Pictorial: Punk Date Night Look with Huda Beauty Electric Obsessions

Why date night? Well, date nights, which for me usually happen on weekends, tend to be the occasions for which I create my boldest (darkest, shiniest, or most colorful) looks. Lately, one of my favorite toys for such experiments has been the Huda Beauty Electric Obsessions palette. It’s one of Huda’s tiny (palm-size) sets dedicated to particular themes such as electric, mauve, jewel, smoky, etc.


I like the Electric Obsessions shadows–they are buildable and easy to blend.  However, the palette is not without small issues. First, the two metallic blue shades stain my brushes (???..) Second, a few of the shades do not seem true to pan. For example, I expected the purple and the darker blue to be deeper, and the shadow in the bottom right corner to be redder (it’s more of a deep pink.) And what I had read as “orange” turned out to be quite coral–but that’s ok, I have enough matte oranges, while this coral is unique to my collection.

Now, why “punk date night look”? Because it’s kind of quick and dirty, and most importantly, created using a tool that punks of all ages and genders have–a smudgy black pencil eyeliner. And the color combination is, ummmmm, of the “IDGAF” variety–electric blue plus the aforementioned coral. I’d actually call it more psychedelic than punk… makes me want to fire up some music like they play on the Legion TV show: Jane’s Addiction, the Black Angels, etc. Here’s the look:


First, I put on the Milani eyeshadow primer and lined the lower lashline with the pencil, Pixi Black Noir. I drew a “wing” from below in order to demarcate a shape.


Blend, blend! Blend for your life, sucka!!!!


The next step is to draw all over the lid with the same pencil.


And blend again. Next, I used some mascara: Essence I Love Extreme. Since both the lid and the lashes were inky black, tightlining (patching the “holes” between the lash roots) needed to happen. Some tightline with a pencil, but I honestly can’t fathom how they manage to do that (my pencils just don’t fit in between my lashes??) I just jabbed an angled brush into my mascara, and then mooshed it into the lash roots.


Afterwards, I patted the blue eyeshadow onto the messy black base and fluffed the edges.


Final touches: the coral (applied with my pinky finger) and brows.



I wanted the whole makeup to be slightly “undone,” so I chose natural flush tones for the blush and lip.


On my cheeks is a deep pink blush, Too Faced Your Love Is King–one of their famous bunny blushes. Too bad I’m not buying from Too Faced anymore, as it’s an Estee Lauder brand, and I disagree with Ronald Lauder’s actions such as supporting Trump and donating $1 million to an anti-Muslim group. Well, it’s not like I’m going to throw away the products I acquired before I started boycotting–that would be a waste. So, bunny blush it is. The lip product is the Canmake Balm Rouge in Raspberry Rose, a very light layer applied just into the middle and blended out. Here is the pile of makeup that went into this look:



Sigma Beauty Chroma Glow Highlighter Palette

The year 2017 in makeup was defined by the “unnatural highlighter” trend, which has yet to show signs of abatement. Like any trend, it has its detractors–beauty forums regularly have comments pop up that say, “Why? All highlighters look the same on the skin. The emperor has no clothes y’all.” That made sense to me, which is why I did not pay attention to highlighters beyond the most basic ones (TheBalm’s Loumanizers, Becca Opal, etc.)

However, downtown San Francisco has such stylish people pass through sometimes… One day, I saw something really cool: a woman wearing no color makeup but one of those unnatural highlighters. Every time the sun hit her cheekbones, they flashed electric pink. That’s when I understood: no, colorful highlighters don’t all look the same. There’s a purpose for their existence! I ended up getting Becca Lilac Geode and a Sleek highlighter palette for my birthday, and purchasing one of Anastasia’s glow kits for a teenage family member.

And here’s one of my Xmas gifts: the Sigma Beauty Chroma Glow palette. According to the brand, these are not just highlighters, but “multifunctional shimmer pressed powders,” which can also be worn as sheer glowy eyeshadows.


Swatches swatches swatches. (Nope, no fancy swatches on fingertips, with glitter glues or primers or gimmicks. Just a couple of finger swipes on my arm. My goal is to show you how these products look in real life.)



