Monday, April 27, 2015

The Summer Palette That Will Only Set You Back A Fiver

Hey Pandas!

Before I get into this review, I want to thank you all for the birthday wishes and support while I was in NYC recently! I am thankful for all of the positivity that Pretty Panda brings into my life and am glad to still be writing on this blog!

Now, enough of the mushy stuff. I know a lot of brands are releasing their summer palettes and shades right now and trust me...I want them all! But until you can afford one of those high-end ones, if you are on a budget like myself, tide yourself over with this little gem from Essence Cosmetics.

Essence has a line of palettes called 'All About...' and they retail for $4.99.  The one I have is called 'All About Paradise' and I found it in a summery Essence display at Ulta. There was also one called 'All About Sunrise', which had some neutrals and a pretty yellow, but of course I had to go with this one for all of the colors!

There are 6 pans in each palette. The top row contains a shimmery cream color, an orange/peach, and a hot pink. The bottom row contains a slightly greenish yellow, a teal, and a shimmery navy.

These are swatches over a thin layer of primer. Realistically, I never go without eye primer, so this is the intensity that will show up on my lids. I think for the price the quality is there. I love all the shades and they are easy to work with except for the navy, which pulls patchy and is a bit dry. It takes a bit of work to get right, but it won't stop me from using it.

Above are light swatches of the navy, cream, and teal without primer. Pigmentation without primer is only okay, as you can see, but there is potential to create a wash/watercolor effect if you choose not to wear primer. But pandas, you should be wearing primer! (I have my eye on the new UD Enigma for my next one!).

Here is a quick look I created with the peach shade in my inner corner, yellow in the middle of the eye, and the hot pink in the crease and slight outer corner. I blended everything with the cream shade. Wear time was 9 hours no creasing with primer and they were easy to blend. I do recommend a sticky or white base or at least a primer and a dense brush to really get vibrant results. I got tons of compliments!

For five bucks, you can't go wrong with Essence. They aren't the best eyeshadow formula ever, but they blow the water out of the NYX square shadows and Revlon, for sure! If you don't want to make a spendy commitment to bright colors, this is for you!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Art History & Nails: Malevich

Hey everyone! 

I have something a little bit different for you today. Once upon a time long ago I started a nail blog called Impressionist Nails to coincide with PrettyPanda. I used to do my nails a lot more, but with grad school, I made PrettyPanda the priority when I could update. I've decided to do posts here on nail looks with the premise that I had planned for my nail blog: blog about nail looks and art history together. Having the seven million blogs I do is getting a bit much (exaggeration, but seriously though).

Art is something I am very passionate about. I just finished my Master's in Art Business and I look at my nails as mini-canvases when I have the time to paint them/wrap them/etc. So these posts will be a little mini art history lesson mixed with a nail look!

 My look this week is using nail wraps from SCRATCH. They started as a Kickstarter that turned into a cool nail biz and my brother introduced me to them because he is always on Kickstarter, so they are special to me.

This pattern is currently unavailable (okay, so I may hoard nail wraps until they are discontinued. It is an issue, I know), but easy to recreate with some striping tape and nail polish. Or you can pick up one of their other cool wraps! They often have sales and I like these wraps a lot! Instead of filing off the edges you can literally just pinch the excess off and it looks like the above. I think I did a decent job considering nail wraps are usually unbearable to apply. These took me all of ten minutes. Slap on a top coat and mine lasted for five days with no imperfections. 

After wearing these for a day, they began to remind me of cubist/abstract art, so I set about finding a bit of inspiration for this post. It didn't take long for Kazimir Malevich to pop into my mind. I saw an exhibit of his in London and the geometric shapes and minimalism stuck with me.

Suprematism with Blue Triangle and Black Square. Kazimir Malevich. 1915. Oil on canvas. 66.5 x 57 cm. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

Above is a typical Suprematist work for Malevich. Simple shapes, lots of blue, black, and white. Although there is a bit of Mondrian in the design of the nail wraps, I am focusing on the blue/black motif. 

Suprematism is an art movement founded by Malevich that focuses on geometric shapes and a limited color palette that is supposed to represent the purity of how it feels to create art instead of the actual drawing of natural or man-made objects.

Bring that up in conversation and see how fancy you look.

