Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What I'm Not Buying: Morphe X James Charles


Morphe "I can't sell anything without influencers shilling it" Cosmetics has teamed up with influencer James Charles, who is utterly adored by 12-year-olds. And they have created a palette that they are marketing to children. 

And I obviously won't be buying. 

To start this post, I want to say that I am very much not in James Charles's target demographic. So, absolutely nothing about him appeals to me. While I'm sure people of all ages watch his content, his main demographic is very young girls who don't find it mind-numbing, immature, and painfully gimmicky that he calls quite literally everything "sister." But, I've been 12 before, and I remember desperately wanting to be like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, so I'm not trying to make fun of his young audience who are literally children acting like children.  

But I do find most makeup marketing to be incredibly manipulative, and influencer marketing—especially to young children—is downright predatory. 

At 19-years-old, James Charles himself is barely not a legal child. He rose to popularity by Photoshopping an outtake from his high school yearbook photos, and became extremely popular when he was dubbed the first male Covergirl. 

And this is a tangent that I absolutely need to explore. The VAST majority of makeup and beauty CEOs are men. In a market that is largely dominated by women consumers, there are very little women in power. When James Charles became the first male Covergirl, I was not excited. Yes, men wear makeup. And yes, a significant percentage of the men who wear makeup face an incredible amount of hatred and bigotry for doing so. And yes, we can all agree that men look fantastic in eyeliner. However, makeup companies market toward women. Women are the majority of consumers. And yet, in makeup, the few men who are involved rise to success at a much more rapid rate than women. 

So, no. I don't think that a teenage boy who was trying to get famous was a great choice for "Covergirl" over other women who had been working for a significantly larger period of time. 

I also don't care for James Charles because of the way he treated Marlena Stell, founder and CEO of Makeup Geek. Marlena made a comment about working with Netflix, and James made a really dumb and immature response:


Recently, Marlena exposed that some influencers charge upwards of $60,000 to feature a product in their video, and for some reason it surprised a lot of people to learn that influencers are only in this for the money and are incredibly manipulative. 

With that said, Makeup Geek has been failing for a few years at this point, largely due to unsuccessful, unoriginal, and inconsistent releases. Marlena has openly discussed her many personal issues, and it seems obvious that all of those issues negatively impacted her business. Makeup Geek was founded on duping/copying MAC shadows and selling them at a fraction of the cost, but whenever Makeup Geek has had to come up with original makeup, they've failed. 

But, James is an immature kid, and Marlena did build a once-successful international brand. Saying she "knows nothing about the industry" is delusional and really speaks to his young age, lack of tact, and lack of experience. 

And if you need any more proof that he is an attention seeker who just wanted to be famous:


So that's why I don't like James Charles. And if you've been reading my blog for a while now, you'll know that I also don't like Morphe and think they are one of the worst offenders in manipulating consumers. 

Let's look at the palette:


There's a lot going on here. This is a 39-pan eyeshadow palette, and it has a lot of colors. There are greens, yellows, blues, purples, mauves, golds, pinks, and browns. Personally, this palette just doesn't excite me. It looks like the colors have been somewhat divided into quads, which helps the color scheme from feeling too overwhelming, but it's just not one that speaks to me. 

I don't like the layout of this palette, and I really don't like when a brand makes different sized eyeshadow pans because they are essentially telling the consumer what shades they will use the most. I think if you're a young person who doesn't own much makeup, a color scheme like this can be really good. There are a lot of options, and there is a lot of opportunity to explore and be creative. Given his exact audience, I think this is a good color scheme. 

But given that it's Morphe and the quality is very likely not good, this palette should be more in the range of $15, not $40. Because for $40, you can get a mid-range palette of actually good quality. For $20, you can buy the BH Cosmetics Zodiac palette, which is of fantastic quality. Spending that much money on a mediocre palette is so unnecessary, especially when the people buying it are children who have little to no money. 

This palette looks like the Sephora Pro Editorial:


Juvia's Place Masquerade:


Too Faced Chocolate Gold:


Urban Decay Born to Run:


And for the young people Morphe fans, it has a lot of similarities with the Jaclyn Hill palette:


And the 39A:


Honestly though, writing this post feels a bit like a fruitless endeavor. Because the main people who will buy this palette are the James Charles fans who will buy anything that he attaches his name to. 