One thing to know about the Chroma Glow highlighters is that they’re not too metallic. Not the kind that would give you a “seen from space” glow. They produce more of a delicate shine.

Highlighters are a pain in the booty to photograph, as they’re meant to respond to sunlight, not to the phone camera. However, I’ve managed to capture some looks that incorporate them. Most of the pics are of my eyes, just because the highlighters show up better that way, but I do wear all of these colors on my face, as well.

Unfortunately, I have to start my review of the individual pans on a sour note, as I don’t understand the point of the peachy-pinky-beige highlighter, Peaceful. First of all, it’s beige–why?.. Wouldn’t the target audience for Chroma Glow have preferred something like an electric pink instead? If you set out to do a weird palette, commit! However, I would have forgiven Sigma for the pedestrian color if this product actually did anything. As you have probably figured out by looking at my swatches, Peaceful barely shines and barely shows up on the skin. It might enhance the glow of my Bare Minerals original foundation, but only slightly. See the shine on my cheekbones, on the bridge of my nose, and in my eye corner? That is it.


However, I like the other Chroma Glow colors quite a bit. Ambrosia is one of my favorites, a very cool-toned metallic rose. For some reason I think of it as a “severe” color, I guess because it’s so icy. Here is a look with Ambrosia paired with the Lorac Unzipped palette. I applied it on top of the lid and into the inner corner.


Moving on to Zeal, which seems like the most unusual shade for a highlighter: a sky blue in a dusty mauve base. This pan exemplifies the “delicate shine” effect that I was talking about. I like to contrast this happy blue with rich, earthy tones, such as the burgundy eyeshadow below (Kiko Water Eyeshadow in 203). I patted Zeal onto the middle of my lid and the purple shade, Felicity, into the inner corner. So far, I’ve been mostly wearing Zeal as an eyeshadow, but it looks good on my cheekbones, as well. And no, I haven’t (yet?) noticed it looking like a dirty mauve stripe on my cheeks when I’m out of the sun.


Bedazzle is a peachy shade tinged with rose. I find it hard to be excited about shimmery peach eyeshadows, because they usually translate into a boring “sheer pantyhose” color on my skin. But being a highlighter, Bedazzle has its luminosity as the saving grace. Below, I am wearing it on the lid (on top of the rose shade from the Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette) as well as in the inner corner. Full face (from the other time I did this makeup).


Lush is another peach, but one that’s filled with copious amounts of delicate pink glitter. If you’re scared of sparkle in your complexion products, this highlighter is not for you. In the pic below, Lush is packed onto my lid and into my inner corner, framed by three mattes from ABH Modern Renaissance.


My other favorite shade (besides Ambrosia) is Felicity, a bright and luminous purple. Here, I used Felicity in the inner corner, with some eyeshadows from Melt Cosmetics. Eyeshadow review here.


Pictorial: Glittery Eye with (mostly) Urban Decay products

I’ve decided to challenge myself and explore a new content format: pictorials! For my first stab at this genre, I chose one of my favorite recent looks—a glittery purple/mauve/whatever eye, created with (mostly) Urban Decay products.

Unfortunately, my pics did not turn out uniform in color. I am dependent on fickle natural lighting, so I had to snap my photos between the sun blaring and the sun setting. I tried to minimize the difference by fiddling with the tint and temperature settings in the VSCO app, but still, the final pictures are noticeably redder than the rest. Well, if you’re looking for perfection and polish, you’ve come to the wrong page, baby!

Here’s the finished look:

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And here’s how I created it. This is the starting point, aka my bare eye:

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(This is your brain… and this is your brain on drugs…) And this is the same eye with Kat Von D’s Browstruck powder in the shade Walnut, the Urban Decay Anti-Aging primer, and a satin eyeshadow that’s pretty much the exact color of my skin: Urban Decay Chaser from the Naked Heat palette. That was the first time I wore Kat Von D’s sparkly brow powder, and so far, I’m impressed: it’s easy to create an even finish with this product.

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Next step: Anastasia Beverly Hills Buon Fresco from the Modern Renaissance palette. I love how blendable and malleable this shadow is. As I have hooded eyes, I swirled Buon Fresco upwards (towards the eyebrows) from the inner and outer corners.