And that, Pandas, is your very mini art history tid-bit and a peep at my nail look this week. Cheerio!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Eyes with Stila!

Happy Easter if you celebrate! And just happy Spring in general! Today I did a fun eye look for brunch with my family that I wanted to share. I recently picked up two Stila Smudge Sticks at the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty event but they retail for $20 a piece regularly. I have one already in Mint Julep and I just love the formula. They are smooth and creamy but still last all day on my lids.

Stila Smudgesticks
The shades I picked up are Gilded (a gold/bronze shimmer) and Violet, which is a true pink-toned purple. 

Stila Smudgesticks
Violet is matte and it is creamy enough that any patchiness is easily fixed with a second layer. To me though, it glides on with full color in one swipe and wore all day (8 hours) on primed lids.

Gilded is a metallic liner and is really beautiful on. I can see myself reaching for this all the time come summer and this also wore well for 8 hours.

Easter eye look
I am wearing Violet as a double line on my lid and Gilded on my lower lash line. I have not tested these on my waterline because I choose not to wear eyeliner there except on rare occasions, but these are waterproof, so I assume that means they should last at least a few hours on the waterline. 

Easter eye look
I am also wearing NYX liquid black liner, Benefit Roller Lash mascara, and Colourpop eyeshadow in Tea Party. 

I hope you guys have had a good weekend! What is your favorite Easter candy? Mine is robin's eggs (the malt kind).

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Orange Is The New Red: Some Oranges I Love and One That Made Me Go What?!

Who am I kidding, red will always be my lip color of choice, but as it gets really really hot here in California, and as the orange lip trend is spreading like wildfire, I wanted to show you what I reach for when I want an orange lip. And to orange lip warning of sorts.

orange lipstick swatches
Surprisingly, these are the only orange lippies that I own, beyond some balms and a Lancome gloss I have practically finished, so any recommendations are welcome in the comments!

From left to right:
Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Geranium ($8.99): A gel finish with just a hint of sparkle. A very true orange.
Lipstick Queen Chinatown Glossy Pencil in Chase ($22): Balmy but still gives nice color, this shade runs more pinky/orange.
Beautifully Disney Change Your Fate Lipgloss ($14.95): A sheer orange gloss without sparkle.
NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Orangesicle ($6.99): So pigmented! An orange that leans more red than the other shades.
NYX Macaron Lipstick in Orange Blossom ($6.99): A matte pastel orange. More on this later.

Revlon Ultra HD lipstick in Geranium is a recent find. It is the line that Emma Stone is touting all over the television, so naturally I picked it up at Ulta through some type of subconscious marketing. I love the consistency. It is gel-like and buildable with a punchy finish on the lips. Lasts roughly 4 hours on me but I hate the packaging (can be seen in first photo), just plastic and kind of tacky in my opinion. 

Lipstick Queen Chinatown Glossy Pencil in Chase
 I have had Lipstick Queen's Chinatown glossy pencil in Chase for a while now, and I still reach for it often. I love the thinness of both the consistency and the actual pencil and it feels good on the lips. This is not the most intense orange since it reads a bit pinker on lips, but it is still fresh. I do disklike the smell of Lipstick Queen lippies though--very drugstore/artificial.

Beautifully Disney Change Your Fate gloss
The Beautifully Disney gloss in Change Your Fate, named after Princess Merida, is also something I reach for regularly when I want something subtle but not typical pink. This is a sheer look, similar to the Lipstick Queen pencil.

NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Orangesicle
NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Orangesicle is new to my collection, but it much different than the original Butter Gloss formula. The smell is the same, but this is thicker and more like a liquid lipstick than a gloss. As you can see it is full pigment in one swipe and really should be worn with a liner. I think it is a gorgeous bright orange color but because of the thickness does get a bit messy if you over-apply.

NYX macaron lipstick in orange blossom
NYX Macaron Lipstick in Orange Blossom was something I wanted forever and after looking at swatches, I thought this would be a matte bright orange. Um...who on Instagram is swatching this?? Because this is not what I have seen ladies. DO NOT TRUST THE GRAM. As you can see, this is a sickly sad pumpkin color with extra horrible sprinkled in. Please avoid. I don't know how I can make this work because Ulta accidentally sent me TWO of these when I ordered these so long ago. Help.

What is your favorite orange lippie? Do tell!