Ashley's Beauty Blog is a place for makeup tips, tricks, reviews and beauty how-tos.

Review: Urban Decay Book of Shadows Volume IV

Urban Decay is a great, trendsetting brand known for their bright, innovative eyeshadows.  However, at $17 or more a pop, it can be quite expensive to buy their eyeshadows as singles.  Luckily, they also put out a lot of limited edition value-priced makeup sets that make it much more affordable for you to collect their lovely colors.  One such set is the Book of Shadows.  This holiday season they have released their Book of Shadows Vol. 4 which offers 16 shades (10 of which are new and exclusive to this palette) for $64.


Review and Swatches: Too Faced Sweet Dreams Holiday 2011 Palette

I’ve been trying every Holiday 2011 Limited Edition palette that I can get my hands on, and one of my favorites so far is the Too Faced Sweet Dreams Makeup Collection.

A steal at $52 ($186 value), this collection comes with 15 gorgeous eyeshadow shades, 2 blushes, a bronzer, a highlighter, and a full sized tube of Shadow Insurance Eyeshadow Primer.  This collection is a Sephora exclusive and may be hard to find at your local Sephora store because it is selling out quickly, so if you want it for a Christmas gift, be sure to order it online soon so it ships in time for the holidays.


Look: Edgy bright blue & green eyeshadow featuring Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows Vol. 3

Sorry for the low quality pictures but I really loved this look and want to post it anyway.

I created this look exclusively using eyeshadows from the Urban Decay Book of Shadows Volume III eyeshadow palette.  It is super bright and fun….sure to get you tons of compliments.


Look: colorful winged eyeliner with metallic golds from the Urban Decay Naked Palette

I am loving winged eyeliner right now and especially colorful winged eyeliner so here is a fun look I did using Teal colored liquid eyeliner and gold eyeshadow. This is a very simple look that you can do in just a few minutes once you have mastered the winged eyeliner. If you have not yet mastered winged eyeliner, fear not, just keep practicing, and you will get there.

You can do this look with any color eyeliner, even black if you don’t feel like rocking the bright colors.  I think pink, blue, green, or purple would all look great with the golds though.  You can also use any type of eyeliner you are comfortable with: gels, liquids, pencils, or even plain eyeshadow applied with a wet brush.  It’s really up to you.  I like using liquids for winged eyeliner because they create a really crisp line, but if you suck with liquids or don’t have any, you can totally make do with whatever you’ve got.  Most of the eyeshadows I used are from the Urban Decay Naked Palette


Review: Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Tint in Exposed

I have recently discovered the LipSurgence line of lip products and its newest family member, the Natural Matte Lip Tint. All of the products in the LipSurgence line are incredibly creamy, and moisturizing, so I am delighted to talk about the newest addition to the line since I love matte lip shades but hate dry lips.

I shade I purchased is called Exposed and it’s a peach-toned nude. I think this shade is georgous and look’s great on any skin tone. It’s creamy, silky and luxurious just like the rest of the LipSurgence lip colors and I love the matte finish. I also have the Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in Exposed and call me cheesy but I like being able to coordinate my lip and cheek color, especially if I’m going for a bold eye and don’t want my lips or cheeks to detract from that.


Review and swatches: The Tarte Lip Service Limited-Edition LipSurgence Collection

Tarte has released a limited edition collection of 5 of their LipSurgence jumbo lip pencils for this holiday season and they are calling it Lip Service. This collection is a steal at $29 given that each of these products is normally $24 apiece (so that makes it a $120 value)!

This value pack includes:
- 3 Natural Lip Lusters in Dazzled (pearly coral pink luster), Flashy (bright iridescent fuchsia luster), Glitzy (antique pink luster)
- 2 Natural Lip Tints in Perky (soft carnation pink tint), Swank (light cherry tint)

These shades are not available for purchase separately at this time.

All of the colors in the LipSurgence line are incredibly moisturizing and feel amazing on the lips so I love that about them. As far as the colors, I think this kit has a good variety of shades and most of them will look good on any skin tone. The “tint” shades are a little sheer with a nice amount of shine but not too shiny or sticky like a gloss. The “luster” shades are both glossy and have very finely milled glitter in them so they will sparkle more than the tints. The glitter is not chunky or gritty but the glitter will rub off during makeouts.


Tarte LipSurgence Review – my thoughts on the line in general and the differences between the Natural Lip Tint, the Natural Lip Luster, and the Natural Matte Lip Tint

Tarte has a line of lip products called LipSurgence.  Originally, the product only came in one formula: LipSurgence natural lip tint.  This product won so many awards for its luxurious naturally moisturizing formula that they decided to produce two more lines of LipSurgence, the lip luster, and the matte lip tint.  I have used all 3 of these formulas so I wanted to post about my thoughts on each of them.


Get the look: Easy bright eye makeup using Urban Decay’s 15 Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay is well known for it’s bright, bold, shimmery eyeshadows, and their 15th Anniversary Palette (reviewed here) has plenty of bright colors to work with. I created this fun, bright eye makeup look using just 2 eyeshadow brushes and 4 shades from Urban Decay’s 15th Anniversary Palette ($55 with free shipping at, plus some Stila Smudgestick Waterproof Eyeliner.


Review (with video): Tarte The Starlet Makeup Vanity

Tarte has really outdone themselves with The Starlet Limited-Edition Makeup Vanity, sold exclusively at Sephora.  I really LOVE this set.

This set is priced at $52, and is a really incredible value. It includes:

  • 24 eyeshadows
  • 2 brand new shades of Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush
  • Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder in Rose
  • Mineral powder bronzer in Park Avenue Princess
  • Deluxe samples of Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara and multiplEYE primer

Review (with video): Stila Dream in Full Color Palette

Stila Cosmetics has revealed their 2011 holiday collection lineup.  While there are several items in this collection, the pièce de résistance  is their Dream in Full Color Palette.  It retails for $39 and features:

  • 29 Eyeshadows
  • 7 Blushes
  • Stila Smudgestick Waterproof Eyeliner ($20 value)
  • Lookbook with instructions on creating 12 looks

This palette, with its swirling floral shaped pans, is designed to give you larger quantities of lighter “highlight” colors and smaller amounts of the darker “defining and crease” colors.  The packaging is super cute, and makes for a really nice gift this holiday season.

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