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Beauty

Review – Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish

Gel effect nail polishes have taken on a huge trend in the market and I understand why. After getting shellac and gel nails done previously it’s hard not to love how amazing your nails look. However, I find that my nails always end up destroyed and in horrible condition after getting gel or shellac off. This makes the cost of getting them done not worth it to me; which is why the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish line has been on my mind for months. While these nail polishes are on the pricier side in my opinion (around $10 per bottle) I love that Sally Hansen offers a “starter kit” that comes with a color and the topcoat for around $20 regular price. On sale I have seen the starter kit as low as $16 (I’ve found Walmart to be the cheapest at around $16 regular price!) and the polishes around $7-8.  Their normal collection offers starter kits/ value pack in a nude, medium pink, and red and during limited edition collections they offer different colors in the kit (for example their current festival collection has a purple and a blue featured). The kit that I ended up purchasing is called Birthday Suit which is the nude that they offer as a value pack in their regular collection. I choose this color because I don’t have any nude nail polishes, as well as, it’s a color that I’d be able to get a lot of use and wear out of.

 

The application

The first thing I noticed is that I love the brush. It’s a very wide brush that I’m able to cover all of my nails except my thumb with just one swipe. The first coat of this color didn’t have very much payoff and looked like it just neutralized my nail color. The second coat provided more color but the color was still a little bit streaky/blotchy in areas. Therefore, I opted to do a third layer which provided the opaqueness that I wanted. I’m a very impatient person when it comes to doing my nails and I felt like this color took longer than normal to dry. I actually had to redo a few of my nails because I kept touching things and messing up the nail. This is where this starter kit felt like it changed my life. The top coat was magical. After applying the topcoat my nails were so shiny and glossy I was amazed. I’m not sure if I applied too much of the top coat or it was because I wasn’t doing my nails in natural light but it seemed to take a very long time to dry as well. However, I loved the result that I got. Majority of my nails (the ones I didn’t have to redo) looked amazing. The shininess and even the thickness of the nail polish layers made my nails look as if I gotten them done with shellac in a salon.

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Day 1: Nails still look as amazing as right after I painted them. I did get a few dents in the nails I redid as they were probably not as dry before I went to bed.

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Day 2: No chipping and no wear on the tips of the nails. However, this is where I noticed the same problem that I have with the majority of nail polishes – cracking. All of my regular nail polishes (except for my Defy and Inspire one! Check out that review in my April Ipsy Glam Bag) will show cracking a day or two after I apply the polish. Now this polish showed large cracks opposed to some of my other polishes where the whole tip of the nail has a shattered pattern across it. The cracking is only noticeable up close so it’s not too big of a deal especially since I do a lot work with my hands and my nails take a fair beating daily.

 

Day 4: No further signs of wear on the tips of my nails even after them going through a paintnight. Some more cracking noticed though.

 

Day 6: Some more minimal wear on the tips of the nails. Some chipping at the base of the nails closer to cuticle. Cracking is significant and noticeable at arms length.  

 

Day 10: Is the day I decided to take the polish off. The main reasons being because of my job and I just couldn’t stand to look at the cracked polish any longer. By the 10th day the tips had less wear compared to the base of the nails and they didn’t seem as shiny as the first week. I completely believe that this nail polish could last 2 weeks. Keep in mind I did use three coats of color and one coat of topcoat. I will pick up new colors or try and test it again with only 2 coats of color and a layer of the top coat for more accurate results.

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The Removal: This polish is meant to come off with regular nail polish remover. I found that while nail polish remover worked, it was more difficult than regular nail polish. I just did the simple pour some remover onto a cotton pad and scrub it off which took me forever. I’d recommend placing cotton soaked in remover onto the nail and then wrapping it up with tin foil as a more effective method.

 

Final thoughts: I loved this! It’s a method that takes time to do but the results are worth it. I definitely want to pick up more shades. If you’re someone who uses their hands a lot or struggles with nail polish always chipping I’d give this a try! Even though I find the nail polishes to be pricier than most at the drugstore I think the price is worth it.

