Korea Trip 2010, Part 12: A Buddhist Temple in Seoul

4.30.2011


I was quite excited to do this post because the place was so peaceful and lovely.  My pictures really don't do the place justice; partly because my camera sucks and partly because it was very cloudy that day.  Anyway, by my aunt's apartment, there was a little Buddhist temple.  It was a very peaceful place even though it's sandwiched by immense apartment buildings on every side.  The vibe is a bit like how Central Park is a patch of greenery in NYC, on a much much (much) smaller scale of course :)  The pic above is the temple gate and in the background you can see the modern apartments of Seoul.

Continued from Part 11: Namdaemun Marketplace, Part 2
Or start from the beginning, Part 1: Flying to Tokyo

NOTD: Zoya Faye from the Sunshine 2011 Collection

4.30.2011


Zoya Faye - 2 coats
Seche Vite Top Coat

Finally, it's Saturday!  Anyway, I whipped out Zoya Faye again because I like it so much.  It's definitely on the classier side compared to the rest of the Sunshine Collection and when the weather warms out I may actually wear this to work :D  I think the plum color is formal enough to pull off in summer when work clothes can be a tad more casual - what do you think?

Review: Skinlite Green Tea Essence Mask

4.29.2011


I was poking around Sasa for something interesting to try and this caught my eye, primarily because they're selling this brand at Forever21 now of all places O_O   Given, F21 is owned by Koreans, but I was still surprised to see them selling Skinlite and Cosline (if I remember correctly) sheet masks!  I tweeted about this a few days ago and I guess it was only a matter of time since 1.) sheet masks will definitely be making waves in America within the next five years and 2.) F21 is trying to expand into a makeup/skincare (surprise, surprise).  The marketing of their makeup and skincare leaves much to be desired (they have everything jumbled in a big bin -_-) and if they just displayed it better I bet more people would buy it.  The way they have it now makes sheet masks look so....cheap.  But on the upside, they weren't expensive either :D!  Though I wouldn't say they were cheap. I think they were $1.50/each (F21 actually has better prices than Sasa).  Anyway, I thought I'd pop this review up and let you guys know about this intriguing sheet mask development.  Speaking of, if anyone sees these masks at F21 - try the COSLINE brand (I'll review their Strawberry Pack soon) because dude, they are so cheap but sell some damn fine~ products :D


Purchased at: Sasa

Price: $1.60/mask

Description:

Skinlite Green Tea Essence Mask is useful for lifting and ultra-hydrating results. Enriched with Vitamin E, Phyto Collagen & Green Tea Extract helps lift and hydrate in 15-20 minutes.

* Skin recovery sheet type essence mask.
* 23ml/sheet
* Green Tea Extract helps to keep skin much moisturized.
* Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate prevents skin trouble and making skin healthy.
* Vitamin E & Collagen : increasing skin elasticity & brightening.
- Official site description.
Suitable for: All skin types.


Experience: The mask comes all folded up like the Silk Whitia masks.  It smelled rather strongly of fresh cut herbs (basil?) rather than the gentle, mild scent of green tea that I was expecting.  It was nicely drenched with about a quarter sized amount left over for your neck etc.   I thought I'd love the many slits (aka more adjustable) but there were so many slits that the mask was floppy and annoying to place on my face.  The thick cloth texture did not stick to my face around the edges very well either.  So far, not great.   My face starting itching a bit, which made me nervous but I left the mask on 20-30 minutes anyway.  The itching went away after 10-15 minutes and after I took off the mask there was no redness so I'm not sure where the itching came from.  Although the mask experience itself wasn't all that great, my face did look plumper, brighter, and was more hydrated - so I guess it did a good job.  I also noticed a pimple I had on my forehead healed the next day.  I'm not sure if the mask had anything to do with it healing quickly, but obviously the mask didn't hurt.

Overall

You have to click to see the # of slits.  There's 8 slits around and slits between the eyes and at the corner of the lips.

