The first of the 2022 Eyeshadow Palette Declutter

I know, I sort of got on a roll with the decluttering thing. To be honest, I have recently picked up several new eyeshadow palettes and I realized i had no where to put them. I’m one of those people who can stand a bit of mess for a while but then I reach the point where I just can’t take it any more and then suddenly I have to not only clean up the small mess that is currently irritating me but I have to take everything down to empty and go at the containers with disinfectant before I can feel settled again.

If I keep things tidy in the first place I’m good, no real compulsions but once something has reached that irritation level I enter cleaning monster mode. And the fact that i couldn’t put some eyeshadows away because there was no place to put them managed to get under my skin.

While this is just about the palettes I am getting rid of, if you want me to do a kind of collection post about the ones I am keeping let me know. I’d be happy to pull one together. However given how many are in the pile I just decided to focus on the ones I am getting rid of and why.

As you can see from the pile above, there are a lot of palettes. I didn’t count them because this is the first declutter. At Christmas there are several of us who get together and everyone brings the gently used palettes they want to get rid of. (sometimes other makeup as well, but it is the great shadow exchange). Everything is cleaned and disinfected and things change hands. So the palettes I declutter today will go in a box and then after thanksgiving I will do another pas through. I will count up everything then and there will be more added to the box. then I will clean every palette as well as counting them. I will say that fifteen are leaving me now with several on the watch list. (which basically means if i don’t find myself reaching for them before the final declutter of the year they will be going into the box for the great shadow exchange. So first, the official declutter items…

Several of these palettes are really good. In fact most of them are really good. If I really don’t like a palette it tends to leave pretty quickly. So I keep the ones that I liked using. Most of the ones I am decluttering today I either simply don’t reach for or I have the same shades in a different format.

Let’s start with the Shop Miss A AOA Palettes. I recently tested all four palettes in the Orbit line. Two I am keeping because they have colors I will reach for and they are quads I can create quick and easy looks without much effort. Two of these, The Saturn and Neptune Palettes, I know i will not be reaching for so i am passing them along.

While I love Huda Beauty Shadows, I am getting rid of these two obsessions palettes. I have two full sized Huda Beauty palettes and I found that all of the shades that I reach for in these two small palettes are in the two larger ones. So I am keeping those and getting rid of these two little ones.

I found the same was true with the Ciate London Palettes. I am getting rid of these two smaller palettes because I have one larger Ciate Palette that has all of the colors I use in the two smaller ones. So I am keeping one pig one and losing two smaller ones. Ciate shadows are interesting. They are hit and miss actually. Not only are the colors similar but i do like the formula of the pans in the one larger palette.

I like the small wet n wild color icon palette but I generally find myself reaching for the 16 pan icon palette rather than this little one. the pans are smaller but there are more shades. The formula is good and I really like the color story but I have all of these shades in numerous other palettes.

The Pretty Vulgar Early Bird Eyeshadow Palette is a cool toned palette and the colors tend to work well. I have all of these shades in other palettes though and just don’t find myself reaching for it. It was great for creating soft looks though.

The IBY Enlighten Palette I generally think of as my Easter palette. All of the shades are pastel and honestly I only reach for it at Easter. And while the shadows are really good, I have actually been reaching for the five pan Sweater Weather Palette from Dominique Cosmetics more than I am for this. In fact it has become my go to pastel palette and so i am going to send this on to someone who will enjoy it more.

With the Tosca palette from Nomad I found myself reaching for only one shade. i might use the other shades if i was ther but really I only reached for the brownish red tone. And now I have a palette with that one shade in it so there is no need to keep it. I like Nomad cosmetics and their shadow formula. I will say that while I will use most of the shades in the Berlin Underground Palette, I find it better to go for single shades than their palettes. I just don’t really care for the full palettes (except for the Berlin Underground) Most of their palettes I will like one or two colors. It is a great formula but for me it is better in single pan rather than palette purchases.

The Zoeva Caramel Mélange is again a shadow palette with a good formula. It is pigmented and blendable and the shadows all work well together without being muddy. However every shadow in this palette I have somewhere else so I am just not reaching for it.

I have had the Glam Reflections Palette from BH cosmetics for a while. It keeps slipping past declutters because I open it and think, I don’t have those shades elsewhere. And I tell myself i really need to use it. However I never do. Most of the shades I have elsewhere, but the truth is I keep promising myself to use it and then I never reach for it. So now is the time.

There are two Tarte Palettes in the declutter. One is the Tarte Tease. It is a six pan palette. It was for a long time my travel palette. I don’t think it can actually make it to the great shadow exchange because it is really old and worn. It was an excellent travel palette and I would certainly buy it again but it is so old I would not put these shadows anywhere near my eyes. The larger Tarteist Pro Remix is also going in the decultter. In general I reach for the Tarteist Pro and never reach for this one. I like the shadows but they aren’t shades i use. I see it and then I reach for the other tarte palette right next to it since they ae the same size and stored together. So This one is going away.

