Y’all, I am a bitch with a filthy mouth. Part of my drag persona is presenting this glamorous, feminine image that opens its mouth and unleashes a parade of filth! It’s what I do; it’s what I live for. And now, Peachy Queen has released a palette that aims to harness my love of “the cursey words” (thanks for that, Emily D. Baker!) into 12 pans of eyeshadow: the Explicit Palette!
I mean, how could I not pick up this little beauty?! I know that Peachy Queen gets knocked quite often for appearing to be a private label brand, and their shtick is a lot of palettes that are “inspired” without being actually licensed by popular properties like Friends, The Office, and Hocus Pocus to name just a few, but I have enjoyed the quality of all the palettes I’ve received from the brand. If they are private labeling, then they’re doing it from an amazing factory and I’m here for the quality.
My only real problem with this palette is the color story – it’s a bit of a head scratcher. With all of these feisty shade names, you would think the colors would be more vivid and saturated, or more gritty and grungy. Instead, we’ve just got a seemingly random collection of midtone shades with a few muted pastels – nothing to get your blood boiling enough to actually use one of the words displayed on the inner packaging.
It’s definitely a missed opportunity, but I had to own it for the novelty factor, if nothing else!
Swatches are done over the Morphe Eyelid Primer in Translucent 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, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Fuck, Bullshit, Bitch, Shit
Fuck is a pale baby blue matte, a little chalky but blendable and you can work with it to get good coverage. Bullshit is a deep blackened navy shimmer. Bitch is a matte brick red. Shit is a matte aqua, again a little chalky but workable.
L to R: Asshole, Fuck You, Son Of A Bitch, Piss Off
Asshole is a light avocado green matte, a little bit sheer and tends to fade out a little too much around the edges of where it’s applied. Fuck You is a bright true blue satiny shimmer. Son Of A Bitch is a bright chalky lime matte, very sheer and weak. This one would benefit from having a colored base underneath if you really want the color to show through. Piss Off is the most glittery and metallic shade in the palette, a bright brassy gold. It’s a little weak when applied with a finger (which is weird for a shimmer) but you can apply it and manipulate it easily enough with a brush.
L to R: Damn, Hell, Holy Shit, Prick
Damn is a bright peach pastel matte, nice coverage and blends pretty easily. Hell is a pale pink pastel, a little more fussy than Damn, but definitely not in the same category of struggle as the greens in the last row. Holy Shit is a lovely olive shimmer, very pigmented and with a nice metallic sheen. Prick is a muted purple pastel with some surprising depth that you might not expect looking at it in the pan.
This palette is fun, for a hot second, but it really does feel like such a wasted effort. Yeah, it’s funny to see someone actually “go there” and have those shade names, and as a teen in the 90s when Tipper Gore was campaigning so hard for warning labels, I’m living for the cover design. But this is just not a color story I’m going to use very often; none of the colors in this palette are in any way special or note-worthy, or even as jarring as their shade names. This feels like a gimmick without much thought put into the contents that are going to be around longer than the smirk that comes with the cleverness of the joke.
Of course, I did lay out my money for this palette, and as of this writing it’s showing up as sold out on the Peachy Queen website, so maybe the joke’s on me. But I think this is the last time they are going to pull me in with an interesting concept that’s mouthing off, but the products themselves just can’t back it up.