This holiday palette is a "sultry, shimmery palette of dramatic shades" with a "hint of unexpected gold glimmer" that offers "several day to night options that are both seductive and wearable" that will "be sure to smolder all night" (taken from the product description). I think this palette does fulfill most of its 'claims' - it is very shimmery, with lots of pretty gold tones, which makes for very wearable smokey eye looks for day time. I don't think that these shades are overly dramatic without the help of black eyeliner, but they are fun to wear during the day and are possibly more "dramatic" for every-day use for someone that sticks to gold and bronze neutrals.
|(heavily swatched over primer, indirect natural light)|
|(heavily swatched over primer, direct sunlight)|
|(two swipes on bare skin, indirect natural light)|
|(two swipes on bare skin, direct sunlight)|
All of these shades swatch really beautifully, but perform differently when wearing them all day - so let's dive into the details of each color! For all the photos below the first one is taken with the Ott 'natural' lamp light, then with my camera flash, then the swatch macro is indirect natural light.
Frost is the light highlight white-toned silvery shade in the top right of the palette. On my skin it is a mix of silver and gold, and it's really pretty buffed out. The texture is dry and almost fluffy because of the glittery bits, and there is definitely some fallout. Without a sticky base to keep the glitter in place this isn't particularly impactful on the eye. I haven't tried this as a highlighter on my face yet, but I think it could work.
Platinum is a midtone silver with a golden sheen in indirect lighting. This shadow is really nicely pigmented, and very smooth and soft. The color is great because it's not stark the way that metallic silvers and greys can be, and it doesn't turn too blue on my lid the way that some more gunmetal shades can. However, I can never quite get it to apply totally opaquely - it always seems to emphasis the crepiness of my eyelids! It's not patchy, just sort of showing off my skin texture (which I feel is obvious in the above swatch). By the end of the day this color does crease on me, even with primer.
Coal is a midtone charcoal grey with lots of shimmery sparklies laced through it, mainly in silver with some pink and green (this looks amazing swatched in sunlight you guys!). When swatching it with a finger it's got great coverage, but applying it to the lid I found it rather sheer and takes some time to build it up. Of course sheerer eyeshadows like this are versatile because you can add drama by layering over a creamy base, like some smudged black eyeliner.
Glimmer is a really beautiful shade of gold in the pan, but is mostly glitter when you swatch it//touch it with a brush. Very similar in texture to the highlight color, Frost, it's both dry and fluffy with obvious glittery pieces - but the base is a a teensy bit more pigmented than Frost. I really wish that this had more color payoff because it would be such a lovely lid shade! The palette suggests Glimmer as a highlighter for your face - specifically the suggestion is for some highlighting on the bridge of your nose with it.
Personally I don't love it as a highlighter on my nose - I think the glitter pieces are obvious there and that it emphasizes my pores. I do like it as an obvious highlighter on the high points of my cheeks, tho, because it goes well with the blush shade in the palette, Snowy Glow. Also using it as a highlighter on my cheeks camouflages any shimmer/glitter transfer from my eyes, letting me throw caution to the wind like "Come at me, shimmer fallout!"
Here's a photo of the same eye look roughly 10.5 hours after applying it (taken with flash, because, well, there's not a lot of sunlight at the end of the day). I did have some creasing, glitter fallout, and fading - but there's still some color there! It definitely would "smolder all night" if you put it on right before heading to an event.
Packaging is a sturdy, durable cardboard palette that comes in a pretty sleeve with a bokeh pattern. The inside cover has a handy little diagram and tutorial for one complete look. No mirror but I personally don't need a mirror in every palette (I know that some people MUST have a mirror in a palette, but I don't need one). Hidden magnets keep it securely closed and it would be perfect to pack for a trip or slip into a bag for touch-ups later. I really love the size and proportions of this palette - it's got a thin profile and it fits into my tiny hands comfortably.
Pricing & Availability $25 for net wt .42 oz at the Studio Gear Cosmetics website (currently marked down to $25 from $40), also available at Ulta as a gift with a purchase of $30+ of Studio Gear Cosmetics brand items
I really love the concept behind this palette because I think the shades are very wearable and I love the mix of gold with greys. Having just 4 eyeshadows in a palette takes a lot of guesswork out of getting ready in a hurry, while still providing enough variety, and some of these colors can pull double-duty - like Snowy Glow as an eyeshadow and Glimmer as a highlight. On one hand I like that the darkest shade is buildable and more mid-tone instead of black with sparkles because it makes this palette practical for everyday looks and appropriate for family holiday events BUT on the other hand, I think it takes time to build it up unless you layer it. It all depends on your personal preferences if you'll be a fan of this palette - do you like shimmers? Do you want a smokey eye palette that you could wear to work easily? Is the lack of a mirror a deal breaker for you?
Generally, and especially during the holidays, there are other palettes and value sets at a similar price point that contain more product. At the original MSRP I don't think this is a rave product because it only contains 4 eyeshadows and 1 blush which puts it on par with something like a bareMinerals READY 4.0 eyeshadow quad or the UD Face Cases, but it doesn't perform similarly. With the current deals (like the sale price + the discount code below) or at Ulta, I would definitely recommend trying this palette if you're a fan of shimmery shadows and peachy blushes!
Best for someone that LOVES shimmery, glittery eyeshadows and peachy blush (and doesn't have these colors in their makeup collection yet)
Try it if you're a fan of shimmery neutrals and you've been on the hunt for a compact palette for travel or to slip into your bag for touch-ups
Skip if you're someone with a huge makeup collection as you might have similar colors already OR you dislike eyeshadows with shimmer, glitter, and fall out
DISCOUNT CODE!Get 10% off your purchase at studiogearcosmetics.com with the code: SGHOLIDAY (no expiration date!)
*Disclosure: I received a sample for my honest review; the opinions expressed are 100% my own. If you'd like to know more about my policies see my disclosure page.
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