And finally in the definite declutter pile is Nude Prism from Lunar Beauty I wanted to like this but the truth is I have everyone of these shadows in formulas that I like much more than I like this one. I found the shadows powdery and streaky and I just wasn’t a fan. They are shadows I felt I had to use an eyeshadow primer with and while I sometimes use eyeshadow primers I don’t always. So it felt like an extra step to use this palette. And since it wasn’t my favorite color story either, I haven’t actually reached for it since I tested it out. So Away it goes.

But then we have this trio.

The Jessica Rabbit palette I am keeping as a keepsake but it is leaving the shadow drawer. it is a nice palette but it is old enough not to be usable anymore.

The Storybook cosmetics I only reach for to use two shadows. I like the shadows but the packaging just takes up too much space. So it is going to be decorative instead of in the shadow drawer and occasionally i may still reach for them. The Brand Storybook cosmetics is very problematic anyway. its an interesting story but too much to add here. I won’t be buying anything else from the brand ever, but I have a fondness for this palette.

And then we come to the ABH Norvina palette. The shadows are a good formula, which is no surprise as ABH makes great shadows. These are colors that I don’t have anywhere else. Mostly because I don’t tend to wear them. As much as I love them and the idea of having them. I am putting this palette on probation. I will keep it for now, but if I don’t start reaching for it, I will need to declutter the palette. What is interesting is that this was the Norvina line and now ABH has come out with a regular ABH palette called Norvina. the color story is similar but the the shades in it look more grown up and less childish than the large palette. Some of the clors may be the same but i find myself drawn to the new one rather than this large one. The colors tend to lean into more primary shades while the new one seems a bit more sophisticated. But that is another story of course. The first link in the paragraph takes you to the big palette while this one will take you to the newer release if you are interested.

And that is the end of this first run declutter. I am sure more will join the pile, but for now this is what I am getting rid of. I find it really hard to get rid of eyeshadow palettes. i think it is because there is always just a slight color variation and I really like having all the colors to play with, even if I deep down know that some colors I am simply not going to reach for. But if things are not pared down to a workable level then I will just reach for one palette constantly and forget all about the others. And there will be no room for new items. Now at least i feel like I have a little breathing room where as before I was overwhelmed, So for now, i am happy with this declutter.

Trying out the Coraline Palette from Revolution Beauty

It has been a while since I have tried out a Revolution Beauty Palette. It isn’t because i don;t like them, I do actually and there are several that have caught my attention. However Revolution Beauty is one of those brands that I always picked up when I was in Ulta and not something I ordered. So if my local Ulta carried it, then I picked it up. Although to be completely honest the last time i was in Ulta I ran in to pick up a replacement for my Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick (I love that stick formula foundation). And then I mostly walked in picked out the one i knew was in my shade and then went to the counter to pay. I was on a time crunch and so I didn’t look around.

However recently it came to my notice that many of my hair clips and sticks are showing a lot of wear. I tend to look at them, decide they are too worn and set them aside when what I needed to do was replace them. So I saw the two dragonflies and thought they would be fabulous and ordered the Coraline palette as well, since it too looked fabulous, and unlike the neutral palettes I have been reaching for as of late.

I liked that this palette opens to the side like a book and lays flat. Often with these smaller ones they lift up but don’t bend over all the way. Since this just opens like a book it is easy. The shades are purples and blacks with a bit of blue. One of the blacks has some sparkle but they tend to look the same when applied. The purples are various degrees of pigmentation. All of the mattes apply just a little bit streaky. However with a clean blender brush the streaks do blend out into a nice smooth color.

even if you don’t usually use and eyelid primer, I would go ahead and use one with this palette as the colors are far less streaky with a primer underneath. Also the reddish purple of Tunnel will stain your lids less if you use a shadow primer (or even just a concealer) underneath. It isn;t a major staining but your lids will look a little pink the next day.

the silver of dreaming was really the only disapointing shadow

the only shadow I had trouble with was the silver of Dreaming. It feels harder in the pan and it is not up to the pigment level of the rest of the pan. I would have loved a really good silver, especially given the theme of the palette, but this one just didn’t work for me. It was honestly the only disappointment for me.

For me part of the value is that I like the book Coraline (as well as the movie). This palette gives me the same aesthetic I love and I would keep it as a collector. It also has shadows that I don;t have a lot of. I do not in general have a lot of deep purple shadows. So I like having a few around. So for me this palette is worth it. The shadows are of decent quality and I enjoy using them. the streakiness of application is easily fixed by a blending brush and the shadows look good on the eyelid. For me the theme has more value than the shadows alone though so if you purchase something like this you will need to make your own judgement call about it. But personally I am happy to have this Coraline Palette in my collection and I would buy it again.

