|Left to right, 1st row: Honey Lust, Poppyseed, and Quarry|
2nd row: Antiqued, Embark, and Noir
3rd row: Haux, Star Violet, and Sketch
Imagine then how surprised I was when I gleefully used this palette for the first time. THIS is what all the fuss is about??? Is the blogging world completely drunk on the koolaid or am I just not doing this correctly. I looked at my varied collection of mostly cheap makeup brushes and thought maybe the shadows were under performing because I was using crappy brushes. But then I remembered that these are the same brushes that I have used to apply Wet and Wild beautifully, as well as other palettes like Boudoir Eyes and Kat von D's Ladybird. So the problem was not in the brushes.
What exactly underwhelmed me about this palette? It was not the size, though that is the one thing people have been complaining of in their reviews. If you read the description online you know that these are smaller shadows that the standard potted ones, and if you buy them in person well you really have no excuse. I knew that this was a sample started set so I was ok with the smaller size. I bought it because it let me try out a bunch of MAC eyeshadows without committing to a full size. My chief complaints are TEXTURE and BLENDABILITY.
Two of the lighter shades (Poppyseed and Haux) that one would expect to use as bases or for blending are absolutely terrible. As a base they apply unevenly and quite sheer. I felt like I really had to layer and layer to get any opacity. And then they did not blend at all. They felt quite stiff and dragged horribly. First time I thought it was the heat that was making me sweating. Second time I thought it was my brush. So I applied another shadow that I know blends like a dream (Fuzzy Handcuffs from Too Faced Boudoir Eyes) and it went on buttery and soft. The only light shade that worked well enough for blending was Quarry. Honey Lust was atrocious. Applied dry I barely got any pigmentation save for random scattered sparkles and lots of fallout. I tried applying it wet and directly with my fingers and it was only slightly better. Noir looked pretty in the pan, but applied it was just your regular blackish matte shadow with random copper gold flecks thrown in for I don't know what purpose.
Shades that were pretty good besides Quarry were Antiqued, Embark and Sketch. The best one was Sketch because it had great pigmentation and looks beautiful when used as part of a smoky eye. Antiqued is a very pretty copper that leans red and looks great on brown eyes such as mine. This, along with Sketch were my favorite two. Embark was ok. The only one that I'm unsure about is Star Violet. It is a beautiful color shimmery burgundy violet color, but unfortunately it was hard to build up.
So what is the takeaway? MAC is not all it's cracked up to be. That's not to say that this palette was horrible. Now that I've played around with it, I've been able to get some pretty nice eye looks. However, I was only impressed or at least pleased with four of the shades. The other 5 were mostly busts. From a line like MAC that has such a stellar reputation I expected a bit more. And I'm a bit flabbergasted as to why practically no one is mentioning the faults with this palette. It seems like review after review is gushing about how great they are. The only review that seemed to bring up the same issues was this one by Karen on Makeup and Beauty Blog. That just goes to show you how quirky makeup is. To end this, I'll post a few looks I got from this palette.
Have a great day!!!!