Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes Part III

These Body Shop Shimmer Cubes were my biggest summer project. I've been collecting these for years, since 2007. And yet I've only review a few, and even then, I only described and provided pictures for the dry colors and swatches. So earlier in the summer, I decided once and for all I will redo swatches for all of them, dry and wet, including the ones I've posted on before. Below is my entire collection, a total of 18 palettes, having skipped a few here and there because I didn't like the colors.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash. Clickable photos = zoom, so click and see ^.^

Of course, I love some palettes more than others, and there are a couple I hate and sorely regret. There are definitely pros and cons to these Shimmer Cubes, but overall I like them very much. I'll probably continue to collect them, although every once in a while The Body Shop releases really bright palettes that I don't know what to do with. For example, back in spring 2008, they released a palette 19, and most recently palettes 32 Pink Poppy (center) and 33 Yellow Poppy (bottom). I can't pull off these colors so I'll happily skip them.
 ***Screencaps from The Body Shop USA.

Pros
1. You get a huge amount of product for the price. These currently retails for $22/palette, each contains 4 x 4g cubes -- that's a total of 16g of eye shadow folks! In comparison, many Japanese palettes contains a total of 4-5g inclusive of all pans, and I can't even hit pan with those, which means these Shimmer Cubes will last me pretty much forever.
2. The vast majority of the colors are metallic. Love, love, love!
3. The vast majority of the colors have excellent pigmentation. 
4. These are baked powders, and all the colors can be used wet or dry, the option of which I appreciate but don't use. I prefer these dry, because it's just too much hassle to use them wet. Yes, I'm lazy like that :P
5. When use wet though,
- All the colors become even more pigmented, as if they're not already pigmented enough when dry. So I'm happy to say there's none of that bait-n-switch crap with these Shimmer Cubes *cough* Stila! *cough*
- Those that are metallic become even more intensely so, with a foil-like effect. Woot!
- Those that are translucent or semi translucent become opaque.
- Few will do the reverse, as in going from semi opaque to translucent. There are a couple that turn transparent even!

Cons
1. Adorable but horribly impractical packaging: each cube has its own clear packaging with cap, then all 4 cubes in a bigger clear packaging with cap. The bigger clear packaging isn't secure at all, as in there's nothing stopping the cap from popping open. So these are definitely *not* portable at all unless you remove the eye shadow cubes from their inner packaging and store them else where. However, doing this risks crumbling and breaking these cubes.  
2. The eye shadow cubes *do* crumble and break :(
3. Given they're baked powder, you can expect some dryness. A couple of my cubes are terribly hard and chalky, and you bet this is one of the reasons I hate and regret those palettes. However, the texture gets better over time, as in the newer palettes (the outer packaging have rounded corners) are softer and smoother than the older ones (those with sharp corners).  
4. For a while, The Body Shop kept recycling some colors over and over again, which irked a great many of their fans who stopped buying, myself included. They got better for a while, but now they seem to be taking the opposite direction, going for colors that are out of whack weird interesting, like the Poppy palettes above :P

Imagine taking these on the road and fumble to uncap a little cube inside a big cube. Aye... 

- 06 Chocolate Box, formerly Warm: first released in 2003 and has been the most popular and a best seller since. Out of the 18 palettes I own, this one pulled the biggest surprise on me. Everywhere I checked, including the stores, the colors looked very warm if not reddish even. So I avoided it for the longest time -- years! And when I finally took a chance with it, well guess what, it became one of my favorite palettes the moment I swatched it! Yup, that's just how it works ^.^ It's not too warm, and it's not red at all. See the swatches for yourself. Also, because I waited for so long to buy it, the formula had changed for the better, so it's also softer and smoother than many other palettes I own. 


Clockwise from top left:
- Honeycomb: metallic and high intensity (dry and wet). A coppery peachy honey, with the copper becomes more apparent when used wet.
- Dark Chocolate: metallic and high intensity (dry and wet). A bronzy suede brown. Makes a lovely liner!
- Choc Chip: metallic and medium intensity (dry and wet). A complex taupe that's very slightly purplish with silver shimmers when looked at directly but reflect a pink sheen when seen from an angle. When used wet, it becomes semi translucent when seen from an angle as well.
- Marshmallow: metallic and medium intensity (dry and wet). A pale fleshy pink. Opposite with the taupe above, when used wet this color becomes semi translucent when looked at directly but is completely opaque when seen from an angle.

- 07 Sugar Plum: this one used to have a name too but I can't remember what it was. I want to say "Cool" but I might be incorrect. Either way, it would have been another of my favorites too if it weren't for the odd plummy brown (Rich Bronze, bottom right) in an otherwise cool-toned palette. So the overall feel is kind of off, because my humble opinion is that the brown doesn't go well with the other colors at all. I also hesitated to get this palette and thus ended up with the newer and better formula. 


Clockwise from top left:
- Ruby: metallic and high intensity (dry and wet). A bluish purple with a pretty periwinkle sheen.
- Dusted Silver: metallic, medum intensity (dry) and high intensity (wet). A blue-tinted silver, with the blue tint becoming obvious when used wet.
- Rich Bronze: metallic and high intensity (dry and wet). A plummy brown. The plum is more obvious when used dry. When used wet, the plum gives way to prominent silver shimmers.
- Argyle Pink: metallic, medum intensity (dry) and high intensity (wet). A cool dusty rose. When used wet, it gains a glistening silvery metallic sheen.

- Palette 09: released spring 2005, there wasn't a name for these palettes back then. This is definitely one of those rare "hiccup" palettes, because save for the Lilac Tulip shade at top left, the rest of the colors are paler than pastel, which means barely any color :( As you can guess, I really dislike this palette and wish I hadn't bought it. 


Clockwise from top left:
- Lilac Tulip: metallic and high intensity (wet and dry). Definitely not lilac and I wouldn't consider this a tulip pink either. It appears redder in the cube and more pink on me. This is the only color I can wear in this palette, and even then, I rarely reach for it...
- Pale Blue Iris: metallic and high intensity (wet and dry). So pale a blue in fact that it goes on pretty much blue-tinted white, and worse, is super frosty T.T
- Pink Daisy: metallic, medium (dry) and high intensity (wet). Again, so pale it goes on a pink-tinted white and super frosty. Nope.
- White Orchid: pearl and low intensity (dry), metallic pearl and high intensity (wet). Off white with a pearly pink sheen. When used wet, this color is translucent when looked at directly but is completely opaque when seen from an angle. Despite sounding pretty, this particular shadow cube is horrifically dry and chalky. In fact, I had to scrape at it just to pick up some powder, only to mash those crumbs onto the back of my hand to get that sorry chalk swipe of a swatch. It worked better wet, only to become frosty just as the pale blue and pink did. Boo. Hiss. 

Lots more to come!

See my previous posts:

2 comments:

jaybirdwalking said...

I was kind of laughing in my corner because I have the blue, yellow, etc poppy cubes. I love wearing bright colors like these as liner or on the lower lashline. They also swatched really nicely.
The other poppy cube palette weak so i skipped that :P

D. said...

Hi Yelena!

It's so cool you can wear those bright colors because I'm definitely a lot more chicken sh*t and don't have the guts for them. Oh, oh, how about a FOTD or EOTD??

^.^
D.

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