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Holiday 2017: Sephora Collection Sets

Sephora Collection Holiday 2017

An often overlooked brand, for no other reason other than that it is a house brand and therefore automatically gets less attention because of it, the Sephora Collection holiday 2017 items and sets are not to be missed. Compared to the bulk of items carried at Sephora, these items are relatively inexpensive and yet the quality is excellent! I’ve found some new favourites in this lot too, so I’m even more excited to show you what they’ve got out now for the holidays!

Sephora Collection Wonderful Stars set
Sephora Collection Wonderful Stars set

The first item that really drew me in was the Wonderful Stars set ($23 CAD/$16 USD), because who doesn’t love an eyeshadow pan shaped as a star? The overall tone of this is very neutral, but I do love that they’ve thrown in some deeper shades to really help amp up your look. Also, you really cannot beat that price point!

Sephora Collection Winter Queen set
Sephora Collection Winter Queen set

Aside from the cute stars that called to me, this was the other item that screamed my name. First of all, it’s called the Winter Queen set ($10 USD), so obviously I’m over the moon because I love me some winter (seriously, go away summer – I don’t like you). But, aside from the name and the beautiful packaging, it’s the colours inside that really draw me in. The bronzer could potentially be used as a contour shade since it has more of a grey cast than an orange one (a very welcome feature), but I’ve been using it as a bronzer and I love the shade of it. It’s the perfect shade for those of us who are NW20 and lower. The blushes? Equally gorgeous. They’re bright enough to add a pop of colour without being too much. I particularly love the brightest one though (of course lol). And the highlighter? VERY unique and quite beautiful. It’s a grey/silver cast that I find ever so intriguing.

(By the way, I can’t find this on the Canadian Sephora site, so it may be sold out online. Check in stores if you’re Canadian!)

Sephora Collection Mini Cream Lip Stain set
Sephora Collection Mini Cream Lip Stain set

Okay so this set – the Mini Cream Lip Stain set ($15 CAD/$12 USD) – WHAT. A. WINNER. My dear friend Samantha has been telling me about the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stains for ages now, but I’ve always got too many lip products as it is, so I never bothered to pick one up. Until I received this set. And now I’m just like “okay NOW I understand”. These are unreal. The colours are beautiful, the lasting power is exceptional, and, while they are a matte liquid lipstick, they’re on the more comfortable side of things. Do yourself a favour and pick this set up, because at 15 bucks… it’s well worth it!

Wearing Wonderful Stars on the eyes
Wearing Wonderful Stars on the eyes & one of the cream lip stains

In the shot above I have the Wonderful Stars set on my eyes and on my face for blush and highlighter. I’m also wearing the Blackberry Sorbet Cream Lip Stain from the mini cream stain set.

Wearing another of the lip cream stains
Wearing another of the lip cream stains and the Winter Queen palette on my face

In the shot above I’m wearing the Cream Lip Stain in Vintage Rosewood and I have the bronzer, blush and highlighter from the Winter Queen palette on my face.

Sephora Collection Winter Flush set
Sephora Collection Winter Flush set

If you’re gifting (or buying for yourself) to someone who likes a lot of cheek options, the Winter Flush set ($16 USD) may be the right option. Each pan in the palette has a matte  and shimmer shade which (obviously) can be used alone or swirled together. I love that the colours are actually varied – you’re not just getting the same colour in different tones – you’re actually getting an assortment of shades.

Sephora Collection Midnight is Coming set
Sephora Collection Midnight is Coming set

And lastly, the tiniest, littlest, babiest eyeshadow palette you ever did see – the Midnight is Coming set. It’s currently sold out on both Sephora Canada and Sephora USA, but the shops generally have tons of stock, so check there. With three eyeshadows in a small enclosed magnetic flap box, this makes an easy to purchase stocking stuffer for any beauty lover

So there you have it! I hope you’re intrigued by what Sephora Collection has to offer. Not only do they do amazing holiday sets, but they also do them for incredibly reasonable prices. They’re easily giftable and won’t break the bank, which is something we can all appreciate during the holiday season.

Let me know if you’ve tried out some of their items – from the holidays or otherwise – because I really do feel like Sephora Collection needs a whole heck of a lot more exposure!

The products featured in this post were sent to me for consideration. Post contains affiliate links.

Holiday 2017: QUO Illuminating Palette (Review, Swatches & Face Shots)

QUO Holiday 2017 Illuminating Palette

One of the items I was most excited to try from QUO‘s Holiday 2017 range (you can see a ton from that launch in this video where I do a PR haul) was the Illuminating Palette!