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On to the halo eye. I busted out my Naked 3 palette and blended the darker purple shade, Factory, into the inner and outer corners.

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And patted a metallic rosy brown called Liar into the center.

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Then, I took the bling up a notch by applying a metallic pink eyeliner, Intergalactic, right above my eyeball. I learned this trick from the page of a Russian makeup artist, Katerina Nameless.

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On candy stripe legs the spider man comes, softly through the shadow of the evening sun. That is, I put on my mascara, Essence I Love Extreme. Usually, I mush it into the roots more, to make the lashes look thicker, but that inevitably dirties up my eyelid. By that point, the sun was already in the process of saying bye bye, so there was no time for making a mess and cleaning it up.

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Factory blended into Buon Fresco underneath the lower lashline… (Yes, I’ve read the famous Faceonomics post where she teaches the public how to create a lower lashline ombre.)

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The final touch was the Glitter Rock Moondust eyeshadow (pink glitter), pressed onto the lid with a finger. If you want more vavavoom or kaboomboom or whatever, apply the Moondust with a flat brush sprayed with something like the elf Makeup Mist & Set.

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All the steps in one pic:


What would you wear such an eye look with? When I go for purple or mauve hues on the eyes, I prefer to contrast them with beige or peach on the lips and/or cheeks. Here is a selfie from another time I did this eye (albeit, without the Intergalactic liner.). For the cheeks, I chose a berry shade, Nars Sin. My lip color is the OCC lip tar in Dash.


Dose of Colors Eyedeal Duo in Maple

This year, I’ve decided to “diversify” my makeup collection. I have a few “tried-and-tested” favorite brands, such as Urban Decay, Rouge Bunny Rouge, ColourPop and NYX, but to avoid getting stuck in a rut, I want to pay attention to lesser-known companies that seem innovative in some way. Such as Surratt, Black Moon Cosmetics, Rituel de Fille, Nabla, 3ina, Sugarpill… and Dose of Colors.

The latter has been racking in praise primarily for its liquid lipsticks, but also eye products in trendy and interesting colors–coral and berry for eyeshadow palettes, rust and mauve for cream eyeliners. There has also been considerable buzz about Dose of Colors’ new line of glittery eyeshadows. But what attracted me the most was a curious little thing called the Eyedeal Duo.

It comes in retro-style packaging, which is surprising for a product that I had initially read as innovative.


Ooh, what’s inside, what’s inside? A double-decker!


Take it apart, and you will find what looks like a cream eyeshadow (“primer”) in the top compartment, and loose glitter (“pigment”) on bottom. This particular shade is called Maple.


This is now the Eyedeal Duo is supposed to work: you pat on the primer and apply the glitter on top. I’ve seen reviews online where people claim to use the primer solo. Convenient, right? If you want something easy for your day-to-day activities, just swipe on this “cream,” and for some badabing badaboom, add the sparkle. However, life has a way of crushing our dreams…

My enthusiasm was dampened the second I tried on the primer. First, it’s sticky and hard to move around the lid. Second, it started to crease IMMEDIATELY. In this picture, you can see how melty this product is…


And here is the closed eye, right after application. Lololol. As they say in Russia, “my hand is tired of facepalming.” For the record, this is on top of the Urban Decay anti-aging primer. I also tried it with translucent face powder and skintone powder eyeshadow, but those tricks did not make a difference.


Granted, even though I (and many other people with hooded eyes, I’m sure) tend to avoid melty products like the plague, creasing is not seen as absolute evil in some corners of the makeup world. Terry Barber and Katie Jane Hughes are trying to teach the public on Instagram about the value of greasy, wet, lived-in looks. There are highly coveted products, such as the RMS Beauty Eye Polishes or Jillian Dempsey Lid Tints, that are supposed to achieve exactly that kind of effect–“it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” Hell, even my Bite Beauty Multistick (for lips, cheeks, and eyes) creases upon application onto the lids. However, I did not expect the top half of the Eyedeal Duo to fall into that category, as it’s called a “primer”–and one would generally associate a primer with grippiness or longevity.

