Paris On A Budget: Ipsy’s Manna Kadar Beauty Deal

Published on June 20, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

MKB 01If you watch my Facebook Live videos, you know that I’ve been singing Ipsy’s praises ever since I jumped ship from Birchbox and their mountains of unwanted hair product samples and black eyeliners.  Now Ipsy is my go to for fun new beauty, and they never fail to delight: I’ve gotten a brush in pretty much ever bag, I get lots of products that fit my beauty wants and needs, and the bags themselves are so cute!

MKB 02My newest discovery, though, is even better: Ipsy Deals!  If you have the app, you have access to a bunch of these all the time but they happened to email me one that I decided was too good not to try: the Paris Dreams palette from Manna Kadar Beauty.  This palette normally retails for $54, but was an Ipsy Deal for only $20!  Now, I can’t imagine that I would ever spend $59 on a palette from a brand I didn’t know or trust, and I certainly wouldn’t for a palette that only has the number of products found in this palette.  I figured this was my best opportunity to try out a new brand and see if it was really worth that big price tag!

The most obvious first impression of this palette is that it’s neutral as fuck.  Except for a little bit of pink/coral in the face products, this palette is all beige/brown/taupe.  Even the Urban Decay Naked palettes have little pops of color to spice up their selections!  But when you only have 5 shadows, it’s a little tougher to work that in there.  All of that is tied into my first impression of the palette: this is NOT enough product to justify a $59 price tag!  These products better rock my face so hard…

Second impression is that despite the price, the palette is extremely cute.  The face powder features a raised Eiffel Tower design shaded in bronze, and the bronzer has a raised design of a woman with a ponytail walking her dog that is shaded in pink – I LOVE bronzers that feature a slight pink tone to them, but I’m not sure if that color extends into the pan itself and might be lost after a few swipes.  There are five shadows from a bone white to a chocolate brown to a taupe.  The closest thing to a pop of color is the shadow on the top right: it’s a copper-brown.  On the bottom right there is a pan of combined blush and highlight with three shades that can be used together (although that will be difficult given the pan’s size – you’ll be painting on your blush with a large shadow brush!) or swirled together for a combined effect.  The pan features a raised design of a Paris postmark.  The detailing is all super cute – but cute won’t cut it, Manna!  I want to see how these products actually perform!

Here’s the eye swatches:

MKB 07I started by laying down a base of Kat Von D’s High Voltage Eye Primer and then painted the swatches on the back of my hand with my finger.  It was sort of a pain in the ass to use my finger with the heart-shaped pans, but that shouldn’t be as much of a problem for someone using an eyeshadow brush.  I recommend a natural hair brush as these are mostly matte, and the coppery shade doesn’t have that much shimmer so I think you could get away with using the same brush for all 5 shades.

The bone color took a little building to get that much payoff; not super pigmented, but at least it didn’t apply patchy or chalky.  It went on nice and smooth and just needed to be built up to get that level of color payoff.  The light taupe shade was also pretty fair and needed some building, but it was the same sort of experience – what was there was even and consistent.  The copper brown shade is the only one that really has much for shimmer, and it’s not what I would call a full shimmer shade, but it was pretty enough and helped add a little warmth to these mostly cool neutrals.  The darker taupe shade was nice (it looks shimmery in the pic but that’s just the lighting – it’s definitely matte!) and went on smoothly.  It didn’t need much building and did need much more than one swipe application.  The darkest, chocolate brown shade is the one that had the most problems.  It was super pigmented, but it also went on kind of patchy, and I had to really work with it to get it fairly even (you can still see some of the inconsistencies in the pic.

Now for the face swatches

MKB 04I actually ended up doing two swatches of the face powder, the two swatches on the far left, because the brown powder on the Eiffel Tower design mixed with the beige powder and the first swatch was seriously dark.  But after that first swipe, the brown was gone, and you can see that the second swatch, done with a clean finger was significantly lighter and truer to the color of the powder in the pan.  If you’re using the palette for the lighter shade, I suggest starting by just wiping off the dark brown powder and then getting to work.  If you like the darker shade…well then you get one shot!  The bronzer has a lot of shimmer to it, so if you like matte bronzers this isn’t the option for you.  The pink mixed in with the brown, but I didn’t really notice a difference when I swatched it separately so I didn’t include a second swatch.  Again, that accent color is just a surface detail and doesn’t continue into the pan below.  The four smaller swatches on the right are from the blush pan.  Going clockwise from the top left, we’ve got the light pink from the left side of the pan, the darker coral from the right side of the pan, the pinky coral color you get when you swirl them all together, and then the champagne shimmer of the highlight.  These have some nice color payoff, and I like the individual pinks as well as the combined color.  The highlighter is a little underwhelming, and while it’s got a fair amount of glitter it doesn’t seem like the glitter is going to hold that well, so expect some fallout.

Overall, the palette was ok.  Am I upset that I paid money for it?  No, I feel like I got my $20 worth.  Would I ever in a million years pay $59 dollars for it?  Hell. To. The. No.  There is absolutely nothing about this palette that justifies the price tag.  You can find…like, a hundred palettes that will be less money, have more shades to choose from, and perform better than this palette.  If you are an extreme lover of all things Paris and you just collect makeup and you have more money than you know what to do with?  Fine, pick this up.  It’s super cute and the packaging is adorable; it will look lovely nestled in among your collection.  But for everyone else, there is no reason to buy this palette at the retail price.  For $20, I feel like I’ll get some use out of this.  Mama Champagne also mentioned to me that she’s seen this brand on Zulilly before, so maybe that’s their “thing”: super high “retail prices” but then you always find them on sale, marked down, in TJ Maxx, etc.  Maybe that works for them, but even if I got a deal I question a brand that advertises a palette like this for $59.  Even if I didn’t pay that much, that’s what the brand is saying the palette is worth on the market, and I wholeheartedly disagree.

MKB 03

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the Ipsy Deals in the future.  I love finding new products and new brands to try out.  And when they turn out to kind of be duds, like this one…well, then I’m glad I got them for a steal instead of feeling like I got robbed!

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!


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