Holiday Collections 2008

Smashbox Enchantress Beauty Kit

I told you earlier about the Smashbox Enchantress Beauty Kit kit but I didn’t have any images for it!

Sad sigh!

However, good news, the Smashbox site has been updated with more of Rapture Collection! The item that really had me curious was the Enchantress Gift Set and it doesn’t disappoint from what I’ve seen so far!

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The set includes:
Smashbox Soft Lights Quad in Aglow
Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Protege
Smashbox That’s A Wrap Mascara
Smashbox Cream Eye Liner Duo in Caviar and Midnight Brown
Pewter Gray Zip Up Makeup Case

and finally the item that really caught my eye…The Silver Pedant Necklace on a Triple Strand Chain.

The necklace looks quite nice actually and I thought it was rather interesting and unique to include it with this collection!

The entire kit is $45 USD and available now from Smashbox Cosmetics.

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Smashbox O-Plump

Smashbox Gift of Glow Set Review and Swatches

Smashbox The Rapture Holiday Collection 2008

Further Images and Information about Smashbox Holiday 2008

Smashbox Fall Collection 2008 Wicked Lovely Review and Swatches

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Estee Lauder Holiday Collection 2008: Vintage Jewels

Morning Guys!

Happy Monday! Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

I’ve already discussed the Estee Lauder Holiday Collection Vintage Jewels in a prior blog post but today I got some new images of the products being offered and I thought I’d share ‘em with you!

The review for some of the items in the Vintage Jewels Collection is in the works and the Muse will be posting it shortly but for now I thought I’d leave you with some killer pictures from the collection to whet your appetite!

Estee Lauder Shimmering Jewel Powder and Estee Lauder Signature Lipstick Hydra Lustre Lipstick

Estee Lauder Silky Eyeshadow Duo in Amethyst
MU Holiday Jewels FO8

Estee Lauder Silky Eyeshadow Duo in Sapphire

Check out further images, face charts, and more about the Estee Lauder Holiday Collection Vintage Jewels by clicking here!

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Check out more great cosmetic collections for Holiday 2008 by clicking through some past Musings!

MAC Red She Said

Clarins Holiday Collection 2008

Bath and Body Works Holiday Collection 2008

Lush Christmas 2008

Too Faced Holiday Collection 2008: What a Girl Wants

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Bare Escentuals Ruby Collection Review

I’m not partial to rubies. Rubies remind me of budget vampire flicks, blood, and oh, this guy:

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I harbor a secret hope that they’ll bring Gordon Walker back as he’s the villain I was secretly hoping would bring down the Winchester boys after they started waxing Jared’s eyebrows and deep frying him in a tanning bed. Once you start man-grooming that badly all bets are off for the Muse!

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After Hollywood man-grooming!
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I thought it was so killer watching Jared run after Gordon Walker with a stake while yelling, “Don’t call me Sammie!” Although I was considering personally contacting Kripke and telling him that the scene would be WAY better if they had Jared running around chasing Gordon in his boxer shorts. Just the Muse’s opinion but that would make fine, healthy entertainment for the tweens, teens, and generally old fan girls like the Muse!

That’s hot.

But since we probably won’t see any ruby red blood dripping from Gordon Walker’s vampy teeth anytime soon we’ll have to settle for getting our ruby fix from the new Bare Escentuals Ruby Collection.

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Although I’m a big fan of pointing out all the wrongs with Bare Escentuals kits now a days that doesn’t stop me from being their biggest supporter when it comes to purchasing their kits, especially Holiday ones!

The Bare Escentuals Ruby Collection is $54 USD and contains the following items:

bareMinerals Ruby Radiance All Over Face Color
bareMinerals Golden Ruby Eye Shadow
bareMinerals Vintage Ruby Eye Color
bareMinerals Wild Ruby Eye Liner Powder
Double Ended Black Mascara and Ruby Beautifully Luminous Lashes
Ruby Buxom Lip Polish
Cheek Brush
Double-Ended Shadow and Eyeliner Brush
Faux Croc Clutch

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I have a few rants, I have some raves, I have good news and I also have some bad news with this review sooooooo sit back, relax, and take it all in as this is going to be a bit of a long ride!

It’s always best to start with the good news so I’ll tell you that first. The kit is priced at $54 USD and contains the same amount of items released with the Bare Escentuals Classic Rock Collection from last year which was actually, here’s the good news part, $59 USD! You’re getting a great kit at nearly $5 USD less so maybe Bare Escentuals is actually listening to the Muse when she rants about the price as of late!

