April 13, 2014

Kat Von D Monarch Palette

Kat von D's Monarch palette is a collection of 12 warm neutral leaning colors housed in a slim cardboard case.
Top: Entomology, Bottom (L-R) Wrath, Papilio, Summerfly
Entomology: Matte cream with yellow undertone
Wrath: Rust with faint copper sparkle. Cleopatra is similar, but matte
Papilio: Medium brown with soft copper shimmer
Summerfly: Rich 24k gold with gold glitter. One of my favorites!
L-R Entomology, Wrath, Papilio, Summerfly

Top: Telepathy, Bottom (L-R) Killing Jar, Delaney, Vanish
Killing Jar: Metallic rose gold
Delaney: Metallic taupe
Vanish: Matte tan. This was soooo buttery!
Telepathy: Metallic champagne with soft pink undertone
L-R Killing Jar, Delaney, Vanish, Telepathy

Top: Tiny Death, Bottom (L-R) Disintegration, Shadow Box, Dead Head
Tiny Death: Pale butterscotch with iridescent glitter. The glitter in this shade had a bit of fallout.
Disintegration: Antique shimmery bronze
Shadow Box: Rich matte chocolate brown
Dead Head: Officially the butteriest, most pigmented matte black I own.
L-R Tiny Death, Disintegration, Shadow Box, Dead Head

PIGMENTATION: No issues with any of the shades. All were densely pigmented.

PRODUCT: Other than the aforementioned fallout issue with Tiny Death, the only other problem was some shadows were a bit powdery. Because I tap off excess before I apply my eyeshadow, I didn't notice any fallout due to the softer texture of some of the shades.

Top row (L-R) Entomology, Telepathy, Tiny Death
Bottom Row (L-R) Wrath, Papilio, Summerfly, Killing Jar, Delaney, Vanish, Disintegration, Shadow Box, Dead Head
PACKAGING: As I mentioned in my Esperanza review, I am not a fan of the cardboard packaging of this year's palettes. However, this does have a decently-sized mirror and isn't too large for my bag.

PRICE: $46 

All in all, if you're a fan of neutral shades, but want some good quality mattes in your palette, check out the Monarch palette.

Of course you don't have to take my word for it. Kat von D's Monarch palette is available now at Sephora.

Kat von D Immortal Lash Mascara

It seems that Kat Von D has replaced her Sin-full lash with Immortal Lash for Summer/14. How does the latest lash offering from the brand fare? Read on to find out!

PIGMENTATION: Sephora describes this to be "ultrablack." I don't think this is any blacker than other mascaras I've used, just a standard black.

Left side: Immortal Lash, Right Side: no mascara
I am not wearing makeup in this picture other than Immortal Lash.

PRODUCT: The formula isn't as thick or wet as previous KvD mascaras so it seems to work well for lower lashes. On my upper lashes, this made them long, but I had to use a few coats to achieve desired length.  Unfortunately this gave me little volume, and clumped at the end of my upper lashes. About the claim that it's a "24-hour" mascara-- this flaked after about 12 hours for me.

PACKAGING: The wand in Immortal Lash has a pine cone-shaped tip with a row of spikes spiralling down the length of the brush. The shape is supposed to get the lashes on the outer corners, but I'm not sure how the single row of spikes is supposed to be effective. In the end,  my lashes were not nearly as defined as I expected them to be. Also, the brush was extremely flexible. Not sure what the point of that was, but I feel like if I was to use this a lot, then the brush may break off.

The outside of the packaging is matte black with red foil roses and a red foil logo on the cap. This is similar to the High Voltage mascara packaging, and all of the foiled details of that one would rub off.

PRICE: $20

Immortal Lash has a gimmicky, ineffective brush, and an inferior formula. I rarely return things to Sephora, but this isn't fit for my cosmetic collection.

As always,  you don't have to take my word for it. Immortal Lash is available now at Sephora.

March 15, 2014

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick Vampira

This spring Kat von D for Sephora has re-launched the Everlasting Love liquid lipsticks with brand new colors and a new package design. Vampira was one of my favorite colours from the spellbinding lipstick set, but the product itself was disappointing. Knowing the Everlasting formula was pretty awesome,  I was curious to see if it would fare any better.

COLOR/PIGMENTATION: Vampira is a deep cool toned burgundy. It is lighter than KvD's Rosary, but the colors are comparable. The pigmentation was certainly not disappointing, even though it came out slightly lighter than what you see when you look at the tube.

PRODUCT: While the liquid version certainly applied better than the previous iteration of Vampira, it takes some work to get the product to apply evenly. I noticed that when I pressed my lips together (as many of us naturally do when applying lipstick), this totally shifted the product around my lips to create uneven color. Unlike other matte lip colors I have (be them in stick form or otherwise), this never felt like it "dried down". It remained creamy on my lips and was neither drying nor moisturizing. The texture made me feel like I could wear this even though my lips have been much drier lately due to Accutane. I got around 4 1/2 hours out of this before the color started to wear down on my bottom lip, and during this time it didn't bleed one bit.

I do like the tube. It's slender and the doe foot applicator is the perfect size. The new artwork on the cap, however, is on the meh side for me.
Overall, if you like a dark lip but have had a world of trouble with the other dark shades in the KvD line, you may want to check Vampira Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. However If you are looking for a statement lip color that you can slap on in 2 seconds & look perfect, this is definitely not the product for you.
You don't have to take my word for it, Vampira is available now at Sephora.com.

