Well, this week has been significantly better than last week. My replacement phone arrived this morning, and everything has been transferred over to it, and my old one is boxed up and ready to send back to Samsung. I also learned all about an app called Side Switch that allowed me to transfer EVERYTHING from one phone to the other via Wi-Fi. This had to be the greatest thing ever. I literally tapped the screen a few times, took a shower, got dressed, came back an hour later, and everything was on the new phone exactly the way it was set up on my old one, from text messages to contacts to pictures to apps. I can’t even express how happy that made me. Downloading all of my apps manually is easily the most frustrating part of getting a new phone, and I was super excited to not have to do that again.
I’m coming off of one of the worst hormonal breakouts I’ve ever had. I can’t count the number of pimples I got around my chin over the last two weeks. To make matters worse, I pop my pimples. Always have and always will. It’s like my brain screams at me to not do it, but I can’t stop myself. My dermatologist used to get so irritated at me about that when I was a teenager. I finally told him I would stop popping them when he could give me a pill to take that would make me stop doing it, but until then he was just going to have to treat the aftermath. I still feel the same way about that matter. As of right now, there is still some redness around my chin, but I don’t have any new zits, and the scarring seems to be clearing up quickly and cleanly.
My old boss is beginning to post pictures and recipes that I developed and wrote for his upcoming cookbook release on his Instagram account. I thought this would make me angry because I would be forced to remember the hell he put me through after he, essentially, stopped paying my salary while I was doing the development and all but forced me to front the money for the recipe development without knowing if I would ever see reimbursement for it, but I am quite happy to report that I’ve moved on and could care less about it. I guess I am just glad to have closed that chapter of my life. If it’s on the NY Times bestseller list, great. I wrote a damn creative cookbook. If it’s not, great. Good riddance to that man. I’m thrilled that I seem to have moved on.
I know I said the point of this year is to not buy extraneous crap I don’t need, and believe it or not, I’ve stuck to that goal better than I could have ever anticipated. As I was sitting around yesterday, I mused on some of the things I bought last year, and I honestly couldn’t think of anything. I mean, I know I bought a ton of lipstick, but if you ask me to recall anything special about any of them, I can’t. I don’t even remember any of the colors. Same with eyeshadow. And blush. I bought so much last year, and nothing stands out as special in my mind. I guess my goal for the year has begun to morph from not buying anything I don’t need into not buying things I’m just going to throw in a corner and forget I own. For instance, I REALLY want the new Ultra Slim lipstick from Hourglass. The packaging is amazing and the colors are pretty, but I know I wouldn’t use it enough to justify the purchase. Those are out. The Sephora Pro palettes on the other hand…
If you had told me a month ago I would willingly buy Sephora house brand shadows, I would have looked at you like you had bumped your head or something. The pro palettes went up on the site a few weeks ago, and my initial reaction was, “Wow, that warm one is gorgeous, but there’s no way I’m buying it.” Let’s be honest. Sephora brand eyeshadows are almost always crap. They’re chalky. They lack pigment. They don’t blend. With their eyeshadows, you get what you pay for. That’s why my jaw hit the floor when the pro palettes were listed for $68.00. I thought Sephora was getting brave for charging that for 28 mediocre shadows.
I was in love with the colors in this thing, though, so I put it into my favorites list on the website and decided to keep an eye on the reviews when they finally began to come in. I mean, the warm palette would be right at home sitting next to the Natasha Denona Sunset Palette or the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette. I want the Naked Heat and make no bones about that. I’m in love with the Sunset Palette, too, but I’m not going to buy it. I think $129.00 for 15 shadows is absurd no matter how good they are, and yes, they are an amazing quality shadow. I also think the pans are entirely too large for someone who isn’t a makeup artist. Think about how long it takes you to hit pan on something like a shadow in one of the UD Naked palettes. A long time, right? That’s 1.3 grams of product per pan. The Natasha Denona shadows are 2.5 grams each, so you do get a ton of product for the money, but I would rather have a range of shades in smaller pans because I will never use most of the product. I don’t buy Natasha Denona eyeshadows, period.
The Sephora palette was exactly what I like to see in a palette. The shade range is pretty good, and the pan sizes are reasonable at 1.2 grams per pan, but could this thing really not be a steaming pile of crap? As the reviews started to come in, I was pleasantly surprised. People didn’t just like it. They were raving about how good it was. I thought this surely couldn’t be true and the reviews had to be computer generated or something like that. But the reviews kept coming, and they were overwhelmingly good.
