Price: $48 * Buy At: Sephora * Size: 3 x 0.08 oz & 9 x 0.04 oz
The Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette is a 12-pan palette featuring warm, cool & neutral shades designed, of course, to contour the eyes.
Despite all the hype this palette had gotten, I never picked it up because I already have so many neutral palettes. But Kat Von D is possibly my favorite high end brand, so I decided that I needed this palette. The Shade + Light Eye Palette has Kat Von D’s traditional, gorgeous hand lettering and the packaging is made of a thick, sturdy black plastic. One critique I hear this palette getting is that the shadows are almost too pigmented, and I can definitely see this. On fair skin like mine, you can accidentally apply way too much product and struggle to blend it away. There’s not a shade that works great to transition in my crease for me, so this formulation makes it particularly difficult. Anyone darker than me probably wouldn’t face this problem, but you can see in my swatches that there’s not a great mid tone shade for me. Despite it being the most neutral Kat Von D palette I own, I can't say that it's my favorite, but I would still recommend it.
Price: $5 * Buy At: Five Below * Size: 3 g (contour) / 6.5 mL (highlight)
The City Color Contour Stick in Light is a dual ended product with a cream contour and liquid highlight.
Instead of the contour stick being rounded, it is in the shape of a lipstick for some reason. I think it’s probably designed to get sharp lines using the flat side, but I still just find it odd. The contour shade is a great color for me, it’s light enough for my fair skin and isn’t warm or orangey at all. The highlight end is a mousse-like liquid and has a sponge applicator. There is shimmer in the highlight, which I know is a turn off to a lot of people. However, when it’s properly blended out, I think it looks really pretty on the skin. It's definitely a cool toned shade, sort of a silvery white. I haven’t gotten into liquid highlights that much, but they are definitely good for highlighting the chest or shoulders if you are wearing something that shows them off. Cream contouring or highlighting is still not my preference over using powders, but I think this duo is a nice addition to a collection to give you both items in one, easy to use format.
To transition the green shadow, I started out by using Star from the Pastel Goth Palette. This shade can definitely be used in a more subtle way, but I packed on the yellow for this look.
I started with just a little bit of Gloom in the crease, blending it into the yellow. I built up the green more directly into the crease and then packed on the green all over the lid. As always, I used the same shade along my lashline, blending it into the yellow.
I don't typically highlight my eye looks, but I did this time using Skull. I also used a pale blue liner in my waterline to brighten it a bit more.
If the green wasn't enough already, I went with green liner. This liner is from the Nyx Vivid Brights line, so you could pick any shade from the line and do a similar look. I just did a typical winged look and brought out the green shadow a bit so it outlines the liner.
Price: $14 * Buy At: Sephora * Size: 0.169 oz
The Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Night Bird is an intense black with a matte finish.
Sephora’s Cream Lip Stains come in a relatively small tube in comparison to most liquid lipsticks (ColourPop and Kat Von D for example). They have a traditional doe foot applicator and the tube is clear to easily see the product color. Night Bird is super intense and opaque; if you’re wanting a bold black lip, look no further. If you are wearing a dark color like Night Bird, you really don’t want it to move, so a matte liquid lipstick like this one is a great choice. The Cream Lip Stains dry down to a matte finish, but there is the slightest bit of tackiness left over. This sounds like a bad thing, but I really like it and I think if you tested out any of the shades in store, you would see where I’m coming from. The slight tackiness the product has keeps it from sucking all the moisture out of your lips, making it more comfortable to wear. The product will come off slightly on a cup or a straw, but it’s not bad and it doesn’t affect how the color looks on the lips.
Price: $6.99 * Buy At: Walgreens * Size: 0.28 oz
The Wet n Wild Studio Eyeshadow Palette in Quartz Center is a ten shadow palette with an emphasis on purple and grey shades.
The Wet n Wild Studio Eyeshadow Palettes are fairly compact and has a clear lid. It also comes with a little brush, and while it's too small to use comfortably, it could help in a pinch, as one end of the brush is a sort of fluffy dome. As you may notice in my swatches, the second half of the palette does not have a ton of color variation, which is a bit disappointing, even though the shadows are all still nice. Purples are kind of infamous for being difficult to formulate, so I was especially impressed with Wet n Wild producing such a consistent palette. You can see in my swatches that none of the purples swatched patchy or were dry in texture. With the color scheme, I definitely think it would need to be used in combination with other shadows. None of the shades are matte--the closest to being matte is the dark grey 4th from the right, as the shimmer disappears when blended. While a lot of the palette looks dark, you could still get a pretty subtle look with just the first few shades. I'm not exactly a fan of purple as a color in general, and I'm not a fan of how it looks with my blue eyes, but for $7, this palette is good to keep on hand for me personally. I would definitely recommend this palette to anyone that likes purple eyeshadow without a doubt.
Price: $5.50 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 0.33 oz / 9.5 g
The Essence All About Bronze Eyeshadow Palette is an eight pan palette consisting of warm neutral shadows with a majority of them having a satin finish.
