Beauty Bits & Bobs

Summer Collections 2008: KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadow Review

Can I tell you how strange it is for me to review a Summer collection? I’m so in Fall mode that I forgot how to enjoy Summer!

Fall comes way to early for us beauty bloggers! Sheesh!

However, I did think I should stop and smell the flowers, take in the sun, and enjoy a nice Japanese Collection this week!

I hate to think how long I’ve been hanging on to KATE’s Summer Collection without reviewing it. It’s been months I’m sure since I got it and I’m just now getting around to the review. You’ll forgive your Muse for being so lack with Summer won’t you?

KATE is a Japanese brand and one of Kanebo’s sub brands that contains a healthy amount of edge to it that I simply adore!

One of my favorite products from KATE are the Dual Carat Eye Shadows. I own every single color that KATE has put out thus far and with the Summer Collection they released three new colors.

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Before I show you the new colors I think a review of KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadows is in order as I’ve never really done a detailed review on the palettes before. Each palette contains two shimmerings shades of shadow in a tiny compact with a sponge tipped applicator. A majority of Japanese eye shadows almost always have the same formula with a few in between that have a completely different consistency. KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadows have an almost identical texture and formula as most of these brands however I do feel like it has an added something that makes the shadow superior to others I’ve tried before.

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Each shade contains a healthy dose of shimmer and sparkle which I love. The formula is a similar chalky, creamy texture as most major brands however I feel like these blend much better due to the silky consistency of the powder. The shimmer is equally silky and gives a certain sparkle to the eye which make these my favorite duos!

This Summer KATE extended the Dual Carat Line to include three new shades which were GD-1, WT-1, and BK-1. The shades aren’t typical Summer in my opinion but this didn’t stop me from purchasing all three and lavishing major love on them.

Before I get on to the color selections I think it deserves to be mentioned that all the looks you’ll see below are done exclusively with the palettes and using nothing else aside from mascara. I think not using extra products gives you a better review and idea of how the palette looks on without adding in extras if that makes sense. So each look I created was using the palette and nothing more!

I’m particularly thrilled with GD-1 which sports a shimmering gold and a shimmering creamy white. If you’re getting a bit older and seeing a bit of baggage under your eyes or a few lines here and there or you’re just tired and seeking something to brighten up your eye area GD-1 will sincerely do wonders with your eyes! I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror after applying this. It made me look years younger, wide awake, and gave a beautiful pop to my lids. I used the creamy white as an all over wash on my eye and the gold on my lid. This is a particular good way to use it if your eyes are extremely wide and buggy like mine. However, I think it’s flattering on Asian eyes if you apply the creamy white as a color wash and the gold in the corner of the eyes both outer and inner!

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WT-1 is my least favorite of the three shadows. It’s a very nice combination of a white and creamy light taupe color however the colors are too similar so you can’t really see much of a contrast when they are applied together. I tried sporting the white as an all over color wash and applying the taupe to my lid however it appeared I was wearing only one shade. A tad disappointing but I can definately make use of both colors as a highlighter for my highbrow, as a color wash, or simply alone as a shadow instead of together. Together they don’t work so well but alone they really wake up the eye and bring out a certain delicious natural look!

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Now my second favorite (or possibly first) is BK-1 which is the ideal palette for a smoky look plus heaps cheaper than shelling out for Bare Minerals Rocker Chick Kit. KATE already released a duo like this previously in the Dual Carat collection however I felt like this one was different. The other version, the number/name of which escapes me at the moment, is a bit darker where as this is a lighter grayer version. If you already have the previous color I’d still recommend indulging in this one as well. I created an uber awesome smokey eye look with this color!

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I purchased these at retail which is maybe $9-$10 USD per a palette? Perhaps a bit more I can’t recall. A friend in Japan got them for me and airmailed ‘em over! However, I’ve seen them online for $15.50 USD or a bit less depending on where you shop (see my Japanese Cosmetic Buying Guide for further information about where you can purchase these!). At a cost of $15.50 USD I do believe they are worth. They are pigmented, beautifully shimmery, and are good quality eye shadows.

The Muse Approves the new KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadows for purchase! Definitely grab ‘em! They are a must have in my humblest and the colors will work well into the Fall and Winter.

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Love KATE?

Love the Dual Carat shadows?

What’s your favorite KATE eye palette?

Check out the KATE website by clicking here!

Tell the Muse!

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KATE Glamtrick Palette Review

KATE Gel Mascara Review

KATE Spring Collection 2008 Review

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The Muse Takes on Etude House’s Newsletter!

I’ve probably been on this topic for far too long so you’ll have to excuse me for squealing some more! I recently was featured on Etude House’s blog which was utterly thrilling for me! Soon after that a wonderful reader told me that I was featured in Etude House’s little in-store pamphlet which totally made me flip out!

Yesterday I got home and had a letter from Korea waiting for me. I was puzzling over this as I was expecting some packages from Korea but not a letter. I quickly ripped it open in curiosity and I realized that my very, very, very kind reader had sent me the Etude House in-store pamphlet which features your little Muse on the front page!

Can I tell you how exciting this is for me? I simply adore Korean culture and it’s just an honor to be included in the freaking Etude House newsletter! Sheesh, talk about super flattering!

