Beauty Bits & Bobs
Shu Uemura Instinct Collection has my heart for the upcoming Fall season. The palettes in particular are so versatile and unique you can’t help but fall in love and lust with them!
I’ve been testing out some of the Shu Uemura Instinct Collection this week and I’m excited to finally tell you all about. I did a look a day for the past week using the shadow duos and I can probably get a week more of different looks from them. The palettes are interesting little pieces that you can get a nice array of eye looks from. You’d think two colors wouldn’t offer much in the way of variety but in fact they do indeed offer a good deal of selection.
Each palette consists of a heavily pigmented powder shade and a cream base which doubles up as a liner. The powders are extra silky and have a similar consistency to many popular Japanese eye shadows I’ve come across which is a cross between a cream and a shadow. The texture is wicked smooth and blends extremely well. Pigmentation is amazing, simply amazing even better than a MAC shadow. The finish is cross between a stunning shimmer and a beautiful metallic.
The cream base is smooth and creamy. The cream base can work as a prep for your shadow or as a liner. I was very impressed with how easy it was to blend these onto my lid. I normally hate using MAC paint pots or any cream shadows in general as you may have read in my prior posts however this particular base has just the right consistency to create a sheer layer that you can build up without fearing the shadow will dry before you can put your second coat on. The base adheres wonderfully to the eye and allows a perfect prep for the shadow. It allows the shadow to glide effortlessly onto the eye while preventing major fall out plus it deepens the powder shadow and morphs the color lending an air of mystery to the color. I noticed the base intensifies the shadow in a particularly beautiful way.
I’m partial to these new duos because as I mentioned above I love how versatile they are. I can easily get several looks from two shadows.
Some looks you might attempt with your own palette:
Eye Look 1: Cream Shadow on Lid
Creates an air of mystery and a uniquely goth look that’s both elegant and fun.
Eye Look 2: Powder Shadow on Lid
Beautifully rich and pigmented color on the lid creates a beautiful daytime and evening look for Fall!
Eye Look 3: Powder Shadow on Lid plus Line bottom and lower lash line with Cream Shadow
A great evening look for eyes!
Eye Look 4: Prep lid with Cream Shadow and Blend Powder Shadow onto lid!
This morphs the color of the shadow and deepens it allowing the look to go from simple to stunning!
Eye Look 5: Powder Shadow on Lid and Cream Shadow Used as a Liner on lower lash liner!
This opens the eye up and gives a simple yet unique look to your eyes!
Looks I created using the Shu Uemura Instinct Fall Collection:
Eyes: Shu Uemura Duo Eye Shadow Palette in Mystifier (Cream Base with Powder Shadow Layered on Top)
Cheeks: Shu Uemura Glow On Blush in Pulse
Lips: Shu Uemura Rogue Unlimited Crystal Shine in Brown Dazzle
Eyes: Shu Uemura Duo Eye Shadow Palette in Mesmerizer (Powder Shadow on lid and cream shadow used as a liner on upper lash line)
Cheeks: Shu Uemura Glow On Blush in Pulse
Lips: Shu Uemura Rogue Unlimited Crystal Shine in Brown Dazzle
Eyes: Shu Uemura Duo Eye Shadow Palette in Mystifier (Powder Shadow on lid and Cream Base used as a liner on lower lash line)
Cheeks: Shu Uemura Glow On Blush in Lust
Lips: Shu Uemura Rogue Unlimited Crystal Shine in Brown Dazzle
Eyes: Shu Uemura Duo Eye Shadow Palette in Mesmerizer (Cream Base with Powder Shadow Layered on Top)
Cheeks: Shu Uemura Glow On Blush in Lust
Lips: Shu Uemura Rogue Unlimited Crystal Shine in Crimson Dazzle
These are just some of the ways I’ve used my palette this week and I must say I’m duly impressed with the many looks I’ve created with it so far.
The two palettes I tried out were Mystifier and Mesmerizer. Out of the two Mesmerizer was my favorite which is a beautiful blend of purples. Mystifier contains a hunter green cream base and a beautiful brassy bronze shadow.
