Essence recently came out with these little monochromatic six pan palettes. It looks like there are currently 8 of them, all of them with 3 mattes and 3 shimmers. The plastic snap-shut compact is small enough to fit in the palm of my hand and has a nice sized mirror inside the lid. The pans are small but I can still comfortably fit my brushes into them. On the back of the palette, there is a small picture with an overlay of the shade names.
When I first became aware of them I was intrigued. The marketing images were pretty appealing so I went to see them in person at a local Ulta. I was a little bit disappointed once I saw them in real life. The textures and contrast between shades seemed more dull than what it looked like online but I decided to pick up one to try out. The Taupe It Up one having lots of grey in it seemed most interesting. Initially it looked like it had a pretty good selection of shades but after using it, I’m not as thrilled with the options in here. The mid-tone matte is much lighter than I expected and I wish there was a bit more of an obvious difference between the two shimmery greys.
Quality-wise, I would say this is one of those things where you get what you pay for. This was not terrible by any means but I have much nicer quality shadows. Some shades are sheerer than others but color payoff in general is lackluster, especially the lighter ones. The only shade I need to have some patience blending is the matte grey and fallout is very minor from the shimmers.
The mattes have a smooth, fine, even texture. They are not grainy and they do not feel dry or drag on the skin but the two lighter ones are kind of dusty. They adhere okay on their own but it does help to use a primer. The shimmers have a softer, smoother, shimmer finish and small, uniformly sized particles. They are not sparkly or metallic but not subtle enough that I’d call them satin. I have to spend some time building them up to get a satisfying level of shine/opacity or use a tacky base underneath.
Wear time was between 5 and 9.5 hours, depending on if I used a primer or not. Using the mattes underneath the shimmers and/or just packing a lot of color onto the lid seemed to help extend wear time a bit.
Other monochromatic palettes I have are ones from ColourPop and Elf. I like the ones from those other brands better but I’m not mad to have this grey one since I didn’t already have one like that elsewhere in my collection.
Sing Along is a pale off white matte. I have used this so far on my inner corner and brow bone. It is very sheer. If you have veins, redness, or discoloration on your lids, this does not have enough color payoff to really do much to even that out. It does work okay to create a bit of brightness on the brow bone and serves as a texture contrast for the shimmers. If you focus more on the bottom half of the swatches, you might see that the shadow kind of “balls up”. It does this on the eye as well and easily flies off the brush into the air during application.
Saturday Night is the most taupe shade in the palette. It is a semi sheer warm grey with a soft shimmer finish – not quite satin but not very reflective or sparkly either. In the look I did, it comes across silvery but in a swatch it looks more taupey. This is more of a pretty, gentle shade, good for easy quick makeup. It’s not one I would go to for something ultra glam.
Feel So Good is a pinkish greyish light nude. I guess it was supposed to be a transition shade? It sort of works on me but it’s too close to my skintone to really show up much. I have used this on my inner corner and the shade works pretty well to cancel out the green veins there. Used as an all-over-the-lid shade, it gives my lids kind of a dead look lol. Just an odd color. It has a tiny bit more color payoff than the lightest matte shade.
Hands Up High is like Saturday Night in texture and finish but it’s lighter and slightly warmer. It is the sheerest of the 3 shimmers. I have used it on the lid to add brightness and on the inner corner. It really helps to use some sort of tacky base underneath to help it adhere and give it some more shine.
I have used Groove On most out of all the shades. If I was the kind of person that used the same eyeshadow everyday, this would probably be the one I’d hit pan on first. I have mainly used this in the crease and all over the lid as a base for the shimmers. When packed/pressed on with a shader it goes on evenly with good color payoff but I have issues with patchiness when I try to use a fluffier brush or blend the edges. The patchiness seems to be mostly because it easily moves if I touch it (doesn’t adhere super well). Will have to try again, but if I remember correctly using a primer makes this look less evenly applied but did help to make the color a bit more intense and made the areas where I blend less prone to patchiness. It is a very neutral grey, not really leaning blue but also has no warmth to it.
Party’s Jumping is deeper than Groove On and I’ve ended up taking this up into the crease to add more depth. Like the other two shimmers, it isn’t all that shiny so it works just fine that way. Of all the shades in the palette I like this one best and have used it almost as much as Groove On. It is the only one I get noticeable (but still very minor) fallout from.
This is how I have used this palette nearly every time I have worn it so far. I used all the shades except for the “transition” shade. I have the matte grey in the crease, the deepest shimmer on the outer lid, the lightest shimmer on the inner lid, the medium shimmer along the lower lashline, and the matte highlight on the inner corner and brow bone. Both shimmers are applied using a combo of brushes and my fingers. The fallout you see is mainly from deepest shimmer. I started to see fading in the crease without primer at 6.5 hours and with primer at 9.5 hours.
This is a simple (almost) single shadow look. It’s actually two but only one is really noticeable. In this one I pressed the middle shade from the top row all over the lid with my finger and blended out the edges with a brush. What you see is how it looks built up as much as I can. On the brow bone and inner corner I used the matte highlight. It does brighten a little but it does not have much color payoff. What it is more useful for is creating a contrast in texture against the shimmer. Shimmer fallout was super minor and happened mostly when blending with a brush. I noticed slight creasing at 5 hours without primer and 8 hours with primer.
This look is to demonstrate how the “transition” shade looks used in the crease. I added the matte highlight to the brow bone and inner corner and pressed the lightest shimmer onto the center of the lid with my finger. In the first three photos, I used a dab of a creamy white base on the very center of the lid underneath the shimmer to help it to adhere and pop a bit more. If you scroll all the way to the end, the last photo is of the other eye where I just applied it straight over the matte shadow. I got the tiniest bit of fallout from the shimmer. This look wore a bit better than the previous one. After 7 hours the unprimed eye was barely showing creasing, partly because the colors are very light on me so creasing was just less obvious in general. The primed eye was not creased at all.