3 am Battle: UD vs. UD

So ya. It’s 3am. But, I just had to tell you all about this crazy Urban Decay sale. You might have already heard, you might have already bought, but in case you haven’t, prepare for late night shopping (or early morning panic depending on when you read this). Both Sephora and Urban Decay are offering these deals!!!

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Both the Vice 4 and the Urban Spectrum palettes are on sale for only $45 CAD each!!! And ALL Revolution lipsticks are half price at $13 CAD each (these are also on sale at Shopper’s Drug Mart UD locations)!!!

I was soooooo tempted to pick up the Urban Spectrum palette around Christmas, but I held off. As soon as it went on sale though, I called my local Sephora and raced over to pick it up. And I’m soooo glad I did. The color variety is so wonderful. It has an amazing mix of crazy brights, as well as a few neutrals and browns to allow for a full range of day time and night time looks. The pigmentation is superb, exactly what I expect from Urban Decay. The wear time seems endless, I wash my makeup off long before it fades or creases. The pans are organized in trios. Each trio is perfectly cordinated to do a complete eye look. This takes all of the “guess work” out if you are new to colorful shadows. And as expected, they blend like a dream! Did I mention that each of the pans in this palette are equivalent to a full size single pan? That’s right. 15 FULL SIZE eyeshadows for $45!!! That’s a $330 CAD value!! Keep in mind all of these shadows are metallic/shimmer/glitter shadows. Personally, I love shimmery shadows (I secretly have a love/hate with mattes), but if you don’t, this palette might not be for you. The other thing I love about this palette, the box it comes in turns into a jewellery or trinket box. How smart!!!! The laser cut, jeweled box is so adorable, I love the idea of continuing to use it long after I’m done with the shadows. The lid does have a mirror in it and will stand on it’s own if needed. Note though, there is no brush with this palette. If you plan to travel with it, don’t forget to pack one!

The shades:
• Protest (golden forest green shimmer)
• Junkie (teal green shimmer)
• Deep End (bright teal shimmer)
• Madness (bright metallic blue shimmer w/blue micro-glitter)
• Evidence (deep navy blue shimmer)
• Prank (deep navy matte w/turquoise floating pearl)
• Omen (bright metallic purple w/blue shift)
• Flashback (bright deep purple w/pink sparkle)
• Voodoo (metallic purple shimmer w/iridescent purple micro-glitter)
• Flatline (metallic pale pink)
• Bordello (pale mauve shimmer w/gold micro-glitter)
• Backlash (bright pink w/orange floating pearl)
• Daybreak (soft bronze w/silver glitter)
• Burn (medium golden brown shimmer)
• West (deep metallic brown shimmer)

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Currently the Urban Spectrum palette is SOLD OUT online at Sephora (Canada, not sure about the US site). However, my local Sephora had quite a few in stock. They also have this palette on sale and in stock on Urban Decay’s website. They offer free shipping over $50 CAD and you get three (generous) samples with you order. You can look below to see what I got with my lipstick order. Be aware however, shipping took forever with UD. I ordered on April 23rd and didn’t get my order until May 13th!!

The other awesome palette on sale is the UD Vice 4. Unfortunately for me, I picked this palette up when it was full price. Fortunately for me, I redeemed some Shopper’s Drug Mart points and got it (and some other goodies) for free. This is my first Vice palette and it actually appealed to me because alot of the shades are different from anything I own. The palette contains 20 shadows with a total weight of 0.6 oz. That said, I feel like the colors are all over the place. You need to have a some what experienced hand to know how to coordinate these colors. UD said the palette was inspired by an “oil slick ([further] inspired by [their] vintage shade name Oil Slick) into a palette filled with rich, deep jewel tones”. When I keep this in mind and think of oil puddles in a parking lot, I can see where they are going with it!!!! Some shades were more pigmented than others, however, I found the quality of all the shadows to be high and easy to blend. The shades range from mattes to metallics to glitter. The Vice 4 comes with a brush and carry bag, and there is a huge mirror located on the lid; perfect for travelling or doing your makeup on the go. UD knocked it out of the park AGAIN with this packaging. The holographic-esque webbing definitely reminds me of the shine in an “oil slick”. It’s so beautiful to look at!!

