There were actually a lot of fantastic palettes released this year! I already pulled up twenty that to consider for the top ten, and I had only reached August (I go backwards). So here are my picks–and I tried to include a variety of brands that were all excellent, but full disclosure: could have easily included more bareMinerals, Guerlain, and another Tom Ford (Enchanted).
The Star Treatment is Packed with Value and Quality
bareMinerals The Star Treatment Eyeshadow Palette ($40.00 for 0.28 oz.) includes eight eyeshadows: VIP (gold flecked black), Connoisseur (golden copper), Carte Blanche (icy ivory), Ritzy (shimmering cocoa), Kudos (golden gray), Bragging Rights (shimmering rose gold), Elitist (glistening olive), and Extravagance (golden glow). It also includes a 0.05 oz. (half the size of the full-sized version) of Prime Time Eye Primer.
Each eyeshadow is 0.035 oz., as compared to the average full-sized eyeshadow, which is 0.05 oz. (and bareMinerals’ Ready eyeshadows in the duos and quads are 0.05 oz.). In duos, they’re $20/0.10 oz.; quads are $30/0.17 oz., and 8-pan palettes are $40/0.28 oz.–which breaks out to $200/oz., $176/oz., and $143/oz. I love that they give you a little more as you buy larger palettes. Just to put those prices in context, MAC single eyeshadows are $300/oz., while their duos are $275/oz. and quads are $210/oz.
Connoisseur is a deep, molten golden-copper. This shade was insanely pigmented; so smooth, buttery, and densely packed with color. bareMinerals Pret-a-Porter is lighter. Inglot #404 is lighter, less coppery. Inglot #430 is yellower, lighter. Dior Aurora is lighter, more orange. While not at all similar in color, MAC Campfire had a similar molten, metallic look and feel.
Kudos is a pale beige-brown with an olive green shimmer-sheen. It has a really subtle, but cool, duochrome. I was like, “ooh! look!” when I initially swatched it. The first thing it reminded me was Illamasqua Bacterium, which is a nail polish. MAC Jaunty is a bit lighter, no duochrome. Becca Quartz is similar in color without the green sheen. Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla is similar (again, no sheen).
Elitist is a subdued khaki brown with a satiny shimmer-sheen. It had good color payoff and was very, very smooth. This is one of the “cooler” shades in the palette, though it is still on the warm side. MAC Soba is similar but more matte. theBalm Schitoz is more golden. Giorgio Armani #26 is similar–a bit browner. Dior Golden Savannah is warmer, lighter.
Extravagance is a frosted orange-gold. This shade was really soft and buttery in one sense, but it was almost so soft that it became a bit crumbly. This was the only shade I had any problems with; the color payoff was fantastic, but it did have extra fall out during application. Guerlain Turandot is more orange. Milani Gold Dust is noticeably more orange. MAC Sweet & Sour is yellower. Le Metier de Beaute Goldstone is darker, more orange.
There was only one miss, which was Extravagance, and it’s mostly problematic during application, because it had a fair amount of fall out while you apply it. I recommend lightly tapping off excess product before applying it to the lid and then patting, rather than sweeping, it on to minimize fall out. I didn’t have trouble with fall out during wear, so after cleaning up initially, I didn’t have to worry about it. Worth noting and an area for improvement, but it’s a minor infraction.
If you like your colors warm-toned, fairly neutral, and shimmery, this is your palette from start to finish. When I tested out the palette for wear, they wore like iron–full ten hours without fading or creasing without a primer (with a primer, I had the same results). I wish there was one or two more matte finishes in the palette, though, and overall, the palette is a bit dupeable, depending on your stash of course.
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