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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Black Radiance Eye Appeal 8-pan Eyeshadow Palette in Downtown Browns

Remember right after Christmas when reader Marsha spotted the new Black Radiance 8-pans at Walgreens? For those who missed that post, it's no coincidence that these look just like the Wet n Wild 8-pans since both Black Radiance and Wet n Wild are owned my Markwins.

Not long after my initial post, I went searching for these palettes in my area but when I couldn't locate them, I asked my contact at Markwins if it would be possible to get one for review. I'm happy to tell you that I was able to get Downtown Browns (the one I was most intrigued by) and today I'd like to show it to you. I'm also going to compare it to my Wet n Wild 8-pans and other shadows from Wet n Wild, so that I can (hopefully) help you to determine whether or not this one's worth the hunt. 

To see how the shades in Downtown Browns look on a deeper skintone, check out the lovely Amber's review here.



I believe that these palettes retail for $6.99 at Walgreens, but you'll notice that the price on the blister pack I received is $4.98 (and it includes two liners). I suspect that when these make their way to Rite Aid, CVS and Walmart, they'll probably come in these blister packs. As far as I know, these are NOT limited edition palettes.



The back of the packaging:



For those who are curious, here's a comparison of the ingredients of my Wet n Wild Comfort Zone palette:


As you can see, they're not exactly the same.

Black Radiance Eye Appeal Palette in Downtown Browns

In terms of color accuracy, the photo above is the most accurate I could get with my camera. On my monitor, the above photo is nearly identical to what I see with my naked eye.

And here's a shot taken with flash so that you can better see the shimmer and sparkle:


Now for some swatches:


Without primer, the left side of this palette isn't crazy-pigmented, however the second shade (the taupe shimmer) is practically as pigmented without primer as it is with.


The above swatches were taken over Urban Decay Primer Potion and as you can see, the three shades that were quite subtle without primer really come alive. I think the brown shade at the bottom deserves closer inspection, so let's take a look at what I consider to be the one true brown in  Downtown Browns:


As you can see, it's not as bronzey as MAC Romp, yet it's not as red as MAC Mulch. I'd say it's a neutral brown that leans toward warm. Over UDPP, the level of shimmer and pigmentation is quite comparable to the MAC shadows.

Moving over to the RIGHT side of the Downtown Browns palette:


Much like the Wet n Wild 8-pans, there is a variety of finishes in the Black Radiance palette. Some shades look like satins in the pan, but once swiped on the skin they take on more of a matte finish.  And just like some of the shades in the WnW 8-pans, there are a few here that contain sparkle.

What's most interesting to note is that when swatched on bare skin, some of the shades on the right side of this palette DO look brown, even though they don't appear brown in the pan. Specifically, the second shade on the right side of the palette looks like a deep plum in the pan, but when swatched without primer it appears dark brown. The fourth shade on the right side looks like a very dark khaki in the pan but looks dark brown when swatched without primer.

But then it's a whole other story when swatched on top of primer:


Notice how the second shade appears much more like the color in the pan? It's a deep, plummy chocolate over primer. Also, the bottom shade, which looks like a dark brown without primer, takes on more of the dark khaki that you see in the pan when swatched over primer.

Now I'd like to show you some comparisons of Downtown Browns to a few Wet n Wild shadows:

Left: Wet n Wild Comfort Zone
Right: Black Radiance Downtown Browns

There are no obvious dupes in these two palettes. The two shades that look the MOST similar are the dark greens:

Left: Comfort Zone
Right: Downtown Browns

But looking closely, these two shades are NOT identical. The green in Comfort Zone is dark olive, while the green in the Downtown Browns is khaki. I also thought that the medium brown shades in these palettes might be the same, but looking more closely, they're not:

 Left: Comfort Zone
Right: Downtown Browns

The brown in Downtown Browns has more red it in and not as much bronze as the brown in the Comfort Zone palette.

 Left: Wet n Wild Petal Pusher
Right: Downtown Browns

I thought it might be interesting to compare the purple and plum shades in Downtown Browns to the purples and plums in Petal Pusher. Seeing them side by side really underscores that the Downtown Browns palette is more earth-toned in nature. I put an "X" next to the only true dupe in these palettes: the matte charcoal with the pink sparkle. As you can see, they're even in the same location within each palette (second to the bottom on the right).

Left: Downtown Browns
Right: Lust

I also thought it might be helpful to compare Downtown Browns to the Wet n Wild Lust palette, since that palette also has some purples and plums. With the exception of the matte charcoal with pink sparkle, no dupes here either.

