Rolling in Gold with Ooly the Ranger – Three Magical Nail Potions from the Dior Golden Shock Collection!

Greetings from a long time no see, fellow rogues!

Today I have an extra special treat for you – Ooly’s back! 😀 For those of you not yet familar with the fast talking, faster (crossbow) shooting ranger, do go and check out her previous gems: a toxically adorable toadstool mani, a review of Dior’s much-lauded lip glow, and tales from the Dior Vernis frontier! You won’t be disappointed.

Today, however, Ooly is a ranger after our roguish hearts with tales of GOLD! Shocking gold, in fact, with three gorgeous polishes from the recent Dior Golden Shock (Holiday 2014) collection!

What ho, fellow adventurers! Ooly brings you greetings from the middle of a tropical storm. Water is pouring from the treetops, steam is rising from the ground, and great black clouds are rolling their menacing way across the sky.

Everything that even remotely resembles lunch has wisely taken refuge, but sadly not in my traps, so what’s a ranger to do but retreat to her cool mountain cave and dream up a new manicure?

I’ve been quiet for a while – I’m afraid that despite heeding Syl’s constant warnings about checking for traps, while out questing one day without my trusty rogue, (ed’s note: NEVER leave the rogue at home, people!) I got double-teamed by a nasty pair of perils and ended up mangling my hand. It spent two months bionic, but is now back to normal, which means… well, more manicures, of course. 🙂

After getting my hand back, I went a little nuts, and this post brings a display and review of three (yes, three!) polishes I got my hands on this Yule, from Dior’s (LE) seasonal offering. There were five polishes in this collection; I never even saw the red, decided the shiny caramel made my skin look yellow (ew), and bought the other three…

Dior Vernis Holiday 2014 Golden Shock Mirror Smoky Review and Swatches

Shiny, golden Vernishenge of LE polish boxes.

Right, so before we even start, OMFGS will you look at these gorgeous little potion bottles. The outer design wins all, and I swear I could look at them all day. On a more realistic note, the brush is not as good (=wide) as the recent Dior polishes, and the bottle shape is actually a bitch to photograph, but let’s face it: it’s made for holding polish, not posing for a camera.

Dior Vernis Holiday 2014 Golden Shock Mirror Smoky Review and Swatches

*stares* *stares more* (L – R): 990 Smoky; 001 Golden Shock; 022 Mirror.

On to the nitty gritty, then. Photograph at the end shows a mani I did using all three polishes. (What? I couldn’t decide which to use first.)

First up was 990 Smoky, a very deep plum with a lovely shine. I’m a sucker for dark purple polishes, so this one was practically a given. The fomula’s fine – I maintain that the Effet Gel polishes that Dior’s been releasing still have the best finish and distribution, but this one’s acceptable. It needs two coats to look solid. Dry time is average only – again, I’ve been spoiled by the Effet Gel. I’m just not sure about the name: if the fire in my hearth were giving off smoke that colour, I’d be wondering if Baz had been burning the special grass again. Also, I wouldn’t be able to see.

Next, we have something completely different: 022 Mirror, which is a beautiful, shiny, pale gold that looks almost white in the bottle. If Dior’s Perlé was cream of fairy, this might be cream of starlight. Tasty all the same… Again, the formula’s just fine, and you could get away with one coat if you wanted. I wouldn’t call this sheer – not really. It has substance of its own, but it’s not opaque. Dry time is the same as for Smoky: not fast, but not exasperating, either. And before you ask – no, you can’t see yourself in it. It’s not that kind of shiny.

Finally, the special one: 001 Golden Shock, a clear base with irregular shards of gold in it. Like most polishes of its type (containing relatively large “glitter”), it requires some manipulation when placing the pieces, but it’s quite cooperative. I usually have, I should say, zero patience with big glitter, but this one was too pretty to ignore. Just as well it turned out not to annoy me, or I’d have been forced to toss it off a cliff. Or into a gelatinous cube. It would have looked quite good in there. ANYWAY. This is quite the showstopper, and best left to a feature nail (or two), in my opinion. Only to be used on all of your nails at once if you are (a) a showgirl, (b) Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, or (c) Kim Kardashian.

So now we come to what I did with them, which was very simple: mostly Smoky (2 coats); feature nails on the ring fingers with Mirror (2 coats) and Golden Shock. I’ve included a picture of what Mirror looks like without all the bling on top for those who are as nerdy as I am interested. (Please ignore the little dent – that’s Baz’s fault, not the lacquer’s: he snuck up on me while it was drying. Git.)

Dior Vernis Holiday 2014 Golden Shock Mirror Smoky Review and Swatches

Bid to use all of the polishes at once and still look tasteful: (L) without Golden Shock; (R) the full monty, incl. index finger of dooooooooom. O.o

This will probably last all of a few days before I get bored and impatient to do something else. I had two whole months of no polish. I have time to make up. And I have another new polish I want to show you that’s fifty shades of purty, but all in good time, what what?

Until then, my fellow adventurers, good hunting. And always look up.

Thanks Ooly for the fabulous swatches and review! 🙂 It’s always lovely to have a ranger’s perspective here on the blog. I think I speak for everyone when I say MOAR OOLY PLZ.! 😀

Well, you won’t get any argument from me on the topics of either gold or purple, and I think we can all agree that the picture of those bottles is just ridiculously gorgeous. THEY ARE TOTALLY POTION BOTTLES. I remember thinking when the promo for that stuff came out that the bottles had managed to somehow be simultaneously adorable and loot-worthy.

