Watercolour eyeshadow palettes for Spring
Categories Makeup

Watercolour eyeshadow palettes for Spring

Spring has sprung and my favourite YouTubers have already shared their eyeshadow seasonal staples. Amid them, are lots of pastels in varying degrees of brightness, the new ‘Pastel‘ midi size by Natasha Denona followed by its dupes, and the sempiternal ‘Mercury Retrograde‘ by Huda Beauty. But among new and old(er) releases, I have realised that my version of springtime eye looks is a bit different, even if I find the choices sensible.

For me, Spring is more about watercolour-like softness rather than creatively-done editorial pastels. In this post, you will find eyeshadow palettes recommendations curated around an overall colourway; each theme has three options of different brands so you can shop according to your market and budget. For the record, I am not saying all items inside a theme function as dupes, but instead that they convey the same colour story.

All featured items are recent and should be available across both European and American markets. If not, you might be able to find them through resellers for your region. Sadly, a couple of palettes, marked with an asterisk, have been discontinued, but I thought of including them anyway — maybe you already own a couple of these and this post is your reminder to bring them out for Spring!

Watercolour pinks and greens

The following palettes evoke the image of a fairytale garden that has not yet matured into the strength of Summer, with medium greens of olive undertones and pinks befitting of a ballerina, anchored in earthy neutrals. To me, this is the perfect portrait of springtime, where colour is starting to break through the grey, resilient but yet delicate.

Option #1: Lime Crime ‘Venus XL 2’

The palette that inspired this post. Hidden beneath the neon take on Venus is a treasure trove of roses, champagnes, peaches and terracottas coupled with seafoam greens.

Option #2: Huda Beauty ‘Sand’ and ‘Khaki’ Haze Obsessions

‘Sand’ is a pink take on neutral shades with a pop of burgundy. Though khaki shades make for only one-third of its namesake palette, they’re complemented with soft pink and gold and terracotta shades. You will find no repeating shades across both palettes, but rather complementary colours.

The two palettes combined cost as much as the Lime Crime.

Option #3: Colourpop ‘The Child™’ and ‘Blush Crush’

The Colourpop monochromatic 9-pans are a force to be reckoned with. Created in collaboration with The Mandalorian, ‘The Child™’ offers a range of olive greens and neutrals. ‘Blush Crush’ combines soft mauves with rose pinks, where no shade is too bright.

You can buy both palettes for the same money a single Huda would cost.

Watercolour sunrises

The break of dawn and the end of day are natural phenomena commonly present in eyeshadow colourways. Like it happens in nature, there’s a broad spectrum of shades in the colours which are visible to us. In other words, not all sunrise/sunset palettes are born alike. The ones featured below ditch the strong purples and reddish oranges in lieu of golden peaches, also offering a range of eyelid toppers which soften the look.

Option #1: Natasha Denona ‘Sunrise’

A palette that opens the door to summer, but not completely. Inspired by the phenomenon in its name, ‘Sunrise’ takes a light-to-medium approach to the colours involved. It is tamer than other sunrise palettes, preferring shades of peach and yellow and lilac toppers.

Option #2: Huda Beauty ‘Purple Haze’ Obsessions and ‘Wild Tiger’ Obsessions

The last palette of the Haze line featured above, ‘Purple’ combines a column of true purple with plum-pinks. The ‘Tiger’ palette is definitely a staple of warm colours with two golds and a duochrome in the centre.

The two palettes combined cost as much as the Natasha Denona. The ‘Tiger’ palette is also available in limited edition red packaging to celebrate this Lunar New Year.

Option #3: Colourpop ‘Sweet Talk’ and ‘So Very Lovely’*

‘Sweet Talk’ has been a communal staple for Spring for years and it’s easy to see why: its ripe shades of peach (or coral, depending on your perception), slowly introduce colour back into our lives after the bleakness of Winter. ‘So Very Lovely’ continues that romantic take on colour with a true coral, a pastel lavender and more warm neutrals.

You should be able buy both palettes for the same money a single Huda would cost.

(Not-so) watercolour purples and lilacs

Though I am not the biggest fan of purple and its cousins violet, lavender and lilac, there is something about this colour family that makes it a sensible choice for Spring, perhaps due to the proximity they have to the pinks and peaches already featured above. The selections below mix the softness I seek with deeper shades.

Option #1: Viseart ‘Violette Étendu’

Though inclusive of stronger shades of purple, ‘Violette’ offers eyelid toppers within the colour family and cool neutrals that translate into soft pinks on the eyelids.

