Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster Palette - SWATCHED! - Part 5: Pencils, Blushes and Cream Eyeliners! OVERALL REVIEW

Phew!  Can I catch my breath for  second?!  Swatching this entire mother ship of a palette has been exhausting but super fun!  I really wanted to bring you a comprehensive look at this year's Blockbuster offering from Sephora.  These palettes have become somewhat of a holiday tradition and have even started to inspire copycat "blockbusters" from places like Saks and Ulta.

Before I get to my final swatches, I wanted to take a second to review the palette as a whole.

As a product, the value is phenomenal.  You get a lot of makeup, tons of variety and many different kinds of products all for a relatively small price ($48).  But the key words to remember of Sephora Collection Endless Color Blockbuster palette is that it's QUANTITY over quality.

With that in mind, I wouldn't recommend this as a gift or as a purchase for someone who already owns a lot of makeup.  They will be disappointed with the overall quality of products (though I do admit I notice significant improvement from version 1.0 and some earlier models).  However, I was quite impressed with some products, namely the cute iconic tote design, the cream eyeliners, some lip colors, bright cool toned eyeshadows.  While other things, such as the pencils, neutral eyeshadows, applicators and extremely flimsy packaging, were disappointments.  Overall, year of year, serious improvements, though it may not be enough for a makeup junkie like me.

Another positive, that I haven't mentioned before, is that with each purchase comes a lottery ticket for Sephora's Silver Ticket Sweepstakes, a chance to win $1,000 Sephora shopping spree, a one year supply of Sephora Collection products and a $1,000 donation to the Arbor Day Foundation in the winner's name (there are some 2nd prizes too).  However, you don't have to buy a Blockbuster palette to enter.  Click here for details.

What's in the Sephora Collection Endless Color Blockbuster, one last time:

This set contains:
- 98 eyeshadows
- 70 lipglosses
- 6 cream eyeliners
- 2 lip liners
- 3 pencil eyeliners
- 1 mascara
- 3 blushes (one could be used as a bronzer)
- 4 applicators

Limited Edition, $48 at Sephora.

Now, here are the final swatches and see below for a recap of my review:

The pencils - two eyeliners and two lipliners.
These were hard but still somewhat creamy.  Not terrible, but again not great.

3 Blushes - surprisingly pigment, though the texture was chalky and hard.

Cream eyeliners - can also be used as an eyeshadow base color.
These were actually pretty impressive!
Sephora will you make a kit of just these?!

The brown was quite nice.
Links to other swatches:

Summarize the review (the quick and dirty):
Pros: HUGE value. Cute packaging.  Tons of colors. Sweepstakes ticket.  Some pigmented and nice colors.  Better than previous years.
Cons: Flimsy packaging (albeit adorable).  Quantity over quality (some may see this as a PRO).  Mostly soso pigmentation on most colors with hard, chalky texture. 
Overall Rating: B-

Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster Palette - SWATCHED! - Part 4: Warm Lips

Sephora Collection Endless Color Blockbuster Palette - Warm Lips

I have to say... swatching this entire palette is a TON of work!  Oh so many colors to go through.  But I knew that this was the gutbuster of all holiday palettes, which probably explains why it's growing popularity as a holiday gift offering from Sephora.  Each year they just seem to get bigger and better.

UPDATE: for swatches of the palette!
Links to other swatches:
    Again, here is what's inside the Endless Color Blockbuster Palette.  Limited Edition.  $48 at Sephora.
    This set contains:
    - 98 eyeshadows
    - 70 lipglosses
    - 6 cream eyeliners
    - 2 lip liners
    - 3 pencil eyeliners
    - 1 mascara
    - 3 blushes
    - 4 applicators

    Now to the swatches!  There was a nice mix of frost, shimmer, gloss, glitter, metallic, balm and creme finishes.   Many of the lip colors were surprisingly pigmented.  Plenty of room for experimenting.  I liked using some of the colors from Row 1 to give other shades a warm holiday shimmer.  Definitely, feel free to mix up your custom color.  Overall, a good variety, but I wish there had been a few more nude lip shades.