The glitter covers up the mess initially, however it also gathers into creases and crinkles after just a couple of hours. However, I gotta say the combination does produce that “liquidy,” high-shine effect. Here is a picture of me squinting at the sun from a train window.


I like this look, but the glitter is not the most impressive I’ve ever tried. It’s gritty, chunky, and resembles craft glitter. Below, you can see what I mean. There are so many available on the market that are more delicate.


Is the Eyedeal Duo worth $25? Naaah. If you’re worried at all about creasing, then you can only use the top half as a glitter glue for non-creasy areas. (Glitter-glues are usually not crease-proof or malleable, as they’re generally only applied onto the mobile lid.)

However, I don’t think I will be returning the Eyedeal Duo to Ulta, as I enjoy the warm pumpkin color of the glitter–and yes, the “wet” effect. I have been applying the duo the way I do my Bite Multistick: only onto my mobile lid, with a similar-color shadow swept into the crease. Alas, an easy-breezy, finger-painting product the duo is not.


In the look above, I used Urban Decay He Devil (Naked Heat) in the crease and ABH Love Letter and Cyprus Umber (Modern Renaissance) on the lower lashline.

Have you tried anything by Dose of Colors? What’s your favorite glitter?

FOTD: Extreme Blush

What’s the most stereotypical high-fashion makeup look of the moment? Glassy skin with no makeup (on teenage models), bright slabs of pink or orange eyeshadow? Or here’s another one: “blush bomb,” or painterly, messy blush around the temple and eye area. Seems like this look has been everywhere lately. Possibly because it finally answers the eternal question: what’s the best makeup to pair with red lipstick? Here are some of my inspirations:


Above: From Kenzo Spring 2017.

Лучшее в короткой стрижке – это даже не идеальная укладка без усилий, а возможность носить лаковые помады. Лаковое всё! Какое счастье – не собирать прилипшие по всему лицу волосы. ❤️ Наконец дошли руки до новинки Bourjois @bourjois_russia Rouge Laque. Здесь оттенок 07, который безбожно перевран. #плохойбьютиблогер 😈 Уверена, вас, как и меня, он достал, потому что эту помаду разослали ну просто всем в одних и тех же оттенках (зачем?). Правда, хуже от этого она не стала.

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Of course, I could not resist, and tried on the extreme blush look.



Uh oh! The 80s called, they want their blush back! Upon seeing me with this face on, my husband exclaimed: “That is SO COOL!” and called the blush “cyberpunk.”


To create the “blush bomb,” I used the central color in my beloved Sleek blush palette in Pink Sprint, which my sister had chosen for me. I wear the other two shades in the palette often, as I like the “frosty effect” they produce. (Don’t mind that the pans look barely touched–the blushes are so pigmented, just a slight tap is all what’s needed for someone with my skintone.) The central blush, though, I wasn’t sure how to approach–so much so, that I didn’t even remember its name until today (it’s Pink Ice.) The extreme blush runway trend served as an inspiration for me to actually wear this beautiful product.

I used three brushes for the look:

– a small, tapered blush brush by elf to apply the product;

– a small eyeshadow brush by Real Techniques to deepen the color in the outer corners of my eyes;

– a big powder brush by Real Techniques to blend everything. Pink Ice turned out to be quite blendable!


For the lip, I chose the NARS Cruella pencil, applied very thinly.

I gotta say, once you start doing “experimental” makeup, it gets addictive. The day after I first tried on the extreme blush, I had a “pretty” but normal look, with the blush and everything else in all the “right” places. And I caught myself thinking: “Meh… boring.” Uh oh!

Melt Cosmetics She’s In Parties Eyeshadow Stack

People acquire beauty products for a myriad of weird reasons, none of which are related to the color selection. My weakness is makeup inspired by my favorite music. Since college, I’ve had three “favorite bands of all time”: Swans, Einstuerzende Neubauten, and Bauhaus. The first two are highly unlikely to have makeup collections dedicated to them, but Bauhaus–also known as “the godfathers of goth”–have a lot of high-profile fans in the beauty world, such as Kat Von D and the founders of Melt Cosmetics. This post is about Melt’s recently released eyeshadow stack, named after the Bauhaus song She’s in Parties.

