2020 is really doing it to us, y’all. Remember when Cremated was announced and it was a new “controversy” for a hot second? We were in the middle of Miss Rona’s World Tour (which isn’t over, btw – wear your goddamn masks and wash your goddamn hands!) and some people thought that releasing a palette and collection themed around death was not appropriate for the world events. Some people thought that a death theme was never appropriate. And some people just hate everything that Jeffree Star does, regardless. If nothing else, you have to give old JStar credit for being able to stir up some conversation to support the release of any new launch.
When I saw the palette, my overall thought was…meh. I mean, neutrals have their place, but this color story was pretty bland and repetitive. It doesn’t help that the lighting in the reveal video was super blown out and made the palette look much lighter and less varied than it actually is. When I heard that this palette was supposed to be a “gothic dream” I expected something different. In fact, I was so inspired by one of the promo images of the campaign that I decided to add it to my Redesign series – you can check that out HERE! But a girl can always use some neutrals, and I figured this was a perfect opportunity to declutter some of those boring ass tarte palettes I’ve been holding onto.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at some swatches. These were done over the ABH eye primer with a finger swatch on the left, and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash; the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Hearse, Angel of Death, Grave Digger
Hearse is a matte charcoal gray, almost black and with a nice satin finish. Angel of Death is a black with silver shimmer. It has a very shiny look, and a very opaque application. Grave Digger is a medium/dark matte gray, very opaque and applies very smoothly.
L to R: Death Certificate, RIP, Pallbearer
Death Certificate is a medium steel gray glitter shimmer. It has a nice metallic finish with a affair amount of sparkles. RIP is a medium matte gray. Pallbearer is a flaky gunmetal silver shimmer.
L to R: Inheritance, Wednesday, Mortuary Beautician
Inheritance is a mildew khaki green, very gray in tone and matte. Wednesday is a light/medium gray matte. Mortuary Beautician is a deep gunmetal shimmer with silvery glitter reflect.
L to R: Last Look, Solemnly Swear, The Morgue
Last Look is a shimmery bronzey brown. Solemnly Swear is a medium matte gray. The Morgue is a lighter matte khaki green.
L to R: Mausoleum, Embalmed, Eulogy
Mausoleum is a bright gold-flecked beige shimmer. Embalmed is an ashy light gray matte. Euology is a slightly green-leaning medium gray matte.
L to R: Life Insurance, Last Respects, Goodbye.
Life Insurance is a pale ashy gray with a little bit of a greenish undertone. Last Respects is a khaki matte. Goodbye is a metallic silver shimmer with a slight greenish tinge.
L to R: Obituary, Burial Gown, After Life
Obituary is a light khaki with a slight greenish tint. Burial Gown is a pale cream matte. After Life is a peach-infused cream shimmer.
L to R: Casket Ready, Deathblow, Diamond Ashes
Casket Ready is a matte ecru shade. Deathblow is a chalky matte white, definitely not very impressive in how opaque it applies. Diamond Ashes is a pearly white shimmer, very bright and reflective.
First of all, those color descriptions were the most boring things I’ve had to type out in a long time. There was no reason for this palette to be a full 24 shades. Here is a comparison of some of the very similar shades:
Are these shades all objectively different? Yes. Do they have some slightly different undertones? Yes. But does it matter? I’m not sure that it does. I guess if gray is your go to color an d you just live for every variation in the world, you’ll be jazzed, but in practice I think that you could use any of the three shades in these trios and no one would really notice the difference. I think that this palette could have easily been half the size and still given you some dusty, busted gray vibes. I’m glad I have more cool-toned neutrals in the JStar formula, but I can’t really recommend it unless you are a stan or if this is absolutely your dream color story.
I also ordered two glosses when I ordered the palette, one from the Cremated collection and one from the regular collection that is nude and goes beautifully with the color story.
L to R: Heaven’s Gate, Legends Only
Heaven’s Gate is a sheer gloss with white pearly reflects throughout. Legends only is a mostly sheer gloss that has a touch of peachy nude color to it. Both of these glosses are best for nude lip looks of layered over lipsticks, but they are gorgeous and have the same non-sticky formula as the other glosses in the collection.
So long story short – too late – I think that the quality is pretty good, a little dusty for some of those ashy shades but overall about the same as usual, but there are just too many similar shades to justify a palette of this size. It’s cute, but I am excited for JSC to get back to colorful makeup. I’m still holding my breath for that green palette. 2020, it’s gonna happen…