     Row 1

     Row 2

     Row 3

     Row 4

     Row 5

     Row 6

    Row 7

    This palette is all about *quantity* over quality, though the quality isn't terrible.  If you want a show-stopper of a present for someone who likes makeup but doesn't already have a significant stash... this may be the gift to give.

    Are you giving away makeup gifts this season?

    Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster Palette - SWATCHED! - Part 3: Cool Lips

    Cool lip shades from Sephora Collection Endless Color Blockbuster Palette

    It's the palette that doesn't end.  Sephora Collection Endless Color Blockbuster Palette contains 70, they say lip glosses/I say lip colors.  Here is the cool side swatched for you.

    I was pleasantly surprised how pigmented most of these shades were.  Definitely more lipstick than lipgloss.  All of the swatches below were swiped with a q-tip.  The pot itself doesn't allow for much product, but with 70 little pots... that can be a whole lotta lip.

    The textures varied from thick lipstick, satin finish, matte creme, balmy gloss, clear gel-like top coat.  Definitely something for everyone in here.  I loved that there were even some "artist" shades (e.g. the very violet purple and milky white baby pink).

    If you missed the eyeshadow swatches, click here for WARM and click here for COOL.
    Row 1

     Row 2

     Row 3

     Row 4

     Row 5
     Row 6

    Row 7 - mostly clear glosses

    UPDATE: for swatches of the palette!
    Links to other swatches:

    Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster Palette - SWATCHED! - Part 2: Cool Eyeshadows

    If you missed Part 1: Warm Eyeshadows, click here!

    The cool eyeshadows close up.

    So many shades!!

    Sephora's Endless Color Blockbuster Palette is a makeup kit busting at the gut!  For $48, 180 colors seems isn't a bad deal.  Real makeup gurus maybe disappointed with the overall quality (which is okay not good, great, amazing), but those who love makeup but who may not own that many colors will probably love this.  The packaging and design is also hard to turn down.

    When swatching each and every eyeshadow, I really got to test the quality of all 98 colors.  If you want variety, this palette has every shade under the sun.  Mathematically, you could have millions of eyeshadow combinations!  I was actually impressed that some of them had such good color pay-off (especially on the cool side) from the bright shades, but overall, I would say that I wouldn't jump to this palette to be impressive on quality.  The texture of the shadows were hard and sometimes chalky.  The lighter shades were disappointing in texture and

    This is about quantity, not quality, people.  So just keep that in mind.

    Review (Eyeshadows only):
    Pros: A lot of colors and makeup for yo' money.  Bright colors had good color pay-off. 
    Cons: Hard texture.  Washed out neutral shades.

    These two rows were surprisingly pigmented!

    This is where the color started to get more washed-out.



    UPDATE: for swatches of rest of the palette!
    Links to other swatches:

    Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster Palette - SWATCHED! - Part 1: Warm Eyeshadows

    Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster Palette 2010

    As part of our Holiday Gift Guide, I had done a First Look at this year's Blockbuster Palette offering by Sephora.  For the past few years, this set has become somewhat of staple in the array of beauty holiday gifts.  Year over year the design, colors, packaging and, in my experience, quality has greatly improved.  I'm head over heels for this year's iconic tote bag design, and the cream eyeliners.

    To help with your holiday shopping decisions, I will be swatching this entire palette, all 180 colors!  A reminder of what's in this jumbo palette:

    This set contains:
    - 98 eyeshadows
    - 70 lipglosses
    - 6 cream eyeliners
    - 2 lip liners
    - 3 pencil eyeliners
    - 1 mascara
    - 3 blushes
    - 4 applicators

    Sephora Collection Endless Color Blockbuster Palette, $48 at Sephora stores and

    Cool and Warm Eyeshadows.  98 total!

    I will review these eyeshadows when I post the swatches of the cool shades.
    The palette is designed to look like the iconic Sephora shopping bag.

    Would you like this as a gift?  Have you ever given it as one?  What do you think about this year's version?

