While I have a lot of eyeshadow, I am still tempted by palettes (sometimes, once in a while), which have the timeless appeal of compelling, immediate* shade combinations. I wonder if I even care that they are eyeshadow, in a way. I suspect part of the temptation is the pure visual pleasure of certain shade combinations, a harmonious whole greater than the sum of its parts.
*The convenience and mobility of multiple shades built to work together in one small compact is meant to be a big mark for the pro column but eyeshadow isn’t one of those things I tend to carry around anyway, and I do not allow myself to use this as a personal selling point.
Usually, though, I really cannot justify acquiring them, as in the case of two that have been calling to me quietly, stubbornly, for the last year or more.
This is about $65, which I could almost stretch to—so glowing are the reviews, so gorgeous are the colors, so unflagging is my interest—but Charlotte Tilbury’s line, relatively new, doesn’t yet ship to the US and can only be had through Selfridges, the luxe British department store now of Masterpiece fame (I find Jeremy Piven awful in it, incidentally). They will deign to ship to the US for about $50, which I just cannot see my way to paying.
I like the combination of colors so well here, though, the saturated russett, the shimmering bronze, the warm champagne, the rich earthy brown…I decided to approximate it myself, with a bit of poetic license. I found this little 4 pan, no-fuss Japonesque compact, and chose some individual shadows to populate it. And (perhaps the best part) gave it a name.
Courtesy of a Sharpie gold metallic paint pen. I knew I’d need that one day.
The Minx. L to R: MAC Soba, MAC Antiqued, MAC Woodwinked, MAC Smut
The compact was something like $8 (with promo code, always with promo code), and it was around $10 for each shadow here (less for a few I found a deal on). I’m going to value this at around $45. It could have been less if I’d opted for shadows from SMH or Makeup Geek, say, around $6 each, and with pretty good reviews (though worthwhile to get reviews on individual colors under consideration, as quality is not consistent across a range – this goes for any brand, really).
Stunning, but $78 at the moment, plus tax, and I just can’t quite approve it in the budget: an impeccable warm neutral palette with one of the best formulas on the market, buttery smooth pigmentation, unparalleled blendability….and no. I cannot buy this now.
The Golden Age. L to R: MAC Nanogold, MAC Tempting, MAC Era, SMH Taz
This one could use some fiddling, I think. The first color a bit too pale? A work in progress.
For about $38? Something like that. Not exactly cheap, but acceptable (approve-able, do-able) to me in a way that $78 is not (for now…). It’s only a loose translation but one I like a lot, so what does it matter the point of departure?
One appealing aspect of these palettes is that I could switch any of the colors out for others (I have several shades in the bronze/gold/burgundy range, and any number of successful combinations might be made, a fun color exercise). I also could have gone to an INGLOT counter to do this for around the same price, which I was tempted to do, and which I reserve the right to do at some point in the future.
There’s an undeniable appeal to this kind of customization, and it’s no surprise that the consumer industry is leaning more and more toward incorporating the hand of the customer. You entirely sidestep that unfortunate scenario in which you pay for a palette but only intend to use some fraction of the colors, tolerating the duds and writing them off in the cost-benefit analysis. Basing your selection, even if loosely, on an existing palette you admire, is a way to capitalize on the knowhow that went into the color selection while injecting a bit of your own style; these colors are going to work, and they’re going to work especially well for you.