Friday, December 29, 2017

Palettes I Am MOST Glad I Didn't Buy in 2017

As 2017 is drawing to a close (thank goodness, by the way—this has been one hell of a hard year), I wanted to reflect on the palettes that I am most glad I didn't buy this year. These are the palettes that I really, really wanted, more than the others, but still made the decision not to buy. And now that we are a few or several months removed from when these palettes first came out—and the hype has died down quite a bit—I thought it was a good time to check back in and talk about why I'm glad I didn't buy these products.

(I've also linked my original anti-haul posts).

Kat Von D Shade and Light Glimmer

Believe it or not, but Kat Von D ended up being the brand of the year for me. Over Christmas, I received a very thoughtful gift, which was the original Kat Von D Metal Matte palette from holiday 2016. I laughed when I received it because I had just written about how it was my "palette that got away," and now it's the third Kat Von D palette I have owned after first writing an anti-haul post. (The other two are Pastel Goth and Saint and Sinner—Saint and Sinner was a gift, and my reasons for purchasing Pastel Goth are here.) I also purchased a preowned Mi Vida Loca Remix palette this year, and now I have more palettes from Kat Von D than any other brand. 

2017 was also the year that I decluttered my Shade and Light Eye palette. I was honest with myself and realized that I was only really using the warm quad in the palette, and when I purchased the Melt Rust Stack, I knew that it would easily become my favorite warm matte palette, and it did. I didn't need to have an entire palette that wasn't getting used, so I decluttered it. 

But then Kat Von K came out with a shimmer/glitter version of the Shade and Light Eye palette, and man, did I want this. Had this palette come out a few years ago when I had less neutrals/was somehow justifying adding even more neutrals into my collection, I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat. And even when I saw it swatched for the first time, I felt pangs of lust. But I resisted, and I'm so happy that I did. 

Now, more than six months later, I never hear anyone talk about this palette. The "glimmer" formula some of the shades have don't seem to be winners as they are more eyeshadow toppers, which, let's be honest, most people don't want (myself included). This absolutely would have been a palette that I would have played with for a couple days, got bored with how neutral my eyeshadow came out, and then reached for something else, putting this in the back of my collection. I'm glad I don't have it. 

There were so many makeup life lessons that I had to learn in order to resist buying this palette. Without question, this is my favorite Naked palette, and I know that without having to own it. I love the color scheme and love how warm it is. But I also know (from owning three Naked palettes in the past and decluttering all of them) that I really, really don't like the Urban Decay palette shadow formula. So even though this is my favorite Naked palette in terms of how it looks, I likely would have disliked how it performed as much as I did the other three. 

I also had to learn that these colors were all too similar. That's what makes the palette look so fantastic in pictures and in person, because it is cohesive and has a lovely gradient. But that doesn't translate to versatile eyeshadow looks. Seeing this palette turn up in so many declutter videos and end of the year "worst makeup" videos made me feel vindicated. So many people have discussed that they love the color scheme but that they can only make one look with this palette, which is what I had suspected. As much as I wanted this palette, I'm glad that I resisted. I know it would have made me angry thinking about spending over $50 on essentially one eyeshadow look with a formula I don't even like, so it's good I passed on this. 

These palettes presented some real temptations from me, especially when people wrote to me and said that these shadows were truly something excellent. When I first saw the palettes in person and saw/felt the packaging, I have to admit that I felt as though I had possibly made a mistake. But then I swatched the shadows and worked with them a bit. And the truth is they just aren't that great. They certainly were nothing extraordinary in terms of performance, and I have other shadows from brands like Makeup Geek and Coloured Raine that performed better and packed a lot more pigment. 

I continue to be interested in all Pat McGrath's releases because she is a legend, but apart from the magnificent packaging, these shadows didn't have anything about them that made me think their price tag was justified. I also tend to think that shadows within luxury price ranges tend to get the brunt of hyperbole, which is natural. People want to justify the money they spent, so they tend to exaggerate how amazing something is that's expensive. These palettes, at least in my experience, just don't have fantastic shadow quality. And I'm glad that I didn't spend a ton of money to have some pretty gorgeous makeup cases with average makeup inside. 

Something I didn't expect to happen in 2017 is that I finally broke free from the Viseart spell. I reduced my Viseart palette collection from six to two, and I have gradually grown to feel like Viseart is generally overhyped. The two palettes that I still own are Neutral Matte and Dark Matte, and of the two I would recommend Dark Matte. Viseart used to be my favorite matte formula, but if I am going to be entirely honest, I don't know how much of that was real feeling and how much of that was hype clouding my judgement. My Viseart shadows perform well—I don't have any complaints about that. But if you haven't used Viseart yet and are expecting it to be noticeably different than using shadows from Makeup Geek, Coloured Raine, or Colourpop, you might be disappointed. 

