New Kat von D Chrysalis Palette – Swatches, Photos and First Impressions

My new Kat von D Chrysalis palette came today and I dived directly in! I’ve only been playing with it a few hours, but here are my photos and first impressions.

The packaging is gorgeous, of course.

Here is the exterior box

Here is the exterior box

Here is a detail of the front cover of the actual palette

Here is a detail of the front cover of the actual palette

There is a large mirror inside, and the palette itself is surprisingly weighty. It is cardboard with a magnet closure, but it feels very substantial.

I was surprised at the size of the palette, it’s quite large. Here are some comparison shots:

Top to bottom, Ladybird, Chrysalis, Naked2

Top to bottom, Ladybird, Chrysalis, Naked2

It’s taller than the Naked 2, if not quite as long.

The pan sizes for the smaller colors are larger than Naked 2 but not quite as large as the Ladybird pans.

Compared to Ladybird

Compared to Ladybird

Compared to Naked 2

Compared to Naked 2

But what we care about is the color and pigmentation, right? And it’s fantastic. Like other reviews I’ve read, I’d agree that these colors are soft, but there was not as much fallout as I’d expected. The colors are highly pigmented and mostly quite intense.

Colors in palette, natural light

Colors in palette, natural light

Leftmost, purple, quad

Leftmost, purple, quad (natural light)

Center, neutral, quad (natural light)

Center, neutral, quad (natural light)

Rightmost, blue, quad (natural light)

Rightmost, blue, quad (natural light)

Mix of various colors on my inner arm, natural light.

Mix of various colors on my inner arm, natural light.

You can see that some are a little more dry than others, the deepest blue-black (tornay) seemed a bit streaky and the old gold/taupey color (melancholia) was particularly powdery.

But the colors are just beautiful. Multi-dimensional, easy to blend, and so pigmented that they actually stain.

Here's my hand after scrubbing with a damp paper towel after my last swatches. I had to take soap to it.

Here’s my hand after scrubbing with a damp paper towel after my last swatches. I had to take soap to it.

I did a beautiful warm pinky-purple look on one eye, and an over-the–top blue smokey eye on the other. Naturally I can’t get a decent shot of either to save my life.

For the price ($46 Sephora) I really feel like I got my money’s worth. This is a high quality palette, full of gorgeous shadows as we’ve come to expect from Kat von D’s line. Very glad I picked this one up.

As always, let me know if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them.

Ugly Days

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Follow the… whatever you want, really.

I had a really ugly day yesterday. Not the kind where I feel ugly – the kind where everything else feels ugly. Sometimes I am too harshly reminded of the gritty, disturbing reality of dealing with other people. People who do shitty stuff, and lie and twist things, and fuck up other people’s heads.

It set me thinking how we each construct a life story that best lets us sleep at night – the one where we’re not the villain, the one where the things we do are sensible and justified. I wonder how many lies my story has embedded. I know of a couple, but I hope for as few as possible.

Everyone tells the truth – just their own version. Everyone lies – when it makes sense to them. Most people will fuck you over for the slightest of reasons, or for no real reason at all. Many people spread ugliness no matter where they are, and they can’t seem to help it. The world is a toxic place, full of toxic people, and I have carved out this safe little niche that’s my own personal fairy tale, and I like it there very much.

I get a lot of grief for refusing to let other people into my happyland, and I don’t really understand that—do we owe other people our selves? Does everyone get a guaranteed part to play in the story of my life? No, of course not. Audition if you will, but there may not be a role for you.

Yesterday I was reminded about a lot of the villains I’ve booted, and why, and it made me feel so sad, and so contaminated by that badness. I know (think? assume?) that most other people cannot be happy in a minimalist life story, with limited actors and a stripped-down stage set, but I can. I really, really can.

I actually prefer it that way. It’s much less trouble keeping track of who needs to be kept happy, for one thing.

But mostly I was just pondering those stories we tell ourselves, the stories we tell others – how they’re not really lies and they’re not really truth and they’re almost always in service to our own egos. What a weird way we humans have about us. Good luck to us all, because it’s ugly out there.

W00T New Kat von D Palettes!

EDIT – I got mine! See my review and detailed swatches here.

I was sad that Kat von D had not released anything new and awesome and cool in time for the Spring 15% off at Sephora – but just in time, she did!

Observe the Chrysalis and Monarch Palettes! ($46 each, Sephora exclusives.)

Monarch
Monarch
Chrysalis

Chrysalis

I was pretty much sold on the Monarch palette for the warm colors, but then I saw these great swatches on imgur. There’s also honest feedback on the shadow quality. Check the swatches out, they’re awesome.

After seeing them I was sold on the greens and purples of Chrysalis. Plus I have to admit I liked the Chrysalis packaging better. Ordered! Will post my thoughts when it gets here later this week.

