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 doΒ  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 πŸ™‚

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.


My Favorite Shades of Eyeshadow [With Swatches]

Being a brown eyed gal, makeup charts tell me what shades of eyeshadow will best compliment my eyes, green and purple being the popular ones. I find that when I do wear those shades, my eyes show flecks of green or gold, which is pretty.

But personally, I like the idea that a person should where whatever the hell they like and what they look the best on their own face. For myself, I prefer the coppery, orange, goldy, reddish, pinkish ones. Got it?

Something about those colors for my eyes, I don’t know. I just feel like they totally pop and really show how brown they are. I know that sounds odd, but I like my brown eyes. They’re regular ol’ brown. Not too dark but definitely brown.

The shades I’m doing to show you are mostly Mac and Makeup Geek, but there will be a few from palettes. Unfortunately I don’t have any drugstore options except for one. However, I know Maybelline has a great copper quad. All of the shadows in it though are shimmery and it’s always good to throw a good matte in there to balance it.

L–>R ; Mac’s Antiqued, Makeup Geek (MUG) Foiled shadow in Flame Thrower, and Milani Bella Copper

p.s. Aaaallll of these shadows are way more spectacular and rich in person, especially Flame Thrower. OMG.

L-R : from UD Vice 3 Palette Lucky, Mac Amber Lights, and from Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Palette in China Rose. Both Lucky and Amber lights are very similar with Lucky just being a bit darker.


L-R: Lorac Pro 1 in Garnet (more red in person), UD Vice 3 palette in Sonic, and Mac Coppering. The shade Coppering is the one that started it all. I told the Mac girl that I didn’t want your typical greens, bronze, or purples for my eyes so she showed me this. I fell in love.


L-R: Mac Mythology and Mac Expensive Pink, being the newest addition. and I am loooving it!

So as you can see, I love the coppery, orange, goldy, reddish, pinky tones. Ha.

When I use these type of shades, I’ll do a matte tan or light brown transition shade, then put my selected shadow from above all over the lid, then either a satin or matte brown with a red undertone. Some of my favorites for that are MUG’s Cocoa Bear or Mac’s Saddle. And of course a highlight shade. That is my go-to method of applying shadow. Simple and effective!


This is with China Rose all over. Again, much more vibrant in person. I hope you enjoy my high quality photos taken from the camera that faces you. Thanks iPhone!


I actually did a wing that day! I used the KVD liner I mentioned in my last post. But the shadow I’m wearing is I believe Expensive Pink, if I remember correctly.

I hope you enjoyed this post!! Let me know what type of tones and shades you like!

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… πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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.


MAC’s Cremesheen in Shanghai Spice – A Nude for Olive Tones?

So I’m going to Hawaii next week…. I’m a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding and I’m super excited for a few reasons…

1) Hawaii. Duh.

2) Mini vacation!

3) I get to do her makeup πŸ™‚

She was a bridesmaid in my own wedding and I’m so excited to be sharing this special time with her. When she asked me to do her makeup, I immediately said yes and I plan to surprise her with a few gifts for the day of. In the process of finding her a few special things, I found myself a wonderful summery nude lipstick for myself! haha.

This might be a classic for some, but for me, it’s new and I am loving it.

In person, Shanghai Spice is a bit darker but you can definitely see the peachy tones in it. When you look at it, it’s a soft peachy nude with brown undertones as well, perfect for someone like me where most nudes tend to wash me out. But on my skin tone, it’s perfect!

It’s peachy but on the lips it gives a good soft look without looking too pink or like you’re trying too hard to have nude lips. Like I said, it helps give me a simple, nude look without washing me out. That’s the funny thing with nudes on my skin tone. A regular nude can give me the “I’m sick” or “I’m dead” look, which is not cute.

I’m hoping to wear this for the wedding, but my dress is a fun coral color and I might need something with a bit more depth to. Maybe a lip liner will help though, as the formula is extremely comfortable on the lips. It’s also the kind of lipstick where I don’t necessarily need a mirror to apply it.

Yeah, I think it’ll work with a darker lip liner underneath πŸ™‚

What do my fellow tan/olive/yellow-toned girls think? Have you tried this? Or anyone really! It’s such a pretty peach…

xo, Briana

This is not a sponsored post.

February Favorites

I know on my blog, I don’t consistently post my monthly favorites.

Let me rephrase that. I don’t ever post my monthly favorites. Ha. I have on occasion but I usually focus on just one product and maybe the end of the year I’ll post my favorites. I’ll sometimes do a seasonal favorites. Anywho, this month I would like to show you what I’ve been loving! So! Let’s get to it!

Tea! I’ve always loved drinking tea and especially in the cooler months. But I have been especially loving this green tea by Yogi Tea. I’ve always loved their line of teas because they’re full of flavor and never weak. They have a variety of teas for anything, from bedtime (also a favorite) to digestion to whatever. Ha. The thing I love about their tea as well is the fact that you don’t need to add any sweetener. I used to always had agave or sugar to my tea but you don’t need to with these.

