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Kick Azz $5 Palettes- Wet n Wild Ultimate Expressions

I've always heard about how good the Wet n Wild Ultimate Expressions Eyeshadow Palettes are, but I never got around to them. I don't know why I didn't buy these earlier! They are very well-pigmented, not to mention inexpensive.


PRICE: Around $5 (My local Walgreen's are a rip off! I went to 3 different locations located within 2 or 3 miles of each other and each store had a different price: $5, $5.29 & $5.49. WTF?)
PRODUCT AMOUNT: 8 colors; 9.5 g in total.
COLORS AVAILABLE: (3)- Sand Castle, Paradise Cove & Fantasy Island
TEXTURE: Soft but not chalky

PROS: Very well-pigmented; has a huge pull-out mirror; sponge tip applicator clips inside the palette so it doesn't annoyingly fall out; inexpensive; easy to find

CONS: Thick, bulky packaging; not enough matte highlight colors; limited color selection

The Sand Castle palette has the perfect summer colors and any neutral color lover will adore this. Sand Castle has more of a shimmery finish than the Paradise Cove palette. I don't care for the bottom left color; even though it's matte it has small sparkly pieces in it, which I don't like. The rest are shimmers.

Paradise Cove is also a great palette for neutral color lovers, even though it contains a pretty purple and burgundy color. The bottom-left color has a semi-matte finish while the rest are shimmers.



So those were the "kick ass $5 palettes" but I'll also include something else. Since Walgreen's was having a BOGO (your free item couldn't be more than $4.49), I picked up a couple trios with my purchase of the Ultimate Expressions palettes. These are called the Wet n Wild Mega Eyes Eyeshadow Trios.


PRICE: Around $3
PRODUCT AMOUNT: 3 colors; 4.2 g
COLORS AVAILBLE: (6)- Amazon Greens, Island Blues, Belgian Chocolates, Egyptian Sands, Mojave Mauves, Venetian Violets
TEXTURE: Drier and not as soft as the Ultimate Expressions palettes

PROS: Pull-out mirror; easy to find anywhere

CONS: NOT AS PIGMENTED AS THE 8-COLOR ULTIMATE EXPRESSIONS palettes; dinky sponge tip applicator

FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm not buying these trios again. But hey, they were free anyway.


Now for the fun part: The Dupes...

Think about it! Scroll to the bottom for the answer.

The Wet n Wild palette is more pigmented than the Physicians Formula. It took more swipes to swatch Baked Sands.

I've heard that the 3rd color in the Amazon Greens trio could be a dupe for MAC Sumptuous Olive or Henna.

Did you guess correctly? =)
But remember, the trios are not as pigmented as the 8-color palettes. I had to rub my brush in the WnW green several times to get it to look like this.

I LOVE Paradise Cove and Sand Castle.

I think I'm cool with all my eyeshadows for now. After my NYX haul, that's it!

(Note: All swatches were done over the Scandalous eyeshadow base)

The EASIEST Depot Ever (Revisited)

After easily depotting Revlon ColorStay Quads
- see the original post here- I thought the Revlon Matte shadows probably would require the same method. And yes, they do!

What you'll need is just a PUSH PIN- or anything small enough to fit in a tiny hole, like a safety pin or the back of an earring- and you don't need any alcohol. You might need a paper towel to remove the sticky, gooey glue so that it doesn't get on your hands.

But first of all, the swatches....

They're pretty pigmented over a good base but I sometimes don't like the texture of these matte shadows. See all the chunks leftover when I swatched the blue one? But, at least they're matte.


  1. Peel the sticker off the back to find the hole in the upper left hand corner.
  2. Open the case cover and place the push pin into the hole and start pushing gently.
  3. That's it! The eyeshadow pan should lift up pretty easily. Remember, you don't need any alcohol to dissolve the glue; this glue is different than on most eyeshadow pans.
  4. To remove the excess glue on the back of the pan, use a paper towel to grab most of it off. I tried dissolving it with alcohol but it does not help; it just leaves a sticky, tacky residue.
Then you can just label the pan with a Sharpie. Make a CD palette by placing magnetic sheets you get from the craft store onto the bottom of the CD case (after removing the insert that holds the disk in place). Then, just stick the bare eyeshadow pans onto the magnetic sheets and bam, you got a homemade palette. DO NOT PUT MAGNETS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE EYESHADOW PANS because then it will not stick very well to the magnetic sheets in the CD palette. Yeah, the magnetic sheets don't stick to themselves very well; metal will stick better so leave the pans bare.

Gosh, I just love Revlon for making it so easy to depot something!

If your doing these in bulk, you might not have to peel the sticker off the back anymore. You can just "feel" for the hole.


The same method applies to Revlon ColorStay Quads. Again, you can see the original post for that if you click here.

See the four holes on the left side? You can just "feel" for them with your push pin and poke through the sticker. Start depotting.....easily.

~The ColorStay Swatches~
(All swatched over Scandalous Eyeshadow Base)

Twelve of my depotted quads. Click to enlarge and see the names for each.


