Sunday, September 12th, 2010

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

An Ill-Fated Private Affair with LORAC

LORAC Private Affair Palette ($38.00 for 0.30 oz.) is an enigma, let me tell you! I’ve experienced shades that swatch poorly but work beautifully in practice (NARS Daphne, I’m lookin’ at you!). I can’t think of many occasions where I’ve encountered a product that swatches so smoothly, so richly and leaves something to be desired when used. Private Affair is just that; far prettier swatched on my arm than when I went to use it in a look.

Now, it’s not like it turns into a muddy mess, disappears on sight (well, at least… not entirely), or looks bad, but it doesn’t look nearly as lovely on as it does swatched–and that’s why it’s a disappointment. This is how it happened:

  • 9:10am: Temptalia is heard excitedly shouting, “OMG OMG OMG BABE! THIS IS SOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!”
  • 9:15am: She starts to work with the products for a look to post on the blog.
  • 9:18am: Mellan rushes into the bathroom wondering why he hears, “GRRR!”
  • 9:25am: Eye makeup looks like it’s been 18 hours of wear with a nap in-between.
  • 9:30am: Sadface. :(

The palette includes six shades: gilded champagne with a metallic-frost finish, beige champagne with a whitish sheen, medium-dark brown with soft gold sheen, grayed taupe with an antique gold metallic sheen, rich berry burgundy with a satin finish, and blackened purple with burgundy glitter flecks. The texture of these just feels so buttery, incredibly soft, and intensely pigmented; you hardly need any product to achieve true, rich color.

The problem, however, lies in the texture, which is really just too soft. If you thought Stila’s eyeshadows were too soft, these LORAC shadows are softer. This means they kick up quite a bit of powder when used–I advise merely pressing your brush into the shade rather than moving it around, because it will get enough product without loosening the rest. The soft quality of the eyeshadow also means that a lot of it ends up on your face, rather than on your eyes. It rained burgundy and eggplant on my undereye area (which doesn’t need any help looking tired!). Additionally, the softer the eyeshadow, the easier it is to blend, but it can also mean that it is even easier to muddy the color or sheer it out with even a light touch.

At the end of the day, they’re just okay eyeshadows. They feel and look stunning when swatched, but they’re just not nearly as standout when used. There’s a little more fall out than I’d expect, and the color pay off looks fierce initially but fades quickly. I had trouble getting the burgundy shade to stay vibrant; it faded to this rather muted, blah eggplant within minutes. The blackened purple shade lacks the glitter when you apply it–it’s like the glitter doesn’t hold together with the shade and gets lost between the pan and your eye (probably eaten by your brush!).

There is also an eyeshadow primer included in the palette, which is housed in a pull-out drawer that sits beneath the eyeshadows themselves. Along with the primer is dual-ended brush that just feels too scratchy and the ferrules feel rather loose, so I ditched it.

Morbid or not, the packaging reminds me of a coffin. Maybe something a vampire would sleep in, with the dark blood red (faux) snake-skin covering. I also think that they could have ditched the primer and brush, since neither are stellar (the primer is so-so, it doesn’t seem to enhance the vibrancy of the eyeshadows). This could have allowed for a much slimmer palette, which would make it more travel friendly. But you know what really drove me batty about the packaging? It doesn’t stay open. That lid did not want to stay open at all, and I bent that sucker back so far and could see it pulling away from the rest of it, and it still kept closing on me.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: I wanted to love this palette with all my heart, but it left me rather disappointed. I think for $38, I’d rather get a couple of eyeshadows that were excellent than six eyeshadows that require more work and effort than I want to put in!


See more photos & swatches!

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette

LORAC Private Affair Palette
LORAC Private Affair Palette (Breakdown here)

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45 thoughts on “LORAC Private Affair Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Dawn

    Liking the eyeshadows, but the case is hideous!

  2. WHAT. A. SHAME!!!
    I was really looking forward to it- it’s so Autumn-y!! Perfect for the season, right?! Wrong. :(

    Are there any dupes you could think of? The colors are soooo gorgeous- specifically the last three!

  3. Ahh it really does swatch gorgeously! It’s a total shame they didn’t wear well.

  4. Soly

    Such pretty colors!

    Just wondering, do you have a pic of the shadows after it was worn a while? What a shame they didn’t work out. It looked promising!

  5. I dig the last three shades, but first thre are just “meh” to me. And, wow, the packaging DOES quite resemble a coffin. Not a turn-off for me, honestly, ha ha.
    Do the shadows stay better if used wet? :/

  6. Wendy

    Wow! Thanks so much for the review – I can put that lemming to bed now! And you’re right – it looks like a coffin! LOL

  7. I don’t think the look you created with this looks at all bad. But I’m just not interested in this (not even sure if this brand is available in the UK anyway).

  8. Jessie

    Hey Christine!
    I love the look you created with this and was excited to get the palette until I read your review :( Can you recommend any dupes for these colors so I can still recreate the look?

    Thanks! 😀

  9. Evelyn

    how funny! It does look like a coffin! lol

  10. Hilary♥

    Aww too bad it didn’t turn out as good as expected! The packaging is really amazing though. I’m not too excited about the colors, don’t really like them. But all in all, it looks pretty nice. Since the quality is not A+ I’ll save my money for something worth it. Thanks for your awesome reviews, you can’t even imagine how useful they are =)

  11. Karrie

    Hey Christine:) I agree about the packaging completely. I like the palette, overall though. All the colors work on me except the darkest one. It made the whole look look like a hot mess on me. Which sucks because it’s such a cool shade in the swatch. All the other colors worked nicely on me, but they were sort of similar on my skin so it was pretty subtle and nice, then that darkest one just messed it all up. I did really like the primer though!