Left: Silent Treatment
Right: Downtown Browns

And last but certainly not least, here's a comparison of the taupes (and peachy shades) in the Wet n Wild Silent Treatment Eyeshadow Trio vs. Downtown Browns. In person, the peach in Silent Treatment is much more, well, peachy, while the peachy shade in Downtown Browns is more of a champagne with peach undertones.

But THE TAUPE:


Clearly the taupe in Silent Treatment is NOT a dupe of the taupe in Downtown Browns, but after I saw the two side-by-side, a lightbulb went off in my head and sure enough: the taupe in Downtown Browns is a nice alternative to MAC Satin Taupe. In person, I think they're even a bit closer than what you see in the above pic. 

 Left: Downtown Browns
Right: MAC Satin Taupe

FINAL VERDICT: I think it would have been a bit more accurate to name this palette Downtown Naturals as opposed to Downtown Browns (although Downtown Naturals doesn't quite have the same ring to it).  That said, some of the shades in this palette do lean brown when worn without primer. With primer, you'll get the colors you see in the pan, so I guess it's nice to have a few options. In terms of the texture and quality of these shadows, I think they're pretty much identical to the texture and quality of the shadows in the Wet n Wild 8-pan palettes. Some of the shadows in Downtown Browns are buttery smooth, silky and richly-pigmented, while a few have a harder consistency and seem a bit dry and not as easy to work with. But the shadows that work REALLY WORK. Specifically, the champagne-peach, the taupe, the medium brown and the deep khaki, which I think are well worth the price of the palette. I very much enjoy having so many earthtone shades all under one "roof", and who can complain about a MAC Satin Taupe dupe? If you're a fan of Wet n Wild eyeshadows and these colors appeal to you, I definitely recommend this one.

What do you think of Black Radiance Downtown Browns? It is a must-have or do you think you already have similar shades in your stash? If you already own Downtown Browns, do you agree with my assessment? I'd love to hear from you!

PS: I currently have a cold, so that's why I'm not including any eye looks in this review (you don't want to see my eyes right now!). But I will definitely post some when I'm feeling better.

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on NouveauCheap.blogspot.com are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.

36 COMMENTS:

  1. I'm going to use that store locator and get me this one. I particularly love the 2nd down on the right.

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  2. Do you know for sure if this palette is going to be offered at Rite Aid or CVS that carry Black Radiance? Both the walgreens in my area didnt have these and said they dont think they will get it in. I hope so cause i really want this and possibly the purple one!!

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  3. oh man I think this could be such a great bargain even if it sort of good. Looks amazing and I qwill be hunting it!
    xo,
    LMQ

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  4. Oh my goodness! I am seriously in awe of this awesomeness. I have not seen Black Radiance where I live, but these shades are delightfully gorgeous!


    Hope that you are having an amazing day!! :)

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  5. I actually saw all of them in my Walgreens, especially when they never have anything. Now I have to buy, I wish this brand went on sale are had coupons but $6.99 isn't that bad.

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  6. This palette looks great & I hope I see is near me soon. I did find Black Radiance at my Walmart so I'll have to keep my eye out for these soon! Great photos and I am so excited about the similarity to Satin Taupe that you found because I don't own that one! That is so wild that some of the browns look purplish in the pan - I was thinking the same thing until I scrolled down to your swatches! Great comparision with the UDDP as well. Thanks so much for this review! :)

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  7. I want this pallette so bad! Hope I can find it soon. Great review hun :)

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  8. these shades are gorgeous, love it ♥

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  9. Great review - I appreciate the comparisons! I'm going to have to go back to Walgreens to see if there's any left!

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  10. I really hope I can find these in my area! I've been lookin'!

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  11. Apparently, I need to find that packaged palette because all the Walgreens here in Chicago are selling them for $2 more than the WnW palettes. I don't like the price markup on these. Shady. Yet, I like them so....off I go in search of the $4.98 set.

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  12. I just found it at Duane Reade in NYC!! I bought the same one too G!! I am so excited!

    xoxo
    Wing

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  13. This looks mega interesting! I have to lay my hands on one now!