Let’s talk AOA Eye Shadows

The Four Quads from the Orbit Series from AOA Beauty

Recently I picked up a bunch of items from the new release section of the Shop Miss A website. There were several reasons. One was simple curiosity, how good would products that cost $1 be? The second was because they had several items I wanted to try in general (not just makeup related but from a wide array of categories). the third is that I have several younger family members who are just starting to get into makeup. They aren’t allowed to wear it out of the house but they are allowed to play with it at home.

So as Christmas is coming, I thought it might be fun to get them some items to play around with (this is also why I am testing out AOA’s Makeup brushes). But this only works if the items are worth playing around with. So I went kind of crazy with my shopping. Although as most everything is priced for around a dollar, it was low cost crazy shopping.

Still I feel kind of decadent when I say I bought every palette in the AOA’s Orbit line of eyeshadow Quads.

True there were only four and they were $1 each so it was a $4 decadence but it still feels grand to say.

Like I said there are four quads in this Orbit line. They are Mars, Mercury, Neptune and Saturn. I found them really interesting to use. The first one I tried was mercury. It has three shimmers and one matte shadow and is more in the pink tones. The shadows are not highly pigmented but they are buildable. The shimmers are fine with a dry brush but really pop when a wet brush is used for application. In the pan the shadows felt a little powdery but if you tapped the brush off then there was little fall out. They do tend to fade and crease a bit after a few hours of wear, but these are shadows you can extend the life of with an eyeshadow primer. For these I would go with something that has some sticking powder.

Sometimes I will actually use a little bit of the Milk Hydro Grip Primer when I need a grippy eye shadow primer. I just rub a little on the lids when applying it to the rest of my face. that is mostly because my default lid primer is usually whatever concealer I have on hand.

mercury swatches (2nd shade is almost exactly my skin color)

What I found about the Mercury palette is that it worked well as an easy and fast look that worked well for rushed mornings. It is simple to use and looks good. The shadows blend well together. I would prefer to exchange one of the shimmers for a second matte, but over all I was happy with it. Applied with a dry brush they are great for a daily look, with the brush wet with setting spray the volume is turned up a little for after work drinks.

I found the same held true for the Mars Palette. It has a bit more of an orange/brown tone to it, but it performed as well as the Mercury Palette.

Mars Palette (I know the one with the coppery shade is my favorite, big surprise, right?)

The Saturn palette tended to be less pigmented over all and took much more work for a simple look. I don’t mind low pigmented shadows because I like the control of building the shadow. This one just took more effort than the others. It was still decent shadow, but it just took me a little while longer to work with.

But then there was the Neptune Palette. this was very different from the other three and I think it is because the two silver shades lean more into the metallics. I think there is something different in the formula for metallics. The matte and the light shimmer worked as well as the others but the two different silvers are the differences.

Neptune quad – more fall out than others

At first I found it hard to get shadow on the brush simply by dipping brush to pan. I swiped it back and forth over the gunmetal silver of the palette and I think there was some sort of top spray on the shadows. After a few passes with the brush, the shadow became soft. In fact when you touch the shadows, the others feel kind of powdery but this one felt butter soft once the spray was gone from the top.

when applied, this shadow was more pigmented than the others and it was the only one I had fall out from. I really think it is due to something in the silver formula. It was easy to clean up, but by the end of the day I did have a glittery cheek.

far less pigmented than the others, the Saturn Quad was my least favorite

While Mercury and Mars are really good everyday palettes that i know I can grab when I am in a hurry in the morning, Neptune is one I would probably use at night. I think that for an evening out, the silver shades would stay long enough where you put them. They just didn’t want to stay all day in the office. (and who can really blame them?). the Saturn Palette is the only one I would really pass on because it was just a little harder to work with than the others (and they are shades in almost every other palette.)

Are these the best eyeshadows I have ever used? No. Are they worth keeping in my collection? Yes, well 3 out of 4 anyway. But here is the thing. Each of these quads costs $1 and gave me nice usable eyeshadow that I want to keep in my collection. Quite honestly Mars is going in the drawer with the products I use when I am pressed for time because I really did enjoy it and loved the quick look I came out with when i used it.

For one dollar these quads are definitely worth picking up. However it does come with a caveat. There was a noticeable difference between the shadows in the quads and these all came from the same series. I think that there might me more differences in performance between the different series. I did pick up a few single shadows from AOA that I will be trying out and I will see how they compare. Perhaps it is only the color formula that makes it different.

I do know that for one dollar I am happy to play around with the shadows to find the ones I like to use. They are decent quality and easy to use. And that sends me into Orbit.

