Review: YSL Couture Variation Palette #1 Nu
It’s been a looooong time since I bought an eyeshadow palette! Like pretty much every girl in the world, I started my palette collection with the original Urban Decay Naked, and continued it with Naked 2. The hype about it convinced me that it was the be-all, end-all eyeshadow palette – hey, I was young(er) and impressionable – and accordingly, I loved it. For a while. I still think Urban Decay has a great eyeshadow formula and the Naked palettes are a great value, especially if you don’t own a lot of products. They’re not without their flaws though. I had a few colors that I hit pan on in record time (Virgin, Sin and Foxy <3). Others I loved, but struggled mightily with the fallout (Sidecar, Creep and YDK, whyyyy). Both palettes eventually fell victim to a routine makeup purge. Though now that I’m talking about them I kind of miss them and want to get them again….
Anyway, if you’re worried that I may have mis-titled this post, don’t. I tell you all that to tell you this: the YSL Couture Variation palette in #1 Nu is the neutrals palette that I wanted Naked to be for me.
I was really surprised when I opened up my Sephora order, because this thing is tiiiiiiny. Lorac Pro palette for comparison. I took this with me to my conference, and it is very travel friendly, which is in its favor. Small enough to fit in my makeup bag easily, and flat for space efficiency (packing oddly-shaped compacts frustrates me). The versatility-to-size ratio gets a thumbs up – ten colors that would totally fit in my pocket if lady jeans had real pockets. On the other hand, the pans are pretty narrow and close together. That isn’t too much of an issue for the most part but the brush I use to put down the matte base color (Hakuhodo J532) is too big to really get into the pan well. Along with the size comes a fairly astronomical price-per-ounce cost – for your $95 you get a total .22oz/6.24g. Hence the reason I held off so long on getting this, so I could use my Sephora 20% off. Size aside, it’s a good compact – sturdy plastic, secure closure, decent size mirror, yada yada.
The palette also comes with a double-ended brush which, as usual, I wish they would have just left out. It’s synthetic hair and soft enough, I guess, but the bristles just do not pick up and hold onto the eyeshadow well. Seriously, if you try this palette, please use a different brush for your first test. When I tried using the included brush there was a lot of fallout and it looked very sheer on my lids, which was not the case with my usual brushes. Seriously YSL, you’re so much better than this.
The colors in this palette run pretty heavily to warm, light shades. You can get a dramatic smoky eye out of it, but this is going to be more of a go-to for office-appropriate looks, I think. In other words, me every day. I don’t use up darker shades in palettes nearly as fast as the lighter ones, so I’m happy with the color selection.
- Lemon cream matte – I use this as an all over base since it blends into my skin tone unless it’s applied really heavily. It’s also great for blending out the edges.
- Peach shimmer – This is a good one for all over the lid.
- Pale pink metallic – The finish is a little more metallic than some of the others so I’ve been saving it for an inner corner/lower lash highlight. The finish isn’t super-forgiving if you have any lines.
- Wheat gold shimmer – This one is a little more toned down in the shimmer department, and leans more brown or gold depending on the light.
- Warm gold shimmer – True gold, but more like a brushed gold if that even makes sense.
- Pink taupe shimmer – This might be my favorite out of the bunch! It’s light enough to use as an all-over lid color, but works in the crease too when it’s paired with the lighter shades. It kind of reminds me of UD YDK, which was my favorite shade from the Naked 2 palette.
- Bright copper metallic – This copper doesn’t come off as frosty as the palepink, and looks great with the gold shimmer (#5) and the chocolatey shade next to it.
- Chocolate matte – Getting it confused with cocoa powder doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.
- Taupe with silver glitter – This is really the only one that has actual glitter particles. They’re very fine, so it ends up being a taupe with some dimension instead of a glitterbomb.
- Espresso matte – Of the dark roast variety.
The texture of these shadows is fantastic. They’re softer and less dry than the YSL 5-color Couture Palettes, and all the shades have good color payoff. The mattes are a bit more powdery and sheer than the others, but that’s par for the course. Blending them is a dream, and they last well with minimum fading – the photos above were taken about 11 hours after I did my makeup (yay for office jobs :-P).
In Short: I had trouble getting over the sticker shock, but considering the quality and how much use I’ll get out of it, I’d be happy even if I didn’t get it during a sale.
The YSL Couture Variation Palette ($95) is available at sephora.com and nordstrom.com
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