Hey guys! For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, I am currently in the middle of my final exams for university. I had my first exam at 4pm yesterday, which is when I normally post around. That is why this post is going up on Saturday! I have another exam on Monday and then my last two on Thursday, so next week’s post should go up on Friday.
Sometimes in life you see something and know immediately that you need it. That’s how I felt when I saw the James Charles palette. I like James, but I’m not a hardcore fan. But when I saw the palette and watched his full reveal, I was blown away. I was actually looking to get a colourful palette when he released it, so it was perfect timing. I ordered the palette the day it released (I bought it in class haha). I got the palette within a week, which is pretty great because this was during the postal strike. The palette cost $50 CAD, and I bought a few other items to get the few international shipping. The other times I’ve ordered from Morphe I had to pay duties, but this time I didn’t have to!
I asked you guys on Instagram if you wanted my first impression on the palette or an in-depth review, and the later won. So I took a couple weeks to play around with the palette. I was busy with end of term papers and studying for exams, so I still haven’t had the chance to use the entire palette. But I have done three different glam looks, along with playing with it for more everyday looks. I’m going to start the review saying that this palette is amazing, but it’s not for everyone.
This palette contains 39 eyeshadows, ranging in colour and finish. The top two rows are the more traditional glam shades, including transition shades, highlighting shades and a few metallic shades. In the middle are 7 larger pans, which James thinks people will use the most, along with one face highlight. The bottom two rows are all the fun colourful shades. I really like the layout of the palette. It is logical and eye-catching. It makes me inspired. My only compliant is that I could have done without the large highlight. There are already some shades to highlight the inner corner and brow bone, but I always forget about the one in the palette when I’m doing my face makeup.
I have decided not to swatch the full palette – mainly because it’s a lot to swatch all 39 shades haha. I did just the rainbow to show you a few of the shades. As well, there has been some controversy about some of the shades not swatching well. If you are curious about seeing swatching, I suggest you watch James’ reveal video, he explains that some shades are better packed on than swiped. While it is sometimes useful to look at swatches to see how shimmers or metallics look, they don’t often trying represent how mattes preform.
Now for the actual formula of the shadows. These colourful mattes are amazing. I find the darker shades are super pigmented, and the lighter ones are pretty good as well they just need to be built up a bit. For example, when I used the shade Bee (the bright yellow) at first it was a nice light wash of yellow but I was able to build it up to intense yellow. The shades are overall pretty true to what’s in the pan. Some of the shades do get darker the more you use it, but that’s true for most mattes anyways.
Now the shimmers/metallics in this palette are mediocre. I’ve used a few of the shades thinking they were going to be bright and intense, but they were all right. For example, the shade Wig is a classic gold shade. I decided to compare the shade to the golds in the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe palette and the 35O (order in photo top to bottom is James, Jaclyn 35O). The other two shades are definitely creamier and more impactful, with the Jaclyn Hill one being my personal favourite. I’m not saying this shimmer shades are bad – they are still pigmented and easy to use. They are just not the best I’ve ever used, but they get the job done.
Like I mentioned above, I decided to do multiple looks with this palette to test out some different shades. I am definitely planning to do more looks with this palette, so check out my Instagram (@xoxoxoleelee) for more. The first look is definitely a little out there, but I loved it! I used the shades Punch Me, Mary and a little Code James in the crease, and then I put Bee all over the lid. My housemate said it reminded her of pink lemonade! All the colours I used for this look blended easily – like I mentioned before the mattes are definitely the best part of the palette.
The next look I decided to do a fun Christmas look for the next one. I also wanted to test out the red as well. I used Punch Me and 10% Off in the crease, then all over the lid I put Guac. While Guac was very pigmented, there was surpisingly not that much shimmer even though I used my finger to apply it. On my lower lash line I used You’re Kidding and WOW is this shade pigmented. It also such a true red. Some people were complaining that the red stains and yes this did stain my lower lash line, but it wasn’t that bad. I wore makeup the next day and it wasn’t noticeable underneath it. Finally in the inner corner I put some So Good along with some glitter. This was a pretty easy look to do! (Also excuse the massive bags under my eyes, I was so tired when I did this look. I took my makeup off and went to bed immediately after haha).
The final look I decided to do a warm smokey eye to test out the middle shades in the palette. I used all the big pans in the middle – Tune, Code James, 10% Off, No beans and Spooky. I used a combination of Halloween and Shook on the lid. In my inner corner I just used my highlight. Once again I wasn’t that impressed with Halloween and Shook – they were decent but not mind blowing. I am also not a huge fan of Tune, I would have preferred it Punch Me was bigger, but that’s my personal preference when it comes to matte crease shades.
Overall, I think this palette is great for people looking to get into colourful and creative looks, because the matte shades are the best part of the palette. If you are someone who wears prefers to stick to neutrals, I wouldn’t recommend this palette. Only half the palette are neutral, every day shades and $50 is a lot to spend on only half a palette. As well, the shimmers are not that impressive. If you are someone who likes neutral shades but wants a little colour, I would recommend the Jaclyn Hill palette. There are way more neutral shades and the shimmers are way more intense. If you are someone looking to experiment with colour, this is an amazing palette. It has all the colourful shades you could ever wish for. I am really happy that I purchased this palette, and I’m excited to continue playing with it.
Hope you guys enjoyed this really in depth review, let me know if you liked it and I should continue doing palette reviews like this!