Beauty · Hair

The Resurrection of My Hair 

I am dedicating this blog post to hair growth and restoration, my hair history, everything I’ve heard of and tried, and what I’ve found to be the most beneficial and effective.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT BY ANY MEANS


MY HAIR STORY

I was a little blondie when I was young and I loved it. Unfortunately, when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade, my hair darkened to a mousy, dishwater blonde that I thought was hideous on me. I have no idea what made me think blondes ruled the universe, but I did. So when I was about 12, my mom, probably worn down from my constant badgering, let me get highlights. Did this appease me? Hell no. It created a monster; “I want to go lighter, I want to go blonder”, I said until November of 2017.
I was 12 nearly 8 years ago, and in the past 8 years, 12 year olds have burst from the frumpy caccoons of my 12 year old days. I bet the pre-teens of 2017 will make the most incredible MUAs and hair stylists society has ever seen, as they’re already so talented and knowledgeable! I, on the other hand-very other hand, thought nothing about a “hair routine” and definitely nothing about a “hair care routine”.

    I have, and have always had, naturally straight hair, yet I straightened the crap out of it. Especially my bangs-they needed 2 straightener rounds per every half straightener round on the rest of my hair. I mean, the crispier the hair, the easier to keep in place, right?

    I’d say my best move of all was straightening my hair while it was wet. Oh yes, I did that, and I did it with a dirt-cheap flat iron.

    My old hair
     Meet my 2011 hair. And my braces. Most importantly, my hair: 

    Thankfully, my hair stylist is my cousin, so she was really able to knock some sense into me. She provided me with Redken shampoo and conditioner, a Redken argon oil, and a USmooth flat iron. That being said, I didn’t truly start reviving my hair until early 2015. The horrid crispy hair was grown out and less crispy by this time, but I needed to show my hair some TLC if I wanted it to grow long, healthy, and strong.

    My current hair

    With 2015 came an obsession with long hair-like, to-the-waist-long. So I got some clip-in extensions and focused on growing my actual hair.So, here are all the tips, hacks, and strategies I’ve heard, read about, and tried for myself in the past 2 years.



    ~WASHING~


    One of the first things I did was cut back on washing my hair. Everyone will tell you this tip, and  for good reason. I personally feel that this tip is the most important and most ignored one. As you’ve probably heard a million-and-a-half times, washing your hair daily is horrible for it. Contrary to what some say, you’re not disgusting if your hair isn’t squeaky-clean on a daily basis.

    Washing your hair strips it of its natural oils, which leads to a dry scalp and dry hair.  Dry hair means more breakage, more split ends, and more fragility. A dry scalp leads to dandruff, itching, irritation, and overcompensation-more oil production than necessary. With this, constant washing leads to constant product application and heat styling. While you may wash your hair to remove product buildup, you’re ultimately applying way more product by washing, drying, and styling it so often.

    Frequent washing also causes color to fade and shine to dull. If your hair is colored and/or toned, your hair stylist will most likely tell you to avoid washes if you want the color, especially the toner, to last. The dullness relates back to the oils: stripping your hair of its oils will strip away its natural shine. There is a difference between shine and grease.

    You are also wasting money, water, product, and time by washing your hair daily. None of these points really require further elaboration, so I’ll move on to styling. Styling freshly washed hair can be a nightmare. Slick, untexturuzed hair is not the most cooperative hair; it slips from hair ties and pins, it does not hold in a braid, and it doesn’t always hold the most volume. I prefer working with “dirty” hair over ripping at my hair with a teasing comb or spraying it into place with stiff, alcohol-laden hairsprays.

    Oil: I am fortunate enough to not produce a lot of oil; my skin and hair do not get oily quickly at all, so cutting back on washing was not difficult for me. Truly, the less you wash your hair, the more trained it becomes, which leads to less grease over time. While transitioning, invest in some nice dry shampoo and try braided styles to hide oil.

    I currently wash my hair 1-2 times a week-3 at the most-and I have no shame. I’m not nasty, I’m just promoting healthy hair.


    MY MAJOR WASHING TIPS

    • Stop lathering your hair from roots to ends with shampoo. Only apply a small amount to your scalp and roots and massage gently. The ends of your hair are the most fragile and the least oily, so they do not need a deep cleanse. You’ll be saving a lot of product as well. 
    • Conditioner is practically the opposite, especially if you have very oily hair. I do not have oily hair, so I apply conditioner from roots to ends, focusing mostly on the ends, and let it sit until the end of my shower. For oily hair, I’d suggest focusing most of the product on the ends of the hair and working up gradually, applying the least amount to your roots.
    • I also suggest rinsing hair with cooler water, as high temperatures are damaging and drying.
    • Wash your hair no more than 4 times a week.


    ~DRYING~


    The obvious tip for drying your hair is to lay off the blow dryer. Blow dryers are the most damaging tool you can use on your hair. If you’re in a major hurry and need the blow dryer, it is suggested to never use the hottest setting. Use cool air if you can and avoid using a hair brush that will heat up from the dryer and damage your hair more. The suggested technique is to hold the nozzle at a downward angle(to prevent frizz), move the dryer from side to side over the hair, and hold the dryer a decent distance away from your head.

    For a while, I would sit in front of my electric fireplace at home to dry my hair, which seemed less damaging than blow drying, but it was still drying out and cooking my hair.

    The ideal option is letting your hair air dry after your showers, preferably not when you sleep. Hair is most fragile when it’s wet and some sheet material can cause breakage and static. You also toss and turn, which is not great for delicate wet hair.