Anyway… 😉

Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to polish your daggers (and nails!)…and also check for traps…


I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com, or use the contact form provided! All text and images on this blog are the property of Sylirael the (Painted) Rogue (unless otherwise stated – in this post they’re Ooly’s, for example!) and may not be reproduced without permission. If you do, I’ll send toxic beetle swarms after you. They’ll be in your sock drawer, in your shoes and under your pillow…and there’ll even be some hiding under the toilet seat. You know, the ones with big, sharp mandibles…

Night of 1001 Rogues: The Sleek Arabian Nights Smoke and Shadows Eyeshadow Palette!

Greetings from the glittering desert night, fellow rogues!

So, I’m a huge fan of many things ‘Arabian’ – I love the history of the Middle East (to the point of having an entire university degree in Egyptology/Near Eastern history), I think Arabic calligraphy and Islamic art and architecture are just about some of the spiffiest you’ll find anywhere, it’s not possible for me to get enough of Middle Eastern food, and I have been lucky enough to travel not un-extensively in that part of the world! Their maths and science even helped haul Europe out of the Dark Ages (much as you might feel otherwise about this as you learn algebra?) ;-).

When I saw, therefore, that Sleek had released a limited edition eyeshadow palette entitled ‘Arabian Nights Smoke and Shadows’…well! Sleek has some of the best international shipping rates I’ve ever seen (~$4 from the UK to NZ?!?!), I’ve heard so many good things about their eyeshadows, and DID I MENTION IT’S THE ARABIAN NIGHTS PALETTE? *cough* sorry. Sometimes this rogue gets a little carried away over certain treasures…I mean, I can, in fact, recite the script of Disney’s Aladdin verbatim (including all the songs).

Sleek Arabian NIghts Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

What’s this palette artefact all about then? Well, it’s a limited edition offering based on the tales of the 1001 Nights, a collection of arabic myths, legends, and folk tales that has been around since about the 9th Century. The basic premise is that there’s a bitter and hypermisogynistic Sultan who takes as his latest  wife one Scheherazade, the daughter of his vizier. Since he’s been killing off all his previous wives after their wedding night (so that he’d get their virginity but they could never be unfaithful to him – yes, just as messed up as it sounds), Scheherazade devises the plan of telling him a thrilling story before bed, but leaving it on a cliffhanger! Her unfolding and interconnected stories manage to get her through 1001 nights, by which time the Sultan has gotten over his issues and decides not to murder her. Don’t you just love romantic, happy endings? ^_^

Sleek Arabian NIghts Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

Packaging: sturdy and…sleek!
Ba-DUM-tish!! (I’ll be here ’til Thursday! Try the moutabbel!)

Some stories you may associate with with the 1001 Nights, such as Aladdin and Sinbad, are not actually part of the original set, but are other, standalone Middle Eastern folk tales that were added to the anthology by – believe it or not – a Frenchman named Galland in the 18th Century. As I go through the colours below, I thought I’d try and take a stab at associating each shade with its 1001 Nights story. Ready to dive into the vally of diamonds, fellow adventurers? (Who wouldn’t be, based on that name?).

Sleek Arabian NIghts Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

Using the light available to me and my limited camera skillz, there was no way to avoid the glare on that plastic sheet…

Let’s dive straight in, shall we? The palette comes in a sleek (oh Gods…) black case with a truly ferocious clasp – you need have no fear of this popping open in your bag (it’s the perfect travel size and weight), but if you have just manicured your nails, you may with to reach for another instrument from your kitbag to jimmy this thing open. Rogues with trap disarming tools will probably have something, so if you’re rocking another class, ask a nearby thief ;-). Inside is a plastic sheet with the names, a generous mirror, twelve gloriousy coloured eyeshadows and a token double ended sponge crapplicator (I love you, Rae!).

In terms of specifics:

Sleek Arabian NIghts Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

Scheherazade’s Tale, Gold Souk and Aladdin’s Lamp. The last one is more taupey in real life, but…cameras and fluorescently pale skin and daylight, you know? 😛

Scheherazade’s Tale is a shimmering, light peachy pinkish ‘base sheen’ or ‘edge blending’ or ‘browbone’ type of colour. This type of thing, like my usual favourite UD Sin makes a great, easy ‘toss it on the lid, add mascara/liner and go’ shade. It’s is super smooth and buttery, with solid pigmentation. The name makes it pretty obvious what this shade is about! 😉

Gold Souk is a sheer, glittery gold. Although I didn’t have any fallout problems with this, and I love how the glitteriness ties into the name without being OMG GLITTER WTF, if you’re looking for a gold eyeshadow with the pigmentation of, say UD Half-Baked, this is not it. This is more of a ‘sheer wash of sparkle’ kind of shade – useful in its own way, and really pretty. The name I couldn’t specifically find in the 1001 Nights – obviously, gold crops up a fair bit, and there are many famous gold souks in the Middle East (both modern and ancient), but I think this is more ‘flavour text’ than a specific reference. If you know otherwise, though, let me know!

Aladdin’s Lamp is a smooth, shimmering, cool taupe brown shade. It’s buttery and pigmented, and the kind of shde that is pretty much essential to an everyday eyeshadow wardrobe (well, if you’re wearing neutrals every day). It’s great in the crease, it’s great on the lash line, it’s great all over the lid! If you have more than one eyeshadow, you probably have something in the same colour family, but it’s a fantastic shade. The name is probably familiar to most of you, but what you may not know is that (as I mentioned above) Aladdin is not part of the original 1001 Nights! It was added to the collection of tales by 18th C anthologist and translator Antoine Galland. This doesn’t make it any less awesome, however.

