Saturday, July 30, 2016

Too Faced - Totally Cute Eye Shadow Palette - Swatch & First Impressions!

As I've touched on before, I am not immune to 'gimmicky' products. There are plenty of products that I've purchased solely for the packaging, name, and/or theme, without much thought as to whether or not the product itself was any good. Some gimmicky products that I have tried have been not-so-good, but many, especially products from Asian brands like TonyMoly and Etude House, have been great, with or without the gimmick.
Too Faced is one of those brands that straddles the thin line between 'gimmicky' and 'quality', and more often than not they come out on the 'quality' side. Their newest 9-pan eye shadow palette, Totally Cute, really pushes the boundaries of this line and is one of those 'love it or hate it' type of products.
With the huge success that was the PB&J 9-pan palette and the Sweet Peach palette, I'm not surprised that Too Faced come out with another limited edition palette so quickly. This palette was pretty hyped up on social media (though not to the degree that the PB&J and Sweet Peach palettes were), but it fell a little short with the beauty community. The palette itself is a little out there; it's a mix of bright colors and pale neutrals in both matte and shimmer finishes. Unless you like really bright, intense looks (which is totally fine!), it's not a stand alone palette, but it is refreshing to see in a sea of mid-tone neutral palettes. The colors themselves, even though they are bright, are a little uninspiring; Too Faced has done all these colors before, albeit not all in one palette. What I think is the biggest draw, and biggest gimmick of this palette, is that you're supposed to decorate it. With stickers. I bought this palette direct from Too Faced the day it launched, so clearly I'm into the idea of it (or I bought into the gimmick), but a lot of people thought it was incredibly childish and unappealing. Hence, the divide in opinions of this palette in the beauty community.
Since I purchased my palette directly from Too Faced, I got a couple extra freebies (two expected, one a complete surprise). Too Faced lets you pick two samples with your order, though they're only foil packet/one-time use samples so they're not that exciting (and not a good reason to purchase directly from Too Faced; you get better freebies from Sephora or Ulta). I actually do want to try the Born This Way concealer since I liked the foundation so much, but the Chocolate Soleil bronzer has been sampled to death at this point and I picked it because I liked all the other options less.
Unfortunately, my bronzer sample didn't even include the actual samples of bronzer. Hmm.
With the Totally Cute palette, Too Faced includes two little sheets of stickers to decorate it with, but if you order directly from them, you get another, larger sheet of exclusive stickers designed by @iscreamcolor! I had no idea I'd be getting this as well with my order, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it in my box. They're pretty cute (though different in art style than the included stickers), and I like that they're a mix of Too Faced-specific and non-specific designs.
The box is the same shade of pale pink as the palette itself and the random pictures all over it match the included stickers.
The back really emphasizes the use of the stickers in decorating the palette, which shows that that's what Too Faced intended to be the main focus of this product (for better or for worse).
As with all Too Faced palettes, you get a Glamour Guide with three looks, one for each row of shadows. Again, the quote on the guide shows the heavy emphasis on the stickers.
I like that Too Faced includes these guides since it can be difficult to come up with a cohesive look, especially with these types of not-really-stand-alone palettes, but they sometimes come across as forced, which I feel like they do in this case (you can totally rock these looks, and they work better in real life than in these weird, Photoshopped mock-ups, but they feel very limited).
This is what the palette looks like all on it's own. It's a pale pink with the Too Faced logo in purple in the middle. There's a little color in the loops in the logo, though it's bizarrly inconsistant; there's no color in the loop in the 'T' and the 'aced' part of 'Faced' is much more red-tones/fuchsia in color than the 'Too F'.
The back of the palette has the same info as the back of the box. The phrase 'hashtag AMAZING' really irritates me; I get where Too Faced was trying to go with this palette, but it's another aspect that feels a little forced.
You two half-sheets of stickers with this palette; as with the special extra sheet, I like that there is a mixture of Too Faced and non-Too Faced based designs.
I think that Too Faced intends you to put the 'Totally Cute' name on the front (so it matches the other 9-pan palettes) and then use the other stickers to decorate as you please. I'm one of those people that hoards stickers, especially ones that you can't outright buy, so I'm not sure if I'm even going to use them (...which defeats the whole purpose of buying them).
Finally on to the palette itself! I did buy this palette for the sticker gimmick, but I also bought it because of the colors. They aren't new or all that interesting, but I don't have this type of mix in any of my other palettes and Too Faced generally makes good quality eye shadows.
I'm going to go left to right, top to bottom, so we'll start with the first shade in the 'Ice Cream Cutie' look, Double Scoop.
Double Scoop is described as a 'matte vanilla malt' and, like all matte white shadows, it looks powdery and sheer on me. A good highlight/base/blending shade, but not my favorite.