QUO Holiday 2017 Illuminating Palette
QUO Holiday 2017 Illuminating Palette

With three highlighters, a blush and two bronzers, this seemed like such a great deal for $22 CAD! The pans are huge, so there’s more than enough space to get your face brushes in there. The only thing that kind of threw me off was that this is said to be an illuminating palette, so I actually thought these were all highlighters till I flipped it over and read the instructions that indicated there was a blush, bronzer, etc.

QUO Holiday 2017 Illuminating Palette - swatches
QUO Holiday 2017 Illuminating Palette – swatches

Swatched out, I’d actually go ahead and say that aside from the coral-pink blush shade, the rest of the colours really are highlighters. The deeper shades – the bronzers – are fundamentally too shimmery and a touch too orange to be used as a bronzer.

Face Swatches

I’ve swatched these on my face in the order in which they appear in the palette – left to right, top row then bottom row. All swatches are on my cheek/cheekbone and done extremely heavily  – about five layers for the highlighters and bronzers. The blush was done lightly.

Quo - Illuminating Palette - Highlighter 1
Quo – Illuminating Palette – Highlighter 1

More of a pearlescent-white sheen, Highlighter #1 was the most reflective in direct lighting.

Quo - Illuminating Palette - Highlighter 2
Quo – Illuminating Palette – Highlighter 2

Highlighter #2 leans more pink, but loses a lot of of sheen on the face.

Quo - Illuminating Palette - Blush
Quo – Illuminating Palette – Blush

The Blush is GORGEOUS! Super stunning colour with excellent payoff and easy to blend.

Quo - Illuminating Palette - Highlighter 3
Quo – Illuminating Palette – Highlighter 3

Highlighter #3 is a beige-cream highlighter that provide a faint hint of sheen.

Quo - Illuminating Palette - Bronzer 1
Quo – Illuminating Palette – Bronzer 1

Bronzer #1 delivers a muted orange-gold sheen.

Quo - Illuminating Palette - Bronzer 2
Quo – Illuminating Palette – Bronzer 2

Bronzer #2 is a touch deeper than Bronzer #1, but the colour tone is roughly the same.

Final Thoughts

Sadly, the QUO Illuminating Palette isn’t for me (or for very many others, I imagine). I found the powders just didn’t give me what I was looking for in a highlighter (not enough sheen) or bronzer (*definitely* not the right tone). The only shade I truly loved was the blush, but that’s not enough of a reason for me to want to buy this palette. The highlighters provide a very soft subtle sheen, but I found it was often gone by the end of the day. The “bronzers” are not bronzers – they’re basically warm-toned semi-shimmery highlighters. On me, the colouring of them wasn’t great, and they definitely would not work on deeper skintones as a bronzer – maybe as a highlighter?

Hard pass on this one I’m afraid.  Womp womp.

The QUO Illuminating Palette can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart for $22 CAD.

The product featured in this post was sent to me for consideration.

Holiday 2017: Too Faced Best Year Ever (Review & Looks)

Too Faced Best Year Ever

You guys, I feel like I’m on the constant Too Faced hustle! They just put out so many products for the holidays that it’s hard to keep up! For today, we’re focusing on the Too Faced Best Year Ever holiday set – a three pack of Too Faced goodness housed in a cute makeup bag.

Too Faced Best Year Ever
Too Faced Best Year Ever

Although the Too Faced holiday 2017 collection was very much planner focused, this is the only set that does not come with one. I’m not much of a physical planner person, so that works out for me! This set comes with a Glamour Guide, three palettes with seven shades housed inside, a deluxe size sample of their Better Than Sex mascara, and a makeup bag that says “I have way more makeup at home” (#accurate) to hold everything inside. The makeup bag is a wonderful size and doesn’t feel cheap – I love how much it can hold!

Too Faced Best Year Ever - three palettes and a mini Better Than Sex mascara
Too Faced Best Year Ever – three palettes and a mini Better Than Sex mascara

I swatched all three palettes yesterday for your viewing pleasure, so click on over to that post if you want to see the swatchees.

Too Faced Best Year Ever set
Too Faced Best Year Ever set

Out of all three holiday sets themed around “Best Year Ever“, this is the one that is the most neutral leaning. It has some additions of pink, but overall this is definitely a more nude/natural friendly set.

Too Faced Best Year Ever - I Believe In Pink
Too Faced Best Year Ever – I Believe In Pink

The first palette I dug into was the I Believe In Pink palette. All six eyeshadow shades lean towards the pink side of things (although one of the top shades is more cream then the more pink-leaning one beside it). It always has a really bright, hot pink blush to complement the colours.