    MY TIPS: 

    • Stop wringing your wet hair out with all your might. You want to be super gentle with wet hair; pat it dry with a towel. I’ve even been told a tshirt is better. 
    • Stop twisting freshly washed hair into a towel. Again, it’s very damaging. 
    • Don’t pull wet hair back into ponytails or tight buns. 
    • Do not use a hair brush on wet hair!! Only use a wide-tooth comb or wet brush.


    ~PRODUCTS~


    I’m not a snob when it comes to durgsgore products, but some cheaper hair products will do more damage than good to your hair. Some drugstore shampoos containing lathering ingrediants and sulfates strip hair of color and oils. They will often dry hair out and cause severe damage. They also often leave a gross, waxy feeling to the hair that I despise. I feel like any time I use Pantene, Suave, or Treseme, my hair either feels like hay or like I just coated it in wax.

    PRODUCTS TO AVOID

    • Alcohol: often found in hairspray. It dries the crap out of your hair. It often sucks all the moisture right out. 
    • Silicone: while it may give hair the appearance of smoothness, that’s all it is- the appearance. It actually coats hair and seals off folicles from absorbing moisture and nourishment.
    • Parabens: the real evil. They are inherently toxic to some human cells and can be absorbed through the skin.
    • Salt: the sad truth is that salt sprays are insanely drying to your hair. I learned this one myself two summers ago and have avoided them ever since.
    • Heat proctectant(?): This is controversial, but I am not the most supportive of heat protectant. I owned one heat protectant(44 Chi Iron Gaurd Protection Spray) and I noticed even more damage when using it; I felt that it made my hair feel very tacky, damp, and heavily-coated. When I straightened my hair after applying this, it would sizzle and steam like nobody’s business and still feel waxy afterwards. In fact, it felt more dry and damaged afterwards. I’ve read that applying heat protectant spray and/or oil to the hair before heat styling is actually prepping the hair to get cooked and fried. I do not hear style my hair, therefore I do not use heat protectant, so it’s something to look into for yourself. I feel like everyone says to use it, so what do I know?

    My suggestion is to get all products from professionals. I use the following:

    • Redken Diamond Oil Shampoo
    • Redken Diamond Oil Conditioner
    • Redken Diamond Oil argon oil


    MYTH?

    Dare I say it…cocoanut oil.

    I believed it, fell for it, did it. I’d lather my head in cocoanut oil once a week and let it sit in my hair overnight. When I washed it out, my hair would feel nice, smooth and thick, but that was it. I noticed no long term benefits whatsoever. None. It did not truly repair damage, it didn’t make my hair grow magically, nor did it thicken my hair. I’ve been told by some stylists that it works, some say it works only for some people, and a stylist with enough skill, experience, and knowledge to charge $50 for a hair cut informed me that it’s mostly a myth. He told me it doesn’t really absorb into the follicle enough to truly make a difference; it’s only temporary since it sits on the follicle. It does make your hair feel and look smooth, thick, and shiny but the effect is gone after a wash. For hair repair, he suggests mixing a bit of moroccan oil with your conditioner and letting it sit in your hair for 5 minutes before washing.

    I think I’ll test the Moroccan oil treatment throughout one month and then the cocoanut oil treatments throughout the next to give both a fair opportunity.

    ~DIET~


    This one is kind of just annoying. It seems a bit overboard, but It’s also easily forgotten. In order for your hair to be healthy, you need to be healthy. Eating a balanced diet promotes a healthy body, healthy enzymes, healthy cells and so on which promotes…you guessed it: healthy hair! As equally annoying is hydration. To ensure that your locks stay nourished and lustrous, you need to be sure you’re hydrated enough. If your body is a desert, your hair is, too. It is suggested that we all drink 64oz. of water a day, which I successfully do maybe twice a month if I’m playing myself up.

    VITAMINS AND NUTRIENTS

    • Vitamin A: important for all cell growth in the body. Also helps produce oily substance that keeps hair moisturized. 
    • B vitamins: Biotin and B-12 are the best known vitamins for hair. With that, B vitamins help produce red blood cells which carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. 
    • Vitamin C: helps produce collagen, which is an important part of hair structure. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron. 
    • Vitamin D: known to play a role in hair production. 
    • Vitamin E: antioxidant that reduces oxidant stress and helps hair growth. 
    • Iron: carries red blood cells throughout the body. Iron deficiency is a leading cause of hair loss. 
    • Zinc: plays important role in hair growth and repair, along with maintung oil gland function. 
    • Protein: all that needs to be said is that hair is made almost entirely of protein. 

    This does not mean you should run out and purchase supplements containing all these vitamins and nutrients; food is the best source of all. However, if you are deficient already, supplements would have been a good ideayesterday.

    If you are vegan or vegetarian like myself, supplements are a great idea. Vegans and vegetarians can often miss out on protein, iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin D.

    ~STYLING~


    This category includes both heat tools and regular styling, as they can both be damaging to your hair.  I think we all know very well what heat does to the hair, so it’s not very necessary for me to say that nobody should blow dry and curl/straighten their hair with heat anywhere near the amount we do. It’s ideal to reduce your heat styling to only once or twice a week and to keep the heat below 375 degrees. 