Sleek Arabian NIghts Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

Sultan’s Garden (left) and Hocus Pocus (right). You see what I mean about Sultan’s Garden kind of being a less impressive version of Hocus Pocus? Weird…

Sultan’s Garden is a difficult shade, and probably the worst in the palette. I’m sorry to be blunt, but it always makes me sad when there’s a fabulous palette with lovely texture and pigmentation generally, and then there’s this shade with an awesome colour and cool duchrome effect, and it had a stiff texture and ‘meh’ pigmentation. Having said that, this smoky forest green with gold/turquoise duochrome microsparkle is still worth using – you just need to use it on the lash lines, for smoking out the edges of things, or maybe for wetting and making into liner (I haven’t tried this yet). The sparkle in it really is glorious, but I wish they’d made it fully pigmented! As for the name, I’m wondering if this might refer to the Story of the Speaking Bird! Other than that, there are quite a few sultans in the tales, so…

Hocus Pocus is an AMAZING, smooth, forest green with turquoise shimmer. Really, this is kind of what I wanted Sultan’s Garden to be a smoky version of. It’s a jewel-tone shade that really works with the theme of the palette (IMO) and blends gorgeously with so many of the other colours. The name is a bit random – Hocus Pocus, in terms of referring to magic/sorcery, is definitely inkeeping with the Arabian Nights idea, but the words themselves are a corruption of ‘Hoc est corpus meum’, Latin for ‘this is my body’, the phrase spoken during the holiest part of the Catholic Mass, the consecration. As the phrase moved into alchemy and magic, it became ‘Hocus Pocus’. Not terribly Arabian, but have an interesting factoid anyway! 😀

Sleek Arabian NIghts Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

Simbad’s Seas. I just. There are no words. *drools*

Simbad’s Seas OK, so, what you all need to do, right now, is go and buy this palette for this shade alone. Alright, maybe I’m exaggerating, but you’ll know what I mean when you look at the swatch. Something that many makeup companies seem to have trouble doing is produce a saturated, vivid, sapphire blue eyeshadow that isn’t somehow sheer, or chalky, or not actually blue when you swatch it. Sleek has created a masterpiece here, and I would pay the $12 that this palette costs for this shadow alone. Since you also get a whole bunch of other magically awesome shadows with it…well! It’s a dense, buttery, pigmented sapphire blue shimmer – almost a metallic, as the sheen is the same colour. This here is what blue eyeshadow dreams are made of, people. The name refers to the stories of the Adventures of Sinbad (or Simbad, I guess), a sailor who had a lot of very interesting and unusual experiences. As I mentioned above, it’s not technically part of the original 1001 Nights, having been put at the same time as Aladdin. The stories are cool, nevertheless!

Sleek Arabian NIghts Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

Genie, Black Magic and Stallion. How cool of a colour is Stallion?

Genie is a coolish dark brown shimmer with a rusty red untertone and a pink sheen to the sparkle.  Does that even make sense? Whatever it is, it’s very dense and smooth, and the contrast of lighter warm undertone with darker cool top tone produces a nice multidimensional effect. The name is the French transliteration of the arabic ‘jinni’ or ‘djinni’. There are at least two tales in the original 1001 Nights that contain one – The Fisherman and the Jinni and the Trader and the Jinni. Of course, Aladdin has one too ;-).

Black Magic is one of those ‘oil slick’ kind of shades. Maybe ‘gunmetal’ might be appropriate too. Basically, it’s a smoky, very dark grey with a generous helping of petrol blue shimmer to it. The shadow is soft and smooth, and although the pigmentation of the underlying grey is not as heavy or even as some other shades, the quantity of the blue shimmer is very generous, and creates a neat two-tone effect. The name is another relatively non-specific one, as ‘black magic’ occurs several times in various tales, but is not usually referred to as such.

Stallion is a smoky, dark plum/burgundy shade. The shadow itself is soft and smooth, although like Black Magic the pigmentation is a bit patchier/lighter than would be ideal. Unlike many of the other shades in the palette, this one is a satin matte, with no shimmer or sparkle whatsoever! The name probably refers to the tale of the Ebony Horse.

Sleek Arabian NIghts Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches

Sorcerer, Valley of Diamonds and 1001 Nights. Ugh, Just look at Valley of Diamonds. Seriously….

Sorcerer is (to me) a bit like Black Magic with less blue shimmer. It’s a hazy, dark grey shadow with (if you look in the pan) multicoloured sparkle to it. On the skin, the pigmentation is on the lighter, smokier side, and the multicolour shimmer, while still present, is so fine that it takes on more of a multidimensional sheen. I think this one would be cool wetted down as a liner, actually (although I haven’t tried it yet!). The name is…yet another kind of general one, as sorcerers are not at all underrepresented in the 1001 Nights! Seriously, though. Does anyone from the West hear the words ‘Arabian’ and ‘sorcerer’ together and not get an immediate mental image of Jafar from Disney’s Aladdin? Just me? OK… 😉

Valley of Diamonds is kind of awesome, to be honest. It’s a smooth, vivid, pigmented magenta/plum eyeshadow with chunky gold flake glitter. I mean, really, people. You need this in your life! The name refers to the tale of Sinbad’s Second Voyage, actually, so it’s kind of nested within ‘Simbad’s Seas’.

