Alright Champagne Dreamers, I hope you’re as excited as I am because we are doing something brand new for this site: a theme week! It’s not really a big deal, I just had a lot of content coming up that all featured a certain brand, and I thought it might be fun to make it a big deal! And thus, Kaleidos Week was born!
I’ve had several palettes sitting in my review lineup for a while, and I used the Sashimi City palette as well as one of their highlighters in this week’s Face Friday post, so I decided to put in a little hustle and get them all out together. Also, I’ve got a Get Ratchet With Me that I filmed a little while back using two Kaleidos palettes, so I’m hoping to get that edited and posted by the weekend – stay tuned!
The big feature in this review is the Escape Pod palette, the first large format release after they launched the Futurism palettes. It has 15 shades and comes in a chonky book-style palette. If you’re not a fan of large, bulky packaging, this and the Club Nebula palettes will probably rub you the wrong way, but the packaging design is beautiful and colorful, and the construction is sturdy and high quality.
I’ve also got the newest Futurism palettes, #6 Lunar Lavendar and #7 Sashimi City. As I mentioned earlier, if you want to see the Sashimi City palette in action, be sure to check out this week’s Face Friday post, which will be up at 11am CST this Friday, April 9.
Finally, I thought it might be fun to do a comparison of the original Mars Melter highlighter and the new formulation. This wasn’t just a few tweaks to make the formula better – this was a complete overhaul resulting in a whole new shade!
For the eyeshadow swatches, I did them over the Kaleidos Tone Activator eye primer with a finger swatch on the left ad a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
Let’s get started with the Escape Pod!
L to R: Soiree, Mardi Gras, Flamingo, Tango Exoplanet
Soiree is a vivid lilac matte shade with great pigmentation and nice blend around the edges. This one didn’t really need any building up to get full opacity, though it does darken a little around the edges if you have a primer that’s still a little bit tacky. Mardi Gras is a deeper, slightly more red-leaning violet matte. Flamingo is an electric pink matte, a little tricky with a finger to get complete opacity but overall pretty workable and nice vibrant color. Tango is a bright red-leaning orange matte. Exoplanet is a bright blue that tended to darken a bit around the edge of the swatch with both methods of application, but once you build up over that you get great color and a nice bright, consistent look.
L to R: Starlight Sonata, Amaretto, Space Oasis, Cosmic Cabaret, Galactic Gala
Starlight Sonata is a bright champagne vanilla shimmer. There isn’t a lot of base pigment here so it’s probably best as a highlight or over top of another shade with some glitter glue. Amaretto is a bright pink glitter reflect on a slightly rusty, sheer reddish pink base. Space Oasis is a pale lilac base, mostly sheer, with bright purple shimmer and some blue shift. Cosmic Cabaret is a bright grape purple shimmer, the most opaque base pigment so far and a lovely metallic look. Galactic Gala is a light Lime Green with yellow tones and some subtle turquoise shift.
L to R: Saturnalia, Bossa Nova, Lofi, Carnival, Terrace
Saturnalia is another green shimmer. You know I love greens, but this does feel a little too samey-samey with Galactic Gala. This one is a little darker, a little more olive in tone, and has a bright gold metallic reflect to it. Bossa Nova is a medium cool-toned taupe brown matte. Lofi is a bright peachy beige matte. Carnival is a bright orange matte, again a little too repetitive when looked at next to Tango. It’s not exactly the same, but the differences aren’t really big enough to warrant both of them being there when we could have had another contrast. If one of the shades in each of these pairs had been a matte and the other a shimmer, that would have been lovely, but instead we got two matte oranges and two shimmer greens. Not ideal. Terrace is that ubiquitous deep matte brown that is in every single palette ever in the history of ever…or at least that’s how it feels. It’s gorgeously pigmented and applies like a dream, but it’s a yawn of a color.
Overall I really like this palette, as I have the other palettes I’ve tried from the brand. The mattes are a dry formula, very silky smooth and not at all gritty. I did get a fair amount of kickup with these, and this is the sort of formula that doesn’t have fallout per se, but the color tends to form into little flakes of color that can go all over. The color story is fun and the brights are beautifully pigmented and rich, but the repetitions are a disappointment. This is a great option for color lovers; yes there are a few neutrals in here, but they are great for rounding out a look and they don’t outnumber the brighter shades, and the quality of the brights is really stunning.
