BATTLE OF THE PALETTES: W7 Lightly Toasted vs. Joly NK1

Hello frenz and Happy Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful week! I can't believe it's Friday already! I'm not sure where these days are going, but today is going to be fun because we're going to be talking about eye shadow palettes! I have about 12 palettes currently, some I use frequently and then there are some that I forget I even have (I can't be the only one). Today I will be talking about two palettes by two brands that don't have too much publicity…so let's just jump right into this, shall we?!

In one corner, weighing a whopping three grams with an expiration of five years is the Joly NK1 palette. I purchased this palette off of Amazon about two years ago. The colors were insanely similar to the Urban Decay Naked palette, and I thought it would be a possible dupe.

In the other corner, coming in at a whopping 15.6 grams and an expiration of 18 months is the W7 In The Buff: Lightly Toasted palette (ain't that a mouthful).

I purchased this palette around the same time that I purchased the NK1 palette, again, hoping it would be a dupe for UD Naked. Do you see an ongoing theme here? I can't tell you for sure if either of these palettes are dupes for UD Naked because I've never owned it, nor have I ever swatched it, but the shades look very similar.

So in preparation for this post, I did some research on both of these palettes. When I looked up the brand Joly on Google, I found the brand's website…which is rather sketchy, if you ask me. They don't have very many products, which I thought was a bit odd.

They have three eye shadow palettes; NK1, NK2 and NK3, which I'm assuming are supposed to be similar to the UD Naked line. They have a set of brushes, along with a brush stand and some powder puffs. When going to their about page, they don't specify anything about the company or the makeup they sell on their site…instead they talk about baby care products?

The whole site was incredibly confusing and gave zero insight into what the company is and what they do. They list that they are based out of California, but then list another address out of China. I won't even begin to tell you about their description of the product, because it was an absolute mess and was probably written by someone with less than half a brain stem. It also says to keep away from contact with eyes…but it's eye shadow so I'm confused???

Upon doing further research on this company and its products, I found absolutely nothing, which is really bizarre to me. If they are selling enough products to be at the top when you search on Amazon, then why isn't there more information about them? Am I just looking in the wrong place?

W7 is a popular brand in the UK, while also having an online store for the States. They have a vegan line, as well as hella palettes to choose from, along with other products like setting powder, foundation, eyeliner and whatever else your little heart desires. At least this brand's website seems a lot more legit that Joly!

The Lightly Toasted palette has 12 colors, ranging from nudes to coppers to golds. There are two matte shades, with the rest being shimmery and metallic. W7 also claims that the colors are highly pigmented with little fallout and they're not prone to creasing. Well, we're just going to put that to the test.

Now first off, these palettes aren't exact matches. A few of the shades are darker or lighter or more metallic than the latter, but all in all, they're seemingly similar palettes.

NK1 doesn't have shade names listed in or on the packaging, whereas Lightly Toasted has them listed on the back. If you're anything like me, you love your shade names — ten points to Lightly Toasted.

My arm isn't long enough to swatch 24 colors, so I split the swatches up into four each, going from left to right in the palettes.

As you can see, the beginning four nude shades hardly have any pigmentation from either palette, so I wasn't too impressed and was concerned about the pigmentation on the eyes. The NK1 palette is a lot creamier to the touch than Lightly Toasted. With Lightly Toasted, you really had to press hard to get product, and the product you did get had very little pigment.

You can see with the darker shades that they are highly pigmented for both palettes, although they still aren't exact matches for one another. Lightly Toasted has more sparkle in the shades, whereas NK1 has more of a metallic sheen.

When applying to the eyes, I find that the creaminess of NK1 gives it the ability to blend out seamlessly, without completely blending away. It also left fall out, but not enough to be bothered by it. Lighlty Toasted wasn't patchy when applied to the eyes, but it was a bitch and a half to blend, especially the darker colors. The metallic colors weren't as metallic as the NK1 shades and the two darker shades in Lightly Toasted (Up in Smoke and Dawn) have EXTREME sparkle to them. So when I tried to smoke out my look a little bit with the black shade, the sparkle and uneasiness to blend made those shades hard to work with.

Below is the look that I created using both of these palettes. The camera captured the colors beautifully. Can you spot the differences?