1001 Nights is a *super* pigmented, smooth black eyeshadow with very fine shimmer that’s similar to the stuff in  Black Magic and Sorcerer, in the sense that it’s both blue-themed and very, very fine. For all intents and purposes, this is a satin eyeshadow, although if you look in the pan (in person) you can see more individually the sparkles. A fine and rogueworthy black shadow that rounds out the palette nicely! The name is, once again, kind of self-evident ;-).

Phew! If anyone’s still around after that long desert campfire tale (and hasn’t run out of rations or snuck off to do battle against a few more disgruntled djinni), congratulations! 😀 In summary, I think this palette is more than worth its affordable price point, cost-effective shipping and cool theme. As I said (and as a blue eyeshadow lover) I’d get the thing for Simbad’s Seas alone, but you also get the awesomeness of Hocus Pocus, Valley of Diamonds, Aladdin’s Lamp, Genie, 1001 Nights and Scheherazade’s Tale. The misses/redundancies are probably Sultan’s Garden, and the Black Magic/Stallion/Sorcerer area of the palette, but only because their pigmentation is less impressive than that of the others. They’re still nice colours and useful ‘smokies’ in their own right, although they didn’t quite live up to their full potential.  Should you go for this (LE) palette? If you’re not already drowning in palettes, definitely. If you’re a blue eyeshadow connoisseur, definitely! If you love autumnal, jewel-toned eyeshadows in (mostly) excellent quality at an unbeatable price point, definitely!

I’m definitely planning to do a few looks with this palette (especially Simbad’s Seas!), but the daylight’s been a bit rubbish around here lately, so I haven’t been able to get much in the way of good photos. Stay tuned! If anyone has any requests for looks with this palette (or just in general) let me know it the comments 🙂


What do you think, fellow adventurers? Have you tried any of Sleek’s makeup? Be honest – how much do you want that blue shadow now? Are you also a fan of middle eastern mythology (and food)?

The practicalities: The Sleek Arabian Nights Smoke and Shadows i-Divine Eyeshadow Palette costs US$11.99 for 12 x 1.1 g (i.e. 12.12g, i.e. 0.43 oz) of total stuff,  is limited edition, and may be acquired from (This link isn’t affiliate, just here for your convenience!). If you are a Rogue of Middle Earth, the shipping is insanely reasonable direct from the website!

Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to check for traps!


I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided! All images and text on this blog are the property of The Painted Rogue unless otherwise stated. If you nick off with any of it, be prepared to find that your morning hot beverage tastes a little…different than usual. Didn’t the rogue say something the other day about that new poison that makes your innear ear itch maddeningly for the rest of your life? I think she did…

Loot Alert! Revlon Legacy Collection Lipsticks FINALLY in NZ – Photos and Swatches Inside…

Greetings from the head of the party, fellow rogues!

No, I haven’t discovered a trap (unless you’re watching out for your wallet at the moment!), it’s something much better! Loot! After the usual delay from the US release, the five Revlon Legacy lipsticks have landed in Middle Earth (NZ)! I popped into the Unichem pharmacy on lower Queen St (near the kebab place) to look for a present for my sister (they have a really good Revlon alcove), and spotted these! I’m not sure exactly when they came out, but the testers were almost entirely unmolested, so I’m guessing pretty recently.


Revlon Legacy limites edition lipsticks New Zealand release swatches

The somewhat awkward ceiling-level advertising for the range. It’s lucky you lot have an eagle-eyed rogue scouting at the head of the party!


BUT WAIT! For even better news, the price of the Super Lustrous lipsticks seems lower than I remember – I thought they were $27 each, and now it seems they’re $23.50! Not a huge drop, and of course you can get Revlon for all sorts of prices depending on where you look, but any decrease is good, right? Or am I just imagining this?

BUT WAIT WAIT! As a bonus on this post, I also finally have swatches of the lipsticks that came out with this year’s Gucci Westman collection – the Rio Rush one. I did a loot alert on that collection here, but couldn’t swatch anything. Arm swatches are below, but for some lip swatches (and the eyeshadow quad), you can check out Melissa’s blog here!

But enough of all that – you want to see the pretty pictures, yes? The loot? Well, here you are!


Revlon Legacy limites edition lipsticks New Zealand release swatches

The lipsticks were placed inside the usual Super Lustrous lipstick line in this Revlon alcove – larger stores may have actual displays, I’m not sure. The new shades are highlighted with the pink banner – Sandstorm to Fifth Ave Red.


I just want to take a minute to say how much I love this little collection. For starters, I’m a fan of Revlon lip stuff in general – I think it’s great quality at a great price, and the selection is phenomenal – especially in New Zealand, where prices are high, brands are few and collections/lines are often only brought here in, say, 5/10 shades (I’m looking at you, Chanel foundations!). Then, on top of that, you have the totally swoon-worthy historical angle. I’m a history geek, and I make no apologies for that fact. When my interest in history gets crossed with my mild makeup obsession (ONLY MILD. STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.), then I get that special rogue happy twitch!

*twitch* 🙂

I also want to note that if you want to see an awesome full post with lip swatches and epic history and original advertising details for these lipsticks, Robyn over at Brightest Bulb in the Box is her reliably awesome self.

