Why, you ask? Well, LORAC sent me this palette (a complete surprise that I was absolutely not expecting), and we all know that the first Mega PRO was an insanely popular, much-coveted palette that sold out very quickly (I purchased the first Mega PRO when it was available and I very much enjoy it to this day). So I figured that those of you who missed out on the first one might like to know my opinion of the second one, considering that it will probably sell out quickly as well (if you decide you want it after you see what I have to say about it, please, do not wait. The first one sold out very quickly).
LORAC Mega PRO Palette 2
(retail: $59 exclusively at Ulta, 0.45 oz.)
Back of box
The reflective nature of the outer box made it impossible for me to photograph, but basically this just tells you the shade names, finishes, and suggestions for how to use the colors in combination with one another.
Since the box was difficult to photograph, please CLICK HERE to view the full list of ingredients.
Just like the first Mega PRO Palette, this palette has a flip top lid with an invisible magnetic closure. The palette itself is made of thick cardboard that's covered with a matte, rubberized coating.
Back of palette
(Assembled in the U.S. with U.S. and non-U.S. materials)
As with the original Mega PRO, this one comes with a nice, large mirror (sorry if it looks dirty; I didn't remove the protective coating for this photo).
And just like the original, this one comes with a removable plastic protector sheet.
In all honesty, when I first saw sneak-peeks of this palette on social media, I was not wowed by it. There was something that felt a bit off about this palette to me, and I could not put my finger on it until I actually had it in my possession. But now I know what it is. I believe that the blue packaging has a lot to do with my perception of this palette. In other words, the contrasting blue background does not lend itself to all of the shades in this palette; I actually find quite the opposite to be true. In my opinion, some of these shades just downright clash with the blue background. I really believe that this is why, initially, this palette didn't jump out and grab it.
That said, try to imagine a black background instead of a blue background when you look at my pic above. Can you see how that may call some of these colors to your attention, or enhance the look of the palette in general? The blue background, to me, makes the lighter shades all sort of look the same, and it also makes some of the warmer shades on the right side look borderline unappealing (even though those shades are actually VERY appealing to me). So yeah...just keep that in mind as you look through my swatches.
This palette contains:
- 16 mattes (top two rows)
- 16 shimmers (bottom two rows)
The mattes all share the same finish (they are true mattes, not satin-mattes masquerading as mattes), however the shimmers are not all identical in finish. Some are satin-shimmers, others are straight-up shimmers, and others are more like intense metallics.
All of the following swatches were photographed after I lightly swirled each pan with my clean finger and swiped a few times onto the back of my hand (I did not return to the pan to pick up additional shadow; I only used what was on my finger after one quick swirl in the pan). I did not use any primer for any of these swatches. These shadows were all swatched on clean, bare skin.
Please note that mattes in general are often difficult for me to swatch/photograph, since they tend to come across as chalky/spotty in extreme close-up. However, with the exception of two shades (as noted below), I find that the mattes in this palette apply smoothly and consistently on the eye, despite what they look like on my hand (and without primer).
All shadows swatched on bare skin (no primer)
All of the mattes in this palette have that signature LORAC buttery texture and wonderful pigmentation, with the exception of Burlap and Cabernet, which I found to be on the dry side, with weaker pigmentation than the rest. But looking at the photos above, remember that my swatches were done without the help of primer. With primer, Burlap and Cabernet do become more pigmented and I can get a more even application with primer as well.
Some of these shimmers are so intense, they're really more like metallics. My photos don't do the shimmers justice, but Moonlight, Dark Sienna, Penny, Olivine, and Blue Quartz in particular are quite intense in person and very metallic-like. As for texture and pigmentation, there's not one stinker in the bunch when it comes to the shimmers. All of them have excellent pigmentation and a nice, buttery texture. Although I do want to mention that some of these shimmers seem more delicate than the shimmers in the first Mega PRO palette. I was a little heavy with my finger and also my brush on a few shades, and I noticed some of the shades did crumble a bit and I accidentally left marks/indentations in the pan after just a few swipes with my brush. So if you purchase this palette, remember to use a very light hand with your brushes, until you identify which shades have that softer texture. Actually, since all shades in this palette but two have excellent pigmentation, you'll probably want to go lightly with your brush anyway.
I can't tell you how all 32 shades wear throughout the day, since I have only really tested about half of the shades in this palette in terms a full day's wear. But so far, these shadows seem to have the same staying power as the original Mega PRO palette for me. I can easily get a full day of wear when I wear these shadows over primer. I also have had no issues with blending these shadows.
Is this palette worth $59? I can't answer that for you, but hopefully I can give you enough info to help you determine that for yourself. I think a lot of it depends on the types of shadows you already have in your stash, and how much you're drawn to the colors in this particular palette. What I CAN tell you is that I find there to be some unique colors here that we don't often see at the drugstore level (or even in other mid- to high-end palettes). In particular, the olive-pewter metallic shimmer, forest green matte, and midtone dove gray matte are the types colors that I would usually have to purchase individually from brands like Inglot, etc. So to have them all in one palette is great, and of course the Signature LORAC buttery texture and pigmentation adds to the appeal as well. Again, I only encountered two sub-par shades in this palette, but both can be improved by using primer first. I do feel that this palette is a bit heavy on lighter shades, so if light shades aren't your thing, then that's also something to consider (personally, I feel that 11 of the 32 shades fall into the "light" category). Overall, I find this palette to contain some beautiful colors, with a nice balance of work-friendly shades and fun shades,. with the absence of anything too extreme (no neons, mega-chunky glitters, etc.). There are also a few shades here that I find to be rather unique, but the abundance of lighter shades is something to note.
I hope that this post helps give you a better idea of what you can expect if you decide to splurge on this one. If you do take the plunge, I would absolutely love to hear how you like this palette once you get it.
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. For more information, click here.