Would-Be Favorites: Petty Complaints, Beautiful Products (Pat McGrath Blushing Delights and Armani Melting Color Balm)

Ok, I have a confession. I don’t really think that the complaints that I have with these two products are petty. It was just really hard to figure out how to title this post. As I was thinking about it, I do think some people would call them petty complaints. The Pat McGrath Blushing Delights Palette and the Armani Beauty Color Melting Balm in Warm Plum are two products that I think I would have considered favorites if I wasn’t a beauty blogger. As a reviewer, I pay more attention to small details and analyze products more than I think a “normal” consumer would. If I never wrote a review and never read the brand’s claims (for Armani), I truly think these two items would be favorites.

Pat McGrath Blushing Delights Palette Review and Armani Melting Color Balm 60 Warm Plum
Continue reading “Would-Be Favorites: Petty Complaints, Beautiful Products (Pat McGrath Blushing Delights and Armani Melting Color Balm)”

On Wednesdays We Window Shop (March 2, 2022)

KVD Good Apple Concealer Swatches Medium Dark Olive Skin and Covergirl Trublend Bronzer in Ebony and Warmth, Covergirl Trublend Blush in coral crush and temptation, Merit Beauty Signature Lipstick, Patrick Ta Double Take Creme and powder blush.

If you follow the beauty industry closely, then you know that new releases are happening all the time.  So let’s discuss what new products are on my radar right now.

I stopped posting these over a year and a half back. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. When I noticed that these posts were becoming more of a shopping list rather than just window shopping, I decided to take a break. But I wanted to give it another try to see if it can be an outlet to talk makeup without buying so much of it. We’ll see how it goes.

$ 0.00
$ 28.00
KVD Beauty Good Apple Lightweight Full-Coverage Concealer Tan 161 0.33 oz/ 10mL**

KVD Good Apple Concealer, $28.00**:  I was so disappointed to find out that I can’t use this formula. While alcohol in the formula won’t be a deal-breaker for everyone, I don’t gamble with it on my dry, sensitive, eczema-prone skin. The alcohol is the fourth ingredient in this concealer, so that is a high enough amount for me to pass on buying. I did go in-store and swatch this so I’ve included those swatches below for anyone that may still be interested. It is getting very good reviews even from people with dry skin.

KVD Good Apple Concealer Shades 161, 162, 167, 169, and 173 Swatches on Medium Dark Olive Skin
KVD Good Apple Concealer Swatches
Continue reading “On Wednesdays We Window Shop (March 2, 2022)”

New Here?  Things You May Have Missed.

I’ve gotten a lot of new followers recently, so I wanted to welcome you and introduce you to my content.  I’m proud of the work that I do on my blog, so I thought I’d share some older posts that you may have missed.


I like to be helpful, but I also find it incredibly valuable to get insight from other people.  The following posts are a mixture of those two goals.

  1. A discussion on Product Variety in Reviews: By product variety I mean being able to visit different blogs and YouTube videos and see a variety of featured products. We very often see the same products reviewed by everyone. How can we get to a place where that is the exception rather than the rule?
  2. Wanderlust List (vol 1, 2, 3, 4, 5): Featuring new products that caught my eye and sharing what I’m going to use instead of buying them.
  3. Limited Edition Love:  Encouragement to buy, use, and enjoy limited edition and discontinued products.
  4. Makeup Low Buys and Decluttering: My perspective on decluttering and some tips for being on a low buy.
  5. Beauty Sales: Let’s talk about where you can save money and why there is no rush
  6. Does matchmymakeup.com Really Work?  My experience with the scientific foundation shade matching website.
  7. When Dupes Aren’t Dupes for You: A discussion on dupes and what you can do when a dupe suggestion doesn’t work for you.

Swatches and Reviews

I often find myself interested in products that no one is talking about.  Or I can’t find someone with my skin tone talking about them.  So, the following posts are some of the swatches and reviews that I’ve posted that I think are harder to find.

