ELF Baked Palette Review: Texas

When I was browsing elf’s annual half off sale, I saw a “back by popular demand” banner on the front page of the site. Intrigued, I clicked on the banner, and found myself staring at the baked eyeshadow palette in “Texas.” Of course, since it was half price, I had to add it to my cart to try out. When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised.

The palette is a collection of shimmery neutrals, ranging from a shimmery white to a deep brown. In between are several metallic shades, including a gold, rose gold, and bronze.

elf haul 1

Here’s a picture of it in it’s original packaging, along with most of the rest of my haul, because I accidentally deleted all my good pictures of the original packaging. In fact, I had to retake the picture of the palette itself after spilling HD finishing powder on it, which makes it look a lot less nice than it actually is.

untitled

I was so excited to swatch the shadows for you, I forgot to take a picture of the palette before using it. As it was, I wound up having to take a picture with a little bit of fallout. That’s going to be expected with this palette, as I got it for $5, but even so, it wasn’t extreme. The shadow fallout wasn’t enough to compromise any of the other colors, just enough to make it look a bit messy.

texas

That’s a well-swatches palette right there, folks. Most of the colors don’t look the same on the palette as they do on the eye, which is why I always look up swatches before buying. The Texas palette appears to be a cult favorite, because there were swatches all over the internet, along with some incredibly mixed reviews.

Swatches

The first picture of the swatches is in terrible indoor lighting from the fifties. This is probably what your eyeshadow is going to look like if you wear it to your office job. Well, if you wear it to your office job and you wear it over primer. I used e.l.f. eyeshadow primer to form a base for all my swatches.

Outdooor Swatches

The second photo is of the first five shadows (the top row) in natural light. The rose gold in this photo is probably my current favorite eyeshadow shade. I wear it for everything, from family events to doctor appointments to dinner with friends. My least favorite shade is probably the pink in this row. I don’t have much against it, because it creates some lovely looks, but I would never wear it alone.

Outdoor Swatches 2

These four are the bottom row of the palette, barring the darkest shade, because my dog got hold of my hand before I could take the photo. Although e.l.f. eye primer has staying power, it can’t stand up to the teeth and slobber of a German Shepherd/Border Collie mix who is determined to love you. The shades on the bottom row include a lovely gold, and a bronze that I’ve been using for metallic brown smoky eyes.

All in all, this is a solid eyeshadow palette. It’s versatile enough to go from day to night, with a little creativity, and the shades are fairly pigmented. I have read about people who have trouble getting the shades to show up on their eyelids, but I have not had this problem so far. At $10, that comes out to a dollar per shade, which is a bargain. If you can get the shadows during one of e.l.f.’s regular sales events, it comes out even cheaper.

The palette is small enough to tuck into a purse or makeup bag, in case you need to touch or change up your makeup on the go. The included mirror is also nice, and doesn’t distort like some of the palette mirrors I’ve seen before.

As with all e.l.f. products, this is going to be a hit and miss. Some people will love it, and some people will hate it. I’m one of the people who love it. The only thing I could wish for would be more matte shades, as I used to have a beautiful matte brown eyeshadow that would have worked perfectly on/with this palette. Since not all of the colors were metallic, a few matte shades would have been nice!

If you’re still undecided about purchasing an e.l.f. baked palette, I’ll be sharing a post detailing a date night look I’ve done with this palette, just as soon as I can get my face psoriasis to clear up!

Have you tried e.l.f. baked eyeshadow palettes before?

 

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Book Review: The Winner’s Curse

The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski, is very loosely a fantasy novel. It reads like historical fiction, with deeply descriptive writing and appealing characters. The main character, Kestrel, is daughter of a high ranking Valorian general, and finds herself caught between his pressures to join the military and her friends’ pressure to marry. In her desire to feel free, Kestrel does some reckless things, like sneaking off into the market to play gambling games against the sailors in port.

On one such outing, Kestrel is caught in the slave market during an auction, and purchases a slave for an outrageously high sum, especially considering that he shows signs of rebellion.

The book focuses mainly on the mental capabilities of Kestrel and the slave she purchases, and their slowly blossoming relationship. Though they begin as enemies, they find kindred spirits in each other, and a tenuous truce develops… or does it?

The Winner’s Curse is easily one of my favorite summer reads so far. Unfortunately, it’s the first in a series, so if you get hooked on the characters, like I did, it will be a while before you can see more of them. Luckily, Rutkoski wraps up the book in a way that makes it feel complete.

There were a few pacing issues I found in this book, with some parts having no action, and some parts having several major plot points a page. However, if you’re willing to look past that, you’ll find richly developed characters with compelling motivations, and a plot that will keep you guessing.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

 

F.A.S.T.- First Aid Shot Therapy (Surfs Up VoxBox)

Okay, so people that know me understand my loathing for NSAIDs. Not because I’m all-natural and want to keep my body healthy (because that’s not possible anyway), but because they don’t work. I will seriously pop six ibuprofen for a headache, because anything less isn’t going to cut it. So when I got the FAST first aid “shot” in my VoxBox, I didn’t think too much of it. Yeah, getting free first aid supplies is pretty cool, especially for a sick chick like me. But I had my doubts about it working. I even considered giving it to my husband.

I wound up getting pain before my husband did, of course. So after trying ibuprofen, waiting four hours, trying Aleve, and waiting six hours, I was fed up. In a moment of utter frustration, I grabbed the FAST shot from my bedside table and took it. Surprisingly, the berry flavor was light and pleasant. Even more surprisingly? It actually worked!

The secret, I think, lies in the NSAID chosen for FAST. It’s not very common, so people like me haven’t quite developed a tolerance yet. The other secret, of course, lies in the fact that FAST is a liquid. This makes it easier and faster for your body to start working with.

Overall? Well, I wish I had gotten a photo, because this blog post is boring. But besides that, I’ve ordered several more of these for when my headaches get out of control but not migraine-awful. I wish I had it the other day after my ill-fated canoe trip!

Have you tried FAST? What did you think?

[I got this item for free in my VoxBox, but all opinions are my own.]