At First Swatch: Maybelline Color Elixirs in Captivating Carnation and Breathtaking Apricot

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I am way late on the Color Elixir train. But since these are permanent, I thought I’d wait until the hype died down so I could snag a few for myself.

I am currently waiting for a Maybelline sale to happen so I can snag a few more.

These are outrageously good.

I picked up two shades, Captivating Carnation (080) and Breathtaking Apricot (005). These do have a safety seal, but we all know those can be easily broken (please fix, major cosmetic brands!).

Quick thoughts:

  • Sweet scent, not very offensive

  • Slight taste on the lips, do avoid
  • Moisturizes very well, long after lip product has rubbed off
  • Must buy more colors

    If I do remember, these retail around $9USD at CVS. I may be mistaken, but it should be no greater than $10USD.

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    A doe foot applicator is very well appreciated. I’ll never understand why some companies stray from that. The doe foot applies any product very well on the lips (and probably under the eyes, but…what?)

    20140716-223255-81175625.jpg Captivating Carnation on my lips, one swipe.

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    Macro shot of Captivating Carnation

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    Breathtaking Apricot on my lips, one swipe.

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    Macro of Breathtaking Apricot.

    Breathtaking Apricot does have some glitters in it, but it’s not very noticeable on the lips. Captivating Carnation is clear of any glitters and does stain after it’s long gone on my lips.

    I am so tempted to pick up darker shades (I like the staining effect). I would definitely recommend trying these out, if you haven’t already. These can go on sheer but they can be built up for a more opaque color.

    Thanks for reading!

    xo,
    Lorraine

  • Review: L’Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher

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    I may have found my holy grail. Maybe.

    I bought this recently, but around the time I bought the Texture Perfect serum and the day/night cream, a tiny sample bottle of the Pore Vanisher was attached to the serum.

    So, I used that in all it’s glory, and…I may have found The One.

    But first things first, a little about this product. Straight from the box, this claims to virtually vanish your pores and within one month’s use, shrink the size of your pores. It also claims to be oil-free, shine-free, non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, dermatologically tested for gentleness, suitable for sensitive skin, and fast absorbing.

    Instantly

  • Pores appear virtually vanished. Excess oil is absorbed for an all-day, shine-free, matte finish. Skin feels freshly hydrated.
    In One Day
  • Skin’s texture is visibly transformed for a refined, smooth look.
    In One Month
  • Actual pore size decreases as pores begin to snap back into shape. Overall skin quality is improved.

  • I haven’t been using it for that long but, this product does live up to its claims. I do feel matte when wearing this and my skin does feel smooth.

    The box suggests using this in the morning and night as part of your skin care routine but I use this as part of my makeup routine (as a primer).

    *Sidenote: if you haven’t read about my love for the Texture Perfector serum and day/cream, check out my Nighttime Skin Routine blogpost!

    A little about my skin, I have combo/oily skin. I usually get oily on my cheeks, nose, forehead. My jawline and around my hairline, I’m fairly normal. I do get the occasional breakouts (pre and post cycle). I do have visible pores on my cheeks and nose.

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    The scent of this product is fairly light and not at all overbearing. The texture is very smooth and not very balm-like (as opposed to The Porefessional). The ingredients do list some silicones, so, for those who aren’t into that type of stuff, this may not be for you.

    There isn’t much of a slip to the product (unlike Maybelline’s Baby Skin Pore Eraser —> greasy, lots of slip). It absorbs quickly into the skin and it doesn’t take much time to set either.

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    I really like the long nozzle much more than a short stub. I feel like I can control how much product I can squeeze out.

    So, here’s my naked face (aside from brows and mascara).
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    On one side, I’ve applied the Pore Vanisher. 20140716-153912-56352050.jpg

    And here, I’ve blended it out. 20140716-153950-56390711.jpg

    I can definitely tell a difference between my naked skin and the Pore Vanisher. Can you see why I love it? OMG, I don’t know how I lived without.

    It’s a little pricey for a drugstore item, $20 USD will get you 1.4 ounces of this stuff. But I say, it is well worth it. Because drugstores equal coupons and sales.

    Thanks for reading!

    xo,
    Lorraine

    Current Skincare Routine: Nighttime Routine

    I’ll be honest.

    I love my nighttime routine. Mainly because of two new products that I’ve purchased and just ughhhhh.