Hell, the palette hasn't even launched, and it already has a 5-star rating at Ulta:


Not surprisingly, the "reviews" are all from James Charles fans who are likely incredibly young:




And, as I've said before, there is not much that can stop a preteen fandom. 

But, this is a very expensive palette of mediocre quality. There are better palettes with these same shades. No, that palette won't have James Charles's name on it, and if that's the one thing that matters most to you, there's not much else I can say. 

For everyone else, if you are susceptible to hype, I'll warn you now that you will likely see a lot of influencers using and shilling this palette in the coming weeks. And that is only because people want to stay on people's "good side," and there is a lot of stroking egos that happens. But that doesn't mean you also need to have this palette. You already have colors that look like this, and if you don't, that's because you haven't wanted to buy them. So, don't make hype the reason you do now. And if you truly do want to try these colors, buy them in a palette with better quality. You'll still be spending the same amount of money, but you'll be getting more for it. 

But, on a different note, as a consumer and member of the beauty community, I am just really sick of all of this. I'm sick of Morphe palettes that are low quality and overpriced. I'm sick of all influencers. I don't want to see another influencer collaboration or influencer brand. I'm tired of lackluster makeup releases that are lazy because companies know that people will just buy them because of social media culture. 

I'm also tired of the makeup industry leaning younger and younger. Every person ages. And there are some industries, like the toy industry, that have to stay within their targeted age group. But the makeup industry has long been associated with adult women. And that's because there's a lot of cultural and misogynistic roots in the cosmetics industry. 

Wearing makeup—for a lot of women—has long been about needing to look attractive to men at home, in the workplace, and in the world at large. Some women believe they are ugly without makeup. Some women say that won't even leave the house without—at the very least—foundation and mascara. Some women won't wash the makeup off their face before they go to bed because they don't want their husbands to see them without makeup. 

There is a certain expectation that women will wear makeup and that women need to wear makeup. And if they don't, they are either deemed ugly, plain, a "tomboy," or a weaponized version of "feminist." 

This is something that I personally struggle with. I love doing my makeup, and it feels creative and fun for me. But sometimes, when I really think about it, I ask, "Why am I painting my face?" If the answer is "I want to look more attractive," that's not something that I am comfortable with for myself. But, my answer is usually, "Because it's fun and I like playing with colors."

Given how layered the relationship between women and makeup is, it is especially disappointing that most brands are owned by men, that men in makeup are easily given opportunities that women in makeup are not, and that the marketing is now leaning so much younger. 

Makeup, in a lot of ways, ages and sexualizes children. Kat Von D had a red lipstick called "Underage Red," and when people criticized the inappropriate name, she said she named it that because she would wear red lipstick to appear older to get into clubs. 

So having a lot of makeup themed around unicorns, mermaids, My Little Pony, and Disney—and having packaging that looks like play makeup or literal toys—sends a very complicated and potentially dangerous message. 

Relating all of this back to James Charles, I don't think he tells his young audience that they need to wear makeup to make themselves more attractive to men. If anything, I'm sure his channel celebrates having fun and playing with colors, which is what I myself like about makeup. But he is so young, and he has been on YouTube since he was an actual child. And the main people watching him are actual children. 

And he is a man—with an audience of mainly female children—who sought out the makeup community for fame and attention and who actively puts down other women in beauty. 

So, as an adult woman, I find it really disheartening that this is the direction the industry is currently heading. I would much prefer women getting these kind of opportunities, especially women of color. The beauty industry doesn't need an overpriced, poor-quality palette with colors we've already seen targeted at children. It needs to give opportunity to those who have been consistently shut out and excluded. 

Preying off of a preteen female fandom to make money isn't new—just look at the Justin Beiber line of perfumes. Because I'm so sure that 17-year-old Justin was truly passionate about selling a fruity scent called "Girlfriend." And I can guarantee that if Titanic-era Leonardo DiCaprio or Justin Timberlake came out with an overpriced, crappy makeup palette, I would have begged my parents to buy it too. But just because it isn't new doesn't mean that it isn't predatory. And James Charles promising to be everyone's best friend and wanting everyone to "support" him and buy his palette while sitting in his mansion isn't any less predatory. 

And while this is Morphe, which is only a thing at all because of influencer shilling, and I don't expect anything more from them, I hope this is a trend that the beauty community at large—and the adult women who make up 99% of the consumer base—are able to break. 