As for the blushes in this collection I really love Shu’s Glow On Blushes and I’m particularly pleased with the two shades released with the Instinct Collection. The colors are both very pretty peach shades which offer cheeks a warmth for the Fall season. Each shade goes extremely well with the eye palette duos and offer the perfect contrast of color to cheeks against the back drop of such an intense eye look. I got both Lust and Pulse. I was slightly worried about Lust as it appears quite sheer and chalky but I quickly realized it would soon become my favorite of the two colors. Lust is actually quite a natural peach that gave my cheeks just a hint of color without overpowering the rest of my look. Pulse is a deeper shade of peach and offers a bit more pop when compared to Lust but still remains quite natural. Both are truly gorgeous shades. Each blush is embellished with a shimmering gold floral design which quickly disappears with one swipe of the brush! Le sigh! Oh well all good things must one day come to an end I guess!
Now another favorite piece for me in Shu Uemura Instinct Collection were undoubtfully the Rouge Unlimited Crystal Shine. I’ve tried these previously and was quite excited about them but I must say that the colors I tried were nothing like the two shades released with Shu’s Instinct Collection!
The shades are Crimson Dazzle and Brown Dazzle. Now the formula is outstanding! It simply glides on leaving pigmented, moisturizing lip color behind. It’s like having a gloss and lipstick all in one tube! You can wear gloss on top for a bit of extra pop but the finish has enough of a shiny, glossy look to it that you may just want to skip on the gloss. Beautiful! Crimson Dazzle is particularly beautiful with touches of both red and a little tinge of orange and faint traces of golden shimmer. Brown Dazzle is just as nice with similar traces of tiny gold shimmer and deep, off chocolate coloring. Each shade is truly flattering for the Fall.
I had so much fun creating different looks with the entire collection. I can’t help but label the Shu Uemura Instinct Fall Mode Makeup Collection another favorite of mine for the upcoming Fall season!
With touches of brown, peach, and popping shades of shadow it’s a unique selection and combination of colors that no other collection has yet duplicated this season.
Instinct is made up of several other pieces that I do not have available to review for you sadly but I see myself buying more of the collection soon so keep your eyes peeled for another review shortly! Click on over to Shu’s site for a visit and a peek at the Shu Uemura Instinct Collection as there are several other awesome items that are part of this Muse Approved collection!
I love this one and I see myself making proper use of it all season long!
Tried any of the Shu Uemura Instinct Collection?
Love the palettes?
What’s your favorite pieces from the collection?
What items do you want to try?
Tell the Muse!
Check out some other great Fall Collections reviewed by the Muse!
Bobbi Brown Mauve Collection Review
Clinique Modern Matte Sneak Peek (Review coming soon!)
Prescriptives Fall Dimensions Eye Color Quad Review
MAC Colour Forms Review
MAC Cult of the Cherry Review
Majolica Majorca Fall 2008 Collection Review: Majolook Trick On Palettes
Urban Decay Lipstick Review
A few weeks ago a friend of mine and business associate mentioned the Lipstick Index while we were out for dinner. In all my economic courses I’ve never heard a reference to the Lipstick Index prior to this but turns out if you Google you’ll find a ton of extremely interesting articles on this. It’s referred to in many terms one of which is the Lipstick Index but it’s also been called Lipstick Economy, Leading Lipstick Indicator, etc…
What the hell are you on about anyway Muse?
I’m referring to the fact that their is some theory and fact that lipstick and cosmetic sales actually rise during tough economy times because women tend to turn in smaller indulgences when money is tighter.
The term Leading Lipstick Indicator was actually coined by Leonard Lauder (chairman of Estee Lauder). The theory turns into fact as Estee Lauder reported sales go up during tougher times and during the September 11th terrorist attacks, lipstick sales were twice as much.
Target seems to have done it’s homework and realized now would be a great time to introduce three brand new line ups to their cosmetic selection. I’m betting Target has done some research and realized right now would be a great time to extend it’s line to include some higher end products that might sell very well.
