I’ve wanted new lipstick palette for my kit for ages – this is what I was using before and while they were really compact, handy, and cheap at about £4, the lids have all snapped off and they were an absolute pain in the arse to refill! I really wanted a Japonesque palette but they’re quite expensive, retailing at pro stores for about £30. Sadly I’m not more of a hobbyist MUA than a professional one and when I do get paid for my work, the money goes on replacement disposables and foundations, so a pricey lip palette wasn’t high on my agenda so soon after Christmas! I’ve seen lots of people use various things from old shadow palettes to acrylic Muji organisers to jelly bean containers, but the pans looked too deep, or the lids weren’t attached, or any number of silly things that meant they weren’t quite right for me.
After a LOT of searching, thinking, umming and aaahing, I finally purchased two full lipstick palettes from eBay:
I bought them from this seller for £6.15 each with free shipping, so cheap as chips! I have the 66 lip palette and the 120 eyeshadow palette from eBay, and the 120 in particular is very well used and I’ve never had any problems with the packaging and the hinges and so on and I imagined this would be the same style of packaging, and therefore pretty durable. My plan was, of course, to take out the lipstick in the pans and refill them with my own.
When they arrived, they were MUCH bigger than I anticipated, which is my own fault for not looking at the dimensions on the listing! Each pan is very shallow and somewhat larger than a 50p and the palettes themselves, when next to each other, take up about the same surface area as the 120 palettes. Oh well! The packaging did seem very sturdy on inspectionand the fact that I could take the trays out and swap them between the palettes made the size seem a little less annoying as I wouldn’t necessarily have to take both every time. Plus they’re still very flat. light, and an easy shape to transport so not too much of an issue. Plus, I’d bought them already, so I decided to plough ahead.
Before I started cleaning, curiosity got the better of me and I had to have a quick swatch:
Unlike the 66 palette widely available on eBay, which I would recommend, this was utter shit. There were only two colours out of the whole palette that I liked, a red that came off as a lovely “just eaten an ice lolly” glaze and a bronzed colour which would look lovely on darker skin tones. The rest were total horsecrap– poorly pigmented, lots of duplicates, sheer and yet with a horrible sticky texture. A shame as they look amazing in the pan and at first glance it looked like there were a few MAC dupes hiding in there - until I started to swatch. So in case you were wondering if this would be fun just for experimenting, or something, no.
On to the cleaning. This was a fucking nightmare. It was a nightmare. Luckily after trying to scrape out the first pan, I realised that the slots in the palette had a small hole in the bottom so you can push a pin through and pop the pan out – there is a small glue, but it’s not strong at all so no melting or struggling to prise them out– which made the process much less of a ball ache. The sticky texture of the products just made this really hard…
… and cleaning them both out took me two evenings! I scraped the majority out with a spoon, then went round the bump in the middle and the edges with cotton buds, THEN I washed them all in soap and water, left them to dry and THEN I had to sanitize them afterwards. I won’t lie, it wasn’t fun at all. If you are going to do this, don’t wear gloves because they’ll get gunked up too quickly and it’s easier just wipe to your hands off each time and accept potential staining. And of course, obviously do it with an apron on and in an area you can wipe down/cover.
Anyway, once everything was finally all clean, I started to fill my palettes. I’d already made charts in my makeup notebook regarding what I wanted so this part was really quick! I switched up a couple of colours while I was actually filling and saw them together but I’m glad I planned the colours out roughly as it made it much quicker. I used this method from Makeup Geek to melt the colours, dead easy:
Keep a bottle of spray alcohol handy to clean the spoon and knife in between lipsticks, and bear in mind while you’re going that some lipstick will expand in the pan once you’ve poured them. It’s really hard to gauge how much to use, so I’d say use a small slice and add more if needed rather than use too much and waste it, although this means you might not get as smooth looking a pan.
As for labelling, I simply wrote on the back with permanent marker as if I do clean out and change the lipstick in that pan, then I can just use alcohol to take the writing off:
You can see here how big the pans are! I didn’t use enough for this one and you can see it looks a bit lumpy where I had to use a little extra, but I don’t care about that.
Anyway, here’s what I finally ended up with! I used a pretty wide variety of brands as you can see:
Top Row L-R: MAC Film Noir, Silk Naturals Nectar, MAC Viva Glam V, Illamasqua Test, GOSH Darling
Bottom Row L-R: NYX B52, Rimmel Vintage Pink, Rimmel Airy Fairy, Kiko 8, Viva Glam Gaga 2
I tried to keep my neutrals palette with not too many pinks or peaches and when I want pinkier nudes I can mix with my pink palette. As with all four palettes, I also tried to use as few shimmery products as I could, as you can always add that later on or mix some in.
Top Row L-R: MAC Rebel, Sleek Mystic, Covergirl Divine, MUA Shade 3, Milani Rose Hip
Bottom Row L-R: MAC Impassioned, MAC Viva Glam Nikki, NYX Narcissus, MAC Viva Glam Gaga I, Natural Collection Apple Blossom
I probably didn’t need Mystic and Divine, but oh well. They’re less similar than appears here, and shade 3 is also much more muted and raspberry-like. Sorry I used this palette before taking a photo – I used some of the pinks on ReeRee Rockette.
Top Row L-R: Barry M 52/Peach, Illamasqua Perilous, Wet N Wild 24 Carrot Gold, Wet N Wild Purty Persimmon, existing colour from the palette.
Bottom Row L-R: Urban Decay Gravity, MAC Russian Red, Rockalily Mae Hem, MUA Shade 13, Covergirl Fame.
You can see the WnW shades, which I used instead of the very, very similar MAC colours I have, have gone really bubbly! Very strange! I kept the existing red from the palette, which I actually liked, but I’m sure it’ll get replaced soon. I tried to keep a mix of blue and orange based colours, plus a deep berry red and a pinky red.
Top Row L-R: Rimmel Kiss Me, Sleek Amethyst, Illamasqua Kontrol, Milani Black Cherry, NYX Penelope.
Bottom Row: Lime Crime Mint to Be/Illamasqua Apocalips, empty, empty, empty, existing shade from the palette.
As you can see, this is my ‘leftover’ palette with shades I didn’t really find fit in anywhere. I had to have a black, for example! The blue/green pan was a filling experiment that failed – you can’t do half-and-half without getting hot lipstick everywhere!
Well, this was certainly a chore but I’m really pleased with what I have and it’s much, much better than what I was using before. I’m so pleased all the pans pop out so I can mix and match and then I don’t need to take the two palettes with me if I don’t want to. The best part is that it cost me just £12 for portable, light palettes that I can customise easily. Hooray!
Have you ever made a lip palette?