Palette Rotation and Mini-Reviews January 2019


New year, new month, new palette rotation! I’ve been doing this for a couple months now, and I’ve still been really loving keeping four palettes around to use in my rotation. As i’ve talked about in earlier posts, I find that they actually help me be more creative because I try to use different shade combinations in the four palettes rather than just reaching for a standard neutral palette.

As always, these posts have swatches of all the shades in each palette to show you all the shades I’m working with. I’m going to start a mini-review to each of the palettes, as well, so you get a better sense of how everything works for me.


This month, I’m using:

Laura Mercier Artist Palette – $55 for .36oz/10.8g total product

I’ve always loved this palette and in the winter months, I always gravitate towards cooler neutrals, which this palette does really well. I’ve been reaching for this palette the most, because it can create an easy neutral look, or a slightly plummier look that I find really flattering for my eyes.

The top row has the purple and plummy shades for a cooler toned look, plus the famous (and gorgeous) African Violet shade that Laura Mercier is known for, a beautiful muted purple with gold shimmer. The bottom row has warmer tones and tan and brown shades that are more like your workhorse neutrals. I generally  love the formula of these shadows – they’re soft and silky, but still pack a good punch. This palette is loved by many for its shade combination and formula, and I feel it lives up to the hype. The only minor part I don’t like about this palette are the 2 light shimmery shades in the second column – Guava and Primrose. They look nearly identical on my eyes so I use them interchangeably, but I wish there were just a bit more of an obvious tone different between the two.

Final Rating – 8/10

Packaging – 9/10

Shades and Formula – 7/10

Value – 7/10

Laura Mercier Artist Palette Swatches

MAC In The Flesh Palette – $65 retail/$39 on sale right now for .68oz/19.2g total

I bought this when it was marked down after Christmas, and it also has cool neutral tones, so I wanted to start using it as soon as possible. For $39, this is a steal for this palette. I’ve wanted this palette for awhile, and it does not disappoint. True to all the MAC palettes I have, the shades are ultra wearable and perfect for everyday since they have a slightly harder texture, and thus give off a more subtle and buildable look.

MAC was my first love for makeup and eyeshadows, and I thought they were some of the best formulas on the market for awhile. Now that there are so many brands and formulas of eyeshadows, I have definitely found formulas and textures I like better, but I still find the MAC formula to be good, and I love how dependable the MAC formulas are. I always know what I’m working with, and I know exactly how to use them to get the best pigment and blending out of them. I don’t know if I would recommend them to someone now, given the availability and quality of other eyeshadows, but MAC will always have a special place in my heart.

Final Rating – 7/10

Packaging – 7/10

Shades and Formula – 7/10

Value – 10/10


Pat McGrath MTHRSHP Subversive Metalmorphosis Palette – $55 for .42 oz/12 g total

I’ve been really wanting to use this more. The texture and finish of these shades are unreal, and I find these shades to work well as accents for the other palettes. I am really glad I got this palette because it really is a work of art, like the other Pat McGrath shadows I own (and reviewed here), though it is a little trickier to use because it doesn’t have shadows for a full look. It can only be used in conjunction to other palettes for me, and that brings down the practicality of the Pat McGrath 6-pan palettes.

Since I’ve already reviewed the other Pat McGrath MTHRSHP palettes, I won’t go more into formula here, but talk more about the shades. These shades are certainly the jewel tone and metallic shades that I ever really want. I don’t ever wear silver, yet something about this silver (and all the other shades in this palette) look like actual metal on the skin, and the effect is stunning. I haven’t had the chance to use all the shades in one look, but I imagine it would make for a gorgeous more editorial type look.

Final Rating – 9/10

Packaing – 10/10

Shades and Formula – 9/10

Value – 8/10

Pat McGrath MTHRSHP Subversive Metalmorphosis palette

Smashbox x Vlada Petal Metal Eyeshadow Palette – $28 for .21oz/5.9g total

I bought this during another after Christmas sale, and the warmer rose gold tones are what I would typically gravitate towards. The small size also makes it nice to travel with. I have really loved all the little Smashbox palettes I’ve gotten.

The formulas of the shadows are soft and silky, and there are variations in the finishes that help create a multi-texture and multi-dimensional look. This palette in particular has a gorgeous pink-gold duochrome (the upper right shade) that I love using on my lid and inner corner. Although the shades are majority shimmer finishes, the two matte shades work for me as a transition and liner or outer corner shade, and the variation in depths of the shimmer shades still make this a usable palette for a subtle look or a more smoky look.

I know Smashbox shadows can be hit or miss for some people, but they work really well on me. I don’t have issues with them lasting, as the softness of the shadows can sometimes shorten the longevity of them on the lids. I find they can also build up to create a pretty intense and opaque finish, so it’s versatile for when I want to amp it up a bit.

Final Rating – 8/10

Packaging – 9/10

Shades and Formula – 8/10

Value – 8/10

Smashbox Vlada

I’m also happy to report that none of the palettes this time have been discontinued, and while I *think* the Pat McGrath and Smashbox palettes are limited edition, they are still available right now.

I’ve managed to remember to take a one of my looks this month (side note – I really need to get better at this)


I’m wearing the Laura Mercier Artist Palette for this look, with Kir Royale and Violet Ink on the outer corner, and Fresco all over the lid. I also added some of the Tom Ford Private Eyeshadow in Warm Leatherette in the center to just add some warmth and shimmer. On the cheeks, I’m wearing MAC Pinch o’ Peach blush, and on the lips, I dabbed a little bit of the YSL Matte Tatouage liquid lipstick in #8, a brick red shade, very lightly on the lips.

So far, I’m definitely getting the most use out of the Laura Mercier palette, which confirms just how much I love it. I am also still using other eyeshadows and palettes, but I am trying to incorporate at least one of these palettes into every look in some way, and I haven’t had trouble doing that.

If you are shopping your stash like me, what have you been loving lately?

As always, thanks for reading.

*photo disclaimer – if the photos in this post seem a bit wonky, I just got a new camera and am figuring out the best way to edit them. I’ll figure it out over time!

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