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Natural sunlight.. Top – Highlighter, Bottom – Contour shade

Unfortunately, Sleek is not sold in stores here in the US.. This product is available on amazon.com though and makes for a cheaper alternative to MAC contour/sculpting powder..

Dior nail polish in 999 Rouge Altesse Red Royalty…

My weakness for Red continues.. Here’s another red nail polish.. ūüėČ

My fiance brought me this gorgeous true red colored nail polish by Dior.. It is in 999 Rouge Altesse Red Royalty and costs $23!!! – I knooow… I would’ve never bought this on my own..

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The nail polish is packaged in typical Dior packaging.. the silver colored cap looks luxurious.. The formula is very opaque and gives a clean, smooth finish without ridges/lines.. It is a cream finish polish and looks very classy/sophisticated.. I absolutely love the color on my hands.. I feel this is a shade that can flatter many skin tones..

It usually lasts on my hands for a week (with the Seche Vita base and top coat).. with minor or no chipping.. All in all, a thumbs up for the color and the formula.. I absolutely love the color! Thumbs down for the price.. I wish these were cheaper..

Nail polish in action:

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NARS Satin lip pencil in ‘Golshan’

NARS released Satin lip pencils earlier this year… These are basically lipstick in a pencil form and is available in 13 shades.. The shades are based off of¬†names of parks and gardens around the world..¬†I have it in the shade ‘Golshan’.. It is named after¬†the 127,000 ‚Äď square meter Persian garden located in Fars Province, Iran (¬†former royal palace).. The formula is rich in vitamins and fruit extracts that¬†moisturize and soothe lips..

The Satin lip pencils are¬†moisturizing and are relatively long lasting with a good color payofff.. Golshan is¬†described as ‘Spiced wine’… To me, this is a shade that belongs to the red family with brown-burgundy hues.. These are extremely smooth to apply ¬†and glide on easily on the lips..

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The staying power was ok… It stayed put for a couple of hours and I had to definitely reapply after meals.. It does not stand up to its claim of lasting all day.. however, the pencil format makes it convenient to reapply.. These do not dry out my lips nor do they stain my lips..

For $25 per shade, I expected a lot more from NARS.. It is a good product to try once but I will not recommend this simply because it does not stand up to its claim of lasting all day. Also, you end up wasting a lot of product during sharpening the pencil.. not worth it when considering it is expensive.. I much prefer the NARS Velvet matte formula..

SWATCHES: 

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Indoor lighting

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Natural light

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Favorite makeup setting spray!

If you are looking for any setting spray for your makeup, look no further! Skindinavia makes one of the best setting sprays I have ever used.. The packaging is simple with a black and white plastic container.. Has a cap/lid on top which is great during travel.. Costs $39 for 8 oz bottle and $29 for 4 oz bottle..

It comes in various formula for different needs.. There’s one for controlling oil production in oily/combination skinned gals (No more shine), one for bridal wear and one for regular use (makeup finishing spray).. I have tried the No more shine and the bridal formula and did not feel much difference between the two on my skin.. The bridal one may have been a fraction more dewy, if any.. ¬†but I did not take pics or test under flash photography… That’s for a whole other day..

NO MORE SHINE¬†MAKEUP FINISH: The website describes this formula as “Our¬†over-makeup¬†No More Shine Makeup Finishing Spray gives you a¬†beautiful soft-matte finish, while keeping your skin sheen-free and¬†your makeup perfectly in place.¬†It‚Äôs officially time to say ‘goodbye’ to grease. Wave off that shiny complexion and leave your blotting papers at home ‚Äď this specialized spray provides a weightless matte finish for up to 16 hours.¬†Ideal for oily and combination skin types, our weightless No More Shine Makeup Finishing Spray is the must-have product for controlling oil and keeping makeup shine-free throughout the day.” I have gone through many bottles of this and keep coming back to using it.. It does prolong my makeup and helps reduce the oil production.. does not completely stop oil production though..

BRIDAL MAKEUP FINISH: The website describes the formula for bridal makeup as “Kiss-proof, cry-proof and sweat-proof. Our Bridal Makeup Finishing Spray¬†is the perfect moisture barrier for your big day. Extending makeup wear and¬†controlling stress-induced shine are just two reasons why this award-winner¬†should be every bride‚Äôs “something new!”SKINDIN√ĄVIA has solved the vanishing makeup mystery with patented Temperature Control Technology¬ģ¬†that forms a lightweight, breathable web on top of your makeup, holding everything in place for up to 16 hours.” That is a lot to claim!! Will try it in the coming months..

