Review, Swatches, FOTD & Giveaway: Makeup by One Direction Limited Edition Beauty Collection

Disclaimer: Press sample provided for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Lately my music-listening habits have me cycling between Taylor Swift’s new album– 1989– and One Direction’s new album– Four. (My Portmanteau Couple Name for the two, of course, is the Orwellian 19 Eighty-Four. #OTP) Truly we live in an axial age of pop.

It’s been kind of a rough week– it’s the time of year when everyone’s sick and everything’s due. My advisor was nice enough to give me horehound lozenges for the former and something called “Emotional Ally Anxiety & Duress Aid” for the latter. But clearly what I really needed was more One Direction makeup!

Our favorite boyband’s put their name on another limited edition beauty release– a value set with six eyeshadows, four lip glosses, two nail varnishes, an eye pencil, and a lip gloss top coat. (Doesn’t that sound like a variant of the chorus to “Twelve Days of Christmas”?) The aesthetic here’s a lot like that of their earlier makeup release. But these tins are quite a bit smaller, and they’re being distributed by less upmarket stores. Accordingly, prices have been made even more accessible– I was frankly kind of surprised when I looked them up. You get several looks’ worth of product for less than the cost of one MAC lipstick.

There are five tins available for sale as of November 15. They all carry the same suite of products, but there’s a different band member on the packaging for each one. So go forth and choose your favorite 20% of One Direction. Or, following Pokemon logic, go and catch ’em all? I’ll give you a head start– enter a giveaway here.

I was lucky enough to get three tins-- Niall, Harry, and Bae. I mean, Zayn.

I was lucky enough to get three tins– Niall, Harry, and Bae. I mean, Zayn.

Availability: $12.98 from Sears; in stores at Kmart, Walmart Canada, and select Targets

Quantity: 0.52 oz of solid product and 0.48 fl oz of liquid

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Review, Swatches, Dupes & FOTD: One Direction Up All Night Makeup Kit

Full disclosure: I’m a Zayn girl.

So I’ve been friends with Larry fanfic luminary Jess– that’s figgingharry on Tumblr– since high school. We met at the most awesome nerd camp on the continental United States, and then we did undergrad together. Those were the pre-One Direction days. Now undergrad’s over, which is sad. But it does mean that I now have disposable income– enough to go visit Jess when they were doing research in Istanbul! (Paid for it out of my stipend by eating a lot of ramen and putting a moratorium  on trolling for second-hand designer eBay finds– never let ’em tell you  that you can’t live a glamorous jet-set lifestyle on a humanities grad school stipend, folks!)

TLDR; I now listen almost exclusively to One Direction. (And Taylor Swift. I hear the two fandoms don’t like each other, which is a species of tragedy.) So as a beauty junkie, I think I was morally obligated to buy one of their makeup kts. Our favorite boyband, already renowned for their ventures into the profitable realm of fruityfloral perfumery, has released three such makeup kits so far. There’s a lot of product in each. You get an eyeshadow palette, a tube of mascara, a chubby eye pencil, a pair of lip products, a nail polish, and a set of body stencils. The last thing’s basically useless, but still– I’d say it’s a pretty good value for less than the cost of one NARS blush.

The kits are cleverly named after the band’s three albums. Take Me Home seems to be mostly neutrals, for that “effortlessly gorgeous, girl-next-door look”– definitely not me. Midnight Memories, on the other hand, features bombshell staples– red lip, smoky eye– for the “rock n’ roll girl”. I already have way too many of those shades, despite not being particularly rock n’ roll. So I went for option three:


One Direction Up All Night Makeup Kit. The artfully desaturated picture of the boys is actually on a plastic sleeve that slips off– the case itself is a mere image of brick. I guess it’s like the equivalent of reading The Hunger Games with a plain white book jacket? I say The Hunger Games (instead of, like, Twilight) because it– like 1D– is a teenybopper pop culture phenomenon that I actually really like.