You gotta understand that I like keeping Bauhaus-related stuff around because of that band’s outsize importance in my life. First of all, laden as it is with cultural references, Bauhaus music served as my gateway drug to modern and contemporary art. Which opened my eyes wide to new ways of thinking and seeing the world. And the Bauhaus songs by themselves–they expanded my mind. “All good music is psychedelic.” Somehow, the sight of those wild young men in torn clothes playing ridiculous, bouncy songs about Adam Ant and electroscopes, served for me as a symbol of freedom.


It’s kind of awkward to transition from discussing Poignant Stuff to reviewing a consumer product. Well, the title of this blog post promises a review, so I guess I gotta.


The She’s in Parties eyeshadow stack lives in a little cardboard box with pink swirls and hearts and bats. The pans are connected to each other magnetically, with a tiny mirror on top.


Swatches l-r: Skeleton Kiss, Last Caress, She’s in Parties, Meanstreak. I decided to include the second, blurry pic because it showcases the sparkle.


The first three shadows are named after songs by various “gothy” bands–not sure about Meanstreak. I feel like the color selection does capture the spirit of Bauhaus, as it allows for both dark and playful looks. As I mentioned above, Bauhaus were quite a playful bunch of fellows.

I feel like Skeleton Kiss, not She’s in Parties, is the real star of the show. It’s a cream color with an understated but absolutely gorgeous pink luminescence. A pretty unique shade, at least in my collection. The only criticism I have of Skeleton Kiss is that it’s a little dusty.

Last Caress, a dark mauve, is one of the two “workhorse matte” shades in the stack. It’s a pretty smooth and blendable shadow that produces comparatively little kickup. Interestingly enough, of all the four She’s in Parties shades, Last Caress is the one that feels the most “Bauhausy” to me–all because of its dirty tone. When I swirl Last Caress into my inner and outer corners, it’s almost like I am smearing muddy paint on my face in the rogue fashion of Pete Murphy and Daniel Ash.

She’s in Parties is a beautiful dark red metallic, which turned out to be surprisingly subdued and work-friendly–like a redder version of Too Faced’s Amaretto from the Chocolate Bar palette. Too bad She’s in Parties is such a huge disappointment in terms of quality. It melts off my (primed) lids and becomes a greyish mess far faster than 99% of the eyeshadows in my stash. I have noticed that this is a common problem with thicker, heavier metallic shades–other products with the same longevity issue include Viseart Petit Pro metallics and Urban Decay Ember. A “glitter glue” type primer can help preserve the color, however only in those areas that don’t have lines or creases (i.e., my eyelids need not apply.) Another way to wear She’s in Parties would be over a creamy base such as the Kiko stick eyeshadow in 37 Burgundy.

And finally, Meanstreak is a deep plummy burgundy color that is similar to Last Caress in texture. If you have played with eyeshadows that deliver “gaze into my soul” darkness at the slightest touch–such as Lorac Espresso or Plum–this shade ain’t it. I wouldn’t call it sheer, exactly, but “buildable” would be a good way to put it. Meanstreak blends into Last Caress seamlessly.

Would I acquire more Melt eyeshadows? Hmmmm. The mattes did turn out to be pretty impressive. But based on my experience with the She’s in Parties pan, I’ve got major reservations as far as the metallics are concerned. The Gunmetal stack looks cool, but I would make sure to seek out unbiased reviews.

Here are two looks that show the She’s in Parties stack in action. Should I add “full-stack developer” to my resume now?!

Look one: Skeleton Kiss (lid), Last Caress (outer corner and lower lashline), and Meanstreak (liner in the outer corner and on the lower lashline). Inner corner highlight: Sigma Felicity from the Chroma Glow palette.



Full face. On my cheeks is a berry blush, nars sin (still mad at them for abandoning their cruelty-free status). The lip is Urban Decay Vice lipstick in Trance, a beige metallic. I’ve been wearing this eye look A LOT in the past couple of months, and I found that it works equally as fantastic with dark or weird lipsticks, including NYX’s blue Jet Set or brown Vintage.


