Yes, let’s just lay it out there: I spent $58 each on these palettes. Fifty. Eight. Dollars.
I need to get myself right with the lordt.
I’m not one to place blame for my own financial shenanigans at the feet of others’ and I am totally to blame for giving in to the hype, but can we just talk about how just about every YouTuber I watch regularly was literally sucking these palettes’ dicks right through the back of their head? If they didn’t have both (and many had both!), they definitely had the Muerte palette, a collection of deep wine reds, naval blues, and turquoises that stole my heart. The other palette coaxed me with a couple of bright, swampy greens and some really pretty oranges, and eventually I gave in. This holiday was the season of weakness. These are the Vida and Muerte palettes from Melt Cosmetics’ holiday collection, Amor Eterno.
Melt is known for great packaging, but these are on another level: beautiful glossy embossed palettes with a vibrant skull and roses motif. The promo images were Day of the Dead inspired, and just as gorgeous. The whole collection was designed to be a nod and homage to the creator’s Mexican heritage, and at least visually, this is how you do a themed collection right. But let’s take a look at the swatches to see if this Amor is really Eterno!
The swatches are done with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right over the Anastasia Beverly Hills eye primer. The top photo is my studio lighting without a flash; bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Sarape, Papel Picado, Amor Eterno, Agua Ardiente, Chocolate
Sarape is a bright, gorgeous grassy green with yellowy shift. Like the shimmers in the Smoke Sessions palette, this shade is kinda chunky and needed to be finessed with a finger to really smooth out and look good when I did the brush swatch. Papel Picado is a swampy green matte, nice and fairly bright even without a white base, but it did darken a bit around the edges (which is odd with a primer that’s as dry as the ABH primer!). Amor Eterno is another good bright, this one yellow, that blends out evenly and would look really spectacular over white. Agua Ardiente is a coolish taupe brown matte, a little patchy but definitely workable. Chocolate is, not surprisingly, a rich chocolate matte. Think Hershey’s syrup, darker than a typical milk chocolate. It’s pretty enough, but the finger swatch was a little patchy. Luckily I never fingerbang mattes onto my eye, so I don’t have to worry about that.
L to R: Atole, Sol, Pan Dulce, Alegria, Mexicana
Atole is a pale sandy brown matte, a little inconsistent, but I wouldn’t describe it as chalky. I think the Melt mattes are too dry for my liking, and this one seemed to be particularly dry. It’s a pretty color, and for an “almost beige” it has some personality, but it needs a little hand holding. Sol is a bright marigold matte, sort of an orange-leaning deep yellow. It looks neon orange in the pan, but definitely swipes out more yellow-orange. Pan Dulce is a bright orange matte, pretty consistent with good color and coverage. Alegria is one of the standouts for me in this palette: a red-based orange with a coral/gold sort of shift. It’s almost a duochrome, very unique and very pretty. Mexicana is red. Not blue-based red, not tomato red, not cherry red. Red. If you’ve been looking for an eyeshadow that is a true, primary red this is an excellent option for you. It doesn’t lean any damn way.
L to R: Angelito, Lagrimas, Duelo, Panteon, Noche Eterna
Angelito is a chunky turquoise shimmer, bright and with a nice metallic sheen, but definitely needs some liquid or skin contact to tone down the texture a little. Lagrimas is a beautiful turquoise matte that is a tiny bit chalky but you can work with it and get it to behave if you put the work in. Duelo is a teal matte that is patchy and a real disappointment, and I’m not sure why: there is a very similar teal shade in the Radioactive palette (see my review of that palette in my previous post!) that is one of the best of that group but this one is only lackluster. Panteon is also a little meh, a deep gray that is more pigeon than dove (how’s that for bird-themed shade?!). Noche Eterna is a fairly bright navy blue matte, fairly nice and consistent in coverage.
L to R: Catrina, Velorio, Sangre, Corazon, Calaca
Catrina is a navy blue shimmer that has some reflectiveness, but you can see in the brush swatch that it’s very chunky and needs a finger or some spray to really smooth it out and perform well. Velorio is a matte maroon that is pigmented – almost too pigmented, if there is such a thing? It just sort of lays down like a brick! Use carefully! Sangre is a lighter version that is a little more lifelike, and Corazon is a bright red that’s a little disappointing, especially the way that it diffused with a finger swatch. It’s pretty, but it’s not the true red perfection that is Mexicana from the Vida palette.
I like these palettes a lot, but just like the Radioactive palette, I don’t quite love them. And I definitely don’t love them eternally! The mattes are dry, which some people love, but I find it hard to work with because I prefer a more tacky primer base. The shimmers are pretty as long as you get them a little wet; without that moisture they are still pretty, but they tend to chunk up and give you that awful crunch’n’much texture that drag queens always get the first time they cover their brows. There are a few shades that disappoint, but mostly they are just average to pretty good.
Again, it all comes down to price.
One of these 10-pan palettes is $58, and that’s essssspensive. They are beautiful and they are an indie brand and they are a minority-owned makeup brand, and all of that. But they are just so expensive. For $58 for a palette this size, I really want the colors to wow me. I want the shades to be ones that I just can’t take my eyes off of. And while I really do love the colors stories (I’m hoping Melt keeps it coming with these gorgeous combinations!) the shadows themselves always feel like they snuck into a party at a higher price point that they really shouldn’t be at. I’m going to keep them, and I’m going to put them with my filming makeup because I’m determined to get some decent use out of these pricey babies, but I’m hoping that I’ll be a little wiser the next time a gorgeous collection comes around and tries to tempt me. I’m usually style over substance, but even I have limits.
And that limit is apparently $116. Plus tax.