Blowin’ Smoke with Colourpop

I saw this palette come out a while ago and I was intrigued. I loved the tonal variation of the shades and I put it on my list to pick up later. Well later finally arrived and i ordered it. I have used Colourpop shadows before. I generally find the shadows to be decently pigmented but not over the top with the pigmentation so they ae buildable rather than just a blast of color you are stuck with once you apply. they usually blend well and while they do fade a little throughout they day they are not too powdery if you tap your brush off before application.

I have not tried the Super Shock Shadows so they may perform differently. This is just how I feel about their palettes. And to be fair that is exactly how this palette performed. The shadows worked as expected. They were a little powdery but if i tapped the brush off before application then I didn’t get a lot of fall out. They were pigmented but not overly so and while they did fade a bit by the end of a long day, they, for the most part stayed in place. They blended well and i enjoyed them.

top row L to R

I know this doesn’t sound like much of a review, but Colourpop is so well known that I’m sure a lot of you already know how they perform so I paired it down to the basics for those who have never tried their shadows. What I mostly wanted to talk about today was Colorpop Palettes in general.

When they first came out, I have friends who decided to collect all the palettes they made. This wasn’t as silly as it sounds. They were (and still are) affordable palettes and in the beginning they weren’t coming out with them as rapidly as they seem to be now. Or perhaps that is me. I don’t recall them coming out that rapidly at any rate.

second row L to r

At the time I was living in a much smaller place and had very limited space. In fact at that point in time I had one Urban Decay Palette for everyday use and one Chantecaille Single Shadow. i used both down to pan actually. By the time I had enough space to think about building a collection there were so many Colourpop shadows that it seemed overwhelming. I think that pretty much everyone I knew who was going the collecting route abandoned that plan a long time ago for space reasons if nothing else.

third row L to R

For me Colourpop is a brand i turn to when i am looking for something to fill in the gaps of my collection. Which it is actually perfectly set up to do. Realize you have no greens and want to try some green toned looks? Colorpop has you covered. Looking for golds, blues or purples? Yup they have that too. They are good shadows and the way they seem to curate their palettes means that it is easy to pick up a selection in a color range you are looking for, They have mixed palette too, but for me their color collections are their strong suits.

The full shade variation

For me black shadows have been a bit of a disappointment in many of the palettes I have that include one. Given that Colourpop is always reliable with their shadows, i thought that this Blowin Smoke palette would work. It also gave me a selection of grays that i like as well. And as expected they work well. i had none of the powdery-ness or streakiness that a lot of black shadows can give. While the color variation isn’t that great, there is a clear variation between the shades allowing for subtle transitions. I was a little disappointed that the black with sparkles was less shimmery than expected ((bottom right Shade Night Dreams) and I would have liked Ignite (middle row far right) to have a slightly deeper purple tone when applied, bit otherwise I am very happy with this palette. it fills a gap in my collection, color wise and for me that makes it well worth the price.

Am I going to start collecting Colourpop Palettes? No. But I will keep an eye out for palettes that fill in gaps in my collection. As many of my palettes lean towards the neutral everyday tones, I’m sure there are plenty of gaps where Colourpop palettes can fill in. Fir me, this was the one i was most drawn to and I am very pleased with my purchase. Blowin’ Smoke may not be an everyday palette, but it is one that I will reach for consistently in the future.

Trying out the Bellapierre Peach Blossom Palette

Normally I will give an eyeshadow Palette longer than a week’s worth of use before I review it. However this Peach Blossom Palette from Bellapierre is a four pan palette and I feel that a week was long enough.

As you can see from the picture, it is a four pan palette, unsurprisingly in peach tones. It features one matte shade (the peachy shade on the far left named Dahlia. The others are all shimmers. Glisten is the silvery/whitish shade, Hawaii is the peach-ish shimmer and Copper Mine is the (you guessed it) coppery shade on the far right.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t think I would like this palette at all. I thought maybe i would get some use out of the coppery shade as, let’s face it, I love copper shadows. I simply don’t really like peach tones. On me they are either too orange and make me look vaguely jaundiced or they will be too pinkish and make me look a little fevered. Sometimes they will go for a darker peach that actually blends in so well with my eye lids that it doesn’t even seem to be there.

But as many products from Bellapierre as I have tried, I have never tried their eyeshadow so I decided to give them a go. And I am glad I did. The swatch of Dahlia was not encouraging though. It turned out way brighter than I wanted to wear. But as I was also testing out a lipstick that was way brighter than I usually wear, I soldiered on. I figured at the very least they would look like they belonged together.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that when applied to the lid the eyeshadow I thought was going to a bright toxic looking coral turned out to be a rather subdued pinkish tone that worked as a an excellent summer shade for a low key look. In fact it made me change my face products this week. I started out wearing an actual foundation, but the shadow worked better for a more natural look and I shifted to tinted moisturizers.