I personally love Bare Escentuals kits because they make application easy, simple, and fuss-free. If you’re not an expert at applying makeup I highly suggest nabbing one of their full kits because it truly breaks down application and teaches you how to create a beautiful look. Although I didn’t completely love the look that I got from the Bare Escentuals Ruby Collection I generally liked a good deal of the items included with the set and in the end the look I created wasn’t too bad just not thrilling (that’s the only bad news I really have).

My favorite item in the kit was the Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips in Ruby. The color is truly a nice ruby shade with a metallic-like finish that lends a nice warmth to lips. I mentioned this last year but it deserves to be said again that I really appreciate the fact that Buxom Lips Gloss now comes with a brush applicator and not a sponge tip applicator. The gloss was always a mediocre find for me until they converted to the brush applicator which now makes it a fabulous gloss in my opinion. The brush allows for much better application and really brings out the thick formula and pigmentation of the gloss where as before you could never really tell how good the gloss was as the sponge applicator failed to pick up enough product to really apply correctly.

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Bare Escentuals Ruby Radiance All Over Face Color is my next favorite item within the kit. The entire collection is supposedly infused with real ruby powder. In the case of the Ruby Radiance All Over Face Color you can get the flair of the ruby within the powder. It has nice touches of warm red and pink with a very faint shimmer that’s not overwhelming on the skin. Once buffed on you’re left with a very rich, warm shade of cheek color. The finished result quite reminds me of the mauve blush included with the Bobbi Brown Mauve Face Palette.

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The eye colors included in the kit are Golden Ruby and Vintage Ruby. Golden Ruby is a shimmering subdued golden shade which you’ll be using as an all over color wash while Vintage Ruby is soft fawn shade that contrasts Golden Ruby on the crease of your eye. I was too thrilled with Vintage Ruby but I can’t deny that it does contrast well with Golden Ruby. Golden Ruby was my favorite of the two as I love shimmering golds for my eyes. Following up your look you’ll be using Wild Ruby as a liner shade which is a purple plum shade. Wild Ruby seems out of place with the other shades but it does complete the overall look well and goes rather well with Vintage Ruby.

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I took note that Bare Escentuals has introduced a new lift and peel seal. You may not care about this as much as I do but it thrilled me to bits that it was so EASY to open up the jars due to this new seal. You simply snatch the upper part and twist up and open! The seal pulls off in one go and you aren’t spilling content or having to scratch the remaining label off if you didn’t pull it all off the first go. I really appreciated this new seal and I hope other brands that seal product in a similiar fashion will begin using the same method!

Pull Up
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Twist
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Open!
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To complete your Bare Escentuals Ruby look you can use the dual end mascara included with the kit. As per normal the mascara isn’t anything to write home about, it a simple black mascara that isn’t really fantastic but does the job well enough. On the opposite end you’ll get a Ruby Beautifully Luminous Lashes. I’ve reviewed Bare Escentuals Luminous Lashes prior to this and you can see that review here. Although I think the Ruby Luminous Lashes is great to add to my collection I just see it as a rather strange item to include with this kit. Sparkling ruby lashes just didn’t really go so well with the completed look I created with my kit.

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Finally the kit includes a face brush, dual ended eye brush, and a faux croc makeup case. The brushes include a red handle and a ruby crystal embedded into the handle which mimics last year’s collection where they had white handles and a diamond crystal embed. The croc makeup bag is cute but knowing me I’ll swap it away as it really isn’t particularly thrilling and looks a tiny bit old lady like however it’s a nice extra to the collection!

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Bare Escentuals Classic Rock Brush versus Bare Escentuals Ruby Collection Brush
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Overall, the collection was really nice. You’ll be happy to know that the products are nice, full size and not small sample sizes as per the Bare Escentuals Rocker Kit Tutorial that I recently reviewed. I was particularly delighted that the Radiance Powder was full size and not small like last year’s Classic Rock Collection.

The collection created a warm look which I wasn’t completely feeling as I prefer a cooler look for the Holidays but I can’t deny that it does look very natural and nice but nothing too dramatic.

