Clarins Essentials Palette

From the minute I saw this palette in all its nude glory on Temptalia I knew that if it ever made it to South Africa I just had to get one. They are exclusive to Stuttafords Clarins counters and limited edition, so if you’re keen to get your hands on one then hurry, hurry. The palette has a range of ten natural shades which are perfect for creating soft everyday looks through to smokey night-out-on-the-town eyes. For really good photos and individual swatches you can follow the Temptalia link above.

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The packaging is a very pretty striped cardboard packaging with a Clarins-red stripe. Even though it is cardboard it is very sturdy and comes with a good size mirror and bamboo double-ended brush. The brush has a small end and a microscopic end (okay I exaggerate) and I prefer to use my normal blending brushes to apply most of the shadow. The brush is useful for applying shadow to the crease and outer/inner corners though. The shades are not named, but below I’ve taken photos of the first five lighter shades and the second five darker ones up close.

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I really enjoy this palette, but I found the shades to be very similar to those in the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, so if you’ve already got that I wouldn’t recommend getting this one as the colour payoff is not quite as good and the shades are quite comparable. However, if you don’t have a Naked 2 palette then this is an amazing investment. At R520 it is cheaper and much more accessible than ordering the Urban Decay from overseas (although birdies are saying they’ll be here soon…).

The pigmentation is pretty good and the shadows are long lasting and easy to blend. I do find the two of the three lightest shades don’t have great payoff, but especially the last five in the palette are really pigmented and easy to work with. I love everything from the packaging to the shade selection and it is a real pleasure to use. Below is a very natural day-time look which I did for my December Favourites video using this palette.

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