Option #2: Colourpop ‘Lilac You a Lot’ and ‘Locket Down’*

In spite of its strict name, ‘Lilac’ brings lavenders and soft rose shades together with true lilacs to create a bouquet of soft purples. ‘Locket Down’ offers a more plum approach. Together, they transmit the vibes of the Viseart very well, though you don’t need to buy them as a combo.

You should be able to buy both palettes for a price that’s similar to the Viseart, depending on availability and sales.

Let me know if you have enjoyed this post format with close products instead of strict dupes and what other palettes you would like to see.

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Wishful Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer
Categories Skincare

Wishful Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer

As a grand lover of Huda Beauty makeup products, I felt obligated to try her skincare line as well, available under the Wishful brand. My first contact with the Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub, which one might deem Wishful’s flagship, could not have been prevented — samples are ubiquitous in every retailer, whether you ask for one or not. In fact, it is very likely there’s a sample for you hiding in your order right now.

My less-than-positive experience with the scrub did not deter my resolution to try more from the brand. The Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer was the one thing I was most excited to try, and I bought a mini version last November. I have been integrating it as part of my skincare routine since against familiar products, with days off in-between, and I’m now content with my experience so that I can share it with you.

Though it sits white in its tub, the Honey Whip is translucent upon application and quickly absorbed into the skin. It’s only a tad more consistent than the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel, as the formulation demands it. It is scented, although, and unlike the majority of Huda’s products, the fragrance is subtle, only reminiscent of beeswax. The tub lists manuka honey, cica, peptides and collagen as the ingredients to the moisturizer’s richness, but you should know it also contains niacinamide and glycerin as a plus. (Two pluses?)

All good things aside, let us have a look at its claims. As per Huda’s shop, the Honey Whip serves to “firm, lift, repair, AND plump the skin, as well as reduce redness and even out your complexion.” It also states the product to be non-comedogenic. The plentiful recipe, combined with the lightweight formula make the Honey Whip a great staple for both daytime and nighttime routines. It feels like a powerful treatment for your skin, with noticeable changes in texture right away.

I identified only one disadvantage to the Honey Whip — on my skin, a consistent use for three days enhances the production of sebum, so while it’s true I notice no comedones forming right away, it does offset the balance of my skin. It becomes greasy to the touch and I do think an everyday use would give way to pimples (and I do exfoliate). I know I said a similar thing about the Nivea Cellular Luminous 630® serum, in spite of the difference in alcohols, so I guess it’s just the nature of my skin in its struggle for balance.

I have found my favourite way to use this moisturizer it’s more as an evening treatment, a little moment of pampering. With this in mind, my mini tub is still going strong. It will take a while before I need to repurchase it. It’s definitely reaching holy grail status for me.

Made in the South Korea, the Honey Whip Peptide Moisturizer is currently available as a full-size of 50gr for €43 or as a mini of 20gr for €19.

TL;DR

PROs
  • entire line is cruelty-free
  • sits well underneath makeup
  • rich recipe
  • good value for the mini
CONs
  • nope!

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Favourite palettes of March
Categories Makeup

Favourite palettes of March

There is this feeling hard to put a name to — the closest adjective I find would be endearment — when I find myself selecting the same palettes over and over again throughout a given period of time, this in spite of my large, and seemingly ever-growing collection. If repetition occurs when so many fresh alternatives clamour and battle for my attention, then it must mean these few offenders are special indeed.

And if I practically wore only three palettes during the month of March, with its thirty-one possibilities, I must colour myself elated with my eyeshadow choices.

One of them I have already talked about in a dedicated post — ‘Hela’, the new collaboration between Oden’s Eye and Angelica Nyqvist. You can read my review here. The other two have been, as of today, discontinued, as sadly mandated by the corporative ethos of Colourpop. Regardless, favourites of the month they were and foreseeable favourites they’ll remain, so I cannot not talk about them. With a droplet of luck, you might be able to catch them for sale from private individuals.

I am keeping the packaging for both palettes and it’s easy to understand why I would not only want to protect them longer; but why I refuse to part with such highly-detailed, pleasant-to-touch boxes. I now verify both were part of larger Autumn/Halloween releases, a fact which ought to grant a giggle given the fact Spring has just sprung in the Northern hemisphere.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

‘Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’ was, arguably, Colourpop’s most asked for collaboration. When it finally arrived on the last week of October 2021, there was great backlash on Instagram and Reddit, as fans felt it missed the mark. My own opinion was so-and-so. While I agreed Colourpop missed the chance to bring back to its catalogue original colours for the lipsticks by making Halloween-appropriate greens, oranges and purples instead of the safe nude-red-pink combo which does not even marry the property well; I enjoyed seeing the ‘Jelly Much’ formula make a comeback and could not hate the colourway of the eyeshadow palette, which is named after the movie.