    And I’ll be honest again, my skincare routine has changed a little since I’ve taken these photos, but I’ll give you that update later.

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    First up, toner. I currently use the Mario Badescu Cucumber Lotion as my toner. I normally use the Clinique Dramatically Different toner for combo/oily skin but I decided to give this toner a try when I received a sample in the mail.

    If your toner stings or smells like alcohol, this will be a very pleasant change. This toner doesn’t have any offending scent or stinging feeling when it’s applied. My face doesn’t feel tight after I apply it, but rather, very soft.

    I can appreciate that but the only thing that irks me is that I can’t see if any dirt comes off with it. With the Clinique toner, I’m able to see if there is any excess dirt left on my face.

    I’m not sure if I’d repurchase this as I’m still going through this bottle. I’ll give a full update when it’s finished, for sure.

    Second, eye cream. I just want to note, I don’t use this eye cream any more. In my previous posts, I fell in love with another *dramatic flair*.

    I use an eye cream because I have dark circles under my eyes. They are not super noticeable but I don’t like the sight of them (that’s what counts, right?) and I want to take care of my skin.

    I picked this up at Marshall’s for cheap. The reviews on this is very meh and eh and I have to agree (probably why it’s discontinued too).

    I didn’t see any change while using this. The texture is thin and the scent is very floral-y. It wasn’t too much for me but I know the scent can be very offensive.

    What bothered me the most about this eye cream is inability to apply this all around the eyes – under eyes and on eyelids. But the good thing is, I never had to use a lot to apply. A little goes a long way.

    Third, serum. Now, I’m new to serums. I didn’t consider them until L’Oreal came out with the Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum Concentrate. OMG.

    The scent – so luxe. The texture – light and easily absorbed into the skin. I use a half pump to a whole pump for my face.

    Directions say to use in the morning as well, but I find that I get oily when I use this in the morning. I’ve been using this for a couple weeks and, during the weeks I’m not on my cycle *ahem*, my skin is flawless.

    Lastly, moisturizer. You’ve seen this as my morning routine moisturizer and it’s amazing!

    The scent is the same as the serum. The texture is heavier, as it’s a cream, but it easily sinks into the skin. Also, plus! A little goes a long way!

    Given the price for these two items (~24.99 USD each), I’d say that’s a huge plus.

    I really love these two products and am seriously considering repurchases. My face is currently getting back to normal (post-cycle acne, ugh) and I have to say, I think these two play a huge part.

    Also, a little secret. I have another moisturizer on hand that I used previously, I went to back to that (just for the mornings) and pimples popped up the next day! My night routine didn’t change, just the morning routine. So, you may take that however you please. I am convinced of the HG-status these two deserve.

    These are just my products that I find suitable for my combo/oily skin. Any products you use nightly?

    xo,
    Lorraine

    Hair Growth Diary Vol VI

    Excuse me if I seem a little distracted during this post. I’m watching the Germany/Brazil semi-final and Brazil is having their ass handed to them in this first half.

    I take back anything bad I said about Neymar. They obviously suck without him.

    But, back to the topic at hand. I’m back with a hair growth update for June! I’m happy to report that my hair has grown since May. My hair routine hasn’t changed since last update. I have changed a liiiiittle in application-wise, but other than that, nothing else.

    So, just a recap. I still wash my hair every other night.

    Obligatory progress pics!

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    My hair is normally straight. These luscious waves are due to my hair being in a high ponytail ^-^

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    Side view; also a note: My hair is virgin. Never been dyed, never had highlights. All these shades you see in my hair are natural.

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    I can finally put my hair in a high ponytail with little to no bobby pins! Baby hairs are a different story (as seen near my forehead). A high bun (the samurai bun) is a little harder to accomplish since I need more bobby pins than I would like to use. But progress is progress!

    As for my hair care, I’ve been using these pretties. The Suave Professionals Natural Infusion with Awapuhi Ginger and Honeysuckle, shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner have been giving my hair life!

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    I had previously received a sample of these products (courtesy of Suave). I loved how they worked on my hair, I decided to buy the full sizes. And they aren’t too expensive to boot! From Walmart, the shampoo and conditioner are around $2.88 USD and the leave in treatment is around $4-5USD.

    As I mentioned previously, I still wash my hair every other day. Fallout is a lot less than when I first complained of fallout but I still get fallout. Mainly on hair washing day. I comb every day but hair washing day tends to produce the most fallout. I don’t know if that’s normal, but I’ll roll with it.

