An affordable makeup brand I had yet to try? Beauty Bay! The UK retailer that I buy loads of my harder to find makeup from started doing their own makeup line a while ago. While they had some palette go viral, such as the MMM Mitchel palette and their NikkieTutorials collab, none of those appealed to me, so I hadn’t tried them yet. Then, they had a huge deal on their Pastels palette and I figured: that could be a good first item from the brand to try out. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a great first buy as I will explain in today’s review.
Review: Beauty Bay Pastels eyeshadow palette
Let’s start with the one thing this palette certainly has going for it: the price point. At just €12 this palette is cheap as chips on any day, but I bought mine for a mere €9. That’s even more affordable! I would definitely wait for a sale as Beauty Bay puts their name brand line on sale quite regularly. You definitely do not have to pay full price for any of their palettes. So yeah, a big plus here is the price point but for me, that was about the only thing I liked about this palette.
What does the Pastels palette have to offer?
For that very affordable price point, you get 8 shades of pastel! And that’s what appealed to me. Aren’t they shades just the perfect Easter egg type of shades? It definitely is what swayed me to buy it. This has everything you could possibly need in terms of pastel. You have a good lilac, a pastel violet, a pink, a light blue, a yellow, two different greens and an orange. So in terms of the shade range you get, these 8 are a nicely curated set that could give you everything you need. I mean who doesn’t want to do a neutral look with a pop of pastel on the lower lash line?
Why is this not the perfect pastel palette?
First of all, these shades are all matte. While that in itself isn’t such a big problem, these aren’t great mattes. These are dry, chalky, powdery mattes. They have a good amount of pigment for the most part, but I found these mattes very difficult to work with. Secondly, I had to pack these on, which is something I am not used to having to do with a matte formula. The formula feels dry and it made my eye lids look super textured, as if all they are void of all moisture. Maybe if you have perfectly smooth lids this may work, but I am in my 30s and have lots of texture and fine lines around my eyes. Most shadows don’t show that, but these shades really emphasized that.
How do these shadows swatch?
I mentioned that some of these shades looked pretty in a swatch. I feel the top row has some nice pigmentation. The bottom row? Not so much. The pink, lilac and grassy green are almost sheer. The yellow shade kind of swatched weirdly as well with some of the product being much thicker in some places than other. However, based on just these swatches, I wasn’t really worried yet. Pastels can be hard to do and for the most part, these looked very promising as they didn’t look super chalky. I didn’t experience any true problems until I started applying these to my eyes. That’s when these shadows proved quite difficult to work with, not to mention the fact that their staying power was not great.
How do these shadows apply?
As per usual I always like trying every shade in a palette on my eyes. For this 8-pan palette, I created two looks: one based around the orange, pinks and, purples; and one based around the greens, blue and yellow. Here’s how that went.
The first look wasn’t so terrible yet. It went on pretty but I had to work very hard to get the pink to show up like this. The result of all that packing on of shadow? After a few hours this started to crease like hell. These shadows looked great initially, but they wore terribly. These are the kinds of shadows you can throw on for an editorial or an Instagram look. However, if you’re someone like me and you need your makeup to stay on all day, this was a nightmare. By the end of the day, the creasing was so bad none of that pink was no longer visible as it had completely bunched up into the folds of my crease.
Where the quality of this palette really came to light was in the greens, yellows and blues. The yellow was even worse to get to show up than the pink. The light green in the crease took ages to build up to. Where the pink look just creased, with this look, I experienced losing chunks of shadow throughout the day. The yellow simply ‘broke’ off and I found half of the shade was gone after just a few hours of wear. These shades didn’t just fade. They just fell of my eyes. Completely. After double priming my lids like I always do. That double priming helps with making sure nothing creases, nor disappears on my eyes and it eliminates the chance of any shadows staining my lids. Usually it’s a winning combo for any shadow I use, but with this and the amount of packing I had to do, it meant there was just too thick a layer of product on my lids and the shadow had nothing to stick to anymore, making it break clean off my lid as my eye lids moved with every blink.
Oh and do you see in the close up shows how textured my lids look? I know my lids aren’t as smooth as they used to be, but my lids aren’t THAT textured. I mean the pink look doesn’t look that terrible. So something about these shades made my lids look about 10 years older than they actually are. Not a good look.
My final thoughts
The Beauty Bay Pastels was not the pastel eyeshadow palette of my dreams. These shadows are made for the Instagram crowd, who do their makeup for a single photo, not for busy teachers who use their faces for expressions during long 10 hour workdays. Do they work? Yes. Can you make them work. Yes? But be aware you will have to sit and blend and build and pack your shadows until you have carpel tunnel. Combined with the chalky texture, this formula just wasn’t for me. Don’t expect these shadows to stay on your eyes after about 1.5 – 2 hours of wear time. So great for creating a stunning graphic look for your Instagram page, not for your everyday run of the mill makeup wearer.
Would I recommend the Beauty Bay Pastels eyeshadow palette?
I am not going to give this a hard pass, but I do have my reservations. I think this can make for a great pastel palette if you want to try pastels but you don’t want to break the bank. Just don’t expect to be able to wear your shadow out anywhere as your shadows will just disappear after a few hours. This is therefore a good way to try and see if pastels suit you, if you are prepared to put in the work to get these shadows to show up on the eye. However, if you are a casual makeup wearer and was looking into this to use this palette as a fun accent palette then this is not for you. The shadows are difficult and finicky to work with and this palette just isn’t for everyone. So buyer beware!