The palette, too, found criticism for its absence of colour. I do not think it misrepresents the movie *that* much, but then again I’m no longer a fervent admirer of Burton’s, therefore my standards are not as high. (It’s worth noting TNBC was directed by Henry Selick.) ‘Nightmare’ is a unique mixture of uninteresting greys and browns, these making about half of the palette, and pinks, one dark orange, one violet, one golden peachy colour and a dark shade with nuances of purple, though these don’t translate onto the skin. To me, it looks like Colourpop focused more on the fictional place of Halloweentown (where colours are more subdued) for the colour story rather than the movie as a whole, for colour in TNBC is mostly associated with the holiday of Christmas. Even if the exclusion of a neon-green for Oogie Boogie appears to be a capital sin, we must remember his burlap only acquires this colour when the lighting of his lair makes it so, and the character is colour-coded green outside of the actual movie for the most part. Is it so bad that Colourpop kept green out of the palette? I don’t think so. Then again, I do think one of the other shades, possibly “In My Bones”, could have been replaced with green.

One-fourth of the palette contains a “not for use in the immediate eye area” warning which, as always, I ignored. It’s not like I even wanted to, but I had already decked out my lids in bright pink when I remembered to read the labels. (Don’t be like me; use your brain.) For what it’s worth, I never have issues with magenta-based pigments, as far as allergies go, and had no staining whatsoever with ‘Nightmare’.

I love how unique this colour story is as a whole, not just for the brand or my own belongings, and how challenging but fun it is to play with it. I have created more monochromatic grey and punchy pink and purple combos out of it. In the future, I might actually switch out “In My Bones” for a green, just to feel like I own (my) perfect TNBC palette.

As far as specifications go, the palette contains 12 shades: 7 mattes, 1 shimmer, 2 metallics, 1 topper, 1 duo-chrome, in a total of 14 grams. It’s made in the USA and cruelty-free.

Witching Hour

‘Witching Hour’ is the name of the eyeshadow palette which is part of Colourpop’s second collaboration with the Disney movie Hocus Pocus. (Seeing as a sequel is due to premiere later this year, a third round seems likely.) I am not a fan of the movie. Sure, I’ll watch it with childlike wonder every time Halloween comes around, but I am not a fan — I can’t even tell when it was I watched the movie for the first time, for I was a toddler when it premiered in 1993 and, in later years, the Disney Channel was, alone, as much as the whole cable package was, a ploy my parents were too smart to fall for.

I did not think much when this second round dropped prior to the TNBC; indeed, I found it less alluring than the first, with its more mature presentation. In time, though, I did fall in love with the 1960’s Bewitched-like illustrations present in the products’ packaging and the Autumn-appropriate colour scheme. So, being an October baby who was born into her favourite season, I had to get my hands on it. I repeat: it’s the *perfect* Autumn palette.

The palette is arranged in such a way you can make duos out of shades if you read them as columns, or combine these with the first row of neutrals. I am wearing the first column from the left and ‘Summon Us’ as I type this post. It’s a very versatile colourway, which allows you to do something more neutral and golden, or overall warm-toned, or even dark and vampy. Does this wardrobe of eyeshadows reflect the property? I think it so. Not to mention the lip colours in the collection complement the pigments to perfection.

‘Witching Hour’ contains 12 shades: 7 mattes and 5 shimmers, in a total of 11 grams. It’s made in the USA and cruelty-free. Only one shade comes with a warning and, like it happened with the TNBC palette, I had no issues of it staining my eyelids. Again, do read labels and patch-test prior to playing with pigments.

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Nivea Cellular Luminous 630® serum
Categories Skincare

Nivea Cellular Luminous 630® serum

Back in January, I bought this in the hopes it would be a dupe for Caudalie‘s Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, which I had been using for three months straight, twice a day, with proven results. Price was the sole motivator here, as Nivea’s serum is about half the price of the Caudalie, for the same 30ml of product.

The Cellular Luminous 630® comes packaged in an opaque bottle with a pump, making it hard to see how much product remains inside. The product that comes out is coloured a ballerina pink, scented and of a lotion consistency, not a serum. The official Portuguese site for Nivea does not state a full list of ingredients, only Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, preferring to focus on laboratorial testing — it contains forms of alcohol to thicken the formula, which might explain my experience with it, as someone whose skin is sensitive.

