Friday, March 31, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Ofra x Nikkietutorials

Instagram brand Ofra Cosmetics has teamed up with YouTube personality Nikkietutorials for an incredibly expensive collaboration of three liquid lipsticks and a highlighter.

And I won't be buying.

I've mentioned before that I am really not a fan of collaborations. And that is because usually what happens is that either the price is crazy high or the quality of the product is pretty bad, or a combination of both. The reason for this is that both parties need to be paid. So, unless the brand wants to take a slight hit for the added exposure of working with someone (and very rarely do brands decide to do this), the price has to go up or the products need to be cheaper to make while selling for the same price.

As a disclaimer, I have never tried Ofra Cosmetics. And I have never heard of them outside the YT world. The first time I heard of them is when they collaborated with KathleenLights on a liquid lipstick, and then I only heard about them through the avalanche of people wanting to get something Kathleen recommended.

Here's my thing: I don't like or trust brands like this that only exist because they have paid some person on YT to shill their products. I think it wholly compromises the integrity of what the YouTube platform was once supposed to be. I don't know how in the hell regular consumers are expected to trust most people on YT when the entire platform has become more of a home shopping network than women shooting the shit and talking about makeup.

If the only reason I am going to learn about your brand is because you paid KathleenLights or Jaclyn Hill or Nikkietutorials to talk about you, then I am sure as hell not going to buy anything from you. End of story. This is my personal preference.

I have recently delved into the world of indie makeup (specifically eyeshadows), and I have not heard one of these "major" YT personalities talk about the brands I have purchased from. I have tried Morphe, Colourpop, Violet Voss, BH Cosmetics, etc. and the shadows from Fyrinnae blow all those out of the water. They are even better that a lot of shadows I've tried from Makeup Geek. And yet, none of these "influencers" talk about Fyrinnae. And they are supposed to be makeup enthusiasts who have made a career out of trying makeup products and "informing" people of great new products.

Thing is, I didn't just recently learn about Fyrinnae or other indie brands. Not by a long shot. I have been aware of the indie community for years. But I never dipped my toes in because 1.) I didn't think I would like loose shadows. 2.) (And this is embarrassing to admit) I wasn't hearing about them all the time the way I was hearing about MAC and Urban Decay and Too Faced, and so I figured they weren't very good. But now I see some of my indie shadows as the best in my collection, and I feel they are the best kept secret in this community.

And the reason they are a "secret" is because the brands haven't been paying people gobs of money to shill their products. Many of the brands are a one-person shop, and turnaround time can be a couple weeks or more because of that. But when I see these people on YT claim that Morphe makes the greatest shadows of all time and that if you can't work with them, you're bad at makeup (looking at you, MannyMUA), I have to call major, major bullshit.

And so because of that, I just have zero interest in a brand like Orfa that seems to be riding the coattails of these people on YT.

Let's talk about this collection of products.

You've got three liquid lipsticks and a highlighter from a small, internet brand. Since this is all packaged together and you cannot buy these products separately, that usually means the products are discounted in some way. Personally, I think this collection of items should cost $35 at the most. I think that's a fair price, leaning on the generous side. 

You wanna know something hilarious? This collection has a (fake) retail price of $79!!!

Can we all take a moment and pick our jaws off the ground or massage our cheeks from laughing too hard? When I first heard that price, I laughed so hard and actually said, "You have to be f***ing kidding me." And I instantly felt bad for all the young people out there who were going to spend this money (or their parents' money) on this ridiculous overpriced stuff. 

I said it had a "fake" retail value of $79 and that's because, "conveniently," Nikkie has an affiliate coupon code! Yay! No one expected that at all! And not only that, the coupon code is for 30% off, bringing the price down to $55.30. 

Now, I probably don't need to tell you this, but this entire scheme is complete bullshit. If you have ever worked retail or know someone who owns a business, you know that most sales are utter crap. Retailers mark up the original cost of the item to whatever the sale price is. So, if something is typically $20 and they are running a 20% off sale, they will mark up the original cost of the item to $24 so that when you apply the discount, it comes to $20, which was the original price. People are much more likely to buy something if it is on sale, which is why this is something many retailers do. 

