Product Reviews


There are several Milani Cosmetics products that are to be launching in just a few short weeks.  I have also been told that you can order some of the new additions via Milani’s website –  Right now, I have some new lippies to share with you.  I am not sure what else they have coming out but as soon as it is released or as soon as I receive anything – I’ll be sure to let you know.

Here are two videos of the new releases with swatches.  I’ll be posting the final release of the Brilliant Shine glosses in the next 24 hours and will list that video here as well.  I was going to do them all on one video but decided I would split it up so you could decide which would be the best buy – or get all of them.  I hope to have photos with swatches and my thoughts on the products once I have had the chance to use them.  I’ve been wearing them all week so hopefully I’ll have some reviews up in the next week!

A few months ago I splurged and picked up the Kat Von D Spellbinding Book from and I’m glad that I did.  I have been a fan of Kat Von D for years having followed her career as a Portrait Tattoo Artist and then her start with Sephora developing her own cosmetic line.  I have a few of her makeup items and have loved them and when this palette was released, I knew I had to have it.Kat Von D Spellbinding book

Unfortunately – this palette is sold out on Sephora’s Website, but check your local Sephora store as they may still have this in stock.  The palette retails for $55.00 USD and contains 24 (twenty-four) eye shadows that were designed to work together in pairs so that you can pair them or layer them to create awesome looks.  Of course, you can certainly use them however you wish as well – there is no set rule about it.  Each eye shadow is 0.05 oz – the average weight for a full sized eyeshadow.  Twelve of the 24 shades are stated to be “Never-before-seen” and labeled as such with an asterisk next to each name.  While the Christmas Holiday has passed, if you see this palette, I would jump on the opportunity to get it.  It has made my favorites the last couple of months and offers a wide variety of shades to create a number of different looks.  Overall – I think this palette offers a great mix of colors, textures and majority of the shades offer great pigmentation and are long wearing.

Kat Von D Spellbinding book 3

The packaging on this palette is awesome.  As I mentioned previously, I have followed Kat for some time and have been a huge fan of her artistry.  Her work is graced all over this palette with the cover being an art piece she drew herself.  I am always so intrigued and fascinated by her pieces and this one is absolutely gorgeous.  The actual palette could have been made a tad bit better… while I think it is pretty easy to work with because it reminds me so much of an artists’ palette, it’s a bit cumbersome and would not be ideal for travel as it is really only protected by cardboard.  Though – I have dropped the palette many many times, it has held its own fairly well.  If there really was one suggestion I were to make, it is that I wish the names of each shade were printed below or above the actual eye shadows in the palette instead of the plastic cover.  That plastic sheet is a pain in the butt to work around and there is ideal space where the names could have been printed on the palette for reference.

Kat Von D Spellbinding book 1


Now on to the fun part… the Swatches!

Kat Von D Spellbinding Palette Swatches row 1 and 2

dark throne (new shade) a mostly matte finish – medium/dark gray shade.  This shade offers cooler undertones and had great color pay off.

precious – a shimmery peach shade.  This shade lends for more warm undertones (which I like) and offers smooth application with great pigmentation.  It does have fall out so take your time to pack this shade on or use on a sticky base.

babe (one of my favorites) – a violet purple with blue/violet iridescent shimmer/micro glitter – cool toned.  This shadow worked well for me as a “lower lash line pop of color” but when I tried to use it as a lid or blending shade it had a tremendous amount of powdery fall out or lost it’s color and shimmer very easily.  I suggest that you use this over a stick base or to set an eyeliner pencil for a cool effect.

piaf (new shade) a medium gray that lends for a metallic silver shade.  This color had awesome pigmentation but you must take your time to pack the color on because it does have fall out.  The color blended nicely when used on the lid or to smoke out the outer v.

sunset blvd is a gorgeous yellow gold with a frosty texture.  This color has some type of glitter and therefore can have fall out.  It applied nicely however and does blend out really easily.

8 bit (new shade) a blue/teal with micro gold shimmer.  This shade has a metallic shimmer but applies more like a frost.  Great color pay off, smooth application and buttery.

geek (new shade) medium toned peachy-orange with a satin finish.  Great color payoff – soft smooth texture and easy to blend.

fallen is a coppery bronze with warm orange tones.  Great pigmentation, soft and buttery and very great texture.  This has been a favorite bronze shade of mine the last few months.