I Believe In Pink Palette

Too Faced Best Year Ever - I Believe In Pink eye look
Too Faced Best Year Ever – I Believe In Pink eye look
Too Faced Best Year Ever - I Believe In Pink eye look
Too Faced Best Year Ever – I Believe In Pink eye look
Too Faced Best Year Ever - I Believe In Pink full face
Too Faced Best Year Ever – I Believe In Pink full face

This palette will definitely get you a very pink eyeshadow look, but it’s beautiful! At first I was nervous about the blush pairing, but I found it worked out really well in practice. Since it’s such a bright shade, definitely go easy with it!

Natural Beauty Palette

Too Faced Best Year Ever - Natural Beauty
Too Faced Best Year Ever – Natural Beauty

The more neutral palette in the set is the Natural Beauty one (makes sense, right?). Instead of a blush, this one has more of a bronzer shade, although since it’s a face product, it could easily double as blush as well. (Really, any powder product can!)

Too Faced Best Year Ever - Natural Beauty eye look
Too Faced Best Year Ever – Natural Beauty eye look
Too Faced Best Year Ever - Natural Beauty eye look
Too Faced Best Year Ever – Natural Beauty eye look

On the eyes, you get your very basic, yet easy to wear neutral eye. The shade, Oh, Deer!, is an especially beautiful shade that I loved in my crease. I wasn’t as in love with the bronzer shade (Warm My Heart) because I felt it was a bit too warm leaning and almost too pigmented for a bronzer.

Super Fun  Night Palette

Too Faced Best Year Ever - Super Fun Night
Too Faced Best Year Ever – Super Fun Night

The last palette turned out to be my absolute favourite. This one is Super Fun Night, and while I had thought the shades were awfully neutral overall, I was so, SO pleased with how my eye look came out!

Too Faced Best Year Ever - Super Fun Night eye look
Too Faced Best Year Ever – Super Fun Night eye look

Sleighhh Girl is a beautiful almost-patina lid shade – I wasn’t expecting that at all from looking at the pan! Tipsy is an interesting bronze… it almost leans kinda green? The pairing of the pink crease was also completely different from what I normally go for, but I really love how it all came together!

Too Faced Best Year Ever - Super Fun Night eye look
Too Faced Best Year Ever – Super Fun Night eye look

If you’re curious about the liner, it’s Hey Mr. DJ from Too Faced‘s Glitter Pop eyeliner range. Full review on that collection over here!

Final Thoughts

Because of the neutral-ness of the Too Faced Best Year Ever set, I was not expecting to like it as much as I did. All three palettes had wonderful colour combinations that I loved so, so much. They were easy to put together eye look without needing to resort to bringing in another palette to help you complete the look. Quality was also EXCELLENT – they were easy to blend and quite pigmented. I found layering shades wasn’t problematic at all, and even when blending in another shade on top, the original colour didn’t lose its integrity.

In short? This is definitely a good buy!

The Too Faced Best Year Ever set can be purchased on sephora.ca for $62 CAD or on sephora.com for $49 USD.

The product featured in this post was sent to me for consideration. Post contains affiliate links.

Holiday 2017: Too Faced Pretty Little Planner (Review & Looks)

Too Faced - Pretty Little Planner

If there’s one thing that Too Faced knows how to do with gusto, it’s holiday sets! I feel like every year there’s more and more being thrown at us… and you know what? I’m not ashamed to admit that I start getting excited for them around April! Thankfully, they actually launch them early (usually in September), so you’ve got plenty of time to ponder which ones are for you.

Too Faced - Pretty Little Planner
Too Faced – Pretty Little Planner

This particular set, Pretty Little Planner, is my favourite of their three major launches under their “Best Year Ever” holiday collection. The whole theme is centered around having an amazing year and the sets provide you with a planner (big or small, depending on which set you buy). I have to say, for me personally, I’m just not into the planner thing, so having it there does nothing for me and has no reflection on my review. (I’m a Google Calendar queen quite frankly – I have no time for this handwritten stuff!) For the sake of this post, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what the set comes with just so you’re armed with that information.

Too Faced - Pretty Little Planner
Too Faced – Pretty Little Planner

The Pretty Little Planner set comes housed in a faux leather zipcase with gold tassel. It’s not cheap feeling, and there is some heft to the planner. It’s really quite pretty if you’re into this kind of planner stuff.

Too Faced - Pretty Little Planner
Too Faced – Pretty Little Planner

Inside the case you’ll find the Best Year Ever palette and a deluxe sample size of their Better Than Sex mascara. There’s a small heart mirror, and a few side pockets – one of which houses the 2018 calendar/planner.