It was not at all what I was expecting. The one matte of Dahlia didn’t really blend well with the shimmers, but it was easy to layer shimmers over it. Which is nice as all I have in this palette are shimmers. And for it’s pale application, it did last throughout the day. There was some fading but the shadow never truly disappeared. I did have to tap the brush off so no loose powder ended up on my nose but over all it was a surprisingly pleasant shadow to work with.

the coral shade turned out to be much more subtle than I expected and was a nice soft shadow to wear on a low makeup day

The shimmers applied well also. they layered over the matte but weren’t really keen on blending. You could almost always see a line where one stopped and the other began.

The one matte worked well with all three of the shimmers. I will say I didn’t really care for the shade Hawaii. It had the coral undertones that I feared in Dahlia. Which is more about me and colors than the shadows. I did like that the coppery shade had reddish pink undertones that paired really well with Dahlia as well. The shadows were chosen well and for what it is, this is a nice palette. I could easily see slipping this into an overnight bag to use for a quick trip. With only one matte I think it would get boring after a while. But for an overnight trip or a weekend adventure this is perfect. It is a slim palette with a hard case that would travel well. Just make sure everything goes with the pinkish tones and you will be set.

Will I be reaching for this often, probably not. i can’t see it being my go-to palette. That is simply because even though I was pleasantly surprised, these still really aren’t toes I reach for all the time. I am happy to have it as I think that on occasion I will use it when I am in the mood for the shades. Even more I am pleased to have tried out some of Bellapierre’s shadows. It is a formula I like. It is soft and not too powdery. It is not as pigmented as I expected but did give good color. They don’t build very well. That is it’s main downfall. You aren’t going to get deep tones, at least not from the shadows in this palette. Do I think that it is worth the $25 it retails for? No. I think that is a bit overpriced for what it is. However, it is a formula of eyeshadow i would not mind experimenting with more in the future. And for me, that is well worth knowing.

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A Week of OFRA’s Signature Symphony Palette

L to R: Sublime, Charm, Blissful, Tempo and Godiva

Recently I have been using the OFRA Signature Palette – Symphony. It came in a Boxycharm Premium and retails on OFRA’s Website for $32.There are five pans. There is one shimmer (Sublime), One satin (Tempo), two mattes (Charm and Godiva) and an eyeshadow that is essentially an OFRA Highlighter (Blissful). I love OFRA Highlighters and I think that is smart actually. It works really well as both a stunning shadow and as a highlight.

And to be honest, OFRA’s highlighters are so big it takes forever to actually get through one of them, so I don’t mind having the smaller highlight. These are not the first eyeshadows that I have tried from OFRA. I really love the formula. They are very saturated colors. While the darker shades can scatter powder around the eye, if you tap the brush off before using it is generally not a problem.

The quality of the shadows is there.

The mix of shadows in general works well the Lighter matte (Charm) is almost exactly my skin color when applied so it doesn’t show up well and is okay-ish as a transition. The shimmer (Sublime) is stunning and the brownish shade (Godiva) is pigmented with a reddish tinge to it. It is also a bit more powdery than the other shadows and takes a little bit more time to blend out. It actually works a lot better if you use an eyeshadow Primer.

The highlight/shadow, Blissful, is stunning. There is the cranberry colored satin shade (Tempo) that is the biggest pop of color in the palette. And boy does it pop. As with all of these shadows, one dip in the pan is enough o cover the eye. The problem is that if you use that shade it will dominate. It is very difficult to tread softly with Tempo and using it with any other shadow obliterates the other shadow.

Except for the highlighter, Blissful. It can hold it’s own with the shade Tempo.

For me this makes this a rather limited use palette. I can create a look with the cranberry shade, either with or without the highlighter. I can use the brown with the shimmer or the highlighter or even on it’s own. I have tried varying the looks over the past two weeks, but the truth is they all tend to come out fairly similar.

Which doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I do actually. I just think it is a palette I would pull out for a day of use, not one I would use for a week or so. It certainly isn’t one I would travel with, which is a bit of a shame. It is the perfect size for traveling.

the removable pans from other palettes

While I like this palette, what bothers me is that all of the other OFRA Palettes I have from blush to face, have removable pans. I really like this, especially in these plastic hard case palettes. It means that when a shade runs out I can replace the shade and just put the new one in an exiting palette without wasting the plastic palette. It also means I can customize the palette. If there is a shade that doesn’t work for me I can swap it out.

It is one of the things I especially like about OFRA Palettes, that removability/reusability.

This palette has the hard plastic case but unlike the other palettes, the shadows can’t be removed. They don’t have that little divot to the side that lets you take the pan out of the palette. I know it is from their signature collection which might be why the shadows can’t be removed, but even if they didn’t want them swapped with other shades it would be nice to have the option to replace a shadow once it ran out if I liked it enough to use it to pan.