Kat Von D Transformer Liquid Lipstick in Superliminal

For Spring 2014, Kat Von D released a limited edition liquid lipstick, Superliminal.  It's called as a transformer shade,  and is supposed to change the color of whatever lipstick you're wearing.

Superliminal is lightly moisturizing and sheer with a high gloss shine.  When i wear it on its own, the color is a sheer blue based bubblegum pink. Due to its iridescence, it may pull more orangey pink on darker or warmer skin tones.

I also tested its transforming abilities over Vampira, and the results were not impressive. Superliminal imparted a hint of metallic orange shine in certain light, but parts also had this unattractive milky-ness. However, this would probably look fine over a pink lipstick or something that wasn't dark.
All in all, Superliminal is just so-so for me. It looks really cool in the tube, but it's just ok in practice.

You don't have to take my word for it! Superliminal liquid lipstick will be available at Sephora.

Accutane: Month 1

My first month if Accutane has ended, and so far the process hasn't been completely horrible as expected.  The worst part is how dry my lips have gotten. The best part is that the scars on my face are already disappearing! Here's what else happened:
- the tiny, painful blemishes I had on my body disappeared
- I broke out a little on my face and back (this was expected)
- around my lady time I had super terrible mood swings and wanted to smash everything, morseo than normal (This only lasted a day or two)

A big challenge was figuring out how to deal with dry skin after having an oil slick on my face for most of my life. Luckily it was easier than expected, and I banished any gross skin peeling with super moisturizing stuff. My saving graces have been:
-Fresh Seaberry Oil
-Fresh Brown Sugar Face Polish
-Fresh Rose Mask

And that's the first month in a nutshell! If you have an Accutane story or ultra dry lip recommendations, feel free to share in the comments.

February 9, 2014

Accutane: the beginning

If you've read my blog even sporadically over the years, then my acne is no new subject. At the beginning of 2013 I finally had health insurance and could see a doctor to help me get it under control. She had me on about 6 different medications, and in the fall of 2013 my battle was looking like it had been won. My skin wasn't perfect, and my doctor had recommended accutane since everything else I had been on wasn't working 100%. Sick of ingesting pills that made me sick, I decided to not take any more medication & see how my skin did. It was healing more & more, until December when my acne came back in full force on my chest & back. After 8 months of being on all of these meds, my acne cycle looked like it was returning.

In January i saw my doctor again,  and talked to her to see if Accutane was still on the table. I wanted to catch my acne at the beginning of the cycle before it got horrible again. Plus, another benefit to Accutane is that it can rid your skin of acne scarring since it sort of forces your skin to start over at its base.  Knowing that laser resurfacing can cost hundreds of dollars per session and isn't covered by my insurance, this is a major point of interest for me. Thankfully acvutane was still on the table,  but not without warning.  The biggest being to not get pregnant whilst on the drug, as it guarantees birth defects. After two blood tests (these are standard to check if you're pregnant) & another doctor's appointment, I was deemed eligible to go on it.

Cut to today,  which is day two of taking accutane.  I can already feel my skin drying out, which is good because I can tell it's working. I'm going to try to post updates each month because there's so much scary information available (personally, what I found initially scared me off) and I want to provide a real account if what I experience. 

Have you ever taken accutane? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments!

January 14, 2014

Kat Von D Esperanza palette

Hi! Long time no talk! Before we start, just wanted to note I'm trying out the blogger app on my phone to post this review. I have so many reviews that are waiting in the wings, but it's always a process I rarely have time for. Hopefully this way I can get more reviews out to you guys! The photos aren't edited in this post, bc i forgot i could do that on my phone, but they will be in the future! I'd love to hear what you think!  Onto the review...

New for spring '14 from Kat Von D is the Esperanza palette. Housed within its no-frills cardboard packaging are eight shadows of varying textures. All are incredibly pigmented and most are buttery smooth.

Top to bottom: Placebo, Galore, Dayglo, Selena

Selena: Satin medium bright purple with larger iridescent glitter. Did have some glitter fall-out with this one.

Dayglo (transformer shade): shimmering white with pale yellow shift. 

Galore: pale peach with soft shimmer. Would be great as a highlight color!

Placebo: Matte bright orange-pink. This looks almost neon in daylight.

Top to bottom: Dog Roses, South, Archangel, Santeria
Santeria: Shimmery dark blue-grey with pale blue micro glitter. This one had a drier texture than the rest of the bunch.

Archangel: Satin super pale seafoam green with fine light pink, purple, and light blue glitter.

South: Matte pale beige.

Dog Roses: Metallic bronze with fine bronze glitter.

Something to note is that the Esperanza retails for $36 and doesn't come with an eyeliner or anything (unlike some of the past few palettes from the brand that have retailed for $35) and comes in cardboard packaging (unlike the metal packaging of the past few non-holiday palettes). For me, the only weak part of this palette is the packaging. Cardboard packaging just seems kind of cheap to me, and considering I normally carry palettes with me, this is probably going to get damaged pretty quickly. However, a plus is how big the mirror is in here. If the packaging suffered for the quality of the shadows, then I am willing to take whatever cardboard packaging comes my way, because the shadows are EXCELLENT!

You don't have to take my word for it. Kat Von D's Esperanza palette is available now from Sephora.