The shades are (listed below in order that they are swatched on my arm, left to right; the last two are bonus shades from the normal collection):


Revlon Legacy limites edition lipsticks New Zealand release swatches

Swatches in pharmacy lighting! L-R: Sandstorm, Jungle Peach, Snow Peach, Icy Violet and Fifth Ave Red. I also got carried away and swatched Honey Bare and Pink Cognito out of curiosity. They’re part of the normal collection, but I’m leaving the swatches in in case you’re interested 😉


Sandstorm (originally released: 1999) A medium brown lipstick with gold/bronze frost/shimmer. I *really* want colours like this to look good on me, but they tend to just make me look really old, and really ’90s 😉 The bullet is beautiful, though, and Robyn rocks it, so I think it’s definitely worth a swatch even if you’re not usually a ‘brown’ lipstick adventurer!

Jungle Peach (originally released: 1963) A pale peachy pink colour that leans very warm and ‘creamsicle’ on my skin. This is a terrible colour on me, but I looks spiffing on Christine over at Temptalia. A lot of these shades are (as noted by other bloggers too), quite changeable depending on the light and your skintone. I think this actually makes them more versatile, but it can mean hit and miss too, I guess! This is the shade that I feel best and most obviously represents its decade. This is some ’60s mod colour, right here!

Snow Peach (originally released: 1956) A gorgeous, pinky coral/melon shade. This one is really vibrant, and has excellent coverage in one pass for what is a relatively glossy lipstick. Out of curiosity, given how absurdly, gloriously bright it is on my skin (it’s even brighter in real life), I swatched a dot of the Matte Balm in Unapologetic next to it – Unapologetic is definitely pinker (and obviously matte and a touch more opaque), but the brightness is quite similar on my vampire arm. WANT.

Icy Violet (originally released: 1946) A relatively sheer, sparkly/frosty lilac shade, with a hint of rosy brown. Actually quite wearable I think, and how frosty it is is a funtion of how much you apply. The swatch below is several passes to build up the colour, and it’s still not screaming ‘frost’ on me. ALSO IT’S PURPLE OMG ❤ 1946 OMG ❤

Fifth Ave Red (originally released: 1958) A neutral-cool darker red. Not so dark that it’s really really vampy, but what most would probably call an ‘autumn/fall’ kind of red. I think this one’s quite nice on my skintone, actually (now to justify another red lipstick…hm…) 😉 I also think it would suit quite a lot of people, as it’s nearly neutral, but has a little bit of blue to make your teeth look whiter!


Now, as for that Gucci Westman stuff I mentioned:


Revlon Gucci Westman Rio 2014 lipsticks swatches

The Revlon Gucci Westman 2014 lipsticks, pulled out of their hiding places in the regular Super Lustrous lineup.
Theme: Rio. Carnivals, beaches, ladies in sparkly bikinis, etc. That pale one says ‘Ipanema Beach’, btw.


Carnival Spirit is a GORGEOUS sheer, glossy pinky orange. I wanted this when I first saw it, Melissa’s post did absolutely *nothing* to help, and I don’t know if these are permanent or not. Hence, despite my embarrasing loot pile, I bought one. ‘Coral’ lipsticks, people. Argh. Is there a Coral Lipstick Lovers Anonymous I can go to?

Sultry Samba is, on my skin, a near-neon, near fluorescent shade of hot barbie pink. It’s also matte. I did a terrible swatch here, as the tester bullet was kinda gross and I actually didn’t really want to touch it to my skin, but the pigmentation is actually really decent. If I were a bigger fan of matte lipsticks, I might get this one just for fun! It’s 10x brighter in person, too.

Ipanema Beach is almost invisible on this rogue, as it’s basically the same colour as my vampire skin. It’s a sheer, incredibly sparkly whitish beige. Basically, I’d call it a sheer, sparkly nude gloss in bullet form. I’m guessing it won’t be for everyone, as it’ll probably make quite a frosty statement on pigmented lips, but it’s also a really interesting, fun shade.

Brazilian Tan is pretty much the embodiment of why very warm toned brown lipsticks are a bad idea on someone as pale and cool toned as I am. It actually looks like I dipped my finger in a goblin baby’s swaddling cloth and started swatching. However! If you can rock the warm browns, then this range has a lipstick for you!


Revlon Gucci Westman Rio 2014 lipsticks swatches

Gucci Westman Rio collection lipsticks: Brazilian Tan at left, then from top: Ipanema Beach, Carnival Spirit and Sultry Samba. Also pictured, ALL OF MY VEINS. 😀


Phew! What do you think, fellow adventurers? Did you pick up any of these lipsticks? Have you seen anything you like? Is the Legacy collection even (still) available where you are?


Happy Looting!

Until next time, fellow rogues, don’t forget to check for loot as well as traps!



I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided! All images on this blog are the property of Syl unless otherwise noted. They may not be reproduced without permission – if you do, I’ll send goblin hordes after you. Plague-ridden ones.

Loot Alert! Limited Edition Blueberry Body Butter at The Body Shop Now!

Greetings from the head of the party, fellow rogues!

No, I haven’t discovered a trap (unless you’re watching out for your wallet at the moment!), it’s something much better! Loot! The Body Shop has brought out their Blueberry Body Butter for a limited time in the United States and Middle Earth (i.e. New Zealand), and I can highly recommend it.

The Body Shop limited edition Blueberry Body Butter review

My preciousssssss…..

I am hopelessly addicted to the Body Shop’s Body Butters anyway, so scooping one of these off the loot pile was a no brainer for me, but the range also includes shower gel, body lotion, lip balm and a body polish (from what I could see through the crowd).

The Special Edition Blueberry range from the Body Shop (I didn’t see the sponge here in Middle Earth, but you might want to check!)

The US website even shows a so-adorable-you-could-weaponize-it sponge as part of the range:

So…cute…can’t… AUGH!

