Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Too Faced Chocolate Bar: Review and Swatches

After many months of lurking in the shadows, I finally have the much hyped Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette. Thanks to my patience (aka waiting in agony), I was able to get the palette for a sweet price (post about it here). Now my ever growing collection of eyeshadow palettes has a new, pretty member.
Too Faced Everlasting Chocolate set, $49 (from

I was debating whether I should do a full review or just first impressions+swatches. But I thought it would be silly to do a first impressions post, then have to go back and review. So why not just do it all in one go. 
For the people who can't resist chocolate in any form.

Let's talk about the packaging. I think it is pretty damn cute. I mean, it's shaped like a huge ass chocolate bar. I'm very critical of kitschy packaging but this is kitschy well-done, I think. I love that it's a tin container, instead of the paper/cardboard of past Too Faced palettes. I'm not hating on the cardboard packages out there. I just like something that can stand up to a cramped makeup bag and won't degrade over time. The palette uses a magnet to keep it closed, instead of a latch like UD Naked 2 and 3. I think I actually prefer magnet over latch. It closes securely and I don't have to worry about lining up the edges so that the palette closes all the way. I'm lazy, sorry. 

From what I can immediately see, I think this is Too Faced's new packaging for the Chocolate Bar palette. When I used to watch videos of it in the past, I remember the packaging being a bit deeper. Maybe they've chosen to slim down the packaging because people were starting to think it had a hidden compartment or could be repurposed? I know that they didn't lessen the amount of product in the pans though, and that's all that really matters to me. I can't stand excess packaging bulk anyways. 

You get 14 eyeshadows at 0.03oz each and 2 eyeshadows at 0.10oz each (total: 0.62oz) for $49. To compare, the UD Naked palettes have 12 eyeshadows at 0.05oz each (total: 0.60oz) for $54. The LORAC PRO palettes have 16 eyeshadows at 0.02oz each (total: 0.32oz) for $42. So I think the Chocolate Bar palette is a better value overall and great for those just starting out with makeup. 
Does it bother you that I didn't peel off the protective film from the mirror?

I will tell you this- I am not entirely obsessed with chocolate. Sure, I'll dabble in the occasional gourmet truffle here and a slice of cake there. But I would never find myself craving chocolate. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, the whole cocoa powder base thing does interest me. Is it just a gimmick or does it really give off its antioxidant benefits? I also had concerns about my skin reacting badly to the ingredients. Fortunately, my sensitive skin experienced no irritation whatsoever when I was doing my makeup. As for the chocolate-y smell that seems to have everyone drooling, I don't get it. I know what chocolate smells like. I know what cocoa powder smells like. This doesn't smell like that. What it smells like, to me, is the cocoa butter lotion my sisters used when they were all pregnant. I don't like cocoa butter lotion. At least the smell doesn't linger once you load the product onto your brush, so I'm not going to see it as a negative.

This palette does offer a good variety of matte and shimmer eyeshadows, something I make note of whenever I decide on which eyeshadow palette to purchase. It has 6 matte shades and 10 shimmery shades. I really appreciate that there are two "highlight" shades to choose from, as some people may prefer a matte highlight over shimmer, and vice versa. Although, I don't understand why these shades are over triple the size of the rest of the eyeshadows. It would be better use making the warmer matte shades bigger since they're more versatile. Then again, the most loved shade in my UD Naked 2 palette is the matte highlight shade, so I should probably shut up. 

A small, but very important, detail they fudged up was not labeling the shades. The only indication of what shade you're using is either on the outside packaging the palette came in or on a little clear slip that covers the eyeshadows when you first open it. Now, unless you plan on keeping that paper box or plastic slip, you're going to have a hell of a time naming a shade in case anyone asks. 

Overall, I think this is a fun palette and great if you're just starting out with makeup or a seasoned pro. The solid tin packaging and variety of shades to choose from makes this a great travel palette for long trips. It also looks nice on your vanity. Some shades are a bit problematic to work with, but that doesn't outshine the other magnificent shades. My suggestion is to wear this over your favorite primer as the soft texture of these shadows can mean fallout or creasing. Maybe it's because I got this at such a bargain, but I don't regret this purchase at all. 

Now onto my first impressions of each shade. The swatches were done using my fingers and no primer.

