Saturday, June 21, 2014

Maybelline The Nudes Palette // A Review and Swatches

My love for makeup is generally reserved for high end/department store brands. Though I'm willing to try new things, I think I will always be biased toward high end cosmetics. As such, I'm normally not the first person in line to try a new launch at the drugstore...but nothing draws me in hook, line, and sinker like a neutral eye palette.

Maybelline The Nudes Palette

Maybelline recently released The Nudes palette which contains 12 neutral shades of eyeshadow, a rare achievement for a drugstore brand. Modestly priced at just under $10, this palette is a great budget alternative (though not a dupe) for the Urban Decay Naked palette. This would also be a great palette for a beginner (of any age) as the packaging contains a helpful chart with suggestions for shadow pairings, breaking the shade groupings into quads, trios, and duos.

Slated for a June/July release, this product hasn't hit the shelves of every drugstore yet. Most people who've managed to snag one have found them in Bed Bath & Beyond's Harmon drugstore section (of all places). This is where I found mine, which was the last one on the display. I even managed to pay just under $7 for it using a store coupon. So far as I know, this palette is not limited edition.

Close up of shades in Maybelline The Nudes Palette

I find the quality of the shadows to be on par with what you might expect from a drugstore palette. Not every shade is highly pigmented or easy to work with, but it's more hit than miss. Some of the shades didn't produce the greatest swatches, but ended up being easy to work with on the eyes. The real stand-outs of the palette are the darker shades, which pack some pretty serious punch. The lighter shades, though not majorly pigmented, are great blending shades.

Having swatched each shade (over Laura Mercier primer) for your viewing pleasure, here is my shade-by-shade breakdown. (Starting with the top row, left to right.)

Hand swatch of shades 1-6

1. White metallic highlight shade with a gold shift. Quite flaky and chunky.
2. Taupe shade with a satin finish. Color needs to be built up to stand out. Would make a great transition shade.
3. Cream matte transition shade. Color needs to be built up to stand out, but performs well on the lid and creates a blank canvas.
4. Lovely and highly pigmented bronze metallic. Very smooth to work with.
5. Cool matte taupe. Hard to see the difference between it and #2, though it's easier to use than #2.
6. Highly pigmented matte espresso.

Hand swatch of shades 7-12

7. Highly pigmented metallic warm mocha brown.
8. Highly pigmented matte cocoa.
9. Metallic gold. Pigmented but slightly flaky. Color needs to be built up to stand out.
10. Dark brown, leans more satin than metallic, but is pigmented.
11. Metallic nude shade that would work well for highlight or blending.
12. Matte black, not a very deep black.

Close up of eye look

Close up of eye look

Full face

Side view

How I got this look: Shade 3 all over the lid, Shade 9 in the inner corner of the eye, Shade 4 on the outer corner of the eye, Shade 7 to deepen the crease, Shade 11 on the brow bone and to blend the edges, bronze eyeliner (MAC Teddy), black mascara (Maybelline Full 'N Soft Very Black).

Given the price point, I find this palette to be an excellent deal. Though a couple of shades deliver a lackluster performance, the darker shadows in the palette more than make up for this. Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase and glad I bought into the launch hype. How many neutral palettes does one girl need, you ask? The answer is simple: all of them.

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