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The mist is clear, weightless and without any particular scent.. I really enjoy these sprays and definitely see the increase in longevity of my makeup.. Also, the best thing about locking your makeup in with a setting spray is that you can avoid looking all powdery and cakey.. This is especially true for oily/combination skin, where one tends to powder a lot to avoid the shine.. The end result is not very pretty nor natural.. The mist/spray somehow makes your makeup melt into your skin and leaves a natural finish on the skin..

This is a step I never skip!! Love this product.. By the way,¬†Urban Decay’s All nighter and De-Slick setting sprays are also made by Skindinavia.. ūüėČ

Maybelline volume express mascara – the Falsies…

Here are my thoughts on another drugstore mascara.. the Maybelline Falsies mascara! I have it in the shade 285 Black drama.. The mascara is also available in waterproof formula.. Costs around $8 at your local drugstores but there are coupons frequently in the local newspaper for Maybelline products… I usually use them and get a better deal (atleast $1-2 off)..

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The brush/wand is curved with a lot of bristles on it.. Maybelline calls it the ‘spoon brush’.. It is supposed to fan out lashes from corner-to-corner, while the Pro-Keratin formula is supposed to instantly build volume without clumping.. The formula seems to have tiny fibres that coat your lashes.. I do notice clumping upon initial application but that can be taken care of with a lash comb.. But do bear in mind that it does take some time if you want the natural look.. It’s not something you can apply and be done with.. You have to work with the formula..

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Before:

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After: (Before combing through lashes)

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You can notice that although the mascara has really given me a lot of volume, I do notice clumps and some mascara on my eyelids.. These pics were taken after the lash groomer went through them twice.. But trust me – the lashes were a lot more clumpier than seen in these pics..

After combing through lashes with the Real Techniques lash-brow groomer:

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This is the end result after just one coat.. and this is where l personally like to keep it.. unless I am going for a Halloween party.. lol..

I really enjoy this mascara as it stands up to its claim of being volumizing.. I am sure you can build more than one coat to your desired effect.. it is a great drugstore mascara for volume – impressive when you see the before and the final after pics…. I also noticed that somehow the mascara also held my lashes up.. without a lash curler! This instantly added more volume.. Highly recommend this mascara..

P.S. You definitely need a lash groomer/comb to sort out the clumps.. unless you are going for that kinda look..

Urban Decay Naked-2 palette..

After the big success with Naked original palette, UD came out with Naked 2 palette.. The packaging changed to a hard metal case with a hinged lid which is great to travel with.. This palette has a larger mirror than the original Naked palette and comes with a travel size lip Junkie lipgloss in ‘Naked’ and a dual-ended, cruelty-free Good Karma Shadow/Crease Brush.. basically, one end with a flat eyeshadow brush and the other end with a blending brush.. I don’t use this brush much since I own many other brushes that work way better.. I absolutely love the lip junkie lipglosses – I barely have any left in this travel size sample!

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Similar to the original Naked palette, this palette contains 12 eyeshadows and costs the same.. $52 as of today! The price sure has gone up since I originally purchased it.. You get only three Matte eyeshadows (Foxy, Tease and Blackout).. The rest of the eyeshadows are either shimmery or glittery!

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First thing I noticed is that most of these shades are cooler.. Secondly, most of these shades are either highlight shades or mid tone for my skin tone.. The only deeper shades for crease/outer corner are Snakebite and Busted apart from Blackout.. Also, UD repeated Half baked in this palette – which they could have completely replaced with a new shade.. Also, anybody into makeup usually already has one or many matte, black eyeshadows.. I feel UD could have done away with that – not that blackout is a bad matte black..

There is no good matte, blending shade in this palette (like naked/buck in Naked original palette).. Hence, I really feel that this palette lacks punch in terms of versatility.. There is only so much you can do with this compared to the original Naked palette..

SWATCHES: Indoor Lighting..

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First 4: L to R – Foxy, Half Baked, BootyCall, Chopper

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Shades 5-8: L to R – Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol

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Last 4: L to R – Verve, Yok, Busted and Blackout

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SWATCHES: Natural Daylight..

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First 4: L to R – Foxy, Half Baked, BootyCall, Chopper

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Shades 5-8: L to R – Tease, Snakebite, Suspect, Pistol

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Last 4: L to R – Verve, Yok, Busted and Blackout

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Overall, I was disappointed with this palette.. I much prefer the original Naked palette..