Holiday 2017 Reviews: Make Up For Ever Lustrous Shadow Palette

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Review, photos, swatches of MUFE holiday eyeshadow palette, and why it didn't work for me.

It's not too late to find the perfect gift for the beauty lover in your Christmas list - or for yourself! Could that perfect present be Make Up For Ever's new and limited edition Lustrous Shadow Palette? Let's find out!

Sadly this Make Up For Ever holiday eyeshadow palette did not work for me. In fact, it was such a fail in my book that I'm returning it, something I rarely do. I'll try to explain why, and think of who might enjoy it a lot more than I did so you can make your purchase decision with all the information in hand.

Let me start by saying that the Lustrous Shadow Palette was my very first experience with Make Up For Ever (MUFE) eyeshadows. The brand's Artist Shadow formula has a good reputation and is often mentioned as one of the best eyeshadow you can buy at Sephora. The brand itself is also well respected for having a pro-oriented line of quality products. They're not talked about as much as, say, Urban Decay or Becca, but that's because they don't release tons of new and limited edition products all the time. So based on what I had heard and read about MUFE in general and their eyeshadows in particular, as well as the $49 price tag, my expectations were high.

The first thing I found disappointing was the packaging. Many customers on Sephora's website left reviews saying that the tin box was flimsy, and I have to agree with them. It looks pretty on the website, but it's too thin, and the lid is covered with this odd gel-like coating that sticks to everything. I couldn't possibly take this palette with me on a trip as everything in my makeup bag would stick to the lid. The shadows are also in a foam insert that doesn't fit perfectly into the bottom of the tin box, so it moves around. I love the idea of tin boxes for makeup packaging, but this one is very poorly done.

And then there were the shadows. I absolutely love the color theme in this Lustrous Shadow Palette. It's neutral with a touch of purple, a red for your trendy warm looks, a black for tightlining, and a nice ivory as a brow bone highlight. The shadows are mostly mattes with just 3 shimmers out of 12. Those mattes are incredibly soft and finely milled. They feel so silky to the touch! Most of the shades also swatch beautifully and the mattes are very nicely pigmented while remaining very thin. I was SO excited about all the looks I could do with this palette!

I attempted about a dozen different looks with the Lustrous Shadow Palette, and only two turned out the way I hoped they would. The others looked muddy, dull, or just so bad I had to take everything off and redo my eye makeup. I'm no makeup artist, so I accept my share of responsibility in this failure. But I'm not a makeup newbie either, and I have so many palettes that work beautifully on my eyes that it can't be all my fault.

All three shimmers were a complete let-down. They look rich and intense when swatched with fingers, but they yield almost no pigment when used with a brush. I don't know why brands feel like it's okay to release shimmer shadows that require special treatment these days, but I'm not one to apply my shadows with my fingertips or with a wet brush. Too messy, too hard to blend, no thanks!

swatches all shades

The mattes didn't work for me as well as I expected based on their fantastic texture either. Most looked quite a bit darker on the eyes than they did in the pan, turning my looks muddy. The darkest shades were more difficult to blend than I anticipated and ended up looking patchy. I tried a few smoky looks and they really didn't look good. The dark taupe, matte purple and black all looked uneven and creased into my fine lines, despite the use of a good primer. The only looks that I could pull off were the most nude ones where I used the light and mid-tone shades, and only a touch of the deeper colors to darken the outer corner of the eyes. I can do that kind of look with any old drugstore eyeshadow palette...

Oh, and one thing I need to add that was the last straw for me: two of the colors in this palette are officially blushes, not eyeshadows, because... they're not eye safe! Notice how it's called Shadow Palette and not Eyeshadow Palette? Why is a reputable brand selling what everyone will recognize as an eyeshadow palette with colors that are not eye safe?? You wouldn't know unless you look at the details on the bottom of the tin box!

I know that not everyone had such a negative experience with this palette (although some did, or it wouldn't be on sale for $39 before the end of the holiday season...). While most dislike the tin packaging, some people seem to be perfectly happy with the shadows. I'll try to define who I think it could work for.

Good gift for someone who:

- likes matte eyeshadows and is prepared to deal with fussy shimmers, ie to apply them with a wet brush.
- is experienced with makeup, has above average eyeshadow application skills and owns good quality brushes.
- has time to spend doing their makeup in the morning, and doesn't mind blending, blending, blending... Or alternatively does not blend their shadows much (places colors next to each other with minimal blurring in-between).
- was able to make Anastasia's infamous Subculture palette work for them.

Where to buy?

The product featured in this review was purchased by me. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission when you click on those links, and the money generated covers a small portion of my expenses to purchase products for review. Clicking on those links helps ensure that Beaumiroir continues to publish reviews of new and exciting high end French products - at no cost to you!

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