    UPDATE: for swatches of rest of the palette!
    Links to other swatches:

    Benefit Triple the Glossy! Swatches and Review - Holiday Gift Guide

    $18, an Ulta exclusive (a $54 dollar value)

    Continuing with our Holiday Gift Guide Series (see the tab up top!), we're taking a look at Triple the Glossy! set by Benefit.  A set of three full sized lipglosses priced at $18 (the price of 1!), an Ulta Exclusive.  I love Benefit's blushes, creaseless cream eyeshadows, so I thought I would give this a try.  The value was definitely an incentive; it's like buy 1 get TWO free.

    I picked up two different versions of the kit to test the range of colors and applications.  I believe that there were three different varieties, but I cannot confirm that on Ulta's site.
     I picked up two of these packs.
    I plan to break these up and give away to friends!

    Both had easy to wear shades.
    Doe-foot applicator.
    Kit 1: contained left to right: Fresh Squeezed, Almost Famous, Friends in High Places
    Fresh Squeezed: a soft, pearly pink
    Almost Famous: a sheer golden nude bronze

    Friends in High Places: soft dusty shimmery rose
    The texture of these were more balm than gloss.   There is a high shine finish, but the product doesn't have a gooey, tacky, sticky texture like MAC Lipglass.  These lipglosses felt more like Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Colors, which are stick form.  Those who hate sticky glosses like Lancome Juicy Tubes might find these as a nice alternative.

    These colors aren't super pigmented, but I don't think that it's their intention.  These glosses are just a yours-lips-but-better type of thing.
    All very wearable for most skintones.

     The second kit:  Kiss You, Zone Out, Who Are You Wearing?

    These kits are perfect for giving as a gift, splitting up for stocking stuffers or keeping one for yourself and giving the others away.

     Kiss you: soft shimmering fuchsia with micro gold shimmer

     Zone Out: extremely sheer beige gold gloss. 
    This one would be great on top of holiday reds!

     Who Are You Wearing? A bright party pink, very sheer, just adds a little juiciness to your lips.

     This set was much more sheer, with less shimmer, than the other kit.  These colors would probably suit someone who wanted to use them on top of lipstick or by themselves more as a balm.

    The texture of these is brilliant.  You have to try them on.

    To Review: 
    Pros: GREAT value!  $18 for 3 glosses (3 for the price of 1) not bad!  Easy for breaking up and distributing as gifts or trying several colors of this range.  Soft, smooth, non-sticky, moisturizing texture.  Very wearable colors.
    Cons: Not for those who want extreme color payoff.  Avoid if you don't like their "apricot-lychee" scent (I didn't mind).
    Overall Rating: A

    120 Eyeshadow Palette - Beauties Factory - Swatches and Review - Holiday Gift Guide

    120 eyeshadows?  Do you think you can use them all?

    120 Palette by Beauties Factory

    It's raining and cold here today in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I thought it would be fun to brighten up this dreary weather with some super bright colors.  Beauties Factory 120 Palette is a double-decker eyeshadow kit in a kalidescope of shades.  There are several versions of this palette available on Ebay from Beauties Factory and other sellers, but I have had good experience with Beauties Factory's customer service and their shipping was speedy.  Considering its price and the upcoming holiday season, I thought it would be a good time to review for our Holiday Gift Guide.

    120 Palette - Colour Version #2 is $24.99 on Beauties Factory's site.

    This set contains:
    120 eyeshadows, in both shimmer and matte.

     The kit comes with two trays. 
    The are not extremely durable, so this may not travel well.

     You may recognize this palette from YouTube.
    Many YouTube Channel hosts use this palette to create a myriad of looks.

     Click to enlarge any photo.

     I love these neutrals.  
    Version #2 comes with two blacks. 

     The pans are about the size of a dime.
    Some may think that's small, but how much yellow eyeshadow will you use?

     Among all the brights, there are the basics like matte white and black.

    Okay now you've seen the product.  
    But what does this look like swatched? 

     An array of colors from Beauties Factory's 120 Palette.

    But how does the 120 Palette compare to other high-end eyeshadows?

    Inglot Freedom System Palette I made with bright colors.