Comes with a 12 month calendar planner and a sticker set.
Comes with a 12 month calendar planner and a sticker set.

The planner is a basic month by month calendar view, and it comes with a sheet of stickers.

Too Faced Pretty Little Planner
Too Faced Pretty Little Planner

But I’m not here for the planner, am I? I’m into the shadows! (I’ve previously done a Swatch Sunday post, so please click on over to that for full swatch details.) Of all the holiday launches, this is the most pared down set, and honestly the one that gets me the most excited. This palette is chockful of gorgeous jewel tones that are actually a little bit different for the holidays. Usually we get dumped with a silver and a gold and a whole bunch of neutrals and brands call it a day. Not with this one! We’ve got a stunning peacock-blue-green with gold reflect (Break The Ice), an unreal cranberry (Dollhouse), a really punchy orange-gold (Good as Gold), and my favourite – a molten copper that spreads like a dream (Werkshop). There’s even two brow bone highlight shades – one matte (Good Girl) and one with a soft sheen (Why Not?). Seriously guys, this palette is an absolute beauty, and a welcome change from the more traditional colour pairings I’ve seen over the years.

Too Faced Pretty Little Planner Makeup Looks

  • Coffee First through the crease.
  • Dollhouse in the middle of the crease.
  • Werkshop on the lid.
  • Booville in the outer corner.
  • Rise and Shine on the inner corner.
  • Why Not? on the brow bone.

  • Coffee First through the crease.
  • Elfie Selfie on the lid.
  • Snooze U Lose on the outer corner.
  • Good Girl on the brow bone.

  • Coffee First through the crease.
  • Good As Gold on the lid.
  • Booville on the outer corner.
  • Good Girl on the brow bone.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned upfront, the Too Faced Pretty Little Planner set is my favourite of their three main holiday releases in the Best Year Ever collection for 2017. I think this one has the best variety of shades in colours I wasn’t expecting, but was really, really pleased with. The colours apply and blend well, and none of them left me feeling disappointed with the quality. While the planner side of things isn’t for me, and doesn’t affect my review in any way, for those who are into it, it’s a nice little addition to this set for you.

In short? This is a good one, and I would say definitely pick it up if you’re into the shades!

The Too Faced Pretty Little Planner set is available at ulta.com for $42 USD.

The product featured in today's post was sent to me for consideration. Post contains affiliate links.

New Wet n Wild 10-Pan Palettes! (Review, Swatches, Comparisons & Looks)

Wet n Wild is one of those brands that, had you told me in the 90s, I would love in my 20s and 30s, I probably would’ve scoffed at you profusely. I very clearly remember buying a horrid pink lipstick that was basically the equivalent of a greasepaint stick in balm format when I was 12 years old and figuring that lipstick just wasn’t for me because of that ridiculous texture (of course, I had no concept of higher end makeup at the time either).

Fast forward to 2010 and Wet n Wild has rapidly become one of my most trusted drugstore brands. Their Photofocus foundation? Love it. Their Megalast Lipsticks? Love them. Their eyeshadow palettes? ALSO AMAZING! Their palettes were already so good that I was surprised that they decided to re-release and reformulate them.

BUT HOLY FRIGGING HELL YOU GUYS. It was worth the reformulation and the re-release because these are incredible!

Wet n Wild - Rosé in the Air
Wet n Wild – Rosé in the Air

Let’s start this off with a bang! With their relaunch, Wet n Wild has gone from an 8-pan format, to a 10-pan one, and with this change they’ve brought us some wonderfully needed transition shades. Rosé in the Air is the one I see most people talking about since it’s a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette.

Wet n Wild - Rosé in the Air - swatches
Wet n Wild – Rosé in the Air – swatches

Pigmentation on the Rosé in the Air palette is incredible – smooth, soft, tons of colour and easy to apply.

Wet n Wild - Rosé in the Air - eye look
Wet n Wild – Rosé in the Air – eye look

And on the eyes, it’s no different! Colour packed on just as easily as they did for swatches and blended out perfectly!

Rosé in the Air vs Modern Renaissance
Rosé in the Air vs Modern Renaissance

Samantha Jane was the first person I know of to point out the similarities between the new Rosé in the Air palette and ABH’s Modern Renaissance palette. In the pan, they’re uncannily similar. And in swatches?

