Stila It Girl Palette

*UPDATE* The link wasn’t directing correctly before, but it is now.

Who can resist three of the most wearable shadows shades all in a row for only $14? Stila brought back the limited edition It Girl palette featuring 2 exclusive shades to join their iconic Kitten shadow. These are colors that will go with any skin tone and can be a subtle color boost on the lid, or a bright lift to a sultry, stated look. Either way, it’s a great deal and one that I’ll be adding to my professional (and probably personal) kit.

Stila It Girl Palette $14

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray; I Like It But…

Although their hip looking display usually entices me into checking Benefit out most every time I pass by, there’s usually very little that inspires a purchase. The problem as I see it is their lack of shade diversity in their foundations and concealers – their Hello Flawless tinted moisturizer has only 1 shade and it’s a lighter than medium hue. Not giving all women the oppertunity to shop with you is a sign that they aren’t super savvy since a Makeup Artist like myself can’t fill a kit there because we work with so many different shades of skin.

Now that I’m finished with my rant… I think I finally found something I really like.

It’s a tinted primer that keeps shadows and concealer around the eyes in place. A great two-in-one and the first I’ve used that primes eye concealer which can easily  slide and crease. It’s the right consistency (thick to grab a hold what you build on top)  and totally erases redness on the lids and even darkness around the eyes giving your concealer a big head start.

It kept my shadows looking fresh and untouched for hours and my concealer stayed in place and didn’t crease even in humidity. I like the sample I was using and will probably buy it when it’s gone. Of course the caveat with the primer is that it works best for light and medium skin tones, which is why I hesitate to give it a full on thumbs up.

Check out THIS NARS primer for medium to deeper skin tones. It doesn’t prime concealer, only shadows but it works for all skin tones as most lines should.

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray $24

Unii Custom Palettes for Makeup Organization

I thought I was kickin ass with my CD case idea to organize shadows and blushes to be a lot more orderly. Looks like my idea wasn’t that novel after all.

Unii Cosmetics totally hands it to my idea with their fantastic creation that does essentially the same thing, but in a much sleeker way. If you can manage to jimmy all of your shadows from their original containers, you can create a space-saving, best-of custom palette. Check out M.A.C, Trish McEvoy and a these other lines that offer refills so you can drop them right in.

I don’t have a Unii, but it looks to be pretty straight forward and a lot easier than my glue-shadows-to-a-CD-case idea.

Sexy Eye Shadow Palettes for New Year’s Eve and Beyond

Open up a door to a sexy new look this New Year’s Eve by saying sianara to your used-to-death brown eye shadow and take the plunge to discover that shades of plums, blues, and golds are twice as sexy and just as wearable. Here are a few palettes that will help you achieve a bold look when you’re ready to turn some heads.

Estee Lauder: Blue Dahlia

I think this was one of Lauder’s best palettes in years. It was a limited edition (you can still round one up at a counter I’m sure) that quickly sold out online. Looks like women were thirsting for these striking blues with a unique neutral hue that makes them especially wearable and totally sexy. Use the charcoal black as a liner or to add smoke to the look, and highlight away using the pearly white which has tiny specks of blue sprinkled throughout. These colors weren’t just tossed together, they were well thought out to coordinate one another and they’re insanely gorgeous.

NYX: Jazz Night

Not all lines have color offerings as bold as NYX, and even fewer offer them up for less than $1 per shadow. Jazz Night has the smokey standards like grays and charcoal, but offers up a bold blue, violet, raspberry, copper, and even a light yellow for highlighting. It’s smokey basics with a kick.

Stila: Adventurous in Aspen

Stila has been happily misbehaving lately, trying to shake off their goody goody image of shimmery muted makeup. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still the go-to line if you’re into that sort of thing (and I am), but in order to get your fill of fun-loving colors you typically had to mosey over to MAKE UP FOR EVER and the like. Adventurous in Aspen isn’t particularly wild, but the icy blues, sexy gold, and golden flecked black will give you some new looks, and are probably as wild as a Stila girl wants to get anyway.

Had some fun recently with a new shadow palette? Send me your photos and you could be featured on an upcoming Hooked on Beauty post!

Carissa [at]

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics; Loose Color Concentrates

What’s on my wish list? Loose Color Concentrates from professional makeup like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, an $11 pot of pure, unbridled pigment that can be used for much more than eyes. Mixed with primers or other Mixing Mediums, you can combine the color for use as a primer to achieve a brighter complexion under your foundation. You can also mix them with a moisturizer for a custom cheek color or with a clear (or colored) gloss for your lips.

Pure color pigments are the essence, the very foundation of makeup, grab a few pigments and get creative by applying your makeup like the pros do.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Loose Color Concentrates

Smashbox Eye Wish Palette

If you’re still using heavy, chalky M.A.C eye shadows, then you’re really missing out. I always say that the color is as important to the look as the weight of the makeup. When you see someone with eyeshadow on that looks bad, chances are that the heaviness you’re seeing has a lot to do with the overall weight of the makeup and maybe not as much the application. If the shadows don’t sit well on the skin, or blend easily, even the best application can’t make them look good.

If you haven’t tried Smashbox shadows, you really should. I personally use them and carry them in my kit, I love their soft, velvety finish because they stay on a long time and have a gorgeous look that rests beautifully on the skin. Check out their new Eye Wish Palette, it’s filled with every shadow you’d ever want to create sweet day looks and sexy night ones too. No crazy throw-away shades you’ll never wear, it’s a complete collection of beautiful basics.

Click to enlarge

Here’s what you’ll get;


Soft Gray
Matte Bone
Ballet Pink
Shimmering Bronze
Cool Gray
Warm Brown
Deep Teal

Cream Eyeliners;

Dark Brown
Black Violet

Photo Finish Lid Primer Mini (what I use professionally and personally daily)

Lash DNA Mascara Mini

They also included pull out cards that fit neatly under the mirror to show you step by step how to create looks using the various colors.

Even better? Smashbox is donating $1 from every palette sold to Children’s Miracle Network. It’s a huge value, $243 worth of makeup for around the price of a few shadows ($45).

You’ll find the palette for a limited time here at Sephora and Smashbox