It still remains a gamble for me however.
A few things about Target if you’re not within the US. It’s a large scale department store that sells cheaper lines of everything from clothes, to accessories, to home goods. Generally the cosmetic department consists of low end lines such as Covergirl, Almay, Etc…
Now I admire Target for being way ahead of the game by importing such brands as Boots (both skincare and cosmetics) and Soap and Glory. I feel further interest and admiration to Target for paving the way for a rather interesting import of posh cosmetics. Selling high end cosmetics in drugstores or larger scale department stores such as Target is rather unheard of. If you seek Dior, Smashbox, Urban Decay, Etc…you’ll have to head to a counter, Sephora, Ulta, or find some place online to buy however walking into common drugstores will not greet you with high end cosmetics but cheaper brands a plenty.
Bringing together Pixi, Jemma Kidd, and Napoleon Perdis seems like a very interesting venture by Target however as I mentioned I see it as a gamble. Since the lines are on the kawaii side it may not be as appealing to the masses as one would hope for. I’m always all over cute packaging and shimmery shades however I do believe those of us who enjoy these styles of cosmetic may just be in the majority and women my own age and older may not see the appeal of the “cuteness” of these brands.
I wandered into Target last night to see for myself what the hype was all about and I was wow’ed by the selection of cosmetics and I indulged in far too much of it for my own good but tempted I was.
First off I found it rather fantastic they had actual testers available which is unheard of in drugstores and department stores. I swatched to my little heart’s delight without any MA’s to interrupt me and try to sell me something I didn’t want, a girl could get used to this!
I find myself curious what audience Target hopes to well..target….with these brands. Are they hoping the failing economy will shoot sales of these brands through the roof? Are they gearing it towards teens who are seeking funky, fun cosmetics for back to school? Do they hope to get a glance from the 20 something year old who loves cute packaging?
I know I’m 30 and absolutely love the lines! Sadly, my Target did not yet have the Jemma Kid line up however I have seen it online and it’s simply stunning.
Interestingly enough Pixi is basically the same line up that Sephora used to carry and that Pixi itself now carries within the UK. I was quite surprised and delighted when I noticed Pixi now sells online where as before it was an exclusive UK site. Click to visit the Pixi site.
I was pretty shocked at the prices a teeny tiny bit as I’m not used to venturing into places like Target and being faced with price tags that read $18, $22, $38, etc….that’s MAJOR wow for cosmetics when it comes to such a department store as this. People are generally not used to these prices for makeup and it tickles my curiosity to see how people will react to it. Funny story…as I was browsing, swatching, and happily smiling to myself at the array of goodies, two girls walked up to the displays and began browsing. They were about to try a shadow or something when they noticed it read $18, one turned to the other and said, “$18? Hell no!” and both proceeded to walk away. I found this interesting and wonder if this will set the scene for how most women will feel about the prices.
I was hopeful the prices would be a little bit cheaper and I can’t help but feel slightly shocked when I did noticed that the cheapest item was around $15 USD. Pixi’s price range was around the following:
Palettes $28 USD
Blushes $20 USD
Various Lip Items $18 USD
Larger Kits $35-$38 USD
As you can see the prices are WAY up there.
Napoleon Perdis did a few things different with his line which surprised me. As I mentioned Pixi is the standard line and nothing is new so if you’re familiar with Pixi Beauty this isn’t anything new to you however Napoleon Perdis took a new route. Napoleon Perdis’s line is entitled NP Set and introduces both old and new items. The NP Set line happens to be much cheaper compared to Pixi as well which I was quite happy to see. Prices vary as follows:
Lip Items $15 USD
Blushes $20 USD
Foundation/Primer $15 USD
Eye Shadows $15-$26 USD
Although still priced high the items are considerably lower costing then Pixi.
I wasn’t able to see the Jemma Kidd items for myself however they look amazing online. The price range are the following:
Eye Shadows $18 USD
Lip Items $18 USD
Palettes $36 USD
Foundation/TM’s $28 USD and up
As you can see Jemma Kidd follows along the lines of Pixi Beauty with the price selection available.
