Collective Review: Coastal Scents 88 Palettes

Coastal Scents palettes get a LOT of buzz on YouTube, and I think it's because the products are reasonably priced and offer a wide variety of shadow colors with generally good pigmentation/color payoff. Naturally, I gave into the hype and ordered all four Coastal Scents 88 Palettes about 3 months ago (the company offers free shipping on orders over $75 to the continental U.S., and the four palettes just hit around $80). I've now had plenty of time to use each palette and thought I'd share my opinions with you all because I think many of the YouTube beauty gurus are a bit biased and (without malice) are overhyping the products (this makes sense when you consider that Coastal Scents sends many of these gurus palettes for free, and I truly believe that it's a human tendency to like something more when you didn't have to spend your own money on it!). I'm going to review each of the palettes separately, as my opinions differ among them, and then at the end I'll talk about my general thoughts on the company as a whole.

Metal Mania Palette ($24.95)
 The Metal Mania palette contains very wearable shades, most of which have a metallic finish. The colors range from "sunset" type warmer colors on the right (peaches, pinks, mauves, golds) to slightly cooler colors in the middle (purples, periwinkles) and then your more typical "metal" shades on the left (silvers, slates, bronzes). There's a great variety of lid colors, crease colors and a few highlight colors in the upper left hand corner. Overall, I think this palette is best used for night looks when the metallics can be applied to their full color payoff. Right now I find that many of the colors are a little too "out there" for a working professional. Also, I think this variety will be more appealing to those who like warmer colors, as there are very few blues, greens and yellows, while there are many pinks, oranges, corals, and reds. This is also the most expensive palette that Coastal Scents sells (same price as the Warm palette), and is my favorite for evening looks.
Warm Palette ($24.95)
The 88 Warm Palette has a mix of 42 matte shades and 46 shimmer/pearl shades, all with more muted, neutral tones. The most predominant color is definitely brown, with the right half of the palette done almost exclusively in different brown shades. The left side of the palette has many more color options, with lots of silvers, blues and grays, and the middle of the palette has a really nice variety of tan, sand, white and light pink shades for highlights. The palette also comes with a matte black and a shimmer black (well, it's a dark, dark gray). This is by far my favorite of the four palettes and definitely the best for daytime looks or for people who don't enjoy experimenting with crazy colors.

Ultra Shimmer Palette ($19.95)
This palette is absolutely stunning to look at -- I felt like a kid in a candy store when I opened this one -- so many fun shades to try! Unfortunately, I've found many of the colors to be simply unwearable on my very fair skin, and even though I'm more neutral toned than warm/cool toned, I simply can't pull off many of the ultra bright colors. And that perhaps is what has disappointed me most in this palette. Yes, you get 88 shades of eyeshadow, but many of the 88 are more clown makeup than anything else! For example, I am a strong purple eyeshadow lover, yet I couldn't find a nice purple shade in this whole kit! Same goes for the greens and pinks -- in their quest to make the palette LOOK pretty, they chose shades that actually aren't pretty on a face. I have enjoyed the corals/peaches in this palette, as well as the brown/neutral/highlight shades, but truth be told, I think these are mostly replicated in either the Warm or Metal Mania palettes.
Matte Palette ($18.95)
The final palette that Coastal Scents sells is also the cheapest at $18.95, and I assume this lower price is due to the fact that people tend to find matte shades harder to wear than shimmer shades. Personally, I don't really understand or agree with this mentality, as I find matte shades more professional looking if you are in your 20s like me, or at least for work/day time. Although my dislike of shade colors in the Ultra Shimmer palette still holds to a degree with the matte palette (I don't touch the blue or green rows), I actually find more of the pinks and purples wearable without the shimmer for some reason. I also really love the matte black shade that comes in this palette, and since I like matte highlighting shades over shimmer shades, I find myself reaching for the highlight colors in this palette more than the shimmer version.

Generally speaking...
The best part about Coastal Scents palettes is certainly the price (although I believe they have driven their prices up lately, at least on the Metal Mania and Warm palettes, probably as a result of the YouTube hype) -- for just $88.80 you get 352 eye shadow shades, minus some obviously overlap between the palettes. I've found the quality of the makeup to be pretty standard -- there is quite a bit of fall out on the brighter shades, but the makeup hasn't made my eyes itch or turn red or anything.

What I like...
The products were shipped promptly and were packaged very securely. Each palette comes in a plastic box, which is then wrapped in bubble wrap and surrounded by packing paper. The palettes themselves are also thin, which makes them easy to store on a vanity or in a drawer. I also like that each palette comes with a mirror.

What I dislike...
Firstly, Coastal Scents does not accept returns, so if you get the product and don't like it for whatever reason, you're stuck with it. And although I understand fully that once they mail a palette out, it can't be resold if returned, their policy discourages experimentation if customers are unsure of the product quality or usability of the given shades.

Secondly, although I haven't had a problem with the quality of the shadows ON MY EYES, you can tell that this product is obviously very cheaply made. I notice that many times when I open the palette, the mirror is very dirty, which means that the eyeshadows are crumbling with normal use, and if the palette is flipped on its side or upside down, the crumbles are falling out onto the other shades in the palette (which can affect the color). Also, two of my palettes have pans that aren't well glued and constantly pop out of place or fall out entirely. The foam tip applicators are also very cheaply secured and also pop out of place, or are difficult to pop back into place.

The third and final thing that I dislike was brought to my attention by Camille of TalkinMakeup on YouTube. She recently did a video called "Who Sells What to Who" that essentially exposed Coastal Scents as the DISTRIBUTOR but not the MANUFACTURER of these palettes (Camille uses side by side comparisons to show that the CS palettes are identical to those sold by BH Cosmetics and another e-retailer on eBay. Watch her video on this subject here.). What is most concerning about this is that depending on the distributor, you can be paying drastically different prices for the same product, so do your research first and understand that other Coastal Scents products may or may not be created by the same manufacturer as the 88 Palettes and therefore could vary in quality/performance.

Do you really need all four palettes?
Probably not. The Metal Mania and Warm palettes are most usuable for day-to-day looks, and if you want to experiment with color without breaking the bank, it might be good to order either the Ultra Shimmer OR Matte palette. I'll admit I was silly in purchasing all four just to get the free shipping as I doubt I'll ever use up all 352 shades. ;/

Would you buy them again?
At the end of the day, I probably would do some more research before buying these palettes again to see if there are other companies that sell similarly diverse palettes for better prices or quality. Even with the annoying quality issues, I would probably be more apt to re-purchase the Warm or Metal Mania palettes, and would probably forgo purchasing the Ultra Shimmer or Matte palettes, purely because I don't like many of the shades and would rather pick and choose at MAC where I can experiment beforehand.

I hope that you have found this review to be honest and helpful! If you have any additional questions, would like to see close up pictures of the shades, or would like me to provide some swatches, please let me know! :)

Coastal Scents palettes can be purchased on their Web site (PayPal transactions only) at http://www.coastalscents.com/.

1 comments :

  1. Thank you for a great review. I've been torn between the metal mania and warm for a while now. I purchased their CS 56 pallette and I really don't need to get 2 additional ones (although I love both). I wear pretty neutral makeup during the day but I love the variety metal mania offers over the warm pallette.
    .....oh boy, I'm still undecided :(

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