Fit: Sadly, not so good.  Even though it had a ton of little slits to adjust, the mask was too thick and did not stick to my face well. After a few minutes, all the flaps were pretty much flopping around :\  I think they tried to make this super-adjustable but the inability of the mask to stick your face really well kind of killed it.  Also the mask itself just did not fit my general face shape well.  The nose placement was odd and barely covered my nose and I dunno, it was just not a fun experience putting it on.  People who like the shape of the MBD or FaceQ masks will not like this mask.

Scent: Clean, sharp scent of basil or fresh cut herbs more than green tea imho.   It smells very natural and organic but it's rather strong.  People that are sensitive to strong scents may not like it although the fragrance itself is not bad.


Mask texture: Quite thick (see pic) and did not stick to my face well. It's a cloth mask, as opposed to a paper/pulp mask, so it did have a bit of a fabric feel to it, which was nice.  However, overall I did not like this mask texture because it was just so damn thick so the flaps (around the slits) started flopping as the mask dried :P  This is a problem I've never had with other paper masks (MBD, Silk Whitia, FaceQ) so I wasn't too happy about that.

Excess serum: Mask was very wet and there was about a small quarter-sized amount of excess serum.

Claims: Lift, hydrate, increase skin elasticity, brightening.  Not sure about "lifting" or skin elasticity, but indeed my face felt more hydrated and looked brighter. 

Results: Pretty good regardless of the faint itching and terrible mask fit.

Overall
I don't really recommend this mask because:
Pros:
- Lots of slits and thus very adjustable.
- Clean, organic scent.
- Face did look brighter and was more hydrated.

Cons:
- Mask did not stick to face well.
- Strong basil scent.
- Faint itching sensation.
- Expensive.  Even the MBD Blooming of Beauty masks are only ~$1.52/mask.  
One thing that popped out at me was the remarkably good English on the packaging albeit with a few odd capitalizations and dropped prepositions. I was so curious about this phenomenon (because let's face it, grammatically correct English on any Asian beauty products pretty much is a phenomenon), that I did a bit of research: Skinlite is owned by Adwin Korea Corp (Est 1999), who also owns Purederm, Carederm, Aqualette, and Prreti (minus a point for the suspicious and slightly nonsensical spelling of what I think is 'pretty' :P).  These are new brands to me so I am quite interested in trying them out someday.  I can tell they are weak on packaging style (probably why they aren't so popular) and they seem to be going for a more scientific skincare angle, so who knows what gems they may have ;)?

Although I don't recommend this particular mask, if anyone knows more about other Skinlite products, let me know :D

Korea Trip 2010, Part 11: Namdaemun Marketplace, Part 2

4.27.2011

Yes, another travel post finishedddd!  Anyway, I went to Namdaemun 3-4 times while I was Seoul because I liked it so much.  They had a HUGE jewelry/beads floor - but it was open only to wholesalers :( so I didn't get to buy anything.  You can watch people handmaking fabric flowers, feathered hairbands, etc - it's amazing to see the work that goes behind making a single hairband~ I didn't take enough pictures of this place because I was too busy poking my head into the little booths, but hopefully this post will give you a little taste of what it is like :}

This is a continuation to Namdaemun Marketplace, Part 1 :)
To start from the beginning go to Part 1: Flying to Tokyo

Anyway! To continue from Part 1: One my aunts told us not to exchange our money at the airport because it was a rip-off.  We did exchange about $200 at the airport for bus fares and such, but the rest of the cash we exchanged here:


From old ladies like this ^_^

It looked mad sketchy, but my aunt said that they give the best exchange rates.  These old ladies keep a couple thousand dollars worth of money in various currencies in a pouch around their waist; that and a little box set up with a calculator and rubberbands - that's all they need :}  These ladies have a little sign saying they exchange yen, yuan, won, and usd, but the exact exchange rate is somewhat informal because YES, you can bargain exchange rates.  It's best to go with an older fluent-speaking Korean man or woman to bargain for you because you'll get the best exchange rate.  However, don't expect to bargain too much either way, these ladies track the daily exchange rate and you won't be able to deviate much from that - it wouldn't be fair to them, honestly.  Either way, you'll probably get a better rate than what you will at the airport.  A lot of people both Koreans (about to visit the States I guess) and foreigners were exchanging money, so obviously it's quite legit.