May Glam Bag – Summer Friday

I think this month’s glambag is really cute for the summer and I like that the plastic makes it easy in case sunscreen or a lipstick melts everywhere. To be honest, I don’t really understand why this month’s theme is called “Summer Friday” I just feel like there are tons of other titles that would have been a better choice.  I’m not overly excited about any of the products this month but it’s also not the worst glambag I’ve ever gotten. I did enjoy that I was able to complete a full face look with all of the products I received.

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Mellow Cosmetics Creamy Matte Lipstick in Posh

I’ve gotten a Mellow lipstick in the past in an orange shade (electro) that I never wear so I’m glad I received a wearable color this time around. However, this was not the best color choice for my skin tone. I would describe the color as a true nude. It’s a combination of brown and dark pink undertones. I find that this color is a little too brown which sucks all of the color from my face and blends my lips into my skin color. In order for me to wear this color I’d have to use it under lip gloss or have heavier eye makeup. Even then I’d probably grab one of my other nude lipsticks that suit me better. The lipstick itself is quite nice. It applies smoothly and is a good consistency. It does not feel overly dry for a matte lipstick but also not creamy enough that it slides around. As a bonus it has a pleasant scent. I’m not likely to purchase any of these lipsticks in the future as I’m not a fan of any of their other shades and not necessarily because of formula. 

Full size product. Retails for $13.00  USD on the Mellow website. 10% off and free shipping on orders over $40 [Ipster]

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Manna Kadar Cosmetics – Radiance Split Pan Bronzer and Highlighter Duo

When I first look at this pan honestly it bothers me that the split between the pans is not straight down the middle. This was followed by my struggle of trying to open the dang product because the packaging is fairly slim and that sucker is just snapped closed tightly. Along with these two things, the product is still just meh to me. The size of each of the pan halves seems small if I wanted to use one of my face brushes to apply the product. Both colors seem soft when I used my fingers to swatch the colors on my hand but the payoff was a little powdery. The highlight was nice but nothing special. The bronzer is shimmery and I tend to use matte bronzers more than ones with shimmer so this half of the pan wasn’t too exciting. I think this product will most likely live in my on the go bag rather than with the rest of my collection mainly because of the size and I might get more use if it’s in my makeup bag. I think this product would be better lived as an eyeshadow duo. I don’t believe this product is worth the retail cost because you could find much better highlighters and bronzers in the drugstore.

Product is 3g and might be full size? I’m not sure because there’s nothing for me to compare to on the Manna Kadar website besides the photos. This product retails for $21 on the website. Get 30% off any purchase at Manna Kadar [IPSY2017]

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Peek Beauty – metalimatte in A-Boo

This is my first time trying out Peek Beauty and so far so good. The tin is tiny tiny which makes it great for on-the-go and super fun to fidget with since the lid just slides off the bottom. The color is a nice and happy peachy pink color that’s super creamy. I originally applied this color with my fingers and it was easy to blend into my skin. It’s also super easy to build the color up to where you want it. I’m not the biggest fan of cream blushes but I think this one is just great for on-the-go again because of the size of the product and also ease of application.

The product came as 1.5g or 0.05oz. I couldn’t find this product individually on the website but the they have a metalimatte mini tin set of 4 for $33.78 CAD and the rest of their products are $30 CAD and up.  Get 20% off any purchase at Peek Beauty with  [IPSYBLUSH20]

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Pacifica Island Life Eyeshadow Palette

Out of everything that I got in my Ipsy this was the one I was most excited to try. Not only do I love eyeshadow but this palette is limited edition to Ipsy! All of these colors have shimmer and felt super soft and creamy. I really enjoyed the color scheme of this palette and it’s one that you could easily take from day to night. They blended well but some were better than others. I tried all of these eyeshadows on top of my Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin. Colors from left to right:

Skinny Dip – light sand shade: this color applied nicely. It was pigmented and creamy and I had no problems with it.

Coral Sand – light coral pink: this was the shade I was the most excited for however the pay off was disappointing. Swatched on my arm the color was powdery. When I applied it with a short shader brush I wasn’t able to get the color to build up so it was just muted shimmery shade.