The cost of this collaboration was never supposed to be $79. And, as I said, Nikkie "conveniently" has an affiliate coupon code. So, people think that they are getting this huge discount, but they're not. It is setup that way so that Nikkie can get profits off of the people who use her code. Even still, $55 for this is, in my opinion, a ripoff. I think all this stuff is overpriced considering prices of midrange brands sold at Sephora. 

As I mentioned, you cannot buy any of these items individually, and, inevitably, there is at least one product in this bundle that will not work for most people who buy it. This is just not a value whatsoever. 

To give this collaboration some credit, I do think that effort was made to include as many skin tones as possible. Even if something is not done perfectly, and even if this effort means that all the products cannot physically work for everyone, I am happy to see that an effort was made to be inclusive. 

With that said, I can say that, personally, I would get use—maybe—out of the lightest lipstick shade. And I don't even like liquid lipstick, so that's a stretch. 

I wouldn't use the highlighter. I've mentioned before that a highlighter is a highlighter and I already have plenty. Added to that, I don't think the three colors swirled together would look good on my skin and I would not use at least one if not two of the individual colors as highlighter at all. I also would not use these colors as eyeshadow since I already have a metric ton of eyeshadow that I love. Why would I try hard to make a highlighter "work" as eyeshadow when I already have eyeshadow? I wouldn't. 

The bright pink lipstick would not flatter me, and I highly doubt it would be a color that most people would enjoy or would have purchased on their own. I also wouldn't use the metallic brown shade. I think it's a cool shade and am glad she thought to include a shade like that, but I personally would not wear it much if ever. 

So, this was an incredibly easy pass for me. It was so easy that it kind of slipped my mind to write a post on it. But I really wanted to talk about how products are marketed and how shady this kind of behavior can be. Especially in a platform like YouTube, which can be incredibly manipulative. When you are watching QVC, you know you are watching an advertisement. When a commercial comes on, you know exactly what it is. But when you have subscribed to a person on a platform like YouTube to learn how to apply makeup and to learn what people enjoy, you don't immediately think that you are watching an advertisement. Many people on YT are very deceptive about disclosing if they are being paid to talk about a product. And that is because they DON'T want people to know they are watching an advertisement. They want people to think they are watching a friend who is honest. And that is grotesque to me. 

This collaboration reminds me of everything I dislike about the beauty community and specifically the YT community. And I won't be buying. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: MAC Basic Bitch Palette

MAC will soon release a palette entitled "Basic Bitch" with eight eyeshadows and one blush. 

And I won't be buying. 

So, I think MAC is struggling. And that makes me kind of sad in a way. And I know it's dumb that it makes me sad because it's a company. But as I've mentioned before, a MAC artist taught me how to apply makeup, and my first ever experience with makeup was through MAC. I have a lot of nostalgia tied to this brand, and I also really appreciate and celebrate their MAC AIDS Fund campaign. 

What hurt MAC, I think, was an inability to move forward with their products and a (likely) cocky attitude that they would always reign supreme. When I first started watching YouTube videos, people only ever talked about MAC. And for years, they were the only brand I ever used. But then Urban Decay came out with the Naked palette, several other brands copied them, and then it didn't make sense to spend $12 per shadow at MAC when you could buy a palette for so much cheaper. Brands became aware of the blog and YT space, and many capitalized on that, but not MAC. 

Adding to this mess, MAC continued to come out with limited edition collections that were rushed, uninspired, and significantly lacking in quality. That was when I personally stopped paying attention to MAC. I didn't want to be caught up in the special collections because they were releasing so frequently and all the products were bad. And then I found better products and slowly replaced almost everything from MAC in my collection. In terms of makeup, I have three MAC singe eyeshadows—Amber Lights, Coppering, and Cranberry—and the C'est Chic palette in addition to two lipsticks: Velvet Teddy and Bare Again. 

I actually went into a MAC store recently because I was interested in buying a pigment. (I live in NYC, so this may be a problem specific to NYC for what it's worth.) I walked in and told the sales associate that I wanted this specific pigment and nothing else. She held the pigment hostage to tell me about the new collection of products they had. There were no other customers in the store, and all the other sales associates were watching us. I told the woman repeatedly that I did not want anything else, that I had a shit ton of makeup already, and just wanted that one pigment. She ignored me and kept trying to get me to try all this other stuff. I finally told her that I had to leave and didn't have time for this. That was when I was informed that they were actually out of stock of the one item that I actually wanted. I was floored. I immediately left and because of this experience, I have not tried to get that pigment since. MAC stores have really terrible customer service across the board in NYC (I can't speak to elsewhere), and I think it adds to this really negative perception a lot of people have about the brand. 

