2016 marks the Year of the Monkey. As a Monkey, I wanted to collect some pieces. This is the first time I’ve been interested in makeup during my year. Nordstrom carries a couple of pieces I want, but I traded for one of them. The item I purchased here, while technically for The Year of The Monkey, does not have an actual monkey on it. I love the beautiful, limited edition gold packaging though. My desire to purchase something that represents the Chinese Zodiac happened to coincide with the Lunar New Year. To celebrate the switch, Nordstrom offered a special gift with purchase I was able to partake in as well.
The 8 piece gift, valued at $142 has a few items I already know and love and a couple I really want to try.
With an $88 beauty purchase, I received: a 0.35oz Strivectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks, a 0.5oz Clarins Super Restorative Day, a 0.5oz Mario Badescu Silver Powder, a 0.2oz fresh Soft Cream Ultimate Ageless, a 0.06oz Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effect Faux CILS, a 0.27oz Lancome Genifique, a 0.5oz GlamGlow FlashMud, and a 0.06oz Dolce & Gabban Floral Drops. This gift added automatically.
There was a second gift available, which required a promo code. It included six mask samples. I already know and love three from the Renew set, so I selected that option. This also gives me another chance to try the Shiseido eye masks I sampled before but could not decide what I thought. The other set was actually more popular, because it ran out of stock faster.
With a $50 beauty purchase and using the RENEW promo code, I received: a single use Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask, a single use Patchology hydrate FlashMasque Facial Sheet, a 0.07oz Roloxin Lift Revitalizing Facial Treatment, a 0.10oz Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask, a 0.6oz fresh Rose Face Mask, and a 0.25oz Kate Somerville Exfolikate.
I also selected three samples and am 99% sure they all arrived. Even though I cannot find the third one, this total freebie haul impresses me.
The Bobbi Brown ‘Smokey Eye’ Mascara Sample is small. Although it does not list a size, my guess is it is around 0.05oz. Chanel Chance is 0.05oz. My third sample is missing. It was a MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara. When I opened the package, I thought I remembered seeing two mascaras that looked the same size. There is a possibility I saw the same mascara twice as I moved things around. If the MAC sample is what I saw, I do not know where it is now. This either got tossed with the packaging by mistake or one of my boys took off with it.
Both items purchased were from YSL but only one met my goal to collect anything tied to my Chinese Zodiac. The Yves Saint Laurent The Year of the Monkey Palette Limited Edition.
The 0.18oz palette retails for $60. That makes this a whopping $333.33 per ounce. I usually avoid anything that expensive, but I make a few exceptions. This was an exception, because not only does this palette represent the Year of the Monkey, but the colors inside are quite beautiful.
As much as I love the beautiful gold case, I wish there was a monkey somewhere on it. There is no mention of a monkey inside the powder or anywhere on the case either.
This palette is a Gold Lust Edition 5-Colors Ready-To-Wear 7, Parisienne. The colors are in the pink family.
There is a beautiful mirror inside along with two cheap applicators, which could work on-the-go.
All of the shades are shimmery glitter. Although I do not mind shimmer at all or tasteful glitter (in most cases), I do wish there was at least one matte shade for a crease. I tend to only use matte shades in the crease, but I do not like to work with more than one palette at a time.
The good news is the darkest shade has the least glitter and shimmer. Indoors, you cannot even really see the glitter. I will probably keep this as my crease shade.
Every shade in this palette was a dream to work with. They are buttery, pigmented, and blend like a dream. My shadows stayed crease-free all day, which is what I expect (if they wanted to be used again). The colors worked lovely together, and I was not even bothered by the lack off matte once everything was said and done.
There really is no weak shade in this palette. I love what each one does.
With the flash, you can see just how shimmery the shade actually is. All five shades are buttery, pigmented, and beautiful. Once I wear this, I will come back with pictures and a review.
To take advantage of the $88 GWP, I selected the Yves Saint Laurent Signature Strobing Set. It has a $72 value but retails for $50.
There is a beautiful cased mirror inside the set. All of the $72 advertised value is in two full-sized makeup products, so there is no value attached to this. For something with no value, it is very beautiful.
The mirror comes inside this beautiful, YSL embossed, black vinyl case.
The back of the mirror has YSL printed in black on top of a gold background. This side is very reflective, so this is like a double-sided mirror (although this side gives off a yellow tint from the gold).
This rectangular mirror is about the size of my palm and heavy. There is nothing cheap about this gorgeous mirror, so it should have been valued.
There is an instruction card on how to use the products inside. No matter how much I intend to refer to these, I never do.
The 0.1oz Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch is not only full-size, but it is my preferred shade 02, Luminous Ivory. It dispenses like a pen once you click the bottom. This retails for $42 by itself. I would have picked this up eventually, so that makes the other two items in the set $8.
In the swatch, it looks very similar to concealer. The highlighting elements do show beautifully as you blend it out.
My skin is actually flaking (it happens every time I get sick), so this is not the best picture of what Touche Eclat can do, but I used it to highlight the normal places. It is a very subtle highlighter, so some may choose to use a powder over this. I did not use anything to: highlight (other than this), blush, or contour, so this was the star of this look.
I’ve also used the Touche Eclat as a concealer, which I did not like at first. As a concealer, it stands out a little more.
It adds brightness under my eyes without highlighting them.
A 0.15oz full-size Pop Water Full Metal Shadow Metallic Color Liquid Eyeshadow in shade 02, Eau D’argent. This retails for $30 by itself. I would never purchase a cream shadow at full retails, because they almost always crease on me. Trying one from a set that came at a great discount is worth a shot though.
The applicator is similar to one you’d find in lip gloss. Like a lip gloss applicator, it is difficult to apply with precision. Certain areas apply thicker than others, so it my be better to apply this with a cream shadow brush. It looks very beautiful, albeit sparkly, on, so I am looking forward to trying this. Within a couple of minutes, nothing but a few pieces of glitter came up as I touched it. That may prevent creasing. We shall see.
I decided to apply it with the applicator to see how it went and wear nothing on my eyes other than it to let it shine on its own. Shine it did! This shadow is bright. The application was uneven (thanks to the gloss-like applicator). It looked very thick in areas and lighter in others, but it looked way too much for anything other than a night at a club. To wear it to a first birthday party (going for a fairy princess look), I used my finger to soften it as much as I could. While it still looked thicker in some places, this helped a lot.
I did use NARS Pro Prime as a base and am happy to report this did not crease. Unlike most liquid shadows, it does not dry completely. If I lightly rubbed my finger above my eye an hour later, a small amount rubbed off (as it would with powder shadow). This certainly gave my eyes a very bright effect and while it was a lot of fun to play with, I am certain I do not need to buy any more of these (and am grateful I got this at a great discount with my Touche Eclat purchase).
I am very happy with this Nordstrom purchase. Between this and the Giorgio Armani item I traded for yesterday, I feel I’m off to a good start collecting items that represent The Year of The Monkey. Before placing an online order, remember to check all offers. There is a chance I may not collect any more, but it depends on how available they are and whether I feel they are worth the cost or not. See all Nordstrom articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.