Once again, Melt Cosmetics made mystery boxes available starting on Black Friday with a smaller $25 option and larger $75 box. They repeated these price options for the December versions, and the large December box is still available at this time. Everyone gets the same items in each specific box, so I watched quite a few videos on YouTube so I could know in advance what I’d be getting. Sure, it took the mystery element out of it, but I was able to guarantee the value would be worth it for me.
There are plenty of other items from the Mystery boxes that I am not going to feature because they are products I’ve already reviewed, I can’t wear because they don’t show up on my skin, I don’t like because of the color, or I’d feel uncomfortable trying out due to the suspicious smell (most of the Amor y Mariposas Collection lip liners).
The products I selected for the photo above are the ones I decided to keep for myself from the mystery bundles, in addition to a few extras I added to my cart during the 40% off sale that was simultaneously happening on the website (mystery boxes excluded). However, tackling them all in one giant post was too overwhelming, so I’m splitting this into two parts. Part 1 will cover all the eye products and Part 2 will come at a later date covering the face and Mariposas items.
Gemini II Palette
Sweetheart, Gemelas, Matheo, and Almond Eyes are my favorite shades from this palette. I don’t know what it is about pinks and greens that is such a struggle for me to think of ways to use them together, but that’s ultimately why I didn’t buy this palette at launch. I do like these two color families when used separately, so I continued to be tempted by them. As time went on and I saw the repackaged version of Gemini with Gemini II being used by others more and more, I reconsidered getting them until I began seeing photos online of some sort of growths appearing in various people’s palettes just two months after they bought them. Melt has notoriously had issues with their eyeshadow formulas in the palette versions (as opposed to their stacks), which is why I’ve never been willing to risk getting them at full price in case it happens to mine as well. It had been at least a year since I heard of any major issues, so I was just beginning to let go of my fear until I saw that. However, my two oldest Melt Palettes that I started using Spring/Summer 2022 (Amor y Mariposas and She’s in Parties) are still in perfect condition. So, that’s why I keep taking partial chances because I love their formula.
The mattes in this palette are exactly what I expect them to be from Melt: very pigmented, opaque grungy tones, and easy to blend. Matheo is a real shimmer with its brownish-green color and green sparkles but it’s a bit on the thin side and needs to be built up. Shmood is more of a metallic-satin. Shmood instantly reminded me of the She’s in Parties shadow from the She’s in Parties palette, but that one is a slight purple leaning red whereas Shmood is a warmer red with an orange shift on the eyes. I’m not used to owning such a matte-heavy palette, but I don’t have a single bad thing to say about the performance of any of these shadows. For my personal taste, I didn’t need both Bela and Lady Like since Bela is basically a brow bone shade without being impactful enough for me as an inner corner brightening color and Lady Like only faintly shows up and is the kind of color I just include for the transition shade to blend into, but no quality complaints. Everything is long lasting. The shimmer and satin don’t crease on me. They’re great! I just hope the quality doesn’t diminish over time.
I used the Allday Everyday Ultra Matte Eyeliner in 1987 in both of the green eye looks in this section.
As much as I enjoy this palette and am very pleased with it so far, my inability to use it to its fullest (the color choices and my skill level with color theory) is why I’m glad I was able to get it in a mystery bundle for technically a better savings value with the other items combined.
Once again, I’m impressed by the mattes. Pigmented, soft, and blendable are the best words to describe them. Rott² is so intense that I have to be careful with that shade, but it can be sheered out if the tiniest amount is applied and heavily buffed. Other than Rott², the other mattes are easy to use. I’m also impressed with Erode considering tons of yellow mattes from other brands don’t show up very well on me because the amount of yellow tone I have to my skin blends in too much with the shadow color. Yellows also tend to disappear off my eye area because they are usually made to be a thinner or more powdery consistency (possibly too much titanium dioxide or another white base powder throwing off the dry base to binder ratio) that dusts off and doesn’t stick for long on me. So whenever I find a yellow matte eyeshadow that actually lasts, is a flattering and easily visible shade that’s also easy to blend, I always take notice.
This palette contains three metallics, but they’re only satisfactorily reflective for my tastes if applied wet. The end result is still on the low-sparkle side compared to the types of shimmers I typically wear, but I’m occasionally in the mood for something on the more subtle side, so I don’t mind. However, in doing swatches and building them up so much on my eyes with my fingers, both Tarnish and Ravage are starting to form a seal on the top layer of those shadows. It’s possible this could also be happening from double-dipping with my partly damp brush to get more intensity out of the shadows, but I think it’s moreso due to oils from my fingers. Redux hasn’t given me any issues yet, but it also has a more traditional shimmer texture to it than the other two metallics. I think it’s a little looser packed than the others, which could explain why it’s easier for me to pick up and why it hasn’t hard-panned.
It’s a shame that Tarnish and Ravage are the troublesome shadows because those are the two colors I like the most along with Erode, Rubbish (the tone of yellow I love to use as a transition shadow), and Rust (a nice warm brown). However, because I enjoy nearly all the mattes, plus the colors of these two metallics, I still very much like this palette overall. It’s not a very inspiring palette for me, but it has the go-to type of shades I like and use. If Pat Mcgrath can charge $65 for an all matte 6-pan palette, then I guess it’s not really my place to say the Rust palette isn’t worth full price considering Melt’s matte quality, but I personally recommend getting Rust on sale if possible.