Golden – dark golden shade: I loved this color. It’s a true gold color and it applied well with good color pay off.

Treasure – medium shimmery brown: This is your standard medium brown shimmery shade that can be used all the time and with almost any look. To me it’s only a hint brighter than Smog in the Urban Decay Naked Palette. It has great pigmentation and blends wonderfully.

Sandalwood – deep purple brown: originally I thought that this color was a deep brown but it’s actually a deep purple and brown shade which I find makes this palette more unique. This color blended and applied easily with good pigmentation.

If you shop at Ulta get 20% off all Pacifica cosmetics at ulta.com [PACLOVE]
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Royal and Langnickel MODA Precision Angled Brush

I love getting brushes but this one actually confuses me a bit. The brush seems too big to use on my eye but too small to use on the rest of my face so I’m not really sure what I’ll use it for. Maybe to blend eyeshadow? The brush is still super soft I just need to find a use for it. Might not necessarily a brush that I would gravitate towards if I were buying from the site.

I couldn’t actually find this brush on the website but the brushes are relatively inexpensive averaging about $8 USD per brush.  20% off any purchase [Ipsy20] at the Royal and Langnickel website 

-Kayla

If you want to subscribe to Ipsy click here 

Party Like A Pineapple cup and coaster I purchased from Walmart because I have a pineapple obsession now.

April Glam Bag – Side Show

I think this month’s glambag is cute for the summer especially if you’re hitting up festivals or summer fairs. However, compared to other glambags I don’t think this one would hold as much as some of their other designs due to the shape and fabric. I felt okay when I got to see what was in this glambag. I was excited about the Luxie brush as always, the ColourPop eyeliner and I was actually excited about getting a nail polish this time around because of the cute spring/summer colour.

 

Defy & Inspire Wear Resistant Nail Lacquer in Paradise Island

I really like this nail polish. Not only does it not include ingredients such as formaldehyde it is also made in the USA. I love the mint – light blue color and so far it has been chip free. The brush was the perfect size. I was able to coat my whole nail with just one swipe and only took 2 coats to get an opaque color. I did feel like it took longer than normal for the color to dry. If I find these polishes in store I would definitely consider picking more colours up.    

[Update: This is probably one of the best nail polishes I have ever used. I’ve been wearing this colour for a week now and there are no to minimal signs of wear on the tips of my nails. I am extremely surprised because I find my nails take a fair beating and always chip on me within a few days. I did only two coats of polish and didn’t apply a top coat until 2 days after because I wanted to change up the textures by using both a matte and regular top coat and both textures are holding up phenomenally. I would highly recommend this polish to anyone who has problems with colours chipping on them easily or want long wearing nail colours!]

Full size 14.7 ml (0.5oz). I’m not sure how much it is as the link on Ipsy’s website sends me to the Target website that further says available only in store.

 

The White Company Seychelles Hand and Nail Cream

This is a London based luxury brand that I have not heard of until now. The hand cream is a nice fresh summer scent and I find the vanilla and bergamot notes are most noticeable. I’m not sure if the hand cream is thicker than most like the Ipsy website says but it did absorb quickly and didn’t leave my hands feeling greasy. Although, I believe that I have hand creams that work better than this one but it will live in my purse either way.

Sample size is 30ml (1oz). I wasn’t able to find this hand cream on their website but from looking at the other products it’s most likely expensive which means it’s not worth purchasing in my opinion when there’s other less expensive better products.  

 

Hikari – Cream Pigment Eyeshadow in Honey Dew

I’ve gotten Hikari products before and to me they’ve all been okay or not that great. This shadow seemed promising when swatched with my finger and nothing too special about the colour it’s just a bright shimmery shade. I don’t really think it’s a metallic coral pink hue like the Ipsy website says I’d say it’s more muted than that. I tried to apply this color to my eyelid with my Luxie short shader brush and it was not working for me. I don’t think the colour was being picked up by the brush and so I found I got better results when I applied it with my finger. After wearing it out for the day it creased on me really badly which is not what it’s supposed to do apparently according to the description. I did wear it without my Urban Decay eyeshadow primer so maybe I’ll get better results with a primer [UPDATE: I tried the shadow again with my Urban Decay shadow primer in Sin and it still creased just as badly. However, layering a powder eyeshadow on top prevented it from creasing as much]. The shadow came in a pan inside a plastic sample packaging and will most likely live in my travel makeup bag.