Kat Von D Spellbinding Palette Swatches rows 3 and 4

holy bible a light silver with gray/white sheen and micro metallic shimmers.  This is probably one of the shades that is not a favorite of mine – probably because it’s not a color I use often.  It’s gorgeous an has good color pay off, but can be a bit powdery.

oddfellow is a deep black with teal sparkle/shimmer.  This color can lose it’s shimmer easily so if you are looking to keep the teal sparkle, I would pack it onto a sticky base.  Awesome pigmentation, easy to apply and blend.  Overall this shade is one of the easiest to work with and a great black for deepening the crease.

birdcage is kind of a chartreuse green with a frost finish.  I love this color because the shade is highly pigmented and applies smoothly and evenly.

gunner is a dark green (kind of reminds me of a military green) with green and silver sparkles.  This shade is not the easiest to work with in the palette and will require you take  your time in building up the shade to the color pay off you are interested in.  It is a gorgeous shade but a little dry to work with.

instaglam (new shade) a frosty (cool toned) baby pink with lots of shimmer.  This applied nicely but you can get a lot of fall out with this shade.

stupid autocorrect (new shade) A metallic/frosty burgundy shade.  This is a great color for deepening the crease or as an all over lid color.  The shade was smooth and easily applied with little to no fall out.

galore a peach toned metallic shade.  One of my favorites, this shade works well as an all over lid color or can be blended softly onto the browbone as a highlight shade.  Easy to apply and blend, smooth and highly pigmented.

hexagram (new shade) one of my favorite shades in this whole palette, this shade is like a burnt gold.  Perfect for all over the lid.  Blends easily, highly pigmented and very smooth and buttery.

Kat Von D Spellbinding Palette Swatches rows 5 and 6

smile now (new color) is a gorgeous peach toned shade with pink/purple iridescent shimmer.  This shade is soft and smooth to the touch, blends really nicely and the purple iridescent/color shift is very visible and awesome over a color shifting base.  Highly pigmented.

cry later (new shade) a deep brown with gold bronze shimmer.  This shade has great pigmentation, blends nicely and applies smoothly.  The glitter/shimmer stays on application even after blending.

arcadia (new color) a frosty lavender with soft silver shimmer.  This color is kind of on the powdery side and while pigmented and smooth when applying, it can leave fall out.

wonderland is one of my favorite colors which can be used to deepen the crease, create drama in the outer v or use as an all over lid color.  This shade is a very deep plum (almost a dark burgundy black) with brown undertones.  It also has purple/pink iridescent shimmer which gives the shadow a slight color shift.  This shade is a little powdery but blends well and applies nicely.  Keep in mind that when used in the crease or blending this shade out you may lose some of it’s intensity and it may look more plum and lose it’s shimmer.

queen (new shade) is a gorgeous color shift shadow.  It kind of reminds me a little of MAC’s Blue Brown Pigment which is one of my favorites.  It’s a brown with a greenish/teal hue.  This color can be blended out to be a perfect crease shade or packed on a colored base to show it’s true glory.  Blends nicely, applies smoothly and is a great overall color.  One of my favorites in the palette.

bukowski is a metallic teal shade with a light gold sheen.  This color is gorgeous but it does take a little more work to build the color.  It’s not difficult to work with but it does take a few swipes to get the color payoff you see in the pan.  It’s a smooth shade, not powdery but I wish it were more buttery so it would apply easier.  It is one of my favorite “pop of color on the lower lash line” shades however, and I do adore it.

countess (new shade) is a cream matte satin.  This is a gorgeous shade for browbone highlight because it blends out so nicely and leaves the perfect amount of color.  Great pigmentation, easy to blend and soft to the touch.

WTF is a gorgeous red (almost burgundy) satin shade.  It has micro gold shimmer.  This shade is gorgeous and because it is not a bright “true red” it doesn’t make my eyes look blood shot.  This color is smooth and blends nicely.

Smoky eye using Kat Von D Spellbinding palette

In the look above I am using the shadows hexagram, galore, cry later, countess and dark throne from the Kat Von D Spellbinding Palette. I absolutely love love how versatile this palette is because it allows me to create a plethora of looks from a daytime or neutral eye look to something daring and smoky.

Neutral eye with a Pop of Color using Kat Von D

In the eye look above I am using Queen as my crease color and blended onto my lower lash line, Wonderland to define my crease, Countess as my Highlight.   What I love so much about Queen is that it really offers such an awesome effect for colors.  Because of it’s color shift – it changed my lower lash line to look tealish / blue when I blended it onto my lower lash line over my black eye liner, I did not use any other color to create that teal pop of color on the lower lash line that you see.