    I consider Inglot eyeshadows to have excellent texture and color payoff (the A grade stuff).  See my review of the Freedom System for more details (here).  I wanted to see how 120 Palette stood against my beloved Inglot and other high-end brands.

     Inglot on the left, Beauties Factory 120 Palette on the right.

    Notice the smoother application on the Inglot.  The colors that I will be comparing aren't exact dupes, but I wanted to show similar colors and seeing them side by side to show 1. color payoff/pigmentation 2. texture.  BF 120 Palette had hits and misses on pigmentation and color payoff.  The textures didn't really compare with the smooth, silky quality of Inglot, but I don't think that it was exactly awful.  Look below to see what I mean.

    Inglot, 120, Inglot, 120.
    The red is on par with Inglot as far as color payoff, but the blue is not nearly as pigmented.  You can see that the red from the 120 Palette has a grainier, more brittle texture than the Inglot and that the blue from the 120 Palette is smooth but not pigmented.  However, it seems that there are more hits than misses in the BF 120 Palette.  See below.

    Inglot, 120, Inglot, 120.
    The yellow and aqua blue are very close swatched.  However, touching them, the Inglot is superior in feel, but if you are only using this palette for occasional makeup (like going out, trying out a wild look or just experimenting), then it should be a good choice. 

    Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Shag (swatched largely on the left) and three BF 120 swatches on the right.  

    Again the Urban Decay won out in texture and pigmentation, but the 120 Palette offerings weren't bad.  I think that someone who wants to have a variety of colors on hand would really love having this palette.

    Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Shag
    MAC Carbon vs. Beauties Factory 120 Palette's black
    Again the 120 Palette was not as pigmented and in this case not as buildable. 

    To Review:
    Pros:  Lots of colors in one place.  Slim packaging (though not sturdy).  Great for variety in color (wild brights, basics, everydays) and finishes (matte and shimmers). Affordable.
    Cons: Flimsy packaging.  Eyeshadows are very delicate and may not travel well.  Some colors do not have good color payoff.  
    Overall Rating: B

    Urban Decay Book of Shadows Volume III - UD Hearts NYC - Swatches and Review - Holiday Gift Guide

     Urban Decay Loves NYC as much as me!

    Another product to consider for our Holiday Gift Guide is Urban Decay's third rendition of highly popular, limited edition Book of Shadows series.  Last year's Alice BOS (Book of Shadows), still shows up on Ebay for x3+ it's original retail price.  This year's version is still readily available, though probably not forever.

    I was really impressed with the quality of these shadows.  Not a gritty or dry shadow in the bunch.  All applied very smoothly with great pigmentation (yes, even the ones with chunky glitter).  The pencils and PP (Primer Potion) are classics and will be used up probably before you get close to hitting the pan on any of these shadows.

    This would be a great kit for someone who loves vibrant colors.  Not for someone looking for a "neutral" kit, obviously. 

    My only complaint about this palette is that I wish they had altered some of the shadow names to be more about NYC (as they did with Alice).  I just think it adds to the theme... but that's no biggie.

    This set contains:
    16 x 0.03 oz uber pigmented eyeshadows (see swatches below, 7 shades are new)
    2 x 0.03 oz 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils
    0.13 oz Mini Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original

    $54 available at Sephora, Ulta,

    Zero and Ransom

    What combinations would you put together?
    Any colors that strike out at you?

    To Review:
    Pros: Excellent pigmentation.  The standard of texture has be up'ed a few levels. Go-to pencils and eyeshadow primer. Super cute illustrations and packaging design.
    Cons: No NYC-themed names.

    Overall Rating: A

    Review and Swatches: LORAC - Box Office Sensation Holiday 2010 - Gift Guide Series

    Continuing with our Holiday Gift Guide series, here are some swatches of LORAC'S Box Office Sensation set.  In case you missed it, here is our First Look review.  Box Office Sensation is described as a "full face train case," which I think is a more applicable description than "palette."

     This set contains:
    - 36 x 0.05 eyeshadow (mix of matte and shimmer)
    - 9 x 0.04 lip colors
    - 3 x 0.15 blush
    - 1 x 0.15 bronzer
    Retails for $56 ($660 Value according to the box).
    Available at Sephora (exclusive and limited edition).