Availability: $28.50 from Lord and Taylor, Dillard’s, Macy’s, or Boscov’s 

Quantity: 0.20 oz eyeshadow, 0.13 oz lipstick, 0.23 fl oz lipgloss, 0.27 oz nail polish, 0.22 fl oz mascara Continue reading

Review, Swatches & FOTD: LORAC Mint Edition Collection

I snagged this retro-inspired value pack during a LORAC event on Hautelook. I mean, a) it was cheap, b) I needed more one-and-done palettes with eye and cheek products– for, you know, travel and stuff and c) I’ve got a fondness for all things vaguely vintage that feels somewhat perverse and at times #problematic. Whatever. The flash sale’s since expired, and it looks like Ulta’s sold out. But you can still get this bundle for about 58.33% off on the LORAC website! Supposedly that’s part of the brand’s VIP sale, which I believe has been going on since roughly the Tokugawa. But a deal’s a deal!

Silver and Mint Wristlet Bag, Eye/Cheek Palette, and Lips With Benefits Gloss in Christian

Silver and Mint Wristlet Bag, Eye/Cheek Palette, and Lips With Benefits Gloss in Christian

Availability: $15 on LORAC

Quantity: 0.25 oz of eyeshadow, 0.11 oz of blush and 0.19 fl oz of lip gloss Continue reading

Sale Alert! Nyx at Ulta

Nyx products are going for 40% off this week at Ulta! Technically the sale also includes Revlon, Physicians Formula, and Almay. I’m sure they all have very decent products– pretty sure I owned some Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup during early undergrad that I pretty much liked? But Nyx is my favorite drugstore brand– very possibly in the running for my favorite anything brand for makeup. So I’m going to fixate on the goddess of night, and her entourage of mythologically named lipsticks. The sale ends next Saturday, September 4.

Sale prices doing include Nyx Kits over $14.99, but there are plenty of other goodies you can pick up, including the widely touted Butter Lipsticks and the neon and pastel Macaron Lippies for those more adventurously inclined. (I’ve had middling luck with smooth coverage when it comes to Earl Grey and Lavender— but the cost of entry’s so low now I might experiment with a couple other colors anyway.)

My picks are below. But first I wanted to show you this– the most perfectly named powder blush of all time. I think I may need this because I’m supposed to give my undergrads a Very Brief Intro to Marx tomorrow. Too bad it wouldn’t arrive in time for the hour of my need.

Nyx Powder Blush in "Bourgeois Pig".

Nyx Powder Blush in “Bourgeois Pig”.

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Review & Swatches: ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Bubbly, Eye Candy, Pop Rocks, Ibiza, Empire & Envy

When it comes to face products, I like to hoard creams. I mean, I like applying them with my fingers– dappling my cheekbones with liquidy pearl, and smudging peach-plum-rose– the texture of jelly– on the apples of my cheek. And I like feeling the emulsions sort of melt onto my face, warm from my fingertips, forgiving of asymmetry. It’s all very pre-K. (Craft time, fingerpaints, the jammy ooze of sandwiches.)

I’m not the kind of beauty junkie who prides herself on mathematically immaculate contours, inscribing the golden ratio in matte powders on my face. I like finishing my makeup with my fingertips rosy as dawn. So it’s probably kind of weird I never got into cream eyeshadows!

I decided to remedy that when I came across ColourPop, an indie brand boasting cream pigments in “a zillion shades, always $5” (they’ve since added lip products to their repertoire). The company notes that their Super Shock Shadows are manufactured stateside, and not tested on animals.

These plush pigments work best applied by hand– you can sheer them out fairly easily onto the lid, but also pat them on in layers for opacity. I did experiment with using an synthetic, angled eyeshadow brush, with mixed results. The fibers packed on pigment to opacity more quickly, and allowed for greater precision than the a fingertip. But the color was more uneven. I also had a problem with them flicking chunks off product out of the package.

(L-R): Bubbly, Eye Candy, Pop Rocks, Ibiza, Empire, and Envy.

(L-R): Bubbly, Eye Candy, Pop Rocks, Ibiza, Empire, and Envy.