I’ve wanted this palette for years, but this is the one I heard the absolute most complaints about in terms of formula stability issues. I’ve heard of the shimmers randomly expanding in the pans and exploding out of them (then people pressing them back and it happening again), and I’ve seen the most growths and things appearing in these. From the moment I felt the shimmers, I understood how this may be possible considering how much wetter they are than all other Melt shimmers/satins/metallics that I’ve felt before. When I first got the palette, I opened it just to check that no shades were broken before setting the palette aside. When it actually came time that I was ready to use it about a month later, Blue Dream was cracked in the upper portion of the shadow. I have no idea if it’s just because the shimmers are more softly pressed or if it’s because mine was in the process of a reaction. I’m more inclined to give the benefit of the doubt and say it’s just soft and somehow broke in my handling the palette (even though I never dropped it). I pressed the shadow back with my finger (no wetting agent added) but the consistency of Blue Dream is so loose that it keeps picking up in strange chunks. I took a photo of it below. In order to use this shadow without getting fallout everywhere (plus have it look opaque), I have to apply it with a dampened brush. The binding ability appears to be weird in that one. I will of course update if I notice anything else, but we’ve passed the two month mark and nothing else has changed now. Hopefully there won’t be any additional developments.
Grand Daddy, Black Widow, and Mean Green are like my favorite types of greens in terms of color. Having them all in one palette is what drew me in. Gravity OG, Sour Diesel, and Space Queen are colors I also like, so despite all the questionable things said about this palette, it was just impossible for me to skip forever. I don’t have regrets getting it for 40% off during the sale, but this formula has to be babied a lot.
These mattes are not what I’ve come to expect from Melt. They’re so much stiffer and less easy to blend. I was quite disappointed in Sour Diesel since that murky green just looks murky brown on my eyes. I wanted more of that green tinge to show through. As for the shimmers, they are a wetter texture but they still don’t pick up that well and the consistency somehow isn’t enough to make them impactful on the eyes. I still have to dampen my brush when I apply them. On the positive side, they do look beautiful after that and I’m used to wetting my shadows anyway, so that isn’t a deal breaker for me. I’m just perplexed as to how they’re so creamy/wet yet still under-perform without help. I’ve also had a little bit of creasing with these too, which is something I’m not used to from Melt either. So, as beautiful as these tones are, I was a bit disappointed. I think if Melt reformulated this palette to what they’re currently using in the newer ones, this would have had the potential to be a favorite in my collection, and not just out of the palettes I’ve bought from the brand.
Bad Side Zodiac Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Earth
I bought this during the 40% off sale and before I noticed how similar it would be to all the other Melt palettes I have. I was just so focused on wanting this color story.
Now that I have a lot more experience using Melt’s shadows, I can say that the matte quality of Earth (I didn’t notice a difference with Air) is the tiniest bit lower than in She’s in Parties, Amor y Mariposas, Rust, and Gemini II, but only the tiniest bit. I still very much like them and find them to be quite good. It’s only really when layered on top of each other that they can look a little muddy.
I’m not sure if it’s just because the shimmers are yellows and oranges, which can blend in quite a bit with my skintone, but I felt the need to wet them for more impact. Over Critical is quite a harsh tone of yellow though on me, and wetting it made the consistency a little odd in terms of getting it to lay smoothly and not patchy, kind of like my troubles with the Blue Dream shade from the Smoke Sessions palette. Know-It-All and Materialistic, however, were creamier and easier to pick up and spread smoothly. I’ve noticed that I prefer Melt’s shimmer formula in their newer palettes rather than their older ones, but their mattes are what is special about their eyeshadows. That’s why even though I prefer palettes with more shimmers than mattes, it’s probably a good thing that Melt’s palettes tend to be the opposite.
Ultra Matte Gel Liner in Onyx and Cultura
The Melt Gel liners are fantastic, in my experience, so I purchased Cultura during the sale and received Onyx twice in mystery boxes. I like the waterproof nature to them (and how they still come off with a bit of Bioderma and a makeup wipe without needing a waterproof remover specifically). They dry quickly, don’t smudge, and last all day without the line cracking. I don’t mind using a jar eyeliner if it’s a colorful one, but I would honestly not get much use out of Onyx purely because I find liquid eyeliner pens to be so much easier to use for all my black eyeliner needs.
Allday Everyday Ultra Matte Eyeliner in 1987
I got this liner from the Mystery Bundle. It has been discontinued at Sephora, though it’s still available for sale on Melt’s website. Melt has a new range of eyeliners called “Slick Waterline Eye Pencils,” so my guess is they’re just trying to get rid of the remaining stock. I hope these aren’t too old.
This pencil’s color is dark enough for me, but I prefer ultra rich black liner shades similar to the depth of Onyx. It glides across the lash line easily. It needs a little time to fully set before it will be smudge-proof and water-proof, but that does happen if it’s fully dry. It’s even easier to remove than the Gel Liners, but is tough enough to not budge all day (not that I usually have problems with that unless it’s in my waterline). It’s a decent eyeliner, but I almost always create a wing and the point of this pencil isn’t sharp enough to create that easily. If I want one, I have to use an angled brush to sharpen the outer line or to use concealer. So, I honestly don’t think I’ll get much use out of this either, but I wanted to try it out anyway.
To see these on the eyes, 1987 is in the two eye looks using the green shadows in the Gemini II section. Onyx are in the last two of the three eye looks in the Smoke Sessions sections. Cultura is the yellow liner in the Rust palette eye looks section.
That’s everything for today! Part 2 will probably take several more weeks to give me time to finalize my thoughts, but I have tried almost everything for that one so far and I have been taking photos for it already. Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll check back here again for more beauty content!