NOTD: Jill Stuart Love Scandal #109 and HAIR :}

4.24.2011

I was lucky enough to win Ashura (Clover Beauty Inn)'s Jill Stuart giveaway.  I was really excited to win because I've never tried any Jill Stuart products and JS's gorgeous packaging has always intrigued me.   I feel like I'm holding a magic potion ^_^!  This polish is Jill Stuart Love Scandal #109, which is from the Jill Stuart Valentine Love Collection LE 2011!  You can see swatches of this whole LE collection here

LT: No flash.  RT: Flash/Sunlight.

No base coat.
Jill Stuart Love Scandal #109 - 2 coats
OPI for Sephora Flurry Up

It's a gorgeous rich red -  definitely the best Valentine's-red color ever :}  Besides being my first JS polish, it was my first "jelly" finish polish.  I love the jelly finish - it adds a translucent delicacy that such a vibrant color normally wouldn't have. 


And of course, the packaging is gorgeous - I love it.  The jeweled cap just really captures my fancy ;)  The sweet, girly, finely detailed packaging is very luxe in my eyes without being saccharine. This the the kind of "fake gem" Holika Holika should put on top of their Aqua Muse Watery lipsticks!


The brush is flat (tho not as wide as the Lioele Ice Cream polishes) and pretty easy to use.  The jelly polish is a little more watery than I'm used to but it wasn't streaky at all.   This polish also removes very cleanly and does not leave stains even though it's quite a bright color. 

My only real complaint is that it wasn't very long lasting.  I had to remove this color for work so I only got to wear this for the weekend so I didn't use a base coat, but even without a base coat, Zoya polishes last 2-3 days but this one started chipping by the end of day 1.  I haven't tried this polish with a base coat yet though, so it may not be a big deal.  Also, if you want to buy this they are 75 HKD aka ~$9.65 USD, which is a tad pricey for a tiny bottle of polish. You're definitely paying for the packaging. Overall, it's a lovely color in a gorgeous bottle that looks oh-so-pretty on my dresser ^_^


Also I got a haircut a few days ago :D  I'm not particularly sure how I feel about my new bangs but it just feels really good to have my hair re-layered.  I also trimmed off the split ends and overall, my hair feels a lot lighter and manageable :) But my mom said that this cut makes my face look fatter O_o so I guess that makes me wonder if this is a flattering cut ^_^;;;


Here are a few of the hairstyles I've had before. Which bangs should I get next time?  Should even get bangs at all?  I've been thinking of just growing out my bangs out completely like this:


Also I was having a lot of fun on Taaz, which is a website where you can put in a pic of yourself and virtually put on makeup, colored contacts, and different hairstyles :D!  I seriously used to kill SO much time on that website while procrastinating in college xD  Anyway, which hairstyle do you think I should get next time?



I'm kind surprised how much I like #1 and #11 :D I don't think I have the heart to chop my hair that short yet but maybe in a few years I will.  #5 and #9 please me too.  I've been thinking of lightening my hair color for spring but I haven't dyed my hair since....freshman year in HS.  I streaked my hair light red my senior year of HS too but you couldn't even see it so it hardly counts -_-  Anyway, let me know what you peeps think :)!!

And last but not least . . . .


H a p p y  E a s t e r !

Korea Trip 2010, Part 10: Namdaemun Marketplace, Part 1

4.22.2011

Holy moly, this post has been backlogged since December!  Anyway, I'm finally posting it and god willing I will finish this Korea Trip 2010 series (for chrissake it's 2011 -__-;;).