    This is a great gift for someone who loves makeup and maybe wants to expand their collection.  I could see a college student taking this to their dorm.  It's a small kit, but there are tons of options for creating color combinations.  The packaging is very tough and sturdy (unlike Sephora's Blockbuster or the Tarte Jewelry Box, see the Holiday Gift Guide tab for more details). 

    My girl Jbrobeck reviewed this palette on her blog Polish Insomniac as well.  Check out her post for more photos and her thoughts!

     Palette opened.
    Top layer has two sides of warm shadows.  Middle layer contains cool shades of eyeshadows.  Bottom layer has lip and cheek colors.

     Warm side 1
    Remember to click on image to see them in closer detail.

     Warm side 2
    I love how there are more than just neutrals here.  Blue, green, yellow.  I love the variety.

     Cool side 1

    Cool side 2
    Overall, the eyeshadows in this palette are so far the best quality I've seen in a holiday kit (see our Holiday Gift Guide tab for other reviews).   The mattes and satins are very smooth and buildable.  The more glittery and shimmery shades are slightly grittier, less silky.  There are colors that would work well for day, as well as some fun shades for going out or if you're just in the mood for a more colorful look. 

     3 blushes and a bronzer. 
    The bronzer was a little too red to work all over the face for most skintones.  But the pigmentation on these were amazing.  I also like how the blushes were both cool and warm.  All three blushes are slightly shimmery.  Texture and application were very good.  Colors were very blendable.

    9 lip colors
    I was actually really impressed with how pigmented these were.  They are definitely all more like lipsticks vs lipgloss.  I would have liked to see a "nude" taupe, flesh color.  The eyeshadows in this kit just scream "do a smoky look!" to me, and I would probably rather pair that with a nude lip vs a peach, pink, red lip. 

     Similar eyeshadows shadows
    36 eyeshadows is a lot.  But.... there were a few too many colors for my liking that were too similar.  Above are four separate shades swatched (one from each side) that are all relatively similar.  There are tiny variations in the amount of shimmer vs matte etc, but I think I could have lived with two of them... and maybe have a bonus of two other fun shades.

    To Review:
    Pros:  Great value.  Sturdy packaging.  Good for travel or for someone who wants a lot of color options and not a lot of bulk.  Eyeshadows have good pigmentation and texture, good variety of matte and shimmer.  Blushes and lip colors are pigmented. 
    Cons:  4 very similar eyeshadow colors.  Bronzer has a reddish tone (may not work all over face for most).  Would like to have seen a "nude" color for lips.

    Overall Rating: A-

    REVIEW and EOTD: Eyes Lips Face ELF's The Beauty Encyclopedia Smoky Edition Palette - Holiday Gift Guide Series

    ELF's The Beauty Encyclopedia seemed like a really good deal when I saw it in Target a couple weeks back.  In part with our Holiday Gift Guide series, I posted a first look about this budget-friendly palette, and it drew a few interested parties!  So here is my review with swatches and an application example. 

    This set contains:
    12 eyeshadows
    1 eyeliner pencil in black
    1 mirror
    1 applicator
    $5 at Target stores
    Different versions of the The Beauty Encyclopedia are available on Elf's site.

    The palette opened.

    First row: matte and shimmer.

     Second row: The blue was built up a lot to show that much pay-off.
    Sadly, the purple was built up as many times, but the efforts were futile.
    No color pay-off from that purple.

     Very weak last row.


     Eye diagram.

    I didn't follow the Encyclopedia's instructions.
    See below for which colors I used (you may find it surprising!).

    Diagram of the colors applied.
    No, that's not a mistake.  I *did* apply that bright robin's egg blue.  
    Color pay-off?  Zilch.
    D, the navy shade, was oh-so disappointingly hard and didn't show up at all.
    Nars eye primer and MAC Haute and Naughty mascara were used on both eyes.