Look two, the most obvious one with this stack: She’s in Parties (lid) on top of glitter glue, Skeleton Kiss (center of the lid and inner corner), Last Caress (crease, heavily blended out into a brown mess), Meanstreak (liner).


I was in the mood for Bauhaus-themed products that day, so I paired this look with Kat Von D’s Double Dare liquid lipstick, named after one of the best Bauhaus songs. The epic nature of the song is comically at odds with the demure rosiness of the lipstick. My blush is a berry gel, Canmake Lip & Cheek in 04 Blood Cranberry–my favorite product for a “natural flush.”


Read this long post till the very end?! Mac approves! (From here):


Stila Glitter & Glow in Rose Gold Retro

When we were in our teens, my best friend and I used to watch Velvet Goldmine, listen to Roxy Music and T-Rex, and dream about maximum glitter. Well, now I am sixteen times two, and my glam rock dreams have kind of come true… in terms of eye makeup. Last year, the newly cruelty free brand Stila came up with the Glitter & Glow liquid eyeshadows, which allow one to achieve that heavily pasted-on, solar-flare look. I got the color Rose Gold Retro, because I am one of those bozos who like rose gold everything. (Millennial pink ain’t too ugly, either…)

And who would fault me for that? Enjoy the swatches of my rose gold eyeshadow collection (two images in different lighting):

Look at how shiny the Stila is. Seriously, the Glitter & Glow line is a godsend to those who take makeup selfies with their phones (aka me), because FINALLY the eyeshadows show up as lustrous in selfies as they do in real life. That is because the glitters here are huge, irregular shards, as opposed to the delicate specks in something like Urban Decay Moondust. I’d only seen such big chunks once before, in a Japanese gel eyeshadow—Canmake Jewelstar Eyes in Stone Gold. I thought it interesting to compare a few kinds of glitter that I have:


Liquid eyeshadows sound like they have the potential to become crease central, but Rose Gold Retro holds onto the lid like a champ. (Note: I always wear primer.) It’s also very easy to blend with a finger. One issue though: the glitter fallout from that thing is MASSIVE. Which is why I take precautions: I apply Rose Gold Retro only after the rest of the makeup is finished, press it onto the lid carefully and precisely, and blend in small motions.

So far, I have only worn Rose Gold Retro in a halo eye placement. Below is my favorite of those halo looks. I really like to contrast maximum sparkle with morbid purple and greige shadows—I call it my “glitter zombie” style (my husband has another name: “sparkle goth).


The mattes in this look are all from TheBalm’s Meet Matt(e) Trimony palette:

– Matt Lin (light beige) as a base to blend other shadows into;

– Matt Rossi (purply taupe) swirled into the inner and outer crease;

– Matt Moskowitz (dark purple) to define the inner and outer thirds;

– Matt Ahmed (black) blended into Rossi and Moskowitz underneath the eye.

The highlighter in the inner corner is an icy light purple: Hemisphere from the Sleek Solstice palette.

Here is the full face. My blush is Sleek Pink Parfait mixed with a Sigma purple highlighter (Felicity) on top. The lip is Bow n Arrow by Kat Von D—a creamy matte from the “Studded Kiss” line, the one in that (in)famous Hot Topic-style packaging.


Two bonus halo eye looks from my Instagram page. This one is more mauve (Lipstick review here):

And this one is unapologetically red. Reds under the beds. (My red eyeshadow reviews live here):

Epic shiny look for a nice day. @lipstickandgalaxies guessed that I am wearing a @stilacosmetics liquid eyeshadow on my lids! ✨ The color is Rose Gold Retro. The matte eyeshadows are from the @anastasiabeverlyhills Modern Renaissance (placement inspired by the recent @karimamckimmie video). Lipstick: @urbandecaycosmetics vice lipstick Trance, a metallic beige. I am also growing out my brows for the first time since I was 16… because I am curious what will come out of it 🤦🏻‍♀️🐛 #fotd #motd #makeup #anastasiabeverlyhills #anastasiabeverlyhillsmodernrenaissance #crueltyfree #crueltyfreemakeup #redeyeshadow #haloeye #urbandecay #lipstickismyvice #urbandecaytrance #stila #stilaglitterandglow #stilarosegoldretro

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