The shades:
• Bones (oyster satin w/pearl)
• Grip (taupe matte w/iridescent micro-glitter)
• Deadbeat (black satin w/iridescent micro-glitter)
• Beat Down (deep metallic violet w/blue micro-glitter)
• Pandemonium (metallic plum w/iridescent micro-glitter)
• Framed (light neutral matte-satin)
• Fast-Ball (metallic peachy pink w/pink micro-glitter)
• 1985 (metallic fuchsia w/fuchsia micro-glitter)
• Underhand (burgundy-brown satin)
• Harlot (metallic lavender)
• Discreet (soft dusty mauve matte)
• Grasshopper (metallic emerald w/green micro-glitter)
• C-Note (frosted green w/micro-glitter)
• Arctic (bright teal w/tonal sparkle)
• Robbery (deep metallic brown-gunmetal)
• Bitter (reddish brown matte)
• Flame (bright orange w/gold micro-glitter)
• Low (brown matte w/iridescent micro-glitter)
• Crowbar (black w/golden metallic pearl and micro-glitter)
• Delete (deep chestnut brown matte-satin)

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Last I checked this was still available on Sephora’s sale page. But again, if it’s gone, call your local store. Urban Decay’s website is also clearing it out!!

And last but not least, the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks!! All three formulas, sheer, original, and matte, are HALF PRICE!! That’s $13 CAD. You can get your hands on them at Sephora, online at Urban Decay, or in store at Shopper’s Drug Mart. I picked up 2, 4, 6 shades. I ordered 4 through UD for free shipping and then swatched at Sephora and picked up a few more. Ooppppps. Although UD shipping took forever, the samples were awesome. All of the formulas preform differently so I would suggest swatching in store to find what you like best, even if you plan on ordering online!! I picked up Native, Streak, Matte After Dark, Obsessed, Cat Fight (not shown), and Turn On (not shown).

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There you have it dolls!! Happy shopping!! I’m off to bed. ♡♡

Getting Naked With Quo

If you follow my blog, you have heard me mention Canadian beauty brand, Quo, many times. I have loved them for years and that love continues to grow. Where “Quo” actually comes from remains a mystery to many. I have products from them made in Canada, the US, and even Italy. The brand itself is Shopper’s Drug Mart’s beauty brand, but the products are made by other companies specifically for SDM and Quo. In other words, SDM is not directly responsible for production of the products. I have heard many rumors over the years about Quo being produced by Mac, Urban Decay, and numerous other big beauty names.

A few Christmases ago, I was given the Quo Back To Basics Eyeshadow Palette as a gift. I was elated to learn that this palette was an exact dupe for the original Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette. And I don’t mean a few of the shades, the entire palette is a dupe – pan for pan. Unfortunately, this palette is not part of any Quo permanent collection, but every holiday the palette is re-released with slightly different external packaging.

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Here is the Quo and Urban Decay side by side. You tell me … which one is the Back To Basics and which one is the Naked? Nearly identical, right?! But just because they look alike, doesn’t make the Quo worth it. The blendability and rich pigment of these shadows make them worth it. The shadows themselves are so smooth and soft. To be completely honest, I love them a little bit more than the Urban Decay formula (OMG I know, I can’t believe I just said that either, UD is my main bitch). I find that the Naked shadows can be a bit more powdery, which sometimes means that you need to pack on more of the shade to get the depth of color that you are looking for. The Quo powder is a bit more “heavy” in consistency; I find this makes smokey eyes a breeze. I find that the UD shadows work best with a primer, but my Quo palette comes out just as strong, even without a primer. In fact, I wore Quo for YEARS before I even purchased my first eyeshadow primer. The Quo shadows also have impeccable staying power. They last through even the most crazy of party nights. Just ask 18 year old me … she has many specific examples.

