Everyday Look – UDXGWEN

If you share similar traditions to mine, the holiday season is just about to wrap up with Three Kings Day tomorrow. I know that most of my makeup loving friends received (or could’nt wait and ran out and bought) the ultra fabulous Urban Decay UDXGWEN palette as a gift over the holiday season. It is so easy to get caught up in the hype of new beauty products but often let them sit because we don’t know how to use them. Fortunately the UDXGWEN palette isn’t makeup rocket science. The palette is pretty neutral friendly. While I am normally all about simple “everday” beauty, I do like glitz and glam up my everyday looks every once in a while. I’m not going to bore you with the basics. I created a face chart for my current basic everyday look. I am going to give you tips on how to take my everyday look into the glam zone. This amplified look is perfect for running errands, lunch with the girls, a day at the office or a trip to the mall or a romantic date.

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Now that we have our basic everyday look to of the way let me give you some tips on how I turn this from boring everyday to “everyday glam”.

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Add Some Super Shimmer/Glitter – I know, I know glitter isn’t technically for everyday but just the tiniest amount of a light neutral glitter liner or glitter based shadow can add a slight pop to a neutral eye. My favorite place to add this is to the inner corner of the eye. It brings just the right amount of light to the eye without looking too overdone. In the face chart the lid color I used is very shimmery but you can still add more.

Switch Up the Lip Products – Swapping out your “My Lips But Better” shades for a holiday inspired red, berry or  even a brown can amp up your everyday looks without being too overdone. I want to say that switching up your lips is the easiest way to play with your everyday looks.

Plum/Mauve Blush – I love plum and mauve blushes SO much! And the winter time is one of the best seasons to wear them. Just a little bit of plum/mauve blush on the apples of your cheeks give that pretty sugar plum fairy flush.

Smoke Out Your Liner – Adding smoky liner is another easy way to make your everyday beauty look a little extra special. And it’s easy! With a brush or even a cotton swab you are going to lightly smudge some eye shadow into your upper and lower lash lines.

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You can use one or all of the tips above to transition your everyday beauty looks to one that is a bit more glam and a little less “natural”. Why not try to glam it up for yourself and ring in the new year feeling good on the outside.

Happy New Year!


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Too Faced A La Mode Eyes Palette

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Too Faced A la Mode Palette is part of their Summer 2014 collection. The A La Mode Palette consists of 9 eye shadows. Three eye shadows with a combined weight of .21 OZ and six with a combined weight of .18 OZ for a combined product weight of .39 OZ. This palette retails for $36.00 and it is available at Too Faced retailers nationwide. The Too Faced A La Mode palette is limited edition last I checked.

Summer sizzles this year with Too Faced’s newest nine shadow palette. Now I LOVED Too Faced’s Pretty Rebel and their Winter 2013 Holiday Palette so I was hoping that they would continue the love train. And they have, well sort of. My initial thought when I first saw the palette is that it reminded me of their Pretty Rebel palette, and while there are some similarities, they are both different.  The combination of colors range from light gold to hot pink. The A La Mode Palette skews VERY warm so neutral to warm toned beauties will love it. If you lean neutral to cool like me, it can be a challenge to work with BUT it still looks great on.

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There are no matte shades in this palette, all nine shades range from satins to shimmers. Most of the shades in the A La Mode palette performed exceptionally. The notable exception is the glittery shade St. Tropez which suffers in the pigment department and it can be fallout prone if not used correctly. I do find it pretty over a sticky base as a glittery overlay. The other eight shades wore for 4-6 hours without creasing and no primer. With primer I was able to go 12+ hours with little to no sign of fading. The photos taken of me wearing these shadows is at the 12 hour mark with Urban Decay’s classic eye shadow primer.

Notable shades are: De La Mer – a shimmery deep navy blue, Cannes – coppery shimmer, Soleil – A unique red based brown shimmer and Cote d’Azur – a lovely taupe shimmer. The packaging on the A La Mode palette is a welcome change from their older nine shade palettes. Gone is the old cardboard packaging. It has been replaced with a lightweight metal case with a magnetic closure. The packaging is compact and sturdy enough for travel.

