Five Fantastic Eyeshadow Palettes

Oh the eyeshadow palettes this year. There were a lot. Last year was the year where subscription boxes put skincare in all of their boxes, this was the year of the eyeshadow palettes, at least for me. Admittedly two of the top two were ones I purchased myself. These are the five I reach for the most and while some of them are a matter of color preference, each has it’s own reasons for being this year’s favorite.

1- Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette

  • It is no surprise that I purchased this palette. I love my browns and bronzes for everyday use and this one gives it to me in spades. I had the original Naked palette and i used it down to pan. I suspect that I will do the same with this one. The shadows are soft, pigmented and blend really well. I also like the color story. with Urban Decay I think that color story is key. The shadow formula is nice, but I tend to only buy the palettes from them where I know I am going to really like and use the shades presented. I think that is why every time I get an Urban Decay palette I end up using the shadows until they can no longer be used and then repurchasing the same palette if possible. They are just that kind of shadow. For me the Naked Honey works. If you are looking to pick up an Urban Decay Palette, think about what works for you before you buy.

2- The Balm and the Beautiful from The Balm Cosmetics

  • For a long time The Balm cosmetics was everywhere. I think I went through three containers of Bahama Mama Bronzer myself. It is a good product. I don’t hear The Balm mentioned a lot these days which is a shame. Their shadows are good. They are a medium pigmentation which I find really easy to work with. The are buildable so even though they may not come out of the gate with the depth of color you want, they can be deepened to get the right shade. They have also gone to eco friendly packaging which always makes me happy to see. The trick with The Balm is getting the right color story. I have had several palettes from them where I liked two shades but didn’t use the rest. This palette I like because it is a good everyday shadow range and I will use all of the shades. often i end up buying The Balm Shadows in singles because there are just shades I enjoy. this is one of the few palettes where I really just enjoy all of the shades., Hence it’s place on this list.

3- Lawless The Baby One

  • If you are looking for a pink toned everyday neutral’s palette this is a good one to look into. the shades are pigmented, blend well and last all day long. They feel buttery soft to the touch and even the shimmers had very little fall out. I enjoyed using it very much and reach for it often. Interestingly enough this is a mini version of a larger palette. The larger palette doesn’t appeal to me that much. In looking at it, the full sized palette mostly adds shades I wouldn’t use while this mini one is a great size to travel with or to use quickly in the morning.

4- Lime Crime’s Venus Immortals

  • This year I wanted something a little ,more dramatic and I really wanted a palette with a good black shadow. This one was nice and black and it applied without going streaky. With this I can create more dramatic looks than my everyday palettes are capable of. The dark brown has a touch of maroon and the gray of ash can go from deep ash to light storm cloud. Adding the white sparkle of marble over it is also a great way to turn a soft smoky eye up a notch. This was never going to be an everyday palette for me, but when I want drama I tend to lean into the darker shades and this gives me what I want when i am in the mood to play with shadow and light.

5-Fluide’s Otherworldly palette

  • Occasionally i do go for the color and sparkle. It is a rare occurrence though. And generally when I do I start off with a more neutral look and then add a bright shade or glitter. this is the palette I have been reaching for in that department. It has a light and a dark brown which when used together can create a lovely soft everyday office look. Then there is the orange and the yellow mattes which can really brighten things up. The shimmers and the one glitter are the real reason I keep this palette though. the yellow shimmer is a gorgeous gold and when applied the green looks like satin across the skin. I don’t actually have a lot of glitters. Usually they end up getting decluttered because they are part of a colorful palette I know I am never going to use. That is perhaps why I love thie purplish glitter in this palette so much. It is also buttery smooth and has very little fall out (I would still use a lid prime with it). The palette is also a small eight pan one which means it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It isn’t an everyday palette, but it is one I reach for deliberately when i have a colorful look in mind.

And there you have it my darlings, the five palettes I tend to reach for and why i tend to reach for them. each of them have easy to blend formulas and little fall out. Not only do I enjoy the formulas but each of them fills a space in my personal world of eyeshadow. And this year, they were the best.

