I didn't get much from the Sephora Friends and Family sale this year, but the few things I picked up were definitely winners!
I'd been rationing my last few drops of Too Faced Shadow Insurance while waiting for the sale so I could get a little discount. In the meantime I had tried a couple other primers I had samples of and none of them even compared to Shadow Insurance. As soon as I saw this palette I knew I had to get it. It contained a full sized Shadow Insurance, a full sized Glamour Gloss, and a bunch of shadows (including Label Whore which I'd been dying to try) and blushes for only $49 so onto my wishlist it went!
I can easily say this has been one of my best makeup purchases. I'll tell you why after the pics:
Here's the front of the palette. The whole palette is about the same size and thickness as a paperback novel, not too huge, but definitely not flimsy. Really cute design- tacky, yes, but in a totally awesome way. It's covered in opalescent glitter, flowers, fairies, pink pine trees and all sorts of other whimsical bullshit.
The front cover opens like a book revealing the blush and bronzer, some goofy pop-up pin-up fairies and a little slip with some instructional cards with examples of looks you can create with the palette. I don't know why this pop-up format is so popular lately, it's cute for about two minutes but then it just becomes useless and cumbersome *cough*UrbanDecayBookOfShadows*cough*. Unlike the Books of Shadows, the pop-up section in this palette actually serves some purpose. It has blushes and directions on how to create looks with the palette. It's not just pictures of silly butterfly ladies and roses... or skyscrapers...
Closeup of the blushes. It has a smaller sized version of the Snow Bunny bronzer (Too Faced's bronzers are great, but I prefer the less shimmery Sun Bunny, though Snow Bunny makes more sense in this palette I suppose) and a shimmery pink blush - Sephora's website lists it as La Vie En Rose. A little too pink and shimmery for me, but I haven't actually tried to wear it yet so I'll reserve judgment.
When you pull on the little ribbon, this comes out! I love that this is designed to pull out completely- it makes the palette so much easier to use. Definitely an improvement over the previous Book of Shadows pull-out design. I can't help but compare this to the Urban Decay books because they strike me as being so similar in concept. Anyway, this section has a full sized Shadow Insurance, a full sized Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk and 15 eyeshadows. They're small but they're not tiny.
Closeup of the shades: In The Buff, Unnamed exclusive light beige/bone shadow, George & Weezie, Velvet Revolver, Honey Pot, Teddy Bear, Unnamed exclusive purple shadow, Boy Toy, Peach Fuzz, Unnamed exclusive teal shimmer shadow, Label Whore, Glamazon, Unnamed exclusive brown with blue-violet shimmer shadow, Ooh & Aah, Stiletto.
I have one complaint about this palette. The first time I opened my Glamour Gloss, this is what I saw:
What the hell?! I haven't even used it yet and the brush is already mangled. Please do click on the images to enlarge and see just how effed up this brush is. I mean, it still applies the lipgloss just fine, but, seriously Too Faced?? Yeesh.
Now I'm going to rave about how much I love this palette.
The shadow selection is excellent. Perfection. It has just the right balance of mattes, neutrals and fun colors. You can create a variety of looks like a matte classic eye (to pair with winged black liner!), a smoky sexy bronze eye, a black and silver eye (one of my go-to combinations), a flattering yet understated wash of shimmery taupe or a full on green and purple duochrome look. It has two shades of matte nude that make perfect highlight shades, a light gold that's ace in the inner corner of the eye, a black that's dark enough to deepen a crease color or create a smoky, smudgy liner and a few bright shades to add some character and happiness to a look.
I had purchased a bunch of Too Faced shadow duos quite some time ago and I was never super impressed with them. The colors were okay, the pigmentation wasn't exactly up to my standards and they blended well enough if you were gentle. I preferred the quality of the shadows in the Quickie Chronicles and other various Too Faced palettes (like Peacock/Unicorn Naughty/Nice) to the quality of the duos, but never really considered Too Faced to be in my top eyeshadow brands.
I'm happy to say that the quality of these is a heck of a lot better than the old duos and even seems better than the Quickie Chronicles ones. They must have reformulated or something because these have much better pigment/payoff and are easier to blend. Now, the pigmentation isn't exactly stellar but it's definitely better than it was. Some of the shades are better than others in the payoff department but I've found that these turn really nice and creamy and opaque when used wet. The purple definitely benefits from a wet application.
Like I mentioned before, I'd really been wanting to try Label Whore ever since someone suggested it to me as a duplicate of MAC Club, which I like but I find to be a little too sheer. Label Whore is even better than Club if you ask me. It gives me much more duochrome effect and doesn't apply quite as sheer. It has that warm rusty brown base with the wicked green metallic shimmer like Club does but it stays duochrome after it's blended! I am pleased.
The metallic shades are great. They're the most pigmented and easiest to blend of all the shades and they combine well with all the other colors in the palette. I especially like Honey Pot with Label Whore and Stiletto with a little George and Weezie in the inner corner and dabbed on the center of the lid.
I really have nothing bad to say about the color selection or the formula of the shadows. I'm satisfied with the pigmentation and application on all the ones I've worn. The only thing I would have done to improve this palette is to include either a mini or full sized Lava Gloss liner, or maybe a mini Lava Gloss and a mini glitter liner- Too Faced's glitter liners are the best I've ever used and they have really great unique shades besides the standard gold and silver.
This is a palette I can travel with. It has all the colors a palette should have plus some nice extras, like a spot for a primer and a gloss. Oh, and the gloss? It's pretty nice. It's a lip plumper but not the stingy kind (which I like), it's more like a Bare Escentuals Buxom gloss- thick, sticky, minty/tingly/cooling. In fact, it smells a lot like a Buxom, too. The shade is a slightly pinkish beige nude- it applies a little to thick straight from the tube so you can get a little of that goopy milky look if you're not careful. I don't really notice any plumping effect, but other than that it's pretty good. Don't know if I'd buy one individually if they all came with that jacked-up brush, though.
I'm really happy with this palette. Totally worth the $49 to me. I've used it a ton since it arrived and I can see it becoming my go-to "I'm in a hurry, I don't want to think of what colors go together!" palette.
Just for reference, here's the description from Sephora.com:
Enchanted Glamourland ($145 Value) Things to note: this palette is limited edition (oh, how I both love and hate those words) and according to the website is a Sephora exclusive. And it's $1 short of getting free shipping. Somehow I feel it was priced that way on purpose...
What it is:
An exclusive super set of Too Faced favorites for the eyes, lips, and cheeks, including festive, limited-edition shades for the holidays.
What it does:
This enchanting collection includes 15 high-pigment shadows, an anti-crease shadow primer, and beautiful shades of gloss, blush, and bronzer to create a range of versatile looks fit for a fairy princess.
This set contains:
- 15 x 0.03 oz Eye Shadows in: In The Buff, Exclusive Nude, George & Weezie, Velvet Revolver, Honey Pot, Teddy Bear, Exclusive Purple, Boy Toy, Peach Fuzz, Exclusive Green, Label Whore, Glamazon, Exclusive Plum, Ooh & Aah, and Stiletto
- 0.35 oz Shadow Insurance primer
- 0.12 oz Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk
- 0.08 oz La Vie en Rose Blush
- 0.14 oz Snow Bunny Bronze
- Three Get-the-Look instruction cards
I really, really like this palette. There, I'm done fawning over it. Had to get it out of my system. Seriously, though, this palette kicks ass. Okay, done for real this time.