Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Maybelline The Nudes Palette Review


     First off, let me say, Happy Veteran's Day! Thank you to those of you who have served and protected this country. The freedoms we have did not come free, they were dearly won by those who have gone before us and are protected now by those who currently serve. Veteran's Day is in honor of those who served our country in war and I hope we never forget that. Regardless of your political opinion, I hope we can all take a moment today to remember those in service to our country.

On to the review!

     I'm admittedly a little late getting on board with this one. Do you ever see something and get really excited about it but when someone says something negative it changes your mind? You wait for months before you try it yourself and then kick yourself for not getting it sooner. No? Oh, just me then... This was how it went for Maybelline's "the Nudes" palette. I just bought this palette about 2 weeks ago and after I opened it, I thought to myself, "Why did you wait so long?!?!?!?!" For some reason I got caught up in other people's negtaive or so-so reviews and I didn't think it was worth it. And maybe for $10.99 it wasn't. But for $6 something on sale I'd thought I'd give it a try. Also, some of my favorite eye shadows are a duo called "Browntones" and a trio called "Almond Satin." When I remembered that those colors were all from Maybelline, I was even more excited to try this palette. So read on!!

     Before I discuss swatches and formula, I want to talk about a neat thing that Maybelline did when they laid out the colors for this palette. The colors on the top and bottom rows can be grouped in sets of 2 horizontally, 3 horizontally or in 4 square quads.  The way they are arranged was very intentional and immediately gives you options of colors to put together. In the packaging and promotional images for this palette it explains this clever layout and the back of the palette itself shows a much smaller version of the diagram.  To see the full layout from Maybelline's website click here.You obviously don't have to follow those recommendations but it makes it easy to put together a look when you don't have time.

     The first look I did from this palette was using the shades from the middle quad. Two of those shades I was a little nervous about. The shades themselves don't have color names but their locations are the fourth from the left on the top row and third from the left on the bottom row. I am not usually a fan of anything that even hints of gold or orange tones but I've been trying to expand my range lately and use those colors. Since I bought my Revealed 2 palette, I have been using a shade I noted as being "color 3" in my tutorial here which is very gold toned. I found that I quite liked it and I think that prepared me to be more open to trying the gold toned shade in "the Nudes" palette. I found that these colors were great for creating a smoky bronzed look and quite flattering. I have also used the black from the bottom row to do a quick edge along the top of my eyelashes for extra definition.

     The other color I was worried about is the cool toned grey, (second from the left on the top row.) Greys are hard for me because I always feel like I need more color. I'm so pale that a flat cool-toned grey is tricky for me to pull off. I prefer taupe or chocolate brown or plum to add a little color while still being mostly neutral. The funny thing about this grey was that it has a little shimmer so it ended up looking slightly pearled and lavender. Not obviously purple by any means, it just turned out to have a much softer effect than I expected. I don't know if it melted with the pinks in my skin tone or what, but it turned out really nice. I'm starting to wonder if I've been missing out all these years because I was too afraid to branch out my colors!

      I've been using this palette for over a week now for some of my usual looks, some based on their diagrams and also mixing it up a bit. I've been fairly surprised. When I evaluate a palette for purchase or just for review, there are a few colors that I specifically look for and have to have. These are colors I always want because I know I will use them and it will frustrate me if I don't have them available. If a palette contains most of these colors, I'm pretty happy. My staple colors are:

- Matte taupe for eyebrows
- Cream or soft yellow for under eye, setting a winged liner look and under my eye brow
- Medium taupe or mauve for a soft natural crease
- Dark brown for crease and eyeliner
- Black for eye liner
- Shimmery pink or champagne for highlight

     I was excited to find this palette had the matte taupe for brows, a shimmery taupe and the grey for the natural crease look, two shimmery highlighters, three dark browns, black, the matte cream and a bonus shimmery bronze. This makes the palette ideal for travel as I have every staple color I need. If I want a pop of color, I need only add one or two single shadows and be done. ;)


     The swatches above are all over the E.L.F. Glitter Primer. The top row is right after application. I found that a soft dense brush worked really well for applying these shadows. They need the extra grab or the shadow doesn't get picked up. The bottom row is after about 11 hours of wear, 8 of which was while sleeping. If a shadow can hold up on my arm, while sleeping and being rubbed against things, I'm pretty satisfied. I don't plan on rubbing my eye shadow during the day but it happens so it's nice to know it's going to stay put. The shades on my arm correspond left to right with the shades on the top row, then the bottom row. You can see the edge of the primer on some of the darker colors and there is quite a difference with and without primer. The most realistic colors are the two photos above, while you can see some of the depth and intensity of the colors in the photo below. 

     These shadows are not the best I've ever used, but I do like them. I found them to be similar in formula to some of the NYX shadows I have. If you want a good set of neutral shades this would be a good buy, especially if you have an assortment of brushes to play with. With a good brush you can really do a lot with these. The only shades I would say I really had trouble with were the two lightest. They are the hardest to see in the swatches and they were the hardest build up.  The pigmentation on those needs improvement. They are very sheer and it was hard for me to get them to show up on my eyes. I find with colors like that it's best to put them on first, closest to the primer and then carefully layer over them where needed. This lets the truest color come out in the highlights and they don't have to fight over a darker color.

     Final thoughts? I am really happy I made the decision to buy this palette. It's the perfect size for travel, not too big or small and has fairly sturdy packaging. If I was feeling adventurous, I could probably swap out one of the "extra" staple colors for a color from a separate Maybelline duo, trio or quad. Most of the sizes in the Maybelline shadows are pretty similar and I can't imagine it would be too difficult. After I use up most or all of these shades, I may pop out the inner tray and make a mini DIY palette of other shadows. Until then however, this palette is pretty great on its own. I know that I have tons of other neutral/nude/natural palettes in my collection but this one has ALL of my staple colors in one compact container. No DIY magic, just grab and go. And for me, that makes it worth owning.

Have you tried the Maybelline palette? Do you have a favorite palette that is everything for you? Tell me in the comments!

***Disclaimer: All items mentioned in this or future posts have been purchased by me, at my own expense unless otherwise noted. I am not affiliated with or sponsored by any company or brand so you can be assured my opinions are mine alone. My opinions are based on my own experience and independent research. 

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