Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Palette: Review and Photos

Make Up For Ever's Pro Sculpting Palette in 20 (the lightest available).

I've been dragging my heels on this product review a looong time, my beauties. I'm sorry. As you can see from the mucky-looking palette above, I've used Make Up For Ever's Pro Sculpting Palette (20) quite a few times—I just feel like I haven't quite *gotten* it yet. I wanted to be better at using it before I told you what I thought, but I don't think it was meant to be. Here goes.

The beauty world has been obsessed with contouring and highlighting for ages, and in response, a whole bunch of brands have come out with sculpting palettes featuring a variety of shades for both contouring and highlighting. Personally, I have no idea how a palette like this or this makes sense unless you're a makeup artist. Will one person really suit all these colours? I don't see how. Even if you tan. Maybe I'm just a cheapskate, but I'm not going to hold on to a palette when I like only two of the shades. Hello, waste of my hard-earned cash! But to each their own.

I promise this is going somewhere: My lack of understanding of multi-coloured sculpting kits makes me really, really appreciate Make Up For Ever's simple approach to a sculpting palette: Choose the quad that works with your skin. There are four, for light (20), medium (30), tan (40) and dark (50) skin tones. In your quad, you get one contour shade. One shimmery highlight. One matte highlight. One blush. Done. Amen.

The big challenge for me with Make Up For Ever's new Pro Sculpting Palettes is that they're cream-based. I find creams tough. They're more work for me to blend than powder-based products. Why? Partly because I can never, ever find a brush I like using with cream products. (And I've tried a LOT.) I always come back to my fingers and a Beauty Blender, which can be quite inexact. I also find creams a challenge because not all creams are created equal. Some are thick and cakey, some are cream-to-powder, and others are very, very slippy. All require a different technique. It makes my head hurt.

So what do I really think about Make Up For Ever's Pro Sculpting Palette in 20, the lightest shade? I have a few thoughts:

1) As far as cream products go, this is pretty easy to work with—even for me. I tried Anastasia Beverly Hills' Contour Cream Kit in Fair because it seemed to have the best colour selection for my pasty-white skin, but it ultimately went back to Sephora because the product was just too thick for my liking. I looked heavy and cakey by the time I was finished my makeup. Not cute. Fortunately, the creams in Make Up For Ever's kits are much thinner.

2) The products are very sheer and blendable—almost TOO sheer and blendable. The creams are very emollient with a LOT of slip, and they sheer out quickly. This is probably a good thing for most people—particularly in light of what Isaid in 1). Yet when I've blended everything away, I'm not always certain I look any different than I did before! (Does anyone else have this problem?)

3) The packaging is sleek and simple, which I like. I don't like things that take up a ton of space. I don't like packaging that screams, "You paid as much for me as you did for the makeup!" I like being able to see the colours inside at a glance. Make Up For Ever's Pro Sculpting Palette wins on all these points.

4) As I mentioned above, I like that you can buy only the colour set that works with your skin. No wasted product.

5) I don't like the fact that the palettes come only with a warm-toned blush. I'd like to see colour options for cool-toned beauties like me. To be fair, as far as peach blushes go, this one is very subtle and flattering! But it's a peach blush, and I'm really more of a pink girl.

Enough chatter. Ready to see what this looks like on the skin?

Swatches of Make Up For Ever's Pro Sculpting Palette in 20.

Here, I've applied a stripe of the contour shade to the hollows of my cheeks.

Here, I've added a bit of the peachy blush shade and a bit of the highlighting shades, and blended everything out with my fingers and a Beauty Blender.

In the above photo, I'm really not sure whether I look subtly contoured or the same as I did before. I will say that if you like the dewy look, you'll like these. I haven't powdered in these photos, so you can see what the finish looks like.

Below, I just look dirty—like I didn't blend the product out nearly as well as I thought I had. (Don't you love how photos are just so much more truthful than mirrors? *shiver*)

Blended. Sort of.