So – I know this is a long post… but overall I think this palette is definitely worth the buy.  It’s universal for most and while it does offer a wide variety of bright shades, you can easily create a neutral toned or day look without a problem.  Most of the shades are very pigmented and while a few were a little of a miss for me, it didn’t take away from the overall of the palette itself.  If you are looking for something to offer you versatile use as well as great color payoff, buttery shadows and awesome packaging – then this may be something you may want to seek out.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this review… I know it’s a long one – but considering the amount of colors in this book, I wanted to make sure that I covered my bases.  For those of you that watch my videos – I am in hopes of having a Short Video Review up on YouTube in the next week and I will be sure to post that video here.

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{Self Purchased}

Have you tried Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows?  I have had my eyes on them for a while and I was totally stoked that I got my hands on two of them.  Like with all Benefit products, the packaging definitely caught my eye first.  They look like little bonbons to me and I thought they were so cute – even more so that they came in cute little round boxes.  So what are my thoughts on them?  Keep reading and see what I think 😉

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow

These cream shadows come in 10 awesome colors.  I own two of them – Bronze Have More Fun (a gorgeous bronze brown) and Bikini-Tini (a perfect for neutral looks – cream color shade).   Each pot retails for $20.00 on Benefit’s Website and you get a Net wt. of 0.16oz/4.5g worth of product.   On average you are getting about the same amount of product in your pot as other brands offer but honestly, to me – formulation is very different and the packaging is just too adorable.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow copy

So – what do I love about these cream shadows?  Well, first – what isn’t there to love.  I love MAC Paint pots and Maybelline Color Tattoos… but these are very different.  In my opinion the Benefit Cream Shadows have a mousse like texture.  Because of it’s awesome texture, it applies so effortlessly and blends very easily on my eye lids without tugging.  Not only is it a great base for your favorite shadows, I absolutely love that I can wear the colors I have for a quick wash of color in my 5 minute look and it will be there from the time I put it on till the time I take it off.  It is long lasting and even with my oily eyelids – I didn’t have any trouble with creasing.

Both of the cream shadows I have did not crease on me considering they do have some form of shimmer/metallic to them.  They held up to use on its own or paired with eye shadows both matte and shimmer.  Also – I love using these in combination with loose shadows, even if they set nicely and blend onto the skin easily – they are still tacky enough to hold onto my favorite loose shadows for a great and long lasting eye makeup look.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow bronze have more fun 2

Bronze Have More Fun is a deep chestnut bronze.  I love it for a smoky eye or just an every day eye look.  It feels great on my eye lid – it’s smooth and doesn’t feel heavy like some cream shadows can.  This color does lend for a metallic look (as does Bikini-tini) but will work for all eye shadow combinations you have in mind.   If you are looking for a punch of color from this shade, build the color up slowly and blend between layers so that you will avoid creasing.  While this hasn’t creased on me, I know that it may not lend as nicely to others.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow bikini-tini 2

Bikini-Tini has an almost pearl sheen but not really.  It reminds me of a shell color – very neutral in tone, creamy colored and perfect for every day makeup looks.  I love that I can easily use this color as a quick wash over my eye lids up to my brow bone and then blend in my favorite matte shadows to create a nice “every day” work type makeup look.  I also love using this cream shadow as a pop of color and highlight on the arch below my brow for a soft highlight that brightens my look.  I do notice that I need to apply this particular shade in layers to deepen and increase the color against my dark skin.  But, I love it for every day use.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow makeup look

In the look above, I am using “Bronze Have More Fun” Creaseless Cream Shadow from benefit as my base for the eye shadows in the look.  My eye makeup stayed in place and stayed put from the morning until late that night when I took my makeup off.  While I am using Benefit’s Cream Shadow as a base for darker colors in this look, I love using them in lighter shades as well.  Bikini-tini is my favorite to use beneath colors in my Naked Basics palette by Urban Decay as well as my Benefit Peek-a-Bright-eyes Palette (review on that coming soon).

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow 2

My favorite way to apply these shadows is to use a synthetic brush like my MAC 217.  That brush grabs the colors and applies them to my eyelid so effortlessly – it looks airbrushed.  Keep in mind that that is how I like to use it – just a little bit of color to make my shadows pop.  If you are looking to have a punch of color with lots of product applied, use a flat synthetic brush and pat the cream shadow onto your lid to get the color payoff you are looking for.  I do use my fingers from time to time, but I really rather a brush.  At the end of the day, you can use any brush you feel will work for you – but since it is a cream product, synthetic is best.  Oh – did I mention that you can use these as eyeliner as well.  Bronze Have More Fun makes such a great eyeliner (Bikini-tini too, but I find it is not the type of eyeliner color I would use. lol) – it goes on so creamy and applies without any problems.  Use an angled eyeliner brush for great precision and take your time.  You can create a light eyeliner look for every day wear or build up the color for a bold line.  Remember to close your pot of cream shadow tightly when you’re done using it so it will last and not dry out.  I like to store mine upside down (cover down) not only to see the color but it’s just a habit and it tends to not dry out as fast.  I have had mine for about 2 months now and it has not dried out yet.