Out of the two collections I did see and purchase from I’m happy to report the items are wonderful. Pigmented, good quality, beautiful packaging, all the things you’d expect from items you’d purchase at a counter or your local Sephora.
Although I was a bit disappointed dishing out $144 USD for my little stash of goodies as I really didn’t expect to pay as much in Target of all places. Aside from this minor rant I’m happy I did indulge and yes I’ll definately be going back for more.
I hope that the introduction of brands such as these will start a chain reaction and we’ll begin seeing other brands offered in drugstores and low end department stores soon! Who knows this could be like the mineral/organic range that’s swept the drugstore beauty world!
I’ll be reviewing items from both the NP Set and Pixi Beauty collections very soon so stay tuned! Tomorrow I’ll bring you pictures of the items I purchased.
Above are only some of the selections available. I was very impressed with the amount of product covered face, eyes, lips, etc…I was also quite loving the vast color selection for items available. It was quite like walking into Sephora to have a nosy at the latest collections!
If you’d like to see more from NP Set, Pixi Beauty, and Jemma Kidd see the links below! Happy Surfing!
Are you excited about these collections?
Want anything from ‘em?
Does the introduction of high end cosmetics into lower end stores excite you?
Tell the Muse!
Did you know Target sold Philosophy?
One of my favorite Fall Collections this year is Too Faced Smoke & Mirrors. This ones deserves some of your time so head on over to the Too Faced website or visit your local Sephora and have a peek at the selection of goodies! They are great and come with the Muse’s highest approval and recommendation.
The collection consists of several items but two of my favorite products are the Too Faced Smoky Eye Palette and the Too Faced Mirror Mirror Gloss. I was super impressed with these and had so much fun creating three separate looks with the palette to share with you guys!
I’ll start my review with the palette. The palette is this super cute flip up box that features nine shades of shadow that are divided into three looks. Each look has an easy to follow, step by step instruction card for creating a different smoky eye look. The eye looks you can create are Day Smoke, Fashion Smoke, and Classic Smoke.
The palette has everything you need to create your look and carry it around with you if you so please. The cards slip into a pocket in the inner lid of the palette and a nifty little draw on the bottom of the palette pulls out to reveal two dual ended sponge tipped and brush tipped applicators. I actually had one minor rant concerning the applicators. I’d have liked three applicators for the three looks! That would have really made my day but aside from that everything else is cake and ice cream. The shadows are super pigmented, very silky, and easy to blend. Each look I created was simple, easy, and quite fun. You don’t have to be a makeup artist to understand how to complete each look and the cards give a brief little instruction that’s not difficult to understand. It’s as simple as highlight, lid, and crease…done…beautiful.
Day Smoke is a combination of softer brown shades that you can use to create this insanely beautiful natural, neutral look. Actually, believe it or not, I adored this look the most out of all the looks I created. You know how much your Muse loves loud, outrageous shades but in this case I was actually loving the softness of the Day Smoke look I created. It’s perfect office wear and flattering as all heck for the Fall.
Day Smoke Look:
Use the lightest cream shade as a wash of color all over your eye prepping it for the darker shades in the palette. Pay particular attention to your highbrow using the cream to highlight this area. Follow up by sweeping Fawn all over your lid and into your crease. Blend Bronze into your crease and use it to line your lower lash line!
I felt like Day Smoke was a very flattering look for both older and younger woman. I fancied how awake and fresh it made my eyes look. I think the cream shadow made my eyes look very bright.
Completed Day Smoke Look:
Fashion Smoke Look:
Fashion Smoke was a bit difficult to pull off since all the colors are so very pigmented I had a hard time creating my look. My blending was a bit off with this and I ended up with a very nice look but you couldn’t differentiate between the green and the blue do to my poor blending and how pigmented the shadows were. In the end I ended up with more of a green look. This one needs a bit more practice when applying but master it I shall!