I find it wasteful especially since their other palettes have this feature. Other than that they are beautiful shadows that stay in place all day. I just could never control the cranberry shade. I like it and it pairs well with the silver of blissful. I will actually probably reach for it a lot in the fall and winter. I just can’t make it play well with others. because of this and the inability to remove pans, I find this OFRA Signature Symphony Palette a nice, but limited use palette.

Eyeshadow Palette Review: Nude Prism by Lunar Beauty

This eyeshadow palette, Nude Prism by Lunar Beauty was an interesting one to review. when I first received this in a Boxycharm I was thrilled. It looks beautiful on the outside and when you open it, the palette looked exactly like the every day kind of shades I liked with the bonus of a row of golden bronze-y shimmers that just called out to me. It looked like the sort of palette that I could get a lot of use out of and I couldn’t wait to try it out.

This is however a tale of two palettes. The Shimmers behaved very differently to the mattes. Normally I would swatch row 1, then 2 then three, but as all of the shimmers are in the middle row I am going to start with a posting of that row’s swatches. I apologize if getting them out of order bothers anyone, but the shimmers are the second row.

Second Row Shimmers swatched left to right

To be honest, I had no problems with the shimmers. They applied well, felt soft, had little fall out and blended beautifully. Laura (3rd from left) and Expose (fifth from left) tended to look nearly identical so that felt a bit like a missed opportunity, but over all I really enjoyed the shimmers. They worked well with absolutely no problems.

The same can not be said about the mattes. (Hence the reason I covered the shimmers first).

top row swatched left to right

The top row of mattes are the lighter shades. I think these are the shades designed to be the everyday nudes while the third row bumps up the pigmentation. And they are lovely every day shades. There is nothing really surprising about them. i have every single one of them in different palettes, but it is nice to see them collected into one. The color selection is nice.

As you might be able to see with the swatches, these shades are a bit powdery. A quick tap before application knocked off the excess powder and it was fine. Because they were lighter shades any excess powder was easy to wipe off and easy to ignore. while they had the same problems as the darker shades, they didn’t seem as big because these were lighter shades.

bottom row swatched left to right

The darker shades also had the powdery-ness to them. And it becomes much more apparent that they are a bit patchy in the swatches. All of the shadows really had that patchiness when applying them. I did find that adding in an eyeshadow primer to the lids helped with the application.

no primer on the left and lid primer applied on the right

While they are different shadows, you can see the eyeshadow primer really did help with the smoothness of the application. There is still a great deal of patchiness from the darker shades but the application was more effective with the lid primer.

This palette has plenty of shades I like and I really do enjoy the shimmers. It is not the easiest palette to work with and some of the shades are deceiving. The deep purple shade looks like a slightly reddish brown in the pan for example. While a makeup artist may find this a fun palette to play with and work with, I am not an expert. I had a difficult time getting a handle on this palette. I used it for a few days, then set it aside so I could watch you tube tutorials on using it because I felt certain I was just not working with it correctly.

The tutorials actually became a bit frustrating in places actually as they seemed to blend the shadows with an ease that simply didn’t translate into reality for me. The shadows were powdery and tended to get a bit muddy when blended. I covered most of the muddy look up with shimmers to be honest. The darker shades also had fall out that made my nose look bruised from purple and black. It was in every sense difficult for me to work with.

If the shadows were unusual shades that i didn’t have or excellent parings, or even if I managed one stunning look out of this palette, I might feel more positive towards it. But I didn’t. I have better versions of these shades elsewhere and even when I came out with something I liked it was harder than it had to be and the look was just okay. While I love the shimmers, I am not a fan of this palette.

Let’s talk Palace Identity/Zeesea Cosmetics

I have looked at the Zeesea/Palace Identity website for years now. They did a beautiful collaboration with the British Museum for their Egyptian collection and it is just stunning. I ordered the pressed powder a while back and while the powder is a decent powder, the packaging is spectacular. I have since eyed many of their lipsticks from both the Egyptian collection and the Palace Identity collection trying to decide if they are items I want to add to my collection. As always it is the look of them that draws me in.

And that is the thing with Zeesea products. They look so beautiful that they knock most other considerations out of my head. Recently they released a subscription box. (I think May was the first one but i could be wrong. I do know it is less than six months old). The link will take you to their website if you are interested in the details of that. As I have recently been looking to shake up my subscription box list, I decided to look into it. In doing so I realized that the only item I had tried from Zeesea was their pressed powder. I wasn’t sure this was enough to commit to a $40 subscription box filled with their products each month. so I give in and purchased the eyeshadow compact that I found so pretty to give their shadow formula a try.

packaging. bag inside box inside bubble wrap inside bubble wrap inside mailer.