I wanted this palette for rows three and four, and while I'm sure those rows have lovely shadows, there is just nothing in this palette that I don't already own. And like I just said, I don't think that Viseart shadows are so special as to justify spending the high price on them to rebuy shadows that I already have. 

Seeing how much I have used my duped Peachy Mattes palette (I'll talk about that one in a bit), I just can't justify the cost of this palette, and I'm so happy that I chose not to buy it. Sometimes all it takes is looking at your single shadow collection to really show you that you don't need to spend nearly $200 to get the colors you want. Sometimes (most times) you already have them. 

I don't even want to tell you how many times I've thought about buying this palette. If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I am not big on Natasha Denona. Like Viseart, I think this brand is grossly overhyped. It makes me a little sad to watch people who haven't tried Natasha Denona shadows talk about how much they would love to have one of her palettes. And I get it—I had that mindset at one point too, and I've mentioned before that I think a lot of people need to buy Natasha Denona to learn that Natasha Denona is overhyped and overpriced. 

But I really just could not get enough of this color scheme. Even though I knew I had some of these colors already, I just loved the configuration of this palette and thought about caving so many times. And I'm so glad I didn't because Colorpop came out with Yes, Please!:

This was certainly a favorite palette of mine this year, but what I find really interesting is that I haven't used it in a few months. My interests can change quickly with eyeshadow, and I have just been so into my peaches, corals, and pinks that I haven't reached for this palette much lately. And I'm totally fine with that. Because it cost $16. I'm sure I'll swing back into wanting to use these exceptionally warm colors again soon (maybe toward the end of winter), and I'm glad that I don't have to think that I have let a $129 palette sit unused, like I would had I purchased Natasha Denona Sunset.

If you've read my blog much in the past few months, you know that I probably don't need to write much about why I'm glad I didn't buy this palette. This palette, in my opinion, was the best thing Too Faced released this year. Not only that, but I feel like it was the only good thing Too Faced released this year. And it was the one product that gave me pause and made me consider purchasing something from this brand I have grown to dislike so much. 

But then I realized I could try to duplicate it with shadows in my collection. And beyond that, I realized that I could customize it to make it the perfect palette for me. And from there, I got my duped palette:

This has been such a favorite of mine, and I have to give some credit to Too Faced for creating such an inspiring color scheme and layout. But I'm really glad that I didn't add another palette to my collection, especially since I like my custom palette more than the one from Too Faced. 

In my opinion, Desert Dusk feels a bit like the palette of the year. I'm not sure if that's a fair assessment, however, because it only came out in the last quarter of the year. This palette was everywhere, and I absolutely agree that the color scheme is incredibly inspiring. I've mentioned this before, but I am from the Southwest originally, and I grew up in the desert. I recently went home for the holidays, and I was in awe of how truly beautiful our sunsets are. And I'm excited that the colors of the desert sky were such a huge source of inspiration in so many palettes this year. 

But Huda Beauty does not have a formula that I like. And the majority of the shades in this palette, I feel, are pretty average, nothing special shades. It's the pops of color and the duochrome shades that draw you in, and despite how pretty it looks in the pan, I was happy that I resisted and was able to instead create what started as a duped palette and morphed into my own personal desert sunset palette:

Without question, I love my palette more than Desert Dusk. I think the color scheme is prettier and more versatile and contains a lot more interesting shades. Like the Just Peachy Mattes palette, I credit Huda Beauty with creating a gorgeous color scheme that I wanted to replicate. But in my opinion, my palette takes the cake here. And it should! For the most part this palette is made up of single shadows that I hand-selected, and the other shadows are from palettes that I've depotted. These are very obviously shadows that I love, so it makes sense that I would love my own version of a palette with a color scheme I enjoy. 

Because of how much joy and use I have gotten out of this collection of shadows, I am so happy that I did not buy Desert Dusk. I think I likely would have gravitated toward what I consider the most interesting shades in the palette (Twilight, Amethyst, Royal, and Retrograde) and not used much else since the looks I would have created would have been very neutral. Instead, I have a palette with some of the most unique singles in my collection, and I always have fun figuring out new looks with it. 

I don't think this kind of a post would be complete this year without mentioning Subculture. When I originally wrote my anti-haul post on this palette, the reviews had not yet come in and the drama/controversy had not yet happened. This palette ended up being a really great lesson in hype for me, which apparently I still need to learn. Despite the fact that I really disliked the formula of Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance, I knew that it was going to be difficult to resist the hype (should we just call hype "hyperbole" at this point?) of the latest ABH palette. And I really liked the color scheme of this palette and that it was something different from we had seen over and again. 

But I had to have a serious moment with myself as a recovering makeup addict and tell myself that I don't like the formula of ABH shadows in palettes. I braced myself for the hype train to pass over and to have ridiculous feelings of fear of missing out, but instead, the opposite happened. I saw backlash and outrage that I had never seen before over a makeup item and more drama than I knew what to do with. (I have an entire post on this here.) 