To create Fashion Smoke you’ll be using Sugar Cookie as a wash all over your eye prepping it for the darker shades in the palette. Follow up with Wicked Green on the inner lid and blend Midnight into the crease and upper and lower lashes.
Sadly, Midnight just turned into one big blob of green! I’ll keep trying and re-post soon when I have the look down correctly.
Fashion Smoke is a bit more daring so you may or may not want to wear this to work. It’s a great combo for a night out or if you’re like the Muse you may just sport it on any day of the week and proudly display how much you adore bold and vibrant looks!
Completed Fashion Smoke Look:
Finally, my 2nd favorite look is the Classic Smoke. Classic Smoke is the classic smoky eye look that we all love and know.
Creating it is a simple process and you can be as light or heavy as you want while applying. I choose to go crazy and create a very heavy, bold look with it. I was particularly impressed with the way the Silver shadow blended so wonderfully well with the other darker shades in the palette.
To create Classic Smoke you’ll start by blending silver into your crease and slowly pulling upwards and fading it into your brow. Follow up with Black Spark on the lid and outer v and finish with Black Suede on the outer crease and lower lashes.
This look, in my opinion, is great for day or evening.
Completed Classic Smoke Look:
All the looks are extremely Fall friendly and I like that Too Faced didn’t go metallic the way many brands did this season. The colors are pigmented and rich, the looks you can create are simply endless, and the price is very nice at $32 USD.
If you grow tired of creating three looks using the palette no one is stopping you from using the shades individually or mixing them up for some other look you want to create!
I love the packaging, I love the ease of use, the quality is excellent on the shadows, it’s just a really great palette that I’m happy to have gotten the chance to test out.
I recommend grabbing this one. Muse Approval for it! The Muse loves it!
Also released with the Too Faced Smoke and Mirrors Collection are the Too Faced Mirror Mirror glosses. I was so silly and only used the gloss in one of my Face of the Day photos above. I’m wearing the shade “I Love Myself” in my Day Smoke look. I’ll create more looks with the glosses soon so you can see the amazing quality of these.
These are excellent.
It’s been a long time since I’ve run across such a glossy, emollient, moisturizing lip gloss and again these come with my highest recommendation and seal of approval!
The gloss reminds me of Philosophy Kiss Me gloss. It glides on so beautifully and leaves behind a glassy, mirror like shine just as it’s advertised and named, Mirror Mirror.
The formula isn’t stick or tacky yet still manages to have good long wear. They happen to be delightfully fruity tasty as well! The Muse loves her gloss tasting good!
I got the chance to test drive two shades but I’m really eager to lay my hands on more. They have the potential for holy grail material because they have such a sincerely awesome finish. I love how glossy they leave my lips, very sexy plus the mirror shine goes so well with the looks I created with the Smoky Eye Palette!
L@@K at that shine!
These I absolutely love, definately a staple product for me and I’ll be indulging in more shortly.
I have a few other items to review from the Too Faced Fall Collection that will be coming along shortly. The entire Too Faced Smoke and Mirror Collection is worth some of your time to look at and definately indulge in. Both the palette and the gloss stole the show for me!
I’m sticking my highest approval on these! The Muse loves ‘em and recommends you nab both the palette and the gloss! You won’t be sorry if you do but you will if you don’t!
Check out more of the Too Faced Fall Collection by clicking here!
Tried these yet?
Want the palette?
Love smoky eyes?
Tell the Muse!
I’m really behind on my MAC posts lately aren’t I? I’m sorry about that guys! Forgive me? I still have to blog Cool Heat which was an absolute favorite! And of course Starflash!
But today….today is reserved for something extra special.
MAC Cult of Cherry!
I’ve had a few items from Cult of Cherry for a little over two weeks now but I’ve just been to busy to blog ‘em however now was a good time to tug them out of my “to be reviewed” pile and post considering that Cult of the Cherry is live and kicking on the MAC website and should be at your counter already or coming to it shortly!
