Kat von D’s Serpentina – Swatches & Impressions

I bought this palette a few months ago to broaden my options when it comes to more colourful eyeshadows. I’ve been quite happy with my purchase despite not using the palette that much and was surprised to see that it has gotten mixed reviews. Here are my impressions of it.

Packaging: Bulky but nicely designed. Not a palette you’d travel with, but it comes with a mirror which is always a bonus.

Range: The palette has two matte shadows, six metallic shades, and one metallic pigment. I cannot understand why the pigment isn’t a pressed eyeshadow.

Pigmentation: The metallic shades and the pigment are all quite pigmented and easy to build up. The red matte is a bit meh but can be built up to look good, it’s also one of the few red shades that actually looks red on the skin. The purple shade, Venom, is a different story. Of all the swatches, that’s the one I spent the most time trying to build up and it’s still patchy. It might work well with a primer, but on it’s own it’s nothing to get excited about.

Wearability: I’ve used the bronze/copper toned shade a fair bit as a discrete metallic look just on its own. It’s worked really well and can be turned into more of a statement look if you use a primer. The antique golden shade makes for a really nice accent colour.

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Character Creator: Abigail (Stardew Valley)

Now, there are two things that make translating Abigail’s look difficult. Firstly, she’s portrayed as pixel art. Secondly, her most characteristic feature is her purple hair.
Thus I decided to exaggerate certain aspects of her look but also kept it close enough to where people would recognise the character if the person wearing it wore some type of costume. Sometimes, it’s very liberating to use a character to draw inspiration from rather than trying to copy their look completely.

Step 1: Pale foundation.
Since Abigail is very fair skinned, I used a foundation that’s a few shades lighter than my current skin tone. For this, I used the BCD cushion from TonyMoly. I also decided to keep the dewy look to give the illusion that it’s a natural skin tone rather than opting for a more matte & fuller coverage foundation.

Step 2: Shape
In terms of highlighter, it took me a while to figure out what to do. Abigail’s face is fairly round compared to the many highly contoured looks we often see today. To draw focus to this without looking too bloated, I used a blend of Too Faced’s Unicorn Tears lipstick and a slightly pink toned lipstick (forgot to write down which one, sorry) as a combined blush-highlighter. It was surprisingly discrete and worked to make my face look slightly round and young without being too distracting. The slight addition of the pink colour brought some life into the look without looking too harsh.

Step 3: Lipstick
Abigail has fairly bright pink lips that look rather natural on her. However, that simply wouldn’t work with my current hair colour and would have made it look weird rather than close to the original. Instead I used a purple toned semi-sheer lipstick that has enough pink in it to work for the look, but that’s also a shade compatible with my hair. For this, I used Revlon’s Colorburst lip butter in the shade 085 Sugar Plum.

Step 4: Eyes
Abigail’s artwork hints at purple eyeshadow and a lot of mascara on the top lashes. The lower lashes are left bare and no eyeliner is used. It took three palettes to get a look I was happy with. I started with some of the original Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion all over my lid to make the colours pop a bit more. I applied the shade Milky Way from the Galaxy palette all over my lid and brow bone as a transition colour, used Serpentina’s Venom in the crease, and covered the lid with Cosmic. Then I went back in with a combination of two of the purple/burgundy shades from the Sleek palette in the outer v to add a bit of dimension (and help blend). Lastly, I used the shade Moon in the inner corner of my eyes to brighten things up a bit. Add two layers of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara and you’re almost done.
The very last thing I did was to use the shade Venom from the Serpentina palette to fill in my brows. Considering it’s a very pigmented and very very purple shade, it worked surprisingly well and helped make the look feel more like Abigail.
Palettes: BH Cosmetics’ Galaxy Chic (shades – Moon, Milky Way, and Cosmic), Kat von D’s Serpentina (shade – Venom), and Sleek’s i-Divine Vintage Romance 141 (unnamed shades).

“Hitting Pan Challenge” Kinda.

Realising I have a tendency to jump between products without actually finishing them, I decided to revive an old makeup challenge. It’s essentially called “hitting pan” because why not get straight to the point. The idea is to commit to using up as many of your products as possible, or in the case of powder based products, hitting pan.

Thus I’ve decided to create what I call a Priority Bag. Simply a makeup bag in which I keep products I want to use up for one reason or another. I keep it right where I normally do my makeup to encourage me to reach for these products out of convenience.

It’s a mix of skincare and makeup, to encourage me using at least some of it even on days when I don’t plan to wear makeup.

So far I’ve finished the makeup wipes and used the powder foundation and lipstick almost daily. I’ve also been pretty good with using the essence and skincare mini. Additionally, I’ve found that this has encouraged me to use more sheet masks, which my skin has been pretty happy about.

The bag contains everything I need for a complete look but doesn’t lock me into wearing any specific look since I can still switch it up if I want to.

Contents: Innisfree green tea essence, moisturising skin care sample from BareMinerals, NYX eyeshadow palette, primer, and bb creme, Estee Lauder mini lipstick, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, an eyeliner from Marc Jacobs, a palette from Sacha cosmetics, a Geek Chic powder foundation, and a setting/no sebum powder from Innisfree. I’ve also thrown in some random samples just to encourage me to try something different.

The photo on the right shows a quick everyday look I put together using the items in the bag.

