Kathryn Lamoreux is an English teacher who loves all things creative, including fashion, hair, and makeup.
This was a palette that a lot of beauty enthusiasts expected not to like. First of all, Too Faced does not have a great reputation for its limited-edition palettes, often putting out substandard products that are not made with the same quality as its permanent line—especially when it comes to celebrity collaborations and holiday releases.
The I Want Kandee palette, created with beauty guru Kandee Johnson and coming out at the same time as holiday releases from rival brands like Tarte and Lorac, could be seen as both a celebrity collab and a holiday release. Additionally, neutral browns and sparkly pinks in cute packaging with sweet, candy scents is a color scheme and concept that Too Faced has done to death. Because of all this, the I Want Kandee palette seems to have gotten more publicity on YouTube anti-hauls than actual ads, hauls, and other hype.
However, after swatching this palette in store, I was actually very impressed! The colors were pigmented, the shimmery shades were stunning, and the color selection, while not revolutionary, is both wearable and fun, providing both practical options (including browns, a matte black, and wearable matte and shimmer highlights) and fun, feminine pops of color. Additionally, everything is laid out in a user-friendly way, with an orange and brown quad, a pink quad, and a purplish quad grouped together, providing beginners with a clear idea of how to use the palette.
A warm matte, a cool matte, and a shimmery white highlight are provided, which Johnson says can be used to "transform" the look of the colored eyeshadows, making them warmer, cooler, or more shimmery. While I wasn't a huge fan of the palette's vanilla marshmallowy scent, I knew that I had to have it, so I put in an order right away.
Keep reading for detailed thoughts and swatches!
The Purple Quad: Sugar Plum, Raspberry Cocoa, Taupe Berry, and Licorice Rope
My favorite shades in the palette are the purple tones in the eyeshadow quad on the right. Since I don't own the White Chocolate Chip palette or any of the Too Faced holiday palettes, I didn't have anything like the shimmery, silvery lavender Sugar Plum shade in my collection. This was my favorite color in the palette. It was buildable to a stunning effect, but also subtle enough when applied lightly that I managed to wear it to work a few times.
To smoke out the look in the evenings, I added Raspberry Cocoa, a gorgeous matte violet-brown shade, to the outer corners of my eyes and lined them in black liquid liner. Afterward, I used some Licorice Rope on an angled brush to set the liner and either Raspberry Cocoa or Taupe Berry to define the lower lash line. Since I have fair skin, the cool pink highlighting shade Ice Cream was wonderful for softening the edges of the purple shadow, and I also used it to define the arches of my brows. After all the warm neutral palettes that have come out lately, I was really excited to have these cool purpley tones to play with.
The Pink Quad: Sugared Strawberry, Cream Puff, Frosted Pink, and Hot Chocolate
Some other stars of this palette are the shimmery pinks. While I do have a few pink shades from Too Faced in my Chocolate Bon Bons palette and my Natural Love palette, none of them are quite as shimmery as Sugared Strawberry or Frosted Pink. As a pale, cool-toned person, I enjoyed Frosted Pink the most, because I can make it come off very subtle and wearable on my skin.
However, those with medium to dark skin tones may prefer Sugared Strawberry, which is a bit warmer and darker. A nice thing about this palette is that the shades vary from warm to cool, and there are deep matte shades to work with as well as light frosted ones.
In the pink quad, there are also two brown shades. The lighter one, Cream Puff, works as a great transition or subtle crease shade on fair skin since it's just dark enough to provide some contrast without looking at all dramatic. Cream Puff might also be useful for blending out the edges of bright or shimmery eyeshadow colors on medium to deep skin. Finally, Hot Chocolate is a very interesting reddish-brown shade with some purplish undertones. On me, it works well as a liner or a dramatic outer corner and crease color.
This quad works well paired either with the cool pink matte highlight, Ice Cream, or the metallic white highlight, Whipped Cream, as an inner corner and brow highlight.
The Orange Quad: Sparkling Cider, Pastry, Butterscotched, and Sweet Toffee
Most of the reviewers that I have seen were most excited for these colors, particularly the light orange Butterscotched and the brilliant copper shade Sweet Toffee. However, as a pale, cool-toned gal, I can't really say that I was too excited for these shades or that I've gotten much wear from them.
Sparkling Cider is a gorgeous neutral shimmer, though, and it looks great all over the lid for a quick, one-step look. Pastry is a good crease color for me, and it also works on an angled brush for filling in my brows a bit. I can't see myself ever getting much use out of the bright pastel orange Butterscotched, but it swatches well, and Sweet Toffee comes off in a finger swatch about as bright as a freshly polished copper penny. I could see using Sweet Toffee in the outer corner or to line the eyes, and Butterscotched could make a nice transition or lid shade for someone who is into oranges.
Below the orange quad, Banana Cream Pie is the warmer matte highlight shade, with a definite yellow cast. I have used it as a brow bone highlight and to blend out harsh edges from darker colors.
Although Kandee Johnson has claimed that the Banana Cream Pie and Ice Cream shades can be used as "transformers," lightening and warming or cooling the tones of the other shadows, I think that the effect is subtle. Check out the swatches below for a test of this method.
The Final Verdict
While a lot of people have been calling this palette unoriginal and assuming that it would be low quality, I actually really like the shade range, especially the purples. I think that it's both fun and wearable at the same time, and for me, most of these colors (except for the oranges) are flattering. Everything swatches well, and it's been working well for me on the eyes. Today, I wore the Sugar Plum and Raspberry Cocoa shadows to work without primer, and they were still on my eyes nine hours later, albeit with a bit of creasing due to my oily lids.
A major con to the palette is that the packaging, while adorable, is much bulkier than it needs to be. It has a domed lid, which takes up unnecessary space, and the tin is about half as thick as my Chocolate Bar palettes. The lid also has no mirror, which makes on-the-go application a bit tricky. And for me, that shortcoming is a bit of a bummer for a $45 palette.
Overall, I am very happy with this palette, and I would recommend it highly to anyone who is interested in the color range. Although some people might say that it's more of the same from Too Faced, I don't think many people will be disappointed with the quality.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Kathryn Lamoreux