I Buy Things – Early April Edition

Can’t say as I have any new particular favorites this week, but I have a lot of new things purchased in the last week/ week and a half, which may become favorites, but have not been thoroughly vetted yet. So here’s a big “I Buy Things!” Haul. Let me know if you want additional details on any of this stuff.

MAC Cyber – $16

I have been craving some intense darks for awhile, and my head is all full of how awesome Lorde looks with her huge hair and deep lips – I am really excited for the MAC/Lorde collab happening this summer, although it hardly takes a collab to dupe her look. I am mostly excited for her, I think. Anyway, last week I took advantage of a free overnight shipping deal and bought Cyber. Here’s me wearing it last week full-intensity.

Menacing and vaguely evil. That's how I like my everything.

Menacing and vaguely evil. That’s how I like my everything.

Here are some swatches, with flash and without.

Flash

Flash

No flash (florescent lighting)

No flash (florescent lighting)

Today I am wearing this over a good application of lip gloss, as a stain/glaze. I am finding it pretty versatile, and liking it a lot.

 MAC Pink Poodle – $16

pinkPoodle

Not yet here, but arriving this afternoon, I succumbed to the lure of MAC’s Pink Poodle in the “by request” sale of old customer favorites. I think the swatches at Temptalia were what sold me. I am really looking forward to playing with this color.

 Pixi Beauty Seasonal Reflection Kit ($22, for $6.60 at Target)

Bargain!

Bargain!

I had zero need of this, but a lot of curiosity as to how Pixi shadows performed. They’re at Target, but they’re expensive. They’re priced luxury, but their packaging is E.L.F. quality – what’s the deal? So I picked this up to satisfy that curiosity. It’s a’ight. Today I am wearing that pale lavender and the deeper purple. They applied fine, but a little powdery. The lavender was really luminous, and the darker purple just, you know, normal darker purple. No clue if it’s in any way related, but my left eye is burning and watering all day, so that’s either allergies or fallout from this palette or a combo of both. From what I have seen of Pixi products so far, they are fine, but do not justify their price tag at all. Glad I bought it for bargain price to see that, though.

TheBalm via Hautelook

Picture via The Balm website

Picture via The Balm website

I picked up two Balm products from a Hautelook sale, and every time I do that I swear I won’t do it again. I ordered these items on 03/07 and one arrived 04/02 and the other 04/03. Honestly, this is the continental US, there is no reason for anything to ever take that long to ship unless they’re just actually trying to punish us for getting a bargain. How inefficient do you have to be to take one month to get two compacts to the middle of the country? It’s worth just buying it full price not to have to keep checking to make sure the thing’s not lost in shipment.

Anyway, what I got was Mary-Lou Manizer  (finally!) and the InStain blush in Lace, which I think will satisfy the craving I was having for Tarte’s Dollface. I really think that Mary-Lou Manizer is going to live up to the hype, I just can’t believe I had to wait a month to save like $10. I will give more info on those after I’ve had a chance to test them out a little more.

I think that’s all I bought in the last week or so – and I think that’s plenty. How about you, anything fun on your purchase list?

Things I Regret Purchasing

I'm sorry I ever loved you!

I’m sorry I ever loved you!

Like anyone else who buys a lot of personal care products, sometimes  I get a total clunker. Different reasons – maybe the color wasn’t right for me and I couldn’t tell from the packaging. Maybe the product really didn’t perform as advertised. Maybe (this is a big one) I was just in too much of a hurry and the packaging seduced me. Maybe I got suckered in by a good sale. Maybe I didn’t do my research and see what other people thought of the product.

Any of those situations can (and have) happened to me in the last year or so, so I thought I’d run down some of my personal product regrets, and the reasons why they didn’t work for me. Hopefully my experience will give you some food for thought when purchasing items for yourself.

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The Naked 2 Palette ($52)

I jumped on the Naked hype a bit later than some (“Why do I want to spend that much money to look like I am not wearing shadow?”) But when I had seen enough people on YouTube using and rhapsodizing over their Naked and Naked 2 palettes the bug bit me hard. I spent some time deliberating 1 vs. 2 and then picked up 2 because I liked the case better, and it had cooler tones, which I thought I wanted.

Problem is – I never use it. Yeah, I guess some of the colors, well, even most of the colors, in it are pretty. They look great swatched on my arm. But when I sit down to do a look I have never been faced with such an uninspiring selection of blah in my whole life. The fact that it’s sparkle-blah makes it even worse somehow. Like – it’s clear that I was trying, but it did not work out for me.

Suspect, Pistol, Snakebite. You see how Suspect doesn't even look like a color on me? It's just sparkly skin?

