The Price Of Alchemy: NYX’s In Your Element Collection

Published on September 16, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

NYX Cosmetics is known for their (mostly) high quality makeup at drugstore prices – if you want beauty on a budget, they should always be one of, if not the, first stops on your search.  But recently NYX launched a new collection and I was really surprised – not by the products themselves, but by the pricepoint!

The collection is called In Your Element, and there are six 12-shade eyeshadow palettes as well as 18 lipsticks (3 to coordinate with each of the palettes) organized around 6 “elements”: Earth, Air, Fire Water, Wind, and Metal.  They’re playing a little fast and loose with what constitutes an element (Metal is an element in the Chinese system of Feng Shui, but I’m not sure what the difference is supposed to be between air and wind besides one having a penchant for pastels and the other driving a Trans Am in the 80s and rocking blue eyeshadow – her name is probably Donna) but the collections have some interesting combinations…and a rather eyebrow-raising price tag: while the lipsticks are only slightly higher than typical NYX prices at $9 each, the palettes are a whopping $30 each!

First, let’s take a look at what you’re getting in terms of shade selctions from these six palettes (I’ll talk about them in the order that I’m most likely to purchase them!):

The Water palette is a gorgeous collection of blues/greens with a few brownish, beigeish neutral pops to help build out some gorgeous cool eye looks.  I’m not always a huge fan of blue shadows, but when you pair them up with some gorgeous greens and a little brown or taupe, you can usually win me over and this does.  The shadows look soft and lovely, but it’s impossible to tell what about this palette would justify the bump in price (the Ultimate shadow palettes, which have 16 shades, though slightly smaller pans, are only $18 each).  I’m sure I’ll get this one and test it out, so look for a follow up at some point!

I’m also really digging the look of the Metal palette – me and glittering, metallic shadows, who’d’a’thunk?!  Looking at the third photo, it looks like they might have a similar texture as the Too Faced Glitter Bomb Palette shadows, which isn’t 100% great news as those can be a little fussy to work with, but I’m optimistic.  This is another one that I’m probably going to end up owing, just because of the great range of colors that are available in a metallic finish – I think I’ll get a lot of use out of this, adding some flash to otherwise matte looks.  I don’t know how easy this palette would be for creating eye looks all on its own, unless you are super comfortable rocking some shimmery metallic eyes!

Earth is the last palette that will probably end up in my stash…at least until I try them.  It still boggles my mind that three palettes from NYX is going to run me almost $100!  But I just am crazy for these shades, and that oddly beautiful combo of the matte red and the shimmery green that are plunked right in the middle has won me over – I am obsessed!  Plus the art on the top of the palette looks like labradorite, my favorite stone in the world, so that’s a plus!  This is a great warm shadow palette that seems to have a good mix of mattes and shimmers, so as long as you like the warmth you could easily get a good number of looks from this palette.  It also looks like it might have some dupes for the Sweet Peach palette, possibly even the Naked Heat palette (though the palette itself isn’t a total dupe – we’re talking individual shades here!)

I’m tempted by the Air palette, because I do love pastel shadows and I’m pale enough that they generally work on me.  But I just can’t justify $30 on this palette until I see the shadows and how they perform.  NYX’s shadows have been a little inconsistent for me, especially the super light shades, so I wish I had the chance to swatch these.  I’m going to look at some of the lighter shades in the Eath and Water palettes to see how they do and then decide if I need to take a deep breath of this palette.  I’m interested to see if this palette gets panned as bad as the Too Faced White Chocolate bar palette has been (before it’s even released!) considering that it’s got the same sort of mix of pastels as that one.  The mixes are similar, and I think this one actually has fewer options for transition shades and pops of color, so if people love this but hate the Too Faced palette I think it will probably have more to do with brand fatigue/frustration than with the actual palettes themselves.

I actually love these colors, and I’m always – ALWAYS – drawn to a good yellow shadow, but I just feel like I’ve seen too much of this sort of mix lately.  If you take out the two yellow/gold shadows it just feels sort of like a rehash of the Naked Heat palette, a little bit of the Sweet Peach, the Huda Beauty…I’m just over it.  There is a chance that I could get suckered into buying it for those yellow and red/coral shades if the formula turns out to be really good, but without seeing how the shadows actually perform I’m definitely taking a pass on this one.

Like I said before: I don’t know exactly what the difference between Air and Wind is supposed to be from an elemental perspective, but in terms of shades it seems to mean a lot of blue with some plum accents.  That bright blue catches my eye, and I don’t hate the baby blue in the upper left corner, but this just doesn’t seem like one I would reach for much – or ever.  Blues have to be paired with something really fun (or anything green – I’m a whore for green!) and the plum accents just don’t work for me.  I almost never use purple on my eyes!  Plus, it’s too similar to the Water palette to justify it.

Don’t get me wrong, all of these shadow collections are gorgeous and I love them.  If they were priced in line with typical NYX palettes, in the $15 to $20 range, I would probably just add all of them to my collection regardless of how I felt about the selections.  But at $30 a pop, these are now starting to edge into competition with higher end brands that have similar palettes in the $35-45 range; it will be interesting to see if NYX can deliver on the quality to make them a real player in that competition.

I definitely love the design, and the reference to the elements definitely speaks to my little New Age-y, tarot-reading heart!  Like I said, I will definitely be picking up two or three of them to see how the quality is and if it lives up to the price tag (and if they are still available – this is reportedly a limited edition collection!) I might pick up some or all of the others.

I never thought I would live to see the day where 6 palettes from NYX would add up to $180 – that’s some straight up Sephora shopping bullshit right there!  But if the alchemists at NYX Cosmetics can conjure gold, who am I to argue?!

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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