Review: La Femme eyeshadows

Yep, another silly neutral addition. I bought Bisque(Vanilla highlight color), Charcoal(Charcoal gray), Taupe(mid-range tawny nude), Brown(Reddish brown) and dark brown(Dark reddish brown) for my kit.  All of these shades are matte.  These are about 3$ a pan, and can be loaded into palettes.

I’ve used them very frequently, since I chose utilitarian colors.  They aren’t my favorite neutrals, though. The shades are nicely pigmented, but have a slightly chalky application and finish on the skin. I end up buffing them down, and then adding more in, and it takes more work to blend then my go-to shades(Stila Eve, MAC Kid, Cork, Vanilla, Gesso, Tempting, YABY Old Barn, Sand,  Urban Decay shades, and Hourglass Suede and Exhibition duo’s).  The pans are the size of MUFE pans, and will last FOREVER, though, even using more product, to compensate for the somewhat chalky application and a bit of the fading that happens immediately after it is applied..  Over standard primer, they don’t fade or crease with longer wear.  You just need to make sure you are touching the shadows up, though, to get a smooth and pigmented application.  Make sure to apply two layers of eyeshadow, a few minutes apart.  This will help you see how the first layer has faded a little, so you have more control over the intensity you are left with.

I probably WILL buy more of these, despite the slightly erratic application.  Between the huge pans, nice utilitarian colors, and the overall wear, I feel it has been worth the time to learn how these handle, so that there are no surprises when I apply them during shoots.  The range of colors is very nice, and good matte neutrals can be a challenge to find!  These are as easier to work with than most mattes, if you are factoring in a layered application.


Fierce as a peacock.

Yeah. I won’t discuss what i had to go through to get this look.  I’ll summarize by saying it involved a lot of yelling and swearing trying to get my makeup in one place, without tripping over it, a few wrist and arm strains lifting it over the chest-high chest of drawers my boyfriend decided to put in front of my makeup shelves,  slipping on water on the floor, cursing trying to get close enough to the mirror to blend, and having to leave the barricaded room to get more makeup in another room……  I am NOT a happy lady.  So the look kept getting louder, and louder, and angrier.  Peacocks are quite territorial so I thought it suited.


Updates for thepaintedmask

Move date has come and gone, we are all settled in the new house, so it was time to take down the old update!

Thepaintedmask will be seeing some changes, soon. For one thing, I’ll probably be updating less frequently. Between a 40 hour work week, and hours more spent on shoots, and arranging for shoots, daily EOTDs and reviews may be overly optimistic. My pocketbook can’t sustain that expense anymore, and my make up area is still nonexistent, in the new house. I can’t find consistent lighting, or space to set my products up. It has been…. frustrating….. Add a pile of overwork and tendinitis in my wrists, and you have a recipe for a VERY cranky beauty nerd.

Thepaintedmask may also soon be changing its home! I’m in the process of setting up a section of my professional website to host the blog. WordPress and I have had our disagreements, and purchasing space for all of the makeup photos has gotten EXPENSIVE! This page will remain open for archives, but the new material will have a new home, as soon as I finish setting it up!

We can probably expect to see thepaintedmask updating with at least two looks, and two reviews a week. I’ll try to do more, but that should be the minimum, from here on out.

Wish me luck getting settled in my new home, and finding an area that doesn’t totally fray my nerves to set up makeup! In the meantime, we’ll find other things for thepaintedmask, including an upcoming giveaway, placement sketches, and breakdowns of makeup for photoshoots.

Thanks for your patience.

Review: Smashbox Iconic Eyes palette

Well, at least it’s only 12$ at Sephora.  That said, it isn’t even worth THAT, in my opinion.

This set includes a bronze, a pale pink, a peach, and a navy.  Don’t ask me why they paired a navy with the other colors-it’s difficult to work it into looks, and doesn’t blend well with the other colors.  All of them are powdery, incredibly sheer, and don’t adhere evenly.  After layering and blending, this is the best result I could get out of the palette.

As you can see, the blending evened out by layering it, but there’s hardly any depth to the color, even over a sticky primer.  And can you tell where I actually used blue eyeshadow?  Hint-it’s not on the lower waterline/lashline.  And can you tell that I used both the peach, and the pink?  They look EXACTLY alike, because of the sheerness.

I tried to swatch them on my hand, and they wouldn’t even adhere. I had to use a sticky primer to even get them to show up.  I can’t recall the last time I saw an eyeshadow with a texture this bad.  Seriously, if you want a cheap daytime palette, try Stila’s “It Girl” palette.  It still has a few quality issues, but you will be able to get a FAR better range of effects out of it, WITHOUT spending three times as long blending and layering colors to prevent streaky application.