The verdict? Alas, I don't have a definitive one. I do know I'm going to keep trying this product. I don't love it, but I like it enough to persist. For now.

What's your go-to product for contouring? Have you tried this one? What did you think?

Disclosure: This product was provided by PR for my consideration.

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eyeliners: Review and Photos

Make Up For Ever has released a set of 20 colourful new eyeliners.

Make Up For Ever packages always make my heart skip a beat. Their stuff is just SO GOOD. So when I opened the box and discovered pretty much a lifetime supply of eyeliner, I just about squealed. I couldn't resist the urge to swatch a few right away (yes, at work!).

This new release of 20 coloured liners is a collaboration between Make Up For Ever and a celebrity named Charli XCX. They're meant to be "stage-proof"—essentially marketing speak for waterproof. ;) I tested these liners alongside an Aqua Liner and an Artist Liner, and I find these to be on par with Artist Liner for smudge-ability, and less smudgy than Aqua Eyes. (This is either good or bad depending on how you like to wear it!) After a couple of minutes, all three types of liner seem budge-proof. Observe my highly scientific test:

I applied one swipe of each liner, then swiped over all three with my finger immediately afterward. After waiting a minute or two, nothing moved when I tried rubbing them. All three liners removed with Bioderma, albeit with some scrubbing. Artist Liner and Aqua XL took slightly longer to remove than Aqua Eyes.

  • Top: Aqua XL
  • Middle: Artist Liner
  • Bottom: Aqua Eyes

The best thing about the Aqua XL line is definitely the colour selection, if that's your thing. I occasionally use a bit of bright colour here and there, but I'm mostly a neutrals girl. I don't see myself ever using the yellow, and probably not the mint green (any takers?), but the rest are serious contenders. I've used many of them so far, and they're phenomenal for a few reasons:

  1. I can keep them sharp, which makes it easier to get right in between my lashes. Yes, you waste product with sharpening, but in my view it's much better than the permanently rounded tip of a "self-sharpening" pencil (like you get with Make Up For Ever's Artist Liner, but not with Aqua Eyes).
  2. It lasts ALL DAY. You need more than your standard wipe with an eye makeup remover at the end of the day.
  3. You have maybe a minute of playtime to blend, which I like to do with pencils. I can never get quite as precise a line as I do with gel liners and a brush, so I just embrace the imperfection, and I quite like the soft look.
  4. You can just do so much with them—the coloured ones are much like a longwearing cream eyeshadow. With this variety (did I mention 20 shades?), you can do neutral, dramatic or subtle.

Here are a few of the looks I came up with:

LOOK ONE:

For this look, I patted Charlotte Tilbury's Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow in Marie Antoinette over a primed eyelid, then warmed up the crease with Make Up For Ever's Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer in 10M. I lined my upper lash line with Aqua XL Liner in I-32, a pretty bluish green colour. I didn't like how dramatic it looked, so I smudged it with a smudger brush and added a bit more cream eyeshadow, resulting in this gradient, which I quite like. I added a very little bit of Aqua XL liner in D-62, a chocolate brown, in between the upper lashes for a bit more definition, and finished off the look with lots of black mascara. I used Charlotte Tilbury's Legendary Lashes Mascara and MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash.

LOOK TWO:

For this look, I tried a pinky-peach spotlight eye with the Zoeva Cocoa Blend Palette. It looked a little boring, and I was going to the movies that night, so I added MUCH more drama than I usually do by lining most of my lower lash line and waterlines with Aqua XL I-24, a beautiful aqua, and bringing it into a little wing. I tight-lined my upper lash line with a bit of Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Gel Eyeliner in Brown, and finished with the same mascara combo as above. Fun, right?