Last night I found myself down in Meatpacking with my husband because he cracked the glass back on his cell phone and took it to the Samsung store to have it replaced. They were taking forever, and I got bored, so I went to the Sephora around the corner to wait for him to finish up and get his phone back. I started playing around with this palette and nearly went into shock. It was genuinely terrific. The colors were intense as I swatched them on the back of my hand. I wanted it. Really, REALLY, SERIOUSLY wanted it. And I didn’t want it in an impulsive kind of way. I wanted it because Sephora had come out with something special. It felt like there was actually some thought behind it. The packaging is sturdy and thin. The mirror is huge, and the shadows are just so, so good. So I bought it with my husband’s blessing. Do I need it? Strictly speaking, no, but I guarantee you I can remember actually purchasing this a year from now.
I got it home, made a frozen margarita and got to playing around with it.
Seriously, JUST LOOK AT THOSE COLORS! The reds and oranges and yellows make me melt. I love them so much I did swatches. I couldn’t help myself. True, there are a couple of duds in here, but, overall, I feel like this thing is so worth the money. Now onto the swatches (Ignore the burn marks on my arm. By now you guys know I’m a chef. I’m covered in burn scars):
Left to right: Canvas, Oat (basically, a good all-over color for the pale among us), Biscotti, Camel, Ochre (gorgeous golden yellow), Saddle, Auburn
All of those are matte and all blend quite well.
Left to right: Sand, Brass, Clay, Copper, Bronze (virtually the same as Copper), Adobe, Sandstone
The foiled eyeshadows almost feel like a cream, and they payoff is unreal.
Left to right: Hazelnut, Khaki, Peach, Brick (!!!), Terracotta, Burnt Umber, Chestnut
Peach is a total dud. It’s beautiful in the pan, but only shows up as a chunky glittery mess. Maybe if you wet it and try to use it as a topper for another shade it could be useful, but I’m honestly not so sure about that.
Left to right: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Sepia, Coconut Shell, Cocoa, Cedar, Obsidian
Brown Sugar is another dud with the same problems as Peach. Patchy, glittery, and a general mess. Cocoa requires a little bit of work to get it even, but it is usable. Obsidian, though, not bad, will not be replacing Urban Decay Blackout as my go-to black shadow anyime soon.
In general, there’s a lot of kickup from the pans and a good bit of fallout, so I would definitely do my eye makeup before the rest of my face, but if you use and love the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette, you’re going to love this one. I find these shadows perform much the same as the Modern Renaissance ones.
There’s a good matte to everything else (shimmer, cream, metallic) ratio. While there are a couple of bad shades, this palette is well worth the sixty-eight bucks.
I did play around with the Cool and Editorial palettes in the store, and both were very good. I won’t be buying those, however, because I just won’t get the use out of them to justify the purchase, but if those colors strike your fancy, they are totally a good investment.
I’m probably going to depot these shadows, since that’s what I do with almost all of my palettes, but the packaging seems to be very sturdy. There’s a magnteic closure and a very large mirror that would make this perfect for travel. I, personally, only travel with one palette, which is why I’m such a fan of depotting. I just toss my blush and whatever shadows I want to take with me into one Z-palette, and I’m off.
I’m still not sure if I should feel guilty about buying this, but I’m madly in love with this one. I wasn’t impulsive about just running out and buying it, either, so, at the very least, I feel like I’m beginning to crawl my way toward being a responsible adult.
The cost of this with tax was $74.04, and it’s well worth it. this means that I’ve spent $615.79 at Sephora this year. I’m at about the halfway point of the year, and I suppose that number could be a bit lower, but for the first time in years, I can actually tell you everything I’ve bought from that store for the year, so I guess that counts for something.
Really, though, if you are even entertaining the notion of getting one of these palettes, pick it up before they are sold out as they are limited editions. I can almost guarantee that you won’t miss the Natasha Denona palette once you start playing around with this one. This is the first honest to goodness excellent palette Sephora has produced, in my opinion.
The nice lady at the checkout threw in deluxe samples of Benefit’s Boiing Airbrush Concealer and Living Proof’s No Frizz Nourishing Oil. Why, oh why, can’t Living Proof turn that smell into a perfume? I love it so much. I haven’t tried either of these out, but I’ll get around to it eventually.