I'm not in James Charles's target demographic, so no one is trying to sell me this palette. Nonetheless, there is not much about it that I like or would want to support. So, I'm not buying. 

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Friday, November 9, 2018

What I'm Not Buying: Huda Beauty The New Nudes Palette (with Dupes)


Huda Beauty has released their newest palette, which is called the New Nudes, despite the fact that the shades are neither new or inclusive of nudes. 

And I won't be buying. 

Before we get into that, I just want to say that if you've been reading this blog for two years, you'll know that the last US election really hit me hard. And I am still reeling from the recent one. While there is much to celebrate and be happy about, I don't think elections will feel easy or uncomplicated for me for a while. So in an effort to get my mind off of things, I wanted to talk about this palette and why you don't need it. 

But because I'm reeling from this election and my general disgust for a large portion of my country, this palette especially pisses me off for its lack of inclusivity in color story and name. 

Let's start with the name. The "new" nudes. 

So, this is a new color scheme? This is a new play on "nudes" that we haven't seen before?

Cool. Okay. 

But... what about the BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel palette?


Or the Lorac Unzipped that's been around forever?


The Lorac Mega Pro 3?


What about the Urban Decay Naked 3, the name of which seems to imply a "nude" color scheme?



Or that really non-inclusive Too Faced palette, aptly called White Peach?


But those are older releases! This is a NEW take on repetitive rose-toned "nudes."

Oh, so you mean like the new Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes palette?


Or the Urban Decay Naked Cherry?


So, yeah. Calling something "new" doesn't make it new. Sorry to break it to you, Huda Beauty, but rose-toned palettes have been around forever. Just because you've got some chunky glitter shades thrown in doesn't mean you've made anything "new."

And, while we're talking, Huda Beauty, calling something "nude" seems to imply a skin color. And having a really light palette that is called "nude" is not only wrong, excluding, and insulting to literally every other skin tone, but that's also not "new." Brands have been making this gross misjudgment since before you were even relevant. In 2018, especially, this is a bad look. 

I could tell you about how repetitive this color scheme is and how you most definitely already have these shades already (and I guess I did by displaying the many similar palettes above), but I thought it would be better to show how easy it is to recreate this palette with shadows you already have. 

So, I did. I duped it. 

As a small disclaimer, I based my shadow selections off of these swatches, which are very clearly heavily applied and therefore not really indicative of true colors:



And I went from this:

To this:


Row 1: Colourpop Say I Do, Colourpop High Strung, BH Cosmetics matte peach, MAC Cranberry, Coloured Raine Ladyship, and Lime Crime Venus

Row 2: Colourpop Silver Lining, ABH Pink Champagne, BH Cosmetics matte mauve, ABH Rosette, Ardency Inn Rose Gold, and Viseart shimmery magenta

Row 3: Coloured Raine Heir, ABH Dusty Rose, Coloured Raine Moments, Makeup Geek Bitten, Make Up For Ever shimmery bronze, and Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear

Now, if you're going to argue that this duped palette doesn't have those chunky glitter shades, I would say to use any Stila Glitter and Glow shadows you might have. 

Like Rose Gold Retro:


Or Smoky Storm:


Here is a look I created with my dupe palette and Stila Rose Gold Retro:




Lid: Ardency Inn Rose Gold and Stila Rose Gold Retro
Transition: BH Cosmetics matte peach
Crease: Colourpop Silver Lining
Outer corner: ABH Rosette and Makeup Geek Bitten
Brow bone: matte white
Inner corner: Urban Decay Roadstripe
Lower lash line: ABH Rosette

Similarly with how I felt when I duped the Natasha Denona Gold palette, my duped New Nudes palette left me really underwhelmed. I think I made a version that is more friendly toward people of color, but there still feel to be too many light shades. Some of these shadows barely show up on me, and I have a light to medium skin tone. So how will those perform on people with a darker skin tone?

The New Nudes also feels utterly monochromatic. All of these palettes feel that way. Naked Cherry, Naked 3, Charlotte Tilbury Stars in Your Eyes—they're all one note: rosy. And if I'm going to spend upwards of $70 on a palette, it sure as hell better be more than one note that I've seen over and over.

And for the record, yes, I think promotional pictures of this palette look really appealing. I like pastel shades, and I like pinks and purples. But when I look at the duped palette with my shadows that aren't new to me, I'm just not that excited. And that's because it's the newness of products that really have the big pull over us, even when we know we already have those shades in our collection. And if I don't want to use my own shadows within this color scheme, why should I pay $70 for new versions of these same colors?