    An eyebase to help bring out color from these weak shadows.
    This is Cyber, a Metal-X shadow from MAC (discontinued).
    If you missed Metal-X shadows the first or second time, more on on their way.

    Base applied.
    A metallic silver cream-to-powder shadow base.  
    Now let's try this again.

    What a difference a base makes.
    Pow... now THAT'S blue.
    This is C, patted on.

    The base made all the difference.  
    See the colors actually showed up!

     Side by side, the eyeshadow base really brings out the colors.
    Sadly, these shadows are just not that pigmented, but it's $5...
    Seriously, what do you expect?

     Another edition of the Beauty Encyclopedia.

     The quality was very similar to the Smoky palette.

    To Review:

    Pros: Good gift that's very wallet friendly.  Would make a good stocking stuffer or a nice Secret Santa/office present. 
    Cons: Hard, dry, mediocre quality shadows.  Dry eyeliner pencil.  Not a gift for someone who is really into makeup.  They will be disappointed with the quality.... but then again, it's $5 (pro).

    Overall Rating: C+ (only because it really is such a good value)

    Tarte The Jewelry Box Palette - Swatches and Review - Holiday Gift Guide Series

    In part with our Holiday Gift Guide series, here is Tarte's The Jewelry Box palette. You may have seen our first look here, but now here are swatches and our review.

    Price: $52
    Available at Sephora (exclusive)
    This set contains:

    - 16 x 0.06 oz full-sized shimmering eyeshadow
    - 16 x 0.06 oz full-sized matte eyeshadow
    - 8 x 0.03 oz lip gloss
    - 0.21 oz Mineral Powder Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess
    - 0.25 oz highlighting powder in soft pink
    - 5 x 0.02 oz long-wearing eyeliners

    This palette also comes with 1 detachable chain necklace for festive holiday wear.

    The palette opened.

    (Matte eyeshadows are below shimmering ones that wing out). There isn't a button, clasp, anything to keep this palette closed, which is one complaint I had about this palette. There is a magnet, but it's not strong enough to keep everything in place in case your palette should go any direction but flat. I would not take this out of my bedroom/bathroom (wherever you apply your makeup).

    The eyeshadows

    Overall, I was really excited about this palette! I loved how the palette split the shadows into shimmer and mattes. Some of Tarte's previous palettes have tended to lean to cooler tones. This palette was a nice mix of cool and warm shades. Lots of everyday shadows (1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26) and some fun vibrants for party looks (28, 31, 32). The texture of these shadows was good but not superb. Tarte's Eye Couture palette, which came out a couple years ago and is still available at Sephora, had a smoother, silkier quality to their eyeshadows. Not to say that The Jewelry Box's shadows are poor quality, but let's just say it went from being a 9 to about an 8. And if we are talking dollars and cents, Tarte's Eye Couture palette is 10 eyeshadows for $44 vs The Jewelry box that has a whooping 32 shadows for $52 (not to mention the bronzer, the highlighter, the eyeliners, the lipglosses and the necklace).

    Level 1: Shimmers, left side.

    Level 1: Shimmers, right side.

    Level 2: Mattes

    Level 2: Mattes

    The mattes were definitely less saturated than the shimmers, but still overall a good shadow. The quality of all these shadows wasn't butter-smooth (like Shiseido, Inglot), but it was definitely on par with some other high-end brands. The colors are buildable and have decent color pay-off.

    The value of 32 eyeshadows for $52 is great. The pan size (0.06 oz) is larger than that of a MAC single eyeshadow (0.05 oz for $14.50 each).

    Now onto the rest of the palette.

    Soft Pink Highlighting Powder and Mineral Powder Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess

    The highlighting powder is definitely a great universal shade. Some darker skin tones (maybe anyone above the MAC 40's range) may not be able to use this palette's bronzer for blush or bronzer, but the shimmer in it would be great for highlight, contour.

    Again a note on the value of this palette, $52 for all those eyeshadows + 0.21 oz of Bronzer? A single Mineral Powder Bronzer retails for $29 for 0.32oz. So if you do the math, you are getting $19.03 worth of Bronzer in the Jewelry Box.