UPDATE: Turns out I’ve actually gotten their Cream Pigment Eyeshadow in a previous glambag in the colour Mink (chestnut shimmery brown) which actually came full size. This color swatched and applied better than the Honey Dew colour I received this time around.

This product is half of the amount of the regular pigments at 2g (0.035oz). It retails for $13.00 on the Hikari website. Code: IPSY30 for 30% off any purchase.

 

ColourPop Cosmetics Creme Gel Eyeliner in Best O

This is my first time trying the Creme Gel Eyeliner from ColourPop so I was very excited. The colour Best O is described as a deepened burgundy color and I would agree with that. The pencil applied very smoothly to my lid however the tip broke off when I was using it. Kind of disappointing in that remark but not too big of a deal. The colour stayed very well on my eyelid even after I accidentally rubbed my eye (I forget I’m wearing makeup sometimes). I love coloured eyeliners and would consider picking up more of these (sigh exchange rate and international shipping).

Full size product. Retails for $5 on the ColourPop website

 

Luxie Beauty Dreamcatcher Precision Foundation Brush 660

I love my Luxie brushes so I’m always excited to get them. Like all of my Luxie brushes this one is super soft. I most likely won’t use this brush for foundation (I rarely use foundation as it is and I also use a different brush for application) but probably for cream blush, bronzer, or highlighter. To me the brushes are expensive (especially with the exchange rate) but comparable in price to brushes of similar quality and I’m lucky to get them in my glambags. If you buy higher end brushes I’d definitely consider looking into this brand.

This brush retails for $30.89 CAD on their website.  Code: IPSY660 for 30% off Luxie Brushes

You can join Ipsy here: https://www.ipsy.com/new?cid=ppage_ref&sid=link&refer=ppzx

March Ipsy Glam Bag- Tres Jolie

I absolutely love this month’s glam bag design. It’s so cute and different than previous glam bag designs. As for the products, I’m okay with them. I’m not jumping up and down about it but I also don’t hate it. Brushes always get me excited and I was happy that I didn’t spend points on the Ladykin cream that was up for redemption a few months ago. I don’t mind hair products once in awhile, but Eva NYC makes it a little more exciting to get. TheBalm powder samples are always small so this is kind of just a meh for me, and eyeshadow is one of my most loved products but this one doesn’t stand out to me.  

Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer

I first discovered Eva NYC through Ipsy and it has become one of my favourite hair brands. I’m always excited to try their products and they all smell amazing. I will need to keep trying this product to see if it does all of the things it says it does for my hair.  

Sample size is 30 mL (1 oz). Full size 6 oz and retails for $14.00 on the Eva NYC website . 25% off any purchase [evamarch25] 

 

Ladykin Affinitic Snail Cream

Okay first off how cute is this packaging?! I am so in love with this little snail I will definitely be keeping it once I’m done with the cream. Ladykin is a Korean brand and the first Korean brand I’ve ever tried. This cream is apparently made from snail secretions which is kind of cool and weird? This cream does make my face feel super soft and it smells great.

Sample snail is 5 ml. Full size 100mL is $22. 00 from the Ladykin website. 10% off any purchase [IPSY] 

 

Elizabeth Mott Blending Brush

I love getting more makeup brushes and this is the first one I’ve ever gotten from Elizabeth Mott. The brush itself is really nice. The bristles and soft and this blending brush is more dense than some others that I have due to the shorter bristle length. Either way it’s a great addition to the collection. I also loved the “how to dry your makeup brush” tip that went along with this brush (and all the other brushes this month) on the Ipsy website. If you’re an Ipsy member I highly recommend checking out their trick to dry your brushes if you don’t already have an effective method at home for drying them upside down.

