The western beauty blogosphere has gone ballistic over the recent news of the Urban Decay Build Your Own Palette which I mentioned awhile back. This took hold especially since a select handful of bloggers including Refinery29‘s articulate chief beauty editor, Megan, raved and swooned over the system and newly refined UD eyeshadow shades with their beautiful, dainty hands. The way Megan introduced the palette with refined, relaxed flair kind of made me revisit my strange fascination with composed stewardesses demonstrating the use of the on-board life jacket…I always have to watch and I don’t know why, LOL! The customize your own palette concept is practical, sensible, not unheard of (with MAC depotting etc) and the fact that you can build a transient collection of eyeshadow shades without having them all on hand all the time is quite appealing. The fact that you can switch up the contents of your palette with ease is the ultimate thrill because of the freedom to chase down shades you want to slide into the system as your preference evolves. Three days ago now I came across a product by a different brand, ArtDeco, that not only made me shriek on the spot while scaring the saleslady at Beauty Bar but it also made me discover a collection of some of the best single eyeshadows I’ve ever tried or touched…in my entire life.
The shades I chose for my ArtDeco Magnum palette are obviously very inspired by the first and second UD Naked palettes and by Megan’s UD build your own palette, but I made sure that these colors looked great on my skin first.
The local buzz is out that ArtDeco, the internationally beloved mid-range German cosmetics brand, has arrived in Manila and made its home in Beauty Bar. I was not at the ArtDeco launch, but in a way was glad that it left me the freedom to choose what I wanted when I went over to Beauty Bar to check out what was available. ArtDeco ALMOST made me wish I hadn’t asked my aunt to get the Naked2 palette, just almost. The Beauty Box Magnum system is that impressive. Like the Urban Decay Build Your Own palette you choose the eyeshadow shades you want and put it into a travel-happy system. What’s so wonderful with ArtDeco though is their BeautyBox Magnum system comes in mirrored 2-pan (Php295), 4-pan (Php500+), and 12-pan (Php650) magnetic empty palette options. I chose the latter to see if I could pitch it for comparison vs. both Naked palettes and the Build Your Own system by Urban Decay. Read more to see swatches and the full post.
I must’ve spent almost an hour or at least 45 minutes at the counter trying to decide which shades I’d first choose for my 12 slot palette. I tried pathetically channeling the “Urban Decay” build-your-own private blogger gathering I’d watched on YouTube in selecting and shamelessly swatching the ArtDeco shades whilst the torment on the saleslady’s face slowly became more obvious LOL. “Is she gonna MAKE UP her mind or what?!!” HAHAHAHA.
To begin the palette, I chose 7 Art Deco eyeshadow shades, At Php350.00 per single eyeshadow you get an amount that’s easier to consume (for a more lightweight, portable palette) compared to a US$18.00 (approx. Php800.00) price tag for a single Urban Decay or MAC eyeshadow. Price in proportion to amount makes ArtDeco single eyeshadows practically the same local value as a MAC eyeshadow because these meek,single ArtDeco pans contain 0.8 grams of product for Php350.00 and MAC round eyeshadow pans contain 1.5 grams of product (double) for Php700-800, that’s just about equal value. The pans come ALREADY MAGNETIC with shade numbers on the sides of the pans so you don’t get confused when you want to cover them again with the clear lids.
They’re not only good in cosmetic quality, the single pans holding the product are all magnetic and they come with replaceable clear lids you can slide back on that indicate the shade number. Now onto the texture and shades. The colors are rich, not overly buttery or crumbly, they feel better than Urban Decay eyeshadows and certain MAC eyeshadows, they remind me of the silky, finely milled quality of Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden eyeshadows, PLUS they have nearly next to no fallout in comparison to beautiful but dusty INGLOT and STILA (which I have tried). I have no idea how that is even wonderfully possible, well, leave it to the Germans to think it all up.
ArtDeco Shades with MAC eyeshadow comparisons. With a point-and-shoot camera it’s still challenging to capture the exact tint of the shades. Just note that in real life these shades are just a subtle bit warmer and the first and last shades are slightly pinker. LEFT TO RIGHT: #212 (like MAC Naked Lunch or Jest but less pink), #530 (like MAC Soft Brown), #503 (like MAC Carbon, rich matte black that becomes creamy liner when wet), #16 (like MAC Satin Taupe/MAC Style Snob eyeshadow), #96 (between MAC Cranberry and MAC Beauty Marked), #316 (like MAC Swan Lake, old shade), #345 (like MAC Quarry but lighter with glitter)
The 12-pan custom ArtDeco Magnum palette itself costs Php650.00 and each single eyeshadow costs Php350.00, I spent Php3100 for the palette and 7 shades. In comparison the NAKED palettes are costing about Php3200-Php3500 locally from certain stockists and are double the size. As you can see on the box the Art Deco single blushers also come magnetized and take up a 3-slot space on the palette so you might want to check their blushes out as well…I’m only restraining myself from doing so. The only thing that excites me more about the Urban Decay Build Your Own Palette in contrast to this ArtDeco Magnum system is that Urban decay have a lot more “young” shades, some new duochromes, and more bright colors plus I like the fiddly, clamshell pop-out eyeshadow housing. ArtDeco on the other hand in both design and shade selection plus overall size would appeal to a more sophisticated and mature market (*whistles nonchalantly with hands in pockets). Beauty Bar have an ongoing promo now though for credit card holders, 0% interest on 3 mos installment for purchases over Php3000.00. For my first ArtDeco purchase I availed of that exact offer. The strong selling point however on this whole “Magnum System” that got me was the exquisite quality of ArtDeco’s single eyeshadows. If the ArtDeco eyeshadows weren’t as exquisite as they were when I touched them I would have just walked away because the system as a whole is still pretty steep in economic value, but I just need to close this by restating my big claim. So far, ArtDeco definitely has the best mid-range budget eyeshadow formula I’ve ever tried in my entire life. Head on over to the ArtDeco counters at BeautyBar, touch the testers, and tell me whether you agree or not. And yes, now I know, I owe you guys not one but two eyeshadow posts now both for this and the Naked2 palette, please be patient I’ll definitely put them up, though this one might come first!