Monday, January 13, 2014

Review -- Em Cosmetics Holiday Life: New Year's Countdown Edition Life Palette & Winter Life: Ice Bunny Edition Life Palette

I've been curious about Em Cosmetics since the line launched a few months back.

I didn't make a purchase right away, though, because I was kind of taken aback by the $75 price tag on the Life Palettes that were some of the first products introduced.

I like the concept of those large palettes, and you get quite a bit of product, but I wasn't willing to shell out that kind of money on a brand that I was entirely sure of the quality of.

When the website recently had a buy one-get one sale, I decided it was as good a time as any to finally give Em Cosmetics a try.

So I picked up the Holiday Life: New Year's Countdown Edition Life Palette and the Winter Life: Ice Bunny Edition Life Palette, both of which are limited edition. They are both currently still available and retail for $29 each.

While the packaging on these palettes is similiar to the original Life Palettes, they are smaller -- a little longer and wider than the palm of my hand.  They are made of sturdy plastic and feature a magnetic closure and a decent-sized mirror on the inside, so they're really ideal for travel.

Em Cosmetics Life Palette Mini
Each palette comes with six eye shadows, a blush, and two lip colors.

The Holiday Life: New Year's Countdown Palette contains: Sequin Dress, a sheer, glittery white gold shadow; Good Cheers!, a pale yellow gold shadow with gold glitter; Couples Gold, a deeper, shimmery antique gold shadow; Cranberry Cocktail, a metallic cranberry shadow; Happy New Year!, a matte black shadow with silver glitter; Clock Strikes Midnight, a satin-y blue-black shadow; Countdown, a shimmery wine blush; Sparkling Punch, a cranberry lip color; and Stroke of Plum, a sheer, glossy plum lip shade with purple micro-glitter.

Em Cosmetics The Holiday Life: New Year's Countdown Palette

Em Cosmetics The Holiday Life: New Year's Countdown Palette

From l. to r.: Sequin Dress, Good Cheers!, Couples Gold, Cranberry Cocktail, Happy New Year & Clock Strikes Midnight

From l. to r.: Countdown, Stroke of Plum, Sparkling Punch

The Winter Life: Ice Bunny Edition Palette contains: Avalanche, a shimmery white shadow with a slight pink undertone; Snow Day!, a shimmery golden brown shadow; Ice Bunny, a pale shimmery blue shadow; Bundle Up, a shimmery taupe shadow; Winter Chill, a matte navy; Black Pumps, a matte black; Snuggle Up Peach, a shimmery mid-tone peach; Parisian Nude, a sheer, glossy beige nude; and Dressed Up, a glossy, mauve-nude.

Em Cosmetics Winter Life: Ice Bunny Edition

Em Cosmetics Winter Life: Ice Bunny Edition

From l. to r.: Avalanche, Snow Day!, Ice Bunny, Bundle Up, Winter Chill, Black Pumps

From l. to r.: Snuggle Up Peach, Parisian Nude, Dressed Up

Across both palettes, I've found the shadows and blushes to be nicely pigmented. There's usually one shadow in each palette that's slightly sheer or chunky, like Sequin Dress in the Holiday Life Palette, but even that shade works well to highlight the inner corner. They all blend nicely, and there's relatively little fallout. Over my usual base of Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance, they last all day too without any noticeably creasing.

I don't particularly care for palettes that include lip products as these do -- and not just because the powder products have a tendency to get into the creamy lip colors. I'm in the habit of carrying whatever lip color I'm wearing on a given day in my bag so I can touch up when necessary. I don't want to have to lug a palette around with me -- even one that's as compact as this one -- just to have my lip color with my all day, which means I haven't used these products that much. They feel nice on the lips, though, so they're definitely wearable.

Personally, I prefer the Winter Life: Ice Bunny Palette, but that's simply a matter of color preference -- I like the cool, icy shades in that collection better than the warm, golden tones of the Holiday Life: New Year's Countdown Palette.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out what a lovely blush Countdown in the Holiday Life: New Year's Countdown Palette is -- I was afraid it would be too dark for my fair skin, but applied with a fluffy blush brush, it's absolutely lovely. I bet it would be gorgeous on darker skin tones as well.

Based on my experience with these palettes, I would have no qualms about trying other Em Cosmetics products in the future. I was originally hoping to try some of the concealers and face products, but I've seen some You Tube reviews from other fair-skinned folks who say that the lightest shades are still a little too dark -- that's a bummer.

So I think my next purchase may be some lip products.

Have you tried anything from Em Cosmetics? What are your thoughts?


  1. Thanks for the great review!
    This is the first I've heard of Em Cosmetics - I may have to look into The Holiday Life palette...lov'in the plummy shades!

    1. They are very pretty. I thought they might be a little too dark for my fair skin, especially the blush, but they work really well.

  2. The included lip products are definitely a let-down. Again - I´d think a beauty guru would know better.
    For once I´m not sad to see something that I can´t get here in Europe. :)

    The Blush you adressed would be the only temptation for me. I can really imagine that it looks great on fair skin.

    1. I totally agree regarding the inclusion of the lip products. I get the concept -- the convenience of having everything you need for a full face in one palette -- but I think anyone who's a makeup enthusiast knows that it never works well in practice.

      The blush is just gorgeous. They should really think about selling that one separately. :)

    2. ...or maybe they could make a palette with blushes only? ^^

      I really doubt that em will sell a lot on a long term. Sure there´ll be that first hype that is carried by Michelle´s subscribers but I don´t think the brand will establish itself.
      Too many mistakes/ wrong descisions were made by the wrong person. A beauty guru should know better. Whenever there are lip products in palettes they usually get neglected ( & often soiled with eyeshadow pigments), I also think the palette system is not flexible enough and desgn definitely beat the handyness of it and most importantly the skintone issue with the teint products are unforiveable.

      The brand imho is not here to stay. In a few years it will have been a fun venture but no more than that.

    3. I tend to agree. I am so bummed that I can't try the face products because the shades won't work for me, and as you said, you'd think that this is a brand that would understand the issues that so many consumers face when it comes to finding face products that match. It's a disappointment for sure.


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