eyeshadow

Best of 2017 | Kat Von D Beauty

by Jamie Sanford on January 3, 2018

Happy New Year!

I have more “important” posts to work on, about goals and such things, and I will get to that, but during a discussion of “2017 beauty favorites,” I realized that Kat Von D Beauty is absolutely my favorite makeup brand of 2017.

In addition to new products, I’ve picked up some items that are on their way out that made their way to Marshall’s.

There are links below, but here’s a breakdown of some favorites:

  • Lips: I got a few studded kiss lipsticks at Marshall’s, including in the shade Lovecraft, which is my new favorite lip color. I also picked up liquid lipsticks, including sets of minis. I don’t like having mini versions of most products, but liquid lipsticks are perfect for downsizing.
  • Perfume: Kat Von D Beauty has 2 perfumes, Saint and Sinner. I like them both and have small versions of each one.
  • Face: As Kat Von D Beauty shifted to offering the Shade & Light face palette with interchangeable pans, the originals made their way to Marshall’s, so I picked mine up for half price. I am a contouring newbie, so we will have to see how it goes, but so far, I find these powders to be incredibly blendable and easy to apply lightly so I don’t look like a mess.
  • Eyes: I did not get all of the eyeshadow palettes released this year, that would be too many, but I did pick up some of the Shade & Light Eyeshadow quads at, you guessed it, Marshall’s. It is paint-by-numbers eyeshadow, and is great if you want something super simple and fast, but that still looks like you tried. I also picked up the limited-edition Metal Matte Mini palette, since I have the monster-sized one, and I love it so much, but it is not portable. The mini is a great option, and if you haven’t tried out the Metal Crush eyeshadows, this is the perfect way to try multiple colors at a much better price point. The regular Metal Crush eyeshadows are $21 each, and this palette is $39, so you can see the value.

Links to these products are below. Happy 2018!

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It’s a great time to be a lover of all things makeup. Makeup brands have exploded in growth in recent years, and inevitably, new brands are also coming out at a regular clip. A recent launch was that of Laura Lee Los Angeles, a brand by makeup YouTuber Laura Lee.

I am not a watcher of Laura Lee. I know about her but I don’t watch her channel. I started hearing some things about her initial launch and I went to check it out. Naturally, I can’t look at an e-commerce site without some kind of issue, but I haven’t run into a content issue like this before.

Let’s take a look.

I don’t understand this. This content is a mess of grammatical and spelling errors. (I heard after taking this screenshot that it was actually worse before I got to it. I do know that the original name was Cats Pajama’s, which is grammatically painful.)

Let’s go through this point by point.

  • I don’t like that the product name has a break. I would manually add a break to put “eyeshadow palette” on the second line.
  • Bullet 1 is pretty terrible. It’s like a run-on sentence, but not. Why they didn’t use additional bullets like those used below? It should look like this.
    • 10 highly pigmented, pressed-powder eyeshadows
    • 5 matte shadows
    • 4 shimmer shadows
    • 1 semi-matte/satin shadow
  • Bullet 2. “Smoky” doesn’t have an E, but the whole bullet is problematic. This bullet should read something like this:
    • This palette is extremely versatile; create everything from a light everyday look to a dark, smoky eye
  • Bullet 3. (Which is no longer here on the live site.) Cruelty-free should be hyphenated, and I’m curious now to know if that underlined text was a link to their practices in production and packaging and how exactly they are defining the product as cruelty-free and vegan.
  • Bullet 4, another one that doesn’t flow in any normal way. Update:
    • The luxe palette, featuring the eyeshadows and a mirror, is proudly produced in the United States
  • Bullet 5, more extremely questionable grammar. This could be as simple as:
    • Perfect for use by everyone at every level of experience, from makeup beginners to professional artists
  • Bullet 6. Even the intro to the color list is strange. Here’s where you add the palette name again to boost SEO. “The Cat’s Pajamas palette features the following colors:” would be perfect.
  • Bullet 7. Inconsistent capitalization, and a general lack of clarity. I’m guessing that “domestic” means in the United States, because the palette is produced there. However, is my shipping free if I am in Alaska or Hawaii, or is shipping only free in the contiguous United States?
    • Free ground shipping on orders over $100 shipping in the contiguous United States. Click here for complete information on shipping destinations, prices, and options. (In which the “click here” text would open a pop-up or a new tab or window to a complete shipping information page.

I have said at least a few times before that I believe in the power of editors and copywriters. The impression that a brand gives with terrible grammar and punctuation is very detrimental to my opinion, and I am certain that I’m not the only person who responds to this sort of thing.

This palette is sold out, so perhaps the power of Laura Lee is enough to overcome bad grammar, at least for her followers. I will not be buying anything to go near my eyes from a company that cannot get it together in the copywriting department. This lack of attention to detail is incredibly disappointing, particularly for a brand that is just launching.

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I am late on this palette. It was the RAGE when it came out before Thanksgiving last year, but I was intent on not buying another eyeshadow palette, and definitely not for $59. I picked it up a few weeks ago, since the price had dropped significantly, and I did really want it.

Well now, it’s dropped again, this time to $25! This is particularly incredible, as if you were to buy this many individual shadows from Urban Decay, it would cost $228.