Differences in shape and form aside, I started by integrating the serum in my nighttime routine, analysing possible effects in the daytime. Nivea vouches for visible results in 4 weeks. In my previous experience with Caudalie, about 3 weeks were needed, not always counting on daily double applications. With the Cellular Luminous 630® serum, I actually noticed more redness surfacing my cheeks where I had applied the serum the night before, all other steps of my hygiene usual and known to me, making it clear who the culprit could be, upon three sequential days of application.

I cannot wear this serum for over a period of two days without noticing the exacerbation of the red spots. For what it’s worth, it serum did not enhance green/blue splotches, but this adverse effect is quite contrary to a “complexion correction” claim. Furthermore, though my skin is not normally sensitive to fragrance, I wonder if the parfum in the formula has any responsibility in the negative results. There is no chance I’ll take the words “visible results in 4 weeks” as a dare, lest my face hate me.

In the end, I much prefer the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum and recommend it in lieu of the Nivea, in spite of the price. That one has a true serum consistency and a subtle fragrance; contains squalane, palmitoyl grapevine shoot extract, and no alcohol. Above all, the Caudalie I can make two daily applications out of as per the brand’s recommendation and notice an overall improvement over my skin’s cast, with cool tones minimised. Plus, Vinoperfect is vegan and contained in a glass bottle, making it recyclable.

For all reasons given above, I do not enjoy, do not recommend and will not be repurchasing this product.

TL;DR

PROs
  • emolient and pleasant to apply
CONs
  • not cruelty-free
  • not a dupe for vinoperfect
  • you had one job!

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Oden’s Eye x Angelica Nyqvist – ‘Hela’ eyeshadow palette
Categories Makeup

Oden’s Eye x Angelica Nyqvist – ‘Hela’ eyeshadow palette

Disclaimer: I received this palette for free by winning a giveaway held by the brand.

Hela‘ is the newest eyeshadow palette release from Swedish brand Oden’s Eye. As part of the Legendary Diversa series, which partners with well-known influencers to create colourways inspired by deities and other beings of lore, they have now collaborated with fellow countrywoman Angelica Nyqvist to launch a palette inspired by the themes of life and death.

The palette contains 20 grams of product in 16 shades which span 3 different textures: 9 mattes, 6 shimmers and 1 multi-chrome, housed in a square the same size of previous large palettes from the brand, such as the original ‘Älva‘. The palette retails for €43.90, an uncommon but deserving price for an Oden’s Eye product.

A sleeve protects the palette proper. Both elements are made of cardboard and exhibit the same illustration, the only visual difference between them being the lack of saturation of the external image. The back of the sleeve contains the list of ingredients, which you might wish to keep for future reference. The illustration depicts Angelica as death personified, half her features are fleshy and alive, half are skeletal. Surrounding her are her mythological siblings. Floral and celestial details complement the picture.

Inside the palette, you will find a small-ish round mirror and a signature detail. The colourway is about half green, half pink, colours Angelica is routinely seen wearing in her videos. The greens evoke springtime with no effort. I saw the pink half receive more backlash on Instagram — however, as this palette was launched on Valentine’s Day, and seeing as these colours are complementary to each other, the inclusion of pink makes sense to me. There’s enough range of shades to do a monochromatic look, which is usually my go-to.

I have now used this palette as a standalone and in tandem with others — with Colourpop‘s ‘Sprinkle a Little Magic’ for an evergreen look; and with ‘Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’ release, also from Colourpop, for a wider range of pinks. I have enjoyed it every single time, since the strong pigmentation of the shades does not make the blending process any harder. Look longevity was not a problem.

If I’m honest, I could not help but be a little thrown off by the price tag at first. The attachment to a public figure aside, I see no reason why ‘Hela’ should be more expensive than ‘The Norns’, which also contains 16 shades — though it’s true ‘The Norns’ is only 18 grams, it does contain an array of finishes as well, including multichromes, which in my opinion compensates for those two missing grams of product. The quality leap between ‘The Norns’ and ‘Hela’ is not that large to justify the price difference alone. I hope this release does not constitute a recurrent increase in price for future creations.

Nevertheless, ‘Hela’ is a tried and true beautiful palette with great quality and exquisite attention to design details, making it an interesting purchase for fans of Norse mythology, Angelica or alternative eyeshadow palettes.

As the time of publishing, ‘Hela’ is in stock, with the option of getting a complementary ribbon unavailable.

TL;DR

PROs
  • strong pigmentation
  • moderately easy to blend
  • cruelty-free and vegan
  • great attention to detail
CONs
  • high-priced
  • exclusive to the official website

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