Recently, it was announced that MAC will now be selling their products inside Ulta. This came about a year or so after MAC announced that they were cutting the prices of their eyeshadows in half. All of this tells me that MAC is likely taking a hit from all these years of not stepping up their game and adding anything innovative to the beauty community. They lost their high ranking years ago (at least in the US), but operated as though they had not. 

Even more recently, MAC had a 25% off sale, which was unheard of. I took advantage of it to buy duplicates of some of my all-time favorite brushes, and I was incredibly disappointed to see that the brushes have significantly changed from years ago. I have a 239 brush from about seven years ago that is still going strong as my all-time favorite, and I was dismayed to see that the 239 brush is now quite a bit bigger (including the bristles) from my older one. 

MAC also changed their cruelty-free status a few years ago to no longer being cruelty-free, and that is a major step in the wrong direction. 

With all of that in mind, there just isn't a ton for me to love about MAC right now. And while I think it's great that MAC is finally trying to step up their game and bring something new to the table, I'm just not excited by what they're doing and it feels misguided and almost a little too late. 

Let's look at Basic Bitch:

For me personally, I am not a huge pan of palettes that come with face and eye products together. I know that may be petty, but that is just a personal preference for me. So immediately, I'm not thrilled that this palette comes with a blush, especially a blush that looks like it would not flatter all skin tones. 

In that same petty vein, I really dislike it when shadows are not the same size in palettes. The only time I have ever really not cared about this is in the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye palette. The reason I don't like this is because a) I don't like how the palette doesn't look uniform and b) I don't like that the brand is making the decision for me on what colors I will use the most. 

In Basic Bitch, for example, I am much more likely to use the gold and copper shades more than I would the red, purple, and gray colors. If the white is a matte (as opposed to a shimmer) that is also a color I would use more often than all the larger pans. And so it would frustrate me to have less product of the colors I know I would use and more of the colors I would use less. And maybe this was intentional on MAC's part. Maybe (if this is a permanent item) the idea is that they hope people run out of the neutral lid shades first and then buy another palette to replace those colors. If this isn't the thought behind it, then I really don't understand why they chose to size the shadows in this way. 

The thing about this palette is that it is a self-proclaimed "basic" palette. So there are basic colors in here that primarily lean cool-toned and can allow someone to do a natural eye, smoky eye, and plum/berry eye. In that sense, I think this color scheme is smart, but unfortunately, this is nothing new or all that special for the majority of makeup users. 

The swatches don't look all that great to me. They don't look terrible, but they look they they have been applied in multiple layers to build up the color. Also, when looking at these swatches, the color scheme doesn't look all that appealing to me personally. And I know that within my collection, I certainly have all these colors. 

In terms of palettes similar to this, I would say pretty much any taupe or smoky palette. 

Like Urban Decay Naked Smoky:

Tarte Tartelette in Bloom:

Photo: Temptalia 

Urban Decay Naked 2:

Too Faced Boudoir Eyes:

And most specifically, Tarte Energy Noir:

Photo: Temptalia 

I just don't understand what MAC's thinking is on this palette. They are acknowledging that it is basic in what I assume is an attempt to draw the attention of the average makeup consumer instead of the obsessive makeup consumer (like myself). But then you have to ask why that person would buy the MAC palette instead of any of the palettes above. Frankly, the Tarte Energy Noir palette seems to be a much better option. There are more shadows, shadows that can be used as liner, and a blush that looks far more universal than the MAC offering. And I strongly suspect the Tarte palette is cheaper than Basic Bitch. 

As far as I can tell, there aren't any details about when the palette will be available, if it is limited edition, and how much it will cost. Which, of course, is incredibly unhelpful. 

Finally, I just have something to say about the name of this palette. 

"Basic Bitch" is not a term that I enjoy and is not a term I think should be used on items primarily targeted at women. There are several different definitions of this term, including "airhead," but I would say the most accepted and generally used definition is a woman who enjoys "basic" and stereotypical things. So, if you enjoy wearing leggings with Ugg boots and enjoy drinking Pumpkin Spiced Lattes from Starbucks, you are a "basic bitch." My opinion is that this is a derogatory and misogynistic term.