The brand new L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte foundation. I’m in shade 104 Golden Beige and it’s a pretty darn good match for my winter color, haha. I haven’t mentioned this yet but I am falling in love with it. At first I didn’t think it was anything spectacular but the more I use it the more I love it. It sets quickly and is very light weight. It’s a medium coverage but I don’t feel the need for concealer with it. It isn’t completely matte either, which I also like. It’s a more natural finish. It lasts for quite a while, too. Not all day, but it’s still pretty good.

Clinique Bottom Last mascara! How cute is this packaging? It’s so pretty and feminine.

You can’t tell but the bottle itself is pretty small, probably as big as my index or middle finger. So the wand is very tiny, like a finger nail. But it makes for applying to your lower lashes great. And the best part? It doesn’t smudge or flake on me! and for someone who struggles with even waterproof mascara on the lower lashes, I freaking love it.

I never really talk about specific makeup brushes, but these two right here are essential for my eye makeup. I do believe these are part of a limited edition set (Nic’s Pick by Real Techniques) but I think it’s still available. You also get 3 other brushes in the set but these two have become a part of my daily makeup routine.

The one on the left is the angled shadow brush and I use it first to apply my transition shade, usually a soft tan or brown color. The brush on the right is the base shadow brush, which is also available in the regular eye set. This specific one though I used for highlight or blending. I love them.

My favorite face brushes!

On the far left is my Real Techniques buffing brush, which I have been going back to for foundation application. I still use my beauty blender but I find this brush works better for certain foundations and is also faster then the BB.

The middle left is an ELF mineral powder brush, which I found at Target and have been using specifically for contour. It fits perfectly in my contour area and blends the powder so well.

The middle right brush is a MAC 168 large angled contour brush, which I use for blush. I am able to sweep my blush on and it not go on patchy, which is something I’ve been dealing with with a few of my other blush brushes. This one, though, works like a dream. It’s my first MAC brush and is definitely a splurge, but I do love it.

The far right is a Real Techniques setting brush which I use for highlight after bronzer/contour/blush. It’s just the right size highlight. and yes, all of these brushes are soo soft, its like massaging your face when you use them.

I already talked about this the other day, but I wanted to mention it again because I have been using it almost daily now. Haha. I don’t do a deep contour, but I have been loving the look it gives to my more oval face.

A blush I have been liking to pair when I do a contour is MAC’s Pinch Me, which is a sheertone blush and is described as a dirty rose coral, which I have to agree. On my medium olive tone skin, it creates a pretty flush of color that looks pretty natural.

I was wearing it my KVD post, if you’re wondering.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna palette. I think I purchased this over the holidays when I had a 20% off coupon for Sephora and decided to buy it when I saw Casey Holmes on YouTube use it a lot. She and I both have a love for orange shades and this has one that is gorgeous.

Pretty colors with a fun teal that I have yet to use. Haha.

Honestly, the colors I reach for the most are Bengal (transition shade that adds such warmth to any look), Gilded all over my lid, and Chocolate & Sangria to deepen up my look. Those 4 together are soo pretty. I also use Fresh as a highlight.

FullSizeRender_2Sangria, Bengal, Gilded, and Chocolate

So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this post!

What have you been loving this last month?

xo, Briana

FTC : This is not a sponsored post.

MAC’s Del Rio Lipstick : Review

If you’ve been following me long enough, you’ll know that lipsticks are really my thing. Until recently. Where I have actually learned what shades and tones look good on me. Ha.

I recently wrote about my favorite nude lipstick, MAC’s Mocha, and after that I ventured out for a few more lipsticks from MAC. I have Retro and Del Rio.


We’re here to talk about Del Rio. and I’ll tell you right away… I love it.

It’s a dark reddish brown, not quite brick red but darker. It’s on the line of vampy but definitely on trend with the whole 90’s grunge coming back in style (which I love). It’s a satin finish, fyi.

I like to pair it with my Milani lip liner in Natural. It glides on fairly easily and once it’s on your lips, it stays for quite a while, even with eating and drinking. Of course I reapply throughout the day as I wear it, as I really don’t expect a lipstick to last all day long without it needing a touch up every now and then.

My own natural lip color is on the darker side, with a touch of mauvey pink. This is the kind of color I can wear and not be self-conscious with people staring at me. As my mom put it, my lips don’t enter the room before I do. In other words, it’s a statement piece, but not the statement.

I just really like this color and how it looks on mah face. There’s not much else to it! It’s the kind of dark brick red that totally works with an olive skin tone without looking too red or or too brown. It’s just right.

I hope you enjoyed this quick little post! Have you tried this shade yet? Do you have any recommendations for me?

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰

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?? πŸ˜‰

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.

My First Mac Lipstick (yes, really)

When it comes to Mac, I’ve never been the kind to be all about it and have all the cult products from it. Before, I had only tried their Studio Fix foundation and Pro Longwear Concealer. While I tried them and enjoyed them for awhile, I found them both to be heavy and cakey on me. That was my impression of the line.