This palette just doesn't have anything exciting to offer—other than it's a new palette, and that newness excites people. It's a palette that a lot of brands have done, and it continues to be a palette that is not inclusive. It is meant for white people and others with a light skin tone. And if there is ANYTHING that the makeup community doesn't need, it's exactly that. It continues to astound me how many brands do not prioritize diversity and inclusivity, and I'm disappointed in this latest offering from Huda. 

For me, I have owned the Naked 3 and decluttered it, owned Loraz Unzipped and decluttered it, owned the Carli Bybel palette and decluttered it, and can dupe this palette with shadows in my own collection—the combination of which doesn't excite me. This color scheme is one that I don't feel I can get too many diverse looks from, and I just have other palettes within my collection that excite me more. 

There's nothing new about The New Nudes and nothing that makes me want to buy it. So, I won't.

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

What I'm Not Buying: Natasha Denona Gold Palette (with Dupes)


Despite the fact that it's October and the holidays are still months away, the holiday season product rollout has begun, and I wanted to talk about one palette that gave me some strange, complicated feelings: Natasha Denona Gold. 

I won't be buying. 

But, to be honest, it took me a beat to come to that decision. When I first saw the palette, my eyes rolled into the back of my head. This is your holiday offering, Natasha Denona? This?? Who the hell doesn't have gold and brown eyeshadows? 

But then a few shades got to me, most notably Dijon (the mustard) and Lime Chrome (the lime/gold duochrome). So then I started reasoning with myself. 

Would I use all the shadows in it? 

Yes. 

Would the looks complement my eyes?

Absolutely. 

Do I literally own all of these colors already?

Oh. (sigh) Yes. Of Course I do. 

And that was what snapped me back into reality after being sucked in by a mustard shade and a lime/gold duochrome, both of which I already own. 

What's interesting about this momentary dilemma is that these facts about me haven't changed:
  • I think Natasha Denona is overpriced and not worth the hype.
  • The packaging of ND products is laughable when considering the price.
  • I like ND shimmers, but not more than others in my collection. 
  • I don't like ND mattes and have plenty of neutral mattes that I love. 

So why was I lusting after this palette?

Because it's gold! And gold looks really good on my skin tone and against my eye color. 

Since I didn't want this to turn into a $129 mistake, I did the only sensible thing I could do. 

I duped it. 


My duped palette:


Row 1: Colourpop Tea Garden, Juvia's Place Chi, Ardency Inn Heaven, Makeup Geek Creme Brulee, and MAC Amber Lights
Row 2: Costal Scents Lake Shore, Makeup Geek Desert Sands, Colourpop Two Birds, Coloured Raine Duchess, and Make Up For Ever bronze shimmer
Row 3: Colourpop Rosé All Day, Viseart shimmery warm brown, Coloured Raine Your Majesty, Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear, and Coloured Rain Super Star

There are a few notable differences in my palette. One is that I replaced the dark teal shade with a shimmery deep royal blue. Another is that I replaced the shimmery white "shadow topper" with a shimmery white gold, which I felt was more appropriate for the theme of the palette. Otherwise, even though the colors don't necessarily match up in these two photos, according to swatches I've seen, this is a pretty accurate dupe. 

And you know what's really interesting about this exercise of duping this palette? I am not inspired by it AT ALL. Normally, when I dupe a color story, I immediately want to jump into using the palette. But with this one, I feel zero desire to do so. Because it's just a bunch of golds and browns with two blues thrown in. It's not exciting or inspiring to me, and I have no idea why I even had a moment where I thought I might want the one from Natasha Denona. 

Let's look at swatches:


As we all know, swatches provided by the brand are misleading and inaccurate. The swatches in the above picture make the palette look, in my opinion, a lot more diverse than it actually is. In my quest to find accurate swatches, I came across a YouTube video (linked here) of someone doing eye swatches of this palette. I highly recommend watching this video if you're still on the fence about buying this palette as the swatches really showed me personally how average these shadows really are. 

And when something is average, I'm not spending $129.

Another thing that's worth noting is that the Gold palette isn't very gold. In the above swatches, it looks like only one or two shadows are actually gold, and there appear to be a lot more browns and bronzes. 

