This is going to be an extremely picture-heavy post, so I apologize in advance but I am extremely excited about receiving the Too Faced "La Belle Carousel" after ordering it from Macys.com. The outer packaging is absolutely stunning, I love the artistic ornamental garlands surrounding the box and the scalloped golden edges of the packaging... plus it's a french carousel! What an adorable theme!
The inside looks just like a Christmas ornament, you could even hang it! The miniature palettes are held together pretty tightly by the glittery pink end-caps (these are made of a heavy duty cardboard).
Once the top is removed, inside you will find a look-book with 4 looks: Sweet Soiree, La Belle, La Vie en Rose, and La Bonne Nuit. I always love it when companies include look-books, specifically when I'm feeling rather uninspired, I just take a peek and voila, a new look to try out!
When you pull out the individual components you will find that you have 5 miniature palettes and 1 Better Than Sex mascara (deluxe sized sample). The whole set retails for $49 but has an expected value of $282, so you're getting quite a deal!
A closer look at the opened palettes reveals 2 blush/bronzer palettes and 3 eyeshadow palettes (with 4 shadows in each - so you're getting 12 eyeshadows altogether). Let's take a closer look at the specifics of each palette.
The blush and bronzer palettes consist of Who's Your Poppy, Luminous Peach, Chocolate Soleil and Sun Bunny Dark. Who's Your Poppy is a rose red with glitter particles and Luminous Peach is a satin mid-toned orange. Chocolate Soleil is cocoa scented cool-leaning mid-tone bronzer and Sun Bunny Dark (the dark strip from the Sun Bunny bronzer) is a metallic orange-brown which reflects a lot of light.
Some of the shades in this range are re-promotes. Yule Log is a re-promote from last year's "Joy to the Girls" holiday palette and I find that they have the exact same consistency and performance. Sugar Plum Fairy also appears to be a re-promote of Sugar Plum from that same palette, it may be half a shade darker but they both suffer from pretty serious pilling in the pan due to the amount and size of glitter. Christmas Tree could be a shade close to Evergreen from the "A Few of my Favorite Things" Holiday 2013 palette, but I do not own that palette so I can't confirm it. Haute Chocolate is a re-promote from the Chocolate Bar palette as well, I don't see any difference between the two shades.
All of the shades performed well, though I want to make note that Frost is essentially an "overshadow" color that provides just some sparkle and glitter, but will not really provide much of a color on its own. I like that they included Tufted Suede in the palette (it's hard to see in my swatches since it is very close to my the color of my tanned skin). Santa's Boots was the only color I found to be chalky and rather hard to blend, also the black was not very pigmented and didn't travel easily when swatching. Some standout shades that I think are an absolute success in this palette are: Tin Soldier, Christmas Tree, Boxes & Bows, Angel Hair, Haute Chocolate (this one was my absolute favorite) and Yule Log.
I absolutely love this set and I think it would make a wonderful gift for any makeup lover! What a wonderful set, full of some new shades and a couple of re-promotes of successful holiday shades from last year. The eyeshadows feature a range of colors from highlighting colors to transition shades, darker crease shades and even pops of color. I love the size of the blushes and bronzers, you're getting a decent amount of product and all of the colors are very wearable on almost any skin-tone.
Is this set on your wishlist for the holidays?