The Danessa Myricks Groundwork Defining Neutrals Palette is an eyeshadow palette and multi-use product containing 10 shades of neutrals, each split into two formulas. For each shade there is one larger pan with a creamy velvet pomade and a smaller pan with its corresponding powder. You can use the pomades and the powders together or separately. I’ll talk about how I’ve been using the palette and what has worked for me later in the post. It retails for $65 which is a bit steep but feels fair for the amount of product and care that was put into its design. It is available to purchase from several retailers including Danessa Myricks Beauty, Sephora, and Beautylish, among others.
The palette is a bit larger than others I have that are in a similar format but I still find it easy to pick up and hold in one hand. Here is what it looks like next to a handful of other palettes for size comparison:
It’s a bit on the weightier side and feels durable and well made. It opens and closes magnetically and the pans can be removed via a small notch on the bottom right of each shade. The outer part feels like it is made of cardboard with a metallic bronze covering and the part that is actually holding the pans feels like plastic. The shade names are visible inside the palette for easy referencing if that is something that is important to you.
Sandstone – Pale yellow-toned nude. Works okay on my cooler/neutral undertone and is just barely light enough to get away with using as a brow bone highlight.
Desert – Medium yellowish brown. Similar to Mirage but “cooler”, and greener by comparison.
Mirage – Medium orangey brown.
Chiseled – Medium taupe with subtle red undertones.
Sculpted – Deep neutral brown with subtle olive undertones.
Stone – Medium green-leaning taupe.
Core – Medium burnt orange.
Harvest – Medium-deep brown with strong red tones. Leans almost burgundy.
Bark – Deep warm brown with subtle red undertones. Very similar to Sculpted.
Tourmaline – Soft black. The powder has a bit of a sheen that the other shades don’t have.
Ways You Can Use It
As An Eyeshadow Palette
While you can use it similarly to the way you’d use a regular all-powder eyeshadow palette, keep in mind the shades in here are sheerer. Using the pomades by themselves or the powders by themselves doesn’t give me the best color payoff or wear time. To use this as an eyeshadow palette, I would use the pomades first to place color where I want it and give the powders something to adhere well to, and then go back over the same areas with the powders to set them. This combo results in much more satisfying color payoff. The pomades are more forgiving and flattering on my aging and sometimes textured eyelids than a heavily pigmented powder. The powders are also very lightweight. The combo of the pomades and the powders overall sit very nicely on the skin compared to many other eyeshadows I have.
One pitfall to using it as an eyeshadow palette has been slightly less wear time than regular eyeshadow and I have to be mindful to use a primer, use the pomades lightly, and make sure to use plenty of the powder shades when going over top to handle oil/moisture that will break through during the day. Another pitfall is that applying eye makeup this way is more time consuming and takes more steps to complete than just using a highly pigmented eyeshadow from the get-go. The trade off is that it just looks better though – less patchy and less heavy.
To Contour Or Bronze The Face
I have used Chiseled (pomade) with my fingers to help define and bring some warmth to the sides of my cheeks and along the top of my hairline. It blends out really easily and looks super natural. I’ve used it a bit similarly on the eye but haven’t worn it all day that way yet. The pomade alone adds just enough color for me to tell that I’ve “done something” but it doesn’t look like makeup… so perfect for for the no-makeup makeup look. I have not tried setting the pomades with the powders when using it this way, mainly because the powder pans are so tiny that I find it impractical to try using larger face brushes in them.
To Fill In The Brows
I have mainly been using the pomade side of Tourmaline to darken and fill in my brows. I use a tiny angled brush and tap lightly into the pomade. It helps but isn’t absolutely necessary to tap some of the excess onto the back of my hand. This is easier to use and sheerer than something like the ABH DipBrow Pomade and it doesn’t set like that does, so I don’t feel like I’m screwed if I mess up and don’t apply it quite right at first. I can go in lightly and build up the color to the intensity I want and I find the whole thing really easy to control. I dabbled in the other shades but found they didn’t match my brows very well or were too red/warm for me.
To Define The Lips
I have only used the shade Sandstone for this to either tap onto the center of the lips for some brightness or to outline around the edges of the lip for a crisper line. I tried using Core as a lip color but didn’t think it was a flattering color on me and the pomade was a little too dry to use that way.
Other Miscellaneous Uses
I have also used Sandstone (pomade) to smooth/brighten the brow bone, tightlined with Tourmaline (pomade), and used Core (pomade) as a blush and color corrector.
Pros and Cons
Things I like:
- Flattering on mature/textured eyelids.
- Wide range of undertones and depths.
- Innovative product design helps inspire creativity.
- More versatile than a regular eyeshadow palette.
Drawbacks to consider:
- Shorter wear time than regular eyeshadow.
- Can be more involved and time consuming than regular eyeshadow.
Do I Recommend It?
Definitely consider the drawbacks but aside from those, I’d still say yes. I have managed to incorporate this palette into my “base” makeup routine (anything that’s not eyeshadow, blush, or lip product) in ways that I’d be sad to not have now that I’ve used it. There are other products I’d rather use strictly as eyeshadow but I’m glad to have these neutrals as well for the fantastic job they did with the undertones.
- Sandstone (pomade) – Brow bone
- Sandstone (powder) – Inner corner
- Chiseled – Transition, inner half of lid (used pomade and set with matching powder shade)
- Harvest – Outer lid/crease (used pomade and set with matching powder shade)
- Tourmaline (pomade) – Brows, smudged into base of upper lashes, outer lower lashline
- Stone (pomade) – Most of lower lashline, more diffused than Tourmaline
The third and fourth photos in the carousel are what it looks like with just the pomades on the eyes. They’re definitely lighter/sheerer than a regular eyeshadow and using the powders to set them gives me more of the color payoff I am used to from eyeshadow.
- Sandstone – All over lid, brow bone
- Core – Outer crease, lower lashline
- Stone – Inner crease
- Harvest – Inner/outer lid
- Tourmaline – Brows, smudged into upper lashes
- LA Girl Shade Shifter Duo Chrome Eyeshadow in Sunset – Lid
The last photo is an alternative using a shimmer on the lid.
- Mirage – Above crease
- Desert – Inner lower lashline
- Sculpted – Outer lid, crease
- Bark – Outer lower lashline
- Tourmaline (pomade) – Brows, smudged into base of upper lashes
- LA Girl Shade Shifter Duo Chrome Eyeshadow in Jade – Lid
- Tourmaline (pomade) – Brows
- Chiseled (pomade) – Contour, crease, lower lashline
- Sandstone (pomade) – Brow bone, outer edges of the lip, lightly on center of lip
- Core (pomade) – Color corrector underneath concealer
For this one I wanted to show how this looks used in a no-makeup makeup look with a before and after actually not wearing any makeup. I used several other products and have a longer tutorial for this on YouTube if you are curious.
- Stone – Transition
- Tourmaline – All over lid, crease, and lower lashline
- LA Girl Shade Shifter Duo Chrome Eyeshadow in Aura – Center of lid, center of lower lashline
- Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb Highlighter in How Many Carats?! – Inner corner, brow bone
- ColourPop Creme Gel Liner in Swerve
I wanted to try the black cream and powder layered to see how well they would work for a black smokey eye. I liked this combo a bit better than the cream/powder duo in the Patrick Ta Major Dimension III Palette (review here) and enjoyed the unique finish from the slight shimmer in the powder.