The Essence All About Palettes come in a very compact package with a clear lid. All the shadows have a satin finish, some do borderline on shimmery. So, while the shadows have that textured finish like shimmery shadows do, they easily blend out to a nearly matte look in the crease. Five of the eight shadows are somewhat of a midtone brown, so that is a con of this palette. The texture of each shade is super soft and buttery, I don't know if I have any comparable shadow formulas. As you can imagine from the formula--and of course see in the swatches--the All About Bronze Palette is quite pigmented. Because of how compact the palette is, I love taking it (and the other shades in the "All About" line) travelling. If you combine the palettes, you can get a pretty broad color selection, without taking something around that is too bulky.
Price: $8 * Buy At: Target * Size: 16 g / 0.56 oz
The Elf Beautifully Bare Natural Glow Face Palette is a small quad with a highlight, bronzer and two blushes.
Elf has other quad palettes, with blushes, illuminators and contour. I liked this one because it has all three, and since it is so small, I figured it would be great to travel with. Since this quad is part of the new Beautifully Bare line instead of Elf’s studio line, the packaging is different. Instead of the matte black, the entire compact is mirrored, which could actually come in handy, in addition to just being visually appealing. All four shades felt smooth and creamy to the touch, but once I tried to swatch them on my arm, they became sheer and patchy. The contour shade is the best, but it's still not something that would make me reach for this quad, and I wouldn't say it alone is even worth $8. The two blushes aren’t great, and they look like the same color! So, if you aren't a fan of peachy, coral blushes, they won't be your cup of tea. The highlight is too dark on my fair skin as well, but it would be fine on anyone darker, however, it is hardly reflective and hardly even has shimmer, so I don't even know how flattering it would appear on a different skin tone. In case it wasn't apparent, I really don't like this quad and I was super disappointing. I usually like Elf products, so this was a big let down.
Price: $14 * Buy At: Sephora * Size: 5 ml / 0.169 fl oz
The Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Dark Forest Is a cool toned green with a matte finish.
Sephora’s Cream Lip Stains come in a relatively small tube in comparison to most liquid lipsticks (ColourPop and Kat Von D for example). They have a traditional doe foot applicator and the tube is clear to easily see the product color. If you are wearing a bold color like Dark Forest you really don’t want it to move, so a matte liquid lipstick like this one is a great choice. The Cream Lip Stains dry down to a matte finish, but there is the slightest bit of tackiness left over. This sounds like a negative, but I really like it and I think if you tested out any of the shades in store, you would see where I’m coming from. The slight tackiness the product has keeps it from sucking all the moisture out of your lips, making it more comfortable to wear. The product will come off slightly on a cup or a straw, but it’s not bad and it doesn’t affect how the color looks on the lips. I enjoy the formula of this liquid lipstick collection, and I would recommend checking them out in-store. There is a pretty wide variety of shades and within the collection they have a selection of bolder shades, like Dark Forest, which I am all about.
Price: $5 * Buy At: Five Below * Size: 6.9 g / 0.243 oz
The Desert Treasures Bronzer in Oasis is a traditional warm bronze shade with some shimmer. The Desert Treasures Bronzer in Sand Storm is a pink toned bronze also with some shimmer.
The Desert Treasures bronzers come in a black, square compact with a clear lid. I can see why people may not like these bronzers, as they do have some shimmer, Oasis more so than Sand Storm. But it is important to keep in mind that these are bronzers not contour powders. These are designed to warm up the skin and create a glow, not chisel out features. I don’t always show blended out swatches for products, but for these bronzers I felt it was important. While the intense swatches in the center would be pretty as eyeshadows, on someone fair like me, it would look terrible to apply a bronzer so opaquely. You can tell especially in the blended out swatch of Sand Storm that is definitely is a pinky bronze, and could really be used just as a blush. My skintone is on the pink side, so I would use a shade like this to bronze and warm up my face, but for more yellow or olive based skin tones, Oasis would be a better choice to use in the traditional sense of a bronzer.
Price: $40 * Buy At: Zoeva's Website * Size: 15 x 0.05 oz
The Zoeva Matte Spectrum Palette is a 15 pan palette of colorful, but muted shadows.
The Matte Spectrum Palette comes in very simplistic black cardboard packaging with some holographic stripes. It doesn't have a mirror, but I honestly don't care if a palette has a mirror or not. Each column is made up of shadows in the same color family, but they are all very different, with the exception of MT050 and MT040. As you can see in the swatches of the top and middle row, these colors are decently close to each other. I love the colors this palette has to offer, but I wouldn't typically use it on its own since it has no browns. While it looks pretty light in the pan, MT030 is a really great transition shade on my skin tone, so that of course means that it would be a pretty highlight on most other people. Formula wise, this palette is pretty solid. All 15 shadows are decently soft and the majority of the shades are buttery feeling. You can probably see in the swatches that a couple of shades aren't as soft, but they all apply smoothly. None of the shadows are patchy, so there really isn't a dud shadow in the palette. I know this kind of palette isn't a must have for everyone, but I think the shade range is quite unique and I love how all the colorful shades are all still a bit muted. I also just love Zoeva as a brand so I am always happy to support.