I’m definitely late for 4/20, but I’ve got a couple of palettes that will help you spark up some glam at any time of the year.
Marijuana is sort of a trend in the cosmetics industry, with some products like Milk Makeup’s Kush mascara actually including CBD oil, and there are a number of palettes that are getting in on this green trend. If I’m honest, I’m not a huge fan of marijuana personally because the smoke irritates my lungs terribly (though in Seattle, where they have legal dispenseries, I’ve been known to partake in a gummy edible now and then), I do support in the legalization and regulation of marijuana both medically and recreationally. Also, I really support beautiful green cosmetics – my favorite color! – so if marijuana is the thing that is going to convince companies to put out palettes with gorgeous shades of green, then I’m all for it.
First, let’s take a look at the Smoke Sessions palette from Melt Cosmetics:
Now for this collection, the brand went all in: along with my palette, I got a free lighter, and part of the collection included a glass pipe. Go on, then! I didn’t pick up the pipe, but I did get a gorgeous electric pink liquid lipstick called Bellastona, and a green eyeliner pencil in a deep green (like the deepest green in the palette, but as a shimmer) in 420 – I’m not reviewing those in this post, but don’t be surprised if they show up in a new project very soon!
Here are the swatches; for all of the swatches in this post, the shadows are swatched over the OMFG face 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 and the bottom photo is the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Gravity OG, Grand Daddy, Black Widow, Sour Diesel
These golden and brown shades are beautiful, but they weren’t entirely consistent. Gravity OG and Black Widow were both a little bit tricky to swatch with the brush. I had to stamp the color onto the skin first, and then come back over it with the brush to blend it out. It never did “melt” into the skin the way the other shimmers did. They aren’t bad, and as you can see you can get beautiful, opaque coverage, but they are a little trickier than the other shimmers in the palette. They tended to be a little chunkier than the other shades in the palette. Gravity OG is a bright orange-y gold, almost copper or brass. Grand Daddy is a much smoother application and it’s a more antique gold sort of shade, yellow in tone but with a dark base. Black Window is a brownish brass shade, again a little chunky and somewhat hard to work with, but the effect is pretty. Sour Diesel is a deep brown matte, and it was fairly dry without being powdery. It almost felt a little sandy? This one grabbed the primer more than other shades and was a little fussy, but it’s not bad and you can get a nice deep, richness in the final application that is missing from so many basic ass brown shades.
L to R: Space Queen, Mean Green, Sweet Tooth, Blue Dream
At $48, this palette is a little pricey, but let’s be real for a moment: I would have paid that much for this half of the palette, which is stunning. I know the word stunning gets overused in the beauty space, but for those two shimmers on the end I mean it: if my soul had a color, it would be a toss up between Sweet Tooth and Blue Dream. These are perfection in terms of the sorts of greens I love. Well, I love all greens, but these are especially good!
Space Queen is pretty dry, but I was able to get a good amount of coverage. The brush swatch was a little inconsistent, so be ready to work with it a bit, but it’s not horrible. The three shimmers on this cooler, mintier side are different in that they are really, really soft and they tend to crumble when you put a brush to the pan – be careful! For all three shades, I got more coverage and pigmentation from the brush swatch with less effort than the finger swatch, which is usually the opposite of what happens. For the finger swatches, the crumbly formula mixed perfectly with the oils on my fingertip to make this beautiful, opaque, metallic coverage. So pretty! Space Queen is a cool, mossy green – it reminds me of the character Moss-Man from the old He-Man figures of the 80s! Sweet Tooth is a perfect cool-toned green with a beautiful silvery shimmer. I absolutely love this shade, it truly is one of my favorite greens ever. Blue Dream is a mint green shimmer with a blue tone at the base, and it’s wonderful! This one was a little bit less BAM in terms of the pigmentation, but it still gave great shimmer and coverage, and it was consistent and applied and blended out beautifully!
I love that this is primarily a shimmer palette, though I know some people will be miffed about the lack of mattes – especially since both of the mattes are super, super dark. I think it’s pretty clear that this palette is meant to be a companion tot he Gemini palette from Melt, so I hope they bring that one back soon as I would love to play around with both of them together and get some swampy looks happening! Talk about dank!
Now here’s the palette from Peachy Queen:
This one is a brighter, much more colorful interpretation of the theme, but there are still three lovely green shades – a full quarter of the palette! I love the way they combined these shades together and if you like brights and you want more greens in your collection, I think this is a wonderful option.