I have owned a blush called "Deep Throat" and an eyeshadow called "Super Mom." I have no problem that Kat Von D named the shadows in the Shade and Light Eye palette after demons, no do I care that she had a lipstick very controversially called "Underage Red." Kat Von D explained that the name came from when she would wear red lipsticks in an attempt to make herself look older to get into clubs, but pulled the lipstick nonetheless because of how upset it made people. 

I think it's quite gross and cringe worthy that Kylie Cosmetics has shade names like "X Rated," "Barely Legal," and "Virginity."

And I have a massive problem with Jeffree Star Cosmetics having a lipstick the shade of a bruise called "Abused," even those he claims the name is after the lyric in "Sweet Dreams." I think Jeffree Star is a "cover his own ass" liar, and I don't believe him. He has not pulled this shade or renamed it despite a mountain of criticism. 

It's really interesting when you pay attention to how makeup items are named and marketed. It's especially interesting to consider that the main audience for this marketing are women and the majority of makeup brand owners and marketers are men. At the end of the day, yes, it is just a name, but it is also important to consider what is behind that name. When you look at Kat Von D's action in pulling the lipstick because it offended so many people, and then you look at these other names that are either objectifying women or derogatory toward women, it is pretty shocking. 

It's worth noting that many makeup brands are trying to use YT and internet lingo, which is also inherently problematic because it appropriates AAEV. So calling this palette "Basic Bitch" might be (and very likely is) MAC's attempt to relate to the "youth." But just because something is a popular saying doesn't mean that people (and especially companies) should be ignorant toward its meaning. As I type this, I am wearing a pair of Ugg slippers that I freaking love and am drinking Keurig coffee from a Starbucks "You Are Here" mug that I purchased in DC when I was there for the Women's March on Washington. I'm also dressed in pajama shorts and a "Nasty Woman" t-shirt. So there you go. 

I'm not a "basic bitch," I don't think any woman or man is, and there is absolutely nothing that I like about this palette. So, I won't be buying. 

Weekend Looks: Fyrinnae and Darling Girl Cosmetics

Intentionally, this was an indie-focused weekend. Unintentionally, it was a greenish weekend as well. Also unintentionally, I did one warm-toned look and one cool-toned look. And I really love how both turned out!

Here are my weekend looks. 

Look 1: Fyrinnae Aztec Gold, Bobbi Brown Camel, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Fudge 

Aztec Gold on the lid, Camel blended into the crease, and Fudge padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 2: Darling Girl Cosmetics Ladyhawke and Ugly Naked Guy

Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy as a base, Ladyhawke on the lid, and Ugly Naked Guy blended in the crease. 

Fyrinnae Aztec Gold
Status: Favorite 

Holy cow, folks. This is one beautiful eyeshadow. Weeks ago, when I placed my first Fyrinnae order, I really wanted to buy this shadow, which is one of the few that is only offered in a pressed form. Temptalia had raved about this shadow, and it looked different from anything else I had seen. Unfortunately, it was sold out, and it continued to be sold out for weeks after. I finally saw it was available, and I snatched it, especially since I have been having such a love affair with Fyrinnae shadows. I was surprised to find that it just came as a pan of eyeshadow and didn't have a case, but this wasn't a big deal as I just popped the pan into my custom palette (the pan is magnetized).

This is without doubt one of the most unique colors in my collection. With that I'll say that I can see how many skin tones might not find this color flattering. In the pictures it looks very olive, but in person, it's hard to tell if it leans more olive or gold. I think it is absolutely stunning and I could not be happier with it. I paired it with Bobbi Brown Camel (a shadow I've mentioned has become a fast favorite) as well as ABH Fudge, which I think gave the look some subtle depth. I really loved this look!

Darling Girl Cosmetics Ladyhawke
Status: Love

I've decided to start a project for April that revolves around indie shadows. My experiences with indie shadows so far (Fyrinnae) has been so overwhelmingly positive that I wanted to branch out to other indie brands and see what else is out there. I have a strong suspicion that my indie shadows might replace a lot of my mainstream palettes. And that would be fine with me! 