So – have you tried the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadows?  If so, what colors do you have?  If you haven’t tried them yet – do you think this may be a little splurge you are interested in trying.  So far after using it a few months, I’m impressed.  I’m glad I took photos “before” I started using them… because now they look like a hot mess. lol Have a wonderful week and thanks for reading! xo

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Anyone who knows me knows that Tarte is one of my favorite cosmetic brands.  I have been a fan of their eye shadows pigmentation and soft silky feel against my eyes as well as their mascaras and lippies.  Each year Tarte works with QVC to offer an awesome collection filled with goodies for the makeup lover at heart.  I took advantage of the Holiday Collection last year and was super excited to see QVC release a Limited Edition Special Value Collection this year as well.

Tarte bow and go collection


The Today’s Special Value pricing on QVC on November 21st, was $49.98 – now the set is available for $54.98 USD (plus shipping/handling) on QVC’s website and you also have the choice to sign up for 2 Easy Installments making this collection very affordable for anyone who is interested in purchasing.  The packaging for the collection is show stopping and will definitely turn heads under any Christmas Tree.  It’s gorgeous and ready to go – no extra box or wrapping needed… hence “Bow & Go”.  A gorgeous gold ribbon (not pictured) is also included so you can surprise that special someone this Holiday Season.

Tarte bow and go collection copy



The palette itself is gorgeous – thin and sleek.  Made of a sturdy cardboard, It includes 16 beautiful amazonian clay shadows (0.07 oz x 16).  All shadows are full sized and packed with not only color but perfect for any makeup lover.  There is a mix of matte and shimmery / metallic shades and each shadow feels soft to the touch and blends effortlessly.  The one thing I worry about when buying any eye shadow palette with such a large number of shades is that the palette may include a “dud” shade and this palette is honestly… perfection.

tarte bow to go palette


I especially love that this palette is Neutral heaven for me.  It includes the perfect selection of nudes to create everything from an everyday wearable work look to a smoky and daring look for a night out on the town.  I love when neutral based palettes have purple shades included and this palette includes a few purples, greens, pinks, creams, taupes, browns and a gorgeous bronze gold.  Scroll down to see the swatches of each shade in order from Left to right – top to bottom.

Tarte bow and go collection palette 2


Tarte bow and go swatches 1


Tarte bow and go swatches 2


Tarte bow and go swatches 3

All swatches are done on bare skin – no primer or base.  Swatches are done dry.

Tarte bow and go swatches 4


If you were to purchase any of the Eye shadows separately, Tarte retails them for about $17.00 each.  By getting all of these awesome shadows all in one palette you are saving tremendously and you have a huge selection of colors that will allow you to create any look you can think up.

Tarte bow and go collection mascara and liner



The set includes two Full Size Tarte smolderEYES Amazonian clay waterproof liners (0.056 oz) in Brown & Fig.  Brown is a Vegan pencil which is a bonus.  These liners are absolute favorites of mine because they are not only creamy and easy to apply without tugging at your eyes, they smudge easily with the built-in smudger to add a smokier, smoldering effect.  And, big bonus for me – these are Waterproof.  Let me just say that they will not budge.  I love using these on my waterline because I don’t have to worry about it moving.  It will last from the time I put them on till the time I take it off with makeup remover.  On Tarte’s website – these retail for $22.00 each.


Tarte bow and go collection smolder eyes


Fig has an almost metallic sheen to the pencil.  After using the pencil a few times, I think it lends for a gold sheen which I love.  This pencil brings out the sparkle in my medium brown / hazel eyes and really makes them pop.  Brown is a matte shade pencil and I absolutely love the shade.  It is not quite a dark brown, more on the medium shade and definitely is a great alternative to the black pencil I normally like to use.  Both of these are not only long lasting and waterproof but make great eye shadow bases to help your favorite shadows pop and have awesome staying power.


