Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fixing Your Broken Eyeshadows

I recently visited the states, and did the unthinkable by packing some of my makeup in my checked luggage.

Yep. If you can imagine your worst fear happening, mine did.

A photo posted by Mandi Chiem (@mistava) on

As you can see from my Instagram a few weeks back, I left one of my eye shadow palettes to the mercy of flight transportation.

So I'm providing a step-by-step process on how you can salvage your broken make up rather than dishing out another $24 it would have cost me to get a brand new one. This is also a way to press some of your pigments into pans.

The key things I used were rubbing alcohol, a liquid-dropper, a bobby-pin, paper towels, a coin, and a well ventilated room or work area.

The alcohol comes in handy for mixing and sanitizing your tools. So my first step would be to soak that coin in the alcohol and rub down your mixing tool with it too. I used isopropyl alcohol from the local Rexall. You can get it at any pharmacy as it is an important first aid item.

DISCLAIMING SOME STUFF: If you're a child, please have an adult handle this. Don't get this in any of your fleshy orifices. If you have sensitive skin, then use some rubber or latex gloves. When handling alcohol, refrain (DO NOT) touch your eyes or any other mucous membranes. It will hurt. It will hurt a lot. When I say a lot, I mean A LOT.
Once you have sanitized your tools to your heart's desire, go ahead and crush up the rest of your eye shadow with your tool until it's mostly a loose pigment or powder. Try to do it slowly, or you'll end up with a lot of shadow outside your pan.
Next use your liquid-dropper and alcohol, and add 1-2 drops at a time to your pan.
Mix that bad boy up until you have the consistency of a paste, or porridge-like, or toothpaste-like, goop-like (yeah goop is a good word =D) substance.
It should more or less look like this all mixed up. At this point, I put it aside and let it set for about 15-20 minutes before pressing.
Try to be patient at this part. If you press too soon, you may lose more pigment than you want.

You'll know when to press your shadow when all the shininess of the alcohol has diminished. Grab a piece of paper towel and your coin. I used a Canadian loonie ($1 coin).
To press, place the paper towel on top of your shadow and press down hard with the coin. I like to use the paper towel because it is made to soak up liquids a lot better than a cloth. You can see the excess alcohol is squeezed from the pan. Remember you want to press down hard to get the shadow condensed properly in the pan.
While I pressed this shadow, I found that I needed it to be more condensed and ended up using a quarter to squeeze out the excess alcohol.
This is the end result. And for the test...
Ta DA~! Just like new. 
In it goes with the rest of my Moondusts. 

Now if you've learned anything from this incident, learn not to pack your make up in with your checked baggage. Thanks for reading and seeing!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Kat Von D's Monarch Eyeshadow Palette

Kat Von D has had these butterfly palettes out for awhile -- a few months to be correct, and exclusively sold at Sephora. I've been finally able to play around with the Monarch Palette, and I can tell you guys, WOWZA! Check it!
Top: outer packaging, and bottom: actual palette packaging.
I haven't tried too many of Kat Von D's products, only because I haven't known too much about them really, and some products have certain ingredients that don't readily agree with my skin. However, I am slowly becoming hooked the more I hear and read about her line.

I looooove this package. The designs are SOOO KVD.

If you guys don't know who Kat Von D is, or Katherine von Drachenberg, she is a tattoo artist, who made her fame through an American Reality TV show called Miami Ink back in 2005. Miami Ink followed the artistic endeavors of some of the most amazing tattoo artists out there. KVD was well known for her brilliant black and white, greyscale tattoos. Her talent is praised since she started out very young in the tattooing industry.

Following Miami Ink, KVD continued working with TLC to create another reality series called LA Ink, which is basically another reality spin-off series featuring more artists and a couple of different shops. The show was very dramatic. =P

KVD started her beauty line in 2008, and it is exclusively sold at Sephora. You can read on her products either at the Sephora website or at .

I have been loving this palette. It is KVD's Monarch Eyeshadow Palette and it is flippin' awesome.

I tried to keep it neat, since I have been using the palette in the last while.
The packaging is made from a sturdy cardboard, and the magnet that keeps it closed is definitely ideal. The condensed cardboard makes it a little bit weighty, but I can say that I feel that all the shadows are so secured that I wouldn't be afraid of them flying everywhere if I dropped it. And I ain't gonna test that theory out, because I love this palette way too much. =P

I have the eyeshadows swatched in three different images of four per section, starting with the top horizontal shade followed by the vertical shades underneath.

