I have this weird fascination with tryna downsize, minimalise, organise... despite my penchant for buying one useless thing after another and then subsequently hoarding like a greedy little squirrel. I'm up to my eyes in novelty socks. By the way... why do they always seem to mismatch?? I have so many but... they never match... sad face...
Anyway. Nothing really quenches that thirst to be efficient, quite like a custom palette. Now, I've seen a fair share on Youtube and on beauty blogs... but what's always held me back is a) the price, b) NZ's remoteness and c) the packaging.
And then, on a routine trip to Farmers, I chanced upon Art Deco make up. It's a German-made brand that's been around for 29 years apparently, and what I like most about them is their price point and their 'magnetic boxes' of various sizes.
|Yay for poor lighting...|
The above is their largest, the Beauty Box Magnum, that I purchased for $25 (comes empty). I purchased the concealer, blush, eyebrow shadow and other eyeshadows individually to fill this baby up with my essentials. The small eyebrow brush was supposed to be given for free with any Beauty Box purchase, but Farmers forgot and I didn't see the sign till much later. The spoolie brush is from a different eyebrow shadow kit that's almost empty.
|More poor lighting (sorry these were all taken on my phone)|
Colour payoff is pretty good (concealer is great), though some of the shades I tested were quite chalky and others looked completely different compared to how it looked in the pan - be sure to test before buying. Everyone goes on about how affordable this all is and really it isn't all that bad when you compare it to other custom palettes, but it does add up... $9 per eyeshadow, the blush is $20 and I think the concealer's around the same price. The eyebrow brush on it's own is $4... you do the math (I'm in denial, so I refuse to).
Also, the pans are TINY. As in size-of-the-top-third-of-your-middle-finger tiny.
Here's what's in my Beauty Box (left to right, top to bottom):
- Camouflage Cream (Shade 8)
- Blusher (Shade 7 'Salmon Blush')
- Eye Brow Powder (Shade 5 'Medium')
- Eyeshadow (Shade 206 'Brazilian Coffee')
- Eyeshadow (Shade 21 'Pearly Deep Copper')
- Eyeshadow (Shade 38 'Pearly Golden Peach')
- Eyeshadow (Shade 28 'Pearly Porcelain')
All the eyeshadow shades I have are shimmery. Ideally, I also want to purchase matte versions of the dark brown and mid-tone brown, but the selection at Farmers is limited. Multiple trips there over the space of a month didn't seem to make a difference; there's just less and less stock. And when I asked if certain shades would be restocked (of which there were testers for), they said they just sold what was sent to them. Puh.
|Sliding around on the magnetic box - this is my 'oops' shade (when a toddler is screaming at you, you choose fast)|
The compact itself is pretty much the exact same size as my Samsung Galaxy S3, but just a smidge deeper and I'm concerned about the button/catch opening (these have a tendency to snap off), but overall, I think it's a fantastic idea. It's not often you see a custom palette with the ability to add concealer and brow shadow. If they could just add bronzer to the mix I'd be a very happy chappy!
|They come with a sliding clear top (remove to use in the palettes) and magnetic strip on the bottom|
To make explaining the Beauty Box sizes available, let's say 1 eyeshadow = 1 block, 1 concealer = 2 blocks wide, 1 blush = 3 blocks wide
- Magnum - fits 12 blocks
- Quadrat - fits 8 blocks
- Quattro - fits 4 blocks
- Trio - fits 3 blocks
- Duo - fits 2 blocks
I couldn't decide which Box to get at first, but eventually decided to go for the largest and work my way down if the need was there. So far, I've been using it daily for my usual 'everyday' look and I've been enjoying the simplicity of needing just the one palette.
I think it's hard-working (minus that useless 'oops' shade that's too close to my other golden highlighter shade - I was supposed to have bought a pearly peach shade but I panicked dangnamit) and I eagerly look forward to maybe getting another smaller palette for use when I'm on a long-haul flight. Can you imagine how nifty that'd be? I think I'd pack just the concealer, an imaginary matte taupe shade and the golden highlighter I actually own (I'd use a dark brown eye pencil to fill in brows and line eyes; a rose pink lippie on my lips and cheeks). That would call for a Quattro I believe...
Oh I forgot to add, I think sometimes Farmers put on a special offer for Art Deco products? When I purchased some of the above goodies they had an offer where if you spent over $40 on Art Deco you received a free $15 eyeshadow base. Sure, they forgot that (as well as the eyeshadow brush) and I had to go back to claim it (wasn't aware of the free brush offer at the time), but hey! A freebie is a freebie!! (Just make sure you get all that you're entitled to - check, and check again).
I'm quite excited to see how this performs on holiday... will I have a last-minute panic and pack some other palettes anyway, or will I stay strong and stay minimal?? I haven't used it yet on a night out or anything fancy, so we'll see what happens when I'm away for a wedding next week. I'm pretty confident I'll have no probs making up a glam face with just this palette. I just gotta believe in the palette... trust the palette... gotta have faith...
(I'm sorry, it's late in the evening)