My Custom XL Z Palette – With Swatches!

When I first bought a Z palette a few years ago, I went a little crazy on depotting everything, thinking it would change how the makeup I used i.e. everything would be more accessible. While that is true, the act of actually depotting and then organizing was still won over by Urban Decay, Lorac, and Too Faced palettes that I used more often.

But now that I’ve gained a decent amount of single eye shadows from Mac, Makeup Geek (MUG), and a few Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) singles, my XL Z palette finally has a place among my most used palettes.

In deciding what to write about now that I’ve begun (again), I thought that sharing my custom palette would be an easy choice. I have some very well-loved shadows in here and you can quickly get an idea of the range of colors I love on my brown eyes.


As you can see, I love me some serious matte browns and red tone shadows, as well as the warm, rusty colors, and of of course green shimmers for my brown eyes.

I’ll list them in order of rows (top –> bottom).


Let’s call this the highlight/transition row because that’s pretty much all I use these shadows for.

Starting on the left we have Orb (Mac), Rice Paper (Mac), Soft Brown (Mac), Creme Brulee (MUG), Peach Smoothie (MUG), Desert Sands (MUG), and Saddle (Mac).


This might be my favorite row. Not sure. It might be a tie with another row you’ll see soon.

Left-Right… Mythology (Mac), Cosmopolitan (MUG), Expensive Pink (Mac and also identical to the previous shadow!), Sable (Mac), Country Girl (MUG), Antiqued (Mac & a personal favorite of mine for all over the lid as a one-shadow look), and finally Twinks (Mac).


This row I tend to use as colors to deep my look in the outer corner or through my crease. I can get away with these dark shades in my crease thanks to my hooded eyes. Perhaps I’ll do a pictorial blog on how I do  my shadows for hooded eyes? Thoughts

Left-Right… Amber Lights (Mac), Cocoa Bear (MUG & another personal favorite), Brown Script (Mac), Swiss Chocolate (Mac), Tolie (Mac), the 6th shade I’m not sure the name but I know it’s from Mac! and finally Sketch (Mac)


This row is in tie for first place with my second row. I love the coppery shades here. omg do I love to put these all over my lid…

Left-Right… Not sure of the first shade but it’s Mac, Brown (Mac), Cranberry (Mac), Coppering (my first ever Mac shadow & another personal favorite), Flame Thrower (MUG foiled eye shadow. Do you SEE the shimmer in it??), Glisten (ABH), and Burnt Orange (ABH).


How pretty and opposite is this row from the rest? Haha.

Left-Right… Not sure of the first shade but, again, it’s Mac! Sumptuous Olive (Mac, and it’s swatching great, sorry), Sure of this third shade but it was in a palette with the first from Mac, Ash brown (ABH), Red Earth (ABH), and Truffle Glitter (ABH). This row doesn’t get nearly as much love as the others, because I’m so drawn to reds and coppers, but these greens do bring out that pretty mossy colors that brown eyes have.

Sorry if the swatches aren’t the best! I’m a little rusty in that area, as you can tell… But I hope you enjoyed seeing this custom palette of mine! I bought it at IMATs back in January and am so glad I have a place for all of my single eye shadows.

Please let me know what other blog posts you’d like to see! I have a few ideas for some future posts but would love your input 🙂

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.


May Favorites!

June! We’re halfway done with this year! Can you believe it?

There were a lot of favorite moments from May, which I plan to write about soon. Let’s just say someone close to myself and bub is engaged and I helped plan it… 😉

Besides that, though! Let’s talk about some of my favorite products from May!

Last month was a kind of a blur for me, what with traveling and then staying between my house and my parents house a lot, since Bub was busy a lot with work. When it came to makeup, I wanted to make things simple and quick, whether it’s something that sets fast or I can double up on the product.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette. Gorgeous, isn’t it? Now I’ve had this for a while, thanks to a Nordstrom gift card from Christmas, but haven’t really talked about it much because I wasn’t Wowed by it and I prefer other bronzers and highlighters that I own. However, with my now more tan skin, I find it matches well. But really, my favorite way to use it? Eyeshadow!

It’s a bit of the taupey brown side, with slight satin finish. Very slight. But as a single shadow or transition shade, I love it. On days where I use minimal makeup or anything, I find that this is great as a single shadow and a bronzer as well.

Milani Luminoso blush. I’m sure you’ve heard of this, yes? Well, for good reason. It’s a beautiful coral peachy color that has a beautiful sheen and finish to it. For my skin tone and the eye looks I like to wear, this is a color I can wear with almost anything.

It also easily fits in my makeup bag, as all of my other blushes are in a mac palette 😉

I just got this about two weeks ago because I want something light for summer but still has decent coverage. One of the bridesmaids at my cousins wedding had this and it look gorgeous on her. So I thought I’d try it for those reasons!