Continued from Part 9: The 63 Building
To start from the beginning go to Part 1: Flying to Tokyo


Anyway, this is a two part post of about Namedaemun Marketplace in Seoul. Wiki describes it as a "traditional" marketplace - in my eyes it's the "home basics" marketplace.
Namdaemun Market is one of the oldest continually running markets in South Korea, and one of the largest retail markets in Seoul. The streets in which the market is located were built in a time when cars were not prevalent, so the market itself is not accessible by car. The main methods of transporting goods into and out of the market are by motorcycle and hand-drawn carts. It occupies many city blocks, which are blocked off from most car traffic due to the prevalence of parking congestion in the area. The market can be accessed by subway or bus; the location is within a 10 minute walk from Seoul metropolitan Hoehyeon Station, Line 4.

Much of the market is outside, but there are also many stores which line the streets. Many retailers buy their items, particularly clothing, at wholesale prices at Namdaemun, to resell in their own stores in other cities. Namdaemun is a popular tourist attraction.
So yep, they sell pretty much everything houseware-ish like dishes, pots, soap, ginseng, underwear, clothing, shoes, blankets etc. You can also order custom-made hanbooks (see below) and eat street vendor food.  This is my favorite marketplace in Korea :) even though it's not "targeted" towards younger folks like Dongdaemun Market (if I recall correctly).  There is a TonyMoly, The Face Shop, and Missha shop tho for those interested.  One thing this market lacks is clothing targeted to young folks aka the quintessential "Korean style" street clothing.   The clothing here are for older people. But for me, I love Namedaemun for the amazing range of stuff you can get here for great prices ^_^ You do have to barter *sigh* but you can get wholesale prices if you bargain right.  Naturally, shopkeepers tend to rip off foreigners/anyone who doesn't speak Korean fluently/doesn't know what they're doing but that's the nature of the bargaining world and they need to make a living too ;)

NOTD Rainbow: Zoya Sunshine Collection + Swap

4.15.2011


Are these not the most perfect weekend nails everrrrrrrrrr~?!  I've worn these crazy nails two weekends in a row even if it's a pain to apply 5 different colors.  During my ridiculous Zoya binge, I ordered the entire Sunshine collection (except for Reva) since that looked a lot like slightly darker version of Kimmy to me. People may have seen me raving about this on Twitter already ^^


Temptalia and Scrangie were both lukewarm about this collection's formula, but with VampyVarnish's not-quite-raves but good review, I bought them all anyway ^_^  And omg I love them :D!  They're not perfect though:
Pros:
1.) Absolute glitter bombs - all the polishes have a ton of gold micro-flecks.
2.) Easy to build from sheer to opaque.  Some have complained that these are sheer polishes but seriously, they really aren't.  Yes, at one coat they look suspiciously sheer but all the polishes are opaque by 2 coats.  Tanzy and Rica may take 3 coats though.  Kimmy is actually opaque enough to get away with one coat if you want :D
3.) Pretty long lasting. The first time I wore these I didn't use a base or top coat and they lasted 3 days anyway.  I haven't worn them for a longer length of time yet though - crazy as I may be, even I don't have the guts to wear 5 sparkly polishes to work all at once xD
4.) VampyVarnish says these colors aren't that unique but me being a relative polish newbie, I have no dupes of any of them.  Especially Faye and Rica which are pretty universally considered unique to this collection.

Cons:
1.) Formula is admittedly not as good as the Summertime collection (cream finishes) but I think that's a consequence of just being total glitter bombs.  The formula dries a hair slower than the typical Zoya polish, but it really isn't a big deal. It's like a difference of 5 minutes but for watching-TV-whilst-applying polishers like me, it's no big deal.
2.) Downside of these polishes being choked with gold glitter is that when you remove them, you get little gold glitter flecks everywhere :P So you have to wash you hands afterwards 2-3 times to get rid of all that residue.  That said, for a glitter polish these are really easy to remove :)  Not like the Sally Hansen Rockstar 05 which is by far the most painfully annoying polish to remove -_-
Anyway, enough with the chatter! I took a lot of pics because I just love this happy look ^_^ Just looking at my nails make me feel chipper!

