Sometimes a dream is a little sweeter than reality. For example, I don't think I should be surprised that I'm a little bit disappointed with the Sweet Dreams Makeup Collection by Too Faced for Holiday 2011. I LOVED, as in practically dreamed about, Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland from 2010's Holiday Collection. I took the time to find dupes for each shade in the eyeshadow palette using two Coastal Scents Palettes. I never wanted to be without those color combinations!
(Off subject, but if you would like to know the Coastal Scents dupes of the Enchanted Glamourland Limited Edition palette from last year, please let me know in the comments below!)
The velvety softness and smoothness we've all come to expect from Too Faced eye shadows is evident in their 9-pan eye palettes (Naked, Natural, Smokey, Romantic, and Matte Eye Collections). Every shade in the Matte Eye Collection I reviewed was silky and smoothly pigmented. Sadly, the eyeshadows in the Sweet Dreams palette are harder-packed, which cuts down on their softness. In spite of this, I found they kicked up a lot more little balls of eyeshadow dust when I dipped in with a brush or finger. They didn't feel as soft as the Enchanted Glamourland or Matte collection pans of shadow. Several of the shades, as you may be able to see from the swatches, applied a tad unevenly and, dare I say it, chalky? Fall-out can be an issue. This is simply NOT the soft, buttery pigmentation I expect and now DEMAND from Too Faced because I know they can do it!
|Warm indoor light|
|Overcast natural light|
|In the Buff, Peach Fuzz, Smolder, and Honeymoon. Smolder didn't want to apply smoothly, grrr. Honeymoon was less pretty on skin than in the pan.|
|Copper Peony, Teddy Bear, Label Whore, Nice Stems. Nice Stems didn't apply smoothly, and Copper Peony was disappointingly sheer though it built up okay.|
|Lovey Dovey, Satin Sheets, Cop a Teal (darker than it looks in the pan, no?), First Dance. It might be in part the lighting's fault, but I just felt that the shades lacked dimension.|
|Satin Sheets, Cut the Cake, Party Girl (blue glitter made this apply so unevenly and chunky, but if you work with it patiently it's the most new/interesting shade in this palette), Nice Ash (chalky, but okay if built up)|
Disappointment put aside, these color combos are great. I'm happy Too Faced mixed up the shades a little (only four are repeats of last year, and are good for illustrating the quality decline). I haven't tried the looks from the cards as of yet, but they also differ from last year's looks. I wish they had explicitly stated color placement, but the cards are a much better representation than last year's. I feel more like I will be able to figure it out by looking at them.
To be honest, the diminished pigmentation may in fact make these shades easier to deal with for a novice. I found even the chalkier shades to be easy to build, so the shortcomings of this palette can be overcome. I know my disappointment lies in extremely high expectations; I set aside last year's gift money to buy this year's Too Faced Holiday release!
Please don't think I regret buying it, either. I think the packaging is even cuter than last year's with the scalloping detail and addition of a mirror. It is actually made of rigid children's book material though mine arrived to me slightly crimped on the top scalloping.
This palette would not be ideal for travel, as was last year's. They are not meant to be compact or particularly sturdy, and for only $52 for all these shades at even this quality level I still think it's a steal. Adorable packaging aside, it's $2.60 per pan of product (including a full-size shadow insurance which retails at $18), and you would only find this quality of eyeshadow single at the drugstore in Wet n Wild for $1.99. The Wet n Wild trios and six-pan palettes are not as good as this palette (I am adding this opinion just to show that despite my critique of the shadows, they still rate pretty high compared to other brands).
As for the cheek colors, these were all Aces in my book! Chocolate Soleil is blendable and yummy-scented, exactly like the single (which is $29). I don't have the single of Candlelight Glow, but I want it now! It offers a golden sheen without shimmer and is much prettier than E.L.F.'s supposed NARS Albatross dupe Let it Glow! Both Cocoa Rose and Sweet Pink blushes were smooth and pigmented but blendable. I'm not certain but I think they would do okay on darker skintones, if the colors didn't appear too pale. Both blushes have warm and cool tones in them, so I think they'd work for either. All the cheek colors went on smooth but sheer at first and built up very, very nicely. These and the Shadow Insurance are probably worth the price of the palette alone!
Do I think, in spite of this palette's shortcomings, that you should RUN to the nearest Sephora and pick it up? Absolutely YES!
But let us remember fondly palettes past:
|Enchanted Glamourland Eye Shadow Palette|
|EG In the Buff, SD In the Buff, and so on for Peach Fuzz, Teddy Bear, and Label Whore|