Admittedly, this palette was put together by a very pale person, so these shadows are apparently much better suited for other pale people. I am of the pale variety of skin tones, so these work incredibly well for me. I cannot speak to how they might look on darker skin tones. I can attest to the quality of the shadows – they are, for the most part, wonderful to apply and very blendable. The pink one, Harajuku, is my least favorite in terms of application and formula.

I can also confirm that while there are a lot of neutral eyeshadows that look similar, they are quite different on the skin and provide a lot of different options for mixing and matching eye looks.

I’ve linked a few places below to buy this palette (the widget isn’t updated but the prices on Ulta and Sephora are definitely updated to $25, I expect Macy’s will follow shortly). At the current price, it’s an amazing value, and a great gift for yourself or someone else you know that loves makeup.

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2015 Beauty Wishlist

by Jamie Sanford on November 25, 2015

Holiday wishlist time! I update my Amazon Wishlist all year long, I think myself very useful for giving everyone at least 50 ideas of things I would like to receive. I am perfectly aware that not everyone wants to buy me a $2000 lens, but that’s why it is a wishlist.

Let’s focus on what is on my beauty wishlist for 2015.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette. I have a total block when it comes to spending money on certain items. This is one of the things I cannot bring myself to spend $58 on, so wishlist it is!

Speaking of Hourglass, I have tried a sample of this primer and it is incredible, but I cannot bring myself to buy the full-sized version for $52.
Just kidding about this. I had a sample when I wrote this post, but since then I have purchased the smallest bottle available and my foundation looks terrible. Instead I will go with the Benefit Porefessional, which, when compared side-by-side on my face with the Hourglass, gives my foundation a great finish, hours and hours later.

Tom Ford lipstick in the color Casablanca. I have heard nothing but raves about this product.

MAC Purple Times 9 eyeshadow palette. I love my MAC shadows and these are gorgeous.

Tarte Amazonian Clay finishing powder. It is the most wonderful, soft, magical finish over some foundation. Totally worth the $33.

When we went to Las Vegas for our vow renewal, I got airbrushed by the makeup team I hired. It was amazing and 4 years later, I still haven’t purchased an airbrushing kit for myself. This one from the Art of Air comes with all of the stuff you see for $94, which isn’t that bad at all.

That’s all for this wish list. Share your beauty wish list items in the comments!

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Missing the Mark #2 | LORAC Mega Pro Palette

by Jamie Sanford on March 16, 2015

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In recent years, I have subscribed to a few YouTube channels of the makeup variety. I have learned quite a bit about the importance of blending and that wearing 3 colors of eyeshadow is almost a minimum requirement. There is a massive trend of beauty spending taking place in this country, with nail polish and makeup exploding in the last few years. New collections have emerged that are huge fan favorites, such as the Naked palettes from Urban Decay and the Pro Palettes from LORAC.

I had previously purchased some LORAC value sets from Ulta on Black Friday in the past, and really liked them. I then purchased a LORAC Pro 2 Palette and quickly fell in love with the shadows. The formula was great, blended well, and the colors were lovely. So naturally, I was pretty excited when I saw this:

Sigh – look at how great this palette is! I immediately went to the LORAC site and signed up to receive emails so I would be reminded when this would be on sale. Then it came out and things went downhill.

After having had success and an obvious increase in the brand’s following, LORAC clearly did not produce enough of the Mega Pro Palettes. They sold out before I had a chance to get one, and the stock they had released to Amazon was gone as well. I understand the concept of a limited edition product, but I seemed to see an inordinate amount of really angry customers like myself, who had greatly looked forward to this palette’s release and fully intended to pay the $59 to have a great collection of shadows.

A few days later, after what I assume was a barrage of emails, tweets, and Facebook posts about how people were disappointed, LORAC confirmed that it was sold out and they were not making more. You can see a sampling of the comments on the right there, with some customers being more cordial than others.

I understand that the pricing was certainly meant to be for a limited time (a Pro Palette about half the size of this is $42, while this was $59, obviously a value price), but this could have been what I like to call a gateway product. For all of the people who had contemplated buying a LORAC palette but had not, this great value could have convinced them to purchase, and in my opinion, it would have made them a LORAC fan. In addition, I’m sure some people were viewing this as an opportunity to buy a great holiday gift, another chance to increase exposure of the brand.

Based on the insane response and purchase rate of the palette on October 7th, I would have immediately opened a pre-order window for the next batch of the palette. Again, limited edition status could have been kept, but would it have been so hard to make another batch? It would have been a great moment of relief and excitement for everyone who missed the first batch. “We are taking pre-orders for the final batch of LORAC Mega Pro Palettes until 11:59pm PST on x/x/14. This will be the last batch of this palette, it will not be available again.” Something to address the large amount of people interested in the product! The decision to just say “tough luck” to everyone who wanted one is ridiculous.

LORAC has not introduced any more large palettes since the failed launch of the Mega Pro. (Well, I see it as failed. I’m sure they are happy to have sold it out.) The regular Pro Palettes are permanent to the collection, so they are a different story. I will be interested to see how LORAC handles future launches of limited-edition product. Hopefully they have learned from this missed opportunity to create customer joy instead of frustration.

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