Melt Cosmetics Mini Bad Side Zodiac Eyeshadow Palette

I believe the “Bad Side Zodiac Collection” is taking the place of Melt’s holiday palette this year, especially with the timing of its initial release and the length of time it has been listed as a pre-order on their own site (versus Sephora’s). With the majority of brands having production/supply issues right now, I can’t imagine Melt coming out with anything else until 2023.

We’ve seen plenty of zodiac and birth month themed makeup over the years, but it’s something that never gets old for me. If anything, the only aspect that drives me nuts is that the majority of the time I dislike the ones intended for me. I’m a Scorpio and felt a compulsion to buy the Water Sign palette along with Air, but I’m in an anti-blue eyeshadow phase, so I reminded myself not to fall for that selling tactic and only get the colorway that I actually want. Besides, I’m already aware of my toxic traits and don’t need a palette to remind me of them, haha.

So, let’s get right into the Air palette and discuss the shades and performances.

Frivolous is such a pale pink that it looks white on my skin tone (as pale pinks tend to do). I hoped it would translate a little more pink, and in fact, Reckless has more pink to it than Frivolous! However, shades as light as Frivolous and Reckless are the types I use in eye highlighting spots. So, I use them in the same way and paired with the same shadows, even though one is whitish pink and the other is a pale pink-lilac or wisteria. So, I get out of Reckless what I wanted from Frivolous.

Because of the explosion of pinks in palettes, especially these past few years, I’m still very tired of shades like Indecisive. However, peaches like Ghosted are still welcome in my book! I was worried that these two would look too similar (and perhaps they would still be if they were both used in the same eye look), but they are distinctly different in photos when I used them both separately as crease colors.

All four mattes blend beautifully, even Mind Games despite the not-so-great swatch it makes. I was very happy to see that the matte quality wasn’t lower than I’ve gotten used to from Melt’s larger palettes. I was also impressed to see Chismosa go on so smoothly as shades in the manganese violet category are hard to formulate.

Flaky is the type of dark purple shimmer with slight redness to it that I am obsessed with and have purchased many palettes purely because they contained this type of jewel tone shade. Too Faced is a shimmery coral, another shadow I’m frequently drawn to as well, although it went on my eye a bit less intensely than I wanted. It’s like a light warm pink instead, but still looks nice enough. Flaky, Too Faced, and Frivolous are all a smooth, opaque, and dependable shimmer formula that aren’t too creamy but aren’t stiff either. They aren’t thick and chunky nor thin and powdery. It’s like the Goldilocks of formulas, except that I like more sparkle to my shimmers. Despite the bold and vibrant colors, the reflectivity of the shimmers are toned down from some of the shimmers I’ve seen that Melt is capable of doing, even from my Amor y Mariposas palette. However, I’m still satisfied with them overall since they don’t crease and are still pigmented. The shimmers are good, but not particularly special, which is fine. Lately, I’ve been appreciating different times when I want something vibrant and glittery, something pretty and wearable, or times I want a sophisticated and subtle satin. There’s a place for all types of formulas in this eyeshadow phase I’m going through. So, the shimmers meeting the baseline of “good” and the mattes being “fantastic,” I feel like the quality with the price point makes this a great purchase. It might be too repetitive of a color scheme for avid Melt collectors though.

Rather than sticking to two monochromatic eye looks of a pink shadow look vs purples, I wanted to challenge myself in mixing the two and ended up choosing shades to the left in one quad and the right in another.

Of the four elemental inspirations, this and the Earth palette’s color stories appealed to me the most. This is no surprise as I’ve frequently mentioned purples and greens are my eyeshadow kryptonite and I’m always tempted to purchase palettes that lean heavily on those shades. One such example that I’m amazed I managed to resist is the Beauty Bay Dark Fantasy Palette, but after seeing blogger Leanna’s review, I’m not certain if I’ll hold out forever.
It took all of five minutes for me to add the Air palette to my cart when Sephora made it available early as an app-exclusive, but as much as I loved the look of the Earth palette, I felt it was too similar to shades in the Amor y Mariposas palette and my BH Cosmetics Emerald Palette, among other green and brown-burgundy filled palettes.

