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Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Color Institute: Make-up Studio Palette (Great Gift/Starter Palette!)

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I was in Shopper's Drug Mart the other day and I noticed they had some of their holiday gift sets out on display. I picked up this palette from The Color Institute at Shopper's for $14.99. I have also seen this sold at Kohl's in the U.S. for around the same price.

This palette includes:
  • 6 cream/glitter 'highlights'
  • 24 eyeshadows
  • 12 lip glosses
  • 2 blushes (each blush separated into 4 different colours)
  • 2 bronzers (each bronzer separated into 4 different colours)
  • 2 highlight colours
  • 1 mascara
  • 6 small applicators
It comes in a box which has a flap that you can lift up to see exactly what you are getting inside.

After taking it out of the box, you can see that the palette is much smaller than the box. I was expecting it to be a bit larger, but once the tiers are expanded, it is good size.

The 'eye highlights' (glitter/cream eyeshadows) can be seen from the top of the palette on the left and right hand sides.
 After opening the lid, you can see that it comes with a mirror, eyeshadows on the side and the mascara in the middle.

Here is what it looks like when it is fully expanded.

After swatching everything in the palette, I was most impressed with the bronzers. They are a great combination of shimmer and matte, but my only problem is that the bronzer is a bit too small and my larger brushes have a hard time of picking up the product. I am extremely careful as well because the lip glosses are right beside it and I don't want my brush to get into it.

Here are some swatches of everything inside this palette.

Pictured above are swatches of the eyeshadows. I chose to swatch some of my favourite colours. They don't have names, but the colours on the right hand side of the palette are more matte than the shimmery ones on the left hand side of the palette. There is some fall out, but it isn't as much as I had expected. Overall, I was pleased with these eyeshadows, but not blown away.

These are swatches of the 'eye highlights' which are basically glitter/cream eyeshadows. They have glitter on top, so when you first use them, they will be full of glitter. After that, you are left with a cream eyeshadow. I swatched from right to left, so I started with the gold colour which swatched very nicely and didn't have a lot of glitter (mostly it has very fine glitter in it). Then I went onto the red which had almost no shimmer either and is definitely the most pigmented of them all (and my favourite). Then I swatched the green, and you can see that I swatched it twice. The green swatch on the right was the first one and it picked up a lot of the glitter on top. The green one on the left is a swatch after most of the glitter was gone. You can see that the actual product under the glitter looks less pigmented. This is the same of the other colours.I was most disappointed with the blue colour because the cream underneath is very weakly pigmented.

These are swatches of the bronzers. I wanted to swatch each colour separately because I have a hard time using a brush (and getting all the colours at once). I think I will end up using each colour as an eyeshadow. I love the quality of these bronzers as eyeshadows because they are pigmented and seem to blend nicely. The first four swatches on the left are from the right side of the palette and vice versa.

The first two swatches are of the shimmer/highlight powders, and they are all right. I think that if you were to use them over some sort of base that they would look a lot better. The other two swatches are of the blushes and I think they are a bit too intense for me, but using them sparingly could give just the right amount of colour.

These swatches are of some of the lip glosses. I swatched all of the more intense colours because the lighter ones didn't show up on my skin when I swatched them. These lip glosses are creamy and not too greasy. I love the pigmentation of these.

Those are my first impressions of all the products inside this palette. I haven't had a chance to use it enough to give a decent review, but I hope the swatches were helpful.

As of right now, I don't think I would recommend this palette if you're someone who already has a lot of makeup. There isn't really a stand out product that I thought would make this palette worthwhile.

However, I think this is a great gift to give someone who wants to get into makeup, or is coming into that age.

I remember getting makeup sets when I was younger and the quality of most of them was horrible. I was thankful for the gift of course, and at the time I really loved using them, but looking back, the quality wasn't that great.

This palette has some good quality makeup in it though, and I think it would be a great starter palette.

My major problem with it though (and many other combination palettes) is that they put the lip glosses and other cream-based products right beside the powder ones. Powdery products tend to have some fallout and if you're travelling with these palettes, the powder will get into the cream products. This can ruin your lip glosses and other cream products, either by changing their texture or their colour.

My suggestion would be that they should put these creamy products on another tier of the palette, or in a small drawer. An example of this would be NYX's Nude on Nude Palette (click to view). The eyeshadows are on the top level and the lip glosses come out of the bottom and are located in their own separate drawer.

Overall, I would recommend this as a starter palette. It's a great price for some good quality makeup!


Product: The Color Institute's Make-up Studio Palette
Price: $14.99 (Shopper's Drug Mart, Kohl's)
Grade: B-
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