I’m pretty sure the last thing I could possibly need in my makeup collection right now is another eyeshadow palette, but seeing as they’re also one of my favorite things to play with and review, I find myself in possession of yet another. These new palettes from L’Oreal have had a huge launch over here in the US, after having a similar launch about a year ago over in the UK, and I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. Unlike our cousins overseas, two different versions of the La Palette Nude were released here in the states, the first being your classic gold and brown toned neutrals, and the second being filled with more taupes and pinky nudes. It seems like everyone and their mom has been reviewing the first palette, which is understandable given how versatile the shades are (and the fact that it’s another Urban Decay Naked Palette dupe). I, however, decided to spice things up a bit and skip right on over to the La Palette Nude 2.
The L’Oreal La Palette Nude 2 contains 10 cool toned neutral shades in a variety of finishes, from matte to satin to a subtle shimmery sheen. At first glance there does appear to be a nice variety of light and dark shades, as well as some fun pops of color. However, as you’ll see once we get to swatching, I found that most of these colors actually appeared quite dark on my light to medium complexion. Inside the palette you also get a decent, elongated mirror, as well as a double sided brush and sponge tip applicator.
The packaging and design on this palette is decent, although perhaps a little bulky. The plastic casing does sort of scream “drugstore” to me, but I can see that they were trying to give the palette a little bit of an upscale feel with the sleek gold on black minimalistic design. The shadow pans themselves are quite large, so you definitely are getting quite a bit of product. Also, rather than being ordered from light to dark, it appears that the pans are grouped by shade family to make it a bit easier to see what shades you should pair together.
In terms of formula and blendability, above you’ll see a primerless swatch of all of the colors. I found the pigmentation to be about mid range, with the darker and sheenier formulas being the strongest, and the light matte colors being the weakest. The texture of these shadows is decent, although not necessarily as creamy or finely milled as a high end shadow palette. The deepest matte shades were a little bit chalky and streaky, and do take a little bit of work to blend. Ultimately these shadows left me feeling a little disappointed. I think I was hoping that L’Oreal would really up the drugstore eyeshadow game with this palette, and I sort of feel like it didn’t perform much better than anything else I’ve tried.
That being said, this palette is still workable and you can create some nice looks with it. I created a bit of a purple smokey eye using the shades in this palette so you could see it in action! Pardon my blurry photographs. Sometimes my camera and I have off days!
To create this look I started by applying shade #1 all over the lid and up to the crease. I found that this shade was very light in pigment, so after sweeping it on with a brush I had to go back and pat the color in with my finger to build up intensity, especially toward the inner third of my eye. Next I blended shade #2 into my crease, slowly tapering toward the inner part of my eye. This shade is actually more pigmented than I expected, so I would start with a light hand and build up the color as you like. I wanted to add a pop of color to this look, so I used the brightest shade in the palette (#3) on the outer corner of my eye. I found that these shadows can easily get muddled together on the eye, so I found it helpful to press this color in with a brush first and then lightly blend it with a fluffy brush. Using an angled liner brush I took a bit of shade #4 along my upper and lower lash lines, creating a subtle V at the outer corner of my eye. Then I finished things off with a bit of liquid eyeliner in a subtle cat eye shape and some volumizing black mascara. I should also note that shade #5 works really well as a brow color, which is what I used here to fill mine in.
I was pretty pleased with how this look turned out. It’s got a bit of drama, but it would definitely be nice for an evening out. It did, however take quite a bit of playing around to find a technique and color combination that worked well. I found that even with primer, these shades really need to be built up to get a good color payoff. Using your brushes to apply these shadows in a sweeping motion only will give you a wash of color, which ultimately will just make your eyes look sort of muddy. I found that using my fingers to sort of press the color into specific areas helped to make them stand out.
I also found these shadows to be quite dark on the lid. I have a light to medium skintone with golden undertones, and would probably only reach for this palette to create more dramatic, smokey looks. That being said, I do still appreciate the subtle variety of colors in this palette, and think that it does offer you a way to incorporate purples, peaches, and taupes into a look that’s still relatively neutral.
The L’Oreal La Palette Nude 2 retails for $19.99, which is quite a hefty price tag for a drugstore product. I think if you’re able to take advantage of sales and coupons and get this for half price it’s not a bad palette to have. However, I think your $20 would be way better spent on one of the Coastal Scents Revealed Palettes, which for the same amount of money offer you twice as many shadows and a killer formula. Or, if you’re truly after the most gorgeous combination of purples and neturals and have a little extra cash to spend, invest in the Laura Mercier Eye Art Artist’s Palette. It’s pricey, but the quality of the shadows are a whole league beyond anything you’ll find at the drugstore.
Have you tried either of the L’Oreal La Palette Nudes? What did you think of them? Do you prefer one over the other?