My love for make-up transcends all boarders, especially Chinese borders. I especially love eye make-up – which is odd because I wear glasses. I’ve gone through a couple “drug store” eyeshadow palettes, but one thing remains the same, they are all affordable.
I generally like things, and continue to suffer from consumerism, despite my financial position. This is why I have gone through quite a few eyeshadows. The other reason is that I struggle to find affordable options with good colour pay-off. The colour pay-off struggle is too real for women of colour as some colours contrast poorly with darker skin tones. Ever so eager to find the right eyeshadow palette, I activated my “look East” policy once again and bought a palette from AliExpress.
Product: Carli Bybel 14 Colour Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palette.
Carli Bybel 14 Colour Eyeshadow Palette
I watch way too many YouTube videos about make-up. As a result, I had seen and heard a few people referring to the Carli Bybel Eyeshadow and Highlighter Palette collaboration with BH Cosmetics. When I saw it listed on Ali-Express, I immediately gravitated towards it because I wanted to support a YouTuber. You see, in my mind all these YouTube personalities and InstaCelebs are my friends…. Emphasis on “in my mind”. I don’t really watch Carli Bybel, but I got introduced to be BH Cosmetics Brand through one of my favourite YouTubers (ItsJudyTime) who had also done a collaboration with the brand.
Disclaimer: At the time of purchase, I genuinely believed I was buying the real version of the palette. Yes I know that was very naïve of me.
Claims: Versatile, dramatic effect, complements every skin tone, works for both daytime and evening looks. Earth neutrals and plummy brows.
Price on AliExpress: I can’t really remember but it was between US$5 and US$7.50 (free shipping via normal mail) Plus US$2 Post Office Handling Fee.
Expected Delivery Time: Maximum of 2 months.
Actual Delivery Time: Over 3 months – this is a form of oppression!
Colour Pay Out: My worry this time around was that the eye shadows would be too powdery and therefore not “stick” onto my eyelid, resulting in poor colour pay-off. See the swatches below for reference. When used alone, the colour pay-off is just basic for most of the colour options, nothing wowing. One or two of them give very good colour pay-off. You can definitely work with all the colours though. The plus side is that they are all buildable – i.e. they become more opaque and vibrant when you add more product. For the best colour pay-off, I prime my eyelids with concealer before I apply eyeshadow, and use my fingers to apply. Using a brush as an applicator isn’t going to get you the best results here.
Texture: Soft and silky, almost creamy. The shimmery eyeshadows look like they have a rougher texture, but they are quite soft to the touch.
My Experience of Using It: I have mixed feelings about this palette. The colour selection claim said earthy neutrals and plummy browns. Off course I understand that there aren’t many colours within this range, but that didn’t stop me from being a little disappointed at the colour range. For the most part, the colour selection is monotonous, borderline boring. On the contrary, the colours are warm enough to be used by women of colour, except for maybe one. You can create at least two versions of the smoky eye look using this palette alone – the pink smoky eye, and the brown smoky eye. I looove the bronze shadows in the palette. There are two varieties and the colour pay-off is pretty awesome. In general, the shimmery shadows of this palette perform significantly better than the matte options, so I just use the matte options as transition colours. The shimmery shadows maintain vibrancy throughout the day, despite heat and oiliness.
I find little to no use for the highlighters in the palette. In my opinion, that space could have been used for a wider eye shadow colour selection.
The palette has sturdy packaging, meaning you don’t have to worry too much about cracking and spilling the eyeshadows before you finish them. The closing mechanism uses a strong magnet – I think that’s more reliable than a clasp in the long-run. Most importantly, this palette comes with a mirror. Instead of holding two tools (separate mirror and palette), I get to hold one. If you have a big hand bag, you can definitely carry this with you during the day. I personally wouldn’t.
Extra Information: When applying the shimmery eyeshadows, use your pinky finger and begin with a sweeping motion over the eyelid. Go in with a second layer of shadow, still using your pinky finger, but this time you need to pat the eyeshadow on. Keep adding more layers until you are satisfied with the vibrancy/opacity you see.
Eyeshadaow + Highlighter on the tip of my nose and bow of my lips
Verdict: This palette can be a hit or miss, depending on your personal preference. It can definitely do the job for a night out on the town or one of those day when you want to look put together. It works well with darker skin tone, and isn’t powdery. The only claim that it doesn’t quite stick to is the versatility – as I said before, the colour range in a little underwhelming. For this reason, I will not be buying it again.