Hot Topic has been expanding their beauty offerings the last couple of years to feature a lot of big pop culture franchises; luckily, with this expansion has also come a general lift in the overall quality of their products. Sure, with inexpensive beauty products there are bound to be a few misses, but I’ve been really impressed with how on the mark they’ve been. And when I heard they were doing 8-shade palettes for two of the biggest horror franchises in the world, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, you know a bitch had to actually brave going to the mall to check them out.
I first heard about them from Nerdy Girl Makeup on YouTube, and I’ll include her video down at the bottom. I’ve really been digging her channel – not only does she buy and review pretty much every Hot Topic makeup release to show you if it’s any good, she also has introduced me to two new indie brands I hadn’t heard of before: OMFG Beauty and Bombshell Cosmetica (reviews on both of these brands coming soon!). I enjoy her style of review and I love that she includes an eye look with pretty much every palette review so you can see how she uses them and how she makes them perform.
The Friday the 13th palette is called No Place to Hide and includes a very menacing Jason Voorhees on the cover. Never Sleep Again is the Nightmare on Elm Street palette and features Freddy Krueger on the cover, which opens to the right, the opposite of the other palette. The two also have magnets in the spine where the cover is hinged, so you can attach them together for display if you want to. This must only be for display, because if you open the covers it breaks the connection. It’s a cool idea, especially since this is the kind of thing that horror loving makeup mavens would display on their vanities, but it’s not very practical, and it actually makes the Never Sleep Again palette kind of awkward.
Here are the color selections for both palettes:
Obviously I was immediately drawn to the two green shades in the No Place To Hide palette, but Never Sleep Again also have a nice forest green. Gawd, I’m so predictable. On first glance there were individual shades I liked more in No Place To Hide, but I liked Never Sleep Again better for the overall color story. No clear winner yet in this epic Freddy vs. Jason battle! let’s take a look at the swatches:
NO PLACE TO HIDE
L to R: Crystal Lake, Voorhees, Immortal, Sumer Camp, Counselor, ChChCh AhAhAh, They Were Warned, Jason Lives
First of all, I know that this is a common misconception about Jason’s “theme,” but I find it disappointing that this product was officially licensed and no one corrected the shade name ChChCh AhAhAh to what it’s really supposed to be: KiKiKi MaMaMa. Composer Henry Manfredini has explained in interviews that this instantly recognizable classic came from him using the first part of the words Kill and Mommy…just like Mrs. Voorhees imaging she here’s Jason saying, “Kill her mommy!” But with that little quibble aside, I love these shades – even more than I thought I would, considering how many sort of neutral shades there were! What can I say, they just work!
Crystal Lake is a gorgeous mossy green with gold reflect and it was buttery and smooth and so much fun to play with. Voorhees is a bruise purple that has more of a satin finish. Immortal is a matte/satin white…it’s better that Jason Lives, but those two don’t both need to be in a palette that only has 8 shades, you feel me? If I had to choose, I would choose this one. Summer Camp is a shimmery mint green, very cool toned and yummy! Counselor is a bright peachy nude, and I actually really like it. It applied really well. ChChCh AhAhAh is a light berry shade, a little bit sheerer than I would like but not too bad. They were warned is a light tan shade, nothing remarkable, but it performed ok. Jason Lives was a little chalky, and it’s a bit boring, but it’s not the worst cheap cream shadow I’ve ever encountered.
Pretty solid performance from No Place To Hide. Let’s check out the swatches for Never Sleep Again:
L to R: Incinerator, Elm Street, Blood Bath, Burned Alive, Don’t Fall Asleep, Slash, Sweet Dreams, Dream Realm.
My first impression of the palette was spot on: there were individual shades that I really appreciated, but overall it wasn’t a fantastic palette. Incinerator is a shimmery silver gray. This one was close to being really good, but it needed to either be more silver, or more gray. And given that there are two other grays in the palette, I would have gone to silver. It’s just not competition for other silver shadows out there. Elm Street was a bit of a disappointment – I really had to build it up to get the swatch that opaque. Blood Bath is a pretty gorgeous bright red, and it’s one of the two main standouts in the palette. Burned Alive is a shimmery copper brown and it’s pretty cute. I wouldn’t have been mad if it had a little glitter or some duochrome action, but it’s not bad. Don’t Fall Asleep is a medium gray that has nice satin opacity. It’s the one that should stay…and Slash is the one that should be voted off the island. Slash is supposed to be a black but it ends up coming out a charcoal gray. There are so many better blacks out there, and as a gray it’s just not that good, so this shade is a waste. We could have used an olive green like Freddy’s sweater – there’s always a reason to include more green! Sweet Dreams is a chalky cream shade; I feel like they took Jason Lives from the other palette and did a deja vu situation on me. Luckily we end strong with the best shade in the palette: Dream Realm, a gorgeous and shimmery true blue. This shade is stunning and is amazingly pigmented!
So while Freddy has him moments, Jason definitely takes home the prize in this competition. The shades overall performed better…and give me two gorgeous greens and I’m yours forever!
If you want to have your own face off, don’t worry – it won’t cost you a fortune! Each palette is regularly priced at only $16.90, and Hot Topic has tones of sales. I bought mine on a Buy One Get One 50% off and snagged both for less than 30 bucks.
Let me know your thoughts on these palettes in the comments – have you tried them? Are you dying for them, or do they put you to sleep?