Darling Girl Cosmetics was another indie brand I heard a lot about, so I decided to sample some of their products. For the exception of Ladyhawke, I bought all mini or sample sizes since I didn't want to spend much money and didn't want to have a ton of product, especially if I didn't like the shadows. I have no idea why I bought a full-size of Ladyhawke. For the life of me, I cannot remember. And while I think I would have been happy with a mini size of this shadow, I really love it! I don't have anything like it and have a hard time even describing the color. It's a blueish green, but also silver maybe? It's surprisingly wearable and comes off quite natural on my slightly olive skin. I paired it with Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy, and I'm starting to think now that most loose pigments that are shimmery might require or at least strongly benefit from this kind of a base. 

Darling Gil Cosmetics Ugly Naked Guy
Status: Love

The name of this shadow will bring back nostalgic memories for people my age and older. This is part of the brand's Friends collection, and I had to laugh when I saw the name. I've always thought Friends was a part of "my generation," but I saw recently that the show premiered in 1994, and I was certainly way too young to be watching this show. I was old enough to catch the last couple seasons, which is why I guess I feel part of the show's history, but really, I wasn't. Nonetheless, I did not buy this mini shadow because of nostalgia; I bought it because it was a matte (and I haven't tried many indie mattes) that looked like a color I would enjoy. 

I actually thought this was going to be a warm peach color, and it looks a lot warmer (to me, at least) in the jar than it does when applied onto my skin. But this color actually leans like a cool almost grayish brown on me. When I first swatched it onto my hand, I was really disappointed in the color because I thought it was going to be warmer, but when I paired it with Ladyhawke, I thought it made a gorgeous and perfect pairing. This is actually quite a cool-toned look on me, so I paired it with Bite Beaty Thistle lipstick. In an effort to not make my face look totally dead, I also wore a peach blush (crazy, I know), and I actually love how this all turned out! 

Both looks I did this weekend remind me of how fun makeup can be in terms of trying new colors and finding flattering looks that you might not have thought to create. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

This Week's Looks: Viseart, Kat Von D, Milani, and Tom Ford

Palettes (sort of) came back this week. It's funny because I really thought I had a palette week, but looking at this picture, I see three quads and a "palette" that is made up of three Viseart palettes. So while I didn't use singles per se, I still think I'm in that mentality. 

Here are five looks I did this week. 

Look 1: Viseart custom palette 

Column 4 Row 2 on the lid, Column 3 Row 2 blended into the crease, and Column 2 Row 3 padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 2: Viseart and Kat Von D Shade and Light Plum quad

Column 6 Row 4 on the lid, KVD Base and Contour blended into the crease, and KVD Definer padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 3: Tom Ford Honeymoon

Kiko Stick Eyeshadow in 07 as a base, 3 on the lid, 2 blended into the crease, and 4 padded onto the outer corner. 

Look 4: Milani Earthly Elements

4 on inner half of lid, 6 on outer half of lid, and 2 and 3 blended into the crease. 

Look 5: Tom Ford Nude Dip and Kat Von D Shade and Light Plum quad

TF 3 on the lid, KVD Base and Contour blended into the crease, and KVD Definer padded onto the outer corner 

Viseart custom palette
Status: Love

I've talked about this palette before in my one week, one palette series, but this palette is definitely a love of mine. It is the Neutral Matte, Paris Nudes, and Sultry Muse palettes depotted into an Inglot flexi palette. I wasn't a huge fan of the look of Z-palettes at the time (and now Z-palette is a brand that I do not support), and I found I really liked the Inglot flexi palette. I depotted my Viseart shadows because the packaging on two of the three palettes had broken at the hinges, and I thought all three palettes might get more use if they were combined. I have three other Viseart palettes, and all are colorful, but I have chosen not to depot them as well. The experience of depotting those three palettes was terrible and not something I would ever want to do again. With that said, I'm glad I depotted them.

If I didn't have so much eyeshadow, I think this palette could be close to all I would ever want. I really, really love pink and mauve eyeshadows, and this palette lacks those, especially mattes, so I would want additional shadows, but in a lot of ways, this is all I could ever hope to have. I love leaving this out and reaching for it, especially for work. It makes me feel like an artist playing with my paints. But while I always really enjoy the looks I get out of this palette, they are never my favorite looks because the colors are just so simple. And there is absolutely a time and place where I want and love simple and pretty eyeshadow looks. But that's not all the time. 

