Catrice California in a Box

I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur of makeup palettes — I’m more of a “single color eyeshadow dish” kind of person. I know exactly what colors I want and need for my blush, bronzer, and eyeshadow and I am scared to deviate from that (although, I was obsessed with orange eyeshadow for awhile, and I kind of enjoyed it). But this palette really stood out to me while I was standing in Ulta — I realized I actually liked every color in it, and would probably actually use them!

Here’s a quick rundown of my take on what’s in the box:

Pearly and dark blush: The darker colored blush surprisingly paints far lighter than I would expect it to. For some reason I anticipated a more mauve-y undertone, but I’d describe it more as deep pink. This has a fantastic pigment and would look beautiful on someone with a medium or darker skintone. Now, for me personally, the dark blush was a little bit heavy for my complexion, so this is where the pearly blush came into play for me. The peachy tones make for a very subtle color on my cheeks, with just a tiny bit of “pop” of pearl highlighter that slightly illuminates the look. Almost undetectable, otherwise — just the way I like it! (but it probably won’t be for you if you’re looking for a bolder look)

Light and dark bronzer: The bronzer is my only gripe about this product. It dark bronzer really skews orange, and I could only see this getting worse as time passes and more oxidizing occurs. The light bronzer is a lesser offender of turning orange, but it’s so light. I think it would be imperceptible on anyone, except possibly someone with an alabaster skin tone.

Highlighter: this is definitely not the most extreme of highlighters, which might be for the best since I’ve noticed the bright highlighter trend sort of winding down on Instagram. It’s very subtle; you might want to add a second layer if you really want it to stand out. The nude coloration of this highlighter makes it look far more natural looking than a pure white highlighter.

Overall one of my biggest issues with this palette is that the colors aren’t very malleable, and they’re unforgiving of user error. Usually if I’m a bit heavy-handed with blush, I can correct it without too many issues just by blending it in more with the brush. That’s a difficult ask with this product, though, so I recommend using a very fluffy brush for the bronzers and blushes.

I didn’t have any issues with the products losing efficacy over time, although perhaps the highlighter may have lost it’s shine after hour 4 since it’s already very subtle to begin with. Also, the bronzer made me want to wash my entire face after hour two when I realized that the orange was only getting worse. But I didn’t, and the bronzer sadly still persisted until past the eight hour mark.

For $12, this is not a bad product if you’re looking for something subtle! Despite the vacation vibes that the marketing of this product gives off, this palette is actually quite suitable for work — you’ll get the faintly sunkissed glow without looking overdone. Just make sure you go in with a very light hand! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 3.5/5

Longevity: 3.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 3.75/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush

Wet n Wild Color Icon

Alright, Wet n Wild… your winning streak is over. I own this blush in Rose Champagne, Mellow Wine and Apricot in the Middle. I do really love the color of each of these — Mellow Wine is probably a little to strong for my skin tone and eye color, but apricot in the middle and rose champagne are perfect for achieving a natural blush tone for me. They are SO subtle, and yet, make all the difference in my makeup for the day looking complete. Rose Champagne probably takes the cake for me in terms of color (and, it’s got a little sparkle to it, which I love!)

This does come with a brush, but it is very small, so you are better off using your own (larger!) blush brush. Application of this blush relatively eventless. The powder distributes evenly, and only “clumps” up if you’re a bit too heavy handed in one area. It’s easily correctable. Again, the ending result is a beautiful, consistent tone.

Unfortunately, this blush only holds up for about half of my day. The blush tones, while outstanding in coloration and consistency, are quite light to begin with. But if you have oily skin like myself, you’ll find this blush breaking down around hour three or four. The end result is an oily mess, and instead of the red hues pooling into one area, they seem to travel, um, downward, below the apples of your cheek where you originally applied it.

For $3-$5 a piece, it’s not a bad price point at all, but I suppose in this instance you get what you pay for. Ugh, I really wish they lasted longer, because the color payout is better than many higher-end blushes that I’ve tried! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 3.75/5

Longevity: 2.25/5

How much I actually like this product: 3.5/5