moodboard: warm neutrals

Last week I was shopping for a few shades to customize a large Z-palette (top right palette below), occasioned by MAC’s $6 pro pan sale. How do you build a palette? That is, how do you build your ideal palette? I pulled out some of my favorite palettes to study, determine what I like about them. See how they tick.

They display a distinct trend…

warm neutrals - theseventhsphinx

L-R, as if reading: Kat Von D Monarch palette, Z palette (ft. Mac and Makeup Geek shadows), MAC shadows in custom Japonesque palette, Viseart 01 Neutral Matte, Louise Young Essential Eye Palette, Makuep Geek shadows in custom Japonesque palette, Viseart 05 Sultry Muse, Colourpop shadows, Tom Ford cream shadow, MAC singles, NARS single, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess, Marc Jacobs 212 The Dreamer, Clinique 03 Morning Java

It’s not so easy, in a sea of shades, to create a compelling combination. Easy to make something nice, hard to make something I like even more than my favorites. I’m not finished, actually, though the Z-palette (the blush there is MAC Peaches, if you’re wondering) is full for now. Need to pull in a few more matte shades, something very dark and something to be a great transition shade for my skin tone (read: a tiny bit darker without being too dark). It’s an engrossing color exercise, feels much like a puzzle. I keep shuffling the shades around, deciding not only what shades to include but in what arrangement. Feeling satisfyingly territorial about it.

It seems revealing, to see what colors a person would choose, like it would reinforce something you already knew, or show you something you hadn’t realized about them (about yourself).

[I’m working on the 2 little 4-pan Japonesque (Japonesque makes the shell) palettes as well, simultaneously, as related but independent puzzles.]

I want something that is effectively a Viseart Neutral Matte palette that incorporates shimmers and metallics. Once I’ve added a few things and rearranged to my heart’s content I’ll let you know which shadows made the cut. Have you ever built a custom palette? How did it go? Favorite shades?


the bordeaux lip ii + a giveaway!

Here are some additional options for getting a lovely autumn bordeaux lip (see the first part here, third part forthcoming). This is my most readily and shamelessly justified kind of purchase just now, the deep, vibrant plum/violet red lip color. It’s possibly getting out of hand. [Possibly. I’m not certain I’m qualified to determine these things, or what they might depend upon…]


Here we have: MAC Living Legend, MAC Hang Up, MAC Rebel, Too Faced Melted liquified long wear lipstick in Melted Berry, Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick


MAC Living Legend is super vampy and reads nearly-but-importantly-not-quite black when heavily applied (wearing here and here), MAC Hang Up is my current jam, and think it’s a great balance of dark and bright (and love that creamsheen formula, wearing here), MAC Rebel has pretty much achieved cult status now, I think, as a quintessential autumn shade for anyone and everyone, and for good reason. I’m right there with everyone else saying this is beautiful (though, that said, I’m still really into Hang Up right now). The Too Faced Melted Berry is a potentially messy formula, like any liquid lipstick, but this color is amazing, this is one for the courageous lipstick queens out there. And on the other side of the spectrum, for the timid, the practical, and mavens alike, is Clinique’s Black Honey, a sheer raisin-like color that is somewhat buildable with a glossy finish. I can see why this has such a following, an effortless, foolproof, grown-up color, and a pretty color at any concentration.

OK, in honor of the season I’ll be giving away one bullet of MAC Hang Up, just leave a comment below to enter!

This giveaway is open internationally. It will close December 10, 2014 at midnight EST. If you post more than one comment, only the first will count toward the giveaway. The winner will be announced on the blog on Thursday, December 11, 2014. Good luck!

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