The non-toxic beauty industry is growing, but the fact remains that there are some holes where clean alternatives are needed. Case in point, eye shadow palettes. No one puts together a curated palette of colors like Christian Dior, MAC shadow palettes are a mainstay in runway dressing rooms, and Urban Decay's nude eye shadow palettes have become a ubiquitous phenomenon.
Looking for something comparable, I gave Lily Lilo's eye shadow palette in Smokey Rose a whirl. A UK based mineral makeup brand, their pressed shadows are talc-free. However, upon opening the compact, I noticed was a strong and odd crayon-ish whiff. Plus the shadows themselves were pretty chalky, the white barely showed up, and the pink looked more like matte bright blush than an eye shadow. The two darker shades seemed promising for a smokey eye, but the colors sat on the skin, looking obvious and crumbly, and didn't blend very well. As time went on, the colors started fading and traveling all around the eye area. I gave it a few more tries before giving up, but not before getting a swatch for reference (at right.)
Kjaer Weis is spoken of adoringly by pro-makeup artists who work with a clean beauty kit. These are the ones I pay a lot of attention to, since their paycheck depends on high performance products. Kjaer Weis' shadows do contain talc, but a cosmetic grade talc that is tested for safety. Her colors are dreamy, soft and understated. All but two of them could be considered safe neutrals, and they blend together in any fathomable combination effortlessly and beautifully. However, they are sold in these very luxe silver individual compacts, the idea that you have an object of beauty that you refill with a new pan after the previous one runs its course – much like Estée Lauder's old school gold powder compacts. After testing samples from Spirit Beauty Lounge, I ordered individual refill pans – sans compacts – in the shades that I thought I'd get most mileage out of.
I looked high and low for palettes, a lot of clean beauty enthusiasts swear by Z Palette, but the aesthetic was too DIY for me. It's just one large magnetic compact with no preset organization. I was afraid it'd look messy as time went on, having pans knocking like pucks on an air-hockey table. MAC's pro and online stores make magnetic shadow palettes which are a hair wider in diameter than Kjaer Weis, but I went for it anyway. And I'm so glad I did. I used double ended scrapbook tape (though glue or any other adhesive would probably work just as well.) And for those wanting to make a smaller investment, MAC does make eye shadow duo palettes as well.
Getting ready in the morning is so much more fun these days; necessity really is the mother of invention.
Talc, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Tocopheryl Acetate, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium(Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica(Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Zinc Stearate. May Contain +/- Mica, Iron oxide (CI 77491), Iron oxide (CI 77492), Iron oxide (CI 77499),Titanium dioxide (CI 77891), Carmine (CI75470). Caution – contains Carmine. Cetified Natural by the CCPB, Italy (KW eye shadows contain bamboo which grows in the wild not in a supervised area, therefore not accepted as organic by the CCPB. 70% of the raw materials in this eye shadow are certified ORGANIC which qualifies it as certified NATURAL)
$27 (Eye shadow refill only) / Kjaer Weis
$8 MAC Pro Palette X 4 / MAC