Aren’t they? Every few months there’s a wave of compacted cosmetics that wash over the market and I for one am not complaining. I love a good palette me. With most launches these days following a neutral tried-and-tested formula – a highlighter, a lid shade, a smokey brown, a matte black – it’s getting harder to distinguish that ones that warrant a purchase. But have no fear because I’m on hand to do all the testing, swatching and digging for you and today I’m bringing you the deats…
Tom Ford Eye and Cheek Compact in Unabashed – £68 – from Selfridges. The only one of the four that covers both eyes and cheeks, this compact exudes luxe. A white and gold heavyweight slab of beauty goodness. Inside you get three options for eyes; a shimmer-laden champagne, a mauve matte brown and a royal navy blue which when paired together make the kind of eye that is just calling out to be paired with a beach sunset evening instead of a smoggy night in the big smoke. The blush gets a yes from me too – a peachy pink that was always going to get my seal of approval – and though the bronzer is nice it’s a bit orangey and golden. Personally I prefer it swept all over the lids with the brown in the crease and a bit of navy on the outer edges. Of course coming courtesy of Mr Ford there’s a price to pay and though I don’t think it warrants it’s price tag, if you’re in the market for a neutral palette with a twist and maybe have a gift voucher that’s lurking in the depths of your bag then it’s one to consider. If not, move on.
MAC Studio Sculpt Shade and Line – £17 – from Selfridges. So I’m cheating a bit here as MAC’s new offering isn’t exactly a ‘palette’ as such, but more of a 3-in-1 pan. A trio of colours set in sparkle, metallic and matte formulas to perform lid washing, crease contouring and eye lining functions; it sets out to play with the palette big boys. I’ve given the shades Olive Blend – a warm tinged offering and Eggplant Blend a pinky cool serving, a whirl and despite being a huge proponent of their single shadows these just didn’t float my boat. They’re designed to primarily be used wet and I have to say then when applied with a damp brush they come off nicely opaque with a foiled finish and do look kinda cool – especially the central liner shades – but in reality, ain’t nobody got time for that. And there are many, many other shadows out there that gain the same finish without all the faff. The wet-to-dry act does make them pretty long-lasting though so if you’re not as impatient as me then they’re one to consider.
Laura Mercier Nude Smokey Eye Palette – £75 – coming soon at Space NK. Oh boy is this a beaut. Five shades, five brushes, one big mirror and one very satisfying closing click. There are the perfect mix of coffee coloured shades in a range of textures that when combined make me feel very ladylike and sophisticated. One thing to note is that there’s a touch of pinkiness to it, so make sure your base is working on redness to the max. Another thing is that the brushes are good. Like, really good. No crappy sponge applicators to be seen. There’s an Eye Colour Brush to pack colour onto the lids, a Crease Brush which I’m eyeing up the full-size of and a Flat Eyeliner Brush that I’ve wanted to try for yonks – oh yeah and two more. I have to admit, I did choke on my cereal when I read the price. Ouch Laura, that hurts. One to buy if….you don’t mind eating beans on toast for a very long time.
Too Faced Natural Eyes Neutral Eye Shadow Collection – £32 – from Look Fantastic. The super diddy compact choice that covers every single neutral eyeshadow decision you’ll ever make in just nine shades. There are mattes, metallics and everything in between and quite honestly, as I mentioned in my ‘New Beauty Launches’ Video, this is my top picking. So it might not look as sophisticated as the Tom Ford or have as good closing click as the Laura Mercier but it’s a solid palette filled with such a selection that you’ll never leave any colour out. They are laid out in pre-prescribed trios, but I like to be a rebel and mix them up (wild) with my personal favourite combination being Nude on the lid, Cashmere Bunny in the crease and Sexspresso for a wee bit of lining. Killer eyeshadow and you won’t have to eat beans on toast till the end of eternity. Sorted.