Next up is the Futurism VI: Lunar Lavender! The packaging on this is really pretty; I love the holographic accents that they started with the Electro-Turquoise palette. There was a problem however: the two duochrome shades, Moonroof and Dreamscape, are very similar purples with different shifts. I seem to have gotten the same shade twice, so I’m not sure which one is missing. I did several rounds of swatching and I even took a video moving my arm under my lights to see if I could detect a difference, and there isn’t one that I can see. I’ve reached out to the brand about this, and I’m hoping I can get the missing shade sent out to me.
Here’s a picture from the brand website to see what the two shades should look like:
L to R: Nocturnal, Moonroof, and another Moonroof in the spot where Dreamscape should be!
Nocturnal is a light cool taupe matte. Moonroof is a lovely lilac base with a strong blue shift and maybe a few hints of pink. Comparing it to the website, I think both shades are Moonroof, and I think it’s Dreamscape that I’m missing.
L to R: Midnight Flora, Wisteria, Crater Grove
Midnight Flora is a bright grape purple matte with some reddish undertones. Wisteria is a bright lavender matte. Crater Grove is a rich cool-toned brown matte. This is a nice change from the usually warm/neutral chocolate brown, leaning a little bit more cool and making it more interesting.
If I’m being honest, I don’t think you need this palette and the Escape Pod. These purple mattes feel very similar; again, even if they aren’t exact dupes, they are close enough that I think you could use them interchangeably and someone would really have to be looking for a difference to be able to tell. If you like these colors, I would say skip this and go for the Escape Pod, unless you just have to have these two duochrome shimmers.
Last up for eyeshadow is the Futurism VII: Sashimi City! This is the palette that I used for this week’s Face Friday look, so be sure to stop back and check that out, or head on over to my Instagram to see a sneak peek of the look!
L to R: Promenade, Penthouse, Gourmet
Promenade is a bright chocolate brown matte, very basic but the opacity is nice and even. Penthouse is a gorgeous yellow shimmer with some pink notes. it’s fairly sheer, but it’s an amazing highlight shade or over another shadow to bump up the shine. Gourmet is a bright peachy tan matte.
L to R: Pink Ginger, Salmon Skyline, Soy Sauce
Pink Ginger is a sheer based duochrome with pink, peach, and golden notes. Salmon Skyline is a slightly pink-leaning orange matte. Soy Sauce is a slightly deeper version of the matte brown we saw with Promenade.
I get that this is their version of a quick and easy neutral palette, but I don’t like to see repetition in a 6-pan palette in general, but especially not when the two shades are super basic matte browns. Everyone has a million of these shades in their collections, and even if they don’t, they don’t need both of these if they are trying to really build out their neutral options. The shimmers are once again the standouts of this collection, and the two tan shades are somewhat interesting, but this palette is definitely more of a “nice to have” than a “must have.”
Finally, we’ve got a side-by-side comparison of the two versions of the Mars Melter highlighter! I love Kaleidos highlighters – they never fail to give me a really impactful glow and they come in a really wide range of colors. The original version is in the red metallic tin and the new formulation is in the pink soft-touch tin.
The swatches of these were done over bare skin, but the lighting is the same as described above.
The original Mars Melter has a really obvious white base, and that might have been what lead to it being reformulated: that’s the sort of white base that can reflect in pictures and make darker skintones look ashy. The red duochrome shift in the highlighter is really pretty, however, so if you can work with the white base it’s definitely worth a look. The new version still has some red shift in it, but the base pigment is a deeper peachy orange color with a lot of peach shimmer along with those subtle red tones. The two shades don’t really compare; the only relation between the two is just the name. But they are both really stunning colors, though I think I prefer the new formulation – peach blush and highlight are my jam lately!
My biggest beef with this brand, which I’ll talk about more in Part Two (which will drop just a couple of hours after this post, at 2pm CST!), is the time it takes for the products to arrive from China. I get it: the products are coming from China and they use one of the least expensive methods of shipping to pass along savings on shipping to the customer. But I’ve ordered other things from China that have a similar shipping speed and they usually arrive much sooner. I’ve also had more trouble with these products clearing customs than I have with any other products ordered from China. It’s not a blocker for me to order (obviously – I have almost the full collection!) but it is an annoyance and it impacts the content on this site sometimes as well.
That’s it for the first part of this themed review – let me know what you think! If you have suggestions for other brands you think should get their own week, or even other themes you’d like to see besides just a single brand, hit me up on my socials or in the comments of my latest video! I’d love to hear them! And don’t forget to check out Part Two which features the Space Age Prophecy multichrome highlighter and the Club Nebula palette, a collaboration between Kaleidos and Angelica Nyqvist…from Sweden!