I decided to give them another shot and tired their Mineralize Skin Finish powder which I love and use without fail any time I wear makeup. From there, I have dabbled a bit more into their line and have tried (and falled in love with) their eye shadows and blushes. I would look at their lipsticks and just couldn’t seem to find any interest in them, as I’m not a real “lippie” type of person.

However, I’ve been on the hunt for that perfect nude, the kind I can wear with nearly any look.

I think I found it…

Enter Mac’s Mocha!

It’s a wonderfully warm pinky brown, which happens to go along with the trend of the whole Kyle Jenner thing. And before you think anything about it, I was not trying to mimic the look. It just so happens we have similar coloring and so my “nude” is her nude. Anyway.


It’s a satin finish but appears slightly matte on my lips. It’s very comfortable on my lips and glides onto my lips very smoothly. Sometimes I wear it with a Milani lip liner in Natural which makes it appear a bit darker but today I didn’t use a lip liner and am wearing it on it’s own.

I have naturally pigmented lips that are a mauvey (mauvy? mauvie?) brown so any color I put on tends to veer towards that or appears an entirely different color once applied. But this goes on nearly true to color in the tube and I could get away with one swipe across my lips but I go over them twice just to make sure.

Have I ever told you I don’t particularly care for the shape of my lips? I do appreciate the fact that they are naturally full, but the lower lip is a leetle crooked, in that one side is a bit fuller than the other. That’s why I don’t always do close ups of them. Anyway. That’s all.

So. I am happy to say that I love my first Mac lipstick!

What’s your go-to Mac lipstick?

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.

7 Deadly Sins [Beauty Version]

Like my “perfect imperfections” blog post, this is from YouTube. It’s a tag post, which means I tag YOU to do it as well, whether it’s a response or even a video you post on YouTube.


GREED – What is your most inexpensive beauty product? What is your most expensive? 

These fellas cost anywhere from $1-$3. Thank you Target and ELF!!

My ELF cream eye liners were also just $3 each. Each! I obviously use the goldy one more.

Definitely most $$ The original was $48 (although it was a gift), but I did purchase the 2nd one myself for $50. Yikes.

WRATH – What beauty products do you have a love/hate relationship with? What has been hardest to find?

Nude lip colors!

Now these lip colors are funky for me. They look great on some girls, but for me, they tend to make me look washed out or pale. If I do wear them, I have to wear heavier eye makeup. I still have to add an extra color on top of the nude one anyway, something with a rosy tint to it. I loove the look of them, but on me, it’s a battle.

And I don’t really have any products that I find difficult to find. Really.

GLUTTONY – What are your most delicious beauty products?

Body butter. Yum.... Just don't actually eat it. It just smells uh-mazing.

SLOTH – What beauty product do you neglect due to laziness?

Foundation, for sure. Out of the seven days in a week, I’ll wear it maybe once or twice a week. I just don’t feel the need to I suppose. I’ll maybe use a powder, but I don’t always like to wear foundation. I feel like I can’t touch my face sometimes. Ha. Although I did recently make my first MAC purchase, which is the studio fix foundation and pro longwear concealer, both of which I love. However, I don’t plan on using them every day.
PRIDE – What beauty product gives you more confidence?

Eyeliner (Lancome in black ebony) and good mascara (Bare Escentuals Buxom in blackest black).

For me, these are the most basic beauty products. Without them, I might as well not wear makeup. Because of the shape of my eyes, you can’t really see my eyeshadow too well unless it’s kind of heavy. But when I wear the mascara and eyeliner (on my lower lid), it makes such a huge difference!

LUST – What attributes do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?

(this one is kind of random)….

For physical appearance, I would have to say
-Good hair. Yes, hair. Keep it looking clean, although I am a sucker for the beach bum look. Oh, how I miss my honey having his long hair. I also like the light brown/dark blonde hair color. California girl, what can I say?
-Good teeth!
-I dislike huge muscles. I like good, shapely arms and shoulders, but don’t overdo it fellas. If you surf consistently, I’ll probably be happy with it πŸ™‚ Like my boyfriends. Hehe.
-Clean nails (hands and toes!). You can tell a lot about a person by their nails. Just saying…

-Can he make me laugh? But in a good way. Yeah, sometimes I think like a boy, but I don’t want my boy to think it’s okay to always joke with me like that.
-Honesty. ’nuff said.
-How he treats others, especially his family (mother!).
-Driven, but not so much that he can’t slow down. Thank goodness my man has ambition, but he still lives in the moment. More than I do, that’s for sure. Ha.
ENVY – What item would you most like to receive as a gift?
Honestly, I can’t think of anything right now! Although, wait, any item? If it’s not beauty/makeup related, I desperately want a Michael Kors watch. Okay, I’ll settle for the Sanuk June Bug shoes, size 7 in grey πŸ™‚

As for beauty products, I could use some new primer potion! And some good eye brushes.

Yep, I think that’ll do it.

If you guys want to respond, please do! I would love to hear what your 7 deadly “sins” are!