It’s my first palette review of 2019, y’all! And I’m really hoping that what I love about this palette continues through 2019: luscious, gorgeous, variations of green!
I’m talking about the Alien palette from Jeffree Star Cosmetics. Obviously this palette was released last year, but I didn’t pick it up until the restock, and even then I was already in Arizona for a work trip when it arrived, so here we are finally getting around to looking at it in the new year. And boy, is this thing worth the wait.
Let’s start by talking about the one thing about this palette that I absolutely can’t stand: the packaging. I mean, I guess you have to give him credit for trying to do something different and make a product that makes a statement. It definitely does that, but the statement it makes is, “This looks like some bullshit you would buy at Claire’s.” The vegan faux leather feels nice, I guess, but it’s not really anything that special. The big alien head design is tacky, and those eyes are not only obnoxious, they make it even harder to store than it already is because of the bulky size and awkward shape. They are also a fairly cheap-looking plastic that gets marked up easily, so it will be hard to keep this one looking presentable. I get that pink is the main color for most of his packaging, but the pink doesn’t look at all like anything you typically associate with aliens, and it in no way matches the color story inside the palette; if this had been gray or green or silver, maybe it would have looked a little less ridiculous? It looks like it was designed by someone who was given a picture of the gray alien look, but knew nothing at all about the culture and stories surrounding an interest in alien life. The cardboard on the inside is fingerprint central, and it looks super cheap. One small area on my palette started to peel up and separate while I was opening the palette and I had to glue it back down. The hinge looks sturdy enough, and at least the bulgy eyes allow you to fold the cover over and have it sit flat, but it just looks like some kid’s makeup that would end up on the clearance shelf. I get that packaging is a personal thing, but that’s why I started my own website: to give you my goddamn opinion, and I just am not in love (or even in like) with this garbage packaging. I’m not opposed to round or oddly shaped palettes entirely (I have the #UnpopularOpinion that the Urban Decay Elements palette is actually beautiful and a very lovely design) and I’m not opposed to bulky palettes (in addition to recently purchasing the Too Faced Pretty Rich palette, I think the Blood Sugar palette has the best packaging of any Jeffree Star release so far), but this one just looks like a first draft at something that could have been really unique and interesting.
Luckily, the packaging has no effect on the actual product itself and this one has some amazing shades in a unique and interesting color story.
I was pre-disposed to like this palette because of all of the greens, but I like all of the shades in this palette, even the neutrals! They are unique and interesting, and tend to be cooler. I’ve been drowning in warm tones for so long that this palette really is a welcome addition to my collection. There are 18 shades, and these are supposed to be the same formula as the Blood Sugar palette. I would agree that these are very similar to Blood Sugar, but I would say that these are even better! I’ll give my overall thoughts on all 5 palettes at the end of this review, but this one is definitely my new favorite.
Let’s take a look at the colors. All swatches are done over Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer. Left swatch is finger, followed by a brush swatch. Top photo is under my studio lights without flash; bottom photo is same studio lights, but with flash.
This row should probably bore me to tears, but it doesn’t! I actually love these pale beige-toned shades, and I think they bring something interesting to the overall palette. Pluto is a lovely “candlelight” shade that has a light based with a yellow gold shimmer and it is light and bright and beautiful. Titan is a pretty standard beige/cream shade, and you can see in the photo that it is definitely a bit powdery, but it’s not chalky or patchy, and it’s really opaque. I’m the first to bemoan the inclusion of a basic bitch cream shade in most palettes, but that’s because almost none of them perform as well as this one does. This is perfection. Alien is the color that speaks to my soul, a lovely lime green with metallic shimmer. It’s stunning, and it’s wonderful, and it’s a green lover’s dream. Interstellar has the same sort of light gold shimmer as Pluto, but the base is a little darker, more taupe-ier. It’s a really pretty shade, and makes for an interesting highlight.
Abduction is a little tiny bit of a disappointment when you compare it to how it looks in the pan, but it’s still a lovely acid green/yellow. I really want to try using this over concealer for a cut crease look. Just know that it will need a little bit more work than some of the other shades, but it’s not unusable by any means. UFO is a pretty standard gold metallic, a little brassier than I typically like, but a nice addition to this palette. Gravitea is a standard beige tan sort of shade, but it applies and blends well. Great for blending out the next shade, Martian Soil. This baby poop brown is gorgeous, and I don’t even like shades like this. This makes me want to like these shades! It makes me want to do a whole squash-themed earthtone look! It’s just got this little extra something that differentiates it from so many other mustardy shades. I really love this one, and I’m not even sure why.