W7 claims that Lightly Toasted has little fall out, so at least I knew what I was getting myself into. What was most annoying about the fallout was that it was really only present on the darker shades, which were the most pigmented; leaving the process of wiping away the fallout a pain in the ass. It would just smudge and the color wouldn't budge (haha I made a rhyme). The creaminess of the NK1 palette causes the shadow to break and crumble, so I definitely had to use a lighter hand when dipping into those shades.

I wore these shadows all day (like 8 hours) to give you guys an accurate review of their wear. Today was a hot one – though I rarely was outside, I could still feel my skin build up more oil under my foundation. These shadows were really put to the test.

On the NK1 eye, you can see that the metallic sheen has worn off almost completely. Although the picture gives this look better justice, in person, you can see that the outer and darker shades have starting to slide a bit into the crease with lost pigmentation.

Lightly Toasted is still going strong. The metallic shade has hardly lost its sheen, although you can tell that awful blending job on my outer V with Up in Smoke (I told you they're hard to blend!)

These weren't the worst palettes I've ever used. Most of the colors have decent pigmentation and the formula of both weren't terrible, although I prefer the creaminess of the NK1. They're not something I think

I would use for everyday looks. I wish that there were more matte shades in these palettes. I love shimmer and metallics but it's hard to work with almost all shimmer shades. NK1 went on so pigmented and smooth — I really wish that pigmentation would've lasted throughout the day.

If I had to choose one to go with, I would favor Lightly Toasted. Although I wish they were creamier and had better pigmentation in their nude shades, I really like that the shadows lasted all day without creasing or smudging. It's a really decent palette for only $12.95 and I can't wait to try more from W7! I don't want to shit on the Joly brand because this is the only thing I've tried from them, but I really wish their website made more sense. Their palette isn't horrible, but there's very little information available about it which drives me a little bonkers.

I know this post was long, but I had a lot to say about these palettes. What good is having a makeup blog if you're not going to write detailed reviews? I had a lot of fun using these shades and doing the research to put this post together — let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more Battle Of series! What are some of your favorite eye shadow palettes? I'd love to hear about 'em!

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FIRST IMPRESSION FRIDAY: e.l.f. Duo Eyebrow Kit

Hello, frenz and happy FriYAY!!! If you read my last post, you would know that I am changing up my blog. What I've come to decide is that I like makeup and that's what I want to write about. I apologize for all the confusion that has come with the change up, but makeup is something I love and it's something I want to pursue. I hope you all stick around to read my new content! As you can tell by the title, today is First Impression Friday, so let's jump right into this, shall we?

Let's talk about brows. Brows shape your face and they can either make or break your look. I've been fussing with my brows for YEARS and have just recently learned what works well for me and what doesn't. Now for the record, I don't have one set brow product. I use Maybelline's Nude eye shadow palette for my brows. Go ahead and judge me. The only brow product I've found that I truly love is the Anasatasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but I went through it super quick and I lack the bread to repurchase. So since then, I've been experimenting with different brow products, as well as shadows, to give me the perfect brow.

So today, I'm going to talk about a very popular brow product, E.LF.'s Duo Eyebrow Kit.image3
This product has been in my collection since about this time last year. I've wanted to try it forever, but could never find the blonde shade that I needed. I once tried the dark shades and I immediately regretted that decision and it turned me off to the product for some time. But alas, my local Wal-Mart had the blonde shade in stock and I purchased it for a measly $3…only to let it sit in my collection. Yesterday, I stumbled upon it and thought to give it a go.

This product is a duo, with a pigmented wax and a powder. The wax is a darker shade than the powder. It has more of a red undertone, whereas the powder is more ashy, with a cooler undertone. It comes in a tiny compact with a mirror attached to the inside top of the lid. Also included is a mini double-ended applicator; one side being an angled brush and the other being a small blending brush.image2
I chose not to use the applicator that came with it and, instead, reached for my E.L.F. angled brush, mainly because it has a longer handle and it's what I always use to fill in my brows.

