It’s not always true that less is more. When it comes to some of the truly amazing, big, bigger and biggest makeup palettes on the market for Holiday 2011, MORE is more! Big makeup palettes in the past used to cost a queen’s ransom. They were precious playthings for those with a lot of cash. The most shocking (and awesome) thing about these mega makeup palettes is that they are all from high quality brands, and all are actually affordable. They are within the reach of most everyone, with quality, color selection and a range of options that are truly staggering. Some of these will be in permanent collections, but others are limited edition and/or exclusive. They’ll be gone with the new year, or when collectors snap them up. SO HURRY!
The grandest and largest makeup palette of them all is the Mattese Elite Makeup Palette Kit $39.99 billed as: “all the makeup you could ever want.” They are not lying! It is truly is a makeup addicts dream! The large, black palette looks neat with a clear plastic top that showcases the staggering, 96 eye shadow shades (no, it isn’t a typo). But that only hints at what is under the proverbial hood of this astounding kit. Open the top (there’s a slim mirror underneath) and slide the eye shadow trays apart to the left and right, to reveal 63 lip glosses (no, that’s not a typo, either) and under these, a dozen powder blushes. A little tray at the bottom also holds mini makeup applicators: two double-ended, sponge tipped applicators, two blush brushes, and two lipstick brushes. IN all, this amazing kit has 172 different shades, and that’s before you even get the urge to blend and mix them! Some of the shades are matte, some shimmery, a few, ultra- shimmers. The intensity of the colors vary too, from fairly sheer, to very intense, You can wet the eye shadows and make them into liners–there is just about nothing you can’t do with this kit! Although it is beautiful to look at, actually, dazzling, it is also a bit daunting if you are just not sure how to handle so many different shades. My advise is to experiment. Try each shade at least once on your skin, so you know what you love. The eye shadows and lip glosses are actually split into half by cooler shades on the left, warmer ones on the right. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use them all (you absolutely can). When you get a kit these large and fabulous, the idea is just to play with it until you get the looks you want. The conservative makeup user will have plenty to choose from, the creative one, an entire playground! The thing that totally blows me away is that this costs less than a high end lipstick, and yet the Mattese products are fashion-forward, high quality, and offer excellent performance. If I have any issues with the kit is it simply that the mini applicators are too small to really be really useful, but at less than $40, who caress? If this is a gift, add an inexpensive but nice makeup kit (the advice sisters have reviewed so many over the years on the What Works Beauty reviews, and on this new, website as well). You can get the Mattese Elite palette exclusively at Rickys NYC store locations and at www.RickysNYC.com as well. The best news? While this new mega-kit is being launched during the holidays, it will be available after the holidays as well. This is the one gift you really will want to give to yourself. I can’t think of a nicer way to start the new year than with a huge, makeup kit created by Mattese Elite’s pro makeup artists. You deserve this one!
Also very impressive, and quite large, is the $29.99 Expert Mega Palette by Avon. This palette comes beautifully boxed, ready-for-giving, with cheerful, hot pink and silver metallic with a striking, lattice-work styled design. But look inside, and your heart begins to race with excitement! Closed, the palette is 6 1/2” L x 5 1/5” W x 1 1/8” D. The sleek black box has a lid with two dozen little clear-squares to showcase the color beneath, and an interior mirror. It lifts up to showcase a total of 75 different colors including: 36 eyeshadows and 36 lip glosses, plus 6 blushes. Also included are a mini blush brush; double-ended eye applicator and double-ended lip applicator. As you can see from the photo, the products are arranged with shadow to the left, lip glosses to the right, and the six shimmery and matte blushes in the middle. As with the other palettes, this one has a combination of shimmery shades and creamy or matte ones. Avon eye shadows are very versatile, and can be used dry for a softer and more sheer effect, or wet for intensity. They are long lasting, too. Most of the shades are sheer or fairly so, but there are also some more intense ones. The best way to learn what works for you and what doesn’t, is to try them all. Then around! There are some unusual shades in the palette, such as sheer glittery orange, and glittery bright purple lip glosses, but for the most part the palette is composed of very wearable earth tones for the eye shadows, plus a few blues, black, greys and greens, and pinks, nudes and peaches for the lip glosses, plus a few reds. The blushes include three very warm nudes, a peach, apricot and rose. There is so much to please everyone, and yes, Avon makes very good quality makeup. It seems almost impossible to put out a palette like this for under $30.00, but Avon has done it. Alas, this palette, along with a “Makeup To Go” mini palette that I’ll be reviewing later in the month, are limited edition for Holiday 2011, so visit the Avon Web Site or call your favorite Avon representative asap. These are not going to last long.
Also check out these killer palettes below, from Smashbox and Lorac. As with the two palettes above, the gifts that are most impressive are happily also turning out to be the best values. Lorac and Smashbox are two personal favorites of mine, and both offer a lot of holiday makeup gift options. But if you are looking for superb and impressive makeup gifts, I present: the Bejeweled Day & Night Jewelry Box ($56.00 – a $415 Value) from LORAC available at Sephora, and the $60.00 Be Discovered Holiday Palette from SMASHBOX, exclusive to ULTA.
This “Smashbox Be Discovered Holiday Palette” is large and really, eye-popping. I don’t know just what the comparable retail value would be, but I am sure that it is much, much more than just $60.00. Inside a cardboard box with colorful graphics, is an even more stunning, shiny, red, mirrored, two-tiered box that holds a treasure trove of Smashbox’s best selling eye, lip and cheek products, plus a few new colors to spark your interest. On the top level, looking like a big, artist’s palette of watercolors, are a whopping, in 45 powder eye shadows in light to deep and in matte, perle and shimmer formulas, three powder blushes, two powder highlighters, and a powder bronzer (light/medium). Pull out the little drawer underneath these, and delight in nine cream eye liners (including gold and silver) and very shiny, silky and sheer six lip glosses (the most intense is a deep raspberry stain), plus four mini brushes and a booklet with three tutorials. As co-creator of Smashbox, Davis Factor always emphasis when he talks to beauty editors, that Smashbox is unique because it was born in an actual, working studio. If the products look good on models and photograph well, they are going to be good for the average woman too. Smashbox pro lead makeup artist Lori Taylor also advised that when she looks for new colors, she tries them on a wide variety of different women with different complexions, so she can see right away what works. There are so many colors in this box that you will find most, if not all, flattering and fun to use! And, you can blend for even more possibilities! My only complaint if you can call it that, is while the palette is beautiful and full of amazing products, you can’t remove the products from the large box, which means if you love something, you can’t take it with you for a touch up, or travel. But SMASHBOX quality, performance, beauty, and an amazing price, makes this one of the top makeup gifts of the season! Visit www.ulta.com or your favorite ULTA store but hurry, this is a holiday limited edition.
The first thing you notice about this Bejeweled Day & Night Jewelry Box from LORAC is that it is glittery inside and out! The large, hard-sided cube, is already dressed to party, draped all over in champagne lace and sparkling with holographic glitter. Lift the lid of this three-tiered treasure, and find a large, oval mirror, plus 2 high shine lip glosses in peach and rose, plus a medium toned bronzer compact. The best thing is that you can remove the products in this set from the box for touch-up or travel, and yes, they’re full sized. They are also limited edition, exclusive to this set. Then use the glittery box for other “jewels” or little treasures (or give it to a young lady who isn’t ready for makeup, but loves girly things)!