Flying Saucer is a really lovely teal green, and I love the unique stamp that appears on this shade (as well as X-Files). This is a perfect Gumby green kind of shade, and it is smooth, blendable, and I didn’t experience any patchiness whatsoever. The performance on this was really surprising, in the most fantastic way possible. Phone Home was really a surprise, a mauve matte plunked down in this sea of greens, but it’s the exact pop of surprise color that this palette needs to keep you guessing and allow you to create some really interesting looks. I want to play around with this one, Flying Saucer, and the bright purple we’re going to get to in the next section. Moon Rock is a cool-toned taupe bronze that has a nice shimmer to it. X-Files is a gorgeous cool-toned brown that applies darker than it looks in the pan, but it’s a really lovely color. I love this row the most together and I think you could do a really fun editorial type look with this quad.
Ghost OG is a lovely green-tiged gray shade, almost mushroomy, and I think it’s one of the more unique shades in the palette. Area 51 is a gorgeous bright electric purple, and cheers to JSC for making a bright purple that has absolutely no streakiness or patchiness! This brush swatch was a little uneven after I went over it a few times, which you can kind of see in the picture, so you may run into some problems if you do a lot of back and forth blending, but I blended it together with a couple of the other shades and it played well with them so I don’t think you’ll see a lot of problems. Space Cowboy is a lovely brown shimmer with the slightest suggestion of red base to it. It’s another shade that is pretty unique and can potentially warm up some of these cooler toned shades. Probe is the trend color of the moment: a riff on MAC’s OG classic Blue Brown Pigment, this is nothing new, and this palette isn’t the first one to present this trend color over the last year – they are showing up literally everywhere. But if you’re going to do the same thing that everyone else is doing, at least have the audacity to do it better than the others and this one definitely is. The only other variation of this that I’ve seen over the last year that I like better is Artist Pass from the Too Faced Life Is A Festival palette, but that one is a different kind of combo (more red in the brown base, more turquoise blue in the shimmer as opposed to teal blue) and this one hits everything you expect from this trend. Tall Gray is a nice matte dover gray, tends to get a little cakey in places, but definitely blendable and plays nicely with other shades. Black Hole is fine. I always bemoan when palettes throw in a black matte because they feel like they “have to.” This one doesn’t feel like that – this color story definitely needs a black shade! – but the performance is just adequate. It’s not the rich, deep, bottomless black that I was hoping for, especially with the name Black Hole. It’s just a standard matte black.
Let us know in the comments: are ready to take an intergalactic trip with this Alien palette? Are you living for the shades, or are you leaving it in the dust at Area 51? What’s your favorite Jeffree Star Cosmetics palette?
Since the reboot of the site took most of my Jeffree Star reviews with it, I figured I would end this post by giving you my ranking of the JSC eyeshadow palettes with my reasoning. I have had all 5 palettes (I recently decluttered Androgyny because one of the shades was cracked, and I’m a picky bitch, but I plan to repurchase it at some point if/when they have a sale).
- The Alien Palette: This and Blood Sugar are equally good, but the greens in this color story just edge this one into the lead. I love the matte formula. It’s dry enough to blend and move without being chalky or patchy. These shades are totally me, and I think the range of options give you more versatility than the Blood Sugar palette.
- The Blood Sugar Palette: This one, hands down, has the best packaging of the 5 palettes, and the colors are really remarkable – so many different kinds of reds! I love red eyeshadows, and I’ve been playing around with them much more, and this one inspires me to try a lot of different kinds of combinations. As I said in the last one, this one is slightly less versatile; you can get lots of red/purple type looks, and there is a range within those color families, but the overall versatility is smaller.
- The Beauty Killer Palette: there are some shades here that are ride or die for me. If I use a skintone-esque transition shade, it’s always Courtney, and I’ve almost hit pan. Same with China White. Star Power is my favorite neon pink shadow of all time, and I think Violence is such a unique, beautiful deep shade. The original has been ousted from the top spot by the newer collections, but this first palette launch from the brand is still a solid contender.
- The Androgyny Palette: I don’t get a lot of use out of this, as the shades are a lot darker than I typically use for my stage looks, but I love the collection and I love the overall look of this palette. Frosting is a gorgeous shimmer shade, and I love the deep green and blue shades. It gets used the least of all the palettes from JSC in my collection, but it beats Thirsty for one reason, and one reason only.
- The Thirsty Palette: Ugh, why do pressed glitters have to ruin things for everyone?! If it wasn’t for that middle row of glitter shades, this palette would be much higher on the list. I love the combinations of the brights (yellow, coral, turquoise, and seafoam) with the neutrals and I think this could have been a really amazing summer palette if it wasn’t for those glitters. These are soft and messy, and even with a finger they are hard as fuck to apply. There are some really, really good shades here (Quench is legit one of my favorite yellow shades ever, and Taste Buds and Biiiitch are both really beautiful) but those glitters just take the whole thing down. It’s a nice try, but it just didn’t hit. I would have actually preferred that he did the 10 shades in the top and bottom rows in the same palette design as Beauty Killer and Androgyny and just left the glitters out entirely to what was there. I don’t regret purchasing it, as the other 10 shades are pretty good, but it’s just meh overall.
What do you think of my rankings? Do you agree? Are you stanning the Thirsty palette and want to fight me? Tell me your ranking below! I’d love to hear other perspectives.