Availability: $5 from ColourPop

Quantity: 0.07 oz

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FOTD: Urban Fantasy


Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candelight, Too Faced Brow Envy, Benefit High Brow Glow, theBalm Pressed Eyeshadow in in Snobby and Seductive from the NUDE ‘tide Eyeshadow Palette, Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Jilted and Urban from the Electric Pressed Pigment Palette, Urban Decay Ink for Eyes in Perversion, Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner in Broken Doll, Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in Oyster, Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara

Face: Skin79 Oriental Gold BB Cream Plus,  Nyx Concealer Jar in Green, CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Eye Concealer, Nyx Powder Blush in Taupe, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light and Incandescent Light from the Ambient Lighting Palette, Smashbox Photo Set Pressed Powder in Light

Lips: Nyx Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Aphrodite

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Sale Alert! TheBalm on Hautelook

Makeup and skincare from vintage-inspired beauty line theBalm is going for 50% off on Hautelook right now! They share my taste for corny puns– it’s amazing how many things sound like “balm” if you believe in yourself and try!). The vaguely utopic retro imagery also speaks to me. Basically I like them a lot.

Their shadyLady range isn’t available, nor is the newly released Balmsai palette. But you can get almost all their other goodies, including the cult hit Mary Lou-manizer highlighter. At least till Tuesday!

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My picks below!

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Review & Swatches: Fyrinnae Pressed Eyeshadow in Unicorn, Rapunzel Had Extensions & Steampunk

I’m obsessed with indie pressed shadows– probably because they’re such a rare beast. Lots of tempting niche brands put out loose powder duochromes, like fairy dust. But I’m hard-pressed to find one that’ll cater to my prissy, princessy need for neatness and ease of use. Enter Fyrinnae!

I must not be the only powderphobe trolling the internet for quirky– yet hassle-free– pigments. Because Fyrinnae’s pressed shadows are perpetually sold out. This makes me very sad, yet ever hopeful– let’s call it a state of ardent waiting, as for the eschaton. There are, however, a handful are colors that are in stock right now. I grabbed three I thought might look cool together.

Wearing a look with Unicorn (inner corner), Rapunzel Had Extensions (middle of lid), and Steampunk (outer corner).

Wearing a look with Unicorn (inner corner), Rapunzel Had Extensions (middle of lid), and Steampunk (outer corner).

(L-R): Unicorn, Rapunzel Had Extensions, and Steampunk, swatched over Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

(L-R): Unicorn, Rapunzel Had Extensions, and Steampunk, swatched over Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion


Quantity: 2 grams

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FOTD: Ours is the Fury

Nothing to do with House Baratheon, sorry!

Not the House Baratheon kind though, sorry!

Eyes: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Too Faced Brow Envy, Benefit High Brow Glow, Sugarpill Pressed Eyeshadow in Love+, Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Slowburn from the Electric Pressed Pigment Palette, BH Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Saturn and Moon from the Galaxy Chic Baked Eyeshadow Palette, Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in MilkUrban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil in Desperation, Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara

Face: Skin79 Oriental Gold BB Cream Plus, Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Concealer in Vanilla Light, NARS Illuminator in Copacabana, NARS Blush in Orgasm, L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Powder in Cocoa as a contour powder, Juice Beauty Refining Finishing Powder in Sand (read my review here!)

Lips: MAC Lipstick in Fetish, OCC Lip Tar in Fragmented (read my review here!)

Book: Love and Transformation: An Ovid Reader by Richard A. LaFleur (I’m told he drives around in a car with vanity plates that say LATINA– a bit misleading, no?)

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FOTD: Aegean Eyes

Eye makeup

Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Candelight, Too Faced Brow Envy, Benefit High Brow Glow, Sugarpill Pressed Eyeshadow in Diamond Eyes, Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mushroom and Evidence, Nyx Jumbo Eye Pencil in MilkNyx Eye Pencil in Azure, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 23L, Buxom Lash Mascara

Face: Skin79 Oriental Gold BB Cream Plus, CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Eye Concealer, Benefit Powderflage, Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer in Rose GoldBecca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé in Papaya/Topaz, Juice Beauty Refining Finishing Powder in Sand (read my review here!), Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Lips: Nyx Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Terra Cotta

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