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).
Next to the fuchsia shade is a chocolate bronze with a metallic sheen. When applied dry, it still retains a subtle metallic finish and has excellent color payoff. When applied damp, it becomes more intense but doesn’t change too much. NARS Surabaya is similar but has a less metallic finish. Make Up For Ever #14 has less red in its base. theBalm Tres Moi is less red-toned and a smidgen lighter. Le metier de Beaute Bordeaux has a stronger red undertone. Chanel Ebloui is grayer.
Moving on, we arrive at a light beige-peach with soft, warm undertones and a frosted finish. It’s nearly the same whether it is used damp or dry, though it becomes just slightly more metallic when it is used wet. The pigmentation is full and opaque both ways. Bare Escentuals Stealth is more matte in finish and a little lighter. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels is a fraction lighter. MAC Say Yeah is frostier and has a subtle golden sheen. theBalm Luscious Lani is noticeably lighter and more metallic in finish.
In the middle is a dark black with subtle shimmer that’s just barely noticeable. It has good color payoff when used dry, though it is more intense when applied damp. When applied, it does intensify better with a brush than just in a swatch even when applied dry. It’s not quite as dark as MAC Dark Dare or Milani Pitch Black. It is darker than MAC Carbon.
The final shade is a rich violet with hints of blue and an underlying dark base. It had good pigmentation dry but had less depth, whereas when applied damp, it took on a much more intense, deeper look, though both dry and damp had similar metallic finishes. I felt that this was the least dupeable shade in the palette, because it is a darker purple with only a hint of blue. Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl is lighter, less blackened. MAC Starless Night is darker, not really blue–more black in its base (so you lose some of the purple). MAC Imaginary has no blue. Givenchy Lune Mordoree is bluer. Urban Decay Frigid is the closest but it lacks the blackened base.
I think this is one of the most stunning eyeshadow palettes that has launched in the past few years. It’s utterly breathtaking–whether or not these are the kind of hues you’d feel comfortable wearing or not, it’s a showstopper. What I love is that it does deliver on the color, and all five shades work well together; not just in one color combination but multiple ones. If you prefer subtle pops of color, there are two more neutral shades (beige and bronze) that can be accented by the richer shades (pink and violet) or darkened (black).
These wore impeccably, too! I had no problem achieving nine hours of wear with no fading or creasing with or without a primer, and I used four of the five shades in the look (no black). They were easy to blend, didn’t have any fall out, and applied with full color without having to pack it on. It comes in a purple metallic case with a mirror on the inside and two dual-ended sponge-tipped applicators. The only criticism I could come up with was the pink shade could be better pigmented dry.
I think this is one of the most stunning eyeshadow palettes that has launched in the past few years. It's utterly breathtaking--whether or not these are the kind of hues you'd feel comfortable wearing or not, it's a showstopper.
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