So, despite knowing that this palette is filled with the most simple color scheme imaginable, that it's not actually all that gold, and that we likely all have the ability to dupe this palette with shadows in our collection, why do we want it?

Because it's $129

and

People hype Natasha Denona. 

This strange culture exists, especially in beauty and fashion, that if something has a high price tag, there must be some reason for that. There must be something about that product or handbag or coat to warrant such an insane price tag. And sometimes there is. But most of the time, there's not. 

I'll use Pat McGrath as an example as I feel her products are often mentioned in conversations with Natasha Denona because of the similarity in price. I own two Pat McGrath palettes. One is the Mothership IV, and it is one of the most spectacular makeup products I have ever seen. The color selection is gorgeous, the quality is top notch, and the packaging is on an entirely other level from any other brand. That palette, to me, is worth $125.

I also own the Pat McGrath Platinum Bronze palette. The color selection is muted and a little bland, the quality is average, and the packaging is just okay. I don't think it's worth $55.  

But there is certainly a feeling in the beauty community that if you spend a lot of money on one item, you have to convince yourself that it's worth it. If I just wanted the shadows in the Mothership IV palette, I wouldn't say it's worth the money. But when you include the packaging and the prestige of Pat McGrath, that makes the price climb. 

All of these elements are missing in the Natasha Denona palettes. So, for me, I'm paying a ton of money for nice shimmers that are comparable to the formula in the Jouer Skinny Dip palette and average mattes. 

That's not to say that the people who rave about Natasha Denona are fooling themselves or blatantly lying. I just personally think that there's a certain amount of justifying that a lot of people do to make it "okay" to spend so much money on average eyeshadows in crappy packaging. 

The Gold palette looks like a less diverse version of ABH Subculture:


And Too Faced Chocolate Gold:


And also looks like the Lorac Unzipped Gold:


But it really looks like the left side of the Natasha Denona Star palette:


As well as the Natasha Denona mini Star palette:


One thing that I can say about the Gold palette is that there aren't many other palettes that I could think of that share a similar color scheme. And that's largely because the Gold palette is very one note. It's not very diverse, and I think it's the kind of palette that a lot of people will get bored with in a short amount of time. 

I know that several years ago, I would have seen this palette and HAD to have it. I love the way that gold eyeshadows look on me, and I would have loved a palette full of them. But, even though I would say that gold looks the "best" on me, I'm so bored with neutral looks that I don't gravitate toward gold shades, and I certainly don't want to pair them with browns. I like using color, and I like finding interesting color combinations. The Gold palette feels about three to five years too late to me because there's nothing about it that makes it that much better than what people have already owned for years. 

This is also a palette that I imagine people will forget about and move on from fairly quickly. I don't really predict seeing people rave about golds and browns for more than a few weeks because they've been around forever. If Too Faced or Tarte released this palette, no one would be talking about it. The only reason it has any discussion is because of the high price. 

This is a great palette to reinforce the idea that you really don't need to rebuy what you already own. And this can be an excellent palette to try and dupe from your own collection. This was especially valuable for me because when I duped the palette, I realized I didn't want to use it. I'm just not inspired by the color scheme. I'm especially grateful for this because it could have been a really expensive mistake for me to make, and I can easily see this palette being one that I bought, used for two days, and pushed to the back of my collection. And what a waste of money that would have been. 

I don't need this palette, and it turns out that I don't really even like it, so I won't be buying. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Weekly Looks: BH Cosmetics Zodiac and Singles

I've had an interesting revelation over the past few weeks, which is that for all the time I spent obsessing over eyeshadow palettes, looking up swatches, and watching reviews—and all the money I have burned buying them—I really just don't like many of them.

In every palette I own, there are colors that I don't like and don't use. There was a series going around YouTube for a while were people talked about their least favorite shadows in every palette. Because it is impossible for a brand to put out a palette where every single person will love every single shade. And it is also very rare to come across a pre-made palette where you love every single shadow and wouldn't change anything about the color story.

And I noticed that in the palettes that I have duped or put together myself, I don't typically have a least favorite shadow because I replace any shade I don't like with one that I do.

Because of this, I've been using my palettes less and less and favoring my singles or palettes I've made myself. But toward the end of this week, I used an old favorite and was reminded of how how great—and rare!—it is to find a palette you really love.

Here are six looks I did this week.

