Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Em Cosmetics Beach Life Palette Swatched! *Updated

Update 10/1- What I have decided to do is insert my comments about each of the quads as I wear them and sharing my review notes as I work with the palettes.  This way you can share in my experiences with them, and you want have to wait so long for my thoughts on them.  When I am done swatching each palette, I will let you know by updating the title of the post, and the same goes when I think have said everything I want to say about the palette review-wise.  Until I have updated the title with "swatched" or "review", you can assume the process is ongoing.  It is a bit of a different approach but I thought you might like it.  Also, I will sharing my overall impressions from the Life Palettes, and then my notes on each specific palette separately.

Beach Life Palette

poolside-This quad is really fun and colorful.  It really looks like you are ready to chill out or play when you have it on. The colors really popped on my lids.  It was a fun one for me to try because it is not a look I would put together on my own.  The eyeshadows are pretty decently pigmented with a buttery texture.  The blush is decently pigmented but the texture is not as nice (but not bad either).  And the lip products are sheer.  I LOVED it!  It is such a fun and pretty look.

poolside swatched:

Top row is without primer, bottom row is with primer (Too faced Shadow Insurance). In the brackets are the blush and the two lip products. Also, I did a single swipe for each
 Left to right: fun in the sun, sparkling, carribean jewels, backstroke, poolside, deep blue, peach fizz, tanline, and exposed nude.

sunshine lover-This is a fun and unique (to me)  look!  The whole thing pulled together really did have a sunshine fell to it. I was a little wary of the orange shadow, but it made sense in the context of the look. The taupe-brown lip gloss was especially pretty, it had some microglitter in it that was subtle and flattering.
Sunshine Lover
sunshine lover swatched:

Top row is without primer, bottom row is with primer (Too faced Shadow Insurance). In the brackets are the blush and the two lip products. Also, I did a single swipe for each
 Left to right: golden glow, sandcastle, olive, coral reef, hot stone, black sand, bronze simmer, hotspell, and 90 degrees.

cabana party- The cheek color is bright and pretty. Toes in the Sand is awful.  I worked ridiculously hard to get pigmentation from it and still did not come up with much, sooo sheer. Ugh L Bikini was pretty faint, but workable. The shadows in this quad are the most problematic to work with from the Life Palettes so far. The lip color for this one is bright, and I almost feel like it is here to save the day, to keep this look from becoming dullsville. Also, I followed along with the video tutorial, and I can tell you that they definitely layered some product in it, because my look is much less vibrant.  I am so annoyed with this quad I do not feel like building it up now either.  I look “fine.” It is sort of flattering but rather meh.

Cabana Party

cabana party swatched:

Top row is without primer, bottom row is with primer (Too faced Shadow Insurance). In the brackets are the blush and the two lip products. Also, I did a single swipe for each
 Left to right: toes in the sand, bikini, island sundress, in the nude, tiki bar, bungalow, cabana party, hottie, and sarong. *note:toes is in the sand IS pictured, it is that poorly pigmented.

summer getaway-I imagine this look would be especially flattering on those with darker skin tones. (I have a fair to light complexion.)  I think it will take me doing it a few times before I can get it where I want it (there are a lot of steps to the tutorial and so some layering is happening here).  It is sort of smokey with a gold and bronze sheen. The pigmentation on this quad was hit and miss, but there were no outright duds.

Summer Getaway
summer getaway swatched:

Top row is without primer, bottom row is with primer (Too faced Shadow Insurance). In the brackets are the blush and the two lip products. Also, I did a single swipe for each
 Left to right: sparkling gold, cruise, summer sunset, morrocan bloom, bali sands, onyx, summer getaway, bronze tryst, and peach colada

Review Notes so far...(10/7)

Life Palettes

The “Paint by Numbers” aspect is pretty fun. Okay, make that really fun!
The color combinations are BEAUTIFUL, and frequently (okay mostly) not looks that I would have put together on my own.  I feel like my horizons are being expanded a bit and I am LOVING it!
I LOVE that the looks are totally coordinated.  That has been a total hit for me.  Awesome for days when I do not have a lot of time but do not want to be too boring or basic. Also great for days when I am just lazy ;-) Ha!
You can depot the palette more easily than others.  I still would not want to pop things in and out on the regular, since it is easy to make a mess given how close the pans are to each other.
Overall, I rather like the cheek products.  The colors are pretty.  I am not sure how long they wear though. I tend to apply this type of product lightly, so I am never 100% sure if I am see blush or just my natural coloring.
The looks they put together are flattering but not overwhelming.  They are REALLY wearable.  They do not make people focus on the makeup itself, but rather they enhance your features, which is awesome.
The eyeshadow wear with a primer is excellent.  It looks like I just put it on, even several hours later, without creasing.
I actually really like both the instruction cards and video tutorials.  They really help to give me an idea as to what they were invisioning when they put the quads together. *Side note: I think her little “Good Luck!” at the end of the videos is a little weird.
I had to throw this category in to address the packaging.  I am fine with it, but I am also not one of those people who cares a lot about packaging.
The various pan sizes don’t really bug me.  Now my views may change as I work my way through the pans, but for now, I do not mind.
The brush is sort of ridiculous.  Given the cost of the palette, I would have expected something of better quality, more along the lines of the Urban Decay brushes. I have great brushes in my collection already, but still.
The variability in eyeshadow pigmentation.  This is a serious problem.   They can be built up of course, but at the cost of these palettes, I should not have to work at getting color.  Personally, I pretty much always use primer but with some of my shadows, I do not HAVE to.  I would not even consider wearing the Em shadows without a primer.
The lip product placed so close to all of the powders.  It is way too easy to cross-contaminate and ruin your lip product.  That is why my first order of business was to remove all of the lip products and put them into little palettes of their own, one for each of the life palettes I have.   For my lip palettes, I used some of those dollar Elf palettes.  I pulled out the plastic bit on top that holds the shadows and put in a magnetic adhesive. 
I am not loving the lip products so much, they are just okay.  They are pretty sheer overall and do not have much in the way of lasting power. Also, the pots are pretty small, it seems likely I will go through them a lot earlier than the other products.  I really wish they had just provided a separate lip palette or a set of tubes of lipstick. I have started finding a tube of lipstick in my collection that generally matches the quad color(s) to touch up with during the day.  I really do not want to deal with the hassle of transferring it back and forth to the travel palette.
The individual shadows are not for sale yet, but it takes me a long time to get through product, so I am sure it will be by the time it happens.
Some of the recommended tutorial looks from the individual quads are underwhelming.  There is also repetitive “cat eye” and “wing” recommendations which gets boring quickly.
All of the looks I have seen suggest using one or two of the quad shadows as an eyeliner, which begs the question, why not just include eyeliners?

The colors as they appear on the Em site can sometimes bear a faint resemblance to them in real life.  It is really odd.

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Photo Credit: NYX
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  1. I love the colors in the bottom right corner. I'd love to see swatches whenever you have them up.

    1. I wore that one yesterday and I really liked it!

  2. Thanks for this great review! I just ordered the Beach Life palette and am super excited to try it out. I have one of the samplers from em cosmetics already and am really enjoying it, so hopefully I'll like the full-sized palette, too. Have a great day!


    1. Let me know how you like it after you get it! The poolside quad is awesome!