Thursday, April 12, 2018

What I'm not Buying: KKW Beauty X Mario Palette

Following in the footsteps of her younger sister, Kim Kardasian started her own makeup brand, and she recently teamed up with her makeup artist to produce a neutral eyeshadow palette with a blue shadow. 

And I won't be buying. 

I'm sorry that I have been absent on the blog for a while. I've been incredibly busy with several projects (including for the blog), and, frankly, there weren't many new items released that were too hyped or that I personally felt excited about. 

And then I learned of the KKW Beauty X Mario Palette. 

Now, there are two very big reasons that this is a hyped palette that sold out very fast:
  1. It has Kim Kardashian's name on it
  2. It has Mario Dedivanovic's name on it. 

That's it. 

If you don't know, Mario Dedivanovic is Kim Kardashian's longtime makeup artist, and a few years ago, he collaborated with Anastasia Beverly Hills on the Master Palette by Mario. KKW Beauty claims that with this palette, you will be able to create any of Kim Kardashian's makeup looks. Naturally, young Kim Kardashian fans are probably very interested in this palette because they want to look like Kim and now think they actually can as long as they buy this collection of incredibly neutral shadows. 

So, I'm just going to say it: there is absolutely nothing special about this palette, except for the fact that it has those two names attached to it. 

Let's look at it:

This is, without question, one of the most boring palettes I have seen in a long time. It is a collection of beiges and brows with a blue and a color that can lean berry or brown. If you remove those two shadows, you've got a very basic beginner's palette. 

Let's break down each shade. There is:
  • A shimmery white
  • A matte cream
  • A shimmery champagne
  • A matte terracotta 
  • A matte warm brown
  • A shimmery berry
  • A shimmery white gold
  • A shimmery blue
  • A matte deep brown
  • A shimmery yellow gold/bronze

Let's look at the colors as pigments:

And as single shadows:

I would encourage everyone to look at these shadows and ask yourself if you would buy each one individually as a single. If you wouldn't because you know you already have those shadows already, you absolutely don't need to buy the entire palette. And if you wouldn't because some of the shadows just aren't all that interesting to you, then you don't need to buy the entire palette. 

When I think about these shadows in relation to what is in my own collection, I would not buy any of them. Not even one. Because I have every single one of these shadows at least five times over, if not more. And if I owned absolutely zero eyeshadow, I still would only buy:
  • The matte cream
  • The shimmery gold
  • The matte warm brown
  • The matte terracotta
  • The shimmery bronze

That's it. 

And for $45, plus tax and shipping, I would want more than just five shadows that are pretty ordinary and I could get for cheaper elsewhere. 

What's (semi)interesting is that this palette reminds me a lot of the ABH Master Palette by Mario:

Of course that's not exceptionally surprising since both palettes were made by Mario Dedivanovic, but I also find it odd that he would choose to create a palette so similar to his last one.

The Master Palette by Mario was (and still is) an incredibly hyped palette, and people talk about it like it was this incredibly special, one-of-a-kind, "one that got away" palette. And I just frankly don't understand why. Like the KKW Beauty palette, it is just a collection of browns with a green and a blue. 

Those same people who lament "missing out" on the Master Palette by Mario have said that they will buy the KKW Beauty palette no matter what so that they don't miss out again. But, really, there's little point in buying something just to make up for the fact that you "missed out" on the item that you actually wanted. And buying the KKW Beauty palette is not going to give you the Master Palette by Mario. The palettes are similar, but it won't fully satisfy your desire to own the exact product that you didn't buy. You can, however, take comfort and solace in the fact that you didn't buy the ABH palette for a reason, and that reason is most likely still valid. The Master Palette by Mario isn't that special, so if you didn't buy it, chances are you didn't need it. 

This palette also reminds me of the Kylie Cosmetics Peach palette:

And Zoeva Cocoa Blend:

And basically every other neutral palette available. 

For slightly more interesting color schemes that are also inclusive, there's Juvia's Place Nubian 2:

And Coloured Raine Cheers to the Beauty:

I'll be blunt. For $45, the KKW X Mario Palette is absolutely not worth the money. You are paying for the names attached to this palette and nothing else. And I can absolutely guarantee that you can find comparable quality from much more affordable brands. Even so, like I said earlier, if you have any eyeshadow at all, you likely already have most, if not all, of the colors in this palette. And at that point, you are just spending $45 to give money to Kim Kardashian to have her name on a piece of cardboard. 

This palette is also not very inclusive. It looks like it was made for people with light to medium skin tones and not much deeper. And I'm sure a lot of people can make excuses for the lack of inclusivity. 

It's Mario's palette; these are the colors he wants. It's the colors Kim Kardashian actually wears. They can do whatever they want. 

But here's the thing: that's not acceptable anymore. It never should have been acceptable, and it's important to only more forward and be better. Coming out with a palette like this, that is half light neutrals, is not helpful. And when you look at Juvia's Place Nubian 2 and Coloured Raine Cheers to the Beauty, it's very evident how easy it is to work with a similar color scheme but make the product inclusive. 

This palette is also another example of the false scarcity tactic, which is something that always sours me to a product and a brand. The palette is currently sold out, which means that the people who passed on the initial launch may now be thinking that the product is clearly so great and that they need to buy it the next time it restocks. But this is simply a marketing tactic to drum up this exact reaction and hype. The reality is that even if the product was poor quality, it was going to sell because of the two names attached to it. Everyone involved would have known this, and they would have known an appropriate amount of palettes to manufacture to meet the demand. Instead, they released a small quantity to ensure that it would sell out and would then pressure more people into buying it. 

This exact marketing tactic is what made Kylie Cosmetics so successful, despite the fact that her lip kits were Colourpop products that were only repackaged and triple the price. Of course, these aren't the only brands that employ this tactic—it's something that almost every brand does. They feed off of consumers succumbing to hype, simply because they don't want to feel like they are missing out on some great product that "everyone else" has. 

But the truth is that when you wear this palette, no one is going to know that it was from Kim Kardashian. If you were to wear the same colors from Wet N Wild, no one would know the difference. These are basic neutrals, and you can absolutely create the same looks from shadows outside the KKW Beauty palette. 

There is just nothing interesting or exciting about this palette. It adds absolutely nothing to the makeup conversation in terms of innovation, inspiration, or creativity. If this came out maybe seven years ago when I was first interested in makeup, I could see this being a product that would have intrigued me. But even so, I would have preferred to buy something from a store so that I could have seen and tested it in person. The only "benefit" to buying this palette is having something with a celebrity's name. But that's a fleeting feeling of satisfaction, and as I said, no one except you will ever know. There is just nothing about this palette that I need or want, so I won't be buying. 

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