Too Faced Natural Eye Palette: a review, a rant
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A couple months ago I got to try out a PopSugar Must Have box, and even though the things I got overall weren’t quite my style, I was pretty excited to try out the Too Faced Natural Eye palette that came with it. I’ve had mixed experiences with Too Faced products in the past, so I wasn’t quite sure how it would turn out, but I ended up liking it more than I expected. At least, at first I did. As it turns out, it’s not without its flaws – some of which have nothing to do with the actual eyeshadow (more on that in a second).
The palette comes in a small metal tin, which is a nice upgrade from some of their previous cardboard packaging. It’s pretty compact, considering the size and number of the shadows inside, so it’s definitely come in handy for taking back and forth on days I ride my bike to work. The magnetic closure isn’t strong enough to feel really secure, but as long as I have it packed pretty snugly I don’t worry about it popping open. So, no complaints about the functionality.
That said (here comes the rant I promised), I fucking hate Too Faced’s branding.
It’s always irritated me a little bit when brands use the shock value of sexualized shade names as a marketing gimmick, but Too Faced really takes the cake. Because you know what I think of when I see the pink flowers & bows motif on their products? My eight-year-old niece. Lots of pink, lots of bows, lots of flowers and swirls. Very cute, and sweet. Then I open it up and see the shade names. Silk Teddy. Erotica. Sexpresso. Nudie. Push-Up. Am I the only one totally grossed out by the contrast between the visual branding and the color names? I suspect Too Faced is just trying to appeal to a broader demographic here, but the end effect is Lolita-esque sexualization of young girls or infantilizing grown women – neither of which is a branding concept I really want to buy into.
Maybe the raging feminist in me is escaping here, but I’m also bothered by the fact that this is the naming scheme they’ve chosen for the Natural Eye palette. I totally understand it in the Naked Eye or Budoir Eye versions, but this really seems to be based on an underlying assumption anyone who wears makeup is using their appearance to try to get dat sex. And trust me, I’m no prude and I’m all for sexual empowerment but we already have a weird cultural intersection of sexual objectification and slut-shaming. But clearly being sexually attractive is the only reason someone would want to enhance their natural beauty, right? To be fair, Too Faced isn’t the only brand that’s guilty of this, but they do seem to have the most cringe-inducing names (like Better Than Sex mascara – I don’t care how good the mascara is, that’s a flat out lie). Even NARS can at least claim cinematic/musical references for a lot of their naming.
Does any of this change the quality of the products? Absolutely not, and if a product is great I will definitely still buy and use it. If I’m on the fence about it though, a brand’s overall image is definitely enough to sway my decision – and I don’t want to see myself the way that Too Faced apparently sees their customers.
The palette comes with nine neutral shades, which are organized into three looks – Day, Classic and Fashion. The base/lid shades are larger than the others, which is sort of nice if you usually have issues with using up lighter shades first (which I do). The colors in the palette are-
- Heaven – pale yellow cream (matte)
- Cashmere Bunny – medium tan with neutral undertones (matte)
- Sexpresso – deep blackened brown (matte)
- Silk Teddy – pale cool pink (shimmer)
- Push-Up – medium copper brown (shimmer)
- Erotica – deep cool brown (matte base) with fine gold glitter
- Nudie – medium tan with orange undertones (matte)
- Honey Pot – bright yellow gold (shimmer)
- Chocolate Martini – deep warm brown (matte base) with gold glitter
On their own all the colors are nice, but some of the color combinations they’ve put together are… odd. The Day look is a really nice base/contour and liner, and the shades work well together for that. The mixture of cool and warm colors in the Classic look seems a bit off though, especially when you’re wearing Silk Teddy on the lid and Push-Up right next to it in the crease as I did in the photos below. Putting warm-toned glitter in a cool-toned base (in Erotica) doesn’t really help tie the other two together. The Fashion look is entirely too warm/yellow for my skintone, and the one time I tried it out I ended up taking it off.
Texture, application & wear
The quality of the shades in this palette varies a little bit. The three with a shimmer base are very nice to use – they apply evenly, blend well and have really good pigmentation. The matte-based ones (including the two glitter shades) are a little trickier to work with. They tend to go on a little bit patchy and have less pigmentation so they really have to be built up. The glitter in Erotica and Chocolate Martini doesn’t really show up all that well on the eye, making it a bit pointless. All of the shades are soft enough to kick up a little bit of excess powder when you dip your brush in the pan, but I haven’t had any real fallout while applying.
I have been quite impressed with the wear on these. Over NARS primer they last 10+ hours easily with very little creasing and no fading, even with humidity and sweat in the mix.
In Short: Philosophical objections aside, the palette isn’t awful but it isn’t one I get excited about using either. If I had purchased it there’s a pretty good chance I’d return it.
The Too Faced Natural Eye Palette ($36) is available at sephora.com