Rosé in the Air vs Modern Renaissance - swatches
Rosé in the Air vs Modern Renaissance – swatches

Uh. Hi. Yes. Dead freaking dupe! Granted, the ABH palette does have four more shadows than the Wet n Wild one, but the general essence of the palette is absolutely there. It can definitely be said that the ABH shadows are smoother and creamier, but considering the $37 USD difference… well… you can decide where you’d like to put your money!

Wet n Wild - Not A Basic Peach
Wet n Wild – Not A Basic Peach

Although everyone is super excited about the Rosé in the Air palette, my favourite one is definitely this beautiful specimen! This is the Not A Basic Peach palette and it’s so visually appealing to me that it makes me sigh in pleasure. Warm, peachy tones with a shot of blue, a vibrant orange-gold and a raspberry shade that reflects gold??? I am allllll in for this one!

Wet n Wild - Not A Basic Peach - swatches
Wet n Wild – Not A Basic Peach – swatches

Even the brow bone and transition shades are incredibly pigmented! This is the kind of palette where every time you swatch it, you’re taken aback by just how good it is.

Wet n Wild - Not A Basic Peach - eye look
Wet n Wild – Not A Basic Peach – eye look

Out of this whole post, this was my favourite eye look that I created. The Not A Basic Peach palette speaks to me on a whole ‘nother level. I am so, SO glad they created this one!!!

Wet n Wild - Comfort Zone
Wet n Wild – Comfort Zone

With their revamp, Wet n Wild also relaunched one of their olduns – Comfort Zone. While the original Comfort Zone palette had always been an excellent palette, it really lacked in shadows that would help you make a cohesive eye look: namely – transition shades.

Wet n Wild - Comfort Zone - swatches
Wet n Wild – Comfort Zone – swatches

They’ve rectified that with this launch and the palette comes with two warm transitions shades – one lighter, one darker.

Wet n Wild - Comfort Zone - eye look
Wet n Wild – Comfort Zone – eye look

There’s a lot of variety in this palette, but instead of keeping it to the neutrals, I used that blue/brown shade all over the lid and deepened it up with the darkest shade in the outer corner. The transition shade helped define my upper crease and the pewter shade added a nice highlight to the inner corner of my eye.

Wet n Wild - Comfort Zone - old vs new
Wet n Wild – Comfort Zone – old vs new

For comparison’s sake, I pulled out my old Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette (which I had attempted to declutter at one point, but everyone I knew already had it!). In just looking at the two palettes side by side, you can see how the matte brown shades help to ground the palette.

Wet n Wild - Comfort Zone - old vs new - swatches
Wet n Wild – Comfort Zone – old vs new – swatches

My double set of swatches on this didn’t turn out so well, mostly because I’m really not showing you just how blue/brown that pigment is in the new palette (rest assured that it is, it’s just my photography skills that need some help). There are practically no changes between the two palettes aside from the fact that the new palette has more pigmentation (plus the transition shades not pictured above).

Wet n Wild - Nude Awakening
Wet n Wild – Nude Awakening

And lastly, one for the neutral lovers out there. The Nude Awakening palette is a revamp of a palette they had that was long and thin before. It was okay, but not something I ever really played around with much because… hello… it’s neutral.

Wet n Wild - Nude Awakening - swatches
Wet n Wild – Nude Awakening – swatches

This revamp of the older palette is appreciated though – the colours are incredibly pigmented and far more enticing than I ever remember them being.

Wet n Wild - Nude Awakening - eye look
Wet n Wild – Nude Awakening – eye look

I kept it pretty simple for this one, but the colours, as with all of the other palettes, blended beautifully.

Final Thoughts

These Wet n Wild 10-pan palettes are incredible! Hands down… I really think this is the most exciting thing I’ve seen come out of the drugstore this year. To see a drugstore brand release such beautiful palettes with COLOUR and keep the prices low ($4.99 USD each)? I mean it’s actually almost kind of unreal! And it’s not like they skimped on quality either – these are blendable and pigmented, and even better than their previous palettes which were already great to begin with! I love the addition of the transition shades – it tells me that they’re listening to feedback and making changes where necessary.

If it wasn’t already clear, I love them immensely and I absolutely think you need these. ALL of these. And at $5 a palette, you are definitely getting the most pigmented, cheapest palettes you can find on the market. Well done Wet n Wild – you’ve got an absolute winning set of palettes on your hands!

The new Wet n Wild palettes are only slowly starting to be released right now, so you may have a bit of a hunt on your hands. As of right now, their web site has all 4 palettes available for $4.99 USD each, but you can expect them to trickle out to your regular retailer throughout the next few months.

The products featured in this post were sent to me for consideration. Post contains affiliate links.