LT: from LT to RT - Faye (pinky), Reva, Tanzy, Apple, Kimmy (thumb)
RT: the top hand in reverse.

These colors remind me of Lifesavers or summer fruits :D
Faye: a plum or fig.
Reva: sugared pink grapefruits.
Tanzy: sunkissed tangerines!
Apple: ....granny smith apples. Duh :}
Kimmy: sun-ripened strawberries.
Oh mannnnn, Faye is definitely a winner here.  It's such a lovely, unique plum with gold flecks.  From reviews I've read, Faye has been been a universal favorite and I can see why.  Reva (the pink grapefruit) is a close second with Kimmy (the strawberry red).  That's followed by Tanzy - the perfect orange color imho then Apple.  Honestly, I really like all of them though.  I think they all go so perfectly together :D


And don't they just look so glittery in the sun ^_^?  I accidentally shrunk this image down too much so it's hard to see details but yeah~


And what it looks like from far away :)  My hands look a little too yellow in the pics but for those with yellow-undertones and have trouble finding an orange that doesn't make your hands look sallow - Tanzy is a fantastic orange color.  It goes quite well with my yellow undertones and reminds me of mandarin oranges ^_^

And last but not least~ Awhile back Elisa (of Memorable Days) and I did a face mask swap and she sent me a couple MBD and Dutch masks :}


It was pretty cool to get a package all the way from the Netherlands ^_^ And the Hello Kitty marshmallow candies were really good; they were filled with strawberry jam.


So far I've tried the Natto mask (orange-y :D) and am probably going to try one of the Dutch masks next.  Elisa was being mad cute and stuck little translated directions everywhere ^^

Looking back I noticed I haven't been doing many "personal"-style posts and I think I'm going to focus on that for awhile now.  I still need to finish my Korea Trip series (backlogged for almost a year now -__-) and I feel like I'm becoming a little impersonal :P Anyway~ it's FRIDAY. Have a good weekend peeps :)

NOTD: The Last of Winter~ Zoya Edtya

4.11.2011

Super short post today (to make up for the atrociously long one last time ^_~). I just wanted throw up this last backlogged "winter" NOTD I had sitting on my harddrive before I start fawning over spring/summer happy nail colors ^_^  Although I've been pretty busy :( one thing I've been good at is snapping pics of my nails, so I've collected quite a backlog of them ^^   

Seche Vite Base Coat
Zoya Edtya - 2 coats
Seche Vite Top Coat

I am proud to say this is a very accurate shot of Zoya Edtya ^_^  It's a pretty forest green with gold (and a tiny hint of blue) micro-glitters.  It has an almost mossy textured finish that I find rather intriguing.  This polish always strikes me as a Christmas-y polish; next year, hopefully, I'll have time to jazz it up with some holiday designs.   It's a very easy to apply - the classic Zoya formula in other words.  It's very opaque and you can easily get away with just two coats.  It's not quite as long lasting as Zoya Freja though, this starts chipping a tad in about a week while Freja goes chip-less for up to 2 weeks.  I noticed this because I wore these polish back to back.  Another negative is that omg, this stains your nails if you don't use a base coat.  Even with a base coat, after removing this I had a faint green tinge that lasted for a day or two! I've never had a staining problem before or since so it definitely is this particular polish.  I don't know if it's the fault of my base coat or Edtya itself but this staining problem is why I don't think I'll ever wear this color regularly.

Nonetheless, I don't regret buying it.  It's one of those polishes that don't stand out as much but I haven't gotten sick of it either. The rich forest green with gold sparkle just makes it a very warm, holiday-ish color.  I think there was a mad rush for Edtya a few months ago for one reason or another, but even though the hype has died down, I still like it.  I just wish it didn't stain my nails so much :P

Review: Maybelline ExpertWear Quads

4.06.2011


Holy moly, At long last I have finished this my compilation review of my Maybelline ExpertWear quads ^_^!  I am quite fond of Maybelline palettes, even though their formula isn't amazing, it's decent and I love the colors they put together. They are very easy to find and retail $6-7 with the occasional BOGO 50%.  I really hope that this review is helpful to everyone looking to try a Maybelline palette. Four of these quads are from the Stylish Smokes line aka everything except Designer Chocolates.