And I love it! I’m in shade medium-tan. It blends so easily with a brush and fast. I do set it with a powder and setting spray, as any BB cream on me will get shiny. But this manages to last as well as a regular foundation but sits on my skin like moisturizer. It has that silicone feel though, so if you don’t like that feeling, you may want to avoid this.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I like a brown liner on my top lid, rather than a black. I prefer a brown because it’s not as harsh as a black and just appears more natural to me. At least, as natural as liner can look. Ha.

The tip is a brush and is so smooth on the lid without any bleeding. It sets fast and lasts for a super long time. It’s so unbelievably easy to work with. I love it!

Speaking of Kat Von D…. Yes, I bought it. And I love it.

Now the main reason I bought it? Those far right, warm shadows… specifically the reddish brown one. It is everything I had hoped it to be.

And these paired with the liner? Ugh, so pretty. They’re like butter, they’re all matte, and they’re just gorgeous. I mean, really. Perfect.

And finally, my favorite brushes of the month.

The far left is a Real Techniques blush brush that I have actually been using for bronzer! For my cheek size, I find that it’s a good size and dispenses product evenly.

The middle brush is fairly new and is actually called a sculpting brush, meant for contour. But it’s so dense, I actually like to use it for foundation or my BB cream! The shape is also great for getting along my nose and eyes.

The far right is a MAC 221. I bought this in preparation for Lindsay’s wedding, since she and I both have hooded eyes. The MAC girl that convinced me to get it also has hooded eyes and she swore it was better than the MAC 217 for getting in the crease because it’s smaller. And ooh was she right.

You may compare the size differences. I miiiight need a second. Because it’s just that good.

Well that was all! I had a lot of other awesome things that performed great for me, but these are the things that just really stood out to me and that I used a lot. I hope you enjoyed!

xo, Briana

FTC : This is not a sponsored post.


My Custom MAC Palette

If you’ve read any of my latest posts featuring any MAC products, then you may know that for awhile, I avoided MAC for a long, long time. Now when I first started getting into makeup, I bought a cult MAC foundation and used it for awhile before deciding it was too heavy on me. I just didn’t like it. I didn’t go back to MAC until a while ago when I purchased my now beloved MSF powder, which is a staple of mine.

From there, I have slowly gotten into their eye shadows, blushes, and lipsticks. I eventually got Z palette for my various blushes and eyes shadows from different brands but then a few weeks ago I bought a 15-pan [empty] MAC palette and have filled it up with what I consider my custom neutral palette!

It’s pretty much all I’ve been using the last few weeks. It’s hard not to reach for it since I’ve decided to change up my makeup every day and have only allowed myself one single palette every day in order to actually use all of my makeup.

But this is about my palette! Let’s get into it and I’ll tell ya a little bit about each shade 🙂

I attempted to put the shades in order from lightest–>darkest, as well as finish. The palette itself is magnetic and so if you buy the shadows that do NOT come in the little case, it already has the magnet, but for the pans that DO come in the pan, they don’t stick, so be careful when using!

Now here are the names!

mac palette
In case it’s hard for you to read, here are the names by row…

Row 1 : Orb, Mythology, Amber Lights, Sumptuous Olive, Coppering

Row 2 : Rice Paper, Sable, Antiqued, Twinks, Cranberry

Row 3 : Soft Brown, Saddle, Folie, Dance In The Dark (limited edition from the Novel Romance collection), Sketch

As you can see, I like the slightly satin shadows with a touch of red, brown, and berry. And a random green shade thrown in 🙂 Works great for my brown eyes and it’s paired lovely so well with Amber Lights, Twinks, and Antiqued.

Now swatches anyone? And FYI, I didn’t use primer under these!

Row 1

This picture is a bit washed out, so the colors are more vibrant in person. Each one swatches so well and wears fantastically. Mythology has a tiny bit of fallout but not like some of the super glittery shades from Urban Decay. Coppering is also a beautifu vibrant red/orange that I love to pair with Sketch. Sumptuous Olive has a tinge of yellow in it so of course pairs great with Amber Lights. Orb is a good highlight and isn’t so white in person, FYI.

Row 2

Rice Paper is another good highlight shade. It’s a pretty, subtle color on my skin. Sable and Twinks are wonderful all-over lid shades and pretty much are good neutral shades for anyone. Sable is a bit on the taupe shade, btw. Antiqued is one of those colors you know you like swatched but once applied to your lid and applied with other colors, is a great color. It’s one of my favorites. Cranberry doesn’t get much love from me, but for a more colorful look, I like to pair it with Sketch ad Mythology.

Row 3

Somehow this row ended up being my basic matte and veluxe pearl shades 😉

Soft Brown and Saddle are my favorite blending and transition shades. I especially love Saddle. For my olive skin, it’s great. Folie and Sketch are great to pair with the brighter colors in my palette, as they have red/purple undertones. Dance in the Dark and Sketch are my favorites to darken up any look.

So that’s my palette! I feel like my collection is complete (for now) and it makes me happy to look at my palette, knowing it’s made up by me.

What are your favorite MAC shadows? Got any suggestions?? 😉

xo, Briana

p.s. I’m working on a very exciting post and should be up sometime this week! It’s all about my beauty favorites from this year! I’ll keep you updated!

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.