    Here are the lipglosses. I was impressed by how pigmented they were. I love the festive holiday red!

    I *love* these pencils. Very very smooth. But most of all I love the colors selected. A shimmering black, military shimmering green, bronze, deep purple and matte black.

    Pros: Good value! You can create a complete look with this 1 palette: eyes, lip, cheeks. Eyeshadows had a good mix of matte and shimmer/cool and warm. Lipglosses are highly pigmented. Pencils are smooth.
    Cons: Shadows are okay but not uber pigmented. Previous Tarte palettes had better shadow quality. Packaging is pretty, but there isn't a way to keep it closed or keep layers from sliding out unless lying flat.

    Overall grade: A-

    FIRST LOOK: Eyes Lips Face ELF's The Beauty Encyclopedia Smoky Edition Palette - Holiday Gift Guide Series

    e.l.f.'s The Beauty Encyclopedia - Smoky Edition

    $5 for a book of 12 eyeshadows and an eyeliner? Seriously? Yes, $5.

    Well that's exactly what e.l.f.'s The Beauty Encyclopedia - Smoky Edition. These are available at Target stores, but other Beauty Encyclopedias in other "editions" are available at e.l.f.'s website


    The Encyclopedia's cover

    The Encyclopedia's back

    The Encyclopedia open - mix of shimmer and matte shades.

    Want to see this purple on.

    Already have a look in mind with the silver and purple!

    Love the top neutrals.

    I will be swatching this palette and others as part of our Holiday Gift Guide Series. Keep checking back for swatches, comparisons and reviews! If there is anything here that you would like to see, please write us at


    Wish Come True - Smashbox - Wish For The Perfect Pencils Kit Review - Holiday Gift Guide Series

    Smashbox Wish For the Perfect Pencils Kit

    Continuing with our Holiday Gift Guide series, here is a great idea for a small gift or a good stocking-stuffer. Smashbox ish For the Perfect Pencils is a kit containing 4 waterproof, long-wearing Limitless eyeliners. The colors are Graphite (shimmering charcoal grey), Orchid (deep purple), 14K (not gold as you would think, more of a light champagne shimmer), Onyx (standard black). These shades are extremely wearable for all skintones. They are not as "gel" like as Urban Decay 24/7 liners but go on very smoothly and have good pigmentation. I didn't find smudging, and I have seriously greasy lids.

    Smashbox Wish For the Perfect Pencils Kit is available at Sephora, Ulta and

    This set contains:
    - 4 x 0.03oz Limitless Eye Liners

    This is not a shabby deal considering that a single Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner, size 0.04 oz, retails for $16 each and you are getting 0.12 oz in this kit for the same price!

    BONUS!!! A gift within a gift!
    Another plus is that Smashbox will donate $1 of every purchase up to $25,000 to Children's Miracle Network, a non-profit organization that grants the wish of life by providing medical care, life-saving research and on-going education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind.
    Not bad huh?!

    4 wearable shades.

    The Limitless Eye Liner singles come with a sharpener in the cap, but these do not.

    Top to bottom: Graphite, Orchid, 14K, Onyx.
    Smooth application.

    Pros: Great value, good product, wearable colors, long-lasting, helping charity.
    Cons: No sharpener.
    Overall Rating: A

    First Look: Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster palette Holiday 2010 - Gift Guide Series

    Sephora Endless Color Blockbuster

    UPDATE: for swatches of the palette!
    Links to other swatches:

    Here is another first look for our Holiday Gift Guide series. In recent years, Sephora has come out with a large eyes, lips, cheeks palette that seems to get bigger each year. Appropriately named, these yearly releases are dubbed as "Blockbuster" palettes. This year's version, Endless Color Blockbuster, is a huge offering of eyes, lips, cheeks, face options.

    This set contains:
    - 98 eyeshadows
    - 70 lipglosses
    - 6 cream eyeliners
    - 2 lip liners
    - 3 pencil eyeliners
    - 1 mascara
    - 3 blushes (one could be used as a bronzer)
    - 4 applicators

    The iconic shopping bag shape

    The palette.