There’s no official word on how long this will be around; I’m guessing its an ‘until stocks run out/until goblin hordes storm the store’ kind of situation.

This body butter is as deliciously hydrating as usual, and the scent is a delightful combination of fruity and creamy – a bit like gourmet blueberry icecream with a hint of tang to it to keep things fresh and not oversweet.

If you’re a fan of super hydrating body creams, or Body Butters in particular, definitely check this out while it’s still around! As a bonus, the Body Shop US website seems to be having a sale on these at the moment: the Body Butter is down from $20 to $10 (for 6.75 oz/200mL/192g). NZ doesn’t have a dedicated website: the Body Butter is the usual NZ$36 instore.

If you’ve seen this pop up in your country, let me know so I can add you to the alert (not all places have a website  – or a functioning one – that I can check)!

Happy Looting!

Until next time, fellow rogues, don’t forget to check for loot as well as traps!



I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided! All images on this blog are the property of Syl unless otherwise noted. They may not be reproduced without permission – if you do, I’ll send goblin hordes after you. Plague-ridden ones.

Cool and Stealthy – The Essence of a Rogue with Tarte’s MATTEnificence Eyeshadow Palette (and Dollface Blush)

Greetings from slightly messy lodgings, my fellow rogues!

*phew* – you’ll have to excuse my slightly sweaty glowing state, friends – I just sprinted all the way up out of a particularly eerie catacomb buecause I just couldn’t wait to show you something!  I finally got my hands on a particularly coveted adventure posting, and I have with me right now the epic loot that we prised from the eldritch depths – the Tarte be MATTEnificent Eyeshadow Palette!

This gorgeous artefact has given me starry eyes since I first heard rumours of its existence. A stunning geode, which when cracked open reveals a cornucopia of cool-toned matte goodness? Could it be true? Well, indeed it was, and many days, several inter-adventure group bitchfights and a trip down into a truly hair-raising dungeon later, it’s finally mine!


I was a little confused by the receptacle that this artefact was housed in – I’m not sure what ‘CC’ is supposed to have to do with anything, but hopefully it doesn’t stand for ‘completely cursed’. They usually don’t advertise that, but…

Obviously, the first thing you notice when removing this treasure from its box is the absolutely stunning packging. Yes, it’s still plastic, and therefore relatively lightweight, but it’s still sturdy and the clasp is very strong. The amethyst geode-style design on the lid of the palette is beautiful – truly a collector’s item. I like to imagine that alongside the ettin on Tarte’s product development team that came up with the effortlessly lame ‘MATTEnificent’, there was an ethereally wise elven mystic that was on the packaging board.

I...I just can't even express how much I love this palette - it's PURPLE...and, and...MYSTICAL, and...GEOLOGICAL! I can't even take a photo that does it justice...this is why I go into trap-littered catacombs, people.

I…I just can’t even express how much I love this palette – it’s PURPLE…and, and…MYSTICAL, and…GEOLOGICAL! I can’t even take a photo that does it justice…this is why I go into trap-littered catacombs, people.

Once you crack into this geode (no mean feat, actually, the clasp on my palette was a true rogue’s task to open), the glorious cool tones continue. I feel that it’s woth mentioning here that I own all of about three matte shadows, and one is a bright, warm cherry red – not precisely an ‘everyday’ shade. This palette perfectly fills a niche in my (admittedly very modest) beauty hoard, giving me a range of effortless, elegant matte neutrals to play with on a daily basis. The blush and eyeliner shades are essentially a bonus, as is the little double-ended brush (I do 99% of my eyeshadow with my fingers, because good brushes are face-meltingly expensive in these lands).

Punny Shade Names

Puns abound in this palette’s names, thanks (presumably) to that same ettin that came up with the name of the palette. Still, some of them are kind of cute, I guess. Seriously, I think they must have been talking with the people at OPI…

Contents without Inlay

The contents of the geode, without the odd plastic name overlay. Having the names actually printed onto the shadows or the palette itself would have ruined the effect a bit, I agree.
*So many glorious purple tones!*

The palette has a mirror that fills the space of the lid, and comes with a double ended shadow brush and a little card in which Tarte semi-helpfully explains how these shadows should be used (their placement ideas also appear on the little plastic insert with the names). The brush is totally functional at picking up colour, and it seems relatively soft, but my metric for this is poor, as I usually use my fingers…

Info Card and Brush

The information card that helpfully explains where Tarte thinks you should put all the things. Also, the little brush that, by virtue of being double-ended, brings my eyeshadow brush collection to a grand total of three.
Also: how exactly does being ‘MATTEnificent’ launch you into space?

I also found (on the floor of the dungeon, because I never listened to my mother when she told me not to pick up shiny things off the ground) a blush sample with this palette – Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush in Dollface.

Shinies from the catacomb floor - a smaple of Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Dollface. There's actually quite a bit of product here (depending on how doll-like you want to look).

Shinies from the catacomb floor – a sample of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Dollface. There’s actually quite a bit of product here (depending on how doll-like you want to look).

Righty-ho, as the paladin would say – time to get swatching! As a general comment, I found almost all of the shades/products to be very dense and silky to the touch – almost *too* dense and silky in the case of the blusher (Elevated) in the palette, which required a little warming up to get the colour off. Once I did, however, there was pigment aplenty. Pink outside the Box and Don’t Stand Black were plenty pigmented, but on the drier/crumblier side – not so much that it was a real problem, but it was noticeable when compared with the others. Sand Out From the Crowd is nearly indistinguishable from my skin in the photos, although it is a little more obvious in real life – this shade was also a little sheerer than the others., which probably doesn’t help the swatch show up!