Photoshoot: BRANES

A few weeks back, before the move, I did makeup for a shoot for local band Branes. I loved how everything came out, and they were so funny and lively, when shooting. Photography is by Craig Thomson.

BRANES-Photography by Craig Thomson



quick neutral

Because I’m shooting today, and needed something I could do with the few brushes that aren’t good enough to be in my kit.  Yeah, I know my hair is all over the place.  The lighting was fairly difficult, too.  The sun is just in the process of rising over here, and I still haven’t found a well-lit area in the new house.


Smashbox Iconic Eyes

Alternate title-The Most Wearable Blue Look I’ve Ever Done. Or even Why Do I Spend Money On Smashbox? REALLY?!

Seriously, these eyeshadows barely adhered to my lid, and were SO sheer! This is the third set of smashbox eyeshadows I’ve gotten(on sale) and they’ve ALL handled this way. Seriously. I need some little shoulder-being to smack me upside the head every time I look at a cheap smashbox palette.

It’s kind of pretty though? After LOTS and lots of layering to get it to show up, and even more blending to try to prevent it from adhering in uneven streaks?!

Side note. I wonder how long it will take to get a good full-face lighting in my new home.  I HATE how half my hair/head is washed out by the window. And this was the BEST I could get, using mirrors to soften the shadows on the dim side of my face. Ugh.


quickie gray eyes

Just testing NARS Dogon, and I wanted to try it with Urban Decay Lounge. It’s a little sloppy because the boyfriend kept dragging me away, or playing with my hair while I was trying to apply it.


Focus On: Sugarpill Poison Plum

Focus On is a work in progress. Have you ever talked yourself out of buying a product because the color was too odd, and you wondered how often you would really be able to use it? Or, you know those colors you LOVE because of some hidden versatility that you never imagined when you bought it? I do that ALL of the time. In the interests of loving what I HAVE, and learning its limitations, rather than relying on the influx of new colors, I will be doing this post every Saturday, focusing on a new color from my collection, with examples of past work, ideas for other uses. Please feel free to suggest colors you wish to see, or uses for the ones listed, or let me know what your favorites are for future posts.

Poison Plum is a matte purple with a strong magenta note.


Review: Stila “It Girl” Eyeshadow palette.

Available for $14, from sephora. Stila eyeshadows normally sell for 20$ per pan. The pans are pretty big(Maybe a little smaller than Sugarpill or MUFE pans) This trio includes Kitten(Pale sparkly nude pink), Eve(Tawny matte neutral) and Americano(deep bronze with a faint gold sparkle). Kitten is the only shade sold separately, at least according to Sephoras  selection.

I’ve been buying a disgusting amount of neutral makeup for the last month, and couldn’t resist this. I’ve lost track of all of the raves I’ve seen for Kitten.

That said, Kitten was disappointing. It’s SO very shimmery—use a FLUFFY brush to diffuse it, unless you want to look like a disco ball. It’s decently pigmented, but it doesn’t have the buttery application of, say, Urban Decay Sellout.
Eve is BEAUTIFUL. The color reminds me a lot of MAC Kid, or Urban Decay Naked(from the naked palette). It has a hint of a dusky pink that isn’t present in those shades, that makes it UTTERLY gorgeous on cooler undertones. The pigmentation and ease of blending is LOVELY. It doesn’t look chalky or harsh on the skin, and matches a variety of skin tones. I tried it on myself( fair NC 15 skin), and found myself using it on a model with considerably deeper skin a few days later(I don’t use MAC Foundations on clients, but I’d guess that she’s a NC 35-40. It was PERFECT for softening her crease, and could probably work on the inner corner, or brow bone of a user with truly deep skin).
Americano doesn’t seem to adhere to brush or skin as nicely as Eve or even Kitten, so the dark color is deceptive. The gold shimmer isn’t really noticeable.

I’d say this palette is ABSOLUTELY worth it, for eve and kitten, and americano is a nice bonus. It’s not the best eyeshadow I’ve touched, but it works with the others. All told, it’s a great value, and the shades can look GORGEOUS, if Kitten is applied with a light hand, and you don’t expect to get a dark smoky eye with Americano. All of the shades wear well, though. No creasing or fading, over standard primers.

I consider it a steal, given the eyeshadows normal price, and the versatility of the shades. That said, you can get similar, with a (slightly) better texture in UD’s Naked Palette(if you are lucky enough to have it!). I LOVE Eve,but it suits the cool undertone of the whole palette, and olive or warm skin tones may want to skip this.


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