By just looking at the pigmented wax, you wouldn't think it would be any different from their darker shades, but upon swatching, you can see that it is a much lighter brown, almost like a dirty natural blonde.image1 (2)

When applying the wax, it goes on very smooth and was more pigmented than I had anticipated. It worked well and filled in the part of my brows that were fuller, but the formula's consistency made it hard to fill in the sparse parts of my brows. It has a rather oily consistency and smudged easily. Wiping away the edges of my brow with my finger smudged the ends entirely. I couldn't really reach the product into the arch of my brow where I needed more coverage. I tried going in with the powder portion and it did a decent job at mattfying the wax, but was no good at giving my arch coverage.

Once I got the outer part of my brows filled in as much as I could, I started working on the inner part. My brows have been over-plucked for years (currently trying to grow them back), so I hardly have any hair on the inner brow, and the hair that I do have is a very light blonde. Again, the consistency gave me trouble on giving the illusion that I had full brows in the front. Even when applying the wax and blending it out, you could see the distinct space between where my eyebrow started and the "illusion" begins. It was nearly impossible to make hairlike strokes with the wax, leaving my brows blocky and thick. Again, going in with the powder only helped to mattify the wax, but didn't give me the coverage and illusion I desired. I ended up just coating my brows in the wax the best that I could, and then put the powder over it to try to make them appear less oily.

I wore this product for a good eight to ten hours before taking it off. It did a fairly good job at keeping my brows in place where I had hair, but as the day went on, you could see the sparseness of product in the inner part of my brow. It seemed like the mattifying effect that the powder gave completely wore off as the day went on and as my skin became more oily. If you would've seen me, you wouldn't have thought that I was a beauty blogger or that I had any clue what I was doing with a brow product. Looking in the mirror at the end of the day, my brows looked sparse, discolored and oily.

I really wanted this product to work out. E.L.F. is one of my favorite drugstore lines. They're inexpensive, cruelty-free and most of their products work fantastically for me. This duo eyebrow kit, however, was a complete bust…but I'm not giving up hope.

I want to try it again with the powder I currently use to fill in my brows and see if that makes much of a difference. I really want to like this product and find a way to make it work. Perhaps if you have fuller brows, this would work better for you. Like I said previously, the consistency didn't allow me to create the illusion of thick and full brows where my hair was more sparse. I wanted to take pictures of the inconsistency in color, but unfortunately, it wasn't showing up on camera…but it was a disaster in person.

Let me know in the comments if this product works for you and if you have any recommendations of how to make it work — I would LOVE to hear them. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!rl

 

Gaining Confidence in Today’s World

confidence

Let’s face it, we’re all self conscious about something. Whether you think your nose is too big for your face or you got that belly with some love handles, we all have something we wish we could change. And if we can’t change it, we try our damnedest to cover it at all costs. But ladies, why do we do this? If we can’t love our bodies enough to show it off, then who will? Let’s talk about confidence.

Confidence is a hard thing to have in today’s world. With thousands of beautiful women surrounding us on social media and television, it’s difficult to look at these beautiful women day in and day out and not wish you looked like them. But have no fear, I’m here to tell you that you — yes, you, are just as beautiful. I know, I know, you hear and see this phrase everywhere since the much needed Body Positivity Movement, as I like to call it. Gaining confidence has become a bit of a cliche, but it’s something we all need to feel good in our daily lives.

This post may be reeking of body positivity, but that’s not what I’m here to preach. Yes, you should love your body no matter your size, but you should also love your body enough to take care of it properly. You should be exercising regularly, not to lose weight but to clear your mind and get those endorphins pumping — and sure, losing weight or gaining muscle tone along with it wouldn’t be a terrible thing. You should love your body enough to not poison it with processed foods, sugars, alcohol, etc… You should practice good and healthy skin care. All of these things can help you feel confident, because they make you feel (and look) good. When you treat your body with respect and nourish it from the inside, it will shine right on through to the outside. When you look good, you feel good; right?

Now enough with my preaching about a healthy life — if you want to feel confident, you need to act like the boss ass bitch that you are. Don’t think about your flaws, flaunt them. Wear that crop top even though you have that belly. If someone else doesn’t like it, well they can simply not look. Stop basing your life on what other people may or may not be thinking about you because chances are, they didn’t even notice that your belly hangs a little bit over your shorts or that your teeth are a little wonky. Believe me, I know it’s hard to wear that bikini in fear of being judged, but what is someone going to say to you that you haven’t already told yourself? Own your body. Rock those hips or lack thereof. Love and respect your body the way it is right now.

