Let’s get this out of the way immediately, for any outraged millennials with too much time on their hands: YES, I do know that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, and that white people eating tacos and drinking tequila is sort of like non-Irish people eating corned beef and puking up green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. The day commemorates a victory of the Mexican army against the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. There is a really interesting article from the Smithsonian Magazine about foods that would be more appropriate to eat on Cinco de Mayo based on the history and culinary development of the city of Puebla…but GlamLite didn’t come out with a Mole Poblano palette, so this is where we are. For fuck’s sake, can we just enjoy something?
I, for one, have been thoroughly enjoying GlamLite’s amazing (and mouth-watering!) array of food themed makeup items recently: I reviewed their Cake palette HERE and then used it in a recent Face Friday post HERE; I also reviewed the Veggie Lovers Pizza Slice palette HERE, and be sure to check back for this week’s Face Friday post where I do two different eye looks, pitting the Meat Lovers and Veggie Lovers palettes against one another!
Since I finally got stimulated (if you know what I mean…*wink, wink*), I decided to add to the cosmetic buffet and pick up the Viva Taco and Street Taco palettes, as well as a couple of pairs of their Taco Lashes in Carnitas and Al Pastor.
Viva Taco, the larger 15-pan palette, is the original Taco palette from the brand and has been out for a while, but the Street Taco 10-pan mini palette is a new product that just came out last month. I think the Taco Lashes came out with the original palette, but GlamLite often adds styles or shades so they keep building out their collections even after the initial launch. They also released some Margarita glosses (I use the Peach Margarita gloss in the Face Friday post coming this week!) and I have picked up a few of the “flavors” but since I was already swatching and talking about two palettes I decided not to include them – but don’t be surprised if they pop up in future posts!
(I don’t know what happened to the pictures I took of the inside of the palette, but they seem to have been deleted off my phone. So I included this photo from the GlamLite website. All of the swatch photos are mine, but I wanted to include this so that the next part makes sense… XOXO, Editing Miss Jaye)
I absolutely love the packaging that GlamLite does with their food-themed palettes, but this half-moon design definitely presents some challenges in deciding how to photograph and swatch it. Since there are 15 shades, I decided to do three shades at a time. You’ll probably hate how I choose what shades to put together, but I basically did the middle, vertical row all together. Then, on either side, I did the top three shades together, and then the two in the middle and the one on the bottom together. It made sense to me, and I like the color combos that it gave me.
Shadows are swatched over a base of the ABH eye primer, with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right. Now that I’m finally in the process of getting my YouTube channel up and going, let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in a “behind the scenes” type video where I show off my swatching process and talk about how and why I do swatches the way I do. The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is the same photo with a flash.
L to R: Onions, Mexican Cheese, Radishes
Onions is a white based shimmer with a pale yellow gold shimmer, what I’m always referring to as candlelight in these reviews. Mexican Cheese is a full bodied gold shimmer, a little brassy. Radishes is a royal purple shimmer, a little sheerer with a finger than I would have expected but still a pretty color.
L to R: Carnitas, Pico de Gallo, Al Pastor
Carnitas is a really lovely brown shimmer, maybe a little bit reddish in undertone. Pico de Gallo is a really surprising duochrome shimmer. In the pan it just looks straight up orange, but when you apply it, you get this gorgeous red undertone. I had to do a double take: I was worried that I hadn’t cleaned the brush well enough and got some of the red from Al Pastor in the swatch, but when I did the finger swatch I got the same gorgeous color! Speaking of Al Pastor, it’s a bright, slightly cool cherry red shimmer. Very pretty, and I love this sort of cool, popsicle red color for eyes or lips!
(Ugh, me again. I totally fucked up this image when I was doing the layout app thing! The swatches are Carnitas and Pico De Gallo, but the red shimmer is Al Pastor, from the bottom row, not Salsa Roja. I fixed the caption, but I realize that the image shows the wrong shade – clearly it’s a matte shadow, so I don’t know what I was thinking! – and shows the wrong name. Sorry, I seem to have quarantine brain, and I’m too tired to go back and re-shoot the palette to get it right. That will teach me to clear out my camera roll until the post is done! -XOXO, Editing Miss Jaye)
L to R: Pollo, Salsa Roja, Salsa Verde
Pollo is a medium tan brown, a little weak compared to the rest of the shades in the palette, but that might be partially just my bias against nuetral shades! It’s not bad, but it just doesn’t excited me the way the other shades in this palette do! Salsa Roja is a matte red that is fairly sheer, and I think will need plenty of building. This is the only shade in the palette that I would call a disappointment. It just looks so gorgeous in the pan and then…that. It’s not unworkable, but definitely not beginner friendly. And Salsa Verde is a lovely olive green shimmer with a golden shift.
L to R: Carne Asada, Red Cabbage, Pickled Carrots
Carne Asada is your basic matte deep brown, thought I do like that it seems to have a slightly more reddish undertone than a lot of these types of shades usually have. It really pairs well with the red tones of Salsa Roja or Pico de Gallo. Red Cabbage is a bright, pretty consistent matte purple. I didn’t run into problems with patchiness or skipping. There is less pigment at the edge of the swatches, where I did less of the blending, and this indicates to me that this purple with blend out well with other shades. Pickled Carrots is a bright matte cool-toned red, the matte equivalent of Al Pastor, though it almost runs a bit pink when first applied. Build it up to get more of that red look.
