The Amor Etrno collection from Melt Cosmetics seems like all anyone could talk about on the YouTubes…don’t worry, we’ll get there (review of the Vida and Muerte palettes coming Friday!) but for now I want to talk a little bit about a palette that showed up and was pretty quickly forgotten in the ecstasy that was lavished upon the holiday collection: the Radioactive palette.
The Radioactive palette is sort of old, and sort of not. Four of the shadows have existed for a few years in one of their hockey puck-like stacks: Radioactive, a neon pink; Radon, a red-leaning electric orange; Neon, a bright but not quite neon yellow; and Xenon, a vibrant neon lime green. I’ve had that stack for a while, and while it’s gotten a fair amount of use (especially Radioactive, though I think I prefer Jeffree Star’s Star Power shade for an electric pink) when I saw the palette I decided it was worthwhile to declutter my stack and pick up the palette because in addition to getting those same shades in a slimmer, more storage-friendly palette, you also get 4 new shades: Arsenic, a vibrant turquoise; Meltdown, a rich and deep teal; Hazmat, royal purple realness; and Uranium, a mid-toned lavender shade.
These swatches were done over the ABH eye primer with a brush. I have experience with the first four shades in the palette and I knew they wouldn’t perform that well with a finger swatch, so I just opted for a more simplistic technique. The top photo is my studio lighting with no flash; the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Radioactive, Radon, Neon, Xenon, Arsenic, Meltdown, Hazmat, Uranium
As you can see, these swatch out pretty well with a brush. Not great, but not terrible. They give pretty good coverage, especially for the brighter, more neon shades, but there is still a little patchiness. Of the new shades, Arsenic and Uranium, the lighter two, are the weakest. They have some inconsistency to the pigmentation and they get faded more easily than the other shades. Meltdown is a pretty solid teal, nice depth and pretty even application. Hazmat has some pretty shimmer to it, and the color is nice and consistent. Would I have preferred to see more neon shades, maybe a full rainbow of neon shades instead of the darker options? Probably, but this isn’t a bad color story.
Overall, my feeling is good, just not quite great. The rub is the price: this 8-pan palette is $48. For those prices, I feel like the shadows should be more than just good, they should be fan-fucking-tastic. Spoiler alert: this is going to be a familiar complaint for some of the shades in the Amor Eterno collection. If this was a $30 palette, I would have swatched it, thought “not bad,” and went about my life. But these just struggle a little bit too much for me. I know that neon and bright shades can be tricky, and the Radon shade is actually one of the best neon oranges I’ve come across, but this is something I’ve felt about more than just their brights. The deep shades in this palette do pretty well (both of them) but that’s not consistent across all of their palettes. I also think that this swatched out better than I expected because I used the notoriously dry ABH primer. If you like a tacky primer, be prepared to go slow and have these shades fight you a bit.
I do think that Melt excels at beautiful, dynamic packaging: this electric glitter dream is absolutely perfect for this color story, and it makes me want to own this palette and use it. Good packaging is also something that drove a lot of people toward the Christmas collection. Obviously we’ll talk more about those two palettes on Friday, but in general I wish that their products inside would live up to the promises of the packaging.
The final verdict: the Radioactivepalette is beautiful, and you can work with this and get some great looks, but it’s another entry in a market that currently has a large number of rainbow and brights palettes from indie brands, and the elevated price tag may make it harder for it to survive the blast.