Thursday, 10 November 2016

Make mine a mocha... The Grand Hotel Cafe eye & cheek palette set by Too Faced.

Today I thought I would give people a look at the big Too Faced gift set for Christmas 2016 - the Grand Hotel Cafe, which contains three eye and cheek palettes and a deluxe sample of their Better Than Sex mascara.

I bought this palette set at the start of October, before finding Merry Macarons, so I've been wearing everything enough that I feel confident about sharing my thoughts. I have swatches and tips to get the most out of the eyeshadow to share on this set, but between overtime and sickness, I haven't had the chance to sit down and create any of my usual demo looks I do for the blog. However I don't want to waste any more time in getting this review posted, incase it sells out. Please accept my apologies and click to read and see what I've come up with...

I love the colour combination used in the three Grand Hotel Cafe palettes; mostly very wearable shades coupled with some glitzier party-time ones, and they all work well together. The scented-with-the-coffee-the-palette-is-named-after shadows come in a nice mix of matte, shimmers & more poppy microglitters, the formula is nicely pigmented in the vast majority of product and the shadows apply and wear well. I always expect Too Faced's card packaged shadow palettes to be of a slightly lower quality than their tin ones as the formulation is slightly different, so I can't really complain that several of the lighter shadows in the mix need a bit of building up, there are no total duds in any of the segments though - you just need to spend a bit of time working on them, rather than it being a one-swipe-and-go palette. The three cheek products surprised me with their high quality - I've never been a fan of Too Faced's cheek products before so didn't expect much here, but I've been reaching for them every other day. Overall I do think the quality is better then the past Christmas palettes Too Faced has put out, and is ton's better compared to the last Too Faced palette [The Power Of Makeup] that I bought. 

Gingerbread Cookie has four matte neutrals (one of them has a tiny hint of microglitter), a metallic gold, a metallic pinky taupe, and a light bronzer.

Eggnog Latte has two matte neutrals, a pale shimmery gold, light/medium shimmery brown, a medium/dark shimmery green, a hard-to-describe gold/silver/taupe microglitter, and a peachy pink blush. 

Peppermint Mocha has three mattes (one has a teensy bit of microglitter), a shimmery champagne, a medium shimmery brown, a shimmery plum, and a pink blush.

The colour schemes in each smaller palette are fantastic, although you can of course mix and match; the shade selections make a good all year round palette - nothing shouts "I'm a Christmas product" here - you can even tone the microglitter shades down. My neutral skin can lean a bit towards the cooler side, but I find the warmer colours still look nice on. I do want to point out that using a brush with short, closely compacted bristles [I use a concealer brush] for applying the shimmers and microglitters for better colour pay-off; with my Too Faced tin palettes I grab any eyeshadow brush and it doesn't really matter, but here you'll need to be aware of what you use, as the different formulation means that the shadows are bit harder.  
My only real issue is how the microglitter shades can get messy [using a damp brush or finger for application and metallic look, reduces fallout and increases pigmentation]. Also; a few of the shades look similar; I get that if you are traveling with one segment or have split Grande Hotel Cafe into three separate presents for people, you'll need a base and crease/transition shade in each segment for a complete-look-in-one-palette deal, but when I'm at home with everything considering what to put on, several shades do look very similar to me.

I do have both palettes and I do think that the Merry Macarons one is the best in terms of shadow quality, but that palette has no cheek products in like the Grand Hotel Cafe, and there are six more eyeshadows in this palette in comparison to Merry Macarons. Plus the way that Grand Hotel Cafe is split down into three separate palettes with six of the most highly coordinated shades together, makes it extra easy to put together looks using the most complimentary shade options.
When I sat down to review this I thought I'd just recommend Merry Macarons and that would be it, but now I'm really looking at things I've realised that Grande Hotel Cafe has very strong pluses that the other palette doesn't have. If you are looking for just eyeshadows, my first pick is Merry Macarons as every shade in that palette is great and doesn't need the extra time building them up like this. But if you want a mix of eye and cheek products, fancy trying a few party-appropriate glitzy/almost metallic shades, want a helping hand with selecting shades that work really well together, or are looking for a attractive gift, then Grand Hotel Cafe is worth the splurge.

RRP £46

The Grand Hotel Cafe set is available from the Debenhams site and the Too Faced site.
It is also stocked in larger Debenhams stores, and if you have any other stores near you that stock Too Faced, it'll probably be there too.

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