NB: I haven’t had time to test out all the possible looks with these products, or the wear time – I’ll update this post as I find out! I was just too excited to show off my loot to wait, and this is my first experience with Tarte, so I have mo frame of reference for what their stuff ‘usually’ does on me. Stay tuned!

First: The Blushes!


The Dollface sample and the Elevated blush from the palette.

Dollface is what I call a ‘Barbie’ pink in the packet – bright, almost hot pink with neutral to warm undertones. It was very smooth and pigmented to swatch, and there is a surprising amount of it on the little sample card. It blends well onto the skin with the fingers, and gives a fresh, bright pink flush to my skin. I like blushes like these where you have a lot of bright pigment to work with, but can sheer them down to exactly your desired level.

Elevated is a bit of a deceptive one – in the palette, it looks like a sort of cool-ish, baby pink, but as you can see, when swatched on my skin it takes on a very peachy, gingery tone! As I said above, I had to kind of get it going, but once I did the pigment flowed freely. It felt a bit more dense to swatch than Dollface, but still blended out well when I tried it. I like the colour, as my incredible hoard of two blushes does not yet contain a peach/ginger shade!
Top Row of Shadows:
Top row shadows

The shadows from the upper row of the palette, complete with swatches in three different kinds of light (to make up for the fact that I’m not very good at doing eyeshadow swatches, perhaps? :-D)

I promise you that I did swatch Sand Out from the Crowd, and that it is at left in the swatch photos! It was comparatively sheer and matches my skintone quite well (aside from being, if anything, a little yellower than I am). Peach for the Stars is a bit like Elevated in that it looks pinker in the pan than it does on my skin. It’s a lovely neutral beige shade. Two Plums Up (by Corellon, the names) was the shade I was most looking forward to in this palette, and it didn’t disappoint – it’s pigmented, smooth and retains its purple tones in different lights (i.e. doesn’t go too reddish or brownish).

Lower Shadows:

Lower Row of Shadows

Shadows from the lower row of the palette. I think there’s quite some versatility in these for me!

Isn’t it crazy that I’m so cool-toned I make cool-toned stuff look kind of warm? You can tell they are actually cool-toned though because they don’t look ‘odd’ on my vampire skin.

Pink Outside the Box is what I refer to as a chalky shade – it has an obvious white base to it, and it was drier than some of the other shades. That being said, it had a decent amount of pigment (although it’s close enough to my skintone that it’s hard to see), and the dryness didn’t stop it from applying alright to my skin. I think this is probably a shade I’ll keep for inner corners or maybe the browbone. Rose to the Occasion is a medium cool pinkish brown shade that I actually think would make kind of a neat blush on some skintones. It was smooth and pigmented, and blended onto my skin without any trouble. View From the Taupe is, well, a cool taupe. This is an interesting shade for me, because it’s tempting me to try it not only as a crease colour but also as an eyebrow powder and a contour! We’ll see how I get on on that score…

Finally: The Liners!


Two totally functional liners! Huzzah! 😀

These liners are totally functional. Dream in Chocolate is a dark brown that is dense, pigmented and smooth. Don’t Stand Black is…black. It’s a little drier/flakier than Dream in Chocolate, but it does smoke out nicely on the skin, so I suspect it will be good for smokey eye looks or setting other black liquid/gel liners. Even though it’s not so pigmented, it (along with Dream in Chocolate) rounds out this palette nicely – you have pretty much everything you need, right here.

Phew! Thanks for staying with me for a marathon swatch and photo fest – I hope it was useful to anyone eyeing up this gem of a palette! A note for those in Middle Earth who might be lusting after this: Tarte is unhelpful. They don’t ship internationally, and require a US billing address. This means (if you don’t have the latter) that you’ll need to either take advantage of a friend in the States (if they do it online, and use your YouShop address as the shipping address, then the total shipping to NZ will come out as less than if they buy it in a store or have it shipped to their address and *then* send it to you). or try ShipItTo – I’ve not personally tried this, but Shannon seems to manage just fine!

The verdict: Gorgeous packaging, incredibly useful, wearable (cool-toned! finally!) shades that are (for the most part) smooth and dense and pigmented – this palette pretty much has it all. If your collection doesn’t have many matte shadows, if you’re cool toned and are royally sick of everything being too warm for your skin, or if you’re just in the market for a lovely collector’s palette, give this one a look! I’ll be over in the corner with my preciousssssss….

The practicalities: Tarte’s Be MATTEnificent Collector’s Palette costs USD 36.00. The eyeshadows are 2.15 g/0.0758 oz each, the liners are 3.36 g/0.1185 oz each, and the blush is 4.38 g/0.1544 oz. The Dollface sample has no listed weight (unsurprisingly), but the full size costs USD 26.00 for 0.2 oz. The MATTEnificent palette is limited edition, Dollface is permanent and both may be acquired, with the rest of the Tarte line, from and (and Sephora stores in the US).

Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to check for traps!


I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided!

Three Times the Treasure: Clinique ‘Whole Lotta Candy’ Holiday Set – Chubby Sticks in Pudgy Peony, Voluptuous Violet and Two Ton Tomato

Merry lurking, fellow rogues!

I hope you’ve all been having an enjoyable festive season, with much quaffing, feasting etc. With some of the madness over, i’m checking in at the last minute (according to my schedule) to bring you a review of a wonderful gift I was given yesterday! To whit: the Clinique ‘Whole Lotta Candy’ holiday set.

