LORAC: Pro Palette Photos & Review

Let me start by saying that this was my first purchase from LORAC, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. If everything from this brand is the same quality, then shame on me for not trying it sooner! This palette recently came out with the new PRO line for Fall 2012. The shadows in this palette are absolutely stunning & the color payoff if fantastic. The colors are incredibly pigmented, requiring hardly any effort to swatch. These shadows are also extremely smooth & easily blendable. When doing my makeup this morning, I used the color Cream as a base color all over my eyelid, and it felt so soft that I just kept touching it for about 5 minutes before finishing my eyeshadow! True story. 😀 I was also so very pleased to have such a great selection of matte colors to choose from. This palette is made up of 16 shadows, with the top row dedicated entirely to matte colors and the bottom to shimmer colors. The palette is also very slim with no wasted space (almost the exact thickness of my iPhone 4 without a case), making it ultra portable.

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Swatches in natural light:

Top Row: White, Cream, Taupe, Lt. Pink, Mauve Sable, Espresso, Black
Bottom Row: Nude, Champagne, Gold, Lt. Bronze, Pewter, Garnet, Deep Purple, Slate

I picked this up for $42.00 at Sephora. For the variety of colors you get and the quality of the product, I think this is a steal! The PRO Palette would be a great introduction to eyeshadow if you are just starting to experiment, or would be a perfect addition to any beauty addict’s (like me) collection!

Update: LORAC Look Twitter Contest

Hello beauties! I realized that I had posted this on Twitter and Facebook, but failed to put it up on my blog! So first things first: shame on me!

I wanted to let you know about a contest that LORAC is having on Twitter. They are picking one winner every Friday for 4 weeks  to win the new Fall 2012 LORAC PRO line, and this Friday will be the last. I found out about it last week and actually won!! There is still time to enter – I would get your submission in by Thursday, because the time the winners are announced on Fridays seems to be variable. If you are interested in more information click here to see the LORAC contest announcement and a look at what you can win. Basically, you take a picture of your best look using LORAC cosmetics and post it on Twitter making sure to use the hashtag #LORACLook, then they have a panel who picks the winner.

Here is the look I submitted using the LORAC Pro Palette that was chosen as the week 3 winner. I am hoping to get a video tutorial of the look posted this weekend for you. 🙂

For those of you who didn’t already see this on Twitter or Facebook, I apologize for the short notice. I encourage you to enter and wish you the best of luck!!

Urban Decay: Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush Photos & Reveiw

The Good Karma Optical Blurring brush by Urban Decay “flawlessly applies, buffs and blurs your liquid, cream or powder foundation.” I picked this up with my Naked Skin Foundation also by Urban Decay, and I must say that it really does a great job of blending. This brush was developed not only to be used with Naked Skin, but with any foundation. This is a vegan brush, as are all Urban Decay brushes, with beautiful packaging and design. The bristles are densely packed and the handle is sleek and nicely weighted.

I used this with my Naked Skin Foundation and gently buffed from the center out toward the edges of my face, and the finish was really lovely. There wasn’t a streak in sight! I added a light second layer to areas that needed it and blended and stippled again without any trouble. You only need to use a very light hand with this brush because it is so dense that if you push too hard you can end up just wiping your makeup right off.

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What I find most impressive about this brush is that I have used it for almost 2 weeks, and it still applies like it did the first time. The bristles seem to not absorb foundation or allow to stick as easily as some other brushes I have used. This brush is retailing for only $24, which is less than my other go-to foundation brushes: the Sephora Pro Flawless Airbursh #56 and the Tarte Airbrush Finish Foundation Brush, which both retail for $32. If you are in the market for a new foundation brush, I would definitely recommend picking this up. You certainly get a quality product for the price. Enjoy!

Urban Decay: Naked Skin Foundation Photos & Review

Naked Skin is Urban Decay’s recently launched liquid foundation. It is described as a “weightless ultra definition liquid makeup” with peptides and light-diffusing particles. It is available in 18 shades ranging from 0.5 to 12. Colors ending .5 are cool/neutral and colors ending in .0 are yellow/olive toned. I picked this up in shade 4.0 which is a light-medium shade with slight yellow undertones comparable to MAC NC25-30. If you need some help finding your shade, there is a helpful shade finder here at Urbandecay.com. The packaging is beautiful, as is to be expected form Urban Decay and I appreciate that it has a pump that is easy to control so you don’t waste product – I usually use about a pump and a half.

It is a demi-matte finish, so is very natural looking, and really does feel incredibly light on the skin. This does not contain SPF, so I it might be a good option for flash photography. If you plan to wear it during the day, just make sure your moisturizer or primer has at least broad spectrum SPF 15 in it to protect your skin! Naked skin contains “Matrixyl 3000- anti-wrinkle and lifting peptides restore and maintain skin’s youthful appearance while increasing elasticity.” I have only been using this for a couple of weeks and haven’t seen any dramatic change in skin appearance, so I can’t really comment on those claims. What I can say is that I love how this feels on my skin. I would say it has medium, buildable coverage. The formula is thin which I like because it is extremely easy to blend, while still offering a good amount of cover. I usually have to apply a light second layer to areas where I have some old scarring from blemishes, so if you prefer completely full coverage, you may want to try something a little heavier. I applied this using the Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush also by Urban Decay, and it blended out beautifully without a streak in sight! See below for before and after photos.

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Indoor Before:

Top: Forehead
Bottom: Right Cheek, Left Cheek

Indoor After:

Top: Forehead
Bottom: Right Cheek, Left Cheek

Outdoors Before:

Top: Forehead
Bottom: Right Cheek, Left Cheek
Top: Forehead
Bottom: Right Cheek, Left Cheek

As you can see, this does a great job of covering redness and evening skin tone. Some blemishes still show through so I will sometimes go back and add more coverage with a light coat of concealer. This does start to fade a bit after 5-6 hours, but Naked Skin is a winner in my book because I get the “my skin but better” effect, and at the end of the day my face still feels fresh. This retails for $38 for 1 oz, but it does exactly what I need so I would purchase it again!