Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection Review and Swatches

Every fall Sephora has their Friends and Family event, where everything is 20% off.  It's a truly magical time, though I've only taken advantage of it the one time.  I planned, plotted, and calculated what the best use of my $50 would be (since that's the point where you get free shipping).  Urban Decay came out with a neutral palette, titled Naked, which swept the beauty blogger world by storm, with its 12 full-sized eyeshadows and gorgeous neutral-with-a-kick color scheme.  It was so popular, in fact, that it was pretty much continuously sold out for most of the year, including during the F&F event.  The $44 price tag (since raised to $48) was also challenging to stomach, so I turned my sights to other neutral-type palettes.  The winner?  Too Faced's Natural Eye palette.

You can see it's been well-loved!

This is not to be confused with the Naked Eye Soft and Sexy Eye Shadow Collection, which is Too Faced's other neutral palette (congratulations, TF, you have successfully managed to confuse everyone), with more matte, cooler shades.  There are 9 eyeshadows included in the palette, divided into 3 "looks".  Each look has a 0.07 oz (very generous--standard size for eyeshadows is 0.05 oz) all-over/highlight shade, a medium-depth lid/crease shade, and a dark crease/liner shade (the latter 2 are each 0.03 oz).  The texture and pigmentation of most shades is phenomenal, and they blend beautifully.  It's also a great palette for beginners, because each "look" comes with an illustrated card showing how to use the colors.  That's not to say, of course, that you can't branch out and try other combinations, but it is a handy way to get started.  Note: All arm swatches are over primer.

Day Look, left to right: Heaven, Velvet Revolver, Sexpresso

Swatches on arm, bottom to top: Heaven, Velvet Revolver, Sexpresso
The first look is the Day look, and is 3 matte shades.  Note: these matte shades apply much better than they swatch, particularly Sexpresso; I may try and do an Eye of the Day (EotD) look with these to show that, but until then, just trust that's the case!  The largest and lightest, Heaven, is a matte bone, which I like to put on as a base shade for most of my eye looks, because it evens out the pigmentation in my eyelids and provides a very nice, even, matte surface.  For someone darker than me, Heaven could work as a highlighter on the browbone, since it doesn't have any chalkiness.  The second shade, Velvet Revolver, is a muted greige.  I like this in my crease, because it adds a bit of definition without being obvious or overwhelming.  The final shade is Sexpresso, a dark black-based brown.  This works well smudged on the lashline as a liner, or you could add some to the crease for more dramatic definition.  The Day look is my go-to for days when I'm lazy or want to keep the focus elsewhere.

Classic Look, left to right: Silk Teddy, Push Up, Erotica

Classic Look; bottom to top: Silk Teddy, Push Up, Erotica
The second look is the Classic look.  The highlighter/base shade here, Silk Teddy, is the most-used shade in my collection.  It's a light shimmery pink/peach that works beautifully on my lids or even as an all-over shade.  I often use it to blend with the other darker colors, and it works great on its own as well (for the super dooper lazy days).  Perhaps the most beautiful thing about it is how little it takes to get a gorgeous wash--I literally just dip the tip of my brush into the color and blend that to cover my lids.  Truly, a dream.  The crease/lid shade, Push Up, is a light bronze shimmer.  The liner/crease shade is Erotica, a dark brown-charcoal with silver shimmer; this one is less pigmented than it ideally would be, though that means it's more forgiving as a crease shade.  If applied with a damp eyeliner brush, though, it makes a very nicely pigmented liner.

Fashion Look, left to right: Nude Beach, Honey Pot, Cocoa Puff

Fashion Look; bottom to top: Nude Beach, Honey Pot, Cocoa Puff
The last look is the Fashion look, and unfortunately includes the one shade in the palette I have major issues with.  The highlighter shade, Nude Beach, has big pieces of glitter, which results in big amounts of fallout.  Not even patting it on over primer helps–it just results in an uneven layer of chunky sparkle, which promptly falls to my cheeks when I try and blend anything on it.  I usually do my eye makeup before my foundation while I wait for my moisturizer to soak in, and while one would hope that would mean I could cover the shimmery fallout, it doesn't quite work out.  Not least because the glitter continues to fall over the course of the day!  What a waste.  The lid and liner shades, on the other hand, are gorgeous and fallout-free.  The lighter shade, Honey Pot, is a shimmery gold, which is lovely on the lid when I'm going for a warm, gold-based look, or as a highlighter on the inner tear duct or in the middle of the lid for dimension.  The darker shade, Cocoa Puff, is a rich, warm brown with gold shimmer.  It's the most dramatic of all the colors, due to its deep hue and rich pigmentation.

Here are a few more comparison swatches:
The highlighters, top to bottom: Heaven, Silk Teddy, Nude Beach

The lid/contour shades, top to bottom: Velvet Revolver, Push Up, Honey Pot

The crease/liner shades, top to bottom: Sexpresso, Erotica, Cocoa Puff
And here they are all swatched on my arm:
Top to bottom: Fashion Look, Classic Look, Day Look

All in all, I love this palette.  I wear elements from it almost every day, and admire how easily it slips from casual to glam.  If you're in the market for a solid warm-neutral palette and don't want to spring for the Urban Decay, I highly recommend Too Faced's Natural Eye.  For other swatches and reviews, check out KarlaSugar and Musings of a Muse.

$28 for 0.39 oz; available from Too Faced and Sephora

Pros: good variety of shades, excellent pigmentation and texture, versatile
Cons: shades tend to lean warm, Nude Beach is a sparkle disaster

Quality: 9.75 (except Nude Beach, excellent)
Effectiveness: 4.75
Ease of Use: 4.75
Senses: 5 (no irritation)

Pigmentation: 4.75
Duration: 5 (lasts all day over primer, and many hours on its own)
Consistency: 4.75

Price: 1.5 (Originally $35, I got it for $28 during Sephora's F&F)
Value: 5 (9 eyeshadows! That's a little over $3 each.  Biggest drawback is that Nude Beach is such a failure)
Packaging: Nothing extra, just wanted to point out that some find the packaging overly bulky; it has a drawer on the bottom which has a sponge-tipped applicator and a small brush, neither of which are very useful for application, which makes it take up more space than it really needs to.  It would also be nice if it had a mirror included, though I always apply my makeup in the bathroom so it's a moot point for me.
Grade: A-

What do you think of Natural Eye?  Would you buy it?
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