    The less obvious damage comes from styles such as:

    • Tight ponytails every day: These are damaging because hair ties can grip too tightly and cause fraying to your hair when it’s thrown up into thia style too often. If you can’t resist a tight bun or pony all the time, opt for a fabric hair tie like a scrunchie. 
    • Tight braids: Yikes. Pulling hair into tight braids can lead to splitting, breaking, folicile damage, and hair loss. The tugging of the braid can pull hair from the root or just cause intense stress that leads to hair loss. I am a braid lover, however, I stick to very loose, pulled-out braids. 
    • Wet styles: Like the others, this can cause breakage, split ends and hair loss. If dry ponytails can be damaging, imagine what wet ones do since we know wet hair is much more fragile than dry hair. 
    • Sleeping with a bun or ponytail: Again, these are damaging regularly, so they’re much worse when you’re rolling around at night, causing friction and pulling at your roots. It’s best to sleep with your hair down at night.  


    So there you have it. That’s all my non-expert advice on hair. 

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    Beauty · Eyeshadow · Lipsticks · Makeup collections

    Colourpop: Nectar & Just Peachy 🍑

    Just Peachy
    I’ve finally tried out Colourpop! I received 7 items, so I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings. I purchased the Blow Me Away eyeshadow palette and Faded Lippie Stix from the new Nectar line, the Just Peachy lip bundle, Weenie supershock shadow, London Fog Ultra Satin Lip, and Frick n Frack Ultra Satin Lip.

    Blow Me Away Eyeshadow Palette

    Take a Break, Centerfold, Issues, Slim Fit
    This palette contains 4 pressed powder shadows: 3 mattes and 1 shimmer.

    • Take a Break: peachy gold shimmer
    • Centerfold: vibrant coral matte
    • Issues: peach matte
    • Slim Fit: hot red/coral matte

    These shadows apply and blend wonderfully, they are very vibrant and pigmented, and they don’t have a ton of fallout. The shimmer shade is less pigmented and less impressive than the three mattes, but it is still beautiful.

    Faded: This lipstick is also part of the Nectar Collection. It’s a beautiful, glossy, rosy coral that applies so incredibly easily. I absolutely love this product.

     

     

     

    Weenie: This supershock shadow is a metallic ros gold shade created by Kathleen Lights. It’s a cross between a powder and cream that’s best applied with the fingers. When swatched on the back of the hand, the shade is so pigmented, however, it’s less noticeable on the eyelid. It could be my skin tone or that I need to apply a shadow enhancer or a better base shade; I need to play around with it more. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful shadow with a great formulation.

    London Fog Ultra Satin Lip:  I rciv this a a sample. This liquid lip is a vibrant pinky red. It’s very comfortable on the lips and a gorgeous shade that’s perfect for making a statement in spring and summer.

     

     

    Frick N’ Frack Ultra Satin Lip: I received this as a sample as well. Online, it is called a rosy terracotta, but mine looks nothing like the left photo in my tube or on my lips. It’s more of a dark rosy purple, which is disappointing. However, it is very comfortable on the lips.


    Just Peachy Lip Bundle 

    • Instigator: muted peach ultra matte
    • Screenshot: deepened peach ultra satin
    • Speed Dial: rich peach ultra matte

    Screenshot is my favorite due to its very neutral shade and comfortability. It’s followed closely by Speed Dial. Instigator is my least favorite due to its bright, less natural shade, but I do still like it.

    As a whole, I’m a fan of this brand so far. I did receive the Faded lipstick when I ordered the lip pencil, but that’s my only other complaint along with the slight disappointment in Take a Break and Frick n’ Frack. I’m a huge fan of the prices on all the products as they’re all around $5 each. I’m excited to try out more products. 

    Beauty · Personal

    Body Image

    Here’s a personal and honest post about body image, how I feel about it in general, and how I feel about my own. 

    I’ve pretty much diagnosed myself with body dysmorphia even though I know it requires a medical diagnosis. Body dysmorphia is a mental illness that causes you to see your flaws-or perceived flaws, as so much more than they truly are. You obsess over them and hate yourself for things that aren’t really there. I think most teenagers experience a touch of body dysmorphia many, many times. I went through puberty pretty early on, so I think I’ve dealt with issues far beyond self consciousness since I was about 13 years old. I was 112-114 pounds until I was 15 or 16 and I thought I looked hideous. I thought I was fat, ugly, waistless, and flabby. I thought my thighs and arms were too big and man, did I despise my “love handles”. It’s utterly hilarious to me now because I almost looked too thin at times.  I was doing P90x and didn’t have an ounce of fat on my body. 

    Junior year of high school, I got up to 140 pounds. Keep in mind that I’m only a little over 5 feet tall, so that was a nightmare for me. I was somehow going through a phase where I didn’t have to step on a scale every day, where I didn’t have to inspect my body in a mirror. When that phase ended, it ended hard. I stopped eating red meat(which I loved), I stopped eating French fries(which I loved more than anything), I was taking appetite suppressants, and I started spending $50 on meal replacement shakes. In September of 2015, I stopped eating meat altogether. Once I started the shakes I was probably getting 1,000 calories or less a day, which is not healthy. However, I was monitoring my vitamins and nutrients to make sure I wasn’t becoming malnourished. I didn’t do it the healthiest way possible, but I lost 15 pounds. 