Unfortunately, I have not tried the two most popular quads in the ExpertWear line: Chai Latte (most highly ranked on MUA) and Enchanted Forest (#2 on MUA).  This happened because Chai Latte looked too similar to Natural Smokes, which I bought first, and I accidentally bought Emerald Smokes instead of Enchanted Forest :P  Seriously, I was standing in the aisle at Walmart trying to remember which green Maybelline quad was more highly ranked and I couldn't remember for the life of me :P  Then I got too lazy to make an exchange. Oh well xD


The four evenly divided palettes are the same as the horizontal palettes (as in formula), I believe.  I also think the 4-square ones are an older version of these quads since I just started seeing the horizontal palettes recently.  I think the horizontals are supposed to be for more dramatic looks and the 4 squares are for wearable everyday looks.  They just stamp different instructions on them:
- 4 even square palettes: Browbone, Lid, Crease, Outer Corner
- horizontal palettes: Base, Lid, Crease, Liner
All the palettes come in both forms so I guess this is Maybelline's way of diversifying without actually adding anymore colors to their collection.  In general, all the quads come with a balance of matte and shimmer shadows.


Thoughts on the ExpertWear Quads as a whole . . . .
Packaging: Decent.  Slim, easy transportable, practical.  Nothing to complain about really but I wish it came with a built in mirror.

Pigmentation: It's a mixed bag but the matte shadows tend to be bad, the shimmery shadows tend to be quite good. I'll get more into it in the individual reviews.

Formula: After trying five quads, I have to say their matte shadows are usually poop.  They are generally chalky, very powdery and virtually useless.  However, there is no fallout.  Their shimmer shadows are overall much higher quality.  Although they aren't as pigmented as say, Urban Decay shadows, they have enough color payoff to add a small pop of color in a wearable, professional way.  I wouldn't go as far as to say the colors are velvety but they are quite blendable nonetheless.  The shimmer shadows are buildable, the matte shadows, not so much.  The darker matte shadows are somewhat buildable but....they don't build very well.  You have to get used to packing on with the sponge then ever-so-carefully blending just the edges.  :\  I don't have problems with creasing but some have mentioned that this is a problem. Tip: Sponge tips are actually better for packing on color than brushes :)

Overall Quality: As I said, I like these quads.  Some quads are definitely better than others but as a whole, Maybelline's quads are great for practical everyday looks, readily available, and pretty cost friendly.  The perfect small purchase to perk up a dreary day I'd say ^^

**Note** I don't use primers with eyeshadows ever, in real life or in swatches, so it's quite possible to get more pigmentation if you do use primers.

Ok onto detailed in-depth reviews :)


Maybelline Expert Eyeshadow Quad in Charcoal Smokes
Makeup Alley says:
Average Rating: 4.0/5.0
75% would buy this product again

This is one of the most loved Maybelline Quads.  It's considered one of the easiest quads to use to create both wearable everyday looks and a sexy~ smokey eye.

I dunno why I got the swatches so out of order ^^
These are SINGLE SWIPE swatches so they would be much more pigmented on your lid.

#1 Liner: In the pan and finger swatches, the glittery black is gorgeous with a blue base silver microglitter.  I find it very difficult to build and the glitter is not visible on your lid ><  I never use it and find it fairly useless to get a smokey eye.

#2 Lid: If you consider that the swatch is just one swipe, you can see that it has pretty good pigmentation! It's a lovely taupe with a silver sheen.  A very practical color that works well with both smokey and natural eye looks.

#3 Crease: The finger swatch is oddly blue O_o  But it's a dark gray with a blue undertone that works well with my cool undertone.   It's a little powdery compared to the Lid and Base color but it's not so bad. Overall, I'm not a huge fan on this color though.