From left to right, we have entomology, wrath, papilio, and summerfly.

Mind you, the names of the shadows follow in with the theme of entomology, which is the study of insects. Some of the names are a little morbid, but it's kind of expected with the overall theme and style. =)

Here, we have a more cooler set starting with telepathy, killing jar, delaney, and vanish.
And the third set follows with tiny death, disintegration, shadow box, and deadhead.

These shadows are so pigmented. The only shade I've had to dip in a few times was tiny death. It is a matte powder with some bigger glitter spread out in it. Killing jar is my favourite paired with papilio and telepathy. These shadows are smooth when applied, and I feel like the quality of these shadows have a creamy consistency though they are powders. They are somewhat reminiscent to theBalm eye shadows, considering how silky they feel and how they apply. Definitely a must have.

With any one of these shadows I feel there is a lot of fallout that can occur, so when picking up the eye shadow I suggest using a light patting or light sweeping motions so you don't get your product everywhere.

The Monarch, and its sister, Chrysalis, palettes are still being sold at Sephora, but they are slowly selling out. If you're interested, check out your nearest Sephora store fast! KVD has some rad new palettes already on their way out too.

Peace ya'll. ;P


Monday, January 05, 2015

Urban Decay's Naked On the Run Palette

The last few months have been kind of hectic in a huge way. In that time, I managed to pick up and leave off three different part-time jobs, tumble about until I settled on the fourth one, and spent time with the people who are most important to me. Happy New Year, by the way. =P

And yes, I apologize for being away for so long, but loooooook, I have not come back empty-handed! That fourth job is my only job now, and guess where I was hired at? 

Ba-dum, ba-duuum! At Sephora! Best job I've ever picked up too. When the time comes, I'll be able to tell you folks the brilliance of "Gratis!" =P

But first, let's talk about this piece of brilliance. ;P
This is the Naked On the Run Palette by Urban Decay.

It has been out since November at Sephora (in Canada), and I have been using it all throughout the holidays.

BAM! My attempt at being artistic with the actual palette. She's a pretty one, no? I wanted to show the layering effect of the text on the cover. It is made of sturdy plastic, and is under 5.5 inches x 5 inches and just over an inch deep. Finger prints smudge easily on the outer frame though. There isn't a proper latch, and the magnet isn't a strong one, but it stays together alright in storage. The stand-alone items inside tend clatter a little bit when moved, but they stay in their designated space instead jumping out.
Inside, reveals a complete set which includes Urban Decay's newest mascara; Perversion, a 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Stag, a lipgloss called Sesso from the Naked line, six eye shadows (yep, six!), and a bronzer / blush duo. Also, you get a generous mirror that sits upright at an angle. I left the plastic on mine. Oops.

But anyway, I have the first five eye shadows swatched next.

From left to right, we have Dive, Fix, Resist, Dare, and Stun

There isn't too much variety, but I feel with the rest of the palette, there's a good selective combination.

The bronzer and cheek duo is swatched here, followed by the sixth eye shadow shade called 5050, the lipgloss in Sesso, and the eyeliner in Stag. I am still testing out the mascara. It's a nice formula thus far, and I like the closely placed lash bristles.

I think the palette is customized for travel. If you consider the bronzer and blush, you can create a few different looks. You get three shimmers and three mattes eye shadows. The last eye colour, 5050, is slightly shimmery in the pan, but comes off mostly matte on the skin. You can use it as a highlighting colour, but it might come off as too powdery on the cheeks.

Speaking of powdery, the mattes seem to be the ones with the most fallout, but they do blend like silk. ;)

The gloss is a nice formula. It is the first full-sized gloss I own by Urban Decay. There is no stickiness, and feels comfortable on the lips. I think these are comparable to bareMinerals' Moxie lip glosses or the Buxom lip polishes. There's a little bit of a minty scent, but there isn't any tingling feeling or plumping on the lips. Sesso is a medium mauve colour, that has some very fine medium pink shimmer in it. It is a deeper mauve shade, but sheer. On the lips by itself, it enhances your own natural lip colour, and looks great for a sultry neutral look. Try topping off any pink or berry lipstick with Sesso.