The 1st, 2nd, & 4th colors in the Coffee Bean quad are matte. All the other colors in every quad are shimmers. Warm tones...
Cool tones...


(I redid this swatch so it's different from the original)

Steel Impressions is available at Walmart, if you can still find it.
I told ya it was the easiest depot ever! =)

Something Different

I am NO photographer but I decided to post some of my favorite pictures that I've taken, just as a record for me. Maybe you'll like them too. =)

The Tangerine & the sunken pirate ship outside of Treasure Island. Don't waste your time watching the free, corny show called "Sirens of TI." See Mystere instead!

A living statue inside Caeser's Palace or the Venetian- I can't remember. He's staring at all his tips! Hmm, I wonder how long their shifts are?

A gorgeous 2200 carat opal sphere inside the Gem and Mineral Hall at the Natural History Museum located at Exposition Park. Check that rock out! They're all sealed under glass.

A chimpanzee relaxing at the LA Zoo in Griffith Park. See his (or her) toes bent upward?

The clock tower set from "Back to the Future", which was first reported as being burnt down in the big fire at Universal Studios, but then they said it was still standing.

Lastly, I had to add at least one beauty-related item, so here's MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot. It's so pretty that I just like looking at it.

Oil Slick Control: Powders, Products & Methods

***The following post will contain my personal opinions and experiences. What may not work for me may work for you. We are all different.***

Controlling an oil slick is very hard for an oily gal. I've tried all these products, plus the two methods at the end, and I'll tell you how each of them worked out for me.


I will start out with the best product that has helped control my oilies- Kryolan Anti-Shine Powder!

~TEXTURE: This translucent, finely-milled, light, dusty and airy powder goes on smoothly and gives my face a nice matte appearance without being too cakey or drying.
~AMOUNT/PRICE: The jar is super huge and you get 30 grams for around $15 with shipping. (Just Google this product because there are various places where you can purchase it.)
~INGREDIENTS: Dimethylimidazolidinone Rice Starch, Talc. Yes, it contains the dreaded talc which I religiously stay away from but at least it's not the first ingredient. I don't know what the ratio of the two ingredients could be- 51% rice starch & 49% talc or 98% rice starch & 2% talc? Who knows?
~SKIN REACTION: Although it contains talc, I have not broke out but I do make sure that I don't use it every single day. I might use it for 3 or 4 days in a row and skip the next day or the next two days- only because I know I've been sensitive to face products containing talc but that was when talc was the first ingredient. So far, so good! Yay!
~APPLICATION: I use a stippling brush to apply. It comes with a powder puff but I think that would apply too much product and I don't need to pack this on. I usually reapply mid day and after a work day. Just load some up on a retractable brush and you're good to go.
~BOX DESCRIPTION: "Anti-Shine powder finishes the makeup and gives a natural matte appearance. Ideal for long lasting touch up even after hours of setting the makeup without changing it." (Made in Germany)
~OIL CONTROL RATING/REPURCHASE?: Since it's the best thing I've tried so far, I have to give it a 5 out of 5. Definitely repurchasing, although I think this jar is going to last a looong time!

Jar size comparison


Next up is the Kaolin Powder in Sunlight from Everyday Minerals...

~TEXTURE: Not as finely-milled and light as the Kryolan. It's a nice primer and finishing powder though. Matte and translucent. Also available in "Fair" and "Soft Bronze" but still translucent.
~AMOUNT/PRICE: 6 grams for $12, or can be purchased in a 6-piece kit for $34
~INGREDIENTS: Kaolin Clay, Mica, Iron Oxides
~SKIN REACTION: No adverse reactions, however, I don't use it too often.
~APPLICATION: A flat-top or round kabuki worked best for me.
~WEBSITE DESCRIPTION: "The best oil-absorbing kaolin clay and light-reflecting mica blended to silky perfection to produce Start to Finish Sunlight! Use as a primer or finish powder to help your skintone have a softer and smoother look with a radiant finish."
~OIL-CONTROL RATING/REPURCHASE?: I was excited to try it because I've heard kaolin is really good but sadly, it didn't really do anything for me. I don't know why? I give it a 2 out of 5 and I won't be repurchasing- it was a free gift anyway!


Since the EDM Kaolin Powder didn't help so much, I figured I'd try something with a different type of clay and silica. So here's the
Oil Absorb from Purely Cosmetics.

~TEXTURE: It's a tad rough- not as smooth as all the other powders in this post (the Kryolan being the finest and smoothest). The color is a light gray but goes on translucent.
~AMOUNT/PRICE: Approximately 8 grams for $16.
~INGREDIENTS: Bentonite Clay, Silica, Calcium Carbonate, Kaolin Clay
~SKIN REACTION: Nothing bad so far
~APPLICATION: It doesn't stick to my flat top or powder brush easily; it kind of just moves around in lid. I like to use it before foundation, mixed with silk powder. Then I use silk powder again over my foundation.
~WEBSITE DESCRIPTION: "Use a light layer under foundation to absorb excess oil. Newly reformulated! Made of finely ground bentonite clay, which is known for it's high absorption properties. We've now added silica, calcium carbonate and kaolin clay for ease of smooth application, increased adhesion and oil absorption, and blurred optical effects."
~OIL-CONTROL RATING/REPURCHASE?: Since it contained bentonite clay, like my favorite Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask, I thought it would help control the oilies really well but it was ok; it works much better with a silk powder. I give it a 3 out of 5 and I might repurchase, but it's a little too expensive for the size.


