In a post which might as well be the start of a new series, I present new(-ish) eyeshadow palettes I am not buying and the reasons why, this in spite of their nearly-irrisistible appeal. It is not an original idea of mine — indeed, so-called ‘anti-hauls’ are a common feature among the beautubers I am subscribed to — still I wanted to contribute to this ‘counter-newness’ rhetoric and thus be of help to my readers, as I point out older and/or cheaper alternatives that, while not fully duping new palettes, do evoke the same feel overall of new drops, and talk myself out of more items to wishlist at the same time.
It’s not just that I am going through a no-buy phase — I am very comfortable with the number of eyeshadow palettes I own, while simultaneously aware that said number is inflated when compared to an average makeup collection. Since I noticed a disparity in numbers for palettes coming in and palettes going out of my life last year, I have been more aware of my makeup-related spendings and how I may be contributing to problems of environmental waste, how active my part is in creating demand which, in turn, constitutes an increase in production and, overall, the financial waste that also comes with it and of which I’m the major victim.
This perspective of responsibility is fairly easy to have in what concerns every makeup product other than eyeshadow. It is, admittedly, my weakness, which is why a personal grip on it must be even tighter. Different formats (as in sizes or layouts) or an attachment to a particular intellectual property do justify owning two very similar items to me. It is… a choice. I didn’t say it was a smart one! For 2022, I decided to shop only from my top brands and on specific occasions, such as last call sales or other good deals. To summarise, if it’s not discounted, I’m not buying. This is the perspective that shall be maintained going into 2023.
Some of the alternative palettes mentioned will be unavailable as of time of publishing, so is the nature of beauty releases and stocks nowadays. And yet, I wanted to include them still, as I blog from personal experience and personal experience includes my relationship with personal belongings. Perhaps you own the same palettes as me and will, likewise, conclude that you don’t need these new drops. Or you find yourself rediscovering old loves. Or decide to browse commercial websites in the hopes of finding them because they might be cheaper than what’s new at Sephora. There is so much that can be taken from a single person’s post or video, because we are not all looking for the same thing.
Patrick Ta ‘Major Dimension II’ & Melt ‘Gemini II’
As I have pointed out before, rosy eyeshadows have recently resurged in exciting new high-end options. Two of them that caught my eye are Patrick Ta‘s ‘Major Dimension II’ and ‘Gemini II’ by Melt Cosmetics. Like their names suggest, they constitute follow-ups of previously released palettes: Ta’s because it maintains the format of the first ‘Major Dimension’ palette and overall neutrality, though giving it a rosy tinge; Melt’s as it complements the highly-praised ‘Gemini’, though it somewhat repeats the array of greens.
Dismissing either palette is easy, starting with the price tag, but mostly due to the fact I am not interested in testing out these brands.
MUA to the stars Patrick Ta has been making waves in the digital beauty bubble with his own brand since launch, particularly for his cream products. While I cannot deny everyone else’s experience, or the appeal of his luxury-looking catalogue, it is easy to let go of the whole brand when I have no emotional affiliation with the creator nor his creations. I for sure do not appreciate how 2 pans out of 12 contain cream eyeshadows, as I am not hot on non-powder formulations. I know I would never get to wear them, and at over €60, I feel I can’t afford to buy something if I cannot (in theory) use in in its entirety.
As for Melt’s palette, though it is gorgeous (even more so than Ta’s), it seems like it only makes sense when paired up with the first ‘Gemini’, which I do not own. Most reviews emphasize the absence of tonal diversity across what’s mostly matte shades; an observation, I’d argue, also works for the original palette. Nevertheless, both palettes together make up for a beautiful, grunge colour story that speaks of both petals and thorns. Whenever I feel interested in what would eventually be my first palette from the brand, I remember stories of Melt eyeshadows breaking or “exploding” post opening, or even allegations of growing mould. Even if, in fairness, I do think people can unjustly read physical changes to the product propelled by drastic changes in temperatures and humidity (thus, a reaction to the environment) as something perilous, such stories are enough for me to keep Melt at bay.
Earlier this month, I wore Colourpop‘s ‘Cherry Crush’ palette, together with a liquid eyeshadow by Corazona. It was only when my makeup was done that I realised this combination gave me the same result I’d expect from the Patrick Ta or Melt. If you ignore the middle column, you will note a similarity between ‘Cherry Crush’ and ‘Major Dimension II’, notably between the right-hand column and the left-hand side, respectively. As for ‘Gemini II’, it does present a couple of light options that ‘Cherry Crush’ does not, but I would rather pull these from another palette than spend high-end money on colours I already own. The greens are not the main focus of the palette for me, and as such I have no need to “dupe” them.
