Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Starlooks Starbox December 2013 Review!

I had SUCH a great mail day yesterday! I did my first "swap" on the forum makeuptalk.com, and my packaged arrived filled with goodies. I also got a fantastic package of glittery ornaments from Crate and Barrel because I couldn't resist, and lastly, my Starlooks Starbox! December of last year they sent out a 15 shade eyeshadow palette and announced in October that they would be doing the same again this holiday season, so of course I've been stalking my mailman all December long hoping to catch a glimpse of my new palette!

As always, the quick rundown of Starlooks for anyone who doesn't know: Starlooks is a professional quality makeup line, and they have a subscription service called, "Starbox." They include 3-4 full sized products from their makeup line in each box, and in many cases, the boxes can get up to $100 in value. The subscription costs $15 a month, and if you're looking to fill in some gaps in your makeup collection, to be more adventurous with your makeup, to try out a new brand of cosmetics, or just want a little makeup treat in your mailbox every month, Starlooks is a great subscription!  They have LOTS of membership perks too! Every time you refer a friend to Starlooks, you get a "referral box" which I've reviewed in the past. You also get an EXTRA box of goodies on your birthday month! And now, they've added a NEW perk to being a subscriber!

Starting this month, every 3 months of being a subscriber, you will receive a free gift valued at $35! So if you signed up to get the December box, your first free gift will be sent to you in February. Starlooks has more perks than any other subscription service I've seen. It think a subscription to Starlooks would make an amazing gift to someone in your life who loves cosmetics, especially if you don't know what to get them!

OK, let's get onto my December box!

As I mentioned earlier, this month's box came with a large, 15 shade shadow palette, which is in that large white box. Starlooks also included flyers about their new loyalty program (mentioned above) as well as a December card showing a look that can be done with this month's palette, and a bit more information on it as well. This palette retails on the Starlooks website for $99.

What a stunner! This palette is called "New Years Eve 2014" is absolutely gorgeous and seems like it's a perfect palette to bring my makeup from fall into winter. It's got a great selection of neutrals with a few pops of green and burgundy, as well as a beautiful, shimmery silver. There are 5 completely matte shades and one that is very close to matte but is more of a pearl finish. The other 10 shades are a gorgeous, satiny, shimmery finish. None of them have large chunks of glitter, although the last shades in rows 2 and 3 are best described as "matte shades with micro glitter."

I went ahead and did two separate types of swatches.

First set: Swatched with my finger without shadow primer:

Second Set: Swatched with shadow brush on top of shadow primer:

I think they have decent pigmentation without a primer, but these shadows really blow some of my other favorite shadows out of the water once you use a primer.

Now let's go row by row and get a closer look and better description of the shades.

Row 1: This Row is made up of 3 matte shades, and two shimmers. The silver stands out to be one of the most pigmented shades in the entire palette! It's super soft and applies beautifully. The green shimmer is also an absolutely stunning color. It applies softly and beautifully and is one of my personal favorites in this palette. The 3 matte shades (berry, grey and black) are nicely pigmented, however, you can see from the swatches that they did not look very nice in the "without primer" photo. I contact Starlooks about the lack of pigment in the matte shadows and they explained that their matte shades quality can be compromised if one attempt to swatch them with a finger, as the oils in your skin create a barrier on the tops of the shades making them not work properly. If this happens, it's ok to gently scrape a layer of shadow off, or to use a piece of tape to remove the top layer by gently pressing it and lifting it off the shadow a few times. Once I did that, I got a much better swatch with and without primer!

Row 2: Row 2 has 3 shimmery shades, 1 matte and 1 shimmer/micro glittery shade. The first two shades aren't given any justice when it comes to the "without primer" swatches, as they are two very natural, light shades, but they are very soft and pigmented. They just tend to blend into my arm a bit too much. The first shade in this row, is the most unique in my opinion. It's hard to describe. It has an duo-tone iridescence to it, where it looks like a very light beige, but has a purple-pink pearlescent sheen to it when it catches the light. It's my favorite shade in the palette and it's impossible to show how lovely it is in person! The white and the matte brown are basic, but of good quality and pigmentation. The bronzy shade is a lovely and also nicely pigmented. The final shade in this row is a bit strange, but in a good way! In the pan, it looks like a deep burgundy with a bit of micro glitter/shimmer, however when it's applied it's more of a  matte black shade with burgundy glitter. It applies almost identically to the shade "Beauty Marked" by MAC.

Row 3: This row is also nicely pigmented and contains 1 matte shade, 1 pearl shade, and 3 shimmers. The first shade is matte and wonderfully pigmented but almost perfectly matches my skin tone, so it seems to disappear here in the swatch. It's a great shade for applying as an all-over the lid shade, at least for me! The pearl shade is a creamy light pearl shade. Super pigmented and would make an amazing highlight. The last 3 shades are all shimmery, and are all very neutral tones with great pigmentation. The bronze is a typical shade, but is very buttery and easy to apply. The green is a great play on the green in the first row, as it's more of an army or hunter green, which isn't a common shade in a lot of palettes, so I'll be interested to play with that one a bit more. The last shade in the palette is similar to the burgundy shade in row 2, where it looks more like a glittery bronze in the pan, but comes off as more of a matte brown shade with gold glitter flecked into it.

I think that I got more than my money's worth as I only paid $15 for this box, and the palette retails for $99 on the Starlooks website. I don't think that the value is there for $99, but I definitely feel that for $15 ($17 or so with shipping) it's definitely worth it. Overall, I gained a beautiful shadow palette that will make quite a few gorgeous looks. I'm really looking forward to playing with this one a bit more and seeing what I can come up with!

If you're interested in joining Starlooks please consider using my referral link here: JOIN STARLOOKS!
I think the Starlooks Starbox always provides you with much more than your money's worth, and they're a great quality makeup line. If you're looking for a beauty subscription that focuses solely on cosmetics, this is a great option. I hope you'll join me in being a fan of Starlooks products!

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