    Weight and physical appearance control and consume my life on and off, as I believe they do to most girls. I can’t speak for guys, but I’m certain they’re not immune to self loathing and societal pressures either. My weight has been a priority over my health, my happiness, my diet, etc. I was constantly worried about my thighs, my sides, my waist, my arms, my chins, and my lack of jaw. I would cry over how I looked often, I verbally abused myself in my mind and I’d look at myself and think: “Hideous. Fatass. Ugly. Gross. Chubby. Lard ass.”  If I wasn’t focused on hating my body, it was my lips. I’d look at them, then look at other girl’s lips and despise mine. I was constantly comparing the things I hated about myself to other girls and it was ruining me. I’d try to convince myself I preferred having feminine curves over a high metabolism and never having to worry about my weight, but it was bullshit. I looked at super thin girls and wanted nothing more than to look like them. I wanted to be a double zero, have a large thigh gap, have super slender arms and legs, and never wear anything but a small or extra small. If I’m being honest, I still sometimes think I’d rather look anorexic than what I look like. I know it’s unhealthy, but I can’t force myself to love my appearance. I’m still so jealous of naturally thin girls and I wish I wasn’t, but I’d be lying if I said I never felt down about myself; I’m human just like everyone else.  

    It would be hypocritical and niave of me to say everyone should just love what they look like and stop comparing themselves to others. I know it’s not that simple or easy; I honestly don’t know how to take that advice myself. I wanted to share how I’ve felt and still often feel because I know it’s horrible and wrong and I know so many others go through such similar issues. Everyone feels this way at times no matter what they look like. Society has truly given us all expectations we shouldn’t have about ourselves and others. We see other girls and how “beautiful” or “sexy” they are, how much others praise them, and how attractive certain characteristics or features are said to be. I honestly don’t think there’s a way to completely ignore or reverse the influence society and other people have on us. We know what people find attractive and we know they look at us all to see if we have it or not. It causes such self conciousness and self hatred, such pressure. I admit I’m guilty, but I also admit that it’s horribly wrong. I wish with everything in me that I could just stop caring so much and that I could get over my flaws, that I could stop comparing myself to others. 

    While I refuse to pretend I can just flip a switch, I am an advocate of working to love yourself more. If you live a fairly healthy life and are happy with yourself, that is truly all you need. Personally, I’ve had to make lifestyle changes: I eat better now, I exercise, I look for positives in the mirror instead of only negatives, and I don’t expect perfection. Do things that make you happy and make you love yourself. In order to get to a place where you can love yourself, you have to be in a healthy state of mind first. For me, that meant getting out of bed and having fun instead of stalking girls on Instagram, finding ways to improve on my body without hating the exercise, and feeling positive about life in general. We need to stop expecting perfection from ourselves and others. Instead of looking at a person and immediately looking for the negatives in them, we should look for positivity and work to make others feel more positively about themselves. We judge ourselves enough as it is; we compare ourselves to all the beautiful people in the modeling industry, television, the beauty industry, magazines, movies, and so on. We don’t need to feel like everyone that looks at us is also comparing us. I think helping others feel better about themselves leads to feeling better about yourself as well. 

    As I’ve said, I don’t think there is any perfect fix for our skewed body image issues, but I do think we can all work to improve. Self love is such an important concept that I don’t think many of us focus on enough. YOU are beautiful as YOU are. You don’t need to be pretty like her or muscular like him, you just need to be you and they just need to be them. 

    Beauty · Makeup collections

    Disappointing Beauty Products

    I’ve tried my fair share of products and, like everyone, I’ve loved some and I’ve hated some. I’m going to share the products I’ve disliked, hated, been unimpressed by and been totally disappointed in.


    SKINCARE


    Lush Ultrablend Facial Cleanser

    I’m starting off with the absolute worst product I’ve ever used on my face. I have super sensitive skin, so I decided to try a sample of this because it’s listed as “ultra-gentle”. I foun out the hard way that it is anything but gentle for my skin. I was using this to remove my makeup and after 3 days, my eyelids were so dry and irritated that I wanted to cry. My eyes are literally watering right now at the thought of how horrible this stuff was for me. I used it 2 months ago and I don’t think my lids are back to normal yet.


    Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer

    So, I don’t hate this product and I’m sure it’s great for people with less dry skin types, but it feels like absolutely nothing on my face. I have the driest of dry skin, so I like to feel like my face is drinking in moisture and nourishment from a moisturizer, which doesn’t seem like too much to ask. When I use this, it truly feels like nothing. My face is still stiff and dry after using, so I consider it a disappointment.


    Cetaphil Daily Cleanser

    Blah. I thought this was supposed to be a fabulous choice for sensitive skin, and although it did not burn my face or cause severe irritation, it did seem to coat my face and leave a weird lotion-like residue. I felt it also broke me out in small bumps and blemishes. With that, it seemed like it did a poor job of actually cleaning my skin; it feels more like a cheap hand soap mixed with lotion.



    IPKN Moist and Firm BB Cream

    The reason this product is on my disappointments list is because of the smell. The smell bothers me so much that I can’t stand to use this product. It’s $31, so they should really make the scent bearable for customers that are willing to spend that ,uvh.




    Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer
    Okay, this stuff broke me out like no product ever has before. I had blemishes all over my freaking face, so I returned it within days.



    HAIR CARE

    Davines Oi All in One Milk

    This spray did make my hair feel very smooth while wet and helped comb through tangles, however, I felt that it coated my hair a lot, leaving it feeling grossly thick and greasy when it dried. Greasy hair is a total no-no for me because I have the least greasy hair.




    MAKEUP

    Benefit Cosemtics Hello Flawless Foundation

    It was flat out stupid for me to try this foundation in the first place because I hate liquid foundation. I have super dry sensitive skin, so applying a liquid to coat my entire face just feels horrible to me. I felt like my shade match somehow made me look even more yellow than I already am, so I hated that as well. It was a light to medium coverage, but that’s still a bit much for me. I am not a fan of coating my entire face in a second skin. I felt that it was too mattifying as well, which contributed to making my face look unreal.