Last month, I posted a ranking for my palettes by Anastasia Beverly Hills. While I maintain my views on the palettes I own, I no longer feel like purchasing from the brand after learning of the links between founder Anastasia Soare and pro-Putin propaganda, this connection coming into light (in the beauty community, at least) after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I do not want to put my money into this company, even if I had no alternatives to their makeup products. Fortunately, I do.
The brand new ‘Nouveau’ palette is a mostly neutral colour story peppered with military green, gold and what seems like a very pigmented lavender. While many beautubers cover it in their videos, others take it to social media to discuss dupes and alternatives, not just for monetary reasons, but as part of boycotting the brand. Known alternatives seem to be the newest Jaclyn Cosmetics palette and Sydney Grace’s ‘Tiny Marvels’ palette, made in collaboration with the late and fondly remembered Mel Thompson.
European access to these brands does not seem very straightforward, which might invalidate them as alternatives to ABH. Then again, neither is access to Colourpop, which I am able to get and extensively talk about. The big difference here is price, with Colourpop being the most affordable option, something to keep in mind considering there will be shipping costs and taxation upon arrival at customs for these brands. It’s possible that either W7 or Technic Cosmetics, both British drugstore brands, will release real dupes for it, as they are known to do.
Again, I turn to Colourpop and how prevailing it is my eyeshadow palette collection to dupe the vibes of the new ABH. This launch reminds me so much of ‘So Very Lovely’, not only because of the lavender, but also due to the proximity of the neutrals. All that is missing is that hint of olive green, which I own in ‘The Child’ palette. While the greens do not guarantee a perfect match, looking at ‘Nouveau’ made me consider how pretty it would be to pair up these Colourpop names.
I am also sure this palette can be easily duped using brands such as Makeup Revolution or Essence, but I have no sure example to present you with.
…and that summer colour story.
This section is not dedicated to one new palette in specific, but to colourway that appears to be popular for summer, every summer: a neutral palette with orange, blue, pink and yellow/gold extras. It’s easy to see why brands are keen on this curation, as it provides customers with neutral staples and fun, loud pops of colour at the same time, thus appealing to both “everyday” makeup lovers and colour fiends. The chosen shades are reminiscent of sea water and pool blue tiles, and the cold snacks that summer brings. These colours will “mature” as Autumn arrives but, for now, they remain loud and unapologetic.
Colourpop capitalized on this colourway last year not with one, but with two collaborations: Malibu Barbie, as well as Hello Kitty. The latter broke down the large Barbie palette into four monochromatic quads. For this year, they did somewhat update the concept through the ‘In the Springs collection’, though pinks were left behind. Makeup Revolution, on the other hand, is maintaining both pink and yellow in their recent collaboration with British reality show ‘Love Island’. The collection includes a large 18-pan palette named ‘I’ve got a Text’ and fashioned after the brand’s Forever Flawless line (housed in tin). The main difference between these palettes, beyond size, is the amount of yellow present in the blues, with the blues in Rev’s palette being closer to teal.
Once upon a time, I swore that I’d buy the full bundle should Colourpop collab with Barbie. That did not happen, for one reason or another. As for Rev’s collab, I was not even aware of the show’s existence, as a non-British person, and do not feel inclined to buy anything that is associated with properties or people I am not partial to, as I feel no pull in said names.
I realized I already own a few palettes from Colourpop which, when combined, give me about the same shades of colour (excluding the neutrals), all 2021 releases which are still available. From the Smoothie collection, ‘Strawberry Sweet’ offers that hot pink, together with three complementary options, while ‘On the Mango’ has both marigold and tangerine oranges. The blues are a bit trickier, even more so since blue is my least favourite colour to wear on the eyes, and thus the one colour that is seldom available within my collection. However, between the ‘High Tide’ and ‘Blue Moon’ palettes, both from Colourpop as well, I’m covered. As either palette can be depotted (the quads cannot), I shall have no problem taking any chosen shades with me, if I wish to live that summertime fantasy on-the-go.
Another alternative I feel matches the vibe of “the summer colourway” in a concise edition is the oldie ‘Not a Basic Peach’ by Wet n Wild. I never saw this palette being sold in Europe, but I managed to get it from Ebay last year. It is mostly a cocktail hour-inspired story with a pop of blue — but add a pink or two and your seasonal looks will be covered.
Colourpop is currently having a last call sale where you can buy from the Barbie and Smoothie collections. And if you are a fan of the show or do not care about such things, I would recommend ‘I’ve got a Text’ if you fancy the colour story and have no alternatives for it. Revolution is a top brand for me!