Suspect, Pistol, Snakebite. You see how Suspect doesn’t even look like a color on me? It’s just sparkly skin? Every time I use these my face just looks like something went wrong in my day.

All I ever seem to create are non-looks that are ultra-bland, and yet somehow still noticeable because of the shimmer and shine. The colors don’t vary enough, tonally, and once applied they have a tendency to look extremely muddy and ill-defined on my lids. There are a few standout colors, Foxy (skin tone on me) and Tease (purpley-taupe-neutral very similar to Makeup Geek Unexpected)  are good (and also matte, not a coincidence) Suspect is just a non-color on me, and Pistol, while beautiful, is just… muddy. That’s all I can say. These colors look muddy and badly defined on me, and I have read tutorial after tutorial, and watched countless videos and even followed a Pinterest board for “Naked 2″ and I STILL can’t make most of these colors work for me. Really sorry I spent this much money on a thing I don’t use. I will not buy any of the Naked brand products anymore, just because I don’t want to get burned again.

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Bumble & Bumble A Tint of Brown Hair Powder ($36)

This product is a tinted dry shampoo, meant to give you volume in the roots and cover any gray that’s peeping through. I sometimes suffer from what I call “triangle head” which is when my freshly washed curly hair is lank at the roots and huge at the ends, so I thought this product would be a good solution. Ugh, no. Not only is it hideously expensive ($36! I can’t believe I paid that. Maybe I got a discount.) but it is disssssgusting. Gross! So awful! You spray it on and it gets everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Three days later I am still wondering “What’s that brown mess in my sink?” It gets all over your forehead, and yes, it does cover your roots with a flat, monochromatic shade of dead dull brown, but then you absolutely CANNOT touch your hair or head for any reason until you wash it out. It will get all over your hands, it will get all over your combs, it will get under your fingernails, it will get on your pillowcase and your significant other’s shoulder and your couch and maybe even your dog. It’s disgusting. And the effect never goes away. It doesn’t just transfer for the first ten minutes, it will transfer for the next 48 hours, if you can stand it that long.

The only application tip I have is to spray it into an old kabuki brush and then use the brush to apply it directly and only to the places you want – but honestly it’s not worth the bother. The only reason I don’t throw this crap away is the price I paid. I have to let it amortize in my bathroom closet for a year or so until I can part with it.

stila

Stila Lip Glaze Trios

I bought two of these (cobalt and emerald) because they were on sale at Beauty Brands last year for $15/set. What the hell? They all look identical on me! Identically ugly! So sticky! So weirdly pigmented but the pigment looks like it’s trapped in a slime layer! I just don’t understand how they look so universally terrible. And now I’ve got lip gloss out the yazoo that I don’t want to toss, while I also don’t want to wear it because it looks and feels bad on me.

Plus I really don’t like the stupid clicky pen style of these at all. Turn, turn, not enough, turn turn, still nothing, turn turn, nothing, turn OH MY GOD IT ALL CAME OUT MAYDAY MAYDAY. No.

Here's what happens when the click pen doesn't work right - lid goop. Nobody wants lid goop.

Here’s what happens when the click pen doesn’t work right – lid goop. Nobody wants lid goop.

Physician’s Formula Happy Glow and Mood Boosting Blush in Pink (about $12)

Wanted to love this. Sure did. Seems like it would be lovely.

Look how cute! But then when you swirl it all together - nothing.

Look how cute! But then when you swirl it all together – nothing.

This stuff just doesn’t do it for me pigment wise. Packaging? 100% win.

Will you even look at this adorable business right here?

Will you even look at this adorable business right here?

Whoever put these together did a great job, but the formula is dry and chalky and there is just no pigmentation.

Look at the pink stuff, not the red stuff.

Look at the pink stuff, not the red stuff.

It’s not sparkly enough for a highlighter, it’s not pink enough to show up (on me) as a blush, and since it’s a higher-end drugstore item, I am sorry I spent the money.

 

Photo from NYX website.

Photo from NYX website.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (around $6)

This one is super embarrassing, because I bought it twice. No kidding, twice – same color even. I can’t say exactly what’s wrong with this. The smell is a little off. The texture is a little off, the pigmentation and lip feel are a little off. So overall, even though this is a color, brand and product type I should love, I hate it. And now I have two. :-|

And people straight up LOVE these things – I don’t get it!

(See photo in section above for swatch of the lip cream.) I want to love it! But every time I put it on, I take it right back off.

OK that’s it for me! I hope this was helpful in planning your own shopping excursions, and let me know in the comments what some of your product regrets are!

