March 30, 2016

BEAUTY: Morphe 35S Palette Review/Swatches

Doesn't it seem like makeup brands spring up overnight sometimes? Think about it - two years ago we were not even talking about ColourPop (and probably would've mocked the unneccesary "u" right?), but now their name is thrown about so frequently we can feel like we're missing out on something we barely just learned existed.

The same can be said for other YouTube-famous online makeup brands like Morphe. I saw the brand written about on beauty sites, reviewed in videos and used in tutorials, and since I like to keep an eye on these up-and-comers, I had checked out their offerings and maybe even pinned a product or two. I can be skeptical about beauty newbies, but when I saw their 35S Smokey Eye Palette, I was interested in trying it out for myself.

Because I have a wonderful and generous sister, I received this palette as a surprise gift in the mail, but you can buy it either directly from Morphe or from Amazon, where it seems to be a couple of bucks cheaper with free Prime shipping.

The Pros
I was instantly struck by the palette's size upon opening the package - this thing is a full 9" x 6" and each individual eyeshadow is about a 1" circle. You get a lot of product here for the price, but I was curious if that product would be worth it.

I'm happy to say that, overall, I think this palette is certainly worth the price, as even though not every shadow is well pigmented, the majority are at least useable, with many being supremely soft and colorful. There is also a great mix of colors here. I don't feel drawn to the million neutral palettes available these days (how the hell did we, as a society, decide to get this excited over taupe?!), but this palette offers a selection of useful neutrals, as well as bold brights and some unusual shades you won't find many other places, like the banana yellow and magenta.

There are both matte and metallic finishes, and several groups of shadows that can be worked into no-brainer smoky eye looks. This is a very user friendly palette, meaning that you can either choose to play around or work within a given color family or zone to get whatever look you're going for.

The Cons
My biggest complaint is that there are too many similar shades in this palette. Looking at the above photo, you'll see several bright blue shades, each appearing slightly different from the others. In the swatches below, you'll notice they come out of the pan looking nearly identical. Just kind of a bummer since this is a missed opportunity for even more color selection.

The same can be said for black shadows, and you might wonder why the bottom row of this palette appears to have three of them. I did too, but after swatching I saw that they are each different, with the first black in the bottom row being deeply pigmented, while the others are weaker and read more like dark gray. Again, just a missed opportunity to stuff even more color into this palette. 

Some shades are too weak to use, specifically the tan shade at the end of the top row, and some are crumbly, like the pink at the end of the fourth row.

First Row Swatches (the last shade showed up so lightly that I accidentally cropped it out of this photo!)
Second Row Swatches
Third Row Swatches
Fourth Row Swatches
Fifth Row Swatches
I get a lot of use from this palette, and love having such a mix of colors on hand. It would also be great for traveling, since it could get you through many looks. Honestly, the super metallic shades make this completely worthwhile to me, as they're so bright and unique I go back to them again and again. Also, even though I disparaged the color earlier in this post, the taupe eyeshadow third from the left in the fourth row has become a constant in my makeup life - it's even more gorgeous in person. Wait, one more con - I wish these colors had names so I could reference them a little easier!

Have you tried any Morphe palettes or brushes? What is your favorite affordable makeup product? What other beauty newbies are you dying to try?


  1. I agree some of the shades are similar but wow the blues and greens really pop!!

  2. "how the hell did we, as a society, decide to get this excited over taupe?!" Yaas! Also I have no idea how to wear 85% of the colors in this palette.

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