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The packaging on this palette is a simple sturdy cardboard with magnetic closure. Inside you will find a mirror and eyeshadow brush, perfect for on-the-go application. I do prefer the tin case of the Naked, and appreciate a case that “snaps” closed.

The Quo Back To Basics retails for $25 CAD, while the Urban Decay Naked retails for $60 CAD. The Quo has such phenomenal quality and value that I have no intentions of EVER purchasing the original Naked palette (hence why I purchased the Naked 2 during my last SDM haul). I even have a back up of the Quo palette for when I run out (if I ever run out!!).

New for 2014, Quo released an additional holiday palette, Back To Basics Matte. I couldn’t resist getting my hands on this matte palette given my Quo love!!

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You have to look closely, because the only thing different about the palettes from the packaging, is the word “Matte“. It would be very easy to overlook that these two palettes are NOT the same (assuming that you didn’t stop to open them).

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The Matte palette is just as amazing, in terms of quality, as the original Back To Basics. The palette consists of alot of light shades, with minimal dark shades. Luckily, the dark shades that are included, are beautiful and highly pigmented!! I prefer the original palette in terms of color selection, but the matte palette is gorgeous in it’s own way too. I am not a huge fan of pink neutrals (which is why I avoided the Naked 3) but this palette allows me to have a few pink tones without spending a fortune on a palette that I would only use occasionally.

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When comparing both Quo Back To Basics palettes side by side, it is very easy to see why I insisted on owning both!! The matte has alot of beautiful shades that will easily compliment the original shades. The brushes included with the palettes are different, which is great! The matte palette has a fluffy, dense brush, while the original palette had a stiffer, flatter brush.

My love for Quo is real. ♡ If you (are Canadian, but) haven’t checked out their stuff, you can’t (seriously) call yourself a beauty addict!!

Hourglass Heaven

Hourglass has recently launched their Modernist Eyeshadow Palette and they are truly a work of art. I had gotten a gift card from my lovely friends for my birthday and I planned on spending it on the Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette and this little beauty.

An artist-inspired eye shadow palette with seamless color transitions—offering effortlessly blendable and wearable shades in a range of finishes and textures. 

These palettes flaunt five complementary shades of soft and airy, finely-milled formulas in a curated selection of shades, finishes, and texture. Designed with the innovative multi-press technique, each palette features an array of finishes from matte to shimmer for a number of looks with depth and dimension. Available in seven unique and wearable color palettes, these shadows are exceptionally buildable in color, giving you unprecedented control over the intensity of your look. 

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Sephora Chinook was giving away the mini Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Super Strawberry as a FREE bonus with VIB Rouge purchases. This is the second time they gave me one!! It is a great moisturizing balm with a nice touch of color. This shade is a sheer berry pink. FREE gifts always making me smile.

Now the palette, the real reason that you are reading this. The case is nice and solid. It is a sleek chocolate brown with HOURGLASS written in gold on the far right side. This palette is much smaller than I expected, easily fitting into the palm of my hand. I was actually surprised at how small the palette was for the hefty $67 CAD price tag.

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I picked up the Obscura palette. It has the most beautiful earth tones. Each palette comes with five carefully coordinated shades. Obscura comes with the shades, cream, smokey brown, rose gold, coffee, and cool bronze. The way the eyeshadows are placed in the palette is truly breathtaking. I’m drooling. Seriously. It is so beautiful I didn’t want to even touch it.

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The wave pattern is beautiful but also so practical. It allows you to easily coat all parts of any cut of brush. I love the mix of matte and shimmer shades. The dark browns specifically are very similar in depth of color, but one is matte while the other has a deep coppery shimmer. The rose gold and bronze shimmers are gorgeous, adding a beautiful pop to any makeup look.

