Monday, June 8, 2015

Playing Favourites

Did anything cement my status as a 21st century beauty consumer more than the purchase of this Jaclyn Hill Favorites Palette by Morphe Brushes? I'm not a rabid follower of the big "YouTube gurus", but when someone has two million subscribers, it's hard to deny their success and influence. These YouTube stars really are the new category of celebrity in the social media age. I wasn't falling over myself to secure this palette (it immediately sold out when it was first released in January this year), but I figured it was fate when I randomly woke up in the middle of the night EXACTLY when the palette was scheduled to be restocked. Presale began at 10am California time, which was 3am for me in Sydney. I wasn't crazy enough to set my alarm for that time, but I figured if I woke up later and it was still available, I'd order. But for whatever reason, I naturally abruptly woke up 3 minutes after 3am. I took that as a sign.

I'd never heard of Morphe Brushes except from YouTube, but as far as I know, they're a relatively affordable American makeup brush and cosmetics company. You can buy everything on their website and they ship internationally, though they do have one physical store in Burbank, California. Information about the origin of their products was hard to find on their website, but their eyeshadows are made in China, as I suspect are the rest of their products. I personally don't mind makeup being made in China, though I know not everyone will share that view. A lot of cheaper eyeshadows with decent/good pigmentation are made in China, like Wet n Wild, Sleek and MUA. I was expecting this palette from Morphe to be comparable to those brands, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it's a step up.

First things first, the price. The 28-pan palette was $27.99 USD and I used Jaclyn Hill's affiliate code for 10% off (bringing it to $25.19 USD). The real killer was the shipping. Like my experience with my ColourPop order, shipping was almost as expensive as the product. In this case, $20.45 USD, or 81% of the cost of the palette. Ludicrous. All up, the palette cost me $62.53. Considering I get 28 colours, I figured I could live with $2.23 per shadow, especially since the shadows on their own are $2.29 USD each. I did have a hiccup ordering with my credit card and had to resort to PayPal, but things worked out in the end.

The palette assembles Jaclyn Hill's purported favourite shades from the Morphe individual eyeshadow range. While the palette was limited edition and won't be restocked again, each 1.5g shadow can be purchased alone, though it'll be a more costly exercise and a bunch of them are currently sold out on their website. Morphe also does several premade 35-pan eyeshadow palettes, but the shades aren't individually labelled and apparently the quality of these palettes is inferior to the individual shadows.

(Source: Morphe Brushes)

It took me forever to search and compile the names of the shadows when only the number was provided on the Morphe website, but it seemed like a worthwhile exercise for ease of reference. What's most impressed me with this palette has been the uniformity of pigmentation. I'm pleased to say there wasn't a single dud. The ultimate test of a good cheaper eyeshadow comes down to how the mattes perform. Anyone can do a shimmery or metallic shade with high colour payoff. The mattes here however, were smooth, not powdery or chalky, pigmented, and easy to blend. In general, the texture of these shadows are probably the best I've encountered for the price point, especially because fall out is kept to a minimum. I would still recommend wearing a primer or cream shadow underneath these shadows to increase their vibrancy and wear time. They could probably hold up fine on their own, but I did notice some fading during the day.

In terms of the colours, sadly the highlight shades weren't for me (Pearl and Glisten are too light and whitish, so I'm left with Pink Moscato, which I occasionally mix with a bit of Lustrous). A lot of the warm brown/orangey shades (Caffè Macchiato, Spice, Dazzling) recall the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Palette. A few of the matte shadows, particularly the mid-tone browns, are also very similar (Toasted Hazelnut, Crème Brulee, Nuts For You), but they're such staple shades that it doesn't hurt to have 3 of them. Having said that, I would've preferred if they swapped one of them for a darker brown similar to Deep Cocoa. The only matte in the palette with comparable darkness is Secretive, but that's a vampy reddish burgundy that can be at odds with a more neutral look. I'm glad however, there isn't a black in there, because ... boringggg.

