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Friends, the holiday season is finally upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I am MORE than ready to get in a festive mood.
Now if you’ve been watching my YouTube channel or reading my blog over the years, you’re probably aware that I’m…shall we say… a bit critical of limited edition holiday makeup launches. In my experience holiday makeup is often lacking in quality compared to permanent products from the same brand, and leverages cute packaging and ridiculous value claims to sucker people in.
While I do still generally believe these things are true, I can’t deny that the new Too Faced Gingerbread Extra Spicy Palette got the best of me. The color story of the original Gingerbread Palette that Too Faced launched in 2018 was easy enough for me to pass over, but the rich, warm tones of this year’s version undoubtedly caught my attention.
I initially breezed past the online promo photos, thinking it was another easy pass. However, once I actually saw the palette in person I had a bit of a change of heart. While it’s definitely not the most unique palette to grace the makeup industry, as a warm-toned neutral lover I couldn’t help but add it to my collection.
The Gingerbread Extra Spicy Palette contains 18 amped up neutral shades in a number of different finishes. From mattes, to metallics, to glitter-infused shadows, Extra Spicy can just as easily get you ready for a day at the office as it can for your next holiday party.
In typical Too Faced fashion, this palette also sports a sweet gingerbread scent. Personally I feel that it’s more vanilla than gingerbread, but it’s still fun nevertheless. To that point, if you’ve got a sensitive nose, know that the fragrance is pretty strong and could be irritating to you.
Value-wise, the palette contains a total net weight of 12.19 grams of product and retails for $49. For comparison, this is the same net weight and price as last year’s Gingerbread Palette. However, it has a lower product weight than the Sweet Peach palette, which contains 15.3 grams of eyeshadow for the same price.
Packaging & Design
When it comes to packaging, Too Faced is definitely one of those brands that pulls out all the stops, and Extra Spicy is no exception. In contrast to the palettes in their multi-product holiday sets, Gingerbread Extra Spicy sports the same tin packaging as the Chocolate Bar range. This definitely gives the palette a more high-end feel, in addition to being more sturdy and easily cleaned than a cardboard palette.
The Extra Spicy palette also contains a mirror, however it is partially obscured by the (arguably adorable) design stickered on top of it. Personally I would have preferred if they kept the icing border and removed the gingerbread images, making the mirror functionally easier to use.
Color Story & Finishes
If you, like me, are a lover of warm-toned neutrals, the Gingerbread Extra Spicy Palette will probably speak to your heart. The overall vibe is generally peachy-pink, with hints of copper, orange, red, and brown. It also has a nice mixture of textures, including some glittery metallic shadows that are perfect for festive, special-occasion looks.
Now, if you’re curious about how the Extra Spicy compares to the original Gingerbread palette, My friend Jen of Beauddiction did an excellent video with side-by-side swatches outlining the differences. Most notably, last year’s palette seems a lot more neutral than the Extra Spicy, even with the pop of pink and purple.
One of the things unexpected things I’ve noticed about the Extra Spicy Palette is the prevalence of pink and peach tones. For a palette that is supposed to be reminiscent of gingerbread cookies, I feel like this is a bit of a confusing choice. In a strange way, I feel like these colors would be more appropriate for the Sweet Peach palette (maybe even more than the ones that are actually in Sweet Peach).
While I think the overall color story works and definitely can be used to create a number of pretty looks, it is also not the most diverse. A lot of the tones share similarities, which, while handy for blending and creating seamless, blown out looks, is not the best for inspiring creativity.
That being said, you also aren’t getting 18 shades of brown, either. In fact, the only shades in the entire palette that really translate as brown in my opinion are Cookie Call and Gingerbread Glam. Long story short, expect the majority of the looks you’ll get from this palette to be orange-y red, or peachy-pink.
On that note, let’s take a closer look at each of the shades you’re getting. The breakdown is as follows:
- Vanilla Wafers: matte cream
- Cookie Cutter: soft peach gold
- Soft & Sweet: matte soft pink brown
- For the Graham: matte peachy brown
- In a Pinch: matte deep pumpkin
- Drizzle It: burnt rose gold
- Lick the Spoon: pink gold with silver pearl
- Spicy Mami: orange copper glitter
- Extra Spicy: matte red orange
- Half Baked: mustard brown metallic
- Butterscotch: matte mustard yellow
- Cookie Call: matte mahogany
- Plenty of Dough: soft peach
- Candy Queen: yellow brown with gold pearl
- Gingerbread Glam: rustic brown
- Hot Tamale: soft ruby pink
- Cinna-moan: matte brick brown
- Midnight Snack: deep blue with icy blue/silver sparkle
Quality & Performance
By and large I’ve enjoyed working with this palette. The mattes definitely perform better on the eyes than they swatch on bare skin, and are fairly easy to build and blend. The shimmery shades, however, are a bit more hit and miss.
Lick the Spoon, Drizzle It, and Half Baked all have a more standard, metallic formula. They’re smooth, rich in pigment, and give the eyes a nice bit of shine. They’re not the easiest to build up with a dry brush, however, so I would recommend using them wet or applying with a finger. Cookie Cutter is similar, but also seems to have a bit of silver glitter running throughout, and therefore is prone to a little more fallout.
Candy Queen has a more intense, shimmering finish and a chunkier texture. While this one is more brilliant on the eyes, it also creates more fallout. I would definitely recommend tapping this one on the eyes with a finger over some kind of sticky base.
Spicy Mami and Midnight Snack are described as glitter shadows, although they are NOT pressed glitters. Instead the texture feels a lot more like a dry, matte shadow with fine shimmer running throughout. These shadows don’t apply well with a brush at all in my opinion, and require a fair amount of building up to get a lot of impact. Again I would recommend applying with a finger over a glitter primer.
At this point I’ve created a number of different looks using this palette, and have yet to be disappointed with one. In the look shown above I used the shade Butterscotch in the crease, Cinna-moan on the outer edges of my lid, and then a mix of Half Baked and Candy Queen on the center. I also applied the shade Lick the Spoon to the inner corner of my eyes as a highlight, and Butterscotch/Cinna-moan to the lower lash line.
While I don’t have a full-length YouTube tutorial with this palette, I do have a mini tutorial shared to IGTV you may want to check out for additional inspiration. I also used this palette to create the eye look I’m wearing in my Falsies 101 video. In that look I utilized a number of the pink shades, including Hot Tamale, Soft & Sweet, and Drizzle It, which gives a very different look.
As far as Limited Edition holiday palettes go, the Gingerbread Extra Spicy definitely holds its own. While the metallic shades require a little bit of a learning curve, I don’t think the average makeup wearer would struggle to create beautiful looks using this palette. If anything, I think it would be great for anyone that wants to experiment with color, without needing to be too adventurous.
In the post Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance era, the color story of this palette is far from unique. Warm toned neutrals are everywhere, and if you’re a makeup enthusiast like myself you may find these shades multiple times over in your collection. However, I can’t deny that the aesthetic and scent are fun, and that overall I’m pleased with my decision to add this palette to my collection.
That being said I do think the $49 price point is a bit steep. I was able to purchase my palette during the Too Faced Friends & Family sale at a 20% discount. I don’t know that I would necessarily recommend purchasing this palette at the full price, but think that if you could purchase it for $40 or less, it’d be worth picking up.
If you’ve also tried this palette, I would love to hear your thoughts! Share whether or not you would recommend picking this palette up in the comments below.