Retails for $15.00 on the Elizabeth Mott website. 50% off any purchase [BLENDING50] 

 

theBalm Cosmetics Bahama Mama

This sample is just meh for me. The powder samples from theBalm are always very small, making it difficult to use with larger brushes. The bronzer itself is a nice matte shade and something that I can thrown into an on the go makeup bag. Nothing wrong with the product, the sample of it is just kind of lame.   

Sample is 0.57g  (0.02oz) Full size is 7.08g (0.25 oz) and  $20.00 from theBalm website. 20% off purchase [IPSY20] 

 

mPrincess Pressed Eyeshadow in Chestnut

This is the first time I’ve received this brand. The color is nice, but it’s basically just a satin warm brown. This is a product I’m sure will get lost and forgotten in my collection.  

Product is full size and retails for $15,00 on the mPrincess website. Free eyeshadow of choice with purchase [IPSY03] 

– Kayla

February Ipsy Glambag

 

Originally I was fairly excited about the products I was getting. Can never go wrong with Nyx or Luxie; and a bronzer and powder are fine by me; face cleanser is okay not as big on skin care as I should be and I’ll use it at my boyfriend’s house most likely. This month’s glambag design is one of my least favourite. I like that they showed customisation ideas on the Ipsy social media sites but I wish it was more Valentine’s themed.

 

Nyx Butter Lipstick in Liefguard

I got a Nyx Butter Lipstick in my glam bag before and loved it so I love this one just as much. I don’t wear red shades very often but I like that I can make this an addition to my collection. These lipsticks are nice and creamy which doesn’t make them as long wearing but they feel good on the lips.

Full size product. $6 on their website.  

 

Winky Lux Diamond Complexion Powder in Medium

I was super excited to get this however, it’s a much smaller size than I was expecting. At 3 grams it’s about the size of an eyeshadow. Size aside, I really like this powder! Honestly, I’ve never owned a powder before this one so I don’t have much to compare it to. The powder feels soft and buttery and applies really nicely. It’s branded as having finely-crushed diamonds in it which is pretty cool I guess 😛 The packaging is also really nice for such a small sample. It’s made of a sturdy hard plastic that’s nicer than high end brands.

Sample size 3g. Full size retails for $26.19 CAD ($20 USD) on their website.

 

Elizabeth Mott Whatup Beaches Matte Bronzer

I was excited too get this in my glambag but was disappointed in how small the sample actually was. It’s only 0.7 grams and about this size of a quarter which makes it difficult to use a brush with it.  The color is a good neutral brown and like the description on Ipsy says it’s soft and silky.

Full size is 8 grams and retails for $25 on their website.

 

BeFine Food Skin Care Gentle Face Cleanser

[Review to come] I’m not big on skincare so I haven’t used this yet! 

1 oz sample size. Full size 3.4 oz (15mL) and retails for $24 on their website.  

 

Luxie Rose Gold Blush Brush 514

I love getting brushes in my glambag and this is my 5th Luxie brush from Ipsy! The brush is super soft as always but feels less dense and has more give than some of the other brushes I have. I really like Luxie brushes however I’ve had problems in the past with their brush ferrules. My blending brush ferrule has actually completely come apart from the handle and my tapered highlighter brush ferrule doesn’t sound like it’s on the handle very tight you can hear it wiggle around but it hasn’t come off yet. Other than those small things I enjoy using this for blush if I want a very light dusting of color.

Retails for $23.57 CAD

 

-Kayla

January Ipsy Reveal and Review: Metropolis

Sahra and I are both subscribed to Ipsy so you lucky viewers will get to see what both of us get each month! But for now, here is what I got in January! – Kayla

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The Glam Bag

I think the bag this month is really cute. It honestly reminds me of workout clothing more than metropolis and I wish I had a workout bag in this style.