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  14. I purchased this palette at walgreens ($6.99, and no eyeliners). I agree with your assessment. It's a wonderful palette. I do think the purple on the left side deserves a mention though. It doesn't stand out at first, but if you apply it on the lid and up to the crease, it turns into something special. It's one of those shadows that looks one way on the lid and another in the crease. It's a really great subtle purple smokey eye for daytime. :)

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  15. @Diva Makeup Queen (Wing) which duane reade did you find them!?? i'm on the hunt for these. I want to get this $4.98 set.. so much cheaper. Wing, i didn't know you're in NYC, I'm too and a subbie of your channel. (sorry G if this was off-topic :) )

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  16. @devalishA Hey girl, I went to the Duane Reade at Time Sq last night. I only got one palette, so there should still be a few left. It's the one across from the big Walgreens. It's on a display.

    xoxo
    Wing

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  17. It looks as if Wet n' Wild is just smidge better. I'll stick with WnW. :)

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  18. I found all three palettes @ my local Walgreens in South Florida.. I used the brown palette today very nice...

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  19. I must get my hands on these! At least one! Downtown Browns looks great, but I have to find the other ones too! I can't believe how striking the resembelence is to the wnw 8pans!! I get that they are made by the same company, but dont they get what a frnzy those palettes created?? LOL. I hope I can find one, that Satin Taupe dupe is great and the colors are all so pretty. The peach one looks nice too.

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  20. this is random , but i was wondering when you watch a video from rite aid and get a coupon thing, does it expire or you can use it whenever?

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  21. The Walgreens I went to has these palettes and they were $8.99 each and were one their own (no eyeliners). They did have a $1off coupon on the display. I got Urban Jungle and Downtown Browns. Can't wait to use them!

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  22. G, do you know if these are going to be offered at Rite Aid and CVS my Wags is not going to get these in and I really want it!!!

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  23. I found these at a number of Walgreens on the south side of Chicago. I purchased Downtown Brown and Urban Jungle. Honestly it was okay but not a must have. I am ticked that they are selling them for $6.99 while Wet n Wild is being sold for $4.99. What is up with that?

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  24. G, do you know if these will be available at rite aid and cvs in the near future? my wags is not getting these in I dont think. At least thats what the lady at the beauty counter said.

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  25. I love that they are cruelty free products, that is so important. I recently picked up comfort zone and love the options it offers. It could use a matte color tho. Great post!

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  26. I got the BR Plum palette first and loved it. I then noticed the similarities between that and the WnW palette, so I tried that one. In my experience, the BR was better by a mile. The WnW were mostly hard and chalky and even the ones with shimmer didn't go on very well. In fact, the whole right side of the WnW had barely any color payoff at all. I was pretty disappointed in the WnW but the BR was completely awesome. I've had good luck with other Markwins shadows so I'm not sure what the problem is with this WnW palette. Maybe it's just the Petal Pusher one I got.

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  27. I just bought this palette and haven't even worn it yet, just swatted it on my hand and I love it! Once I got home I re-read this post to make sure I got the right palette with the satin taupe dupe and I already have so many ideas for looks with it. This is a fabulous review and in so much detail (as always) =)

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  28. They have these at K-Mart also.

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  29. I am new to your blog ... I have read several posts thus far ... I am so enjoying this blog! I appreciate the time and effort you have taken - you don't just gloss over a product but take the time to do an in depth review, looking at any given product from a number of perspectives, which I personally find so helpful in making a decision on how I am going to spend my hard earned dollars. Thank you! oxo Care

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  30. Picked up this blister pack as pictured with two eyeliners at Dollar General today for $5. Can't wait to try it out.

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  31. The Downtown Browns are $7.39-ish (no blister, no eyeliners) at CVS on Rockville Pike across from Ulta in Rockville, MD. I had seen it at a Duane Reade in NYC and thought it was gorgeous. There was only an opened one in this CVS, and someone had used it to swatch all the colors for herself -- finger print in each shade. Completely obnoxious, considering CVS does let you return makeup if you can't make it work. Also, considering that the shades are probably universally flattering. I'm Asian and I'm dying to find an unopened one of these. Then I can just get Comfort Zone for $5 and Silent Treatment for $3 and I probably don't need to buy eyeshadows for a while!

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  32. I agree that it's disgusting when people open packages, leaving them swiped for the next person. They don't care that that very act costs all of us ... though I suspect smart companies have a margin for this type of loss - it's still just a thoughtless act. I like the Black Radiance shades, but they seem so similar to much of what I already have in the WetnWild palettes ... quite the marketing scheme! ox Care

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  33. I got this palette and a mascara marked down at $2.49 at Kmart :)

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  34. I just noticed you can order the black radiance palettes on target.com! I was searching for ages and hadn't found them anywhere near me so I'm pretty psyched!

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