  12. First- I thought your look was beautiful! But totally surprised that’s what you got when I looked at the pallette and swatches. Now I don’t know what to do? What MAC colors would u use to get the same look?

  13. Rae

    *cries* But it’s so… so… pretty… :(

    (Thanks so much for the honest review, Christine!)

  14. aradhana

    those last three shades DO look so good in your swatches…too bad about the fading and the coffin/palette.
    but the look you did was still nice in the end…i guess after seeing the swatches i see what you mean about the fading, but otherwise i don’t think i would have known anything was up. i liked the sheer lips and subtle blush you paired with them.

  15. Cheyenne

    Wow truly beautiful colors and a beautiful look…:( how disappointing!!

    your time line cracked me up xD

  16. When I use them with Too Faced Shadow Insurance, they stay on much better than with the LORAC primer. TFSI has better tooth to it than LORAC does. Their primer is more for those who want a really subtle look- these shadows seem to demand a better primer with more color and texture grab to it.

    • I used NARS Smudgeproof when I did the look, since I didn’t really care for the primer when I did one-eyed testing with it earlier, which was better than their included primer as well, but it still faded (particularly the darker shades)!

  17. Liz

    My wallet thanks you for saving me $38.00. :-(

  18. Chantal

    I neeeeed that grey/taupe/gold/green colour! Anyone have any dupe ideas? Please!?!

    Thanks for the review, Christine. This was very valuable to know. If I still end up buying this, at least I will know what to expect. (I HATE makeup disappointments!)

  19. Jennifer

    I like the last three colors, but the box like others say is ugly!

    I just can’t get into this brand. Is there any one item they do really well?

  20. Leenie

    Pretty colors to bad they didn’t hold up well.

  21. Erica

    Christine, I had the exact same experience with this palette! I swatched it at Sephora (had the same OMG! These are *awesome* shadows conversation with my hubby), but once I got it home and used it, I was so disappointed. The colors all sorta blended together and looked so dull after awhile. And I didn’t like that they were all shimmery colors too (although I don’t think any LORAC palettes have matte shades…?). And the packaging is so bulky and not very user friendly. Also the brush that came with the set is so cheap! One of the ends was not glued on properly and the was completely useless. I dunno. There are some LORAC items that I really do like and even some of their other palettes, but this just wasn’t worth it. Such a shame, because it looks like such a winner in the store.

    • Erica

      Forgot to add, I did end up returning it to Sephora. Thank goodness they have such a great return policy.

    • Phew, I’m not alone!!

      I don’t mind that they’re all metallic, if only because in reality, I’d probably mix and match between the palette and other shades in my stash, plus, it’s only six, so… I can deal, haha! But yes, it’s such a shame – because I think they swatch and feel so smooth and look beautiful initially so you’re REALLY excited but then disappointed with how they actually perform.

      I haven’t tried too many LORAC products, but I’ve heard good things overall, so I won’t let this one palette keep me away from the brand overall. Any recs?

  22. Cathy

    Once again, I have to THANK TEMPTALIA for saving me money. I was just looking at his palette in Sephora today, and when I swatched the shadows, I thought they were beyond gorgeous. However, the stupid lineup at the cash drove me out of the store, and I figured I’d return tomorrow to buy it. Now, I know that the universe was trying to tell me something…lol…I will NOT purchase this palette now!

    • LOL! They do swatch so beautifully – ridiculously so. I thought for a moment they may have been some of the best shadows ever made, but not so much after using them :(

  23. I have this palette and love it. I have another LORAC palette and have grown accustomed to their soft eyeshadows. I do pat the shadow onto my brush. For the darker shades, I use a tip I learned from makeup artist, Troy Jensen, where I wet the brush first and apply the dark shadow wet to avoid fall out. Actually, I had no fall out with this product. I wore it one evening for about 4 hours and it lasted just as long as MAC shadows and Urban Decay. I used the primer that came with the palette. I was so happy with the look I created with this palette that I took a picture. If you want to see it, let me know and I will e-mail it to you. I really love this palette. I was disappointed to hear that you did not. :(

    • Hey Mabeline,

      Does it leave behind a wet spot on the powder? I hate the way those look, so I never use my pressed shadows wet unless I know absolutely for sure that you can use them wet!

      I don’t have major fall out after I initially apply it – but it does fade considerably in the first five minutes, unfortunately!

  24. Kalex

    I almost bought this a couple of weeks ago at Sephora. When I swiped my finger across a couple of the shades and they felt so silky, I agonized over whether or not to get it since I have more champagne/taupe shadows than I could possibly use. I decided to wait for a sale but now I think I’ll pass entirely. Darn! I thought the little drawer was kinda spiffy!

  25. Jessica

    I saw this in Sephora and had to have it even though I had never heard of it before. The eyeshadows swatched beautifully but when in use they really just don’t live up to the swatches. There was so much fallout and the colors looked muted and blah 5 minutes after applied. The eyeshadow primer, however, did keep the muted color on all day but like you said, Christine, it did nothing to enhance the color.

    I put this palette in the back of my eye palette drawer. The final nail in the coffin was the fact that it doesn’t stay open (literally it snaps shut) which is incredibly annoying and inconvenient!

  26. Ashley D.

    Thank you for saving my money!

  27. I recommend that you try Lorac’s single eye shadows. Although the color range is limited, the texture is far superior when compared to MAC shadows, and even NARS shadows (in my opinion).

  28. Thanks for the review! I must say I did a review on this and actually really loved it! Maybe it was the primers I used or whatever, but I found it stayed quite well. If memory served I did my makeup around 10ish, met my dad for lunch, drove home, and recorded a vid on it…so for me it held up :) Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

    I’m so glad I found your site!!!