Incidentally Urban Decay still has a sale going on. Well worth looking into if you are stocking up.

Year end Sale! Enjoy 50% Off E&Os + 5-Piece GWP ($40 value) on orders of $85+ at Urban Decay Canada! Valid 12/10 – 12/31

Using the Sweet Potato Pie Palette from Beauty Bakerie

For the past few weeks I have been trying out the Sweet Potato Pie Palette from Beauty Bakerie. Normally this palette retails for $14 but currently it is on sale for $12. In addition to the sales they have on pretty much everything for the Holiday season, there is free shipping if you order more than $50 worth of product and you can get 15% off when you sign up for their e-mail list. Their e-mail list actually pretty nice actually. They send out e-mails when they are releasing something new and whenever they have sales on.

I’ll be honest, this palette isn’t something i would normally look at and go for. I have been wearing a lot of neutrals lately. And to be fair a lot of the neutrals have gotten a little boring. It is nice when I am in a rush in the morning because i can do a quick simple look with virtually any neutrals palette that passed the initial testing phase, but it does get a little boring.

This palette is not one that I can reach for if i want something I can use without thinking. It is easy to use, but for me, I had to look at the colors and actually think about what I wanted to put on my eyelids. Which is not a bad thing. It broke me out of a rut and got me trying new things and new looks.

While I am not entirely sure where in the Sweet Potato Pie spectrum the blue/green shade falls (although I love the shade) all of the other pans are in the reddish/orange tone that fits with the sweet potato pie theme. The two brownish looking shades in the pan (top row far right and third row center) are both leaning more into the orange range than the brown. For me this meant I ended up doing various sunset sort of looks with the orange rising into yellow or I made the blue the star. Either way, I had a lot of fun playing with the colors. It is something i haven’t done in a while and it made me more excited to play with my eyeshadows again.

But let’s look at how they performed.

The swatches actually applied in almost the same level of pigmentation as the shadows appeared on the eyes. It is what I would call a moderate level of pigmentation. On my skin tone it was bright but not overwhelming. For me this level of pigmentation was manageable. Sometimes when colors are too pigmented they can be almost a hard to work with as the shades that have very poor pigmentation.

These have good solid pigmentation but are easy to work with. With my shadow application i dip into the pan and then i tap off the brush. I tried to remember not to do so to see if i got any fall out without remembering to tap off the excess, but the truth is that my tap after dipping into a pan is now so automatic I can’t actually recall if I did apply any of the shadow without tapping them off.

With the single tap I not only got enough powder off so that I didn’t have any fall out but often the one dip into the pan was all I needed to get the color I wanted. i would recommend tapping the brush off just to get the loos powder off anyway. If it falls, that’s what it is,, the excess powder the brush picked up.

One thing that I was worried about was the possibility of staining. With so many orangy reds I was concerned that after i applied the shadow I would end up still having reddish lids once I removed it. Which tends to happen with a lot of the red toned shadows.(also with purple ones too). It didn’t happen with these shadows. whatever it is that stains the lids wasn’t in these shadows.

The shadows did fade a little as the day went on. They were not as bright as they were at the beginning of the day when the day ended. The blue especially tended to loose a bit of color. But at the end of the day it was still more or less recognizable as the look I applied at the start of the day. Just a less pigmented version.

I found these shadows easy to blend but I did have to use a clean brush. If you use the same brush to blend then whatever the last color you used will take over. It was true of all the shadows actually from the brighter orang to the softer yellow. I had to apply the shadows and then go in with a clean brush to blend. Over all I really enjoyed using this eyeshadow palette. It got me out of my rut and had me trying colors i would normally shy away from using. I think this is not only one that I will keep in my collection but one I will reach for repeatedly. While it is called the Sweet Potato Pie Palette and the tones were inspired by the Thanksgiving and Christmas staple, I think the shades equally lend themselves to spring looks. I look forward to using them then as well.

A stocking stuffing to remember! Sweet Potato Pie Eyeshadow Palette! Shop Now at!

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.