    The only change this month is I’ve been doing the Reverse Shampoo method. If you’ve never heard of it, all you do, is wash with conditioner first, then shampoo.

    So, I start with the conditioner.
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    It’s fairly light and doesn’t make my hair feel too heavy. I apply this all over my scalp but mainly concentrate the product on my ends and rinse. I usually wait a couple minutes, wash my face, wash my body, before I rinse out the conditioner.

    Then, I go back in with the shampoo.
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    Any heaviness I felt on my scalp when I applied the conditioner, is lifted when I use this product. I concentrate the shampoo on my scalp, comb through with my fingers, and rinse. I don’t wait like I usually do with the conditioner.

    Afterwards, when my shower is done and my hair is a little damp (usually before I go to bed), I apply the leave-in conditioner.
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    I have to say: I love this stuff. Even on days when my hair isn’t damp, I use this when my hair feels heavy or really foofy (you know that feeling). On hair washing day, in the morning my hair will feel so light and soft and clean. It’s wonderful, really. And if my hair is feeling foofy, I’ll apply this and once it’s dried and absorbed into my hair, it’ll feel so good.

    I don’t know if I’ve found my HG hair care products ( the OGX Biotin and Collagen s/c is still my number one) but these are really close.

    I’ve been really loving my hair lately. I haven’t seen too many split ends either. But I’ve been thinking about getting a little trim and getting my bangs cut. The decision is still up in the air so, we’ll see.

    Thanks for reading! What’s your hair care routine?

    xo,
    Lorraine

    An Open Letter to Missha’s MISA Geumsul Revitalizing Eye Cream

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    Hey, you. I’m not very good at this goodbye thing, but, here we go.

    I remember when we first met. Yea, that first time I laid my eyes on you.

    To be honest, I didn’t think much of you. I didn’t understand you (literally), first of all. And second, well, my heart wasn’t set on you.

    So, I set you aside and decided to call you up when I planned to go out of town.

    But you, persistent little thing. Your gold color, screaming at me, ‘Hey! I’m here! Take a look at me!’

    So, I caved.

    But I shouldn’t have.

    Because I fell hard.

    Never before have I met another like you. I’ve tried others, oh yes I have. They might’ve been out of my age range but that didn’t matter. I’m sure you’re out of my age range, but age ain’t nuthin’ but a number. And I’m sure you don’t care either.

    You make me feel more…how do I say, bright when you’re with me. And without you, I just feel…dull. An outsider would call our relationship, toxic. Me relying on you for my confidence. But who cares what others think! What matters is what’s going on between us and…I think…I’m beginning to love you.

    We have such bad timing, you and I.

    You’re as creamy as the most luxurious lotion. As fragrant as flowers that grow in the countryside. And (almost) as empty as my wallet when I begin to think of you.

    My heart breaks at the thought of you leaving. I try to console myself and try to find where you might be but you’re always out of reach. Never where I hope you would be.

    This may be our goodbye for now, since I know you must go. But know this before you leave: This isn’t our final meeting.

    I will see you again.

    Forever yours,
    Lorraine

    Sidenote: If you can’t tell, I love this product. TT^TT I got this as a sample when I ordered my under eye concealer (more on that in another post) and I just love this to pieces. I’ve been trying to ration the last of it but, ugh. It’s so hard to let go. Few bullet points:

  • super hydrating
  • super creamy
  • super duper
  • no offensive smell
  • expensive (around 30-40$USD)

    That last point just kills me. Must wait for Missha’s annual sale to get it for cheap. Once that time rolls around, you can expect a full-fledged review because this deserves all the months of testing it out.

    The back of the packet for curious eyes.

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  • At First Swatch: L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara + Mini Review

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    How cute is this mascara, shaped like a telescope! Clever, L’Oreal, very clever!

    Technically, this post isn’t a first swatch since I have been using this mascara for a couple of weeks now. If you’ve been following my Instagram (@fishscalekisses), you’d see I’ve been using this almost daily.

    With that being said – I love this stuff. Two reasons why I bought it: 1) My L’Oreal Butterfly Effects mascara was drying out and, 2) I wanted a dupe for the YSL Babydoll mascara.

    A few words on the Babydoll mascara – I loved it. I had a sample of it. And I used it. I shouldn’t have because I fell so hard for it. But 30+ bucks for a mascara?? No, thanks. I no longer have the tube, so I can’t compare but, I’ve read some reviews and others have basically said they’re similar. <— and that's enough for me.