#4 Base: The lightest color is actually my favorite ^^  It's a shimmery gray-silver that I like to use as a base.  I think it's a little too shimmery as a browbone and nose highlighter but in a pinch it works fine :) It's also a perfect inner corner highlight. What I really like about this is that you can use it as a subtle wash of color or build it to a more noticeable silver-gray.

Overall
Unfortunately, as a whole, this quad is not something I recommend :\  It doesn't have the versatility I expected, mostly because the black liner color is so patently useless.  This wormed it's way into one of my monthly favorites video because I like the shimmery Base color and taupe color is so purty.  Also it's really easy to crank out an everyday look or semi-smokey eye out of this.  BUT I feel like that after using this for 3-4 months I do NOT recommend this palette in the sense that the other Maybelline quads are better.

To clarify, this is a decent quad and it wouldn't be waste per se to buy it, but I just feel like there are better Maybelline quads to buy.  Also, a smokey eye look palette is a must-have in any makeup collection so I think you should invest in a more expensive smokey eye palette if you can.  Besides a good matte (or slightly shimmery) black and white are staples so plopping down as much as $30 for a high end shadow that works well is well worth it.  Sometimes it's better to spend a bit more than wasting $6-7 on something that you will probably use regularly but isn't ideal.  This is one of those times :)


Maybelline Expert Eyeshadow Quad in Natural Smokes
Makeup Alley says:
Average Rating: 4.1/5.0
74% would buy this product again

Natural Smokes is even MORE loved than Charcoal Smokes (for good reason).  It is just such a perfect everyday quad.  Honestly, I use this more than my UD Naked palette - why? I'm not sure, but I think it's because it's more portable, slightly less pigmented (thus easier to blend out mistakes which I make a lot of ehhe), and just...yeah, 4 colors are quite enough for an everyday neutral look.  I really do like the UD Naked but come on, it's almost ostentatious (and clunky) to carry around 12 neutral shadows everyday >_>


#1 Outer Corner: A matte dark brown.  The arm swatches aren't as pigmented as the finger swatches but it has several redeeming qualities: it's blendable, not powdery at ALL (very unusual for a drugstore matte shadow), and easily buildable.  And as a dark brown goes it is very, very acceptable.

#2 Crease: I shimmery brown with gold flecks.  A lovely silky (almost velvety) texture, no fallout, very blendable...just no complaints.

#3 Lid: A light gold with silver flecks.  It looks a bit powdery on my fingers but it really isn't  It's a lovely shimmery color that is just great on the center of your lid to add a bit of dimension.

#4 Browbone: A matte off-white color. I use this as a base color too and at my inner corners.  It leans a tad on the chalky side but it's not too bad at all, as you can see in the arm swatch.

Overall
All four colors are good and together, these shadows make it so easy to create a neutral everyday look.  You just can't go wrong with it.  A slight downside is that without a base, this is not particularly long-lasting, maybe 4-5 hours.  But with a base, it will last 7-8 hours, good enough to last through work.  Also I think this would make a great "beginners" palette.  It's very easy to blend and correct mistakes.   I recommend this palette very much for people looking for a portable, easy to use, neutral palette.


Maybelline Expert Eyeshadow Quad in Designer Chocolates
Makeup Alley says:
Average Rating: 3.6/5.0
63% would buy this product again

This was the first Maybelline Quad I ever bought.  I got it solely for the burgundy red crease color (a serious dupe of one of the colors from the NARS Cheyenne duo I think).  I did a tutorial with this quad once, so you can go there to see what the red color looks like on a face.


From LT to RT:
#1 Outer Corner: A matte (milk chocolate) brown color.  I think it has a slight gold shimmer to it.   Once again, it's lighter than the finger swatches but it's still a nice color that matches well with the burgundy red.  If this brown was too dark it would overwhelm the crease color anyway.