LOOK THREE:

For this look, probably my favourite of the three I've shared here, I was going for GLOW. Can you tell? ;) I created a shimmery gold look with the Becca Champagne Glow Eye Palette (I got one of the good ones!) and lined my upper lash line (and made a little wing!) with Aqua XL ME-42, a gorgeous antique gold. The mascara combo is the same as above.

Overall, I really like these liners—I have trouble with most creamy pencil liners smudging terribly around my tear duct, and these don't do that, which rocks. Also, thanks to Make Up For Ever sending me the ENTIRE SET, I'll probably be using them for the rest of my life. I'm good with that.

Want to get your paws on a few of these? They retail for $25 each at Sephora.

Have you tried Make Up For Ever's latest eyeliners? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: All Make Up For Ever eyeliners and bronzer provided by Make Up For Ever PR for my consideration. All other products mentioned were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.

Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Bronzed Garnet: Review and Photos

A look with Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Bronzed Garnet.

Last week I paid a visit to my happy place. That is, the Charlotte Tilbury counter at Holt Renfrew. Not only do I know my makeup will be STUNNING when I'm done, but the artists there are so fun and kind. They make me feel like I'm hanging with a girlfriend while I get my makeup done. That's a great way to spend a Thursday night—am I right?

This time, the artist, Edel, tried a product I didn't have: the Colour Chameleon Colour Morphing Eyeshadow Palette for Green Eyes in Bronzed Garnet. If you're not familiar with Charlotte's line, first of all, you should be. Second of all, she's designed everything to be easy. She's made eyeshadow pencils for blue, brown, and hazel eyes. Amethyst Aphrodisiac is her "evening" pencil for green eyes, and Bronzed Garnet is her "daytime" pencil for green eyes.

Don't be fooled, though. There's nothing subtle about Bronzed Garnet. The colour is exactly what it sounds like, and it's deep and complex. Used to create a smokey eye, it's amazing—dramatic, but classy. The formula is pigmented, smooth, and buttery. You apply it right from the pencil for instant BAM colour, and you blend out the edge with a soft brush or a finger. Work quickly, though—one eye at a time—because the product sets quickly! Long story short: I'm in love.

Here are some swatches, shot in both artificial indoor light (top) and natural evening light (bottom).

Interestingly, even though Bronzed Garnet is designed for green eyes, I think it makes my eyes look blue! What do you think?

I added a few other goodies to Bronzed Garnet to make this magic. Here are the highlights:

Charlotte Tilbury's Dolce Vita Palette (full review here). I packed the enhance shade, a rusty brown, all over Bronzed Garnet to make it pop, and patted a little of the pop shade, a glittery gold, on the inner third of my lid.

Charlotte Tilbury's Rock n' Kohl Iconic Liquid Eyeliner Pencil in Bedroom Black. I lined both my waterlines and lash lines with this to bring some drama to the look and really make my eye colour pop.

Charlotte Tilbury's Legendary Lashes Mascara. I tried this for the first time last week, and Oh. My. Goodness. The stuff is pricey, and a tiny bit prone to smudging if you're not careful, but it's stunning. It really does give a false lashes effect, IMO.

Charlotte Tilbury's Cheek to Chic Swish and Pop Blusher in First Love. I've looked at this shade and yawned a dozen times, but when Edel tried it on me, I had a moment. The brownish-peach shade just comes alive on the face and adds an instant hint of youthfulness. And I don't even like peach blush! Trust me. Try it.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown paired with her Clear Brow Gel. Thanks to this duo, my brows FINALLY look full AND stay in place without flopping around. I know $60 seems like a lot for brow products, but it's worth it!

Mary Kay Lip Gloss in Toasted Almond. It's a sheer brown that looks great with every look, but it's discontinued. Sorry!

Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow and Light Wonder Foundation in Fair 2. This may be by new favourite foundation combo, even though it's not the most long-lasting. It's just so glowy and beautiful.

Have you tried any of Charlotte Tilbury's eyeshadow pencils? What did you think?

Disclosure: This product was purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.