Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: Cargo Color Palettes + FOTD

I'm more than a little nervous about so many stores sweeping Cargo products off of their shelves. Cargo is a truly underrated company that, in my relatively relevant opinion, makes some of the best powder blushes available. Yet their word of mouth isn't all that strong, and by the time potential new buyers get interested in their products due to massive clearance sales, the brand may very well go extinct. However, I won't deny that I took advantage of one of those big clearance sales, hovering around my Sephora-in-JCPenny's Cargo rack for almost an hour, trying to pick just a few products. I grabbed two of these 4-pan Color Palettes for $17 each (retail $30), hoping I'd love Cargo's eyeshadows even half as much as their blushes.

Alas, I do not love them as much as the blushes, although admittedly, Key Largo is a tough act to follow. But they're still lovely little palettes...provided you pick the right one and really work with it.

Let's run through the basics. Each palette contains 4 eyeshadows, and each eyeshadow pan is 3.5g for a total of 14g of product per palette. None of the eyeshadows have names, but they are lettered A, B, C, and D on the back. The cases are plastic, but it's a thick, heavy plastic, and they haven't cracked or shattered despite me dropping them all over the house. The snap closure is tight and secure without being a complete pain to open. The cover designs are made to look like rough watercolor paintings, some of which are very appealing to me (Tahiti, right) and some of which are just kinda boring (Vienna, left).

Tahiti is obviously the palette that REALLY caught my attention. It's a collection of beautiful, bright green and blue jewel tones, some of my favorite shades. I really do love how the colors for each palette was selected; it's like they have 3 obvious "partners" and 1 "surprise" shade that, despite being the obvious odd kid, still works with the rest of them. Here's a look I did using all of the colors from Tahiti (plus the Catalina blush) that really shows just how VIBRANT these can be:

Now, you'll notice that I said "how vibrant these can be." That's because the texture of these eyeshadows is...kind of tricky. You see, they're a bit dry and "sticky." I don't mean sticky-tacky, I mean they literally stick to brushes or fingers, and it can be difficult to get them on to your eyelid. My first time out of the gate, I tried to apply the chartreuse shade with a dry eyeshadow brush. It was barely a limey sparkle. Then I tried wetting the brush...okay, a little MORE sparkle, but still nothing to write home about. Frustrated, I rubbed my fingers in to eyeshadow (which, again, has a bit of dry texture) and took a peek: tons of bright, vibrant color! Hey...wait a second...I patted the color on to my lid. Finally, more than just sparkle! But it was still a smidge sheer. So I dampened my finger, rubbed it in to the shadow, then patted it on...and BOOM! Uber-vibrant color.

2 layers of eyeshadow applied wet.

In other words, you need the firm pressure of a finger to really transfer the product on to your eyelids, and you need moisture to make them as bright as they are in the pan. I'm actually not entirely against the whole moisture thing, because it takes very little to foil them, and they don't crack or fade when foiled. I also like that you can tone these bright shades down a bit by applying them dry. The shades are beautiful and multipurpose, so Tahiti has quickly become a favorite palette of mine. That being said, I don't know if these are necessarily the BEST jewel-toned shadows out there.

I'm afraid Vienna doesn't quite match up to Tahiti. This was the palette my sister picked; I think the dark navy blue and the soft, harmless neutrals really appealed to her. And in the pan, they have real promise: they look rich, pigmented, and harmonious...

2 layers of eyeshadow applied wet.

...but they aren't. I don't know if my skin is some kind of freaky mutant color-changing thing or what, but that creamy, frosty highlight shade turned in to a matte yellowy color on my eyelids. The browns were a little more true to color, but quite sheer, even when applied wet. The navy, which I was super-excited to try, actually ended up being an uber-dry, patchy mess, and I had to dip my angled liner brush in to the pan over a dozen times just to get a little color along my lash line. Overall, this palette made my eyes look drab, and each shade is way more trouble than it's worth.

Both of these palettes work best if you use your fingers to apply and blend the shadow, which is a tad annoying for those of us who like to mix it up with a variety of tools. However, Tahiti is far better than Vienna, and so I have to rate them separately.

RATING, TAHITI: 4 out of 5.

RATING, VIENNA: 1 out of 5.

Also, a sloppy FOTD! I had to rush out the door to get to the vet, so I look a hot mess, but at least my lipstick is fierce!

BASE: MAC Face & Body in N1 + White, Clinique Airbrush concealer in 01 Fair
EYES: Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Prestige My Biggest Lashes mascara, La Femme pencil in Taupe, Cargo Color Palette in Vienna
CHEEKS: Jane Blushing Cheeks in Blushing Earth Sheer [semi-D/C]
LIPS: NYX lipliner in Auburn, Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon [D/C]

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