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It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination in Medium

I typically don’t use concealer let alone for my under eyes. The first thing I noticed is that this concealer is very thick, similar to the regular Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer. I need to keep trying this concealer however, I think the shade is too light for my skintone. Sample is 1.5ml – Full size is 8 mL and retails for $24 on the It Cosmetics website.

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-417 Hand Moisturizer

This hand moisturizer is quite nice and I agree with the description on the Ipsy website. It absorbs extremely quickly without leaving any greasy residue. The scent is described as fruity, however, I would describe it as more of a fresh scent but it remains subtle. It’s definitely something I will continue to use and probably throw in one of my bags. Sample is 30mL

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Trust Fund Lipgasm Lipgloss in Method To The Madness

I have never used a Trust Fund lip gloss before and I enjoyed using this one. I would describe the color as a nude rosey pink. On my lips I don’t know if there’s a difference in color but if there is it’s a ‘your lips but better’ kind of color. The gloss goes on smooth and is not sticky. On the Trust Fund website the lip gloss retails for $22 and says it’s in a Ipsy Limited Edition Design for the packaging. This product came full size

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Pacifica Blushious Coconut & Rose Infused Cheek Color in Wildrose

At first glance all of the packaging for this product is super cute. Pink and gold foil cardboard packaging highlighting the Unicorn that’s on the lid of the container – how can it get any better? At first the blush appears to be a really dark shade but when used lightly with a brush it gives off a great color pay off. This product came full size and the Pacifica website retails it for $12

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Ciaté Gelology Top Coat

This product pleasantly surprised me when I opened my glam bag. I was not expecting it to be a full size product. I used this on my bare nails and while I didn’t notice it being any more plumping than a normal top coat to give it that gel nail look, I have a lot of positives to say about it. This is the first ciaté polish I’ve ever used and I love the brush. The brush fanned out so that it was able to coat my whole nail in one swipe. I was also so surprised how quickly it dried on my nail. I’m one of those people who tries to use their hands immediately after just painting them but I don’t think I’ll have any problem ruining what I just painted with this top coat. This product came full size and retails for £12 (~$19.66 CAD) on the Ciaté website.

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Lisa Hoffman Matte Gold Fragrance Necklace with Tuscan Fig Fragrance Beads – Cost: 300 points

This is one of the products I redeemed my points for on Ipsy. I have never seen jewellry posted on Ipsy websites for points and I decided to look into the brand before redeeming. The Lisa Hoffman collection is quite expensive, all of their necklaces retail for over $100. I enjoyed the concept for the jewellry on her website. You get wooden fragrance beads to put inside the necklace that deliver the scent. Since the brand seemed expensive I thought this was a good deal for 300 points. The necklace has a really nice design and has an okay looking 22” faceted ball chain. I’m always weary of getting fragrances without smelling them first because I’m quite picky about them but I’m really glad I enjoy this one! The description for Tuscan Fig according to Ipsy is: “The deliciously sweet and sexy notes of Tuscan Fig invite playful flirtation with a sophisticated charm. Surrounded by vanilla bean, honeysuckle, coconut wood, and gardenia, Tuscan Fig entices you with its warm essence”. I’m really bad at describing scents but I notice the vanilla most. I put one fragrance bead into the charm and it’s fairly strong on its own. The necklace sits quite far down but if people were to come near me they would be able to notice the scent.  I’m unsure of what the retail price for the necklace would be but the fragrance beads came full size and those retail for $40 a bottle.

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Em Cosmetics Shade Play Artistic Eye Color Palette in Melbourne Blues – Cost: 300 points

I’ve redeemed my points on Ipsy before for an Em Cosmetics palette and was impressed with the quality of the shadows so I decided that 300 points was worth it to get another one. The Em Cosmetics packaging looks somewhat inexpensive but does not feel that way. The Melbourne Blues palette is a collection of 3 blue shades and 3 sandy neutral shades all in different finishes. Without an eyeshadow primer some of the colors did not seem as pigmented when applied with a brush (the center blue shade), however, with an eye primer or my finger the shade was more pigmented. I’m not sure of the exact retail price for this palette as the Em Cosmetics website is being updated, however, I believe it was around $30

 

 

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