Example: I've finally realized that really, really popular, best-selling, holy grail palettes tend to attain that status by appealing to the mean. If your skin tone is markedly lighter or darker than the mean, there is an excellent chance that the colors won't work for you.
Most palettes produced in the post-Urban Decay Naked palette world include light, medium, and deep shades of beige and brown that are used to contour the eye socket. (You know the drill: medium on the lid; dark in the crease; light under the brow bone.)
|Exhibit A: a smoky eye|
Because the smoky eye has been the reigning eye look for about the past decade, neutral palettes also tend to include at least one very deep shade. Here, it's blended on top of the eyeliner and into the crease, then smoked out to give that soft, gradient look.
To do this, you need a transition shade. This is the color you apply in and above the crease to help the dark shade blend seamlessly into your highlight. In the picture above, you can see it being used above the crease color and under the browbone highlight shade.
The transition shade should be four or five shades darker than your complexion. The problem is that if you're super pale, many palettes include transition shades that are far too dark.
|Exhibit B: The stupid palette that cost me $50|
The other colors seem like they'd be fun, and I guess if you're judging merely from the palette's adherence to its theme, they're great. I mean, with names like Cherry Cordial, Candied Violet, and Marzipan, the whole thing is as well thought out as a ride at Disney World. It's just that the colors are mostly very dark and too shimmery/sparkly and basically WHAT WAS I THINKING?
Hype, Falling For
I wasn't thinking. I fell like a ton of bricks for the hype. Hundreds of five-star reviews and YouTube raves will do that. So, what insanely valuable lesson have I learned from this?
First, stick to what works. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, allow me to draw your attention to exhibit C., a Too Faced palette that dates to the Jurassic period, before Too Faced started turning their makeup into candy. A palette with a transition shade that works for the ghostly pale moi.
|My ancient Too Faced Natural Eyes palette|
The middle shade in the top row, Velvet Revolver, is my perfect transition shade. I love it to death and wish it weren't so ridiculously tiny.
So, having learned this expensive (and embarrassingly obvious) lesson, guess what I'm not tempted by? Not even a little bit?
Too Faced's Chocolate Bon Bon palette, released in December, 2015:
And Too Faced's Sweet Peach palette, which was just released, and—speaking of hype—is already sold out.
Sell me one cutesy-themed unwearable eye shadow palette, shame on you. Sell me more than one--sell me a endless flood of the goddamned things? Shame on me.