It is just as pretty in person as it is on the website. And the packaging was spectacular. I don’t think I have ever received anything as well packed as this palette was. I think someone decided that whatever else happened their shadow was not going to break in transit. And it didn’t it arrived safe and sound.

swatches: L to r: Coral, darker central stripe of color, shimmer, light pink flower

This palette has four shades. As you can see the flower to the left is light pink then there are three bands of shadow to the side. The top is a goldish shimmer the middle is a pinkish tan and the bottom is coral. (there are no shade names or numbers given but this is Compact #02 on their website). I chose this one as these are colors I will use. i was hoping that they would prove to be a palette I could reach for often and possible travel with. The compact is sturdy enough to be used in a purse and it would eliminate a lot of space hogging eyeshadow palettes.

The swatches look pale and delicate. This is not a palette that swatches well. I tried multiple times with both finger swatches and brushes. It simply doesn’t swatch well. However on the eye it turns out that all but the shimmer are highly pigmented. the photo to the right is just the light pink of the flower applied to the eye in a one and done look.

I applied the powder on the outer corner and blended in. I dipped the brush in the pan once. It is darker where I touched the brush down but it was able to blend out across the lid.

Is it my favorite formula of eyeshadow? No. But it is something that I will use, especially since it is here. The thing is, I will probably end up using this more than I would other palettes with just okay formulas because it is so pretty that i want to keep reaching for it. I already find myself trying to figure out where on my dressing table I can put this so that I can use it as a decorative item. And I know if it is out, i will reach for it more often simply because it is out.

Does this look better than it performs? Yes. It is simply a beautiful package. the product isn’t bad. It is a decent eyeshadow palette. Knowing this I don’t have the need to stock up on all of the other numbered palettes in the line. This one had the most shades i will use and one of these pretty palettes is enough. If the formula had been utterly fantastic I might feel the need to build a collection. But it isn’t It is just a basically decent formula in a fabulous package.

Do I regret buying it? No. And I will probably pick up the few lipsticks that have shades I will use and have fabulously beautiful packaging as well. It does however make the subscription box option less attractive for me. The pretty packaging creates the desire and the product is decent enough that I can justify it, but it also means I will be selective in the items that I purchase from them. I will probably try various items, but i don’t need to build a large collection from the brand.

I know that is probably a bit more than expected for a four pan eyeshadow palette, but the truth is that this palette can’t really be thought about without discussing the packaging as that is a large part of why I bought it. It is also a large part of why I will buy from the brand in the future. They are pretty. ZeeSea cosmetics are decent shadows so I can justify buying the pretty compact, but on their own, they are just okay. If you are looking at the brand and wondering about individual items or their subscription box,. I hope this helps you with your decision making.

Let’s Talk Natasha Denona

Three Palettes from Natasha Denona: Cranberry on top, Cupid in the middle, Ayana on the bottom

Recently I received two Natasha Denona Mini Eyeshadow Palettes in subscription boxes. One came in Boxy Charm and the other in IPSY. As I have one of the mini palettes I now have a small collection of three. Each of these palettes retails on the Natasha Denona website for $27. They consist of five large pans of shadow in a durable plastic palette.

Quite honestly, I think they are realistically and reasonably priced. These palettes feel like something I would be willing to pay $27 for. I know that is surprising because if you go onto the Natasha Denona website you can find a fifteen pan palette (the Gold Eyeshadow palette) for $129 which is not a reasonable price. In fact most of the brand’s products fall into my personal ‘That’s just too much for what that is’ range. Which is why it surprised me that these palettes were only $27.

Cranberry Palette Swatches

Oddly enough, while there is an entire selection on Mini palettes, indeed the palettes having their own page, only the Cranberry palette is listed. For some reason though it is listed at $48. It is also placed on the regular palettes page rather than the minis page. While I am willing to say these palettes are worth $27 and I would pay that for them, I feel like $48 is a bit over priced for a five pan eyeshadow palette.

But lets talk about the shadows. The mattes are deeply pigmented. One dip into the pan is all you need to create a deep impact on the eye. One thing I learned very quickly is that you need to dip into the pan with one brush, tap off the excess and do one sweep to apply it on the eyelid. Then take a different clean brush to blend it out. Using the same brush you first applied it with will only deepen the entire thing not blend. I also found that if you wanted to blend more matte shades you need to blend out as you go. Apply your first shadow, blend it with a clean brush, then apply your next matte and blend with another clean brush.

Cupid Swatches

Done this way they blend well and don’t become muddied. Because they are so highly pigmented they really don’t layer very well unless you blend between shades.

The shimmers are smooth and buttery soft. They don’t have any chunky bits in them and they apply well with a dry brush and a little brighter with a wet brush. I found myself blending them more with a cotton swab or my finger than I did with a brush as it worked better. The brush didn’t want to move the shimmers around too much once they were applied.

I do tap my shadow rushes before applying them. It is a habit. In doing this one tap I had no fall out. As I prefer to put on my face products before working on my eyeshadow, I like that there is no fall out. In addition the products stayed in place all day with a minimal fading. The deep cranberry shade in the Cranberry palette did stain my lids a little bit so they were pink the next day, but other than that one shade I had no problems.