    The bag opens in half to reveal two eyeshadow levels.
    One side cool, another side warm.

    The warm toned shadows.

    Detail of the cool-toned shadows.

    The shadows slide out to reveal the lip layers.

    Cool lips. Purples, wines, berries.

    Detail of glosses. Pearly, shimmer, glitter.

    Warm toned glosses. Neutrals, reds, corals, pinks.

    Blushes, mirror, applicators.

    Dusty bronzy rose, pink and coral.

    2 lip liners, 6 cream eyeliners (sorry didn't get a photo of the pencil eyeliners).

    We will be posting extensive swatches, reviews of this palette and hopefully looks too. This is all a part of our Holiday Gift Guide series to help you pick the best purchases for your money. In past years, I had never paid much attention to the Sephora Blockbuster palettes, but after having this one a few days, I do see the appeal. There are literally thousands of combinations right at your finger tips. I'm excited to see how this stands up against other palettes that are offered this season. What do you think? Would you like this palette for a holiday present? Have you ignored these in the past too? Or have you bought one in the past? Did you like it?

    First Look: LORAC - Box Office Sensation Holiday 2010 - Gift Guide Series

    LORAC's Box Office Sensation

    Continuing with our Holiday Gift Guide Series (it's own tab coming soon!), let's take a look at another big, all-in-one style palette from LORAC. LORAC's Box Office Sensation is a eyes, cheeks, lips palette priced at $56, limited edition and exclusive to Sephora.

    This set contains:
    - 36 x 0.05 eyeshadow (mix of matte and shimmer)
    - 9 x 0.04 lip colors
    - 3 x 0.15 blush
    - 1 x 0.15 bronzer

    The traincase packaging.

    Click the photo to enlarge.
    The top layer of eyeshadows seems more warm toned.

    Detail. Top left.

    Detail. Top Right.

    Detail. Bottom left.

    Detail. Bottom right.

    Detail. Lipglosses.

    3 blushes. 1 bronzer.

    I'm interested to see how this holds up against the Tarte - The Jewelry Box palette. I wanted to bring Beautyburg's readers a comparative analysis on which is the better palette for their buck. I hope that I can offer a little bit of insight for you guys! Look for my upcoming detailed reviews with swatches and look for our Gift Guide tab at the top of this page.

    First Look: Tarte - The Jewelry Box Palette for Eyes, Lip, Face Holiday 2010 - Gift Guide Series

    Holiday season is coming soon! I know in this economy everyone wants to get the best bang for their buck, so I have decided to start a Gift Guide series comparing similar products to take all the guess work out of beauty gift giving this year.

    Here is a first look at Tarte's The Jewelry Box palette exclusive to Sephora. It retails for $52 and is limited edition. This is just one of a few all-in-one palettes that I will be reviewing for Beautyburg's Gift Guide.

    This set contains:

    - 16 x 0.06 oz full-sized shimmering eyeshadow
    - 16 x 0.06 oz full-sized matte eyeshadow
    - 8 x 0.03 oz lip gloss
    - 0.21 oz Mineral Powder Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess
    - 0.25 oz highlighting powder in soft pink
    - 5 x 0.02 oz long-wearing eyeliners

    It also comes with 1 detachable chain necklace for festive holiday wear.

    The necklace.

    The eyeshadows.
    Top layer has the shimmers. The bottom is all matte.

    Layer 1: The shimmers. I love how they are #'ed!

    The left side of shimmer: 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14.

    The right side of shimmer: 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15, 16.

    The mattes: 17-32.

    Below the eyes are cheeks and lips.

    8 lipglosses (I was surprised by their pigmentation. Swatches to come.)
    Right: Highlighting powder in soft pink.
    Left: Tarte's best-selling bronzer in Park Avenue Princess

    Next layer: the eyeliners!

    5 eyeliners

    Would you like The Jewelry Box by Tarte under your tree this holiday?

    I will be comparing this to Sephora's famous Blockbuster palette and LORAC's seasonal holiday palette offering. If there is something specific you would like to see me evaluate this against, please let me know either by email beautyburg@gmail or leave a comment below!