My favourite and most used shades in the palette are Caffè Macchiato, Spice, Golden Glory, Marbleized, Dazzling, Caramelized, Deep Cocoa, Burlesque and Secretive. Predictably, they're mainly the warm browns/bronzes. Still, I love the inclusion of pops of colour in the form of jewel-tone hues, summery brights, and whimsical shade-shifting pastels. It's what makes the palette so appealing to me, because it offers something different while still catering to all your neutral needs.


  1. This palette looks so nice actually! I've been hearing good things but haven't actually seen swatches. Shipping is a bummer, but it still worked out pretty dang affordable!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  2. Woah, that colours look so great! I've been searching for a nice pigmented neutral palette for months, but seems I'm stuck with poor pigmentation shades :/
    Have a nice day!

  3. What a beautiful palette! These shades are gorgeous, although I would have loved a 'boring' black shade there too, for travel purposes because I like using black shadow as liner.


  4. This looks lovely and so worth it. All of them look like such nice shades and I really want to wait up for a launch or restocking but never want something enough to do that but maybe one day.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

  5. Ohhh these are beautiful! I think this is what everyone hoped the CS 88 palettes would be.

  6. What a lovely palette and I love how the shades are not dominated with earth tones only so it is less boring ^^ But still my faves from the palette would be Deep cocoa, creme brûlée, bridesmaid and toasted hazelnut which are all earth tones. xDD
    I personally don't watch Jaclyn Hill and your post is actually the first time I've ever heard of her xD ( I think I might live under a rock sometimes. LOL ) but there are so many youtube stars nowadays it is almost impossible to catch up.

  7. Wow amazing swatches, thanks for all the trouble you went through for this! I really like all the jewel tones as well.

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  8. I never purchased this palette when all the hype was going on about it, but the more I see swatches the more I want to try this. I love Jacklyn, although she has been somewhat controversial. I think this collaboration really suits her style!
    Thanks for a great post :)

    Check out my blog?
    Krystal @ Little Beauty Bug | Bloglovin'

  9. For some reason, I never liked this type of palettes. But I have to admit that the shades here are really good!
    I think this palette would be perfect for that person that wants a palette for life, that has both colour and neutrals.
    The first three rows are a win for me.
    And the shipping issues are horrible :c why do they charge so much shipping?

  10. The shadows do look amazing though, especially the mattes.

  11. Lusting over this oh my its beautiful!

  12. The palette looks beautiful, I really like that the shades are on the warmer side. The problem I have with big palettes like this is that I don't use them as often as I should. I have the Lorac Mega Pro palette and I think I've used it only twice which is sad.

  13. This is such a beautiful palette! I really love the variance.

  14. I am like you I was so happy to not have bought another palette with a matte black shadow. Been there. Done that.
    Beauty Wanderer

  15. This palette is lovely!!! I hope she comes out with her own makeup line!!!

    Sheer Beauty Blog

  16. Hahah! Love that you woke up 3 minutes after 3! TOTALLY a sign! I love the colors in this palette, love the neutrals and I love the pink/purples and the orange tones! I can see how this appeals to everyone. It's not boring at all despite being full of neutrals! I've yet to get anything from Morphe but would love to try their brushes in the future! Thanks for the amazing swatches and review!

  17. Loving this sooo much! Unfortunately I'm not too adventurous with my eyeshadows so I'm not sure if I'll be able to find a use for all those colours! Still, that doesn't stop me from lusting after it :)

  18. Secretive looks especially stunning. That's great that the pigmentation is pretty consistent between the shades! x

  19. This palette looks amazing, and it's nice how there's not a single dud! Seeing your post is so tempting, but I feel like I already have so many neutral palettes. I also bought one of the Coastal Scents palettes long ago and never got much use out of it even though it's all neutrals. The problem I get with these palettes is that there's just so many shades that I get a bit lost lol. But of course, as I'm being a hypocrite saying how I have enough neutral palettes or eyeshadow palettes in general....I'm already lusting over the new Urban Decay Naked Smokey LOL.

  20. It's the bane of my existence when shipping costs are that insane. That palette looks pretty dreamy though. It's a shame it seems to be done selling now. Hope you enjoy it :)

    Bloomin' Rouge


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