Monday 2 May 2016

Product Review: BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a beauty blogger in possession of makeup must be in want of more makeup. Never was this truth more plain than in the offices of Diary of a Beauty Padawan, within which a young woman, surrounded by makeup, promptly lost her mind and abandoned her No-Buy Policy when she found out that BH Cosmetics had begun selling a small Pride + Prejudice + Zombies line.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
It was, quite simply, meant to be.

Today's post looks at the eyeshadow and blush palette in more detail -- I wrote a very quick, rather scanty overview of both products in March, but we all know that the devil is in the detail, and I've seen very few posts reviewing these products in any depth.
BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
PPZ Palette - back
Heck yeah that's a Sailor Moon necklace you see. What is shame?
The first thing to surprise me about this product was that the palette does not come in any form of protective sleeve or packaging -- it's simply the palette on its own. I almost found this to be unsettling at first, as there was no way of knowing whether or not it was sturdy enough to hold its own. If the palette opened easily, it would spell disaster quite quickly.

Luckily, I believe that there's no such issue! Despite being made of cardboard, it has a magnetic close within that keeps it shut properly -- I've never seen any indication that it will just fly open! Across the top is a rather sombre image of the sun rising on dark times, with zombified hands reaching out from the ground. The film title takes centre stage, in glossy gold typeface, and the palette type and brand name is not far underneath. The sides are embossed with a glossy, elegant black frame, and I think that it highlights a feeling of regency elegance to the whole thing -- without it, the palette would look rather plain and generally unremarkable.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
PPZ Palette - embossing
The back has that same embossed pattern around the sides, with the film title at the top and the ingredients list clearly printed below it. These shadows and blushes do contain talc, which -- for some reason that is currently unknown to my Padawan self -- is a no-no for some people. I'm personally not bothered by it.

What does bother me is the scent. There's something almost horribly artificial about the palette's smell that is rather off-putting. It isn't the actual product, because I've sniffed it up close and quite carefully (she says with as much dignity as she can muster). I think that it must be the glue that binds the cardboard together, as it kind of reminds me of a sort of 'book' smell -- just not exactly the pleasant kind. I'm currently testing to see if it's something that fades over time.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
Twelve killer shadows, two deadly blushes and one excruciatingly gorgeous highlighter.
The inside of the palette is quite pretty, in a plain sort of way -- I kind of want to reference Jane Eyre, buuut that might be sacrilege. There's a nice, sizeable mirror once you open it up, with a quote by the spirited Elizabeth Bennet: "I shall never relinquish my sword for a ring."

We all know she's going to eat those words in the end.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
Ironic ring placed for ironic purposes.
There are three rows of product within the palette: two rows of shadows (the top warm-toned, the bottom cool-toned) and a row of three blushes. There are immediate shadow pairings that jump out as being fantastic together, such as the purples and the browns, but I've found that, in practice, they generally inter-mix quite well!

Let's look at this shiz up close.

BH Cosmetics Pride + Prejudice + Zombies Eye + Cheek Palette
So up close and personal that it'd be a scandal in Georgian England.
It's important to note that these shades don't actually have names assigned to them -- not on the palette, and not on the sheet of protective plastic inside. Despite that, the BH Cosmetics blog labelled each shade when swatching them, and I've carried that over here. I always think it's a bit of a shame when eyeshadows aren't given names, as it adds to the charm, but we can't win them all!

Now, I was very curious to see whether or not the shadows lived up to the swatches that BH Cosmetics put up online. If you've clicked the link I've just provided above, you'll see evidence of shadows that are amazing quality: rich, creamy swatches that go on like a dream. I'm quite skeptic when I see such swatches, and you'll see that many of the shades don't quite appear to match up when I swatch them. That being said, there's no way of knowing exactly the process by which companies swatch their products -- I always swatch without primer, so that you see exactly what it is you're getting.

Shall we look at these shadows in more detail?

Swatchy-swatchy of the first third of the PPZ shades
Bone || A warm, matte, yellow-toned cream that doesn't really show on my skin. It's kind of chalky and powdery, and not much use for anything another than highlighting the brow bone. I think it's a shade that would show better on skin tones that are either much deeper or lighter than mine, so I don't think it's entirely useless.

Pale Yellow-Gold || This is a really pretty, metallic yellow gold that swatches nicely and applies well. Initially it may seem a little 'meh' -- there are definitely richer golds out there, it doesn't seem a hard shade to get wrong -- but it builds up very well and lasts all day over a primer.

Pale Ivory || The cool-toned, less yellow version of "Bone", I much prefer this. It feels a little silkier and, because it's so much paler, I use it on both my brow bone and my lid, depending on where I want it.