The only way to achieve a deeper eye look is by using the eyeliner, Stag (Duuuuh!). Again, the variety is limited, but you can always accompany other liners or glosses with the palette. Stag is a dark charcoal brown, I would say. It's not exactly black, but compliments the rest of the palette as the darkest shade.

Overall, I think this is a nice addition to UD's Naked collection, and for any one who wants to complete their own Naked collection as it is limited-edition. In my opinion, the only thing missing is a double-ended brush. Anybody else feel the same? =P

I'm taking a trip soon, and I think I'll be taking this palette with me. Should be some fun stuff. 

Back soon! Thanks for checking in. =)


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

tarte's sweet dreams Holiday 2014 Collection

I apologize in advanced, but I really wanted to post my obsession with tarte blushes, and the quality of natural lighting was fading fast in the afternoon when I photographed these. As it is, in northern Alberta, the daylight hours are becoming too few. The last few days have been gloomier and gloomier. And thus, you will see that my natural day-time swatches change and fluctuate as I took more photos. =/
Isn't it all so pretty? I knew you'd agree with me. =3

Do you know what's even better? Having to hold them! =P
Oooh~! Aaah~! Weeee~!

Also take note, these four sets were purchased at two different spots; Sephora and Tarte.
First up, is the pin up girl clutch palette. It is the Amazonian clay 12-hour blush feature palette for this 2014 holiday. It comes with two vintage-inspired, wearable hair pins. This clutch was available at Sephora, and I purchased it online through the site. For some reason, they are out of stock at the moment, but I have a feeling they will make a come back closer to the holidays.
Opened up, you get a nice-sized mirror and five limited-edition blushers with the protective plastic sheet that lists the names of the blushes.
Swatches are in natural lighting and cooler indoor lighting.
From left to right, we have breathless (pinky beige), embraced (plummy rose), whimsy (light pink), bashful (rosy peach), and irreplaceable (mauve rose).

I think this is just a lovely palette to have, and for anyone who loves blush, this is gold. All of the shades are workable and really, I don't know how much more I can go on about the quality of tarte blushes. The first, third, and fifth shades are all matte, the second shade is more shimmery, and the forth shade is a semi-satin finish. Anybody else awe-ing and oh-ing? =P
Next up is the magic wish deluxe lip duo set. I love how tarte extends their intricate designs onto the products' packaging as well. As with tarte, they tend to divide up their entire holiday collection so they are sold at different places depending on the product. For example, this duo set is sold on their main site at, and that is where I picked it up. It is not available at Sephora, unfortunately. 
Swatches are in fading natural lighting and indoor lighting.

Again, I apologize on the lighting for these swatches. The swatches are the LipSurgence lip tint in wishful, LipSurgence lip gloss in magic. The third swatch is both applied. I do love this duo, and wish that tarte had them available for the permanent line. The shades are just perfect enough for almost any skin tone, and are wonderful for any setting.
This set was also available at Sephora. It is also currently out of stock at the moment, but I'm sure it'll come back soon closer to the holidays. This is the pigment of imagination deluxe cheek set.

Swatches are in natural lighting, and indoor lighting.
Here is the cheek stain in fantasy, and the Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in mirage. The cheek stain comes off more as a luminizer and is very shimmery. I would use a light hand when applying that one. The blush in mirage is a light pink and seems suited more for a lighter skin tone, but I'm even determined to use this during those really snowy days. =P
Lastly, for all of my tarte blush obsession is this chic to cheek quad of mini blushers. This set is also available right now at the tarte Cosmetics website. Get 'em while htey're still hot, ladies and gents, because they are *whispers* limited edition!
This is the first time that I'm able to grab some of these smaller, limited edition blushes from tarte. A regular sized blush is usually 5.6 grams. These teeny blushes are 1.6 grams of product for comparison.
Swatches are in natural lighting, and indoor lighting.
From left to right, we have amour (rosy pink), classic (candy pink), prim (soft apricot pink), and daydream (plum nude). I love all of these shades. You get a good range for a limited set, and they are all very wearable. Again, I wish they had all of these shades in the permanent line. Just sooo pretty!! *squees

Anyway, these are definitely some more gift ideas once Sephora restocks their lot. I am hoping they do, because tarte would be sorry to miss out on such a gain. Thanks for checking in to this post. More holiday stuff to look forward to!