Before I begin this review, I’m going to establish my qualifications for doing so: I spend money on makeup. A lot of it. So price is not a real concern, if the payoff is worth the $$. Sometimes I see bad reviews for expensive products and dig a little deeper, and realize that the reviewer wouldn’t really spend $$ on ANY more expensive makeup item, so their opinion becomes a little biased. I’m all about quality. If you can back your asking price with performance, I’ve got no beef with you.
This is the Louise Young Essential Eye Palette. It took me a very long time to purchase this item. Normally, if something interests me I’ll go right out and plunk down $$ for it. I can be impulsive that way. But I will try to do diligence on an unknown brand or item first. That means, searching for customer reviews. And by customers, I mean folks who actually paid for this thing.
It was difficult to find a review on this palette that was not from Pixiwoo. This is significant, because Samantha Chapman and Louise Young are very good friends (Miss Chapman has stated as much). This is not a crime, but it does cause one to pause, because good friends should always support each other. I fully expect that my friends and family will rave about my products. But, getting a totally unbiased opinion may be a little more challenging than anyone is willing to admit. Also, Pixiwoo didn’t pay for it. No, this does not automatically mean that the review is disqualified… it just means there’s no actual ‘cost’ to offset the realities of the product. It makes a difference when you have to plunk down for it.
In my case, I plunked down $60.
To compare… here’s the Lorac Red Carpet Reveal Palette:
So lets go over some basics. The packaging is a LOT like Lorac or Laura Mercier. It’s slim and sleek and has some weight to it. But Louise Young is about twice as much as Lorac’s regular pricing (not counting any professional discounts). That might cause you to think that the quality is even BETTER than Lorac. It’s not.
The eyeshadow pots are on par in size with MAC. From the left, there is Ting (matte beige), Maowi (concrete taupe), Pom Pom (ash chocolate brown), Black Bear (matte black), and Sislet (terracotta). All of these colors are dupeable. But that’s not my concern. I’m more interested in quality:
Ting is mediocre. You can take it or leave it. Maowi follows as a distant second in mediocrity. Neither shadow is particularly amazing in touch, color payoff or performance. I feel like the shadows get better as you make you way across the palette.
Pom Pom is lovely. It’s an unusual brown (with an ashy overtone) so I feel like it would be less likely to go that reddish mud color as some chocolates tend to do. But it also reminds me a LOT of an Urban Decay shade.
Black Bear is a matte black. What makes it special, is its noteworthy lack of extreme fallout. I get fallout from every single matte black eyeshadow that I have, from MAC to Rock & Republic. I was able to pack Black Bear on my eyes for the ‘Blackout FOTN’ with just a teeny bit of fallout. The thing about Black Bear is that it’s buildable. The first time you touch it, it swatches a sheer grey. This is a bit annoying.
But if you keep layering it, you get a deep matte black with a minuscule amount of fallout. The bad thing about this is that you probably couldn’t use it as a liner. One swipe won’t really make the color deep enough unless you use a really hard angle brush and pack it.
Sislet is probably the best shade. It’s warmer than MAC Saffron, and the creamiest of the bunch. It goes on a terracotta and then oxidizes a bit and goes even deeper in shade. It’s my favorite.
This palette is pretty basic. My criticism of it is the price. If I can get comparable performance from Lorac or MAC or Chanel or (insert any cosmetic company here), WHY would I shell out all that money for Louise Young? I almost feel like this is a miss in terms of target audience. No makeup artist would regularly have this palette. It’s just impractical. It costs too much, and you can do more with a less expensive product. I sort of feel like this company is targeting a much higher end customer (think: Clea De Peau & La Prairie) but is going about finding that customer the wrong way. At least the aforementioned companies have makeup items that double as skincare. Ladies who lunch aren’t exactly surfing youtube for reviews. Or maybe they are. I don’t know.
My verdict: No one should ever pay $60 for this palette… EVER. I took the $$ hit for you guys. You have been warned. If you find it for $20 on some sale site, then go for it. But this company wants too much money for something that can easily be forgotten and abandoned for a less expensive counterpart with comparable performance.
((This has been my opinion. I love (and subscribe to) Pixiwoo, and fully believe that they are two of the most talented artists out there right now. I adore their youtube channels, and I’ve learned a LOT from them. My review of this product is not in criticism of them. My conclusions are drawn from what I’ve seen, swatched, and tested))