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    I really like the wand on this mascara. My lashes are pretty short and they stick out straight, if they aren’t curled. The wand makes it possible for every lash to be coated, evenly. Me likes. This mascara doesn’t give much volume but it definitely lengthens. The formula is pretty dry, it doesn’t weigh my lashes down when I apply it. For the most part, it doesn’t smudge or flake either.

    If memory serves me correctly, I do believe the YSL performed same.

    The only thing that I don’t like, and this also goes for the Butterfly Effects mascara, is that something would get in my eye and irritate the crap out of it. I would tear up and rinse my eyes but nothing. It wouldn’t stop being irritated unless I washed my mascara off (with an eye makeup remover or cleansing oil). So, that’s one thing. I do remember a similar experience with Maybelline’s The Rocket mascara as well.

    But overall, I do enjoy using this mascara. It gives great length for short lashed gals and the waterproof holds a really good curl through the day (8+ hours). For the price, eh~ it’s L’Oreal. It’ll range from 7.99 to 8.99 USD. I highly suggest sales and coupons with any drugstore purchase.

    Before, without:
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    After, with 1 coat in Blackest Black:
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    Thanks for reading!

    xo,
    Lorraine

    Current Skincare: Shower Routine

    Hello! Long time, no blog. ;) I’ve been trying to enjoy my summer before school starts up again in August. I’ve also been trying to take care of school-related things.

    But anyway, onto the post!

    As mentioned in my previous post, this is my second installment of my Current Skincare series. I’m being more conscious of my skin this year and am trying to take better care of it.

    For those who are curious, I have combo-oily skin. So, I typically get oily around my T-zone and my cheeks. I rarely get oily around my chin/jawline. I have visible pores on my cheeks and on my nose. I have a tendency to get pre- and post- menstrual cycle pimples -> rarely any breakouts from products.

    I keep the facial products in the shower around 2-3 at a time. Currently, I use around 3 products.

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    First, I use the Olay Fresh Effects Shine Shine Go Away cleanser. I really like this, which is a surprise. The first time I used this, I didn’t like it but that may have been when I use this in conjunction with the Fresh Effects moisturizer (no bueno for me). This cleanser is little like the Rice Water Cleansing Foam. It gives a tight feeling when it’s rinsed off, which I like. I feel like all the dirt, oil, and grime are removed when I use this.

    After the cleanser, I use Simple’s Smoothing Facial Scrub. I use this everyday, I know, a scrub isn’t advised for everyday use. But I feel that the rice granules in this scrub are soft enough for me to use everyday on my face. My face does feel smoother after rinsing this out. This product hasn’t broken me out. I’m not sure if I’d repurchase but, it’s good for what it does.

    Lastly, every once in a while, I’ll use the St. Ives Apricot Blemish Scrub when I do have a breakout. I previously used the pore minimizing scrub by St. Ives and I loved it~ This product does a good job. But I definitely will go back to the pore minimizing one when this is all used up.

    This shower routine as well as my morning routine and my other routines aren’t set in stone and aren’t my HG’s as of yet. It’s an ongoing search for me ;)

    Any shower cleansers/scrubs that you enjoy using?

    xo,
    Lorraine

    PS! You can find me on Instagram @fishscalekisses for the Instablog version of fishscalekisses. I post swatches and hauls and occasionally, nature. ;) see you there!

    Current Skincare Routine: Morning Routine

    I’m not one tout to have perfect skin, by any means. I have my good skin days and bad skin days.

    But I must confess. I’m horrible at keeping with routines. Some products, I forget I have because my first impression of them were terrible. And others, I use because they’re okay but I tend to buy more to replace the ‘okay’ ones in hopes they’ll be better ones. I know, it’s horrible. I’m working on it.

    This time around, I think I’ve finally stuck to a good routine. I’ve divvied them up into categories: 1) Morning Routine, 2) Shower Routine, 3) Nighttime Routine, and 4) The Wild Card. Each category will have their own post ;) so be on the look out for future skincare posts!

    Sounds like a lot, but I swear, I’ve kept up this routine, at least the morning and shower routine, for a little over a month. I think I maybe have this in the bag.

    Today, let’s go over my Morning Routine.

