Hello Kitty Pop-Up Party Eyeshadow Palette ($52.00 for 0.70 oz.) includes twenty eyeshadows in an array of colors and neutrals with a variety of finishes. I love the concept–colors, neutrals, mattes, satins, shimmers–but I think the quality is missing. Often, you’ll see collaborations or non-beauty brands put out makeup, and the first thought is, “This is going to suck, it’s just a gimmick.” Sometimes you’re surprised, and sometimes, you’re not at all. The eyeshadow formula used here feels cheap, because they’re loaded with fillers that make these powdery, chalky, prone to fading, and under-pigmented. There’s no reason this shouldn’t perform at least decently–the price tag certainly leaves plenty of room to use quality ingredients and formulas. It is packaged similarly to Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows with a bulky, cardboard container with a pull-out drawer. The drawer doesn’t extend fully, so the top row of eyeshadows sits a little underneath the lip of the exterior cover.
Kat Von D Star Studded Eyeshadow Book ($55.00 for 1.20 oz.) includes 24 eyeshadows from matte to frost. I hope to review this palette in full, though what I can say about right now is that after wearing half the eyeshadows (and of course, swatching through all of them), I’m not optimistic about the quality of it. There are a few truly problematic shades (see the swatch for Gothica, which looks and feels like loose sand; how powdery Starflyer is), but many of the shades lean on the powdery side. None of them were stiff in the pan, but it was difficult to achieve true intensity on bare skin (certainly not the “color-packed pigment in one sweep”) due to the soft, powdery quality of many shades. We’ll see how it shakes out in the end.
MAC Mortal Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow Palette ($44.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a warm-toned mix of coral and bronze. If you’re unfamiliar with the formula, it’s supposed to be a “hybrid formula” that can be applied dry for sheer color, wet for opaque color with supreme blendability. In the past, many of these palettes have been incredibly shimmery and sparkly, but this one is a little toned down–more frosted than sparkle/glitter–so there is less concern for fall out. I get good wear out of the eyeshadows once they’re on, but they always look a bit faded applied. This palette could use more contrast, as the colors run together due to most of them being light-medium or medium in color. I’d also love one or two satin/matte finishes to add more variety.
Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette ($42.00 for 0.79 oz.) includes five shades of blush ranging from brown to peach to plum. Each blush is 0.158 oz. and a full-sized blush is 0.20 oz. for $26. The palette contains $102.70 worth of blush, and more subjectively, for less than the price of two full-sized blushes, you’ll get to try five shades. I liked that there was a variety of finishes, and a decent spectrum of shades from beige to plum to coral. Tarte’s blushes don’t wear as long as twelve hours on me, which is a claim that is repeated over and over again for the formula. The texture of a few of these leaned powdery, and it seemed like the wear time was less than I’ve had with other Tarte shades as a result. If I set aside the 12-hour wear time claim, then the rating would bump up to B+.
MAC Trusted Instinct Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow Palette ($44.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rather plummy palette with some warmth. The shades coordinate well with each other, and I liked that not all of them were incredibly glittery as some of the other Veluxe Pearlfusion palettes have been. If you’re unfamiliar with the formula, it’s supposed to be a “hybrid formula” that can be applied dry for sheer color, wet for opaque color with supreme blendability. I agree that the formula in the palette is easily blended, but at times, the shades blend too readily, sheer out and fade, and often, the colors run together and create a muddied appearance due to the very soft, sometimes powdery and other times crumbly, consistency of the shadows themselves. I think a good primer is a must here to help the shades stick better without sheering out so easily. I get good wear, though, and all five shades lasted for eight and a half hours.
MAC x Brooke Shields Gravitas Eyeshadow Palette ($85.00 for 0.68 oz.) includes fifteen eyeshadows that range from pale, white-beige to plum to matte black. The palette contains some permanent shades as well as some new shades. It was quick to sell out on launch day, but the palette is currently available at Nordstrom. It should be available at other retailers like Dillard’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s. Overall, I think it’s a good palette with only one major miss (Carbon), but the majority were fairly pigmented, blendable, and easy to work with. They pair well together, and there are a lot of different combinations to be made. It is a warmer-toned palette, and there are only a few more colorful shades, so it is primarily a neutral palette–which there are numerous options out there (past and present), so it’s not necessarily a must-have, but that’ll depend more on what palettes you already have.