Dior Golden Reflections (046) Eyeshadow Palette ($60.00 for 0. 21 oz.) is a limited edition palette that features five shades ranging from gray to gold to beige. I think Dior does interesting color combinations at times, but I find that too often the quality of their eyeshadows is lacking. If you prefer a softer, sheerer, more muted look out of shades like these, you may enjoy this palette. If you want more true-to-pan color, I would skip.
Kat Von D Star Studded Eyeshadow Book ($55.00 for 1.20 oz.) includes 24 eyeshadows from matte to frost. Perhaps the best way to start this review is to say that the formula used in the palette is inconsistent with previous palette releases from Kat Von D; they feel more powdery, softer, and in general, there’s a cheaper, chalkier quality across the board. Even shades that had better color payoff still had a dryness to them that feels like the eyeshadow has more filler in it than is ideal. These absolutely need a primer to even stand a chance; they just were miserable to use without primer, as they didn’t blend together well, while several shades went on much more muted. Then, of course, there is the issue of Gothica, which is a bit like a slap in the face (eye?), given that it is like loose micro-glitter without any base or binders. Brands should do better, and it’s such a shame when they put out inferior products that make customers question the brand’s reliability going forward. I’d recommend checking out her Chrysalis or Monarch palettes, if you’re determined to snag a Kat Von D palette this holiday season.
Buxom Winner Takes All Lip Set ($32.00 for 0.35 oz.) includes three shades of Full-On Lip Cream and three shades of Full-On Lip Polish. The Lip Cream formula is described as a “creamy, no-shimmer lip gloss” with “sheer to medium” coverage.
The Lip Polish formula is described as a “sheer, shimmering lip gloss with a tingling, plumping effect.” The texture of both formulas was light-medium in thickness, creamy, and moderately tacky (the Lip Creams seemed slightly less tacky than the Lip Polishes). The Lip Creams had a tendency to settle into lip lines, and they’re true to the “no-shimmer” part of the description. The Lip Polishes are sheer with a fair amount of fine shimmer with a glossy shine.
bareMinerals The Magic Act Eye & Cheek Palette ($39.00 for 0.63 oz.) contains six eyeshadows, one highlighter, and three blushes in a fold-up palette. Each eyeshadow is 0.04 oz., while the Luminizer is 0.09 oz. and each blush is 0.10 oz. It’s a nice palette for someone who’s looking for a range of warm-toned neutrals in a variety of finishes paired with blush. There are a lot of neutral-themed palettes out there now, so this might not be a must-have, but at least this one is high quality and the added pairing of blushes makes it slightly different. If you’re a regular Ready fan, you may find this contains too many shades you already have as there are a few from previous holiday sets and/or permanent range.
bareMinerals I Love the Night Life Eyeliner Set ($29.00 for 0.06 oz.) includes five shades of the brand’s Lasting Line Long-Wearing Eye Liner. As was the case with Afternoon Delights, it’s a frustrating formula to use, as the consistency is very dry and stiff. It drags and pulls at the skin, so the pigmentation suffers a lot, and even when you attempt to layer, the color is often uneven.
Laura Mercier Holiday 2014 Artist Palette for Eyes & Cheeks ($58.00 for 0.48 oz.) includes eight eyeshadows and one cheek color. The eyeshadows lean slightly cool-toned overall, but the cheek color is really warm, and I felt like it didn’t complement the eyeshadows well. Nearly all of the eyeshadows in the palette were slightly powdery, with the more shimmery shades having a dry, powdery consistency, whereas the mattes were silky and soft and a wee bit powdery (but better than stiff). Most of the eyeshadows lasted for eight hours, while the blush wore well for seven and a half hours on me. This palette is exclusive to Sephora.