Tarte bow and go collection smolder eyes swatches


For my makeup look I am using the following eye shadows from the Tarte palette: Radiant Rosewood (on the lid), Blissful Brown (transition shade above the crease), Playful Plum (blended into the crease), Ideal Ivory (used as all over highlight on the browbone and inner corners),  and Buttercream Frosting (slightly blended under the highest point under the brow for highlight).  Tarte  Smolder Eyes Pencil liner in Fig blended onto the lower lash line to smoke out the look and Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara on my lashes.  On my lips I’m using  Tarte Lip Surgence Lip Creme Pencils in Precious, Promise and Thoughtful all layered together to create a custom color.



Tarte bow and go collection liner and mascara



You will receive 2 Full Size Tubes of Tarte’s lights, camera, LASHES Mascara (0.24 oz).  If you were to purchase these on their own through Tarte’s website they will cost you $19.00 each.  I have been a fan of this mascara for a while now.  The only critique I have with regard to them is that the ones that are included with the collection are not waterproof and since my allergies are bad I have major raccoon eyes if I’m having a bad allergy, watery eyes day.  The mascara however is great for both volume and length and conditions your lashes while using it.  I also love that it holds your curl very well – probably one of my favorite things about it.  It is definitely a 4 in 1 formulation.

Tarte bow and go collection lip surgence



This collection also includes the popular Tarte Lip Surgence lip creme crayons (0.10 oz) in four brand new shades.  These colors are so beautiful and will go with any skin tone.  I absolutely love the Lip Surgence crayons from Tarte and already own a few.  They are long lasting, creamy and feel great on the lips.  The colors are easily blended together to create your own custom color on your pout.  These colors are only available through QVC in this collection and you will not be able to find them at Tarte online.  What I love is that they are all full sized crayons in this collection so you are getting a retail value of $96 total for the whole set (retail $24 each) and it is included in this awesome Holiday Collection.


Tarte bow and go collection lips 2

Tarte bow and go collection lip swatches


Tarte bow and go collectionlips


Overall – I’m definitely impressed with not only the quality of the whole collection but the price point and the value involved with all the products.  The packaging itself is absolutely gorgeous and ready to give as a gift.  Beneath the palette of the collection is a gorgeous gold bow that you can use to tie all three boxes together to make a beautiful display / gift or you can decide to give each box individually.  Honestly, even if you were purchasing this collection for yourself  you are getting an awesome deal and besides – you are well worth it. 😉

Sparkle Rating… Definitely a 5.0 Sparkles on the Sparkle Scale.  This collection is gorgeous and worth every penny.  This is the highest rating I have given any product and this is the only product I have given this rating.  This is well worth your money and definitely something that you should get your hands on if you can.  And… to the men out there – this will make an awesome gift for your lovely ladies in your life.

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This gel like textured product is what I use in combination with the Curl Enhancing Smoothie.  You can find the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Souffle at most drug stores like CVS and Walgreens and at Walmart and a few other places as well.  I started using this product before I tried out the Enhancing Smoothie and I fell in love with this product after the first use. I applied it to my damp hair and worked the product into my ends and towards my roots.  I wash my hair about 2-3 times a week and this container (12oz) has lasted me about 6 months because I really just need enough to work into the ends of my hair.



The gel like texture doesn’t make your hair dry or leave it feeling crispy – which I love.  And, I’m not sure if it is because of the ingredients in the product, but my hair seems to dry much faster (air dry) when I have this product in my hair.  It has a light coconut and hibiscus smell and I love that I can run my fingers through my hair without my fingers or my wide tooth comb getting stuck.  This product costs approximately $11.99 and is a pretty great investment considering the amount of product you are getting.

Just like the Curl Enhancing Smoothie, there are no Parabens, Phthalates, Paraffin, Gluten, Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oil and Synthetic Fragrances.  And, of course – since it’s a Shea Moisture product, that means they do not test on animals – yay!  I have tried a lot of products on my hair, some of my favorite brands include: CatWalk, Sexy Hair, Paul Mitchel, Curls, Moroccan Oil, Macadamia, Parnevu… and the list is always increasing as I am constantly trying new products.  But, there is just something about this product and the C.E.S. that I love from Shea Moisture and I especially love that my hair feels light, looks shiny and it not weighed down or feels gritty or dirty.  Again – no crunchy and stiff feeling hair and when you look at my hair, you would never know I had product in it.  It looks natural and feels and smells great.  And, I forgot to mention this, but the products include Shea butter which is what keeps my hair so soft… LOVE IT!

I do suggest switching up your hair products from time to time so that your hair does not develop build up or get used to a certain product. I do know however, that this brand and line of products will be a favorite for years to come.

I will be reviewing my shampoo / conditioner I use as well as other hair products I love and cherish – so stay tuned.  For photos of how my hair looks using these products, be sure to check out my review on the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.

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blog signature{Self Purchased}