Lilac Pink || This is also a really pretty shade; it's a frosty, cool-toned lilac. It's not exactly the most intense lilac I've ever seen, but it swatches really creamy and builds up quite well -- think Jane instead of Lydia. When used with other shades in the palette, it makes for a really nice, girly look that will last all day.

Champagne || A super shimmery bombshell, I use this deep, warm champagne as a highlighter -- and I use it sparingly. There's a lot of potential to go overboard with the shimmer if you don't use a light hand, but I think the result is beautiful. I feel like it's a less golden, slightly more natural version Becca's Champagne Pop.
Swatchlings of the second third of the PPZ palette
Shell Beige || This is a shimmery light brown that reminds me somewhat of "Marzipan" from the original Chocolate Bar palette, and it works quite nicely all over the lid. Over a primer, I find that it usually lasts all day, which has been particularly good during all the warm weather over the last couple of months.

Burnt Sienna || You'll be somewhat disappointed if you're looking for a super creamy, immediately pigmented shadow. This matte milk chocolate brown is chalky on initial application, but it builds like a dream and is a perfect transition shade.

Deep Plum || A shimmery blackened grey, it's a little bit of a letdown. Metallic shades are usually easy to get right, but this is kind of disappointingly sheer. It makes for an alright transition shade if you don't mind using something metallic, but my preference is for something matte.

Slate Grey || A slightly frosty medium grey, it looks disappointing in the swatch. Despite that, I find that it actually has great versatility; it works really well as a gentle transition shade for a large number of the shades in the palette, and is fantastic if you want a light smokey look.

Dusty Rose || I am in love with this blush! I think it is an absolutely gorgeous everyday colour; it just looks so natural and perfect and... Ugh, like "Elizabeth and Darcy" perfect. You know that blushing glow you get when you have an interaction with a really cute stranger? That's kinda what it looks like, and I like it.
Swatchy-swatchin' the third third of the PPZ palette.
Chocolate Brown || This shade is absolutely beautiful. It's a deeper metallic chocolate brown, and it looks so beautiful all over the eye. On a good primer, it lasts really well all day. It's a winner!

Cool Dark Brown || Another great shade, I like this frosty brown on the outer third of my lid. Sometimes I'll take it into the crease a little with Burnt Sienna and I quite like the effect it gives. It also lasts all day long.

Shimmering Charcoal || When you look at this shade straight up, you expect a fabulous silver that screams out for a night on the town. Unfortunately, you're not going to get that. The silver you see is an overspray, and wipes away immediately to give you that shimmery blackened grey underneath. Aside from that, it's a great shade that works well with literally every shade in the palette for some dynamite smokiness!

Deep Gunmetal || This black with a hint of grey does what I suppose you'd want it to do: turn up the smoke so much that you'll be setting off alarms! Whether you're after just a hint of smoke or a full on inferno, with the right brush this shade will get it done for you. No, it's not the greatest budget black shadow I've come across, but it's still a lot better than MAC Carbon.

Warm Pink || This blush is one that I think I'll only be using when the weather warms up. Being in April, this warm apricot pink might be too much as the weather the gets colder, but who knows? It'll definitely be something to experiment with.
Wearing shades from the PPZ palette on my eyes, and the PPZ lipgloss "Elizabeth" on my lips.
As far as performance goes, this palette did really well! I've switched back to using Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a primer lately (I was using MAC's "Soft Ochre" Paint Pot for a while) and I find that my eyeshadow holds all day. I usually reached for this palette when I was on placement, and I was applying my makeup at 5am or 6am, and getting home at about 5pm or 5.30pm -- it was key for my shadow to last all day and this palette stepped up to the task. We suffered through some uncommonly hot weather as well, both humid and bone-dry; in both cases, it held up well.

I found it relatively easy to pair shadows together; I could mix together both cool and warm shadows, use a purple with a brown or a grey, and it would usually pull together quiet well. You have the option of creating something suitable for either everyday work life or a girl's night out. This palette has also proven to be really good if you're in a pinch for time -- these days, this is the palette I grab for if I'm in a serious hurry!

Padawan Product Rating: B

All in all, I think this is a pretty good palette to have, and I'm not sorry that I bought it! I don't necessarily think that the swatches live up to what BH Cosmetics shows on their blog, but they perform so well that you can forgive it. The cardboard/glue smell has been quite off-putting, but I'm sure that's something that will probably fade over time -- for all I know too, mine just be a special little cookie.

This palette's RRP is $16.50 US (about $21.69 AU) not including postage, which I think is a pretty good price -- by comparison, Revlon quads cost more but the quality is far poorer -- and it's often on sale for less (at time of writing, it's $12.50 US or $16.43 AU). Is it possible to go wrong?

Is this your kind of palette? Have you watched Pride + Prejudice + Zombies? Let me know!