6-year-old me is living for the neon moment that seems to be sweeping the indie makeup world!
About a week ago, I shared my review of the new Lime Crime Venus Vivid palette, a neon-esque brights palette that was rainbow Lisa Frank goodness all day long! But those shades were more bright, vivid shades that were neon-inspired. What about actual neon eyeshadow shades? Can a makeup brand truly harness the electric pleasure of pure neon?
Two new palettes are certainly trying their best: Blush Tribe’s Neon Dreams Revamped and Peachy Queen’s Alien Queen. Now, as of this writing, Neon Dreams Revamped is not available on the Blush Tribe site anymore, and it was advertised as limited edition; in fact, it wasn’t available when I placed my order with Blush Tribe for the Hasina 2 palette, so I ordered the Pastel Tribe palette instead (review on both of those palettes coming soon!). The pre-order was supposed to ship in June but I ended up not getting it until August, and when I opened the box they had thrown in the Neon Dreams revamped as a gift! Even though it’s not currently available, I wanted to swatch and review it for a couple of reasons. First, Blush Tribe has had things be limited and go out of stock and then later restock them. They are currently taking pre-orders for another run of the Paulina palette (that I think I need to get in on!) that initially wasn’t going to restock after its initial release. I wanted to record my thoughts on the palette because it may be available for you to purchase in the future. Second, it’s in my collection and I want to review it. This is my website and I do what I want! I know that sometimes people are disappointed when they find a review for a product they can’t buy, but I think the fact that many beauty bloggers and YouTubers aren’t willing to use older or limited edition or discontinued products actually feeds into our consumerism. Use what you have, love what you use. But third, I also wanted to talk about it because if you love it, you can get pretty much exact dupes for these shades, plus a few extras…in the Alien Queen palette (which is also advertised as limited edition, but as of this writing, is still available!).
Let’s start with Blush Tribe. This is my first order from the brand, but it’s become something of an indie darling among the smaller influencers on YouTube’s beauty space. I knew I had to get the Hasina 2 palette when I saw all of the gorgeous greens (and they just keep adding greens with the Paulina and the Laila 2!), but I was also really excited to see the Neon Dreams revamped. I feel like that are a lot of palettes that describe shades as neon or electric, when they really aren’t. Now don’t get me wrong: the shades are bright and beautiful, but I think there is a line between vivid brights and actual neons. And this palette falls squarely on the neon side of that line!
There are 9 shades in this palette. As usual, I swatched these over a primer (the Crayon Case Glue Stick eye primer) with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. The top photo is my studio lighting with no flash; bottom photo is the same lighting without a flash. Now shades like this are going to pop best over a white base or primer, but even if you aren’t going there I suggest some sort of primer to help the shadow cling and give you better payoff. I didn’t take pictures, but I accidentally forgot to put on primer a couple of times and I couldn’t figure out why the shadows were so powdery and chalky! Neons like this, that have that much white pigment to brighten them up, really need some sort of base to stick to in order to perform well.
L to R: Laila, Maya, Vanessa
Laila is a bright neon red. When you look at it in the pan, you almost question whether or not it’s going to be neon, but it applies really bright and vibrant. Maya is a neon fuchsia, very blue-toned. Vanessa is a bright true pink, maybe leaning a little bit coral.
L to R: Anam, Andrea, Ruhina
Anam is a lovely neon peachy orange. Andrea is neon orange, sort of an electric macaroni and cheese color! Ruhina is bright, vivid neon yellow!
L to R: Rufia, Sama, Nadia
Rufia is a neon lime green. Sama is electric blue. Nadia is a vivid purple. Nadio could have been a little lighter imho, but it’s still a great shade, and would pop even more over a white base.
For all of these mattes, not only will a white base help them pop even more than they do in my swatches, but tapping to pack on color and then blending the edges will probably give you an even better overall look than the way I’ve applied them here. White pigments are needed to really lighten and brighten shades like this, but the more white you add the more the shadow can appear chalky and inconsistent. In the swatches above, look at the difference between Rufia and Nadia: Rufia is the more neon of the two, but it is also the most sheer and inconsistent because it has the most white pigment. Nadia is darker, but the coverage is much more even and consistent. These are lovely neon shades and I can’t wait to start trying out some neon looks with them!
Now that I’ve gotten you all excited about a palette that you (probably) can’t buy, let me give you the good news: the Alien Queen palette by Peachy Queen has pretty much exact dupes for all 9 shades in the Neon Dreams Revamped, PLUS an additional 6 shades!
Let’s go through the swatches first, which were done the same way described above, then I’ve got some shade comparisons between the two palettes and some final thoughts.
L to R: UFO, Area 51, Probe, Extraterrestrial, Abduction
UFO is a neon popsicle red. Area 51 is a bright, deep fuchsia neon. Probe is electric purple. Extraterrestrial is a neon blue. Abduction is neon lime green.
L to R: Teleportation, Invaders, Galaxy, Starship, Beam
Teleportation is a bright, vibrant blue-based pink. Invaders is a light neon tangerine shade. Galaxy is neon traffic cone orange, can look a little coral in some light. Starship is a bright neon raspberry, leaning toward purple. Beam is a neon coral pink.
L to R: Martians, Force Field, Multiverse, Telepathy, Death Ray
Martians is a bright neon yellow. Force Field is neon traffic cone orange. Here’s where things get interesting: Multiverse is a bright snow white shimmer. Telepathy is a champagne pearl shimmer. Death Ray is a sooty black matte, a little messy and dry but nice pigmentation.
I love that this palette gives you 13 different neon shades, with a variety of reds/pinks and oranges. It allows you to do a fun gradient while keeping the look still gradient. And adding the matte black and the two shimmers allows you to do a full look with highlight and darkening without having to break into another palette. I’m not always a fan of adding a matte black to be a “one and done” palette, but I think it really does make sense here. And even though the two shimmer shades are somewhat similar, they actually can be used very differently.
Now when it comes to the neons, these shades are pretty much dupes for each other. I don’t mean similar, or almost the same; they seem like the exact same shades. There were a couple of minor inconsistencies in the application that could easily be explained by how much pressure I applied to minor differences in pressing. The Blush Tribe palette says that it was produced in China; the Peachy Queen palette doesn’t say where it was made on the packaging, and I didn’t see it noted on the website, but considering the price point I would guess that it is also from China. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were ordering from the same factory. However, they came about, both palettes are gorgeous and the most actually-neon neon shadows I’ve seen!
In the comparison images, I just did brush swatches over a primer, Blush Tribe on the left and Peachy Queen on the right. The top photo is studio lighting with no flash, bottom is studio lighting with flash. I also included shots of the shades in the pan on each image.
I really like both of these palettes, and I can’t wait to start creating with them. I think I’m going to put one in my makeup stash at home (where I keep the makeup for shows and photo shoots) and one in my office stash (where I have makeup for filming) so that I always have some great neons on hand for whatever I might like to create!
How do you feel about these palettes? Are you living for this neon trend? Which of these two palettes calls to you more? Do you have either of them? What are your thoughts? What’s your favorite shade of neon? Let me know all of your #lit thoughts in the comments below!
I hope we’re riding this vibrant, colorful train for a long time – this neon love is everything I need!