#2 Crease: A lovely shimmery burgundy-red with a silver flash.  The reason behind the purchase.  It took me a little fiddling to learn how to use this color.  The first time I put it on I looked like I'd been crying all day ^^  Basically, never use red below your eye :P  It does chunk a little bit if you try to pack on too much at once but overall it's easy to blend and has pretty good color payoff. No fallout either.

#3 Lid: A matte peach.  It looks a lot better in swatches :P but this is my least favorite color because it's nearly invisible on my NC20-25 face.  It's also a little bit chalky though it looks deceivingly silky in the pictures -__-

#4 Browbone: A matte eggshell beige.  Chalky with a tad bit of fallout.  Overall, it can be worked with though and is a nice subtle highlighter for your inner corners and indeed perfect for your browbone.

Overall
The Lid color is a miss for me but the other three colors are nice to work with.  I am so in love with the red color though so I don't regret this purchase at all.  However, as much as I personally like it I hesitate to recommend everyone try it.  I know most people do not want to bother with reddish shadows and it's not really a very versatile quad.  I'd have to say overall, you guys should be the judge.


Maybelline Expert Eyeshadow Quad in Emerald Smokes
Makeup Alley says:
Average Rating: 3.8/5.0
75% would buy this product again

By far one of the most beautiful quads I've seen in the pan.  Just LOOK at the Crease and Liner color!


#1 Base: a matte pale yellow.  A little on the powdery side, but it's not bad.

#2 Lid: A slightly shimmery olive with gold flecks.  It's not creamy per se, but it applies well enough.  A very workable neutral.

#3 Crease: A shimmery fern green.  It's not as vibrant as Urban Decay shadows but this color is an easy, subtle way to add a pop of color to an everyday look :) It reminds of less pigmented, more wearable version of UD Kush, which I reckon is a good thing.

#4 Liner: A matte black with gold and bronze flecks. Probably the most disappointing color in this quad.  Maybelline can't do blues and matte blacks, I swear :P The gold flecks become nearly non-existent and the essentially useless :{

Overall
I like this quad because it's easy to get a neutral look that isn't all taupe and biege :)  The fern green is so flattering on yellow undertones I think.  I rarely wear greens (or purple) eyeshadows because I feel like they're easy to mess up and produce the "black eye" look, but this is a lovely vibrant green that somehow never produces a bruised look :) I think this would be a good introduction to green eyeshadow for beginners.


Maybelline Expert Eyeshadow Quad in Sapphire Smokes
Makeup Alley says:
Nothing.  Not even on there since it's not popular enough.

This is one of those palettes that look drop dead gorgeous in the pan but awful otherwise :\  It's not even on MUA for a reason, I don't know why anyone would want it once they've tried it -_-  And is it just me or does Maybelline just not know how to formulate blue shadows >_>?


#1 Base: a matte white.  Very powdery and pretty useless.  It's hard to get any pigmentation.

#2 Lid: A shimmery white. Not powdery but impossible to get any pigmentation. It has faint shimmers but washes out to near invisibility.

#3 Crease: A shimmery teal. This was surprisingly awful.  Finger swatches were nice but trying to get it on your eye is a different story.  It tends to just blend away completely.

#4 Liner: A shimmery navy blue.  A big fat disappointment - SO gorgeous in the pan and in finger swatches but it blends away so easily on your eye :(

Overall
In the pan and in finger swatches, the blues looked so promising.  But then you put it on your skin and it's just....wtf?  Very chalky, almost no color payoff, and tends to blend away into invisibility.  I don't have anything to say except this entire quad is a pass.  Sadly enough, all four colors suck and I straight up do not recommend this palette.

eww my wrists are so vein-y >0<

And just for fun, here is what my arms looked like afterwards ^_^ I'm a rainbow zebra xD Useful to see what the colors look like at a distance no :)?
Recommended:
Natural Smokes
Emerald Smokes

Maybe:
Designer Chocolates (one of my personal favorites though)
Charcoal Smokes (very loved but I don't like it :\)

Not Recommended:
Sapphire Smokes
*whew* So that's that. I think it took me over two months to finish this post -__- I hope this was helpful!
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