When the Air palette arrived, I began to question if I had some dupes for those shades as well, between my She’s in Parties Palette and Amor y Mariposas. In the swatch photo below, the shade names in yellow indicate the shades in the Air palette. The purple font represents shades from She’s in Parties and the green font represents the Amor y Mariposas shadows.

None of them have true dupes, but since Mind Games is the kind of shade I’d only use in the outer corner, the tone differences between that one and the two other dark purples would be indistinguishable on my eyes. Two Faced and Sagrado are clearly different, but still close enough in my book. Also, what keeps Frivolous and Skeleton Kiss looking so different is that Skeleton Kiss is an iridescent shadow, so despite it looking pale in the pan, it has a stronger pink color to it when swatched. If anything, Reckless and Skeleton Kiss have more in common since Reckless is another iridescent shade, but in a pink-lilac tone. Other than those few shadows, I feel I can still justify buying this palette and don’t view it as duping my own Melt Collection.

Melt Cosmetics SexFoil in Gold Ore

In my previous Melt Cosmetics post, I reviewed the SexFoil in the shade Fetish, and afterwards ended up snagging a deal from Mercari for the Gold Ore color. My opinion of the formula has changed a bit since then, so I wanted to add that new information here (and I’ve also already updated my original post).

It occurred to me that the majority of the time I’ve been using this product was on top of cream blushes, many of which are of a stiffer and opaque formula, so I did not notice it removing any product underneath. However, I recently had an issue of it removing product when applied over a powder blush and a bit in the area of my KVD Good Apple Concealer. This did not happen the time before when I used the exact same products, but I also didn’t have as strong of a dark circle problem then as I do now. My dark circles are hereditary and likely under-eye collagen loss is contributing to it as well, however, my dark circle area has spread to a wider and lower area (getting in my highlighting cheekbone zone) and is more intense due to iron-deficiency anemia issues that’s a post-surgery complication I’m still dealing with. So, this generally would not be a problem having product being removed if it wasn’t so obvious due to my current situation.

Also, I forgot to note originally that I have the most control using this product when I’m using my fingers instead of a brush to apply it to my cheekbones. The brush exacerbates the product removal issue. I do not recall what happens with a sponge as I haven’t used one to apply the product in a long time.

Since Gold Ore is so close to my skin tone, it is quite subtle, even when built up. It’s mostly just shimmer particles that are apparent and the base color is barely lighter than my skin, so the highlighting effect is low. For this reason, it’s unfortunately not my favorite. I think the shade Peaches and Cream might have shown up better because of the undertone being different and standing out, but I normally try to match my undertone with highlighters and I don’t usually go for colorful ones, so I chose Gold Ore instead. Considering the newly recognized learning curve to the SexFoils, I won’t be buying another one to try out. I really meant it when I said no more liquid highlighters for me, but the SexFoil (Fetish shade) being part of my mystery box reopened Pandora’s box. Hence me being curious enough to get Gold Ore too. However, I’m back to my position about powder highlighters being the best for me and if I were to buy any other liquid highlighter in the future, it would be from Rare Beauty.

I am obsessed with the shades of SexFoils and the metallic look, but it is a little more difficult to work with because of the amount of product that gets dispensed out. I am usually good about squeezing out the tiniest amount, but while I still have a little trouble with the fingertips of my dominant hand (another lingering post-surgery complication with my right arm that I’m sure will be fully healed in a few more weeks), it occurred to me that others may be squeezing out too much as well. So, my thoughts on this product is that I still like it, but it’s not as user friendly as I thought when I started having personal issues that revealed these complications. And in terms of formula, (based on samples I’ve tried) the Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlights are metallic but can also be intensified or sheered out, fully dry down, are easier to control, are a more reasonable product size, and are significantly less expensive. So, as much as I’m still drawn to these from Melt, I recommend looking into the Rare Beauty ones as a potentially better version of the SexFoils. I’m using a lot of emphasis on the “potential” because I haven’t used those enough to say for certain.

That’s all for today! Thank you for reading!

-Lili

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