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.
Price: $10 * Buy At: Walmart * Size: 0.69 oz / 19.5 g
The Hard Candy Look Pro Matte Eyeshadow Pro Palette is a 15 pan palette of matte shadows in a variety of shades.
The Look Pro Matte Eyeshadow Palette has a clear lid with a little studded portion on the bottom. The palette comes with two dual ended brushes, that actually don’t seem like crappy throw-aways. I’m not saying they are amazing, but they are soft and silky and they are brushes that you would actually use in a daily eye look. The size and shape of the pans reminded me of the super pricy Viseart palettes, as well as the fact that the shades are all matte. Hard Candy is super underrated, so I had high hopes for this guy. The palette is mostly neutral, but it has the pops of muted color like the red, purple and dusty blue. All the shadows have a smooth, soft texture but they aren’t buttery. This helps avoid any fallout from application. Swatching the shadows don’t quite do this palette justice. They don’t swatch super intense, but they all are very even to apply. Since I have fair skin, it can be difficult at times to work with intensely opaque matte shadows, so a palette like this is great for daily use. I think pretty much any skintone would benefit from the wide selection of tones in this palette. I would definitely suggest this palette to beginners or people that just struggle with blending out super pigmented shadows. The shadows blend out easily and are still easy to build up. With the three browns in the center of the palette, I often use a fluffy brush to apply them as a transition shade and follow up with a more dense brush to build up the color directly into the crease.
Price: $36 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 3 x 0.07 oz & 6 x 0.03 oz
The Too Faced Peanut Butter and Honey Palette is a nine pan shadow palette following their popular Peanut Butter and Jelly Palette which I reviewed HERE. I bought this palette on the exclusive day for Ulta Platinum members, but it will be on Ulta's website March 1st and in-store March 19th.
The Too Faced Peanut Butter and Honey Palette is in the same format and packaging as Too Faced's other tin 9-pan palettes. Like the PB&J Palette, I think that the PB & Honey Palette is kind of gimmicky. I think it's targeted towards makeup collectors and people (like me) that love the idea of the palette. I love peanut butter a ton, so naturally this palette would interest me. I'm not saying it's gimmicky because of the shadow quality, but because of the color selection. I just don't see it as being a palette that someone would use everyday, or a palette to be used alone. Any way you use this palette, you're going to get a warm, orangey eye, so there's just not a ton of variety. Going Nuts is the darkest shade, but it's not the easiest to blend, so it's not a shade that I would use to add definition to the eyes. All three of the light shades (Creamed Honey, Bee Sweet & Queen Bee) are a bit chalky and not super pigmented, but they may show up better on someone with darker skin. Negatives aside, Feelin' Nutty and Peanut Butter are gorgeous warm crease shades, which I know are a favorite to a lot of people. Honey Brittle and Bee's Knees also look nice in the crease. Bee's Knees has some glitter, which is super noticeable int he pan, but it blends out on the eyes. Honey Buns is the most unique shade, and it is also one of the best formulated shadows in the palette, as you can see the color payoff in the swatches. If you are a fan of these warm browns (which a lot of people are) then you may want to look into this palette. But, if you are looking for a compact palette to use everyday, this may not be the best option.
Price: $30 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 6 g / 0.21 oz x2
The Tarte Don't Be Afraid to Dazzle Highlight & Contour Palette is a contour and highlight powder duo.
The duo isn’t too large, but it does have a decent sized mirror, so it makes for a pretty good travel companion. The packaging is pretty simple, it's just gold with a rather boring purple title on the lid. What drew me in to the duo was the contour shade--it’s not warm toned at all and it is a good color for my fair skintone. It is sort of interesting, however, because the highlight is a bit dark in comparison...so while the contour shade is perfect for my light skin, the highlight doesn’t show up as much as I would like. So in all honestly, while the contour is great for my skintone, I'd say the overall duo is designed for a medium skintone. One of my favorite highlights is in Tarte's Showstopper Palette (which is super underrated and I use it all the time), so if the highlight in this duo was the same as the one in that palette, this duo would be the best thing for me. Don't get me wrong, I do still like this duo. The contour shade is pigmented, but easy to blend out and the highlight also has a soft texture and applies evenly. Yes the contour and highlight shade are both full sized, but at $30 for two shades, it is honestly not the best deal. If you don't have a ton of contour or highlight shades, I would recommend putting in an extra $10 or so to just get a larger contour/highlight palette over this duo.
Price: $38 * Buy At: Sephora * Size: 8 x 0.06 oz
The Kat Von D Pastel Goth Eyeshadow Palette is an eight-pan palette with a rainbow of matte, pastel shades.
As always, Kat Von D has created gorgeous packaging for her Pastel Goth palette. This palette is pretty small and compact compared to her other palettes. Kat Von D tends to have large pan sizes, and the Pastel Goth palette is no exception. Normal full sized shadows (in singles and in palettes) are 0.05 oz, whereas the shadows in this palette are each 0.06 oz. Kat Von D is definitely one of my favorite brands; I have yet to try anything from her that I don’t love. I’ve seen that this palette has gotten some mixed reviews, but I really can’t see why! The shadows are soft and smooth, and they apply so effortlessly with full color payoff. I only used one swipe to get the pigmentation in the photos, which can’t always be said for matte, colorful shadows. So keep in mind that this palette is limited edition, so if you love pastel shades, or if you just love Kat Von D like I do, then don't hesitate to snatch this palette up before it's gone.
Price: $3.49 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 4 mL
The Essence I ♥ Stage Eyeshadow Base is a liquid eyeshadow primer with a peachy tint. The I ♥ Stage Eyeshadow Base has a sponge applicator, which I much prefer over eye primers that come in a squeeze tube. For a shadow primer, it has very full coverage. I usually use a concealer to cover the veins and discoloration on my lids, but this product is killing two birds with one stone. I don’t typically have a problem with my eyeshadow creasing, but it does fade throughout the day. So while I mainly love this shadow primer for creating an even base on my lids, I also appreciate the difference it makes in a makeup look’s wear time. The consistency of the primer is great; it is not thin or runny, but it isn't thick either. It is super easy to blend out on the eyes, using a brush or just your finger. I have been using this a ton since I got it and don't feel the need to use any of my other lid primers and bases any longer!
Price: $7.49 * Buy At: Ulta * Size: 0.13 fl oz
The Nyx Electromagnetic Cosmic Metals Lip Cream is a shimmery, metallic teal. See my review and swatches of the Cosmic Metals in Extraterrestrial, Dark Nebula and Galactic HERE.
The Cosmic Metals come in the same packaging as Nyx’s Liquid Suede Lip Creams: a clear tube with a black, faceted lid and a long, flat applicator. Just like the three shades I originally purchased, Electromagnetic has great color payoff. The more product you apply, the less chrome it looks and the more shimmery it appears. The product is not uncomfortable on the lips, but tends to be a bit sticky, definitely more so than a typical liquid lipstick. The wear becomes more comfortable after a little while, and it does not leave behind any gritty pieces of glitter, which is a good thing. The Cosmic Metals are not the easiest to remove, they tend to leave behind a slight tint and some shimmer. I recommend using an oil (I like coconut oil) to remove the lip color, to avoid any unnecessary scrubbing. I love unique, bold lip colors, and I have been getting behind the metallic lip trend. Electromagnetic is definitely not going to be everyone's cup of tea or their go-to lip color on a daily basis, but I think it's a gorgeous shade. It also matches my eyes pretty well so I think that looks cool as an added bonus.