  1. Laura Mercier Highlighters (swatches of indiscretion, devotion, and addiction)
  2. Juvia’s Place Nubian 3 Coral Palette (swatches and color combination suggestions)
  3. L’oreal Age Perfect Blush (425 Amber swatch and review)
  4. Top 3 Drugstore Blushes under $10 (e.l.f. Always Rosy, Wet n Wild Mellow wine, and Colourpop Super Shock Yes She Did)
  5. Underrated Eyeshadow Palettes (Swatches and reviews of e.l.f. Nude Rose Gold Palette, Juvia’s Place Warrior Palette, MAC Art Library Flame-Boyant Palette)
  6. Palette: The Beauty Bible for Women of Colour: A book review and a showcase of some of the products from the book that I have used. The products featured are Bobbi Brown Blushes, Estee Lauder Doublewear 5W2 (swatch), NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Tahoe (swatch), MAC Blushes, Nars Eyeshadow, and Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick.
  7. What’s Old at Sephora (Swatches and reviews on Shiseido Visionary Gel Lipstick 212 Woodblock, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Bronze, Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat, and Sephora Lip Stories 10 Yum Yum)

Since I’m a huge fan of MAC, I made the assumption that most people following me know about my MAC content. If that assumption was wrong, I do have an index page (click here) and you can find all my MAC products (among everything I’ve posted of course) listed there with links.

Thank you for being here!

 **Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  This site participates in the WordAds program, receiving a minimal commission from displayed ads.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

When Dupes Aren’t Dupes For You

I know how hard it can be when you are interested in a product that everyone is raving about but for whatever reason, you can not get the product.  That feeling is likely part of the reason why dupes are popular. I just feel like sometimes they narrow in on price and sometimes leave people out.  I’m not sure what I hope to accomplish with this post, but I do wonder if there is a better way to approach dupes.

I’m not going to mention any specific examples of videos are blog posts because I’m not aiming to shame anyone for creating dupe content or anyone for wanting dupes.  I definitely think that presenting alternatives can be helpful.  There are times when you can save some money and other times when you don’t want to or can’t purchase certain items.  I have even written some dupe-like content with my Buy High/Buy Low posts.  So again, I do see that there is value in this type of content.

elf ultimate blending brush vs smashbox blurring foundation brush
Buy High/Buy Low: Foundation Buffing Brushes | Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush
Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush
Buy High/Buy Low: Sheer Blush Brushes | Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush

Dupes can be especially disappointing when the options presented save money, but end up excluding skin tones.  I do realize that we can only speak to our own personal experiences and that all content creators are doing their best to provide helpful content for their audience. I can also appreciate that as content creators, we can see what content people are enjoying the most and some can even see the demographics of our audience. So some of these issues may purely relate to the demographics the creator is seeing represented.

Despite that, I still find it hard to understand the oversight that often happens with dupes when it comes to availability. I’m not just talking about dark skin tones either, sometimes there isn’t enough variety for most people. For example, in the past, there was a hyped foundation dupe but it only had 4 shades, but the product it was supposed to dupe had 40 shades. Then there is the inevitable comment of “I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this.” The limited shade range means limited access for a lot of people. I feel like the same thing often happens with highlighter and bronzer dupes. Shade ranges have come a long way, so I do think there is always some sort of alternative. But maybe we could all do better to at least consider if a dupe is actually widely accessible before making the suggestion.

Another issue that I’m not really sure how to unpack is that dupes can often disparage drugstore products. There are plenty of great products at the drugstore and I think they don’t always need to stack up against something that is higher end. I know that I compare product formulas quite often and it seems necessary to give you a point of reference in order to create context. But I hope I’ve been able to compare items without making it seem that a drugstore/affordable item isn’t as good simply because it happens to cost less. I also hope I haven’t made it seem like a product it better simply because it costs more.

What Can You Do?

So let’s say you find yourself in that situation. You’ve learned about a dupe and wanted to buy it, but as it turns out there isn’t a good shade for you, you can’t use an ingredient in the formula, or you don’t want to support that company. What can you do?

Continue reading “When Dupes Aren’t Dupes For You”