    Maybelline Facestudio Master Contour 

    Yikes. This was one of the worst palettes I’ve tried. The powders were all so rough and lacking in pigment. I could barely get them to show up in swatches, let alone on my face. I gave it a good try because the shades are really nice, but it just didn’t work for me at all.




    Anastasia Beverly Hills Ultimate Glow Kit
    Okay, this was my fault. I totally should have realized this was very full of glitter before I ordered it, but I did not. The shades were absolutely beautiful and work for so many skin tones, but they were all such glitter bombs. I’m not a fan of super metallic, blinding, glitter-packed highlights, so this was not for me.



    Milani Rose Powder Blush
    Okay, I only have one negative with this product and it’s so bad that it puts this blush on the list. The smell. I love the shade and application, but the scent makes me gag. I can’t even use the product. I tried leaving it open for days and days but the horrid smell has not disapated.


    Urban Decay Naked Palettes

    I know, I’m a minority on this one. These palettes just disappointed me. They’re very pigmented and long-wearing and the shades are beautiful, but the shadows are not creamy or buttery at all. I have the Naked 2, 3, and smokey, so I feel like I have a decent idea of the quality of these shadows. I’m simply not that impressed by them; the packaging irritates me to no end, the shadows are rough and crumbly, the palettes all have intense fall-out, and I reach for them the least out of all my eyeshadow palettes.


    Mac Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick 

    Wow. Horrible. This is the worst liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried. It takes forever to dry down and when it finally does, it’s sticky as can be, transferable, crumbly, and prone to bleeding/fading. I ordered the shade So Me and it’s way darker and more plum in person.

    Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick
    I bought Peach Nudist and the shade is decent but not as pretty as I’d hoped, but my real issue was with how it dried down. I had high hopes, but this formula is so sticky! I can’t stand the feeling even when I have something moisturizing underneath. The applicator also kind of sucks.

    e.l.f Makeup Mist and Set

    There is no major problem with this spray that just makes me hate it. It simply does very little for my makeup. I don’t think it helps it last longer or look any different.

    So there you have it. Hopefully this helps someone when they’re deciding what products to buy and avoid.

    Beauty · Eyeshadow · Makeup collections

    Makeup Collection: Eyeshadow

    I have an over-the-top love for eyeshadow, and I’ve been working on my “collection” on and off for the past five years. My mom might hate my obsession, but she is to blame for starting me off with the Full Exposure palette in 8th grade. I also grew up infatuated with her Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin.

    I’m going to organize this from my first palette to my most recently purchased one. I’ll break each palette down into packaging, price and availability, color selection, shadow pigmentation and formulation, ingredients, and my personal review.

    All swatches will be finger swatches on unprimed skin

    All palette photos are linked to official sites if still available


    Smashbox: Full ExposureIMG_0497


    Packaging: This palette comes in a matte black, hard, thik cardboard case. The wording is a bit holographic but not in-your-face or obnoxious. The box itself is not prone to fingerprint marks and mine has not gotten dirty easily, especially for being so old. It is not a super bulky box, but it is also not the most slim and sleek. The packaging feels luxurious and sturdy.

    It closes with a magnet instead of a latch. When you open the palette, you have a decent sized mirror, 14 decently large pans (7 x .035oz/1g), a double ended brush, and a .14oz/4g eyeshadow primer..

    Price: This palette retails for $52.00.
    With the most simple math, excluding the brush and primer prices, each shadow pan is roughly $3.71.
    The full sized eyeshadow primer is $21.00, which makes the sample in the palette is roughly $6.00.
    Majority of the Smashbox eyeshadow brushes are $24.00 alone, so we’ll say the dual-ended brush included in the palette is $20.00.
    IF you want to consider those prices and subtract them from the palette price, the shadows are roughly $1.86 per pan.

    Availability: This palette is permanent and available in 10+ stores including Sephora, Macy’s, Smashbox, Ulta Beauty, Jet.com, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and more.

    Color selection: This palette is a fairly neutral one that allows for both natural daytime looks and deeper, bolder, smokey looks. The shadows are not named and they include 7 matte shades and 7 shimmer shades.

    1st row: shimmers

    Rich brown shimmer, copper shimmer, gold shimmer, pearly shimmer, taupe shimmer, slate gray shimmer, charcoal shimmer


    2nd row: mattes

    Chocolate brown, warm beige, cool light beige, off-white/cream, taupey beige, taupey brown, black


    Formulation and pigmentation: I find these shadows to be soft, smooth, and powdery. While they are soft shadows, there is not an intense amount of kickup when dipping the brush in. I do not experience much fallout with the shadows.

    They do not feel creamy to the touch, but they don’t feel overly dry either; they have a sloght velvety feel. I’ve seen a lot of complaints that the pigmentation is lacking, especially with the shimmers and that the shimmers had horrible fallout. I don’t consider these shadows to be the most pigmented ones I’ve ever used, but I find they are great for beginners.

    I feel that these shadows have an average longevity, but, that being said, I don’t feel like I’ve ever owned eyeshadow that completely vanished during the day.

    Ingredients: Tnis palette is formulated without parabens and sulfates, but it does contain talc, mica, and bismuth oxychloride, which are all known to be irritants for some.  I have very sensitive skin myself and I’ve never had any irritation when using these shadows.

    My palette
    Review: I was in love with this palette for so long, as you can tell. My palette is very used and abused.

    I feel like I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews and a lot more negative ones than positive ones, but I am a fan of this palette. It might be because it was my first high end palette, but I loved it and found it to be great for beginners, as I said. I actually really liked the brush and loved the primer.