L to R: Purple Haze, Indica, Lemon Kush, Skywalker
Unfortunately this palette wasn’t really consistent from top to bottom, but the first row of shadows is generally pretty good. Purple Haze is a light, bright blue-toned purple with silvery shimmer, and it looked equally good with a finger or a brush. Indica is a gorgeous deep green, but the brush swatch is kind of weak. I always swatch with a dry brush, for a lot of reasons but primarily because even though “foiling” is an available trick to make things work, I want to see whether or not things work used with just a brush because some people don’t like to foil their shadows, so this helps them decide whether or not they want to invest in a palette that needs that additional push. Banana Kush wasn’t terribly bright, but it is a nice yellow and it was terrible in terms of consistency. I would suggest applying this over an opaque base, preferably white, to get the best result. Skywalker is a beautiful blue, and the brush swatch was easily as good as the finger swatch. This row is pretty much all winners in my book.
L to R: White Rhino, Maui Waui, Blueberry, Pineapple Express
White Rhine is almost a dupe for the shade Sweet Tooth in the Smoke Sessions palette, though it’s not on the same level in terms of shine and depth of color. It’s a beautiful shade though, and another amazing green! Maui Waui is a silvery champagne shimmer, nice and consistent and another one where it was a bit crumbly and the brush swatch seemed to pack on even denser than the finger swatch. Blueberry was a little bit of a dud; it took a few passes to get as much coverage as I did, and you can get a nice bit of coverage, but it’s not a one swipe kind of color like some of the others in this palette. Pineapple Express is one of the two shimmer golds, and it’s a more yellowy sort of gold. I wish they had swapped out one of the two gold shimmer for another shade (maybe a deep blue shimmer to pair with Blueberry or a hot pink shimmer?) and if they had this is the one of the two golds I would have kept. It applies and blends out nicely and is a pretty good shade.
L to R: Northern Lights, Bubba Kush, OG Kush, Agent Orange
This row was the most disappointing of the three, though it’s not terrible as you can see from the swatches. Northern Lights is a pretty true green shade, nice and balanced between blue and yellow, but it tends to be a little inconsistent and needs some packing on. Bubba Kush is too sheer and I really had to pack it on to get this much coverage. It’s a pretty, bright 80s Barbie pink, but this shade is pretty common so it’s not really a selling point, especially given the lackluster performance. You can get some nice color out of this, but it’s going to take some work. OG Kush applies like a cream, but as I mentioned earlier it’s a bit of an overlap with Pineapple Express. I would have loved this buttery, smooth, perfect formula with a different shade to round out the palette. Agent Orange was probably the worst of the palette, grabbing onto the primer like it thought it was drowning, and just ending up patchy and inconsistent. It photographs well, which I guess is god, because I think the swatch photo makes it look much better than it deserves for how it looked in person and how much work it took. All three of the mattes in the bottom row were a drier formula and the pink and green felt almost sandy; they are workable, of course, but don’t expect them to be easy, breezy, beautiful.
Overall, I like both of these palettes, and I’me glad they’re in my collection. They can be a little tricky, and I don’t think either one is particularly “beginner friendly,” but they offer up some really amazing green shades and the formulas overall are workable and interesting to play with. I want to try more from Peachy Queen, as I know that their palettes are pretty popular with some of my go to YouTubers, and they have a 90s Baby palette that looks like a really unique and fun color story.
In all seriousness, I would also encourage you to look into some good quality research surrounding the legalization and regulation of cannabis in this country. I may do a separate blog post later, but when you look at marijuana and it’s positive health effects for treating a wide range of conditions from physical pain to anxiety and depression, it’s hard to imagine why this isn’t already approved for medical use in every state. Except that it isn’t hard to imagine when you live in a country where there is a commercial on TV for some new pill with a mile long list of side effects every five minutes, with a private health care system that forces many people to choose between their prescriptions and food or rent. In terms of recreational use, there are obviously some health risks to smoking or otherwise consuming marijuana, but if you compare them to the risks for consuming alcohol or cigarettes, there really isn’t any sort of strong argument for criminalization versus regulation…until you start looking deeper into drug enforcement policies and how they impact people of color and the poor and who benefits from the incarceration of individuals for marijuana-related crimes. Spoiler alert: like most everything else in our society, it’s rich white people.
Alright, enough social commentary, but however you feel about pot-themed makeup being a hot trend in the cosmetics industry, I hope you enjoyed this review – and don’t be surprised if you don’t hear more about this theme in future posts! Pot-themed makeup continues to be released, and so much of it has beautiful, diverse green shades. And all I have to say about that is: “Wake and bake, bitches!”
This is a palette bingo video from one of my favorite YouTubers, Nerdy Girl Makeup. If you love colorful makeup looks, you definitely want to check her out! She’s especially fun to watch if you like cut crease looks, as she does them often, and I think she just has a fun, positive approach to what she does. Check her out!