The Clinique Whole Lotta Candy holiday set. Three times the usual Chubby Stick treasure! Also pictured – a slice of the village this rogue did most of her holiday feasting in…

The set contains three mini Chubby Sticks, in the shades Pudgy Peony (a bright, sheer, pink), Voluptuous Violet (a nearly transparent red-based purple) and Two Ton Tomato (a bright, sheer warm red), all in limited edition ‘candy’ patterned casing. The size of the whole stick isn’t dissimilar to a full size Chubby Stick, but there is less product (just under half) in the tube, hence ‘mini’. Attached below is the ingredients list, for your viewing pleasure.

The ingredients list/product details. I still have to wonder who came up with some of the names for these things. It's more original than 'Rose pink' or something, but 'two ton tomato' makes me giggle like a goblin at a rat race. Don't even bet me started on 'chunkiest chilli'...

The ingredients list/product details. I still have to wonder who came up with some of the names for these things. It’s more original than ‘Rose pink’ or something, but ‘two ton tomato’ makes me giggle like a goblin at a rat race. Don’t even get me started on ‘chunkiest chilli’…


Clinique’s Chubby Sticks are actually already a favourite of mine – I have two other shades, full size, that I will bring you at a later date. I find the texture to be smooth, easily applied, and very moisturising. They have a balm-like texture, a very light fragrance and no discernible taste. On me, they wear a good three hours or so, enough to get you through a couple of rooftop chases (where you’ll need the balm against the wind) and a celebration in the tavern afterward. Because of the slightly waxy texture (not in a bad way) I find that these last quite well through modest drinking/eating. Some of the shades can leave a soft stain.


From left to right: Two Ton Tomato, Voluptuous Violet and Pudgy Peony.

From left to right: Two Ton Tomato, Voluptuous Violet and Pudgy Peony.

The packaging is structurally identical to the full size Chubby Stick – there’s just a pattern on the barrel and the cap is transparent plastic instead of silver. The Chubby Stick packaging is excellent, I find, with a twist-up action (so you don’t need to worry about cluttering up your kit with a sharpener or wasting product) that is very smooth and a snug fitting cap that doesn’t pop off in your bag. There’s nothing more embarrassing than whipping out a dagger to fend off a rabid harpy, only to have the creature burst out laughing because your weapon is smeared with multicoloured gunk.



Left to right: Pudgy Peony, Voluptuous Violet and Two Ton Tomato


In general, Chubby Sticks impart a sheer to medium wash of colour with a soft sheen. They’re perfect as ‘my lips but better’ colours with one or two passes, while some shades will yield definite and distinctly bright colours with a third or fourth pass. I can’t speak for all of them, as I’ve only (now) tried five shades out of what seems like about twenty, but every one I’ve tried has been at least useful as a ‘shade I can quickly dash on to perk me up while being pursued by orc hordes’ – seriously, never underestimate the power of a lip product that’s hydrating, imparts a soft, pretty colour, and can be applied without a mirror. The shape of the chubby crayon also makes application very easy. Even when it gets ‘blunt’, I still find it precise enough to get a good even line.



Swatches in natural daylight, from left to right: Two Ton Tomato, Voluptuous Violet, Pudgy Peony.


In the above swatches, Two Ton Tomato and Pudgy Peony were two or three passes each. Voluptuous Violet was the result I got after, effectively, scrubbing at my arm with the crayon. The shade is, shall we say, rather sheer. However, when applied to the lips, especially if you don’t have a strong natural lip colour, it gives a slight berryish stain – I’m guessing that if your lips are more pigmented, it will probably just somewhat deepen the colour you already have. This can be very pretty for an effortless ‘pick me up’, but I’m not sure I would purchase the full, individual size of Voluptuous Violet at the price Clinique are asking for it!


Swatches 2

The same swatches under artificial light to show the sheen. Interestingly, Two Ton Tomato takes on a much more orange tone in this lighting!


One of the reasons that I like Chubby Sticks so much is that they are yet another multitasking product. The ones with medium pigment (like Two Ton Tomato and Pudgy Peony here) can be used as an ’emergency’ cream blush if you need to put a bit of colour in your cheeks at short notice! Obviously, because of their texture, you will get a slightly dewy effect, but you’re never in danger of applying too much, and if you have a few seconds to blend a bit more of the sheen away, then the stain is actually quite pretty and lasts for a little while. Mind you, this probably applies more if you are as ghostly pale as I am. Deeper skintones might find the exercise a bit pointless? Let me know if you try, I’d be curious to know if it works for those less vampiric than this rogue!

The verdict: All in all, this is a great little set of Chubby Sticks, perfect for those looking to try out a few shades, or those looking to expand their collection cost-effectively. Voluptuous Violet is very sheer, but sometimes that’s just what you need. I am a fan of Chubby Sticks in general, and can only recommend them to any rogue who likes a hard-working, attractive lipbalm/stain/stick/paladin.

The practicalities: Clinique’s Whole Lotta Candy set costs  NZD 40.00/US 25.00 for a set of three 1.2 g/0.04 oz (each) lip crayons. The same shades, and many others, are available in full-size Chubby Sticks in the permanent line, which cost NZD 40.00 / US 17.00 each for 2.8 g/0.1 oz. Clinique products may be acquired from assorted chemists, department stores and Spehoras around the globe, as well as

Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to check for traps!


I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided!