Posts From October 2008

Tarte The Vanity Palette Review and Comparison to Tarte We Wish You Wealth

I think the biggest question this Holiday Season is “Do I really need Tarte The Vanity Palette?”. If you indulged in last year’s Tarte We Wish You Wealth Palette you may have asked yourself this question a dozen times already. I know I’ve wondered should I indulge and I know my great friend, Iris, has wondered the same thing! I got quite a few emails as well asking me, “Muse, do I really need this palette?”

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So….that’s why you have your Muse…she’s here to make the important decision for you!

And the answer is….

Yes, you need Tarte’s new holiday palette!

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If you already have Tarte’s We Wish You Wealth Palette chances are you’re thinking that the colors in the new Vanity palette are all similiar. I’m here to reassure you that the colors are probably somewhat similar but when comparing the two I felt like this year’s shades are quite vibrant compared to last year. Rest assured ALL the colors are brand new even if they look somewhat like shades released from last year!

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The palette has been slightly revamped as they have done away with a good portion of the stains, liners, etc..that were housed in the third tier. This means the palette is slightly smaller in content when compared to what you got last year however it doesn’t take away from the value of the palette. Tarte also made a very smart move keeping the price at $52 USD and not raising it. This shows a good, fair sport in the cosmetic world and value for it’s customers. While many companies have taken the high route and raised prices by $2-$3 or more, we, at the very least, have a palette to keep us happy with a good deal of bang for our $52 USD and not an inflated price tag. Tarte We Wish You Wealth had a huge cult following last year and many, many cosmetic junkies far and wide purchased it. Of course, most companies would raise the price on an item that sold so well however Tarte did not. They kept the price as is and that along deserves props as far as the Muse is concerned!

This year’s palette you get:
16 shadows
16 glosses
1 Mascara
1 Bronzer
1 Luminizer
4 Powder Blushes

Last year you got:
16 Shadows
16 Glosses
4 Gel Eyeliners
4 Cheek Stains
3 24/7 Lip Sheers
1 Eyelid Primer
1 Luminizer

As you can see the third tier of the palette has changed a good deal. Last year you ended up with total of 12 items and this year you’ll be getting 7 items (6 if you aren’t counting the mascara). Whether this is disappointing or not remains to be seen for me. I guess taking away the 24/7 Lip Sheers is not too upsetting as you’re already getting 16 glosses and really don’t need more lip products however I think I will miss the liners. The lid primer I didn’t use so that’s perfectly fine that it was removed. Even though a few items were taken away I do think that the more compact version has taken away from the overwhelming feeling of last year’s palette.

The shadows in this year’s palette seem to have a more vibrant look. Last year the shadows looked washed up and really didn’t excite me where as this year I’m honestly in love with almost every single shade. The glosses have taken on more of a deeper tone and don’t contain as many pinks but lean more towards richer, deeper reds.

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I’m unsure as of yet how I feel that the stains have been replaced by powder blushes. I haven’t tried the powder blushes yet but they look a little too light and may not show up well on my skin but we shall see.

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I’m happy to see that the luminizer is a large size as I did enjoy the creamy shimmer this gave my cheeks last year. And finally the bronzer I’m not completely sure about but I think I’ll like that.

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I have two minor rants about the palette.

1. I hate the fact they only include two brushes. I’d really appreciate a few strategically placed sponge applicators here and there and maybe a mini blush brush too.

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2. The palette swings open and contains a total of 3 tiers which stack on top of each other when closed. Although each tier has a thin sheet of plastic on top to protect the contents, I did notice last year as I used the shadows, blushes, etc…things started becoming messy. So you do have to take extra care when using the palette otherwise you can end up with a major mess!

Aside from those rants I think the palette is a great deal for the season! It honestly makes an ideal gift or, if we are honest with ourselves, a perfect purchase for yourself!

Taking all items into consideration and breaking up the $52 USD price tag you’ll end up paying $1.62 USD per an item which honestly, considering the size of each shadow, gloss, etc…is a great deal.

Overall, I do think it’s worth purchasing for yourself especially if you don’t already have a huge makeup collection. This has a slew of items to create over 30 looks at the very least!

Tarte did a great job with it’s We Wish You Wealth Palette and that’s just carried over into another wonderful piece of work with it’s brand new The Vanity Palette!

The Muse likey and approved it for purchase!

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Tarte We Wish You Wealth Review

Tarte 30% Off Coupon Code

Tarte Holiday Collection 2008

Tarte Berry Couture Review and Swatches

Tarte Peaches and Cream Review

Tarte Eyelash Curler Review

Tarte Double Dose Lipgloss Review

20 Comments

Lavshuca Holiday Collection 2008: Lavshuca Antique Collection

Lavshuca has updated it’s site with the brand new Holiday/Winter Collection for this year but don’t get too hyper as it’s nothing exciting that you’ll have to have!

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Last year I truly enjoyed the Lavshuca Winter Make Palettes released however this year nothing seems to be truly catching my eye but I will be indulging just so I can review the items for you here at Musings.

Why Lavhusca has succumbed to some of thee most boring shades I’ve ever seen in my life lately is truly beyond me. Spring, Fall, and now Winter are a total devastating disappointment for me. Excuse the Muse while she jumps off the nearest bridge in woe!

The Antique Collection consists of two color variations in a gift box for 1,890 yen each. Each gift box contains a lipgloss and a brand new duo eyeshadow in the style of the older single shadows from Lavshuca. It appears that Lavshuca has taken the initiative to start implementing much of it’s new style packaging in this collection so I think it’s safe to say you’ll see many of the older items become obsolete since they are fully embracing the new aubergine look and leaving behind the lacy white look from the past.

It looks like you can create a brown or a black look with the collection. The first duo contains one black shade and one paler shimmering white or pink shade while the second has a lighter brown shade and either a pale shimmering pink or a cream white (just assuming colors from the pictures). Honestly, you can probably recreate the looks with these gift sets from any number of other items you have in your collection if you collect Lavshuca so it’s not something you absolutely have to run out to get unless you’re a serious fan and collector. The only thing that I find oddly appealing is the little draw gift boxes these come in! Go figure! I’m already thinking up items I can put in them as storage.

Honestly, if you look close enough at last year’s Winter Make palettes from Lavshuca Holiday Collection 2007 you can probably create about the same look as this year!

Lavshuca Holiday 2007: Lavshuca Winter Make Palettes
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Also released with the Holiday Collection are brand new stick eyeshadows which you can use to line and shade eyes. Again, another ho-hum item for me and nothing I’m getting to excited about! Believe it or not I’d be more excited to see some sort of cream shadow released to replace the Lavshuca Jelly Eyes from a few years ago! Those were kinda fun and I regret not trying them out for myself at the time!

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Although the collection fails to tempt me I will get the two gift sets to review here at Musings. I look forward to Spring 2009 and hope that Lavshuca can redeem it’s downward spiral it’s been on lately for the Muse!

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Lavshuca Winter Make Palettes Review

Lavshuca Winter Make Palette Tutorial

Lavshuca Rouge Star Classic Lipstick Review

Lavshuca Spring 2008 Featuring a Review of Lavshuca Noble On Palettes

MuseTV Presents: Lavshuca Spotlight

14 Comments

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Palette Review and Swatches

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Palettes started off as an exclusive item from our friends at Nordstrom however Bobbi was feeling generous so she’s included them in with her Winter and Holiday Collection which means you can get ‘em from your local Bobbi Brown counter or directly from Bobbi Brown’s website now! No Nordstoms required!

I thought for sure that I’d want to indulge in both versions of this palette but turns out it has some minor flaws that made me feel a little less in love with it. Up till now I’ve been having awesome Bobbi Brown experiences but sadly I wasn’t feeling the love for the Long Wear Eye Palette.

The palette comes in two color variations, Moon Rock and Night Sky. I tested out Night Sky for myself and the palette overall is rather wonderful with a few minor rants here and there from your dear old Muse.

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The palette contains two Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadows in Ocean Storm and Rockstar and two Bobbi Brown Gel Eye Liners in Black Ink and Thunder Storm. Ocean Storm has an off cast of gray to it but it appears more like a shimmering white once applied and Rockstar is a deep navy blue that has a slightly shimmery finish. Black Ink is obviously a true black liner shade while Thunder Storm has an off cast of brown but appears very black once applied even though in the photo I took it looks like a true brown.

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Black Ink and Thunder Storm
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Rockstar, Ocean Storm, Blank Ink, and Thunder Storm
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RockStar and Ocean Storm
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Black Ink and Thunder Storm
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You can probably get a total of four looks from the palette but I just choose to do one complete look by using the two cream shadows and one liner. To do my look I used Ocean Storm as an eye prep from lid to crease and followed up with Rockstar all over my lid. To complete my look I used the Bobbi Brown Gel Eye Liner in Black in on my lower lash line and upper lash line. There is absolutely no denying that the completed look has a nice sophisticated edge. I thought it opened my eyes up and created a soft, pretty look however this does not change my mind about some of the problems that arose while using the palette.

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One major problem with the palette is the packaging. Although the packaging looked ideal to me it needs a tiny bit of work to be perfect. The palette contains a lid for each of the liners and shadows. This is a wonderful idea as it protects the contents of the palette and keeps the liners and shadows from hardening. Each lid snaps open and closed to protect the content of each “well” however I find it very difficult unsnapping each lid. Each time I used the palette I had to get a nail file and wriggle it under the lid to get them to pop up and open. Maybe after a few uses the lids will loosen enough to open easy but at this point I struggle with them every time I use the palette. Although I completely appreciate the idea behind the lids I do get a major case of irritation that it takes so long to get each lid open prior to use.

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Now the liners are pure perfection! You probably know what a joyous day it was the day I discovered how much I love Bobbi Brown Gel Liner! Angels sung in heaven, the sun shined bright, all was right with the world when I got my first pot of Bobbi Gel Liner however the long-wear cream eyeshadow left a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

As I mentioned I simply adored the finished look the palette gave my eyes however the cream shadows have a crummy formula in my humblest. They blend very streaky and even after a few layers color payoff isn’t too fabulous. I won’t rant too much on pigmentation considering I think the idea is to give a very light finish and not bold and loud however after five layers of Rockstar I finally decided that this was the best I was going to get in the color department and I wasn’t going to stretch it out any further. The shadows do have a great formula for the simple fact that they don’t dry right away so you have plenty of time to layer, blend, and just generally work with the shadow before it completely dries down. Cream shadow formulas that remain moist for a while are really user friendly in my opinion and Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Cream gets a rave in that department. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that they seriously apply in a major streaky messy. As I move my finger across my eye to blend I end up completely removing the shadow so I take my brush add more color and reblend with my fingertip and again and again and over and over I proceed to repeat the process a million times. After a while, if I’m lucky, I’ll finally have a good layer of product and my bare lid won’t show through but this does take a good 20 minutes to perfect since for some odd reason the shadow just streaks every which way from Friday!

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I almost failed to mention the palette also includes a dual sides brush which is very nice. One end has a shadow brush applicator and the other side has a thin liner brush with cap! I totally appreciated the fact that they included a cap for the liner brush as after using liner it’s always messy to put the brush back into the palette.

Overall, the palette is actually really nice with a few minor imperfections however it’s these imperfections that will probably prevent me from purchasing the second color available. I loved the look I created using the palette but I think the packaging needs a tiny bit of work and the formula on the cream shadows could be slightly better!

I do recommend heading to your counter and trying it out for yourself as you might very well fall into the love/hate relationship I’m currently having with it! Not all bad but not completely good either!

The Muse’s opinion remains open on this one and she hopes as time passes she’ll grow to love it!

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Palettes are available now at the Bobbi Brown Website or your local counter! They are limited edition and $55 USD each!

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Bobbi Brown Moisturizing Cream Compact Foundation Review

20 Comments

Anna Sui Christmas Collection 2008

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Tis the Season for a new Anna Sui Collection!

The Anna Sui website has been updated with the Christmas Collection which includes new nail polishes, new duo eyeshadows, and a few new shades of shimmer/glitter vials!

Honestly, as cute as the collection is I’m not particularly thrilled as the colors just aren’t what I like for a Holiday collection but they are limited edition which does up the appeal but ado even that doesn’t tempt me.

Two limited edition pouches with four nail polishes for 4,200 yen each are available.

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Three limited edition eyeshadow duos are available as well at 2,500 yen each. These look darling but honestly the shades aren’t what I’d called Holiday friendly. Now if it was Spring or Summer I’d probably be all over these but I look for more shimmery, lighter colors come the Holiday!

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And finally four new shades of the shimmer/glitter vials are available for 2,000 yen each. The shades are blue, silver, purple, and an off gold. These aren’t appealing at all to me either.

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It looks like a perfectly nice selection but I think I’ll be skipping on a majority of it as it just doesn’t hold any interest for me. The selections are available within Japan only however a few select online shops do have the line available for purchase if you’re feeling a desire to own it for your very self!

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KATE Website Update: KATE Gel Eyeshadows

Mmmmm mmmm mmmm good! KATE’s website has been updated with the brand new KATE Gel Eyeshadows and the Muse couldn’t be happier!

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KATE is a Japanese brand that is exclusive to Japan however if you take a look at my buying guide you can locate a few shops online that sell KATE.

The brand new gel eyeshadows are calling my name I’ll be indulging in quite a few of the shades plus the price is right at 8,50 yen. At that price I think it’s safe to say that these should be about the size of KATE’s Gel Eyeliner which is about half the size of a MAC Fluidline.

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These shadows are quite similiar to gel liners released this past Spring as they look like they have a metallic finish with quite a good bit of shimmer but we shall see soon enough!

KATE Gel Eye Liners
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I have my eye on the pink, purple, gold, and white. If hey end up being good, as I think they will be, I’ll grab the other colors as well!

Have you seen ‘em?

Lemming ‘em?

Tell the Muse!

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KATE Summer Collection 2008: KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadow Review

KATE Glamtrick Eyeshadow Palette Review

KATE Spring Collection 2008 Review

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