Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Em Cosmetics Career Life Palette

Update 10/9- I have tried all of the quads now, and I really like this palette. I am definitely glad I got it. Some more swatches still to come!
Update 10/1- Swatching is going slower than I would like because I need someone else to take the pics, and this week is a busy one around here.  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.

Career Life Palette

power suit-The blush is rather matte and pretty (I have been liking the cheek products overall). The lip products are flattering and not quite as bold as you might think from looking at the Em website.The overall look was really flattering, fresh and clean.  The variability of pigmentation of the shadows made my first go round a bit tricky, since I was unprepared for Black Pumps to be as strong as it was.
Power Suit

power suit 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:String of Pearls, Sheer Ambition, Silk Blouse, Pencil Skirt, Pinstripe, Black Pumps, Rose to the Top, Bold Statement, Power Suit.

out to lunch-AH! This is my favorite quad!  It is SO pretty and SO flattering on me!  I was tempted to keep going back to It, even though I knew I needed to try the other quads. I received a sample of this quad from Ipsy before I got the palette, and the Olive shade in the palette seems a bit different from the one in the sample.  No matter, I love this quad.  The blush is really pretty.
Out to Lunch

girl in charge-This look was really pretty and the colors definitely worked together. I have brown eyes and the violets, plums, and purples really set them off.  The look was actually pretty soft and feminine.
Girl in Charge

 girl in charge 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. I did a single swipe for each.
Left to right: Pink inc., Conference Call, Madison Ave., Seriously!, Corner Office, Corporate Card, Girl in Charge, Posh, and Chic.

 natural talent-This is a low-key natural look that can be built up if desired. It is simple and flattering.  All the components perform, but again, this is a low-key quad.  I like the lip products, but every time I use them, I wish they had packaged them in tubes rather than pans. 
Natural Talent

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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