I realize some blogs have made it into popular fashion magazines and others have even made it into the New York Times. Those are seriously great accomplishments but for me this feels ten times better than appearing in a US magazine or newspaper. Reaching out to international readers is something I truly love about my blog. I simply adore my Asian readers and truly to be recognized for my hard work in carving out a niche not many beauty blogs cover really makes me feel like Musings is just a little bit unique and different in comparison to other beauty blogs you read. You can read about the latest MAC collection across the blogsphere and get some seriously great reviews on awesome products. But it always pleases me that you can stop here at Musings, during your daily clicks, and read about the latest and greatest not only in the US but also Japan, Singapore, Korea, England, etc….I think that’s what makes Musings extra special and I take alot of pride in that!

Anyway, all gushing aside here’s some pics of the newsletter and the Muse smiling from the front page!

Enjoy!

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A big thank you to that special reader who sent this my way! Thank you SO much!

And of course a really big thank you to the Etude House team who put this together! If you’re reading this the Muse sends her love and hugs!

Show Etude House some love by clicking through their awesome website! Clickie!

Here’s the inside of the newsletter! Notice they are advertising the Shebert Cool Party Summer Collection! I’ll be reviewing it very soon so do stay tuned!

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46 Comments

Summer Beauty on a Budget Finds: NYX Hot Orange Eye Shadow Review

Alot of hype surrounds NYX eye shadows. I’ve read many a review, many a post, and many a discussion about how wonderful NYX eye shadows are and how close in pigmentation they are to MAC.

I personally never purchased any NYX eye shadows until recently when I came across a display at Harmons and my eyes were drawn to the NYX eye shadow color in Hot Orange.

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It’s such an awesome Summer shade.

Although Hot Orange is quite a gorgeous shade it’s not without it’s flaws. As I mentioned this is my first time purchasing an NYX eye shadow and being a MAC girl myself it’s definately difficult to compare MAC to NYX in quality but you can perhaps chalk that up to your Muse being very picky about cosmetics.

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This particular shade is a bit gritty as it contains a healthy dose of what appears to be non cosmetic glitter, really chunky pieces of the type a glitter you’d use for some after school crafts are something….yak!

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The pigmentation is pretty good on the shadow and it blended pretty well aside from the glitter getting everywhere. I did notice that the texture was not as silky as a MAC eye shadow and I did have to swipe a few times and build the color up to get the desired vibrancy that I’d get easily with one swipe from a MAC shadow.

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On the plus side the color is such a great Summer shade. The orange is wonderful by itself or combined with some golds or yellows from your collection! Plus the price can’t be beat at $4.99 USD!

For the price I’d say it’s worth checking out and it’s a very nice Summer Beauty Budget Find! Will I buy NYX again? Possibly!

If you’re trying to keep your beauty budget tight this is a great little find to add a bit of wicked color to your Summer makeup routine!

The Muse working NYX Hot Orange (or at least trying to work it!):

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Want another beauty budget find? Check out the review for the mascara the Muse is wearing in this Face of the Day picture! Wondering about my blush? It’s the cheap Bobbi Brown blush I picked up in Woodbury! Clickie!

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Enjoy some other Summer Must Have Cosmetic findings by reading some past posts!

NARS Lipgloss in Misbehave

Too Faced Eye Shadow in Mess in a Dress

Redpoint Airbrush Effects Whipped Blush

The Muse’s favorites for Summer Sizzling Eyes

18 Comments

Sneak Peeks: Aquafina Skincare Review

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Finally I got my hands on some Aquafina Skincare after hearing SO much about it!

I’ll be reviewing an item a day from the collection starting tomorrow so stay tuned on whether the Muse thinks you should be stashing or trashing the new Aquafina Skincare Collection!

Tried it already?

Love it?

Do share!

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Learn the best (and worst) options for taking good care of your skin with some past posts from the Muse!

Clarisonic Skin Care Brush Review

Artistry Essentials Moisture Plus Review

MAC Prep and Prime Review

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Rejuvenator Review

Keihl’s Skincare Review

6 Comments

Back To School Beauty Finds: Makeup Storage

I swear I must be the only girl alive that loves wandering down the aisles of Staples and thinking up strange and unusual ways to use office supplies for beauty storage purposes. At the moment I’m using various desk top organizers that I purchased online and in office shops as storage for cosmetics (I happen to do the same thing with kitchen draw organizers too!). Oh well I never claimed to be normal!

I needed a few items for my office this week so I hurried down to Staples in excitement in what I’d find in the Back to School aisle that I could use for beauty purposes. I love Back to School! It’s the best time of the year for locating little pencil boxes, small plastic bins, and other awesome little compartments and boxes that I can use for stowing away lipsticks, shadows, and the likes!

Sadly, I didn’t find too much in Staples Back to School aisle aside from three kids bawling there eyes out and one frantic mum trying to quiet them. I suspect they didn’t like the idea of shopping for school supplies in July but that’s just my theory of course.

However, I did find one cheap and cheesy find that I am loving for travel storage! A rather cute plastic pencil case that snaps open to reveal a little pull out draw. Obviously it’s used for stowing away pencils and such but I find it particularly nice for stowing brushes when I’m traveling!

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Great idea right?

It has enough room to hold a ton of your eye brushes and you can neatly hold at least five or six face brushes inside maybe more if you don’t mind them being squished up.

At 79 cents I’d say it’s a steal and a deal plus convenient! The Muse highly recommends heading down to your local office supply store and looking at Back to School pencil boxes in a new light! Consider your makeup collection inside instead of a buncha pencils, pens, and erasers.

Simple ideas from your silly, old Muse!

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How the Muse stores her stash!

Sephora Metro Traincase

Lori Griener Cosmetic Storage Solutions

Kawaii Storage

MuseTV: Revisiting My Storage Solutions

35 Comments