6 Makeup Products That Should Be A Thing

As the new year begins, I find myself searching for upcoming releases in the makeup world and come up with nothing. Apparently MAC are releasing 50 new products and there’s a collaboration between Kat von D and Too Faced, but that seems to be it really. So since reality doesn’t offer up much for the imagination, I thought I’d write about the things I’d like to see.

  1. Red Revival
    It’s no secret that I believe red creamy lipstick to be the best thing ever invented in terms of makeup. What I’d like to see in 2017 is for matte nudes to give way to a classic creamy and moisturising red. I’d love for brands to focus on developing the perfect shade of red and to truly nail the formula.
  2. The Truth is Out There
    So the 1990’s was a thing in 2016 and if we’re going to continue that trend in 2017, then for the love of everything holy can someone please release an X Files eyeshadow palette. I’d love to see what a brand like Kat von D or Urban Decay could come up with. Or heck, I’d love for brands from the indie scene to work with this theme.
  3. Cushion Blushes and Highlighters
    Now that the western brands have finally realised that cushion foundations are kinda good, it would be great to see them expand to blushes and foundations. They are easy to apply in a discrete way and a more controlled option than their contemporary liquid counterparts.
  4. Yooka-Laylee Nail Polish
    Yooka-Laylee is a video game scheduled for release in 2017 and it’s deemed to be the spiritual successor to many of the Rare games that were popular on the N64. With its bright colours and playful design, I think a nail polish collection based on Yooka-Laylee would be a lot of fun for summer.
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy Collection
    One of the most brilliant superhero movies is having its sequel in 2017 and I want an entire collaboration or collection based on it. It would be even better if they included a limited edition foundation in that unique shade of green (that then turned out to be liquid eyeshadow or liquid lipstick IRL), just because it would suit the movie so well.
  6. Perfumes inspired by Moana
    Out of all the Disney movies, I bet the scenery in Moana smells the best. I cannot think of a better inspiration for a series of perfumes to be worn in summer. Fresh ocean mist, coconut, sunshine, sand, and tropical flowers. Naturally it doesn’t have to be a collaboration, but the movie would be a good source of inspiration.

The Polished Cryptids 2016 Awards

Unlike most ‘awards posts’,  I won’t limit myself to things that were released in 2016, but rather base it on my own experiences. So if you want a highly subjective awards post that covers makeup, video games, and life, then you’re in the right place.

Makeup

New Discovery – Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Rum Raisin. It’s the first brownish lipstick that has ever worked for me. The runner up here is Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick in Sheer Liar.

Why Do I Keep Buying These – Single eyeshadows. Never reach for them. Have barely opened any of the ones I have and yet I keep buying more. In particular from ColourPop and Geek Chic Cosmetics.

Overhyped – Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara. It is not better than sex, nor is it better than my other mascaras. It’s alright.

Constant Companion – NYX BB Creme in the shade 01. I haven’t wanted to wear heavy foundation this year and this has been what I’ve reached for more often than not.

Cutest Collaboration – Tony Moly & Pokemon. Seriously want this entire collection right now.

Why Aren’t You Out Yet – Too Faced’s White Chocolate Chip Eyeshadow Palette. Not yet out in Australia.

I Loved You Once – The Tony Moly Delight tints. I love the look but they wear off so unevenly and are tricky to work with.

Worst Trend – The Drag Queen Trend. About 94 layers of all of the products in your makeup collection worn all at once in exaggerated application…

Colour Scheme – Mine has been bronze and rose.

Lifesaver – Geek Chic Cosmetics’ Cutie Face Foundation in the shade Kahlan. Accidentally got really bad sunburn on my face and the best thing to do when then going out turned out to be a moisturising SPF and then this powder foundation on top. Evens out the redness without being heavy or caking on uneven skin.

Work Horse – Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Concealer. No matter if it’s a breakout, dark circles, or redness, this concealer is my go to quick fix.

 

Video Games

 

Game of the Year – Stardew Valley. It’s not necessarily anything revolutionary from a technical point of view, but it feels a bit like an Animal Crossing for grownups. Despite minimal written dialogue, all characters are well developed and show a lot of nuance as you get to know them. It’s a perfect game to play when you need a break from everything and play a low-intensity game. Perfect for study breaks and days off alike.

Guilty Pleasure – Contradiction. This game is a cheesy gem and I love it still.

Biggest Disappointment – No Man’s Sky. Thankfully didn’t buy it, but this is probably the biggest disappointment and wtf in this generation of games.

Best Escapism – Stardew Valley.

Best New Indie – Beholder

Please Drop in Price So I Can Buy You – Dear latest Civ game, the only reason you haven’t won another category is because you’re a bit too expensive for me at the moment. I look forward to seeing you on sale soon.

Best Redemption – Final Fantasy XV has managed to redeem the series by the looks of it, considering the damage XIII did in the west, that’s a major feat.

Life

Coping Mechanism – Work! Followed by food and wine. I swear I had more pizza in 2016 than in any other year of my life.

Achievement Unlocked – Did the whole graduating with good marks thing.

Lesson – Giving people the benefit of doubt seldom pays off.

Addition – Car! I finally have a car again and I’m terribly fond of it.

Support – Coffee

Party – Had a great NYE

Mood Raiser – Animals. Hanging out with animals made 2016 so much better.