Monday, March 21, 2016

Those Goddamned Too Faced dessert-themed palettes—another rant by Auntie Haul

You know the old Amish saying: "We are too soon old and too late smart." Well, that about sums me up.

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
In the picture above, I'm assuming that Milk Chocolate, the matte light brown shade in the middle of the top row, is the transition shade. Another candidate would be Salted Caramel, with is the first shadow in the middle row, all the way to the left. It's matte, with a soft, almost velvety texture, but it's a very warm brown that pulls weirdly yellow on me.

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.


  1. So what's your take on the rule that (ahem) those of us whose eyelids are beginning to get crepey (shudder) should not use shimmery eye shadows, but should stick with velvets sans shimmer?

    1. I've tried the all-matte eyeshadow look, and frankly, I find it ageing.

      The thing is, natural skin isn't completely matte, so if you cover crepey lids with a matte shadow, you have wrinkley skin that looks like it's been dipped into a vat of flour.

      Cosmetics companies add light reflective ingredients to moisturizers, primers, and foundations manufactured for mature women, because a soft radiance blurs lines.

      Accordingly, my favorite eye shadow texture is a satin, rather than a full-on powdery matte.

      I also feel free to use actual shimmer, pearl or even microglitter—close to my lashline. Especially my lower lash line, because that's a crepe-free zone. And so, my arsenal includes some eye shadows and liners with actual sparkle. The nerve of me! ;-)

      YMMV, of course. Hope this helps!

  2. I stick with one shadow--Chanel's "Lotus" and do my best work with 3-4 different pencils in a range of taupes and browns! Why is makeup marketed as something you eat. I never want to buy something that is called "Chocolate" or "Peach." I did break down and buy a YSL sheer gloss called "Candy" but I did it despite the name! x

    1. One eyeshadow. ONE. /thunk

      OK, now I know where your Van Cleef haul money is coming from. Because I haven't spent an Alhambra bracelet on eyeshadow, but I've definitely spent a couple of Hermes bangles.

      And yeah, this instinct for gourmand everything. Don't get me started on fruity/floral perfumes and everyone walking around smelling like a slice of watermelon. I'm partial to some of that stuff myself. I even have a soft spot for Bonne Bell Lip Smackers. Particularly the lemonade flavor. But I want to gag every time I open my Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette. The cocoa aroma is really too much.


  3. I only buy single shadows and if you broke into my home and looked at them they would all look the same ... what I call "skin tone" ... that shadow goes all around the eye and up to the brow and , like Jill March, I have eye pencils in different colours . If I want a touch of shine I have stila's Kitten single shadow to just do a tiny fairy dab on the eye or under the brow .
    One eyeshadow for Jill March ... I do not know how she does it as I am too tempted to buy more "skin colours" when in the shops ! :)

    1. I'm that way with "eye colors." I have hazel/brown eyes and am magnetically attracted to dark olive green shimmery shadows. I have more than one unopened Jane Twilight Zone, which is the cheap drugstore shadow that started the obsession about 15 years ago. When they discontinued it, I bought a few backups. I also have a Lancôme version, as well as the Hourglass Modernist palette in Color Field or whatever it's called ... that's off the top of my head. I'm sure there are others, because I'm about olive green shadows the way a zombie is about brains ... will smash through shop doors and windows to get more.


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xxx, Poppy.