    The shadows were very easy to blend and created beautiful, natural looks. That being said, there are probably many other palettes out there that have similar colors and better payoff. I do still use the lighter shades ofern for brow and inner corner highlighting, but I’ve moved on for the most part.

    This palette was purchased at Sephora and given to me by my mom.


    Urban Decay: Naked 2

    Packaging: I. Despise. This. Packaging. It is a thin, taupe colored, metal case that feels like an Altoids box. The wording is simple and brown, which I have no problem with. The case opens and closes with a hinge, but it does not open and close easily. In fact, mine took a tumble recently and no longer closes at all.

    On the inside, there is a wide mirror, a dual sided brush, and 12 12 x .05oz/1.41g eyeshadow pans that include 3 matte shades, 8 shimmer shades, and 1 metallic shade.

    Price: This palette retails for $54.00.
    Again, my math calculates only the roughest estimates. Each shadow is roughly $4.50.

    Typically, Urban Decay eyeshadow brushes are around $24.00, so we’ll again say the brush included is worth $20.00.

    With the brush price considered, the shadows are $2.80 per pan.

    Availability: This palette is permanent and available from about 25 stores such as: Sephora, Macy’s, Ulta Beauty, Urban Decay, etc.

    Color selection: This palette includes a nice range of light, natural, taupe, bronze, and deep shades and allows for multiple different looks. The shades are named by pan.

    Foxy: matte off-white cream, Half baked: golden taupe shimmer, Booty call: pearly sheen, slight shimmer, Chopper: rosy copper shimmer, Tease: matte muted purple/taupe, Snakebite: rich brown shimmer, Suspect: muted gold shimmer, Pistol: slate gray/silver shimmer, Verve: pearly silver shimmer, YDK: cool taupe shimmer, Busted: ruddy brown shimmer, Blackout: matte black

    Formulation and pigmentation: The pigmentation is there, but my issue lies with the formulation. In my opinion, the Naked palettes are totally overhyped. The formulation of majority of these shades is so dry that they feel crusty; they are as far from creamy as possible. I can actually hear them scratching against my skin when I go to swatch them. I also find that their “blackest black” looses its darkness because it is so chalky. The smoothest and creamiest shadows in the palette are the darker shimmers, but they’re also a bit chunky and crumbly.
    I experience a lot of fallout and blending difficulties with the Naked palettes, but I do find that the shadows are long-wearing.

    Ingredients: The naked palettes contain parabens, talc, mica, and bismuth oxychloride. Oddly enough, these palettes have never irritated my skin.

    My palette
    Review: If you couldn’t tell, I’m not the biggest fan of Naked palettes. Their only positives are their pigmentation and color selection. This is petty, but I hate the packaging of Naked 2 and Naked 3, so there’s another negative. I also don’t love the skinny, rectangular pans. With that, the pan sizes include less product than other palettes and you’re paying more. They also contain only 12 shades while other, less expensive palettes have 14. I know I’m going against the majority, but I say skip this palette.

    I purchased this palette at Sephora. 


    Urban Decay: Naked 3 

    Packaging: Like with the Naked 2, I despise this packaging, but I hate this one ever more because the top is bumpy and awkward. The case is pink, which is cute, and I’m a fan of the gold wording, but it looks wrong stamped onto bumps. Like the Naked 2, it has a mirror, a dual-sided brush, and 12 12x.05oz/1.41g pans. There are 3 mattes, 3 satins, 5 metallic shimmers, and 1 matte-satin.

    Price & availability: exact same as Naked 2.

    Color selection: This palette is full of cool mauves, pinks, and golds. With these shades, many different natural and bold looks can be created.

    Strange: pale pink matte, Dust: light pink shimmer, Burnout: warm peachy pink sheen, Limit: dusty rose matte, Buzz: dusty rose metallic shimmer,Trick: warm pinky gold metallic shimmer, Nooner: dusty rose brown matte, Liar: golden mauve metallic, Factory: bronzey mauve shimmer, Mugshot: metallic taupe, Darkside: deep taupey mauve matte, Blackheart: deep black cherry


    Formulation and pigmentation: I find the pigmentation in this palette to be softer than it is than the Naked 2, but still vibrant. This palette simply has a softer look to it.

    This palette is also a bit of a desert: powdery and dry. The shimmers and metallics are the easiest to work with, especially Buzz and Liar. The metallics are the smoothest shades, but they’re about as buttery as other palettes’ dryest shades. There seems to be less fallout in this palette, but I’d still suggest finishing your eye makeup first with these.

    Of all three Naked palettes I own, I’d say this one has the best formulation.

    Ingredients: Again, same as Naked 2

    My palette

    Review: While I am not a Naked fan, Naked 3 is my favorite of the 3 I own. I find it to be the easiest to work with and the least dry. The shades are soft and feminine, easier to blend, and nicely pigmented. While they still have fallout, it seems less intense than the fallout in Naked 2. This is the only palette from the line that I’d recommend getting, but I feel that there are many other rose-toned palettes that are much more worth your money.

    I purchased this palette at Sephora. 



    Urban Decay: Naked Smokey


    Packaging: I actually love the packing on this palette. It has such a nice, luxurious, sleek feel to it that none of its predecessors had. This case has a more thick plastic feel instead of the cheap tin feeling with the others. It’s a cool-toned gray case with an almost marble design.

    This palette is magnet-operated instead of hinge-operated, which I prefer. Again, there are 12 12x.05/1.41g pans that include 3 metallics, 3 shimmers, 2 satins, and 4 mattes.

    Price and availability: The exact same as the last two palettes.