Next up is Silk Dust and Tinted Silk Dust from Everyday Minerals, which have been DISCONTINUED, but you can find silk powder at a lot of other mineral makeup companies...

~TEXTURE: Fine and silky smooth, pretty much like the Kryolan. Also matte and translucent.
~AMOUNT/PRICE: Discontinued. Silk Naturals sells it for $9.95 for 2 teaspoons. Also check out Meow Cosmetics.
~INGREDIENTS: Silk powder (EDM added black currant powder seed extract). Silk powder has natural amino acids, which is supposed to be good for the skin. The untinted one can go on a little white if you put on a lot but it's still translucent. I've yet to find another tinted silk powder. Why do they always have to discontinue products that I love?!!
~SKIN REACTIONS: Nothing bad; I actually think it makes my skin better.
~APPLICATION: I use a flat-top brush and apply this everyday as a primer under my mineral makeup to help control oil and help my foundation glide on smoothly and easily. Then, I either use the Kryolan Anti-Shine powder or the Silk Powder again, as a finishing powder over my foundation.
~OIL-CONTROL RATING/REPURCHASE?: 4 out of 5; I still have 6 jars of Tinted Silk Dust because I stocked up before the discontinuation but when I'm out, I'm definitely repurchasing somewhere else.


The last powder is Everyday Minerals Rice Powder in Sunlight...

~TEXTURE: Not as fine and light as the Kryolan powder. Matte and translucent. Also available in "Soft Bronze" color, which is still translucent and colorless on me.
~AMOUNT/PRICE: 8g for $12, can be purchased in a 6-piece kit for $34
~INGREDIENTS: Organic rice powder, mica, magnesium stearate, iron oxides
~SKIN REACTION: No adverse reactions
~APPLICATION: I've used a flat-top, powder and stippling brush- makes no difference.
~WEBSITE DESCRIPTION: "A translucent finishing powder with soft yellow undertones that helps to neutralize ruddiness in the skin. It works great as a primer to help mattify without drying the skin and delivers a bright, fresh finish- all in one versatile product!"
~OIL-CONTROL RATING/REPURCHASE?: Did the same as the EDM Kaolin so I give it a 2 out of 5. I won't be repurchasing and this was also a free gift too anyway.


Oh, I forgot about Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, which did nothing for me. It's a nice finishing powder but for controlling oily skin- meh! It's corn starch based so that can be irritating for acne prone skin.


I've also tried the following 3 PRODUCTS with no luck...

~Origins Zero Oil: Way back in the day, I used to use Origins products, which are very nice but it got too pricey for me. Anywho... Zero Oil is a liquid with solid particles in it; you're supposed to shake it up and pat it on your shiny areas. It didn't work so well, it's really messy and it may leave white marks on your face. You have to make sure you have clean hands before applying and the product may spill out of the bottle. $12 for 18 ml
~Smashbox Anti-Shine: Didn't work at all for me and it broke me out. Pricey at $27 for 1 oz.
~Lancome Pure Focus (I think the older product was called T-Controle): This is a gel-type primer and mattifier which worked pretty well but it ended up breaking me out. =( Plus, it's pricey- $27 for 1 oz.

Again, way back in the day, I did some research and tried these two METHODS to help control the oilies.

~The Milk of Magnesia (MoM) Mask: Make sure you get the original flavor, not mint or any other flavor! And don't drink it! Wash your face like normal in the morning and apply this with a cotton ball like a mask, avoiding your eye area. Leave it on for about 10 minutes then rinse it off. Then moisturize and apply your makeup like normal. It helped me a lot, well, at least for the first few hours. I can't remember why I stopped using it. I think I just got tired of doing it each day. Maybe I'll try it again.

~The Egg White Mask: Just crack an egg open and separate the yolk from the white. Take the white part (the albumen) and apply it to your face like a mask. Leave on for a few minutes then rinse. There's different recipes; some people add lemon juice or honey. It tightens your pores and dries up quickly. It did work a little to help control oiliness but then I started to think about the Salmonella on my face. Eww...



I hope this post has offered a few suggestions for you in helping to control oily skin. Remember, these results were based on my own personal experiences, so just because a product did, or did not, work for me does not mean it will, or will not, work for you.

My favorite products to use on a daily basis are: Kryolan Anti-Shine Powder, discontinued Everyday Minerals Tinted Silk Dust, and Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets (the blue ones; they're the best ever!)

What's your everyday favorite product to control oily skin?

Lady Lostris Beauty | TNB