Leave it to MAC to take on the latest trend of rich, bold reds, purples, and black and add a tiny bit of unique flavoring to it to create a truly interesting collection that’s both bold and mysterious. The collection’s theme is the forbidden fruit of cherries and the decadence of chocolate to combine a cocktail of bold reds, rich browns, and plenty of kick!
Although some of the colors in the collection are definately difficult to work with it’s fun trying. One such item for me was MAC Matte Lipstick in Bing. I’ve been trying to use this in a look for over a week and still haven’t successfully completed a look where I didn’t look like a corpse! But I vow I will get this down! It’s my aim to look super glam sporting this lippie!
MAC Matte Lipstick in Bing
I created my look below using the MAC Tempting Eye Quad, Jam Packed Lipglass, and So Scarlett Lipstick.
The MAC Tempting Quad is a bit intimidating at first especially considering that the green is such a neon shade. But turns out it all rather works fantastically well together to create a rather wonderful Fall look!
The colors in the quad are Sharp which is a neon green, Next to Nothing a soft cream, Dark Edge a matte deep chocolate, and Temping a shimmering off brown.
Although I was a bit worried about mixing green up with brown after working with the palette I was impressed with how well the colors just melded together. The palette is really simplicity at it’s best and it’s truly easy to create elegance from four simple shades of shadow.
To begin my look I prepped my entire eye with the color Nothing, concentrating on my highbrow area. I proceeded to use Sharp on my entire lid and slowly blended it into part of my crease. After this I blended Tempting into my crease and topped it with Dark Edge. After blending upwards I added more Tempting for that added bit of shimmer and lined my lower lash line with it. I finished my look by using Dark Edge as a liner shade for my upper lash line.
It was really a simple few steps and I liked what came out of it. I’m wanting to purchase the other two quads from Cult of the Cherry so I’m heading over to my counter soonish to see what else catches my fancy as I didn’t attend the pre-launch party for the collection.
As mentioned I used MAC Lipstick in So Scarlett on my lips which is a wonderful burgundy shade with tiny touches of purple. MAC Lipglass in Jampacked completed my lips. Since Jampacked also contains both touches of burgundy and grape it combines wonderfully well with So Scarlett to create a popping lip look. I was slightly disappointed that you couldn’t see more of the grape in my completed look. It looks like I’m wearing more of a red lippie but still I think it’s rather a beautiful combination.
I have my eye on Cult of Cherry and of course Russian Red. I’m sure tons of people are excited about Russian Red making a reappearance!
MAC Lipglass Jampacked
MAC Lipstick So Scarlett
One other color I got to test out was Creme Cerise this is a taupe which has that off beat creamy brown look to it. I haven’t yet used this but I think it’ll look smashing with any of the quads released!
And finally, my favorite, Illegal Purple Nail Varnish! So goth! Totally appeals to my inner goth in a big way! It’s the deepest purple I’ve come across in a nail color and simply stunning.
All in all I think MAC Cult of Cherry definately has a little something for everyone as most MAC Collections do. I’m really enjoying the boldness of these colors. MAC does bold brilliantly well but this is possibly the darkest collection I’ve seen pop up since I began collecting. It’s definately extra special and trendy for the upcoming Fall Season! Look out for some of these looks on the runway during Fashion Week! I’m sure you’ll see some of these trendy looks pop up!
Have you seen the rather funky, cool video on the MAC website? Check it out!
Love MAC Cult of Cherry?
What are you hauling?
Tell the Muse!
MAC Colour Forms Review and Swatches
MAC Sonic Chic Review
MAC Neo Sci-Fi Review
MAC Beauty Powder Blushes Review
Fafi for MAC Review
McQueen for MAC Review
Uh oh! Wallet unfriendly post ahead!
Urban Decay’s Friends and Family Discount is on ladies (and guys)! Get 30% off your total order @ Urban Decay!
Now might be a great time to grab some of the new lippes! $22 USD goes down to $15.40 USD per a lipstick! Sweet deal!
If you haven’t already read my review do check it out! Click!
And of course visit Urban Decay and enter coupon code FFL30 to get your 30% discount!
Most important, stop back here and tell the Muse all about your yummie purchases!