Look 1: Fyrinnae Aztec Gold





Lid: Aztec Gold
Transition: Viseart matte warm brown
Crease: Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear
Inner corner: Make Up For Ever Pearl
Brow bone: Viseart matte white
Lower lash line: Aztec Gold

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Fyrinnae's Aztec Gold is one of my absolute top favorite shadows and one of the most unique in my collection. It has been a while since I used this shadow (mainly because I haven't been doing as many "neutral" looks), but as soon as I put this on, I was kicking myself for not using it more often. I just love this shadow and think it completely complements my warm-toned olive skin. 

Look 2: Duped The Wants





Lid: Makeup Geek Mai Tai
Transition: Costal Scents Petal Peach
Crease: Viseart shimmer purple
Outer corner: Coloured Raine Queen Mother
Inner corner: Make Up For Ever Pearl
Brow bone: Viseart matte white
Lower lash line: Ardency Inn Violet

This was an experiment, and I liked the look more in theory than in application. I really liked Mai Tai paired with Violet, but the Viseart shimmery purple in the crease made the look a little too warm-toned than I was wanting. 

Look 3: BH Cosmetics Zodiac 





Lid: Cancer shimmer
Transition: Virgo matte
Crease: Cancer matte
Inner corner: Center highlight
Brow bone: Center highlight
Lower lash line: Taurus matte

I pulled out BH Cosmetics Zodiac by the middle of the week and immediately remembered how much I love it. I wanted to use some shadows that I hadn't used before, so I started with the Cancer shimmer. This isn't typically a color that I reach for, but I absolutely loved it paired with the lilac shades. The Virgo matte shade is easily one of my favorite shadows in the palette and most loved transition color, and I enjoyed how it gave a little warmth to an otherwise cool look.  

Look 4: BH Cosmetics Zodiac 




Lid: Capricorn shimmer
Center of lid: Center highlight
Transition: Aquarius matte
Crease: Capricorn matte
Inner corner: Center highlight
Brow bone: Center highlight
Lower lash line: Capricorn matte

This was also a look that I loved, though I partially wish that I would not have used the center highlight shade in the middle of my lid. I thought it was going to be more light-reflective and transformative, but it ended up making the olive look a little too gold. This was the most "neutral" of all the looks I did with this palette, but I still thought it was interesting and pretty. 

Look 5: BH Cosmetics Zodiac 




Lid: Aries shimmer
Transition: Virgo matte
Crease: Cancer matte
Inner corner: Center highlight
Brow bone: Center highlight
Lower lash line: Taurus matte

This look is a bit similar to one I've done before, but I typically use a blue with a lot of gold in it instead of one that is more cool-toned. I received a ton of compliments on this look, and people told me that they felt it really showed off my eye color. I found that interesting because if I want my eyes to stand out, I usually wear gold or olive colors, but I appreciated the compliments. I felt a bit like a mermaid when I wore this look, which is never a bad thing. 

Look 6: BH Cosmetics Zodiac 




Lid: Taurus shimmer (applied wet)
Transition: Virgo matte
Crease: Gemini matte
Outer corner: Taurus matte
Inner corner: Center highlight
Brow bone: Center highlight
Lower lash line: Taurus matte

For this look, I was inspired by the Taurus section of the palette, which has a shimmery champagne and a dark purple matte. I knew that I didn't want the look to be overly dark, so I went with a cool-toned lavender in the crease and darkened that with the deeper purple in the outer corner. This is a look that feels neutral to me but also bright and colorful, which I love. 

I'm glad to have "rediscovered" my BH Cosmetics Zodiac palette this week, and I feel confident to say that if I did a complete purge of all of my pre-made eyeshadow palettes (which I might do!), this would be one that would stay. 

This is also why I personally was so disappointed in the Makeup Revolution Emily Edit: The Wants palette. About the formula and quality, I've heard so many people say, "What do you expect from a $20 palette??"

Well, THIS is what I expect. 

I expect rich pigment, metallic shimmers, smooth mattes, and saturated looks. I bought BH Cosmetics Zodiac for $24, but at the time of writing this post, it is on sale for $18. This palette, I think, has phenomenal quality, and this is what I meant when I said that I was not going to spend time to make shadows in The Wants palette work when I already own great shadows that perform well on their own (even those from less expensive brands). 

This palette is such a winner for me, and I still love it close to a year after I bought it. 

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