You are a beautiful creature of Earth, it’s time you realize that.

So we talked about how to feel good with our bodies, but what about our personalities? Sometimes we have personality traits that we just can’t stand. For example, I talk really fast and stumble over my words 95% of the time that I speak. It makes me feel stupid, uneducated and like no one ever wants to conversate with me, but, in all honesty, that’s how I make myself feel. Most of the time no one even notices (or they’re polite enough not to point it out), or instead, I notice them fumble their words. You have to remember that everyone has something they don’t like about themselves, whether they talk about it or not. They’re not things we can help, so we need to learn to accept ourselves the way we are. If we don’t accept ourselves for who we are, who else will?

Confidence isn’t about getting to a certain point and saying, “this is good enough.”  You should never settle for good enough. You should always be looking for ways to improve to become the best version of yourself. Become more outgoing and ask that cute guy at the coffee shop out for a drink. Do things you’ve never dreamed of doing — accomplishing goals or overcoming fears makes you feel phenomenal and can boost your self confidence right into outer space.

If you’re trying to gain confidence and become more comfortable with yourself, the only true way is self love and acceptance. You are who you are. We, as women and a society, need to recognize our worth. You are special. You are worth it. And if it makes you feel better, remember that those models and actresses on the internet and television struggle with something they don’t like about themselves, too. They’re just a little better at hiding it.

Until next time, xo.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]

What’s Been Going On: Vacation, Anxiety, Life

whats been going on blog post

Hello there, frenz! Long time, no blog post. First off, I would like to apologize for the 24-day absence. If you read my last post, you know how I was running my blog completely from my iPhone and that I ordered a new laptop charger so I could run my blog the way it is supposed to be ran. Well, the charger came later than expected and then life events, as you all know, came crashing down like monsoon season in Vietnam.

My boyfriend thought three weeks ago that it would be the perfect time to quit his dead end job. If you know anything about me, it’s that I like to see people with happy souls. He didn’t have a happy soul at this job. He was doing slave work and working insane hours for very minimal compensation. He’s my man and my best friend, so of course I supported his decision 150%, even if I didn’t totally agree with it. Sometimes you gotta quit that crappy job for a happy soul and peace of mind; I’ve done it and was happier because of it. The only issue now is that we are a household with a total fiscal balance of $2 bucks.

Although we are extremely broke, we’re trying to make the best of our situation. I actually have a family vacation to Florida in T-minus 12 days. And no, I didn’t spend money on a plane ticket that I could’ve been spending on food. My generous and loving big sister and brother-in-law paid for both mine and our other sister’s tickets. Our niece turns ten on July 6th, and what kind of aunts would we be if we didn’t visit her? A vacation to bright and sunny Florida is long overdue, and is just what I need to clear my head. I need to get away from this rain and gloomy weather. I need a break from my own existence. I need to be in my happy place, which is poolside (or ocean side) with coffee in one hand and a fashion mag in the other.

As excited as I am, I’m also exceptionally nervous. I’m nervous for the plane ride, because I’ve never been on one and I’ve seen Final Destination a billion times; but I’m more nervous to see my big sister. She’s been like a mother to me ever since ours crapped out of the unconditional love department. I’ve made many changes to my life in the last year since she’s moved away and I can’t get it out of my head that she won’t approve of the changes I’ve made. She’s always told me she wanted me to move out of my parents’ house and experience life; learn what I like and dislike and find out who I am, and that’s just what I’ve done.

Whether I like to admit it, I need approval from my big sister. She’s always pushed me to do great things and I want to make her proud…but what if I don’t? It might be my anxiety talking or it might be a validated fear, but I don’t want to feel less proud of the choices I’ve made for my life by her disapproval. My boyfriend said something to me a few days ago that really stuck with me – “if she doesn’t approve of your life, then she’s not really your sister and doesn’t really love you.” And he’s right…like always. But if that is the case and she’s not happy with my newly formed beliefs and the choices I’ve made, then I won’t have much family left, and it’s already upsetting enough not to have parents in my life.

It could be the child in me that never grew up that needs approval and validation, but I  finally know what I want, and am meant, to do with my life and I’m ready to put the steps into motion. All I want is to be truly and utterly happy, at whatever cost.

Until next time, xo.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]