Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Em Cosmetics Day Life Palette

Update 10/9- I have tried all the looks in this palette, but I feel I need to re-visit a couple before passing final judgment.  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.

The Day Palette.

girls day out-This look is very low key and neutral. The lipstick and lip gloss pairing for this one was actually rather pretty and more colorful that a lot of the Life Palette lip products.  I put on Things to Do a bit too heavily at first because I was used to less pigmentation in these shadows.  I was wishing First Priority had better pigmentation, it seemed to hardly show up on my eye. The tutorial also had me use First Priority to highlight my browbone, not a place I usually want shimmer, but since it hardly shows up, that did not matter. The texture in this quad seemed more buttery.  The blush was flattering and had a bit of a sheen to it.

Girls Day Out

weekend brunch-This is just a really boring, plain jane quad.  I would be very surprised if anyone did not have colors in their existing collection to create the look.  It was very natural, but it did not really flatter, it was just sort of meh. The cheek “color” is absurd, and I wish they had just included a regular blush.  The lip colors were pretty though!
Weekend Brunch

coffee break-A lot of the “base” colors in this quad are too close to my skintone to really show up (but some will build for a faint appearance), so the effect is extremely natural.  If it were not for the eyeliner, it would be possible to think I was not wearing any makeup at all.  Remember, I have fair skin, so this may not apply to everyone.  In the suggested  look, I was directed to use Lotsa Latte as a contrast color, which actually made me laugh out loud, because the color in real life would definitely not do much in the way to contrast at all (on me anyways).  The cheek color surprised me, because it actually showed up!  I was a little worried it was going to be like the Weekend Brunch cheek color, Pinched, and not show up at all.  It actually looked rather low key and pretty. Speaking of pretty, the lip colors were really complimentary to the whole look. J So with Em suggested look completed, I was unsatisfied. So I revisited the little palette and filled in some color that would actually provide color and contrast (Expresso and Cocoa). Done with that I was actually rather happy with the look!  My experience with it made me want to re-visit the Weekend Brunch look, and monkey with it a bit. *Note-I will say this in my overall review notes, but the colors as they appear on the Em site can sometimes bear a faint resemblance to them in real life.  It is really odd.

Coffee Break

day dreaming-Soo pretty! The photos of these shadows on the Em site do not remotely do them justice. Silver Lining in particular is just gorgeous in person.  As has come to be my experience with these quads so far, the look is flattering, feminine, but not overwhelming. The shadows in the in this quad are of a creamier texture (weirdly the texture across quads and palettes is not universal).  I do wish Light Violet had a bit more pigmentation.

Day Dreaming

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 can't wait to hear your thoughts... I thought about purchasing one but, wasn't sure. Maybe your review will convince me! I always need good makeup to add to my collection!

    1. It IS quite pricey. I will be sure to be thorough in my review to help inform your choice.