Sephora VIB Rouge Private Event

Today marked the opening salvo in the Sephora spring 15% off sale – and VIB Rouge members were invited to a closed-door “Spring Social” event at their local Sephora stores. I attended the event at the St. Louis Galleria, and really enjoyed it! All of the Sephora employees were in great moods (especially for being at work early on a Sunday!) and were giving out free samples left and right. I was able to browse around and touch on everything without feeling rushed, and picked up the things I needed without exceeding my budget!

You did need to RSVP to the event, here was the check in. VIB Rouge members got a charming compact mirror as they arrived.

You did need to RSVP to the event, here was the check in. VIB Rouge members got a charming compact mirror as they arrived.

The mirror had a small note inside thanking us for being (crazy spenders) their best customers.

The mirror had a small note inside thanking us for being (crazy spenders) their best customers.

Immediately upon entering they had a refreshment table set up – although I did not avail myself. I can’t munch and shop – plus I was heading out for brunch afterward.

Shopping is hungry and thirsty work, people.

Shopping is hungry and thirsty work, people.

It was nice to browse around the store and not feel rushed. I poked and touched and swatched everything I wanted to see (except the new Urban Decay Electric Pressed Pigments palette, that was not yet in stock, apparently.)

Benefit always wins at displays and packaging.

Benefit always wins at displays and packaging. This is just a wall full of happiness.

I hit up the Urban Decay wall pretty hard, and picked up their Revolution Lipstick in Naked ($22). I also swatched a lot of their purple eyeliners, but didn’t buy one. I was tempted by Ether ($20) but decided no in the end. In their lighting it was so sparkly and beautiful, but I was afraid it would just be a plain boring taupe out in the daylight.

These are all UD liners, the second from the right is Ether, it's the one I was considering - sorry, didn't note the other purple color names.

These are all UD liners, the second from the right is Ether, it’s the one I was considering – I didn’t note the other purple color names.

Saw the new Kat von D display – I also swatched her new Everlasting Love liquid lipsticks ($19) - they didn’t have them all in stock, this one is in Lolita.

New Kat von D display - I wished she had something new and awesome out that I wanted to try.

New Kat von D display – I wished she had something new and awesome out that I wanted to try.

I probably won't go for these liquid lipsticks - they always seem way too matte and thick for me. Also this color (Lolita) dried down much darker than I thought it would.)

I probably won’t go for these liquid lipsticks – they always seem way too matte and thick for me. Also this color (Lolita) dried down much darker than I thought it would.)

I succumbed to the siren song of the Hourglass display, and picked up Ethereal Light ($45) I know, I know. I had better like it.

Emperor's new powder

Emperor’s new powder

As we browsed around the store, people kept slipping samples into our bags – the best one was last year’s birthday gift, the sample size of Benefit They’re Real! mascara and a mini Watt’s Up? highlighter. I also got samples of Origins CC cream in two colors.

The store was busy, but not crammed, and all the people there were Serious Makeup Junkies, so it was pretty fun. I would imagine we were a pretty low-maintenance crowd.

The store was busy, but not crammed, and all the people there were Serious Makeup Junkies, so it was pretty fun. I would imagine we were a pretty low-maintenance crowd.

I hit up the clearance section and got a $9 Caudalie Divine Oil and Hand cream duo (which retailed for $15 at the holidays) so it ended up being $7.65! And I picked up a $10 Tarte “Bright By Night” set of a mini C Brighter Eye Cream and Maracuja Oil. I love their maracuja oil and had just finished a tiny bottle yesterday, so that was great timing. I am probably going to buy a full size of the C Brighter eye cream (so nourishing! good stuff, that) but I will wait for a 25% off sale at the Tarte website for that one because it’s $38 for .35 oz. (This ended up being $5 for .08 oz) I don’t feel like math, but I think that’s a good deal.

Finally, all my looking and browsing and swatching energy exhausted, it was time to asses the damage – which came in at/under my $100 budget, at $94 and some change.

The damage! Sorry I got a blurry picture of you, charming happy lady with great hair.

The damage! Sorry I got a blurry picture of you, charming happy lady with great hair and fantastic lipstick.

I feel like I made a total score, got some “want” items and some need/replacement items, so I am a happy camper.

Everything I mentioned, plus my samples, my super cute free makeup bag, and my Sugar Crush body wash.

Everything I mentioned, plus my samples, my super cute free makeup bag, and my Sugar Crush body wash.

After that it was time to do some brunching – warriors were hungry.

Delicious Belgian waffles at the new Corvid's Cafe.

Delicious Belgian waffles at the new Corvid’s Cafe.

We hit up a new cafe in town, Corvid’s, and got delicious waffles with fresh fruit as well as chai tea lattes, for under $10 – check out Corvid’s if you’re in the StL area, charming little place. I will be back.

So, did you buy anything at Sephora? Do you plan to? Let me know!

May all your shopping days involve great bargains, and may your weekend be as delightful as mine has been so far.

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