    Color selection: This palette is exactly as it’s name says: smokey. The shades are very cool-toned, in the gray, blue, and light pink family. While the palette is designed for smokey looks, it is still easy to achieve a natural look with the pale pinks, browns, and golds.

    High: champagne shimmer, Dirty-sweet: bronze shimmer, Radar: metallic taupe, Armor: metallic silver-taupe, Slanted: metallic light gray, Dagger: charcoal with shimmer, Black Market: black satin, Smolder: deep plum matte, Password: cool taupe matte, Whiskey: rich brown matte, Combust: soft pink matte
    Formulation and pigmentation: I repeat: these shadows are dy!!! Dry but pigmentated. Slanted has the best performance, but it’s crumbly like the other metallics.

    Again, the formula is not impressive.

    Ingredients: Exact same as the other Naked palettes.

    My palette
    Review: Like the others, this palette is full of dry shadows. People often say it’s their least favorite of the Naked palettes, but I’d attribute that to its cool color scheme. It is definitely not inferior to the Naked 2, it’s just average. My favorite thing about the palette is the brush that is included; the fluffy side is wonderful for blending.

    This palette was purchased at Sephora and given to me. 


    BH Cosmetics: Carli Bybel


    Packaging: This packaging is adorable. It is an elegant white cardboard box with pretty silver writing and pearl designs. The cardboard does feel slightly cheap, but BH Cosmetics is not an overly expensive makeup brand. While discussing negatives, some might dislike that it’s white because it will show makeup spillage, but I find it pretty and unique.

    The palette is magnetic and opens to show a large mirror, 10 shadow pans, and 4 highlighter pans that are all nameless. I can’t find the measurements for the pans, but the total palette is .99oz/28g. The shadow pan sizes are fairly small, which is another con of this palette. The circular shapes are cute, but more product could have fit.

    Price: This palette is only $14.50!

    Again, with very rough estimates, the shadows are $.52 each and the highlighters are about $2.30 each.

    Photo is linked to her YouTube channel

    Availability: Unfortunately, this palette is limited edition. Carli Bybel is a YouTube beauty guru that created this palette with BH Cosmetics. Usually collaborations are not permanent. On April 3rd, she released a deluxe version of the palette for pre-order so her original is becoming unavailable. I believe you can still purchase the original from Ulta Beauty, but it will probably be gone soon.

    Link to pre-order
    Color Selection: The colors in this palette are stunning; the palette is full of neutrals and mauves that help achieve beautiful natural looks with more than just browns.

    1st row

    Off-white matte, pale pink shimmer, mauvey brown matte, mauve matte, deep plum matte
    2nd row

    Champagne shimmer, gold shimmer, rich brown shimmer, copper shimmer, rich brown matte
    3rd row: highlighters

    Pastel pink, champagne, golden, coppery bronze

    Formulation and pigmentation: These shadows are the absolute creamiest, most buttery shadows I’ve ever touched. Ever. Majority of them are nicely pigmented, however, I was convinced I recieved a dud at first because some of my shades were not as pigmented as I’d expected. After playing around with it more, I’ve realized it’s nicely pigmented except my brown-mauve shade in the first row. I’m thinking these are shadows that might seem disappointing if the right brushes aren’t being used.

    I’ve read very few reviews that say the shadows aren’t highly pigmented, so I believe my 3rd shadow is just a dud.

    The kickup isn’t insane unless you really swirl your brush around, and I have not noticed intense fallout.

    I prefer to use the highlighters as eyeshadows simply because I’m not a fan of shimmery highlighters. They’re still gorgeous colors.

    Ingredients: This palette is vegan/cruelty free, paraben free and totally irritant-free unless mica irritates your skin. I’ve experienced absolutely no irritation from these shadows.

    My palette
    Review: I find this palette to be incredible, especially for the price. It is such better quality than majority of my high end palettes and it is so much cheaper. I’m truly blown away. It’s adorable, I love the color selection, the formula is wonderful, and the price is unbelievable. I’d suggest this over any of the ahove palettes, which is why I linked the deluxe version. I’d hate for anyone to miss out.

    I purchased this palette online from Ulta Beauty


    Morphe: 35 color Taupe (35t)

    Packaging: Morphe palette packaging is nothing phenomenal, but it is compact and not at all bulky. It also feels fairly durable since it’s a hard plastic. It holds 35 1in. pans, so it is not the smallest palette out there either.

    Price: The Morphe 35 color palettes retail for $22.99, making the shadows around $.65 each.

    Availability: These palettes are not the easiest to find in store, but you can purchase this online at Morphebrushes.com or from second-hand sellers.

    Color selection: Absolutely beautiful, stunning, and unique. This palette contains rosy-tones, taupes, purples, golds, and bronzes in a combination of finishes, mostly matte and shimmer.

    1st row

    Mauvey-purple matte, taupey-purple shimmer, pinky-champagne shimmer, rich brown with purple shimmer, blush rose shimmer, rose gold shimmer, bronzey-pink shimmer


    2nd row

    Mauvey-brown matte, medium brown matte, bronze shimmer, champagne gold shimmer, copper shimmer, light matte brown with gold flecks, rich brown with gold flecks

    3rd row

    Deep brown with purple flecks, purple metallic, mauve with slight glitter, mauvey-pink matte, caramel shimmer, chocolate brown with flecks, medium brown with flecks

    4th row

    Blush rose gold shimmer, pinky-bronze shimmer, pinky-copper shimmer, dark brown shimmer, medium brown matte, deep ashy brown satin, chocolate brown matte

    5th row

    Light taupe with flecks, mauvey-red/ brown matte, warm light brown matte, deep mauvey-brown matte, red brown shimmer, medium brown with flecks, purple gray shimmer

    Formulation and pigmentation: In my opinion, Morphe quality is impressive, especially for the price. The shadows are pretty buttery-not Carli Bybel quality but worlds above Naked palettes. The mattes and satins are high quality, but the shimmers and metallics are so creamy and easy to work with. I find them all to be very pigmented and very long-wearing.