Ayana Swatches

The Ayana Palette is a good selection of neutrals with a pop of silver for after hours fun. The Cupid Palette makes me thing autumnal wear more than valentines day actually and the Cranberry one feels more celebrational. I think that is because it has three shimmers and two mattes while the other two palettes have three mattes and two shimmers.

I found these palettes to be well selected in their color story and it was easy to pick one up and put together a look. There was enough variation that I could change things up and each of the mattes was pigmented enough that it could be used on it’s own as a one and done look. The palettes are compact and sturdy enough to travel well.

What I find interesting is that because I am not a huge blue and green eyeshadow person, looking at the palettes (both regular and Mini) I would add the Mini Zenon palette and then pretty much had all of the shades I would use. I might feel the need to add a shimmery green for Christmas, but with the fabulous bronze of the Cupid palette i might not. with those four palettes I could get any look I wanted to create.

These Mini palettes are not only a good way to try out the brand, but because they are grouped in color ranges, it is a good way to get the shades you will use. Even if you disregard the price of the larger palettes and just look at the shades included, each palette has a lot of shades that i know I would never touch or at best only try once. With these mini palettes I can honestly say I would use every shade. They are great to use on their own and together they form a collection of just the shades I want. Which means I will use them and not waste a lot of excess product. Sometimes going mini is the best option.

Let’s Get Naked Honey

If there is one eyeshadow that I can’t resist it is a good bronze. And I’ll admit golden tones are right there with the bronze. Slightly below it, but still in the mix of shadows I love. Don’t get me wrong, I love other shades, but the bronze tones really draw me in.

When This Naked Honey palette from Urban Decay came out I had immediate cravings. They might as well have just sent me a note saying ‘we made this just for you’ because that is what it felt like. I did put off buying it immediately though. basically I talked myself out of it because I had an overflowing eyeshadow drawer at the time. Also Urban Decay has a habit of rotating their Naked palettes through sales so I thought I’d wait until I had decluttered some of my palettes and the palette went on sale. Also I didn’t know if I wanted the full palette or if the mini version would suit me.

I know that sounds a little strange, but sometimes I find the Naked Mini palettes suit me better than the full sized. I actually really like the Naked Heat Mini palette, but somehow the full sized one did not appeal to me. Incidentally Urban Decay just released four new mini-palettes if you are interested. In general I tend to gravitate towards smaller palettes. with larger palettes I almost have too many options and can occasionally be overwhelmed by it.

While I like the brushes with these palettes I tend to only use them when traveling

The full sized Naked Palettes are my ideal size for a palette though. (I also like the size of the older ABH Palettes like Modern Renaissance). I generally find there is enough variation with this number of shadows without being overwhelming. And when I did look at the mini version I still found myself drawn to the full one. For me the mini version seemed to have something missing, unlike some of the other mini palettes. So I planned to pick this up and told myself I had to clear out some space as well as wait for a sale. I figured both conditions would help me out. It has been on sale many times but i always somehow missed the sale. This time i caught it and ordered the palette.

Swatches go letf to right starting with Flyby (white) and ending with Sting (dark brown)

If you like brows, golds and bronzes, this is an amazing palette. If you don’t then this palette is not for you. It really is that simple. while I would happily use the dark brown of Stung, topped with the bronze of Queen with a little Flyby in the inner corners, There is a lot of variation in the palette. It still had the bronze/gold/brown theme but there are enough shades that i found this palette interesting to play with and am actually kind of sad to shift to other palettes. For me this is an everyday palette that can be glammed up for going out or toned down for office work. Sadly these days it is more office work than going out, but i like the flexibility.

I love that the shimmers are smooth and don’t have any glitter bits in them. while I do occasionally like glitter, I want that to be my option. Plus I apply glitters differently than other shadows.

In the past there have been some Urban Decay shadows that turned muddy when blended. I did not have this problem with this palette. Each color was distinguishable. I found that I only needed one dip in the pan to get the shadow on the brush. with tapping the brush off I had no fall out as I applied it. The shadows are highly pigmented. I found that I needed to apply the shadow (especially the dark brown of Sting) with one brush and then use a clean shadow brush to blend it out. while it required having more brushes on hand I can’t say I minded as I used less product.

Sometimes when you wait for something for a while you end up building it up in your mind to a level it can’t actually achieve. I planned to purchase this palette for so long I was worried that would happen with the Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette. It didn’t. This palette was just as good as I hoped it would be and I am thrilled it is now part of my collection. I would order this again in a heart beat, even when it was not on sale. I love the browns and golds so this one does speak to me, but I am also happy with the quality and ease of application and use. I think that this is a palette I will get a lot of use out of for a long time to come.