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I have heard so many mixed reviews on this palette. But I don’t understand why. This palette does take a certain finesse to master, but the extra time is worth it because the payoff is phenomenal. You need a light dab to pick up the shadow, no swirling needed. The shadows are extremely fine and powdery but they apply so easily to the eye. Fallout is minimal if you are sure to apply it with a light hand. These shadows were extremely buildable and blendable, allowing you to easily control the depth and dynamic of your shadow look. Sephora added these tips for using the Modernist palette:

Unlike traditional formulas, Modernist eye shadows are soft and airy; use a light hand when dipping brush or fingertips into product.
-When applying with a brush, tap off excess product before applying to the eye. 
– Use the Hourglass No. 11 Smudge brush in the narrow valleys of palette for a more precise/detailed application. 
-Use the Hourglass No. 3 All Over Shadow brush on the smoother surface areas of palette for broader application. 
-Deeper/shimmer shades can be layered for intensity or may be used with a damp brush for a more dramatic effect. 
-Use with an eye shadow base/primer for longer wear.

I feel like the negative reviews were due to people having traditional expectations and no willingness to open their minds to the specific intentions behind this palette. I will definitely be adding another one of these to my collection. I’m eyeing the beautiful plums of the Exposure and the stunning greens in the Color Field. Have you tried the Modernist shadows? What were your thoughts?! ♡♡

Holiday Happy

Topbox knows how to say “Happy Holidays” and keep me extra holiday happy! My December Topbox has arrived and I am ecstatic!! Topbox is a Canadian subscription box company that sends 4-5 samples in a cute little tube (or organza bag if you prefer), right to your door, every month. The cost is only $12 CAD a month including shipping! This is the cheapest beauty subscription available to Canadians, and the quality of products received in this box is phenomenal!! Month after month, Topbox keeps exceeding my expectations.

I’ll be completely honest and say that at first glance I thought this box didn’t look good at all. I don’t know why I felt this way, maybe because none of the packaging immediately jumped out at me. This is a perfect example of how you NEVERjudge a book by it’s cover“. Another thing I love about Topbox is that they include a card with a description of each product, where you can buy it, and how much it costs. The total value of this box exceeded $55 CAD! No lie, I received 3 FULL SIZE products this month!!

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Marsk Natural Mineral Eyeshadow in Black Comedy (Full Size)
This is a brand that I have never tried before, but I feel like you can never go wrong with mineral shadows. This one is a loose pigment. Some people find those messy, but I find them amazing. I tap a little powder into the lid and use that to apply, this helps give you more control over how much of the product you get on your brush. I love that I got this in black and can’t wait to try it wet as eyeliner! This item retails for $22.50 CAD! My only note is the packaging, an off white plastic jar, seems very dull. For a product with this price point and quality, I would expect something a little more “wow”. But in the end, the packaging does NOT effect the quality – just simply my thoughts.

Kinetics Nail Polish in (Full Size)
Another brand I have never heard of! This color is a deep purple and the perfect shade for fall/winter trends right now! The polish retails for $12 CAD (the price of the box all on it’s own!).

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge Lipstick (Full Size)
Yes! Yes! Yes! More lipstick. BRING IT ON!! I want lipstick and lots of it. I have always been a beauty junkie, but this lipstick addiction feels like a whole different level! Again, another new brand to me, although I have actually heard of this one. The formula is smooth and creamy! This beauty comes in at $19 CAD … this Topbox is seriously giving me those tingly feelings of excitement!

Refresh Botanicals Facial Toner (Sample Size)
This is the only product I’m not completely in love with. Mainly because it says to concentrate on oily areas and I don’t really have oily areas. I’m hoping it won’t dry my skin out, especially since my main skin concern in winter, is dryness! The other products alone made this box spectacular, so I’ll try this toner and I won’t be too concerned if I don’t like it!

Topbox did it again. An amazing box. An extra happy customer. Did I mention this box came in record time? LOVE! Want more? Click Here to see last month’s box. Click Here to check out Topbox.