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From L to R: St. Tropez, Cannes and Soleil

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From L to R: Riviera, Jardin and Cote d’Azur

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From L to R: La Croisette, Monaco and De La Mer

Now I do have some issues with the A La Mode Palette. The first would be the omission of at least one matte shade. Thankfully there are satins in the palette to compensate but a nice neutral matte would help round out the shade selection. I also don’t care for the “How-To” glamour guide. “3 Steps, 3 Looks, 3 Minutes” = unblended mess. I don’t like half ass guides and unfortunetly Too Faced is notorious for them.

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Other than those gripes I really enjoy the A La Mode Palette. Is it as great as their previous palettes? No, I still prefer their last two eye shadow palettes but the A La Mode Palette is great palette to express your inner glam goddess with this summer, especially if you don’t own anything similar.


Urban Decay’s Electric Palette

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The Urban Decay Electric Palette is the newest palette to join the Urban Decay family. This ten shade pressed pigment palette is part of their Summer 2014 lineup and it is permanent to the line. The Electric Palette retails for $49.00 and contains .40 OZ of pressed pigments.

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Urban Decay really went back to their pre-Naked days with their Electric Palette. This will not be an everyday palette for everyone. The ten pressed pigments included in the Electric Palette are bright and intensely pigmented. The shades included in the Electric palette are all new (in my opinion)with two shades existing in an eye shadow form: Revolt and Chaos. These pigments can be incorporated into an everyday neutral look by using the brightly colored pigments as liner to bring out the color in your eyes OR you can add some color to your everyday shadow look to kick it up some.

I’ve touched on this already but most of the pressed pigments in the Electric Palette are intensely pigmented. The one exception would be Revolt, which suffers in the pigment department and to me is more of a glittery overlay.  Again with the exception of Revolt, I got an insane amount of wear time minus primer for the rest of the shades in the palette. I was able to get about six hours of wear time crease free with some major fading around the eighth hour.  Nine out of the ten (Revolt!) were easy to apply and blend out. The Electric Palette contains a nice mix of finishes with mattes, frosts and glitters.

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Swatches from LtR: Revolt, Gonzo and Slowburn

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LtR: Savage, Fringe and Chaos

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LtoR: Jilted, Urban and Freak

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Urban Decay also included a double sided brush in the Electric Palette, which is actually useable but I find Urban Decay always does their in palette brushes well. I really love the colorful packaging. The palette is constructed of a lightweight plastic which is a welcome change. This palette is light and compact enough to travel with making this a companion to your neutral shadow palettes.

The pressed pigments in Urban Decay’s Electric Palette can be worn in various ways: on the lips, as blush, to temporarily color your hair, to create your own color cosmetics. The possibilities for this product are endless and can offer the adventurous makeup fan hours of creative, fun makeup playtime.

As much as I enjoy Urban Decay’s Electric Palette there are some major drawbacks to it. The first big one for me is the staining. This is NOT an eye shadow palette, the Electric Palette is composed of pressed pigments. There is indeed a difference. If you are not careful with these they can stain your skin, hair and porous surfaces (sinks, countertops, etc.). When wearing the pressed pigments on your eyes I highly suggest a good primer/base to act as a barrier between your skin and the pigment. When using the pigments to color your hair, to create your own color cosmetics, etc. I suggest using an old, dirty towel as a barrier.

I have Electric and Naked Basics on my eyes. I also used Slowburn and Savage mixed with clear gloss on my lips and mixed with powder for blush on my cheeks.

I have Electric and Naked Basics on my eyes. I also used Slowburn and Savage mixed with clear gloss on my lips and mixed with powder for blush on my cheeks.

The shades: Savage, Slowburn, Jilted and Urban are not suggested for use around the eye area. In the US the FDA has not approved the use of neon pigments for the immediate eye area. If you have a sensitivity to red/pink pigments then Electric is not the palette for you. These shades can be worn on the eyes at your own discretion. I tested all ten shades on my eyes with no issues.  Still, the fact that four out of the ten shades included in the palette cannot be “officially” sanctioned for use around the eye is disturbing for a general market beauty product. As a makeup artist I have access to many different types of products that the general market consumer cannot easily get a hold of, and Urban Decay’s Electric Palette has that feel about it to me. It is pretty to look at but is the Electric Palette practical? In my opinion, no.

The decision to purchase Urban Decay’s Electric Palette will be a personal one. If you’re a collector or comfortable wearing bright colors, then this is your palette! If you’re looking for something ultra-wearable and work appropriate, then pass on Electric and grab some Nakeds.