L to R: Guacamole, Cilantro, Lime
I mean, c’mon – do I ever not LOVE green eyeshadows?! Guacamole is a lovely lime green matte, a little hard to work with but a nice bright intensity that would be even better over a white base. Cilantro is a lovely forest green with a yellow gold shift. Lime is a deeper yellow-toned green matte, very pigmented and consistent.
The mattes in this palette are fairly dry, and they worked well over the ABH primer, which dries down to a very dry finish (no setting required). The shimmers are great over the base as well, but they are even better if you pair them with a little setting spray or a tackier base, or even using a finger – all of the typical tricks to get shimmer shades to play nice. But none of that is necessary – all of these swatches are dry brush over dry base, and the colors are gorgeous, so don’t feel like you have to do that if you don’t want to. The shimmers are soft and have a creamy but firm texture. The mattes are pretty dry overall, though a couple of them, like Guacamole, are drier than others, almost to the point of feeling a little gritty.
The Street Taco palette is a mini palette that seems to have some repeat shades from the larger palette (two mattes, Pollo and Carne Asada, and one shimmer, Pico de Gallo) though it’s not confirmed on the site that these are the same. They look the same to me, and they have the same names, and Pico especially is distinctive enough that it’s hard not to recognize it, but I’ll let you peruse the swatches and decide for yourself. I also appreciated that the smaller size made it easier to decide how to photograph it! I did the top row in two sets of three, and finished with all 4 of the bottom row shades.
This one is definitely different than the larger palette, and at first I didn’t think I was on board. I’m starting to come around, but…well, let’s get into the swatches and you’ll see what I mean.
L to R: Pico de Gallo, Limon, Red Onions
Pico de Gallo is the same as in the larger palette, and it’s still obso-fucking-lutely gorgeous! Limon is a bright, neon green matte. The neons in this palette are good, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are great. I think you can get some great looks out of these, but they are definitely fussy. Neons are notoriously finicky, but several brands, including Blush Tribe and Ruby May and Peachy Queen, have done neon mattes that are out of this world, so these can’t help but be a bit of a disappointment in comparison to those formulas. Red Onions is a gorgeous red-leaning purple with gorgeous shimmery reflect. The shimmers in this palette are creamier and more glittery than those in the Viva Taco. It makes them a little harder to work with, but the color and the glittery shine is definitely worth a little elbow grease!
L to R: Al Pastor, Picante, Guacamole
Al Pastor is a bright neon red that is the weakest matte in the palette. The brush swatch was pretty weak, and would need a lot of building and probably a white base to really perform. Picante is a little better but still not everything I would have hoped. It’s a pretty neon orange that is just too sheer to really give it to me the way I want it too. Guacamole is lovely, a swampy green shimmer with a yellowy base and gold shimmer.
L to R: Pollo, Carnitas, Repollo Rojo, Carne Asada
Pollo is, once again, a medium tan brown matte. For some reason I like it better here than in the other palette, but I don’t know why since I am absolutely convinced that they are the same shade! Carnitas is a really stunning shimmer, a bronzed brown gold with a plummy brown base. I’m not sure if it looks so purple at the base because of the shade next to it, but it’s a very unique combination! Repollo Rojo is a bright, neon orchid. This is far and away the best performance for any of the neon mattes. And Carne Asada is the slightly red-toned brown matte.
I’m excited to play with this palette more, but I’m a little bit sad about the inconsistency. I feel like while all of the shimmers in Viva Taco were lovely, with the exception of Pico de Gallow (which is also in this palette) they weren’t showstoppers. The Street Taco shimmers are all gorgeous and unique and make me want to play! But the mattes in this palette are decidedly weaker than those in the Viva Taco. A white base could probably be a game changer, but on initial impression I’m just not fully sold.
I did also pick up two styles of the Taco Lashes: Carnitas and Al Pastor.
Taco Lashes in Carnitas
Taco Lashes in All Pastor
I haven’t worn either of these pairs of lashes, but I have several pairs of their lashes form other collections (I wear a pair of the Sl-EYE-der Burger Lashes in this Face Friday post, and I’ll be wearing a pair of Pizza Lashes in the post coming this Friday – have I convinced you to stop back and read that post yet?!) and I’m a fan. They are on par with other synthetic lashes at a similar price point. I would compare them to the Sweet Treat lashes from Peachy Queen that I have also been loving lately. Both of these styles are sort of “clumpy” (rather than a solid thickness across the band) and they are flared on the outside corner, two things that I really like in all of my favorite lash styles.
Gisselle Hernandez was inspired to create this collection because of her pride in her Mexican heritage and her love for its delicious food! These palettes are an amazing representation of that culture, and I am so excited to keep playing with these products and seeing what sort of colorful looks I can create on this big ol’ queer face! We live in a world where people want to get all butt hurt when people share in and celebrate each other’s cultures; I was nervous about even reviewing this collection, and especially reviewing it on Cinco de Mayo, because I didn’t want to get all caught up in the furor of cancel culture. Then I remembered that no one knows (or cares!) who I am, and I felt much more free! Playing with makeup and experimenting with color is what I do, and it’s a part of my culture: drag culture. And I’m glad that I get to play in my culture using products that someone else created to help celebrate their own culture. It doesn’t mean that I’m trying to reduce Mexican culture down to tacos, or that I’m ignoring the actual history of Cinco de Mayo and what inspires it. It just means that two people celebrating their own unique perspectives can come together and make something beautiful.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.