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All in all I think Bare Escentuals did a great job with the Ruby Collection. It’s not my favorite kit that they released but it contains a nice selection of items, a majority of which I really liked alot. I’m glad BE decided to lower the price slightly as well and I do think $54 USD is a fair enough price for the entire kit and the majority of items you’ll be getting. It’s well worth checking out for yourself. This is a Sephora exclusive so if you’re wanting to swatch up, check out, or buy these for yourself you’ll have to head over to Sephora to nab it!

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Bare Escentuals Classic Rock Collection Review

Bare Escentuals Classic Rock and Bare Escentuals Platinum Collection

Bare Escentuals Pure Platinum Collection Review

Bare Escentuals bareGold Collection Review

Bare Escentuals bareDiamond Collection Review

Bare Escentuals Rocker Eye Kit Review

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MAC Little Darlings Softsparkle/Eye Pencil Set Review and Swatches

The Muse’s wishy list is filled with dreams of the gloss sets from the MAC Little Darling Collection! However, today she’ll forsake the glosses and bring you a review of the next best thing, the MAC Little Darling Softsparkle/Eye Pencil Set!

Excited?

About a week ago I brought you some swatches from items I already own from this particular set and today I’ll bring you the remaining swatches. When I first heard about this set I got uber excited as I thought that the set included ALL MAC Softsparkle Pencils. I got even more hyper when I thought the set included two shades of Softsparkle Pencils I didn’t already own.

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But duh….

The Muse quickly realized today upon opening the canister up that it actually included three SoftSparkle Pencils and two regular eye pencils from MAC!

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Well, slap me and call me silly who knew?

The good news is I now have a backup of my very favorite pencil Peacocked! w00t! And the better news is I have a brand new SoftSparkle Pencil I’ve never even heard of entitled Chocolight!

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This is fairly great deal at $29.50 USD as it contains five nice size (not full size) eye pencils from MAC. For all those technical people out there that means the large size pencils are 1.68g/0.059oz and the mini size are .95g/0.03oz. Either way you deal it, the Muse thinks it’s a good deal as it’s like paying under $5 USD per a pencil!

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The pencils you’ll get with this set are:

MAC Softsparkle Eyeliner Pencils in:

  • Peacocked (a sea foam green shade with shimmer)
  • Chocolight (light caramel brown with shimmer)
  • Mint & Green (olive green with shimmer)

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MAC Eyeliner Pencils in:

  • Black Funk (true black shade)
  • Fab Orchid (true purple shade)

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I simply adore Softsparkle pencils however a few things you’ll need to know, 1. the formula isn’t particularly fabulous and 2. I don’t think they are waterline safe. The formula on these are a tiny bit hard so if you’re used to using MAC Kohl or Technakohl don’t expect the same melty, buttery formula, these just don’t have that beautiful glide. A bit of tugging is invovled to get them on and a little bit of lining and re-lining to get the color on properly is required. However, after all that drama you’re left with a beautiful sparkling liner look so all is forgiven and right with the world again!

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Similar problem with the MAC Eyeliner Pencils, they just don’t have a soft formula and they involve a bit of tugging to get into place but thankfully no re-lining is required, they normally go right on without streaking or need for another application! These are actually my least favorite in the MAC eye pencil line up and I don’t actually own any aside from these two that came with the kit! They are good but they aren’t great.

The pencils come housed in a bright red canister which resemble last year’s packaging aside from the fact that these are a lovely bright red. I shamefully admit I threw out my canisters from last season as in the Muse’s life there is such a thing as just “TOO MUCH crap!” But don’t follow my rules! The canister is actually a nice way to store and travel with the pencils or if you want you can tuck other small makeup items into them! Or if you happen to be of the Martha Stewart variety I bet you could come up with some fabulously awesome idea for using this thing! It’s a good thing!

All in all I think the MAC Little Darlings Softsparkle/Eye Pencil Set is a fab package and well worth the price tag with a few minor rants here and there from your dear old Muse!

I’m looking forward to nabbing the MAC Little Darling gloss sets shortly so expect a review and swatches as soon as I can get them in my greedy little hands!

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MAC Little Darlings Product Photos and Swatches

MAC Adoring Carmine Face Brush Set Review

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MAC Adoring Carmine Face Brush Set Review

I wonder who Carmine is?

Hmmm.