    Typically, I was my face in the mornings. I have no time for morning showers, so I usually shower before bed. What I use to wash my face is the Olay Fresh Effects Facial Cleaning Brush and two cleansers.

    I alternate between these two because I like them both. They don’t irritate my skin in any way and they haven’t caused any breakouts (YAY!). The two that I use are the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel and The Face Shop’s Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam.

    Both products work differently. The gel cleanser makes my skin feel softer and the cleansing foam makes my skin feel thoroughly cleansed. Depending on how I feel, I’ll grab one or the other.

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    My current moisturizer is the L’Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector Day/Night Cream. I use this daily, two times a day. It feels a little thick and a lot luxurious, so I make sure to use a little. It spreads easily so, there’s no need to plop a lot on your face.

    So far, with this moisturizer, my face feels soft and less oily. Me likes. I think, in conjunction with the Texture Perfector serum, I see a difference but it’s too early to tell.

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    Side note: I do have combo-oily skin. The products I use may not work as well for you as they do for me. Always do your research prior to purchasing any of these products :) I’ve purchased everything with my own money, with the exception of the Mario Badescu samples that were sent to me.

    I like to think my morning routine is pretty simple. But in always open to adding new stuff to better my skincare game! *onwards to better skin!*

    xo,
    Lorraine

    At First Swatch: Milani Rose Blushes in Coral Cove, Lady Rouge, Tea Rose, and Love Potion

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    I honestly could not contain myself when these first came out. I missed the first four that were released (but I hear they’re on the website?!) and I was forever kicking myself for not picking them up when I had the chance. I ordered these in such a quickness, I almost regretted it. Almost.

    Quick thoughts, these are a lot more powdery than I had imagined. Also, some maybe a lot more chalky than others. Love Potion is one of the more chalkier blushes in the bunch – may be due to it’s super pigmentation? I’d be careful with that Love Potion ( ;) ).

    Tea Rose is definitely my favorite out of the four. Perfect pigmentation, blends out beautifully, and suitable for most skin tones. Another favorite is Lady Rouge when I’m feeling a little adventurous with blush. My least favorite would have to Coral Cove, only because coral shades and I tend to…not be cool with each other but I will make it work one day.

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    Coral Cove

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    Love Potion

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    Tea Rose

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    Lady Rouge

    The packaging is pretty, still plasticky but, gotta love that rose design. Lastly, here are some swatches for you guys to enjoy. :)

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    Some finishing thoughts, for the price (around 7.99 USD) and the performance, I’d say it’s worth a shot but only get the one that’s appealing. Or the design. I don’t see these on the Milani website anymore :( hopefully they’ll make a comeback.

    xo,
    Lorraine

    At First Swatch: Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Stick in Just Pinched Pink

    Since school is over, I’ve got a bunch of pictures on my phone that I haven’t gotten around to editing for my blog. Please, bear with me as I slowly roll out the blog posts. *weeps*

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    I picked this up at Target, you know, just browsing. I went to Target with the intent of buying something else and this just plopped into my basket.

    Strange how that happens…

    Anyway, I saw the color selection and it didn’t seem like there were much from what I remember. I did feel that this would be the most flattering – and it is! The good thing that I like about this blush shade is that it’s flattering on most skin tones. Lahhhve it~

    I remember the hype around these products and I wasn’t that interested. To be honest, I was more interested in the Nars blush sticks. But since that is way out of my budget, I thought I would give this a try.

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    The amount of product and the price of it, baffles me. .24grams for a product that ranges from 7.99 to 8.99~ I dunnoooo. Maybe if there was a wider range and a ton of coupons. The cheapo in me can’t justify that amount for such little product when I can get something else. Granted, as of right now there isn’t something among other cosmetic companies (Revlon, L’Oreal, Covergirl) that have come out with products similar. *waiting for that day* But, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for Maybelline deals to snag this up.

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    From the tube, it looks matte but close up, there’s tiny sparkles! I don’t find these sparkles to be chunky or really obvious. It’s very subtle on the cheeks. The wear time, I had a good 3 hours with this before I noticed some fading. I wore this with the Maybelline Baby Skin primer but I feel that with a different primer underneath, this product could last longer, as well as a corresponding powder blush on top.

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    Above is two swatches, one unblended (left) and one blended out (right). Sparkles not seen, right? I’m definitely tempted to pick up more. A girl can never have too much blush, am I right?

    xo,
    Lorraine

    PS. I hear there’s new shades coming out! Excited~~