Oh my darlings, this palette took me on quite the ride this week. I’ll admit, I had never heard of Isabel Beddya or Illuminati before this Illuminati X ISA Glam Palette arrived in a Boxy Charm subscription box. So I have no stake in the creator. From the images I saw on spoilers, I can’t say that I was very enthused about it. Then it arrived, I opened it and saw the colors in person and thought, Not bad. I can work with this.
And then I tried to work with it. Normally, I break it down by mattes and shimmers but this week I am going by rows. Mostly because that is what makes the most sense when dealing with this palette.
So row one. This row hit the three P’s for me: Powdery, Patchy and a Pain in the patootie to work with. I had high hopes for Purple Dream. I don’t really have a good purple shimmer in my collection. And after trying this, i still don’t have a good purple shimmer in my collection. It is a glitter that may in certain lights have a purple cast to it. The Purple dream was worthless when applied with a brush, but did okay when applied with a finger (mostly because I wasn’t packing on the glitter and just using it as a slight accent). The trick to dealing with it was that you couldn’t blend it. You touched your finger to the lid and that’s where the shadow stayed. If you wanted more, you dip your finger back into the pan and apply a second dot. Blending will just make it get streaky and disappear. Still it was the best of the top row.
The middle row was better and gave me great hope. Bby Girl was the rock star of this row (second swatch). It was a little patchy, but could be applied on the outer edge of the eye and blended in for a one and done look. I actually really liked the color. It got patchier the further away you went from where the brush initially met the eyelid, but it was the best of the lot. Addy was a lot patchier (and I think because of my skin tone more noticeable in it’s patchiness). Rose was really patchy and Azul was a major disappointment. In the pan it is beautiful, on the lid patchy and pastel. even the swatch on my arm looked better than it did on the eye. June 1st had the same issues as Purple Dream. It could be applied using the finger method but blending is not going to be your friend.
And now we come to the third row. Rich applied the same as Purple Dream and June 1st. Izzy was similar except for more glitter. Although as a warning, using Izzy means you are going to have glitter for days, just not always on your eye. It has a large fall out rate, but once it falls out, it decides to stay where it fell. I found glitter three days after using it and had to wash my Make-up Eraser separately so that the glitter did not appear on my clothing. Trying to use the rest of the row was an exercise in frustration. They were patchy and a pain.
The image below took a surprisingly long time to pull off and still looked patchy in the end, you can see there were just parts of the eyelid the powder just wasn’t adhering to. And this is with the lid primed. I tried my concealer to prime it and then finally broke out the Uncaged Pretty Vulgar Lid primer which is like velcro for eyeshadow. The below image was still the best I could get out of these shadows.
As an overall note, this was not the easiest palette to work with. It took extra time and by noon, most of the shadows faded into one muddy ghost. After about the third day, I just swiped Bbygirl across my lids and called it done. That worked really well for me, even if it did take longer than any other single shadow swipe and to be honest, I would keep this for that shade.
Don’t get me wrong I will look for that shade elsewhere and if I find it happily remove this palette from my collection. For now it remains because of the few colors I could work with. It will not be a palette I reach for to use for the week. It is one I would reach for to do the one and done shadow of Bby girl (maybe) or to use Izzy, or Purple Dream to complete a look done with different shadows. Rich and June 1st are shades I have in better formulas in different palettes. I might use them it it is out, but I wouldn’t reach for them.
This palette retails for $48. It looks like it should cost about $20. Given the trouble it is to use, if you are looking to spend your money on a palette, I’d suggest passing this one up completely. It is overpriced in general and a pain to work with. Quite frankly, it is just not worth it.