Hey MAC,

The Muse was wondering who’s Carmine and why do you adore him so much?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Love ya!
the Muse

You know when the Muse was about 15 she knew a guy named Carmine who was about mmmm 6 or 7 years older than herself (Actually come to think of it I probably know more than one Carmine considering my mother is Italian!). I can still recall sitting on our front porch and watching him mow my parent’s front lawn while my best friend at the time, Maria-Teresa (don’t mind the name all Roman Catholic Portuguese parents think it’s a swell idea to name their kids elaborate saintly names! Look at my name and you can totally understand what I mean! I’m a mix of an Italian mother and a Portuguese father…see whatI mean?) and I sat on the porch gawking at him. Needless to say he’s married now with 3 kids, a pot belly, and a receding hair line…..He kinda still looks alright aside from all that!

Since MAC wasn’t quite specific with who Carmine was I’m officially announcing that they mean “adoring Carmine Giovinazzo” because he’s hot and stuff!

I prefer the geeky CSI Carmine but you can have the Italian Stallion one if you prefer! The Muse isn’t picky!

Adoring you Carmine! Kizzie!
carmine giovinazzo

Anyway….

What was I saying?

Oh yes MAC Adoring Carmine Face Brush Gift Set! You know you wants it! Go on admit it!

I can never truly resist the evil temptation of MAC brush sets as they are such a fabulous deal! I stopped at Nordies a few nights ago to pick up Chanel Gold Highlighting Powder and right next door was the gorgeous MAC Holiday Collection staring at me and twinkling under the glaring department store florescent lights. I think I heard angels sing but I can’t be too sure as sometimes the voices in my head overpower everything else!

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I was shocked too notice that Nordies had these marked as $35 USD so I suggest getitng your butt in gear and heading over to snatch some up as the price is nearly $15 USD off retail from MAC directly and other department store counters.

Granted, $49.50 for the set is not a bad price at all however if you can save $15 why not right!?

I get quite a few emails and comments daily asking after the quality of the brush sets which is why I choose to do a feature review on one of the three brush sets available. I think they are a fabulous deal for the price, I said it last year and I’ll say it this year, they are truly a good deal.

Breaking down the original cost of $49.50 USD for four brushes evens out to around $12.50 per a brush in the face brush set and even less if you purchase the other sets which have five brushes instead of four. If you break it down from $35 USD you’re getting an even bigger break at $8.75 USD per brush.

Quality?

Check.

The number one question I get asked about brush sets is if these mini versions are as good as the large size and personally I feel like they are about the same as if you’d purchase a larger size in them. I like the mini size as they travel very well and are easier on storage, especially if you have a large stash of brushes already plus the quality far surpasses the inexpensive price tag! So yes, the Muse feels like the quality is great and very, very similiar to full size brushes!

The brush set I have here is the MAC Adoring Carmine Face Brush Set which contains four brushes, a mini pouch, and a barrel makeup pouch. Normally these sets only come with one bag and I thought it was rather random to include the mini pouch but hey cool beans an extra case is always welcome!

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The two main brushes that thrill me in this set are the 187, commonly known as the skunk brush and the 168 which is a contouring blush. 187 offers soft and expert application for blushes and it also works a treat for highlighting powders or shimmering powders that need a light touch! The 187 is ideal for buffing foundation onto the skin as well and creating a flawless look to foundation! The 168 works great with contouring powders or applying blush. I also use the 168 for a light application of powder under my eyes as it fits the contour of my under eye area perfectly!

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Also included with this set is the 190 and the 194. The 190 has a nice wide, flat head to use with powder, liquid, or cream foundation. This glides beautifully around the T-Zone to apply foundation with ease. It works best with cream or liquid but can easily double up to brush a light dusting of powder around the face if you so desire. Although I’ve always felt the 194 was a complete waste, I admit to having a new found liking for it as it works very well at applying concealer with ease minus tugging and pulling on the delicate eye area!

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All the brushes feature a true red handle and a shiny metilliac red base to match the bag they come tucked into!

All in all if you don’t own a ton of brushes and you’re wanting to get some good quality brushes at an affordable price the Muse says look no further then the MAC Adoring Carmine Collection! These are a steal and a deal plus they make a wonderful gift. If you’re new to MAC it’s a great way to get some good solid brushes for great makeup application!

Do check them out at your MAC counter or online!

museotherposts

MAC Little Darlings Swatches

MAC Red She Said

Holiday 2007: MAC Royal Assets Palettes Review

MAC Holiday 2006 versus MAC Holiday 2007

MAC Holiday 2007

MuseTV Presents: MAC Antiquitease Color

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