Gilded Ganache (Deep brown with green-gold glitter): 
This eyeshadow was probably the most problematic for me. The glitter was very chunky and the eyeshadow itself was super soft, which means you can pick up too much product on your brush (or finger, as I did for my swatch). Too much product means fallout everywhere if you aren't careful. I didn't realize how much product my finger grabbed until I swatched my arm. Mess. Problems aside, it is indeed pigmented. So, just use a very light hand with this one. 
White Chocolate (Matte light yellow-beige):
When I swatched this, I thought it had poor color payoff. Then I realized that it was because it was only a few shades lighter than my skin tone. When I actually used it to highlight my browbone and as a lid wash, it really helped to even out the tone and lightly brighten up the area. I'm about an NC30-35 in MAC, so this yellow undertone works for me. But if you're really fair-skinned and/or cool-toned, this might not be a great browbone highlight for you. 
Milk Chocolate (Matte light neutral brown):
This was a pain in the ass to swatch. Unlike White Chocolate, this matte shadow was very dry and not at all soft. I had to go over my swatch a few times just to get it close to even. When I used this shade to deepen my crease, it was very patchy but I was able to blend it out. I do like that it doesn't lean too warm or cool. So it's the perfect shade to create depth. Just wish it was a touch softer.
Black Forest Truffle (Deep red-brown with pink and silver glitter):
This is almost exactly like Gilded Ganache in texture. Only this shadow isn't as soft, therefore you don't pick up as much excessive product. But there is still plenty fallout. I love the color though and would probably only use a short shader brush to lightly pack this in a concentrated area. 
Triple Fudge (Matte deep neutral brown):
This had the same swatching problems as Milk Chocolate. Hard, dry texture and patchy application. When I used this to deepen the outer V of my eyelid, I had to be really careful how I applied and blended this or the shade would "skip" around my eyelid and leave a noticeable line. To be honest, I would probably save this and Milk Chocolate as brow powder in a pinch. 
Salted Caramel (Matte light orange-brown):
This is probably my favorite matte shadow in this palette. No, it definitely is. I love using orange-based browns as a transition shade (reminds me a little of my MAC Tete-a-Tint) and this was easy to swatch. One swipe picked up the right amount of product to show even color payoff and didn't kick up any excess powder. When I used it on and above my crease, it was easy to blend out without disappearing. 
Marzipan (Shimmery light pink with gold microglitter):
I am not a shimmer person at all but holy crap, I love this shade. It swatched beautifully, but did kick up a little powder. The softness of this shadow works in its favor though, as it helped pack and blend this color evenly across my eyelid. Wearing this (before I applied the deeper shadows) made me look hella young so I guess this shade does well to brighten the eyes. 
Semi-Sweet (Matte medium-deep warm brown):
This is your run-of-the-mill brown. It swatched very easily and I used it on my lower lashline with no fallout. It's deeper than Milk Chocolate but lighter than Triple Fudge. 
Strawberry Bon Bon (Matte light baby pink):
Haha. This has little to no effect on my medium warm complexion. I can see it being used as a lid or browbone highlght for some but it took quite a few passes to achieve any opacity for my swatch.
Candied Violet (Sheer purple with pink and blue glitter):
I wanted this shade to work so bad. Alas, this shadow has no color payoff and the glitter seems to not evenly disperse with the shadow. Maybe if you apply this over a sticky base, it'll look better. 
Amaretto (Shimmery red-brown):
Oh man, this shade is beautiful. I mean, once I felt it on my finger, I knew it would be a dream to swatch. Good color payoff and no fallout. I'm gonna love the hell out of this shade for the fall season.
Hazelnut (Shimmery copper):
This swatched beautifully. It had the same smooth texture as amaretto. If you want to be a bronze goddess, this shadow would do well in your makeup arsenal. 
Creme Brulee (Shimmery orange-gold):
This swatched just as beautifully as Marzipan. Reminiscent of MAC Woodwinked, although a little warmer.
Haute Chocolate (Shimmery bronze with red and gold microglitter):
This was an interesting swatch because I figured it was going to be just a regular bronze but when I turned my arm slightly, the light caught some very subtle red tones. Upon closer inspection, I saw there were fine red microglitter mixed in with the gold. A very beautiful bronze. Great color payoff and little fallout.
Cherry Cordial (Burgundy with pink and gold glitter):
This was a very chunky eyeshadow. It felt very gritty to the touch but I like the way it looks. I would just have to be very careful applying it on my eyes. The risk of fallout and glitter scratching my cornea is very high with this one. 
Champagne Truffle (Shimmery light pink with white and gold microglitter):
Not much to say about this one. Easy for inner corner highlight or if you want to layer over another color for extra shimmer. It applied smoothly with no fallout. I could do without this shade being one of the larger ones but to each their own.

And here's me testing out a simple look:

White Chocolate as my lid wash and browbone highlight. Salted Caramel as my transition shade. Milk Chocolate to deepen my crease. Marzipan from my inner corner to middle lid. Triple Fudge blended into my outer V. Champagne Truffle in lower inner corner. Salted caramel smudged into lower lashline. Semi-Sweet smudged into outer lower lashline. 

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