And while, yes, I'm glad that I didn't buy Subculture because it was a bit of a disaster and very clearly a product that should not have been released in the condition it was in, I am also happy that I didn't buy it because I knew I wasn't going to like the formula. Granted, I had no way of knowing how much the formula was going to be an issue, but the problems people reported were a heightened version of all the problems I had with Modern Renaissance. I know that had I bought this palette and experienced those same issues, I would have been disappointed with myself because I knew better. 


In reality, I'm glad that I didn't buy any of the products this year that I anti-hauled, but these were the palettes that stuck out the most to me as products that I really considered purchasing or really wanted. And the harsh reality is that had I purchased all of these palettes, I would have added a whopping eight palettes to my collection this year alone. And that's not including the palettes that I actually did purchase as well as those I received as gifts. I could have easily tripled my palette collection just in 2017. I can also say with confidence that had I purchased any of these palettes, they probably would have gone largely unused in favor of some of my other products. 

As always, I'm eager to see what kind of products the new year will bring, and I'm excited to continue anti-hauling them. 

On a personal note, as I mentioned at the top of this post, 2017 was an incredibly difficult year for me. This blog and the community around it have consistently been positive forces in my life, and I sincerely appreciate everyone who read, commented, and supported Anti-Haul Blog this year. 

Thanks for reading. 


  1. 2017 has been rough for me too. Still bought too much makeup and still own too much, but I really feel I 'woke up' and started seeing the makeup industry for what it is. 2017 felt truly overwhelming in terms of makeup releases. To me it just started to feel so cynical. I'm still very burned out of the makeup community as a whole.

    If my mindset hasn't changed I know I would've bought TF White Chocolate, Chocolate Gold and Clover. KVD Pastel Goth and Metal Matte Mini. Lorac Mega Pro 4 and Brunch and so much more.

    This blog has truly helped at times and your insight has been fascinating. I sincerely thank you.

    I hope 2018 will be a better and less stressful year!

    1. Thank you for such a nice comment—it sincerely means a lot to me.

      I agree that 2017 was so saturated with releases that it felt overwhelming and greedy. Plus seeing people shill so much stuff, it all got to be too much.

      I'm glad you resisted buying all of those palettes! I try to have a nice balance between being part of the community and buying unique products I'm interested in and resisting buying based on hype alone when I know I don't need to buy. It's not perfect, but it's better than it was.

      Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting. I hope 2018 will be better for you as well!

  2. Have an excellent 2018!

    I thoroughly enjoy your cerebral break down of your anti-haul decisions and it has reduced my impulse to buy make up.

    Thank you and I wish you the best of health for 2018 :)

    1. Thank you for such a nice comment. I can't tell you how happy it makes me when people say that my blog has helped them.

      I hope you have an excellent 2018 as well!

  3. I just recently found your blog in the last half of the year and really enjoy your perspective. I am happy to see 2017 go, it really was a rough year, but I feel like I finally allowed myself to indulge in my makeup obsession (escapism??). Your voice kept me grounded though, and inspired me to try to find new ways of looking at stuff I already owned. I also really enjoy seeing the looks you come up with!
    I hope 2018 treats us all better!

    1. I totally relate to this comment and the escapism feeling. At the worst of my makeup addiction, I was using it to get through the day in an incredibly difficult period of my life. And even though I spent way too much money and have likely decluttered almost everything I bought during that time, I don't regret it because it kept be stable enough until I was in a better, stronger place. And then I started this blog.

      Thank you for the nice comment. I can't tell you how happy it makes me when someone writes and says that my blog has helped them.

      I also hope 2018 treats us all better!

  4. Hi Ellie,

    Your posts have been so helpful for me this past year. I used to feel so much pressure while shopping for makeup. It was overwhelming and stressful looking at all the beautiful new products and thinking they would all make me happier (no). I have saved so much money by taking a step back and comparing new products to what I already have at home. It has helped me to be more confident in what I like and what works for me.

    It seems like the beauty community is at this peak of "FOMO" and nobody even wants to leave the house without makeup. It has gotten so ridiculous, and I am glad that the anti-haul movement exists to keep us all grounded!

    Thank you for writing such a wonderful blog!

  5. Happy New Year!

    I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful blog! I stumbled upon it when I was looking for swatches of the Peachy Mattes palette. Your post inspired me to look in my own collection and make my own palette! In the end I already had what I needed to make a palette that I love and I only purchased one single - colourpop’s 143 (I love it!)

    Just buying singles that interest me and are unique has become my new way of thinking. It has saved me a lot of dollars and pushed me in the direction of indie makeup. I just received my first order from Fyrinnae and I’ve been having so much fun doing my makeup :)

    I really appreciate your honesty and how you break down your thought process about purchases. It’s been a helpful way to kickstart my own thinking.

    Wishing you all the best in 2018!