NYX’s Earth And Water Palettes: Elemental Magic, Or A Muddy Mess?

Published on December 23, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

Awhile back I posted about the NYX In Your Element collection palettes and their uncharacteristically high price points: $30 for a 12-pan palette.  For a brand know for their bargain/drugstore aesthetic, it was an eye-opening price and I was wondering how they would justify it.  Were the shadows super, duper fancy with special ingredients and new formulations?  I mean, I get that these palettes have a mirror in them, but since most of their palettes run in the $10-$18 range, that’s quite a jump for a piece of silvered glass!

With holiday sales in full swing, NYX had a Buy One Get One 50% off sale on those palettes, so I decided I’d give two of them a shot.  I ordered Earth and Water, the two that were at the top of my list, and decided to play around with them and figure out what all the hubbub was about.

NYX 03Upon opening the package from NYX, I wasn’t wowed by the packaging.  They each came in a cardboard box, which is different than their usual heat-sealed plastic wrapping, but the palette inside was the same mid-grade plastic of the majority of their palettes.  It’s not the cheapest, flimsiest plastic I’ve ever felt but it doesn’t feel sturdy or expensive.  The shadows are numbered on the back to match up with ingredients lists, but the shades don’t have individual name…a minor detail, maybe, but again we’re taking about an almost doubling of the expected price so a little attention to detail might not be unwarranted.  After inspecting (and judging – obviously there was judging going on!) the packaging, I popped them open and got right to swatching:

NYX 02

A palette full of watery blues and greens?  Yes, please!  My first impression while swatching is that these are pretty good quality shadows, maybe a little better than most of what I see from NYX but still not sure if they are worth the $30 price tag.  The metallic are really good, I would say that they are on par with some of my favorites like Juvia’s Place.  The mattes looked a little chalky when I first started playing with them, so I grabbed a brush and they blended out beautifully.  Some of the greens in this palette are really stunning and I can see myself using them on the reg: the middle two shades in the top row, the second shade in the middle row, and the last two shades in the bottom row.  That last shade is gorgeous!  It’s like MAC’s old pigment Green Brown, but the green flash is deeper and almost more teal and the brown is also darker and warmer.  It’s lovely!  It also reminds me of that lovely Juvia’s Place shadow from the Saharan palette – Kia, I think?  Stunning!

Alright, I’m starting to come around.  Now, how about Earth?

NYX 01

I was really torn between this one and the Fire palette because of the Fire’s bright yellow and red shades, but that green shadow in the middle row pulled me in.  I know, I’m so predictable!  This palette has a lot more matte action going on in it, and those were similar to the ones in the Water palette: a bit chalky with a finger swatch, but blended out nicely once I put a brush to it.  I apply my eyeshadow with brushes, not my fingers, so not a concern for me!  The shades themselves aren’t as stunning to me as the ones in the Water palette, but the green was as good as I hoped, and the red shades in the middle and bottom rows are both great and made me feel less FOMO over the Fire palette.  The two shades in the middle of the bottom row are nice cool browns and I think I’ll get a lot of use out of them as well, and the gold in the middle row is less obnoxious when applied that I first thought it looked when I opened the palette.

So I was pleasantly surprised by the quality – it really does feel somewhat elevated from the typical NYX offering – but would I pick them all up at their regular price?  Probably not, but luckily I don’t have to worry about that: NYX had a 50% off palette sale and I was able to get the other 4 for only $15 each!  Now that’s more like it.


I appreciate bargain brands stretching and trying to provide a different, more upscale experience for their customers, but I think it’s important to remember that a large part of the appeal of these brands is that they are good quality while being much less expensive than the brands you typically find at Sephora or on the “fancy side” of Ulta.  If they can balance process and quality improvements with a gradual increase in prices while also keeping their core line at the usual price point, then I think NYX will have found their alchemical formula for pure gold beauty!

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

(For the elemental man candy photo above, I wasn’t able to find or credit an original artist.  If you happen to know where it comes from or it’s yours, please let me know so I can add the proper credit!  Thanks! XOXO – Miss Jaye)

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