Tom Ford Honeymoon
Status: Favorite

I know I just talked about this last week, but I really wanted to wear it again this week, and I absolutely loved the look that I did. One of the things that I've struggled with when using this quad is what color to put in the crease. I then remembered that when I did my one week, one palette series, I sometimes used a shimmer in the crease and didn't dislike the look at all. So I applied one of the other colors into my crease and loved the effect. I also paired this with my Kiko Stick Eyeshadow in 07, which is a shimmery champagne color. I tend to forget about this shadow stick and always love the look when I use it. This was one of my two favorite looks this week, and when paired with an "out there" lip color for me (Bite Thistle), it actually came off as quite smoky and vampy, which I loved. 

Milani Earthly Elements
Status: Favorite 

I know I've written about this palette before and that I wore it somewhat recently, but I just had to wear it again. I absolutely LOVE four colors in this palette. I hate that I don't love the entire thing, but the shades that I do love I really, really love. This was actually my other favorite look this week, which I find hilarious. One of my favorite looks came from an $80 quad and the other came from a $10 palette. This just goes to show that you don't need to spend excessive amounts of money to get beautiful, quality products. Earthly Elements is so good, actually, that I might consider it my favorite warm-toned eyeshadow palette. Now, of course there are negatives about this palette, such as that it has one shadow (1) that is a total dud; one shadow (5) that I don't really like; and two shadows (4 and 6) that look very similar when applied onto the skin. And frankly, that means only half the palette is unique/something that I like. But, I really, really like those three/four shades. 

Tom Ford Nude Dip
Status: Favorite

Again, I've written about this recently (I'm clearly seeing what products I really love if I'm coming back to them), but I so enjoy this quad. Like Honeymoon, I don't think this palette is a "must have" whatsoever. I think you can definitely find the same colors or similar for much cheaper. But I personally love this quad because of the formula and the amount of shine that it gives. I put that disclaimer out there because I do think these quads are overpriced and that unless you're looking for a very specific type of eyeshadow, this would be a waste of money. I don't personally feel as though my money was wasted in buying these quads, but I can absolutely see how other people would feel that way. I essentially wore a taupe eyeshadow from this quad and paired it with some plum colors, and I thought the look turned out quite pretty. 

Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Plum Quad
Status: Love

I don't believe I have written about this quad before. It took me a while to buy this quad because I really didn't feel I "needed" any of the Shade and Light Eye quads. I was originally drawn to Rust, and part of me still wants it, but I know that I absolutely do not need that quad, end of story. I eventually purchased Plum when I first started discovering how much I love pink and mauve colors in the crease. And I'm so glad I did (and glad that I used it this week) because I really love this quad. At first I thought I could only pair it with purple shadows, but with more experience and experimentation, I've found that plum and mauve pair nicely with so many types of colors. I loved this quad with both looks this week, but I especially loved it with the taupe from Nude Dip.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

What I'm Not Buying: Tarte Make Believe in Yourself Palette

Photo: Temptalia 

Tarte, is seems, is rebranding. What was once a brand for "mature" women who wanted beautiful, sensible, and quality products is now a brand for teens and those in their young twenties. So, you know, the demographic who largely can't buy a ton of mid-range makeup items themselves. And my best guess is that Tarte was being left in the dust by brands like Urban Decay who started the palette trend and Too Faced who made bank off of creating and exploiting a gimmick. And Tarte seemed to be in a middle ground for a while. They still had best-selling blushes, but were starting to collaborate with YouTube personalities and send these same people to exotic vacations in exchange for shilling their products. And now it seems Tarte has jumped on the "if it's a unicorn or rainbow whatever it will be the hottest item!" trend. 

And with that came the Make Believe in Yourself palette, an "eye and cheek" palette with 10 shadows and one bigger pan of what I assume is highlighter. 

And I am not going to buy it. 

Here's the thing, guys. When I first saw this, I wanted it too. And I'm saying "too" because I think almost everyone who will stumble across this page wants to buy this palette. And I think it is worthwhile for me to be transparent and say that I wanted this palette. I think the colors are pretty, I like the shape of the eyeshadow pans, I think it looks pretty overall, I like the stupid unicorn theme, and this palette deceives me into thinking that it is unique. 