    Stephanie Nicole Morphe review
    The Morphe Brushes brand does receive some criticism. Some people don’t think they’re very good quality at all, some think they pay influencers to overly hype their products, and there is a fair amount of speculation over the possibility of private labeling. If you would like to look into it more for yourself, Stephanie Nicole , a very knowledgeable Youtuber that works in beauty product manufacturing, dedicated an entire video to Morphe.

    Ingredients: This palette contains mica and talc.

    My palette
    Review: I personally am a fan of this brand’s quality, price, and vast color selection. I find that the blendability is extraordinary in this palette, which is made even more impressive by the fact that they are so pigmented. I’m also super impressed by the staying power of these shadows.

    The smell of this palette is slightly unpleasant and chemical-like, but it’s not overpowering.; the smell is not make-it or break-it for me. I will say that these shadows sit slightly less comfortably than my others, but I’ve yet to feel true irritation from them.

    I purchased this online from Morphe Brushes using the affiliate code from Kathleen Lights. 

    Kathleen Lights Morphe
    Kathleen Lights is yet another Youtuber and beauty guru. She is a Morphe affiliate and came out with a limited edition palette with Morphe, which might make some people believe she is biased, but I feel that she is one of the most honest and genuine gurus out there.


    Lorac: Unzipped

    Packaging: I’m really not impressed with the packaging of this palette. The cardboard feels very thin and cheap, the color is blah to me, and it gets dirty easily. However, it did come with a very nice eye primer and a large mirror.

    The pan size is not specified, bur they appear to be very large. The total weight is .39oz/11.20g and the primer is .19oz/5.5g. The 10 shadow pans include 5 mattes and 5 shimmers.

    Price: This palette retails for $42.00, which means the shadows are around $4.20 each without the primer included. With the primer($6), the shadows are about $3.60.

    Availability: This palette is permanent and available from 10+ stores like Ulta Beauty, Lorac Cosmetics, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, etc.

    Color selection: Be still my heart. I am so madly in love with the beautiful rose gold color scheme. Nothing else needs to be said, just look at it.

    1st row

    Undercover: pale pink matte, Unbelievable: deep rose gold shimmer, Unattainable: mauvey-brown shimmer, Unconditional: mauvey-brown matte, Unbridled: deep burgundy matte

    2nd row

    Undiscovered: peachy rose gold shimmer, Unreal:pink shimmer, Uncensored:rich dark brown shimmer, Unspoken: rich dark brown matte, Untamed: deep brown/black matte

    Formulation and pigmentation: Out of this world. I seriously don’t need to go into detail because both pigmentation and formulation are phenomenal. They’re buttery, soft, blendable, highly pigmented, and they have a minimal amount of fallout. They do have some kickup but it’s simply because they’re soft shadows.

    Ingredients: This palette is formulated with mica.

    My palette

    Review: This is my absolute favorite palette that I own. The colors are gorgeous, the shadows are buttery and blend out so well, I don’t experience irritation, and I can create such beautiful looks. I can’t think of a single complaint about the shadows themselves, The only negatives are the packaging and the price.

     I purchased this online from Amazon. 


    Tarte: Tartelette In Bloom

    Packaging: This palette probably has my favorite packaging of all my palettes. It’s a hard plastic and metal case that opens on a hinge. The design on the top is so pretty, and the gold makes it look luxurious. It’s nice and compact and includes a very large mirror.

    There are 12 12x.053oz pans: 3 shimmer shades and 9 matte shades.

    Price: This palette retails for $46.00.

    Each pan is roughly $3.80.

    Availability: This palette is permanent and available at Tarte Cosmetics, Sephora, Macy’s, Ulta Beauty, and more.

    Color selection: This palette is full of mostly warm, light neutral shades, but 3 deep shades are included as well.

    1st row

    Charmer: off-white matte, Jetsetter: warm taupe matte, Rocker: taupe shimmer, Smokeshow: black brown matte

    2nd row

    Flower child: peachy nude matte, Smarty Pants: tan matte, Firecracker: bronze copper shimmer, Activist: dark brown matte

    3rd row

    Funny girl: champagne shimmer, Sweetheart: peach mate, Rebel: chestnut matte, Leader: eggplant matte
    Formulation and pigmentation: While the formula is on the drier side, it feels less like a desert than the Naked palettes. The shadows are blendable and easy to work with, espcially since they’re lighter shads. The formulation ranks average for me, but the pigmentation is above average.

    The shadows don’t have the worst fallout ever, but I’d suggest tapping the brush off before applying to your lid.

    Ingredients: These shadows contain mica, talc, and bismuth oxychloride. I’m not sure if it’s from a combination of those 3 or if it’s the scented aspect, but these shadows are slightly irritating to my lids.

    My palette


    Review: I thought I was disappointed with this palette at first, but then I realized I was reaching for it daily. I really like the natural warm shades, as I find them to be so perfect for spring and summer. I love the shimmer shades for the entire lid or just the center of the lid. I absolutely love the color selection and the vanilla powder scent.

    My only drawbacks are the unimpressive formulas and the slight irritation.

    This palette was purchased at Sephora by my mom.