I can’t remember who exactly it was that I heard raving about this brand, but I was intrigued. Since I don’t use a lot of American drugstore brands beyond the ones that are main stream and super popular, me not having heard of something is not really a surprise. When I went to check this brand out, I quickly learned that it has something of a cult following owing not only to it’s very inexpensive price points, but also to it’s highly pigmented, very functional products. Once again, I got almost every thing here from BeautyJoint. I can’t remember if I told you guys last post or not, but BeautyJoint’s shipping is ridiculous (starts at $14) for anything under $70, which is when they start offering free shipping, and so it just made sense for me to order the stuff that I wanted here even though I didn’t get everything that I wanted.
What was supposed to be just a few palettes turned into a bonafide haul that includes, four shadow palettes, two blush palettes and two highlighting palettes. Both the blush and highlighting palettes, I could have settled for one of each, but they were cheap enough that I got both so that I could swatch them.
The first and only palette that I’d initially heard of was the 24 Matte Palette. It’s pretty huge, and although it’s clearly cheap packaging, in the most unlikely turn of events, I wound up actually liking it. I kinda think this oversized beast is cute.
It’s really very complete palette with colours ranging from dark neutrals to very bright jewels. Although the name of the palette is 24 Matte, at least a quarter of the shades are in fact satins, mostly the brighter shades.
I’m gonna say that it’s probably a good thing that I got all of the palettes at the same time because based on the performance of, oh, a third of these shades? I likely wouldn’t have gotten anything else. Matte shades for any brand are hard to do. Most times they lack pigmentation and are hard and dusty, usually the lighter shades. In this palette, most of the top row of the neutral shades were the ones that gave me trouble. That grey and the black at the very end also. I had to scrape a layer off of all of them to be able to pick anything up with a brush, and even then the colours didn’t really have all that much depth. Unfortunately, I was having so much trouble getting good swatches that I got frustrated, put it aside and finally it just slipped my mind that I hadn’t gotten swatches for this particular one. I did however, take pictures of a simple look that I did using that grey all over the lid, that medium purple from the top row in the crease, and the black in the outer V of the lid.
I’m going to advise you to stay away from that palette, it does nothing to recommend the brand. If you’re looking for mattes and or brights, these next palettes are the ones that you should go for. The Modern Mattes and The Nude and Smokey palettes are really hard to find. The only reason that I was able to get them was because I stumbled onto them while searching for the 24, I didn’t even know that they existed before that. They’re available at BeautyJoint and at Blue Scandal. Get the from Blue Scandal, they’re cheaper there and they have more reasonable shipping prices.
One of the reasons that I was enamoured with these palettes is because they remind me a lot of the Viseart palettes, which I don’t own and never will because $80 for eye shadow if frigging pushing it. I don’t care how great they are. If you look at these you’ll see that they mimic the a few Viseart palettes like the Editorial Brights, Paris Nudes, Dark Nudes etc., the 24 looks like a combination of a few of the Viseart ones.
The Modern Mattes comes in two palettes of twelve colours each. One a very bright collection of editorial shades that will add pops of colour to any look, but it still manages to have some neutrals and transition shades thrown in. These smaller palettes swatched and applied much better than the 24.
The Nude and Smoky also comes in only two palettes, I didn’t get the smoky palette because I knew that I wouldn’t use most of the colours. The Nude palette is the perfect anyone nude that consists of matte and satin shades as well as some really great transition shades.
As well as swatching and applying well they also last forever, in fact, when used with primer I had a somewhat difficult time removing them.
Next I got both of the Matte Blush palettes. They’re divided into what can be thought of as light and dark tones or warm and cool. I didn’t see any reason not to get both as I saw some shades in the light palette that I knew would suit me like that mauve pink tone. They are very very pigmented, you need to go lightly with these.
They apply well and blend well, and they last for as long as you wear them and I think that both palettes will transition the seasons well. I don’t know that I’d recommend either of these palettes for someone of a very fair skin tone who isn’t already very good at applying makeup, since I feel that the extreme pigmentation may be hard for a noob to work with. The last shade in each palette can be used as a bronzer or matte contouring colour. The shade in the dark tones palette is more suitable for a contour because it’s quite neutral, the one in the light tones palette is a bit on the reddish/warm side.
I also got the two strobing and highlighting palettes. Like the blush palettes, they’re divided into light and dark tones. I didn’t particularly want the light tones palette but once again, it was cheap enough that it didn’t make too huge a difference. The shades are divided into the usual suspects. Deeper, more golden/warm based colours for the dark and cooler more white based shades for the light. In both of these palette you get both cream and powder shades to work with which I think makes it and even better value and gives you a choice in what you want to use. So if you like powders you have those, and if you like creams you have that as well. And if you’re like me that like creams in the winter and powders in the warmer months? Still covered.
They’re a bit harder to work with that the blushes or the shadows, being a bit stiffer in consistency. Every time I use one or the other, and I’ve used both because why not, I have to warm up the surface with a finger before I’m able to pick up product with a brush. This doesn’t detract from the overall value of the palette though, because once they do warm up, the go on beautifully and don’t budge till you remove them.
The dark tones palette has a good mix of colours ranging from a champagne pearl to a deep peach bronze, but I don’t think that the light tones palette has as much variation being mostly pale shades that I found almost interchangeable, with the exception of the middle top cream shade with is a white with a gorgeous lilac/blue shift.
The dark tones palette has more variety in the form of champagne, bronze and yellow gold’s and beautiful peachy shimmer.
Finally, I picked up some of the Velvet Matte lipsticks, I got four colours, but somehow or the other I wound up losing that bright orange shade, which is ok since that was the colour that I liked least as it was way too cool. In fact, all of these swing a little bit cool on me, but the other three colours weren’t terrible.
I went way somewhat outside my comfort zone on these picking very bright colours that I wouldn’t normally reach for because I rediscovered recently that bright colours look bomb on me. These unlike other drugstore mattes that I’ve been trying are a true matte. They glide on easily and dry to a matte finish. There is some transfer, but they do last for a bit. It has a slight scent of something almost fruity, but I’d be hard pressed to actually pinpoint what the scent is.
I think that for the price points they are excellent, excellent products. You really can’t go wrong with them, and I’m even going to go so far as to include the 24 in the mix, since based on the almost consistently rave reviews, I think that I got a one off bad palette which still for the most part performed ok. One other great thing that has happened since I got these is that I like matte shadows a lot more, because the formulation of these is so good and long lasting it encourages more frequent use. If you do decide to get these though, or really any other drugstore brand, I’d advise getting them from Blue Scandal even though they have less choices that Beauty Joint. There prices are on average $2 to $3 less than Beauty Joint being between $3.50 and $6.99 (with the lipsticks being around $1). They have better, more reasonable shipping and they’re super fast. As to the packaging of all these products, like I said I was very surprised that I liked all of the being that they’re not high end. I think that I liked the simplicity of it all, cause while they don’t look very expensive they neither look ridiculously cheap which often results in me not reaching for something, but I’ve found myself reaching for these a lot.