Next is Bunny Fu-Fu. Bunny Fu-Fu is a 'matte pumpkin spice' and is very similar to multitude of matte orange eye shadows that have recently become available.
It's quite warm and almost carroty in color, and it applied smoothly. This shadow performed like a standard Too Faced matte (which is generally good).
The last shade in this row, and the last matte in this palette, is Chocolate Donut, a 'matte dark brown'.
Like Bunny Fu-Fu, this was a good, Too Faced-quality matte and it applied smoothly and well-pigmented. It's not super unique, though, and it can easily be found in other Too Faced palettes (I do like how well it works with Bunny Fu-Fu, though, so I can see why they included it in this palette).
The next row/look is called 'Lucky Girl' and it starts with the shade Shooting Star.
Shooting Star is described as a 'shimmering nude' and is so similar to my skin tone (minus the shimmer), that I had to mess with some Photoshop filters to try and get it to show up (hence the super sharp edges of the shimmer). I really like this shade, especially as a highlight/base color, but it is quite shimmery so if that's not what you're going for, you'll have to use one of the other two pale neutral/highlight shades.
Next is Clover, a 'golden green pearl'. This is probably the most unique color in this palette; it's not often you see bright (as in saturated, not neon), shimmery grass green eye shadow (especially outside of an Urban Decay palette and/or cheap Halloween makeup).
The gold really comes out when you apply it; it's not a duochrome, but the layered effect the gold has is quite enthralling nonetheless. This is one of my favorite shades from this palette (actually, this whole middle row is my favorite).
The last shade in this row is Storm Cloud. Storm Cloud is described as a 'blackened peacock' and it's one of those brown/blue/green duochromes.
In the pan it looks exactly how Too Faced describes it (blackened teal/peacock), but when you swatch it, the duochrome becomes apparent. Honestly, while this shade is really cool, I have a few very similar ones in my collection already (most notably Lounge from Urban Decay and On The Road by Kat Von D, but a lot of companies make shadows like this). If this shade had just been the blackened teal/peacock, I think I would have found it a lot more interesting. Regardless, it is a beautiful shade, and it rounds out this row nicely.
The last row is called 'Totally Cute' and it begins with Unicorn.
Unicorn is a 'pink pearl', and it's kind of like a hybrid between Double Scoop and Shooting Star. It's the same kind of sheer white that Double Scoop is, but it has a bit of shimmer like Shooting Star. It's no where near as shimmery, so if you tend to prefer more matte bases/highlights (and don't care if it's just a tad shimmery), this is a good option, especially because it applies a little more smoothly than Double Scoop.
This is I Heart TF, a 'bubblegum pink w/ silver sparkle'.

I Heart TF isn't the best shadow in this palette, but I though it was still workable, especially since it's such a bright pink. A lot of people were a little iffy about this shadow because it's a bit stiff in the pan and because it's very similar to Fetch, another bright pink shadow Too Faced has featured in more than one palette. I don't own Fetch, so I can't compare them side by side, but from what I've seen, it does look suspiciously similar. I think one of the reasons why this shade is so stiff and difficult to use is because of the silver sparkle; you can see it in the pan and the shadow obviously has silver chunks in it. Once it's applied, though, the silver is a little hard to see, so I don't think it was worth adding it to the shadow in the first place.
And the last color, both in this row and in this palette, is Meow! Give anything a cat-related name and I am all over it.

Meow! is described as a 'deep amethyst', and it is the darkest shade in this palette. I like that it's not a black, and it applied well with good pigmentation (which is especially promising since it's a dark purple). It does have shimmer, but it's fine and there aren't any chunks of glitter or anything. Meow! is another moderately uninteresting shade, but it works well for what it is.

And that's the Totally Cute palette! Overall, I wouldn't say this is a must-have palette for everyone. It's not bad; the shadows generally perform as you'd expect and the color selection, while slightly limiting, is interesting and different, but if you don't like bright, shimmery colors and/or think the idea of putting stickers on an eye shadow palette is a little lame, then I'd say pass on it. This is a limited edition palette, but it should be around at least until Fall (and I don't really see it selling out like the PB&J or Sweet Peach), so you have some time to think things over (and maybe go swatch it!) before you buy it.

Thanks for reading! <3

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