And I just think it's a good thing for me to acknowledge that I get tempted by the new releases. Because I do. And I strongly feel like this palette will get a lot of hype. Because the shadows look like they will be good quality. The Rainforest of the Sea palette has my favorite Tarte formula, and it seems like this palette may have that formula as well. And when the hype comes, that's when it's difficult for me. 

Toward the end of last year, I wrote a post about why I was not going to buy the Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario. And I wrote in the post that I knew people were going to blow out of proportion how great it was and that the hype was going to be ridiculous and that I was just going to have to sit back and take it because I knew deep down that I absolutely did not need that palette. And it's true! I didn't. And I have never once been sad that I don't own that palette. I know that if I had it, it would be sitting in my collection going largely unused. And when I did use it, I would create the same looks I can make with almost any palette or collection of singles. Even still. It was challenging for me to hear people exaggerate how great it is. 

But that is all that hype is. It's exaggeration. It's people who want to be included in the conversation and say, "Yeah, this is literally the best thing ever." But it's not. It's just eyeshadow. And there are so many great formulas out there that it is just another great formula in a sea of great ones. It's not that big of a deal.

And that's what I have to tell myself with this palette as well. Because I know why people are going to be sucked into it. And it's for all the reasons I listed about why I'm interested in it. But the main thing I want to touch on is that this palette is really not that unique, even though it seems that way.

Photo: Temptalia 

The first thing I would like to acknowledge is that there is only one matte shade, and that is at the top right. That means that this palette for most people is not a stand-alone palette and that a companion palette or companion shadows will be needed to do a complete look. And when you factor that in, take a look at all the colors and honestly ask yourself if you would buy each one of those colors individually. If each of them was $10 or more, would you buy each one of these colors? Or would you think you already had bronze, taupe, pink, purple, and orange shimmers in your collection; you already have a highlighter in your collection; and you already have a matte brown in your collection. You might not have a lime green, blue, or silver shimmer in your collection, but then you have to ask yourself if the reason you don't have those colors is because you wouldn't wear them or you don't like them enough to have already purchased them. 

I'll admit that when I first looked at this palette, I thought the color scheme was somewhat unique. But then I quickly realized it's not. 

Let's look at the colors as pigments without the design and packaging:

The colors look a lot less unique now, don't they? And you know what they remind me of?

Urban Decay Naked Smoky:

 After realizing this, I started finding more palettes that had similarities.

Like Urban Decay After Dark:

Photo: Temptalia

Urban Decay Spectrum:

Sleek Oh So Special:

Estee Edit Gritty and Glow:

Photo: Temptalia 

And some shades even look very similar to Tarte's Swamp Queen palette: 

In my opinion, the prettiest and most unique shade in the Make Believe in Yourself palette is Crystal, which is the shade to the left of the pink shade. But when I really looked at it, it looks a lot like Uncommon from Swamp Queen. And that's not surprising since they are both Tarte shadows. 

From my own collection, I own none of these palettes. But I can tell you that somewhere in my collection, I have every single one of these shadows. I have several of them a few times over. And I've already read people say that they "have to have" this palette even though they know they have several duplicate shades in their collection. And I have to say that that kind of mentality makes me sad. Because it tells me that consumerism is so rampant, especially in the beauty industry, that many people feel as though they can no longer make informed decisions because the pull to buy is too strong, as is the fear of missing out. 

But here is the honest truth. If you don't buy this palette, you will be missing out on this:

This is the palette's outer packaging. This is what you will not be getting if you choose to resist this palette. Because you very likely already have most if not all of what is inside. And if you're willing to spend $40 on this plastic case with a design on it, that is totally your decision. But that is all that is unique about the Make Believe in Yourself palette. That and all the hype that will last for a few weeks. Tarte will come out with more stuff, more brands will capitalize on the unicorn and rainbow theme, and they will all be filled with things you already own. 

I'll end this with one last honest statement. If this was a year ago, I would have purchased this palette without a second thought. Because it looked pretty and it didn't seem to be like anything else out there. And because there was one unique color and I knew I would get use out of the majority of it, even though those colors that would get use are already in my collection. I would have purchased it, used it for a bit, maybe even liked it for a bit, and then moved on to the next thing. So, if you are in that place, I understand. But I am presenting a different way to look at this palette. It is certainly nothing special and nothing that I need, so I won't be buying.